Blue Star Ferries: Why We Use the Affordable Slow Ferry in Greece

Blue Star Ferry

Blue Star Ferries is known far and wide for being the most popular ferry company in Greece! The massive blue boats have routes all around the Cyclades and other island chains, connecting some of the country’s most iconic islands. We’ve traveled on dozens of Blue Star Ferries over different visits to Greece and always had great experiences. Join us as we share some tips and information to help with your next trip!  

Why Use Blue Star Ferries in Greece? 

For us, what it almost always comes down to is the price. Living and working remotely (on this website!), we always try to keep a flexible schedule when traveling through Greece. This allows us to book our trips based on the cheapest tickets and that’s often with Blue Star Ferries.

However, with the low cost of the Blue Star Ferry tickets, there are some things to know. Blue Star also doubles as a shipping ferry which means it’s usually the slowest boat option around. Not only does it carry passengers through the Greek islands, but motorbikes, cars, and massive trucks as well.

Not to worry though, the Blue Star Ferries in Greece are huge and can accommodate thousands of passengers per day! With that said, there are certainly some major pros and cons of traveling on this ferry line.

Blue Star Ferry Greece

Slow Ferry Greece

Pros of Blue Star Ferry in Greece

Cost: As we mentioned above, the main reason to use Blue Star Ferries is the price. Tickets are often half or even a quarter of the cost of fast ferries in Greece. We’ve paid as little as $5 USD for boat trips between islands!

Dependable: While there ARE other companies that run slow ferries in Greece, none are known as being as trustworthy as Blue Star. They’re rarely not on time and we’ve never had a ferry canceled with them.

Routes: With Blue Star also acting as shipping ferries they visit many of the lesser traveled islands, like Astypalea, Halki, and Symi, dropping off goods and picking up passengers. Due to this, they have a wide network of routes to choose from.

Switching Island Chains: There are some boat companies that only run within a certain Greek Island chain. Yet, with the large coverage of islands, you can easily go between the Cyclades, Decodenese Islands, and beyond! 

Overnight Cabins: If you are taking a longer ferry or one that’s traveling overnight you have an option to purchase sleeping cabins. This can be a great option for something more comfortable, especially if you’d prefer a bed.

Outdoor Space: Our favorite thing about Blue Star Ferries is that there is a ton of outdoor space. On fast ferries, there is almost no room outside and the ferry is blasting so quickly that it’s not even enjoyable to sit in the open air. It’s really an amazing experience watching the Greek islands pass you by on the deck! 

Blue Star Ferries

Tips Blue Star Ferry

Cons of Blue Star Ferries in Greece

They Are Slower: Lets state the obvious here! If you’re on a time crunch and hitting multiple islands on your itinerary, the slow ferry may not be for you. We frequent the routes that take 5+ hours and make lots of stops in between. When booking a direct fast ferry they will typically be half the time or less.

Time of Ferries: While the price may be on point, know that the cheapest tickets may not always work out with your schedule. For example, some of the most affordable ferries run late at night which can leave you getting in at less than desirable times. To avoid this we have stayed an extra day where we were or even skipped islands altogether because it didn’t make sense. 

Packed in the Summer: While all the boats will be busy in the summer you may not necessarily want to spend extra time on the boat when it’s full. We are talking hundreds of passengers filling every seat here after all! Personally, we travel to Greece during off season so haven’t experienced this firsthand. Still, it’s just something to be aware of. 

Blue Star Ferries Review

Blue Star Ferry Tickets 

When booking a Blue Star Ferry we recommend going to FerriesinGreece to start your planning. You can search for the route you are interested in as well as compare the cost of different companies. While we’ve used Blue Star Ferries Greece countless times, you should confirm it’s actually the best boat for your own trip!

It should also be mentioned the price of tickets jumps in the busy summer months compared to the off or swing season. Due to its humongous fleet,  you might still be surprised to see plenty of options with Blue Star in July and August.

The most affordable ticket is economy which includes basic seating and outdoor areas. Then going up in price you can pick from air seat economy, air seat business, or cabins with and without a view. 

→ Planning a Trip to Greece: 10 Step Easy to Follow Guide

Blue Star Ferry Tickets

Greece Blue Star Ferry

Getting On & Off the Blue Star Ferries 

Sounds simple right? Well, if you’ve never used the ferries in Greece there are some words of warning. Really it’s all about timing… And let us tell you that they don’t mess around!

Jumping on Your Blue Star Ferry Boat

First off, if you see the ferry coming into port don’t assume you have all the time in the world. The ferries go so fast through the islands!

In a blink of an eye, they can unload, reload, and be off to the next stunning destination. Make sure to arrive at the terminal early. When you see that large gate come down that’s your cue to get on quickly.

Also, know that in popular ports like Santorini and Parikia on Paros there will be hundreds of people waiting for different ferries. While you might think standing in line is the best move, double-check you’re actually waiting in the right place.

It can be confusing with multiple boats coming in and out so pay attention. Walk towards the entrance when you see your Blue Star Ferry come into port. We can’t reiterate enough that these boats don’t wait for anyone!

Blue Star Ferry Guide

Exiting Your Blue Star Ferry in Greece

Just as fast as the ferries pull in they also will leave. When your Blue Star Ferry makes an announcement about heading to the lower deck to disembark don’t wait around.

It can be uncomfortable standing with everyone in such a small space but we have heard plenty of stories of travelers missing their stop and getting off on a different island.

If you’re on a tight itinerary, the last thing you need is to be stranded in another part of Greece with nowhere to stay. That’s a really easy way to ruin your Greek holiday!

→ When’s the Best Time to Visit Greece? Month to Month Breakdown

Blue Star Ferry Tips

More Tips for Using Blue Star Ferries Greece

Printing Tickets: You need to physically print out your ticket or have a mobile boarding card to get on. This is not just your email confirmation! To get the mobile pass you need to check in to receive it. Each island also has a storefront near the ferry terminal where you can get it printed. Sometimes these will be actual Blue Star Ferry offices or other local companies. If it’s non-Blue Star note that you will have to pay a couple of Euros to get them printed.

Luggage: Large roller bags have to be left at the bottom of the boat. Be sure to not leave ANYTHING valuable in your bag and as extra protection, we recommend using a small lock. When approaching your destination, head down early to beat the rush of passengers also getting their stuff. 

Finding Seats: If you book a general economy seat (what we always buy) there will be an indoor and outdoor space to use. Before sitting down, take a walk around the entire Blue Star Ferry and especially check the front. People tend to sit right where the stairs come up leaving some of the best seats with views wide open.

Summer Heat: It’s no secret that the Greek islands get sizzling hot in the summertime. If you have a long ride you may want to pick a spot in the shade or stay inside to avoid this. 

Explore all our Greece articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from general travel tips to amazing destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Milos & more beautiful islands!

Blue Star Ferry in Greece

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for using Blue Star Ferries Greece?  Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Blue Star Ferry

Greece Travel Planning 

For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.

 Flights: We always check Skyscanner and Kayak to search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Athens to Santorini for under $50 USD!

 Accommodation: Always compare multiple sites to get the best deal. We search both Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.

 Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!

Santorini

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4 Comments

  1. Sasha Musgrave Travers
    May 2, 2023 / 7:21 pm

    Bluestar ferries are very comfortable and efficient

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      May 2, 2023 / 11:52 pm

      Agreed!

      • Heather Abrams
        April 25, 2024 / 3:10 pm

        Great article! Looking next year (spring) to take Blue Star Ferries from Crete to Santorini. This year it leaves Crete only twice a week and at crazy hours! For example, Fridays at 5:15! I don’t know if it will be the same next year. Also, if I have flights leaving from Santorini, I have to make sure to give myself a leeway of a few days to actually make sure I get to Santorini. I know there are sometimes strikes, bad weather etc. that can cause problems. I will check out your other articles. Thanks again!

        • Brigitte & Jake
          Author
          April 25, 2024 / 3:18 pm

          Hey Heather! Thanks for reading.

          Yes, that’s one issue with the cheaper slow ferries. Sometimes they’re overnight or at crazy times! Hope you have a great trip to Crete and Santorini. Let us know if you have any other questions (-:

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