Day 1: Depart US for Athens (Thursday)Your overnight flight transports you to Athens.
Day 2: Athens (Friday)Yassou! Welcome to Athens. Private transfer to the hotel. Consider enjoying lunch at an ouzerie for a good old-fashion Greek meal.
Day 3: Athens (Saturday)This morning, enjoy a half day scheduled city tour of Athens' highlights. Among the ancient sites you will see are the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrians Arch, Constitution Square with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Greek Parliament, the Theatre of Dionysos and visit the Acropolis with its Parthenon and its museum. Afternoon at leisure. Stroll through Plaka, the historic area of Athens.
Day 4: Athens (Sunday)A free day in Athens. Optional tours are available to Delphi, the Argolis area (Nafplion, Epidavros and Mycenae), Corinth or Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon.
Day 5: Athens / Lavrion / Mykonos (Monday)Transfer to the port of Lavrion. Sail at 1:00 p.m. Arrive in Mykonos, the Jet-Set island of the world, at 6:00 p.m. Stroll though its quaint narrow streets lined with white-washed homes with their blue shutters, stores, cafes and restaurants. Find a table on the waterfront and enjoy the sunset over the harbor. Experience the excitement of its nightlife! Shore excursions available at an additional cost to visit Myconian countryside tour with Chora and Little Venice or Foodie tour. Sail at 11:00 p.m. for Kusadasi, Turkey.
Day 6: Kusadasi / Ephesus / Patmos (Tuesday)Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey at 7:00 a.m. Kusadasi is a colorful beach town! Enjoy exploring it! A complimentary excursion Ancient Ephesus Through the Ages is included and is not to be missed. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian period are scattered everywhere. This is a wonderful journey through some of the most important and formative periods of history and we hope you will be enthralled by the stories of the Hellenes, Romans and of Christianity in our fascinating exploration of Ephesus. This marvelous city, sitting on the hills outside Kusadasi is a fabulous open air archaeological wonder founded by the Greeks around 2000 BC. It was one of the most important cities of the region and was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The Temple built in her honor was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It had more than 100 marble pillars each standing 56 feet tall and it earned the city the name ‘Servant of the Goddess.’ A single pillar remains standing on the site, found during an excavation in the 1870s. We will be able to see the Agora, Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marvel-paved Main Street of Curetes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Temple of Hadrian and the Houses of Koressus, where the wealthy families of Ancient Ephesus lived. Only 13 per cent of Ephesus has so far been uncovered. The finds from the excavations made so far are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in the city of Selcuk. We have time for shopping for carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs at the end of our tour. Sail at 1:00 p.m. for Patmos, Greece. Arrive at 4:30 p.m. Shore excursions available at an additional cost to visit the Monastery of St. John and the nearby cave where the Apocalypse was written. Sail at 9:00 p.m. for Rhodes
Day 7: Rhodes (Wednesday)Arrive in Rhodes at 7:00 a.m. If Kusadasi gave us just a glimpse of the Ancient World, then this destination leaves it to our imagination. The Colossus of Rhodes once bestrode the harbor and welcomed all his guests, but he is long gone. Walk from the pier to the medieval castle build by the Crusaders and explore the lovely Old Town, a maze of atmospheric cobbled streets that will transport you back to the Byzantine Empire and beyond. We have a whole day here, giving you plenty of time to discover the crystal clear waters, wonderful beaches and lush wooded valleys. Complimentary excursion Acropolis of Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights is included. We travel first to Lindos, about 34 miles from Rhodes Town and high above the village sits the impressive Acropolis of Lindos with the Doric Temple of Athena, built in 300 BC. Captains’ mansions constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries are dotted here and there and in the heart of Lindos is the Church of the Virgin Mary with lovely frescoes from the 15th Century. Back in Rhodes is where we are really immersed in the history of the island in the Knights’ Quarter. We stroll through Gate d’Amboise to walk along the Street of the Knights and see where they lived, separated according to Order, their crests still visible today. We will also see (outside) the imposing Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, a medieval castle also known as the Kastello. It’s one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. The Byzantine citadel was built in the 7th Century, the palace itself in the fourteenth. Where the palace sits today could well have been the spot where once stood the Colossus according to recent studies. Either way, this tour takes us into the heart of the fascinating history of Rhodes Sail at 6:00 p.m. Enjoy dinner and life on board this evening while sailing to Crete.
Day 8: Heraklion / Santorini (Thursday)Arrive in Heraklion, Crete at 7:00 a.m. From one evocative island to another. Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, a place of myths and legends. There will also be the opportunity to visit the capital Heraklion and absorb some of its extraordinary history. Shore excursions available at an additional cost to visit Knossos Palace or Knossos Palace and the Archeological Museum or Knossos Palace and Cretan landscapes. Knossos Palace, an open air museum, will transport you to the Minoan age. Walk through the remaining Palace and see how the Minoan royalty lived. Sail at 12:00 p.m. to arrive in Santorini at 4:30 p.m. Santorini is instantly recognizable and we are sure she will take your breath away, with her soaring landscapes, clusters of whitewashed houses clinging to its cliffside in the capital Fira, the incredible sunsets and of course, the iconic blue-domed church at Oia. Explore Santorini on your own or enjoy a shore excursion. Shore excursions available at an additional cost to visit Oia Village, Megalochori and Amoudi Bay or cruise to Santorini's Islands and Volcanoes or Akrotiri Village Excavations. Enjoy a drink or coffee and desert at one of the restaurants or bars jostling for position at the edge of the caldera. Sail from Santorini at 9:30 p.m. for Lavrion
Day 9: Lavrion / Athens / Home (Friday)Arrival in Lavrion is at 6:00 a.m. Private transfer to the Athens Airport for your flight home.
Island Breeze – Iconic Aegean Itinerary (Departures March 10 – October 20, Every Thursday)
Land/Cruise rates are based on per person, double occupancy in either 4* or 5* hotels and in a Category IB (inside cabin).
4* hotel – From $1,190 to $1,685
5* hotel – From $1,200 to $1,740
4* – Pallas Athena Grecotel (or similar)
5* – Royal Olympic Hotel (or similar)
Celestyal Cruises, Ship- Olympia (ship subject to change)
Cabin IB Interior Staterooms at deck 3 and 4 (118 sq ft) can accommodate up to 4 persons with 2 lower beds, 3rd/4th berth, bathroom with shower, air condition, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box and TV. Single beds can be pushed together upon request.
The above rates reflect the least expensive time of travel (March) and the most expensive time of travel (September). Rates do not include international air.
5 days / 4 nights cruise on Celestyal Cruise Line to the Greek Islands and Turkey including all meals, special theme dinners, entertainment & port dues.
All-inclusive Classic Drinks
Two Shore Excursions: Kusadasi: Ancient Ephesus through the Ages; Rhodes: Acropolis of Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights
Three nights at a selected Athens hotel including service fees, taxes and daily breakfast
Athens city tour including the Acropolis and its new Museum
Athens private taxi transfers
Island Breeze departure dates from USA, every Thursday from March 10 - October 20
In Athens, additional nights may be added to have more time to experience Athens and its nearby area.