Welcome drink in Athens; full buffet breakfast daily; 3 three-course dinners with wine; plus all meals on board daily featuring full à la carte breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ATHENS, GREECE. Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink with your Tour Director.
ATHENS. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the world-famous ACROPOLIS, perched high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Here, see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the Temple of Athena Nike, and enjoy a panoramic view that includes glimpses of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, and the beautifully preserved Theseum, where Socrates taught. Later, a city orientation tour features the Parliament House and a picture stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, and was host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner outing to try the local fare.
ATHENS–CORINTH CANAL–MYCENAE–EPIDAURUS–NAUPLIA. Cross the spectacular Corinth Canal. Two highlights today: MYCENAE, where 19th-century excavations reveal impressions of the splendors so vividly described by Homer. Admire the Beehive Tombs, known as the Treasury of Atreus; Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest known monument; the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, and the impressive fortifications of the Citadel. Also visit the museum. Then, a short drive to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its amazingly well-preserved 2,300-year-old open-air theater. Overnight in nearby Nauplia.
NAUPLIA–OLYMPIA. Spectacular scenery on the way through the Arkadian Mountains. Then, spend the afternoon in OLYMPIA, where the athletes of antiquity competed in honor of the King of Deities. Learn about the history of those original Olympic Games as you walk among the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus. Also visit the MUSEUM that displays Praxiteles’ magnificent statue of Hermes. Tonight, enjoy [LF] a COOKING DEMONSTRATION and learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer.
OLYMPIA-PATRAS–DELPHI. Via the busy seaport of Patras, proceed to mystic Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a fascinating tour of the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Hear about the Oracle and tour the EXCAVATIONS. End the day with a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century BC bronze statue. A highlight this evening is [LF] a DANCE LESSON, where you’ll learn how to dance the sirtaki, made famous in the movie Zorba the Greek, accompanied by a glass of the traditional Ouzo.
DELPHI–ARACHOVA-ATHENS. Leave fascinating Delphi behind this morning and head back to Athens stopping en-route at the pretty town of Arachova located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Enjoy panoramic views and stroll around the town and admire the picturesque architecture before arriving in Athens with time to do some exploring on your own and tonight, enjoy an optional dinner at a local restaurant.
ATHENS-PIRAEUS (EMBARKATION)-MYKONOS. This morning, head for Piraeus, where you will sail into the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Later dock at the mountainous island of Mykonos with its characteristic windmills and dazzling white houses. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: KUSADASI, TURKEY-PATMOS, GREECE. Two ports of call today: First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. Visit the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of EPHESUS. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Revelation, and see the Grotto of Apocalypse. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: RHODES. All day is dedicated to the island of RHODES. Explore the sights in the historic OLD TOWN with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. Next is LINDOS with the fabulous Temple of Athens. Sail from Rhodes around dinnertime. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: HERAKLION, CRETE-SANTORINI, GREECE. First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. An optional excursion to Knossos, the center of the 3000-BC Minoan civilization is available. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”, The optional shore excursion takes you up to the cliff-top village of Oia for one of the world’s most glorious panoramic views. (B,L,D)
PIRAEUS (DISEMBARKATION)-ATHENS. After breakfast on board, disembark at and return to Athens.
ATHENS. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
BreakfastNOTE:Select departures of this tour will operate the land portion in reverse. All inclusions per itinerary remain the same.