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Renting a small boat for the day in Santorini or Mykonos (to self-drive)

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Greetings, Fodorites!

My husband and I will be traveling to Santorini, Mykonos and one other island (possibly Paros, Antiparos or Naxos) in June and we'd like to rent a small boat for the day in one (or more) of these places, instead of going on an organized boat tour (the idea of self-navigating the Caldera is heavenly!). We are both experienced boat operators. In Croatia, renting a small boat was easy to do without reserving one in advance, just walked down to the dock and 20 minutes later were off. Does anyone know whether this is possible in the Greek Isles? We don't need anything fancy; even a rib with a small outboard for the day would do. I located only one company online that offers this (Explorer 1) but I'd rather not book in advance unless it's necessary. We'd very much appreciate any advice on (a) whether such boat rentals are common in Santorini (or one of the other referenced islands); and (b) whether we should reserve something in advance?

Many thanks, and happy travels!

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    I really wouldn'the bother with Explorer1. We had a terribly disappointing experience with them - if you want to avoid wasting precious time on your holiday I'd avoid Explorer1 I'm afraid.

    We often hire self drive boats when on holiday and were looking forward to getting out in a boat in Santorini. Having booked a boat for Monday, we called before we set off only to be told they weren't able to launch the boats due to work at the port. Frustrating given we'd planned for a day in the boat but we figured these things happen and went to the beach. Odd that the boats weren't in the water we thought but were assured by Dan (of Explorer1) that the work would "100% be finished Monday" so agreed to move the booking to Tuesday.

    A little concerned given the wasted day we called Monday evening to be told all was well and just to call an hour before we'd be arriving in the morning to make sure the weather was OK. We did and Dan told us "ready to go, it looks like a perfect day". We stopped at the shops to buy supplies for the day but just 2mins from the port we had a call from Dan to say "bad news. The port is not open, you cannot take the boat".

    The lack of communication between Dan and the port his business relies on is unfathomable and cost us a morning of our holiday driving to and from the port. Dan seemed pretty philosophical about the whole thing - we were told "these things happen" - but the port is all the way up on the north coast of the island so we got stuck in all the morning coach traffic coming back. Moreover, had we known hiring a boat was not an option we could have gone on a skippered tour - not ideal but those trips were now fully booked.

    Really not very happy at all and I wouldn't want anyone wasting time and money on Explorer1. Regrettably we could find no alternative companies and Dan wasn't willing/able to help beyond telling us that he "thinks there might be one on the other side of the island". Not much use at all.

    A low point on what has otherwise been a lovely relaxing holiday.

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    Antiparos has a very good boat rental company, and there are lots of interesting places to explore, including sea caves at the south of the island. Pick a day when it isn't too windy, as they won't let boats go out when it is.
    http://www.antiparosrentaboat.gr

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