2020 Tour Details
The iconic Greek Islands are yours to discover on a guided cruise and tour of Greece. You’ve dreamed of the sparkling blue waters of the Aegean Sea and strolling among whitewashed buildings above pristine beaches. Now you can have both with a guided tour of Greece and a Greek Islands cruise. History comes alive on your guided visits to many of Greece's ancient sites. In addition to the Acropolis and Olympia, you'll also visit the ruins in Mycenae, dating from 1,350 to 1,200 BC and described in Homer’s epic poem, “The Iliad.” In ancient Greece, people traveled to Delphi to seek the wisdom of the Oracle. Learn about the Oracle, tour the excavations, and visit the Archaeological Museum. To add to your Greek experience, enjoy a cooking demonstration where you learn to make traditional tzatziki; take a sirtaki dance lesson; and try a glass of Ouzo. Plus, you'll be accompanied by an expert Tour Director who will bring this country to life by sharing its history, stories, and insider secrets. Take your escorted Greek vacation adventure further! Cruise the Greek Islands for four nights to experience the world-renowned Aegean Sea portion of the Mediterranean. Sail from Athens in an outside cabin aboard a Celestyal Cruise ship to the legendary island of Mykonos. Wander amid its iconic windmills and white houses. Next, you’ll sail towards the shores of Turkey to visit Kusadasi and the ancient excavations of Ephesus. Then, cruise to the island of Rhodes. You’ll see the clifftop acropolis of Lindos and Athena’s Temple. Next, dock at Heraklion on the island of Crete, where you can take an optional excursion to explore Knossos, site of the 3,000 BC Minoan civilization. You’ll also sail, weather permitting, to the panoramic and volcanic island of Santorini—“The Black Pearl of the Aegean.” Relax while basking in the beauty of the sea as you return to Athens for guided sightseeing. From the picturesque fishing villages to ancient historic sights and sailing the Aegean Sea, this guided tour of Greece has it all—including four spectacular nights on a Greek Island cruise.
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ATHENS Welcome drink; guided sightseeing, visit the AcropolisCORINTH Cross the canalMYCENAE Guided visit of the excavations and museumOLYMPIA [LF] learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer; guided visit of the archaeological site and the museumDELPHI [LF] learn to dance the sirtaki and have a glass of Ouzo; guided visit of the excavations, visit the Archaeological MuseumCRUISING Four-night cruise with port calls at Mykonos; Kusadasi (Turkey); Patmos; Rhodes; Heraklion; Santorini (weather permitting).INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONSKusadasi: ancient Ephesus, Rhodes: medieval townCRUISE DETAILS:
Motorcoach; sea cruise. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Welcome drink in Athens; full buffet breakfast daily; 2 three-course dinners; 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–CORINTH CANAL–MYCENAE–OLYMPIA. Cross the spectacular Corinth Canal. Your highlight for today is 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. Later, arrive in Olympia and enjoy a [LF] COOKING DEMONSTRATION and learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer
OLYMPIA–DELPHI. Sightseeing with a Local Guide will give you the insights of the town 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. In the afternoon a pleasant drive will take you to mystic Delphi. A highlight this evening is a [LF] 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–ATHENS. This morning 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. Visit the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century BC bronze statue. Leave fascinating Delphi behind you and head back to Athens. 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. Time to wander through narrow paved streets before returning on board.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
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, you may wish to join an optional excursion to discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Revelation, and see the Grotto of Apocalypse.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
CRUISING: RHODES. All day is dedicated to the island of RHODES. Explore the sites in the historic Old City with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. Next is LINDOS with the fabulous Temple of Athena. Sail from Rhodes around dinner time.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
CRUISING: HERAKLION, CRETE–SANTORINI, GREECE. First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”. The optional shore excursion takes you to the cliff- top village of Oia for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
PIRAEUS (DISEMBARKATION)–ATHENS. After breakfast on board, disembark at Piraeus and return to 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. 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. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.