Choosing a boat trip or cruise from Mandraki harbour can be quite overwhelming; there are lots of little ticket desks stationed all along the harbour, each with sales reps competing with one other, waving a timetable or leaflet at passers by.
Unless you book in advance (which isn’t necessary) or stroll down to the harbour the day/evening before you want to travel, you need to be there as early as 8.30am to pay on the day as most boats leave at 9/10am.
As I mentioned in this post, we went on two boat trips while in Rhodes; one to Symi Island and another to Lindos.
Depending on which island(s) you want to visit, essentially, you have three options when it comes to choosing a trip based on the cost:
- The most affordable option is what the locals call the public transportation boat. This is a big ferry that often has around 100 passengers or so, and prices start from as little as €18 return per person. The boat is slow so the travel time to your destination takes longer and often it will be very crowded as the majority of people will opt for this option.
- Luxury cruises are around €60pp and include a buffet lunch, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks within the price. These cruises are on a yacht or super-yacht that take fewer passengers (around 20-25 people) and the journey to your destination is much faster.
- Private cruises cost a small fortune; upwards of €1500pp. This is exactly the same as a luxury cruise, with the exception of no other passengers! Probably great for couples on a romantic getaway with a huge budget, but far too frivolous if you ask me!
Day trip to Symi Island
We took the public transportation boat on our first boat trip; it was very slow and so crowded that a handful of people didn’t have a seat for the journey. It took 1.5 hours to get to Symi and then we had around 3 hours to explore the island before heading to Panormiti; a swimming stop nearby.
As the boat was so crowded and lots of people decided to stay on the boat while the others jumped into the sea, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our bags containing three cameras, both our phones, cards and cash unattended. You can never be too careful – so we decided to jump in one at a time, which was a bit of a shame.
The return journey took much longer as the sea was very rocky. We didn’t get a seat up on the deck and it was really warm and humid inside the cabin, so that’s when the sea sickness kicked in..
Day trip to Lindos
Having spent the day on a humid, crowded boat and felt the alleged ‘land sickness’ (the motion of the boat on a rocky sea for hours after getting off the boat) the day before, I knew I didn’t want to do it all over again the next day.
It was our last full day to squeeze in a trip to Lindos, and booking a luxury cruise was a no brainer!
We went with this company and I honestly can’t recommend them enough. Though they charge €60pp, we asked for a cheeky discount, and it worked! We bagged two tickets for €55 each, so it’s always worth asking!
This yacht only takes a maximum of 25 people (there were 20 of us on our trip) which means there’s a lot more space to move around and explore. The staff were incredibly hospitable, knowledgable and entertaining, and having fewer people on board makes you feel comfortable leaving your belongings behind if you both want to jump off at each swimming stop.
There were two swimming stops; St. Paul’s Bay and Anthony Quinn Bay – both of which are breathtaking! Spending the day on a luxury yacht, with friendly people and a delicious lunch was well worth it in my opinion – sometimes you just have to #treatyoself!
This was quite possibly my favourite day of our entire trip – I mean, who’d turn their nose up at spending the day on a luxury yacht!?
If you missed the vlogs, you can see them both down below.