06.06.2019. | Announcements
Beginning June 7, 2019, American Airlines will become the only U.S. carrier offering service to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The seasonal nonstop flight will run three times a week through September 29, 2019 (a fourth flight will be added in September) and depart from Philadelphia.
“Dubrovnik has been a place of interest for several years,” Jim Moses, vice president of Philadelphia Hub Operations for American Airlines, said in an email. “It has grown in popularity among U.S. travelers, but remained unserved by U.S. airlines. American Airlines saw an opportunity to fill that gap.” (To get to Dubrovnik from the States you typically have to connect through London, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna or Rome.)
As to why Philadelphia was chosen as the departure city, Moses says that it is American’s largest Northeastern hub and primary transatlantic gateway. “Routes like Prague, which launched from PHL in summer 2018, have been so successful that we up-gauged the aircraft we’re using for this summer to a larger A330-200, offering approximately 500 additional seats each way every week.”
The Philadelphia-Dubrovnik flight departs Tuesday, Friday, Sunday (and Thursdays in September) at 6:10 PM, arriving the following day in Croatia at 9:30 AM. Return flights leave Dubrovnik Monday, Wednesday, Saturday (and Sunday in September) at 11:40 AM, arriving in Philadelphia at 4:05 PM.
Last year Dubrovnik saw 1,271,657 visitors, according to the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, an increase of roughly 7% over 2017. In addition to the attractions of the city itself, a UNESCO World Heritage site and hot stop for Game of Thrones fans (parts of the hit series were filmed here), Dubrovnik goes all out for cultural happenings in summer. Among the highlights: The Midsummer Scene, June 21-July 5, stages some of Shakespeare’s best-known works at the St. Lawrence Fortress with Croatian and English actors performing the plays in English. The largest arts event in the city—and country—the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, July 10 to August 25, celebrates its 70th anniversary with opera, classical music and dance productions held in venues all over town. Since its inception the festival has drawn renowned international artists like Duke Ellington, Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey and Daniel Day-Lewis. Fans of classical music head to the International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik, August 30-September 29, organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, which hosts a roster of top international conductors and artists.
Obviously, with the extremely high interest in Dubrovnik and its many summer festivals, the sooner you lock in hotel reservations the better. “We are beginning to find booking the luxury hotels we recommend in the city to be a challenge,” says Wanda S. Radetti, the founder and president of VisitCroatia.com-Tasteful Croatian Journeys, cited by Conde Nast Traveler as the World Top Travel Specialist for Croatia for more than a decade. “We start checking availability for desired room types and booking for July and August at least seven to eight months in advance.” Among her recommended places to stay are the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik [Adriatic Luxury Hotels], which recently underwent an extensive refurbishment. “It is located on a cliff overlooking a beautiful pebble beach away from the crowds and yet is just a 15-minute walk to Pile Gate [the entrance to the Old Town]. We love it and so do our travelers.” Another property on Radetti’s list is St. Joseph’s, a restored 16th-century property in the Old Town. “This is a small family-owned-and-run hotel. What makes St. Joseph fresh and new for me is its ability to weave old and new, and to have a combination of superlative service and the magic of being within the walls of Dubrovnik.”