Board Cruise departing at 11:00 AM.
Relax and enjoy the cruise ship services and amenities.
DAY 2 – SATURDAY
ISTANBUL – Turkey
Arrive In Istanbul at 8:30 AM.
Disembark and option for tours in Istanbul and Bosphorus Cruise, etc.
Depart for Mykonos at 8:00 PM
DAY 3 – SUNDAY
MYKONOS – Greece
Arrive in Mykonos at 6:30 PM.
In recent years Mykonos has become internationally famed for its beaches and nightlife, and there is no denying that in high season Mykonos “jumps.” Mykonos town rewards the curious with a captivating network of lanes and squares, houses and balconies, churches and museums, and is also the starting point for excursions to the uninhabited islet of Delos. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, Delos was the religious center of the Aegean world between at least 800 BC- 100 AD. Contemplating the extraordinary remains of ancient Delos rewards a once-in-a-lifetime> excursion that complements the more contemporary attractions of Mykonos.
Overnight in Mykonos.
DAY 4 – MONDAY
Full day in Mykonos.
Although most people may not go here for the island’s historical associations, Mykonos does have historical interest as it was ruled during the Middle Ages by Italians before setting up as an independent community in 1615, and in the 1820s it took a leading role in Greece’s uprising against the Turks. But the site of the most important historical value is the neighboring island of Delos, which had been a religious center for ancient Greeks at least since 1000 BC. By the year 700 BC it was the site of a famous festival in honor of Apollo and Artemis, and after the Athenians defeated the Persians in 480 BC they made Delos the center of the Athenian Confederacy, a maritime league that soon became little more than an Athenian empire.
Begin sailing for Patmos at 12:00 midnight.
DAY 5 – TUESDAY
PATMOS & KUSADASI – Turkey
Arrive in Patmos at 7:00 AM.
Patmos boasts one of the most resonant histories of all the Greek islands. Under the Romans, it was a place to exile troublesome individuals, and among these was the Apostle John, also known as John the Divine. It was in a cave here, as tradition states, that John dictated his Book of Revelation, and because of this unique Biblical association, a great Monastery was built on the island in 1088 AD, revered and protected across the centuries by Roman Catholics as well as by Orthodox Christians. The Monastery’s library and treasury are among the most important in the Christian world, boasting a collection that includes 6th century manuscripts, several pages of the oldest original copy of the Gospel of Mark, El Greco original and saintly relics.
Leave Patmos at 10:30 AM. Arrive in Kusadasi, in Turkey at 2:30 PM.
Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast and the center of the seaside district of the same name in Aydın Province. Time free to explore Kusadasi until 8:30 PM.
DAY 6 – WEDNESDAY
RHODES – Greece
Arrive in Rhodes at 7:00 AM.
The “Island of the Sun” is one of the earliest and still favored destinations, offering visitors a wide spectrum of pleasure from fine beaches and fertile countryside, elegant restaurants and traditional taverns, grand resorts and atmospheric hotels to shops with every possible kind of goods. There can be no denying that the main attraction of the island is the Old Town of Rhodes, the medieval quarter of the capital city, but from the village of the inherently beautiful traditional settlement of Lindos to the forest of the Valley of the Butterflies and the natural beauty of the southern part of the island, Rhodes presents an ideal environment for numerous pleasant days of discovery.
As the Eastern Mediterranean began to emerge in ancient times into an area of prosperity based on trade and colonization, Rhodes, situated at a crossroads between East and West, flourished to the extent that it was establishing colonies all around the Mediterranean Sea. By 490 BC, however, Rhodes was subjugated by the Persians and forced to fight against the Athenians in the Battle of Salamis (480 BC); when the Athenians defeated the Persians, Rhodes was effectively forced to become a tributary of Athens. Then, when Athens was in turn defeated by Sparta in 411, the three city-states formed a union and established a new capital at the northern tip of the island, the city of Rhodes, which greatly prospered in the ensuing centuries. The Acropolis of Lindos, one of the most photographed buildings of ancient Greece, and the Palace of the Grand Masters, built by the Knights of Saint John during the Crusades, are two of the most memorable historical sites of the island.
Depart Rhodes at 6:00 PM.
DAY 7 – THURSDAY
CRETE & SANTORINI – Greece
Arrive in Crete at 7:00 AM.
“Great Island” is the name by which the Greeks have long known Crete, and despite all the other islands of the world that have grabbed the headlines in recent times, Crete continues to deserve this epithet. Crete is in fact one of the world’s premier destinations and that is because Crete is something more that an island: It is a world unto itself. Both its natural history and its human history have produced a distinctive land that has drawing millions of visitors over the years. The spectacular mountain passes and panoramas that stand tall above the summery coastal cities and the beach resorts that rank amongst the best in the world are only some of the unexpected treats that await the visitor to Crete.
Human beings first settled on Crete by about 6500 BC but there seems to have been a new wave of people who arrived about 2600 BC and who would create the culture known as Minoan. Distinguished at first by its ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, tools, and tombs, this Minoan culture by 2000 BC was building ambitious structures; the four main palace complexes are today known as Knossos, Phaestos, Mallia, and Zakros. The Minoans thrived on trade, not conquest; they appear to have maintained a relatively sophisticated society in terms of the role of females; they developed a system of recording their language; and their highly active religious and ritual life seems to have involved youths leaping over the horns of bulls. A visit to the ancient site of Knossos will evoke memories of tales from Greek mythology focused on King Minoas, the Labyrinth, the Minotaur’s lair, and the glory of Theseus, who according to the myth killed the Minotaur.
Depart Crete for Santorini at 11:30 AM. Arrive in Santorini at 4:00 PM.
One of the premier luxury destinations in the world, Santorini is arguably the most popular Greek island vacation spot for a romantic vacation. The Santorini Caldera, a site of fascinating beauty that developed after a volcanic explosion in the 2nd millennium BC, will certainly enchant you with its white-washed houses literally hanging from the multi-colored cliffs. The villages of Oia, Fira, Imerovigli and Pirgos provide the ideal setting for an unforgettable Greek islands vacation or honeymoon.
The volcanic explosion of 1450 B.C. that shaped the island is considered by some as the source of the legendary Lost Atlantis. The major remains of that period, at the site named Akrotiri, are known as the “Pompeii of the prehistoric Mediterranean.” Ruled by Catholic Italians throughout much of the Middle Ages, Santorini later became a home of Greek shipping magnates, and this diverse history has left a legacy of handsome religious and secular structures, while the volcanic eruption left the sheer cliffs that provide unique vantage points for hotels and restaurants.
Depart Santorini for Athens at 9:00 PM.
DAY 8 – FRIDAY
ARRIVE in ATHENS (Lavrion)
Arrive in Athens at 6:00 AM.
Disembark and end of Cruise.