Greek Ferries How do they work?

Old Apr 21st, 2008, 05:07 AM
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Greek Ferries How do they work?

Does anyone know where I can find more information about ferries from Athens to Santorini, Santorini to Naxos, and Naxos to Athens? I'd like to get an idea of how long the trips are and how much they cost...for example, if we arrive in Athens around noon could we get on a ferry to Santorini and still make it? Also, it's just me and a friend, should we buy our ferry tickets ahead of time? Well be traveling June 16-24
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Here's an easy ferry site to navigate, and fortunately you have chosen 2 islands With frequent sailings.

I was going to suggest that you fly immediately to Santorini -- but if you arrive at 12, the only mid-day flight is 1pm on Aegean & you can't make that.

NOTE: You also arrive on the last day of the biggest 3-day weekend in Greece (Pentecost) so be prepared for some crowd-craziness (think Indianapolis on "500-Race"weekend).

There is only ONE afternoon ferry you can catch, at 1500 (3 pm) It arrives 20:50 (8:50). It is a "flying Cat III" catamaran - passenger only, that I believe takes about no more than 300 passengers. Therefore I do advise you purchase tickets in advance from Hellenic seaways, and pick the tickets up at an agency portside in Piraeus.
There is ONE ferry you can catch, at 1500 (3 pm) It arrives 20:50 (8:50). It is a "flying Cat III" catamaran - passenger only, that I believe takes about 300+ passengers.

There is a direct bus from airport to piraeus -- The X96 -- that leaves outside door 5 arrival level.I think u can buy tix onboard =3.2€. leaves every 20-25 minutes. In heavy traffic can take 90 minutes to 2 hrs (it is 27 miles vs 20 miles to central ahtens). So you'd better hustle out there. Can't take metro -- it is under construction on airport line.



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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Whoops -- forgot ferry site, but I gave you the data anyway

http://www.openseas.gr/OPENSEAS/index_en.vm

also you can actually book the ticket right on this site, and choose a Piraeus agency to collect your ticket from.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 11:57 PM
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Don't worry too much about the end of Pentacost weekend, since you will be travelling out to the islands when most Greeks will be returning to the mainland. It would be a good idea to book FlyingCat 3, though, if that's the ferry you want to take. It departs Piraeus at 1700 (5:00pm).

There is also a LANE line ferry, Ierapetra, showing up on the timetables leaving Piraeus at 1800 (6:00pm), but this is a slower ferry, arriving Santorini at 0300 next morning. If budget is a concern that may be a good option, as it will save you a night's hotel fees. You could book a cabin at prices comparable to deck class tickets on FlyingCat 3. The ferry is not available for booking yet, but is highly unlikely to be full.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:10 AM
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Heimdall, a question for you, regarding those wee-hours arrivals.

I do know that Tiger would have to get off at 3 am (and somehow "hang out" until his hotel lets him check in), because that ferry continues to Hraklion.

However, I've sometimes looked at schedules where a ferry comes in to a port around 5 a.m. and doesn't depart until later in the day, i.e., 9 or 10 or even noon. In that case, would they let you stay on board in port for a couple of hours, or do they kick you out just as soon as it docks?? Any experience regarding this? Thanks!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:23 AM
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There are no strict rules (or schedules) for travelling around Greece. Ferries are run by a variety of companies; some publish schedules far in advance and others don't. Nobody can be sure exactly what ships will be running at what times in June. The only reliable schedules are those available a few days in advance - and they might be disrupted by the weather.
As for arriving in the middle of the night, you might be allowed to sleep on the ship, or you might go ashore where you might be offered a hotel room (obviously, even if you arrive at 4am, you have to pay for that night) or you might sit in a café drinking coffee till the sun rises - I've done that at Santorini.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Travelerjan, GeoffHamer has a good answer to your question. In this case gtp.gr shows Ierapetra departing Santorini for Heraklio at 3:30am, so staying on board until later in the morning would be out of the question.

And yes, ferry schedules are uncertain until a few days before sailing. I have even had to change plans a couple of times on the night before or morning of a sailing.

Were it me, I would hang out in a coffee shop at the port, or in Fira, if anything were open there. I have done that many times at Athens Airport waiting for a flight or an early morning ferry, so Santorini wouldn't be much different. Checking into a hotel for a few hours and paying for that night would defeat the purpose of an overnight ferry.

If budget is no concern, then obviously the 1700 FlyingCat 3 would be the best choice.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 01:11 AM
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Thank you all for your help. I'm wondering if it would be possible to arrive in the afternoon on the 16th and go to a travel agency and get our ferry tickets for the very next day and the rest of our trips? Is this practical? Or will everything be booked because of the time of year?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 02:47 AM
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Tiger, you shouldn't have any problem getting ferry tickets for the next day when you arrive on the 16th. You are arriving at the end of Greece's three day holiday weekend, and most people will be traveling <i>back</i> to the mainland from the islands. Ferries going <i>out</i> to the islands won't be full.

Buy your tickets to Santorini when you get to Athens. Easiest would be to purchase them at the airport from Amphitrion Holidays or Pacific Travel, both located in the lobby outside arrivals. You can buy the other ferry tickets on Santorini and Naxos.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 03:01 AM
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If you plan to wait until the next day, there are ferries leaving early in the morning between 7:00am and 7:30am: http://tinyurl.com/4lc7kg

Highspeed 5 is the quickest and most expensive. Blue Star is cheaper, and offers the best view of Santorini when entering the caldera. Don't believe the 0830-1035 Magajet timetable. No ferry can make it from Piraeus to Santorini in two hours.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Hi Dimitris,

Please don't reopen old threads from last year! The information on ferry sailings is out of date, and will confuse anyone not looking carefully at the dates.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 04:41 AM
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heimdall and anyone with Greece info,

I may have the pleasure of helping friends research info for their upcoming trip to Greece. They know how much I love to learn about new places and I love planning
They are in the infancy stage of planning. They havent decided where.There are so many islands to choose from.

What is the link to current ferry info?
What threads on here would be good to collect overall info on this country?

What books or travel DVD's do you suggest they watch?

Thanks everyone
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 10:17 AM
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Hi jetsetj,

There are lots of links for ferry timetables, including:
http://www.gtp.gr/
-and-
http://www.openseas.gr/OPENSEAS/index_en.vm

For general info on Greece, Google searches will glean much information. There are many different travel guides, e.g. Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, and others. I've always preferred Lonely Planet, but it's best to go the the book store to see which one suits you. There are also some specialist guides, e.g. Greek Island Hopping for ferry information, and Blue Guides Greece for museums and antiquities on the mainland.

P.S. I would rather not bump this thread up to the top again, because it contains some out-of-date ferry information. Please start a new thread if you want more information.
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