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MFCRichmondHill

NCL's "Charming Oia Village" excursion in Santorini

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Hello,

 

I am just wondering if anyone out there has done Norwegian's "Charming Oia Village" excursion while in port at Santorini, Greece?  I'm trying to find out approximately how long it takes for the excursion to get from ship (via tenders) to the port and then to Oia, and approximately what time it arrives in Oia and what time it departs Oia.  I can't seem to find this information in any of the reviews for Santorini excursions.

 

Thanks,

Michael

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I haven't been on this excursion, BUT I can tell you that the ship will first go to the new port below Oia where you will board a bus which will take you up the hill to Oia. The bus ride is very short 5 - 8 minutes, unless it goes somewhere else first. How long it takes to get off the ship is a diffeent question. NCL excursions are handled first at the new port, but you are still tendered in and that can take some time depending on how many tenders they use. Usually the tender ride is very short (5 minutes or so) once it actually moves away from the ship.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

From memory, the tenders for this trip do not take the short route to the cable car, they go to Thira which is the harbour south of Fira where the ship anchors (not Oia) to directly meet the coaches that then take about 15-20 minutes to go to Oia.  These tenders are excusively for the NCL trips and are not affected by anything to do the general tenders.  I am not sure how long we had in Oia, but when we did it I think we caught the coach back after about 2 hours there.  The coach goes back to the inland area of Fira. You have to walk about 200 metres into the central part of Fira and then you are free to shop/sightsee and/or take the cable car back to meet the normal tenders back to the ship whenever you want.

Edited by old nutter
to make more sense

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Thank you both for your replies - much appreciated!

 

Zqvol, were you at Santorini on an NCL ship then?  And are you saying that the ship makes two "stops".  First it anchors near the Thira port were on the NCL excursion people tender to the special port and then the ship moves and anchors close to Fira and then the "general" tendering starts from there?  If that's the case then I'd assume I'd definitely benefit from booking an NCL excursion by getting off the ship much earlier.  However, someone else told me that the Norwegian Star (same ship I'll be on in Oct) didn't make two stops, it's just that the excursion people tendered from one side of the boat directly to the special port, while the non-excursion people tendered from the opposite side to the main port where the cable cars are.

 

Old Nutter, did you take the exact same excursion that I'm considering then?  If so, do you remember how approx how long it took from leaving the ship to arriving in Oia?  And did your ship make "two stops" for tendering, or just tender the excursion people from a dedicated side?  And lastly do you remember how long you had to wait (from your "meeting time") to actually get called to tender?

 

Thanks again,

Michael

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MFCRichmondHill said:

Thank you both for your replies - much appreciated!

 

Zqvol, were you at Santorini on an NCL ship then?  And are you saying that the ship makes two "stops".  First it anchors near the Thira port were on the NCL excursion people tender to the special port and then the ship moves and anchors close to Fira and then the "general" tendering starts from there?  If that's the case then I'd assume I'd definitely benefit from booking an NCL excursion by getting off the ship much earlier.  However, someone else told me that the Norwegian Star (same ship I'll be on in Oct) didn't make two stops, it's just that the excursion people tendered from one side of the boat directly to the special port, while the non-excursion people tendered from the opposite side to the main port where the cable cars are.

 

Old Nutter, did you take the exact same excursion that I'm considering then?  If so, do you remember how approx how long it took from leaving the ship to arriving in Oia?  And did your ship make "two stops" for tendering, or just tender the excursion people from a dedicated side?  And lastly do you remember how long you had to wait (from your "meeting time") to actually get called to tender?

 

Thanks again,

Michael

I was not on NCL but that is how all of the mass market lines do it.

 

You are tendered in to the new port. Thira, often spelled Fira, by non Greeks or people not of Greek heritage,  is the main town above the place where the cable car and donkeys gos up the hill. Excursions are not taken there, they are tendered to the new port, which is just below Oia.

 

It is possible that the ship disembarks passengers from both sides from the same place. The ships do not anchor, it is too deep, they just use the engines to keep their place. I would think, based on my six stops at Santorini that the tender rides would be very long if passengers were all disembarked from the same location, because that makes both ports a long ride.

Edited by zqvol

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1 hour ago, MFCRichmondHill said:

Thank you both for your replies - much appreciated!

 

Zqvol, were you at Santorini on an NCL ship then?  And are you saying that the ship makes two "stops".  First it anchors near the Thira port were on the NCL excursion people tender to the special port and then the ship moves and anchors close to Fira and then the "general" tendering starts from there?  If that's the case then I'd assume I'd definitely benefit from booking an NCL excursion by getting off the ship much earlier.  However, someone else told me that the Norwegian Star (same ship I'll be on in Oct) didn't make two stops, it's just that the excursion people tendered from one side of the boat directly to the special port, while the non-excursion people tendered from the opposite side to the main port where the cable cars are.

 

Old Nutter, did you take the exact same excursion that I'm considering then?  If so, do you remember how approx how long it took from leaving the ship to arriving in Oia?  And did your ship make "two stops" for tendering, or just tender the excursion people from a dedicated side?  And lastly do you remember how long you had to wait (from your "meeting time") to actually get called to tender?

 

Thanks again,

Michael

Michael

Yes I have been on the exact same NCL excursion you are considering.  Unless it has changed recently, the ship sails into the caldera formed when the volcano blew up around 1500 BC and stops for the whole time there opposite the cable car and donkeys that go up/down to Fira.  The NCL ships usually stop around 3/4 km off the little dock that the tenders use for general tendering.  The tenders are ones based in Santorini and are larger that the ship's lifeboats, so can move a lot people pretty quickly.  The NCL trips like this one are completely separate and use one of the other main tender mooring disembarking points on the ship.  For instance on the Jewel class ships such as Star and Jade, they will assemble for the trip in the main theatre at the front end and use the forward disembarkation point to handle the dedicated tenders used for NCL trips during the first half of the stay in Santorini.  On all of the NCL stays in Santorini we have been on, these dedicated tenders  travel to a different dock around 2 km to the south where a dock is connected to  the main north/south road where you catch coaches for the trip to Oia.  The return coach trip takes you to the area near the cable car and after going down on it, walking down or using one of the donkeys you can catch one of the general tenders back to the ship in your own time.

 

Specifically on your questions, you will go straight from the starting point, such as the theatre and will just head down and go more or less straight onto the dedicated trip tender - virtually no waiting other than the queue to get on the tender.  I guess it is about 50-60 minutes from your call time in the theatre until you get to Oia.  From memory, that is about 10-15 minutes to get onto the tender, another 5-10 on the tender, 5-10 more to get off and board the coaches and about 20 minutes on the coach.

 

I hope that helps, but if you are not going until after the beginning of October, I can let you know how it worked out when we go again next month.

 

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Okay, great... thank you for all of that information.  This is great!  Yes, my cruise starts on Oct 20th, so if you're able to provide even more/newer information before then, that would be great.

 

I don't suppose you remember how long after the "port arrival" time your excursion got called?  For example, on my itinerary we arrive in Santorini at 2 pm and the excursion meet time is 3 pm.  If I assume it will take about 1 hour to arrive in Oia I'm not sure if that would be 1 hour from 3 pm (i.e. 4 pm), or things typically start earlier than that, or if the time says 3:00 we might not actually get called till 3:30 (and hence not arrive in Oia till 4:30)?

 

Your information is already helping me tremendously in my planning!

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If the booking says 3.00 we have found that timekeeping is normally pretty good and you are likely to be on the tender before half past 3.  Having said that, things happen on cruises, so I would not organise anything time dependent in Oia.  And there is always the weather. Last year, in September we ended up in that area in a hurricane and there were no ships or ferries going to or from any of the islands.  Have a great time but hang loose is our motto and I hope you enjoy Santorini as much as we do!

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