Symi Travel News

Latest Travel News for Visitors to Symi by Andy Ward

Symi Visitor Travel blog

Proved wrong!

Well, despite Sea Dreams having advertised that the “Symi” would start her summer season today, she hasn’t, and they’ve now changed the on-line timetable to show that the service starts on Wednesday 26th April.
In the meantime, Dodekanisos Seaways is running to the advertised timetable, and the Rhodes-based excursion boat Nikolaos X made her first visit of the year to Symi yesterday.
Blue Star have one of their occasional calls at Symi on a day other than Wednesday or Friday today, when they have agreed a special stop by the Blue Star Patmos because of a large group of people travelling together from Syros (another special stop). They seem quite willing to do this if the group organiser can guarantee a minimum acceptable number of travellers to cover the extra fuel used. The ferry has to be able to fit Symi Harbour of course, which the Patmos, Paros, Naxos, and Delos all can. The much bigger Blue Star 2 and Superfast XII which operate the bulk of their services to and from Rhodes simply can’t get in to Symi, at least until the new quay next to the petrol station becomes available for use. So at the moment there’s only one sailing each way a week which could call at Symi but usually doesn’t.
The next special stops are due on Sunday 7 May, southbound, and Monday 8 May, northbound, by Blue Star Naxos, standing in for the Patmos during annual dry-docking.

The mysterious case of the missing ferry

Keen readers who also look at the Marine Traffic websites will see that the ‘Symi’ ferry has yet to visit her namesake island this year. Sailings were advertised to start the week before Easter, the ship returned from overhaul in Piraeus on 12 April (two days after services should have started), and she’s remained moored up in Rhodes ever since.
So, sorry if anyone saw my summary timetables and relied on catching her. Right up to the early part of this week the Sea Dreams website was advertising sailings that hadn’t happened, and others that I now know weren’t going to happen. Now they’ve updated the website to show the first sailing of the year as being on Sunday 23 April.

Why this has happened I really don’t know, and why Sea Dreams can’t keep their on line timetable up to date is another mystery.

So according to this new timetable, she’ll sail on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from this weekend, at 09:00 from Rhodes and 14:30 from Symi (via Panormitis) on weekdays, with Sunday times being 10:00 and 15:00 respectively.
From 20 May onwards Saturday sailings (at the weekday times) will be added, and from June onwards the service becomes daily.
Let’s see what actually happens!

Getting ready for Easter services (ferries, that is)

Blue Star have announced some extra sailings in April and early May, created by stopping the Saturday night/Sunday morning service from Piraeus to Rhodes additionally at Symi, and doing the same with the Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning sailing in the northbound direction. This isn’t every week, but has provided useful extra service, including extra links to/from Nissyros and Tilos.

Panagia Skiadeni has returned from her annual overhaul this weekend and is ready to start her 2017 sailings on Tuesday. On the other hand ‘Symi’ is still in Piraeus despite being due to start work on Monday. It seems unlikely that she will arrive back in time.

Here’s the updated combined timetables:
So here are the summary timetables for 2017:
April
May
High season (1 June to 24 September)
Late season (25 September to 31 October)

The new ferry season is about to start

During this week Dodekanisos Express returned from dry docking in Piraeus. She’s available for service alongside sister Dodekanisos Pride which is currently operating all services. To prove this a last-minute additional service using the Express has been slotted in this Sunday, 2 April, running alongside the Pride (which is already fully booked over this part of her route) from Rhodes to Symi, then remaining in Symi all day and returning alongside the Pride again in the late afternoon.
After that the Express sails again as originally planned from Friday 8th April onwards.
Panagia Skiadeni is still in Piraeus, dry docking has been completed, and she’ll sail back to Rhodes in time to take up her first sailing of the season on Tuesday 11 April.

Sea Dreams ‘Symi’ has also completed her dry dock and annual overhaul in Piraeus and is due back in Rhodes in time for her first sailing of the season on Monday 10 April.

So the currently almost empty Symi Harbour will very soon have ferries for much of the day, and it won’t be long before the yachts and gulets return too.

The new flight season has started

Scheduled international flights have resumed at Rhodes Airport after the usual winter break. The first was a Ryanair flight on Sunday 26 March from East Midlands.

However there are yet more changes to the planned summer flight programme for Rhodes and Kos.
Aegean has slightly increased the domestic flights between Rhodes and Athens, and these are all operated on Aegean A320 or A321 aircraft, despite being marketed as Olympic Air under the new policy of using the Olympic brand for flights within Greece and the Aegean brand for international flights. However the Aegean St Petersburg flights for summer 2017 have all been cancelled.
Olympic will still be operating the “Dodecanese local” flights between Rhodes and Kastellorizo and between Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, and Astypalea this summer, despite the government waiting until the day after the old contract expired to issue a new one for the latter route.

Today Brussels Airlines has announced it is taking over the flight operations of Thomas Cook Belgium. Two A320 aircraft and all the pilots and cabin crews will transfer, the other three aircraft will move to other Thomas Cook Group airlines.
The implementation date has yet to be made public, so the flight tables linked to below still show Thomas Cook as the operator. The package holiday business in Belgium continues, just with a different flight provider going forward.

2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Israel and Russia – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Athens and Thessaloniki – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes from France – version 1
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Italy – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Czech Republic, Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Scandanavia and Finland – version 1
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Austria – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Switzerland – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Germany – version 3
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from the Netherlands – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from Belgium and Luxembourg – version 2
2017 Flights to Rhodes and Kos from the UK – version 8