Hellenic Seaways or Blue Star Ferries from Pireaus to Santorini. Is one preferable over the other or are they much the same?
I'm a Blue Star Ferry kid. They are newer, cleaner and many times faster and more efficient.
Hellenic Seaways has the HighSpeed ferries.
These are faster than the ordinary ferries (like Blue Star), but is twice the price and have no outdoor decks.
Here is what Blue Star is like:
and the different vessels - ferries and excursions - usually servicing the Aegean:
Hello and welcome!
Hellenic Seaways is faster and more expensive. The vessels of Blue Stra are bigger. Note that Hellenic Seaway is very strict about cancelling tickets.
Visit www.piraeus.travel to check both itineraries.Edited: 23 August 2011, 12:28
We used Blue Star Ithaki and Blue Star Naxos, Hellenic Flying Cat 3, and Aegeon Pelagos F/B Prevelis. Of those 3 shipping/ferry lines we liked the Blue Star Ithaki best. Blue Star ferries were preferred by us.
My personal preference is the Highspeed. They are very comfortable and fast boats. The journey time is 8 hours on the Blue Star, but just over 4 hours on the Highspeed. You also get a comfortable pre-allocated seat so there is no scamble for seats when boarding. This justifies the larger ticket prices in my opinion.
The Blue Star Naxos/Paros can get fairly uncomfortable when it is busy - unless you are lucky and/or fast enough to get a seat inside, most of the deck seating is patio chairs, much of it under a perspex roof which can become extremely warm, especially if you are going with the wind. You can however prebook an airseat (airline type seat in air conditioned section) which does make the journey a bit more comfortable and is well worth doing.
I note also that Blue Star One does this route from time to time, but cannot comment on that boat as I have never been on it. The Blue Star Delos is also due to be in service on this route, but still appears to be in the far east on sea trials.
However, saying all of this, I would recommend the Blue Star simply because one of the highlights is the arrival at Santorini and seeing the Caldera from the sea which is truly stunning. The Blue Star has plenty of deck to see this, whereas the Highspeed at best has a very small smoking area outside that you may or may not be allowed access to.
Just to clarify, comparing a Blue Star ferry to a highspeed is not fair. They are two completely different types of vessels, with both speed and price difference.
Thanks for the insights - the difference for me on the days I need to travel is that the Hellenic trips will be about 5 hours vs Blue Star which will be around 8 hours . . .
The Blue Star Naxos arrives back in Pireus at 23:25pm - would we able to easily (& safely) get transport back to our hotel at that hour?
You will not have any problems.
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