Your 7-night cruise on the Aegean Sea begins and ends in Athens. Start with an overnight and guided sightseeing to explore the Acropolis, ruins of the ancient Greek capital. Take some free time to enjoy the city before meeting your ship in nearby Piraeus. You’ll sail to Istanbul, Turkey, and spend an afternoon exploring this fascinating city with an overnight docking. On the second day of exploring, board a private tender boat for an excursion through the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia, and stroll through the Spice Market in Istanbul. Sail overnight to Canakkale in northwestern Turkey—the area that includes historic Troy and Gallipoli. Cruise across the Aegean to the Greek port of Volos—where, according to mythology—Jason and his Argonauts were trained by the centaur Chiron. You’ll cruise to the island of Crete, and visit the ancient sites in Heraklion and Knossos—the center of 3000-BC Minoan civilization and fascinating Greek myths. Your ship sails on to the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”—Santorini. Join in an excursion to the clifftops perched on the volcanic caldera. Continue to the blue-and-white island of Mykonos. Explore through its blue-domed roofs, windmills, and narrow streets to shop and soak up the sun (or shade) in classic Greek style. You’ll return to Piraeus to disembark your ship, then conclude your value-minded Greek vacation with two more nights in Athens including a visit to the Archaeological Museum. This affordable vacation in Greece with Mediterranean cruise is the perfect way to explore Athens and the Aegean!
Day 1: ARRIVE IN ATHENS, GREECE.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2: ATHENS-PIRAEUS (EMBARKATION).
Get to know the modern and ancient history of this fascinating city on the included guided sightseeing tour. Explore the ruins of the ACROPOLIS, the ancient temple-city symbolizing the greatness of ancient Greece in politics, culture, and philosophy. The city is busy and yet very fascinating, as it combines the great ancient heritage with contemporary architecture, street art and other art expressions. Spend some free time discovering the city before driving to the port town on Piraeus to embark your cruise ship in the afternoon.
Day 3: ISTANBUL, TURKEY.
Enjoy the ship’s facilities this morning as you sail to Istanbul with arrival in the afternoon. Istanbul is the fascinating and exotic capital city of Turkey, where Asia and Europe meet. It has a very diverse heritage, made up by all the different civilizations who occupied the city over the millennia, expressed in the architecture, traditions, culture, music, and food. The people are very friendly and open, and the city will surprise you at every turning of a corner.
Day 4: ISTANBUL.
Discover the bustling city from the water, as you enjoy beautiful views on the included BOSPHOROS cruise followed by a visit to the SPICE MARKET. There are so many things to see in this interesting city; the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and much more. Even stopping in a local coffee shop can become the highlight of your day. Take advantage of your time, as you will be leaving port in the evening.
Day 5: CANAKKALE.
Wake up in Cannakale this morning. From the cruise ship, you can spot the wooden Trojan horse on the vast yacht-lined waterfront promenade, serving as a taste of what awaits. Cannakale is not only a good starting base for visiting the battlefields of Gallipoli, but also has a youthful vibe thanks to its important university.
Day 6: VOLOS, GREECE.
Tucked in below Mount Pelion, land of the mythical centaurs, Volos embraces the Pagasetic Gulf to one side and the dramatic, mountainous Pelion Peninsula on the other. Step off the ship, and you’ll be greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up in an array of activities in the port and in the traditional tavernas. Discover some architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical.
Day 7: HERAKLION.
Today’s stop is on the large island of Crete. The ship will dock in Heraklion, where you will have the opportunity to learn about the Minoan civilization on the included sightseeing tour. KNOSSOS was the site of the most important palace, and according to tradition it was the seat of the legendary king Midas. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros.
Day 8: SANTORINI–MYKONOS.
Among the world’s best honeymoon destinations, Santorini, is actually a group of islands surrounding the submerged caldera of a volcano. It was believed that the lost city of Atlantis was in these waters. The white-and-blue houses, built on the hills crowning the blue ocean, dotted with bright pink and red bougainvillea are the emblem of this breathtakingly beautiful island. Enjoy an included half-day excursion to spectacular OIA VILLAGE, perched on the caldera rim. Return on board, sailing to arrive in Mykonos in time to enjoy the exciting and colorful nightlife of this mesmerizing island.
Day 9: MYKONOS-PIRAEUS (DISEMBARKATION).
Disembark the ship this morning and, before checking into the hotel, enjoy the included guided visit of the Athens ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Here, discover the most important treasures of ancient Greece that were found at all major sites across the country. Later, enjoy some free time, and maybe take a walk in the old Plaka district with its many tavernas and souvenir shops.
Day 10: ATHENS.
Your last day in Greece is at leisure. You can further explore the city with the aid of the CosmosGO app, or you can enjoy an optional excursion to the spectacular cliffside village of Delphi to visit the famous archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient Greeks considered Delphi the navel of the earth and built a sumptuous temple dedicated to Apollo for worship. The journey through Greek mainland rural areas will reveal a different side of Greece with remarkable landscapes.
Day 11: ATHENS.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Prices for sole occupancy are available on request
Touring with Cosmos
A forward-thinking young Italian named Antonio Mantegazza started it all back in 1928, when he purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Big things come from small beginnings and as Antonio grew his business their sister company Globus was born, and from that came Cosmos in 1961.
Across the decades there were some questionable brochure covers as well as fashion choices, but most of all it was fantastic holidays at great prices. And while they’ve ditched the flares and polo necks, they’re still determined to give you superb holidays at the best prices.
They want to take you on your best holidays, full of memorable experiences and pinch-yourself moments in thrilling destinations around the world. Whether you’re cruising down a jungle river in Thailand, standing on a lava field in Iceland, or stargazing in the deserts of Western USA, they want to place you in these perfect settings.>
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