Boat and Ferry
In August, for good rates and an assured spot, it is essential that you book as far as possible (at least two weeks) in advance. Boats at this time can be uncomfortably crowded, with deck-class passengers claiming key spots on the floor, in the lounge areas, and even—in peak season—on the metal deck under the stars. If you're taking an overnight boat in August, book a berth so you'll be assured a comfortable place to lay your head. If you are traveling to and around the Dodecanese islands outside the summer season, you’ll find that service is curtailed.
When traveling from Piraeus to Rhodes by ferry (12–18 hours), you first make several stops, including at Patmos (6–10 hours) and Kos (10–16 hours). Bringing a car aboard can quadruple costs. Of the several ferry lines serving the Dodecanese, Blue Star Ferries has the largest boats and the most frequent service, sailing several times a week out of Piraeus (Athens). The Athens–Dodecanese ferry schedule changes seasonally, and ferries to Patmos do not run daily out of season, so contact ferry lines, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO or EOT) in Athens, or a travel agency for details. An excellent source for ferry schedules is the web-based tourist site, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) www.gtp.gr.
The easiest way to travel among the Dodecanese islands is by high-speed craft. Dodekanisos Seaways has the most regular services; tickets are booked online and must be picked up in advance of departure at the various offices and travel agencies listed on the site. Be sure to pay attention once on board, as the boat makes multiple stops and turnaround is quick. Times and fares: Rhodes to/from Symi takes 50 minutes (€21); Rhodes to/from Kos takes 2¼ hours (€34); Rhodes to/from Patmos takes 5 hours (€49).
Blue Star Ferries. 21089/19800; www.bluestarferries.com/en/.
Dodekanisos Seaways. Thalassini Pili, Kolona Port, Rhodes Town, Rhodes, 85100. 22410/70590; www.12ne.gr.