Greek Ferries

Mar 8th, 2019, 07:56 PM
  #1  
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Greek Ferries

I am getting into Athens in the beginning of August on an very early morning flight and will then take a ferry to one of the Cyclades islands (probably Paros or Naxos)- still finalizing. I looked at the gtp page for schedules and there are quite a few companies with service to these islands (around 7am especially). It would be great if you could share your experiences (good and bad) with the ferry companies and maybe some wisdoms i need to consider when deciding which one to book. The time it takes for different ferries/routes is obviously one consideration and I can of course go to various websites to research each vessel but if there is something you personally experienced and have opinion about please share. TIA.
weekend_celebrations is offline  
Mar 8th, 2019, 11:11 PM
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Blue Star is the ferry company of choice for people who live on Paros and Naxos. Highspeeds will get you there an hour quicker in less comfort at twice the price. The two newest ferries in the Greek fleet are Blue Star Delos and Blue Star Patmos, the former usually the ferry that leaves Piraeus every morning at 07:25. Have a look at the fleet videos to see what Blue Stars are like:
https://www.bluestarferries.com/en/a...et-videos.html

The highspeed ferries in Greece are older than most of the Blue Stars, and are hand-me-downs from ferry companies operating in the Baltic and English Channel. The larger highspeeds, e.g. Champion Jet 1&2, Highspeed 4, and Santorini Palace are okay, but have the feel of riding in an oversized airliner. The smaller highspeeds, e.g. Superjet and SeaJet 2, are tiny, and very uncomfortable in rough seas.

I notice that Sea Jets Consortium is scheduling Sifnos Jet, another small catamaran, to sail from Rafina in the mornings this year. Last year Sifnos Jet was also put on the timetables, but never left the repair yards all summer, and is yet to carry a passenger in Greece. It's an old ferry that was bought from a company in the Pacific South Seas:
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais...l:SIFNOS%20JET
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 9th, 2019, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Heimdall View Post
Blue Star is the ferry company of choice for people who live on Paros and Naxos. Highspeeds will get you there an hour quicker in less comfort at twice the price. The two newest ferries in the Greek fleet are Blue Star Delos and Blue Star Patmos, the former usually the ferry that leaves Piraeus every morning at 07:25. Have a look at the fleet videos to see what Blue Stars are like:
https://www.bluestarferries.com/en/a...et-videos.html

The highspeed ferries in Greece are older than most of the Blue Stars, and are hand-me-downs from ferry companies operating in the Baltic and English Channel. The larger highspeeds, e.g. Champion Jet 1&2, Highspeed 4, and Santorini Palace are okay, but have the feel of riding in an oversized airliner. The smaller highspeeds, e.g. Superjet and SeaJet 2, are tiny, and very uncomfortable in rough seas.

I notice that Sea Jets Consortium is scheduling Sifnos Jet, another small catamaran, to sail from Rafina in the mornings this year. Last year Sifnos Jet was also put on the timetables, but never left the repair yards all summer, and is yet to carry a passenger in Greece. It's an old ferry that was bought from a company in the Pacific South Seas:
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais...l:SIFNOS%20JET
Excellent post. Most thorough one I have seen on Greek ferries.
whitehall is offline  
Mar 9th, 2019, 05:17 AM
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As you have been told in your previous thread:
Bluestar Naxos Piraeus dp 6.45 - Naxos ar 11.55 or Bluestar Delos 1/2 hr later (most comfortable solutions)
or
Champion Jet Piraeus dp 7.00 - Naxos ar 10.15 (fastest solution).
The smaller catamarans cannot be recommended (as said above).
neckervd is offline  
Mar 9th, 2019, 05:24 AM
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Thank you so much! as I am looking at Rafina, i dont see Blue Stars on the schedule for this route...is it possible they don't go there at all?
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Mar 9th, 2019, 05:54 AM
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No, Blue Star doesn't sail from Rafina. If you are looking for a similar type conventional ferry, Golden Star Ferries Superferry and Superferry II sail on alternate days from Rafina to Paros, but don't arrive until 14:00. One bonus for that ferry is: you will get a glimpse of several other islands from the open deck as it docks at Gavrio, Andros, Tinos and Mykonos on the way to Paros. There are several catamarans leaving Rafina in the morning that would get you there quicker, though.

If you decide to go to Naxos, one ferry on the Sea Jets timetables that intrigues me is WorldChampion Jet, a large catamaran bought from the Danes last year. When it sailed in the Baltic under the name Villum Clausen it broke a speed record, hence the name given to it by Sea Jets. That's another ferry that hasn't begun service in Greece yet, and I am sceptical about timetables that Sea Jets publishes early. Best thing is to wait until April or May before you prebook, and use the ferry company's own website, not a third party.

@whitehall, thanks for the compliment.
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Mar 9th, 2019, 07:36 AM
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@Heimdall thanks again for this helpful info! will wait till April to book...drive to Piraeus is a half hour more from airport as you know so one more factor into equation...but may be a family cabin can help us sleep through jet lag
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Mar 9th, 2019, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
As you have been told in your previous thread:
Bluestar Naxos Piraeus dp 6.45 - Naxos ar 11.55 or Bluestar Delos 1/2 hr later (most comfortable solutions)
or
Champion Jet Piraeus dp 7.00 - Naxos ar 10.15 (fastest solution).
The smaller catamarans cannot be recommended (as said above).
@neckerevd so Champion Jet dp 7 00 is what you refer to as "smaller catamaran" correct? thank you
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Mar 9th, 2019, 09:24 AM
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If you want a cabin then it needs to be a conventional ferry, i.e. Blue Star from Piraeus, or possibly Superferry from Rafina. The catamarans, even the larger ones like the Champion Jets, don't have cabins. Neckervd is correct that in addition to the 07:25 Blue Star that I mentioned there is also a Blue Star at 06:45 running from early June to early September, and that would fit well with your August travel plans. These two ferries stop at both Paros and Naxos, then go on to different islands from there.

If you are arriving at Athens Airport in early AM you can board the Blue Stars in Piraeus up to an hour or so before departure and get settled in to your seats or cabin.
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 10th, 2019, 07:48 AM
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" @neckerevd so Champion Jet dp 7 00 is what you refer to as "smaller catamaran"
No. Just the contrary. Must be a misundertanding.
But as said above: a cabin in a Bluestar ferry would be a much better solution at around 6am Greek Summer time, resp 11pm at your home and after a long flight.
But try to wake up before the boat left Naxos for Amorgos!
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Jul 20th, 2019, 07:11 PM
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I ended up purchasing Seajets Andros jet from Rafina at 2:15 pm to Paros back in April (online) (because it worked best with our plans). as I my trip is less than 2 weeks away, i decided to check the departure port and- suprise! that timing/jet is no longer on the schedule. Instead, a 3 pm Naxos Jet is listed. I have emailed the company and waiting for their response. I did not receive no email notification about the change. Has anyone here had similar experience? I am hoping they would rebook me on the 3pm but what a nuissance.
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Jul 20th, 2019, 10:39 PM
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That is typical of the Sea Jets company, one reason why veteran ferry users are reluctant to book Sea Jets tickets in advance. When this happens Sea Jets should honour your ticket for the replacement ferry. Check with the Sea Jets agent when you get to Rafina.
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Jul 20th, 2019, 11:14 PM
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BTW, Naxos Jet will have already made one round trip through the Cyclades that day before returning to Rafina for the scheduled 3 pm departure, so don't count on it leaving on time. According to the Marine Traffic website it left Rafina at 3:28 pm on the 19th, and yesterday, the 20th, didn't depart until 4:15 pm.
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Jul 21st, 2019, 06:26 AM
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agree with Heimdall...don't count on an on-time departure when you are at the tail end long schedule day for any ferry except maybe Blue Star and even then we took about a one hour delay on a recent holiday weekend .
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Jul 21st, 2019, 10:00 AM
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@heimdali @Lois2 thank you for the input...i don't mind an extra hour in athens (but would still love to arrive in Paros before dark hence i didnt book 5pm Blue Star...)- I just never expected change in schedule without notification of ticket-bearing customer...they have not responded yet (sunday) i hope it will get resolved without complications.
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Jul 21st, 2019, 10:46 AM
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Donít worry if you donít hear from Sea Jets. All they have done is change one ferry to a very similar one, and if you have your reference number for proof of booking they will issue a ticket for the proper ferry.

Sea Jets is notorious for publishing timetables in winter and changing around ferries before the start of the season. Andros Jet is sailing a different route in the Cyclades this summer, so Naxos Jet has been brought in as a substitute.

At least you can be sure Naxos Jet is sailing, because I have been tracking it on marinetraffic.com. Today it left Rafina at 3:50 pm. You can use marinetraffic.com too, and learn a lot about Greek ferries. Itís a worldwide website, so will also show shipping in the area where you live.
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Jul 22nd, 2019, 05:56 AM
  #17  
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Technically, new time is 45 mins later, and i need those extra 45 mins in Athens so would have been bummed had i not checked))
Thank you for your message and tracking site info!
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Jul 23rd, 2019, 08:33 AM
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update: seajets responded via email with re-issued booking for the updated jet. all good but a lesson to always check the (greek?) ferry schedule as the date gets closer (and probably the day before)
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Jul 25th, 2019, 12:31 AM
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Here is an update on Naxos Jet, which I just read this morning on TripAdvisor in a post written by ferry expert Nicksy:

"Yesterday en route from Paros to Mykonos, an excessively high temperature was observed in the left external main engine and, for precaution, the trip was continued on three engines. All 283 passengers were disembarked in Mykonos and the Naxos Jet went to Perama shipyard where she is already in drydock for the necessary repairs."

I don't know how long Naxos Jet will be in the repair yard, but no doubt Sea Jets will have a plan for passengers booked on that ferry.
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Jul 25th, 2019, 05:41 AM
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Thanks so much for the alert @Heimdall! on top of Heathrow strikes, looking up like a relaxed trip already))
we have about 10 days before the Rafina ferry so they better figure it out
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