Taking A Santorini Sunset Cruise

Before this trip, I’d never been to Santorini—and yet, going on a Santorini sunset cruise felt like a reunion. Ever since I was a kid, the sea has called to me. Not quite to the degree of Moana, but still. I may not be the daughter of a village chief, but I was the daughter of a fisherman who dabbled in building boats, and because of that, the sea was a huge part of my childhood. So much so, that my childhood dream was to be a mermaid. Sadly, scuba diving is as close as I’ll get to that dream, but whilst I can’t breathe underwater, I can jump on a boat—and such an opportunity arose when my perfect boyfriend booked us onto a sunset cruise during our time in Santorini.

He booked the Santorini sunset cruise with Caldera Yachts who picked us up directly from the hotel and took us to the marina. And after kicking off our shoes and climbing on board the catamaran, we were ready to kickstart the adventure. Leaving the harbour, the Santorini coastline unfolded before us as we cruised past the towering cliffs, past black and red sand beaches and Akrotiri Lighthouse, listening as the team told us stories about each thing we passed until we got to Nea Kameni, the hot springs at the volcanic island in the centre of the caldera.

We sailed until we reached the hot springs, and it has to be said, there is no feeling more freeing than gliding along the sea with an ice-cold wine in your hand, feeling the heat of the sun on your body, the salty wind in your face and the man you love by your side as you swap stories of life with strangers.

Soon after, it was time for a swim. Everyone jumped in but I didn’t because the sulphur in the hot springs means 1: it smells funky, and 2: it turns white things yellowy-brown, and I really didn’t want my nails to turn that colour. So instead I sat back, relaxed and read my book.

It was getting busy at the hot springs, so the Santorini sunset cruise continued, sailing along before anchoring down to cook lunch. I wanted to swim beforehand but fear got the better of me that day. If you’re new here, I used to be a great swimmer until I was a teenager and then someone almost drowned me at a (not so) fun swim at the local pool and I watched someone almost drown in a lake in New Forest. Anyway, since then I’ve been a nervous nelly and water anxiety flares up at random moments making me forget that I can swim, and replacing confidence with nerves. So instead, I sat back and dove into wine-filled conversations with strangers. The honeymooners from Canada. The family from America who took their baby on its first trip abroad with their grandparents, and the Greek husband and wife who moved to Australia and wanted to show their daughter their roots, and a different side of the world. Hearing their stories, learning about other ways of life, and connecting over a shared love of adventure – it’s one of the best parts of travel, hands down.

Then it was time for lunch. Fresh barbecued chicken, Greek sausages, prawns, mussels, rice, bread, greek salad and tzatziki – all washed down with the choice of soft drinks, beer or a crisp white wine.

After this, I laid back, relaxing into the gentle sway of the boat, and read my book. It was honestly bliss. The heat of the sun, the sound of the sea and every thought escaping me—which for an overthinker is a dream. We stayed there for hours until it was time to head back, only by this time the waves were getting choppy and the clouds were rolling in leaving us with a stunning purple hue instead of the burnt orange sunsets we had hoped for. Because of this, we had to move back inside, unable to sit out front as the waves were too big. But instead of going inside, I sat with the captain and my new Aussie friend, enjoying the feeling as the waves crashed over us. For some, that might be a recipe for seasickness, but I loved it. It felt like being a kid again. The captain had a tiny plastic shield to stop himself from getting wet, but the rest of us? Drenched in saltwater spray, windblown hair, and not a care in the world. It felt incredible, like that moment when you feel completely at one with nature.

We slowed for a bit, watching as the sun dipped behind the clouds and the purple hues turned to navy blue, before returning to the harbour and making our way back to the hotel for a moonlight hot tub. The perfect ending to our Santorini sunset cruise.

over and out,
Amy Morgan