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Luggage on ferries to Greek Islands

When taking a ferry from, i.e., Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini, we are on a fast-boat, which takes about 4.5 hours. Should we expect to "check" our luggage on the boat, or does it stay with us the whole time? I am imagining the Seattle ferry system and assume we carry it with us... Thanks very much! Signed,
Seattle Naive (see what I did there?)

Posted by
2876 posts

They'll take everyone's luggage as you board and stow it below. Then they'll unload it all onto the dock when the ferry arrives at its destination. Then you find your own bag(s). There's no formal checking - no luggage claim checks or anything like that. Kind of like when you take an airport shuttle bus. At least that's how things were when we took the same ferry a few years ago.

Posted by
6037 posts

It does depend on the boat. My experience is that often there are storage areas as you board, stow it, pick up as you leave. You can also keep it with you, or some boats have storage areas near the main cabins.

Posted by
655 posts

In our experience the locals just put their luggage in a pile near the place of boarding. We kept ours with us but it was difficult carting it up the stairs, etc. It makes another case for packing lightly.

Posted by
2906 posts

On the Fast Ferries, there are shelves right as you enter, and the staff helps you put your large bag(s) there. Of COURSE you take your laptop & smaller "day-bag(s)/backpacks" with you, containing valuables, money, tickets, passport, camera etc. Your regular luggage has your clothes, books, heavy stuff. Don't wait around for a bag-tag, Greece doesn't do that. Nobody is going to take your bag. ON the Large ferries, you pile your own luggage in variety of racks. . Don't be anxious & lug that heavy thing with you. PS: the fast-boat carries 450-500 passengers, no outside decks; the conventional ferries carry 1200-1800 passengers, outside decks, more like a small ocean ship with back-ramp.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks, all! Good info. p.s. George - have you been talking to my husband?! I can't wrap my brain around a small suitcase...working on it! Thanks again, happy travels-
Stefanie

Posted by
31530 posts

Stefanie, On the smaller Ferries (Hydrofoils, etc.) there are luggage racks adjacent to the doors. The crew will take larger luggage items and stack them in the racks. They often like to make a fast "turnaround" so be prepared for a very quick loading process. You'll need to keep smaller items like Daypacks with you, especially those containing valuables. On larger car Ferries, luggage is stored on metal racks on the car deck. You'll need to drop larger luggage items there before going upstairs to the passenger areas. Again, you should keep valuables and Daypacks with you. A few other points to mention. First, be sure that any luggage left unattended is locked in some way. Also, when either type of Ferry approaches the destination, the "herd mentality" takes over and there will be a stampede as everyone attempts to be the first to retrieve their luggage and disembark. When I arrived in Santorini last year, I waited for the braying and sound of stampeding hooves to subside, and then leisurely walked off the Ferry. Happy travels!

Posted by
655 posts

Stefanie-
I haven't been in touch with your husband but I can tell that you have a sense of humor and will be a happy traveler. Enjoy Greece - in my view it is under-rated and a wonderful travel experience. As always, keep your valuables with you. Take your camera and keep the batteries charged.

Posted by
55 posts

Stefanie, Back in 1997 on our very first vacation to Europe, my husband encouraged me to pack "Rick Steves" style. I did and forever I have been thankful. We have had 7 vacations for 5 to 7 weeks in Europe since then and each time I have left home with a Rick Steves backpack suitcase weighing about 22 pounds. One learns to be creative in mixing and matching outfits with lots of layering options...but it works. And it makes traveling on trains, buses, along cobblestones streets very easy. I have felt a sense of true freedom through packing so lightly. Yes, one does have to do laundry - self or sent out - on a regular basis but it is well worth it.
Happy travels.