Easy Island Hopping by Greek Ferry because you can

Greece Santorini

Island hopping in Greece is like leapfrogging on a Greek ferry. Unlike in the many places in the United States, you can aquatically hop all around the Greece Isles. For reference, I live on St. Simons Island in Georgia, USA. Getting from one island to the next takes about 30 minutes, and two causeways to get from St. Simons Island to Jekyll Island. One of these is a toll road costing $8 or an annual pass. Other islands, such as Sapelo Island, require a quaint ferry. Barrier islands in the US have similar small transportation systems by car. 

Tickets for the World Champion Ferry
Tickets for the World Champion Ferry

None of these experiences comes close to island hopping in by Greek ferry. There are over 6000 Greek islands, of which 227 are inhabited. The popular ones for travel and hopping are Crete, Santorini (Thira), Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes, Lesbos, Corfu, and Naxos. There are tons of visitors to these islands annually, and it’s packed in the summer months with tourists.

Waiting on the World Champion ferry
Waiting on the World Champion ferry

I was amazed at the number of ways to get from one place to another. Of course, one of the most popular modes of transportation is the ferries, and why not? You’re on an island. Just use the water to travel. There are many ferries – Seajets, World Champion Jet, Gold Star, Hellenic Seaways, and Blue Star Ferries, to name a few. 

Greece Santorini
We were so happy to get on the World Champion Ferry after waiting

From the US, a simple internet search gives insights into how and when to get on a ferry. Ferries travel within the country but also extend to nearby countries. Destinations vary by season and time of day. You can compare fares of differing ferries and book at Ferryhopper, or you can book direct.

Booking our Greek Ferry Tickets to Island Hop

We booked with World Champion Jet after watching a bunch of YouTube videos and doing a ton of research. Vacations are precious, and we try to find the space between luxury and economic experiences. World Champion Jet seemed to fit in that mode. Getting the tickets from a US computer was slightly nerve-wracking. Like a plane ticket, each passenger’s information must be entered, including full name and birth date. The cost was approximately 330 US dollars several months before the trip.

I was ready to island-hop in Greece, but the trouble came with US credit card companies understanding that my information hadn’t been stolen. My card was declined until I got on a secure, locked-down network at home. Only then would the system accept my payment. You can also get tickets when you get there, but I didn’t choose this option.

Getting on the World Champion Jet Greek Ferry

OMG getting on a Greek ferry to island-hop is chaotic. Seriously, no line, and with a hand wave, everyone bull runs to the large open gate. Make sure you get your tickets for 1 Euro each at the ticket gate.

It’s not super organized, but it works. And I think everyone is expecting the rush, so…

You need a paper ticket to board. When boarding, watch your minor children and elderly because even though everyone has a seat, people always want to be first, and the pushing and shoving in the heat outside can get a little ‘kra.’ 

You have to carry your luggage upstairs to the seating area with you. Remember, I went fabric shopping in Athens so, I was toting a little more than most. I digress–some people keep their luggage at their seats, not me. There is a place to put your luggage at the bottom of the ferry. Each luggage cargo carrier is labeled with various stops. You put your luggage on the rack labeled with your destination. My advice is always to have a labeled luggage tag on your things. Our family has AWAY brand carry-on luggage, so we stickered our bags and attached a luggage ID tag. The bags look alike. Don’t assume, in the chaos, your bag won’t accidentally be snagged and island-hop with the wrong traveler. Label it. Lock it. Moreover, we did not leave our backpacks below deck for any apparent reason. 

The Seating on the World Champion Jet Ferry

The economy seats were extremely comfortable. But note, if you are traveling with a family of four, get the middle rows which keep the family together because the windows are three-person rows. The other option is to get luxury seating with four seats with a table in between. 

Seating on our World Champion Jet experience

The girls and I were in a row, and my husband was behind us in a row with strangers. This isn’t an unusual occurrence for us. Often on planes were are 3 in a row and a single family member in a single row, but on this World Champion jet ferry, while island hopping in Greece, you can avoid being separated.

Tickets for the World Champion Ferry

There are various seat options – window, economy, luxury, etc. But, again, for the short hops we were doing, I didn’t feel that this was the place to spend the dough.

World Champion Ferry
Ferry seating while Island hopping

The World Champion Jet Ride

If you’ve never taken a ferry before, understand that the weather will play a role in your experience. On windy days the ride is not so smooth and may be downright turbulent or canceled altogether. On the day of our journey, the seas were calm. There is a slight rumbly hum to the ride but nothing you can’t read, write or sleep through.

Of course, there is a snack shop with food and drinks, wifi, clean restrooms, and tray tables for your travel experience. There is a little shopping experience on the ferry, nothing extensive or lavish.

Have you taken a Greek ferry?