Are you traveling by cruise ship and next stop is Santorini?
Get ready to visit one of the most famous islands in the world with the unique view and the unforgettable sunset!
A cruise ship trip gives you the opportunity to easily visit many places, but it also means that you probably have limited time to explore each place.
As Santorini is a small island but with many points of interest. Below we list the Top 5 Things to Know as a Cruise Visitor in Santorini.
1) Tips to know upon your arrival in Santorini
Approaching Santorini you will notice that it has two ports. The Port of Athinios and the Old Port of Fira.
Usually the cruise ships in Santorini disembark some passengers in Athinios and others in the Old Port of Fira.
If you choose to disembark at the port of Athinios, make sure that you have planned your transport. Arrange a Private Guide who will pick you up at the port. We do not suggest you take the municipal bus as in the summer months there are a lot of people and you will lose a lot of time.
Usually visitors who choose to disembark at the Old Port of Fira have already planned an excursion as it is the most common starting point for such excursions.
Make sure you are informed of the departure of the ship and its boarding time. If you choose private transport, we recommend that you arrange your transfer to the port in advance.
2) Excursion Meeting Points
If you are booking a bus trip, the meeting point is at the top of the cable car. Once you reach the Old Port of Fira, you will need to take a cable car to get to the top. At this point will be the tour guide of the company you have chosen. It will hold a sign with your name on it so you can recognize it.
If you have chosen a catamaran trip the meeting point could be either at the top of the cable car or at the Old Port. If it is the second, the excursion is most likely to start from there. Otherwise, you will have to meet the guide again at the top of the cable car, who will pick you up and drop you off at the port of departure of the private cruise.
Usually, catamaran cruises in Santorini start from the port of Ammoudi or the port of Vlychada. All excursions provide private transport so you can be sure that you will return to the point from where you were picked up.
These excursions are one of the best options for a cruise ship visitor. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view of the caldera and approach the famous volcano and swim in the hot springs.
3) How easy can I reach the Cable Cars?
As you arriving in Santorini via cruise ship, you will get down at the Old Port that’s directly beneath Fira and very different from Athinios. The cruise ships will anchor in the bay and then small boats (tenders) will come up and meet the ship.
These take the passengers from the cruise ship to the dock and then everyone joins the queue to ride up in the cable car. You need to follow the left side road towards Santozeum and the cable car station will be visible after a few meters.
Many tourists mistakenly think that the cable car station is beside Athinios whereas the fact is that the distance between Old Port Fira and Athinios is 8 km. The Cable car station beside Old port Fira is not at a walking distance from Athinios.
Once you reach the cable car station at Fira town there is plenty to see and do. You can start by exploring the small Archaeological museum right opposite the cable car station (open from 8.30 a.m to 3.00 p.m.) daily.
Regarding the cost it takes 8 euros to go up and 8 euros to go down via the cable car. The ride is very short… about 4 minutes and in this context the prices seem a bit steep. If you lug aboard heavy pieces of luggage they will cost 3 euros too.
Keep an eye on the Santorini Cable Car Time Table Page as the timings can change suddenly without notice.
4) Is there enough time for Catamaran trip?
During your cruise ship trip you can be informed by those in charge about the time you will be staying in Santorini. Based on this information you will be able to plan the things you can do on the island.
One of the best excursion options is the catamaran cruises. However, you should expect to have some margins before the start and after the end. The starting point is usually from Ammoudi or from the port of Vlychada. This means that you will need at least 1 hour for your transfer to and from the port.
We should also calculate at least half an hour of waiting on the cable car, especially during the summer months. Let us know the exact time of your arrival and departure so that we can suggest the best option for you!
We will be happy to adjust the start and end time of the private cruise tour and even change the port of departure for you!
With this cruise you will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful view of the Caldera. You will see the famous Skaroσ rock below Imerovigli, you will swim near the volcano and specifically in the well-known Hot Springs.
Then you will approach the Lighthouse of Santorini, one of the largest in the Mediterranean. The White and Red beaches are also places that you will see and you will have the opportunity to swim admiring a special landscape. Drinks and delicious food are served during the cruise.
Contact us to organize an unforgettable experience for you!
5) Is there a good option to Book a Private Land Tour?
Another great way to explore Santorini in a matter of hours is a private Land tour. If you do not have enough time, it may be a better solution as you will save a lot of time.
Private excursions usually last 3 to 4 hours. Your guide will pick you up from the port you choose to disembark and a wonderful tour of the island begins.
You will have the opportunity to visit the famous Oia. You will admire the magnificent caldera and the magnificent view to the Volcano. Then you can make a short stop in Imerovigli and take photos at the famous Skaros.
If you are interested in the history of this unique place you can dedicate some time to the Historical Museum in Fira or even better to visit the archeological site of Akrotiri.
All the guides are specially trained so that during the tour they describe in detail the characteristics of each point and of course they will lead you to incredible places for countless photos.
Of course last stop, the wonderful capital of the island, Fira. You will be able to browse the alleys with countless shops and buy wonderful souvenirs.
We are at your disposal to organize in the most ideal way your visit to our wonderful island!