Overnight Ferry to Crete

Still day 5 and I feel like I have done so much and covered so much ground already. Now it was time to leave the mainland for a couple of weeks. First leg was a five hour bus trip from Kalambaka to Athens, then once back in Athens a train straight to Piraeus, the largest port of Athens. I had booked myself a cabin on the overnight ferry to Crete.

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I chose the overnight ferry for several reasons. Firstly for the adventure of it, I had never been on a large ferry, it was essentially cruise ship size. And secondly it meant I would have more time on the ground on Crete, arriving at around 6am, rather than spending the night in Athens and then needing to get to the airport for a flight the next morning, losing half the morning at least. Thirdly, because I just don’t like flying mid holiday.  I do enough of that at either end.

On arrival at the port I had to exchange my email receipt for my actual ticket then simply make my way to the ferry. It was a couple of hours before departure time but boarding had already begun.

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The port area is quite huge. Greece has hundreds of islands and ferries going in all directions at all times of day. It is a very essential piece of Greek infrastructure.

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I won’t deny that I was pretty excited. My travelling is all about new experiences and this was definitely something I had never done before. I booked a cabin because I am old and need want a certain level of amenity. I could have booked a shared one but, while I love meeting people when I travel, I like my privacy for sleeping and since there are no single cabins I had a twin cabin to myself. It is possible to travel without a cabin, many people had sleeping bags with them and simply found space in the public areas to bed down for the night. All cabins had a bathroom with shower.

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The ferry had lots of public areas; bars, restaurants, shops and awesome views of Piraeus from the deck.

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We pulled away from the dock while the sky was still aglow from the sunset. I was feeling quite ‘kid in a candy store’ excited as this leg of the journey began. Phone photography on the move and in the dark, not my best work.

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I spent a long time outside watching the sea go by, it was very relaxing and I wanted to get the most of the experience. I did mange a reasonable nights sleep, ferries aren’t the most quiet things to try to sleep in I discovered.  Before I knew it the announcements had begun about arrival in Chania, my destination. This was at about 5am. A quick run to the deck for more bad photography and a quick shower and before I knew it we were docked and disembarking by 6.

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The overnight ferry was probably the closest I will ever get to taking a cruise. I’m glad I did it but was ready to get back to land and travelling at my own pace.

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