Aegean Odyssey - 2017

Athens • Monemvasia • Chania • Heraklion • Santorini • Karpathos • Lindos • Rhodes • Symi • Kos • Patmos • Naxos • Delos • Mykonos • Paros • Syros

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Itinerary at a Glance

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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 scenic cruise of the Aegean Sea and its beautiful islands. 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, get acquainted with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner in the hotel.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Athens / Embark ship

Today you’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city of Athens, a captivating mix of modern culture and historical treasures. You’ll also visit the Acropolis of Athens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most famous tributes to ancient Greek civilization, the Acropolis is an architectural marvel with stunning views of the surrounding city. We'll also stop into a well-reputed shop that specializes in fine art and antiquities from Greece. Your afternoon is at leisure, with lunch on your own in the charming, flower-bedecked Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis. Soon you'll head to the pier to board the 50-passenger megayacht M/Y Harmony V. You’ll have some time to settle into your cabin before attending a Captain’s Welcome Dinner onboard this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4:

Monemvasia

Your Greek Islands cruise first takes you to Monemvasia, a church-filled fortress town perched along the Peloponnese coast. Here you’ll tour the historical and atmospheric Old Town. If you're feeling energetic, take the walk to the famous Church of Elkomenos and the hilltop Church of Saint Sophia.

Cultural Connection: Enjoy an included lunch and wine tasting at a family wine estate. Monemvasia is known for its wine, and you have the opportunity to sample some of the famous, whites, rosés, and reds while learning about the viticulture and history of the region.

Cultural Connection: Attend a lecture on “Greek History, from Antiquity to Present Day."  

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Chania / Rethimnon (Crete)

This morning, your ship arrives in the port of Chania on the island of Crete, largest of the Greek islands and home of the early Minoan civilization. After breakfast, depart on a walking tour of Chania's picturesque Old Town and harbor area, where you'll see the architectural and cultural influence of the Venetian and Ottoman empires.You’ll have free time to explore the famous Chania Market and do some shopping. Following lunch aboard ship, enjoy a scenic motorcoach drive to the port city of Rethimnon, where you'll enjoy spectacular views from the Fortezza, a hilltop Venetian-era citadel, followed by a walking tour of the town. After free time to explore on your own, return to the ship for dinner. 

Cultural Connection: Enjoy a lecture on “Alexander the Great.”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Heraklion (Crete)

This morning, your ship arrives in Heraklion, largest city on Crete. It is home to traditional villages, Byzantine monasteries, inviting beaches, and the ruins of Knossos Palace, from which King Minos reigned over his empire. Return to this ship for lunch, and then enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Heraklion. Be sure to consider our optional Greek village tour to visit a traditional village on Crete, with a cooking lesson and lunch. 

Cultural Connection: Later this afternoon, listen to a lecture on “Greek Mythology.” After dinner on the ship, enjoy an onboard performance by local musicians and dancers.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

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, the mountaintop monastery of Profitis Ilias, and the island's capital Fira. Then, take a cable car ride back to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, relax on board, explore Santorini on your own, or join an optional tour of the Oia and Santo Winery with a light lunch included. 

Cultural Connection: Prior to dinner this evening, listen to a lecture on “Architecture and Archaeology.”

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Karpathos

Today arrive at the serene island of Karpathos. Spend the morning exploring the scenery and culture on visits to several of the island's scenic villages, such as Aperi, Othos, Pyles, Finiki, Arkassa, or Menetes. Return to the ship for lunch, then enjoy a leisure afternoon on the island's beautiful beaches, perhaps taking a swim in clear Aegean waters.

Cultural Connections: Learn about “Modern Greece” in a lecture, then enjoy entertainment on board by local musicians after dinner.  

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Lindos (Rhodes)

Today you’ll cruise to Lindos, an archeological site on the island of Rhodes. You’ll spend the morning exploring the Acropolis of Lindos, where you can discover the surviving architecture and admire the stunning coastline views. You’ll also visit a local pottery shop. After returning to the ship for lunch, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure. During the evening cruise to Rhodes, our final destination, you'll gather with now-familiar shipmates for the Captain's Farewell Dinner. 

Cultural Connections: Visit a local pottery workshop in Lindos and learn about Greek pottery traditions. That evening, learn about the interesting history of Rhodes in a lecture aboard ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Rhodes

Today your ship arrives in the city of Rhodes on the island of the same name. You'll explore the medieval old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Afterwards, you’ll have a few hours of free time to explore the ancient harbor area and enjoy lunch on your own. In the interim, Vantage customers who were aboard for the Southern Aegean portion of the itinerary only will disembark, while passengers for the Norther Aegean itinerary will come aboard. Meanwhile, you'll be one of the fortunate ones, along with your Cruise Director, staying aboard for the entire voyage of discovery. You'll meet your new shipmates this evening at the Captain's Welcome Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11:

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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

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, an ancient healing center, and the castle of the Knights of Saint John. This order of military monks, originally founded to protect the Hospital of Saint John in the Holy Land, was eventually dispatched to watch over the routes taken by religious pilgrims in medieval times. The Knights controlled Kos for nearly two centuries, before ultimately ceding it to the Ottoman Empire. 

Cultural Connection: Later, you’ll get a chance to learn about Byzantium at an onboard lecture.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

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 saw 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 14:

Naxos

A scenic morning cruise brings us to Naxos, largest of the Cyclades. This morning’s tour takes 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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

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 16:

Syros / Paros

Today we call on our final island destinations, starting 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 ancient ruins to 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. This evening, as we near the end of our cruise, raise a glass to your odyssey into the ancient, sunsplashed world of the Aegean..

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 17:

Athens / Disembark Ship

After breakfast on board, disembark ship and enjoy the day at leisure in Athens. Meanwhile, your luggage will be transferred to your hotel. This evening gather one last time for a Farewell Dinner. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 18:

Athens / Return home

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

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.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

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