Athens & 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise
Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Crete & Santorini plus Classical Greece optional extensionBook this package
based on Oct. 19, 2016 departure*
|Style||Independent PackageEnjoy the freedom and flexibility to go and see what you like. There's no set schedule and no guides or escorts accompany you, so you're free to explore on your own from your centrally-located hotel. Some packages include a guided city tour to get you oriented. Choose European rail packages, fly-and-drive packages with a rental car, or included transfers and/or city-to-city transportation. More of these packages
Freedom to explore at your own pace; unescorted
|Departures||Scheduled Dates; select from 4 open departures, September – October 2016|
|Highlights||Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini. Optional touring includes Ephesus ruins & St. John's Monastery. Optional Classical Greece extension.|
|Departs||New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Themes||Family Friendly, Small Ship Cruises|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour does not include a tour guide or escort.|
|Already Booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, passport & visa requirements, flight information, weather, and more.|
Don't miss your chance to tour Athens and the Greek Isles and experience all the wonders they have to offer. Athens is the city where past meets present and where you will begin a magical vacation to Greece. Enjoy three nights in the city that is known as the birthplace of western civilization, then sail off into the Greek world of sparkling blue waters, Mediterranean sunshine and ancient islands full of history, myth, and ancient wonders.
Our package includes round-trip flights, superior hotel accommodations in Athens for three nights, a Greek Island cruise for three nights, buffet breakfast daily, all meals aboard the cruise, and transfers. Explore on your own, or take interesting and inexpensive optional excursions in Athens and on the islands. All the flexibility and fun is yours for incredibly low prices. And, if your schedule permits, why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare, and join us on an inexpensive and exciting Classic Greece extension?
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Wed||Jun 15||2016||Wed||Jun 22||2016||$2499||Departed|
|Wed||Jun 29||2016||Wed||Jul 6||2016||$2299||Departed|
|Wed||Jul 13||2016||Wed||Jul 20||2016||$2299||Closed|
|Wed||Aug 3||2016||Wed||Aug 10||2016||$2599||$2299||Closed|
|Wed||Aug 17||2016||Wed||Aug 24||2016||$2599||$2299||Closed|
|Wed||Sep 7||2016||Wed||Sep 14||2016||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Wed||Sep 21||2016||Wed||Sep 28||2016||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Wed||Oct 5||2016||Wed||Oct 12||2016||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Wed||Oct 19||2016||Wed||Oct 26||2016||$2399||$2099||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates. Contact us about prices and availability.
Options, Extensions & Fees
|Optionals & Upgrades|
|Rooming Selection/Cabin Categories1|
|IB (standard inside), Double Occupancy||included|
|IB (standard inside), Single Occupancy||+$550|
|XA (standard outside), Double Occupancy||+$75|
|XA (standard outside), Single Occupancy||+$625|
|XC (superior outside), Double Occupancy||+$150|
|XC (superior outside), Single Occupancy||+$700|
|Optional Shore Excursion Package|
|Optional Shore Excursion Package||+$186|
|Optional Drink Packages on Cruise|
|All-Inclusive Alcoholic Drink Package2||+$81|
|All-Inclusive Non-Alcoholic Drink Package3||+$54|
1. Cabin upgrades are subject to availability. We will confirm your cabin selection usually within 1 business day of your reservation. If the category you selected is unavailable, you'll have the option to select a different category (at the prices shown) or cancel your reservation and receive a refund of your deposit.
2. Includes: select brands of whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, brandy, mixers, draught beer, house wine, select cocktails, soft drinks, juices, lemonade, regular tea & coffee. All cabin occupants must purchase package. Drink package is available from 10am until 2am. Other terms & conditions may apply.
3. Includes: soft drinks, juices, lemonade, regular tea & coffee. All cabin occupants must purchase package. Drink package is available from 10am until 2am. Other terms & conditions may apply.
|Classical Greece Extension|
Classical Greece Extension
|Single Room Supplement||+$200|
|Taxes & Fees|
|Port Charges of $111 per person1||included|
1. All port charges included in tour price.
Flights & Departure Cities
|New York City (NYC)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities. Additional charges for flights from other cities are due within 24 hours of your reservation.
Note: NYC departures will be from either JFK or EWR based upon availability when you make your reservation. Your flight itinerary showing which airport that you are departing from will be emailed to you in 24-48 hours.
How to Make a Reservation
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA
- Check in for your overnight flight to Greece
Day 2: Athens
Accommodations: 1 night Royal Olympic Hotel or similar, Athens.
- Arrive in Athens, where you'll be met and escorted to your hotel
- Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive today in Athens. You'll be met by our representative and then escorted to your hotel, centrally located near Constitution Square and the famous Plaka (Old Town). Athens, the birthplace of western civilization, once hailed as the Paris of the Mediterranean, is now a bustling modern city, a colorful tapestry of eastern and western influences, full of outdoor cafes, pedestrian streets, parks and gardens, street bazaars, dilapidated mansions and ancient ruins.
Day 3: Athens, Piraeus & Mykonos
Accommodations: 3 nights Celestyal Olympia. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Board your cruise ship and set sail
- Evening at leisure on the island of Mykonos
Full Day Itinerary: Transfer to Piraeus this morning to board your cruise ship, Celestyal Olympia. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sun, sea breezes, pool, and other onboard facilities.
This evening, arrive at the gorgeous island of Mykonos and transfer from the port via complimentary shuttle. Enjoy an independent stroll through Mykonos town with its labyrinth of winding alleyways and whitewashed buildings, basket-laden donkeys, cascading geraniums and upscale shops and cafés.
Day 4: Kusadasi, Turkey & Patmos, Greece
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Morning in Kusadai, Turkey
- Afternoon on the Greek island of Patmos
Later this afternoon, return to your ship for lunch aboard as you sail toward Patmos, Greece. Disembark at Skala harbor, a lively place with whitewashed houses, flowered courtyards, tavernas and shops. The Island of Patmos is famous in history as the place where St. John wrote the Book of Revelation, which you can explore on an optional excursion.
Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
Optional Excursion: Ephesus & the House of Virgin Mary, $73 (purchased locally). Drive through the colorful town of Kusadasi to reach Mt. Koressos. Situated in a small valley, the humble chapel lies on the site of the little house where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days. Despite the many controversies, the Christian world still favors this belief and the site has been officially sanctioned by the Vatican for pilgrimage.
Continue on to Ephesus, an archeological site that ranks among the wonders of the world. Explore this fascinating town where history truly comes to life on a guided walking tour. Walk through the Magnesian Gate, entrance to the ancient city. See the Odeon (concert hall); the Fountain of Trajan; the steam-heated Baths of Scolastika; the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians; the Library of Celsus, dating from 135 A.D.; and The Great Theatre, the largest one in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats, where St. Paul preached. Walk back to the coach along the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession.
While driving back to Kusadasi and just outside Ephesus, view the Basilica of St. John, which was erected over his grave in the 6th century A.D. by Emperor Justinian. Before returning to the ship, enjoy free time in Kusadasi or get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewelry or leather goods.
Adults: $73. Children: $49. Duration: 3.5 hours. Excursion not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.
Optional Excursion: Patmos countryside tour with Hora & Grotto, $73 (purchased locally). Begin your panoramic tour from the port and drive to the central part of the island. At the main town, Chora, you will visit the Cave of the Apocalypse. This grotto is believed to be the spot where John received the visions that he recorded in the Book of Revelation. The nearby Monastery of St. John the Theologian, built on one of the island's highest points, houses priceless icons and manuscripts in its treasury. Together, the grotto and monastery have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Continue to the windmills of Chora, once the landmark of all Aegean Islands. Drive around the island to see its outstanding natural beauty, comprised of rocky hills, tongues of land reaching out into the sea, and an intricate coastline of tranquil bays and coves. Your tour will conclude in Scala, a quaint port town. A refreshment or coffee will be offered at Arion Café, the oldest and most picturesque café in town.
Adults: $73. Children: $49. Duration: 2 hours.
Day 5: Heraklion & Santorini
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Morning at leisure in Crete
- Half day sightseeing tour of Oia Village on Santorini
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive in Heraklion early this morning. Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. An optional shore excursion will take you to see the ruins of Knossos, the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization on Crete, just five kilometers from Heraklion city center.
Back in Heraklion, the open air market is a must-see, where a boisterous crowd buys and sells everything from goats and sheep to huge cauldrons of fresh yogurt. Other points of interest here include the Archaeological Museum, one of the finest in Greece, housing exquisite findings from Knossos and other Minoan ruins, numerous Venetian fortresses, fountains and loggias scattered throughout the city and the Historical Museum of Crete, with its Byzantine and folklore collections.
Return to the ship to continue sailing to Santorini. This striking island is a volcanic crater immersed in the sea. The island is famous for its breathtaking and rugged landscapes, whitewashed houses, open-air cafés, and glittering boutiques which cling to steep cliffs, accessible by foot, cable car or mule. Enjoy an included half day of sightseeing. Begin with a scenic drive, from which you can admire the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands. Continue to Oia Village, perched on the Caldera rim, and an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Its cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, and blue shutters and domes are some of the most photogenic in all of Greece. Your coach will bring you back to the port of Athinios, where you'll return to the ship via tender boat for a final evening at sea.
Optional Excursion: Minoan Palace of Knossos, First European Civilization, $73 (purchased locally). This excursion takes you to visit the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan's archeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire once flourished on the island. Based on the wealth of artifacts found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom. These findings will be viewed in detail, as your guide will lead you on a journey of discovery to learn of the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island.
The palace at Knossos was an intricate collection of over 1,000 interlocking rooms, including the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King's Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen's Apartment, as well as beautiful courtyards and shrines. The palace was used as a religious and administrative center, as well as for workshops for artisans and food processing. The ruins have largely been excavated and much of them colorfully painted and restored, decorated with frescoes and shields.
Adults: $73. Children: $49. Duration: 3 hours. Walking in the archeological site of Knossos will be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags or backpacks.
Day 6: Piraeus & Athens
Accommodations: 2 nights Royal Olympic Hotel or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.
- Disembark in Athens
- Remainder of the day at leisure, or continue on our Classical Greece Extension
Full Day Itinerary: Disembark from your ship at Piraeus. Enjoy a full day to explore Athens. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, within short distance of many major attractions, as well as the best shopping and dining. Our Athens representatives will be glad to make suggestions if you prefer to explore independently.
Day 7: Athens
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Full day at leisure to explore Athens, or select optional excursions
Optional Excursion: Athens, €78 (purchased locally). The striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures is what you will enjoy during your tour of Athens. Visit the Acropolis, the crowning beauty and glory of Ancient Athens, with its many monuments atop its rocky base, including the awesome Parthenon, the Propylea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, with its Porch of Maidens.
Drive to the Roman Temple of Olympic Zeus, the Panathinaikon Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896), and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament House on Constitution Square. See views of government buildings and elegant structures of the 19th century. Drive along Panepistimiou Avenue and view the Catholic Cathedral, the Academy, the University, and the National Library. Conclude your tour with a visit to the new Acropolis Museum, a marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens.
Optional Excursion: Cape Sounion, €49 (purchased locally). Drive along the coastal road past countless coves and the beautiful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza to Cape Sounion. Dominated by the spectacular Temple of Poseidon, the sanctuary at Sounion is one of the most important archeological sites in Attica. Although evidence suggests that the site dates back to the prehistoric period, the sanctuary is first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey, as the place where Menelaos stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides. Learn about the rich history of this area as you take in stunning views of the Aegean on this fascinating optional excursion.
Day 8: Athens/USA
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Bid farewell to Athens as you're escorted to the airport to board your return flight
- Arrive in the USA later today
At the ports of Mykonos, Patmos & Santorini, disembarkation is by tender boats, weather permitting. Kusadasi & Patmos stops might be in inverted order. Passengers taking the optional shore excursions disembark first. The itinerary listed, including ports of call, embarkation/disembarkation times, shore excursions and prices, were correct at time of publication. We and our partner, Celestyal Cruise Lines, will do our utmost to adhere to the itinerary as listed, but due to sea conditions and other factors, minor changes to the itinerary may be necessary, and some shore excursions shown may not be available. As necessary, Celestyal Cruise Lines may also substitute another ship from their fleet of similar size and amenities. We will do our very best to immediately inform travelers of any such changes.
Shore Excursion Package $186
To help you take full advantage of your visit to the Mediterranean, we offer an exciting optional shore excursion package for three popular shore excursions at various ports-of-call at a 15% discounted price:
- Ephesus & the House of Virgin Mary (Day 4)
- Patmos countryside tour with Hora & Grotto (Day 4)
- Minoan Palace of Knossos, First European Civilization (Day 5)
If you prefer to select individual shore excursions, they can be purchased locally.
Classical Greece Optional Extension
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare and visit the classical cities of Corinth, Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi? Your extension includes superior hotels, most meals and guided touring of the most fascinating sites, including entrance fees to places visited.
Day 6: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia
Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Olympia or similar. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.
- Drive across the Corinth Canal to Olympia
- Visit the famous theatre of Epidaurus
- Evening at leisure in Olympia
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, board your touring coach and begin a tour of the classical cities of Greece. Drive across the Corinth Canal, which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean, to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where 4,000 years of history are more fully and comprehensibly illustrated than anywhere else in Europe.
Here you'll visit the famous theater of Epidaurus, the best preserved in Greece, which reached the height of its fame in the 5th & 4th centuries B.C. The acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers, every word can be heard.
Continue to ancient Mycenae, which, according to the poets, was founded by Perseus and built with the aid of the mythological Cyclops. Drive on to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi
Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Delphi or similar. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.
- Morning tour of the archeological site and museum at Olympia
- Afternoon drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos
- Evening at leisure in Delphi
Full Day Itinerary: This morning you'll tour the archeological site and museum at Olympia, where the Olympic Games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. These games were the most important international event in the Hellenic world from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. and continue today, with the lighting of the Olympic flame that is carried by runners throughout the world. Visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum.
This afternoon, you'll drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos, where according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar, and where you'll view the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue our drive to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Delphi & Kalambaka
Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Kalambaka or similar. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.
- Morning tour of Delphi
- Evening at leisure in Kalambaka
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast you'll explore the ancient site of Delphi, located on the slopes of the breathtaking Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Here lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum, which contains masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture including the famous bronze Charioteer. The site had been sacred since at least the Bronze Age. According to legend, the shrine was originally guarded by the she-dragon Pytho. She was killed by Apollo who then took over the oracle. In antiquity, Delphi was regarded as the center of the world.
Later, you'll depart for the small town of Kalambaka, built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks, at the point where the river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain.
Day 9: Meteora & Athens
Accommodations: 2 nights Royal Olympic Hotel or similar, Athens. Included meals: Breakfast.
- Morning tour of Meteora monasteries
- Afternoon drive back to Athens via Thermopylae
- Evening at leisure in Athens
Full Day Itinerary: This morning you'll visit the spectacular Meteora monasteries, perched upon the summits of some precipitous and isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios River, 9 km beyond Kalambaka. The monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century A.D., when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied.
Later this afternoon you'll drive back to Athens, via Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check into your hotel.
Day 10: Athens
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Full day to explore Athens on your own, or join optional excursions
Day 11: Athens/USA
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Bid farewell to Greece as you're escorted to the airport to board your flight home
- Arrive in the USA later today
Just returned from my first trip with Friendly Planet and was so impressed that I had to write this note. You have a lot of choices in travel and I have found my tour company at last. Everything about my trip was amazing—our guide, Ibrahim, was not only extremely knowledgeable, but also patient and very funny. Hotels, transportation, meals, added excursions were all superb. Everything went off without a hitch—I felt safe and cared for every minute and could spend ALL of my time enjoying the trip instead of worrying about the travel details. Turkey, its people, scenery, food, monuments and parks are just wonderful. I can't wait for my next trip. So little time, so much to see...
Ann Ott, Cedar City, Utah
Before You Book
- Do I need a visa or any other documents? Please review the requirements about which documents you need before you travel.
- Should I get travel insurance? Protect your travel investment with our comprehensive policies.
- What's the fine print? Read the terms & conditions for this package.
- I'm traveling solo. Can you help me find a roommate? Yes, you can connect with other travelers to share a room and avoid single occupancy rates.
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at the time of travel.
More Common Questions
Before You GoPreparing for
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