How to get the ferry from Bari to Albania: All you need to know

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Taking the ferry across the sea from Bari to Albania, seemed like a bit of a good idea when I booked. I’ve taken a ferry from Croatia to Italy before, albeit 14 years ago when I was much younger and perhaps less wise. So, was very keen to take the ferry from Bari to Albania.

The reality of this ferry adventure in September 2022, was slightly different. It turned out to be a complex process finding and checking in at the port. And it also turns out that 14 years later, since my first Adriatic ferry, I’m slightly less able to cope with the aftermath of limited sleep crumpled up in a chair. But overall, a worthwhile experience. A solid 3.5/5 from me.

That’s enough nostalgia from me. Read on to find out how to get the ferry from Bari to Albania.


How often does the ferry from Bari to Albania run?

The ferry runs daily throughout the year, current sailing time is 2300. It takes around 9 hours straight from Bari into the Port of Durres.

You can book either direct with the Ferry company (Adria is the main one) or with Direct Ferries, who are a booking agent.

How long does the ferry from Bari to Albania take?

The crossing time is around eight hours from Bari in Italy to Durres in Albania. But you will need to allow time for checking in and converting your ticket before the departure and time to disembark from the ferry too.

How much does the ferry from Bari to Albania cost?

It costs around 40 to 50 Euros for space on deck or a reclining sleeper seat or 80 Euros plus for a cabin. It’s not super cheap, but when you take into account that the ferry is both accommodation and travel, I think its really reasonable.

Ferries from Bari also head to Bar in Montengro, or Dubrvonik in Croatia. I looked at both options and they seemed more expensive.

Ferries are operated by three companies, Grandi Navi Velcoi, Ventouris Ferries and Adria Ferries. All operators charge around the same price.

Where do I collect my ticket and check in for the ferry from Bari to Albania?

There is very limited information about this online or during the booking process. I tried contacting both Direct Ferries (the booking agent) and Adria (the ferry company) to no avail.

How to convert your ticket for your ferry from Bari to Albania

Your reservation, whether direct with the ferry company or through an agent, is not a ticket. Before embarking, or going through security, you’ll need to convert your booking to a ticket.

This can only be done on the day of travel between 1700 and 2100 and it will take you around an hour (without queues) to do this.

Firstly, enter Port Di Bari. Ignore the GoogleMaps directions by foot, they try to send you on a long route but you can cut into the port just by the restaurant “Titti Twisters“. (An unfortunate name for somewhere that actually makes a decent pizza).

From there, you’ll see a bus stop which operates two buses. One, the number 50, goes to central station. The second, is a shuttle bus (a large van) that takes you to the ticket collection desks for all ferry companies operating ferries to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.

Next, take the shuttle bus. Wait until the last stop when you see tents. The check in desks are there. Check in, with your passport or ID, receive your ticket. Then hop on the same shuttle bus back to the port. It’s not far, but you can’t walk along the road. There is only one bus, so you’ll need to wait for it, potentially around 30 minutes.

Once you have your ticket, you dont have to go straight to security or the terminal building. You can exit the port area to get into Bari Vecchia if you wish. It’s not far.

Your ticket will state that you must check in at least 150 minutes before sailing time. Collecting your ticket is the “check in” process. So you dont have to (and probably can’t) embark straight away.

How to board the ferry from Bari to Albania?

This bit is actually quite easy. Head to the big Port Authority glass building by the dock. There’s a quick passport check and security scan for some bags (mine wasn’t checked.)

From here, you keep walking through the building and out the back to the boat. I’d recommend double checking with one of the ticket inspectors that you’re on the right boat!

Make sure you board at least an hour before. But if you want to get on early you can. Restaurants on board tend to open two hours before departure. From there, sit back and enjoy your ferry from Bari to Durres.

Can you sleep on the ferry from Bari to Albania?

You can pick a cabin, a reserved seat or deck space. I went for a reserved reclining seat only to discover that the spaces are not actually reserved so its first come first served. But, at my time of travel (September 2022) there was ample space as the boat is pretty empty. I had 3 seats to myself.

Is there food on the ferry from Bari to Albania?

There are a few restaurants and bars. A self service restaurant is fairly reasonably priced 7 euros ish for dinner. The bar is also OK too, beer around 3 euro and half a bottle of wine is 6 euro. They sell water, which you’ll need if you didnt bring any on board (you cant drink the tap water on the boat.) Thankfully coffee can be found early in the morning, black and strong!

There is a small outside deck. Keep climbing up to deck 8 and you’ll find it!

Finally, it gets quite chilly onboard so bring a jacket or jumper especially if you dont have a cabin. Most people are draped in makeshift blankets, laying on sofas and asleep by 0100. Thankfully, the disco bar did not live up to its name.

How to disembark from the ferry in Durres, Albania

Our imminent arrival was signalled at 0740 but everyone had started milling about on the boat from 0630. We docked at just after 0800. Head to deck 3 and follow the other foot passengers (there’s nobody to help or give directions so just go with the flow!)

After that, a passport check and then you’re free to go. The port in Durres is pretty central to town and the beach. If you’re staying in Durres, navigating should be easy. Expect to be offered taxis when you arrive, but you can easily take the footbridge and find yourself in central town.

Read more about what to do in Durres here.

How to travel from Durres to Tirana

If you’re looking to travel onwards to Tirana from Durres, it’s quite an easy journey. You can either take a taxi for around 20 to 25 Euros directly to Tirana or you can take a bus. The bus leaves from the main bus station in Durres – found here on Google Maps. The bus will take around 30 minutes and cost less than 1 Euro. They run regularly throughout the day and you don’t need to book.

Top tips for arriving in Albania

A few pointers to avoid looking quite so flummoxed when you arrive.

1) Overview – Albania’s capital is Tirana. It has a Mediterranean climate. Albania is often described as a varied and tolerant country owing to the varied mix of religious backgrounds here. Famous celebrity export – Dua Lipa.


2) Transport – I’ve heard mixed things about Albania’s transport. The main systems seem to be private buses and taxi vans as, rather than public buses. There is a train system but its renowned for being slow. You can find out more about Albania transport here on our guide to travelling around the country.


3) Money – Albania has it’s own currency LEK but Euros are widely accepted. Watch out for being ripped off for the conversion though. Visa and other major cards also accepted but some places cash only. Coffee will cost around 1 to 1.50 Euros, decent bottle of wine approx 7 Euros and a mid range meal 10 Euros.


4) Words – Hello is “Tungjatjeta” (toon-jah-TYEH-tah), Please is “Ju lutem” (yoo LOO-tehm) and Thank you is “Faleminderit” (fah-lehm-meen-DEH-reet). Yes is “Po” and No is “Jo” (Yo) Traditonally, shaking your head means yes and nodding it means no. Simple.


5) Tech – EU roaming is not valid in Albania (as it’s not in the EU.) Plugs are the standard European system (round double pins.) WiFi mostly available and decent.


6) Customs and regulations – tipping is accepted but only a small round up, rather than percentage.

Where to next in Albania?

If you’re keen to explore more in Albania, you can find our guides here.


Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case.

Find them here on Amazon.

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