Planning to take the ferry from Saranda, Albania to Corfu, Greece? Here’s what to expect:
There are two companies that serve the ferry route from Saranda to Corfu: Ionian Sea Ways and Finikas Lines. Each posts their timetables online and offers online booking. They seem to work as a partnership to ferry travelers back and forth from Saranda to Corfu.
If you choose to book your ferry tickets in person in Saranda, the office for booking both Finikas Lines and Ionian Seaways is on the street level just above the port in central Saranda:
In Corfu, the booking office is less conveniently located about half a kilometer from the port:
You will need to have your passport with you when you book, and you have to pay in cash (in Albania you can pay in leke, the local currency). Staff at both offices spoke excellent English.
There are 2 types of ferries from Saranda to Corfu: a fast ferry service on an enclosed air-conditioned hydrofoil, which takes about 30 minutes, and a 70-minute open-air ferry that also ferries cars (and dogs) across.
Ferries run at least twice a day during the high season. We paid 19 euros each for the Finikas Lines fast ferry from Saranda to Corfu departing at 10:30am on a Wednesday morning. We paid twenty-three euros each for the slower ferry from Corfu to Saranda with Ionian Sea Ways departing at 1pm on a Saturday. The slow ferry does not seem to be a cheaper option.
We originally booked a 9am return fast ferry from Corfu to Saranda, and decided we wanted to depart later. We emailed Finikas Lines customer service who were responsive. They told us that we could skip the fast ferry we originally booked, and come to the Corfu booking office to switch out our tickets. We ended up having to buy new tickets, and once back in Saranda we went to the booking office where we were refunded the second pair of tickets in cash.
Before you board the ferry, your passport and ticket will be checked, and your luggage will go through a security x-ray. On board both ferries you will need to stow your luggage in a communal space before you sit down, and you won’t be able to access it during the journey. Neither ferry from Saranda to Corfu has assigned seats. You can take food and drinks on board in your hand luggage. The slow ferry does have a bar selling sodas, beers, and a few light snacks.