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Symi gets new ferry from Rhodes

- by Dave Sewel

Symi gets new ferry service from Rhodes.

Greek island visitors can enjoy a new holiday service to Symi after the launch of the ferry boat Panagia Skiadeni. The ferry service started on April 1 with regular services on most days of the week between Symi and Rhodes.

It ends months of concern about the future of ferry services to the popular Greek island after rumours that the ferry firm ANES might axe services by rival ferryboat Proteus, a claim that ANES has always denied.

The Panagia Skiadeni ferry can carry 120 cars and up to 710 passengers. It has an open deck with seating and bar as is expected to call in at the Panormitis monastery which is a major tourist attraction for the island.

The ship was recently in the Chalkis shipyard for a major refit with extensive repairs and improvements

The Skiadeni timetable has sailings between Symi and Rhodes each day except Saturday with the Sunday route including a stop in Panormitis.

Other ferry services to Symi include the Dodecanese Pride which arrives daily from Rhodes and the Blue Star ferry Diagoras which calls in on Wednesdays.

The Proteus has not yet issued a timetable and times of sailings can be found here.

The launch of the Panagia Skiadeni service was not without a hitch. All ferries sailing to Symi were having to berth near the clock tower and cars and bikes coming off the ferry had to drive right around the harbour.

Road resurfacing by the Customs House wasn't finished on time and cars, bikes, and small lorries coming off the ferry were forced to squeeze through very narrow alleys and back streets.

Some years ago a berth was built opposite the bus stop, but only ANES Lines use this berth, and they have yet to announce any sailings.

A row broke out when rival ferry operators wrote to the mayor of Symi warning of problems facing ANES, the company that operates the 'Proteus' ferry throughout the year.

They claimed ANES was unable to guarantee regular ferry crossing from Rhodes and offered to launch their own service with the Skiadeni ferry.