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Santorini is now allowing multiple giant cruise ships in a single day. The lines are many hours long. People are passing out in the heat. Consider not going until they change the rules!!

Posted by
5116 posts

I'm sorry you had a poor experience there, but did you think this was a new thing? Who is "they", and which rules, exactly? I don't know that a boycott would do anything, but certainly researching less crowded times of the year might be helpful.

Posted by
8621 posts

It sounds like you did not have a pleasant experience. Santorini first started limiting the number of cruise visitors per day to 8,000 in 2019. It has been tightening, not loosening, requirements ever since. Some cruise lines have been changing itineraries to include Crete instead of Santorini.

None of that means much if you are the person stuck in the long lines and heat! I understand part of the issue is that the cable car down to the shore holds around 38 people at a time. Thousands of people returning to ships 38 at a time will create a line. Cruise lines do warn passengers to start back to the ship early to avoid being "stuck."

I wonder if the real solution is an infrastructure solution that improves transportation between the harbor and the city heights?

Posted by
993 posts

I was just in Santorini for three days. The first day there were multiple cruise ships in town and Fira and Oia were crowded. Since we were staying outside of Santorini, we spent the day in Pygros, went wine tasting and then into Fira in the late afternoon, so the crowds were manageable. The next day there weren’t any cruise ships in town. We went to Oia early and we had the place almost to ourselves. Fira in the evening was also not crowded. We really enjoyed Santorini. However, I can imagine how challenging it is for someone who only has a day to explore and has to navigate the crowds.

Posted by
6686 posts

Santorini Airport last year had 2,775,805 passengers- assuming this is evenly spread across all 365 days (which it isn't) that is 7,600 passengers per day. Pretty much the same as the number of cruise passengers. Possibly more as not all passengers ever come ashore at a port. Every air passenger, with the very rare exception, comes out of the airport.

And guess who is polluting the earth far more. Then there are however many passengers arrive by ferry every year.

Another suggestion, cut the number of flights allowed in to Santorini by, let's say 10% every year and institute a carbon tax on every passenger who arrives by air. Eventually that will force most people who want to holiday there to arrive by sea, and should make it a far better experience as the ferry system won't be able to handle such numbers.

Posted by
11483 posts

I wonder if the real solution is an infrastructure solution that improves transportation between the harbor and the city heights?

Probably not financially feasible.
The current cable car transports 600 people per hour, in one direction. ( 600 up; 600 down for 1200 people total) To expand capacity by 10 times to move most folks from 2 cruise ships in an hour would be costly. ( based on some rough math, replicating the current cable car would cost ~20 million euro & multiple that 5-10 times to make a significant capacity increase.... I doubt it would happen) Not to mention the probable outcry about the visual blight that a large, (or numerous systems) would cause likely means the best way to ease the problem is limiting the number of cruise ships in port at any one time.

Posted by
11368 posts

We loved Greece with one exception, Santorini. We couldn’t wait to leave and “ return to Greece.” The increasing number of huge cruise ships is horrible to deal with.
We were stuck in Santorini as we had unchangeable flight reservations. If we could have driven away, we would have. We adored the rest of Greece.

Posted by
82 posts

We just returned from Santorini and had a great experience. Since we stayed on the island, some of the crush discussed as a result of the cruise ship visits were manageable by getting out early in the day and enjoying the island in the evening. Fira was the most difficult to navigate because of the cruise traffic. We stayed in Imerovigli and did go to Fira during peak times but still found the shops easy to navigate. I think this was because many who visited the island from the ships were understandably concerned about getting back to their ships on time....there were exceptionally long lines for the cable car to the dock areas and people standing in line for a very long time to get back to their ships....these lines were visible from early afternoon to early evening. We went to Oia to observe the sunset and did not have any trouble getting a table for dinner nor did we feel a crush moving around town.

It's worth noting that this was in May and not during the European vacation months of July and August. I can definitely see that the increased number of visitors during that time and the increase in temperatures could prove difficult. Our hotel staff talked about September and October being great months to visit the island. Bottom line, we had a fantastic experience and can't wait to return.