Nice experiences usually come with a trade-off. In this case, swimming in the turquoise waters of the Cyclades may take a sacrifice: spending hours after hours on the ferry. Having traveled a lot around the Greek islands for most of our own summers, whether with our families, our friends or as lovebirds, we have some ferry tips on what to do on a ferry to make your life easier!
1. Where to leave your baggage
While on a ferry, especially during a long trip, you would most probably like to move around freely, without having to drag your baggage with you everywhere. Many ships have designated areas to leave your baggage, and if you are traveling with a vehicle you may leave them in your car.
Just bear in a mind to carry anything you may need on you because on most vessels you will not be permitted to access the designated baggage areas or your car during the journey.
Do your bags get checked on a ferry?
No, bags don’t get checked on a ferry, as ferry companies in Greece don’t have specific procedures regarding luggage size and weight.
2. What to wear on the ferry trip
“What do you wear on a ferry ride?". A common question that confuses most travelers as it can get very cold during a ferry trip, even if it is summer. Be sure to bring something warm to wear on the boat. Alternatively, a blanket is always a good idea, especially if you're traveling with kids. Some ferry routes to the Greek islands last for more than 5 hours, so you should wear comfortable clothes and shoes!
Bring warm clothes or even a sleeping bag on the ferry
3. WiFi on the ferry
The availability of Wi-Fi differs from boat to boat. Usually, you must pay for the Wi-Fi connection per hour of use. You can always try to use the Internet from your mobile connection but be prepared: there is no guaranteed internet or mobile connection in the middle of the sea!
4. Electricity at the ferry
220V AC sockets are available on all ferries around Greece! Not all of them work properly, so be sure to find one at the beginning of your trip or bring fully charged power banks with you. Remember that in Greece we use "Euro" standard "Type C" sockets. These are different than those used in the USA and the UK, so be sure to bring an adaptor with you!
Wi-Fi and electricity are usually available on the ferries
5. Toilets on the ferry
There are toilets on every ferry boat (bigger or smaller). We advise you to bring paper with you, in case there is not enough. A very important tip is to avoid visiting the toilets exactly before disembarkation because they will be crowded!
While on board, get ready for some captivating images of the wonderful Greek islands and the Aegean Sea. Especially if you are on one of the longer trips that have multiple stops, you will have the chance to gaze upon the picturesque island towns and the golden brown beaches of the Greek Islands, like Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Milos, and many others.
Get your phone or your camera ready for some amazing shots, and whichever island catches your eye can be your next destination!
7. Food on board
Are you allowed to bring food with you? Yes of course! Actually, you are not only allowed, but you are advised to. To be clear, there are canteens at the ferries, where you can find snacks, beverages and sometimes complete meals. It is always a nice idea to eat something when you are bored and if you don’t want to spend your whole vacation budget on board, then you should probably bring many homemade snacks.
Prefer something that doesn’t need specific care and try to be thoughtful of the other passengers too. In other words, eggs and onions are not a good idea, as their indiscrete scent will follow you during the whole trip. So, if you're wondering what to bring on a boat trip, granola bars, toasts, nuts, juices, sandwiches, and fresh fruits can be great options!
Choose a koulouri as snack for your trip
8. Board games on board
If you aren't traveling alone, one of the most fun things to do on a ferry is, of course, play board games. Monopoly, Cluedo, Uno, Jungle Speed and so many more give the perfect opportunity to test friendships and family bonds, while cards are the best option when it's not windy! By arguing, laughing and playing, one thing is granted: you will arrive in no time!
9. Movies and TV-series for ferry trips
Usually, there are screens around the boat, but not for showing movies. You can watch the program on a Greek television channel, muted. So, if you are traveling alone, or as a couple, a great idea is to download your favorite movies and shows beforehand, as there is no guaranteed internet connection on board. Try to sit somewhere close to a socket and enjoy the rest of the trip!
Cards and board games are ideal for long ferry trips
10. Books and ferries
Reading a book is always one of the must things to do on a boat. Choose your books wisely as they will accompany you during your vacation. However, bringing many books with you will add extra weight to your luggage and some of them may get damaged during your trip.
A clever alternative is to download your favorite books, comic books and magazines onto your smartphone or tablet. You can find a great variety of documents for free and download them in pdf form, or you can even buy your favorite e-books from various applications.
11. Music on board
Reading a book or watching a movie are great ideas when your trip is smooth. However, if the weather is windy and the sea is full of waves, you will probably get nauseous by doing the things above. Then comes the music!
Make sure that you have downloaded your favorite playlists, albums, and tracks to keep you happy throughout a difficult journey. Don't forget to bring your headphones and a power bank! An extra tip - especially if you have children - is to download some audiobooks!
Reading is always one of the go-to ferry tips
12. Seasoned tips for ferry trips
Ferryhopper knows some ferry tips that can be applied at all times. For example, you should bring a blanket or a jacket. Air conditioning can be a little over-effective. Comfortable clothes and shoes are also advised. It's your vacation, relax!
Finally, don't forget to bring a first aid kit and in case of getting sea-sick, you may ask for a dramamine at the reception desk of the boat.
Where can I book my ferry tickets?
You can use Ferryhopper to find both direct and indirect ferry routes and plan an amazing island hopping experience. You can book cheap ferry tickets safely, fast and at the best prices! If you want more inspiration to organize your dream trip, you can also check our interactive Map of Ferries for more ideas!
Should I book Greek ferries in advance?
Ferry routes to popular islands, like Santorini or Mykonos, can attract many visitors. For this reason, it is recommended that you book your ferry tickets to the Greek destinations well in advance, especially if you consider booking a bed cabin or a car space.