For over 20 years, the link between the island of Samothrace and mainland Greece was serviced by Saos Ferries (in 2017 there was an attempt by CS Ferries to provide some competition but it failed).
Following the incidents of 2019 when hundreds of tourists were stranded for a few days on the island, the contract with Saos Ferries was terminated and a new one was signed with Zante Ferries which now provides transportation between Samothrace and Alexandroupoli with their ship Adamantios Korais.
The ship Adamantios Korais
It was built in 1987 on a Japanese ship yard and was used on various routes in Japan up until 2007 when it was bought by Zante Ferries. The ship was refurbished and modified. It takes its name after Adamantios Korais, a Greek writer who lived in the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th.
The ferry is painted white and orange and measures 100 meters in length and 17 in width. It can carry up to 1100 passengers, 250 cars and reaches a maximum speed of 18.6 knots (35 km/h).
The routes to Samothrace
In the summer of 2020 there are daily trips between Alexandroupoli and Samothrace and return. In some days of the week there are even two trips.
Starting this year Samothrace is also linked to the island of Limnos - on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from Samothrace and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from Limnos (one trip per day). Tip: if you have days to spare, Limnos is well worth a visit.
The duration of the trip from Alexandroupoli to Samothrace is 1 hour and 50 minutes and from Samothrace to Limnos is 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Check out the ferry schedule for Alexandroupoli-Samothrace-Alexandroupoli and Samothrace-Limnos-Samothrace here: Ferry schedule to and from Samothrace.
How much is the ferry ticket?
There are two separate tickets - one for each passenger (14.5 € / trip for Economy Class) and one for the car (48 € / cars shorter than 4.25m, 55 € / cars longer than 4.25m). The ticket for motorbikes under 250cc is 12 € and for biker over 250cc is 14.5 € / trip.
Some of the trips (especially outside the tourist season) are subsidized and thus have lower fares: 9 € / passenger (Economy), 39.5 € / cars shorter than 4.25m, 47 € / cars longer than 4.25m, 8 € / motorbikes under 250cc, 11.5 € / motorbikes over 250cc.
Children under 5 will travel for free, but must also have a ticket (even though it will say 0 € on it). Children with ages between 6 and 10 pay halfprice.
The price for a ticket on this route is 11 € / passenger, 31 € / cars under 4.25m, 39 € / cars over 4.25m, 10 € / motorbikes under 250cc and 13 € / motorbikes over 250cc.
For this route the prices are as follows: 15.5 € / passenger, 50.5 € / cars under 4.25m, 58 € / cars over 4.25 m, 11 € / motorbikes under 250cc and 14 € / motorbikes over 250cc.
One of the ways to buy tickets is online using a debit/credit card. To make the reservations you will be prompted for the following information:
- number and name of the passengers
- date of birth
- contact information (email, phone number)
- type of vehicle
- registration number
The tickets are individual and have the passenger's printed on them. They have to be picked up from the Zante Ferries office (ex Saos Ferries) in the port of Alexandroupoli (address: Meg. Alexandrou 1, Alexandroupoli; phone: +(30)210 4100211). Have your ID Card and reservation number ready.
Plan ahead a little and get to the port with some time to spare. There might be a queue at the ticket office and you'll also need some time to board the ferry.
Buy tickets in person
You may also buy ferry tickets to Samothrace directly from the office in the port of Alexandroupoli. You will most likely find tickets, but there's also a small chance that there aren't any tickets left for your ferry of choice - especially in high season.
In Samothrace tickets can be bought at the wood kiosk in Kamariotissa harbor.
COVID-19 ferry travel measures
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece has imposed some safety measures for ferry traveling.
Thus ferries will not be allowed to carry their maximum capacity. When boarding, thermal screening will be applied to passengers. You must also present a filled-in health questionnaire, which you will get from the ferry office, when you pick up or buy your ticket.
The use of face masks is mandatory, both inside and outside.
Traveling by ferryboat
The ferry is spacious and modern. There is a bar where you can buy a snack or something to drink while on route. Sandwiches cost 1.25-1.45 Euro, pies 2.7 Euro, a bottle of water 0.5 Euro, Greek coffee 1.2 Euro, frappe 2.8 Euro and various specialties (cappuccino, freddo cappuccino, freddo espresso) between 2.6 and 3.2 Euro.
On the ship you'll meet all sorts of travelers - from barefooted hippies leaning on a huge backpack to elderly tourist enamored by the island for years and years, to locals bringing supplies from the mainland.
Even though it's summertime and it's warm, it would be advisable to have a windbreaker or hoodie on you and probably a cap or a hat if you plan on staying on the upper deck. A nice distraction on the trip are the seagulls following the ship (usually fed by people on board with biscuits and bread), the elusive dolphins that may follow the ship for short periods of time and the unmistakable silhouette of the island that grows bigger as you get closer.
After a two hour journey the ferry will lay anchor in the harbor of Kamariotissa in Samothrace.