UberBOAT: Island-Hopping in Croatia Just Got Easier

The next time you find yourself near the Croatian waterfront, don’t be surprised to see boats sporting the four-letter word that’s synonymous with taxis and cheap fares: Uber. Despite the recent controversies, the company is back in the news again — this time for a really cool reason. Starting June 26, users of the popular ride-share app can request UberBOAT, an on-demand boat service in Croatia. With 1,200 islands to explore, there’s no better reason for Uber to launch this service in the country that was recently named by The New York Times as the hottest destination to visit this summer.

UberBOAT offers two types of service: airport transfers from or adventures out at sea. The first transports passengers from Split — or Divulje, where the airport is located — to the resort town of Hvar, famed for its large number of rocky beaches and ancient seaside villages. Upon requesting a pick-up, the mobile app will direct users from the arrival hall to the closest pick-up point where you’ll meet with your skipper, life jacket and bottled water in hand. Two boat sizes are available — the standard size that sits eight passengers for $395 or the larger XL-sized vessel that accommodates 12 passengers for $493.

The second option is marketed as an “adventure,” which allows intrepid travelers to hire a boat for half- or full-day trips to explore the adjacent islands — or simply cruise down the magnificent coastline. A full day at sea will cost about $1,100; the exact amount is determined based on duration and distance traveled — not so different from an Uber ride on land.

As with hailing an UberX or UberXL automobile stateside, users will be able to book a speedboat ride with a few clicks of a smartphone. Uber’s “split fare” feature (pun fully intended) is also available, allowing customers the option to divide the trip fare equally between travel companions.

While this isn’t the first time Uber is launching its UberBOAT service — having had temporary forays in Boston, Istanbul and Miami — this is the first time it’ll be rolled out as a permanent feature.

Despite claims of Uber heavily disrupting the taxi economy, a recent study by Oxford Martin School’s Carl Benedikt Frey found that “Uber has created more jobs than it has destroyed,” with employment rising not just in self-employed drivers, but also in traditional taxi services. As the number of users steadily grows, the innovation-driven company has continued to diversify its business offerings, dabbling its toes in food delivery, self-driving carson-demand helicopter service — and now UberBOAT.

So, who’s interested to try this out? Sound off below.

H/T: Croatia Week

All images courtesy of Uber.

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