Greek Island Hopping, Ferry boat Tips


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Greece offers many types of ferry services such as standard ferry service, high speed ferry service, hydrofoils as well as catamarans, via an array of companies that operate schedules not only domestically in The Seas of The Aegean, The Ionian & The Mediterranean but also internationally to countries such as Italy and Turkey.  It is always recommended to book in advance since most routes sell out rapidly, especially during the high season months of July and August.

Ferry schedules on the Greek Islands change often and some times with out notice.  High winds during certain times of the year lead to cancellations and strikes have led to days with out service, especially over the last two seasons.   However, Ferries in Greece are the primary mode of transportation for most islands and the back bone to their economic survival; bottom line we can not live with out them.  So what is the best course of action when it comes to booking ferry travel in Greece?  Many feel that it is an easy process that can be accomplished with a quick phone call or a click of a mouse; think again.

According to Julie Subotky the author of the best selling book Consider It Done; “I’d recommend using a travel agent, and letting him or her take care of the ferry reservations on the Greek Islands”.  She goes on to say, “If you are using a travel agent, at least find someone who speaks the language to do the booking for you.  Don’t know anyone who speaks Greek?  I guess you could try calling yourself, but just know that you are not guaranteed anything, ever, and allow some time for the ensuing lengthy and confusing conversation-I dare you to complete the whole transaction in under an hour.  In addition, know that schedules change all the time, so be sure when you book your ticket that you are working off a schedule that will apply during the dates of your trip.”

Leave the ferry ticket process to professionals that understand the dynamic nature of traveling the Greek Islands.   If you insist on going it alone, there are many online resources for schedules and the Greek National Tourism Office publishes ferry schedules weekly.  However, it advisable to always check with the Harbor Master at each of your ports of travel to verify ferry schedules.

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