- Coordinates: 35 °30min N 024°09min E
- Souda Bay is located on the north coast of Crete. The island of Crete is
located in the northwest portion of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Crete
forms the southern limit of the Cretan Sea.
- Refer to port pictures and NAVAIDS
- The topography of Crete is rugged and very mountainous, with one peak
about 15 nm south southeast of the port reaching 8,048 ft. A backbone
of mountains exceeding 3,000 ft extends east-west the length of the
island, with a few north-south valleys cutting deep passages through the
mountains. A low range of mountains, with a mean height of about 1,000 ft
lies along the north side of the Akrotiri Peninsula. The peninsula is connected
to the main island of Crete by a low-lying strip of land which forms a valley
west of Souda Bay.
- The orientation of the terrain around Souda Bay significantly influences the windflow. (See Crete Topography in feet) Funneling through the mountain gap SE of Souda Bay plays a major role in causing hazardous winds at the port and harbor area. The mountains of the Akrotiri Peninsula north of Souda Bay also plays a role in the turning of NW quadrant winds in a more westerly direction.
- The pier area at the north of the bay is a NATO facility. Piers
K-10, K-12 are fueling piers. Pier K-14 is a large pier capable of
handling aircraft carriers. Pier K-9, 2 nm to the west, is a new ammunition
pier. As of September 2006, pier K-9 is awaiting testing before placing in operational status.
- There are 4 inner harbor anchorages. The
preferred anchorage for MSC vessels is #1 near pier K-9. The inner bay
anchorage bottom is rock and gravel with only fair holding qualities.
Anchor dragging is possible; ships may have to use their engines to
maintain position in the anchorage.
- There are two outer harbor anchorages that
are rarely used by U.S. Navy ships. The bottom is flat with rock and
gravel. Holding is only fair; anchor dragging may be experienced in strong
- Pilot pickup is at 35°29N 024°08E or south of Nisis Souda Island.
- Port Operations stop:
- during sunset - sunrise
- when winds at the port reach 40 knots sustained.
- Boat barriers
- Currently Dunlop boat barriers surround piers K-10, K-12.
- Around pier K-14, boat barriers have been upgraded to pontoon type.
- The tug to open boat barrier gates cannot operate when winds are greater than 35 kts.