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Another ferry question...sorry!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Another ferry question...sorry!

I recently emailed www.bluestarferries.gr and www.ferries.gr and my questions came up unanswered. I am hoping you experienced Greek travelers can help.

I am planning on taking a ferry from Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Athens in September of 2006. Everyone (including travel agents) keeps telling me that the schedule has not come out yet; however when I go to www.bluestarferries.gr and type in my dates a schedule does appear and will allow me to purchase tickets. Is this not the correct schedule or are they possibly ahead of schedule this year?

I was also trying to figure out the best types of accommodations on the Blue Star Ferries. It looks as if the ships are similar to smaller cruise ships. If my assumption is correct, are you free to move around the ferry as you please? If so, what type of accommodations would be best for a couple that, weather permitting, would like to be on the outside for the majority of the ride? What is the difference between economy, aircraft seating and business class?

Thank you in advance for your information. Please believe me that I did try and locate this on my own. I do appreciate all of your expertise!!

Birmingham, United...
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1. Re: Another ferry question...sorry!

There are around 5 different ferry companies running boats to Santorini, one of which is Bluestar ferries, they are VERY unusual to publish ferry schedules more than 1 month in advance, so the travel agents are essentially correct. I'm quite an experienced Greek island ferry user and I just purchase tickets a day or so in advance, however I do keep an eye on the ticket agents for schedule changes/cancellations/breakdowns/strikes.

The ferry route you are on is very easy with frequent ferries so you won't have any problems.

Basically there are 2 classes on most ferries 'deck/C/economy/aircraft seat' and '1st/A/business'. The cheapest class gives you the whole run of the ship including the outside deck seating. The only bit you can't use is the 1st class (inside)lounge. From what you say economy class will be perfectly OK for you.

They are definately ferries and don't regard them as small cruise ships.

Athens, Greece
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for Athens
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2. Re: Another ferry question...sorry!

It is really early to prebook ferry tickets for Sep 2006. Good timing is appx. 3 to 2 months ahead.

Weather permitting deck tickets are good on any day ferry, up to 8 hours, while aircraft seating is a little better ( except if on a really strict budget )

In general and in FERRIES ONLY,

- deck ticket is what its name reffers to. Open air or semi open air decks, with mounted on deck plastic chairs seating, usually not numbered.

- aircraft seat ticket is an indoor seating choice, giving you an extra comfort and a numbered seat

- business ticket is a ticket for restricted lounges of more spacious seats of extra space between seat rows.

With all tickets you can visit any deck or lounge except business class lounge.

All these apply on ferries only and on distances like those you referred ( Santorini, Naxos and all Cycladic islands ). I am saying this cause these are not ships with cabins doing nightsleep trips, where class divisions are a little different.

If not in a ferry but in a catamaran - which is not the most probable case in Blue Star, there is no deck option, while a few extra bucks for business are totally worth since no open air decks exist for relaxing. In this case, some extra row space is totally worth.

I hope i helped; Any question is always welcome...

:)

New York, NY
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3. Re: Another ferry question...sorry!

My fiance and I have booked our ticket to Greece for July. This is our question:

We want to stay in Athens overnight and then leave the next day to Santorini. So are there any overnight ferries so we don't have to book a room for that night in Santorini, or do all the ferries run during the day and we'll only get to Santorini in the evening, therefore forcing us to book a room for that night?

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Another ferry question...sorry!

Yes, by July there will certainly be daily overnight ferries to Santorini at roughly 20:00-22:00 hrs. Of course the actual timings won't be available til early June, as per my previous posting. A good source of information is GTP.GR.

New York, NY
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5. Re: Another ferry question...sorry!

Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

One more question:

After our stay in Santorini we will be traveling to Rhodes. I don't want to fly because it is 1)expensive and 2) you have to stop over in Athens. I would prefer to take a ferry. In July, will there be direct ferries from Santorini to Rhodes? If so, how long does that trip usually take, and approximately how much is a ticket? Can you get a cabin and sleep on these ferries?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I really need the help. Thanks so much in advance.

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