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Italy - Greece ferries.

Brian Kirby

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There seem to be three main routes: from Venice, from Ancona and from Bari.

There seem to be three main companies: Anek, Minoan, and Speed Ferries.

I have already voted Minoan the company with the most annoying on-line booking website, and Anek the best!

We are planning an early (ish!) April outward and mid June return, so camping on board should be available where ships are so equipped.  I have some doubts about this option from Venice, Anek say it is possible, but it appears not to be bookable for 2010, and I think they may have changed the ferries on this route to ships that are not so equipped.  Seemingly, only Speed Ferries operate camping on board from Bari so, on balance, Ancona looks the favourite departure point.

Question: can anyone please say what experience they have had of these companies, their ships, and the routes? 

Also, I'd be grateful to know how (particularly Anek's) ticketing arrangement works, because I have been unable to find an explanation.  Do they send an actual ticket, or does one use a print off from the booking site and present that somewhere?

Many thanks in anticipation.

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Speedferries? I think you mean Superfast :-)


Used Minoan twice from Venice so it is available but I think places fill up fairly quick. I do know some have tried to book this year from Venice with Anek but couldn't get the sailing they req'd.


I have just booked for this year with Anek.

They currently have a genuine 50% off early booking deal, i've been shopping around for ages and this is by far the best deal atm, it will save you a tidy sum compared to Minoan and Superfast.


As far as I'm aware if you book online with Anek, you get a ref no similar to online booking with uk ferries to print off.

I have always used Viamare ferry agents, you then get the security of printed tickets. They quote the same price as online but their exchange rate to £ is possibly where they make a few quid on the deal.


Shopping around recently for our trip....


Mid May Ancona - Igoumentsa returning end of June Patras - Ancona 2 adults and <= 6mtr van Camping on board.


Minoan, around €320


Superfast, around €340 inc early booking discount


Anek, €207 inc 50% early discount (you cannot cancel but you can change dates).


Bit of a no brainer really.


When you get to Ancona, you need to present tickets at the shipping office to validate the crossing, this is down the road from the actual port itself (see anek website) before travelling to the port and joining the queue to board.




Edited for rubbish spelling.

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We did Venice to Patras in May 2008 Minoan Line on the Ikarus Palace (2 nights on board each way) had a great journey and would recommend it to all. Stops at Corfu Igoumenitsa Patras.There are showers and toilets adjacent to camping deck which are modern and clean.You will get and electrical hook up not that we were asked to turn off the gas .

The ship is very nice and the food in the self service good value and very tasty with beautiful views from panoramic windows.Most of the journey you are in sight of land so plenty to see especially if you get a slot near an opening we were luck both ways at the time with various discounts about 450 euros very good value when compared to say Brittany.

To the stern (blunt end) there is a pool and a sun deck plenty of bars and shops on board we enjoyed the ship more than the trip round the Peloponnes.

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pBrian May I suggest that you just wander down the road from your house and speak to Rob & Jac Kerr

They have been to Greece many times & have just heard off one of their friends about a deal on the ferry crossing about the time your proposing going However as I’m not interested I didn’t listen to the price sorry

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From Venice there is only Minoan that does camping on board. Anek say they do but Kriti 1 and Kriti 11 are put on the Crete route during the summer. From Ancona all 3 ferries operate camping on board to Patras. We have travelled with all 3. Anek is good but a bit shabby but nice staff. Minoan is the poshest and Superfast put the campers on the open area right at the back of the ship and you get terrible vibration from the engines or propellors. You are not allowed to use gas. Superfast from Bari is very good and was about half the price but it is a lot further to drive.


We have always found it is best to book the ferries when we arrive at Ancona and see who is doing the best deals. In early April you tend to get 50% discount. It is usual in Greece to knock half a metre off your length as nobody ever checks- dont try this in August. If you book through Greek agents they will knock a metre off. One other thing is ANek change the price at 5.5m, the other two companies at 6m.


When you check in make sure they give you the Camping on Board key card so that you can get back to your van.


You can park along by the beach at Patras, just keep following the road to Athens and then follow the sea where that turns right. We have parked their several times without a problem.


Another good place to park if you are heading towards Athens is at Diakopto which is about 40kms (i'm guessing) from Patras. There is a large area next to the sea after you have gone through the village and there are always motorhomes parked there. Well there was only us in November.


By the way no greek website is any good for booking tickets, even the agents cant use them but thats Greece. It all works out in the end.


Happy travels maybe we will see you as we are heading for Crete in April.



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Thanks Petra.

Minoan seem to be full for one of our preferred dates, but I can't tell which, and I have really lost patience with their website that endlessly sends you back to square 1, retains none of the entered information, and starts by saying accommodation is available both ways and then says it isn't after you've done all the work!

We haven't been before, so we'll book this time around and I guess we'll just rough it with Anek, and suss out Ancona and the available offers when we get there and can get the feel of the place!

If I've understood them correctly, I think the camping on board option from Venice must no longer be available since, if as you say the only ships so equipped are elsewhere in summer, they claim they are not allowed to offer the option between October and April.  Sort of catch 22, it seems!  Right ships on route when camping on board not permitted, or wrong ships on route when camping on board permitted.

I think this winter restriction must be what Hughmer ran into on his Ancona-Patras crossing.  (His "Our route to Greece and a few observations".)  I'm guessing that the reason they got stuffed into the bowels of the ship, and were denied a hook up, was exactly because they were not allowed to "camp on board", and no one was prepared to risk them creeping back down to their van in transit.

Whatever, thanks again.  We're hoping to cross mid April - subject to available space, and once I know for certain when we can cross (under) the Channel.  Presently awaiting Tesco vouchers!  :-)

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Hi Brian


It is often that the websites show no accommodation available even when it is because the Greeks block book some accommodation as they dont have to pay in advance and then cancel it once they decide on the date they want to travel, a bit like the Caravan Club sites.


Even if you get your tickets before you travel you still need to check in at the terminal building before you get to the dock. It is worth mentioning that once you are in the quayside area at Ancona you cannot get back out to the town again, not even walking as they have really tightened up security. It is as well to make sure you have supplies with you before you get to the quayside.


It might be worthwhile checking out the website aferrry.to as they show most routes. We have booked our english ferries with them before but not Greek ferries.


They are right that you cannot camp on board during the winter on the longer routes and the major companies still rigidly to it. They should however still give you hook up for your fridge and there is no way you can get back down to your van as they lock the doors.


Camping on board is between 1 April and 31 October.

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