Highlights of Greece & Turkey Cruise
Istanbul, Kusadasi, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Symi, Chios & Mykonos plus Classical Greece optional extension
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|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
|Highlights||Athens, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Symi, Chios & Mykonos|
|Departs||New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Themes||Family Friendly, Small Ship Cruises|
|What to Expect||This is a moderately-paced, independent package. Optional excursions with local tour guides include a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
|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.|
Join us for an amazing journey of discovery to the most important classical sites of western civilization aboard the Celestyal Crystal. You'll experience the great treasures of Greece and Turkey without ever having to pack and unpack as you sail from country to country by night, and visit such world treasures as the Acropolis in Athens, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and so much more by day. All of this, plus airfare from New York and many other cities, is yours for an incredible price. We're excited about this new program and we know you will be too, but don't wait too long to book, as space is sure to sell out quickly.
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Tue||Oct 4||2016||Sat||Oct 15||2016||$3099||Departed|
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
|Options & Upgrades|
|Rooming Selection/Cabin Categories1|
|IB (standard inside cabin), Double Occupancy||included|
|IB (standard inside cabin), Single Occupancy||+$900|
|XA (standard outside), Double Occupancy||+$200|
|XA (standard outside), Single Occupancy||+$1100|
|XC (superior outside), Double Occupancy||+$300|
|XC (superior outside), Single Occupancy||+$1250|
|Optional Drink Packages on Cruise|
|All-Inclusive Alcoholic Drink Package2||+$189|
|All-Inclusive Non-Alcoholic Drink Package3||+$119|
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||+$875|
|Single room supplement||+$300|
|Taxes & Fees|
|Port Charges of $2751||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
- Your exciting journey to Greece begins this evening as you check in for your overnight flight.
Day 2: Athens
Accommodations: 2 night Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens or similar.
- Arrive to Athens and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure
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
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Full day at leisure to explore Athens
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full day to explore Athens. Your hotel is ideally located near many of the city's 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. To make the most of your visit, our representatives will offer you some exclusive excursions to the city's highlights.
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), 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.
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 4: Athens & Lavrion
Accommodations: 7 nights Celestyal Crystal. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Embark on your cruise ship and set sail to the Greek Isles
Full Day Itinerary: Transfer to Lavrion port this morning to board your cruise ship, Celestyal Crystal. Spend the afternoon and evening at sea, enjoying the sun, sea breezes, pool and shipboard facilities.
Day 5: Istanbul
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Full day to explore Istanbul, Turkey
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, arrive in Istanbul, a city at the meeting point of two continents—Europe and Asia. Istanbul boasts some of the world's most magnificent architecture such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace with its treasures of the Ottoman Empire. In the early evening, set sail for your next port of call.
Day 6: Kusadasi
- Afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi, Turkey
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey this afternoon. 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. Enjoy free time in Kusadasi or get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewelry or leather goods. In the evening after dinner, sail to Santorni.
Day 7: Santorini
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Full day in Santorini, Greece
- Half day sightseeing tour of Oia Village in Santorini
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive this morning to the striking island of Santorini, which 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 an scenic drive where you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighbouring islands. 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 to return the ship.
Day 8: Crete
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Full day at leisure in Crete, Greece
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive in AG. Nicholaos 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.
Heraklion 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.
After dinner on board, sail overnight to Rhodes.
Day 9: Rhodes & Symi
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Half day sightseeing tour of Rhodes
- Evening at leisure to explore the Greek Island of Symi
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, 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, 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.
After lunch on board, continue to the island of Symi. This small, lesser known island maintains its historic ambience with very little modern construction. The harbor is known as one of the most beautiful in Greece. Walk the ancient footpath of Kataratkis connecting the harbor and the village. Explore Symi on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.
Day 10: Chios & Mykonos
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Morning at leisure to explore the island of Chios
- Evening on the island of Mykonos, Greece
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive this morning in Chios. Located close to the coastline of Turkey separated by the Chios Straight. Another lesser known island, covered in forest. The island is known for its traditional culture and crafts, sand beaches, hiking rails and unspoiled villages.
Enjoy lunch on board while sailing the gorgeous island of Mykonos, arriving in the early evening 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 11: Lavrion & Athens
Accommodations: 1 night Royal Olympic Hotel or similar, Athens. Included meals: Breakfast.
- Disembark ship and transfer to hotel
- Remainder of day at leisure to explore Athens
Full Day Itinerary: Disembark from your ship at Lavrion and transfer to your hotel. 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.
To make the most of your visit, our representatives will offer you some exclusive optional shore excursions to the city's highlights (see descriptions on Day 3 above).
Day 12: Athens/USA
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Bid farewell to Athens as you're escorted to the airport to board your return flight
- Your journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today
- Or take advantage of your included flight and continue on our Classical Greece extension
At the ports of Mykonos & 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 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 12: 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
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 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 13: 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 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 14: Delphi & Kalambaka
Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Amalia Kalambaka or similar. Included meals: Breakfast and dinner.
- Morning tour of Delphi
- Evening at leisure in Kalambaka
Full 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 15: Meteora & Athens
Accommodations: 1 night 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
Full 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 16: 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
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.
We loved it all! Greece was amazing and we fell in love with the people, the islands and Athens, the food, the hotel and the tours! I am so thankful for this trip, as it was a trip of a lifetime and opened my eyes to whole broader sense of the world and its people. It has whetted mine and my husband’s appetite for more trips abroad. Since we are so pleased with Friendly Planet, we of course would go through them if possible, and would surely recommend their services to our friends and family.
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.
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