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Ferries in Greece
Europeans love travelling to Greek islands during summers enjoying the best weather of Europe. Greece is a must see destination which is known for its turquoise waters, romantic sunsets and mythological references. Also, Greek islands have beautiful beaches, tasty Greek food and cosy hotels which offer the friendly Greek hospitality.
It's common to fly to Greece but ferries are a great alternative to travel between Greek islands. Distances are not long so having a few hours cruise can take you to another island. Ferries are also more comfortable than airplanes in good weather conditions.
Ferries in Greece are modern ships that can carry vehicles, cargo and passengers. There are many ferry companies competing with each other that keeps prices affordable.
Our Journey: Rhodes to Santorini by a Ferry
In the summer, we started our holiday by flying to Rhodes. Our second destination was Santorini and we decided to take the leg from Rhodes to Santorini by a ferry. Santorini is actually quite far from Rhodes and our journey took longer than many other domestic ferry routes in Greece: 17 hours. Another reason for the long duration were the intermediate stops along the route.
Luckily, our Rhodes to Santorini ferry departed in the morning at 8 AM and arrived late in the evening at 11 PM. During this journey, we were able to see the coastline of Turkey, Greek archipelago and many islands. Spending the whole day on the sea was also relaxing with spectacular views of the islands during the stops.
Knowing beforehand that this journey will be quite long, we decided to book a cabin from the ferry. It would have been possible just to book the cruise without a cabin but we paid a little extra to have our own cabin for a private place to rest during the journey.
Anek Lines - Our Review
Our route was operated by Anek Lines. The ship was called F/B Prevelis that wasn't the newest ferry of Anek Lines. This ship was built in 1980 in Japan but despite of its old age, it was still comfortable to travel with. Anek Lines has also newer ships but they are used in different routes, mainly to Italy.
Anek Lines is not the only Greek ferry company but there are many alternatives. In this review, we tell about our experiences with Anek Lines.
Internet is the easiest place to book ferry tickets. We used our favourite booking service, Direct Services to compare ferry ticket prices and schedules. Anek Lines had the best schedule and also a suitable price, so we decided to book it right away. The journey from Rhodes to Santorini cost only 59 euros / person including a cabin for two.
The booking process was finished on Anek Lines' own website to where Direct Ferries redirected us. After the booking, we got a confirmation right away to our email.
Fetching the Tickets
Digitalization in Greece is still under progress. Even though we had an email confirmation from Anek Lines, we had to change the confirmation to real printed tickets. We fetched them from Anek Lines' office in the harbour of Rhodes 2 days before the departure.
Departure from Rhodes Harbour
Our ferry, F/B Prevelis departed from Rhodes Passenger Harbour. It was somehow difficult to find out the exact harbour location because Anek Lines didn't tell it clearly on their website and there are many harbours in Rhodes. Luckily, we visited the harbour 2 days before the departure to fetch our tickets and at the same time we asked Anek Lines staff where the ship leaves from.
Anek Line advised us to arrive to the harbour only ½ hour before the departure because we didn't have a vehicle. Passengers boarded the ferry via the car deck after the cars and tickets were inspected inside the ferry. We needed to fetch cabin keys from the ferry's reception.
Everything went smoothly but because it was our first ferry trip in Greece, we would have wished for clearer instructions.
Onboard F/B Prevelis
F/B Prevelis is an old ferry. Even though, Anek Lines calls it as a super-modern ship, it is quite out-dated. Some of the inside premises have been renovated well but you can still feel being in an old ferry. Especially our cabin was simple and not so comfortable. For instance, you can easily hear noise from the corridors and the door of the cabin itself was noisy caused by vibrations of its metal parts during the cruising. The ship is offering a paid WiFi. However, the cafes and the restaurants were really nice. Enjoying the sun on the outer deck felt also good.
The ferry had a self-service restaurant which served inexpensive food. There was also an a la carte restaurant. Drinking was possible on the ferry's cafe and bar.
The ferry had a small gift shop.
F/B Prevelis was comfortable enough and it had enough services to spend one full day. For longer routes, this ferry could become a little boring. On the other hand, it was a nice surprise to notice that the price level on the ferry was low.
On the scale from 1 to 5, we give Anek Lines 3. The journey was successful, but the ferry was old. There were no entertainment programs. Also, there were not enough practical information provided before the journey. However, we didn't have any big issues so overall, everything went well.
Our Advice for Ferry Booking
We recommend you to compare prices and schedules on Direct Services. Find the best option for yourself and place a booking.
Having a cabin is an inexpensive add-on service so it is advisable to book one. It is also wise to confirm early the exact locations of the departure and the arrival harbour and make a plan how to reach them. Usually, taxis or a rental car are the best options.
Greece is blessed with numerous beautiful islands and it would be wise to visit at least 2 islands on the same journey. While flying between islands is fast, we recommend doing ferry hopping. Greece has a long history of operating safe ferries and travelling on the sea is comfortable. During summers, the sea is quite calm.
Have you had cruising in Greece? Comment below!