Šibenik is a large and one of the oldest and best protected ports on the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea (43°44' N, 15°53' E). It is located in the submerged mouth of the river Krka, which over a length of 75 km and an altitude difference of 360 m forms a unique natural reserve. The port is naturally protected from the influence of waves and wind, and can be entered through the St. Ante channel (2,700 m long and 120-300 m wide), which allows smooth navigation for ships up to 50,000 DWT. The length of the port is 10 km, width ranges from 300-1200 m, with depths of 8-40 m.
Weather conditions: The northen wind called "bura" and southern wind called "jugo" are blowing with stormy strength. The "bura" is strongest in the northwest part of the port, and weakest on the stretch of the coast from the cathedral to Gata Krka. The "jugo" creates high and short waves.
Sea currents: in the area southwest of the entrance to the channel of St. Anthony, the predominant current is the outgoing current, with speeds ranging from 0.5 knots for weak inflow of the Krka River to 3 knots for strong inflow of the Krka River. In the area southwest of the entrance to the channel of St. Anthony, the currents are weak, up to 0.4 knots. During stormy south winds, the speed of the northwest current along the northeastern coast is 0.5 knots.
Sea level: The average amplitude of tides is between 0.2 - 0.4 m. Prolonged storm winds and heavy rainfall can raise the sea level up to 1.0 m (cyclonic south wind) and lower it up to 0.4 m (anticyclonic north wind).
Sea water density: In the surface layer (up to a depth of 1-3 m), the density ranges from 1,010.0 kg/m3 (during strong inflow of the Krka River) to 1,025.0 kg/m3 (during dry periods). At depths greater than 1-3 m, the density ranges from 1,023.0 – 1,028.0 kg/m3.
Anchorages: In the port, anchoring is possible with the approval of the Port Authority in exceptional circumstances. The best anchorage is WSW and SSW of the cathedral.
Šibenik area: Is southeast of the island of 'Pašman' and the 'Kornati' archipelago to Cape 'Ploča', which is a continuation of the navigational routes from the 'Srednji' and 'Pašman' channels through the 'Murter' Sea towards the ports of the Šibenik area. From the Murter Sea area to the southeast, one sails through the Žirje, Kakan, Kaprije, Zmajan, Zlarin and Šibenik channels, and further from Cape Ploča towards the Split area.
This area is approached from the open sea through the Samogradsko Vrata passage (between the southern part of the Kornati islands and the island of Žirje) and from the south between the island of Žirje and the mainland coast.
There are three passages leading to the Šibenik Channel: Logorunska vrata, leading to the northern part of the island of Prvić; Šibenska vrata, between the islands of Prvić and Zlarin; and between the island of Zlarin and the islet of Dvainka. The most common passage is through the channel between the islands of Prvić and Zlarin, approaching the Šibenik Channel from the south during southern winds. It is recommended that ships enter the channel through the passage between the island of Zlarin and the islet of Dvainka.
The outer anchorage of the port of Šibenik is located 1-2 NM SE of the island of Zlarin and is used in extremely bad weather conditions.
The inner anchorage of the port of Šibenik is located west of the island of Krapanj, between the island of Drvenik and the Solaris resort on the mainland, and is bounded by the following points:
The port of Šibenik is related to the exploitation of coal in the Drniš-Siverić basin, which began in 1834 with a quantity of 60-70 thousand tons exported through the port to Trieste, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt. With the construction of the railway line from Siverić to Šibenik in 1877, the port of Šibenik was connected to the hinterland. The construction of operational piers began in 1906 and was completed by 1921 with a length of 437m. In 1910, the port acquired its first port equipment (gantry cranes).
In 1925, the Lika railway was put into operation, which significantly contributed to the connection of the Šibenik port with the hinterland. During this period, the Vrulje pier was built with 346 meters of operational coastline with an average depth of 7-10 meters.
In the beginning of 1949, the Directorate of the Ports of the Central Adriatic was founded with headquarters in Split and a branch office in Šibenik. In 1948/49, the coast of the Vrulje quay was renovated, extending 113 meters in length. After the opening of the Una Railway in 1949, the port of Šibenik experienced a significant increase in traffic. In 1949, the construction of the Dobrika coast, 144 meters in length, was completed, and the construction of the coast and storage for bulk cargo began on the Rogač peninsula. By 1954, 125 meters of coast had been built, and with an open area of 67,000 m2, the port of Šibenik became a bulk cargo port. The port mechanization program was carried out in 1958 by installing portal and gantry cranes on the Dobrika and Rogač coastlines, as well as building a rail connection with the Ražine marshalling yard via the southern part of the port, where a separate marshalling yard was built.
By building a terminal for bulk cargo in 1982, the Port specialized in handling raw phosphates and artificial fertilizers.