Buying tickets for ships between the Greek islands

One of the many things that you ask us about those that you pass through memarchoasantorini is about boat tickets to get to or from the island of Santorini, the truth is that once you know the operation of the ferries you realize that it is very simple, but as, the first time a lot of doubts arise, we will see if with this article we manage to solve the vast majority of the doubts what can you have?

With regard to boats, there are two main companies, Hellenic Seaways and Blue Star, and the main thing I mention because they are the ones that cover the most important routes, more frequently and with larger ships. There are fast, slower and nocturnal ferries. There different rates on tickets. There ferries and there are hydrofoils (smaller boats). There are several medium companies that cover smaller routes. The tickets can be purchased online or in ports, etc ...

Anyway, in the end it turns out that there are a lot of little details that you have to be as clear as possible to buy and travel with some security, so we are going to go into more detail in each of the following points in this article!

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Kinds of transport

I think the first thing to be clear is the means of transport that we are going to use, you have to know that you are going to meet two types of boats, ferries and hydrofoils. The first ones, ferries They are large, high-capacity ships that usually cover mostly the routes between larger islands. The seconds, the hydrofoils, They're a kind of boats, let's say that like a covered boat and inside there are seats like those of a plane or a bus. Their use mainly as transport between islands that there is not much distance between them and they go very fast, many times taking jumps to hit the waves.

Probably more than one and one you will be asking about the subject of dizziness. On ferries no problem, because they are so big they are super stable and do not move and if you still get a bit dizzy, you just have to go out on deck to get a little sea air and it is normal for you to clear up. Here the trick is to look at how big the ferry is, the bigger, the less dizzy it produces.

If they can be a bit more problematic in this respect, hydrofoilsbeing smaller and faster, if you catch that the sea is a bit rough it could be that it produces a bit of dizziness. In any case, it is important that you know that many of these hydrofolis carry stabilizers for the wind to make them move less, I personally get dizzy and I've been in hydrofoil and I have not gotten dizzy yet (it's also true that I still have not caught a bad sea).

The ferries

Let's focus a little on the ferries. To start you have to know that there three types of ferries, the nocturnal, the fast and the slow (normal). The ferries nocturnal They have an advantage and it is that, since you sleep in them, by the time you wake up you have already reached your destination and you have all day to take advantage of the time, it is not like when you travel during the day, that in the end between one thing and others you have lost the half the day going from one island to another. The downside of nightlife is that they are not exactly cheap and there are few, it is not easy to catch them, but look at the advantages, can you imagine leaving the port of Piraeus in Athens at night and being in Santorini at 8 in the morning having slept and rested? A real luxury!

Blue Star Ferry
Blue Star Ferry

Now we go with the slower ferries (normal ones) and rapids. This is explained very simply with an example: the normal ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens to the port of Santorini takes 8 hours and the fast "only" 4 hours. Obviously the fast ferry is more expensive, right? Now it's up to you to decide if you prefer time or money, this is already something very personal for each one.

With respect to seats, on the ferry you can choose to travel inside, outside, in an internal stateroom, etc ... They have different possibilities, each one obviously at a different price, we will detail this a little later.

Another thing to mention about the ferries is that more than once you can find that they leave late, it is very common that they do not leave on time. Between the entry of everyone, people put their suitcases, cars enter ... well there is always the occasional delay. Although this is not as serious as When there is a cancellation of the ferry. Do not be scared that it is not something that I often, but it is true that I have already seen the odd cancellation a week after taking the ferry to go on vacation. And is that, as the company does not see that the ferry is half full, they go and cancel, they are that nice!

It is very rare that this cancellations occur in the high holiday season (summer), is something that can happen a little more in small companies and in low season but that you know that, happen, it can happen, but do not panic now for this and do not take tickets on ferries, which in a great percentage of cases do not nothing happens and everything goes great.

There is a specific boat that if we recommend you keep track, it's the ARTEMIS of Hellenic Seaways, it usually has very cheap prices, the complicated thing about this boat is that you never know when the company is going to get the prices and the itineraries so either you look at it online almost daily or probably, when you go to get tickets, there is no longer availability .

The hydrofoils

As we have already indicated, the hydrofoils are smaller boats, they are like big boats with roof that usually go much faster than the ferries and that can get to produce some slight dizziness, especially those that do not have stabilizers for the wind.

Hydrofoil Greek Islands
Hydrofoil Greek Islands
(c) Can Stock Photo / bennyartist

¿How can you know about the stabilizers for the wind?? When you access the websites of the ferry companies, when you try to buy the ticket, it shows you the name of the boat you are going to travel on and with that name, if you look for it on the company's website, you can see the characteristics of Each boat, there you can look if you carry the stabilizer.

Unlike ferries, en the hydrofoil you're sitting inside on a chair (more or less comfortable) and there is usually no other possibility of seating, within the hydrofoils there is little room, just enough for the seats of people, a bar where you can order and take something during the journey and a small area where you can leave suitcases.

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Types of tickets and tickets for ferries

If before reading this article you have been encouraged to look at the tickets of the ferries online, you will have verified that when choosing the seat type there are various options, especially if the boat is a ferry, "this problem" does not usually occur with hydrofoils since the type of seat is very limited to a single option.

We would like to indicate that we are not going to list all the possible options here, but if most common types so that, at least, a large percentage of the options can be clear.

Let's start with the class air craftIt is about the cabin inside, more specifically imagine a room in which there are rows of seats similar to the cabin of aircraft. The layout is 3 seats on each side (attached to the side walls) and a row of 5 seats in the center.

En economic class you sit in the cafeterias and ready, almost better than in airplane type chair. I do not know if you are worried about the issue of where to leave your suitcases, but they tend to go near the entrance booth and, if you are asking about the surveillance or the protection of the suitcases, there are none, so try to have them more or less in sight just in case.

We go with the table categories Let's see if we can explain it well. It is usually broken down into two other options, for smokers and non-smokers. The name you have put it on purpose because it is a table where there are chairs to sit, you can find both inside the ferry and on the outside deck.

And finally we have left the air seats, come on, the seats of a lifetime that are placed in a specific room and have reclining seats.

Electronic tickets for transportation

I think that at this point we have to clarify some detail on the subject of the electronic ticket that can be misleading. When you buy the ticket online, they give you a locator to pick them up physically at any agency. The only company that has electronic ticket as such is Hellenic Seaways, and it is valid if you print it at home and take it physically, which is not valid at the moment (or at least as far as we know in this blog) is that you take it in the mobile.

Although we will be alert to possible developments on the electronic ticket on the mobileIf any reader has experience in this regard, please comment what you can so that this information can be useful to other travelers.

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Where are tickets purchased for ferries?

Well, let's go now with the issue of where to buy the tickets for ferries and hydrofoils, basically or buy on the websites of the shipping companies or use those of the agencies that already have on their list with most shipping companies. You we advise to use any of the following that we leave you next since they offer you results from almost all existing shipping companies.

As a personal recommendation since it's the one we liked the most, we chose the one paleologists, it is very simple to use and offers good results.

Once you have purchased the ticket online, save and print the receipt that they send you since you will have to to go to one of their offices so that they give you the real ticket (A list of points where you can get to give you the ticket usually comes in this receipt). The only company that currently offers the option to print the ticket from home is Hellenic Seaways, the rest continue with the traditional method of having to go to their offices in physical form to get the ticket booked online.

Boat routes online

If you are interested in following online the ferry connections that exist throughout the islands, in You will have an interactive map of almost all the ferries that go around the Greek islands, take a look that is worth it.