How to travel by ferry from Athens to Crete (schedules, travel tips, ferry companies)

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There’s no denying it, traveling by ferry from Athens to Crete (Chania or Heraklio) is an experience every sea lover would like to have!

Cheaper and more convenient than taking a flight, traveling by ferry will offer you not only a smooth trip but also a wide selection of facilities and activities on board. Modern ferries provide a series of services that will cater to your every need and make your ferry trip delightful!

So, if you want to learn everything about traveling from Athens to Crete by ferry, stick with us!

Why visit Crete?

balos beach crete

Crete is the biggest island in Greece, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it offers plenty of choices when it comes to landscapes, activities, and experiences. From stunning beaches to breathtaking natural sceneries and wildly famous gastronomy to world-class resorts, this island has it all! The mountains are rocky and feel otherworldly, the beaches are endless and exotic, inland is full of ancient ruins and palaces… What’s not to love about Crete?

Traveling by ferry from Athens to Crete: the options

ferry from athens to crete

Ferries to Chania and ferries to Heraklio both depart from Piraeus port in Athens. All ferries that sail from Athens to Crete offer the option of booking a bed cabin, which we highly recommend, as the ferry trip lasts for several hours.

There are daily ferries from Athens to Crete all year round, but there are more frequent itineraries during the high season. The ferry trip from Athens to Crete lasts for 7 to 12 hours, depending on the ferry and a ferry ticket from Athens to Crete costs about 30 for a standard seat and 160 euros for a bed cabin.

The ferry companies that connect Athens with Crete are Minoan Lines and Anek Lines.

Ferry from Piraeus to Chania

chania port

There are at least 2 ferries from Athens to Chania every day all year round. Ferries from Piraeus to Chania depart at night (around 20.30-21.00) and arrive at Chania in 9-12 hours, depending on the ferry company (Minoan Lines or Anek Lines). In the peak season, there are also ferries from Piraeus to Chania in the morning and in the afternoon.

Ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion

knossos palace

There are daily ferries from Athens to Heraklion all year round. There are at least 2 ferries that depart from Piraeus every night (at 21.00) and arrive at Heraklion in about 9 hours. In the peak season, there are also morning ferries from Piraeus. The ferry companies that sail to Heraklion are Minoan Lines and Anek Lines, while ferry ticket prices start from 30 euros.

Why should you book a ferry cabin?

ferry to crete

As mentioned above, there’s the option of booking a bed cabin on the ferries that travel from Athens to Crete. Getting a ferry cabin is a great option for many reasons. The main one is the duration of the trip, which is 6-12 hours. Given that ferries to Crete depart from Piraeus at night, you’re going to spend the night on board, so it’s more convenient to spend it in your own bed, right? What’s more, booking a cabin is the best thing to do if you’re traveling with your family (especially if you have little children).

What is the best way to book your ferry tickets from Athens to Crete?

koules fortress

The best way to book your ferry tickets from Athens to Crete is to pre-book them online. Especially in the middle of the peak season (June to August), There’s a high chance that Greek ferries are overbooked, so prebooking is the best way to avoid last-minute inconveniences.

Besides, booking your ferry tickets online is faster and more convenient than searching for a travel agency. It will also save you a lot of time, as you can have your ferry tickets delivered on your doorstep, without having to wait in long queues.

How can you get from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Port?

piraeus port

If you’re planning to take the ferry to Crete after arriving in Greece by plane, then you should get to Piraeus port directly from the airport. Let’s see the best ways to Piraeus port from Athens airport.

By taxi

Taking the taxi is one of the fastest ways to get from the airport to the port, but it is way more pricey than the public means of transportation. More specifically, a taxi ride from Athens International Airport to Piraeus costs 50-60 euros and lasts for about an hour. To avoid being overcharged or not reaching your destination on time, we suggest that you pre-book your transfer to the port online. Doing so, a professional driver will pick you up from the airport and get you to the port fast, without hidden costs or delays.

By bus

Taking the bus is the cheapest way to get from the airport to the port. The bus line that connects the airport with Piraeus is the X96 bus line and operates regularly 24/7 all year round, including holidays. It will get you to Piraeus in 90 minutes and the bus ticket costs as little as 6 euros.

How can you get to Piraeus port from Athens city center?

piraeus port athens to santorini

If you’re planning to stay in Athens for a while before setting off on your ferry trip to Crete, then your best bet is to take the metro to Piraeus. The metro line that connects Athens city center with Piraeus port is Metro Line 1. This metro line will get you from Monastiraki square to Piraeus port in about 20 minutes. It’s also the cheapest way to get to Piraeus, as the metro ticket costs just 1.40 euros.

So, taking the ferry from Athens to Crete is not hard. With a little help from us, you can book your ferry tickets to Chania and your ferry tickets to Heraklio without breaking a sweat!

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