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Athens & 7 Day Greece & Turkey Cruise

The history of Athens, then set sail on a 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus Istanbul & Canakkale, Turkey; independent travel with flights & hotel


This package is currently unavailable.
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
Themes Small Ship Cruises
Activity Level Recreational
What to Expect This is a moderately-paced, independent package. Excursions with local tour guides include a reasonable amount of walking and requires and average level of physical fitness.
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Get ready to be serenaded by the romance of the Aegean Sea and captivated by Greece and Turkey on this expertly-crafted 12 day land and cruise independent package! Start your adventure in Athens where you can spend your leisure time wandering the famous Plaka (Old Town) and let your knowledgeable guide show you around the must-see sights of ancient Athens including the Acropolis, Parthenon, and the temple of Athena Nike. Then, board your cruise ship, the stunning Celestyal Crystal, and set sail! Arrive in Istanbul to see first-hand the complex way Europe and Asian influences impact this metropolitan city. Stop in Çanakkale, the gateway to cities of epic proportion: Troy and Assos. Here you can walk battlefields that span centuries—from ancient wars to modern moments including Gallipoli and Brighton Beach. And last but not least, visit some of the most enchanting Greek isles where culture, history, pristine beaches, fascinating ruins and quaint fishing villages suspended in time await. Explore the “Little Venice” vibe of Mykonos. Watch the sunset paint the sky striking shades of gold and red from a rooftop restaurant in Santorini. Explore centuries of history in Volos and witness the mythological home of Zeus in Heraklion (Crete). 

Our incredible independent package includes international, round-trip flights, 5-star hotel accommodations in Athens, 7 nights deluxe cruise with included shore excursions and so much more!  Explore on your own, or take interesting and inexpensive optional excursions. All the flexibility and fun is yours for incredibly low prices.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Round trip flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) via scheduled carriers, including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees, with other gateways available on request
  • 3 nights in Deluxe accommodations at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens
  • 7 nights standard inside cabin (cat. IB) aboard the Celestyal Crystal
  • Port Charges of $289 per person included
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 23 Meals: 10 buffet breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinner
  • On-board all-inclusive alcoholic drink package
  • 3 Shore excursions: Bosphorus Cruise & the Grand Bazaar, Santorini Oia Village, Minoan Palace of Knossos
  • Sightseeing in Athens
  • All group transfers

Optional add-ons

  • Optional tour of Cape Sounion

Why you'll love it

  • Sightseeing tour of Athens
  • Wander through Istanbul's Grand Bazaar
  • Discover the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the first European civilization
  • Visit Santorini's Oia Village
  • Enjoy an evening at leisure in Mykonos



Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

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

Day 2: Athens

2 nights Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens.

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

Cafes 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


  • Morning tour of Athens, including the Acropolis
  • Afternoon at leisure to explore Athens, or join an optional tour

Erechtheion, AthensFull Day Itinerary: This morning, enjoy the striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures 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 Olympian Zeus, the Panathinaikon Stadium (site 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 per person (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 & Piraeus

7 nights Celestyal Crystal. Breakfast & dinner.

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

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

Day 5: Istanbul, Turkey

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Enjoy views of both Europe and Asia while on a Bospohorus Cruise
  • Stroll through the Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar, IstanbulFull Day Itinerary:Arrive in Istanbul this afternoon and experience the unique split between two continents, Europe and Asia. Istanbul boasts lavish Byzantine architecture and imperial mosques with sky-high minarets that make up the city's skyline. An endless list of must-see sights are all conveniently located in the Sultanahmet district. This afternoon, set sail by private tender boat along the Bosphorus and take in the city and its iconic skyline from both angles. Keep a lookout for the glamorous 19th century Dolmabahçe Palace and the former Ottoman palace of Çiragan on the European riverbank. On the Asian side, the summer residence of the sultans, Beylerbeyi Palace, as well as the Anatolian Castle, medieval fortress and magnificent Kanlica Villa all soon come into view. After docking from the cruise, stroll around the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar.

Day 6: Istanbul

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day at leisure to explore Istanbul

Galata Tower, IstanbulFull Day Itinerary:Today is yours at leisure to take in this fascinating city. Perhaps pay a visit to Topkapi Palace or the Hagia Sophia, two of Istanbul’s most iconic and impressive landmarks.

Return to the ship and sail overnight to Çanakkale

Day 7:  Çanakkale

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Explore Canakkale on your own, or join optional shore excursions through the ship

Temple of AthenaFull Day Itinerary:Arrive this morning to Çanakkale, the gateway to the ancient cities of Troy and Assos. Set above the village of Behrankale, Assos promises a retreat from city life, vistas across the sparkling bay of Edremit, and the photogenic Temple of Athena.

From one remarkable battle to another, the Gallipoli Battlefields were witnesses to the WWI Battle of Çanakkale. The area is now a national park with poignant memorial and monuments to both Turkish and Allied troops. You can also visit Brighton Beach, now a memorial where Anzac troops landed on April 25, 1915 and learn more about the Gallipoli Campaign right where it all happened.

Return to the ship in the early afternoon and sail overnight to Volos, Greece.

Day 8: Volos, Greece

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day at leisure in Volos

Panoramic view of Volos from atop Mt PelionFull Day Itinerary:This morning, arrive in Volos, tucked in below Mt Pelion - land of the mythical centaurs - Volos embraces the Pagasetic Gulf to one side and the dramatic mountainous Pelion Peninsula to the other. You will be greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up into its whirlwind of activity. Indulge at a tsipouradika (traditional taverna), where they serve some of the city's most delicious foods accompanied by a tsipouro, or pomace brandy. You are on course to uncover some real architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical. Wander around and you'll find grand urban mansions sitting beside nods to the city's long-standing industrial heritage. Heading out of the city and into the foothills of Mt Pelion, there is a potpourri of traditional villages sprinkled down forested hillsides.

Return to the ship in the late afternoon and sail overnight to Crete.

Day 9: Heraklion (Crete)

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day sightseeing tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the first European civilization
  • Afternoon at leisure

Knossos ruins, Crete © www.heraklion.grFull Day Itinerary:Arrive in Heraklion early this morning. 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. The palace at Knossos was an intricate collection of over 1,000 interlocking rooms, including the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King's Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen's Apartment, as well as beautiful courtyards and shrines. The palace was 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, decorated with frescoes and shields.

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. Return to your ship this evening to sail overnight to Santorini

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.

Day 10: Santorini & Mykonos

Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Sightseeing tour of Oia Village in Santorini
  • Evening at leisure in Mykonos

Oia Village, SantoriniFull Day Itinerary:Arrive in Santorini in the early morning and tour Santorini's jewel, the village of Oia, a trip into the picture-perfect world of an island where romance and beauty reign supreme. Embark on a panoramic drive by Santorini's caldera which offers breathtaking views. Admire from afar, the village of Fira, the capital of the island, as well as Thirassia, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. In Oia, walk through the gleaming white streets of the village through a beautiful labyrinth of shops, cafes, art galleries and hotels. You will have free time to enjoy taking photos of the awe-inspiring scenery, shopping for fine jewelry or art, or simply relaxing and breathing in the beauty of Santorini before returning to the ship. Depart Santorini in the early afternoon for Mykonos.

Early this evening, arrive at the gorgeous island of Mykonos 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: Piraeus & Athens

1 night Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens or similar. Breakfast.

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

Plaka, AthensFull Day Itinerary: Disembark from your ship at Piraeus 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


  • 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

At the ports of Mykonos & Santorini, disembarkation is by tender boats, weather permitting. 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.

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