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Athens & 7 Day Greek Isles Cruise

Book this package
  • from$2149Tour Only
  • from$2649Tour + Flights
  • 12days
per person, double occupancy* based on May 4, 2018 departure from NYC
$300 Early Bird Discount. Expires Feb. 15, 2018.*   All prices reflect savings.

Overview

Featuring Athens, then a 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus Kusadasi 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; select from 6 open departures, May – October 2018
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. IB) aboard the Celestyal Crystal
  • Port Charges of $303 per person included
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 23 Meals: buffet breakfast daily in Athens and all meals aboard the cruise
  • On-board all-inclusive alcoholic drink package
  • 3 Shore excursions: Minoan Palace of Knossos, Santorini Oia village, ancient Ephesus
  • Sightseeing in Athens
  • All group transfers
Optional
  • Optional tour of Cape Sounion
  • Optional Classical Greece Extension
Highlights
  • Explore Mykonos independently
  • Spend an afternoon on the island of Milos
  • Half day tour Oia Village during two days in Santorini
  • Visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the first European civilization
  • Discover ancient Epheseus
  • Sightseeing tour of Athens
Departs New York City (NYC), Land Only (no flights); 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

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $300 per person if you book by Feb. 15, 2018!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
2018 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Regular Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Current
Price
Departs: Fri, May 4, 2018
Returns: Tue, May 15, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
May 4 – May 15 $2949 –$300 Feb 15 $2649 Select
Departs: Fri, Jun. 15, 2018
Returns: Tue, Jun. 26, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Jun 15 – Jun 26 $3399 –$300 Feb 15 $3099 Select
Departs: Fri, Jul. 20, 2018
Returns: Tue, Jul. 31, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Jul 20 – Jul 31 $3349 –$300 Feb 15 $3049 Select
Departs: Fri, Aug. 24, 2018
Returns: Tue, Sep. 4, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Aug 24 – Sep 4 $3049 –$300 Feb 15 $2749 Select
Departs: Fri, Sep. 21, 2018
Returns: Tue, Oct. 2, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Sep 21 – Oct 2 $3049 –$300 Feb 15 $2749 Select
Departs: Fri, Oct. 12, 2018
Returns: Tue, Oct. 23, 2018
Book by Thu, Feb. 15, 2018 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Oct 12 – Oct 23 $2949 –$300 Feb 15 $2649 Select

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
IB (standard inside) Double Occupancy included
IB (standard inside) Single Occupancy +$649
XD (superior outside) Double Occupancy +$399
XD (superior outside) Single Occupancy +$999
XF (superior outside) Double Occupancy +$449
XF (superior outside) Single Occupancy +$1049
Classical Greece Extension
Classical Greece Extension +$875
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$349
Taxes & Fees
Port charges of $303 per person1 included

1. All port charges included in tour price.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York City (NYC) included
Land Only (no flights)1 –$500

1. If selecting Land Only, arrival and departure transfers are included provided your flight details are provided in advance, or make your own arrangements to join the tour in Athens on Day 2 and to depart from Athens on or after Day 12, and the Classical Greece extension depart on or after Day 16.

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. 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 $1000

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 in 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.

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

Full Day Itinerary: This morning, enjoy tParthenon, Athenshe 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 Olympic 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 (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

Accommodations: 7 nights Celestyal Crystal. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Embark on your cruise ship and set sail to 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: Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day to explore Mykonos

Full Day Itinerary:Little Venice, MykonosThis morning, 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 cafés.

Day 6: Mykonos & Milos

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day at leisure in Milos

Full Day Itinerary:Plaka, MilosDepart Mykonos this morning and set sail for the mesmerizing island of Milos. Dramatically emerging from the Aegean Sea before you, you’ll be spellbound by Milos’ volcanic landscape, juxtaposed with quaint white stone fishing villages. Spend the day relaxing on one of the many beaches, swimming in serene sea caves, and discovering the colorful boathouses that magically emerge from the sea.

Return to the ship and sail overnight to Santorini.

Day 7: Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day in Santorini
  • 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 cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are a beautiful travel poster. Your coach will bring you back to the port of Athinios, where you will embark your tender boat to return to the ship.

Day 8: Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Full day at leisure in Santorini

Sunset on SantoriniFull Day Itinerary: Spend today exploring Santorini independently, or join an optional shore excursion.

Return to the ship late this evening and sail overnight to Heraklion.

Day 9: Heraklion (Crete)

Included meals: 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 Kusadasi.

Walking in the archeological site of Knossos will be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags or backpacks.

Day 10: Kusadasi, Turkey

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day tour of ancient Ephesus

Library of Celsus, EphesusFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey this morning. Just ten kilometers from the port is the ancient city of Ephesus, where 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.

Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Piraeus & 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 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

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

Before You Go

Prepare for
your trip

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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