A complete guide on getting the Athens to Chania ferry. Includes ferry times, routes, ports and useful information on the Athens Chania ferry route.
Reasons to take the Athens to Chania ferry
Although flying from Athens to Chania in Crete takes less than an hour, there are many reasons why you might prefer to go on the ferry.
This is the obvious choice for people who want to bring a vehicle along, for example.
The ferry to Chania in Crete from Athens might also appeal to budget travelers, as you can book a cabin on an overnight boat and avoid the cost of a hotel.
Our preferred website to compare and book your ferry ticket from Athens to Chania is Ferryhopper. Here, you can see all the ferry schedules and easily book your Greek ferry tickets online.
Athens – Chania Ferry Services
Before we begin, keep in mind that due to the events of 2020, travel schedules for 2021 from Athens to Chania in Crete may alter from time to time.
However, it should be noted that this is one of the most important ferry routes in Greece, and therefore one of the most reliable.
There are three ferry operators offering the Athens – Chania itinerary for 2021. Minoan Lines, Blue Star Ferries, and ANEK lines.
The Athens to Chania ferry time takes anywhere from 6.5 to 9 hours.
Two of these ferries cover the Athens to Chania ferry route on a daily basis. Departure times change from one month to the next, and there are different ferries running the route on different months.
All these ferry companies often run promotions for the Athens to Chania itinerary. As an example, if you book a round trip, the return ticket is usually discounted.
Students, children and seniors also qualify for discounts, so check before you book.
Ferry to Chania in Crete
Chania is a popular destination with Greeks and visitors alike. We suggest that you book your tickets for the boat from Athens to Crete in advance, especially if your dates are not flexible. This is even more important if you want a cabin.
If you have taken a ferry in Greece before, you are likely to have travelled with one of these companies. There are currently no SeaJet ferries on the Athens Chania route.
Note that all three boat companies often run promotions for the Athens to Chania itinerary.
The Athens to Chania ferry time takes anywhere from 6.5 to 9 hours.
Athens to Chania ferry – Minoan Lines
In our experience, Minoan Lines is one of the most luxurious ferry companies in Greece. With Kydon Palace covering the Athens to Chania ferry route for most of 2021, you will have a pleasant, relaxed journey.
This boat is among the largest ferries on a domestic itinerary (214 metres / 700 feet long!) and has plenty of amenities, like restaurants, cafes etc.
Depending on the date you are travelling, you will either get an evening or a daytime ferry.
On most days in 2021, the ferry leaves Piraeus at 16.00 and arrives at Chania port at 22.30.
On peak season weekends, departure is at 11.00, and you will arrive at Chania at 18.00.
Athens to Crete Ferry Price with Minoan
Prices from Athens to Chania on the Kydon Palace start from 40 euro for a deck seat.
This option means that you will not have a designated seat, but you can sit in certain areas inside the ferry or on the deck. A numbered seat costs 49 euro.
If you’d like to take a nap during your trip, or just want some privacy, there are several different cabin options to choose from. Some cabins have a view to the sea, whereas others have no window, so make sure you choose the one you prefer.
As a rule, the fewer beds in the cabin, the higher the cost. Beds start for as low as 43 euro, and you can always use the ferry’s common areas.
Book online tickets: Ferryhopper
More info at Minoan here.
Athens to Chania ferry – Blue Star Ferries
If you’ve been to Greece before, you are likely to have used Blue Star Ferries. This popular company offers the Athens to Chania ferry route for 2021 every other day.
Blue Galaxy is one of the company’s biggest ferries, at 192 metres long. Similarly to the Minoan ferries, it has a selection of places to sit and have a coffee, meal or drink.
You can read more about it here: Blue Star Ferry
This is an overnight ferry, leaving Piraeus at 21.00 or 22.00, and getting to Chania early in the morning. It is ideal if you are on a budget, as you can skip the hotel costs for a night.
Athens to Crete Ferry Price with Blue Star Ferries
Deck seats cost 41 euro, and numbered seats cost a few euros more. Cabin beds start from 64 euro in a three or four person cabin.
Athens to Chania ferries – ANEK Lines
For 2021, two ANEK boats, El. Venizelos and Elyros, will run the Athens to Chania ferry route. Like the Blue Star ferries, they are overnight ferries, arriving at Chania port early in the morning.
While Elyros offers the reserved airplane seat option, El. Venizelos doesn’t. You can book either an economy seat, where you don’t have a designated seat, or a bed in a cabin.
Prices are the same with the Blue Galaxy.
Which Athens to Chania ferry should I choose?
This is a good question! All these ferries from Athens to Crete are fairly similar, though the Minoans tend to be more luxurious. It really depends on whether you want to travel during daytime, or overnight.
If time is important, it might make more sense to take any of the overnight ferries. You will then arrive in Chania early in the morning and have a whole day ahead of you.
However, if you don’t sleep well on ferries or prefer to avoid cabins, this might not be the best option for you.
People who want to experience a ferry ride with one of the best companies in Greece, could go for the daytime trip with Minoan Lines. Even though it’s a fairly long trip, you will barely feel it.
Getting your ferry tickets
At the time of writing, neither of these companies offer an e-ticket for the ferry Athens to Crete. Therefore, you will need to collect a paper ticket from the port at Piraeus.
Allow plenty of time, as there are often long queues. All in all, you will need to be at the Piraeus port at least an hour (or even more) before your ferry is due to depart.
Departing from Piraeus Port
All of the Chania ferries from Athens leave from Piraeus Port just outside Athens. If you haven’t taken a boat from Piraeus port before, it is best to get there well before your boat departs, as it might take you a while to find your gate.
Boats to Crete depart from Gates E2 / E3, which are clearly signposted in this map.
Getting to Piraeus Port from Athens
You can get to Piraeus port by suburban railway, metro, bus, or taxi. If you have heavy luggage, a taxi might be the best solution, as neither walking not taking the shuttle bus in Piraeus might be practical.
If you are getting to Piraeus on the metro, allow at least 20 minutes to walk to your gate at the ferry port from the station. There is also a free shuttle bus that runs inside the port but it’s often full.
If you are using a taxi to get to Piraeus, the driver would know where to drop you off.
I've got a full article here on how to get from Piraeus to Athens centre. Just follow the instructions in reverse!
Alternatively, for a hassle free approach, you might also pre-book your Piraeus Port Taxi here.
Arriving at Chania Port (Souda)
The ferries don't actually arrive at Chania Town in Crete itself, but instead at nearby Port Souda. This is a few kilometres away from Chania Town, but is connected by public transport which is clearly signed.
Still, unless you have travelled with your own vehicle on the Athens Crete ferry, you might prefer to get a taxi.
Where to stay in Chania Crete
Now you know how to get to Chania in Crete, it's time to find somewhere to stay!
I personally recommend using Booking as a place to search for and book hotels in Chania online.
There's many different filters you can use to narrow down the accommodation best suited for you. To get you started, here's an interactive map of places to stay in Chania, Crete.
FAQ About Traveling from Athens to Chania in Crete
Some of my readers most commonly asked questions about taking the ferry to the port of Chania in Crete from Piraeus in Athens include:
How long is the boat ride from Athens to Crete?
The Athens to Chania ferry time varies depending on if you take the faster boats which run seasonally in the summer, or the regular boats. The high speed ferries to Chania from Athens take between 5 and 7 hours. The slower vessels take between 9 and 12 hours to reach Chania from Piraeus Port of Athens.
How do you get to Chania Greece?
To take the ferry Athens to Chania service, you'll depart from Piraeus Port of Athens. You can also fly from Athens International airport to the airport in Chania Crete.
How much is a ferry from Athens to Crete?
The ferry Athens Chania ticket price starts at 40 euro per person. There are different tiers which will affect the price, for example if you want a numbered seat or cabin. Keep in mind that the faster a ferry is, the more expensive the ticket is likely to be.
Crete Travel Guides
Looking for more guides on things to see and do in Crete? Take a look below!
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– Dave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in and traveling around Greece for the last five years. He's traveled from by ferry many times researching travel guides such as this one of how to get from Athens to Crete for Dave's Travel Pages, and has an ambition to visit all of the inhabited islands of Greece some day (there's over 200!).