Athens & 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise

Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our new Athens & 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise.

Mykonos, Greece Athens is the city where past meets present, and where you will begin your magical visit to Greece this Fall. 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 flights, superior hotel accommodations in Athens for three nights, a wonderful Greek Island cruise for three nights, buffet breakfast daily, all meals aboard the cruise, and transfers. Explore Athens and the islands on your own, or take interesting and inexpensive optional tours. All the flexibility and fun is yours for incredibly low prices, starting at just $999 including airfare. Take advantage of an inexpensive and exciting Classic Greece extension from $349 per person.

Detailed Itinerary

Athens & 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise - 8 Day Tour Itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Athens, Greece, begins this evening as you check in for your LUFTHANSA or SWISS overnight jet flight.

Day 2: Arrive Athens. You'll be met by our representative and then escorted to your centrally located hotel within a short distance of 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. Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel

Sea Diamond in Santorini, Greece Day 3: Athens, Piraeus & Mykonos. Transfer to Piraeus this morning to board your Greek Island cruise ship, the luxurious Sea Diamond of the Louis Cruise Lines. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sun, warm seabreezes, pool and shipboard facilities. Arrive at Mykonos later this afternoon, where chic crowds flock to the island's trendy restaurants, discos and clubs each night, and where you can sit seaside, sipping ouzo and watching the sunset while listening to traditional Greek music.

Mykonos, Greece Before heading back to the ship, enjoy a stroll through Mykonos town with its labyrinth of winding alleyways and whitewashed buildings, basket-laden donkeys, cascading geraniums and upscale shops and cafes. Please note that in November and March, arrival at Mykonos (about 6:00 pm) is after sunset. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Port of Rhodes Day 4: Rhodes. Today you'll visit Rhodes, the beautiful "Island of Roses". In the heart of the island's biggest city, also named 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. Wander about on your own or take advantage of several optional tours. Late this afternoon, return to your cruise ship to continue sailing to Patmos. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Patmos, Greece Day 5: Patmos & Kusadasi, Turkey. Arrive at Patmos this morning and 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.

Ephessos, Turkey
Ephessos, Turkey
Return to the ship in time to enjoy lunch as you sail to Kusadasi in Turkey. Just ten kilometers from the port of Kusadasi, you'll find the ancient city of Ephessos, where you'll find an archaeological site that ranks among the wonders of the world. Explore this fascinating town where history truly comes to life on an optional tour that includes the the Great Theatre of Ephessos, which had a capacity of 25,000 people, and the Library of Celsus dating from 135 A.D. Later this evening, return to your ship to enjoy your last night aboard your cruise. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Dancing, Greek Taverna Day 6: Piraeus & Athens. Disembark from your ship at Piraeus. Enjoy a full day to explore Athens on your own or on optional tours (see below). We suggest an evening at the Plaka, where you'll find typical Greek tavernas complete with music and celebratory throwing of plates. It's an experience not to be missed! Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast provided.

Parthenon, Athens, Greece Day 7: Athens. 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 and enrich your experience, our representatives will offer you a chance to join some exclusive excursions to the city's highlights as well as memorable evening activities. Breakfast provided.

Day 8: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your return flight. Your journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided. Or, continue on our Classical Greece Tour.


Classical Greece Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare and visit the classical cities of Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi? This itinerary is for departures in September & October, 2006.

Theater at Epidaurus Day 6: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia. Early morning arrival at Piraeus and disembark from your ship. 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. Hotel Amalia Olympia Breakfast & dinner provided.

Nafpaktos, Greece
Nafpaktos, Greece   © GNTO - F. Desilas
Day 7: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. 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. Hotel Amalia Delphi Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Delphi, Greece Day 8: Delphi & Kalambaka. 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 river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain. Hotel Amalia Kalambaka Breakfast & dinner provided.

Meteora, Greece Day 9: Meteora & Athens. 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. Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast provided.

Columns, Athens, Greece Day 10: Athens. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Athens further on your own. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, within short distance of many major attractions, as well as great shopping and dining. Tonight you'll be invited to join an optional dinner and folklore show in the famous Plaka district. Breakfast provided.

Day 11: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your flight back home, via Germany. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.


Classical Greece Extension

For November 2006 through March 2007 departures, our extension is one night shorter.

Day 6: Athens, Corinth, Nauplia & Mycenae. Early morning arrival at Piraeus and disembark from your ship. 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. Hotel Amalia Olympia Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 7: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. 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. Hotel Amalia Delphi Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 8: Delphi/Athens. 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 drive to Athens, arriving late this afternoon. Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast provided.

Day 9: Athens. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Athens further on your own. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, within short distance of many major attractions, as well as great shopping and dining. Tonight you'll be invited to join an optional dinner and folklore show in the famous Plaka district. Breakfast provided.

Day 10: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your flight back home, via Germany. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.


Optional Tours in Athens

Optional tour prices are quoted in Euros (€). Click here to check the current exchange rate.

Children in Athens Half-day Athens
Enjoy a morning tour of the principal modern and classical sights including Constitution Square, the Panathenian Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896), the Presidential Palace, The Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Parthenon with its many monuments atop the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. (€43)

Parthenon at Night Athens by Night Dinner/Tour
Your evening dinner-tour begins with a gorgeous orientation drive along the illuminated boulevards of Athens, as far as Piraeus, Greece's principal commercial port. Continue to Marina Zea, one of the busiest yacht harbors on the Mediterranean and home to many luxury pleasure yachts belonging to Greece's shipping and jet-set communities. From here, a short drive to lovely Mikrolimano, another picturesque yacht and fishing harbor. Return to Athens and the renowned "Plaka" district, located around the base of the Acropolis, for dinner with live floor show at a typical Greek taverna. (€49, dinner included)

Corinth Canal, Greece Ancient Corinth
Drive west from Athens, along the scenic coastal highway to the bridge crossing the spectacular Corinth Canal. Continue to the site of Ancient Corinth, one of the most celebrated cities of antiquity, owing its great importance to its strategic physical location that controlled the only land route into the Peloponnese. Here you'll view remains of the ancient Romans as well as the ancient Greeks, with a portion of the Temple of Apollo, one of the oldest ruins in Greece. (T.B.A.)

Ruins at Delphi
Ruins at Delphi
Delphi
Depart this morning for a full day to Delphi, the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Visit the Museum in which you will see archaeological treasures, the unique bronze Charioteer and the Athenian treasury. Your tour includes visits to the Temple of Apollo and the Castalia Spring, among other sites. (€79, lunch included)


Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Greece, click here.


Louis Cruise Lines MS Sea Diamond

Click here for detailed information & specifications for the Sea Diamond.

Enjoy night life aboard the Sea Diamond Louis Cruise Lines is a Cyprus-based company with a fleet of 10 ships, well known for maintaining the highest standards of service and quality. Louis recently purchased the Birka Princess and renamed her the Sea Diamond. Originally built in Finland in 1986, the Sea Diamond underwent a $26 million refurbishment in 1999 and all cabins have tastefully furnished interiors with ample closet space and en-suite facilities.

The Sea Diamond features three restaurants, several bars, a show lounge, a nightclub, gift shops and boutiques, a specially designed children's area, and an indoor swimming pool and spa center.

MS Sea Diamond Deck Plan:

MS Sea Diamond Deck Plan

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