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Santorini panorama

Athens & 4 Day Greek Isles Cruise

Athens, then a 4 day cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi & Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini & Crete; travel on your own with flights & hotel included

Book this package
9 days from $2699 $2399
per person, double occupancy, including airfare
based on Mar. 11, 2017 departure*
Price includes
  • $300 Early Bird Discount if you book by Dec. 13, 2016.*
BIG SAVINGS

Overview

Style Independent PackageThese un-escorted packages have no set schedule or guides, so you have the freedom and flexibility to explore on your own from your centrally-located hotel. More of these packages
Freedom to explore at your own pace; unescorted
Departures Scheduled Dates; select from 9 open departures, March – October 2017
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Round trip flights from New York via scheduled carriers including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees, with other gateways available on request
  • 3 nights Deluxe hotel accommodations at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens
  • 4 nights standard inside cabins (cat. IB) aboard the Celestyal Olympia
  • Port Charges of $157 per person included
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 15 Meals: buffet breakfast daily in Athens and all meals aboard the cruise
  • On-board All-inclusive Alcoholic Drink Package
  • 3 Shore Excursions: Ancient Ephesus, Medieval Tour of Lindos, and Santorini Oia Village Tour
  • All group transfers
Optional
  • Optional touring Knossos ruins
Highlights Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini. Optional tours of Athens and Cape Sounion, optional cruise shore excursions, and 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.
As Seen in
Chicago Tribune
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.

Athens & 4 Day Greek Isles Cruise plus Classical Greece optional extension itinerary A Mediterranean vacation would not be complete without this stunning tour of Athens and the Greek Isles. Athens is the city where past meets present and where you will begin your magical visit to Greece. Enjoy three nights in the city that is the birthplace of Western civilization, and four nights sailing to the magnificent Greek islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini, plus Kusadasi in Turkey.

Our package includes round-trip flights, superior hotel accommodations in Athens for three nights, a Greek Island cruise for four nights, buffet breakfast daily, all meals aboard the cruise, and transfers. Explore on your own, or take interesting and inexpensive optional tours of Athens and the Greek 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*
Depart Return Price Book by
Dec 13
Sat Mar 11 2017 Sun Mar 19 2017 $2699 $2399 Available
Sat Mar 18 2017 Sun Mar 26 2017 $2699 $2399 Available
Sat Apr 1 2017 Sun Apr 9 2017 $2799 $2499 Available
Sat Apr 15 2017 Sun Apr 23 2017 $2699 $2399 Closed
Sat May 27 2017 Sun Jun 4 2017 $3099 $2799 Available
Sat Jun 24 2017 Sun Jul 2 2017 $3149 $2849 Available
Sat Jul 29 2017 Sun Aug 6 2017 $3099 $2799 Available
Sat Aug 26 2017 Sun Sep 3 2017 $2849 $2549 Available
Sat Sep 2 2017 Sun Sep 10 2017 $3099 $2799 Available
Sat Sep 30 2017 Sun Oct 8 2017 $2899 $2599 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

Optionals & Upgrades
Rooming Selection/Cabin Categories1
IB (standard inside cabin), Double Occupancy included
IB (standard inside cabin), Single Occupancy +$749
XB (standard outside) Double Occupancy +$150
XB (standard outside) Single Occupancy +$775
XD (standard outside), Double Occupancy +$200
XD (standard outside), Single Occupancy +$899
XF (superior outside), Double Occupancy +$325
XF (superior outside), Single Occupancy
Sep 2, Sep 30 +$1249
All other departures +$1199

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.

Classical Greece Extension
Classical Greece Extension
Apr 1, Apr 15, May 27, Jun 24, Jul 29, Aug 26, Sep 2, Sep 30 +$775
Mar 11, Mar 18 unavailable
Rooming Selection
Double occupancy included
Single room supplement +$339
Taxes & Fees
Port Charges of $157 per person1 included

1. All port charges included in tour price.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
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.

Deposit
Deposit $1500

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Your exciting journey to Greece begins this evening as you check in for your overnight flight

Day 2: Athens

Accommodations: 1 night Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens or similar.

  • Arrive to Athens and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure

Athens at night Full Day Itinerary: 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: 4 nights Celestyal Nefeli on Mar 11, Mar 18 & Apr 1 departures; Celestyal Olympia on all others. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Embark on your cruise ship and set sail to the Greek Isles
  • 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 shipboard 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.

  • Half day sightseeing tour of ancient Ephesus
  • Afternoon on the Greek island of Patmos

KusadasiFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey this morning. Just ten kilometers from the port is the ancient city of Ephesus, where you'll find an archeological site that ranks among the wonders of the world. At the archaeological site, you will be given a guided tour among the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, and the Temple of Hadrian.

The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C. could accommodate 24,000 spectators and is famous even today for its acoustics. The finds from the excavations, which have yet brought to light only 13% of anceint Ephesus, reside in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus, in the city Seljuk.

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. An optional tour takes you to the cave where St. John lived and the nearby Monastery, built on one of the island's highest points, housing priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Rhodes

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day medieval tour of Lindos
  • Remainder of day at leisure to explore the Greek island of Rhodes

Port in RhodesFull Day Itinerary: Today you'll visit Rhodes, the beautiful "Island of Roses". In the heart of the city of Rhodes is the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe, a fascinating web of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin ruins. Its mighty fortifications provide the finest surviving examples of defensive architecture of the time.

Lindos, with its whitewashed houses clustered beneath a soaring castle-capped acropolis, is Rhodes' most picturesque village and most important Doric settlement because of its natural harbor and vantage point built 125 meters above sea level. Drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with whitewashed villages, to Lindos one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times. See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the knights of St. John in the 13th century. Within them stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St Paul's Bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great staircase leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and Temple of Athena. Should you wish to make your way up by mule, a fee must be paid to the local muleteer. After the guided tour of the Acropolis, visit the Captains' mansions of Lindos. These lovely old residences were built between the 16th and 18th century by wealthy merchant seafarers as evidence of their success. Set in large courtyards and sheltered behind high walls, these homes vary in size from simple, two-story houses to large, handsome Gothic mansions, with Byzantine and Moorish architectural features.

Continue to the Church of the Virgin Mary, known as the Church Panagia of Lindos. Just a few minutes' walk from the main square into the labyrinth of Lindos' alleys, the church of Panagia is an enchanting sight. Surrounded by high walls and a small courtyard, this old church was originally built in 1300 but has since been submitted to numerous reconstructions. The most prominent external feature is a high-rise, stone built campanile tower, typical of the Rhodian churches. The main building has a cross-shaped plan superimposed by an octagonal dome, whitewashed walls and red byzantine tile roofs. Afterwards, go through D'Amboise Gate to walk along the Street of the Knights. Here you will find the residences of the Knights, separated according to Order, and to this day bear their corresponding crests.

 

Day 6: Heraklion & Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Morning at leisure in Crete
  • Half day sightseeing tour of Oia Village in Santorini

Palace of Knossos, CreteFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Heraklion early this morning. 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. The palace at Knossos was an intricate collection of over 1000 interlocking rooms, 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.

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.

Friendly Planet travelers in SantoriniReturn 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 cafes and glittering boutiques which cling to steep cliffs, accessible by foot, cable car or mule. Enjoy an included half day of sightseeing which will begin with a scenic drive where you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Explore the village, walking along the cobblestone streets and the white washed houses with 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 will embark your tender boat to return the ship for a final evening at sea.

Day 7: Piraeus & Athens

Accommodations: 2 nights Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Disembark ship in Athens and spend remainder of the day at leisure

Plaka café, AthensFull 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. Or, continue on our Classical Greece Extension.

Day 8: Athens

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a full day to explore Athens on your own

Parthenon & Acropolis Hill, AthensOptional Excursion: Athens, €72 (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), 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, University, National Library. In contrast, 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.

Poseidon Temple, Cape SounionOptional 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 9: 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.

Classical Greece Extension

Classical Greece Extension itinerary 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 of the classical cities of Greece, including entrance fees to places visited.

Day 8: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia

Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Olympia or similar. Included meals: Breakfast and dinner.

  • Drive across the Corinth Canal to Olympia, en route visit the famous theatre of Epidaurus
  • Evening at leisure in Olympia

Corinth canalFull 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 we'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 9: 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

Nafpaktos, Greece © GNTO & F. DesilasFull Day Itinerary: This morning we'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 we drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos, where according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar and where we'll view the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue our drive to Delphi for dinner and overnight.

Day 10: Delphi & Kalambaka

Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Kalambaka or similar. Included meals: Breakfast and dinner.

  • Morning tour of Delphi
  • Evening at leisure in Kalambaka

Ruins at Delphi, GreeceFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast we'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, we'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 11: Meteora & Athens

Accommodations: 2 nights Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Morning tour of Meteora monasteries
  • Afternoon drive back to Athens via Thermopylae
  • Evening at leisure in Athens

Monastery in MeteoraFull Day Itinerary: This morning we will 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 AD, when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied.

Later this afternoon we'll drive back to Athens, via Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check in at our hotel.

Day 12: Athens

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a full day to explore Athens on your own or on optional tours

Day 13: Athens/USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your flight back home.
  • Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today.

Reviews

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The flight and land transportation, hotels, food, guide, driver, and sites were all excellent! Our guide, Mr. Gokhan Baydur, was very knowledgeable and friendly. We really appreciated his etymology of words and relation to history of modern Turkey, etc. He was also very capable at keeping us all together, which is no easy task. The driver was phenomenal; I don't know how he managed to drive the bus through the Istanbul traffic and somehow make U-turns: amazing!

Arthur Tucker

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