Travellers to Symi normally arrive by ferry (unless you’re well heeled enough to afford a yacht or a helicopter). Here is a first attempt at the summer combined ferry timetable. At this stage we don’t know if ANES will operate any kind of ferry service to Symi in 2019 or not, so for the benefit of those wanting to book accommodation I’ve based the timetable just on those published by Blue Star Ferries and Dodekanisos Seaways. The published timetables are confusing for October and I expect corrections to be made, so there’s no point in adding to the confusion yet.
Here’s the flight schedule from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos for summer 2019. It’s important to note that while the German arm of Germania has gone bankrupt, the Swiss arm (Germania Flug) has not and is still trading, so their flights for summer from Zurich are included here.
Here’s the flight schedule from French airports to Rhodes and Kos for summer 2019. Note that Mulhouse and Geneva will appear in the Switzerland section – well as multi-national airports I had to choose to put them somewhere!
This post includes the 2019 flight timetables for services from Germany to Rhodes and Kos. It is another year of big changes, mostly thanks to the demise of Germania earlier this year. Turkish company Corendon (which has an EU-registered airline based in Amsterdam in its group) and German charter airline Sundair have filled a lot of the gaps, but airports like Erfurt and Friedrichshafen no longer have flights to Rhodes this year.
We also have the first update for flights from the UK, with extra flights from Bristol and East Midlands.
We now have Dodekanisos Seaways timings available up to the end of
SeptemberOctober, along with Blue Star to the end of October, which was released earlier.
I haven’t produced my usual summary timetables yet, because ANES are only just beginning to wake from their hibernation and start revealing summer timetables. They haven’t got round to Symi yet, that’s if they intend to. It is certainly the case that they’ve applied for permission to use Sebeco in the Piraeus-Aegina area between November 2019 and October 2020. What they intend to do with her this summer remains to be seen, she’s moored up in Rhodes at the moment.
ymi II will operate as a day excursion boat for Sea Dreams again this summer, (no one-way tickets sold, no baggage carried), and Symi is expected to be in the Sporades again along with Proteus. The Proteus timetable is out, as yet Symi’s times are unknown.
Change of plan already – Symi II is back to the Sporades, and the timetable is published. Symi will return to her plodding up and down between Rhodes, Symi, and Panormitis instead, from 15 May onwards – for Sea Dreams, of course, and with no one-way or period return tickets available.
Yesterday was the last day of operation for the airline Germania, which for many years has been providing summer flights between German regional airports and holiday destinations such as Rhodes and Kos. This was foreseen and late last year I gave the uncertainty over Germania as my reason for delaying the publication of the flight tables for summer 2019 between Germany and Rhodes.
If anyone has booked despite this, I’m afraid there is no compensation, and only a place in the very long queue of creditors, unless it was as part of a package holiday, in which case the holiday company is responsible for arranging alternative flights.
Note that Germania Flug, the Swiss arm of Germania, is still flying as a separate company.
It really isn’t a good time for airlines – even Ryanair has reported a small trading loss, while Iceland’s WOW Air has made massive cutbacks to its operations, Turkmenistan Airlines has been banned from operating into the EU on safety grounds, and Norwegian is cutting back on its short-haul flights to reduce the number of planes used. The surplus planes this produces will then be sold to reduce debt.
Part two in the “getting to Symi” series for this year has the flights to Rhodes and Kos from Belgium and Luxembourg. Some of the times will probably get tweaked slightly nearer the time the flights start as a few of the turnrounds at Rhodes look unrealistically short.
We already have Blue Star’s timetable for the whole year up to the end of October. Yesterday Dodekanisos Seaways released their first batch of ferry timetables for the period after 31 March. These cover days up to 21 April 2019.
As usual services build up slowly. In the first week things remain much as in the winter, except that the Wednesday Rhodes-Agathonisi (via Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros and Lipsi) and return reappears. In the second and third weeks both catamarans are in service, and Symi gets daily 08:30 ferries as part of the traditional Patmos or Agathonisi journeys (with afternoon return sailings). At weekends there are also Rhodes-Panormitis-Symi-Rhodes sailings.
Now we wait for the build up to Greek Easter in the week starting 22 April, followed by the May timetables and onwards.
Blue Star Ferries have announced their timetables round to the end of October 2019.
Between now and the end of January the existing 3-boats a week service operated by Blue Star Patmos will continue.
From the beginning of February to mid March, the service drops back to the traditional Wednesday and Friday sailings provided by Blue Star Patmos, then from 17 March to mid-June the third sailing reappears – Sunday night from Piraeus, Monday morning at Symi (0825) and on to Rhodes. In the opposite direction this service leaves Rhodes at 16:00 Mondays. It can be operated by either Blue Star 1 or Blue Star 2, and between Piraeus and Symi it calls at Santorini and Kos. After 10 June the southbound timetable alters to leave Piraeus (and thus Symi) later, and the Symi call is at 10:25. Finally from 9 September the 08:25 timing returns, up to the end of October.
There’s less change on Wednesdays and Fridays: these sailings remain unaltered up to early May, then the Nissos Chios returns for the summer, with a time change so southbound boats pass through Symi on Wednesdays at 04:55 and on Fridays at 06:15. Northbound the Wednesday timing doesn’t change, but the Friday one comes forward to 16:00 from Rhodes, so 17:25 leaving Symi. Blue Star Patmos returns on 10 September, when the southbound Friday boat changes to 07:15 and the northbound one goes back to 19:00, with one final tweak on 1 October with Friday southbound being 07:30.
Confused? Check their website, or wait for my ferry summaries, though I can’t do these until Dodekanisos Seaways and ANES have published their timings.
Now on the flights front, Germania is in serious financial trouble and their board says they will have to close without a major investment from outside. This is what is keeping me from issuing the flight schedules from Germany, so I’ll push the other European countries forward in their place.