Blue Star have started loading their timetables from February onwards. This is obviously a work in progress, as there are gaps in the operating dates and occasionally the same ferry appears in two different places at the same time. but hopefully the whole timetable will appear soon.
What appears likely is that the Blue Star Paros will disappear off the route through Symi after 13 January for annual overhaul, being replaced by the Blue Star Delos until the end of January. The Delos is the only ship Blue Star has that can fit into Symi Harbour but hasn’t yet done so, and local ship enthusiasts will no doubt be happy to see her. From February 1 everyone will be delighted by the return of the Blue Star Patmos fresh from the repair yard (if the work is finished on time), and she should stay on the route
at least until 22nd June all summer. Less popular will be the continuation of the winter times on Wednesday mornings allowing the ship to continue to Karpathos up to the end of May and for October. People may appreciate the Wednesday sailing from Rhodes to Symi being at 18:00 rather more! Between late June and the beginning of September the Wednesday morning sailing from Symi to Rhodes will be at 06:40, otherwise it is 05:45.
Then at the beginning of September, the Paros returns for a couple of months, still on the winter Wednesday times (but also appears to operate daily between Piraeus and Mykonos, so both timetables can’t be right). We don’t yet know which ship will appear from 23 June, and whether the 3 ferries a week we saw in high season 2017 will reappear in 2018.
In high season 2017 Blue Star had three sailings a week in each direction through Symi. Apparently this was in part an experiment and in part due to the use of the Paros, which wouldn’t otherwise have been able to handle all the vehicle traffic on offer. Things return to the usual 2 sailings in each direction for summer 2018, but the Patmos has much greater vehicle carrying capacity.
The Rhodes-Piraeus fast services are very much up in the air at the moment. There are strong rumours of the return of Diagoras (which has spent the last year or so shuttling between Spain and Morocco) to cover the annual overhaul periods of Blue Star 1 and 2, and something (probably not Diagoras) will need to appear in the Dodecanese to replace Superfast XII which has been operating alongside Blue Star 2 for the last couple of years, but will leave the fleet if the merger with Hellenic Seaways goes ahead.
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