Cyclades Ferries

On Day 2 of our honeymoon, we had an early morning ferry from Athens to Mykonos. (Read about our Day 1 here). The Piraeus port is the busiest and most popular in Athens, though there are others such as the Rafina and Lavrio ports.

We started from our Airbnb at Neos Kosmos at 6 am. After a short walk to the metro station, we took the red line (M2) back to Syntagma Square. A 90-minutes ticket for the Athens metro will cost you 1.4 EUR. You may change as many lines as you please within the 90 minutes. At Syntagma, we changed to the green line (M1) that terminates at Piraeus. By 7 am, we were at the Piraeus station.

 

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The Piraeus Port

 

Since we’d booked our ferry tickets online, we were required to show our receipts at the Blue Star booth at the metro station to collect our actual tickets. This is true only of Blue Star; we traveled on Golden Star and Hellenic Seaways for the other two legs of our journey and had no trouble boarding the ferries using just printouts of our online tickets.

Though there are many websites that help you book your ferry, it’s always a good idea to book directly through the ferry company’s official website. Personally, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of websites that enable ferry bookings and couldn’t make sense of the vast array of prices offered.

Here’s what I did (or How to Book Your Cyclades Ferry in 3 Simple Steps :)):

  1. I did a simple google search of the ferry on the route of my choice (Piraeus to Mykonos in this case). This threw up plenty of results – Blue Star, Golden Star, and Hellenic Seaways are the major ones.
  2. I compared the prices and timings of these different options which helped me identify the Blue Star ferry at 7.30 am as my best fit option.
  3. I went directly to the Blue Star website and confirmed my booking.

Note: I didn’t ACTUALLY book the tickets right away. I saw the different seating options on the Blue Star website; Special Economy at 29 EUR per head was the cheapest. (As I write this though, I see they now have a new category, the Super Economy at 20 EUR!). You can’t, however, book these two cheapest categories online; these need to be booked in person at the travel agency counters.

There’s an Aktina Travel Services booth at the Athens International Airport that lets you make your booking. And so, I put off booking my ticket until I actually reached Athens. To my dismay, when we arrived at the counter, we were told that the tickets for the cheapest categories were sold out (they book up fairly in advance) and so the cheapest category now available was Economy at 36.5 EUR. Plus they would charge a commission of 2 EUR if booked through the agency. So we chose to go back to our Airbnb and book them online ourselves.

That said, unless you have a local friend in Athens who’s willing to go to the counter and book your super-cheap tickets well in advance, booking the Economy online at your own leisure is probably the best option in case of Blue Star. Golden Star and Hellenic Seaways make available all the travel categories on their respective websites.

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