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Seajet - high speed boat to Naxos (and Santorini)

Hello,
I'll be travelling in late March to Naxos (4 people) and I was wondering if it's necessary to purchase Seajet high speed tickets in advance... Doing a "dummy booking", the website shows only 9 seats available for the economy section (and "coincidentally" the same # of available tickets in the Club Class). Hard to believe they're filled up already...Also, this high speed boat leaves at 7:00 am... Is it possible to pick-up tickets on the day of departure in the port itself?

Thank you in advance!
Alex

Posted by
2513 posts

If you want the best advice, Alex, you need to be more detailed. "late March" could mean Mean March 24 or March 31 ORRRR... Friday March 25 -- and that is Annunciation Day in Greece, a national holiday. Thus. Greeks may be seizing oppty for 3-day getaway. That could account for filled-up vessel offseason.

And why anyway do u need to get to Naxos by 10:30? U can't even check into a hotel until noon. Do u have a morning business meeting there. The Blue Star, leaving at 7:25, arrives 12:40 and is an absolute JOY to ride. You can get a "reserved economy" (otherwise known as "aircraft seat" but that has a cramped connotation and the seats are wide, far apart, cushioned, lean-back, wonderful) for about €37 ... I always ask for ones in a side compartmnt with window view. AND you can sit out on the back deck as long as you like, enjoying the view, the wake, sometimes even a dolphin? ( The fast-ferries are completely enclosed, and the salt-splashed windows have virtually no view -- also, you are trapped in theatre seating for the entire trip, no place to walk if you get restless)> On BLUE STAR, Several nice cafes on board for coffee, snacks, brunch, drinks etc. SO relaxing.

NOTE: These BLUE STAR ferries carry 1300-1800 passengers, vs. the 450 passengers of fast-ferry. Off season Blue Star usually only 1/2 full... and you could get a basic economy ticket for €4 less, and just "usurp" a vacant reserved seat. However, if it's on that hollday weekend, best to take the reserved. BTW, the "business class" on Blue Star has chairs around tables and a waiter taking y our order... but I don't like it because the seating is CLUB chairs, low backs, hard to snooze or even rest.

PS: Do NOT order tickets to be delivered in USA -- BIG extra charge, or even delivered to Hotel in ATH. What if there's a glitch?> You would have to go anyway, so you'd hav to buy again, & refunds are a hassle. If you MUST order before getting to Greece, I suggest you book your ferry ticket(s) through a travel agent who has a branch at the airport. I think they have 2; Amphitrion and Pacific Travel. Book with your credit card and ask to pick up the ticket upon arrival in airport. OR for blue star, you could pick up the ticket at the office on the pier, just beside the boat. However, for the morning BLUE STAR, I know we may sometimes be running late, and I don't want the hassle of waiting in line at a window, when people are streaming in to the vessel.

PPS: I'm always aware that the first people aboard and up the escalators to the economy deck, will have "the pick" of the best deck seats for view -- these are big BOOTHS with view of the water. Even if you have tickets, there is some slight delay on entering, while you stash your large bags on luggage racks on the car deck. If there are 4 of you.,.. delegate 2 to stash the bags, while the other 2 sprint up to the economy deck to reserve choice deck seating.

Posted by
97 posts

Hi Janet,
Thanks (again) for your answer... We have 2 options, leaving Mar 31st (Thu) early AM, or Mar 30th (Wed) at 5:30 PM to Naxos... On 03/30 we have the Blue Star Ferry option late afternoon; on 03/31, we have 2 options for pretty much the same time (7:00 Seajet vs 7:30 AM Blue Star ferry)... You are absolutely right, 2 hour difference in arriving to Naxos on 03/31 would translate into a more pleasant journey by ferry (plus half the price)...Thanks for pointing that out...(sometimes you need someone outside the situation to "state the obvious")...
If we were to take the 03/31 ferry at 07:30 AM as you pointed out, would driving from Napflion that very morning be too complicated? We're thinking instead of spending the night in Piraeus, so that we can take the early ferry...
Also, I want to give myself some "leeway", plans may change, and we may decide to stay inland an additional day, reason why I don't want to buy the boat tickets ahead of time... With a ferry, with lots and lots of room, it's okay to buy the tickets the day of departure, even if it's at 07:30 AM... (you've just pretty much convinced me to avoid the Seajet!).
Thanks!
Alex

Posted by
2513 posts

Once again, Alex, if you had supplied complete details of your trip, I would be able to give the best advice ... this way I have to do guesswork, and that's More Work for Mother, as the old ads used to say. I can answer one question FASt and that is --- NO, you should not try to leave Nafplio @ crack o'dawn to make he 7:30 Blue Star. It's 2.5 hours drive for a newbie (NOT to mention the time it takes to return your CAR & make sure everything's OK< and you don't get charged for anything extra) , and you'd want to be at the dock by 7. So you'd have to be IN your car by 4 AM. No no no no no. If you stopped to think about it for one minute, you would recognize that too.

Choices are three: (1) leave Nafplio am Wed Mar 30, Leisurely drive to mainland (Maybe stop & see Nemea? + Stop @ Isthmia to see Corinth Canal, fab photo op??), reach Pireaus 4:30 to get 5:30 Blue Star? (arr 9:30 PM). Or (2) leave Nafplio in afternoon, leisurely drive (Nemea closes @3), arrive @ Pireaus hotel by evening: dinner, early nite for 7:30 AM Blue Star Mar 31? Or (3) leave Nafplio AM Mar 31, do the leisurely Nemea/Isthmia thing for the 5:30 Blue star Mar 31 ??

You want to know whether u should hasten to get to Naxos, or Linger a bit in Nafplio. Well, Nafplio & Naxos as u know are my TWO FAVE places in Greece -- and which choice I'd recommend would depend on how many days you have allotted for each. But THAT... you do not tell me. IF you have allotted 5 days to Nafplio, and only 3 to Naxos, I'd say, push. But if you have the opposite... different perspective. Without info, I can give no opinion.

What is the lesson in all this?? Don't worry about a long post. The more details , the better.

Posted by
97 posts

Janet – Your feedback is very helpful!... My logistical issue was mostly related to taking the ferry (or Seajet) to Naxos, and either taking the AM or PM ferry, purchasing tickets the same day of departure or in advance, pick-up in airport or port, etc… You’ve answered all those questions .. and then some… Thank you!

I think it works best to take the AM ferry on Thursday, 03/31… So our plan is to spend a couple (meaning two) of nights in Nafplion and spend the following night in Piraeus as you described. Those 3 nights in Nafplion/Piraeus allows us to enjoy the town of Napflion, Epidavros, Mycenae, and stop by Nemea and Corinth. Then we take the 7:30 AM ferry on 03/31 to Naxos arriving by 12:30 PM and spend the next 3 nights in Naxos. (Then on to Santorini for a couple (2) of nights, followed by 9:00 PM flight to Athens for 3 nights before departing)…Also, we spend 1 night in Delphi before driving to Nafplion, since Delphi is our first destination after arriving in Athens.

Alex

Posted by
2513 posts

There! When you spell it all out, it becomes so much more understandable. A lesson for next time. Yes, your plan and allocation of time sound do-able, not too rushed... and since it's not swim-weather, plenty of time on the islands.

I have a last "tweak" and FYI: When you say "stop by" Corinth, what is your motive for this stop, and how much do you know about it, and are you referring to Ancient Corinth or to the Canal. Is your interest in St. Paul, as a Christian, or ancient Greece... or the Amzing tiny Ditch?

Ancient Corinth is not as easy a "stop-by" as Nemea is ... it's farther off the main highway & you can get tangled up in various roads -- don't take the wrong turn &end up in Modern Corinth which is a boring concrete city. The Ancient Site is NOT well-signed, or easy to understand unless u have a guide or a good guidebook, on your tight schedule, I would think this over. For those w. Christian interest, You could go, and see the rock Paul stood on to preach, then leave. If it's the Canal, that is easier. When you get near the canal area, look for the "Isthmia" sign (that means "neck" in Greek -- get it???), and usually same sign says Canal ... watch your turns & in 5 mins u cna be standing on the old bridge looking straight down. If lucky, there will be a boat squeezing thru -- Great photo op. To make it easiest on either destination, REQUIRE your car-rental guy to give you PRECISE directions & mark it on map. Also u can use http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Routes This trip-planner site is truly rewardingly OCD. You can put in as destination "Ancient Corinth" Or "Corinth Canal Bridge" and they will probably give you every turn in the road.

FYI -- One big newbie mistake in Greece is to get a Garmin or other GPS app and thank, Oh goody no more paper maps. BIG mistake. There are often 2 towns not far apart with almost same name & GPS gets confused... also you may be looking for Nafplio and your GPS is programmed for Nauplia. See what I mean?? Use both.

Posted by
97 posts

Janet - as always, thanks for the tips... It's been a joy planning this trip!... Can't wait to be in Greece!