Santorini Island (Greece) is among the most popular ports of call on cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean. The island is in Aegan Sea, and is the southernmost of Cycladic Islands. Santorini is also known by the names Thera (Thira). It covers a total area of approx 91 km2 (35 ml2) and has population around 15,000.
- Santorini Island is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption which destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single isle, and created the geological caldera. A large central, rectangular lagoon, measuring about 12 by 7 km (7,5 by 4,3 ml), is surrounded via 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on 3 sides. The depth of the caldera is 400 m (1312 ft), which makes it impossible for any but the biggest ships to anchor anywhere in the bay. A fisherman's harbour is located at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The principal port on the island is Athinios. Fira is the capital, clinging to the top of the cliff that is looking down on the lagoon.
- Santorini is the most active volcanic centre in South Aegean Volcanic Arc, but what remains today is mainly a water-filled caldera. The island's volcanic arc is approx 500 km (310 ml) long and 20-40 km (12-25 ml) wide. The region became volcanically active about 3–4 million years ago, but volcanism on Thera started about 2 million years ago via the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around Akrotiri.
- Santorini Island is the site of one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: Minoan eruption (sometimes called Thera eruption), which occurred around 3,600 years ago at the height of Minoan civilization. The eruption left a huge caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits and may have led to the collapse of Minoan civilization on Crete, 110 km (68 ml) to the south, via a gigantic tsunami. Another theory holds that Thera eruption is the source of Atlantis' legend.
- Santorini is the most popular cruising destination of all Greek Isles. The busy season for the island is from July through August. Santorini is often described as paradise and is among the world’s most breathtaking places. The towns on the island are situated atop of high cliffs and are looking over the caldera of an ancient volcano.
- The primary industry on Santorini is tourism. The other main source of wealth includes agriculture. In recent years, the island has been voted one of the most beautiful in the world.
- Santorini Island remains the home of a flourishing wine industry, which is based on the Assyrtiko grape variety. White varieties include Aidani and Athiri, whereas red ones include mandilaria and mavrotragano.
- In October 2017, the Greek Government ordered the raising of the sunken cruise ship Sea Diamond. The vessel foundered (took on water and sank) in 2007, leaving 2 passengers missing and 1 presumed dead. The decision was made as the wreck posed a potential environmental risk and was deemed a hazard to shipping near the island. On April 5, 2007, the 143-m ship struck a volcanic reef. All of its 1600 passengers and crew were evacuated, excepting a 45-year-old male passenger (of French origin) and his teenage daughter, who probably drowned. The bodies were never found. For cruise ship accidents you can visit our CruiseMinus section.
The closest to the cruise port international airport is approx 6 km from downtown Fira. Santorini is often included in cruise itineraries of operated by Costa, MSC, Royal Caribbean, NCL Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, as well as the luxury brand companes Crystal, Azamara, RSSC Regent, Oceania, Seabourn, SeaDream.
In 2017, Santorini self-imposed a daily cruise passenger limit of 12,000. In 2018, this limit was further pushed down to 8,000 per day. The island's cruise port schedule for 2018 had a total of 439 ship calls. In 2017, the number of visits was 409.
Highlights: Thera, Akrotiri, Oia village
Santorini Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Santorini Island dock (anchor) at Thira - port town on the western coast. The cruise port is a tender port (doesn’t have passenger terminal). Cruise vessels anchor in the caldera and their passengers are tendered ashore to the Old Port in Fira (Skala) via local tender boats (called skunas). Cruise liners usually call on Santorini Island at 8 am and leave at 6 pm.
Cruise ship tourists can reach town Fira by walking, by donkey or by cable car. Cable car and donkey rides are affordably priced. A cable car is available every 20 min. Donkey rides from the cruise tender dock take up to 30 min, almost the same as walking.
Santorini Island tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Fira (Thira): the capital of the island is amazing place. The houses, the flowers, the sunsets – even they are impressive enough. All buildings are white with blue cupolas. The streets are narrow, the hotels are small, the cuisine in the restaurants is so tasty. The city is easily reached from Santorini cruise port tender dock – you need to climb 580 zig zag steps.
- Museum of Prehistoric Fira: located near the bus station.
- Folklore Museum: the museum is located on Kontochori. The building is a cave dwelling from the 19th century. Discover the typical household on the island. You can also find many local tools for wine-making or barrel-making. The Folklore Museum works from May to October. The admission is three euros.
- Oia: eight miles from Santorini cruise port tender dock (direction north) is the most photographed village of the island. Everything here is breathtaking, especially dinner at sunset.
- Naval Museum: the museum is located in Oia. It is open from April to November. The admission is three euros. The museum houses local ships models, equipment for navigation and more.
Port Santorini Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Santorini Island, Greece. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ship||Arrival||Departure||Next Port of Call|
|25 March, 2018|
|Pacific Princess||07:00||18:00||Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece|
|27 March, 2018|
|Viking Star||Piraeus, Athens, Greece|
|28 March, 2018|
|MSC Musica||08:00||17:00||Piraeus, Athens, Greece|
|31 March, 2018|
|Viking Star||Katakolon, Olympia, Greece|
The Santorini Island cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Santorini Island, Greece.
If you lose the Santorini Island location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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