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
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
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
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:
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
- Athens to Crete Ferries
- Athens to Milos Ferry Schedule
- Athens to Mykonos Ferries
- Athens to Naxos Ferries
- Athens to Paros Ferries
- Athens to Santorini Ferries
- Crete to Athens Ferries
- Crete to Santorini Ferries
- Milos to Athens Ferries
- Milos to Santorini Ferries
- Mykonos to Santorini Ferries
- Naxos to Athens Ferries
- Naxos to Santorini Ferries
- Paros to Athens Ferries
- Paros to Santorini Ferries
- Santorini to Milos Ferries
- Santorini to Naxos Ferries
- Santorini to Paros Ferries
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- The Best Hotels in Paros
- The Best Hotels in Rhodes
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