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Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

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Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

I am thinking ahead to next year and am considering a trip in April to Crete, with Chania being high on my list of a "basecamp" while on the island.

Perhaps my travel time is too far ahead in the future, but I'm not able to get any flight rates on the Olympic air or Aegean airways websites. I also tried British airways, coming from London/Heathrow.

I've heard that it might be best, when coming from nyc, to take separate flights - 1 to London or Athens, and then another flight (maybe even a different airline?) to Chania or Heraklion.

I've also read about an overnight boat you can take from Pireaus to Chania, but it was more expensive than I expected.

Does anyone out there have any advice on actually getting to Crete from the states? I'd love to hear what has worked for you.

thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

Hey Brooklyn. I just booked my trip for this September (2011) I was looking at flight from DC, but most all went through NYC and a direct from JFK to Athens.

A roundtrip on Aegean may be better priced than the one way - but when my travel agent booked me, we left out my one-way from Crete (HER) back to Athens because it was cheaper to just book direct with Aegean. (I am flying from Athens to Mykonos and then making my way on ferry to Crete).

I was told that the Greek ferries are not "as romantic" as they seem - and would suggest the flight over the overnight ferry.

I go on my trip Sept. 5 and return on the 19th. I'll be happy to share whatever info I glean while I am there!

gregchad

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2. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

There are no direct flights to Crete from the US. If you can get an affordable flight from NY to Athens, you can then get an Olympic or Aegean flight to Chania.

Normally I'd suggest you fly to London and get an Easyjet flight to Chania - they can be quite cheap if you book early - but Easyjet flights to Chania don't start until May. In any case, the transatlantic fares vary so much that you need to explore all the options, familiarise yourself with the routes and the costs, and when you find a good deal, book it. You should investigate the London-Chania (and Heraklion) flights as well as the Athens-Chania flights.

The ferry is certainly an option. If you go deck class it isn't expensive, and the ferries are huge and, I'm told, comfortable.

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3. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

The best site I've found for inexpensive rates to Athens from the US is skyscanner.com. Albastron is right- no direct flights from the US to Crete. Aegean usually has some special fares - just keep looking on both sites- I'm sure you'll find something good!

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4. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

Hey and welcome BrookynKitKat;-) No directs to Crete whatsoever from the States..and in April, doubt much you'd be able to do a direct from England..Even if you could, IMO, can get complicated with the charter deals and no co-ops helping out in case of delays coming in from the States! You've got plenty of time to do some research..keep an eye out at www.kayak.com/ pretty good consolidator but doesn't show 'every' option..no site does;-) Would look into directs and bear in mind that Continental out of EWR co-ops w/Aegean..while Delta out of JFK co-ops w/Olympic..so you could check luggage through and hopefully get those boarding passes(that's' always a hit/n/miss;-) It's a long haul over..around 9-10 hours..but once you land in Athens..it's a puddle-jumper of barely 50 min..will feel like a piece of cake at that point;-) Would certainly wait till the Winter for Spring fares and specials to appear..don't even think of booking it now;-) Happy planning...and EnjoY!

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5. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

I agree, keep playing around with flights from NYC to Athens / Crete and NYC / London/ Athens / Crete. Sometimes the early March -April deals are quite good. The charter cheap flights from London to Greece don't usually kick in until late May - early June.

BTW - Loved Crete!!!

Edited: 10:53 pm, August 04, 2011
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6. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

One of the guidebooks used to recommend the overnight ferry into Souda Bay as the best possible way to arrive at Crete. My wife and I did it in the 1980s. Sailing into Souda at dawn, with the White Mountains still snow-capped in the distance, did have a magical quality.

However, the ferries were slower then and we arrived sometime between 6 and 7 am - not the 5:30 am that the modern ferries arrive. There were lots of young packpackers who had travelled deck class, and I think that they had made the right choice. Our sleeping cabin was noisy, smelly and the cabin deck was claustrophobic.

Chania was pretty dead even at 7 am, and it was hard to find somewhere for breakfast. We still loved it, but I don't think we would want to do it again now.

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7. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

i recently flew from athens to nyc and after much searching went with swiss air. it included a stop over in geneva but was the cheapest available. delta flies direct from nyc to athens also.

another fact worth considering is this: flight prices change frequently and if you search for many days on the same computer the prices quoted on your computer are differnet (higher) than if you search from another computer!!! sounds unbelievable but i checked it out and its true. so, when looking for flights dont always check the from the same computer.

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8. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

That's good advice, Tina. The airlines, especially the "budget" ones, operate in underhanded ways. Strangely, though, I've found that when I've checked a few days later (on the same computer) the fares have gone back down again.

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Hotel Tina
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9. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

Tina - that's really interesting. Yesterday I was looking at flights (I check every other day because I still can't stomach the $1800 it's going to cost each person in my party) at work, and had to weed through 35 pages on CheapOAir to get the itinerary I wanted - I came home and checked it again so I could show my husband and the very itinerary I wanted came up second, on page 1, for $50 per person less than it was when I checked from my work computer. Guess I know why now ;-)

Brooklyn, I don't know if you're looking for cost-savings or convenience, but I created a spreadsheet to determine how best to get to Chania from Seattle. I had it with options from here to the UK and flying to either Chania or Heraklion, flying to Athens and taking the overnight ferry, or my preferred itinerary of the Swiss Air flight to Zurich which then went on to Heraklion from there. I spent about a week researching and putting every option together in order to see what was going to be the cheapest. I thought we'd be able to do the Easyjet route (as flying to London is $600 cheaper than flying to Athens), but it turned out getting a connection wasn't going to work due to flight times. It put us in Heraklion too late at night, so we'd have to do an overnight in London and get the first flight the next morning, and leaving Athens wasn't going to connect in time with the flight we needed to get back to the states - adding the extra days as well as the cost of the hotels wasn't worth it. In the end we decided it's worth the extra money to just book the flights all the way to Heraklion, either via the Zurich or Athens layovers we saw.

A lot of the flights we looked at landed in Heraklion at 8:50 or 9:30 at night - if you're staying in Chania it's 2 hours away, so that's something to keep in mind. Air Canada and Swiss Air have flights that arrive at 3:40 pm.

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10. Re: Best way to get to Crete from NYC.

>A lot of the flights we looked at landed in Heraklion at 8:50 or 9:30 at night - if you're staying in Chania it's 2 hours away, so that's something to keep in mind.<

Yes, and that means adding a 150-euro taxi fare (or an extra overnight in a Heraklion hotel) to your costs, as the buses will have stopped running.

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