Greek Island Special: 7 Day Cruise & Athens

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Overview

Featuring A 7 day cruise of the Greek Isles plus ports in Turkey, ending with a half day tour of Athens; 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 Newark (EWR) via Emirates Airlines including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • 1 night Deluxe hotel accommodation at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens
  • 7 nights’ standard inside cabins (cat. IB) aboard the Celestyal Crystal
  • Port charges of $303 per person included
  • Cruise Tips of $10 per person per day included
  • 22 Meals: buffet breakfast in Athens and all meals aboard the cruise
  • On-board All-inclusive Alcoholic Drink Package
  • 4 Shore Excursions: Myconian Countryside, Ancient Ephesus, Santorini Oia Village Tour, and the Minoan Palace of Knossos
  • Half day tour of Athens, including the Acropolis
  • All group transfers
Highlights
  • Sightseeing tour of the Myconian countryside
  • Enjoy a half day in Milos
  • Tour Oia Village in Santorini
  • Explore the Minoan Palace of Knossos
  • Discover ancient Ephesus
  • View Athens' highlights
Departs Newark (EWR) (flight schedule)
What to Expect This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour does not include a tour guide or escort.

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.


Greek Island Special: 7 Day Cruise & Athens itinerary

From the meandering indigo sea to the stony cliffs adorned with whitewashed buildings to the ruins of ancient civilizations, the Greek Isles and Athens are sure to take your breath away. Start your adventure in Athens, a city where history and modernity coalesce into a symphony of world-class sites, delicious dining and friendly people. Then sail into the mythical world of the Greek isles and enjoy seven days of blissful Mediterranean sunshine and beaches, culturally rich and picture-perfect towns, and some of the best food and wine in the world.

Savvy travelers know that the best time to travel to Greece is on either side of the summer high season - the "shoulder season" in Sep-Oct and Mar-Apr when the weather is still warm, the days are still long and the sunsets spectacular, the food is still seasonal, but the crowds are gone. That's why we worked to negotiate these spectacular rates for shoulder season sailings with our partner Celestyal Cruises and our airline, Emirates. You'll save hundreds of dollars over comparable cruise packages.

Our package includes round-trip flights, superior hotel accommodations in Athens for one night, a half day city tour of Athens, a Greek Island cruise for seven nights with four shore excursions, buffet breakfast daily, all meals about the cruise, and transfers. Plus enjoy time to discover the wonders of Greece on your own. For those comparing this 7 Day cruise tour to either our 3 Day or 4 Day packages, you get to visit many of the same locations, with several more stops in between, and access to gorgeous towns that take a little bit longer to reach by sea. But as always, all the flexibility and fun is yours, at an unbeatable price.

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Check in for your overnight flight to Greece

Day 2: Athens

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

  • Arrive in Athens, where you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel
  • Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

Full 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 & Piraeus

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

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

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

Day 4: Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Tour the Myconian Countryside with Hora and Little Venice

Little Venice, MykonosFull Day Itinerary: Board your coach in Chora and head south, stopping at the beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbor. Continue to the small beach of Agia Anna, then to Kalafatis beach. Visit the traditional village of Ano Mera and the monastery of Panagia Tourliani, which was founded in 1542. Stop at Paraportiani and the Mykonos folklore museum, located in an 18th century sea captain’s house.

Day 5: Mykonos & Milos

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day at leisure in Milos

Plaka, MilosFull Day Itinerary: Depart 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 6: 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 and 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 on 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 7: Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Enjoy a 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 8: Heraklion

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Explore the Minoan Palace of Knossos, First European Civilization

Knossos ruinsFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Heraklion early this morning. Crete is the largest and most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilizations and the mythological home of Zeus. A 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.

Here, Sir Arthur Evans’ archeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire once flourished on the island. Based on the wealth of artifacts 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 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.

Heraklion marketBack 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 scatter 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

Day 9: Kusadasi, Turkey

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day sightseeing tour of ancient Ephesus

Aerial view of Kusadasi, TurkeyFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey this afternoon. Just ten kilometers from the port is the ancient city of Ephesus, where you’ll find an archeological site that ranks among the wonders of the world. 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.

Later this afternoon, return to your shop for your final evening at sea.

Day 10: Piraeus & Athens

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Disembark in Athens
  • Explore Athens on a half day tour
  • Bid farewell to Athens as you’re escorted to the airport to board your return flight
  • Arrive in the USA later today

Erechtheion, AthensFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, disembark from your ship at Piraeus. Then, explore Athens on your half day tour.

The striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures is what you will enjoy today. 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, the University, and the National Library. 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.

After your guided exploration of Athens, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.

Note: At the ports of Mykonos & Santorini, disembarkation is by tender boats, weather permitting. Passengers taking the optional shore excursions disembark fist. 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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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

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