Boat and Ferry Travel
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Boat and Ferry Travel
Heraklion and Souda Bay (5 km [3 mi] east of Hania) are the island's main ports, and there is regular service as well to Ayios Nikolaos and Siteia.
The most frequent service is on overnight crossings from these ports to and from Piraeus, though note that Hellenic Seaways runs high-speed, four-hour service between Piraeus and Hania in summer.
Ferries also connect Crete with other islands, mostly those in the Cyclades and Dodecanese.
Service includes Minoan Lines catamarans between Santorini and Heraklion (cutting travel time to just under two hours) and a ferry linking Siteia with the Dodecanese islands of Kassos, Karpathos, and Rhodes.
There is also weekly service from Kalamata and Gythion in the Peloponnese to Kissamos (Kastelli) in the far west of the island.
Ships also sail from Heraklion to Limassol, in Cyprus, and to Haifa, Israel.
On the overnight runs, you can book either a berth or an airplane-style seat, and there are usually cafeterias, dining rooms, shops, and other services on board.
The most economical berth accommodations are in four-berth cabins, which are relatively spacious and comfortable and are equipped with bathrooms.
A one-way fare from Piraeus to Heraklion, Rethymnon, or Hania without accommodation costs about €35, and from about €60 with accommodation. A small discount is given for round-trip tickets.
Car fares are about €70 each way, depending on vehicle size.
In July and August, a boat service around the Samaria Gorge operates along the southwest coast from Hora Sfakion to Loutro, Ayia Roumeli, Souyia, Lissos, and Paleochora, the main resort on the southwest coast.
Ferries also sail from Paleochora to Ghavdos, an island south of Crete, and from Ierapetra to Krissi, an island also to the south.
Most travel agencies sell tickets for all ferries and hydrofoils.
Make reservations several days in advance during the July to August high season.
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