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Santorini to Limit Cruise Visitors

As any parent knows, kids hold grudges. And my kids still bring up the day I made them hike for 45 minutes up a steep cliff path, in 95 degree heat, from where the cruise ship tendered us in Santorini, up to the village of Thira.

In my defense, our choices were limited: there was a 2 hour wait for the funiculur (which was having mechanical problems) and an hour long wait to ride a donkey up the path we were trudging. So up we went, and our first hour in the trinket-laden village was spent dazed at a cafe, gulping down lemonades. Our plan to explore beyond Thira went out the window, so we simply wandered from one tourist shop to another, bored and overheated.

My guess is our cruise port stop in Santorini was the rule rather than the exception. Like Italy's Cinque Terre, which last week decided to limit the number of visitors it has been getting, this little Greek isle is being overrun with visitors. In 2015 it got more port stops than Piraeus (the port for Athens), welcoming some 790,000 cruise passengers, with 3.6 boats docking in its port daily in high season.

So officials of the island have announced that they will limit the number of cruise visitors to "just" 8000 per day.

And that may well mean that a good number of cruise lines will have to adjust their schedules for the upcoming summer season, as landing rights become more limited.

Which should be a blessing. Sure, Santorini was pretty but it would have been more pleasant without Disney World-sized crowds at every turn... and a walk straight up a cliff.

Photo by Alta Vista Productions/Flickr