Italy - Greece Ferries
Greece, most known as a naval country, with its limitless coasts, counting thousands of kilometers, and the decades of islands, most of them famous touristic attractions, has most of its touristic traffic based on maritime cabotage, as plenty of ships, ferries, flying dolphins etc. cross the Greek seas, during summer mostly, carrying millions of Greek and foreign visitors. Beside these schedules, Greece has also one of most secure and modern coastal connections to the West World, the one linking Patras, Igoumenitsa and Corfu ports with many ports in Italy. This is the most indicated way for someone to travel to Greece with his family, carrying with him his vehicle too.
Our website, Aktoploika.gr, is not just offering online reservation for ferry tickets to any destination in Greece, but also tries to make your voyage easier and more comfortable, regarding embarkation and disembarkation to the ship and the hours you'll spend in it, by raising and providing all the necessary information. Thinking of that, we gathered in this link everything you need to know, from the moment you'll decide such a voyage, till your return.
Have a nice voyage!!!
Italy is coastal connected to Greece by the following schedules:
- By MINOAN LINES:
1. Ancona – Igoumenitsa – Patras (and conversely)
2. Venezia – Igoumenitsa – Patras (and conversely)
-By SUPERFAST FERRIES & ANEK LINES:
1. Bari – Ancona – Venezia – Corfu – Igoumenitsa – Patras (and conversely)
All three companies enrich their schedules during summer, by adding more embarkation and disembarkation spots, like Trieste, Brindisi, Kefalonia and Zante.
The voyages' length variegates, depending on the type of the ship, the time of the year the voyage takes place and the destination port. The times, referred below, are indicative.
Bari – Patras: 17,5 hours
Bari – Igoumenitsa: 12,5 hours
Ancona – Patras: 21 hours
Ancona – Igoumenitsa: 15 hours
Venezia – Patras: 27 hours
Venezia -Igoumenitsa: 21 hours
Trieste – Patras: 29,5 hours
Trieste – Igoumenitsa: 23,5 hours
To have a clearer view about your voyage's length, there are two factors, that add another 2 hours to these times. The first one is, that you must be on your ship's deck at least 1 hour before departure, to avoid any discomforts and last-minute stress. The second one has to do with the companies' formal time of arrival, as most of these companies refer to the time the ship enters the port. From that moment, you'll have to add at least 1 more hour, until the ship docks and you and your vehicle manage to disembark.
There are standard departure days from and to Italy, although during summer (mostly at RED PERIOD) the schedules' frequency is increased, as companies add more destination – ports. In aktoploika.gr there is a continuous briefing process about departure days and hours.
The tickets' prices between the three companies have no serious varies, while all of them have several offers, that make a voyage to Greece easier and cheaper. The cost of a Passenger's Ticket depends on the kind of residence you'll choose. The cheapest ones are on Deck Seats and Air Seats, unless you prefer the comforts and luxury a cabin offers, which are more expensive. Vis a vis your vehicle, the price has to do with its length, but with small divergences. Finally, there is a "fuel freight rate", about 3-10 euros, per passenger and per vehicle.
So, for a four-members family, that wishes to travel in a 4-bunk cabin, with its vehicle, their tickets' cost will be about:
- 4-bunk cabin: 104 euros X 4 passengers = 416 euros
- Vehicle: 72 euros
TOTAL: 488 euros
If you choose Air Seats Tickets, the cost drops to 344 euros.
Booking a "return-trip" ticket decreases the cost even more. You can now book ferry tickets online via Aktoploika.gr and enjoy the "return-trip ticket" benefits.
Beside the basic "return-trip ticket" discount, provided by all companies, there are also plenty of offers, to take advantage of:
- An up to 20% discount to 3 or more members-families, to all kinds of Passengers' Tickets (Deck Seats, Air Seats, Cabin) with or without a vehicle.
- An up to 50% discount for 4-16 years old children.
- Free ticket for children below 4, as long as they don't occupy an Air Seat or a bulk.
- An up to 20% discount for passengers over 60. This discount refers to their vehicle as well, (car or truck). To confirm your discount, you'll need to have your ID Card or passport with you and show it, when you check in the ship.
- An up to 20% discount for all college students aged until 26. This is valid for all Passengers' Tickets (except LUX Cabins) and for 1st Class vehicles (cars) and motorcycles. Your Student ID is required during check in.
- A Special Campers Offer, referring to those, who wish to travel with their caravan, motorhome or expander, and includes a reservation in the ship's garage with electrical supply, an inner cabin, 1 free meal and a 25 euros' charge (50% discount) in Pet's Ticket, if needed. All these at the price of a Deck Seat.
- Finally, all companies have recently launched a new service, called "Early Booking", where you can book your tickets a long time before, with a 20-30% discount for all types of Passengers and Vehicles Tickets. If you choose "Early booking", you can't cancel your reservation, but you can change your voyage's date or convert it to an "open-date ticket". In that case, you don't have any discount at the part or parts of your voyage, that have been converted, and you'll have to pay the monetary discrepancy.
ATTENTION: All the discounts presented above are not permanent and may be changed in the future.
Finally, if you have a pet, and wish to take it with you, be aware, that Pet Tickets start from 25 euros, if you choose one of the "pet cages" on the ship's deck, to 50 euros, if you wish to get it with you at your cabin, under circumstances. Every passenger-pet must have a health card, with the microchip-sticker in it, a rabies-inoculation certificate, edited by a vet, and its passport. For animals below the age of three months, that haven't been inoculated, a license, edited by the country's authorities, is demanded.
In aktoploika.gr you can book online to any destination and every date, and take advantage of several discounts and offers.
Booking a ticket will need: the passenger's name, sex, age and the vehicle's type and tablet number. All non-E.U citizens will also have to indicate: nationality, passport number and birth date. Don't forget to get with you all the necessary documents, that provide all this info, such as your ID Card, your Passport and your Driving License, as you check in the ship.
Arriving on time at your ship's dock, is one of the main factors for an easy and comfortable voyage. You must be there very early, at least 1 hour before the ship's departure, to check in, sort your luggage and have an unruffled walk into the ship. The receptionists, as well as the all the ship's employees, will answer to any questions you may have, and will assist you to anything you need. Usually, in such voyages, mostly during summer, most of the companies allow checking in even 3 or 4 hours before departure, to avoid any hustle and bustle, or last minute-hardship. Please remember, that when you pass the "check in" point, you must show your online ticket code, so you can get your Access Card. You must also have your ID Card and all the documents needed to get the privileges and discount, you 've booked for. If it happens to book a LUX Cabin, you'll probably get a free breakfast. You'll be given a coupon, which you'll use it to the "a la carte" restaurant next morning. After your check in, you'll be taken to your cabin or the Air Seats Lobby (depending on your ticket's type), to settle yourself. If you entry the ship driving your vehicle, after you follow the employees' directions and park, be sure you have locked and haven't left any necessary documents or personal objects in it. If you forget something and remember it during the voyage, it'll be impossible to reach your vehicle and get it.
If you arrive early at the ship's dock, check in and settle yourself, you can "map" the place and get around it.
All the ships, serving the "Italy – Greece" schedule, are big closed-type ferries, over 225 meters long, carrying up to 3000 passengers, ensuring a secure, comfortable voyage. Their quite big mass and their modern navigation systems can guarantee this. If, however, you have a seasickness problem, you can go to the ship's Surgery and ask for a pill. In this case, you shall have a light meal, because an overloaded stomach worsens symptoms.
All ships have an a la carte Restaurant, a self-service Restaurant, bars, a Playground, a Disco, a Pool, Slot machines Room, Video Games Room, Internet Café, many stores, Possessions Security, Exchange Office, Satellite Phone and a Surgery, open 24 hours/day. Some ships offer a higher privilege level, while you can find a Cinema, a Casino, a Sitting Room, a Fast Food Restaurant, Cabins for Pets, a Kiosk, a Track Drivers Saloon, Turkish Baths, Sauna, Spa, Face Care, Massage and Gym. Some of them are free to use, as for the rest there is a charge.
Whatever you choose, don't forget, that prices inside ships are a little bit higher, due to the many coastal taxes and customs duties, so you'd better ask, before buying or using anything, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
As the ferry leaves the port, you'll be able to watch a short video, about security guidelines in case of an emergency. You'll be informed about emergency exits, fire hoses, where the rescue boats are, or where to find a life jacket. Even though these ferries have the highest security level, it'll be useful to watch it, especially if you don't have much of experience in such voyages.
After watching the video, you can wonder around the ship, or have a walk to the deck, to get some fresh air. In that case, be sure you'll wear an extra jumper or a coat, because weather conditions in the open sea are completely different than in the land. A summer cold is worse than a winter one, and there are many, who planed an awesome vacation, but spent it on a hotel bed, so you must be careful with this. You must also pay attention inside the ferry too, especially if you have any kind of sensitivity to air-conditioners. Due to the large passengers' number during summer, air-conditioners and airing systems work all day long, so there are some "trap-spots" inside the ferry, especially if you sit above them. Wherever you may sit, make sure, you've checked the place and stay away from them.
As far as it concerns public hygiene, being in such large places, such ships, needs more attention, especially in toilets located near salons, bars and restaurants. The ship's employees take care continuously, to keep them clean and disinfected, compensating any lacks, such as soaps, toilet paper etc. However, the possibility of being in a tricky situation, is possible, if you visit the toilet during the first or the last hours of your voyage, when most of the passengers also need to use it, and the employees can hardly clean. In that case, it'll be wise, if you have some alcohol lye and a couple of packs of napkins with you.
Your cell-phone will have signal only for a few hours after embarkation, as well as when you're approaching your destination, so make sure, you have all your calls done by that moment.
Smoking inside the ship is prohibited, so you'll have to get to the outer deck or use the smokers' area, if there is one.
If you plan to take your beloved pet with you, be aware that you can't have it in public places (restaurant, bar, etc.), only on the outer deck and only with a collar and a bit on it. The law says, that for over 8-hours voyages, there must be a fore courting opportunity for animals, but even in this case, you must return the animal to its cage or your cabin, if a passenger is disturbed. Only escort-dogs are excepted from this ordinance.
Arrival at Greece
As the ferry approaches the port, you'll hear an announcement of this from the mikes. It's time to move to your vehicle and be ready for disembarkation, avoiding long lines and endless waiting. As you leave the ferry, pay attention to the employees' and the coast guards' guidelines, so you can easily access the port's exit. Don't forget, you're in a foreign country, without a view or any knowledge of it.
Most of Greek ports are pulsate of life during summer, due to the intense touristic traffic. Almost all of them have at least one airport nearby, experienced employees and signs, to guide you wherever you may go, so transportation won't be a problem. Patras, Igoumenitsa and Corfu are the main ports connected to Italy. Here's a short presentation of them:
Patras is Greece's third biggest city and one of its main ports, after Piraeus, Irakleio and Igoumenitsa. It's located 220 kilometers away from Athens, connected with most of Greece's modern highways, such as Olympia Road, and Ionian Road. When you exit the Port, you'll see the signs, directing you to Patras' Ring Road, and from then to Olympia Road or to Rio-Antirio Bridge, that connects Peloponnesus with Northern Greece. Patras is a beautiful city, with one of Greece's most beautiful sunsets, also famous for its Carnival. Some sights worth visiting are:
1. Saint Andreas Church, one of the biggest in Balkans, placed 2 kilometers away from the port.
2. The Old Castle, located at the Old City, with a great view to Patraikos Gulf.
3. The Roman Conservatory, a few meters next to the Castle, where many cultural events take place during summer.
4. Psila Alonia Square, located downtown, with its tall palm trees.
5. The Archaeological Museum, with plenty of exhibits from all over Ahaia State.
6. Achaia Claus Winery, with its famous wines and liquors.
Did you know: Patras is the city, that gave the most Prime Ministers (five) in Greece's Modern History and many other great politicians, such as Kostis Stefanopoulos, President of Greek Democracy for ten years (1995-2005).
Igoumenitsa is Greece's second port in tourist traffic. Egnatia Road, connects the city with the rest of the Greek realm, as well as "Ioannina Airport", about 300 kilometers away. Igoumenitsa's most famous sights are:
1. The Archaeological museum.
2. Ancient Gitani Settlement, built on 335 b.C.
3. Souli Village, probably the most famous village in Greece's 1821 Revolution.
4. Kougi Fortress, an also famous spot during the 1821 Revolution, where Father Samuel and five more Souli's residents resisted on Turks and finally burnt themselves, so Turks wouldn't get the supplies and ammo. A huge explosion killed the six heroes and many Turks, who had surrounded the place.
5. Souli's Mills, located a few meters far from the village, with natural springs, small waterfalls and magnificent vegetation.
Did you know: Igoumenitsa's land view is like most Scandinavic cities. A few decades before, the arborous mountains, that surround the city today, where totally naked and several organizations cooperated with the Greek Authorities to plant trees and give Igoumenitsa its modern face.
One of Greece's top destinations and a perfect place, to start your vacation. It has an International Airport and a coastal connection to all the Ionian Islands and to Igoumenitsa and Patras ports. Corfu's sights can't be explored in just a few hours and, after a walk to the city, you'll be sorely tempted to stay for some days, even if your destination is somewhere else:
1. The Spiniada Central Square, the biggest one in Balkans.
2. Agios Michael and Georgios Palace, where the Asian Art Museum is housed.
3. The Canon.
4. Achileion, located 9 kilometers away from the city, was built on 1890 for Elizabeth, Queen of Austria. With a green garden, garnished with colorful flowers and imperial palm trees and a magnificent decoration inside, having dozens of sculptures and exceptional paintings, Achileion will take you to a journey in other times.
5. "Canal d' Amour" beside Sidari Beach, a fiord formation by the coast. According to a myth, if someone enters the bay from fiords' one side, he'll meet the love of his life on the other side.
Did you know: Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, lived in Corfu, during his adolescence.
When you arrive to Greece
- Driving in Greece's roads and highways won't be a problem, as most of them are in perfect condition, but you should be careful, when you cross country roads, due to the many flocks passing the road perpendicularly, without a shepherd accompanying them.
- After the 2015 capital control, Greek banks have still a 420 euros/week withdrawal limit, so be sure, you have your credit/debit card with you, to be able to do online transactions. Most of Greek stores have POS devices.
- Smoking won't be a problem in Greek restaurants and bars, as most of them have a "smoking area".
- If you choose "camping vacation", be sure you'll have it in organized-facilities camps and not free, which is prohibited. Greece has many camps, most of them located by the sea.