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The busiest ports of Crete Island are the ports of Heraklion and Chania. These two ports serve as the main ferry hub from mainland Greece to Crete. Daily direct ferries to Crete, linking Piraeus, the port of Athens, to Heraklion and Chania, and from there, tourists go to their accommodation places around the island. The ferry trip from Piraeus to Chania in Crete lasts from 6-8 hours, depending on the vessel. The ferry trip from Piraeus to Heraklion in Crete lasts about 8 hours. There are both day and overnight ferries to Crete.
From Heraklion, there are also regular Greek ferry itineraries, particularly in summer, to various islands of Cyclades and Dodecanese, including the popular islands of Santorini and Rhodes. Recently (summer 2012), a new ferry from Piraeus to Crete was launched, this time to the port of Rethymnon. This ferry needs about 8 hours to go from Crete to Rethymnon. No online bookings can be made for this itinerary so far, as the ferry company does not accept online bookings.
Various smaller ports work all around Crete. On the western side of the island, the small port of Kissamos serves in summer ferries to Kythira, Antikythira and Gythio Peloponnese. The small ports of Sitia and Agios Nikolaos, on the eastern side of Crete, work only in summer and serve ferries to few Dodecanese islands, including Kassos and Karpathos. Occasionally, there are ferries from Piraeus to Agios Nikolaos but not every summer. From the port of Paleochora in southern Chania, there are ferries to the secluded island of Gavdos three times a week.