Ferry Travel to Santorini during Covid-19

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Updated: August 19, 2020

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Traveling from Athens to Santorini during Covid-19

After being shut down to contain the spread of Covid-19, Greece has opened up to international travelers as of July 1, 2020, though it remains closed to countries with high and increasing rates of Covid infection. As situations can change quickly, we recommend that you check the embassy website of your country of origin before making travel plans.

The Greek Tourism Ministry has put together this website, which includes information about arrivals by air, land, and sea, as well as all health protocols during this time.

Hotels in Greece are required to complete mandatory training and inspection for Covid-related health protocols. You can read about those here.

Officially, as of August 19, 2020:

  • All international airports in Greece are accepting flights from abroad, but flights originating in countries with high or rising levels of Covid-19 are not allowed. The Destination Greece Health First Website will have updated information about all travel restrictions and protocol.
  • All travelers to Greece need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before entering the country, providing information about point of departure, recent stays in other countries, and the address of their upcoming stay in Greece. Find the form here. After filling out the form online, travelers will receive an official QR code that they will present at the airport on arrival in Greece.
  • All travelers arriving in Greece will be subject to random Covid-19 tests. After being tested, travelers are free to move to their final destination. Any travelers with positive results will be contacted and placed under a 14-day quarantine; hospital, medical, and hotel expenses will be covered by the Greek state.
  • Ferries are operating at 80% capacity (85% for boats that have cabins). Passengers need to fill out a health questionnaire and have their temperatures taken before boarding. Passengers who are deemed at risk of infection due to recent exposure to Covid-19 patient or who exhibit symptoms like a fever or cough will be refused permission to board the boat.
  • Onboard the ferry, masks are mandatory (both inside and out) and passengers must maintain a 1.5 meter distance from each other. There is a maximum of two people per ferry cabin, except for families of up to 4 and people with disabilities who are traveling with companions.
  • Passengers arriving to Athens via ferry who have symptoms (including fever and cough) will be given a Covid-19 test after disembarking the ferry.

Athens to Santorini during Covid, in photos:

Here are some photos from one of our Santorini Dave team members, who traveled via ferry from Athens to Santorini on the first week of July, 2020.

Cars line up beside a large ferry boat

Athens Piraeus ferry port at 6am.

People line up for tickets at a ferry ticket kiosk

Travelers lining up for SeaJets tickets at the kiosk in Pireaus. Not nearly as busy as in a normal year.

People crowd around a ticket kiosk at a ferry port

Not a lot of travelers at Piraeus Port were wearing masks. (Unless you count on their arm or around their neck.)

Health form for a SeaJets ferry during Covid-19 crisis

This is the health form that all passengers need to fill out before boarding a SeaJets ferry.

Health questionnaire for travel on a Blue Star ferry during Covid-19 Crisis

Here is the health form for Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways, and Superfast Ferries.

A woman scans tickets and colletcs health forms of passengers waiting to board a ferry.

Before boarding the ferry, a ticket agent scans tickets and collects the completed passenger health forms.

A woman scans the forehead of people in order to take their temperature.

Then there is a temperature scan of every passenger. I asked them what the protocol was if someone had a high temperature, none of the staff really knew the answer but most shrugged and said, “we probably wouldn’t let them board” but they hadn’t come across that yet.

Rows of mostly empty seats, with every second seat marked with red tape

I took the WorldChampion Sea Jet and the ferry I was on was only their 2nd voyage to Santorini (stopping at Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, and Ios along the way). Masks are “mandatory” but there were people not wearing them and no one said anything despite announcements made overhead to follow Covid precautions. I didn’t see any staff members handing out masks, so be sure to bring your own. There were markings on the seats indicating where you can and can’t sit and that was adhered to.

Rows of empty seats on a Greek passenger ferry

As you can see, the ferry was mostly empty. And few, if any, people boarded on the ferry at the Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios ports en route to Santorini. Complete opposite scene of last year.

The port of Syros, Greece, as seen from onboard a ferry boat

First stop, Syros. Not a lot of action here.

The ferry port at Mykonos, as seen from the ferry deck on a sunny day

The Mykonos ferry port at Tourlos. Pretty empty.

The ferry port at Paros, as seen from the ferry deck on a sunny day.

Another view of the Mykonos Port.

Ferry port in Paros on a sunny day

A view of Paros port from the ferry deck.

The ferry port at Naxos, as seen from onboard a ferry boat.

Naxos Port. Many people disembarked here, but few (if any) boarded.

A ferry remp descends to a ferrry dock on the Greek island of Ios.

Arriving at Ios.

People, some wearing protective face maks, disembark a ferry.

Again, many people got off here, but few boarded.

Passengers line up to disembark a ferry at Santorini

The ferry arrival at Santorini. I would say overall that the ferry was maybe about a quarter full. Last year when I came mid May it was packed.

Passengers walk along the ferry dock at Santorini.

After disembarking the ferry at Athinios Port, Santorini. It’s a different place as you can imagine: quiet, and with little traffic.

A Seajets ferry at the Athinios Ferry Port

A look back at my ride.

A line of travelers, many with protective face masks, wait in line to board a ferry in Greece.

This group of travelers is waiting to board the now-empty WorldChampion Jet. Many are wearing face masks and maintaining some degree of social distance.

Passengers board a ferry at Santorini Port in July 2020.

The WorldChampion Jet prepares to head back to Athens. Within a few minutes of my getting off the ferry, people waiting to get on board were let on.

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