The ferry Knossos Palace of Minoan Lines heading to Heraklion Crete from the port of Piraeus in Athens

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Ferry Athens-Crete (Heraklion)

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Discover the best ferries from Athens to Heraklion (Crete), travel tips, prices and many more. Here we go!

In brief, traveling to Heraklion from Athens is quite uncomplicated!
- Passenger ferries depart from the port of Piraeus and operate the route daily all year round.
- The average duration of the trip is around 9 hours.
- Ticket prices for this route start from '36' 'EUR' (36 Euros).

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Available ferries

The conventional ferry Festos Palace in the port of Piraeus

The ferry Festos Palace in Piraeus Port

Disclaimer: The information provided below is based on previous years' data. To find the exact routes for your dates, please refer to our booking engine.

Crossings to Heraklion take place throughout the year.
However, ferry companies add extra itineraries in summer to serve the thousands of passengers who wish to visit Heraklion or other regions of Crete. During the high season, 2-5 ferries leave from Piraeus every day.
The first ferry departs at 09:00 and the last at 21:00.
Once a week, though, the two available ferries depart at the same time in the evening (21:00).

Indicative Ferry Routes from Piraeus port*

Schedules frequency Multiple times per day
First ferry 09:00
Last ferry 21:00
Average duration 09h22m
*Based on data from 2022-2023


PRICE €45.50 - €136.50
PRICE €83.00 - €103.00
PRICE €36.00 - €151.00
PRICE €42.00 - €209.00

Types of ferries

The ferry Thunder of Fast Ferries leaving the port of Piraeus

The high-speed ferry Thunder departing from Piraeus, Athens

Conventional and high-speed vessels both operate the Athens-Heraklion route.
Conventional ferries are large ships with numerous indoor and outdoor seating areas and big garages. They can carry thousands of individuals and hundreds of vehicles and offer more cost-effective tickets. Their size allows them to travel regardless of the weather in most cases but, at the same time, does not allow them to sail at high speeds.
High-speed ferries, on the other hand, are smaller vessels that can travel at high velocities thanks to their size. Nonetheless, they can't carry many passengers and vehicles and they are prone to strong winds, so delays occur sometimes.


Distance & Duration of the trip


The distance between Piraeus and Heraklion is 173 nautical miles (200 miles or 320 kilometers).
The duration of the trip ranges between 8.5 and 10 hours. Even though high-speed ferries are faster, they stop at other islands before arriving at Heraklion; then again, conventional ferries head directly to the port of Heraklion after departing from Piraeus. Hence, all available crossings do not have much of a duration difference.
The fastest ferry is Santorini Palace by Minoan Lines.


Prices & Tickets


Ticket prices pertain to the type of vessel and seat. Concerning conventional ferries, the cost for a standard ticket starts from '36' 'EUR' (36 Euros), for an airline-type seat from '40' 'EUR' (40 Euros) and for a cabin (without a view) from '55' 'EUR' (55 Euros). Regarding high-speed ferries, the price of a standard ticket starts from '82' 'EUR' (82 Euros), while that of a VIP seat is '103' 'EUR' (103 Euros) - '107' 'EUR' (107 Euros). The high-speed ferries do not propose cabins.
Some passengers may meet the requirements for discount tickets. People with disabilities, families with 3 or more children, children under 10 years old and ISIC cardholders are among the groups that can benefit from discounts. Additionally, most Greek ferry companies let babies and toddlers travel for free.

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Types of seats


High-speed ferries offer two types of seats; the first one is standard seats and the second is VIP seats. Both are numbered, but lie in different lounges, with VIP seats being hosted in a more luxurious lounge.
Conventional ferries offer an extra type of seat, which is the standard/economy seat. It is the most affordable type of seat. Ticketholders are allowed to sit either on the deck or in one of the indoor lounges.
Booking an economy seat does not come with a reserved area on the ferry. In order to find a comfortable place to sit, getting on the ship as early as possible is recommended.


How to find your ferry in the port of Piraeus

Aerial view of the port of Piraeus, near Athens

Piraeus Port, the closest port to Athens' center

Ferries with Crete as their final destination, depart from Gate E3 of Piraeus Port.
The gate of departure is written on the ferry tickets. Piraeus is one of the largest European ports and the distances between its gates are long. Going to the wrong gate may lead to missing your ferry, so make sure to arrive at the port early and use a map to orient yourself.
Don't get lost! Get our Piraeus Port Map!

The port of Heraklion is located in Heraklion Town. All passenger ferries depart from piers I and II at the western area of the port.

Do you need a transfer in Athens? We got you covered! Check out our Transfer service!




Greek ferry companies are quite flexible regarding luggage policy.
Passengers can carry up to 40 kg or 0.5 cubic meters of luggage each and can leave it in the vessel’s designated area. Alternatively, they can take it upstairs with them.
We recommend leaving bulky items in the baggage area but keeping your personal items (mobile phone, keys, wallet, etc.) with you on board.


Traveling with a car

The car garage in the ferry Festos Palace

The garage of the ferry Festos Palace

All ferries reaching Heraklion boast a garage. After booking a separate ticket for your vehicle, you can take your car or motorbike to Crete.
Drivers have to be at the gate at least 60 minutes before the ferry departure.
For safety reasons, entering the garage during the crossing is forbidden.
Note: Many car rental companies do not allow customers to ferry their vehicles. We recommend avoiding purchasing a vehicle ticket before contacting your car rental company.


Alternative ways to reach Heraklion


Heraklion boasts an international airport and receives several domestic flights from Athens, Thessaloniki and Rhodes, as well as copious flights from abroad. Germany, France, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium are some European countries connected with Heraklion via flights.
An alternative way to reach Heraklion is by ferry from Santorini or Mykonos. The two islands boast an international airport each and, at the same time, there are daily ferries to Heraklion from both during the high season.


About Heraklion

Knossos Palace in Heraklion

Knossos Palace in Heraklion

Heraklion is the largest city in Crete, housing plentiful places of interest and shops. The renowned archaeological site of Knossos lies only 5 km from the city center. We have accumulated the best things to see & do in the area in a mini-guide for Heraklion.


Photos of ferry vessels

Ferry Athens-Crete (Heraklio)


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