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Purchasing Ferry Tickets (when)

Hi All,

I'm down to sorting ferries and rental cars...

I've looked at past posts but not found a straightforward answer. We are taking 3 ferry trips for sure: Crete - Santorini, Santorini - Naxos, and Naxos - Athens (although we may fly this leg - haven't decided yet).

Because we won't necessarily be near the departure ports until the morning/afternoon of departure, and because there are 5 of us, Im thinking I should buy tickets now-ish. Would you agree, and is there a company you prefer (I will probably let the schedule determine which we take but I have come across, in the forum, recommendations against ferries that are more topsy-turvy/seasickness inducing than others, for example).

Thanks,
Jessica

Posted by
2864 posts

Jessica, Jessica, I know you have started many threads, but just as a reminder -- when you start a new one, it's useful to recap the basic information-- not everybody is familiar with your past postings. the Dates of your trip are key. I hunted down another of your threads and found that your trp is June 16-July 17. Therefore you do NOT need to buy tickets before you arrive in Greece.I believe u are flying to Crete & will be there 4-5 days. On Crete, you can buy the 9:00 Hellenic Seaways Highspeed tickets to Santorini -- These are large car-carrying catamarans ... not sick-making unless (unlikely) there's a storm. The other Ferry line has smaller vessels. You do NOT need to buy them at/near the port -- any agency in Chania will do. Same with Santorini -- you can buy tickets in Oia, Fira Town, beach towns, etc. In Naxos, you are bound to be in the port town your first night or next day -- so much to see there (like the Portara!)

When u get to Santorini, decide if you want to sail to Naxos in the AM (10:30 or so) or PM (about 3:15-3:30). Morning, the Champion Jet (500+ seats) has outdoor deck at back for views on departure -- it's a fast boat, expensive. Afternoon is BLUE STAR (1500+ passengers, 250 vehicles) is very large, more like a small liner ... plenty of room . Get economy (deck) seats for the 2 hour journey. After Naxos, BLUE STAR runs by day 9:45 - 3pm, or evening 6 - 11:30-11:45. Long trip but you can get "reserved economy" seats indoors... leanback, upholstered comfy. Again, plenty of time to buy on Naxos ... only thing to watch is, if you're going to Athens on a SUNDAY, both saiilngs fill up, so think ahead.

Posted by
1198 posts

Lol

Right; oversight. Thanks Janet. Yes the overall dates are June 17-July 17.
I think my basic question was whether the ferries fill up. In Crete for example, we start in Chania, but then are on the south coast for a week before getting to Heraklion the night before we depart for Santorini. So my concern was whether we could show up at the port on the morning of July 7th and get 5 tickets then or if they might fill up/sell out by then and we would have been better off getting them now. It sounds like we can do it all when we are there...

Thanks again,
Jessica

Posted by
140 posts

Didn't want to start a new thread on this topic but I am assuming that the same advice applies to the four of us traveling from Athens to Paros (May 30) and then from Paros to Santorini (June 2). We want to make sure we get a ferry in late morning to coincide with our check in time. If we do not need to pre-book online, how early should we get to these ports to assure this, particularly in Athens?

Posted by
1198 posts

rmk1121,

I have decided to purchase tickets in advance, despite what Janet says about their availability, for the sole reason that it will be one less thing to do when we are traveling. When we have traveled in the past we have bought all tickets before the trip and the convenience of pulling them out of the appropriate baggie (a plastic ziplock for every destination; i.e. city, town, wherever we were staying) when needed was great.

Jessica

Posted by
2864 posts

OK Jessica, I can understand your need to have it all nailed down in advance ... if you find, during the trip, that you want to take the trip a day earlier or later, you can exchange tickets with the SAME ferry line. If you switch to a different company, you'd have to pay their fare... and later go through whatever steps are required for a refund from company #1 (also might be in Euros, not dollars).

rmk, y ou can find the available sailings by checking https://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp

PIRAEUS - PAROS I believe y ou will find there is no midmorning ferry. The Hellenic Hi-Speed takes less time costs 2x as much. If u want Fast, u need to fly -- and in May u sometimes can get tickets not much more than Ferry (check Aegean Air & click special promotions) . If you have the time and DO want a ferry, Blue Star is by far the best. Open decks to sit & watch the wake as long as you like, and seats indoors when u want to read, snack, nap (they are reserved seats that cost €5 more, but in May the boat will be half-empty, so just snag any empty seat).
PAROS - SANTORINI - Here you want to be SURE to have open decks ... and I'm not sure the Golden Sands ferry has even a small open deck; you'd have to check at any agency. Again BLUE STAR is the choice, again at half the price.
PURCHASE TIMING -- You are definitely OFF-season, and May 30 is midweek - so no worries about full ferries. The larger fast-ferries (cc = car-carrying catamaran) have 500+ seats ... BLue Star ferries are really more like small ocean-going ships, they hold from 1400-1800 seats.

PURCHASE PLACE -- No need to wait until Piraeus, just buy them at any convenient agency near your hotel in athens or in Paros.

Posted by
1198 posts

Thanks Janet. Our schedule is set to the extent that our lodging is non-refundable by the time we are there, so we're less likely to make changes on the go...

Jessica