DAY 10: Santorini, GR

9 July – Island Tour

(Guide – Disney)

[On Shore times 0800 to 2000 (GMT+2]

Tender

SANTORINI HIGHLIGHTS: OIA, FIRA, VOLCANO, MINOAN EXCAVATION, WINERYS, BEACHES

Distances

Cable Car Stop to Fira – 850 m

Fira to Oia – 14 km

Oia to Pyrgos – 20 km

Pyrgos to Kamari Summer Resort – 5 km

Kamari Beach to Athinios – 10 km

Old Port (Fira) to New Harbor (Athinios) – 8 km

Port Information

Other ships in port that day: Pullmantur Horizon (1700-1800 passengers, 8:00 – 17:00)

Santorini requires tendering. Cruise ships anchor at Ormos Firon (Old Port) near the cable car where passengers ascend the 700 foot cliff to Fira (also called Thira), the capital city.

The villages and towns are ~700 vertical feet above the tender dock.  From the tender dock, it is possible to take a boat to the ferry dock for boat tours or climb the hill to get to Fira.  The path is zigzagged (588 steps according to one guide) and is shared between pedestrians and donkeys. Trip Advisor is full of reviews complaining how stinky and crowded the path is.  The other option is to take the cable car. The lines can be long, especially in the afternoon getting back to the ship. The cable cars can move around 700 people an hour, in one direction. There are 6 cars per train and each car can hold 6 people, so that’s 36 people per train. Then a single journey takes about 3 minutes, maybe a bit less: that’s 20 journeys an hour, maybe one or two more. So 36 x 20 = 720 people in an hour.

Travel options from a Cruise Ship to the Top of the 700 Foot High Cliff:

  1. Take the ship’s tender to the dock at Ormos Firon (Old Port of Fira). Ride the cable car (4 euro), walk up 588 steps, or ride a donkey (5 euro) to the top of the cliff at Fira (Thira).
  2. When your ship’s tender arrives at Ormos Firon, board a speedboat to Ormos Ammoudiou at Oia. Transfer from the boat to a bus up the cliff to visit Oia. Then the bus will transport you to Fira. (UNCLEAR WHETHER THIS IS CURRENTLY AN OPTION)
  3. Take a cruise ship shore excursion that includes a boat ride to Ormos Athinios, the ferry port, where you board a bus. At the end of your island tour, the bus will drop you off at the top of the cliff in Fira. (UNCLEAR EXACTLY WHERE DISNEY PORT EXCURSION RETURN TENDERS DOCK)

Travel options from Fira Down to the Old Port Dock for the Tender Back to Your Ship: Use the cable car, walk, or ride a donkey down the cliff to the dock.

Recommendations from Amelia and Sara

A Local Greek Experience & Fiesta (SA25)

Explore Oia and Fira during a quintessential daytrip that includes a lively lunch.

Prices: $99.00

Activity Level & Duration: Moderate, 6.5 to 7 Hours

Navigating a Mediterranean Oasis — Surround yourself with alluring sights and savory bites during a festive excursion to the unique island of Santorini.

On this adventure you will…

  • Take a short tender boat ride to the port where you will board a motorcoach and drive to the northeast side of the island of Santorini.
  • Arrive at the picturesque village of Oia to take in breathtaking views of the dramatic caldera and island. Here, you’ll encounter the classic whitewashed architecture Santorini is famous for, charming cobblestone streets and magnificent mansions—it’s truly a photographer’s paradise. Take advantage of some free time to stroll along the alleyways dominated by whites and blues and browse the quaint shops.
  • Leave Oia and discover the flavors and aromas of Greek cuisine in one of the island’s conventional taverns boasting panoramic views. Entertainment during lunch will take the form of traditional Greek dancing—a real treat for the body and mind!
  • Once fed and refreshed, continue on to Fira, the island’s capital perched on the caldera wall at 820 feet above sea level. After a short orientation tour, enjoy a little time to explore your own. Return to ship by tender boat.