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Month: May 2019

Return of the Nissos Chios

Return of the Nissos Chios

Travellers with Blue Star tickets for much of May have been puzzled because although their tickets stated their ship was Nissos Chios (for the Wednesday and Friday sailings) what actually turned up was Blue Star Patmos. This wasn’t a problem, since the Patmos is if anything a slightly better ship, though there’s not much in it.
Finally there has been a belated shuffle round of ferries this weekend and Nissos Chios has actually reached the Dodecanese for the first time this year, so can be expected to visit Symi every Wednesday and Friday up to very early September. The Blue Star Patmos should then take over again until next spring.

Nissos Chios. Photo from Hellenic Seaways

If you’re still confused, the Nissos Chios has large “Hellenic Seaways” lettering on the side, along with a slightly smaller set “Operated by Blue Star Ferries”. Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways are sister companies and frequently exchange ships to get the best fit of capacity and speed on routes for particular seasons. The Diagoras, which spent many years operating in Blue Star colours in the Dodecanese, now carries “Operated by Hellenic Seaways” labels and runs Hellenic Seaways timings in the North Aegean.

Sebeco summer

Sebeco summer

Today many more sailings have appeared in the ANES online booking system for the Sebeco. They take things all the way to late October!The online timetable doesn’t show these yet.

There are several additional sailings from Rhodes to Symi at 19:30 on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, and from Symi to Rhodes at 08:00 on Sunday and Monday and Wednesday, and those Saturday and Sunday sailings, will be very encouraging for Scandanavian tourists, most of whose flights to Rhodes are on those days. The 10:00 and 13:00 sailings from Rhodes and the 11:45 and 17:45 from Symi continue from the current May timetable
Combined timetable for May
Combined timetable for June to September

Interestingly,there was an application to the Coastal Shipping Council last week for permission to run a ship Sebeco II between Piraeus and Aegina starting 15 June. It did not receive full approval. Due to the cloud of secrecy around ANES, it isn’t clear at all if this was meant to be a second ship of the same design.

In other news from Symi, the tourist road train is now running – with just one carriage at the moment. The Loukas- Irini -Michaelis – Constantinos taxiboat fleet has started service, though of the beaches they go to, only Ag Nikolaos has facilities open yet, though I’m informed Nanou should open today or tomorrow.

One day on, and another update

One day on, and another update

No sooner do I say what the bus is doing, than Lakis reinstates the 22:00 timing from Yialos/22:30 from Pedi for the season, effective today. There will be even later departures as the island gets busier.

The Symi Bus, May 2019

We may see taxi-boats in service tomorrow – the Loukas – Irini etc group of boats have now chalked up their departure times for early season, and at least St Nicholas beach is ready to receive visitors.

Petalo beach, which doesn’t need boat service, now has its giant sunshade up, and seating is being set out.

A May update from sunny Symi

A May update from sunny Symi

Well, here I am happily on Symi once again. What’s going on here?

On the transport front, despite what their website says, Blue Star Ferries are still using Blue Star Patmos on their Wednesday and Friday calls at Symi. For the past week, SeaDreams have been using King Saron on their day excursions from Rhodes instead of the advertised Symi II. Yesterday the tiny Zeus D appeared on a day excursion trip from Rhodes for the first time this year.

Blue Star Ferries “Blue Star Patmos” arriving on Wednesday 15 May

Transport on and around the island itself is still in very early season mode. No taxi boats (waterbuses) are operating yet, though half the boats are now back in the water and moored in Yialos alongside the freshly repainted ticket counters. The Poseidon has been out and about on her “round the island” trips several times a week. The Symi Bus is running to early season timetable¬† – no 15:00 from Yialos or 15:30 from Pedi yet, and the last bus is still 21:00 from Yialos/ 21:30 from Pedi. The Panormitis bus is running as usual.

Tourist infrastructure in Chorio and Yialos is nearly up to summer levels – most tavernas and cafes are now open (and of course some are open all year round anyway). Beaches are still being worked on after the extremely wet winter and only Nos and the Katsaras section of Pedi are serviced yet.

Here are some more ferry changes for May

Here are some more ferry changes for May

ANES are still drip-feeding their timetables. It isn’t clear whether they don’t know what they want to do, or whether they are having trouble getting the authorities to approve it. Certainly the latest timetable is of little help to tourists wanting to stay on Symi, or Symi residents wanting a shopping/medical/business day in Rhodes.

Blue Star have also made some minor time changes.

May 2019 timetable