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Crete to Athens--Ferry or Plane?

Hello, we will be returning to Athens from Crete on Monday May 4. It is a full moon, and we are considering taking the night ferry. Does anyone know if we'll be able to see anything under the light of the full moon once we leave Crete? Also, do you recommend taking the ferry or flying, if cost is not an issue? We don't know if we'd get seasick on the ferry, and we'd get to Athens fairly early (around 6:30 am) and probably be tired for most of the day in Athens. But we kind of like the idea of taking a ferry under the light of the full moon, and arriving at Piraeus in the early morning light. And if we take the ferry, do we have to buy our tickets in advance or will we be ok buying them when we arrive in Crete on May 1? Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

Posted by
4174 posts

We took the car ferry from Chania to Piraeus in late October. It was a big Anek Lines ship, but I didn't see any place to go out on deck. Maybe a different ship, like the one originally scheduled (see below), would have a deck. Or maybe they just had that closed off the night we sailed.

You could see the water and the sky from the windows. You can find the route online, but I don't think it goes past anything close enough to see it in the moonlight.

There were cabins and we got one with our own bath and a double bed and a window. We were supposed to get a LUX cabin but they used a smaller ferry with many fewer amenities than the one we were originally booked on, so we got some money refunded.

Even with the bigger, nicer ferry the price was cheaper than flying from Chania to Athens.

And even though it was a smaller ferry (1800 capacity), it was a smooth ride. But that all depends on the weather. My husband has some issues with motion sickness, but he took Dramamine and had no problems, in spite of all his whining.

There were other, cheaper cabins, but many people simply claimed territory in the large lounge and slept there as best they could.

The ferry left the port near Chania at 21:00. We were able to get on at 18:00, I think. We arrived in Piraeus at about 06:30, not Athens.

I'd guess the bigger, nicer boat might be more likely to provide the experience you describe. The one we were on certainly wasn't anything close to romantic. I enjoyed doing it just to do it, but I definitely would have preferred the nicer ferry. And if flying would have been cheaper, we would have flown.

Posted by
1178 posts

A flight on Aegean Airlines from Chania to Athens for May 4 would cost $50 (US). The flight would leave in the morning and would take 40 minutes. Why take a 9 hour overnight ferry that will cost a whole lot more when you can fly for $50 and arrive in 40 minutes?

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for your comments. We'd be flying or taking the ferry from Heraklion to Athens/Piraeus. The airfare right now is about $80 a person. The ferry cost will depend on whether we stay on deck on get our own room. We had been thinking it might be nice to take a long ferry ride under the full moon, but we might be fooling ourselves. That's why we wanted thoughts from folks on the Travel Forum.

Posted by
1178 posts

I did a test price for your flight for May 4 and the price is $52 one-way to Athens. I used Trip Advisor Flight Search. That's a great price for a fast and safe way to get to Athens.