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Albatros II
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traveller1959 wrote a review Sep 2019
Schluchsee, Germany2858 contributions542 helpful votes
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Since I had read the reviews here, we boarded the Albatros II with mixed feelings in Koroni. But what a great day it became! The boat arrived in the port of Koroni by the minute at 9 o'clock, we boarded and sailed through azure blue waters to the Mani peninsula. There was plenty of space on board, and you could choose between different seats and benches, sun or shade. Some ladies found it especially great to sit on the bow and let the feet hang down into the spray. After an hour sailing or so, I noticed that the ship was not heading towards the Diros Caves but more southwards. Why? We soon found out: the captain had changed the course to meet a school of dolphins and we found ourselves surrounded by a dozen dolphins swimming together with the boat at high speed and artistically jumping. They were so close that we could look into their eyes. The dolphin performance lasted about 15 minutes until they left the boat which then resumed its original course. Very thoughtful of the captain! After 2 1/2 hours we arrived at the Diros Caves. Everything went smooth and quick. We deboarded, walked a few steps to the Caves's entrance and boarded small canoe-type boats (6 or 7 people per boat). The boats were pretty rickety and you had to watch your head in order not to bump into a stalactite, so the cave personnel gave rather curt instructions. Probably necessary. I must say, I have been to dozens of dripstone caves before, and I expected just another one. But this experience was really special! It is quite a difference to float through a narrow cave in a small boat! The canal is really small (did I mention watch your head?), and it is a special feeling. My tip: do not try to photograph during the boat trip. You will have better opportunities to make pictures later. Just enjoy the boat trip. After 2.7 kilometres or 10 minutes or so, the boat reaches the end of the underground creek. Then you walk a few hundred metres through the cave which somewhat opens up. There you have all the photo spots you wish. The total cave experience takes 15 to 20 minutes, and after that you may sit down in the Cave's cafeteria, buy yourself a drink, ice cream, souvenir, use the bathroom etc. Then you may go back on the boat which stays anchored for another hour or so. Now, you strip and jump into the water from the railing (or from the stairs leading into the water). You can swim in crystal clear waters round the boat and into the cave's exit, where ice cold underground water mixes with the warm sea water. Really cool! (Alternatively, you can swim at the pebble beach near the cave entrance.) If you have enough from swimming, you grab yourself a plate with complimentary lunch. We had the choice of chicken or souvlaki, each served with salad, tsatsiki and breads. Good enough. Then, the boat blows its horn, and when everyone is on board, it sails back to Koroni. This was the part, when we used the bar. They serve all kinds of drinks, the girl behind the bar is both friendly and efficient, price and quality are impeccable. I especially liked the homemade sangria with a recognizable vermouth note. After all, it was a very relaxing boat trip. From Koroni, you spend about 5 hours sailing forth and back, so be prepared to make the best of these hours. Take a book, listen to some music or chat with friends. To be honest, sailing from and to Kalamata would have made the boat trip a bit too longish for us, but from Koroni we found it perfect. After all, I had the impression that almost everyone on board enjoyed the boat trip thoroughly. I wrote this rather long review in order to let you know what to expect. Look also at my pictures from the boat trip. And do not forget swimgear. P.S. Inside the caves it is cool, but not really cold. Short sleeves and shorts were good for me, but the ladies liked an additional shawl.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Jessica D wrote a review Sep 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
My children and I booked the trip to the Diros caves at 40 euros a head. The brochure showed pictures of the boat as well as the inside of the Diros caves. We purchased the tickets at the bookstore in Koroni. The boat ride was fine, the included meal was passable, but when we reached the Diros caves we were informed that admission INTO the caves themselves would cost another 15 euros per person. We hadn't brought any cash for the day because we thought there would be no need to carry cash. The attendant at the caves was very rude, saying that if we didn't have money we could not enter. My children were in tears. Only after my husband argued with another attendant at length were we allowed in. Why would we take an 8-hour boat ride to caves if we didn't want to go in??? At no point, when I bought the tickets, or when we boarded the boat, did ANYONE tell us that the caves were an extra fee. Several other travelers were in the same situation. No one seemed to know ahead of time that it was extra. They only tell you once you get there and you have no other choice. Kind of a scam but they get away with it because most people go along and don't make a big fuss. I felt really deceived by this experience.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Hermias123456 wrote a review Aug 2019
South Africa15 contributions8 helpful votes
Very nice 2 hour trip in the bay of Kalamata, Spectacular views with sunset over the sea and a nice glass of wine.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Sunshineyou wrote a review Aug 2019
7 contributions
Me and my family usually like taking a boat trip when we are on holiday. However, to be honest, this wasn't an amazing one. We left Kalamata at 8.00am and after 4 hours with a stop in Stoupa just to get other passengers without diving breaks we get the Diros' cave, which are amazing indeed, but gettable by car as well! The cave visit took us 15 minutes. Hence we thought to have a break and take advantage of the stunning sea to have a bath, however it was not the case. We had to get on board and we reached another bay, where we finally had 20 minutes to eat and diving, which seems to us really few time! Then we needed to go back to Kalamata others 4 hours without a dive! To sum up we spent 8 hours on a boat with 20 minutes for eating and diving and 15 minutes visiting the cave. If you don't want to see the coast from a boat, I don't recommend this boat trip. Also the staff wasn't very warm!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Danae Ganci wrote a review Aug 2019
1 contribution
Me and my partner went on this cruise to Stoupa and we have been very dissapointed by a few members of the stuff. Precisely, the lady that was working in the bar was extremely rude to me and to my partner when asked a few simple questions about the menu. When I asked politely what was included in the price of the ticket ( drinks, barbeque etc) she barely let me finish my question and by moving her hands in my face she replied in a rude manner " nothing ".Obviously, that was not true as we later asked the manager and he said that the ticket included a meal. I have more examples of her responding with an attitude but I find it pointless to get into further details. I have to add however that overall the stuff was friendly apart from the barwoman and another member of the stuff who treated us in the same way.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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