Northern Aegean Treasures: Highlights of the Greek Isles - 2017

Athens • Syros • Paros • Delos • Mykonos • Naxos • Patmos • Kos • Symi • Rhodes

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Athens to Rhodes

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight to Athens, Greece

Board an overnight flight bound for Athens, Greece, and the beginning of your Greek Islands cruise. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, you'll be met at the airport after clearing Immigration and Customs and transferred to your hotel. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner in the hotel.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Athens / Embark ship

Enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Athens, including the iconic and ancient Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Have lunch on your own in the charming Plaka area of the city, and later embark your ship. There will be a Welcome Dinner onboard this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4:

Syros / Paros

Our next ports of call are in the Cyclades islands, beginning with 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 religious monuments to the capital Ermoupoli’s medieval quarter. Cultural Connection: Enjoy a taste of loukoumi, the distinctive sweet for which Syros is famous, sometimes known as Turkish Delight. After lunch aboard ship, we depart for 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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

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 of  Mykonos that includes a stop for Greek meze (small plates of food) and ouzo tasting. Cultural Connection: Hear an informative lecture on “Religions in Greece.” 

 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

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: You'll be a guest in a local home for a lunch of traditional island foods. This evening after dinner, enjoy entertainment aboard ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Patmos

Today we explore the island of Patmos, most famous as the location where, according to legend, the Roman emperor Domitian exiled St. John the Divine in AD 95. On an included tour, you’ll explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center of this island, including the Cave of the Apocalypse. This small grotto is believed to be where John had the visions that led him to write the Book of Revelation, the last and perhaps most enigmatic book of the Bible. It wasn’t until the 12th century that a monk named Ossios Christodoulos built a monastery nearby in honor of the saint. Perched on hilltop encircled by fortress-like walls, the monastery provided island residents a place of refuge against marauders. After an afternoon at leisure, sit down for a delightful dinner onboard the ship. Cultural Connection: Enjoy a lively performance of Greek music aboard ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Kos

Leaving the Cyclades, we enter the Dodecanese islands. Our first stop is Kos, birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine and the originator of the Hippocratic Oath so familiar to practitioners of medicine to this day. You’ll explore this historic island’s highlights, including the Asklepion and an ancient healing center. Cultural Connection: Later, you’ll get a chance to learn about Byzantium at an onboard lecture.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Symi

Today, you’ll be introduced to Symi, where you’ll enjoy a morning at leisure. The island’s natural beauty is complemented by charming neoclassical architecture, a gift from the Italians who occupied the island in the early 20th century. Cultural Connections: Enjoy a cooking demonstration on traditional foods, followed by lunch. Following an afternoon at leisure, enjoy a lecture on the “Products & Gastronomy of the Aegean." If the conditions are right, enjoy swimming in the Symi's clear waters. This evening, we gather to say goodbye to the cruise portion of our epic journey at the Captain's Farewell Dinner.rs.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Rhodes / Disembark Ship

After breakfast on board, we disembark ship and set off for a tour of Rhodes. Your exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site will include a visit to the Grand Master's Palace, an impressively rebuilt version of the medieval castle that once stood here. Your afternoon is at leisure, then we’ll gather one more time in the hotel for a Farewell Dinner, a time to raise a glass to our voyage and bid goodbye to our shipmates. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11:

Rhodes / Return home

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home or begin your post-trip extension in Rhodes.

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 Tour Director or regional expert.

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Vantage Smithsonian Tauck Tours Vantage Advantage
Journey Southern Aegean Voyage: Athens, Crete & Rhodes A Cruise to Ancient Greece Treasures of the Aegean
Cruise-Only Prices* $0 $5,495 $7,190 Save over $8,000 per couple
Trip Length 0 days 9 days 14 days See more with 20 tours in 10 days
Per Diem $0 per day $610 $514 Save over $350 per couple per day!
Cabin sizes From 170 to 216 square feet. 200-600 square feet. 188 square feet. More choices of cabin provide a range of great value accommodations.
Included Tours and Special Features 10-day Greek Islands cruise aboard the exclusively chartered M/Y Harmony V, a sleek, 50-passenger megayacht Stay in top hotels, one night in Athens and one night in Dubrovnik, with sightseeing tours Visit 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites See 5 UNESCO Sites, such as the fortified wall of Rhodes Town, the island of Delos, the the suspended Orthodox monastery of Meteora, enjoying culinary and cultural experiences like onboard lectures along the way. Private Shore Excursions — a value of $3,353 — including folkoric entertainment, a boat ride in Istanbul, dinnerin Ephesus, a carpet demonstration and more Exclusively chartered small ship limited to just 50 travelers for an intimate Greek Islands cruise experience 16 sightseeing tours and 14 Cultural Connections, including audio headsets for enhanced sightseeing
Single Travelers Single Supplement: Base single supplement: $2499 for Cats A & B Price increase of $5,600 from standard double pricing, Category 6. Price increase approximately $3,159 in all cabin categories for singles Save on single cabin pricing over the competition.
Extend Your Trip 3-days Athens, Greece, $449 $150 per day 3-days Rhodes, $449 $150 per day Athens, 2 nights Peloponnese, 3 nights None listed Even more chances to get the best value for your airfare.
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. Ninety-five percent of the 220-passenger Le Lyrial has cabins with private balconies; private bathrooms with shower (bathtubs in select stateroooms) and luxurious amenities. Each has its own climate control, flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet, a safe, minibar and plus robes. The modern, four-masted Wind Star schooner is a luxury motor-sail-yacht carrying just 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. More intimate, sleek yacht with ability to remote ports of call. Best value in deluxe small-ship ocean cruising.
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*Prices are subject to change & based on comparable March or November departure dates
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