Santorini – A Cruiser’s Guide

Santorini has long been regarded as a popular cruise destination. As you step off your ship onto the idyllic village of Thira, it’s easy to see why. Bustling from May-October, yet sleepy in the winter months, the Greek island of Santorini has everything to offer the cruiser wishing to make perfect holiday memories. Most cruise lines recognise the popularity of this destination, and offer full day excursions from 8am – 6pm.

Cruise ships will usually disembark in the caldera, below the main port of Athinios. The main port cannot accommodate larger ships, so passengers are brought to shore in Skala in smaller ships. The caldera – four miles in diameter and the result of a volcanic explosion 3,500 years ago is a natural wonder in itself and a wonderful way to start your shore excursion.

Upon arrival in Skala, cruisers can venture to the clifftop town of Thira. This can be accessed by cable car, hiking, or, for the more adventurous, a mule ride. When you’ve reached the town, you’ll probably be ready for a rest, as you shake off the cruise ship and adjust to the island. What better way to catch your breath, than to view the bay from the vantage point on Thira, where you can see the Kamenes - two jet black islets left by the volcano?

As you will usually only have a day on this stunning island, you may be keen to explore all that Santorini has to offer, and to sample authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Selene is a more upmarket restaurant, overlooking the caldera from its open top terraces. Expect to find a unique take on Greek cuisine, with such mouth watering delights as octopus carpaccio and homemade noodles with cuttlefish ink.

However you choose to spend your time in Santorini, whether you are keen to take in as much as possible, or gently absorb the local island life at your own pace, the island will not disappoint.

The Telegraph has a full guide to Santorini and Mediterranean cruises which is sure to inspire.

Lauren Fisher

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Did You Know?.

CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) 62 cruise line members represent more than 90 percent of global cruise capacity, with 482,000 berths on CLIA Member ships. With more than 22 million people cruising worldwide each year, the cruise industry will invest $25 billion to launch 55 new ships between 2015 and 2020. In 2015, the industry will introduce six new oceangoing cruise ships and 16 new river cruise ships.

Top 2014 Cruise Trends (CLIA)

Rebound in luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) based on an improving economy and increased consumer confidence

Multigenerational and celebration travel increase for all passenger source markets with larger sized family as well as social/ affinity groups traveling together

Continued development and availability of technology to facilitate and lower the cost of onboard communications as well as to provide more efficient passenger servicing

Expectation of first-time passenger growth driven by the 95 million Millennial generation based on population size and positive experiences cruising with their parents

Cruise lines offering more all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities for increased ease in booking and ship enjoyment

Cruises increasingly attracting consumers seeking active vacations with extreme excursions, longer stays in ports for sightseeing and high-energy onboard facilities

Seeing the world in comfort and ease, especially exotic locations, will continue to drive new itinerary creation and cruise ship deployment

Hot destinations for 2014 according to CLIA cruise line members include: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers