Classic Greece, Aegean Islands and Turkey Cruise

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $1,799
  • Length: 14 days
  • Operator: YMT Vacations
  • 800-922-9000
    Destinations: Europe, Greece, Turkey, Athens, Mykonos, Istanbul
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Tour Description

See ancient history come alive as you explore Classic Greece, the Aegean Islands and Turkey on this once-in-a-lifetime escorted tour and cruise! Explore Athens, the birthplace of democracy and land of philosophers, before experiencing a three-day tour of Greece. Travel to Delphi, the “Omphalos” (Navel) of the Earth, visit Olympia, and see the tomb of Agamemnon in Mycenae. Back in Athens, embark on the mv Cristal to begin an amazing cruise. Experience the colorful history and culture of Turkey as you stop in Istanbul and Izmir. Next, explore the Greek Isles, witnessing the whitewashed houses of Mykonos, the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World - in Rhodes, the populous island of Crete and the volcanic island of Santorini. End again in Athens with leisure time to explore and reflect on an unforgettable vacation before departing for home.

  • Explore Athens and visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon and see the treasures in the New Acropolis Museum
  • Temple of Apollo at Delphi and at Olympia see the original stadium, home to the Olympic games for over 1000 years
  • 7 night Aegean Islands Turkey cruise aboard the stylish yacht design ship, mv Cristal
  • Visit magical Istanbul, a city built on two continents
  • Experience the welcome and warmth of the Greek Islands and friendly islanders

 

Itinerary

Day 1

(Sunday) - Depart for Athens, Greece:

Your vacations begins as you depart on your trans-Atlantic flight.

Overnight in flight

Day 2

(Monday) - Arrival in Greece:

Arrive in Athens, Greece, the land of great philosophers, artists and the birthplace of democracy. If you purchased Airline tickets from YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will welcome you after you clear immigration and customs after exiting baggage claim. You will be transferred to your hotel where the balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight you’ll get a chance to meet all your fellow travelers and your tour guide at the early evening welcome briefing and welcome dinner in the hotel. (D)

Overnight: Athens, Electra Hotel (or similar)

Day 3

(Tuesday) - Athens Sightseeing

After breakfast we depart for a full day tour of Athens to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896 (short stop). Continue and pass by the Presidential residence (ex Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Constitution Square. Then it’s on to the most famous of all Athens sights, the Acropolis, atop which lies the stunning 2,500 year old Parthenon Temple, built to honor the goddess Athena. In the shadow of the Acropolis we visit the Plaka district. Proceed with your guide on a short walking tour of Athens’s oldest and most picturesque neighborhood. The maze of cobblestone pedestrian streets is lined with shops, boutiques, souvenir stands and flea market stalls that beckon all that enter. You will have some free time to browse through the many shops and souvenir stalls or you can relax in one of the many taverns or cafes. This afternoon you’ll visit the new Acropolis Museum. Opened in 2009 and with five separate galleries, the museum is home to stunning artifacts from ancient Greece, dating from 500 BC to 500 AD - definitely one of the highlights. You will return to the hotel by late afternoon. This evening you can experience the taste and sounds of an optional Greek night. (B)

Overnight: Athens, Electra Hotel (or similar)

Day 4

(Wednesday) - Athens to Delphi

After breakfast depart for a 3 day tour before joining your cruise ship. Drive along the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing the towns of Thebes - connected with the tragedy of king Oedipus - Levadia and Arachova, famous for its colorful rugs and carpets (short stop). By late morning, you arrive at Delphi, the centre of the ancient world - the “Omphalos” (Navel) of the Earth - whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. Lying on the slopes of mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, you will see the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and Delphi Museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. (B/D)

Overnight: Delphi, Hotel Amalia (or similar)

Day 5

(Thursday) - Delphi to Olympia to Nafplion

This morning we depart Delphi for Olympia, the cradle of Olympic Games for over 1000 years, crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion and drive through the plains of Achaia and Eliad. In the afternoon you will visit the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus, the ancient stadium where heroes competed in chariot racing and javelin throwing before also visiting the museum. Next the tour the heads across the Peloponnese to Nafplion, a charming port town overlooked by the Palmidi Fortress and with its Venetian style houses and narrow streets. (B/D)

Overnight: Nafplion, Hotel Amalia (or similar)

Day 6

(Friday) - Nafplion to Mycenae to Athens (Piraeus) and Board mv Cristal

This morning we head back toward Athens and the port of Piraeus to board your cruise ship. En route we make a stop in Mycenae, one of the centers of the ancient Greek civilization and visit the archaeological site and the tomb of Agamemnon, the commander of the Greeks in the Trojan War. Next we visit Epidaurus and its 15,000 seat amphitheatre famous for its remarkable acoustics which permit all spectators to hear performances without amplification. Now the motor coach drives towards Athens along the coastal road and passes Corinth where there will be a short photo stop at the 3.9 mile long canal, built between 1891 - 1893. Arrive in the port of Piraeus by early afternoon where you will board your floating hotel, the Louis Cruise lines MV Cristal with plenty of time to relax and get acquainted with the ship and settle into your stateroom before dinner. The ship has a stylish yacht like design and accommodating up to 1,200 passengers, she features an array of onboard amenities including bars, lounges, restaurants and promenades. The cruise departs the port of Piraeus in the late afternoon. (B/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 7

(Saturday) - Istanbul, Turkey

From Athens we sail North Easterly across the Aegean Sea towards Turkey and our first port of call. We sail across the famous Dardanelle Strait and in the afternoon arrive in mystic Istanbul, a city built on two continents, Europe and Asia separated by the Bosphorus Straight. Formerly known as Constantinople, this is a city of 13 million people, the largest in Turkey and was actually the capital city until 1922, before being succeeded by Ankara. Experience a taste of Turkish Culture this evening by choosing an optional evening excursion to see and hear traditional folkloric dance and music performances and taste some Turkish specialties and maybe drink a glass of Raki! (B/L/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 8

(Sunday) - Istanbul, Turkey

Today we have time to explore the magnificent city of Istanbul, with its long and colorful history, many of the historic areas are declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. Optional shore excursions give you the opportunity to discover the energy of the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world dating back to 1465, with 58 Streets and over 4000 shops. You can also visit the Basilica of Santa Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, once the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans, before returning to the ship for an evening departure. (B/L/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 9

(Monday) - Izmir, Turkey

Today we make our second Turkish stop, the city of Izmir. From here, an optional shore excursion you won’t want to miss is to visit nearby Ephesus, an ancient Greek Roman city where you will see architectural masterpieces like the Library of Celsus and the Great Amphitheatre where St. Paul preached. We depart this evening and cruise back towards Greek waters.

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 10

(Tuesday) - Patmos Mykonos, Greece

Early this morning we arrive at the Greek Island of Patmos, relax on board or take an optional excursion to the monastery of St. John. Next we cruise towards the Greek Island of Mykonos in the group of islands called the Cyclades. Relax aboard the ship and take advantage of the many onboard facilities. This afternoon we arrive at Mykonos, world famous for its windmills, whitewashed buildings and domed churches. It is the most cosmopolitan of the Greek Islands and attracts many visitors from all over the globe, including large numbers of artists and intellectuals. Take an optional tour to discover the island before the ship departs late in the evening for the next port of call. (B/L/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 11

(Wednesday) - Rhodes, Greece

Arriving early morning, today you have a full day to explore the island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Optional shore excursions to explore medieval Rhodes town, now declared a World Heritage Site, or the Temple of Athena at the magnificent Acropolis of Lindos. (B/L/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 12

(Thursday) - Crete Santorini, Greece

Arrival at the port of Aghios Nikolaos in Crete, the most populous Greek Island. Here you may take an optional excursion, to visit the Palace of Knossos and its famous “Labyrinth” which was the center of the Minoan civilization... incredible! Late morning depart for the volcanic island of Santorini, where you will arrive late in the afternoon to witness the majesty of her 1000 foot high cliffs. Free time to enjoy the beauties of this island and its capital called Fira, perched spectacularly at the top of the cliffs, accessible from the port via cable car or mounted mules. The ship departs Santorini this evening for the overnight sailing back to Athens. (B/L/D)

Overnight: mv Cristal

Day 13

(Friday) - Athens, Greece

Early morning arrival to the port of Piraeus, disembark ship after breakfast for the final time and transfer to your Athens hotel for a day of leisure. Relax at the hotel, explore the shops and Tavernas of the Plaka district a, great place to buy gifts and souvenirs, or take an optional tour. (B)

Overnight: Athens, Electra Hotel (or similar)

Day 14

(Saturday) - Athens, Greece:

Morning transfer to Athens airport to check-in for your return flight to the US. (B)

Note:

 

This tour is not suitable for those with walking difficulties. The included sightseeing and optional shore excursions will involve walking and standing, steps, stairs and uneven ground at ancient sites and other locations. Some ports on the cruise are served by shuttle boats to and from the ship.

Departures

Pricing Information

April 28, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

May 12, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

May 26, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

June 9, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

June 16, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

September 1, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

September 8, 2012

From $1,799.00 per person double occupancy.

From $700.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Four nights of accommodations are based on twin/double moderate hotels
  • Seven night cruise aboard the Louis Cruise Lines mv Cristal
  • Special events as listed on land portion. A full program of optional shore excursions will be available at extra cost on cruise portion
  • 11 breakfasts, six lunches and 10 dinners
  • Baggage handling to and from your hotel room and cruise ship throughout your land tour for one piece of checked luggage per person
  • Accompanied throughout land tour by a professionally trained tour guide. They are knowledgeable on the local area and provide you with a wealth of information. Their friendly service will make your trip a memorable experience.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes