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European Summer School on Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

XVI
12-19 September
2023

Travel to Spetses Island

In order to reach Spetses you have to take a ferry from Piraeus Port which is on the outskirts of Athens. Ferries regularly get cancelled due to the high summer winds. The bigger sea-cats are less likely to get cancelled than the dolphins/aerospeeds. 

To ensure that you arrive on Spetses island in time for the start of the course, we suggest you do one of the following travel options: 

Option 1: Arrive in Athens the night before the course starts and stay in a cheap hotel in Athens/Piraeus so that you can take the morning/lunchtime ferry to Spetses island. The course does not cover this additional night of accommodation but many students have done this in the past. Accommodation on Spetses island is expensive so most students don't choose to travel to Spetses island the night before the course starts because of the high cost of accommodation. 

Option 2: Arrive in Athens very early morning on the day the course is due to start and get the ferry directly from Piraeus to Spetses.

 

Ferry information:

The flying cats are better than the dolphins because they are bigger and more stable in the wind and therefore less likely to be cancelled in the Greek summer winds. It takes between 2 and 3 hours from Piraeus to Spetses depending on which ferry you take.  The winds are lower in the early morning or early evenings. The ferry can be booked through this website: https://www.bluestarferries.com/en-gb or https://alphalines.gr/en/ at:

  • 09:30 arriving 12:05 (Alphalines)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 06:00am latest to make that boat​

  • 10:00 arriving 13:00 (blue star ferries/Hellenic seaways)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 07:00am latest to make that boat

  • 13:30 arriving 15:50 (blue star ferries/Hellenic seaways)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 10:30am latest to make that boat

  • 15:15 arriving 17:20 (Alphalines)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 12:00pm latest to make that boat​

  • 15:45 arriving 18:40 (blue star ferries/Hellenic seaways)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 12:00pm latest to make that boat & you will miss registration & the opening session. Students should not take this boat unless they miss their earlier connections. 

  • 18:30 arriving 21:40 (blue star ferries/Hellenic seaways)

    • flight would need to arrive in Athens by 15:00pm latest to avoid traffic and make that boat and you will miss the first evening. Students should not take this boat unless they miss their earlier connections. ​

 

Piraeus port map annotated.jpg

Travel from Athens airport to Piraeus port

It takes approximately 1 hour to clear customs at Athens airport (sometimes slower so allow 1.5 hours to clear customs, particularly in the current COVID-19 climate). 

 

Option 1: Metro - If you are travelling from Athens airport to Piraeus by metro you need to leave at least 1.5 hours to travel between the two locations. It costs approximately €10 to travel from the airport to Piraeus (one way) using Metro Line 3. https://www.oasa.gr/en/visit-athens/metro-line-3-to-airport/. It is a five minute walk (500m) from the Piraeus Metro station to the Port. The first metro from the airport to Piraeus in the morning is at 06:10. Tickets can be purchased at the metro station. 

Option 2: Taxi - Depending on the time of day it takes approximately 1 hour from Athens airport to Piraeus by taxi. Traffic in Athens can be terrible though, particularly at rush hour. We have used the following company in the past https://www.welcomepickups.com/   If you can share a taxi with other students this will reduce the cost. It costs approximately €100 from the airport to Piraeus (one way).

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is a requirement for delegates who attend the course. Travel insurance IS NOT THE SAME AS MEDICAL INSURANCE. Please read the following carefully:

Travel insurance covers things like your travel costs in case you have to cancel, loss of baggage, refund of your delegate fee if you are unable to attend for any reason (ie if you cannot attend and your Institution wants to reclaim the costs of your delegate fee), insurance if you need emergency treatment whilst you are on the course (eg being flown off the island for emergency care). 

 

Most employers/organisations have insurance that covers their employees/students when they are travelling so you should check with your employer/institution if you aren’t sure. 

A European health card does not provide travel insurance, it only provides standard medical cover (which is unlikely to include things like emergency medical flights from Spetses island to the mainland). 

In previous years delegates who have not been able to obtain travel insurance through their institution have purchased it through https://www.globelink.co.uk/ which provides travel insurance for European citizens. There are many other providers who also provide travel insurance if you google for them.

You need to ensure you have travel insurance to cover any emergency costs you may incur. SCER accepts no liability for delegates' medical or other costs whilst attending the course. 

You will be required to provide a copy of your travel insurance certificate when you confirm your place on the course. The certificate will need to state it is travel insurance and that it covers things like flight cancellation, loss of baggage, medical insurance. YOU WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED ON THE COURSE WITHOUT PROOF OF TRAVEL INSURANCE.

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