The beauty of the Greek islands, with the gorgeous beaches, the sun and the crystal-clear waters, is accessible to anyone who chooses Greece as a vacation spot. This is due to the strong network of coastal transport and communications, serviced by modern vessels of all categories, and going to all destinations.
The luxurious and speedy vessels of the Greek coastal shipping industry, complement and add to the charm of the Greek multitude of islands, as numerous and regular connections shorten the distances between the center and the isle. Under these conditions, the Greek isles become the neighborhoods and suburbs of one large city.
Vessels of every type, passenger ships, ferries, hydrofoils and catamaran craft cross the sea highways, in all the seas of the country, able to carry 100,000 passengers and 20,000 private vehicles every day. These vessels are distributed in such a manner that they connect the Central harbours of Attica, Piraeus and Rafina with the islands, and every island to the other. In addition, other harbours of Attica and continental Greece are connected by ship with the islands.
Moreover, the remaining harbours of Attica and the other harbours of mainland Greece such as Patras, Kyllini, Thessaloniki, Igoumenitsa, Alexandroupolis, Kavala, Volos, etc. have a coastal connection to the island region.
Most domestic routes take place every day and throughout the year. Some depart in the afternoon for all-night travel, and some leave in the morning to return on the same day via the same or other ports.
The vessels belonging to members of the Union of Coastal Passenger Ships Owners and the Union of Domestic Ferries, some newly built and some recently renovated, fulfill all the requirements set forth by international agreements, community regulations and national legislation with respect to matters of fire safety, safe navigation, comfort and the protection of marine environment etc.
With regards to the accommodation of the passenger of such vessels, the common goal of Greek ship owners is to ensure the vacationing of the passengers, from their entry to the ships carrying them to the island they have chosen as their vacation spot, to their return by ship at the end of this vacation.
All passenger ships, depending on the routes they do, have First and Economy classes, bar, restaurant and other services that vary depending on the type of vessel and the duration of the trip.
The Greek state, in accordance to international agreements and contemporary social imperatives, has established legislative amendments regarding the transport of handicapped persons on Greek coastal passenger ships, in accordance with particular specifications. Modifications are already under way in the ships, depending on their routes, aiming to make them more accessible to such persons, practically in the entire Greek coastal transport. The servicing of sea passenger between the Dodekanese, the Cyclades, and the islands of the Eastern Aegean is concluded with the free and subsidised itineraries of local routes, for which the Ministry of the Aegean is responsible.
In this manner, whoever wants to get acquainted with Greece, from one corner to another, can put to use the options offered by the Greek maritime transport and communications.