I'm tying up loose ends on a planned May trip to Italy and am trying to book tickets on a ferry from Naples to Catania. Is it necessary to book in advance? I have been exchanging emails with the ferry company, but it has been very slow going. Has anyone taken this trip and have some advice on the booking process?
You can probably book it at directferries.co.uk. or aferry.co.uk and probably a bunch of other sites.
My basic rules for ferries: .
1 - - if you have a vehicle, book it (unless it's just a shuttle like across the Messina Strait)
2 - - if you want a bed, book it.
3 - - a ferry will never bulk out for foot passengers staying on the decks, don't book it
Having never made that run, I'd bet it's ten or twelve hours and maybe overnight.
Why Naples to Catania? That's a very long way. It seems that Naples to Messina would be a much shorter distance, and while Ed gives good advice on this subject, I will tell you that every time I've gone to Catania, I've flown, because it is just so reasonable. However, if you're bringing your car to tour Sicily, it does make sense, but again, Messina is closer..
I've only take the ferry from Naples to Palermo, also in May. I was able to get a two-person cabin for myself, at the ticket office in Naples a couple of days ahead. What has the ferry company said?
Since Donna opened the door, if a car's involved, what about plain old San Giovani to Messina? It's a short hop and the drive down from Naples is only five hours or so.
There is no vehicle and we do want a bed (it's a 12 hour overnight trip), so I will continue the attempt to book it. I have booked a hotel in Catania as a "home base" for side trips. We will be flying out of there for Florence, so Catania seems a good choice for the Sicily part of our visit.
With no car to worry about I would fly. It's an hour plus security lines and travel to the airport. I like the idea of overnight ferries a lot more than the reality.
Amen to Zoe.
Having done the Napoli to Catania and Palermo trip twice, and Reggio Calabria to Messina twice it depends on your itinerary. From Napoli it is overnight. Here is site for more info.
For the Messina route it is a full days drive to Reggio from Napoli. 35 min trip across. Would make a great trip by exploring Calabria on the way.
For the overnight, make reservations unless you do not need a cabin, or do not have a car.
Make sure to travel through Catania and visit the market it is amazing, daily 6-1 or so.
Thank you all for your input. This is making me rethink. A quick flight over beats 12 hours on a boat and for basically the same cost! The main purpose for the ferry ride was to see the Stromboli volcano at night during the crossing, but perhaps seeing Etna will be enough, as it's putting on a bit of a show now. Again, thank you all.