Greek Islands 4-Day Iconic Cruise

Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini.

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Overview

Itinerary at a Glance
Greek Islands 4-Day Iconic Cruise
Day Destination/Port of Call Arrive Depart
1 Depart USA    
2 Athens    
3 Athens & Pireaus   11 am
  Mykonos, Greece 6 pm 11 pm
4 Kusadasi, Turkey 7 am 1 pm
  Patmos, Greece 4 pm 9 pm
5 Rhodes , Greece 7 am 6 pm
6 Heraklion, Crete 7 am 11:30 am
  Santorini, Greece 4:30 pm 9 pm
7 Athens/Pireaus Greece/
Brussels, Belgium
6 am  
8 Brussels/USA    
Style Independent/Self-Guided
No tour escort; explore at your own pace
Departs New York Kennedy (JFK) (flight schedule)
Highlights Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini plus optional shore excursions
Included in the Price
  • Round trip flights from New York via Brusssels Airlines including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees, with other gateways available on request
  • 1 night hotel accommodations at the Titania Hotel in Athens
  • 4 nights aboard the Louis Cruise Lines MV Olympia
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 1 night Brussels Airport Hotel with complimentary airport shuttle service
  • 13 Meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All group transfers
Optional
  • Optional shore excursions

Enjoy your vacation this year on a Mediterranean cruise. This fabulous itinerary includes the iconic islands of Greece and the Aegean – Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Creat and Santorin, as well as calling on Kusadasi, the gateway to Ephesus. Explore on your own, or enjoy the shore excursions. All the flexibility and fun is yours for an incredibly low price!

The itinerary listed, including ports of call, embarkation/disembarkation times, shore excursions and prices, were correct at time of publication. We and our partner, Louis 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, Louis 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.

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Testimonials

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I judge the value of a vacation by the desire to return. After seeing Greece on this tour, I most certainly want to go back.

Carol Gargan

Dates, Prices & Options

Sorry, there are no currently available tour dates.

Transfers: Transfers for this tour are provided on a group basis only. Passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.

Detailed Itinerary

Greek Islands 4 Day Iconic Cruise itineraryThe itinerary listed, including ports of call, embarkation/disembarkation times, shore excursions and prices, were correct at time of publication. We and our partner, Louis 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, Louis 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.

Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Greece begins this evening as you check in for your overnight flight.

Day 2: 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. Accommodations: Titania Hotel.

Day 3: Athens, Piraeus & Mykonos. Transfer to Piraeus this morning to board your cruise ship, the Louis Cruise Lines' MV Olympia. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sun, sea breezes, pool and shipboard facilities.

This evening, arrive at the gorgeous island of Mykonos. 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. Accommodations: MV Olympia. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Ephesus, TurkeyDay 4: Kusadasi, Turkey & Patmos, Greece. 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. Explore this fascinating town where history truly comes to life on an optional excursion that includes the Great Theatre of Ephesus, which had a capacity of 25,000 people, and the Library of Celsus dating from 135 A.D.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

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. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore Patmos on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

Port of RhodesDay 5: Rhodes. 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. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore Rhodes on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

Palace of Knossos, CreteDay 6: Heraklion, Crete & Santorini. 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.

Explore Heraklion on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

Blue domes, 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.

Explore Santorini on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions, including an excursion that takes you up along the volcanic caldera and through several traditional villages to the picturesque town of Oia, which brims with many fine examples of Cycladic architecture. Return to the ship for a final evening at sea. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided

Plaka café, AthensDay 7: Piraeus & Athens, Brussels, Belgium. Disembark from your ship at Piraeus. Bid farewell to Greece as you transfer from the port to the airport for your flight to Brussels. Upon arrival, make your way to your hotel via the airport shuttle for overnight. Accommodations: Hotel near Brussels airport. Breakfast provided.

Day 8: Brussels/USA. Return to the Brussels airport via the hotel shuttle for your return journey to the USA, arriving this afternoon in New York.

At the ports of Mykonos, Patmos & Santorini, disembarkation is by tender boats, weather permitting. Passengers taking the optional shore excursions disembark.

Optional Excursions

Optional Shore Excursions

To help you take full advantage of your visit to the Mediterranean, exciting optional shore excursions are offered at each port-of-call. You may purchase shore excursions during your briefing upon arrival in Athens or once aboard your ship. We suggest pre-booking at the briefing to guarantee your spot and avoid lines and hassle during your vacation. Excursions are priced and paid for locally in Euros (you can pay with credit card or cash). For your convenience, we have listed approximate conversions to U.S. dollars (accurate as of Dec. 2013).

Excursions in Crete

Knossos ruins, Crete  © www.heraklion.gr Knossos Palace half day (HER-02)
Adult: €49 ($64) Child: €30 ($39)
Duration: 3.5 hours

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. After a short drive through the town of Heraklion the tour will arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan's archeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artifacts that were 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, decorated with frescoes and shields houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King's Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen's Apartment, beautiful courtyards and shrines. Having visited this remarkable site your coaches will take you back to the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion to rejoin your ship.

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.

Market at Heraklion  Photo by Böhringer Friedrich A Taste of Crete half day (HER-04)
Adult: $66 Child: $39
Duration: 3.5 hours

The excursion begins from the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion with a drive through the city to the famous wine producing area of Peza, south of Heraklion. The drive is through breathtaking landscape of countryside and vineyards as old as Minoan times. The first stop is a modern winery, where you will see the updated methods of wine making and sample some of the delicious Cretan wines. The drive continues through rural villages to the village of Archanes, the municipality in the area. On the way, a photo stop is made at Vathypetro to view one of the oldest farmhouses in Crete, dating to the Minoan period 16th century B.C.. The tour continues through the island's hilly countryside where olive groves and vineyards existed from as far back as 4,000 years. Arriving at the village of Archanes, which is situated 10km south of the Palace of Knossos, the quaint market town of Archanes has many restored sandstone houses dating from the Turkish period. At a taverna in the village's tree-shaded square, you can sample an assortment of Cretan snacks and locally produced wine, and have a chance to mingle with many of the locals themselves while listening to typical Greek music. You will have free time to browse before the return drive to the port of Heraklion and the ship.

Excursions in Kusadasi

Library of Celsus Ephesus & the House of Virgin Mary half day (KUS-01)
Adult: $81 Child: $49
Duration: 3.5 hours

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 Ancient Ephesus accompanied by your guide walk through the Magnesian Gate which is the entrance to the ancient city of Ephesus. Your guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. 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 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.

Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Great Theatre, Ephesus Ancient Ephesus half day (KUS-02)
Adult: $75 Child: $47
Duration: 3 hours

Drive through the colorful town of Kusadasi and along the coast to reach Ephesus, famous in antiquity for its Temple of Diana—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—and later the home of St. John. During the years of the Roman Empire, the Greek port of Ephesus became the greatest city in Asia Minor. Upon arrival at Ephesus follow your guide to enter the ancient site through the Magnesian Gate. Discover innumerable monuments including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika and the Great Theatre built in the Greek era and reconstructed in the Roman period, which is still noted for its remarkable acoustics. View the symbols all around and marvel at the fact that one is still able to read the inscriptions in the ancient Greek language. Walk back to your coach along the Arcadian Way, where once Mark Anthony and Cleopatra rode in procession. As you drive back to Kusadasi, on a hill above Selcuk, 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.

Excursion not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Excursions in Patmos

Grotto of the Apocalypse, Patmos St. John's Monastery & Grotto of the Apocalypse half day (PAT-01)
Adult: $61 Child: $46
Duration: 2 hours

Depart from the port of Scala and enjoy a short drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As you walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. View the courtyard, the monks' dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noted for its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Next, visit the small museum where priceless ecclesiastical treasures, books, manuscripts, mosaics, icons, splendid medieval textiles, vestments and jewelry are housed. Return to your motor coach and continue to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse. Walk down the steps to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Here you will see the niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of the Revelation and the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honoring the Holy Trinity. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque town.

Excursion not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Scala, Patmos Patmos Scenic Island Tour half day (PAT-02)
Adult: $59 Child: $46
Duration: 2 hours

An interesting scenic island tour has been designed for those passengers who prefer to discover the beauties of Patmos from the comfort of an air-conditioned motor coach. Start the tour from the port of Scala and drive to the central part of the island "Chora" which is the location of the Majestic Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Divine, built in 1088. Your sightseeing will first bring you to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, and then to the windmills of Chora, once upon a time the landmark of all Aegean Islands, from where you will enjoy a beautiful view and have the chance to take photos. Afterwards, continue around the island to see its landscape of outstanding natural beauty comprising of rocky hills, dozens of tongues of land reaching out into the sea, tranquil beaches and many picturesque inlets. Before arriving at the port, a stop of 10 minutes is made at the square at Kambos in the north part of island. The tour ends at the port of Scala to enjoy free time in the quaint and picturesque little town. A refreshment or a coffee will be offered at Arion Café, the oldest and most beautiful café of the town.

Excursions in Rhodes

Port of Rhodes Rhodes and Lindos combined half day (RHO-01)
Adult: $74 Child: $46
Duration: 3 hours

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, enjoy some free time on your own in Lindos village before meeting up with your motor coach. Return to Rhodes city and enjoy a panoramic drive through the new part of the city before continuing to Mount Smith to see the ruins of ancient Rhodes, the Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium. Afterwards your motor coach will drop you off at Porte d'Amboise, the start of the walking tour through the medieval city of Rhodes. Follow your guide through the northern part where once lived the knights and their attendants. View the Palace of the Knights, continue your walk down Chevaliers Road to the Marine Gate and return back to the ship. A short visit to a ceramic factory is included.

The journey from Rhodes to Lindos is approximately 50 min. Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Temple of Apollo, Corinth Old City and Philerimos half day (RHO-02)
Adult: $74 Child: $46
Duration: 4 hours

Drive along the medieval walls to the summit of Mount Smith, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the Temple of Athena, the view encompasses the nearby Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port, once protected by the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The drive continues across the island to Philerimos. The summit of Philerimos was the site of Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes. Later sites include the restored Byzantine Church of Our Lady of Philerimos, a chapel with 15th century frescoes, and the ruined Castle of the Knights. After the visit and some free time, return to Rhodes and begin a guided walk of the old walled city to the Porte d'Amboise. It is a pleasure to stroll the street of the Knights with its medieval buildings, winding alleys, towers, turrets and emblazoned façades. You will then visit the impressive Grand Master's Palace and have the chance to see the superb mosaics. The pleasant walk passes through the Marine Gate before you return to the ship.

Excursions in Santorini

Oia, Santorini, Greece Oia Village half day (SAN-01)
Adult: $72 Child: $43
Duration: 3 hours

Driving along the road you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighbouring islands. A unique sight is the various layers of lava that can be seen on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the activity of the volcano. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Explore the village walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are a beautiful travel poster.Your coach will bring you back to the port of Athinios, where you will embark your tender boat.

It will be possible to remain in Fira and reach the port by cable car. Passengers will have to purchase the ticket at the cable car station.

Nea Kameni volcano Santorini Sailing and Volcano half day (SAN-02)
Adult: $72 Child: $43
Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy a motorboat cruise around the active crater of Nea Kameni islet. Sail along the strange formations of its volcanic shores, where black lava rocks and white pumice are combined beautifully with the red color of lava. Take a walk to the top of the volcanic island where sulphur is spewed into the air by one of the craters. Enjoy this surreal landscape as your guide narrates the creation and history of the volcano and the last eruption leading to the destruction of the island of Santorini. The tidal wave created by the eruption was of such an immense magnitude, it destroyed the thriving city of Knossos on the island of Crete. As your caique enters the narrows of the two lava islets, Palea and Nea Kameni, the color of the water changes from dark blue to sulphur green. In the distance, admire the breathtaking sight of Fira town with its white washed houses clinging precariously on the rim of the Caldera. Take time to swim in the warm waters heated by Hot Springs on the sea floor. Your excursion will end in Fira where your guide will show you the way to the cable car and you will make your own way back to the ship.

Excursion available from April to September, subject to weather conditions. Passengers should bring a swimsuit and towel. Please note that the water at the hot springs is reddish brown and may stain light colored swimsuits.

Santorini sunset Santorini Jeep Safari Adventure half day (SAN–10)
Adult: $72 Child: $43
Duration: 3 hours

Depart the ship by tender for Athinios port, where you will meet the guide and begin your jeep safari. Start by heading for the Faros ("lighthouse") at Akotiri, the most southern point of the island, for a quick photo stop. Then move on Vlychada Beach and the village of Vlychada, where all the local fishing boats are moored, for another photo opportunity. Then head to Perissa Beach, where the black sand is a gorgeous backdrop for a series of lively bars lining the beachfront. Here you'll have the opportunity to stop and enjoy refreshments in one of the many cafés, or walk around and stretch your legs before getting back into the jeeps. Continue on to the highest point of the island, Profitis Elias, where you'll enjoy the most amazing and dramatic panoramic view of the surrounding island. Head down the mountain and drive through the small sleepy village of Exo Gonia. Then continue to Kamari beach, a former fishing village that is now a hub of activity and a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, filled with hotels, restaurants and colorful shops. The last stop will be the lovely village of Monolithos, quieter and more sleepy than Kamari, but no less beautiful. Finish your safari tour at Fira Town, where you'll leave the jeeps behind and follow your guide up to the Metropolis Church of Fira town and return to the port by cable car.

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