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need definitive info on ferries between islands

need definitive info on ferries between islands

Feb 4th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 33
need definitive info on ferries between islands

I'm going crazy trying to figure out these ferry schedules! Can someone please shed some light.
How long does it take to go from Athens to Santorini - it appears to be almost an entire day - seems that it could get quite tiring. Flights are expensive too. Are there any other options? What about getting to Naxos from Santorini and returning to Athens from Naxos? looks like ferry is only a couple of hours from Santorini to Naxos, but what about Naxos to Athens? One ferry schedule looks like it leaves Santorini at 9pm and gets to Naxos at midnight - could this be true?
If there is a better way to see some of the different islands besides spending all day on boats, I'd love to know!
dragonrider is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Ships from Pireas (the port for Athens) normally call at Paros, Naxos and Ios en route to Santorini. The two main operators are Hellenic Seaways (www.dolphins.gr) and Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.com), but don't expect to get exact schedules far in advance. Myself, I prefer the traditional ferries with open deck space and full facilities, including restaurants; there used to be overnight sailings as well, but you'd arrive in Santorini very early in the morning.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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What do you do for 7 hours?
dragonrider is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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I too am trying to get ferry schedules for this summer, and not having much luck. Apparently those schedules aren't available yet. We need to travel from Mykonos to Santorini, ideally on a fast ferry or hydrofoil in early June. Alternatively, we could fly but only if there is a direct flight (without passing back through Athens). The complete flight schedules for June aren't available yet either (apparently several more flights will be added at some point, but when??). It is very frustrating when you are trying to make plans in advance.
europhile is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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The schedules at www.gtp.gr/ are only good until the end of March. Keep checking for updates.

From Piraeus, only car ferries go to Santorini, and they are all slow. Most of these go to Naxos as well, so you don't save any time taking one of those.

Other options? Take a night ferry and sleep, get there about dawn. There's one that leaves at 4PM that arrives just after 4:30 AM. There might be a later departure in the summertime that arrives at a more decent hour, but you won't know until the new schedules are published.

Another option is to catch an early bus or taxi to Rafina, (not too far out of Athens) and take the 7:40 express boat to Mykonos, arriving about 10:00. Have a look around, eat lunch and then catch the Flying Dolphin from Mykonos to Santorini at 2:30 (Attention Europhile!). This will break up your trip and give you a chance to see a bit of Mykonos.

From Santorini there's a morning boat to Naxos, takes about 2 hours, leaves around 7:30 AM if it's on time. This same boat then continues on to Piraeus, arriving around 3 PM. This is a car ferry and is slow. There's no fast way back to Athens by sea along this route. There are later boats from Naxos to Piraeus if you want to stay around for awhile, even a night boat that arrives back in Piraeus at 6:30 AM if you want to sleep. You could also take the Flying Dolphin from Santorini to Mykonos and a car ferry from Mykonos back to Rafina. On this route you'd leave Santorini at a more "decent" 11:10 AM, arrive in Mykonos at 2:20 PM, then catch the car ferry at 1:30 back to Rafina, arriving at 6:00 PM. Or you could hang around Mykonos until 4:00 and take the express boat back to Rafina, arriving at 5:40.

****Be aware that not all these boats go every day, so you'll need to check the ferry websites and ask at the local island ticket agencies for updates before you finalize your plans and buy your tickets.****

Caution: Give yourself a travel cushion of at least a day to get back to Athens for your flight home. If the weather's bad or if there's a breakdown you'd be stranded otherwise.

Europhile, even if more flights are added for the summer schedule, none of them will be direct, island-to-island routes. They ALL fly back to Athens first. Sorry.

I received an email from Aegean saying that the current schedule on their website is good for the summer months, and there is no guarantee that more flights will be added, but it "might" happen. They were very non-commital.

Olympic's schedule will be out sometime in March.




brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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Now that's definitive information! THanks so much! That clarifies so much for me!
dragonrider is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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Glad it helped.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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Dragonrider, I apologize. I just re-read my posting here and discovered a flaw. You probably did too. You can't arrive on Mykonos at 2:20 by Flying Dolphin and then catch a 1:30 car ferry back to Rafina. OBVIOUSLY!! Sorry about that. The good news is that there is another car ferry at 3:55 or 4:05 depending on the day, but if you're not travelling on a Friday or Sunday you're out of luck for this route according to the current timetables on www.gtp.gr. Hopefully more frequent and convenient departures will be added for the summer.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2005, 03:35 AM
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Using the Greek travel pages database results in errors and indeed omissions in available ferries services. The best information can only be found out by visiting a particular place in the islands and asking in the ferry agents, sometimes several of them as in most islands they only act for SOME of the boats. Ferry timings change almost daily during May/June/Sept.

It is worth asking island backpackers from europe about the ferries and islands as they can easily access the islands on charter flights (May-Oct), thus some have a wealth of practical experience.

So the definative answer is there is not one, but the route you are taking is a popular tourist route with frequent ferries so no problem.
brotherleelove is offline  
Feb 6th, 2005, 03:43 AM
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What is there to do? Well - sit on the deck and watch islands appear on the horizon. Read a good book. Consider the ship's wake. The getting there is half the fun; and while there are still real ships travelling these routes take one. Soon it'll all be closed in hydrofoils or high speed catamarans - and that really is boring. You might as well be on a plane.
alice13 is offline  
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