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booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

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Toronto
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booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

We are going to be travelling to Santorini from Athens on July 6th (a Sunday). I have seen on the various websites re. the ferries that there are a variety of ferries that make that trip. My question is- how far in advance, if at all, is it necessary to book two tickets for a fast ferry to Santorini at that time? Should it be done online from home or could we purchase tickets when we get to Athens a couple of days before we want to travel. The ferry schedules aren't all official yet for July, so I don't want to book too early in case there is a better time that is available later.

Similarly- should Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Piraeus be booked in advance?

Lastly, do Olympic or Agean Airlines ever drop fares closer to the summer, or add more flights, or is what is posted on their websites now likely to stay the same.

Thanks to anyone who can shed any light on these questions.

Oregon
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1. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

July is the busiest time of year in the islands. It's best to book the highspeeds ahead of time since they're smaller and in high demand. Santorini>Naxos can be done in 2 hours on the slower Blue Star car ferry for which you wouldn't need an advance ticket. Same for Naxos>Piraeus on the Blue Star

If you're looking at all the 'yet to be approved' schedules on www.gtp.gr you can pretty much assume they will be approved soon but that no others will be offered. That might not be exactly accurate but it's close enough for making plans.

The airlines won't be lowering fares or adding flights but Aegean just announced an airfare sale for 2000 seats, you might want to see if any of them are available for your travel dates. Full fare is about 140 euro so anything less than that is a discounted fare.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

Toronto
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2. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

Thanks. How far ahead of time do you suggest booking? (We're still working on our itinerary a bit.) Also, if you book online, what arrangements should be made re. getting the tickets. Do you pick them up at the port in Piraeus, or elsewhere? Are the highspeed ferries more comfortable, or just faster?

Oregon
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3. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

Book as soon as you have your itinerary worked out.

I believe you have the option of picking your tickets up at the port or at an authorized office in Central Athens, or have them sent to you for a fee. The port is going to be very busy and the lines for tickets at the ticket offices in Piraeus will be long. I suggest you choose an alternative method to receive them.

The Highspeeds are more comfortable but confining. The seats on the Highspeed are like aircraft seats but be advised that the highspeed ferries are enclosed and you can't get out on deck.

The economy areas on the Blue Star are furnished with plastic patio chairs and tables, but you can pay a few extra euro for an indoor aircraft-style seat. If you opt for the Blue Star indoor seats you will still be able to get up and walk out on the decks but your seat will be reserved. Regular economy Blue Star deck seating is not assigned since it's very casual and first-come-first-served in those areas.

Toronto
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4. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

Thanks, brotherleelove. That helps clarify things for me. Would you still need to book in advance if travelling on the Blue Star ferry to Santorini from Athens? What is the situation re. luggage if you travel economy on the ferries? (We are not going with a car.) Do they store it in carts when you board for pick up at the end, or do you have to keep it with you?

Oregon
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5. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

I can't say for sure if it's necessary to book in advance for the Blue Star in July, it's a huge ship. To be on the safe side I think I'd do it, but you can also wait until you arrive at the Athens Airport and buy your ferry tickets then and there from the travel desk of Amphitrion Holidays in the Main Hall. They're open 24/7.

There's an unsecured luggage storage area below decks next to the stairs leading up to the decks where most people stash their bags, picking them up as they leave the ship at their destination. Other people prefer to take their bags upstairs where they can keep an eye out on them but it's kind of a hassle to do so. Those are your two options.

Columbia, South...
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6. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

T0: BROTHERLELOVE

could you post the link that advertises the Aegean airlines promotion. I have had a hard time finding it. Looking at flight from ath-jtr on 9/23 in the evening. rates 113 or 79 euro if i take late flight and that is not even with the tax included.

thanks!!

sophia

Oregon
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7. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

I already did above. It's no longer there which suggests the promotion must be over and all the discount tickets already sold.

Toronto
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8. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

Does anyone know a travel agency in Athens from which you can pick up ferry tickets reserved online, without having to go to pick them up at Piraeus? It would be great to be able to book in advance, but pick them up before the day of travel. Can we book through a Greek travel agency online, without the tickets costing more?

Oregon
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9. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

If you're looking online and aren't offered any choices other than the port ticket offices the answer is no, but I believe that both Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways do have authorized ticket offices in Central Athens that are listed for pickup. You'll have to go through their websites to know for sure.

bluestarferries.com/ENGLISH/defaultmain.htm

www.hellenicseaways.gr/index.asp?a_id=219

Toronto
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10. Re: booking ferry from Athens to Santorini in July

Do you know anything about a travel agency called Fantastic Greece? They seem to do reservations for ferry tickets, hotels, etc. and say there office is in Athens.