Highlights of Greece & Turkey Cruise

Athens, Istanbul, Izmir, Patmos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini plus Classical Greece optional extension

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our new Highlights of Greece & Turkey Cruise.

Overview

Itinerary at a Glance
Highlights of Greece & Turkey Cruise
Day Destination/Port of Call Arrive Depart
1 Depart USA    
2 Athens    
3 Athens    
4 Athens/Lavrion   4 pm
5 Istanbul, Turkey 2:30 pm  
6 Istanbul Turkey   5 pm
7 Izmir, Turkey 1:30 pm 8:30 pm
8 Patmos, Greece 6:30 am 10 am
Mykonos, Greece 3:30 pm 11 pm
9 Rhodes, Greece 9:30 am 7 pm
10 Heraklion, Greece 6:30 am 11:30 am
Santorini, Greece 4 pm 8:30 pm
11 Lavrion/Athens 6 am  
12 Athens/USA    
Classical Greece optional extension
12 Athens, Mycenae & Olympia
13 Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi
14 Delphi & Kalambaka
15 Meteora & Athens
16 Athens/USA

Join us for an amazing journey of discovery to the most important classical sites of western civilization aboard Louis Cruises Lines. 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.

Detailed Itinerary

Highlights of Greece & Turkey tour itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Greece begins this evening as you check in for your overnight flight.

Day 2: Athens. Arrive today in Athens, the birthplace of western civilization. Once hailed as the Paris of the Mediterranean, it's now a bustling modern city, a colorful tapestry of eastern and western influences, full of outdoor cafés, pedestrian streets, parks and gardens, street bazaars, dilapidated mansions and ancient ruins. You'll be met by our representative and then escorted to your hotel, centrally located near Constitution Square and the famous Plaka (Old Town). Accommodations: Divani Palace Acropolis.

Day 3: Athens. 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.

Parthenon, Athens, Greece To make the most of your visit, our representatives will offer you some exclusive excursions to the city's highlights, including a half-day tour of Athens in the morning (€68 per person) and a tour of Cape Sounion in the evening (€43 per person). Accommodations: Divani Palace Acropolis. Breakfast provided.

Day 4: Athens & Lavrion. Transfer to Lavrion this morning to board your cruise ship. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sun, sea breezes, pool and shipboard facilities as you set sail for Istanbul, Turkey. Accommodations: Louis Orient Queen or Cristal. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Day 5: Istanbul, Turkey. This afternoon 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.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Day 6: Istanbul, Turkey. Enjoy another day in Istanbul before boarding the ship and continuing your cruise this afternoon.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Day 7: Izmir, Turkey. This afternoon, arrive in Izmir, known in antiquity as Smyrna and famous for its figs. It is the third largest city and the second largest port in Turkey. The epic poet Homer is believed to have been born in Izmir. Enjoy the afternoon in one of the most picturesque towns on the Turkish Aegean coast.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Mykonos Day 8: Patmos & Mykonos. Early this morning, arrive in 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. In the mid-morning, set sail for Mykonos. Chic crowds flock to the island's beautiful beaches by day and to the trendy restaurants and discos each night. You can too, or just sit seaside and unwind, sipping ouzo and watching the sunset while listening to traditional Greek music. Before heading back to the ship, enjoy a stroll through Mykonos town with its labyrinth of winding alleys and whitewashed buildings, basket-laden donkeys, cascading geraniums and upscale shops and cafés.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Lindos, Rhodes Day 9: 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.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Blue domes, Santorini Day 10: Heraklion & Santorini. Arrive in Heraklion, Crete, 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 on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Plaka café, Athens Day 11: Lavrion & Athens. Disembark from your ship at Lavrion, transfer back to Athens, and check into your ideally located hotel in the heart of the city. Your hotel is within short distance of many major attractions, as well as the best shopping and dining. Take advantage of a full day at leisure. Our Athens representatives will be glad to make suggestions. Accommodations: Divani Palace Acropolis or Elektra Palace. Breakfast provided.

Day 12: Athens/USA. 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 continue on our Classical Greece Extension! Breakfast provided.


Classical Greece Optional 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 12: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia. 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 comprehensively illustrated than anywhere else in Europe.

Theater at Epidaurus 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. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Olympia or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Artist's impression of Ancient Olympia Day 13: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. 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.

Nafpaktos Photo by F. Desilas  © GNTO 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. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Delphi or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Delphi, Greece Day 14: Delphi & Kalambaka. 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.

Monastery, Meteora 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. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Kalambaka or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 15: Meteora & Athens. This morning you 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. Today, four are still occupied.

Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion, Athens Later this afternoon you'll drive back to Athens, via Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check in at your hotel. Accommodations: Divani Palace Acropolis or similar. Breakfast provided.

Day 16: Athens/USA. 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. Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursions

Optional Excursions in Athens

To take full advantage of your visit to Athens, we offer a package of our most popular optional excursions: the Athens half-day & Cape Sounion tours. Get both for the special package price of $145/person if you book and prepay prior to departure. Or book these tours individually when you arrive in Greece for a little more (€111, or approximately $155, for both). We regret that we cannot accept bookings for the pre-paid optional excursions package within 75 days from departure or after final payment has been received.

Parthenon & Acropolis Hill, Athens Athens half day
€68

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 Sounion Cape Sounion
€43

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.


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 Oct. 2011).

Excursions in Crete

Knossos Palace, Heraklion Knossos Palace half day (HER-02)
Adult: €59 ($82) Child: €40 ($56)
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 archaeological 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 archaeological 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: €56 ($78) Child: €29 ($40)
Duration: 2.5 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 Istanbul

Blue Mosque at night, Istanbul Istanbul by Night (IST-01)
Adult: €78 ($110), Child: €40 ($56)
Duration: 3.5 hours

Take part in the entertainment and night life at one of the finest night clubs in the city. Depart by motor coach and after a short drive through the illuminated streets of Istanbul you will arrive at one of the best known Night Clubs of Istanbul. Enjoy a variety of Turkish specialties while you are entertained by Turkish musicians, belly dancers and folk dancers, performing dances from different regions of Turkey. At the end of the show, join in the singing of popular and favorite songs. Board your motor coach and continue your sightseeing by night before returning back to the ship.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul Highlights of Istanbul full day with lunch (IST-03)
Adult: €106 ($151), Child: €53 ($75)
Duration: 9 hours

Begin the excursion with a panoramic drive through the business center of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. On the way, you can see the Suleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Continue around the mighty city walls, which once protected Constantinople from the many invasions and attacks it suffered over the centuries. In the Old City, the first visit will be to the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was once one of the largest chariot race arenas in the Byzantine Empire. Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, where large groups of pilgrims start their pilgrimage to Mecca. It is decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles from where it gets its name, the "Blue Mosque". Walk to the famous Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom, where you can admire the superb mosaics and the marble decorations. Walk through the large gardens to Konyali Restaurant and experience typical Turkish cuisine. After lunch, the tour continues with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. See the famous treasury and the "Spoonmaker's Diamond", the 7th biggest diamond in the world.

During the tour you will also have the opportunity to get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewelry or leather goods.

Shoulders and knees must be covered while visiting the Mosque and shoes must be removed. The restaurant venue can be substituted with another one of the same level.

Bosphorous © istanbul.com Scenic Bosphorus cruise half day (IST-04)
Adult: €57 ($80) Child: €27 ($37)
Duration: 4.5 hours

Start the tour with a short drive through the modern city of Istanbul, crossing the Galata Bridge en route to the Golden Horn. The impressive Suleymaniye Mosque, built by Turkish architect Sinan and dedicated to Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, can be seen on the way. At the Golden Horn, take a short walk to the Cruise Boat Station where your private boat will be waiting for your exciting trip on the Bosphorus. You will sail past Dolmabahce and Ciragan Palaces built on the European shore. Glide under the Bosphorus Bridge past Beylerbeyi Palace, Anatolian Fortress and Kanlica on the Asian shore. You will have the chance to take amazing photographs sailing between these two continents.

Suleymaniya Mosque © istanbul.com Secret Treasures of Istanbul full day with lunch (IST-05)
Adult: €62 ($87) Child: €31 ($43)
Duration: 8.5 hours

This tour is designed to give you a glimpse of the best and the most famous monuments in Istanbul remaining from the Byzantine Empire era. Depart from the pier for an interesting tour of Istanbul with a city sightseeing drive through the business center of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. On the way, you can see the Suleymaniye Mosque dedicated to Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, built by the famous Turkish Architect, Sinan. Arrive at Chora Museum. This 11th century church of St. Savior in Chora is the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul after St. Sophia museum. There is a collection of fourteenth century frescoes, gold-inlaid mosaics and some of the World's finest Byzantine paintings. Continue with a drive along the ancient Byzantine city walls to the Byzantine Hippodrome where the chariot races and celebrations in honor of the emperors, once took place during the Byzantine era. Visit the ancient church of St. Sergius and Bachus which belonged to the monastery of Hormisdas and was built as the result of a vow made by Justinian when he was on the point of being executed for conspiring against his predecessor. The tour continues with a visit to an Underground Cistern, consisting of a network of waterways built as far back as the third century B.C., to protect the city against long sieges. Continue to Balat area, another historical part of Istanbul, for lunch at the restaurant. After lunch, visit The Patriarchate which is located just 50 m away from the restaurant or just relax strolling along the Golden Horn. Drive to Rustem Pasha Mosque, located at Eminonu close to the Spice Market. This Mosque was built by Sinan in 1550 for Rustem Pasha, a grand vizier who married one of the daughters of Suleyman the Magnificent. Inside and on the facade you can see some beautiful Iznik faience. The Mihrab, completely covered with faience tiles and the Mimbar are particularly striking.

Includes visit to religious sites. Knees and shoulders must be covered and shoes are not permitted in the mosques.

Excursions in Izmir

Seaside cafes, Izmir Izmir city tour half day (ISM-01)
Adult: €56 ($78) Child: €30 ($42)
Duration: 3 hours

Izmir is Turkey's third largest city, with an inhabited area of more than 12,000 km2 and a population of over 3 million. It has always been famous for its port, which is one of the most important in the country for trade and exports of dried figs, sultanas and hazelnuts, and at first glance looks like an extremely modern city. But traces of Izmir's ancient past will appear before your eyes in all their magnificence amidst the skyscrapers and concrete apartment blocks. Indeed, right in the heart of the city you can admire the remains of the ancient agora, built during the Roman period by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 178 B.C.. It was used for political gatherings and elections by the representatives of the Roman government, but was also the main commercial area of the city. Your local guide will show you the only two-story agora known to scholars: the first floor was reserved for wholesale trade, with workshops, cooling cisterns and warehouses for goods, whilst the second floor was designed for political meetings and retail trade. Many of the exhibits on display at Izmir's New Archaeological Museum, another remarkable stop on your itinerary, were discovered in the agora. The Museum's three large galleries (dedicated to statues, objects and ceramics respectively) are equipped with a modern lighting system that will guide you through the numerous precious exhibits on an evocative journey through history.

Pergamum, Turkey Pergamum half day (ISM-02)
Adult: €69 ($98) Child: €49 ($70)
Duration: 3 hours

Depart from the port of Izmir for Pergamum, a site of great historical interest. The main center, together with Alexandria, of the Hellenistic civilization in the East and capital of the Roman province of Asia, Pergamum enjoyed over three centuries of economic prosperity which resulted in exceptional cultural and artistic development. It is possible to appreciate the ability of Greek and Roman architects in developing this challenging location to the urban requirements of a great capital city. You will visit the "ASKELEPION" complex built to honor ASCLEPIO, god of medicine (ESCULAPIO for the Romans), former place of worship and therapeutic center among the most celebrated in the ancient world. After a short drive you will board the cable car and where en-route you will enjoy an awesome scenery. You will then reach the ACROPOLIS which dominates the surrounding plain from a height of 275 m. Originally fenced by three walls, of which few traces remain, on this rocky spur many temples, palaces, public and private buildings were erected. After this wonderful visit you will re-board the cable car and reach the parking lot. Return to Izmir and the ship.

Great Theatre, Ephesus Ancient Ephesus (ISM-03)
Adult: €66 ($92) Child: €44 ($61)
Duration: 3 hours

Board your coach and set out for the hour-long drive to ancient city of 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, follow your guide to enter the ancient city 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. Before returning to the ship, 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.

Library of Celsus, Ephesus Ephesus & the House of Virgin Mary half day (ISM-04)
Adult: €69 ($96) Child: €46 ($64)
Duration: 3 hours

Board you coach and drive 75 minutes from Izmir to the House of Virgin Mary on Mt. Koressos. The humble stone 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 with your guide, where you'll pass through the Magnesian Gate, 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 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. Before returning to the ship, get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewelery 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: €45 ($63) Child: €25 ($35)
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 jewellery 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.

View of Skala, Patmos, from the Monastery of St. John Scenic Island Tour half day (PAT-02)
Adult: €41 ($57) Child: €26 ($36)
Duration: 2.5 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 Mykonos

Mykonos, Greece Mykonos walking tour half day (MYK-01)
Adult: €46 ($64) Child: €28 ($39)
Duration: 3 hours

Mykonos is world famous as the most cosmopolitan of the Greek Islands, attracting many visitors from all over the globe, including artists and intellectuals. Your coach will take you to the island's capital, Hora, more commonly known as Mykonos Town, where you will enjoy a walking tour in the narrow cobbled streets of the town, passing by chic boutiques, elegant nightclubs and white-washed houses. You'll be charmed by the harbor of Alefkandra, known as the "Venice" of Mykonos, where a row of 18th century houses built for wealthy merchants and ship captains borders the sea, their wooden balconies extending over the water. At Louis Theoxenia Hotel, you will enjoy the atmosphere while drinking your refreshment accompanied by Greek 'meze'. You will return then to Hora from where you will take the ship's shuttle service back to the port to meet your ship.

Delos Delos Apollo Sanctuary half day (MYK-03)
Adult: €52 ($74) Child: €30 ($42)
Duration: 3.5 hours

Delos, once a sacred island, is the legendary birthplace of the Sun God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. For 500 years, tiny Delos was the religious & commercial hub of the entire Aegean. Today, the only remaining inhabitants are the keepers of its treasured ruins. Depart from the port of Mykonos by boat, and sail along the western coast of the island, through Diles & Rhenia Islands, to the ancient harbor of Delos where you begin the guided walking tour. First you see Agora and beyond it, the Sacred Way, which leads to the Temple of Apollo. Next, you see the remains of a Hellenistic Quarter with its harbor, water house and luxurious villas, such as the House of Cleopatra, the House of the Dolphins, the House of the Masks, the House of Dionysos, and many other interesting buildings. Note the architecture and the mosaic floors, which have survived over 2,500 years. Continue and admire the spectacular Avenue of the Lions, where five Naxian marble lions from the 7th century B.C. crouch, vigilantly guarding the now dry sacred lake. Re-board the boat for the return journey to Mykonos town. Here you will have the chance to walk along the cobblestone streets of this famous island with its numerous shops, cafes and restaurants before you return to the port to re-join the ship.

The cruise from Mykonos to Delos is approx. 45 minutes and subject to sea conditions. This excursion is not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Excursions in Rhodes

Rhodes port, Greece Rhodes and Lindos combined half day (RHO-01)
Adult: €55 ($77) Child: €27 ($37)
Duration: 3 hours

Drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with white-washed 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. Excursion not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

Temple of Apollo Old City and Philerimos half day (RHO-02)
Adult: €56 ($78) Child: €33 ($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 Village, Santorini Oia Village half day (SAN-01)
Adult: €57 ($79) Child: €37 ($51)
Duration: 3 hours

Driving along the road you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring 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 cobblestone 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 board your tender boat to return to the ship.

You have the option to remain in Fira and reach the port by cable car. Tickets are available at the cable car station.

Nea Kameni Volcano Santorini Sailing and Volcano half day (SAN-02)
Adult: €57 ($79) Child: €30 ($42)
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.

Cruise Ships

Louis Cruise Lines MV Cristal

See specifications, deck plans & photos of the ship.

Louis Cruise Lines MV Orient Queen

See specifications, deck plans & photos of the ship.

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