Welcome on board the ship(2) from 6pm. Settle into cabins and introduction to the crew followed by a welcome cocktail in the lounge/bar before dinner on board. Overnight stop in Bodrum.
We have buffet breakfast on board before we set off on our optional excursion to Ephesus (full day with lunch included)(3). If visiting ancient archaeological sites is your passion, then Ephesus will delight you. Considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Ephesus was originally an Ionian refuge before becoming the second largest town of the Roman Empire and a sacred site for Christians and pilgrims (as Paul indicated in his letter to the Ephesians). Ephesus houses the colossus and Temple of Artemis, the first ever major construction made entirely of marble. The temple is four times the size of the Parthenon in Athens and is considered as the “finest work by mankind”, according to author and explorer Pausanias. We also have the opportunity to admire the gymnasium and the foundations of what was once a huge stadium or hippodrome (the terraces were taken down to build the walls of the city of Byzantium). After passing through the main entrance, we are sure to be amazed by the magnificent avenue of Arcadia, with columns of marble along each side. At one end of the avenue there is a small marshland, and at the other, a fantastic large theatre. Thought to have been able to hold around 24,000 spectators, the theatre, built on the slopes of Mount Pion, was the venue for the Festival of Artemis which was celebrated each April. The marble road goes past the front of the theatre leading to the Celsus Library, almost entirely rebuilt by Viennese archaeologists. The carved façade of the library gives us an insight into the majestic architecture which once predominated in Ephesus long ago. If we turn around and look at the hill we can see Hadrian’s Temple, the Baths of Scholastika and the houses on the slopes. Further away in the distance, we can see the Trajan fountain and the Cave of the Seven Sleepers. We have a stop for shopping in a bazaar. NB: we strongly advise you to wear stout walking shoes and comfortable clothing for the walk through the archaeological site (approximately two hours). The order of the walk or the trip by coach may be done in the reverse order. We return on board for dinner as our ship sets sail again for Rhodes. We continue our cruise throughout the night.
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(3). 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(3). 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. We have dinner on board and continue our cruise through the night to Santorini.
We continue our cruise this morning, having buffet breakfast and lunch on board. We arrive early this afternoon in Santorini. We have an optional excursion to Santorini(3). 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 for dinner and continue our cruise through the night to Paros.
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(3). 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(3). 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 a folklore evening on board. We cruise through the night to Delos.
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)(3): 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(3). 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 Athens.
We arrive early this morning in Athens and have buffet breakfast on board. Set off on the optional excursion “Athens and the Acropolis”(3). 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(3). 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 our Gala dinner and evening of dancing and entertainment. We moor for the night.
Buffet breakfast on board. Disembark around 9am. End of CroisiEurope’s services.
Our unique selling points
A new, original cruise and an exceptional itinerary through the heart of ancient civilisation
DRINKS included with meals on board
Wine, mineral water, beer, fruit juices and a coffee
A rich diversity of landscapes and historic references
Ephesus (1), the colossus & the Temple of Artemis "the finest work by mankind"
The Cyclades(1): Rhodes, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Delos,
Mykonos, the Queen of the Cyclades
Athens & the Acropolis (1)
The historic centre of Athens (1)
Formula port/port, without transfer.
The cruise on a full board basis commencing with dinner on Day One and ending with breakfast on the final morning - the drinks included in our price are the water, the wine, the beer, the fruit juices and one coffee served by CroisiEurope during the meals on board only - accommodation in a double air-conditioned cabin with shower and WC - welcome cocktail - the services of our hostess on board - the Captain's evening - the Folklore Evening - insurance covering emergency aid and repatriation - all port taxes.
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.
Valid national identity card or passport compulsory. Non-EU nationals are requested to consult their embassy or consulate.