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Month: March 2021

Where are the summer ferries?

Where are the summer ferries?

What with COVID-19 and the usual government-induced confusion, we still don’t have any idea what services will operate through Symi in summer 2021. Blue Star have published their timetables and for most of the summer the usual Monday, Wednesday and Friday calls are maintained, using either Blue Star Patmos or Blue Star Chios. But during May the Monday sailings are missing, for no clear reason, maybe due to various ships in the fleet being due their visits to the drydock for annual inspection and overhaul.

The government has put a new route out to tender – Symi-Rhodes, 7 days a week, May to the end of September, with the boat overnighting in Symi (so there will be a morning sailing from Symi, and an evening sailing from Rhodes). Now this is very similar to the timetable Sebeco ran in 2019. Whether Sebeco or some other ANES vessel will be put forward for this tender remains to be seen. But in a typical retaliatory move, Dodekanisos Seaways have loaded a timetable for the period up to the end of September which has removed all of their catamarans from Symi between June and September, though Panagia Skiadeni will reappear doing Rhodes-Symi-Panormitis-Symi-Rhodes every day. Note that this timetable is not bookable, so they’ve plenty of time to alter it if they get concessions from somewhere, without having to make refunds.

Then there’s the Stavros. This should continue, maybe with tweaks to the timetable, as it is on a 3 year contract, and this is only year 2.

So, assuming the COVID level in Rhodes is brought back under control, and a combination of vaccinations or tests allow tourists to visit Symi safely, it should be possible to get there on some sort of ferry, but do not make plans that cannot be altered just yet.

Once we have the results of the tender, and Dodekanisos Seaways actually open their summer service for booking, I will produce the usual summary timetable.