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Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

Wakefield, United...
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Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

Help!!! I'm panicking!!!

We have booked tickets from Chios to Pireaus on Sunday 28 August – arriving Pireaus Monday 29 August at 0615. We then go from Pireaus to Sifnos on the Speedrunner at 0705.

Does anyone know which gate the Chios ferry arrives at and which gate the Sifnos Speedrunner departs from. How far apart are they? We will not have much time for our transfer so I wish to be as organised as possible!

Also, do the overnight ferries tend to arrive in Pireaus ahead of or behind schedule????

Thanks.

Athens, Greece
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1. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

WOW! I can tell you the Chios ferry usually arrives on time - but you have to allow for getting OFF the ferry -make sure you're at the head of the queue! I don't really think of the dock for the Lesvos/Chios boats as a 'gate' - I have to tell you it's the furthest point from the Cyclades boats! There is a little free bus which takes people to the main part of the harbour, but that will be too slow for you. You need to leap into a taxi, but there may be a queue, and as it's only a comparatively short distance for a car - 8 minutes, maybe - they may not be willing to take you. I think the gate for the Speedrunner is Gate 8 - it's in the main part of the harbour, and those boats leave on time! I'm sorry to sound so pessimistic, but those are the areas of the harbour I know best - I'm on Lesvos at the moment: when I left Athens, during the taxi strike, a friend drove me to the Chios-Lesvos dock from roughly the same area in Piraeus as the Sifnos dock: it took ten minutes. Do you have your tickets for the Speedrunner? If not, I'd be inclined to change them for a later boat, if you can. There's almost certainly a later boat, at this time of year -yes - just checked - there's the Agios Georgios at 7,25 (My favourite!) - still cutting it fine, though! It gets in at 12.45. Then there's the Korais at 2.30, gets in at 8.15. Even later is the Highspeed 5 at 4.30, which gets in an hour ahead of the Korais. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but at least there is a choice of boats. I'm planning to be on Sifnos myself then - I'll probably come on the 30th, if the Georgios is running - haven't checked yet. I love that boat - you get a much better view on the big boats, and they'r e a lot cheaper, too. I get a seat in the first class lounge - very comfortable, about 36 (?) euro. Good luck with this - and if you need to know anything about Sifnos I can probably help!

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

In my experience all ferries are late in arriving at Piraeus, I auto-add an hour, and it has already been mentioned that you have to go half way round the harbour.

I would book the later ferry at 14:30 to Sifnos, that gives you a decent margin.

Ottawa
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3. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

Oh Nikoletta, I so envy you right now. Have a great time.

Karen

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

Hello again, AEcampbell! I was thinking of you this morning, when I arrived back in Piraeus from Mytilene on the overnight ferry, the ‘Mytilene’! This must be the boat you’ll be travelling on when you return from Chios on the 28th – it’s the only one that day. I make the trip to and from Mytilene frequently, and in my experience those boats arrive at the scheduled time, but this time Retired Hippy was right – we actually docked at 6.50, by which time I was waiting by the left luggage area. In the past I’ve always used the escalator to take my luggage upstairs, but I have learned that the escalators only work one way, so at the end of the trip you have to carry your luggage downstairs. I ‘m not supposed to carry heavy stuff, so I took my two cases to the left luggage area. When I got on the boat I did notice that this small area was already almost full, and there wasn’t anyone to superintend the placing of the cases, as there is on the bigger boats which go to Crete. It was a bit silly of me to try to retrieve my cases early, as many more had been placed in the small area. I did manage to spot them, though, but they were irretrievable! Some other people had had the same idea, so there were a lot us in a confined space. (There was a huge container lorry parked right beside the left luggage area, so there was only a narrow path for people to reach the luggage, and IF they managed to get to their cases, there was no way for them to get back towards the exit!) Eventually the lorry began to move, and there was more room for people to manoeuvre. I’d given up – I could see my cases, and I was pleased that my nice pink ‘snakeskin’ one had been moved behind a metal barrier, so no one had put anything on top of it. Eventually I got out onto the dock – at about 7.45. The little bus which takes people from the boats to the harbour entrance was filling up, and there was a huge queue – well, no – more just a mass of people waiting to get on. An electronic sign said the next bus would leave in 9 minutes. I joined the taxi queue – at the harbour, and at bus stations, these are brilliantly organised: ropes mark a sort of narrow winding ‘path’ for passengers, so there’s no jostling, and the queue moves quickly, as the taxis are constantly driving up. I didn’t have to wait many minutes at this point. However, if I’d been going to Sifnos I’d have had to take the harbour bus, and I wouldn’t have caught an early boat. This is probably the busiest weekend of the year, with people returning to Athens after the 15th August - I think Retired Hippy is right and the best thing would be for you try to catch the 2.30 Korais. That does get to Sifnos later than the HighSpeed, but that would mean another 2 hours waiting. The Korais is a very comfortable boat, with a good selection of food, and you can walk about outside and look at the scenery, which you can’t on the Highspeeds. (You can get a comfortable armchair type seat in one of the lounge areas: a first class seat at the front of the boat with a great view will cost less than an ordinary seat on the expensive ‘Highspeeds’.

Just one thing - if you already have your boat tickets, you can’t usually change them for tickets with a different company. What you could do though is to try to change them for ‘Open’ tickets, which you could use on the way back. My travel Agent suggested this when I had to delay my journey in the recent taxi strike, when I couldn’t get down to Piraeus with my luggage. Eventually I did use this to take a different boat to Lesvos from the one I had originally intended to travel on.

Do let us know how you get on, as your experience may help other passengers. Good Luck!

Eleni

Wakefield, United...
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5. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

Thanks for your messages, Eleni. We realise we're probably cutting things a bit fine on 29 August - we contacted our travel agents and they gave us the option of changing our tickets (5 euro each for an amendment) and having them sent to us (another 30 euro) so we've decided to just see what happens on the day!!! If we don't mange to catch the early SpeedRunner we'll buy tickets for a later ferry when we arrive in Piraeus and won't be too much out of pocket since we'd have spent 40 euro changing our tickets anyway. We fly out to Athens and straight on to Chios on 23 August for a wedding on 26 August - so we will hopefully still be on a high after that and not too stressed by the possible/probable shenanigans in Piraeus - then it's onto Sifnos - an island we both love - for a week or so of meeting up with friends, walking and relaxation. Bliss...

Thanks again for your posts. We'll let you know how we get on.

Anne

6. Re: Help!!! I'm panicking!!! Ferry connections...

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