Cruises From Greece by Celestyal Cruises
Description of the Cruise:
Spend a wonderful week in the warm embrace of the mythic Aegean! We’ll take you to a different destination every day on this fantastic, impeccably organized cruise. You won’t be able to decide what you loved best, the incredible Greek cuisine and personal attention on board or the thrilling, fascinating excursions on shore, but you won’t have to – all you have to do is relax and enjoy one of the best, most carefree weeks you’ll ever have.
We depart from Lavrion and return to Lavrion, one of the major ports of Athens. One of the world’s oldest, most vibrant, most cosmopolitan cities, Athens is dense with ancient monuments, chic cafés and unique shops. Wander through Plaka to the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum, one of the best in the world. There’s thousands of years of art and history here, and it’s a perfect for walking (the best way to see it). Athens is an enthralling blur of museums, galleries, restaurants, archeological sites, cafés and one-of-a-kind shops.
60 kilometers from Athens, Lavrion is an ancient silver mining center and a bustling port – the city’s silver mines date to prehistory. From here you can tour the Temple of Poseidon, with its incredible view of the Saronic Gulf, and Cape Sounion– the giant columns at the Temple of Poseidon were “excavated” in Lavrion, which is also home to the oldest and largest ancient amphitheater in Greece.
Our first stop is magical Istanbul. This is one of the world’s great cities, home to Byzantine and Ottoman architectural jewels such as Hagia Sofia, the Greek Patriarchate, the lovely fountain and gardens of Sultanahmet Square and the incredible Grand Bazaar (61 covered streets!). Make sure to leave time for a cruise from Europe to Asia across the historic Bosphorus. Istanbul isa feast for the senses: you’ll get your fill when you cruise with us.
From Istanbul we depart for the white sand beaches of quiet Kusadasi, which are a stone’s throw from Ancient Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, the House of the Virgin Mary, beautiful Sirince Village and the thrilling metropolis of Izmir. The outstanding shopping at Kusadasi’s lively harborside bazaar will entice you, as will Ancient Ephesus, one of the best-preserved, most extensive archaeological sites in the Mediterranean and a mere 19 kilometers from Kusadasi. It was the most important Christian city between Rome and Antioch in the early years of Christianity.
We spend the following day in Santorini, whose majestic volcanic cliffs tower above the Aegean. Take a jeep safari into the interior or a cruise to Santorini’s smaller islands and volcanoes. You can also visit the Akrotiri Village excavations, stroll through the lovely hilltop village of Fira, the island’s capital, or just relax in a café in Oia Village and watch a spectacular sunset from 300 meters above the sea. You’ll feel as if you can put your fingertips to the sky.
From Santorini we sail overnight to lovely Agios Nikolaos for an incredible day in Crete. Greece’s largest island will greet you like a long-lost relative. Crete is a wonderland of pristine beaches, hiking trails, rivers and archeological marvels, including the Minoan Palace of Knossos, home to the first civilization in Europe. Don’t miss the scenic villages of the prefecture of Lasithi, the island’s picturesque monasteries and the famous islet of Spinalonga. Crete is easy to love and hard to leave – don’t do it without a bottle of Cretan olive oil, the world’s finest.
From stunning Crete we sail for the incomparable island of Rhodes. The Palace of the Grand Masters, in the old walled city of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will make you think you’ve stepped back in time, as will the astonishing Acropolis of Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights. Try some tasty local wines and relax at charming Tsampika Beach, or stroll the cobbled streets of old city and enjoy an al fresco traditional Greek coffee, strong enough to keep you going through a morning packed with the best of this magnificent island and its2,400 years of history.
Enjoy a delicious lunch on the pool deck or a chilled glass of ouzo and meze at Thalassa Bar, on Deck 10, the Aegean spread before you as we sail for an afternoon in charming Symi and its picture-perfect capital. The mansions of sponge fishing millionaires and shipping magnates climb the hillsides above the harbor at Symi, a protected architectural site since the 1970s. Two steep stairways lead to Horio, home of the Knights’ Castle and 13 churches. Don’t miss exquisite Panormitis Monastery, built in the 15th century on the seafront along Panormitis Bay.
How about breakfast in fragrant Chios, allegedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and almost swimming distance from the Turkish coast. Chios is mountainous, but it offers visitors a stunning array of beautiful beaches. The sturdy Castle of Chios rises just north of the center of Chios Town, beside the harbor: originally a Byzantine fortress, the Genoese rebuilt the castle between the 12th and 14th centuries. At the center of the island is Nea Moni Monastery, from the 11th century, and Kambos, redolent with citrus. Southern Chios is home to the mastic villages, which date to the Genoese occupation.
Our final stop is magical Mykonos, an island so lovely it’s been one of the most popular destinations in the world for almost six decades. Its countryside is as pristine as its beaches. Stroll the enchanting cobbled alleys of Mykonos Town to the Little Venice neighborhood then, after the sun retires, rub elbows with the jet set in one of Mykonos Town’s chic nightclubs. It only takes a few hours on this paradisiacal island to understand why it’s loved by travelers from around the world. After a few hours of dancing, we bid goodnight to Mykonos and sail for Piraeus, where you’ll be amongst the first to wish the golden Attic sun good morning.
Join us for seven magical, invigorating days in the Aegean. We promise you’ll be the richer for them.
Cruise vessel’s ( Celestyal Crystal ) information:
She’s a gem of the high seas, a summertime classic – you’ll fall in love with her the moment you stride up the gangway to escape with us. There’s romance wherever she sails. In 2015 the beautiful Celestyal Crystal will take passengers on our seven-day Peloponnese and Ionian cruises, on our Idyllic Aegean cruises, on our Pilgrimage Voyage and on our ANZAC Centenary Cruise. From holy sites to Aegean hillsides, let the cozy Celestyal Crystal be your home at sea during the holiday of a lifetime. Two restaurants, two bars, a café, a thrilling casino and our wellness center! She only sails to spoil you. Don’t resist.
Capacity: 1074 passengers in total
Cabins: 400 cabins with en suite bathrooms, TV, radio and air conditioning
Facilities: buffet, casual dining area, café, three lounges, two bars, casino, two pools, sauna, gym, medical center, spa and massage room, Jacuzzi, beauty salon, hair salon, Internet area, video arcade, conference room, duty free and travel value shop
Equipped: satellite telephone, full air conditioning throughout the ship