Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips
Taking a ferry to an island in Greece is one of the greatest pleasures of a Greek holiday. Sun, islands in the distance and salty wind in your hair are things that soothe the soul. Sometimes the ferry is the only way to get to an island – not all of them are big enough for an airport. So, get a ticket, sit back and relax, while the Mediterranean passes by!
Avoid possible problems and irritations with these Greek Island Overnight Ferry tips.
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Bring Snacks
Since passengers are a captive audience, the food options are meager and expensive. Consider saving money by stopping at a market before you board the ship for snacks and drinks.
You can expect to find several snack counters that sell pizza and sandwich type snacks. At some point in your Greek holiday you simply MUST try the spinach pie. Soo delicious! We ate the spinach pie and the cheese pizza. Drinks are plentiful with all sorts of juices and sodas. They are available but the cost for a soda is twice what it is in port.
Our boat had a cafeteria, too. One kiddo had french fries as a bedtime snack. 🙂
Fun Greek snacks that travel well are sesame seed covered nuts, olive bread, and dried figs. They are all delicious, keep well, are easy to find. Toss a few in your bag! If you are dying to try these before you go…I’ve found these on amazon! I’m delighted to be able to find them here. I bought some to bring home, but…..we ate them all before we got back!
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Pack Carefully
When you board the ferry up the same ramp the cars use, you’ll be shown where to leave your bags. These will NOT be delivered to your room but will spend the entire journey here. No tags, no numbers, no system it seems – just stick your own bags wherever the crew suggest. If that gives you pause, and you rented a cabin, you can certainly lug them up to your room. Our room was much bigger in person than it seemed to be in photos. We would have had plenty of room, but we left them in storage for ease and had no problems
Since you will leave the large bags behind you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need with you. The night before our ferry journey began I put pjs, toiletries, and a change of clothes for everyone in a small bag to keep with us. I never EVER leave home without a sleep machine noise maker and an electronic device docking station. This had us all refreshed and recharged for the next day!
Using a sleep machine noise maker makes every single room anywhere in the world sound like home. Birds chirping or vespas vesping outside? Didn’t notice. Sheer utter loud silence? No biggie! With the noise maker it all sounds the same. We sleep very well because we use them at home also. This travel machine is our favorite. It even comes with different plugs so you don’t have to worry about an adapter AND it will handle 110 and 220-240 so you don’t need a converter either! Easy squeezy!
Marpac Zohne Portable Sound Conditioner – I have one of these in every bedroom at home and we take them on every trip! SOO worth the money and space in the suitcase.
Adapter VS converter 101
OK – an adapter adapts the shape of the little prongs that go in the wall. You can’t put a round peg in a square hole – or vice versa, so you need to have a plug that will adapt the shape of the prongs on YOUR device to the shape of the holes in the outlet on the wall of the country you are visiting.
A converter, on the other hand, coverts the amount of electricity in the wall to the amount of electricity your device can handle. In the US we use 110. In Europe they use 220. Your converter changes the amount of electricity coming out of the wall into the lesser amount your device can handle. Otherwise the 220 coming out of the wall will FRY your device that can only handle 110. READ the device because some can handle both 110 AND 220- some phones and electronic devices can handle both, some hairdryers and shavers can, too.
Do NOT travel without these!
Voltage Converter 220 – 110 I love a product that will do both…this one has different sized prongs on the back for different countries. BUT do NOT leave home without adapters anyway…sometimes the hole in the wall is sunken in and this won’t work. (Been there…done that.)
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Seats/ Rooms
Considering the amount of time you’ll spend on an overnight ferry (the same is true of trains) it is well worth the money to purchase the highest class of ticket you can. Unlike on airplanes, the price difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd class isn’t very much and the extra space and comfort are REALLY worth the money!
We saw people bedding down all over the ship who had clearly paid the lowest amount. This meant that they didn’t have an assigned seat. One woman put down a blanket and claimed a corner in the hallway. Another guy put a sleeping bag across two chairs in the lounge. I guess it is possible to catch a few Zzz’s that way, but only if you are really young! LOL! More power to them for seeing the world anyway they can!
You can also purchase a ticket for an airplane type seat. This might be a little more comfortable than the floor, but keep in mind the lights stay on that bright all night so be sure to pack an eye mask.
We chose a berth cabin for 4 people and here we are chilling in it! Truthfully it was a lot of fun and a unique experience for the kids! The room is a lot bigger than it looks so we really could have had all our luggage with us. Yes, it has a bathroom that even has a shower.
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Sea Sickness
I’m a little more susceptible to sea sickness that the next person because I’ve had inner ear problems so I was holding my breath about an overnight ferry. I was planning on taking benadryl and just sleeping off the sea sickness BUT….I was totally OK! Turns out that the slow ferries are much smoother than the fast ones. The boat did not sway (no worries about sleeping on the top bunk!) or rock at all.
Be prepared for unexpected seasickness just in case. I like these solutions – small, cheap and if you need them they are life savers!
Sea-band wristbands These come in sizes for adults and children. These work by pressing on an acupressure point on your wrist. They come in kid sizes, too!
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Wake UP!
With just a short time in port to let everyone off and then reload the new passengers there is no room for people to oversleep. We set the alarm and were up and going – excited to start our adventure in Santorini when, to my great surprise, the door opened and a crew member said “GOOD MORNING”. LOL! Well, there you go. You get your very own personal Greek wake up call on the overnight ferries.
Then, with 10 minutes left until we were to arrive, I was standing at the mirror in the room putting on mascara when the door opened again. Since I was not expecting the door to open, LOL, I turned to see a very stern looking sea captain standing there frowning and gesturing for me to get out of the cabin. It was clearly time to prepare to debark the ship! LOL! I felt like a little kid who had been caught with my hand in the cookie jar.
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Collect your Luggage
OK..this part reminded me of a cattle car. Everyone walks down to the level where the baggage and the cars are stored. You all stand in a clump waiting for the wall of the ship to lower like a runway. I so wanted to ‘moo’ at this moment.
In spite of the fact that it looks like utter chaos, there were ZERO problems. The luggage was right where we left it. When the door opened everyone flooded off sanely – no stampede. It was quick and easy.
Greek Island Overnight Ferry Tips – Buying your Tickets
To be completely honest, I have always had fun booking every part of my trip by myself. I love the research and the information and the struggle to figure things out. I can count (like 2) how many times I’ve used a travel agent in my travels over the years. BUT, if you ever, ever choose to use a travel agent. NOW is the time.
Ferries don’t always run on time. Sometimes they are canceled altogether. Worse – sometimes the ferry workers go on strike and ferries stop completely. This could really make a mess of the logistics of your trip – especially if you need to get back to Athens to catch your international flight.
If you DON’T use a travel agent and one of the above happens – you are on your own for figuring out how to reschedule your trip – on your phone with sketchy wifi – at the same time everyone else has to reschedule their trip.
If you DO use a travel agent, and for the love of all that is good in the world, use a travel agent for ferry tickets in Greece, then they take care of everything for you.
AND…contrary to the worries of customers…travel agents do NOT charge you extra. They get their money from the companies like hotels and ferries as a thank you for bringing the customer to them. So don’t feel like you aren’t getting your money’s worth. You are getting MORE for using a travel agent – not less.
For Greek Ferries USE A TRAVEL AGENT.
I used these two agencies and highly recommend them both (for anything you need – not just ferry tickets)
Ferries are an easy, cheap and fun way to get to the Greek islands. I can’t wait to go back and see more of them!
If you are headed to Greece, be sure to check out these related posts for planning your adventure!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist