A Ferry to Greece

Greece is the place to go during holidays: seaside, culture and excellent food. Why don’t share this pleasure with our “pets friends”?

If your pet is microchipped (or has a tatoo) and has its pet passport, then it fill all requirements to enter the Country.

Flights (at least, from Italy) are not that cheap. But ferries can be a nice alternative. I had travelled twice with Minoan Lines from Italy to Greece as a foot passenger: great experiences. So I have checked on the company’s website to see if pets were allowed on board:

PETSPets travel free of charge in specially designated kennels on the ship’s deck. Pets are not allowed in indoor public areas or cabins. Pet owners are responsible for feeding and pet hygiene. Pet owners are required to have their pet’s valid health papers with them.
 (from http://www.minoanlines.it/en/condiz.htm)

I have called the company and they added pets have a dedicated area, “The Dog’s Village”. Fine then.

But, as soon on board, I have realized that the Dog’s Village was occupied by deck passengers and hence dogs could stay exclusively inside their kennels. Furthermore, kennels available were not enough for all dogs on board and they were globally dirty.

On the other hand, tolerance on board was quite high. Even though pets were not allowed to enter inside the ship, many pet owners took their pets in indoor areas and no one ever asked them to respect the rules.

Deck passengers could sleep in indoor areas even with their pets and I have heard many dogs barking from cabins.

Kennels and Dog’s Village were already enough to think that traveling by Minoan Lines with a pet was not a good idea, but the real problem for Argo was.. the toilet. I assume that the Dog’s Village was the area dogs could use as “restroom” but it was completely “out of service”.

The rest of the ship was windy, noisy, crowded. Argo finally did what he needed to but others passengers looked at him (and at me) as we were totally impolite. I wish I could explain them that there was no other solution but I was so ashamed I just wanted to hide myself.

In order to calm down Argo during this 26 hours travel, I have used Bach Flowers Drops. This natural remedy makes that pets are less exited than usual but not sedate. I think now that combination of Bach Flowers, stress and the fact he could not urinate as he needed eventually has some hallucinatory effects: when he was running on the deck he started to bark insistently to a couple, then to everyone, and he seemed to be pretty aggressive. Then he stopped, and returned to be the dog I know.

by Charles Rassaert. All rights reserved.

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10 thoughts on “A Ferry to Greece

  1. Akila says:

    That is absolutely terrible. I can’t believe that there’s nowhere on decks for dogs to use the toilet — the Dog’s Village didn’t have an area inside? I saw on the Minoan Lines website that certain ferries (including the Europa) which is the one that goes from Patras to Venice has pet-friendly cabins. We were planning on using that but if there isn’t a place where they can pee/poop, that’s a real problem and we’ll try and use an alternate way.

    • Giulia Galeano says:

      The Dog’s village in Europa palace is a place banked up over the swimming pool area. In this area there are the kennels and an empty space where I suppose dogs are allowed to left off.
      As I explain in the article, this space is used by deck-passengers to camp. I have pointed out the lack of hygiene this situation can create without any response.
      I have finally found a solution: the rock garden close the pool bar. It was extremely embarrassing: behind the glass, other passengers were having a coffee. On the other hand, that was the only place where no one would ever sleep or walk in.
      It sounds to me brand new that Minoan Lines has pet-friendly cabins but maybe they are starting to take care of these special passengers?
      Please bear in mind that I lived this situation in August and the ship was full. Maybe you will find a better environment if traveling during low season.

      • Tina says:

        Hi, Giulia,
        Do you know if you can sleep in the car with your dog on the ferries, has I am looking to book as a deck passenger , only seen that camper vans can do this .
        It’s my first time touring from Cyprus to UK and looking for a good way to get over with my dog from Greece to Italy with as little stress for him.
        Thanks for any help

      • Giulia Galeano says:

        Some companies accept dogs on board only if they are kept inside your car, but you won’t be able to stay there with your pet. It’s a bit stressy for both you and your dog so I suggest you to find a ferry company allowing your dog on the deck.

  2. Beatrice says:

    I travelled with my dog Argos with Super Star Ferries, from Patra to Ancona. It was december so there where really few people on the ship and I didn’t had your problem. Argos made his need everywhere on the ship and nobody was looking at him 🙂
    Of course, I clened.
    But I understand very well what you mean!
    May I ask you an information? I will return to Greece next month, with Minoan Lines, and I would like to know how the kennels look like! are they in a noisy place? or maybe windy? ar they safe ( I mean if the dog can come out alone)?
    On Superstar Ferries the kennel where very safe and not noisy or windy!
    Thank you for any information you can give to us 🙂 !!

    • Giulia Galeano says:

      Hi Beatrice!
      Kennels on Europa Palace, Minoan Lines, were very few.. I’d say 6 medium size kennels and 2 big. The space was very small, no windows so the only light source was the door, permanently open. I wouldn’t say kennels were in a particularly noisy area but if the swimming pool is open, it’s really crowded and hence can be stressful for dogs.
      Hope this answer your question, otherwise, please feel free to contact me at any time!

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