Blue Star are in the middle of releasing their schedules for the first part of the winter,up to the end of January 2018.
So far the main result is confusion. There’s no doubt that the Blue Star Paros will continue to serve Symi throughout this period, as the Patmos is still under repair.
The Friday sailings are exactly as they have been last winter and all this summer (leave Piraeus 15:00 Thursday afternoon, calling at Kalymnos, Kos, Nissyros, Tilos, Symi (o7:45 Friday morning) Rhodes (09:10 Friday morning) and Kastellorizo. The return sailing leaves Rhodes at 19:00 Friday evening and calls at Symi at 20:30 before returning to Piraeus by the same route as outbound.
Based on Blue Star’s on line booking system, and information from the local agent, Symi Tours, the Wednesday calls will have the same arrangements as last winter.
However the online timetable differs! Assuming that the booking system is accurate, Blue Star Paros will leave Piraeus 15:00 Tuesday afternoon,call at Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, and Kos, reaching Symi at 05:50 Wednesday and Rhodes 07:05, then continuing to Karpathos. On the return journey she’ll leave Rhodes at 18:00 and Symi at 19:30. The Patmos was able to keep this schedule but I have doubts about the Paros. Her top speed is a little less, and the layout of the vehicle decks means more time at each stop loading and unloading. So this may simply be the best of a bad job, and some late running might be expected.
Finally, we can also expect odd calls by the third weekly sailing the Paros makes between Piraeus, Rhodes and return. Blue Star seem agreeable to diverting this via Symi if enough passengers or vehicles are likely to make it worthwhile. Both weekends of Panormitis festival will see this.