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Everything you need to know about the ferries in Greece

Greek Islands ● 26 August 2018
Greek ferries get you to your destination and guarantee you unforgettable vacation in Greece. If you now plan your journey, find here all the questions you need about the boats and ferries in Greece as well as the option of Greek Island Hopping and multiple routes.

Greek ferry

Online booking

Most ferry companies in Greece don't give you the option of online booking. In that case, you have to buy your ferry tickets from a travel agency or buy them online and then -when you come to Greece- receive them from the agency. However, Hellenic Seaways, whose boats go to almost every Greek island, gives you the option of ferry tickets online bookingIf you book ferry tickets online, you can not only find really good ferry deals, but also print or load your ticket in your smartphone, and you are ready to travel exactly like having bought an air-ticket. Without booking fees, buying your ferry ticket online is not only simpler but also cheaper than doing that in a travel agency. Plus, online you can find more routes and have an overview of the schedule you have to take into consideration, especially if you need multiple routes for island-hopping. Online, you can also check whether Piraeus is the most suitable port or you have to choose another port to some Cycladic islands, such as Rafina or Lavrion.

Greek Island Hopping passes

If you have heard about the Greek Island Hopping and you want to explore many Greek islands during your vacation, the key is to buy island passes for many flexible routes. The distance between the Greek islands is very short, and you can easily travel from one island to another within an hour or even less. However, if you buy separated ferry tickets for each route, the whole island-hopping journey will be expensive and strictly scheduled. Your best chance is to buy a Greek Island Hopping ferry pass, such as Greek Island Pass, which allows you to make several routes to many Greek islands whenever you want paying the price of only one ticket.

Boat or ferry

Ferries are more expensive than boats, but boats are slower than ferries. If you have plenty of time and you don't find the time on the boat boring, you can consider boat as transportation mean. Boat is also convenient if you suffer from nausea. However, if you have planned island-hopping vacation, ferries are the perfect solution, because otherwise you will spend much time on the boat. Plus, if you buy Greek Island Pass, ferry tickets won't have the disadvantage of high price anymore! Furthermore, if you want to travel in the low season, ferries are rare, but boats travel to the most Greek islands several times per week even with bad weather. Ferry routes, especially in the Aegean Sea, are likely to be cancelled if there is strong wind.

Deals and discounts

Before booking your ticket -especially if you book it online- check if there are ferry deals and discounts. Most ferry companies in Greece offer discounts for students, group tickets or limited number of seats. Great offers can be found also for travelling from Tuesday to Thursday, for infants and kids (up to 50%).

Where to sit

You have three options about where to sit, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. However, not all boats offer all of these three options. In a small fast ferry that makes even the biggest route in the Cyclades from Athens to Santorini in less than 5 hours, there are only air seats, but in larger boats, you can also sit on the deck or spend the hours in a cabin. It is up to you what to decide, but it is wise to be informed about your possibilities in order to know what to expect and start your journey conveniently.

If you travel by boat, you can sit on the deck. You will feel the warm sun on your face, see the blue sea, the ports of the passing islands and the sea gulls around you and won't feel nausea. Especially if the journey does not last long, the deck is the ideal situation to understand what travelling by a Greek boat means. If you don't want to sit outside, there is at the same price of the ferry ticket another area inside, which looks like a salon with coffee tables and couches. However, the seats on this salon or the open-air deck are not numbered, so you have to be early (at least one hour before departure) on the boat to find a seat.

The airline seats are being offered in boats as well as in ferries, they are numbered, booked on your name and convenient for routes up to 5 hours. Most boats offer a large TV in this area, and you can stand up and walk. Air seats are slightly more expensive than the deck. Remember that you have to leave your luggage in a place next to the entrance and the garage if you have booked a ferry ticket for deck or air seats. The crew is not responsible for loss or damage of your luggage, so be sure to lock your bag and put your name on it. However, there is the possibility to book a business air seat. In this area, you can take with you your luggage, enjoy a luxury snack bar and relax in more spacious leather vessels. Business air seats are 50% more expensive than economy seats.

For more hours or if you have to spend the night on the boat, for example if you travel to Crete, you can book a cabin, which has private showers and offers the option to accommodate 2-4 persons depending on the price you want to pay. Cabin look like the rooms of a hotel and are perfect if you want to get rest and wake up refreshed in your destination. However, they are much more expensive than the seats, as expected.

Boarding time

Remember to be on time for your departure. You have to be at least 1.5 hours prior to departure if you are travelling with a vehicle and at least 1 hour prior to departure if you are travelling without a vehicle.


According to legislation, pets are forbidden in the interior of the vessels, in the airline seats and the cabins. Pets can travel on the outside deck under your personal supervision or in the specially designated kennels, which are located on the vessels' decks. You should also carry with you the health documents of your pet. Dogs should be muzzled.
Travelling with a cat

Changes and Cancellations

You can change or cancel your ferry ticket easily and with refund of your money. Most companies offer total refund of the fare, if you cancel your ticket up to 14 days before departure. Tickets can be converted into Open-Date tickets to be used in a next trip, if requested by the passenger.

Where to Stay

Appartment in Agios Nikolaos, Greece Villa Minoas Apartments & Studios
Villa Minoas Apartments & Studios
Istron, 72100 Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Villa Minoas Apartments is located in the beautiful village of Istron, close to the sandy beaches of Agios Panteleimon, Golden Beach and Karavostasi, which are all accessible within a 10-minute walk. The lively town of Agios Nikolaos and the port with a ferry connection to Piraeus, Athens are at 12 km. Nikos Kazantzakis international airport in Heaklion is 70 km away.

Hotel in Nafplio, Greece Apollon Hotel
Apollon Hotel
46, Bouboulinas Str., Tolo, 21056 Nafplio, Greece

Centrally located in the popular seaside resort, Apollon Hotel is situated just 50 m from the sandy beach of Tolo and a short walk from the lively center. Picturesque Nafplio town is at 10 km.

Hotel & Appartment in Kos, Greece Golden Sun
Golden Sun
Tigaki, 85300 Kos, Greece

The family-run Golden Sun hotel is located in a popular summer resort Tigaki in Kos just 8 minutes walk from the long, sandy beach. The distance from Kos Town is 11 km, while Kos International Airport is at 16 km.