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Three weeks ahead enough for ferry tix Piraeus to Santorini in June?

We will be taking the RS Greece tour in early June. After the tour we will go to Santorini and Naxos. My plan is to buy tix upon arrival at Aktina travel agency at the airport. This will be 3 weeks ahead of the travel date for Santorini, June 22. I prefer to buy in person rather than on-line. I am a little concerned that the 22nd will be a Friday. Do those familiar with Greek ferry travel think this lead time should be sufficient? Also, has anyone bought tix at Aktina at the Athens airport? How did it go?

Thanks

Posted by
2841 posts

3 weeks in advance is more than enough days to insure you get tickets.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks for the reply, Lee. I’d still like to hear from anyone who’s dealt with Aktina. I forgot to mention this would be Blue Star ferry, not the smaller ferries.

Posted by
2513 posts

My heavens Lizcat, the Blue Star ferries carry from 1400 - 1800 passengers, and 250-300 vehicles, they are not like bay ferries like those in Seattle, or Staten Island etc ... they are more like small ocean liners. In June Ive never seen the inside reserved seat areas (called "aircraft seating") more than 1/2 full, and I've done numerous Blue Star journeys in May & June on 12 trips to Greece. I would see no need to buy passenger tickets more than a few days ahead, except a week ahead if you are outbound from Piraeus on the 5:30 Friday boat on the early-summer "Holy Spirit" (pentecost) 3-day weekend -- only this year its may 25-28 anyway.

Can't answer about Aktina airport purchase, because It's fairly new there, I bought tickets from its predecessor agency without incident. One thing that used to be true, don't know how true it is now ... if you bought reserved-economy tickets online you could not specify location, only if you bought at agency or at the Blue Star dock office. And if you are ARE taking ferry to Santorini, a loooong journey (7:30 am - 3 pm !!) location would be important. You'd want to specify a SIDE compartment seat. The central area is like a big movie theatre, maybe 500+ seats, divided by 2 isles, noisy brightly lit, overhead TVs on constantly. SIDE compartments (used to be nonsmoking - now there's NO inside smoking) , they are quieter, smaller 2-3 seats per side of 1 aisle.

The ferry from Santorini to Naxos is a nice 2-hour ride, fun to just sit out on deck the whole time. But from Piraeus- Santorini?? Reallly? there's nothing to see after the first 20 minutes and you lose an entire day -- and reserved-seat would cost ?? €60+? If you can still get a fllight I would consider it -- 50 minutes. If you take the "early bird" departure (6 am or so), there may still be some seats, and a decent price.

Posted by
50 posts

Janet:

Thanks for the reassurances about buying the tix. I do plan to get reserved seats in a side compartment per your advice.

As for flying, what can I say, I don’t like to fly, especially on a small plane landing on a small island

Now I can go back to worrying about any ferry strikes in June.😄

Posted by
714 posts

while flying may not be your favourite thing, I would prefer 45 minutes on an Airbus 321 (similar to a Boeing 737) than 8.5 hours on a crowded ferry. Aegean Airlines (or its partner Olympic depending on flight) are well established highly rated airlines. Because of its popularity as a destination Santorini has many flights arriving daily with no problems. I flown with Aegean/Olympic to/from Crete a number of times with no qualms. Just think, if you got an early flight, you could be in Santorini in time for breakfast and have a whole extra day there - much preferable to the ferry IMHO.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks for the insights, If there would be a strike on say a Thursday, and I’m holding a reserved seat ticket for Friday, what happens to the people who had tickets for Thursday? Do they have priority for Friday ahead of the Friday ticket holders? Or do they have to hope there’s space for them on Friday?
Do they have to buy new tickets for Friday?

Anybody know what happens in these situations? Seems like a big mess.

Posted by
50 posts

Sati:

Thanks for explaining how it works. Very stressful situation if a strike affects us. Fridays (Piraeus to Santorini) may be unlikely to be affected as you said but the ferry from Santorini to Naxos will be a Tuesday. But now I know what happens in a strike so thank you for your information.