Discover the gems of the Greek islands on this exceptional Aegean odyssey. You’ll explore the cradle of Western civilization and the Classical world and see important World Heritage sites when the weather is mild and sites are less crowded.

Starting at: $4,695 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 View from the village of Fira on Santorini.  Credit: KJ DiLuigi  The Acropolis of Athens  The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens  The caryatids on the Temple of Erechtheion on the Acropolis   Meteora amid the limestone pillars  Monastery in the mist at Meteora  Ancient lion statue on Delos  The lions of Delos  The port area on Mykonos  Traditional houses on Mykonos  The historic port in Rhodes  The Acropolis at Lindos  Santorini, Greece.  Credit: Zachary Duffy  The view from the cliff-top on Santorini  The Lion's Gate at Mycenae  The dramatic theater at Epidaurus

A Cruise to Ancient Greece

9 days from $4,695

Discover the gems of the Greek islands on this exceptional Aegean odyssey. You’ll explore the cradle of Western civilization and the Classical world and see important World Heritage sites when the weather is mild and sites are less crowded.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Definitely a wonderful "trip of a lifetime". We enjoyed so many historical sites and great accommodations throughout. Trips abroad [can be] expensive, but this one was really a great value.

- Clara Z.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $1,000 per person* on our 2019 departures when you book by November 6, 2019! 

Overview

Discover gems of the Greek islands, plus the Peloponnese and Meteora, on this exceptional cruise of the Aegean. Be immersed in the classical world, see important World Heritage sites, and gaze upon breathtaking landscapes when the weather is mild, and sites are less crowded. 

Highlights Include:

  • Meteora and Pátamos: Witness early Orthodox monasteries traditions at the monasteries of Meteora, which seem almost suspended in the air given their perch atop mountainous sandstone pillars, and on the island of Pátoms with its Monastery of St. John, built in 1088.
  • The Cyclades: On Delos, mystical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, walk along the Sacred Way to the Sanctuary of Apollo to explore the archaeological site, then explore lively Mykonos at leisure. After entering the spectacular harbor of Santorini, tour the phenomenal Bronze-age ruins of Akrotiri, which reveals the sophisticated culture of its Minoan inhabitants, and see some of its treasure in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. 
  • Rhodes: Learn about the Knights of St. John, who erected the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters in Rhodes Town, and ascend the stairs of the acropolis in Lindos. 
  • Peloponnese: Travel to the ancient citadel of Mycenae, the classical stage of Homer's The Iliad, and Epidaurus with its Sanctuary of Asklepios, renowned for its 14,000-seat theater. 
  • Le Bougainville: Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line. This ship combines revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury. See more information about this ship on the Tour Details page. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. 

Definitely a wonderful "trip of a lifetime". We enjoyed so many historical sites and great accommodations throughout. Trips abroad [can be] expensive, but this one was really a great value.

- Clara Z.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Athens, Greece

Arrive in the birthplace of democracy. Home to many of history’s greatest philosophers and poets from Socrates to Herodotus, Athens is unmatched in its contributions to early Western civilization. Embark the ship and enjoy dinner on board this evening. (D)

Day 3 — Volos for Meteora

From the attractive port city of Volos, birthplace of legendary Jason, leader of the Argonauts, travel across the fertile Plain of Thessaly to the seldom-visited natural wonder of Meteora—Greek for “suspended in the air”—an extraordinary enigma of virtually uncharted Orthodox monasteries. This breathtaking World Heritage site was constructed in the 14th- and 15th-centuries high atop soaring natural sandstone pinnacles formed during the Tertiary Period, and where the early Christian traditions of these monasteries have continued uninterrupted for hundreds of years. Originally, the only access to these lofty peaks was by way of long ladders and baskets suspended on ropes. Visit one of the four monasteries that still house active religious communities aloft these heavenly columns by way of modern roads built along the sandstone slopes overlooking verdant Peneas Valley, an impossibly majestic sight. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Delos / Mykonos

Enjoy a walking tour of the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Today, Delos is a World Heritage site and is considered to be one of the most sacred islands in the Greek world, as central to Grecian spiritual life as Olympia and Delphi. Walk along the Sacred Way to the Sanctuary of Apollo, a spectacularly rich archaeological site with remains of three separate temples from the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. Delos’ awe-inspiring ruins also showcase an entire district of Hellenistic and Roman-era houses and the 5,500-seat theater (300 B.C.), the site of choral competitions during the quadrennial Delian festival. See the magnificent Terrace of the Lions, where legendary statues carved from Náxian marble have guarded the island for nearly 2,600 years.

After lunch onboard, enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore charming Mykonos. According to ancient legend, the craggy hills and clefts of Mykonos were formed from the petrified bodies of giants defeated by Hercules. Mykonos' iconic windmills, sugar-white, cube-shaped houses and azure bays epitomize the spectacular beauty of the Greek Isles. The Little Venice neighborhood resembles, in design, Italy’s famed canal city. Enjoy free time to stroll the quaint streets lined with whitewashed buildings or stop in an ouzeri to nibble mezethes and sip ouzo, the quintessentially Greek aperitif. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Pátmos

The small island of Pátmos and its Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. John, a World Heritage site, loom large in the history of Christianity. Built in 1088, the monastery is still inhabited by monks who continue to preserve it as a pilgrimage site and place of religious study. St. John the Apostle of Ephesus very possibly wrote the Book of Revelation on Pátmos in A.D. 95. in the Cave of the Apocalypse. This afternoon, meet local residents who will discuss contemporary daily life on these ancient islands during the specially arranged Island Life Forum®. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Rhodes

The island of Rhodes has been one of the most prosperous and strategic strongholds in the eastern Mediterranean since the Neolithic period. Dock at the fortified wall of Rhodes Town, a World Heritage site, and step into this extraordinarily well-preserved medieval city, built over a great Hellenistic metropolis, and a major Christian outpost during the Crusades. Visit the splendid 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters, built by the Knights of St. John and one of the only examples of Gothic architecture in all of Greece.

Choose to visit the ancient village of Lindos to see the magnificent frescoes adorning the Byzantine-style Church of Panagia and the breathtaking views from its clifftop Acropolis or enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Rhodes to further explore its rich history, charming streets and medieval center. Later, enjoy a performance of traditional Greek music and dance on board the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Santorini

Be on deck as the ship cruises into the spectacular harbor at Santorini, a natural caldera, beneath which is believed to be the legendary lost city of Atlantis. This morning, tour the phenomenal Bronze-age ruins of Akrotiri, recently reopened to visitors. Held intact by layers of pumice and ash for over 3,500 years, Akrotiri’s streets reveal the architectural sophistication and advanced culture of its Minoan inhabitants. A cable car descends to sea level from the elevated town of Fira, whose stunning white-walled buildings stand in stark contrast against the dark volcanic cliffs. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Nafplion for Mycenae / Epidaurus

Travel by coach to the ancient citadel of Mycenae, a World Heritage site.  According to Homer’s epic, The Iliad, King Agamemnon led the Greek army to battle the Trojans in Sparta.

That afternoon visit Epidaurus, the purest masterpiece of classical Greek architecture—the ancient 14,000 seat theater of the World Heritage-designated Sanctuary of Asklepios, built in the fourth century BC and known for its natural acoustics

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart Athens for U.S.

Disembark in Athens and continue onto the Olympia post-cruise option or transfer to the airport for your flight home that will arrive later today. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)