Overnight ferry from Athens to Santorini

Oct 5th, 2000, 03:14 PM
  #1  
parag
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Overnight ferry from Athens to Santorini

I am planning a 2 weeks trip to Greece in 1st or 2nd week of April 2001,alongwith my wife(both in mid thirties). Will somebody tell me the details or personal experiance about an overnight ferry from Pireus/Rafina to Santorini & back on deck/cabin class;their frequency,timings & costs.I am also looking for hotels @around 25$ to 30$ per night at Santorini(with a good view),Mykonos,Nafplion & Monemvasia.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 04:19 PM
  #2  
Kris
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My husband & I booked a cabin from Crete to Santorini then Santorini to Pireus. My advice is RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!! If you value your sanity take a plane. Our first ferry was 3 hours late, very loud, very smelly (fuel smell). The ferry you're talking about we waited for on the dock for an hour with 3 other hapless passengers, and finally found someone in the tourist office who told us that the ferry had been cancelled - we'd checked on departure time that morning, everything was peachy. The next ferry was the next morning at about the same time our plane back to the States was due to leave - PANIC! We went to the airport and managed to get seats on the last plane to Athens. I will never again take a ferry in Greece!!
The rest of our experiences were incredible! A really nice place to stay in your price range is in Kamari Beach called Dolfinos (not sure of my spelling!). Right on the beach, really really nice. Good lucK!
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 05:37 PM
  #3  
julie
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Hi-

A bit different perspective--I'm 30 now, but when I was 22 I spent a year travelling around the world. As a backpacker, you get to the point where you can enjoy things that you normally would have hated. The ferry from Athens to Santorini was one of those. I took an all-day ferry, however, and the images I retain from the journey are some of the most vivid of my whole year. The water, the different islands, the whole feeling of being so far away....I was a single woman travelling alone, however, I met up with dozens of people at various times along the way. I was with some fun folks at that trip who felt the same way. If you're not in a hurry and don't have a schedule to maintain, I highly recommend it. I had all the flexibility a person could have, so a day here or there off schedule wasn't a problem. I WAS on overnight ferries from Brindisi to Corfu and from Santorini to Rhodes. The overnight idea is a bad one unless you treat yourself to a cabin. Very loud and no scenery to enjoy!

Happy travels!!!
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 06:16 PM
  #4  
Diane
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I took an overnight ferry 10 years ago from Paros to Rhodes. It was quite enjoyable as we had a cabin and had dinner in a nice dining room with linen on the table. The majority of folks were sleeping on the deck, on benches, or wherever they could find space. The ferry left Paros about 5 hours late, but we were not in a hurry and didn't care much. At that time the cost of the cabin wasn't more than what we were paying for rooms, which wasn't much. A bit of advice here: be sure to allow a night in Athens if you need to catch a flight home. The planes and ferries are not always on schedule. Bad weather can cancel the ferry altogether.

I'm not aware of hotels on Santorini with good views in your price range. It will help that you are traveling off-season, but will still be a challenge. I stayed in a lovely hotel on the lip of the caldera in a beautiful suite, but we paid dearly for it, about $150 off-season. You can probably do well on Mykonos, however.

You can look at my website:
www.travelswithdiane.homestead.com
Click on Greece. Page one is Santorini. Page two is Mykonos. Some people had trouble accessing the site this week but I did not. Give it a try. I also have some good links for Greek webpages -- some with hotel information.

Have a good trip. Greece is magical.
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 05:01 AM
  #5  
Paulo
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As you may know, Parag, Minoan Flying Dolphins company recently acquired a bunch of vessels (including the one than sunk the other day) and together with Minoan Lines now constitute the largest ferry company in Greece - Hellas Ferries.

Unfortunately, this new huge company appears to be way understaffed and I'm afraid that info on line won't be available soon. On other company that serves Santorini out from the Piraeus is G.A. Ferries. Finally, there are also hydrofoils.

Typically, night ferries from the Piraeus depart at 10pm, arriving in Santorini at 6:30am. Overnight boats out from Santorini usually depart around 7pm. Of course, you'd have to check on those shortly before your trip (if you're lucky, Hellas Ferries will have a page set up until then).

My guess (may be wild) is that an inside upper deck cabin (class A/B) for two should cost around $65. Lower deck cabins would cost less but the fuel smell is awfull. On the other side, outside cabins in the upper deck (best ventilated) should cost more.

Paulo

PS. to have an idea (at your own risk) of ferry schedules, you may refer to
http://www.ferries.gr/domstep1.asp
 
Oct 8th, 2000, 03:39 AM
  #6  
parag
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Thanks a lot everybody.Paulo's letters have always been better informative than the best travel books & have been an inspiration ever since i have started planning 6 months back .
Is it safe & worth travelling deck class overnight(though we are used to travel by chair car in overnight trains)A plane journey(one way )for 2 is dr.45000/- vis-a-vis a deck class @ dr.18000/-
Is Ferostefani(Santorini) the ideal & convinient location for a budget hotel with a good view?Any suggestions along with prices? We are Architects interested in sightseeing & history & normally tend to pack a lot of things in a day.Any suggestions ,with prices, for Mykonos,Nafplio & Monemvasia ?
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 05:41 AM
  #7  
Paige
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Just got back from touring Greek islands and my best advice is to not plan your schedule too tight. There were lots of problems with ferries when we were there that will hopefully be straightened out by the time you go. But even still, weather can cancel ferries and flights at the drop of a hat. Allow plenty of time for connections. When our ferry from Piraeus to Amorgos was canceled (along with our 1st class cabin), we jumped on a boat to Naxos in 3rd class. We slept in a room with airline type seats and a little carpeted floor space for a few to stretch out. Probably in April the ferries won't be too full, but our boat was packed to the gills and fortunately we were some of the 1st on board. Lots of people got stuck sleeping in less than optimal places. The bathrooms were disgusting. But it only cost about 2400 drachmas each. I was just happy to be on our way!
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 06:38 AM
  #8  
Marcus
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As a graduate student in 1996 I had the pleasure of staying in Santorini for 10 days, traveling from Pireus. I took an overnight ferry and slept on the deck. In retrospect, this is certainly NOT the way to go. When you are on a budget (say as a resource-depleted, grungy architecture student)it's tolerable, but otherwise, avoid it at all cost! It was uncomfortable to say the least, yet memorable. I would definetly recommend paying the extra (usually 2-3 times the cost) for a cabin. The trip itself and the sights are great, but use caution when buying your tickets. I was misinformed about the return trip back to Brindisi, Italy, instead of being 20 hours, it was actually around 40 hours with all of the stops. Make sure you are aware of the exact departure/arrival times before you board.

As far as Santorini goes, you picked a great time. The massive tourist influx has yet to begin in April and the locals are eager to cut deals for rooms, mopeds, and sometimes food. You might be bombarded with offers as soon as you step off the bus, so be prepared. There are numerous places with views - best place to check might be the internet, if nothing more to get familiar with the island. I stayed in Perissa a majority of the time and it was beautiful, complete with the beach at my back door, all for about $25 a night.

The best way to see the island is to rent a moped (depending how adventurous you are!). For around $8 a day, you have the mobility to experience some excellent views from the roads and can stop whenever you want. My entire experience was fantastic to say the least, so enjoy!
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 09:52 AM
  #9  
Paulo
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Parag, I can tell you what my experience was and you may make take your own conclusions

We had asked our agent in Greece to secure us two double cabins in the upper deck. Unfortunately, when he went about doing it, there were no more upper deck cabins available. He got us a quadruple cabin in the lower deck instead. When we boarded the ship we took our lugagge to the cabin and realized that it was awfully hot and the fuel smell was indeed very bad. We turned the a/c and ventilation on and went for our stroll in the ship. One hour or so later (around 11pm) we went back to sleep. The temperature, though not really cool, was bearable but the fuel smell, though not as bad, was still there. My wife and my friends took their sleeping births and I left for a 2nd stroll (hoping that things would get better later on).

I started with the deck class, filled mainly by young backpackers. I just sat a the deck bar, sipping ouzo, watching the movement and talking to the youth. I don't remember exactly when (maybe 1am) the deck bar closed and I returned to the cabin. The temperature had cooled down and was ok, but the fuel smell wouldn't let up. I then decided I wouldn't sleep in the cabin and tried to arrange myself elsewhere. I went to the first class bar and, once again, I sipped a couple of ouzo shots and talked to other travelers there. Once there were some extra armpit chairs still available I got one to rest my legs and I slept for about two hours (I was awake in all of the ferry's stops - in Paros, Naxos and Ios). When I woke up, the bar service was closed and I felt like moving elsewhere. Went to a third bar/cafeteria that was open for another ouzo shot and some more talking I then got to a cabin (guess it was 1st class) and got a reclinable flight type seat where I got some more sleep. I woke moments before the ferry was entering the caldera. I got down to wake my wife and friends and we all watched the glorious ferry entry to the caldera.

Summarizing it, it appears as if ferry personell care less about the type of ticket one has (I was asked the ticket once and it wasn't clear which parts of the ship I could use with it). If you're in a bar AND SPENDING SOME, I would guess nobody will bother you. In April, these bars should be quite empty and chances are you may arrange things to sleep there when the bar closes. The outside deck seats should be quite cold in April (there was a pretty cold wind in July ... everybody was well dressed to bear it). The worse that may happen is to take a seat in the deck cabin ... more or less like in a plane with the advantage that you may move around at will (and easily find a place where to smoke a cigarette if you're a smoker). I don't know how allert one has to be regarding lugagge (ours was in the cabin and we could care less).

We I to go to Santorini on a budget in April, I would play it by ear. It doesn't make much sense making reservations. You may do some research and have some hotels you may wish to check in person. Just arrive at the port, say what you're looking for, see what's available, visit the places that are offered and decide on the spot. Bargain, bargain, bargain ...

Paulo

PS. If you plan to be in Santorini in the period from April 12th to 15, things may be completely different (many cities /islands in Greece are completely booked out during Easter
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 05:50 AM
  #10  
Paige
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I told you the wrong price for the ferry from Piraeus to Naxos. It was about 5000 drachmas each for a 3rd class ticket, not 2400.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 11:04 AM
  #11  
Parag
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After hearing from all of you,I think what I should save is the energy,time & a lot of trouble rather than Drachmas,by travelling by Olympic Air & enjoy the Caldera view & Ferry while going to Mykonos or Naxos which is much shorter. Thanx all of you.
 
Oct 12th, 2000, 09:51 PM
  #12  
Dee
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I agree with all the above posts that say DON'T take the ferry if it can be avoided!! Unless you get a cabin your nights sleep is limited!! THis summer I took the ferry from Pireus to Santorini and it was so bad!! I then found out that flying between places in Greece is actually not much more expensive than cabins on the ferry!! The roundtrip 45minute flight Athens to Santorini only cost around $100!!! Definitely worth it!!
 

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