|Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights * Cruise Only, additional nights can be added in Istanbul or Athens
Highlights: Istanbul, Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Athens
Departure Dates: Saturday Check-in, Sunday Istanbul Departure! April 10th to October 23rd
Note: This is an excellent itinerary for connecting to Greece. You can visit Turkey's fascinating places such as Cappadocia, Antalya & connect with a cruise from Istanbul to Athens to get a glimpse of the best of both shores.
||St. Nicholas (Crete), Greece
Istanbul has dominated the Straits of Bosphorus for 25 centuries. As Constantinople, the city was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, a metropolis of stunning splendor when the great capitals of Europe were mere villages. The influence of Asia & Europe, the religion of Christians & Moslems, & the culture of Turks, Persians, Asians & Europeans have all found their way into the daily life of this bustling metropolis. And from the kaleidoscope of street scenes to the serenity of the surrounding waters, Istanbul offers one intriguing adventure after another.
Topkapi Palace : This opulent palace from the Ottoman Empire was built in the days when silk-clad Sultans ruled the land & is one of the city's most popular attractions.
Blue Mosque : The 17th century Blue Mosque is renowned for its domes & minarets, with an interior decorated by more than 20,000 Iznik tiles in 33 different shades of blue.
Grand Bazaar : The largest covered market in the world; with over 4,000 shops, cafes & restaurants in a maze of 65 winding streets. Bargaining is not only expected, it's half the fun.
Print our guide to Istanbul & maximize your visit.
Part of the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is a dazzling destination filled with whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches & beautiful beaches set against an equally striking blue sky. Seen from a distance, the island chain of the Cyclades resembles a necklace on deep blue satin. Once you set foot on Mykonos, you may well determine it to be the crown jewel.
The Hora : The Hora or main village of Mykonos is filled with a maze of tight-winding streets, perhaps, designed to confuse invaders or simply serve as a windbreak to deflect Aegean squalls.
The Beach : With more than 20 accessible sandy beaches, there's plenty of scenic coastline, water sports & sunbathing to be had by all.
Delos : A short ferry ride from Mykonos, the tiny island of Delos is an archeological treasure. Many temples & monuments built over the span of a millennium can still be viewed today.
A sleepy fishing village until only recently, Kusadasi has emerged as one of the most alluring spots for travelers along the Ionian Coast. Tourists from all over the world come to Kusadasi to visit Ephesus, one of the most fascinating archeological sites available to the modern-day traveler.
Ephesus : Ephesus is a treasure of antiquity & historical legend. On its ancient streets paved in white marble & lined with colonnades, Mark Antony & Cleopatra rode in procession & St. Paul preached against the goddess Artemis.
St. John's Basilica : The ruins of the cathedral are reputed to cover the resting place of St. John, who composed the fourth Gospel of the New Testament in Ephesus.
The Bazaar : Travelers from around the world have marveled at the quality & variety of goods available here, from oriental rugs to the finest of leather goods, jewelry & handcrafted pottery.
House of the Virgin Mary : The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissos Mountains as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered.
Rhodes is the largest & most easterly island of the Dodecanese, an archipelago in the south of the Aegean Sea. It is said to be the sunniest place in Europe, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. This ancient harbour is where the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once stood. To visit Rhodes today is to step centuries in time to some of the most colourful events in myth & history.
Mandraki Harbour : The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is reputed to have once stood guard over this harbor. Today, bronze statues of a stag & doe adorn the two columns marking the harbor entrance.
Mt. Philerimos : This distinctive mount rising 1,000 feet above sea level offers incomparable vistas of the island & the sea. Here you'll find the ancient hilltop town of Ialysso & the Church of our Lady, which was built on the ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.
Acropolis of Lindos : Situated on a rocky hill above the village of Lindos, this monument stands as a portal to an ancient time. The construction of this medieval temple, fortress & shrine to Athena Lindia began as far back as 1100 B.C. Steps to the top reveal views of St. Paul's Bay & the whitewashed houses & narrow streets of the village below.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
With its magnificent architecture, legendary cultural attractions & unparalleled place in history, this capital city known as 'the cradle of Western civilization' is a must see destination for world travelers. A captivating blend of the classical & the contemporary, Athens boasts some of the world's oldest & most renowned landmarks & wears its ancient heritage proudly.
The Acropolis : The 'High City' as ancient Athens was called offers the glorious marble structures of The Parthenon, built in honour of Athena, goddess of wisdom, & its entry gate, the Propylea; The Temple of Athena Nike, dedicated to the winged maidens who attended to her; & the Erectheion 'Porch of the Maidens'.
Hill of the Muses : The Hill of the Muses, where legend has it Socrates paid the price for his advanced ideas on youth & religion by drinking a fatal cup of hemlock. In Horologion, known as the Tower of the Winds, listen closely for the voices some say speak from an ancient time.
Hadrian's Arch : In what was the ancient walled quarter of Athens, you'll also discover the striking Hadrianís Arch, a gift to the city by the Roman Emperor & the majestic Temple of Olympian Zeus, built over a 700 year period beginning in the 6th century B.C.
Length 162 m
Breadth 25.6 m
Draught 5.92 m
Cruising Speed 18 knots
Passenger Decks 10
Classification Society DNV
Electric current 110-220V AC
Total Outside Staterooms 317
Total Inside Staterooms 163
Crew Members 400
Facilities :10 decks, maximum 1200 passengers in 480 cabins -10 of which have balcony & 6 are suitable for wheelchairs, fully air-conditioned, 4 elevators, sun deck, swimming pool, jacuzzi, beauty salon, wellness centre, restaurant, lounges, bars, disco, casino, duty free shops, photo gallery, internet corner, hospital, disco, terrace bar, pool bar, casino, 2 conference rooms which can be connected, telephone, fax, satellite, doctor on board.
*** This cruise can also be done starting from Athens ending in Athens
*** Ports of Mykonos & Patmos - disembark by tender boats, weather permitting
*** Itinerary changes: Ports of Kusadasi & Patmos might be visited in inverted order
||The Black Sea
Fields of tea, hazelnut & corn, highways parallel to the narrow coastline, villages & beaches, a unique region of Turkey.
||2016 ANZAC Day Gallipoli
Experience ANZAC Day in Turkey where the legend was forged. Combine ANZAC Day with a variety of travel options...
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