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Greece travel agent to book flights & ferries?

Greece travel agent to book flights & ferries?

Oct 24th, 2013, 02:14 AM
  #1  
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Greece travel agent to book flights & ferries?

Hello:

Can anyone recommend a good Greece travel agent (location not important, but we're based in NYC) to book flights and ferries?
MeghanInNYC is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 02:47 AM
  #2  
 
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It's really quite easy to book flights and ferries yourself, direct with the airlines (e.g. Aegean Airlines) and ferry companies (e.g. Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways). If you are travelling outside high season (July & August) in most cases you don't even need to book ferries in advance. I always wait until I get to Greece to buy my ferry tickets.

If you still think you need to use an agent, these are the ones recommended by Matt Barrett: http://www.greektravel.com/suggestio...vel-agents.htm. I've heard good things about the three agents he recommends, but have never used them myself.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 04:12 AM
  #3  
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Thanks so much. None of the airlines seem to have flights available for June 2014, yet one of our hotels (Naxos) tells me we should book NOW as flights sell out. So...stumped a bit.
MeghanInNYC is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Meghan,

It's true the flights from Athens to Naxos sell out quickly because it is a very small airplane, but I'd be surprised if they are already sold out for June 2014. In fact, I just checked all the dates for June, July, AND August, and the Olympic Air website is showing no flights available for any day in those 3 months. That can't be right, so most likely Olympic hasn't released the seats for next summer yet. Olympic Air is the only airline flying to Naxos, so don't bother looking for Aegean flights.

When I fly to Naxos or Paros (the next-door island) I usually start looking for flights in January or February, and even then it is sometimes too early. If you can't get a flight to Naxos don't worry, because there are at least two daily ferries from Piraeus to the island. One Blue Star leaves around 7:30 am, probably too early in the day for a connection with a flight arriving from New York. There is always another Blue Star leaving at 5:30 pm, and occasionally an afternoon Hellenic Seaways highspeed.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 06:00 AM
  #5  
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Thanks @Heimdall–I'm hoping that's the case. In the event it makes a difference, I actually need to fly FROM Naxos -->>Athens. I'll keep checking the Olympic Air site.
MeghanInNYC is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #6  
 
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Same difference, really: one flight per day Athens > Naxos > Athens on a 37 passenger Dash 8-100 turboprop. For what it's worth, I used to fly back from Paros or Naxos to Athens, but now prefer to take the Blue Star ferry, buying a ticket in business class. There is a daily Blue Star leaving Naxos at 9:30 am, arriving in Piraeus at 3 pm. It's actually more convenient than the flight if you plan to spend a night or two in Athens before flying home.

Checking again on the Olympic Air website, they currently have flights available through March 29th, but nothing after that. There will be seats available in June, but now is too early to book, even for an agent (even if they tell you they can). ;-)
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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BTW, I don't wish to alarm you, but there is a current thread on Trip Advisor by someone complaining that their luggage was left behind on a flight from Naxos to Athens. Occasionally (very occasionally) weather conditions make it necessary to reduce takeoff weight on flights leaving Naxos. That's never happened to me, but I've heard of it occurring on Paros as well.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._Cyclades.html
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 07:50 AM
  #8  
 
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Just to chime in, we have used Dolphin Hellas as a travel agent in Athens several times. They seem to be able to get better hotel rates than I can get on the internet I think because they book blocks of rooms in advance. One word of warning they wanted me to scan my credit card before they would book. I did comply and never had a problem. I also visited their office in Athens just to check them out.
As for the conversation about the flights from Naxos they are indeed only on Olympic however Olympic has been taken over by Aegean so these small island flights are not yet available. We will have to wait and see when they pop up on either Olympic or Aegean web sites. Heimdall is correct though these flights have always come available in Jan Feb time frame so we will all have to wait. We too will be flying from Naxos to Athens late June 2014.
I too read the thread on luggage being left behind but I can say that we always fly from Naxos to Athens and our luggage has always made it.
Since you have chosen Naxos here are some images to help you get through the winter.
Trip around Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7634605629689/
stanbr is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 08:18 AM
  #9  
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Thanks, all! Late luggage on the way home isn't an issue; it's when it's missing at the star of the trip that is a real bummer (I do aspire to not check bags, but we'll see).

And we *will* be spending a night or two in Athens–is the ferry better in terms of convenience and commuting into the city proper? We haven't chosen an Athens hotel yet, so any thoughts on location (or a specific place) would be appreciated.

And thanks for the images! It's going to be a long winter
MeghanInNYC is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #10  
 
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I don't think the non-availability of flights has anything to do with the pending Aegean-Olympic merger. Olympic has always been slow to release their summer timetables, which is fine for Greeks but frustrating for early planners. The Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract that Olympic Air signed sets out the minimum number of flights and passengers, and Aegean will have to honour that contract. All that remains is to fix the timing of the daily flights.

There are rumours on the islands that Olympic may increase the number of flights on some PSO routes in high season (Jul - early Sep). Here is a very poor Google translation, but you can get the gist of the article: http://translate.google.com/translat...ct=url&act=url
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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We cross-posted.

Personally I think the ferry is more convenient, because it takes only about 20 minutes to get from the Piraeus docks to central Athens, and you just grab your bags and walk off the ferry. The metro station is only a few minute's walk on an overhead footbridge from the docks, or you can take a taxi in about the same length of time.

Travelling business class on Blue Star is really pleasant: it's cheaper than the flight, and you sit in comfortable sofas and chairs, with waiters in white jackets bringing food and drinks to your table. Some days there is a Hellenic seaways highspeed ferry that takes only 4 hrs from Naxos to Piraeus. Avoid the Sea Jets catamarans, though.

At the airport you are bused from the Dash 8 to the terminal, wait for bags to come off the carousel, which are sometimes delayed, and then it takes at least 45 minutes to get into central Athens by taxi, metro, or bus. Overall it's about 1½ hours from getting off the airplane to central Athens as compared to about 30 minutes from the ferry.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 1st, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #12  
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Excellent advice! Thanks.
MeghanInNYC is offline  
Nov 1st, 2013, 09:21 AM
  #13  
 
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Another comment on the ferry option: if your vacation is short, and you do not wish to use up 5 hours in the middle of the day for a ferry ride, Blue Star has a 2nd daily sailing at 6 or 6:45 pm -- arrives Piraeus either 11:30 or around midnight, depending on whether it stops at Syros.

I call this the "sunset ferry" because it allows you a full final day on a Naxos beach or exploring the town; you board at 6:30 & enjoy sunset on deck, catch a light meal in a cafe and (if you book "reserved economy" ticket at €4 above economy) then use your comfy upholstered lean-back seat indoors to read, nap etc.

Yes, you would have to check out of your room at 12 noon, but if you ask, places where I've stayed will always stash your bags in reception while you hit the beach, and around 4:30 or so, they'd give you the use of a bathroom to shower & change into travellng clothes.

Another consideration is that 4 days a week, the Metro closes at midnight, and the taxi prices double. However, a simple strategy solves this... during the ride, chat up 2 fellow tourists who also are staying in Central Athens/Plaka area. If you 4 take a taxi together (use the taxi line, not hailing on street) and get off at same place, you will be charged one fare, not two.
'
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 1st, 2013, 12:13 PM
  #14  
 
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<< use the taxi line, not hailing on street >>

If i was about to give such an advice, i would say quite the opposite !!!!
Hailing on street is much better than taking a taxi from the line.. There is a taxi mafia in Athens, and these taxi drivers are usually waiting for the arrival of tourists....

Now how are 4 persons with luggage supposed to share a taxi?
There won't be any space in the trunk at all....
clausar is offline  

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