The 10 Best Boat Excursions in Santorini

Santorini is a stunning Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. Renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, stunning caldera views, and picturesque villages, Santorini is a dream destination for many travellers. One of the best ways to experience this unique island is by sea, so get ready to discover the top boat excursions in Santorini!

To truly experience the magic of Santorini, you must venture into the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. A boat trip is a great way to spend a morning, evening, or even a full day exploring the island. Many of Santorini's most beautiful beaches and secluded coves are only accessible by boat, allowing you to discover hidden gems tucked away along the coastline. The island’s iconic caldera and coastline are best appreciated from the water, with unparalleled panoramic views of the dramatic geography. Santorini is also renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, and a boat trip offers a front-row seat to this daily spectacle. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 10 best boat excursions that you must experience while visiting Santorini!

1. Catamaran Caldera Day Cruise from Oia

Catamaran Cruise in Santorini
Santorini Yachting Club

Catamaran cruises are one of the most popular types of boat excursions in Santorini. A catamaran is a type of boat characterised by its twin hulls, connected by a deck or platform. Catamarans are prized for their stability, spaciousness, and excellent sailing performance, making them a popular choice for cruising. Embarking on a catamaran day cruise in Santorini offers a luxurious and unforgettable way to explore the island's beauty. During this day cruise, you’ll start from Oia, a charming village located on the northern tip of Santorini. You’ll enjoy a 5-hour cruise, including swimming and snorkelling stops at some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, White Beach and Red Beach. A delicious BBQ will also be served, the ultimate Greek experience!

2. Sunset Sailing Excursion

Sunset Sailing Excursion in Santorini
Oia Yachting

A sunset boat excursion in Santorini is an absolute must-do while visiting the island. Board a luxurious catamaran and set sail in the late afternoon, cruising along the island's rugged coastline as the sun dips below the horizon in a blaze of colours. A sunset cruise is the ultimate way to experience the famous Santorini sunset! On this excursion, you’ll also be treated to relaxing swimming stops at Red Beach and White Beach, and a delectable traditional Greek BBQ with a glass of beer or wine, the perfect way to end an exciting day in Santorini.

3. Volcanic Islands, Hot Springs, and Thirasia Cruise

Volcanic Islands Boat from Santorini

The caldera of Santorini is one of the island's most distinctive features and a defining characteristic of its unique geography. Formed by a massive volcanic eruption around 3,600 years ago, the Santorini caldera is a vast, submerged crater that stretches approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) in length and 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) in width. A caldera cruise in Santorini is an amazing way to discover the island’s towering cliffs and ancient volcanic islands. This cruise includes a walking tour of the volcanic islets of Nea Kameni, a swim in the rejuvenating mineral-rich hot springs near Palea Kameni, and a visit to the charming island of Thirassia!

4. Sunset Dinner Cruise with Nea Kameni Volcano Visit

Sunset Dinner Cruise from Santorini

If you’re looking to combine a tour of the caldera with the magical Santorini sunset, this sunset dinner cruise in Santorini is for you! On a traditional Greek sailing boat, you’ll visit the volcano islet of Nea Kameni, take a dip in the refreshing Aegean Sea, and enjoy a panoramic view of the island of Thirasia. You’ll end the day with an incredible buffet-style dinner while watching the sunset and admiring the spectacular colours of the charming village of Oia.

5. Morning Sailing Excursion

Morning Sailing Excursion in Santorini
Oia Yachting

This boat excursion is perfect for early risers looking to experience a peaceful morning in the calm waters of the Aegean Sea. The morning sailing excursion in Santorini takes place on a luxury and spacious sailing yacht. On a 5-hour cruise, you’ll be picked up directly from your accommodation in Santorini, before setting off right below the Caldera. This trip takes you to the Hot Springs, with mineral-rich waters known for their therapeutic properties. Swimming and snorkelling at Red Beach and White Beach, as well as a delicious meal, are also included in this morning sailing tour.

6. Private Catamaran Cruise from Oia

Private Catamaran Cruise in Santorini
Santorini Yachting Club

If you’d like to spend some quality time with your loved ones, why not embark on a private boat cruise with just your group? On a private tour, you’ll have complete personalised attention from the guide, and you can also customise the itinerary depending on where you’d like to visit! For this private catamaran boat tour in Santorini, you can choose between 3, 4, or 5-hour options. You’ll start by cruising from Oia to Thirasia Island, a uniquely beautiful spot formed only in the most recent centuries due to nearby volcanic activity. Enjoy a swimming and snorkelling stop in the crystal-clear waters and explore the inner part of the Caldera, with hidden caves and coasts only accessible by boat.

7. Catamaran Cruise from Ammoudi Marina with BBQ and Cocktails

Catamaran Cruise from Ammoudi Marina in Santorini
Spiridakos Sailing Cruises

This catamaran cruise from Ammoudi Marina in Santorini begins at a picturesque fishing village located below the cliffs of Oia. On this cruise, you’ll sail along the southern side of the island, passing famous landmarks such as the Lighthouse of Akrotiri, Aspronisi Island, and Indian Rock. You’ll have glorious panoramic views of the Caldera, contrasting with the turquoise waters of the sea. This trip also includes swimming and snorkelling stops at Red Beach, White Beach, and Mesa Pigadia. A delicious meal, consisting of BBQ chicken fillet, BBQ shrimp, pan-fried fish fillet, pasta with tomato sauce, Greek salad, vine leaf rolls, tzatziki dips, bread, soft beverages and two cocktails per person, will also be served!

8. Private Boat Tour with Snorkelling to Hot Springs from Perivolos Beach

Private Boat Tour with Snorkelling from Perivolos Beach in Santorini
Extreme Watersports Santorini

A speed boat tour is another great way to explore hidden gems in Santorini, covering more distance in a shorter period! On this private boat excursion from Perivolos Beach in Santorini, you and your small group will enjoy a personalised tour of the island. You’ll speed along Santorini’s distinct coastline, passing Red Beach, Akrotiri, and White Beach, with a snorkelling stop at Black Mountain, a haven for small caves and unique underwater rock formations. You’ll also visit and swim in the Hot Springs, which are heated by geothermal energy from the volcano, creating warm waters rich in minerals like sulfur.

9. Catamaran Cruise with Lunch

Catamaran Cruise with Lunch from Santorini

On this catamaran boat cruise in Santorini, you’ll also explore the island’s southern coast, starting from Thira. After an enjoyable swim at the Hot Springs, you’ll sail past Aspronisi, the ancient lighthouse, Akrotiri Island, and Indian Rock. Then, you'll visit the renowned beaches, and be treated to a delicious BBQ lunch prepared on board, accompanied by white wine or non-alcoholic beverages.

10. Semi-private Sunset Catamaran Cruise from Vlychada Bay

Sunset Catamaran Cruise from Vlychada Bay in Santorini
Santorini Yachting Club

The final tour on our list is a semi-private sunset catamaran cruise from Vlychada Bay in Santorini. Vlychada Bay is a beautiful coastal area located on the southern coast of Santorini. With a small group, you’ll discover the magnificent vistas of the volcano; swim, snorkel and sunbathe at White Beach and Mesa Pigadia; and visit Thirassia Island. At Thirassia, a delicious BBQ, wine, beer or soft drinks, and desserts will be served while you admire the breathtaking sunset.

From romantic sunset cruises to all-inclusive catamaran adventures with snorkelling, swimming and meals, Santorini offers a variety of boat excursions to suit every taste and preference. Whether you're seeking relaxation, exhilaration, or simply a unique perspective on this idyllic island paradise, a boat excursion is sure to be a highlight of your Santorini getaway.

For other ideas of what to do in Santorini, check out our 8 outdoor activities in Santorini article next!