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Santorini

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

14th October, 2016

The easternmost destination of this cruise –Santorini –is a well-known beauty. We have sailed all the way here to show it to our guests. And it was worth it! We made landfall just as the sun was rising above the archipelago. Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. The caldera is not continuous and has two gaps. One from the north, the other from the west. I chose the latter to take Saga Sapphire into the lagoon.

Due to its geological history, the sea inside the lagoon is quite deep. There is only one spot shallow enough for vessels to drop anchor. You can imagine that if there were more than one cruise ship in town the battle for this spot would be rather fierce. Therefore some time ago, the harbour authorities set the rule that the largest vessel gets the anchor position and the others have to drift, so we stayed in position using our engines and the thruster. The advantage of this was that I could choose where I wanted to do that.

The area right off Thira harbour (capital of Santorini) seemed like a logical choice to me. Only a short tender run away from the landing location, and also giving the opportunity for those of our guests remaining on board to see the main features of the Island. The houses with white painted walls peaked on the top of the cliffs reminded me of snowcaps in the mountains. To get there guests could take either the cable car or another, rather unique form, of transportation.

Along the cliff runs a rather steep trail. For those really fit, it could be conquered by hiking, but there is an option to ride on the back of a donkey. Those sturdy animals tirelessly take tourists up the trail to the top and if some want, also back down again. This is not for the faint hearted though, but the views once you reach the top are really rewarding. Today our guests could see not only the Santorini archipelago, but also some other nearby Aegean islands.

This was a really successful day with very smooth operation and fantastic sunny weather. It was just before sunset when everyone was back on board and we sailed out of the archipelago. This time I used the northern approaches, thus completing the navigation through Thira.

Krzysztof Majdzinski

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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