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Santorini experts - how to deal with cruise ship crowds???

Santorini experts - how to deal with cruise ship crowds???

Old Aug 28th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Santorini experts - how to deal with cruise ship crowds???

Hello
When I planned our upcoming trip to Greece/Turkey, I didn't even think about the cruise ship schedules. This was bad planning on my part, and unfortunately, because of inter-island flights that are non-refundable, I can't change our itinerary.

We'll be in Santorini for four nights at the end of Sept. I just found out that there will be ships there every day. I'm upset but want to make "lemonade from lemons."

We're staying in a beautiful B&B in Firostefani which I hope will be somewhat away from the crowds.

Can anyone give advice on how to "sidestep" the crowds?

Thanks in advance
Carol
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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Because there are so few shops and restaurants in Firostefani you won't be surrounded by cruisers if you stay there. Fira and Oia is where most of them go. So if you stay out of those two villages during mid-day and around sunset you won't be elbow-to-elbow walking through the lanes.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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Thanks brotherleelove.

Unfortunately, we want to see all of Santorini so I guess we'll have to "navigate" around as you suggest to try to avoid the crowds as much as possible.

I'm really thinking about changing our itinerary but I'd need to contact the airlines first . . .
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Are there days without cruise ships?
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Just to be clear, both Oia and Fira are very popular, so you should expect some crowding no matter when you are out exploring, especially in Fira. The best time to experience the beauty of the island villages is in the morning when everything is peacefull and still. Late evenings are also wonderful.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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Some days there are more ships than others. Brotherleelove gives excellent advice. We plan our trips using "cruise ship avoidance", choosing waterfont locations where they don't go.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 08:52 AM
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We stayed in Finikia this June just outside of Oia. We soon learned that if you go to Oia in the morning the bus loads of people do not start arriving until noonish perhaps 11. So you get Oia pretty uncrowded.
After the cruisers arrive we simply wandered back into Finaikia and enjoyed an authentic village experience.
You could rent a car and visit Pyrgos the medeavil town out on the plains of Santorini what a view. You could combine that with a winery tour or visit the Red beach which is a bit hard to get to so no cruisers there.
Finikia
http://travel.webshots.com/album/580751235fSDnLU
Oia
http://travel.webshots.com/album/580749989pYemZp
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice.

I am actually looking at cruisett.com for schedules (thanks brotherleelove - didn't even know about this website until I saw a post of yours on tripadvisor with this link)

We'll be on Santorini for four days and all four days there will be cruise ships in port! Fortunately, one of the days just has a small ship so it shouldn't be too bad.

As we are planning on seeing as much as Santorini as possible, we'll try to navigate around the crowds.

I even looked at totally changing our itinerary as we'll be getting cruise ships when we're in Chania Crete!

I'm usually such a good travel planner and thought I did all my honewodk. Oh well, we'll make the best of it!
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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There is no set time when the busloads of cruisers get to Oia. It really depends on when they first arrive on the island. Some ships arrive during the night or early morning hours, and they will probably off-load passengers as early as 8am, so that means that those who opt for the bus tour will get to Oia long before 11am. I've seen them there as early as 9-9:30.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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Also (forgot to mention), the CruiseTT website doesn't always show every ship scheduled to arrive, so there might actually be more ships in port than indicated.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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More ships . . . oh no!!!
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 11:32 AM
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I will also be arriving at the end of Sept & staying in Oia. Looks like I arrive with the hoards on Thurs 9/22! Any recommendations for managing the crowds? Since we will just be arriving that day, I don't plan on leaving Oia until the next day.
Paule
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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During our 4 nights in Oia this sumer, the cruise ship crowds never seemed a problem for us during our wandering in Oia. If you run into them, they are usually on their way somewhere...Oia seemed stretched out enough that we barely ever noticed them even though they were there each day.
cheers,
CC
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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clehrman; Agree with CaptCanuck. Take a deep breathe. Don't ruin your vacation. While we were not in Santorini this trip, we were in Rhodes city and Lindos in late June. People everywhere, but it was wonderful. Forget the cruise ships and enjoy the island.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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I agree with the previous posters. I was on Santorini in Oia for four days in May. Never noticed the cruise ships or any crowds they created. On a visit to Fira one afternoon there were more crowds from the ships, but still nothing to be concerned about. Hope you have a wonderful time! It's a lovely place!
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Agree as well - we spent 4 nights on Santorini and saw cruise ships in the harbor every day, but were never bothered by it. I think it would be difficult to find a time when they aren't there. But there's lots to see and do around the island - we spent one day out on a sailboat which was fantastic, another day we rented a car and toured the island wineries, and of course visited Oia and Fira; the crowds were not overwhelming. Santorini is fabluous, enjoy it!
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Thanks again for all the great comments!!!
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:12 AM
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- check the sea for cruise ships. you cant miss them, they are huge!
- stay away from fira.
- when you see a large bus pull up, thats when you say to your server, "check please."
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Just to be snarky (and because I have been a cruiser to Santorini) did't you know that this very popular island had ships stopping by? Why not chose one of the less touristy islands? And I am really not a fan of crowds myself so when we "invaded" Santorini we went to the bus station and left tourist ground zero. Even being part of the cruise ship hoard, we managed to have a lovely time as shopping in the overcrowded stores was not our "destination" - you are fortunate to have longer to stay.
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