Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

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Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 28 Apr 2017, 08:30

Hi all

As mentioned in my first post on this site recently, I will be staying on Symi for the first time in October 2017, solo. Sadly, due to other travel and work commitments, I will only be staying two nights. Have received my proposed itinerary and it reflects:

Sunday 8/10/17 - Rhodes Standard Ferry from Rhodes to Symi - Aircraft Seat, starting Rhodes Port Finish Symi Port
Tuesday 10/10/17 - same as above only in reverse... which adds up... ;)

Elsewhere on the itinerary it refers to the ferry being "the excursion ferry which first stops at the Monastery of Panormitis for an hour and then continues to the main town of Symi."

I have checked the Late Season Ferries thread but can't see "Standard Ferry" nor "Excursion Ferry" listed. "Rhodes Port" doesn't tell me if it's Kolonna or Akandia.

Any clues?

I know I can clear this up with my agent but like to do my own research to save time when I can.

Apologies if this information is listed elsewhere in here - still finding my way around :)

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Andy W » 28 Apr 2017, 09:27

It's your agent, who seems not to know the subject well.

I expect that "Standard Ferry" is agent-speak for vehicle and passenger ferry. That means you would be travelling on the Panagia Skiadeni at 10:00 from Akandia. It does indeed go via Panormitis Monastery, and is heavily used by people taking a day excursion from Rhodes to Symi. Confusingly unless something radical has happened since the end of October when I last sailed on her, she has plenty of seats, but they aren't in any way airline style.

I'd insist (you're the customer after all) on knowing the name of the ferry. It is normal in Greece to book ferries by name, in fact it is a legal requirement for tickets to state the name of the ship used.

Personally I'd ask if you can use the Dodekanisos Express instead unless you have a strong need to go via Panormitis. She leaves from Kolonna, on the 8th departing at 08:30 and getting to Symi at 09:25, and on the 10th leaving Symi at 17:25 and arriving Rhodes at 18:30. Kolonna is far more convenient for most passengers, being in walking distance of most of the hotels in Rhodes Town. Oh, and there really are airline style seats on the Express.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 28 Apr 2017, 10:19

Ok Andy will take your advice. Had done a little research and not keen on being on a ferry loaded with tourists (says the tourist :D )
Thanks for your help
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 07 May 2017, 04:00

Hi again all

Have just received the following booking advice for my Rhodes - Symi - Rhodes ferry:

08 Oct 17
Ferry Ferry Company: GREECE AND MEDITERRANEAN TRAVEL CENTRE
Disembark Date: Sun 08 Oct 17
Sunday
SYMI
Embark Date: Sun 08 Oct 17 at 10:00 RHODES, GREECE
Type: STANDARD FERRY FROM RHODES TO SYMI
Booking Reference: 39705
Status: Confirmed
Aircraft seat confirmed

10 Oct 17
Ferry Ferry Company: GREECE AND MEDITERRANEAN TRAVEL CENTRE
Disembark Date: Tue 10 Oct 17
Tuesday
RHODES, GREECE
Embark Date: Tue 10 Oct 17 at 14:30 SYMI
Type: STANDARD FERRY FROM SYMI TO RHODES
Booking Reference: 39705
Status: Confirmed
Payment Method: Prepaid (CCCF's

I can't see those departure times on the ferry timetable listed in here...
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Andy W » 07 May 2017, 05:19

That's the Symi ferry, operated by Sea Dreams. Why it says "Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre" on your itinerary is a mystery, maybe they're a travel agent. These sailings are definitely in the timetables I've posted here. You'll need to exchange your booking confirmations/vouchers for real tickets at the Sea Dreams hut on Akandia Quay before boarding. It opens about 90 minutes before departure time,and is right by the much better signposted Blue Star ticket office. There's an equivalent hut on the quayside in Symi, which seems to have been repainted this summer.
But as the oldest and slowest ferry on the route, not one I'd have booked, given that there are alternatives available at around the same time on the same dates.
I'd also say, for the benefit of anyone else who reads this, there is no need whatever to book ferries 6 months in advance, unless you want to do your bit in providing interest-free loans to ferry companies. Now if you want the Dodekanisos Pride or Dodekanisos Express, book about a week in advance as these can fill up. Everything else can be safely left to the day before or the day of travel.

However, all is booked. Have a pleasant journey and a wonderful time on Symi island.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 07 May 2017, 05:31

Thanks Andy
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Allan » 09 May 2017, 09:50

I'd also say, for the benefit of anyone else who reads this, there is no need whatever to book ferries 6 months in advance, unless you want to do your bit in providing interest-free loans to ferry companies. Now if you want the Dodekanisos Pride or Dodekanisos Express, book about a week in advance as these can fill up. Everything else can be safely left to the day before or the day of travel.


I hesitate to correct our travel expert but booking ferry tickets with Dodekanisos Seaways in advance can occasionally have its benefits. They are currently giving a 30% discount on the return leg of pre-booked return tickets and since travel on the high-speed ferries (the Pride and Express) isn't cheap at 19 Euros, a saving of 5.7 Euros is worth having. It can go into the Mythos fund. ;)

Sure, there is absolutely no need to book six months in advance and the ferries are rarely full but you could be missing out by buying tickets at the last minute.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 09 May 2017, 10:50

Thanks Allan.

That's helpful information - any savings are appreciated :)
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Fullenglish » 09 May 2017, 15:34

Sue,
Our return ferry is also costing 19 Euros each. I think it depends on the time of the day.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Allan » 09 May 2017, 16:11

Just to clarify, Sue. I was referring to ferries run by Dodekanisos Seaways: The two high-speed catamarans Dodekanisos Express and Dodekanisos Pride and the small car ferry Panagia Skiadeni.
As Andy mentioned, you have booked the Symi ferry (confusing name!) which is operated by a different company so my post about discounts doesn't apply to your booking, sadly.

Phil: 19 Euros is the current one-way price on the Pride and Express regardless of time of day.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Andy W » 09 May 2017, 16:49

Don't forget the Dodekanisos Seaways BonusWays scheme,where you can apply online for their loyalty card.This entitles you to 10% off the normal fares in either or both directions, all year round, irrespective of where you're travelling on their ferries. I've been using it for years.
In self defence I should say that the 30% off on the return half of a return journey offer is shown on one part of Dodekanisos Seaways website as only being valid up to 2 April 2017. In practice they have clearly extended the offer as it still shows up on new bookings. As my journeys to and from Symi usually involve Blue Star in at least one direction,and their standard fare between Rhodes and Symi is just 8 euros, I make even more of a saving than using the Dodekanisos Seaways special offer!

Incidentally you can't combine the BonusWays and 30% offers - at least according to the published rules. Interesting to see if it is possible in practice.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Allan » 09 May 2017, 16:52

Incidentally you can't combine the BonusWays and 30% offers - at least according to the published rules. Interesting to see if it is possible in practice.

No, you can't Andy. I got 10% off the outbound fares using the bonusways card and 30% off the return leg. Shame, but I didn't complain ;)
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby STEVE » 09 May 2017, 19:44

A subtle change for 2017 though. Last year your return trip didn't have to be to the place you started from to get the return leg discount. We went Kos - Nisyros/Nisyros - Kalymnos as one return journey and got the discount on the 'return' leg to Kalymnos then Kalymnos - Lipsi/Lipsi - Kos and, again, got the discount on the second leg. This year return means return and to get the discount you have to return to where you went from - or so it seems at the moment. Shame as were going Rhodes - Lipsi - Nisyros - Symi - Rhodes in June.

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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Allan » 09 May 2017, 20:15

Oh, that's a blow Steve, I didn't know about that rule. As Andy mentioned the rules are rather buried on the website and they seem to be confused about the offer and its duration.

Have you tried a test booking to check? To be honest I wasn't sure whether the offer was valid or not until I tried an online booking. The discount wasn't mentioned but the ticket prices were automatically changed to reflect the 30% reduction on the return leg. It may be worth trying it with your itinerary in case the online booking system doesn't know about the rule change. ;)
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby STEVE » 10 May 2017, 10:28

Allan wrote:
Have you tried a test booking to check? To be honest I wasn't sure whether the offer was valid or not until I tried an online booking. The discount wasn't mentioned but the ticket prices were automatically changed to reflect the 30% reduction on the return leg. It may be worth trying it with your itinerary in case the online booking system doesn't know about the rule change. ;)


A test booking was how I found out Allan. Going through our itinerary to get an idea of overall cost, opting for a return journey and inputting Rhodes - Lipsi as the outward leg, the only option that appears in the drop down for the return leg destination is Rhodes. Last year, that drop down gave all the possible destination options. It's not the end of the world. For the first time we're taking friends with us in 2017 so want it all to be 'right'. The overall cost of our ferry itinerary is about €150/person. If we were able to get the return leg discounts as last year that reduces to about €135/person. Yes, of course, there are some cheaper ferry options but reliability and, importantly, convenience, are more important to us. We've used Dodecanese Seaways almost exclusively for a long, long time and have been to pretty much everywhere they sail to, often on multiple occasions. We know how they work, we trust them and unless there's a mechanical problem or sea conditions prevent it, they turn up when they say they will. A thoroughly excellent company in our view and we're happy to support them.

The only slight issue I have is that they won't let me have a Bonusways Card because I don't have a Greek address for them to send it to. I've tried a couple of times in the past and they send a very nicely worded email in return saying no! Maybe I should try again before we make our bookings in a few weeks time and plead the regular traveller line?

Finally, is it just me or do others prefer the Express to the Pride. Can't explain why, it's just that I do!!

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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 10 May 2017, 10:40

Hi

Yes, Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre is the organisation my Travel Agent is liaising with. The ferry is run by Dodekanissos Seaways.

I'll put my hand up to being more than a little confused now :oops:

I guess I'll find out on the day!
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Andy W » 10 May 2017, 12:17

Sue- the outbound ferry may be either Dodekanisos Seaways "Panagia Skiadeni" or Sea Dreams "Symi" both of which leave from Akandia Quay at 10:00 on a Sunday morning.
The return ferry can only be Sea Dreams "Symi" since no other ferry leaves Symi at 14:30 on any day of the week.
Official published fares are €14.50 one-way on Panagia Skiadeni, €12 one way on Symi. Returns are twice the single fare, but Sea Dreams may give a 10% discount or even more and Dodekanisos Seaways discounts are discussed in previous posts.
I'd strongly recommend you insist on knowing the actual name of the ferry you will use in each direction, they don't moor side by side and you'll give yourself unnecessary worry finding the right one. It is a legal requirement to supply ferry names in Greece
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby Sue » 11 May 2017, 01:38

Thanks Andy - am sure the name will be on my travel documents when my whole trip is organised. Still five months away.
Appreciate all the advice.
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Re: Ferry Types - Travelling Early October 2017

Postby STEVE » 11 May 2017, 14:06

STEVE wrote: The only slight issue I have is that they won't let me have a Bonusways Card because I don't have a Greek address for them to send it to. I've tried a couple of times in the past and they send a very nicely worded email in return saying no! Maybe I should try again before we make our bookings in a few weeks time and plead the regular traveller line?


Well, there you are. Just proved myself wrong. Tried again yesterday afternoon and this morning I've received my Bonusways Card by email. So, 10% off all our journeys this year will probably work out better than last years 30% return leg discount.

Maybe they read my praise for Dodecanese Seaways on here and thought I deserved a card :) If so, thank you George Spanos :D

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