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ferry from Santorini to Naxos

We are planning to take Blue Star ferry at 3:30 pm to Naxos from Santorini on May 30. I was looking at the bus schedule and I don't see the port listed (Athinos?) so am thinking it is a stop on one of the other routes but can't figure it out. Does anyone know?

Also, how long in advance do you need to arrive at the Port? I was planning to buy tickets in Fira the day before.

And any hints about how to get a spot with a great view from the deck of the ferry?

Beth

Posted by
3120 posts

The port bus schedule varies according to the daily arrival/departure times. The rule of thumb is that the port bus leaves Fira for the port an hour before the ferry departs. You can easily buy your tickets in Fira at Dakoutros Travel across from the tourist information center which is close to the bus terminal.

Hint: Open deck seating is on a first-come-first-seated basis. Get in line at the port early and get aboard as fast as you can.

Posted by
3317 posts

Lee's advice is spot-on .... getting the best view requires advance planning. Prospective passengers enter a sort of shed, which has a smaller opening at the far end, roped off. Arrive 45 minutes before departure, and head straight for that end & grab the seats nearest the door. LOTS of people board that popular boat... and some in Big Tour Groups are very pushy/aggressive (especially the under-25 set); I've seen them roughly shove aside the elderly without so much as a "pardon me." Ferry staff hold back the boarding line until offloading passengers & vehicles have left, then drop the rope -- and it's a mad scramble to board.

NOTE#1: When boarding you of course take your important stuff (valuables, cameras etc) in your shoulder day-bag, but you're supposed to leave your large baggage on the vehicle level; it's perfectly safe. There's usually a shelf for those exiting at Naxos but in any case, try to be sure your bag is not where it will be buried under a mountain of cases. NOTE #2: If there are 2 or more of you, leave one to stow those bags, while the other scampers up the steps to snag a couple of railside deck chairs on either of the 2 top "economy decks". NOTE #3: when the PA announces approach to Naxos, start making your way down to the car deck -- it's nice to see the port when the ferry approaches, however, the ferry stops only briefly and if there's a crowd you don't want to be stuck in a corridor when the boat's getting ready to leave! Better to be standing (in dim light) near the exit when the ramp opens.

Posted by
2492 posts

So if the bus to the port runs only according to the ferry schedule, is it possible to get there in enough time to get in line to get a deck seat? Or do you need to take another form of transportation that is more flexible? Our air bnb can arrange a shuttle van which is about $25 more than bus tickets.

We are going May 30 so not the height of summer.

Beth

Posted by
3317 posts

You don't share where your AirBnb location is, so we can't assess how reasonable the shuttle cost is. For best advice, give all the details you can. Is the $25 for 2 people? Also, there may be an earlier bus, due to departures of other ferries not going to Naxos. I'd advise just to wait til you arrive on Santorini and figure it out on the spot, since you're not traveling in high season.

Posted by
2492 posts

The cost is very reasonable I think. There are six of us and we will be in Oia. The cost is about half that for public transportation since we have to take two different buses. I am just the kind of traveler who takes public transportation whether in the US or abroad. It started out as money but is also now just the satisfaction of having figured out how to do it.

But I have occasionally been verging on foolish with my insisting on relying on public transportation so I am trying to make decisions about when other alternatives are make more sense. The turning point for me was taking a subway in Rotterdam after three flights and a train and then not being able to find the hotel for 45 minutes. Because of this experience I did decide to use a van shuttle for airport pickup in Santorini after our international flight which is how Airbnb owner asked about whether I also wanted transportation to the port.

Hence my questions.

Beth

Posted by
3120 posts

If you want to get a spot at the front of the line you'll need to take a taxi or shuttle service to the port to insure you're there an hour before departure. But understand that you can walk around the open decks and enjoy the view even if you aren't seated at the rail.

Posted by
3317 posts

No question. You want a good ferry experience. Book the shuttle. Your party will not care about your attachment to public transit. They WILL care if they're last in line for the ferry.

Posted by
1226 posts

Im piggy-backing on this thread:

Janet: We are on a SeaJets ferry at 10:45 from Santorini to Naxos in July. Do the same 'rules' apply? i.e. when you say leave your "large luggage" on the vehicle level, do Osprey Porter 46's count as large luggage? There are 5 of us, so having one designated person manage taking the bags below deck while others find seats would be a feat. On the other hand, maybe we don't need to, and can take our backpacks with us to wherever we sit...

Posted by
3317 posts

Jessica, yours is an entirely different situation. The BLUE STAR "Conventional ferrry) (1400-1800 passengers & 250+ vehicls) offers "Economy fare" which entitles you to an UNReservedseat -- whatever chair you can find on a deck or in an onboard cafe, or along a corridor. The 10:45 is a ChampionJet2 -- large "CC" (car-carrying Catamaran + 500 passengers). ALL seats are reserved, so there is no mad scramble for best deck seats. It has a deck in back where you can stand to admire the departing view of Santorini, but then you go inside to be seated.

I haven't taken this CC before, but on other similar vessels, as you enter, there is staff that takes your large bags from you and stows them on shelves right by the exit. Of course you keep with you your daybag/backpack with all your valuables/essentials. I don't believe there would be room to take to your seat a big clunky piece of luggage, whether it be a rolling bag or megabackpack such as the Osprey.

Posted by
1368 posts

We have been taking that seajets Championjet ferry from Santorini to Naxos for the past couple of years. Indeed all the seats are assigned although last September the ferry was not full so in a typical Greek manner they just told us to find any seats we wanted.

You will enter the ferry from the rear ramps. There are steel plates on the ramps for the vehicle traffic so thats the best spot for you to haul your wheeled suitcases on to the car deck, You can go up the ramp in the middle and outside of these steel plates but its much harder to do with big suitcases. When you get on the car deck their will be staff directing you to where the Naxos luggage is to be placed. Everyone is required to store their bags in this area however you can carry small bags up to your seat. On arrival you need to get down to the deck to get your bags which might be buried under a whole pile of luggage. So take note of where you left your bags perhaps decorated with with ribbon to help you find them. At worst just stand back and wait till everyone else has grabbed their bags and whats left over will be yours. Its a bit of chaos but very exciting as you wait for the ramp to open and you get your first glimpse of Naxo along with a couple hundred other excited people.

Just so you know Seajets have back decks where you can stand to watch the departure from Santorini. You are only in the caldera for about 8 minutes but you can get an amazing view outside during that time.

Posted by
193 posts

Glad to hear about how to board the Blue Star ferry. We will be taking it from Athens to Paros and from Paros to Santorini in late May. I didn't know I had to make a mad rush to get a seat on the deck. Sounds like once you get one you are not free to leave it without the risk of being seatless! I also heard that people stay in the restaurant on board and won't leave those either.

Posted by
3317 posts

rmk ....... the seat scramble is for the Basic Economy fare.... for just about €4-5 more, you can get the "Reserved Economy" seats -- sometimes called "Aircraft Seats" (I don't like to call them that, because it makes one think of the cramped & Crowded "cattle car" seats aboard modern planes. The "reserved economy seats" are padded, leanback, ample legroom, footrests, & VERY comfy, by contrast). This is a numbered reserved seat indoors. With this fare, you are welcome to sit outside on deck as long as you like, wherever u find a seat. However, when you want to come inside to read or snooze or snack (the seats hve a good folddown tray), you have a seat waiting. I highly advise this if you are on a longer journey ... 3-5 hours.

Economy-reserve seat TIP #1 -- at agency, ask for seats in a SIDE compartment.,.. these are smaller areas, quieter. The central area is huge, like a movie theatre, and brightly lit. TIP #2 -- if it's afull ferry, sometimes when u come indoors, you'll find a "Squatter" in your seat... just show your ticket & they'll move. TIP #3 -- if the "squatter" is an older Greek lady in a black dress with lots of parcels, do NOT confront her! Find a ferry steward to do the job.