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 The Cyclades and Aegean Sea - Greece & Turkey

  ATHENS - DELOS - MYKONOS - PAROS - NAXOS - SANTORINI - RHODES - KOS - BODRUM

     

A new, original cruise and an exceptional itinerary through the heart of ancient civilisations.  A rich diversity of landscapes and historic references with a chance to visit Ephesus, the colossus and the Temple of Artemis: 'the finest work by mankind' , ending in Athens with a visit to the Acropolis and the historic centre of Athens. 

Days: 8 Days
Code -  ATB
NOTE: 2017 CRUISES INCLUDE THE "CLASSIC" SIGHTSEEING PACKAGE
Itinerary

Day 1

ATHENS


Welcome on board the ship from 6 pm. Settle into cabins and introduction to the crew followed by a welcome cocktail in the lounge/bar before dinner on board. Overnight stop in Athens.

   
Day 2

ATHENS and the Acropolis

 

Buffet breakfast on board. Set off on the optional excursion "Athens and the Acropolis" (54 € per person. This excursion allows us to discover the site of the Acropolis, the original religious centre of ancient Athens, the Temple of Athena Nike, complete with its graceful Caryatids in place of columns in one of the temple porches. The imposing Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is the perfect backdrop, allowing us to imagine how things looked back in Ancient Greek times.  A panoramic tour by coach of the modern town of Athens gives us a brief glimpse of life today in the Greek capital before we return on board for lunch. This afternoon, we have an optional visit to the historic centre of Athens (39 € per person). Among other highlights, we visit the picturesque district of the Plaka, with its traditional houses and mish-mash of little alleyways, the district of Anafiotika, built at the beginning of the 19th century by the inhabitants of the island of Anafi, the ancient Agora, where we are sure to marvel at the ancient remains located in an attractive protected site, Adrianou Street and its cafes. We then return to Monastiraki, the traditional district famous for its flea and antiques market, its tavernas serving souvlaki (famous Greek sandwiches) and above all the central market where we catch a glimpse of normal daily life in Greece. We return on board for dinner and set sail to Delos. We continue our cruise through the night.

   
Day 3

DELOS - MYKONOS

 

We arrive at the island of Delos early this morning and have buffet breakfast on board. According to legend, Greek mythology made the sacred island of Delos the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. The island holds many ancient relics and remains, which serve as evidence of its prestigious past. We are invited to discover them during this fabulous voyage between history and mythology. Optional excursion to Delos (with return trip by small boat) (45 € per person):  Visit to the largest ancient city in the Aegean Sea, an archaeological site occupying almost the entire island. We discover the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Sanctuary of the Bulls, the treasures and portico of Antigone, the Sanctuary of Artemis, the Terrace of the Lions, the Temple of Leto, the Agora and the museum housing all the items found during the excavations of the site. We return on board for lunch and our cruise continues to Mykonos, where we arrive in the early afternoon. Our optional excursion: tour of the island and a guided visit of the town of Mykonos (39 € per person). We begin with a tour of the island by coach, visit the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, which was founded in 1542, before arriving in the town of Mykonos. The town is a real maze of narrow streets with traditional whitewashed houses and paved paths. The old town is dotted with churches and chapels with a magical atmosphere. We return to our ship by coach. Dinner on board tonight is followed by an evening of entertainment. The ship sets sail during the night for Paros. 

   
Day 4

PAROS - NAXOS

 

We arrive early this morning in Paros and have buffet breakfast on board. We have an optional guided visit of the town of Parikia and the Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church (46 € per person). In ancient times, the port of Paroiki came to be thanks to the marble trade. Nowadays, it is a delightful Cycladic town with paved streets, passageways dating from medieval times and houses surrounded by bougainvillea. It also is home to the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (the church of a hundred doors), a magnificent Byzantine building dating from the 6th century and restored in the 9th century. Then our journey takes us to Lefkes, the highest village on the island, along the road passing the abandoned marble quarry of Marathi. Lefkes was the capital of the island during the Ottoman era and has some attractive medieval houses. We finally visit the picture-postcard perfect village of Naoussa, with its brightly-coloured fishing boats, the half-submerged ruins of its Venetian castle and its winding white alleyways. We return on board for lunch and continue our cruise to Naxos. We have an optional excursion to Naxos and the Valley of Melanes (39 € per person)  Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades with magnificent landscapes and traditional villages. The town of Naxos, the island's capital, welcomes visitors through its huge gateway of Portara, constructed in 522 BC, then charms them with the old town full of winding alleyways, the medieval town and Venetian castle. The hinterland is an absolute must: the village of Chalki is the most picturesque with its Venetian and Byzantine architecture. The charming village of Apiranthos has streets paved with marble and is surrounded by a "Pyrgoi" watchtower and here we can also see local villagers dressed in traditional costumes. We end our excursion with a visit to the un-missable Melanes Valley and the famous Kouros, huge marble statues dating from the 6th century BC. We return on board for dinner and continue our cruise to Santorini. We cruise through the night.   

   
DAY 5 SANTORINI
 

We arrive early this morning in Santorini. We have an optional excursion to Santorini (59 € per person). This is an opportunity to visit the most picturesque sites on the island, wonder at the most amazing panoramic views, live the life of an islander for a brief spell and sample the natural, authentic fragrances and flavours of this area of the Mediterranean. We set off by coach to visit Profitis Ilias, the highest mountain on this magnificent island, named after the monastery at its summit, from where there are splendid views over the whole island. The myriad of colours and contrasts of the island seem to be a constant companion throughout the morning. We then head for the village of Megalochori, with its typical white houses, packed tightly together in a network of alleyways and mule paths. In a typical taverna, we have a tasting of the famous Santorini wine which tickles our taste buds. The final stage of our excursion is a visit to the delightful village of Fira, with its blue domed church roofs set against an endless blue sky. We return on board around 1pm in time for lunch and spend the rest of the day afloat, as we head for Rhodes. Dinner on board is followed by an evening of dancing and entertainment. We cruise through the night.

   
DAY 6 RHODES
 

We arrive early this morning in Rhodes. The "Island of Roses" is part of the golden Dodecanese Islands which have their own original character. Located at the very edge of Europe, they are influenced as much by eastern as western culture: they are Hellenic in spirit, Byzantine in mind, oriental in character and overall, definitely Greek. After breakfast on board, we set off for our optional visit of the ancient and medieval town of Rhodes (49 € per person). We set off from the port and head for Mount Smith, from where we revel in a magnificent panoramic view of Rhodes Town and the surrounding countryside. As we go through the Amboise Gate, we reach the highest point of the medieval town, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, an imposing fortress with luxuriously decorated interiors and a courtyard adorned with Roman statues. The museum has several wonderful mosaics, also from Roman times. Afterwards, our visit continues along the narrow and straight Avenue of the Knights, which has typical cobblestones. The avenue is lined with prestigious inns where the Knights of the Order of Rhodes used to stay according to their language and country of origin. Today, the street still has a certain air of nobility and inaccessibility about it. We can also admire the rich Gothic-style decorations, the arched windows, terraced roofs and smooth flat honey-coloured facades of the buildings. We return to the ship for lunch and in the afternoon, our optional excursion is to Lindos (49 € per person). We begin first of all by crossing the countryside of the island. In Lindos we have one of the most amazing views of the island, a Doric temple which stands high above the village on the peak of a mountain whose sides plunge steeply into the sea. The history of the Acropolis of Lindos dates back as far as the 15th century BC when sacrifices to the Gods took place at this very spot. Many of the houses in Lindos have retained the traditional style of brown-painted windows and silver decorated balconies. Some date from the 15th century and are officially classed as preserved historical monuments. We board our coach again and head back to the ship. Dinner on board is followed by a folklore evening. During the night we set sail and continue our journey to Kos.

   
DAY 7 KOS - BODRUM
 

We arrive at the island of Kos early this morning. After a buffet breakfast on board, our optional excursion is to Asclepion and a journey into the world of Hippocrates (43 € per person). Asclepion was a healing temple dedicated to the god of health, Asclepios. Set on a hillside surrounded by a forest of cypress trees, the site is divided into three levels and affords us a wonderful view over the Gulf of Kerameikos and the coastlines of the Middle East. Here we also find the foundations and columns of the ancient Xysto gymnasium, the Spa, the public Roman baths, the church of Panagia Tarsou, the Nymphaeum and the Roman house complete with magnificent mosaics. Next we discover the little streets in the old town of Kos, and visit Eleftherias (Freedom) square, surrounded by Italian buildings such as the Agora (or market) and the library. We also see the toll gate, the main gate of the ancient fortified walls, the ancient Agora, the medieval castle of Neratzia, built by the Knights of St John in 1478, the Platanos (the plane tree under which Hippocrates used to teach)  and the Lotzias mosque, built in 1786. We return on board for lunch and set sail again for Bodrum, where we arrive around 3pm. We have an optional discovery tour of Bodrum, including a visit of Bodrum Castle (47 € per person). Bodrum Castle was built between 1402 and 1503 by the Knights of the Order of St John, who were also called the Knights Hospitalier of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, then the Knights of Rhodes and finally the Knights of Malta. After our visit of the castle, we take the road to Gümüslük, passing typical windmills which surround the hills of Bodrum. Gümüslük is a little port located on the end of the peninsula and is subject to strict building regulations, thus retaining its original charm. We return on board for our Gala dinner followed by an evening of dancing and entertainment. We moor for the night.

   
DAY 8 BODRUM
 

Buffet breakfast on board. Disembark around 9 am. End of CroisiEurope's services.

   
 

This itinerary is a guide only. For reasons of navigational safety , the captain and crew of the boat alone may decide to modify the itinerary.

Please note  on Croisi cruises French & English is spoken. Cruise co-ordinators, commentary and sightseeing in French and/or English (subject to minimum numbers).

   
 INCLUSIONS:




This offer includes: the cruise on full board from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the final day, The "unlimited drinks" included on board are mineral water, wine, beer and fruit juice only, with a coffee after each meal, served by CroisiEurope during on-board meals in the restaurant. The price also includes: welcome cocktail • the services of our hostess on board • the Captain's evening • insurance covering emergency aid and repatriation • all port taxes.

   
 EXCLUSIONS:



This offer does not include:  all drinks consumed in the lounge/bar, all wines on the wine list as well as all drinks taken during meals while on excursions or transfers • optional excursions (must be reserved either in advance via the travel agent or on board) •  cancellation and baggage insurance • personal expenses • any other item  not specified in the itinerary and programme.

   
NOTES:













Please note: occasionally, weather conditions can have a major effect on the navigation of the cruise. This may result in a change to the scheduled itinerary and in certain cases intermediate stops may be cancelled. In such situations, CroisiEurope will make every effort to find a solution that is in the best interests of its passengers. Visits: the sites that we are scheduled to visit according to the programme can be subject to closure without warning (either in part or in entirety). CroisiEurope accepts no liability or responsibility for any unforeseen closure but will nonetheless do their best to secure alternative visits. No recompense or compensation can be sought. NB: Please note that CroisiEurope and the ship's captain reserve the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. (1) Optional excursions. (3) On the port-to-port package, embarkation commences in Athens at 6pm on Day One and disembarkation will be at 9am on the final morning in Bodrum. Port-to-port package places are strictly limited in number. (4) Valid for a minimum of 35 passengers only. The excessive consumption of alcohol is dangerous and life-threatening – please consume in moderation. Subject to CroisiEurope's general sales terms and conditions  

   
ACCOMMODATION Contact Innovative Travel for details of pre and post Cruise accommodation
   
LANGUAGE:

Please note Croisi cruises are bilingual. Cruise co-ordinators, commentary and sightseeing in French and/or English (subject to minimum numbers).

   
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