Danube Delta Ferries and Hydrofoils
The state of Delta transport has improved greatly with the now daily hydrofoils going to both Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe. However, they do have a nasty tendency to change without warning. I’m listing the ferry/hydrofoil schedule below as of summer 2009, but it’s best to check the web site listed for last second changes.
Or just hire a row boat, piloted by a local fisherman, which is the only way to penetrate the delta’s exotic backwaters.
Unless you have no schedule to keep, hydrofoils (Tel: +40 (0) 755 080 370; www.naverapide.ro) are your best bet for visiting the Delta villages. They depart daily from the Hera Pontoon, 100 meters west of Hotel Delta in Tulcea to Sulina (11am, stopping in Crisan) and Sfantu Gheorghe (13.30, stopping in Mahmudia). Both journeys are 1 1\2 hours and cost 45 lei (10.50 euros) each way. Purchase tickets at the pontoon or on board. In high season, to guarantee a seat, reserve the night before either at the boat or by phone.
Tel. +40 (0) 511 553
www.navrom.x3m.ro (Romanian only)
Navrom operates passenger ferries year-round (though with devilish infrequency outside high season) to towns and villages in the delta. Ferry tickets are sold at Tulcea’s Navrom terminal from 11.30am to 1.30pm. In summer the queues are long, so get in the correct line early (each window sells tickets to a different destination). There are also ticket counters on the ferries themselves.
Tulcea to Sulina
There are now both fast and slow ferries to Sulina from Tulcea. Again, schedules change frequently, so check the web site for current information. If you intend to return on the fast ferry, it’s best to buy a return ticket when boarding in Tulcea, as it’s often sold out. Otherwise there’s always space – and extended time with your thoughts – on the slow ferry.
Slow ferries depart at 1.30pm on Monday through Friday (5.60 euros, 4 hours), returning at 7am on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays/Sundays.
The fast ferry leaves Tulcea at 1.30pm on Saturdays (7 euros, three hours) returning at 7am on Mondays.
The Tulcea-Sulina ferries stop at Partizani, Maliuc, Gorgova and Crisan (2.65 euros) on the way. To get to Mila 23 and Caraorman, disembark at Crisan and catch a local boat.
Tulcea to Sfantu Gheorghe
The slow ferry to Sfantu Gheorghe departs from Tulcea at 1.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (6 euros, 5 1\2 hours), returning at 7am on Tuesday, Thursdays and and Saturdays.
The fast ferry departs Tulcea at 1.30pm on Thursdays (7.50 euros, 2 hours), returning at 7am on Fridays.
These boats stop at Balteni de Jos, Mahmudia and Murighiol.
Tulcea to Periprava
Ferries to Periprava from Tulcea depart at 1.30pm on Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays (seven euros, four hours), stopping at Chilia Veche.
Return ferries leave Periprava at 6am on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays.