Cruising Greece's Aegean Treasures - 2018

Nafplion • Delos • Mykonos • Naxos • Santorini • Milos • Paros • Syros • Aegina • Athens

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  • Guided tour of the Acropolis
  • Tour the beautiful island of Santorini, where whitewashed houses overlook blue sea waters
  • Walking tour of Mykonos with Greek mezes and ouzo
  • Greek Historian Cruise Director with Daily Lectures about Greece
  • Enjoy the beaches of Milos, reputed to be the most beautiful in the Aegean

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Celebrate one of the world’s oldest civilizations in all its glory on this ultimate Greece cruisetour — exploring storied cities, breathtaking archaeological sites, and idyllic islands, all at a relaxed pace. You’ll board the elegant 49-passenger small ship M/Y Harmony V for a leisurely 8-day meander that takes you to such iconic destinations as Mykonos and Santorini, as well as to less-well-known islands, including Paros, Syros, and Naxos. Your cruise is bookended by three-night hotel stays in the charming port town of Nafplion, gateway to the Peloponnese Peninsula, with guaranteed sea view rooms, and Athens, the unforgettable capital of Greece.

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight to Athens / Nafplion, Greece

Arrive in Athens and transfer to Napflion, a beautiful, romantic town in the eastern Peloponnese. Your guaranteed sea-view room will be waiting at your Deluxe hotel. This evening, get acquainted with your Cruise Director and fellow passengers at a Welcome Dinner.  

Please note: If you purchase your airfare from Vantage, you’ll be met outside the customs area and your to Napflion (less than two hours en route) will be included. If you plan to purchase your own airfare, ask when you reserve your trip about arranging your transfer with Vantage, at a considerable savings over local fares

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Nafplion

Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Nafplion, a charming city with a fascinating past. Then travel inland to the ruins of Mycenae, the Bronze Age capital of one of the first great empires of the ancient Mediterranean, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Look for the massive archway with the carved lions, the symbol of the ancient city-state. Cultural Connection: After lunch in a local restaurant, you'll visit a ceramics workshop to witness a pottery-making demonstration by skilled artisans. If you're interested, items made in the studio will be available for purchase. You'll have the balance of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 4:

Nafplion

After breakfast, you’ll have a day at leisure to enjoy the many splendors of this ancient and captivating place. Alternatively, you can set off on an optional tour to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics. The tour includes a scenic drive across the Peloponnese Peninsula, entrance to the Olympia Museum, and a lunch in a local taverna featuring Greek specialties and traditional music. 

 

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Olympia

Olympia

  • Approximate Cost: $189 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: From Nafplion, Greece
  • When: Full-day tour

Embark on a full-day discovery of ancient Olympia, the original site of the eponymous games and the inspiration for the revived version we all know today. You'll learn about the history of the games as you stroll through the areas where competitions once took place. You’ll also have time to visit the museum on the site.


DAY 5:

Nafplion / Epidaurus / Piraeus, Greece / Embark Ship

Today, we discover what UNESCO described as “one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture” when it named the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus to the World Heritage list. The sanctuary was dedicated to Asklepios, a revered healer, and the valley of Epidaurus became an ancient medical center of sorts, attracting those seeking cures from across the Greek Empire. You’ll also catch a glimpse of another notable site as you visit Corinth, an important city of antiquity. As far back as 400 BC, Ancient Corinth was home to 90,000 people — we’ll learn about the major city that once was as we tour its ruins.

Later, transfer across the Corinth Canal to the port of Piraeus and embark ship. Soon, we’ll cast off our voyage of discovery among the ancient ports and serene islands of the Aegean. Cultural Connection: A lecture on “Greek History: From Antiquity to the Present Day” will give us perspective on all the wonders that lie ahead. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Delos / Mykonos

Despite its status as one of the smallest of the Cyclades, Delos was once the most sacred of the islands, a place steeped in mythology and known as the birthplace of the Apollo the Sun God, and his twin sister, Artemis, Goddess of the Moon. As you’ll discover on your visit, the entire island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with ongoing work to excavate, measure, and preserve the countless treasures, including, temples, monuments, and mosaics. 

Then, from the serene and timeless precincts of Delos, it’s on to an island of very different character. Beneath the glitz and glitter of Mykonos, there is a charming, fashionable destination and possibly the most popular of the Greek Islands. It is likely what you picture when you think of a typical Greek island, with small houses and churches, shop-lined streets, and a pretty harbor. Head out on a walking tour that includes a stop in a traditional bakery for Greek meze (small plates of food), accompanied by ouzo, the popular anise-flavored liqueur. Cultural Connection: Hear an informative lecture on “Greek Mythology.” Later, enjoy a performance by local musicians aboard ship. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Naxos

A scenic morning cruise brings us to Naxos, largest of the Cyclades. This morning’s tour takes you across the island to the village of Kournochari. From here, we’ll trek local footpaths to Melanes, a valley hamlet nestled amid groves of fruit and olive trees. In a garden in the village, you’ll see a haunting ancient statue, meant to portray a guardian of Zeus, which was left unfinished. From Melanes, we’ll board our private motorcoach to return to the port of Naxos, then stroll back to the historic harbor area and the ship. Cultural Connections: This evening, you'll be welcomed by a family in the village for a home-hosted dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Santorini

Cruise to the popular island of Santorini, where whitewashed houses rest on rugged cliffs overlooking a crystal-blue sea. Set out on a tour that takes you to the archaeological site of Akrotiri; Profitou Iliou Mountain; and Fira, the island’s capital. Then, take a cable car ride back to the ship. This afternoon, relax on board, explore Santorini on your own, or join an optional tour of the Village of Oia, which includes a light lunch and wine tasting. Cultural Connection: Prior to dinner this evening, learn about one of the crowning glories of ancient Greece in a lecture entitled “Architecture and Archaeology.”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Views of Santorini: Oia Village and Wine Tasting with Local Specialties

Views of Santorini: Oia Village and Wine Tasting with Local Specialties

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Oia, Santorini, Greece
  • When: Afternoon tour
You’ll get a different perspective of Santorini on this excursion, which takes you first to a local winery. Here, tour the wine chambers and distilleries, sample some of the crisp white wines, and enjoy spectacular views over the water while you enjoy a light meal typical of the island. Afterwards, we head to the village of Oia on northernmost point on the island. Built on a steep slope of the caldera, Oia was once the home of wealthy seafarers. See their colorful two-story mansions and houses nestled in niches in the volcanic rock. Walk the narrow, cobbled streets to view tiny shops selling local handicrafts. Stop in one of the coffee shops set on the edge of a cliff for stunning views of the seas and back along the curve of Santorini to Fira, the island’s primary port. After returning to Fira, time permitting, you can spend time at leisure or return to ship via a cable car to the pier.


DAY 9:

Milos

Perhaps one of the most underrated of the Greek isles, Milos offers stunning beaches (more than any other Greek isle, in fact) and a fascinating landscape shaped by volcanic activity. This is also the birthplace of the famed Venus de Milo, one of the world’s most famous sculptures currently on display at the Louvre. You’ll discover this island on a sightseeing tour, which will include some time at the legendary beaches here. Cultural Connection: Enjoy a lecture on Alexander the Great.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Paros / Syros

This morning we call at Paros, an island renowned for its scenic beauty, with traditional hill villages connected by ancient footpaths. A walking tour in the low-key capital of Parikia reveals the traditional white-washed architecture so typical in this part of the Aegean. Cultural Connection: During your visit, enjoy a tasting of flavorful “Loukoumi” candy. After lunch aboard ship, we arrive at Syros, which thrived as a trading port in the 19th century. During your sightseeing tour, you’ll discover the island’s rich layers of history, from ancient ruins to religious monuments to the capital Ermoupoli’s medieval quarter. Cultural Connections: Learn more about the ancient empires of the Mediterranean in a lecture entitled “Byzantium.” Afterwards, a lively troupe of folk dancers comes aboard ship to entertain us.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Aegina

This island is tantalizingly close to Athens, yet it has its own distinct character. Enjoy an orientation walk, followed by time to yourself to soak in Aegina’s charms. Or, in lieu of free time, set off on an optional island tour this afternoon that includes the well-known Temple of Aphaia, which dates back to 480 BC. Cultural Connection: Learn about the spiritual heritage of Greece during a lecture entitled “Religions in Greece.”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Aegina Island Tour with Temple of Aphaia

Aegina Island Tour with Temple of Aphaia

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Aegina, Greece
  • When: Afternoon tour

Explore Aegina in depth on a tour that takes you to some of the island’s highlights — including the famed Temple of Aphaia. This temple was built around 500 BC, and was dedicated to the lesser-known goddess Apahaia (sometimes known as a partron of child care). The site is renowned not only for its setting — offering breathtaking views of the island and the sea — but as one of the more impressively preserved structures from the ancient world. Get the most of your time here on Aegina with this optional tour.


DAY 12:

Athens / Disembark ship

After breakfast on board, disembark ship and enjoy the day in Athens. Enjoy a panoramic tour of this city of contrasts, where modern life is intertwined with 4,000 years of history. We'll visit the iconic Acropolis, where it was said that Poseidon and Athena fought over who would be patron of the city. This was the architectural pinnacle of Athens, crowned by its breathtaking Parthenon. You’ll also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Pan Athenian Stadium, and the Presidential Palace. We'll also stop into a Vantage-recommended shop that sells fine Greek art, antiquities, and souvenirs, where you can browse the collections. Afterwards, enjoy time at leisure, with lunch on your own in the charming, flower-bedecked Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 13:

Athens

Enjoy another day to discover the treasures at the birthplace of democracy. We’ll visit the Archeological Museum as well as the New Acropolis Museum, adding some rich background into your historical discoveries here. After lunch, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 14:

Athens

You’ll have the day to yourself today to uncover more of Athens treasures, or you can opt for an excursion to Cape Sounion. You hotel is conveniently located near the upscale Kolonaki district in the center of Athens, with many shops and restaurants, as well as some of the city's best museums, right nearby. 

Bordered by the sea on three sides, Cape Sounion’s sharply indented coastline is fringed with beautiful beaches. Here on top of the cliff, from where King Aegeus threw himself into the sea that even now bears his name, stand the 17 remaining Doric columns of the 5th-century BC Temple of Poseidon. It is a remarkable site to explore. You’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy your time in the Greek capital. Tonight, meet up with your fellow passengers one more time for a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Cape Sounion Tour

Cape Sounion Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Athens, Greece
  • When: Afternoon tour
Cape Sounion is one of the most famous and picturesque places in Attica. Bordered by the sea on three sides, its sharply indented coastline is fringed with beautiful beaches. Today, you will see some of the marvelous vistas Attica offers overlooking the sea. Departing from the hotel, you will drive along the scenic west coast of the Attica Peninsula affording you fine views of the Saronic Gulf, and the fertile countryside inland. The island of Aegina will be on your right as you pass Voula, Lagonissi, and other resorts on your way to the southeastern most tip of the land mass of Europe — Cape Sounion. Here on top of the cliff, from where King Aegeus threw himself into the sea that even now bears his name, stand the 17 remaining Doric columns of the 5th-century BC Temple of Poseidon. Built in Pentelic marble, the columns have retained much of their original gleaming white appearance. Many visitors, both illustrious and ordinary, have carved their names on the pillars since the 18th century. Lord Byron proudly carved his signature, but you are discouraged from leaving your mark! The breathtaking panorama from this lofty spot is superb with the deep blue Aegean Sea studded with the islands before you.

DAY 15:

Athens / Return home

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or begin your post-trip extension in Tirana, the capital of Albania.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.

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Cruising Greece's Aegean Treasures - 2018

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Ship Accommodations The M/Y Harmony V is a state-of-the-art motor yacht chartered exclusively for Vantage travelers. This sleek vessel carries no more than 50 passengers and can be compared to the elegant private yachts found in the Mediterranean’s finest yachting ports. Unlike big cruise ships, in most ports of call the M/Y Harmony V can dock right at the pier, so you can easily stroll ashore. The modern, four-masted Wind Star schooner is a luxury motor-sail-yacht carrying 148 travelers, and all staterooms feature ocean views, closed-circuit color TVs, DVD and CD players, a minibar/refrigerator, international direct-dial telephones, a hairdryer and private baths with luxurious toiletries and plush robes. Public areas include a saltwater swimming pool, a hot tub and the pool bar on deck 4, a lounge and bar, and fitness center. Water-skiing, windsurfing, snorkeling and kayaking are complimentary. Travel in smaller groups and an easier experience entering smaller ports!

*Prices are subject to change and based on comparable departure months.
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