Greek Ferries

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: May 22, 2019

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Greek Island Ferries – Essential Info

  • Booking Greek Ferries: FerryHopper.com – the best site to book ferries in Greece (in advance). It’s also good for researching ferry timetables, costs, and schedules.
  • Most ferries do not sell out. But for peace of mind, book tickets 2 to 3 months in advance.
  • If a ticket purchased online doesn’t have a barcode that usually means you’ll need to pick up a real ticket when in Greece. This is most often done at the ferry port 30 to 45 minutes before departure. Don’t worry about pick up – it’s easy and effortless and usually very close to your actual ferry.
  • Some tickets (when booked through FerryHopper) are e-tickets, which means you do not have to pick up a paper ticket before boarding. Instead, online check-in is available 48 hours to 30 minutes before departure; after which you can download your boarding pass to your phone.
  • If you book your ticket through Ferryhopper, you will also have the option of having your ferry tickets delivered to your hotel, for a fee of €10. Generally, however, it’s a better idea to wait and pick up your tickets at the port. You’ll avoid the surcharge, and won’t have to deal with the hassle of exchanging your ticket in the case of a schedule or ship change.
  • Ferries will leave on-time from their first departure port in the morning (usually large ports like Piraeus, Heraklion, and Rhodes) but will be late arriving and departing from all onward ports – usually getting later as the day progresses.
  • Note: Hellenic Seaways was recently purchased by Blue Star Ferries, and the two companies merged under the Blue Star Ferries name in fall of 2018. Most of the ferries that were operated by Hellenic Seaways are now running under Blue Star Ferries, and routes will generally not be affected. FerryHopper.com will have the most up-to-date booking options for all Greek ferries.

Ferries in Greece – The 2019 Guide

One of 3 main ferry lines in Greece.
Note about Greek ferries and ferry routes and schedules: all the information below can change with little notice. Please double check everything on your own to ensure the ferry schedules work with your plans.

The Best Website for Booking Greek Ferry Tickets

FerryHopper.com is great for buying Greek ferry tickets in advance. If you don’t want to book in advance then it’s fine to book in Greece at any shop that says “Ferry Tickets for Sale”. Booking online will occasionally have a small extra fee but that’s usually only if you want to have them delivered to you. Within Greece, ticket prices are all the same regardless of where you purchase.

Greek Ferry Schedules and Costs for 2019

To research ferry timetables and ticket prices, visit FerryHopper.com – they make it super easy to find what routes are available for your itinerary, and ticket prices are clearly communicated.

Greek Island Ferry Routes

Ferry routes to, from, and between the Greek islands have the most frequency from June to September. In late March, April, May, October, and early November ferries run on a limited schedule but still usually enough to get where you want to go on any given day. From December to February there is a bare-bones schedule that can make getting between some islands difficult (or impossible). For example, there are no ferries between Crete and Santorini, between Santorini and Mykonos, or between Crete and Mykonos, between late November and early March. To get between any of these three islands in winter you’ll need to fly or ferry via Athens.

Greek Ferry App for Maps and Routes

Greek ferry map app for ferries and boats.
I highly recommend downloading the Marine Traffic app. It shows the position of all ferries on their routes. It’s super handy. If you’re catching a ferry you’ll be able to see where it is and take a pretty good guess on how late it will be (they’re always late) and when you should actually get to the port. It’s a lot of fun – you’ll be that guy standing on the dock saying to no one in particular, “Yeah, that must be the 9 o’clock from Naxos. Running a little late today.”

Common Ferry Routes for the Greek Islands

  • Athens to the Greek Islands – For almost all Greek islands in the Aegean there is at least one ferry per day to and from Athens, 365 days a year.
  • Mykonos to Santorini – Daily ferries usually run from late March to early October. In other months you’ll need to ferry or fly via Athens.
  • Naxos, Paros, Ios to Santorini – Daily ferries usually run year-round.
  • Crete to Santorini – Daily ferries usually run from late March to late October. In other months you’ll need to ferry or fly via Athens.
  • Rhodes to Crete – Sporadic service year-round, often on an overnight service.
  • Rhodes to Santorini, Mykonos, Cyclades – There are daily ferries from Rhodes to Athens that will sometimes make stops in a Cycladic island (usually Syros, Naxos, or Paros). From there you can take a ferry to other Cycladic islands.
  • Corfu to Santorini, Crete, Mykonos – There are no ferries from the west coast islands (Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia) to the Cycladic islands, Crete, Rhodes, or any of the islands in the Aegean.
  • Italy to Greece – There are summer ferries from the east coast of Italy to the west coast of Greece (Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Patras) but no ferries from Italy to Crete, Italy to Santorini, Italy to Mykonos, or any of the islands in the Cyclades.

Greek Island Ferry Pass

There is no ferry pass for Greece or the Greek islands. Eurail does have a pass that includes a ferry ticket from Italy to the west coast of Greece and then a limited number of ferry passes within the Aegean. Whether this train and ferry pass is worth it depends on a wide range of variables and how much you plan to use the train while in western Europe (there are few functional train routes for tourists in Greece.

Occasionally, there will be Greek island package vacations advertised that include a “Greek Island Ferry Pass” – the ferry passes are just individual ferry tickets purchased by the Holiday company. These holiday packages are rarely a good deal – you’ll usually get better prices by booking hotel, ferry, and flight on your own.

Greek Island Ferry Map

Map of Greek Ferry Routes

Greek ferries do not run between every island. They generally run between Athens and every island and then to nearby islands. The Cyclades are the best islands for the first time visitor to Greece: frequent, short ferry connections with the other islands makes hopping between islands fun and easy.

FAQ – Greek Ferries

How much do ferry tickets cost on Greek ferries?
Every route is different. It’s based partially on distance but a 20-mile ferry hop will still be 50% of a 200-mile run – so you pay more for each stop then you do for each mile. There are no return tickets or multi-stop ticket. Every destination is an individual ticket.

How many ferries per day run on most island routes?
This can range from a half-dozen ferries between popular islands per day in summer (say, Naxos to Paros) to one ferry per day for some routes in the winter months. And, of course, many islands are not connected at all (e.g. Corfu and Santorini) or are only connected during the summer months (Mykonos and Santorini; Santorini and Crete). The closer two islands are the more likely they’ll be connected by a direct ferry.

Can you buy food on board a Greek ferry?
Yes. Sandwiches, ice cream, pastries, chips, cookies, beer, wine, coffee, and soft drinks are available on almost all Greek ferries.

What are the bathrooms like on a Greek ferry?
Toilets and bathrooms are quite nice and kept in a good level of cleanliness. No worries here.

Are ferries rough? Will I get seasick on a Greek ferry?
Ferries can be bumpy during rough seas and windy weather. Generally, the bigger the ferry the smoother the ride. If you’re susceptible to seasickness then try to travel on the Blue Star ferry. I find getting up and walking about can lead to seasickness even if you were feeling fine. Try to stay seated as much as possible. They do have sick bags too, so ask for them when you board if you think it might be an issue.

How long before departure should I arrive at the ferry port?
30 minutes is fine, maybe 45 minutes if you have to pick up your reserved tickets. Ferries do not wait for anyone.

What if my ferry gets rescheduled?
Ferry schedules can and do change, often within days of a scheduled departure. (This is a good reason to wait to pick up your tickets until you’re at the port. If you print your ticket before a schedule occurs, you’ll have to deal with the hassle and fees involved with getting a new, correct, ticket printed.) In the case of a schedule change, you will receive a notification via email or text. Usually, the change in departure time is minimal, but if the new scheduled time doesn’t work for your itinerary, you will have to cancel your ticket and make alternate travel plans. Note that a scheduling change may be due to a routing change, making your trip longer – or shorter – than expected. If you have timing concerns, it’s a good idea to double check the vessel’s route.

What if my ferry gets canceled?
In the rare case that your ferry route is canceled altogether, you will be responsible for finding and making new travel plans. Cancellation fees are generally not incurred. Here is a ferry cancellation notice that I received from FerryHopper:
Email from Ferryhopper notifying customer of a cancellation and instructions on how to proceed
What is the best way to get from central Athens to the Piraeus ferry port?
There is a direct train from downtown Athens (Monastiraki station) to the Piraeus ferry port. It takes about 20 minutes from central Athens to the ferry port.

What is the best way to get from the Athens airport to the Piraeus ferry port?
The easiest way from the airport to the ferry port is the train. First, take the airport train into Athens. Switch trains at the Monastiraki station to the M1 line which will take you straight to the ferry port. Trains do not run 24 hours so if you’re traveling in the middle of the night then use the X96 bus to the ferry port.

Greek Ferries – Tips and Information

Blue Star Greek Ferry.

There are 3 main types of Greek ferries. The largest (and most common) is the car/passenger ferry, often called a car ferry (though some high-speed ferries also take cars). This is a Blue Star ferry. Hellenic Seaways, SeaJets, and Golden Star also have similar large ferries.

Greek High Speed Ferry

A little smaller are the high speed catamarans like the High Speed 6 and High Speed 7 by Hellenic Seaways. SeaJet has similar ferries: Tera Jet (a little bigger) and Champion Jet (a little smaller). These ferries can give a rough ride in choppy seas but are generally pretty stable.

Small catamaran ferries in Greece.

The smallest ferries are the small catamarans like the Superjet, SeaJet2, and Fly Cat 4. These will have the bumpiest rides and are not a great choice if you have trouble with seasickness. They’re also more likely to get cancelled due to bad weather.

First class and reserved seating on Greek ferry.

First class and business seating is usually worth the extra cost for their roomier seats and quieter atmosphere. If you do get economy seating (on the Blue Star), then I recommend getting reserved seats (airplane-style seating) for the small extra fee.

Greek Ferry Seat Types

This is airplane style seating for economy class seats. It only costs a few more euros which makes air seat reservations worth the price.

Four-bunk room on the Blue Star Naxos ferry.

The largest ferries offer sleeping cabins, great for long overnight routes. This is a four-bunk cabin on the Blue Star Galaxy from Athens to Crete. Each room has a desk, as well as a small bathroom with a (very small) shower.

Outdoor seating on Greek ferry.

The large car ferries like the Blue Star are the only ones with outdoor deck seating. All outdoor seating is open for all seat classes. There’s no reserved outdoor seating.

Food, snacks, and drinks on board Greek Ferry.

All ferries will have food, snacks, and drinks on board. It’s reasonably priced and good quality – but nothing fancy.

Places to buy food near Athens ferry port.

In Athens there are many places to buy food and snacks before boarding the ferry. These shops (located directly across from the ferry port) are open 24-hours a day.

Boarding a Greek ferry in Athens.

Boarding the ferry with luggage. Arrive at the ferry about 20 to 30 minutes before departure. Ferries generally leave Athens on time but can be late for destinations along the route. For example. the Athens to Naxos, Paros, and Santorini ferry will leave Athens on time, but might be a little late leaving Naxos and Paros for Santorini.

Luggage storage on Greek ferries.

On large car ferries and large high speed ferries there is luggage storage on the bottom level as you enter the ship.

Getting off Greek ferry with luggage in Santorini.

Getting off the ferry in Santorini. Ships do not stop for long. Be downstairs with your luggage and ready to depart when the ferry pulls into your destination port.

Online Greek Ferry Ticket.

Online reservations can look something like this – but if they don’t have a bar code they are not ferry tickets. You need to pick up your actual ferry ticket from a ferry kiosk or travel agent (usually at the ferry port, 30 to 45 minutes before boarding).

Greek Ferry Ticket

This is an actual Greek ferry ticket. It needs to have a barcode to be able to board the ferry.

Greek Ferry E-Ticket for Boarding.

This is the email confirmation sent from Ferryhopper.com when an E-ticket has been booked. It states: You do not need to collect any paper tickets for your trip. Get your boarding passes using the corresponding check-in links and reservation details, as listed below.

Greek Ferry Ticket

This is an email confirmation sent from Ferryhopper.com. Note: This is not a boarding ticket. It states: This email is not a boarding pass. You can collect your printed boarding passes in any of the of the collection points found on the following link.

Where to pick up tickets at Athens ferry port.

In Athens (Piraeus), the ticket kiosks to pick up ferry tickets are to the left as you enter the port area. Get here about 45 minutes before departure to get your tickets.

Piraeus Ferry Port in Athens

The ferry port in Athens is almost directly across the street from the subway station. Follow the crowds as they leave the train and you can’t miss the ferries.

Where to pick up tickets for ferries in Santorini, Greece.

In Santorini, you pick up ferry tickets at travel agents in Fira, and sometimes at the port. Your confirmation email will specify.

Greek ferry ticket pick up in Heraklion, Crete.

In Heraklion you’ll pick up ferry tickets at the port, directly in front of the departing ferries.

Where to buy ferry tickets in Athens.

You can buy ferry tickets from any shop that has signs like this. But you can only pick up reserved tickets from specific agencies which should be in your confirmation email.

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36 Questions and Comments

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  1. AvatarCrete to Milos Ferry

    Hi Dave,
    I’ve been waiting for the ferry schedule from Crete to Milos in April 2019 as I have booked accommodation on Milos. I was hoping to book on Sunday 14th. It looks like the schedule is finally out now, but there are no ferries at all that week. Do you know why?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      As of now the first ferry of the summer from Crete to Cyclades runs on April 15 from Heraklion to Santorini (from there you could get to Milos on a different ferry). Before the 15th you’d need to travel via Piraeus (which is a long trek). The F/B Prevelis ferry starts one-per-week runs on April 21 but some of these are overnight ferries that take 10+ hours until a different schedule starts in late May/early June.

  2. AvatarWhat Is The Best Greek Ferry Company?

    The online reviews for all of the ferry companies are terrible. Is there one particular provider that is better than the others?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Generally, you hear about the things that went wrong but not the trips that were on time and uneventful. If someone travels from Athens to Mykonos without any problems they don’t go on Tripadvisor to rave about it. So, Greek ferries do have their shortcomings but for the most part they get you to where you’re going safely and (almost) on time. That said, of all the Greek ferry companies Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways are probably the best run and most reliable.

  3. AvatarWhen To Book Greek Ferry Tickets

    Now in mid-February do you think it is a good date to book June ferry travel or is it likely that some lines are yet to be announced?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it’s possible that some new routes could be announced. If you wanted a cabin I would book asap but for other tickets waiting a month or two would be fine (and booking now will very likely be fine too).

  4. AvatarMultiple Stop Ferry Tickets for Greek Islands

    Hi Dave, if I book a ferry from Santorini to Sifnos and it has stops at Folegandros and Milos on the way, can I disembark and stay in Folegandros for a couple of nights and/or Milos for a few nights before carrying on to Sifnos and using the same ferry ticket or do you have to buy tickets for each individual leg of the journey i.e. a ticket from Santorini to Folegandros, then from Folegandros to Milos, then Milos to Sifnos? Obviously, that would be a lot more expensive however the ferry is going on the same journey, just a few days apart. How can I get a ticket that allows the multiple stops along the way?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are no multiple stop or return ferry tickets in Greece. All tickets are one-way single stop tickets. If you get off the boat you need a separate ticket to get back on again whether it be a few hours or a few days later.

  5. AvatarGreek Ferry Tickets for Young Children

    Hi Dave, do you know if I need to buy a ticket for a 6 month old baby?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Each ferry company has its own rules. On the Blue Star they should be free. On the Sea Jet they’d need a ticket. (Double check as even those rules could have changed.)

  6. AvatarSuper Cat Greek Ferry

    Hi Dave. What category of ferry does the SuperCat fall into? There is this option Athens to Milos and Milos to Naxos.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s on the smaller side but not the very smallest. For a short trip (less than 2 hours) it should be fine. But if you’re prone to seasickness a ferry ride of more than 3 hours could seem interminable (if you encountered some rough seas).

  7. AvatarSantorini to Turkey by Ferry

    Hi we are travelling in June. We are two persons and one motorcycle. We are hoping to travel from Athens to Santorini and then want to end up in Turkey. Is this possible?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it’s possible. The most likely route is to take a ferry to either Kos or Rhodes (they run 2 or 3 times per week) and then a ferry across to Turkey (they run daily from both islands).

  8. AvatarBest Order To Visit Greek Islands

    Hi Dave, I am looking at planning a trip to the islands In August this year. I want to go to Santorini, Ios, Mykonos, and possibly Naxos. What is the best order to see them in?

    Thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Because of the ferry routes the best order of islands is Santorini to Ios to Naxos to Mykonos – or Mykonos to Naxos to Ios to Santorini.

  9. AvatarSantorini to Rhodes Ferry

    Hello
    Can you pease let me know if there are ferries from Santorini to Rhodes? I am planning trip for June 2019. Thank you.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Ferry schedules are not out yet for June. If there are ferries from Santorini to Rhodes they will probably be overnight ferries and run 2 or 3 times per week.

  10. AvatarSeaJets Ferry Reviews

    Hi Santorini Dave! I’m planning a trip to Greece on June 2019 for our Honeymoon and I’ve been researching a lot on the ferry services in the Cyclades. So far your article is the most concise and informative that I’ve read. I would just like to ask if it is advisable that we take Seajets as I’ve been reading a lot of bad reviews on them but so far, they are the only ones who a schedule available for June 2019 and have the fastest boats.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      SeaJets are generally fine though they do have a higher rate of cancellations. The small SeaJets will also have the roughest ride (the SeaJet2 and the Superjet) but there are many SeaJet ferries that are not small and are similar to other ferries. And finally, there are some routes where SeaJet is the only ferry so you don’t have any choice unless you want to take two ferries via another island. All that said, it is very early and ferry schedules might not be fully released until January or February – there could still be several other choices available by the time you need to book. Wait a few months before making any decisions. Ferries will not sell out before April or May (and likely won’t sell out at all).

  11. AvatarYash Hirani

    Hi Santorini Dave. Just wanted to know if Greek ferries run in February from Athens to Mykonos and Mykonos to Santorini? Or do they just start operating in March?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There will be ferries in February running from Athens to Santorini and from Athens to Mykonos. But no ferries between Santorini and Mykonos until mid or late March (maybe even early April).

  12. AvatarFerries for Crete, Naxos, Milos

    Hi Santorini Dave! This site has been an amazing resource for my fiance and me to plan our 2 week honeymoon for mid-late June 2019. We’re thinking about flying from Athens into Heraklion (staying in Elounda) for several days and then would like to visit Milos and Naxos before flying back to the US from Athens. What would be the best travel order between Heraklion and Athens? Heraklion-Milos-Naxos-Athens vs Heraklion-Naxos-Milos-Athens? Many thanks! Michael

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s really no way of knowing until the ferry schedules come out. And even then would likely be dependent on what day of the week you’re traveling.

  13. AvatarAthens to Crete Ferry with Cabin

    Thank you for all the helpful information. We are planning a trip to Greece next May and would like to take an overnight ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion, which would arrive at 6:00 a.m. Do you know if it’s possible to stay on the ferry later than the scheduled arrival time, or are we expected to be up, dressed, and ready to disembark at 6:00? We are planning to book an outside cabin–is there any way to specify the cabin location we’d prefer?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      No, you won’t be able to stay in your cabin after arrival. The ferry will be buzzing with activity as they prepare it for the next departure (probably at 8:30 or 9:00). You can specify an inward-facing cabin or outward-facing – but nothing else.

  14. AvatarIos to Mykonos Ferry

    Hello Dave,
    I can’t tell you how helpful your site it. We are planning on going to Greece October 6-15 we are trying to figure out the ferry schedule from Ios to Mykonos but not sure if the ferry schedule is limited due that time of the year. Is there a travel agency that you know of that could help us navigate the ferry schedules and help us purchase the tickets.
    Thank you soooo much.
    Lisa

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is a Champion Jet2 by SeaJets that leaves Ios at 11:30am and gets to Mykonos at 1:05pm. It runs every day except for Saturday. Easy to book through Ferryhopper.com.

  15. AvatarBest Greek Ferries

    We are travelling from Folegandros to Santorini on September 25th and have a choice of SeaJet2 at 11:10 am or SuperJet at 9:10 pm – any recommendation for timing or seasickness reasons?

    Then Santorini to Heraklion on Friday September 28th and have 3 choices all around 5PM: Champion Jet 2, Caldera Vista, and Santorini Palace. One later choice is also possible, Superferry at 7:15pm but slower. I assume it’s the largest boat from seasickness point of view despite being slower? Again any recommendation?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both the ferries to Santorini are small and could be bumpy. I’d prefer the earlier ferry (which stops in Ios on the way) for the timing but the later ferry is direct and a little faster. All of the ferries to Crete are bigger and there’s little difference between them.

  16. AvatarPicking Up Santorini Ferry Tickets

    Hi Santorini Dave, we have just booked our ferry tickets on through Direct Ferries for early September from Santorini to Mykonos. Their email suggests we pick the tickets up from the port [Thira] on the day of departure. Is it possible to pick the tickets up earlier from anywhere in Fira as this is where we are staying? Also, does this ferry depart from Thira or Athinios Port or is this the same place? It is with SeaJet Champion 2.

    Thanks and looking forward to your reply

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All ferries depart from the Athinios ferry port about a 20-minute bus ride from Fira. You should be able to collect tickets from Nomikos Travel on the main street in Fira. But since your email says the port maybe it’s different in your case. Try Nomikos the day before and if that doesn’t work just get them when you go down to catch your ferry.

  17. AvatarMykonos to Naxos Ferry

    Could you recommend which ferry to take from Mykonos to Naxos for someone who easily gets seasick? You have recommended Bluestar for a stable ride, but it does not run this route. I see Superrunner ( 1 hr 40 min) and Ekaterini (1 h 20 min) – would these be similar in stability to the large Bluestar ferries? Thank you for all your time and energy in creating these informative guides – we love them!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both of those ferries will be fine. The best (if available on your dates) are the Tera Jet and JET1/JET2 ferries. The absolute worst is the Flying Cat 4.

  18. AvatarLength of Ferry from Athens to Santorini

    How long is the ferry ride from Piraeus ferry port to Santorini?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It depends what ferry and what route but from Athens to Santorini takes about 5 hours on the SeaJet, 5 hours on the Golden Star Superrunner, 5.5 hours on a Hellenic high speed ferry, and 7.5 hours on the Blue Star. Though the slowest the Blue Star is the only one that allows you to walk and sit on the outdoor decks.