This vacation offers the best of Athens plus a 7-day cruise to Turkey and the Greek Isles. Enjoy a 2-night stay in Athens, where during your guided sightseeing a visit to the Acropolis is included. Then board your cruise ship to set sail in the Aegean Sea. Your first ports are Istanbul and Kusadasi in Turkey. Also sail to Symi, Chios, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini (weather permitting).
Day #1 Arrive in Athens, Greece. Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, meet your Globus Host and traveling companions for a welcome drink.
Day #2 Athens. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the Parthenon’s crowning beauty atop the ACROPOLIS, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the beautifully preserved Theseum, Roman temple of Zeus, theater of Dionysus, and the Agora where Socrates taught. Vistas of the government buildings and elegant homes in the modern city provide a striking contrast to the remains of the glorious past. The rest of the day is at leisure. How about a Greek dinner tonight? Your local host knows where to find local fare and entertainment reminiscent of Zorba the Greek. (B)
Day #3 Athens–Lavrion (Embarkation). Head for Lavrion, where you will sail into the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea at 11 am, easily settling into the cruising routine of sunbathing, sipping cool drinks, splashing in the pool, and reveling in the delights prepared by the ship’s expert chefs. (B,L,D)
Day #4 Cruising: Istanbul. This morning, arrive in Istanbul. Full day at leisure or enjoy an optional excursion in this fascinating gateway between Orient and Occident, the Christian and the Islamic worlds. Sail from Istanbul in the early evening. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Cruising: Mykonos. Plenty of time this morning to relax on board while cruising towards Mykonos. This afternoon, discover the mountainous island of Mykonos with its characteristic windmills and dazzling white houses. Time to wander at whim through narrow paved streets lined with trendy boutiques and shady tavernas before returning on board. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Cruising. Plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)
Day #7 Cruising: Patmos & Kusadasi, Turkey. Two ports of call today. First the tiny Greek island of Patmos where St. John the Divine wrote the Revelation. The 11th-century monastery with its valuable manuscript collections is well worth a visit. Next, is Kusadasi. An optional excursion is available to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Cruising: Rhodes. All day is dedicated to the island of Rhodes Explore the Old Town with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. An optional excursion is available to Lindos to see Athena’s fabulous temple, or, if sightseeing isn’t your thing, Rhodes’ sun-drenched public beaches and colorful shopping districts are within easy walking distance of the port. (B,L,D)
Day #9 Cruising: Crete & Santorini. Early arrival in Heraklion on Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization, and an optional excursion can be booked. This afternoon, call at Santorini (weather permitting), the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” The optional shore excursion here takes you up to the cliff-top village of Thera for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas. (B,L,D)
Day #10 Lavrion (Disembarkation)–Athens. After breakfast on board, disembark at Lavrion and return to Athens. The remainder of the day is free to catch up on last-minute shopping. Enjoy an optional dinner in a romantic restaurant. (B)
Day #11 Athens. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)