Please help with our Santorini trip

Old Jun 27th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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Please help with our Santorini trip


We will be in Santorini for one day on a cruise ship and will not be taking any tours from the ship. We would like to head over to Oia first and then to Fira before heading back to the ship. We are traveling with 4 adults and 2 toddlers. Our ship will be docking at the port "Skala-Thira".

1) What is the best/cost effective way to get to Oia and then to Fira. Because we are limited on time, I assume it is by taxi because the buses may be too crowded and too hard to find??? Please advise.

2) Also, if by taxi, how much will it cost us from the port to Oia and from Oia to Fira and from Fira back to the ship?

3) Where exactly can we find these taxis?

4) If taxis are not the best way to go, will there be small private tour companies (minivans) at the port that we could pay to take us around?

5) How accessible are taxis? Are they readily available??? We wouldn't want to be left by the ship on account of us not being able to find a taxi.

jksmommy is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Unless you're going to Oia for something other than the sunset, it's not different enough to make the trip. When your ship docks, you won't normally have enough time to see the sunset in any case in the summer before you sail.

The ships moor out in the bay and you come into the port on tenders, which gets pretty hectic on a big ship. Once on land, you have two ways to get up the cliff, either walk up the path or take the cable car. The donkeys which make the walk up the path carrying oversize tourists should not be used. They are not well looked after despite initiatives from British travellers and press. The cable car can take you about15 to 30 minutes in line, up and down, so allow enough time when you return.

Fira is 10k away and will take about 15 or 20 minutes, whilst Oia is a further 2K away. If you're not first on land, you'll also struggle to find a taxi to get out of the port area. Sorry, can't help on cost.
Lifeman is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2009, 04:37 AM
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Unfortunately, there's more bad news. Cruise ships routinely discriminate against those who don't sign up for their overpriced tours. The Tour people are placed first in line for the tenders and then the cable cars... thus the others, on a ship holding up to 2,000 people, can be delayed as much as an HOUR getting on shore ... and this for a stop of only 4 hours total!

THis can be compounded on a day when more than one cruise ship docks. Here is a link showing cruise ship schedules.

I remember sitting on a bench outside the cathedral, when a group of cruise folks were being herded toward the cable car. "Hurry! Hurry"" shouted the leader. People with canes and even walkers were stumbling along. One woman whimpered, "They didn't say anything about this in the brochures!"

No, they don't tell you the realities when they're selling a cruise; that's why we regular contributors often feel frustrated when people come here for help AFTER they make their cruise decision, not before.

I don't quite understand Lifeman's saying "Fira is 10K away and Oia another 2". The island is about 12.5 miles long. The cable car comes right up in Fira Town, which is in the middle of the island; here's a map: Oia is about 6 miles further, at the tip. A taxi from Oia to the port IF u could get one, would be about €25.

If you rent a car in Fira Town by the square, in High seasn it would cost you 50€ and with your large party, you'd need 2. So -- I agree, forget Oia, go to the museum and enjoy, find a cafe with a good view of the caldera and relax for the short time you have there.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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we were just on santorini last month. we arrived by cruise ship in the same port as you will arrive. Our ship docked at noon and we did not need to be back on the last tender until 10pm. There was only one other cruise ship that day so I know we lucked out that there was no wait for us to catch a tender. but we did hear nightmare stories like the previous person who posted about the wait on days when several mega ships happen to be in there at the same time. Not sure how long you will be staying but we had plenty of time. this was my 5th time to santorini and i was nervous that this amount of time would not be enough as i find santorini to my personal version of paradise. however, 10 hours was a good amount of time. when you book a cruise you know yo will not get to see eveythng so just focus on a couple things and do them well. we walked around fira, shopped, saw the museum, had drink on the caldera then took the bus to Oia, had dinner watched the sunset, took the bus back to fira, then funicular back to the port to the tender. we were the last ones on the ship but we made the most out of our day. so depending on how much time you have you can do alot. we missed the beaches and the great nightlife but we knew we would when we booked the cruise. and that was ok. we sailed on azamara and loved it.
williamsville, ny
ChristaNY is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:13 PM
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This year I met someone on Santorini who had been there many times as a social director on cruise ships and he told me a "secret" about disembarking. If you arrive in the morning there are usually one or two early tenders going ashore before the tours begin that you can take if you don't mind missing breakfast. I don't know if this is true of every cruise ship but it's worth looking into.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Another tip for people who are deciding on bookng a cruise ... there is a port schedule website that shows which cruise ships will be in which port on a certain day. YOu can plug in the date that your Cruise brochure lists as the Santorini stop. If you see 3 mega-cruisers listed as being there that day -- either book another cruise line, or book a later/earlier sailing. Here's the link:

Also a word to the wise in choosing cruises. Don't let the brochure language sweep you away! There will be oceans of poetic praise for Santorini'S beauty, but search with a cold eye for the REAL key information -- how long will the ship dock at Santorini. If it docks at 4 pm and leaves at 9, choose another sailing!! If you only have one day, at least let it be a full day, not 5 measly hours (really, 3, by the time you get off and get back on ).
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