Regardless of the vantage point from which you observe it, Santorini is a spectacular island to behold. Whether watching the sun cast its golden glow on the houses in the center of the picturesque village of Oia or exploring the beautiful seascape on one of Sunset Oia’s chartered yachts, you will be dazzled by this island paradise.
Away from the throngs of tourists, a tailor-made cruise to picturesque coves and remote beaches offers a chance to experience another side to this popular destination. In addition to sunrise and sunset options and excursions to the volcano, with breaks for swimming in the hot and cold turquoise patches of the sulfuric springs of Palia Kameni, travelers can also enjoy other sea adventures, including snorkeling in the deep blue waters around the caldera, sunbathing while taking in the striking beauty of the landscape, or even just sampling the delicious snacks and dishes available on board, all while being treated to the personal service offered by Sunset Oia.
The prestigious yacht and catamaran charter company has been a frontrunner in providing activities on the seas around Santorini since it was launched in 2009. From its base in Oia, the company offers exclusive, semi-private and tailor-made excursions on board a wide variety of top-of-the-line vessels, combining affordable packages with top-rate luxury and comfort, and always with passenger safety as top priority. For this reason, Sunset Oia’s vessels are manned by professional captains and expert sailors with years of experience under their belts.
The crews are seasoned, not the boats. Sunset Oia’s fleet is the youngest of its type in Greece and it’s continuing to grow. The most recent additions are two brand-new catamarans. The Sunset Milos, an Ipanema 58 catamaran with an overall length of 17.8 meters, can carry 24 passengers. Its morning and sunset tours start and finish at Ammoudi Harbor and take visitors on a sea route around the island, making stops at traditional favorites including the hot springs the Red Beach and the White Beach.
The other new addition is the Sunset Delos, a Lagoon 450 almost 14 meters in length, which takes its passengers on 5-hour morning or sunset tours to key spots around the island: to the hot springs for mudbaths, to the White Beach for swimming and snorkeling, to the Red Beach for snorkeling and photography. All tours feature barbeques on board and also include Greek delicacies like stuffed vine leaves, along with an abundance of drinks, including Santorinian white wine.
Whether you’re interested in a formal function or a romantic couple’s cruise, Sunset Oia has a vessel to suit your needs. Imagine being aboard the Alexandros, a Ferretti 680 motor yacht. You’ll feel like royalty as you lounge around the elegantly designed interiors of the stylish sitting area. Soak up the sun on the upper-level deck and then retreat to the lower deck for privacy, relaxing around the four luxurious cabins that include a master bedroom and a VIP bedroom, both fitted with king-size beds and en-suite facilities.
Another option for private tours is the Emily, a Cumberland 46 power catamaran with hulls specially designed to offer maximum stability. Ideal for beach and cave exploration, its shallow draft allows it to access hidden gems. It is available for private charter tours around Santorini or visits to nearby islands.
The variety of destinations and the sheer quality of the 13-strong fleet has earned the company top ranking in its category according to TripAdvisor, making it a strong international competitor. “The boat was extremely nice, clean and state-of-the-art. We’ve been on other catamaran tours in Grand Cayman and along the coasts of California and Hawaii, and though we loved every one of those tours, this boat was by far the nicest one we’d been on for a touring boat,” writes one happy customer, Loretta E. from Southern California.
Fine local wines and refreshments are offered to guests in generous portions for the duration of the tour. The company has received accolades for its cuisine, which includes local delicacies such as grilled shrimp and skewered chicken or pork, along with an array of vegetarian options using the finest local produce. It’s little wonder, then, that a large number of TripAdvisor reviewers refer to the on-board cuisine as a pleasant surprise and the “best” during their stay.
“There was plenty of space to spread out, but we also enjoyed chatting with other people on the boat. We jumped in the cool water to get to the hot springs – it’s worth it; don’t worry if you aren’t a strong swimmer, they provide pool noodles. They prepare delicious Greek dinner on board with all the local wine and beer you can drink,” writes Jessica H. from Texas, who describes the five-hour cruise as her husband’s favorite part of the vacation and a “wonderful experience.”
Reviewers also praise the crew’s experience and willingness to provide information about the island’s rich history and culture. “They took the time to explain about the coastline and answer random questions about Greek culture, including the compelling story of the hermit who lives at the edge of the volcano,” writes New Yorker Iris H. It’s not just the exquisite facilities and cuisine that make Sunset Oia cruises worthwhile; it’s the tailor-made memories that will last a lifetime, and the feeling of satisfaction that lingers on well after the trip has ended. For more information visit the company’s website.