It looks like this summer will have one of the very best ferry services ever, used by the lowest number of tourists.
After the extra high season Tuesday service, an additional “Big Boat” has been added on Saturdays in July and August (actually up to 4 September). This is Hellenic Seaways fast ferry “Hellenic Highspeed”. Hellenic Seaways is a sister company of Blue Star and the two effectively operate as one business. This isn’t like the smaller Dodekanisos Seaways high speed ships, she is a very large long range ferry. One word of warning, the very economical €8 fare between Rhodes and Symi or vice versa on the Blue Star/Hellenic Seaways conventional ferries doesn’t apply on this ship, you’ll pay €21 each way.
On the other hand, the starting date for sailings by Panagia Skiadeni has been put back to 16 July. I’ve updated the high season timetable accordingly, we’re still waiting for ANES ferries and SAOS ferries to declare their October timetables for late season vistors, and I’m still creating the timetable for early July.
Here is the updated combined timetable for high season.
Blue Star have announced that there will be a fourth sailing per week through Symi, on a Tuesday. This will be a call by Blue Star 2, coming from Piraeus to Rhodes and calling at Symi at 08:35. It returns on the same day from Rhodes at 17:00, calling at Symi at 18:00 and continuing to Kos, Leros, Patmos, Syros, and Piraeus. The service is currently bookable up to the end of August.
This of course means that I need to re-do the summary ferry timetable. The June one is also in confusion due to a combination of strikes by ferry crews and Blue Star’s annual switch round of ships caused by the drydocking of ferries for annual inspection and maintenance. October’s on the other hand isn’t ready because we don’t know what if anything Sebecco will do after 3 October, and because SAOS Ferries published timetable stops then. Sebecco’s government contract ends on 3 October, and that covers the early morning and evening sailings. The morning departures from Rhodes and afternoon departures back are at the company’s commercial risk and how long they continue for depends on demand.
SAOS Ferries have decided to offer free travel for foot passengers up to the end of June, and from 15 September onwards. Vehicles will still be charged for. You’d still need to get tickets, of course.