Santorini's main town is officially called Thira but known locally as Fira. Thira at least, we know was an ancient Dorian chieftain who settled the island in antiquity. The towns brilliant white-washed buildings flow along the cliff edge, into neighboring Firo-stefani a kilometer north.
Facing inwards at the inner crescents' extreme north is the town of Oia.
Passengers disembark, in calm weather at the port of Athinio to the south in the bay of Ormos Athinios and take the public bus, hotel bus or taxi to Fira town (20 - 30 min.). In bad weather, ships dock immediately below the town of Fira at Skala Fira or Stair Fira.One may ascend the 587 steps (1000 ft.) by foot, donkey, mule, or cable-car (funicular). The cost is €3 for either, but put your faith in the donkeys!. This is a memorable experience and highly recommended. Cable cars depart every 15 minutes from 6:45 am to 8:15 pm.
The sweet and obliging donkey ride is very safe as these are surefooted professional animals and probably smarter than many residents. Unless your cruise ship docks here or the weather is bad or you are just plain curious, you'll only use this route to take the Caldera Volcano Tour with caique's (AKA water-taxis) like this pictured boat.