First day Ferry from Athens

Old May 29th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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First day Ferry from Athens

I am trying to plan a trip for this late September to Greece. We land and leave from Athens. I like to suck it up on the first day and not "waste" one night in Athens only to return to finish the trip. Focusing on the Cyclades Islands I would like a recommendation for an island close by that we might possibly be able to get a ferry from at a time other then 7am. Our plane would land early but we would need something more like Noon-1pm. I have looked at all 3 ports and I am having no luck. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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If you are going to the Cyclades, you may be better off just booking a flight. The connections tend to work better with arriving flights, and the price can be reasonable if you book far in advance.

I think many others here understand the complexities of the ferries much better than I do, but I think you're going to have a harder time moving on from another place. Most ferries to the Cyclades (Mykonos and Santorini) originate in Athens.

But if it's a ferry you want, then look into a slower overnight ferry to Santorini or Mykonos that leaves in the late afternoon/early evening. A day in Athens is not "wasted".
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:43 AM
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We took a ferry from Piraeus to Hydra on the day that we flew in. It's not in the Cyclades, but we loved it for a couple of days to unwind from jet lag before we headed off to the Cyclades.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 12:23 PM
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Certainly a flight will get you to the islands quicker than a ferry. Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air have several daily flights each to Mykonos and Santorini. Olympic Air also has flights on smaller turboprops to Paros, Naxos, Milos, and Syros.

There are no overnight ferries to Santorini or Mykonos — the distances are too short. If you choose to wait for a ferry, there is a Blue Star leaving Piraeus at 5:30 pm that takes 4 hrs to Paros, 5 hrs to Naxos, and then continues to the Little Cyclades and Amorgos, arriving the latter at 2 am (that is the closest you will get to an overnight ferry in the Cyclades). About 3 days/week there is a Dodecanese bound ferry stopping at Santorini: it departs Piraeus around 6 pm and arrives at Santorini just after midnight.

Most ferries to Mykonos leave from Rafina, which is very convenient from Athens Airport. There may be a Sea Jets catamaran leaving around 2 pm, probably only on weekends that late in the year. There is always a slower ferry or two leaving Rafina around 5-5:30 pm, arriving on Mykonos about 10 pm.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Today I received an email notice from Aegean Airlines announcing the release of another block of deeply-discounted 'saver' fares. Check their website as well as the Olympic Air website to see what's available on your travel dates.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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This doesn't answer your question, but I wouldn't book a flight to an island the same day as arriving in athens; too easy to miss it. Last summer, my friends had a flight booked to Mykonos, while I opted for the ferry. Our flight arrived late, the electricity in the airport went out and it took them at least an hour to get thru customs; after going thru customs, the luggage conveyer belt went down. They missed their flight and with a mad dash to the port, managed to make the same ferry I was on.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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No one can forsee such an outcome. For me planning flights and ferries based on "what ifs" is not being realistic.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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With that logic you should never book connecting flights less than a day apart anywhere, making travel time consuming and expensive. That same scenario could occur in New York or any other large hub airport. Your late flight could just as easily have caused you to miss the ferry, and you may well have had to wait until the next day for another. Your friends wisely had a "Plan B" and still got to the island the same day. ;-)
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Old May 30th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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I have no problem booking connecting flights if all one one ticket. That way, the airline would get you on the next available flight. When they booked their separate tix, there were no other flights/seats availble that day. I would be too anxious the whole time worrying about catching the flight.

For me, ferry was a better bet because had I missed the afternoon one, there was at least one later that day. Besides, that leg of the trip cost at least 4x what mine did.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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I agree that booking connecting flights together is the safest practice. I have a wheelchair-bound friend who always does that because the airlines are obliged to look after him if he misses a connection. In his case it's a necessity, but he ends up paying a lot more for his flights.

From my experience most people, including myself, first book the inbound flight to Greece, then look for cheap fares to the islands. In some cases you can actually find air tickets as cheap as the ferries. That also give you two options — both flight and ferry, and it's usually easy to get a ferry ticket on the spot if you miss the flight. It's also easier to get at least a partial refund for a missed flight than for a missed ferry.

Had it worked the other way round, your friends would have made the flight but you would have missed the ferry. Fortunately for those going to Mykonos, that particular island is well served by ferries from morning to late afternoon. Like you I prefer to take the ferry on shorter trips, e.g. Mykonos or Paros, but always opt to fly to more distant islands. Depending upon arrival time in Athens, that could be the only way to get to the island the same day.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:38 AM
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Thank you for all the responses. I have done much travelling through Europe (mostly by rail). This trip is a a "turning the big 50" gift from my boyfriend and I not want to break the bank (i.e. looking at Ferries....but I will do a compare with airlines). I have to say this is overwhelming and I consider myself pretty seasoned at travel planning. Thank you again!
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