Symi Travel News

Latest Travel News for Visitors to Symi by Andy Ward

Symi Visitor Travel blog

And finally, here she comes…

The Symi is just entering Symi harbour, so the latest version of her timetable appears to be accurate. Good news for me, since I won’t have to re-do the consolidated timetables for May. Still no explanation as to why she started her summer season 3 weeks later than originally advertised.Better late than never, I suppose.

Unaffected by strike

The strike by ferry crews on 1 May 2017 looks like having no effect at all on Symi.

Dodecanese Seaways and Sea Dreams crews don’t usually strike on these political occasions. While Blue Star’s crews do, they tend to only strike if their ship happens to be in Piraeus at the time. As a result the Blue Star Patmos is expected to sail as usual on Monday, because it spends the night in Rhodes. So no knock-on effect for the later sailings that week, which are the ones which call at Symi.

And wronger still

So, now it is Wednesday 26 April, and still no sign of the “Symi”. Sea Dreams’ online timetable now shows services start on Sunday 30 April. Lets see…
In the meantime the Panagia Skiadeni and the Nikolaos X are catering for the day trip demand from Rhodes.

Other shipping news is that the Tilos Sea Star has finally been sold, after languishing in Mandraki Harbour for over 3 years. After a trip to Piraeus for long-overdue overhaul she’s expected to operate services in the Southern Dodecanese from June onwards. Services connecting Tilos to Nissyros, Halki, Symi, Rhodes and Kos are mentioned in the local press, but no details are available yet. There are a couple of government-subsidised routes involving Tilos that have been put out for tender again because nobody made a bid, and may be the basis of a new business.

Finally, there’s a threatened strike by ships crews on Monday 1st May. On past performance this will have no effect at all on Dodekanisos Seaways and other local companies, but may affect Blue Star Ferries. As Blue Star don’t serve Symi on Mondays, the worst case is that it takes a couple of days to get ships back in the right place, so some timetable changes are possible.

More information on all these stories as soon as I get it.

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!