Santorini Boat Tours

GreeceSantorini › Boat Tours
Updated: May 5, 2024
By Santorini Dave

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Boat tour in Santorini.

A Private Catamaran Cruise to the hot springs and around the Santorini caldera is one of my favorite things to do in Greece.

Boat Tours of the Santorini Caldera & Volcano

  • A boat tour of the caldera is among my very favorite things to do in Santorini. Unforgettable and a must-do!
  • Don’t worry too much about which tour you book – they’re all good. Emphasis should be on getting something booked in advance before they sell out for your dates.
  • Day tour or sunset tour? There is not a huge difference between the two types of tours beyond the time of day. A day tour/cruise usually runs from 9 or 10 am to 3 pm, serves lunch, and has lots of swimming. A sunset tour/cruise runs from about 3 pm to 8 or 9 pm, serves dinner, has a little less swimming than the day tour, and typically finishes by sailing beneath the Oia cliffs to watch the sunset.
  • Private boat tour or small group tour? I’ll be honest, I definitely prefer the private boat tours. You get more input on where to go, how long to spend at different spots, what music to listen to, and (sometimes) where you get dropped off at the end. Yes, private tours are more expensive but I’d be shocked if anyone regretted the money they spent once they’re on the boat.
  • The description says, “all you can eat and drink”, is that really true? Yes, but with some differences between tours. The private tours bring the drinks out before you’ve left the harbor. The less-expensive tours hold-off for a bit until the boat gets to the first destination and you’ve had a swim, which might be an hour to two, but after that, it’s an open bar.
  • There are no ferries to the volcano. The only way to do a volcano tour is to do a boat tour. You can not access the volcano unless you’re part of an organized (private or group) tour.
  • All boat tours have great views of the caldera cliffs.
  • Cruise options include: hike the volcano; swim in the hot springs (you can always stay on the boat if you wish); visit Thirassia and explore its villages; stop at Red Beach and White Beach to swim and snorkel; eat lunch or dinner on board, and watch the sunset below Oia.
  • is the best way to book tours in Santorini. If you ever need to cancel it’s usually much easier if you’ve booked through Get Your Guide.

The 8 Best Boat Tours in Santorini

All boat tours below provide meals onboard and have hotel pick-up and drop-off (which doesn’t sound like a big deal when you’re booking but makes the day so much easier and hassle-free when the time arrives). Also, all tours enter the caldera, sail to or near the volcano, and have plenty of swimming and snorkeling. Food on the tours ranges from surprisingly good to great. And the boats are very generous with their alcohol – after every tour, I ask myself how they make money when they’re so lavish with the food and drink.

1. Small Group Catamaran Cruise

Boat tour of the caldera in Santorini.
Sunset Cruise (2:45pm departure) or Day Cruise (9:45am departure). Awesome cruise around the volcano, staring up at the cliffs of the caldera. You stop at a few beaches for swimming and snorkeling, then swim in the hot springs near the volcano, eat a huge lunch or dinner, and finally see the sunset from the cliffs below Oia (for the sunset cruise). Lots of fun! If this tour is fully booked then try the Caldera Cruise or Santorini Sunset Cruise.

2. Private Catamaran Cruise

Wonderful private cruise of the caldera. Great food and plenty of flexibility on what to see and where to sail. Ideal for a luxury honeymoon cruise, small group, or family. The day tour departs at 10:30am, the sunset-tour departs at 3:30pm. Both tours last 5 hours. Be prepared to be insanely pampered. If the above tour is fully booked – which is common from June to September – then try the Private Sunset Cruise.

3. Santorini Day Cruise

Private boat tour of Santorini caldera.
Wonderful day tour with great food and friendly staff (10:00am departure). You can’t go more than 5 minutes without someone asking if you want another beer or glass of wine. But it’s far from a drinking cruise – the emphasis is on swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the top of the catamaran. You’ll visit a few beaches and the hot springs and have plenty of time to explore the sights of the caldera. (I did this boat tour last summer and it was awesome.)

4. Private Cruise on a Motor Yacht

Power boat tour of Santorini volcano and caldera.
This is an incredible way to see the Santorini cliffs and stare up at the villages perched on the caldera’s edge. The motor yachts allow for much more freedom in getting around the volcanic islands and seeing the caldera from every different angle. On a catamaran, you feel like you’re on vacation. On the motor yachts it feels a little more like you’re on an adventure (though there’s still plenty of swimming, snorkeling, eating, and drinking).

5. Volcano Boat Tour

Sunset boat tour of Santorini caldera.
Much less expensive and with a larger boat and group of people but still very fun. This tour is almost the opposite of the Sunset Catamaran Cruise. You get the volcano, hot springs (with swimming), and a visit to Thirassia island – but no beaches or going outside the caldera, and no sunset. This is the cheapest boat tour of the caldera.

6. Santorini Fishing Tour

Santorini fishing tour.
This tour is very well done and lots of fun. Boat around the Santorini waters on a local fishing boat. Fresh seafood lunch or dinner served on board (eat what you catch and empty from the nets). The daytime tour is best for families and serious fishermen. The sunset tour is best for couples.

7. Santorini Jet Ski Tour

Jet ski tour of Santorini caldera.
Not a boat tour, obviously, but super fun. We’ve done a couple of these tours (it’s always a small group of 2 to 4) to the volcano and they rank as some of the most exhilarating activities we’ve ever done. (That’s my son in the photo, 14 years old at the time.) The perspective you get as you ride through the caldera is awe-inspiring. A boat travels with the tour and is there for any emergencies or if the water gets too rough for beginner riders. The South Coast Tour is fun, but to see the volcano and caldera (which I recommend) you need to do the Volcano Tour or Extreme Volcano Tour. I would be shocked if anyone did this tour and at its conclusion didn’t yell, that was awesome!!!

8. Sea Kayaking Excursion

Kayaking in Santorini.
A fun and easy-going way to explore the Santorini coastline. The Morning Tour and Evening Tour stick to the south coast of the island. The Round The Lighthouse Tour goes into the caldera and offers incredible views of the caldera cliffs.

Map of Santorini Boat Tours

Map of boat tours around Santorini

Santorini Boat Tours – Photos

Lunch on a Santorini boat tour.

Fira boat tour.

View of Fira from a boat tour.

Boat tour scenery of the caldera.

View of Imerovigli from a boat tour.

Oia boat tour of the caldera.

The caldera-side of Oia.

View of cliffs from Santorini boat tour.

The white rock towers of southern Santorini.

Fira boat tour to the volcano.

The view of the volcano with Fira in the background.

Oia boat tours of caldera and volcano.

The view of Oia from the Amoudi Bay where many boat tours begin from.

Swimming and cliff jumping on Santorini boat tour.

Jumping from the rocks below Oia.

Greek food on Santorini boat tour.

Barbecue on a Santorini boat tour.

Meals onboard Santorini boat tours.

Food on the boat tours is surprisingly good – sometimes great.

Meals on a Santorini boat tour.

All tours listed here have a sitdown lunch or dinner.

Santorini volcano and caldera boat tours.

So much to see. Awesome!

Hot springs and volcano boat tours.

Swimming from the boat to the warm waters of the hot springs.

Santorini swimming on boat tour.

My son jumping from the boat.

Toilets onboard Santorini boat tours.

Most boats and catamarans will have 2 or 3 bathrooms. They are always clean and well maintained.

Hot springs boat tour in Santorini.

Jumping into the hot springs from the boat.

Caldera boat tour.

The views of the cliffs and caldera from the boat are incredible.

Boat tour of Santorini volcano and caldera.

The Private Catamaran Cruise of the caldera with swimming and lunch or dinner.

Read More

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Which Boat Tours

    Hi Dave – great site with so much information!

    My partner and I can’t decide which tour to go on in July – we want to do the volcano excursion, see the sunset at Oia onboard but also see the south coastline (mainly the red beach).

    Is it best to do a cheaper volcano boat tour on one day and then a catamaran sunset cruise on another (we are visiting for 6 days). Or I saw you’ve posted about water taxis to see the different beaches, so I guess we can do the volcano boat tour and then take the bus (or drive) to Akrotiri and make our way to the beach?

    We haven’t decided on whether to rent a car or use the buses. I’ve seen you posted about pros/cons of both types of transport. I think our main consideration is the wait for buses due to peak season vs the cost of renting a car. Or maybe we rent a car for part of our trip.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      As much as I love and recommend boat tours, I generally would not recommend doing two different boat trips. I think that time is better spent exploring the island, and yes, taking the water taxi between southern beaches is a good option. I would rent a car for two or three days and use the bus the other days. The boat tours will have hotel pick up, so you need not worry about transportation that day.

  2. Valuables on Boat

    Dave: When you go swimming on these boat trips (especially one going to hot springs), where can you keep your valuables, e.g. your camera? It would be terrible to lose your photos. I am a trustworthy person, but wonder what other people do to avoid any problems. You can’t swim with a camera.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Honestly, it’s never been anything I’ve considered. It’s usually a small group of people and there’s never an issue with leaving your stuff. I suppose you could leave it with one of the staff, but I expect they’d just laugh and say, this is Greece, your stuff is fine, go swim.

  3. Sea Sickness?

    Hi Dave, thanks so much for all your recommendations. How choppy are these boat rides? I am concerned about sea sickness if you have any specific recommendations? Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The boat tours are typically pretty calm. Most time is in the protected caldera waters and if the sea is really rough the tour will be cancelled, in any case. The boat tours are definitely less rough than the worst ferry rides, so if you’re ok on the ferry you’ll be fine on a boat tour.

  4. Age Requirements on Boat Tour

    Just found this fantastic website – thanks Santorini Dave, have been finding it really useful! One question about the boat tours please, we’d like to do one, will they take 5 year olds? Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Unless otherwise stated, boat tours allow all ages.

  5. Private Catamaran Caldera Cruise

    Hi, Dave
    My friend and I are considering to book the Private Catamaran Cruise. Could you please give us some ideas about the range of the gratuities we should provide? Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Tipping in the 10% to 20% is appreciated. But the more the better – holiday workers really rely on tips to make a living wage.

  6. Short Santorini Boat Tour

    Hi Dave – are there any boat trips available from Santorini that are maybe just 2-3 hours instead of a half or full day? Would like to be able to swim and just see some beautiful scenery, but will have a 4-year-old and husband that might be debatable if he would get sea-sickness so 5 hours feels like a big commitment. We’re staying in Oia – what might you suggest? We’ll only be on Santorini for 2 nights/1.5 days before moving on to Naxos. Thanks for all of your excellent insights!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are no shorter tours on Santorini. Though if you booked a private boat tour (expensive, obviously) they would return you to port whenever you wanted. I will say the 5 hours goes very quickly. The only other option (as far as getting on a boat) is the ferry to Thirassia or the water taxis along the south coast beaches.

  7. Santorini Boat Tour in November

    We are visiting Santorini the first week of November, will the water be too cold for these awesome excursions with swimming in hot springs and volcanoes? And if it is, is it still worth doing?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it likely will be too cold to swim for most (though not impossible for the bold). And also yes, it’s definitely still worth doing a boat tour even if you don’t swim. Views and perspective from the water are incredible any time of year.

  8. Best Santorini Towns

    Hi Santorini Dave

    I’m looking to travel next year by myself possibly in May/September, which area of Santorini would you recommend I stay? I’m debating the time I’ll be staying but it will be between 5 or 7 nights.

    Also, would you recommend any day trips to another island?

    Many thanks, Alison.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I have several posts on this site about where to stay on Santorini and best towns and beaches. Take a look. In general, I do not recommend day trips to other islands. With the ferry schedules, it’s difficult to get more than a few hours on neighboring islands when you do a day trip. It’s much better to pack your bags and move to whatever island you want to see.

  9. Boat Tours in Santorini and Mykonos

    I’m going to Santorini and Mykonos for 8 days. Do you think it’s worth doing a boat tour on each island? I’ll only have 3 days in Mykonos.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Definitely do a boat tour in Santorini. For Mykonos it’s more of a toss-up. (If greek cooking sounds interesting to you, I’d probably do the cooking course instead of a boat tour.)

  10. Santorini Boat Tour Without Swimming

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for all the information on this site.
    Is there a sailing trip that just goes for a trip around the caldera, with no swimming or snorkeling? Maybe with the option of seeing the volcano close up and also the sunset?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Pretty much all tours have swimming but you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. And while others are swimming you can just relax on deck and gaze at the views. The tour carries on even when some are swimming so it’s not as if you just sit there on your own, bored – there’s still plenty of fun on board the boat.

  11. Santorini Boat Tours in Off Season

    Hi Dave,

    Do you think boat tours are fine during winter season? Otherwise, do you have any recommendations for winter excursions?

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If by winter, you mean December, January, and February then there will be few (if any) boat tours running and I don’t think I’d recommend them. If, instead, you might be visiting in March and get some good weather then they’ll be fine (though still not many running). A wine tour is a great year-round thing to do in Santorini. And walking the Fira-Oia path.

  12. Santorini Boat Tours with Swimming

    For the boat tours, do you need to swim to the beach or is walkable to the shore once they dock as close as they can? We’re not great swimmers and if that’s requirement we’ll have to book another boat tour.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For tours that visit the volcano, the boat will dock and you’ll be able to walk off without getting wet. For tours that visit the hot springs, the boat will anchor about 30 to 50 meters from the hot spring area and you’ll need to swim to the warm water. Otherwise, most tours stop near a beach for swimming and snorkeling but don’t really directly visit the beach. You’re fine staying on the boat and viewing the scenery (which is great) while others swim. On most tours about half the people swim and half remain on the boat, so it’s unlikely you’re the only one left on the boat while everyone else is off playing.

  13. Is The Boat Ride to the Santorini Volcano Rough?

    Will the boat tour to the volcano and hot spring be suitable for those who get sea sick?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Generally, it’s usually pretty calm. Depending on where you depart from most of the tour will be inside the protected caldera. Catamarans are more stable than single-hull boats.

  14. Santorini Boat Tour with Kids in March

    We are taking our kids to Santorini the last week of March. What private boat tour would you recommend to take for the volcano tour?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s not so much what is the best tour but more what is available. As the time grows closer (February or early March) search Getyourguide for Santorini Boat Tours and choose the most appropriate.

  15. Boat Tours Sold Out

    I tried to book the private boat tour and the sunset tour above but both were fully booked for our dates. Do you have another good boat tour that you could recommend? Preferably a private one. Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s another Spiridakos boat tour that is excellent and very similar to the private tour I’ve listed above. It has departures of 10:30 (day tour) and 3:30 (sunset tour).

  16. Santorini Day or Sunset Boat Tour

    Dave, your advice on this site is awesome and very detailed. My fiancee and I are going to be in Santorini in August for our honeymoon and are definitely booking one of the boat tours, but we just can’t decide on whether to do a day or sunset voyage. Anything you can tell us that would help make our decision easier? Not sure if this has an effect on the analysis, but we are staying in Imerovigli which I understand has nice views of the sunset. Thanks!!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s not a huge difference: the day tour has more swimming time, the sunset tour has more evening hours. Be sure to take a change of clothes for the sunset tour (it can get chilly at night). The sunset tour has a later starting date which allows you to do something in the morning.

  17. Santorini Boat Tours in November

    Hello Dave.

    I’ll be staying in santoniri for a day this November. Arrive Friday morning to either Katikies or Kirini hotel, and then leave late Saturday afternoon to Athens. (Though I have to check out from my hotel by 12pm). Would you recommend a boat tour? If yes, which would it be. My issue mainly time and not price.

  18. What Day is Best for a Santorini Boat Tour

    I am about to book the semi-private boat tour and we are going the last week of June into July (which, from what I understand, is a very crowded time of year). Do you think that the day of the week that we book the day tour matters much (Friday vs. Saturday vs. Monday)? I assume everyone on board is likely vacationing so I’m not sure if this would be significant, but if it may make a different in terms of the number of people on board, I’d love to know. Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s no difference between days of the week and busyness. Do whatever works best.

  19. Boat Tour or Sea Kayaking in Santorini

    I have 3 full days in Santorini in the beginning of July. I’m looking into a boat tour or sea kayaking. Is it worth it to do both? What would you suggest? Thanks for your amazing resources!!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you can only do one do the boat tour but if time allows do both, as they each have a very different feel. It’s a more surreal feeling being in a kayak at water-level looking up at the huge cliffs (depending where your tour goes). But you do get to do more when on the boat tour – it’s a more complete introduction to the caldera.

  20. Passport Information To Book Tour

    I am looking to book the sunset catamaran trip this summer. In the check out it asks for passport information. I just wanted to check this was a normal request/it’s safe to provide my information to this company?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it’s safe and secure. The information is requested by the port authority but it’s never used. You could put in your correct name and then just make up a letter/number combination for the passport number. They’ll never know and never look at it.

  21. Santorini Boat Tour on Day Trip from Crete

    We are going to Santorini for one day in July via fast ferry from Crete. Are there any shorter cruises around Santorini that we can do in that window of time that we will be there?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      No, sorry. There’s no boat tour (that I know of) that would get you back in time to get your return ferry to Crete.

  22. Milos Day Trip

    We will be in Santorini for 3 days after ferries from Athens-Mykonos then Mykonos-Santorini. We were thinking of taking the ferry to Milos for a day trip. Is it reasonable to do in a day or will we be ferried out?
    Thanks for your insight, love reading all of your suggestions.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Not worth it. If you want to visit Milos stay at least 2 nights and 1 full day.

  23. Santorini Boat Tours in May

    Hi Dave,
    I’m planning a honeymoon in Greece this upcoming May and your site has been an amazing resource – thanks! Quick question: Is May too early for the boat tours that have swimming? Thanks.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, they’ll be running in May (usually start in April) and you’ll be able to swim. But water can still be a bit chilly. And note, hot springs are not “hot” just warm.

  24. Santorini Boat Tours

    Hi there, I love to read and follow all of your posts so thank you for always having the most up to date information! We will be in Santorini in July and I would like to do a catamaran tour of the island and go into caves and see some of the hidden gems of Santorini. Is there a tour or boat that would do that?
    Also, is there a boat that will take you to Mykonos for a day and back to Santorini?
    Thank you,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I don’t know of any boat tours that take in caves. And don’t know of any Santorini to Mykonos tours either. There are much better islands to visit on a day tour from Santorini. Ios for beaches, Naxos for inland sightseeing. (That said, I typically don’t recommend doing a day trip from Santorini as time is much better spent on Santorini than on a boat. If you do want to see another island then stay a night or two to see it best.)

  25. Tour of Santorini Beaches

    I am looking for a beach hopping trip in Santorini to visit the Black Beach, Red Beach, White beach etc. tour starts at 4PM or 5PM. How much for 2 people?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For these beaches best to do it yourself with this boat from Akrotiri. It will be 10€ per person round trip. Can also take a different boat back to Kamari (if you were taking the bus, if you’ve got your own car then you’ll need to return to Akrotiri). Last boat is about 6:30pm (but double check) so you won’t have a lot of time.

  26. Best Boat Tour in Santorini

    Hi Dave – Awesome site. Just became a patron!

    Trying to select the right boat tour for my husband and I (going in a few weeks!). They all seem great so it’s hard to select. What are the key differences between these three tours:

    Semi-Private Luxury Catamaran Day Cruise
    5-Hour Small Group Catamaran Cruise
    Sunset Catamaran Sailing Cruise in Caldera

    In particular, trying to understand if it’s worth paying the premium for the semi-private luxury catamaran day cruise.

    Many thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The single biggest difference is whether the tour goes through the day or in the late afternoon (and gets the sunset). The 5-hour small group tour is cheaper than the other two but will have a few more people on the boat and the food served is not quite as robust as for the semi-private and sunset catamaran cruises. More appetizers than the full meal you get on the other two. Fewer drinks are served as well. All 3 are great and you’ll love whatever you choose. My advice is to first decide whether you want the sunset or more sun/swimming.

  27. Private Boat Tour of Caldera and Volcano

    Would like to do a private boat tour of caldera. It’s our honeymoon and want a super special day out on the water with food, wine, swimming, snorkeling, and the hot springs. Maybe take in the sunset too, but as you say, it’s a choice between more swimming/sunshine and sunset/evening so not sure what we’ll decide. What’s the best tour to book for our needs?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Private Half-Day Catamaran Cruise of Santorini is simply awesome. It is expensive but I’m sure you’re expecting that already. There’s a morning departure (for lots of swimming and sunshine) and an afternoon departure (for the sunset – but still plenty of time to swim too). Food is top notch. If it’s within your budget this is the one you want. (If you do the sunset tour bring a change of clothes so you can change out of your wet swimming stuff and enjoy the sunset without a chill.)

  28. Self Guided Tour of Volcano in Santorini


    We are visiting Santorini in the next few weeks. Is there a ferry that 2 people can take on their own and explore the volcano/hot springs, or is it only by tour? Please let me know! Much appreciated.
    Gabriel M

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are no ferries to the volcano or hot springs. You have to do a tour or a chartered/private tour. There are small boats that do regular routes to the neighboring island of Thirassia (that forms the western side of the caldera) but this isn’t the volcano.

  29. Best Sunset Cruise in Santorini

    We are looking for the best sunset tour around Santorini. Our only concern is that we also want lots of swimming. If we do the sunset tour will we have enough time to swim?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Not sure what you mean by “enough” but you’ll certainly get a good stretch of time to swim. It won’t be 10 minutes and let’s go. More like 2 to 3 hours.

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