Best Cruises in Greece: "Antiquity to Byzantium"
Discover the Oracle of Delphi, the theatre of Epidaurus,
Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
The Peloponnesian coast offers access points to some of the most grand and important historical treasures in all of Greece. Join us on our luxury yachts as we glide along the coast and experience the past on each stop. You will be treated to breathtaking views and eye-opening historical monuments, transporting you back in time with a sense of myth and wonder.
Find yourself immersed in the calm tranquility of a healing sanctuary that has endured for thousands of years – the legendary Epidaurus Theater. Travel along the beautiful Greek countryside and indulge in the unique landscape and environment including quaint towns, sprawling ancient architecture, and even gorgeous cave systems that make up the land.
Along the way, you will also experience the truly historic and breathtaking Olympia – home to the original Olympic Games. Find yourself amidst the expansive stadium and experience yourself in perspective of an undeniable history. Other highlights of the Grecian world will unravel before you along your journey. You will experience Delphi, a spectacle both now and in the past – revered as a place of worship and prophetic visions into the future.
Rounding out your travels are the picturesque sea towns with ancient palaces and a naval history that encompasses you as you look out into the striking blue sea. "Antiquity to Byzantium" is also a perfect destination for a honeymoon cruise in Greece.
Day 1 (Friday): Marina Zeas (Athens)
Embarkation 2 to 3 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Sail for Palaia (old) Epidaurus. Evening arrival and dinner on board.
Day 2 (Saturday): Palaia Epidaurus (optional excursion)
We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus for our optional excursion. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius and for its theater, which is once again in use today. The sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla by pirates and later by Goths in 395 A.D. and very little remains of it today. The prosperity brought by the Asclepieion enabled the residents of Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including a huge theater (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at port.
Day 3 (Sunday): Nafplion - Mycenae (optional excursion)
After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae. The importance of the city, which Homer calls “rich in gold” begins in 1650 B.C and ceases around 1100 B.C with the fall of the civilization to which it gives name. Visit the remains of the ancient glorious city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, the so called Agamemnon Tomb and the museum. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.
Day 4 (Monday): Gythion (optional excursion)
Early morning arrival to Gythion. Excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro plus the spectacular Dirou Caves with their stalactites and stalagmites. Ancient Gythion was inhabited during prehistoric times and later the Spartans used as a port, enlarging the natural harbor they made Gythion their naval base. Leaving Gythion we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves, discovered around the 60s, which are perhaps among the most important natural sites of Greece. After visiting the cave we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece. A desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers which are strangely beautiful. Overnight at sea to Pylos.
Day 5 (Tuesday): Pylos (optional excursion)
Pylos is a picture perfect seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In 1827 a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history. This defeat led to the independence of Greece, which occurred in 1829. After stopping to admire the scenery, we will continue up the road to Nestor’s Palace. The remains of the prehistoric Palace occupy a scenic hilltop setting north of Pylos. The palace at Pylos belonged to Nestor and was discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen. Highlights include the well preserved royal apartments and a bathtub that archaeologists have speculated belonged to the old king himself. The palace, with its central courtyard, was originally two stories high and richly decorated with frescoes. Following our visit to the remains of the palace, we will make the short trip to the town of Hora where a superb archaeological museum holds thousands of artifacts recovered from the site. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.
Day 6 (Wednesday): Katakolon - Olympia (optional excursion)
Early morning arrival in Katakolon. We will disembark the ship around 7:00 a.m. in the port town of Katakolo and an optional excursion take us by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world. Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the ancient Greek world, it was also the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Olympia persisted well into Roman times until its demise in the 3rd century A.D. when fires, earthquakes and invading tribes from the north left the ancient site in ruins. From 1875 onward excavation work, spearheaded primarily by the German government, revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvelous archaeological museum. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago. You will also explore the Temple of Hera, the magnificent temple of Zeus the Philippeion, lodging place for the athletes who participated in the games. We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Following lunch in the town of Olympia, we’ll visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artifacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic Games. After having time at leisure we will travel overland to Patras on the north coast of the peninsula, where we will re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight at Itea.
Day 7 (Thursday): Itea - Delphi (optional excursion)
Morning optional excursion to Delphi, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world. We will disembark the ship early this morning and proceed to the ruins complex.
Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much for the stunning natural beauty that surround the ruins as for the ancient buildings themselves. In its prime, Delphi was revered for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from the site’s location as hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. Indeed, because everything in Greece is connected to mythology, Delphi became the premier site for the worship of the god Apollo. The oracle had the ability to prophecy the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world traveled here to consult with the oracle, and responded by offering thanks to Apollo in the form of treasure. We will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit the adjoining museum. Return to the ship and cross the Corinth Canal. Later in the evening we sail to Marina Zea. Overnight in Marina Zea.
Day 8 (Friday): Marina Zeas (Disembarkation)
Disembarkation after breakfast.
tap/click on pictures to enlarge
Epidaurus ancient Theatre
17, 24, 31 March 2017
3, 10 November 2017
7, 14 April 2017
20, 27 October 2017
Please contact us for specific date prices and special offers.
Port Charges: $260.
Single Supplement: 30%
- Cruise fares are per person and week and include:
- Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning.
- Full-board: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, local Theme Evening and Captain’s Dinner.
- Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day.
- Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability).
- English speaking expert Guest Speaker.
- Multilingual Cruise Escort.
Beverages (except those mentioned above).
Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements.
Passenger personal expenses.
Wi-Fi (available at a charge)
The 48 meter M/S Galileo is a classic steel hull motor sailer, with spacious and well appointed interiors renovated in 2007. The Galileo is always sailing under motors. Sails are occasionally used when weather and route allow.
Due to its very special schedule, we consider this cruise
one of the best Greek cruises, visiting extraordinary places. In case you're planning a honeymoon cruise in Greece, look no further.
Itineraries can be changed at the discretion of the cruise company and of the Vessel's Captain in case of adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.
The Honeymooners Package features:
- 25 % reduction for the bride
- Cabins with Double or King bed
- Welcome Honeymooners treatment including a Complimentary bottle of Champagne and a Fruit Basket;
- A Candle Lit Dinner at our Special Honeymooners location on board our ships or at a preferred restaurant;
- 10% discount for any wedding anniversary on board our ships provided passengers have spent their honeymoon on board a Variety Cruises ship.
- Automatic access to our Variety Club membership;
- “Our Memories” gift at disembarkation;
Please ask the details for our "Wedding and Cruise with friends and family" private charter for 40 to 72 guests.
a. The Honeymoon offer is valid only provided that the couple is travelling within 6 months from their wedding date (copy of marriage certificate required);
b.The Package cannot be combined with any existing or future SPECIAL OFFERS.
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