Uber Technologies Inc. launches its speedboat service in Croatia, connecting major tourist spots along the country's Adriatic coast. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.
Catching an Uber is now a common option in many of the world's cities, but how about calling an Uber boat? The world's largest ride-services company has just launched a speedboat service in Croatia. Uber has already revolutionised the taxi industry and challenged transportation regulations worldwide. But it's been a bruising six months. Capped with chief executive Travis Kalanick forced to stand down last month under pressure from investors after a string of setbacks. The shock resignation has left the company leaderless and it will be hopeful its latest offering will help guide the way out of choppy waters. It was initially tested in several locations, including Istanbul and Miami. But it was the European country, perched along the Adriatic coast, which came up trumps (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL MANAGER FOR SOUTHEAST EUROPE AT UBER, DAVOR TREMAC, SAYING: "We are very proud to have it in Croatia, a country with more than 1,200 islands. We have two options with Uber boats, up to 8 passengers and up to 12 passengers, where people can use for island hopping, spend a day at the beach, at a restaurant, and then come back to where they started or they can use Uber boat for a transfer." So, how much will it cost? The price of hiring a speed boat for up to eight people to travel from Split to Hvar for example, a distance of about 52 kilometres, will set you back 2,600 kuna or four-hundred U.S. dollars. Users will be able to build their own itinerary or opt for an organised schedule to popular destinations. However, there won't be an option to stay onboard overnight nor to hire the boats without captain and sailors. Uber is competing with other services along the coast and will rely on enough of the estimated 16 million tourists who visit Croatia each year to use the app and come aboard.