Boat and Ferry Travel

Greek boats in general are efficient, stable, fast, and comfortable. Most boats leave from Athens's port of Piraeus and also from Rafina (accessible by KTEL bus from Athens); a few leave from Lavrio. The larger ferries are more stable, and islanders consider the various Blue Star Ferries their main connection to the mainland. Remember that some fast boats are small, and can roll uncomfortably in high seas. Also, high-speeds have little or no deck space; you are closed in. The Blue Star will give you a seat number for a small extra fee, and the fast boats have reserved seats only. In summer, you should always reserve seats in advance.

At Easter and around August 15, seats are hard to come by, and boat schedules change for the holidays. All ferries run much less frequently in winter, and many fast ferries don't run at all.

Seajets offers a comfy fast-boat connection between the two most popular islands in the Cyclades: Santorini and Mykonos.

Off-season you don't need reservations, and you can purchase tickets just before departure at offices on the dock in Piraeus. Ferries can be canceled owing to gales, and then schedules go haywire and hundreds of people and cars have to fight for new tickets (in effect, the ferry companies never cancel boats; the harbor police decide, according to international regulations).

For schedules (not too far in advance, please), check www.openseas.gr or www.gtp.gr.

Contacts

Blue Star Ferries. 21089/19800; www.bluestarferries.com.

Piraeus boat departures/arrivals. 14541; 14944.

Piraeus Port Authority. Akti Miaouli 10, Piraeus, Athens, Attica, 18510. 21045/50000; www.olp.gr.

Rafina KTEL Buses. 22940/23440; www.ktelattikis.gr.

Seajets. 21041/21001; 21041/21901; www.seajets.gr.

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