Greek Island Ferries
to book or not to book, that is the question
As is the case with any decision worth making there are pros and cons....If this is TLDR (wot?: Ed) just talk to us about it.
Why is it generally better to book Greek ferries locally rather than in advance?
Flight arrivals can be delayed and ferry schedules do sometimes change (operational cancellations [rare]/ delays, inclement weather and seamen strikes [May 1st very popular]). If as a result you cannot take the ferry you have booked you have a problem. Note tickets are not valid across different ferry lines.
Also if we book the ferries for you well ahead of time and then a better timed departure becomes available you will not generally be able to swap for it.
Can't they just rebook me on another ferry?
Generally our local agents and hoteliers will know the best option for you, but the timing may not be convenient, especially if you have a flight connection to make or there is a long delay until the next sailing for that ferry company. And if you miss your outgoing ferry through flight arrival delay there are no refunds.
What if we wait to book locally and the ferry is full?
Itís very rare for foot passengers - and for the bigger ferries we prefer* (eg Blue Star) itís even rarer. We will tell you ahead of time if we think there's any risk (for example if seamen strikes are going to affect demand)..
* Less bumpy in weather, more of a mini cruise, generally cheaper but of course slower and not always an option
So book locally?
Yes - generally best. At every port, within spitting distance, there are either very visible ticket agents or kiosks. On Agathonisi you might have to wait until the priest who runs it turns up. But agents generally don't charge any extra fees and will give good advice if there are options. We will in any case have recommended ferry timings to you, and where we can, we look to create itineraries where there is a choice of ferry. (And point out in advance where timings are tight.)
If (for example late in season) the ferry office you are staring at is closed, remember that ferry offices/ agents generally sell tickets for all ferry lines, so just because it has Minoan over the door doesnít mean you canít get a Seajet ticket there!
Sorry, call me old-fashioned but I still like to have a ticket in my hand?
We do understand - you're not alone and we wonít think any less of you. We like ferryhopper for booking (see booking enquiry panel on the right) - ease of use, nice range of delivery options to hotel, e-tickets for some lines etc. In terms of accuracy of schedules we find openseas.gr the most accurate over the season.
What about the accommodation reservations when ferries have to be changed?
We do our best to rearrange them for you at minimum cost. If the change is at the beginning or end of your holiday it can mean an unscheduled overnight on one of the gateway islands (usually Mykonos or Santorini) or in Athens/ Piraeus. Often (but not always) we will be able to negotiate a refund of a night at hotel A to contribute to the extra costs of a night at hotel B. Most of our hotel partners are co-operative in this respect even though their formal terms of business allow them to retain all monies when late changes are requested. But it is a goodwill gesture based on longstanding relationships and not a given - and we treat it in that way.
The vast majority of connections work perfectly so donít be deterred.
Or if you are island hopping, book multiple ferries here