This travel guide on how to get the Crete to Santorini ferry has all the information you need to make your Greek island hopping planning easier.
How to get from Crete to Santorini
One of the most popular combinations of Greek islands to visit, apart from the Athens-Santorini-Mykonos route, is the Santorini – Crete itinerary.
There can be up to five boats daily crossings going from Crete to Santorini during the summer, and it is very easy to combine the two islands.
It's best to take ferries leaving from Heraklion in Crete, but there is also a ferry from Rethymnon to Santorini, and occasionally Sitia.
Crete and Santorini Travel Tips
This article includes all the Crete to Santorini ferry information you will need to plan your trip in summer. It includes ferry operators, ferry routes, and information about the vessels themselves.
Before we get to that, these tips may make your Crete and Santorini travel planning a little easier.
- Booking is a good site for searching hotels in Santorini and Crete and booking them online.
- For ferry tickets between the Greek islands, check out Ferryhopper.
- Be at your departure port an hour before the ferry is scheduled to sail from Crete to Santorini.
- Pre-book a taxi to your port in Crete using Welcome.
- Check out my free travel guides to Santorini.
Crete to Santorini ferry information – Hellenic SeaJet ferries
Hellenic SeaJets is one of the biggest ferry companies in Greece, connecting 26 islands. They serve numerous routes, especially around the Cyclades islands.
During the summer, they run two high-speed ferries a day between Crete and Santorini.
Caldera Vista, also known as Master Jet, departs daily from Heraklion, and takes just under 2 hours to get to Santorini. It then continues on to other Cyclades islands.
This is a medium size (74 metre) ferry that can carry a limited number of cars. It has two types of seats, costing either 69 euros for the standard seat, or 52 euros for the business class. You can check prices here at: Ferryhopper.
If you want to go on Hellenic SeaJets from Crete to Santorini, your other option is Champion Jet 2.
This slightly bigger vessel departs from Rethymnon on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and from Heraklion on all other days.
It only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel from Rethymnon to Santorini, and is the fastest option between Heraklion and Santorini, at 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Ticket prices for this ferry to Santorini range from 69 to 90 euros, depending on seat class.
You can read more information about these two ferries here. Note that at the time of writing, Caldera Vista appears under its old name, Master Jet.
The SeaJet high speed ferries from Crete to Santorini run from May to October. E-tickets are available for these ferries.
Crete to Santorini ferry information – Minoan Lines
Minoan Lines is one of our favourite ferry companies in Greece. In summer, a high speed boat called Santorini Palace will run on most days on the Heraklion – Santorini route, taking just two hours.
Typically the same ferry will continue to other islands, such as Mykonos and Paros.
This is one of the biggest high speed ferries running from Crete to Santorini island. They also continue running past the end of September, but not on a daily basis.
We have no personal experience of Santorini Palace, but judging from our experiences on other Minoan Line boats, we expect high quality. Prices are similar to the SeaJets – seats cost from 69 to 82 euros.
Crete to Santorini ferry information – Golden Star ferries
The Superrunner is a big high-speed ferry, with passenger and vehicle capacity. It takes just under 2 hours to get from Heraklion to Santorini.
Tickets start at 58 euro, or 78 for a business class seat. The seats are all indoors, and there is no deck option. E-tickets are available, so you don’t need to pick them up from the port.
Heraklion to Santorini on the Olympus ferry – Sea Speed Ferries
Budget travellers will be delighted to know that there is a lower priced option connecting Crete and Santorini. This is Olympus, a large, conventional ferry operated by a company called Fast Ferries.
Olympus departs from Rethymno on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings year-round, and will get you to Santorini in just over 4 hours. Ticket prices start at 35 euro for deck seats, and there are no reserved seats.
Crete to Santorini ferry information – Prevelis boat, ANEK Lines / Aegeon Pelagos
If you are visiting Crete outside the summer season, you could consider another slow ferry called Prevelis.
This runs from Sitia to Santorini every Thursday and Sunday, with a stop at Heraklion on Sundays.
It takes around 6 hours to get from Heraklion to Santorini island, but only costs 28 euros. This makes it the cheapest ferry from Crete to Santorini.
If you want to experience an old-fashioned type of ferry that runs all year long, you will find this option interesting.
On the way from Crete to Santorini, Prevelis stops at a remote, off-the-beaten-track island called Anafi. Few visitors venture out there, so if you want to get away from the tourist crowds, it’s a good choice.
How to get to Heraklion port from Heraklion city
Heraklion port is pretty close to the centre of Heraklion town, and it’s not too busy, so you don’t need to go there long in advance of your trip – a half hour is fine.
Crete to Santorini Day Trip
Would you prefer to keep yourself based in Crete, and simply take an organized day trip from Crete to Santorini?
This is entirely possible, but you should keep in mind it can be a long day, and time will restrict what you can see or do in one day in Santorini.
It might be best to opt for a Crete to Santorini day trip that also includes a guided tour around the island to maximise your time there.
Day trips to Santorini from Crete leave from Heraklion, Rethymnon, and Chania, but all involved long periods of travel on bus and ferry.
Some examples of Santorini day trips are here:
- Santorini: Full-Day Tour from Crete
- Full-Day Trip to Santorini by Boat from Rethymno
- Day Trip to Santorini by Bus and Boat from Chania
- Day Trip to Santorini from Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos
FAQ About Traveling from Crete to Santorini
My readers commonly ask these questions when planning how to travel from Crete to Santorini by ferry:
Where do the ferries from Crete to Santorini leave from?
Most ferries to Santorini depart from Heraklion, but there are options from Rethymno and Sitia as well. There is currently no ferry operating between Chania and Santorini.
How long is the ferry from Crete to Santorini?
The Crete to Santorini ferry time can vary between 2 and 5 hours depending on which port you leave from, ferry operator and type of ferry taken. Generally speaking, the Heraklion – Santorini ferry crossing takes takes around two to two and a half hours. Ferries from Rethymnon or Sitia take longer.
How do I book ferry tickets from Crete to Santorini?
The easiest way to book tickets online for the Crete to Santorini ferry journey is using Ferryhopper. It's our number one recommendation for booking Greek ferry tickets from Crete to Santorini online. Alternatively, you can use a local travel agency when in Crete.
Can you do a day trip from Crete to Santorini?
It's just about possible to take a day tour to Santorini from Crete, but it doesn't allow much time for sightseeing. While it is possible to organize it all yourself, it would make the most sense to take an organized Crete to Santorini day trip, as the travel logistics will all be arranged for you.
How much is the ferry from Crete to Santorini?
Prices for the cheapest ferry tickets from Crete to Santorini start at around 30 Euro for the Heraklion to Santorini route. High Speed ferry tickets would start from 48 Euro.
Are there flights from Crete to Santorini?
It is possible to fly from Crete to Santorini, but as the flight has a layover in Athens it will definitely be more time-consuming and more expensive than the ferry.
So it’s best to take the ferry – and with the above Crete to Santorini ferry information, you can easily choose the best option for you.
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– Dave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in and traveling around Greece for the last five years. He's visited dozens of Greek islands as research for travel guides such as this one about how to get from Crete to Santorini by ferry. He has rather ambitious plans of visiting all the Greek islands – There's over 200 inhabited ones!