Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

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Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 19 Apr 2017, 15:21

We're coming to Symi this year, late May for once, as well as in September as usual. However, we were under the impression, that there would a ferry late on Sundays in May also, which appears not to be the case.
Since we've only booked a week in May, this means 2 out of 7 days will be on Rhodes, which puts me off going in May ever again. I love Symi, but 5 days there will make me miss it even more, than if I wasn't going at all.
Is there any chance, that an additional ferry might appear or are the timetables completely final? (Hopefully the September timetable will offer a late ferry, but at least we will have two weeks on Symi at that time.)
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Andy W » 19 Apr 2017, 17:58

Highly unlikely there will be any additional Sunday evening ferries in May. There weren't any Sunday evening sailings in May or early June last year either.
The problem is that any ship that operates Sunday evening from Rhodes to Symi has to return either the same evening or on Monday morning in order to be in the right place for the next trips. In the years when these late ferries did run, loads from Rhodes to Symi were poor, and from Symi back to Rhodes non-existent. In the current economic situation in Greece, no ferry company can survive if it makes a loss on its sailings, and the government and municipalities have no money available for additional subsidies. If you know of any charities or philanthropists with money to spare, the man to contact is George Spanos at Dodekanisos Seaways. I'm sure he'd be happy to run the ships if he was guaranteed against making a loss.

You're likely to be unlucky in September also, for the same reasons. The only evening ferry now is on Fridays, when one of the Rhodes-Piraeus overnight ferries calls in at Symi along the way. There's a mid-afternoon sailing on Wednesdays, another call by Blue Star's Piraeus service. Unfortunately the Sunday evening departure from Rhodes can't call at Symi because the ship used is far too big to fit in Symi Harbour (55 metres longer than the ship that does call, which almost fills the harbour mouth).
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 19 Apr 2017, 19:37

Thanks Andy, and not, at the same time, I guess.
If I'd won that money in the Lottery, that I continue not to win, I would be able to afford paying Dodekanisos Seaways, but not on my current salary. My problem is that the Danish flightplans seem to only include Sundays, so it's hard for us to choose a different flight. I am fully aware of the Greeks economic battle and don't blame them, it's just sad that it's so hard to get to Symi and back again. I would love to visit more often, but it's a lot of work and money, to make everything fit together. Rhodes isn't a bad place at all, it's just no Symi.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Andy W » 20 Apr 2017, 07:54

Obviously I don't know which Danish airport you want to fly out of, but Primera have Friday morning departures from Billund and Copenhagen, and TUI Nordic from Goteborg, that arrive in Rhodes in plenty of time to catch the 19:00 Blue Star ferry that day to Symi. The Blue Star Friday morning sailing to Rhodes will get you there in time to catch the return flights. No need to spend any nights on Rhodes at all (except that you'll have already booked the flights, I suppose).
And a little bonus - Blue Star are several € cheaper than Dodekanisos Seaways.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 20 Apr 2017, 10:41

We do fly out of Copenhagen airport, but yes, the problem is that we've already booked and paid for a flight, for what now turns out to be a really bad day. It's via a travel agency we usually book through, so we never expected any problems. And it's through the same company in September, also on Sundays. :( Guess we'll have to go over the planning again, and see if we can at least fix the problem in September.
But thanks for your help, at least now we know of alternatives.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 20 Apr 2017, 11:37

Seems there might be hope, after all. We're now looking in to cancelling our flights in May and in September (the one in May will be expensive).
Then change our accomodation dates, as well as parkering in the airport (which have also already been paid).
Then rebook at a different travel agency for Wednesday, both in May & in September, thus avoiding any forced days in Rhodes. It should all work, only it'll cost a lot more than we planned, but rather that and get the full holiday on Symi.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Mille » 20 Apr 2017, 11:48

Thomas, who are you travelling with?

Just out of curiosity as I can't find any payable trips from DK!
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 20 Apr 2017, 12:29

I usually travel with Apollo rejser, buying a SAS planeticket through them. It's pretty expensive, I think, but there are no cheap alternatives.
Now I'm hoping to book with Spies instead, since they seem to be the only ones flying on both Sundays and Wednesdays.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Mille » 20 Apr 2017, 16:27

As far as I can see, Spies has taken Symi off their summer programme.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 20 Apr 2017, 16:38

You're right, but we will only be booking our flight to Rhodes. From there it's "just" grabbing a ferry to Symi.
The costly trick this time, will be to cancel flighttickets one place, rebook them another, rebook the airport parking, making sure to land on a Wednesday, where the ferries seem to go back and forth.
I don't even want to think about the expense of having to cancel our tickets, I just want this to be done with as soon as possible, so that I can once again look forward to going to Symi for the entire holiday.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby KN9700 » 21 Apr 2017, 21:01

Final timetable

Is the timetable on Dodekanisos Seaways homepage the final one for the summer 2017?

Will there be sailings with Pride between Rhodes and Symi ?- no sailings planned with Pride yet

Hopefully Andy Ward or someone else know?

We will arrive by plane to Rhodes on Saturday the 12th of August at 12.00 o´clock - midday. According to the timetable there will be no ferry to Symi at that time, so we´ll have to stay at Rhodes till the next morning.

Our flight home is on the 26th of August at 1 o´clock p.m. so according to the timetable we´ll have to go to Rhodes already on Friday the 25th of August.

So our planned 14 days on Symi will be only 12 in reality :(

If there is no hope of changes in the sailings, we might as well start planning booking hotel and tickets for the boats :?

All the best
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Andy W » 21 Apr 2017, 22:05

Is what we see now the final version of the timetable? Well, they are taking bookings for what we see now, and they have government approval for what they are advertising now. Greek ferry timetables are always being altered, but the alteration usually affects a sailing being changed for one single day for a special event, or because of a mechanical breakdown, or because of bad weather. Only the three ferry companies that operate between Rhodes and Symi can tell you if they're planning a summer-long alteration. As far as I know they aren't but I wouldn't find out until quite late in the process. You could always email Dodekanisos Seaways using the contact form on their website -they respond quite quickly. Although we've seen this year that Blue Star is willing to divert ferries to make an additional one-off call at Symi if they're guaranteed a decent number of passengers and/or vehicles, they can't help at the times you want to travel as the only ships that could be diverted on those dates are too big to get into Symi Harbour.

There hasn't been a morning sailing between Symi and Rhodes on a Saturday for several years, so even if they had kept last year's timetable you'd have been leaving Symi on a Friday night. The Saturday evening Rhodes-Symi did sail last year, but apparently lost money badly. No subsidies are available, so no ferry.

Dodekanisos Pride is in service now and sailing all summer. In August she's mainly employed on the route between Kos and Samos, and only reaches Symi or Rhodes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you search on the Dodekanisos Seaways website for all sailings on the dates you're interested in, you'll see where she is going to be, if you restrict the search to Rhodes-Symi or Symi-Rhodes, she doesn't appear because she isn't sailing between these islands on those dates, she's way up north.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby KN9700 » 22 Apr 2017, 20:56

Extra ferries

Thank you for your answer about sailings between Rhodes and Symi, Andy Ward :D .
Nice to have a person like you to help people, who love Symi and like to travel independently.

Please write on Symivistors homepage - Symi Travel News - if there are any changes in the sailings.

We´re still looking forward to our stay on Symi though it´s only going to last for 12 days.

All the best
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Katyclaire » 23 Apr 2017, 22:57

Was really looking forward to returning to Symi for a week in June, or visiting Halki for the first time with Olympic Holidays. However, having to spend two nights on Rhodes and only five nights where I really want to be has forced me to change my plans - as you say Andy, that Saturday evening sailing from Rhodes last year made a big difference (I must say the ferry was extremely busy on the Saturday evening in June when I travelled!).

It's very disappointing but hopefully things will be better next year!
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 25 Apr 2017, 19:44

Finally, we're getting closer to our short holiday in May: We've had to cancel both our bookings, one in May and one in September, due to the lack of ferries. That set us back almost €1000. :(
Tickets have been booked for May, a bit more expensive through the new travelagency, airport parking changed to the new date, cat pension date changed, room booking date changed, ferry tickets booked.
But hey, on the bright side at least we now get our 7 out of 7 days on Symi in May & we will also be getting our 14 out of 14 days in September. Needless to say, we will not be going through a similar great adventure next year in May. Way too expensive and too uncertain, no matter how much I love Symi. Lesson learned not to expect ferry timetables to remain the same as previous year.
I know it'll all be forgotten, as soon as we land on Rhodes and especially as the first of many Mythos is enjoyed, but I really could've been without this. I feel sorry for Symi, since I'm sure we're far from the only ones, who can't catch the ferry with the desired flight arrival. So yes, the owners of the ferry company may save money, but I'm pretty sure Symi will suffer from this. And Symi deserves as many visitors as possible, the island is like no other. That's also why I don't just book a holiday on Crete or Rhodes, it can never compare to Symi's rugged beauty. So in the end, worth the money, if you have enough to spare, I guess, within reason.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Gemma1 » 26 Apr 2017, 07:42

Glad you've got it sorted, though almost €1000 is an awful lot of money to lose :shock: I could have another 2 visits to Greece for that. On my last few Symi holidays I've had to spend the night on Rhodes, it's not ideal when you really want to be on Symi but it is one of the downsides of visiting an island without its own airport. There are some nice areas on Rhodes, you can still relax with a Mythos or glass of wine and look forward to being on Symi and at least you're in Greece ;) Hope you have a great trip.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 26 Apr 2017, 17:27

Yes, I know Rhodes has some nice places too and I did consider just drinking and eating there. It's just that it's such a short holiday to begin with, especially in May.
And yes, it is a downside that Symi doesn't have its own airport, but then the island would be flooded with tourists, which would also be a shame. Sigh, it's hard to get everything just right.
Thank you, I'm sure It'll be a wonderful visit to Symi as always. Looking forward to seeing the mountains again, as well as everything else on the island.
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Mille » 27 Apr 2017, 10:04

Thomasdk, and we're all looking forward to your amazing photographs :D
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Re: Any chance of an extra ferry, late on Sundays in May?

Postby Thomasdk » 03 May 2017, 08:42

Thank you very much, I'll do my best to capture Symis incredible beauty. :)
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