Ferries in Greece and the Greek islands

Greek ferries are connecting the Greek islands with thousands of passengers ,cars and long vehicles. There have been many changes in the Greek fleet of ferries, passenger boats and cruise ships in Greece today.

The Greek islands are connected today with super modern ships that have been built with the latest safety rules.
Greece, with more than 200 inhabited islands, is mainly a nautical country and the one main means of transport is by ship.
Greek tourism depends a lot from the Greek ferries as well as all kinds of other vessels like the catamarans and hydrofoils that connect the Greek islands.

The Greek shipping industry has invested a lot of money in recent years, resulting in ships that have become luxurious, safe and fast. For example, a few years ago the journey from Piraeus to Crete took 12 hours, today with the super fast ferry boats, the journey is less than 6 hours.

The same applies to the other islands like the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. The journey from Ancona to Patras has been reduced to between 19 and 21 hours instead of the 36 hours that it used to take in the past.

The main nautical entrance to Greece is Patras which connects Greece with Fast and luxury ferries the Italian ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi and Venice. There are many Greek shipping companies on these routes, among them are the super fast ferries, Anek Lines, Minoan lines and others.

The Port of Piraeus today is one of the most modern ports n the Mediterranean. The port now has a link to the Piraeus metro terminal with a bridge connecting the station with the port.
From the port you can also take a free bus service that takes you to the ferry destined for your chosen island.

If you travel by ferry to the Cyclades, the boats are very close to the main railway station so you can easily board your ship by walking over the bridge from the station. The ferries for Crete and the Dodecanese islands are a further away and the free buses are provided to take passengers to their ships.

Ticket prices have not changed a lot over the last year. Mostly young travellers prefer the deck class but if you are intending to travel in a cabin be sure to reserve one prior to your journey, especially during the months of July and August when tickets are difficult to purchase as this is the time when Greeks traditionally take their summer holidays.

Information Ferry companies and time tables

Ferry schedules, time tables and departures of Greek ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans are every summer the main engine of tourism transporting thousands of passengers to the Greek islands ,here are some standard routes and web addresses of various Greek ferry companies that you can check the timetables and prices. Blue star ferries, Minoan Lines for Crete, Anek Lines, Grimaldi ferries for the Greece Italy route.

Because we are not responsible for any changes in timetables or departures for several Greek islands we suggest you to contact the companies or if you are in Greece the best way is to call the port authorities of Piraeus at the telephone 210-4147800 and check the daily ferry schedules for the island you want to go.

Be aware that in the high season July August especially around the 15 of August if you want a cabin on a ferry is very difficult we advise you to book in advance if you want to travel in the Greek islands during that period with a cabin ,if you get a ticket for deck or a Pullman seat that won’t be a problem. Ferries are the largest means of sea transport in Greece

Piraeus departure gates

Information for your departures from the port of Piraeus.

Port Gate Ε1 in Akti Vasssiliadi you go to the Dodecanese ferries, there is a ticketing office there as well a modern waiting area with Cafetria and quick lunch ,taxi station and free bus service.

From here you can get ferries to Patmos Leros Kalymnos Kos and Rhodes.If you wanr to go to other Dodecanese islands like Lipsi ,Nisyros,Symi ,Tilos ,Karpathos ,Kassos and Kastelorizzo there are local connections with flying dolphines and other boats.Alternatively you can fly direct to those islands from Athens.

Port Gate Ε2: in Akti Hetiona ferries to Chios ,Mytilini (Lesvos),Crete ,and Dodecanese available taxi station and free buss service

Port Gate Ε3: at Agios Dionysios and Akti Kondyli ferries to Crete ,there is waiting area with Cantine and bus service exits from gates E4 and E5

Port Gate Ε6:at Akti Kallimasiotti Argosaronikos and East Cyclades ferries like Syros ,Paros,Tinos,Mykonos,Naxos,Amorgos ,Santorini and Ios ,this gate is for pedestrians at this point is the pedestrian bridge from the Metro station

Port Gate Ε7: at Karaiskaki square ,Akti Tzelepi ferries to the Saronic islands and East Cyclades ferries for cars exit from gate E8 Around the area you will find many Cafeterias and restaurants as well as Travel agencies and ticketing offices. Along the Akti Poseidonos are the ferries for Aegina Poros Methana Hydra and Spetses . From Akti Miaouli opposite the church of Agios Spyridon are departing the hydrofoils to Aegina Poros and other islands of the Saronic gulf

Port Gate Ε9:at Akti Miaouli ferries to the West Cyclades,Sifnos ,Kythnos ,Milos , ,Sikinos there are Cantines waiting area along the street there are many shops restaurants and travel agencies , from the Gate 9 you can get the Aegean Speed lines www.aegeanspeedlines.gr with connections to Serifos Sifnos Milos Folegandros.Exit from Gate E10. There is free wireless internet connection all over the port of Piraeus.
More information at OLP Organization of Port of Piraeus.

Ferries to Crete

From Piraeus to Heraclion Crete :Daily departures , fast route (6,5 hours) daily at 11:00 am. arrival at 17:30. Normal route aily 21.30 arrival at 05.00 am more information at www.minoan.gr Minoan lines has also sea routes to Corfu , Igoumenitsa and Ferry connections to Italy from Patras see below Italy Greece ferries

From Piraeus to Chania and Iraklio :Daily departures at 21.00 to Chania and 20.30 to Iraklio.
Cyclades with F/B Prevelis from Piraeus to Paros Naxos Ios Thira more information at www.anek.gr


The Flying Cat 4 of Hellenic seaways departs daily from Heraklio Crete at 09.45 to Santorini 11:30, Ios 12:25, Paros 13:35, Mykonos 14:25 and returns at Heraklio at 19.25 from Mykonos 14:45, Paros 15:45, Ios 16:50, Santorini 17:45

Ferries to Cyclades

Daily departures from Piraeus at 17.30 with F/B BLUE STAR NAXOS www.bluestarferies.gr to Syros, Paros, Naxos, Iraklia, Shinousa, Koufonisi, Donousa, Amorgos, Astypalea.

F/B Blue star Naxos
Monday:Departure at 17.30 from Piraeus to Syros, Paros ,Naxos ,Donousa ,Amorgos ,Astypalea
Tuesday: Departure at 17.30 from Piraeus to Syros ,Paros ,Naxos, Iraklia ,Schinousa ,Koufonisia ,Amorgos (Katapola)
Wednesday: Departure from Piraeus at 17.30 to Paros ,Naxos ,Donousa ,Amorgos (Aegiali), Astypalea
Thursday: Departure from Piraeus at 17.30 to Syros ,Paros ,Naxos ,Iraklia ,Schinousa ,Koufonisia ,Amorgos (Katapola)
Friday: Departure from Piraeus at 17.30 to Paros ,Naxos ,Amorgos ,Astypalea
Saturday: Departure from Piraeus at 17.30 to Paros ,Naxos ,Donoussa ,Amorgos (Aegiali) ,Astypalea
Sunday: Departure from Piraeus at 17.30 to Syros ,Paros ,Naxos ,Iraklia ,Schinousa ,Koufonisia ,Katapola-Amorgos. Ferry Boat Blue Star Ithaki Daily departures to Syros ,Tinos ,Mykonos from Piraeus at 7.35 am

Ferry Boat Superferry II :Departures from Rafina to Andros ,Tinos ,Mykonos daily at 8.05 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departures also at 19.30 only to Andros

For the islands of Serifos ,Sifnos ,Milos, Folegandros that depart from Gate 9 of the port of Piraeus, the new itineraries of Speed runner 1 and 2 have been published more info you can visit www.aegeanspeedlines.gr.

Ferries to Dodecanese

The Dodecanese islands at the moment are served from the blue star ferries www.bluestarferries and the ANEK Lines Ferries.

Blue star ferries timetable to the Dodecanese 2010 with Blue star 1 and Blue star 2 from Piraeus to Syros, Santorini, Patmos, Leros, Kos, Amorgos and Rhodes.

Catamarans and Hydrofoils within the Dodecanese islands

The Catamarans Dodekanisos Express and Dodekanisos Pride connecting the islands of Rhodes ,Symi ,Nisyros ,Kos ,Kalymnos ,Leros ,Patmos daily for more information visit the page www.12ne.gr for schedules and online booking.

The small ferry boat KALYMNOS has connections from Kalymnos to Leros ,Lipsi ,Patmos ,Arki ,Agathonisi and Samos every Monday Wednesday Friday and Sunday.

Every Monday Wednesday and Friday the small motor ship Patmos Express connects Patmos with Lipsi and Leros departure from Patmos at 8 am. From April the hydrofoil ZEUS is connecting daily Kos ,Kalymnos ,Leros ,Lipsi ,Patmos and Samos.

The ships of the company ANES www.anes.gr connecting daily at 08:30 the island of Symi with Rhodes with the flying dolphin Aegli. The same company as well has connections with the islands of Tilos, Nisyros and Kastelorizo with the M/V Proteus.

Every Wednesday departures from Rhodes 12.00 to Symi, Tilos and Nisyros with M/V Proteus, every Thursday the same boat departs from Kos at 06.00 to Nisyros, Tilos, Symi, Rhodes ar.14.15 and Kastelorizo, every Friday from Rhodes at 12.00 to Symi, Tilos, Nisyros and Saturdays the same itinerary of Thursday, for more details visit the website of the company .
Ferries to North Aegean islands

NEL lines has itineraries to Samos ,Chios ,Limnos ,Lesvos ,Thessaloniki, Rethymno
and also to Syros Tinos Mykonos Paros Naxos Amorgos Anafi Thira (Santorini) Thirasia Koufonisia Schinousa Donousa Iraklia Andros Ios Folegandros. For more information visit the site www.nel.gr.
HELLENIC SEAWAYS Ferry boat NISOS CHIOS daily to Chios Mytilini at 12:30 from gate E2.
Hydrofoils connections to Thassos island daily departures from the port of Kavala. From Kavala to Samothraki, Limnos, Agios Efstratios, Psara with F/B SAOS II and from Kavala to Limnos, Chios Mytilini also the same company has ferry connections from Alexandrouplois to Samothraki (website www.saos.gr )
Ferries to Mykonos, Ikaria,Samos with Kalisti ferries,CORSICA EXPRESS III departures Monday and Friday at 17.00 more information at www.kallistiferries.gr (tel:801 11 77 700 )

Ferries to the Saronic islands

The Saronic islands are very close to Athens ,Aegina ,Poros ,Hydra and Spetses. There are daily connections departing from the port of Piraeus every hour with ferries and hydrofoils ,so you don’t need a reservation for the above routes .The departures are from Akti Poseidonos gate E8.To the island of Salamis the ferries are departing from Perama every 10-15 minutes.

Ferries to the Sporades islands

deparures from Volos daily with hellenicseaways FLYING CAT 6 at 09.30 and FLYING CAT 5 at 16.00
departures from Agios Konstantinos daily with the hellenicseaways Hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XXIII . For more information for boat schedules from Volos call 2421023415 and from Agios Konstantinos please call 2235031614
departures from Thessaloniki to Skopelos ,Alonissos ,Skiathos daily at 13.45 exept Saturdays (8.00 am)
Buses to Agios Konstantinos from Athens at Akadimias street 97 tel 2103843220

Ferries Greece Italy

From Patras there are many departures every day to Italy via Igoumenitsa and Corfu. The ferries connecting Greece with the Italian ports of Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice. Most of the ferries are going to Ancona for the simple reason that is more near to the northern Europe and as Greece exports many products to many North West and Central European countries especially fruits and dairy products, all those exports are transporting mainly by lorries, therefore most of the big Ferries are going to Ancona. Among the many Greek ferry lines are the Minoan lines, Anek Lines and Superfast ferries.


SUPERFAST FERRIES: Itineraries from Patras. Departures Patras Ancona daily: 14.30 and 19.00 the same company has daily depatures Patras Bari at 18.00

MINOAN LINES :Patras Igoumenitsa Ancona

From 29.01.2009 to 31.10.2009 Ancona Patras daily departures at 17.00 from Ancona arival in Patras at 15.00
Daily departures from Patras at 18.00, Igoumenitsa 23.30 Ancona arival at 14.00


MINOAN: Ferries to Venice. From 01.04.2009 to 31.10.2009 from Patras to Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Venice every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday departure at 23.59.

ANEK LINES :From 19/03/08 – 04/01/09 daily departures from Patras to Ancona via Igoumenitsa at 17.00 and from Ancona to Igoumenitsa Patras daily at 16.00.

Patras Brindisi : Daily departures  M/V EROTOKRITOS, IONIAN QUEEN  AND ELLI T more information at www.endeavor-lines.com

Booking greek ferry tickets

There is not much need to book ferry tickets in advance unless you really want to be sure of a ticket – necessary mainly to ensure you get back to the island for your flight home. Most tickets can be bought in the port on the day before sailing or even just before the boat leaves. Ferries can fill up on Fridays and Sundays when mainlanders travel to the islands for weekend breaks. They also tens to be heavil booked on public holidays, notably Easter.

Planning your Greek Island hopping with Greek ferries websites can also pose a few problems. Remarkably there is no full monthly published ferry timetable for the Greek Islands available to buy. Ferry companies are only interested in their own services and most Greek customers travel specific routes; they leave island hopping to the tourists. This means checking out ferry sailings online or in local newspapers. This can be done but it’s not terribly easy.

Ferries.gr is a good place to start as it is the only website that lists all sailings by all the ferry companies in one place. Enter departure and arrival ports in the Ferry Schedules for a complete list of sailing days and times.

Ferry schedules used to be hard to come by early in the season as sailings are not usually finalised until April or May but ferry firms have agreed to publish summer timetables in the autumn of the revious year. Even so, note that sailings may be cancelled at any time without notice in bad weather or because of strike action by Greek seamen.

Greek Island ferry websites can be very picky about spellings of islands and ports. Heraklion in Crete for example can be listed as Heraklio, Iraklion or Iraklio and islands can be Paxos or Paxi, Lefkas or Lefkada, while Lesbos is Lesvos, Mytilini or Mytilene so try several spellings until ou get it right.

Ferry Routes

The main ferry routes radiate from the mainland. If the islands you seek are on one of these radial routes then Greek Island hopping is all well and good. Finding which Greek Islands are connected is not always easy through a website. You are asked for departure and destination ports so, if there’s no direct route, you get a blank result even when there can be a convenient island on the way where you can easily change ferries.

Book ferry tickets online