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Cruises & Charters

Celebrity Cruise Destinations: Chania

Last Updated

August 2, 2023

Are you planning a Greek Island cruise that includes the stunning island of Crete? Chania, one of the island's bustling towns, is a must-visit destination. As the second-largest city in Crete, Chania boasts a fascinating Maritime Museum and Elafonisi, an idyllic beach with crystal-clear water. In addition, the town's dramatic gorges and charming old harbor, which was modeled after Venice's beauty, give it a rugged yet cosmopolitan feel. One of the most thrilling experiences is a day trip to the winding and rocky Samaria Gorge, perfect for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Plus, foodies should not miss the chance to sample traditional Cretan dishes in Chania, which are introduced to the world in a welcoming way. Don't forget to end your day with a refreshing drink or a kebab, or some fresh local seafood from the harbor.

Are you planning a Greek Island cruise that includes the stunning island of Crete? Chania, one of the island's bustling towns, is a must-visit destination. As the second-largest city in Crete, Chania boasts a fascinating Maritime Museum and Elafonisi, an idyllic beach with crystal-clear water. In addition, the town's dramatic gorges and charming old harbor, which was modeled after Venice's beauty, give it a rugged yet cosmopolitan feel. One of the most thrilling experiences is a day trip to the winding and rocky Samaria Gorge, perfect for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Plus, foodies should not miss the chance to sample traditional Cretan dishes in Chania, which are introduced to the world in a welcoming way. Don't forget to end your day with a refreshing drink or a kebab, or some fresh local seafood from the harbor.

Exploring the Culture and History of the Chania Cruise Port

Crete has a rich history spanning thousands of years, with various civilizations and empires rising and falling on the island. From the Minoans to the Romans, Ottoman Turks, and even Nazi occupation during World War II, the island of Crete has endured numerous hardships. However, despite all these challenges, the island has thrived, and today, Chania, the capital of Crete, is a popular travel destination.


At the heart of Chania's culture and history is its picturesque Old Town. The Old Town is a well-preserved monument to the island's past and is an essential part of any visit to Chania. Steeped in history, the Old Town comprises winding streets, ancient churches and mosques, and Venetian, Ottoman, and Byzantine influences.


One of the standout features of the Old Town is its Venetian harbor, which was built in the 14th century. The harbor is a bustling hub of activity and is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops. The vibrant atmosphere offers a glimpse into the daily life of locals of Chania and an attractive place to relax and take in the city's ambiance.


As the Port of Souda is the next town over from Chania, it's recommended to take a bus or taxi to get to the city sights as it's not recommended to walk to Chania from where your ship docks. The port itself is minimally equipped, but several transportation options are available to help explore Chania's rich history and culture.


Chania is a city that beautifully blends old-world charm with modern amenities, making it a perfect destination for all ages. With a population of over 150,000 people, the city's modern spirit is also evident in its numerous cafes, restaurants, and bars. Many of these establishments offer traditional Cretan cuisine, giving visitors the chance to experience the island's unique flavors and aromas.


One fascinating historical detail visitors should note is that Chania was one of the first Mediterranean towns during the Roman Empire to embrace Christianity as a widespread religious movement. This significant historical event is still celebrated today with numerous churches and religious monuments found throughout the city.


In conclusion, Chania's rich cultural and historical heritage has made it a captivating destination for travelers. Be it exploring the Old Town's exciting alleys, sipping coffee at the Venetian harbor, or experiencing traditional Cretan cuisine, Chania has something for everyone. So get ready to explore this gem of the Mediterranean!

The Best Sights and Attractions to Experience on Cruises to Chania: Overview

As one of the most popular ports of call on Mediterranean cruises, Chania has plenty to offer travelers seeking a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Crete. From ancient harbors to maritime museums, visitors can immerse themselves in thousands of years of history and enjoy scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea. Here are our top picks for the best sights and attractions to experience on cruises to Chania.


Old Venetian Harbor:


The Old Venetian Harbor is a hub of history and culture in Chania. This port has played a significant role in the island’s history, providing anchorage to ships that have sailed the Mediterranean for millennia. Visitors to the harbor can witness firsthand the influence of thousands of years of civilizations in one place as they stroll through the streets and stop in the quaint shops and restaurants that dot this area. From handicrafts to fresh seafood, there are plenty of reasons to explore the Old Harbor district.


Maritime Museum of Crete:


The strategic importance of Chania as a maritime power is evident at the Maritime Museum of Crete. Here, visitors can see original maritime artifacts from ancient civilizations that have contributed to the island's rich history. One of the most notable exhibits is a reconstructed ship from ancient times, which helps visitors understand the complexities of ancient shipbuilding and the importance of these vessels in trade and commerce. For a more in-depth look at this island's maritime heritage, a visit to the Maritime Museum of Crete is a must.


Agia Triada:


A visit to the Agia Triada Monastery in nearby Akrotiri is a great way to explore the timeless beauty of the Cretan countryside. Visitors can walk through the olive oil farms and orchards that seem to harken you back to a simpler, slower life in Greece. The Agia Triada Monastery is one of the oldest and most important monasteries on the island and offers a glimpse into the island's religious past. Its peaceful grounds and ornate frescoes are well worth the visit.


Chania is steeped in history and culture, and a cruise is a fantastic way to explore the sights and attractions that make this port city so special. Whether you're a history buff or simply looking to soak up the stunning scenery, Chania's rich heritage, delicious cuisine, and scenic surroundings are sure to delight.

The Top-Rated Activities You Can't Miss in Chania

Chania, one of the most charming cities in Greece, is full of historical and natural beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world. From sun-soaked beaches to mountainous gorges and nature reserves, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Chania. Here are three top-rated activities that you simply can't miss when visiting this beautiful region.


Swim at Apostoli Beach


Grab your swimsuit and head to Apostoli Beach, a local favorite. At this busy beach, you can rent sunbathing equipment like chairs, beds, and umbrellas for just a few euros. The crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean are perfect for swimming and will cool you off on hot summer days. Take in the stunning views of the sea and surrounding cliffs while enjoying a refreshing drink at the beachfront cafe that is just a short walk away.


Day Trip to Elafonisi


Elafonisi is known for its pink sand and serene turquoise waters, making it a unique and memorable location that draws visitors from around the world. It is a protected nature reserve, where you can enjoy some peace and quiet, get away from the crowds and recharge your batteries. Even during the peak season, when it gets busy, the beauty of the place is simply breathtaking. Elafonisi is perfect for a day trip where you can go hiking, swimming and exploring.


Explore Samaria Gorge


Located just 30 minutes from Chania, Samaria Gorge is a must-visit for any traveler to the area. The gorge is home to a species of goat that is found nowhere else in the world, and protected from human interaction. The hiking trails here are challenging, but they offer a rewarding natural experience like no other. The sinuous paths and dramatic views are sure to leave you breathless, making this an unforgettable adventure that you'll never forget.


In conclusion, Chania is full of vibrant culture, natural beauty and fun activities, making it a fantastic destination for visitors from all over the world. Whether you love lounging on the beach or exploring rugged terrain, Chania is sure to have something that will meet your interests. So, be sure to visit and don't miss out on these top-rated activities!

Top Dining Locations Near the Chania Cruise Port

Chania, a picturesque town in Crete, is a food lover's paradise. The town boasts of an exquisite range of culinary delights that will satiate any gourmet's palate. If you're a food enthusiast, there are several dining locations near the Chania Cruise Port that you cannot afford to miss.


During your Crete cruise, you’ll discover new culinary delights that you have likely never heard of or tried before, like sfakia pies. These crepe-like pancakes come stuffed with sweet cheese and are an absolute treat for your taste buds. You will find them in many restaurants around the port, but if you want to try the best, head on over to To Kaniski or Alchemist in Splantzia square.


Seafood is a focal point on many restaurant menus in Crete, and in Chania, you can’t go wrong sampling the fresh catches that are brought in from the harbor. The chefs here often use traditional recipes and cooking techniques that elevate the flavors of the seafood to a whole new level. If you're craving seafood, Oinomageiremata and Kasteli are great options.


Bougatsa is another must-try dish when in Chania. It's essentially a cheese danish rolled in cinnamon sugar, and it's a sweet treat that will delight your taste buds.


Of course, kebabs and skewered meats are a staple of Cretan and Greek diets on the island, as are the tangy and savory dipping sauces that often accompany meat dishes in this part of the world. For a truly Greek culinary experience, head over to Tamam or Kouzina e.p.e in the old town to try some of the best meat dishes the town has to offer.


Chania’s food is meant for adventurous palates and lovers of cheese, meat, and pastries. If you're looking for an authentic culinary experience in Crete, make sure to visit the dining locations mentioned above.

A Guide to Transportation in Chania

Chania, the second-largest city in Crete, Greece, is a popular destination for travelers from all around the world. One of the biggest concerns that travelers have when going to a new place is transportation. Luckily, Chania offers several convenient and affordable options to get around the city.


Taking the bus


If you're arriving in Chania via cruise ship during the busy season, you'll likely see buses arriving every five minutes. These buses are there to accommodate cruise traffic and will take you into the heart of Chania in less than 15 minutes. The buses are reliable, affordable, and offer a great way to take in the city's stunning scenery.


Once you're in the city, the bus remains a good option to get around. The city has an extensive bus network that covers most areas, making it easy to get from one place to the next. Buses tend to come frequently, so you won't have to wait long to catch the next one.


Conquering the city on foot


For many travelers, conquering the city on foot is how they approach getting around Chania. The city is relatively walkable and doing so allows visitors to take in the sights and sounds of the city up close. Walking can be a great way to get a sense of the city's vibe and the areas you want to explore more.


Taxi services


Another option for getting around Chania is to use taxi services. There are several taxis available in Chania, and they're a convenient option if you're traveling with a group or have luggage. Taxis tend to be straightforward to flag down, and most drivers speak English. They can take you to and from your hotel, restaurant, or any other destination you wish to visit.




Chania is a beautiful, must-visit destination in Crete, Greece, and getting around the city is easy and affordable. Whether you choose to take the bus, conquer the city on foot, or use taxi services, you'll find that transportation in Chania is convenient and hassle-free. So don't hesitate to explore this breathtaking city with all the transportation options at your disposal.

Local Currency and Tipping

Greece is a stunning country filled with ancient history, breathtaking architecture, and delicious cuisine. When traveling to different parts of Greece, it's essential to know the local currency and tipping customs to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.


If you're planning to explore the beautiful Chania region of Greece, it's good to note that not all establishments accept credit or debit cards. It's best to carry some cash with you, and the local currency in Greece is the euro.


When dining out at restaurants or taking a taxi ride in Chania, a 5% to 10% tip is considered the norm, although it's worth noting that some restaurants may already include a service charge. Before paying the bill, take the time to check if the tip has been included, and if not, leaving a small extra amount is always much appreciated. However, it's also good to remember that tipping is not mandatory in Crete, and it's solely at the discretion of the customer.


When it comes to tipping in Greece, it's always a good idea to follow the lead of the locals. If you see others leaving a small tip, then it's advisable to do the same. Tipping should always be done in cash and handed directly to the server or driver.


In conclusion, carrying some cash with you and knowing the local tipping customs in Greece is crucial to ensure you have a seamless and enjoyable trip. When exploring Chania, be sure to use euros to pay for your purchases, leave a 5% to 10% tip at restaurants and when taking a taxi ride, and always double-check if a service charge has already been added to the bill. Remember that tipping is appreciated but not mandatory, and it's essential to follow the locals' lead when it comes to tipping customs. Happy travels!

Ready to Cruise to Chania?

Want the next steps on how to plan your celebrity cruise to Greece? It's simple, become a LuxRally Travel client. We charge zero service and membership fees and can guarantee the lowest rates, and often can throw in special perks like extra onboard credit. Beyond monetary value, your travel agent will ensure your trips goes smoothly. From planning spa appointments, dinner reservations, and setting up excursions to booking flights and taking care of hotels pre/post cruise, your dedicated travel agent will conveniently make your life easier. 

For the most opulent Greek Cruise Experience, ask your travel agent about Celebrity Cruise's The Retreat.

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