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Cruises to Santorini

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Santorini (Photo:PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock)

About Santorini

Spectacular Santorini -- scene of one of the world's most violent volcanic eruptions around 1450 B.C. -- is inarguably the most scenically dramatic of all the Greek Islands. Officially the island is Thira, yet the Latin name of Santorini persists. With its pitch-black beaches, rugged landscape and stunning caldera (volcanic crater), it's more akin to one of the Canary Islands than the Cyclades, though its whitewashed churches and clifftop houses score highly in the charm stakes.

This is the island for lovers of natural beauty, though sun seekers may not fancy its beaches. Best views are from the cliffs bordering the caldera, which was formed when the center of the island basically collapsed into itself. Geologists marvel at the cliffs' multi-hued strata of rock, lava and pumice, so take your camera and be prepared to feel the earth move (perhaps even literally -- Santorini's most recent major earthquake was in 1956, although there was one nearby in 2009).

It's worth remembering that the bay surrounding Santorini is actually the world's largest volcanic crater, created 3,500 years ago by a massive eruption of the Thera volcano (which is still active). The bay is also believed by some to conceal the legendary lost city of Atlantis. There's plenty here to set your imagination working, even though the modern-day city of Thira, officially Fira, was completely rebuilt after an earthquake in 1956.

If you're happy to enjoy a browse around the shops and a lazy lunch with a view, Fira will fit the bill perfectly -- and it even has some 9th-century clifftop ruins to explore. But to see the best of Santorini, you should take a shore excursion, via bus or taxi, further afield.

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  • Santorini Cruise Port Facilities?

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Regal Princess
Regal Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Regal Princess

21 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

1,594 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Escape
Norwegian Escape (Photo: Norwegian)
Norwegian Escape

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

2,810 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Coral Princess
Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Coral Princess

107 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Brilliance of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Brilliance of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Coral Princess

107 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Brisbane
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Escape

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Breakaway

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regal Princess

14 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Breakaway

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Constellation

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Coral Princess

52 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Breakaway

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Ovation

18 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jade

7 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Odyssey of the Seas

8 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Encore

7 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nautica

7 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Westerdam

24 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nieuw Statendam

10 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azura

14 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Malta
Cruise Line:P&O Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Odyssey of the Seas

8 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Volendam

24 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Epic

9 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Journey

11 Night
Cruise to SantoriniDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Azamara Voyages
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Santorini?

Pros:

Santorini is home to one of the world's most iconic skylines and offers excellent dining and sightseeing

Cons:

To see much of anything beyond the main town of Fira, you'll need to book an organized shore excursion or tour

Bottom Line:

Santorini is scenic spot to soak up Grecian culture and enjoy some sunshine and shopping

Santorini Cruise Port Facilities?

Tenders shuttle passengers right to the base of Fira; you must ride the funicular (or a donkey) up to the town itself.

Good to Know?

Ubiquitous -- and noisy -- Greek motorcycles.

Getting Around?

Fira can easily be explored on foot, and buses run hourly to Akrotiri and Oia from the bus station at the end of Gold Street. Taxis also abound (negotiate a rate in advance) and are a more reliable option if time is at a premium.

A lot of people hire quad bikes now, just for the day. It's a massive new industry, and you can't miss the hire shops in Fira.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Euro. There are banks and exchange bureaus in Fira.

Language?

Greek, but virtually everybody speaks English.

Where You're Docked?

There are actually two ports within caldera, Fira and Athinos. Ships have to anchor off Santorini and tender passengers into Skala Fira, the small port below the capital, Fira (also known as Thira). Thira dates from the 9th century and lies atop 1,000-foot cliffs at the edge of the caldera. You can reach it by funicular, bus or go up the steep, winding steps the fun way -- by donkey! Some ships transfer their passengers direct to Athinos from where there are bus transfers to the top.


Santorini Cruise Reviews
A tiny little port where you get with small tender boats . A cable car will take you on top where is Fira, the maintown of Santorini. A magical little place..... Read More
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Filos Filos
Our 3rd time with a cruise on Santorini this year. Did again the hike up the Donkey trail to Thira, on over the crater rim to Oía and all the way back to Thira and down the Donkey trail. Total walking distance 25... Read More
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mountainclimber1
Had previously spent a week on Santorini, had visited all the major sites including Akotiri excellent... Read More
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Albeback
Oct 8- Santorini 7am-6pm - [ ] The key will get you escorted off the ship any time you want between 7:30-9:3am. We did breakfast in the dining room at 8:30 and went off the boat by 9:30/10. Was very handy and... Read More
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cbutera

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