Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Greek ‘ferry’ tale

We’d debated up until the last minute, the best way to get to and from Crete now that our time exploring the Peloponnese has come to an end.

Should we fly? Should we island-hop? Should we take the overnight ferry?

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Finally we opted to book a cabin on the overnight ferry to Iraklian (Heraklion), Crete from Piraeus, the city that serves as Athen’s port.

[Traveler’s tip:  by booking the overnight, you save  the cost of a hotel room and if you book round-trip tickets you also get a discount. It is a long haul between the two ports  – we left at 9 pm and arrived at 6 am]

Because when I’ve told some of you that we prefer to travel by ferry in Greece and your response has been of skepticism; a wrinkled  nose at the thought of some basic, run-down boat, I thought today I’d take you on a tour of our Anek ferry:

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This is the hallway and entry to the ship’s casual dining (self-service -  buffet style) restaurant.

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Joel is walking past one of the casual coffee shop/bars on board

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Need a dress? Or a shirt? Flip flops or a hat? A leather bag? Hat? Just head to the shop on board. Much like those on a cruise ship, just a bit smaller.

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Safety? Plenty of tenders (life boats) both the kind pictured above and also the inflatable type.

We also had a swimming pool, hot tub and kiddie’s pool (all empty – but then it was an overnight trip.)

We took an escalator up two flights to reception, where a steward met us and led us to our cabin – we took an elevator up two floors to reach it.

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Towels were plush, sheets of heavy thread count (and ironed) and the beds were some of the most comfortable we’ve slept in since our journey began.

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The bathroom, like those on a cruise ship was functional – and spotless.

But then you don’t have a lot of time to spend primping in it – they announced our arrival at 6:05 and by 7 a.m. we were off the ship (along with all the other passengers – many who had chosen to sit in seats.)













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Our room with a view – looking out on Piraeus before we set sail.

Part 2 of our adventure now gets underway in Crete.  Hope you’ll come along. And this is our contribution to Travel Photo Thursday, an event hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox.

8 comments:

  1. What an amazing ferry. So bright and spick and span and clean. Not my conventional idea of a ferry at all :)

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  2. Wow Jackie, that's a lovely Greek "ferry" tale indeed! It looks more like a grand cruise ship than a regular ferry. Good tip about overnight trip. I'll that tip and this ferry in mind becuase we definitely plan to go to Crete on our next trip to Greece.

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  3. I book overnight transportation whenever I can because, like you said, one saves the cost of a night's hotel + TIME traveling this way!

    Now, I don't know if I can say have ever been to such as swanky ferry -- WOW! That's even more luxurious than some cruises of been on. Isn't that crazy?! :P

    - Maria Alexandra

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  4. Now that is certainly not how I pictured a ferry - looks more like a lovely cruise ship. I will keep this in mind if I'm traveling to the Greek Islands.

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  5. That is much, much nicer than what I was expecting. Your picture tour worked! It looks like a lovely way to pass the time.

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  6. WOW Jackie! Nothing shabby about that ferry. What a great way to travel, despite the early arrival. Enjoy Crete!

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  7. Man, that ferry is anything but a basic run-down boat. Looks like a fantastic way to get around Greece. Nice view from your room, too. I'll have to consider that when I get to Greece one of these days -- finally.

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