Another ferry update

Another ferry update

There are two changes to note about Symi’s ferry services (already).

Firstly, the Sebecco has now shifted departure point in Rhodes to Kolonna. It was always the intention to do this, and the website claimed all along that this was where she left from. However up to early June she was using the Tourist Port, until a ticket hut could be put in place at Kolonna and connected up to power, data and phone services. Indeed I used her in May and left from the Tourist Port, but now Kolonna is the place to go. One odd point – on Tuesday afternoons in June one the sailings (but not the morning ones) reverted to the Tourist Port. This was probably due to congestion in the port generally.

The other change is that the Stavros has returned to service after her annual dry-docking and inspection, using a changed timetable. Now she sails Rhodes-Symi-Tilos-Nissyros-Kos on Mondays and Wednesdays, continuing to Kalymnos on Mondays and Astypalea on Wednesdays. In the reverse direction she operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  While I’m sure she will continue to operate twice a week in each direction through September and October, the current timetable only goes up to 12 September and it would be unwise to assume that days of the week and times might not change again after that.

So here are the timetables so far:

June 2022

July and August 2022 Updated 5 July

September 2022 Updated 5 July

16 thoughts on “Another ferry update

    1. Yes, almost immediately after arriving at Rhodes. She then returns to Rhodes the same evening.

  1. Thanks, very helpful.

    How do you recommend getting from Symi to Halki and return, ideally on same day? Is it possible to hire a private boat?


    1. It isn’t possible to get from Symi to Halki and back again the same day using scheduled ferries. You’d need to spend at least one night (possibly two) on Rhodes or Halki. It might be possible to be more help if I knew the date you wanted to make the journey – the answer will vary by day of the week and by month.
      You might be able to hire a boat on Symi. Enquire at Taxiarchis Hotel in Chorio or at FJ Gold in Yialos. It’s a long journey and expect it to be seriously expensive on account of the amount of fuel used. If you could find several others who want to go at the same time this would spread the cost.

  2. Hi Andy I arrive in Rhodes at 1pm on Wed 13th July and looking to book ferry to Symi. I found Sea Dream at 5 .15 but not sure where it departs from. Would I be better to book the 5.30 Sebeco from Kolona
    Thank you
    Regards Su Mclaughlin

    1. Hi Su. Sea Dreams are advertising one way tickets to/from Symi for the first time this year, though they’ve run day excursion boats for years. They use the Tourist Port as their Rhodes departure point. I believe this year’s ship is the King Saron, which is marginally faster than the Sebeco. However the Sebeco departure point is nearer to the airport (also marginally).
      Personally I’d use the Sebeco, purely as she’s a known quantity.

      Edited to add – Sebeco is also 5 euros cheaper.

  3. Hey Andy.
    Our plane is arriving airport 18,9 at 1230 o’clock.We hope to reach Sebeco leaving at 1350 o’clock.Hope this is possible, and as I can see,it´s leaving from Kolona.Am I right.


    1. It is possible, but not all that likely. For it to work you need all of the following:
      Your plane arrives right on time, or early, and the ground staff arrive quickly with stairs and the buses to transfer you from plane to terminal and you are among the first off the plane.
      Then, you are able to collect your baggage within 20 minutes or so.
      You will need a taxi, this shouldn’t be a problem, there are usually plenty available.
      The taxi makes the journey in 30 minutes or less – this may be a problem because this year there are major road construction works along the way at Kremasti which forces traffic to take a diversion.
      You’ve already got your tickets so don’t have to wait to buy them or change on-line confirmations for the actual tickets (Sebeco doesn’t use e-tickets or self-printed tickets)
      So, yes it is possible, if everything goes in your favour. Make sure you have a second plan in place, because plane delays are common all over Europe this summer, or stop in Rhodes Town for a meal and catch a later boat.
      Oh, and yes, your ferry departure will be from Kolonna. But if you tell the taxi driver which ferry you want, they will always take you to the right place.

  4. Afternoon Andy. Any idea when the ferry timetable from 2nd Oct from Rhodes to Symi and return will be published?


    1. Four of the five companies operating licensed ferries on the Rhodes-Symi and vice versa route have now published their timetables for October 2022. That is Blue Star Ferries, Dodekanisos Ferries, Sea Dreams and SAOS Ferries. Yes, for the first time Sea Dreams have a ferry licence for their ship King Saron. The company that only has timetables up to 2 October is Sebeco Lines. This is because the early morning departures from Symi and the late afternoon departures from Rhodes are operated on a government contract and the contract period is only ever up to the first weekend in October each year. So if you are hoping to travel on Sebeco early morning or late afternoon after 2 October, it isn’t going to happen. They may decide to run sailings on the basis of mornings from Rhodes to Symi and afternoons back for part of October, when the Sebeco was under different ownership last year that was what they did. But other companies offer sailings around these times, so maybe they are still waiting so see how busy the season will be before deciding.

  5. Hi Andy
    Thanks for all your efforts with this blog.
    Although I am a regular to Symi, I find the information very helpful.
    This year I am travelling down arriving in Rhodes, hopefully, at 15:30 approx on a Wdnesday.
    From the latest info it appears that I have 2 choices – Sebeco at 17:30pm or Blue Star at 18:15pm. Both are do-able, with a following wind, but what is immigration like with the new regulations as I am now a non-EU resident? (I hold a UK passport).
    I appreciate that they can change day-to-day, but wonder what the average wait time is.
    Many thanks.

    1. All I can say about Rhodes Airport is that when I arrived there in May I was through immigration and out in baggage reclaim in ten minutes. It didn’t take any longer than the previous system of scanning UK passports rather than stamping them. Baggage delivery was as quick as I’ve ever seen it, too.
      There is no meaningful average wait time, of course, if all flights are exactly on time then your experience will be the same as mine, if you arrive behind a series of delayed flights there won’t have been time for all the passengers from one flight to have cleared before people from yours start joining the queue. And the non-Schengen passport check includes other countries than the UK – there are lots of flights from Israel, for example.
      Customs work on the same intelligence-led basis as the UK, so hardly anyone off UK flights gets stopped.
      Will you make the ferry? The main issue isn’t Rhodes Airport, it is planes departing the UK late, which is absolutely rife this year.
      Good luck!

  6. Andy
    Thanks for your comments.
    I have been monitoring the flights from Ryanair to Rhodes over the fast few weeks, and most have departed within 30 minutes of publish time, with a few exceptions. Just hope I am not one of the exceptions!!
    Keep up the goodwork.

  7. Good afternoon, This question might be similar to how long is a piece of string. In your experience, is the Sebeco always to be avoided for people who suffer from seasickness ?
    I have a ticket booked for the morning of 5th October and would like your views on this. I could just go on the Blue Star at teatime. Thanks

    1. I’ve never seen anyone seasick when I’ve travelled on the Sebeco. What I have seen is people soaking wet because they chose to travel on the upper deck on a day when the sea was rough, probably because they were used to travelling on the top decks of much larger ferries where this deck is 20 metres or more higher above the sea. This is what most of the complaints are about. Basically it all depends on the wind strength and direction, which varies day by day. For instance yesterday two Sebeco sailings were cancelled due to excessive wind force, but today service has been resumed.
      Good luck.

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