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Porter Luggage Assistance on Greek Island Ferries?

My husband and I will be island hopping in September -- Crete, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, etc. We plan to spend a week in Crete and 4 nights in each of the other islands (more or less).

We don't travel light because of various health problems and equipment and things we must take with us. Plus, I have back problems, so I can't wear a backpack or lug anything too heavy -- which puts all of the lugging on my poor husband. He can do it, but it gets really difficult getting on and off of ferries (as we found out in Italy last year).

Are there porter services or assistance services that we could arrange at the ferry ports on the various Greek islands? We would gladly pay for someone else to get our luggage on and off the ferries.

Thank you!

Posted by
396 posts

I don't have answers to your direct question. I only have 2 week's experience traveling in Greece/Crete, but I'll reply based on my experience and perhaps others will chime in. On short-trip car/passenger traditional ferries we were always asked (firmly) to leave our luggage to one side on the car deck, which is the deck that you initially enter when walking onto the ferry on foot. So we didn't have to take the luggage up stairs or very far onto the ferry. Since the same ramps were used by cars to get on/off the ferry, we were able to roll the luggage and not lift it. It seems there are no security concerns with theft as everyone seems to do it, and once underway that area is roped off to passengers. I would pack as I do for an airplane trip so that anything valuable or essential is in a smaller bag that can stay with me.

On the largish overnight ferry that we took from Chania-area to Pireaus, we booked a cabin. We did have to take the luggage up 2-3 levels from the car deck, on set of escalators. That took us to the check-in desk for the cabins. At that point there was a line of porters waiting to show us to our room and handle the luggage. If we hadn't booked a cabin I think we would have followed the same pattern as the previous paragraph. The next morning, leaving the overnight ferry, I don't remember seeing porters but it seems that it would be possible for you to arrange that through the 'front desk' on the ferry.

The cabs were able to get quite close to the ferries so we didn't have to go far with the luggage. At Pireus we used Welcome Pickups https://www.welcomepickups.com; the driver was waiting with sign with our name on it, just like an airport pickup. He immediately took most of the luggage and we walked the short distance to the car. We also used Welcome Pickups to go from Athens city center to the airport, to avoid the hassle of bus or metro with our luggage. They'll provide a quote on their website. I'm thinking it was 38E for two from an Acroplis-area hotel to the airport on a light traffic Saturday morning. You might want to ask the Welcome Pickups staff if they know of a porter/assistance service. They offer more than just transportation, so perhaps they would be able to help. It doesn't hurt to ask and perhaps they have a referral.

In one case it wasn't possible to be dropped off directly in front of the hotel, but about a block away because we were in a historic area. The hotel owner walked out to meet us at the cab without our even asking and helped with the luggage, and then walked with us back the same way after we checked out all the way to the cab they had called(!) I can't say you will get this kind of service everywhere but people are generally very hospitable and eager to help. We found almost all cabbies very helpful and interested in lifting the luggage into the car trunk. Cabs are inexpensive.

Posted by
8003 posts

I do not remember seeing anyone to help with luggage when boarding
or disembarking ferries. The other poster explained how we did it. Leave your luggage as you enter lower area of ferry on large boats or in smaller ones, they’ll pile it all in the back. They will ask you where you are getting off and put your luggage in the area for that destination.

Posted by
8851 posts

Like Suki, I do not recall seeing any 'porter service' when we took the passenger only ferries to/from Hydra. No idea what you may find on your island hopping.

Have you checked the ferry websites to see what info they have about such services or have a 'contact us' tab or link so you can ask them?

Posted by
975 posts

The previous posters gave the same answers I would give.

I never saw "porters" help with luggage, but that doesn't mean there isn't some type of service available. I would check the ferry website or email them directly to see what they have for that type of service.

As stated most people leave their luggage and/or suitcase on the deck areas as you walk in and take smaller bags upstairs with them.

Posted by
3474 posts

We didn't see porters as well. We took the Blue Star from Athens to Naxos and a smaller ferry to Santorini. We were able to take our luggage to where we were seated, stored in the back row. That said, we had limited luggage. We took the escalator up, but at our destination we all had to take stairs down to the main level. That was awkward carrying luggage down a long flight of stairs. Lesson learned!

Posted by
396 posts

Just to clarify, the porters we saw were employees of the F/B Blue Galaxy, a largish ferry that we took overnight between Chania (departing Souda Bay) and Piraeus. A line of uniformed porters waited at the the desk where we checked in to get keys to our cabin.

BTW we had to stop off at the ticket office before boarding the ferry to get our pre-purchased tickets; the office was perhaps 100 yards from the ferry ramp. We tried to pick up the tickets a few days earlier in Chania, but the ticket office was just closing for the rest of the weekend. The Chania ticket office is very near the old market. In any case it turned out to be very convenient to pick them up at the ferry ticket office.