Best Greece cruises: Top 5 ships sailing the Greek isles

Ashley Kosciolek

From ancient mythology to wine and olives, there's a lot to love about Greece . There's something magical about the contrast between the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea and the ancient ruins and white buildings found on the Greek islands.

The best Greece cruises are those that offer a well-rounded mix of islands and key Greece destinations: Athens for its ruins, Santorini for its blue-roofed churches, Mykonos for its shopping and nightlife, and Rhodes for its palace and charming cobblestone streets. You might even luck out and snag a visit to places like Turkey or Montenegro, too.

If you're not sure which ships to consider, here's a list of the best cruises to Greece for different kinds of travelers.

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Best Greek isles cruises for families: Disney Dream

greek island cruises luxury

Disney Cruise Line is ideal for families. If a Disney cruise to Greece with kids sounds appealing, Disney Dream is the ship that will take you there.

The vessel is not the line's newest, but it's also not the oldest, so you'll still find plenty to do on board. The 2,500-passenger ship's small size means it's easy to learn your way around. Even better, Disney Dream is typically more affordable than the line's newer vessels.

Your children likely won't be bored on the ship. Dream offers jaw-dropping entertainment and daily character appearances. Its magical kids clubs feature a replica of Andy's room from "Toy Story" and the Millennium Falcon's cockpit from "Star Wars." (Expect surprise visits from R2-D2 or a squad of stormtroopers.)

Also, Greece is wrapped in tons of ancient history to spark your family's imagination. For example, in Athens, your family might choose to take a guided tour of the Acropolis, followed by a "day in the life of an archeologist" experience, where you'll search for treasures in a faux archeological dig.

If the kids prefer something sportier, they might enjoy an excursion that takes visitors to the Panathenaic Stadium for a tour and a talk about the first Olympic games of the modern era.

Disney Dream sails eight-, nine- and 11-night voyages from $416 per person, per night, for a windowless inside cabin. Some itineraries sail round-trip from Rome, while others cruise one-way between Rome and Barcelona with calls on Athens, Mykonos and other ports in Greece.

Related: Best cruise lines for families

Best adults-only Greece cruises for party animals: Resilient Lady

greek island cruises luxury

If you enjoy a lively megaship party atmosphere but you don't want an environment that's overrun with kids, Virgin Voyages ' Resilient Lady will likely be the best Greece cruise option for you.

Although Virgin's Greece itineraries are pretty standard, its onboard experience is what sets it apart in the region.

The adults-only ship combines a casual vibe with a ramped-up nightlife. You'll find passengers dressed up like mermaids, crew dressed up like drag queens and performers that more accurately represent a cross-section of real life than those whom you'll find on most other lines' vessels.

Nighttime shows run the gamut from lounge singers and seemingly impromptu atrium dance parties to secret below-deck visits to the "crew bar" for a tipple. There's also Scarlet Night — a rave-like pool-deck dance party where everyone wears red.

If that's not wild enough for you, there's also an app that lets you order Champagne to wherever you are on board, free fitness classes that encourage you to dress up in your '80s best and even a tattoo parlor so you can make some bad decisions.

Resilient Lady sails seven-, 10- and 14-night cruises, starting at $148 per person, per night, for an inside cabin. The voyages feature stops in Croatia, Turkey and Montenegro, in addition to Greece (Santorini, Rhodes and overnight in Mykonos from Athens), depending on the specific itinerary you choose.

Related: The best adults-only cruises to try if you can't stand being around kids on vacation

Best budget-friendly Greece cruises: Rhapsody of the Seas

greek island cruises luxury

Want to check out Greece but have limited funds? Although you'll have to factor in potentially expensive flights to Israel to board, a voyage on Royal Caribbean 's Rhapsody of the Seas could be right up your alley.

The ship is one of Royal Caribbean's older ships — it debuted in 1997 — but that doesn't mean you won't find fun onboard activities such as trivia, pool games, nightly theater performances, game shows, dancing and live music.

The best part if you're on a budget is the price. You can snag sailings of five or seven nights, round-trip from Haifa, from just $65 per person, per night, for an inside cabin. Voyages include calls to ports in Rhodes, Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, as well as Cyprus.

Related: How to get a deal on a cruise

Best small-ship luxury Greece cruises: Windstar's Wind Star

greek island cruises luxury

Windstar Cruises ' namesake, Wind Star, is a 148-passenger masted sailing yacht that offers a special Greek islands experience.

The ship is great for sailing aficionados. Because of its small size, the ship can visit smaller ports that larger vessels can't access. (Think Patmos, known to theology buffs as the place where the book of Revelation was written; Monemvasia, a town carved into rock; and Nafplion, modern Greece's original capital and now the site of museums, churches and castles.)

Also, Wind Star is an upscale ship, which means you'll find elevated dining and service on board. All cabins offer at least one window. When you purchase an all-inclusive fare, Wi-Fi, gratuities and alcohol are rolled into the price.

The vessel sails weeklong Greece cruises round-trip from Athens and calls on Mykonos, Santorini, Patmos, Monemvasia and Nafplion in Greece, as well as Kusadasi in Turkey. Rates start from $500 per person, per night, for an outside cabin.

Related: The best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Best locally based Greek isles cruises: Celestyal Journey

greek island cruises luxury

Celestyal Cruises is a line you don't hear about too often, but it's based in Greece, which means it has a unique perspective on Greek island sailings.

If you're looking for a cruise vacation that's full of local Greek flare, check out the brand's Celestyal Journey. Set to debut for the line in September 2023, the ship isn't new, but following an extensive refurbishment, it will become the youngest member of the line's fleet.

Holding about 1,200 passengers, Celestyal Journey is small enough that you'll still receive a personalized experience but large enough to offer a multitude of onboard amenities. Enjoy yourself at the spa and fitness center, eight bars, seven restaurants, a chef's table experience and two pools. The ship offers 630 cabins, including 149 balcony cabins, 120 junior suites and 28 full-fledged suite accommodations.

Itineraries offered by Celestyal Journey range from four to 28 nights, departing from either Athens or Thessaloniki. Most voyages include calls on well-known Greek ports like Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, while longer sailings also venture to places in Turkey and Montenegro. Pricing is not yet available.

Bottom line

The best cruises to Greece combine a mix of fascinating destinations with a ship that fits your budget and travel style. If you're still unsure which cruise to choose, check with a knowledgeable cruise travel agent who can help you sort through the options.

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greek island cruises luxury

Greece Luxury Cruises

Discover greece all for yourself and set sail on a cruise that takes in the best of the world’s oldest islands..

Is there any place in the Mediterranean more spellbinding than Greece? Yes, it is the birthplace of democracy, yes, it is crammed full of history, and yes, it is everything you expect it to be. Blue-domed houses with whitewashed houses, labyrinthine streets bursting with Bougainvillea, gentle Aegean Sea meeting Sapphire skies. Topped by ubiquitous ancient ruins, guaranteed sunshine, world-class beaches and a fair amount of glamour, there is a reason why the Gods made their home here. Quite honestly, Greece offers so many wow moments that it’s hard to pick the best.

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

Santorini

Why Silversea?

Intimate Ships

Intimate Ships

With over 6,000 Greek islands in archipelago, you’re going to need a ship that is nimble in order to navigate its way. Silversea’s fleet of ultra-luxurious small ships have a maximum of 364 suites and are able to moor or anchor in ports that other, larger, ships simply can’t. Their small size means a cosy atmosphere on board, perhaps for pre or post dinner drinks, meeting or making new friends or simply finding a hideaway to relax and enjoy a bit of me time.

Luxury Oceanview Suites

Luxury Oceanview Suites

Santorini sunsets are famous the world over, and we can’t think of any better way to enjoy them than from your private veranda. All our ships offer almost 100% balcony suites so you’re spoilt for choice when watching the sun go down. From our largest staterooms, perfect for families, to our intimate Veranda Suites, there is simply no better see Greece. Cruise lovers, your ship has come in!

Personalised Service

Personalised Service

Luxury take a human touch. Which is why our award-winning personal service is the best in the business. From the moment you step aboard for your Greek cruise you’ll be treated like one of the family. Don’t like ice in your drink? No problem. Prefer to sit towards the front of the ship? We’ll reserve your table every night. Want a cup of tea to refresh you after a day of sightseeing? Consider it done.

All-Inclusive Cruises

All-Inclusive Cruises

Contrary to many others, when we say all-inclusive, we mean just that! All our Greece cruises have food and drink is included, including premium wines and spirits. Not to mention award-winning butler service, evening entertainment, gym classes, on board lectures … So enjoy that view of Rhodes, glass of champagne in hand, or waking up to a view of Crete with caviar blinis for breakfast with an easy mind knowing that yes, it’s all included.

Gourmet Cuisine

Gourmet Cuisine

A Greece luxury cruise means one thing more than most: delicious local cuisine! From enjoying a Greek salad in its birthplace to grilling fresh fish in Hot Rocks, expect to travel a little deeper with every bite taken. Not just for foodies however, our varied international selections are lauded the world over, because sometimes, you just want a burger. And, with an Italian heritage such as ours? Well, of course La Terrezza offers Italian specialities that go far beyond just pasta.

Mediterranean Brochure

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Cliff Greece Village and Beach Santorini

ADVENTURE ON THE AEGEAN

Greece & greek isles cruises.

Discover idyllic beaches and ancient ruins in the birthplace of poetry and art with a cruise to Greece and the Greek Isles.

Cruise to Greece and Greek Isles where temples, amphitheaters and villages preserved in volcanic ash still reveal the mysteries of the past. Enjoy dramatic sunsets across translucent waters while exploring the white cliffs of Milos, or transport yourself to the ancient past at ruins found on nearly every Greek island. The Temple of Aphaia looms over Aegina, while Delos Island hosts the incredible Terrace of the Lions. You'll find the world-famous Acropolis on Rhodes Island and the Akrotiri on Santorini. But don't forget to watch the sun rise over the Aegean while visiting the renowned windmills of Mykonos. Discover the magic with a Greece and Greek Isles cruise.

Boats docked on the pier at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia

Save Big With These Greece And Greek Isles Cruise Deals

Explore more while spending less with Greece and Greek Isles cruise deals onboard our best cruise ships

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Corfu Cave Beach Rock Greece

ISLAND EXPLORER

Get in touch with traditional customs and soak in the Mediterranean waves on the sun-soaked Greek Isles onboard the best Greece and Greek Isles cruises. 

Restaurant  Tables Near Ocean in Santorini, Greece

VIVA LA VILLAGE LIFE

Santorini only has villages, not towns, and these diverse areas provide a firsthand glimpse into Greek life. Because the whole island is less than 28 square miles, it's not difficult to take in most of the sights from the looming cliffs and still have time for shopping, eating and some down time on the Aegean Sea.

Greece Marine Life and Scuba Diver

DIVE TO THE DEPTHS

Greece's underwater worlds complete with seahorses, eels and plenty of fish are almost too perfect not to grab your scuba gear and take the plunge. Santorini has an excellent dive center that will get you into the water fast with instructors who will guide you through the warm Mediterranean waters.

Greece Nea Kameni Volcano

THE THRILL OF THE CLIMB

Another great thing to do while in Greece are the daily tours of the volcano Nea Kameni, which is located on an uninhabited island close to Santorini, begin with a short boat ride, followed by a climb up to the volcanic craters that takes just over an hour. The tour then takes in hot springs and mud baths, where you can recharge your batteries.

Greek Isles Archaeological Site

UNEARTH THE PAST

Go on an archaeological exploration of the ancient world's most renowned sites, from Bronze Age excavations to temples dedicated to the Greek gods with your cruise to Greece and Greek Isles. 

Greek Isles Ancient Ruins

ANCIENT ADVENTURES

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is both a beach paradise and home to some of the country's premier archaeological finds and attractions. Visit Greece and tour the Palace at Knossos, built by the Minoans more than 4,000 years ago, before exploring the Archaeological Museum, where the treasures of Knossos — including sculptures, jewelry and mosaics — are exhibited.

Akrotiri Historical Site Santorini Greece

Excavations of Akrotiri on Santorini Island date back to the Manoan Bronze Age, where the settlement was preserved in ash following a volcanic eruption in 1627 B.C. The site is still being excavated today, and you can witness history firsthand by exploring the vast settlement and the enormous ongoing archaeological dig.

Ancient Greece Ruins Delos Apollo and Artemis

GUIDED BY GODS

Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, and it's also the mythological birthplace of the sun god, Apollo, and his twin, Artemis, goddess of the moon and the hunt. You can spend hours exploring the ruins and learning about Greek history on the most sacred place of worship in Ancient Greece. Even the nearby old port has its own charm, with an amphitheater, sanctuary and various dwellings waiting to be explored.

Beach Cave in Greece

AN AEGEAN ADVENTURE

This is not your average summer vacation in Europe — it’s an all-out culture trip you’ll never forget. Offering longer stays in port, Odyssey of the Seas℠ takes you deeper into the culture, history and natural beauty of some of Europe’s most incredible destinations. Cruise to Greece and explore the most beautiful isles in the Aegean.

Sunset in Santorini, Greece

GO FOR GREEK

There’s nothing like spending a summer in Greece, and an adventure on Odyssey of the Seas℠ , is the perfect way to experience it. Scope picture-perfect sunsets in Santorini. Tour a local vineyard in Crete. And spend a day soaking up the sun on a golden-sand beach in Mykonos . You’re in for adventure no matter how you choose to isle away the time.

EXPLORE CRUISES TO SANTORINI

The ancient city of Ephesus Selcuk Izmir Turkey

EXPERIENCE MORE OF EUROPE

Experience the journey of a lifetime on a 12-night cruise on Odyssey of the Seas℠. Explore the stunning landscapes and rich history of Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Indulge in exquisite cuisine, relax in luxury, and embark on unforgettable shore excursions, all while enjoying the world-class amenities of our cruise ship.

EXPLORE EUROPE CRUISES

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Greece and Greek Isles Cruises Insider

You'll find excellent weather on the Greek islands throughout the year, but the best time to visit is between April and October, when temperatures range from the low 70s to the mid 80s, and the sun is nearly guaranteed.

Countless ruins like the Acropolis and the Akrotiri overlook the world-class beaches that are around nearly every corner on the islands. Whether you're more interested in a private cove on Zakynthos or a central beach with a party scene on Mykonos, the options are limitless.

While you will have no difficulty finding a wealth of fish and seafood on the islands, the history of trade on the islands create amazing international cuisine.

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Santorini is known for one-day yacht tours that give you a unique view of the island and its neighbors.

Ftelia Beach, on the northern side of Mykonos, is the place for watersports and windsurfing, as well as those sunsets everyone dreams about.

CUISINE EVERYTHING'S BETTA WITH A LITTLE FETA

The Greek islands are known for famous foods like feta cheese, but the location is also home to a slew of other delicacies. Olive oil plays a big part in the local cuisine, as does local produce such as tomatoes and other Mediterranean vegetables. Feast on feta me meli, baked feta wrapped in filo, or choriatiki, greek salad with tons of vegetables. While meat such as lamb, pork and veal are found everywhere, especially in gyros or keftethes (meatballs), fish and seafood are the undisputed stars, due to proximity to the sea.

Greek Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives

SAY CHEESE!

Kefalonia is home to the legendary tiropita cheese puff, which is basically cheese baked in cheese, although you'll also find puffs filled with vegetables, particularly spinach, and even sometimes meat. You can also find local cheeses like feta, manuri or kefalotiri everywhere.

Greek Kreatopita Meat Pie

EYES ON THE PIES

Meat pies filled with lamb, veal or sometimes pork are called kreatopita, and they are cooked with wine and tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg, creating a medley of flavors. There's also a variety called pastitsio that combines pasta and meat.

Greek Fresh Seafood Platter

FLEX YOUR MUSSELS

Your choices are endless when it comes to fresh seafood prepared according to local tradition. Try a simple shrimp and pasta dish, or go wild with octapodi kokkinisto, octopus in tomato sauce during your Greece cruise.

RELATED PORTS

The beautiful Greece and Greek Isles cruise ports, from the in-progress archaeological digs at Delos to the Old Towns of Crete and Rhodes, the Greek Islands are brimming with history. And while it's wonderful to explore the past, the beaches of Mykonos and the architecture of Santorini and Athens are just a few of the many pleasures that await you.

Argostoli, Greece Kalamia Beach

Argostoli, Greece

Mykonos, Greece Windmills From Restaurant

Mykonos, Greece

Santorini, Greece Oia White Blue

Santorini, Greece

Chania, Crete Pristine Beach

Chania (Souda), Crete

Katakolon, Greece, Ancient Pilar Ruins

Olympia (Katakolon), Greece

Athens (Piraeus), Greece, View of city and Acropolis

Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Rhodes, Greece, Beach

Rhodes, Greece

Corfu, Greece, Paleokastritsa Beach

Corfu, Greece

Aerial view of Porto Zorro Azzurro beach in Zakynthos (Zante) island, in Greece

Zakynthos, Greece

Saint Paul cathedral in Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Skiathos Old Port with a Blue Sky, Skiathos, Greece

Skiathos, Greece

Street view of Pirgi, a village in Chios, Greece

Chios, Greece

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Best cruises in Greece: 17 island-hopping adventures

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Cruise Expert

Friday February 17 2023, 15:44pm

Dreamy archaeological sites steeped in mythology, idyllic beaches and an authentic welcome are just three reasons to explore Greece by sea. But there are plenty more. Fresh seafood in a waterfront taverna and sundowners in a cool clifftop bar on Santorini. Wandering around the sugar-cube villages of the Cyclades, or marvelling at medieval architecture in Rhodes. A Greek islands cruise is the perfect way to experience this magical country, whether you’re island-hopping in the Aegean or delving deep into history as you sail around the rocky fingers of the Peloponnese, the scent of wild herbs in the air. There’s no end of choice, from a luxury cruise with free-flowing champagne to the simpler pleasures of a small ship, where the destination itself is the star.

Main photo: a Norwegian Cruise Line ship in Santorini

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A Silversea cruise ship in Santorini, Greece

1. Silversea Cruises

Expect the last word in luxury on Silversea’s sleek, Italian-designed ships, all gleaming marble, sparkling chandeliers and plush suites with private balconies. Everything is included, from drinks to fine dining, tips and shore excursions. Greek island itineraries tend to focus on popular ports such as Rhodes, Patmos, Santorini and  Mykonos , as well as Syros, Agios Nikolaos on Crete and Nafplio on the mainland. As well as round-trip cruises from  Athens , look out for one-way itineraries between Athens and  Venice , which call at Katakolon, for Olympia, and  Corfu . Ashore, Silversea focuses on immersive itineraries, often with a culinary theme, be it wine tasting or visits to olive-oil growers and cheese makers. The 728-passenger Silver Ray will sail on Greek itineraries after its launch in summer 2024.

Best suited to Adults Price £££ Family-friendly Older children only

The Celebrity Beyond cruise ship

2. Celebrity Cruises

The 3,260-passenger Celebrity Beyond starts sailing in Greece in 2023. Celebrity’s contemporary ships are a good choice if you’re looking for stylish design, classy dining, all-inclusive pricing and buzzing nightlife. Kids’ clubs cater for all ages, making these great family or multi-generational cruises. Greek island itineraries focus on big-hitting ports including Rhodes , Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon, with cruises ranging from seven to ten nights. Most voyages incorporate other countries — for example, there’s a cruise that visits  Rome  and  Malta  as well as Greek ports, or an 11-night round-trip from Rome, heading through the Greek isles as far east as  Istanbul .

Best suited to All ages Price ££ Family-friendly Yes

Hydra is one of the best places to visit in Greece on a cruise

3. Variety Cruises

Family-owned and based in Athens, Variety Cruises offers a wide choice of small ship cruises with a focus on off-the-beaten-track itineraries. So while a typical week might include Mykonos and Santorini, you’ll also visit the ancient fortified town of Monemvasia, arty Hydra and sleepy Kythira, its port guarded by a medieval castle. Ports in the Cyclades include Antiparos, Folegandros and Syros, while other itineraries circle the long fingers of the Peloponnese, visiting classical sights like Delphi, Epidaurus and the Corinth Canal. Life on board is relaxed, with regular stops for swimming off the ship. Most days are half-board, so you can try out local restaurants ashore, with late nights in port.

varietycruises.com

Celestyal Cruises operates three ships around the Greek islands and eastern Med

4. Celestyal Cruises

Based in Athens, Celestyal operates two comfortable, mid-sized cruise ships around the Greek islands and the eastern Mediterranean, ranging as far as  Egypt  and  Israel . This is the line to pick for short-break cruises, with a regular series of three and four-night voyages from the capital, whisking you to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Santorini and Heraklion in a long weekend. Expect everything from Greek dance lessons to craft classes to keep you busy between sailings. Drinks and a selection of excursions are included, making these cruises exceptional value. With many Greek specialities featured on the menu, Celestyal also provides a truly authentic taste of its homeland.

Best suited to All ages Price £ Family-friendly Yes

celestyal.com

Meteora is one of the best places to visit on a Greek cruise

5. Noble Caledonia

Noble Caledonia is best known for its luxurious small ships, which have a friendly, country-house vibe. Its generally highbrow audience includes many regulars who love the immersive, culturally orientated itineraries. Several voyages explore the antiquities of Greece, including places few other ships visit: Volos, for the extraordinary rock monasteries of Meteora; the lovely old city of Nafplio, for an in-depth visit to Epidaurus; Skyros in the Sporades; and dramatic Ikaria, with high cliffs, deep ravines and hidden coves. All excursions are included, as well as wine with meals. On board, the pace is gentle, with guest speakers and quizzes setting the tone in the evenings.

Best suited to 40-plus Price £££ Family-friendly No

noble-caledonia.co.uk

Naxos is one of the best places to visit during a Greek cruise

6. Elixir Cruises

Elixir operates just one ship, the 50-passenger Elysium, with a focus on wellness and experiential cruising in the Cyclades, the Peloponnese and the Ionian sea. There’s a wellness coach on board, with options of yoga on the beach, as well as meditation sessions and Pilates. Activities ashore include hiking, Greek cookery classes and wine tasting, while farm-to-table Greek fusion cuisine is promised on board. Most nights are spent in port, where you’re encouraged to have dinner and enjoy the atmosphere after dark in places like Santorini, Naxos and Hydra. During the day, there are regular swimming stops as the ship moves from one port to the next.

Best suited to Adults Price ££ Family-friendly No

elixir.cruises

Oceania Cruises is a good choice for Greek island cruises

7. Oceania Cruises

Oceania’s elegant, mid-sized ships roam all over the Mediterranean in summer. You’ll find lots of options to explore Greece, from one-week hops between Athens and Rome to an 18-day odyssey from Jerusalem to Istanbul. All the big-hitting destinations are featured, as well as smaller spots where you may be the only ship in port, including the quaint old Venetian town of Chania; Gythion, on the remote Mani peninsula of the Peloponnese; and stately Syros, capital of the Cyclades. On board, dining is the line’s big selling point, with all speciality restaurants included in the price. The culinary theme is extended ashore with excursions that include visiting local markets for ingredients and learning to prepare them in an on-board cookery class and a foraging tour on Cephalonia.

Royal Caribbean is a good choice for families looking for a Greek cruise

8. Royal Caribbean

Families love Royal Caribbean’s big, bright vessels — they often choose the trip as much for the ship as the destination. Odyssey of the Seas, one of the line’s newest ships, is among the Royal Caribbean vessels that visit the Greek islands, and sails from Rome. Days between ports such as Santorini, Mykonos and Chania are filled with distractions such as a surf simulator, VR games, a skydiving simulator, dodgems and a vast pool deck complete with hammocks and oversized Jacuzzis. As well as week-long itineraries, there are shorter four-night sailings.

Norwegian Jade in Santorini, Greece

9. Norwegian Cruise Line

You’ve got plenty of choice if you want to explore Greece on one of Norwegian’s colourful, activity-filled ships, several of which spend summer in the Mediterranean. Cruises depart from Athens, Rome, Venice and Barcelona, offering from seven to ten-night holidays, visiting popular ports including Santorini, Athens, Mykonos and Corfu, as well as other destinations. Some voyages head to Istanbul, while others call at Malta. One of the standout features of Norwegian is its superb entertainment, which includes full-production Broadway shows, sizzling dance performance  Burn The Floor  and live music in a replica of the Cavern Club. Shore excursions, including riding, kayaking and mountain biking, are among the different ways to explore destinations.

Skopelos is one of the best places to visit as part of a Greek cruise

10. Star Clippers

Sailing doesn’t come any more romantic than a voyage on one of Star Clippers’ stirring tall ships, exploring sun-drenched Greek islands under 36,000 sq ft of billowing sail. Star Flyer spends the summer in the Greek islands, carried by the wind to the Sporades. Stops include the pretty  Mamma Mia!  location of Skopelos, as well as the Cyclades and, on voyages from Athens to Istanbul, the Dodecanese. Life on board is as relaxed as it comes; you can bask in the hammock-like bowsprit nets and climb the mast to the crow’s nest for striking views down over the deck. It’s guaranteed you’ll always be on the most head-turning vessel in port.

Best suited to All ages Price ££ Family-friendly Older children only

Syros is one of the best places to visit during a Greek cruise

11. Windstar Cruises

Windstar’s small, luxurious ships offer some wonderfully creative itineraries around the Greek islands, with time to lose yourself among the ancient ruins of the Acropolis one day and kick back on soft sand beaches in the Cyclades the next. Visit medieval Monemvasia, squeeze through the narrow chasm of the Corinth Canal, or spend a day in Ermoupoli on Syros, where former sea captains’ mansions in ochre and terracotta cling to the hillside. There are overland tour options, too, combining Delphi’s exquisite Temple of Apollo and the mountain monasteries of Meteora with a cruise. Windstar has several ships in the Greek islands in summer and your home at sea could be the five-masted sailing ship Wind Surf, or the all-suite megayacht Star Pride.

windstarcruises.com

SeaDream Yacht Club offers some of the best Greek Cruises

12. SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream’s petite, 112-passenger ships are as close as you’ll get to a private yacht, with stupendously good food, all-inclusive drinks and personal, intuitive service. Embrace the yachtie lifestyle, whether it’s plunging off the back of the ship into the sparkling blue Aegean sea or lounging by the pool while a waiter tops up your champagne. Greece itineraries vary from seven to 11 nights — some round-trip from Athens, others sail from Athens to Istanbul or Venice. Some of the most tempting ports of call include Milos; Skopelos; Hydra; the fortress town of Monemvasia; Gythio; and on Cephalonia, dreamy Fiskardo — where pastel-coloured houses are backed by pine-scented hills.

Best suited to Adults Price £££ Family-friendly No

seadream.com

Amorgos is one of the best places to visit as part of a Greek cruise

13. Azamara Club Cruises

Cultural immersion is the goal of Azamara, which operates a fleet of four comfortable, mid-sized ships, several of which cruise the Greek islands in summer. You’ll often be the last ship in port, staying in Santorini long after the sun has set in a blaze of scarlet, or docked in Rhodes as the medieval streets come alive in the cool of the evening. As well as the big-hitting ports, there are plenty of smaller surprises, including pretty Amorgos, Thessaloniki, Venetian Chania and Argostoli on Cephalonia, Captain Corelli country. Shore excursions include pottery and cookery classes, plus culinary walks through towns and villages stopping to taste local delicacies along the way. Life on board is informal — but pack something white for the weekly Bright Night deck party, an event for which Azamara is justifiably renowned. 

Sea Cloud II cruise ship - the Sea Cloud line cruises the Greek islands

14. Sea Cloud

This German-owned line’s graceful windjammers, Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II, explore the Greek islands all summer, and their itineraries mix mainstream ports with off-the-beaten-track spots such as Spetses, Nafplio, Syros and the walled city of Kavala, founded in the seventh century BC. The ships evoke a nostalgic era of glamour with their gleaming wood and polished brass. The original Sea Cloud was built in 1931 and even has a decorative marble fireplace in its master suite. While days are relaxed, with swimming off the ship’s water sports platform, evenings on board tend to dial things up a notch. A lot of the passengers are Germans who enjoy the sense of occasion and like to dress up.

seacloud.com

Marella cruises stops at Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos

15. Marella Cruises

Marella’s cheery, all-inclusive cruises are designed with a British audience in mind; expect stand-up, tribute bands and stacks of bacon at breakfast. Voyages range from adult-only cruises on the swish Marella Explorer 2, to family-friendly on Marella Discovery. Mediterranean cruises include the Greek islands and depart from Dubrovnik or  Corfu , both served by Tui charter flights from a wide range of regional UK airports. Ports include Santorini, Mykonos, Heraklion, Chania and Katalolon. Cruise-and-stay options can be bolted on, so you can plump for a week in Corfu bookended by a seven-night cruise. Marella is the only cruise line to have a partnership with Champneys, so make time on board for the spa.

Best suited to All ages, depending on the ship Price £ Family-friendly Yes, depending on the ship

16. Crystal 

Luxe-lovers will welcome the return of the Crystal name. In 2022 the A&K Travel Group acquired the Crystal brand and relaunched its pair of ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The former will spend the summer of 2023 on itineraries taking in big-name Greek islands including Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete and Patmos. To usher in a new era, the ship has undergone an extensive facelift which has seen cabins enlarged and passenger numbers reduced from 848 to 606. However, some things stay the same, including Crystal’s standout service which includes butler service to every suite.

Best suited to  Adults Price  £££ Family-friendly  Older children only

crystalcruises.com

Emerald Cruises runs some of the best Greek cruises

17. Emerald Cruises

When it launched in 2022 the 100-passenger Emerald Azzurra marked river line Emerald Cruises’ move into the world of ocean cruising. Now joined by sister ship Sakara, the sleek vessels provide a swish superyacht experience without the price tag of more expensive lines. Both ships sail in the Greek islands and while there’s plenty of time for lazing and sunbathing, Emerald will appeal to anyone keen to keep active on holiday with excursions such as guided hikes, kayaking and diving. Gentler pursuits include a mosaic-making workshop on Mykonos and a glimpse into monastic life on Patmos. Itineraries also visit the lesser-known Amorgos, the most easterly isle in the Cyclades.

Best suited to  Adults Price  ££ Family-friendly  No

emeraldcruises.co.uk

When is the best time to cruise the Greek islands?

It depends on what you’re looking for. Attractions will be quieter in spring and autumn during the shoulder months, but you’ll get the best weather (both for exploring ports and relaxing with a cocktail on deck) in July and August. 

How much does it cost to cruise the Greek islands?

Again, it depends. The duration and cruise line — among other factors — will have a big influence on the price. If you’re looking to save money, consider choosing a shorter cruise and adding time at the end — you can base yourself on an island and catch a Blue Star ferry to see others.

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Inspired to visit Greece but yet to book your trip? Here are the best cruising options from Tui , as well as the best cruising tours from our trusted partners .

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Sunrise aerial view of Santorini, Greece which can be seen on a Seabourn Luxury cruise to Greece Islands on the Aegean Sea

On your Seabourn luxury cruise to Greece you will behold  stunning shores , immerse in  ancient history  and partake in delicious Greek cuisine. In the port of  Athens , experience the  Acropolis via a Seabourn Mindful Living Tour  or through  3D (Augmented Reality)  or  Virtual Reality  experiences.  Experience Seabourn luxury  on  the island of Mykonos  through a  private yacht excursion  or  UNESCO tour to Delos . In the magical  port of Santoríni  you can  cook Greek specialties  or treat your body and your palate in a  Caldera Yoga & Wine Tasting Mindful Living Tour . The port of  Ágios Nikólaos  offers a variety of  beautiful sites  to visit including the  Lassithi Plain ,  Elounda Bay  and  the Minoan Palace of Knossos .

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EXPERIENCE LUXURY CRUISES TO GREECE

Experience greece & the isles, sign up to receive special offers via email, things to do on a luxury greek cruise.

One of the must-see destinations on your luxury cruise to Greece is Paleokastrita, located on the island of Corfu. It boasts stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes. If Rhodes is on your itinerary, be sure to spend time visiting the Acropolis of Lindos, a stunning ancient citadel located on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. It features impressive ruins, including the Temple of Athena and the Hellenistic Stoa. In Athens , after you’ve marveled at the magnitude of the Parthenon, treat yourself with a gift at the Plaka marketplace and savor traditional Greek fare at a café. And during your call on Santorini , anticipate the perfect beach day exploring romantic coves, white sands and sapphire seas. These highlights are just a small glimpse of what Greece has to offer, making it a popular destination for luxury travelers seeking to experience its unique blend of history, culture and natural beauty on an all-inclusive cruise to Greece .

Highlights, Insights & History

Towering above Athens is the Acropolis, the sacred city of ancient Athenians. Arguably the most famous monument on the site is the Parthenon. At the highest point of the Acropolis, the Parthenon is an architectural masterpiece that continues to be the model for iconic buildings throughout the world. See it for yourself on an all-inclusive cruise to Greece.

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Athens, Patmos, Katakolo, Mykonos, Santorini... all dream destinations for travellers in search of adventure and relaxation. A cruise to Greece and the Cyclades is the perfect chance to soak up the Mediterranean sunshine and ambiance, from the pine forests, beaches with turquoise waters and villages of whitewashed houses to iconic sites such as the Corinth Canal.

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At the heart of the Greek islands

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Highlights - Greece and the Cyclades

A cruise to Greece and the Cyclades will take you on a journey to the very heart of the Mediterranean. This area is home to some of the most important landmarks and ruins of Greek civilisation, as well as some legendary islands. From Mykonos to Santorini, the relaxed lifestyle and beautiful landscapes offer the perfect setting to get away from it all.

Highlights - Greece and the Cyclades

Essential - Greece and the Cyclades

The stunning landscapes of Greece and the Cyclades are punctuated with ancient monuments dating back thousands of years. Travellers can step into a living fresco, in which history and culture mingle with the perfumes and flavours of the Mediterranean. We have put together a quick overview.

Essential - Greece and the Cyclades

Explorez Greece and the Cyclades

24 hours in Tinos

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Find the perfect Greek island for you

A trip off the beaten path to discover the Greek islands

Sail through the Corinth Canal

Sail through the Corinth Canal

A passage between the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea, the Corinth Canal is an essential part of any Greek cruise . Separating the Peloponnese from the continent, it offers a unique sailing experience. Measuring just 24.60 metres in width, sailors navigating this 6-kilometre canal must be extremely vigilant.

Take a stroll on Hydra

Take a stroll on Hydra

To the south of the Peloponnese, the island of Hydra is best explored by boat, on foot or with a donkey. Cars are banned from the island, which was known for its powerful fleet until the 1820s. Today, pleasure boats have replaced the commercial vessels, letting passengers admire the island's rocky, maquis-covered Mediterranean coastline. The charming town of Hydra is easy to visit on foot, from the white houses covered with bougainvillea and jasmine to the churches and historic mansions built by powerful shipowners. A 15-minute walk away, travellers can also drop into the authentic Greek fishing village of Kamini .

Appreciate a more relaxed way of life in Paros

Appreciate a more relaxed way of life in Paros

The pearl of the Cyclades, Paros is a Greek postcard come to life. Its small fishing ports are filled with blue and white boats to match the whitewashed houses with navy shutters, while the beaches are hidden in coves or laid out along the coast in long stretches of golden sand. High in the hills, Lefkes is one of the island's most charming villages. Its cobbled streets are lined with taverns, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, the sea and the distant island of Naxos.

Wander the sacred ruins of Delphi

Wander the sacred ruins of Delphi

At the sacred site of Delphi , the gods of old still have a powerful presence. In a magnificent location at the foot of Mount Parnassus , it provides a stunning panorama of the surrounding hills. From the 4th to the 6th century BC, Delphi symbolised of the unity of the Greek world. This important position is reflected by the Sacred Way that connects the temple of Apollo, the council house and the spectacular theatre.

Test the acoustics of the Theatre of Epidaurus

Test the acoustics of the Theatre of Epidaurus

The Theatre of Epidaurus is known around the world for its exceptional acoustics and its perfectly preserved structure. Even the slightest sound in the orchestra carries to the very top of the auditorium, allowing all 12,000 spectators to appreciate every performance. Dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine, this ancient theatre hosts an annual festival every summer.

Discover the beauty of Santorini

Discover the beauty of Santorini

Blue-roofed churches, whitewashed villas, stunning views and the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean: Santorini is the best-known archipelago in Greece, and for good reason. It is the ideal setting to enjoy a magical moment and embrace the understated refinement of the Greek way of life.

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Helpful tips

Dos. In Greece, people tend to use informal language all the time and with everyone, including the elderly. You should not expect to be greeted in formal terms.

Don'ts. Mountza is a very insulting gesture in Greece, made by extending your hand with your palm facing out and your fingers spread. It signifies that you are cursing someone and their entire family for 5 generations, and is not to be taken lightly!

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Essential phrases

Hello / good evening: Kaliméra / kalispéra Goodbye: Ta leme Welcome: Kalo sórisma Excuse me/please: Signómi / parakaló Thank you: Efkharîsto Yes / no: Né / óchi How are you?: Ti kanété ? Very well, thank you, and you?: Kala, efkharîsto, ke esîs ? My name is...: Me lene...

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Typical Greek dishes include gyros, tzatziki , a variety of salads, feta and, of course, moussaka . But did you know that this aubergine and ground meat gratin is just one of a group of dishes known as mayirefta ? This term refers to a range of traditional recipes that are cooked in the oven or simmered in a pot for several hours. In addition to moussaka, you may encounter yemista (vegetables stuffed with rice and many condiments), lemonato (meat simmered with lemon and oregano) and stifado (a meat stew with tomatoes and onions).

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Myths and legends

The Champs-Elysées is not just a street in Paris! Their namesake, the Elysian Fields, is an ancient concept from Greek and Roman mythology, representing an area of the afterlife reserved for heroes and good people.

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In the spotlight

In May 2018, Healthy Seas lifted two tonnes of abandoned non-biodegradable plastic fishing nets from the seabed off the coast of Stratoni, Greece. This NGO travels the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic to remove these "ghost nets" from the water. They have successfully protected underwater biodiversity by collecting 453 tonnes of this material since 2013, which Healthy Seas plans to turn into fabric that can be used to create sportswear, swimsuits and rugs.

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Book. The Island , Victoria Hislop (2013). This novel plunges the reader into a tangled web of taboos and family secrets. It follows a young English woman, Alexis, who decides to spend a summer in Plaka, Crete, where her mother was born and lived until she was 18 years old. This homecoming soon unravels into a mystery as she begins to ask some big questions: Why did her mother run away from her past? What secrets lie on the island of Spinalonga, which was a leper colony for the first half of the 20th century?

Music. Nisiotika (which means island in Greek) is the traditional music of the Greek Islands. In the Cyclades, this style is closely tied to the Cretan tradition, combining poetic couplets with lyra or violin melodies for a more western sound. On the other islands, local dances, with Turkish or Italian influences, accompany mandolin or guitar music. Some of this genre's most famous performers include Mariza Koch and Mythos.

Film. Based on Nikos Kazantzakis' 1946 novel Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas , Zorba the Greek (1964) is a cult film that has shaped the public perception of Greece. Filmed entirely in Crete, it won three Oscars in 1965. It follows Basil, an uptight young British writer, who returns to the island of his ancestors to settle his inheritance, and Zorba, the exuberant Greek who becomes his guide. Despite their differences, the two are able to form a close bond.

Facts and figures

Athens is believed to be the oldest European city. According to historical sources, it was inhabited as early as 3500 BC , but evidence of a human settlement dating back to 11000 BC has also been discovered.

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Greek Island Cruises – Luxury, Tips, and the 10 Best Ports

Your Guide To Greece

November 26, 2019

greek island cruises

Greek waters have been attracting travelers from across the world since 3500 BC. However, you certainly do not have to go through all the challenges that travelers of that time had to, particularly including the world’s first tourist Odysseus.

When Odysseus set out to explore the Greek islands, he was faced with many challenges so grave that the entire journey posed a risk of him drowning into the Greek waters.

However, traveling the Greek waters is a much safer and pleasant experience now, where you do not have to follow the schedule set by Zeus like back in Odysseus’ days. So let’s jump into the “waters” and guide you on sailing the Greek waters with extensive information on Greek island cruses.

Greek Island Cruises – Itineraries

There are different itineraries for traveling the Greek waters but they all only last up to 10 days, except a few that run longer.

Some of them are round-trip cruises that have the same start and end destination in Piraeus. However, some others that begin from Piraeus end in Istanbul. There are also some that begin in Venice and end in Piraeus.

The major difference between the different types of cruises is the area they cover. Some only concentrate on covering the Greek islands, Turkish coast, Israel, Cyprus and Egypt.

However, some other cruises focus on a very different route starting from Gibraltar and covering the western Peloponnese, Ionian isles and Athens.

If you want to visit the top sights Greece has to offer, you would want to choose an itinerary for Greek island cruises that covers the following:

  • Short trip to the Acropolis shore
  • Other top sights in Athens
  • Mykonos – To see the ancient Greek in a modern light
  • Delos – You would see the ruins of what was once the most sacred place in the country
  • Santorini – A partially submerged volcano that offers some of the most stunning sights you would have ever seen in your life
  • Rhodes – An island that offers so much to do that you will be spoilt for choice
  • Heraklion, Crete – It’s much more modern than the rest of the places you will visit, but once you visit the different attractions it has you will probably find it worth it

Something to note here is that there’s no place to stay in Delos as no one is allowed to stay there overnight, so you will only be able to have a day trip there.

The port calls may vary depending on the cruises, as some have port calls at Itea and Katakolon with excursions to Olympia and the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, while some others have their calls at Nafplion and Epidavros.

With the latter, you also get to visit the ancient theatre as well as the citadel of Mycenae, or other places of historic and religious significance.

Some of the cruises are also a bit flexible about where you can spend your extra time, with some even letting you stay overnight in Mykonos to visit the party scene, or visit the Santorini island if you want to explore the island more comfortably after all the cruise crowd has left.

The Ideal Timing for Greek Island Cruises

If you think it doesn’t matter what time you choose to visit the Greek waters, think again. The timing of your cruising can make or break your experience.

But the options are not limited at all as the cruising season lasts about 9 months from March to November. However, the period from July to August is the peak cruising season, so you will find pretty much every sight or attraction crowded during this time.

In addition, the sun may get a bit too hot for some people that are not used to high temperatures.

Your best bet would usually be May, June, September, and October. These months will be just about warm enough to create a perfect environment for swimming and sunbathing, but wouldn’t get uncomfortably hot at any point.

But the advantages of cruising in these months don’t there. You also get discounted fares, better availability in ships, and the ports and islands are much less crowded, among other benefits.

Best Ports to Visit

The ports cruises tend to visit vary significantly from one another in terms of size and popularity, and some of them require cruises that arrive on a large ship to take a small tender before visiting them.

It’s also important to plan your day well before you visit a particular port, as in some of them the main attractions are at least an hour away by car or bus. However, you would almost always also have the option of just relaxing at a nearby beach instead of going exploring the port.

That said, let’s discuss some of the best ports to visit on a cruise in detail below.

Ayios Nikolaos, Crete

This port town has a charm of its own. It’s a perfect place to feel “away” from the modern world, with bare mountains, small gorgeous islands, and being surrounded by the deep blue sea.

The views are magnificent from the town’s hilly streets with a “bottomless” lake at the core.

It’s one of few ports you would visit without any beaches, but there are a few bays that more than make up for it. The architecture you would see when roaming around on the streets would have a hint of the Venetian and Byzantine influences.

Chania, Crete

This city would take you even further back in time with its elegant eucalyptus-lined avenues and the Venetian and Ottoman homes lined with the shady alleyways.

The waterfront promenades are an attraction in itself, too. However, some of the main attractions have a history to tell, with the waterfront Firka Fortress, which now features a maritime museum but was once a Turkish prison.

The same goes for the Turkish mosque of the historic times which is now used to host art exhibitions. You would have more to explore in Agia Triada, an ancient home to several monasteries, which is also famous for its location as it extends into the sea from the east of Chania.

Then there’s also the main beach located just a few minutes away from the harbor. Once you somehow convince yourself to leave all the sights you find here, you can depart for Samaria in a bus to witness the amazing gorge cutting through the Crete’s mountains.

It’s the island which used to be home to the British, French and the Venetians. While it has changed significantly from those times, it hasn’t lost all its glorious past.

You can find some of the best historic monuments here, while it also boasts a stunning natural landscape, along with bright, clear seas and a great weather all round the year.

The streets are narrow and winding, and the center of the town is full of English Georgian and Venetian houses.

There’s a lot of history to see in this town, including the old fort built in the 15 th century and the new fort built by the Venetians. Some of the other attractions include the Antivouniotissa church which was built in the 15 th century as well, and the Church of St. George and St. Spyridon Cathedral.

If you’re an art lover, you would find the sights in the archaeological museum mesmerizing.

This is another small island that will make you feel as if you have landed in an entirely different world. It’s just a short boat ride from Mykonos, a popular destination for most cruises.

It used to be a holy sanctuary for as long as a thousand years, but is now only an archaeological site that the Greeks are working hard to preserve.

The highlights of this island include the luxurious villas which still have hints of the glory they once had, the House of Cleopatra and the House of Dionysus which still have the mosaic floors built about 2500 years ago, and the ruins of magnificent marble sculptures.

If you’re not in a hurry, then a trip to the Temple of Apollo, the Sacred Way and the imposing Avenues of Lions would be worth your time as well.

The Gythion is another small port but is known for being in a unique cultural and geographical area known as the Mani.

Tourists often find the seaside cafes and beaches to be worth a visit in this port.

One of the main highlights are the underground boat tours, which take you to the Diros caves. Some of the tours also take you to other Peloponnese towns with a lot of history and gorgeous sights including Sparta, Mystras and Monemvasia.

Heraklion, Crete

Cruises cover this port so that their tourists can visit the nearby attractions connected to it, which include the Minoan king’s residence, the religious center for the region, as well as the Palace of Knossos.

The center of this port is home to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which houses some of the most ancient artifacts from the Minoan culture that the Greeks consider themselves fortunate to discover when excavating the Knossos.

Just walking on the streets of the capital would present you with many interesting sights too, including the Venetian buildings, promenades and outdoor cafes. Most tourists also don’t fail to take a trip to the inner harbor of the port to visit the Koules, which is one of the largest fortresses you will ever see in your life.

This port is often also referred to as “the door to Olympia” as it has the shortest distance of all ports to the Greek city popular for having the most important sanctuaries found in ancient Greece, which is where the ancient Olympic games were born.

The remains of the incredible stadium that could house 20,000 spectators at a time could still be found today. The Katakolon has an archaeological museum too, but it’s different in the sense that instead of artifacts or other similar art elements, you would find classical, archaic and prehistoric statues with a great history and an ancient feel to them.

It is a place that offers the most unique of glamour in the most simplified manner. The cruise ships drop you at Tourlos, and then the shuttle boasts take you to the main town of Mykonos.

It’s a whitewashed Cycladic village with winding, narrow streets, and offers a lot to do both during the day and nighttime.

Some of the biggest highlights include the Panagia Paraportiani, one of the most popular and most photographed churches in the world, and Little Venice, the gorgeous waterfront district of the town.

Mykonos is also known for its parties, and many tourists stay here overnight to enjoy its nightlife.

This is a popular port located just 11 km away from Central Athens. Getting to all the important sights in this port is easy, as traveling in the metro or a taxi is convenient and quick.

The Acropolis is one of the most significant places, as it has still kept the ancient part of the modern capital intact. The next worthy sight would be the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which is a stone theatre and a magnificent work of the ancient times.

From there visiting the heart of Old Athens would only be a quick walk, and you will get to visit the bazaars of Monastiraki and then Plaka, a place with a village feel and island vibes.

As you go north of Plaka, you will end up at the ancient Agora, which is also known as the birthplace of democracy in the country.

The amazing collections at the Benaki Museum, the Acropolis Museum, and the National Archaeological Museumdemand demand a visit too, and so does the parliament in the central Syntagma Square, which was once the King Otto’s royal palace.

If you do decide to go there, you will be able to witness the popular sight of the Changing of the Evzone Guards, which takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

When we said the Rhodes town has so much to offer that you will be spoilt for choice, we really meant it. There’s indeed a lot to do in this town.

The best thing to do, however, is to visit the Acropolis of Lindos and experience the Greek history at its best. The battlements, ancient walls and a unique temple all take you back in time. The view from up there is really hard to define too.

Other attractions worthy of your time include a trip to the Symi Island which is only a short boat ride from Rhodes, visiting the historic old Rhodes town, exploring the Palace of the Grand Master and spending some time at the Saint Paul’s Bay to relax yourself while enjoying from breathtaking views right in front of you.

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  • Santorini :  An island formed from the remaining edge of a volcanic crater, the spectacular beaches, views, and sunsets of Santorini make it the quintessential Greek Island.
  • Mykonos :  A picturesque Cycladic island and famed beach party town with seaside restaurants, a maze of narrow streets, and whitewashed houses & churches overlooked by a row of 16th-century windmills, 
  • Delos :  is the mythological birthplace of Apollo & Artemis (the Twin Gods), this city is home to fascinating archaeological ruins.
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10 best Mediterranean cruise stops where you can discover golden beaches, historical towns and hidden gems

A cruise is the perfect way to discover new places while living in luxury.

Cruise ships usually stop at ports for a full day, giving guests plenty of time to discover the cities.

Whether you are looking to soak up the sun on a beautiful Greek island or learn about the history of Italy, these glorious getaways offer something for everyone.

Here are the 10 cruise stops you won't want to miss when booking a Mediterranean cruise, according to Imagine Cruising.

Discover an enchanting selection of these magical Mediterranean ports on Imagine Cruising’s exclusive sailcation: A Magical Voyage: Exclusive Mediterranean Sailcation | Imagine Cruising .

Top 10 Mediterranean Ports

Barcelona is a lively city on the Mediterranean Sea that has the perfect mix of culture and entertainment, and a great spot to try delicious Spanish food.

It is home to Basílica de la Sagrada Familia, the colourful Park Güell and the beautiful Gothic Quarter Barri Gòtic - all worth visiting on any day trip.

Imagine Cruising recommends exploring the hidden gem of the Santa Catarina Market, a foodie’s paradise.

Near the wine region of Tuscany, Livorno is a waterfront city often compared to Venice, due to its beautiful canals and bridges.

Visitors can tuck into Livornese street food while strolling down picturesque streets or learn about the area's history as they take in the spectacular Renaissance architecture.

From the port of Livorno, you’ll have the opportunity to either immerse yourself in the romance of Florence or admire Pisa’s iconic Leaning Tower.

Holidaymakers will not be short of things to do and see in the charming capital of Italy.

Be transported to another world when visiting the historical Colosseum, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain.

It is also the perfect destination for foodies as they can enjoy a taste of Italy at one of the thousands of pizzerias and gelato shops found in Rome.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) where you’ll find a church, hospital and two incredible restaurants.

Corfu has lots to offer with spectacular natural landscapes, clear blue waterswaters, and ancient sites.

Cruise guests can explore with a walk through Corfu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which showcases Venetian influences through its elegant buildings and narrow alleys.

Explore the island's beautiful beaches or venture into the countryside to discover Achilleion Palace and Mount Pantokrator.

Mykonos is one of the most popular spots to see in Greece and across the Mediterranean.

It has a vibrant atmosphere, and it is difficult not to get caught up in the energy of the island.

One of its most iconic attractions is the 16th-century windmills.

Don't miss the 'Little Venice' neighbourhood which has rows of charming buildings right on the water, reminiscent of the Italian city.

The capital of Greece is the best place to unearth the tales of Ancient Greece.

Explore all there is to know about the Greek empire at poignant sites including the Acropolis Museum or the Parthenon temple.

Away from the typical tourist areas, you’ll find the vibrant streets of Plaka, adorned with quaint shops and charming tavernas where you can savour the tantalising flavours of Greek cuisine.

Dubrovnik is one of the most popular places to visit in Croatia, and it is no surprise why.

The beautiful city has a unique Old Town surrounded by 16th-century stone walls.

It overlooks beautiful clear waters and visitors can get panoramic views from the Dubrovnik cable cars.

The city's iconic landmarks, such as Fort Lovrijenac and Rector's Palace, offer glimpses into its rich past, while its vibrant cultural scene can be found in its stunning beaches, art galleries and museums.

Kotor is a scenic town in Montenegro found near the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovćen.

The old city captures the history of the area, giving holidaymakers the chance to fully immerse themselves in its culture.

Discover hidden gems in the Bay of Kotor and a whimsical museum dedicated entirely to cats or visit the impressive St. Tryphon Cathedral.

Naples is an authentic Italian city that is an unmissable hub of art and entertainment. It mixes modern and traditional features of the city giving holidaymakers plenty to feast their eyes upon.

It is the third largest city in Italy and - like Rome - prides itself on having some of the best authentic Italian cuisine.

It’s also the gateway to Pompeii which offers an extraordinary experience.

Rhodes is one of the biggest Greek islands that sets itself apart with a rich history including medieval streets and the majestic Palace of the Grand Masters.

Absorb the dramatic sights on the beautiful beaches and sample mouth-watering Greek food.

Looking for something more relaxing? Rhodes has an array of sandy beaches where guests can unwind.

Escape into the secluded oasis of Seven Springs Valley, a unique natural site and one of the most spectacular places on the island.

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10 best Mediterranean cruise stops where you can discover golden beaches, historical towns and hidden gems

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British Isles Cruises

Explore the history, culture, and legends of the British Isles.

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Luxury Cruises to the British Isles

From legendary landscapes to a rich history, there’s so much to explore on British Isles cruises. Discover iconic sites like the White Cliffs of Dover and the mysterious wonders of Stonehenge. Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles in Liverpool. Journey to Dorset’s Corfe Castle, one of the country’s most picturesque ruins.

Shop for Waterford crystal in Ireland, and kiss the famous stone at Blarney Castle. In Scotland, learn the secrets of whisky, cruise the still waters of beautiful Loch Lomond, and explore the imposing Inveraray Castle. Wherever you visit on our European cruises to the British Isles, you’ll discover green, rolling landscapes, sleepy rural villages, dynamic cities, and layer upon layer of history. Whether your interest is music, medieval history, historic pubs, or fashion, you’ll find it here.

British Isles Cruise Highlights

Majestic castles.

Experience the storied history of the British Isles through the region’s famous castles. From Dover, travel to London and marvel at the 11th-century Tower of London, home of the Crown Jewels. In Kent, see dreamy, 900-year-old Leeds Castle, where Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon lived. Edinburgh Castle is a must, perched imperiously on Castle Rock, while 15th-century Stirling Castle whisks you back to the time of the great Scottish kings and queens.

Pub Culture

Pubs are endemic to British culture, and every village has at least one, where you’ll find a bucolic garden, a roaring fire in the cooler months, a fine array of beers on tap, and often, gourmet “pub grub”. Chat with locals in Ireland over a pint of Guinness, or sip cider in the sunshine in leafy Dorset or Kent. Seek out pubs in London that date back to the 16th century, frequented by such luminaries as Dickens, Keats, and the highwayman Dick Turpin. You’ll always find a friendly welcome.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The British Isles are packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, both natural and man-made. The elegant city of Bath has one of the best-preserved Roman spas in the world, while Stonehenge dates back 5,000 years. From Belfast, explore Giant’s Causeway, a phenomenal natural wonder comprising thousands of basalt columns. In London, admire the blooms and exotic flora at Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens, or the gracious Palladian architecture of Maritime Greenwich, bisected by the 0° longitude meridian.

Featured British Isles Cruise Ports

Liverpool, england.

Liverpool is rich in maritime history and popular culture. If you’re a Beatles fan, you can visit the humble childhood homes of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. See Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, both of which inspired songs, and the Cavern Club, where it all began. Other Liverpool sights include the Three Graces, three iconic buildings on Pier Head, from where early emigrants to the United States departed. Visit the Cathedral, the largest in Britain, with soaring Gothic arches.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Dynamic Belfast, today a thriving, modern city, is famed as the epicenter of the “Troubles” that spanned three decades from the 1960s. Visit the Peace Wall that separates Catholic and Protestant areas, daubed with poignant murals, as well as the infamous Crumlin Road Gaol, operational until 1996 and believed to be haunted. Titanic followers shouldn’t miss the superb Titanic Belfast exhibit, which tells the story in multiple dimensions of the world’s most famous ship, which was built here.

Dover, England

Dover is the gateway to the historic towns, lush countryside, and natural attractions of southeast England. Visit the White Cliffs of Dover for dramatic landscapes, wartime history, and coastal vistas. Venture to Canterbury to explore Canterbury Cathedral, dating back 1,400 years, and explore moated Leeds Castle, once home to six medieval queens. Spend the day in nearby Tenterden, where you can ride a vintage railway and taste English wine. Or head to London, an easy day trip away.

British Isles Cruise Itineraries

Explore the British Isles on either Celebrity Silhouette, which sails out of the Dutch port of Rotterdam, or Celebrity Apex, which is based in Southampton all summer long. Cruises last from 11 to 13 nights, incorporating exciting ports in Iceland or circumnavigating Britain.

Itineraries

Why cruise to the british isles with celebrity cruises.

Cruise the British Isles with Celebrity and you’ll have a choice of convenient departure ports including Rotterdam, just an hour away from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Southampton, England, a seamless journey from London. You’ll be able to enjoy the comforts of a sophisticated, contemporary ship for your European adventure.

The revolutionized Celebrity Silhouette features stylish, modern design, impeccable service, and, like all our ships, menus crafted by a Michelin-starred chef. Gaze out at Britain’s towering cliffs and green coastlines from the al fresco Lawn Club Grill, or feast on French classics with a contemporary twist in Murano. On Celebrity Apex, head to the leafy, light-filled lounge, Eden, for cocktails and dinner, or have lunch in the sunshine at the Rooftop Garden. Sink into a sofa on the Magic Carpet, an al fresco lounge high above the water with uninterrupted sea views. Choose The Retreat for suite accommodation, access to a private sundeck and lounge, and a table in the chic restaurant, Luminae at The Retreat.

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