There are about 2000 islands in Greece and 78 of them where you can get to by ferry. Some small islands don’t even have an airport and the only way to visit them is by ferry.
Follow these tips to make your traveling by ferry in Greece comfortable and smooth:
- Check the most suitable port of departure. The main port Piraeus is located in Athens, but not all of the islands can be reached from it. For example, if you are going to the Ionian Islands, it is easier to book a flight.
- Choosing a ferry you have 2 options: slow economic ferry and fast more expensive ferry. Slow ferries have open decks where you can admire the sea and take a stroll or have a tasty coffee (snack and coffee shops onboard). Fast ferries have closed decks and coffee with snacks must be purchased in advance before departure.
💡 Useful tip: Fast ferry saves your time, but if you have seasickness you should better take a slower ferry where there is less boat ship motion.
- There are many types of Greek ferry seats. The cheapest seats are deck or salon. They are not reserved and passengers can sit where they find available. If you want to make sure that you will definitely have a seat for your trip, you must book an airplane-type seat. Those are numbered personal seats exactly as you would find on an airplane. For more privacy, there are also silver, platinum, gold, VIP, and business lounges available in most ferries (the class name depends on the ferry). They are more comfortable and offer extra facilities for passengers. Also, there is an opportunity to book a cabin on long-distance ferries.
💡 Useful tip: It can be pretty cool inside a ferry even in the summer, so it’s better to take something warm with you.
- For the long destinations, such as Crete and Rhodes it is better to book a cabin. Yes, it is more expensive than the seat, but, believe me, 9 and sometimes more hours of the night trip is a very tiring route and you will be worn out the next day. I guess you don’t wanna start your vacation like that. So, my advice is to book a cabin. The cheapest are interior cabs for 4 people (without a window). All cabins are divided by gender, that’s why if you want to travel with your second half in one cabin, you have to book a more expensive one for two persons.
💡 Useful tip: If you are traveling out of season you can book a shared cabin and most likely you will be alone.
- You can buy a ferry ticket online or at a travel agency in Greece. If you got the online ticket, it must be confirmed at the checkout point opposite of the ferry departure.
💡 Useful tip: With a standard ticket you can arrive at the port 15 minutes before departure, with the electronic ticket it is better to be there for half an hour before departure.
- Ferries also have discounts and earlier bookings. But still, it is better not to book tickets earlier than 4 months, as not all ferry companies have a scheduled program before that.
💡 Useful tip: If your ticket has a mistake in your name spelling, don’t worry. During embarkation most probably they do not even check your name.
- Be ready for unpleasant surprises, like delays, changes of departure time, strikes, cancelations due to weather conditions etc. At the time of booking don’t forget to leave your valid phone number where ferry companies can send text messages about any changes.
- There is no baggage limit and luggage space is available to all passengers, therefore, it is better not to leave valuables there, as it is a public open space.
💡 Useful tip: One of the most reliable websites for ferry booking online is www.viva.gr