Athens & 7 Day Greek Isles Cruise

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Overview

Featuring Athens, then a 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus 2 ports in Turkey: Cesme & Izmir for Ephesus; independent travel with flights & hotel included
Style Independent PackageThese un-escorted packages have no set schedule or guides, so you have the freedom and flexibility to explore on your own from your centrally-located hotel. More of these packages
Freedom to explore at your own pace; unescorted
Departures Scheduled Dates
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Round trip flights from New York via scheduled carriers, including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees, with other gateways available on request
  • 3 nights Deluxe accommodations at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens
  • 7 nights standard inside cabin (cat. IA) aboard the Celestyal Nefeli
  • Port Charges of $284 per person included
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 24 Meals: buffet breakfast daily in Athens and all meals aboard the cruise
  • On-board All-inclusive Alcoholic Drink Package
  • 4 Shore Excursions: Ancient Ephesus, Taste of Crete, Santorini Oia Village Tour, Medieval Tour of Lindos
  • All group transfers
Optional
  • Optional tours of Athens & Cape Sounion
  • Classical Greece Extension
Highlights
  • Tour Oia Village during a full day in Santorini
  • Discover ancient Epheseus
  • Full day to explore Nafplion
  • Sightseeing tour of Chania
  • Visit the medieval village of Lindos
  • Enjoy a relaxing morning in Cesme, Turkey
  • Explore Mykonos independently
Departs New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)
Themes Family FriendlySmall 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.

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


Athens & 7 Day Greek Isles Cruise itinerary

Join us for an amazing journey of discovery to the most important classical sites of western civilization aboard the Celestyal Nefeli. You'll experience the great treasures of Greece and the Aegean Sea without ever having to pack and unpack as you sail from port to port, visiting such world treasures as the Acropolis in Athens, ancient Ephesus – a UNESCO World Heritage site, sparkling Greek Islands, 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*
2017 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Regular Price
Departs: Tue, Sep. 12, 2017
Returns: Sat, Sep. 23, 2017
Sep 12 – Sep 23 $3399 Departed
Departs: Tue, Sep. 26, 2017
Returns: Sat, Oct. 7, 2017
Sep 26 – Oct 7 $3399 Closed
Departs: Tue, Oct. 3, 2017
Returns: Sat, Oct. 14, 2017
Oct 3 – Oct 14 $3399 Closed

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. (details)

Options & Fees

Optionals & Upgrades
Rooming Selection/Cabin Categories
IA (standard inside) Double Occupancy included
IA (standard inside) Single Occupancy +$849
IB (standard inside) Double Occupancy included
IB (standard inside) Single Occupancy +$799
ID (superior inside) Double Occupancy +$150
ID (superior inside) Single Occupancy +$900
XA (standard outside) Double Occupancy +$275
XA (standard outside) Single Occupancy +$1100
XD (superior outside) Double Occupancy +$425
XD (superior outside) Single Occupancy +$1525
XF (superior outside) Double Occupancy +$599
XF (superior outside) Single Occupancy +$1599
Classical Greece Extension
Classical Greece Extension +$775
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$339
Taxes & Fees
Port charges of $284 per person1 included

1. All port charges included in tour price.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York City (NYC) included

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities (details). Additional charges for flights from other cities may be due within 24 hours of your reservation.

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. But first, check out our Before You Book section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $1500

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

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

Day 2: Athens

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

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

Cafe in Plaka, AthensFull 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.

Parthenon, AthensOptional Excursion: Athens, €72 (purchased locally). The striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures is what you will enjoy during your tour of Athens. Visit the Acropolis, the crowning beauty and glory of Ancient Athens, with its many monuments atop its rocky base, including the awesome Parthenon, the Propylea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, with its Porch of Maidens. Drive to the Roman Temple of Olympic Zeus, the Panathinaikon Stadium (sit of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896), and 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, and National Library. In contrast, conclude your tour with a visit to the new Acropolis Museum, a marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens.

Poseidon Temple, Cape SounionOptional Excursion: Cape Sounion, €49 (purchased locally). Drive along the coastal road past countless coves and the beautiful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza to Cape Sounion. Dominated by the spectacular Temple of Poseidon, the sanctuary at Sounion is one of the most important archeological sites in Attica. Although evidence suggests that the site dates back to the prehistoric period, the sanctuary is first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, as the place where Menelaos stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides. Learn about the rich history of this area as you take in stunning views of the Aegean on this fascinating optional excursion.

Day 4: Athens & Lavrion

Accommodations: 7 nights Celestyal Nefeli. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

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

Full Day Itinerary: Transfer to Lavrion port in the afternoon to board your cruise ship, Celestyal Nefeli. Enjoy the shipboard facilities as the ship sails in the evening.

Day 5: Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day in Santorini, Greece
  • Half day sightseeing tour of Oia Village in Santorini

Oia, SantoriniFull 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 a scenic drive where you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Explore the village walking along the cobblestone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters 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 to the ship

Day 6: Izmir

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day tour of Ancient Ephesus

Library of Celsus, EphesusFull Day Itinerary: At Ancient Ephesus, you will find immortal relics of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian era. At the archaeological site you will be given a guided tour among the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, and the Temple of Hadrian.

 

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

 

During the excursion you will have the opportunity to ramble, bargain for jewelry, cosmetics or leather products at small shops. 

Day 7: Nafplion

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day to explore Nafplion

Nafplion, GreeceFull Day Itinerary: This morning, arrive in Nafplion, one of the most beautiful towns in Agrolis (in Eastern Peloponnese) and one of Greece’s most romantic cities. Nafplion was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings are mesmerizing with their unique architecture and beauty. This evening, set sail for your next port of call.

Day 8: Chania (Crete)

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day in Chania Greece
  • Half day sightseeing tour of Chania

Swimmers, Kournas Lake, Chania photo by ???Full Day Itinerary: Arrive this morning to the second-largest town on Greece’s largest island, Chania. The atmosphere of the island has a touch of Florence and Venice combined with the culture and character of Cretan traditions. Enjoy an included half day of sightseeing which will begin with a scenic drive along the coastal highway, with stunning views of the clear blue sea and the green countryside, typical of western Crete. The amazing scenery will captivate you until arriving at your first stop, Kournas Lake. The only freshwater lake in Crete, Kournas is ideal for a quick stroll during the day.  You will also find small traditional shops where you can purchase various hand crafted items as well as pottery. 

 

Continue to Rethymnon, the capital of Prefecture. Rethymnon is famed for its medieval architecture and its lovely Venetian port. Throughout its Venetian-Ottoman maze of ancient streets, you’ll find floral canopies high above you, elegant houses, baroque ornaments and centuries-old minarets.

Next, visit a local olive oil plant where the local villagers will explain the production process. After the tour of the plant, witness a traditional Cretan folklore dance and enjoy a shot of Raki. After having had a glimpse of authentic Cretan life, board your coach and return to the ship.

Day 9: Rhodes

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day sightseeing tour of Rhodes

Port in RhodesFull 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, visit the Captains’ mansions of Lindos. These lovely old residences were built between the 16th and 18th century by wealthy merchant seafarers as evidence of their success. Set in large courtyards and sheltered behind high walls, these homes vary in size from simple, two-story houses to large, handsome Gothic mansions, with Byzantine and Moorish architectural features.

Aerial view of the Church of the Virgin Mary, Lindos, RhodesContinue to the Church of the Virgin Mary, known as the Church Panagia of Lindos.  Just a few minutes’ walk from the main square into the labyrinth of Lindos alleys, the church of Panagia is an enchanting sight.  Surrounded by high walls and a small courtyard, this old church was originally built in 1300 but has since been submitted to numerous reconstructions. The most important was ordered by the Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson of the Knights of Rhodes (Order of St. John) and the most recent is dated in 1927 during the Italian occupation. The most prominent external feature is a high-rise, stone built campanile tower, typical of the Rhodian churches. The main building has a cross-shaped plan superimposed by an octagonal dome, whitewashed walls and red byzantine tile roofs. Afterwards, go through D’Amboise Gate to walk along the Street of the Knights. Here you will find the residences of the Knights, separated according to Order, and to this day bear their corresponding crests.
Return to your ship to sail overnight to Cesme.

Day 10: Cesme, Turkey & Mykonos, Greece

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Morning at leisure to explore Cesme, Turkey
  • Evening on the island of Mykonos, Greece

Cesme, TurkeyFull Day Itinerary: Arrive this morning in Cesme, one of the most popular resorts on the Turkish coast. This resort town on the Aegean Coast is all about the water. Even the 16th century Cesme Castle is a stone’s throw from the sea. The name “Cesme” means “fountain” and is possibly named as such for the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city.

 

Enjoy lunch on board while sailing to 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 cafes.

Day 11: Lavrion & Athens

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

  • Disembark ship and transfer to your hotel
  • Remainder of the day at leisure to explore Athens

Athens at nightFull 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 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 your arrive in the USA later today
  • Or take advantage of your included flight and continue on our Classical Greece Extension

 

Classical Greece Optional Extension

Classical Greece Extension itineraryWhy 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

Corinth CanalFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, board your touring coach and begin a tour of the classical cities of Greece. Drive across the Corinth Canal, which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean, to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where 4,000 years of history are more fully and comprehensibly illustrated than anywhere else in Europe.

Here we'll visit the famous theater of Epidaurus, the best preserved in Greece, which reached the height of its fame in the 5th & 4th centuries B.C. The acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers, every word can be heard. Continue to ancient Mycenae, which, according to the poets, was founded by Perseus and built with the aid of the mythological Cyclops. Drive on to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic games, for dinner and overnight.

DAY 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

Nafpaktos, Greece © GNTO & F. DesilasFull Day Itinerary: This morning we'll tour the archeological site and museum at Olympia, where the Olympic games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. These games were the most important international event in the Hellenic world from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. and continue today, with the lighting of the Olympic flame that is carried by runners throughout the world. Visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum.

This afternoon we drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos, where according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar and where we'll view the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue our drive to Delphi for dinner and overnight.

DAY 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

Ruins of DelphiFull 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

Monastery in MeteoraFull Day Itinerary: This morning we will visit the spectacular Meteora monasteries, perched upon the summits of some precipitous and isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios river, 9 km beyond Kalambaka. The monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century AD, when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied.

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

DAY 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

 

 

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I think Friendly Planet did an excellent job overall. We had a wonderful honeymoon trip and your service was a very good value. We thoroughly enjoyed the two optional boat trips we took: one in Paros and one in Santorini.

Howard Kendall

Before You Book

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Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, and information about passport & visa requirements, flights, packing & luggage, and more.

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