When you are traveling from Greece to Italy, there are a number of choices depending on your port of embarkation. I have travelled through the Balkans more than I would like to admit and it takes usually minimum 2 days of riding from Istanbul to reach to north east Italy with a minimum of 1600km of riding from border to border.
On my last trip in the autumn of 2014, I have decided to take it easy and take a ferry ride to Ancona.
Ferry to Ancona, Italy takes 6 hours extra when compared to one to Bari, Italy. My departing port was Igoumenitsa on the most north western part of Greece. I have decided to ride to Igoumenitsa and take a ferry that disembarks at 23:00. In the summer time, this is a preferred route, thus there are extra ferries departing the port at different times during the day.
I have talked to some friends with experience and they told me to take Superfast ferry. Well Superfast is bought by Anek Ferries and is now serving under the name Anek Superfast, FYI. Another option is Minoan Lines.
I have booked my ferry ticket from a website Ferries.gr. I strongly recommend you to do otherwise for two reasons:
- They have a very stupid reservation protocol which is not explained thoroughly on their website. They ask you to confirm your booking via the email they send you or you are supposed to call them and accept what they have offered you on the email, all after you submit your credit card information.
- You may skip their confirmation by mistake and end up without one when you get there, which was my case.
So, I strongly recommend you to stick to Anek or Minoan websites. I haven’t used them though…
When we disembarked from Igoumenitsa, it was on-schedule, but we were delayed somehow for disembarkation at Ancona Ferry Port about 2 hours.
Because of the mix-up with my reservation, I had to buy a new ticket to the ferry, and the very nice lady, Eleni had me promoted to a better room. So the customer service is better than may be expected. I am very pleased with the services received.
Anek Superfast ferry offers satallite internet access over Wi-Fi in limited areas for €3.00/2 hours. It is a good deal if you are stuck on a ferry for 18 hours straight.
The rooms are cleaner than most of the ferries I have been on in Italy and France. Most of the customers travelling are truck drivers. Families and young people are also quite common on board. I have seen one woman hitching giving winks to all the men passing by, one wonders her profession
Great service, mediocre food, clean rooms. What else do you want? I would travel on Anek more in the future.
One last thing: If you are travelling in the summer time-table I would recommend you to take an earlier ferry that arrives around noon time, or so was I told by a fellow rider…