DAY 1: ATHENS (Greece)
After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail and provide a detailed explanation of the cruise schedule. We'll have dinner on board. We'll remain in port overnight.
DAY 2: ATHENS (Greece)
All meals served on board. We’ll set out on our excursion to Athens and the Acropolis where you will discover the site of the legendary Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion with its graceful caryatids in place of columns. For passengers who have already visited the Acropolis, excursion to the Apollo Coast and Cape Sounion. Jutting from the Attic Peninsula, Homer referred to it as a "sacred cape" with a remarkable view of the Aegean Sea and the Cyclades. You’ll also discover the temple ruins dedicated to the god of the sea, Poseidon, dating back to the 5th century BC. (Please choose your excursion when reserving your cruise). Return to our ship. In the afternoon, cruise on the Aegean Sea. Onboard lecture: Athens: Mythology and History. Greek-themed evening on board. We’ll cruise through the night.
DAY 3: PATMOS (Greece)
All meals served on board. We’ll arrive early in the morning in Patmos. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese, it is thought by some Biblical scholars be where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations. Excursion of this magnificent island. Your morning will begin with a visit to the Cave of the Apocalypse (shorts and low-cut shirts are prohibited), where St. John is said to have made his home on the island. We’ll then visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Return to the boat. The afternoon will be spent cruising to Kusadasi. Onboard lecture: CroisiEurope Quiz Night. We’ll cruise through the night.
DAY 4: KUSADASI – EPHASUS (Turkey)
All meals served on board. Guided excursion to Ephasus, one of the oldest and most important Greco-Roman cities. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We'll visit the House of the Virgin Mary, believed by some to be where the Virgin Mary lived out the last years of her life. Return on board. The afternoon, free time in Kusadasi. We’ll then return to the ship and begin to cruise to Dikili.
DAY 5: DIKILI – Pergamon (Turkey)
All meals served on board. Guided visit of Pergamon, capital of the Attalid Dynasty, which rose to prominence during the years of the Greek empire’s division following the death of Alexander the Great. You’ll have some free time after our visit and then we’ll return on board. We’ll spend the end of the afternoon cruising towards Istanbul. Onboard lecture: The Splendors of the Ottoman Empire. This evening’s entertainment will be presented by the crew.
DAY 6: At sea - ISTANBUL
All meals served on board. We’ll spend the entire day at sea. During the night, we’ll pass through the Dardanelles, the straight connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The strait has often played a strategic role in history. In particular, Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in 334 B.C. to invade the Achaemenid Empire, rule Asia Minor, and begin a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. We'll reach the Sea of Marmara early in the morning. Onboard lecture: Following the Footsteps of Suleiman the Magnificent. We’ll pass Marmara Island and further along, the Prince Islands, before reaching Istanbul at about 3:30 p.m. Cruising along the Bosphorus will give you nice views of the palaces, yalis, and wealthy Ottoman summer homes that line each side of the strait. We’ll then leave for a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, or a visit to the Spice Market, which has a total of 85 shops selling spices, jewelry, souvenir, dried fruits and candy. After our visits, we’ll return to our ship. Tonight we’ll enjoy a Turkish-themed evening and Turkish folk show and Gala evening on board. We’ll remain in port overnight.
DAY 7: ISTANBUL (Turkey)
All meals served on board. Guided visit of Istanbul. We’ll discover the historical center where the city’s most famous monuments and the ruins of several great civilizations are located. We’ll then head to the Hagia Sophia. First a Greek Orthodox basilica, later an imperial mosque, it is now a museum.
We'll also give you the possibility of visiting the Basilica Cistern, known as the Underground Palace. It once stored up to 80,000 cubic meters of water for Constantinople, and is composed of 336 columns arranged in 12 rows. Subdued lighting, soft music and cool temperatures make the walk truly pleasurable. Or join us on a guided tour of the Galata Tower. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs.
After our visits, we’ll return to our ship. We'll have dinner on board and tonight we’ll enjoy a show of Whirling Dervishes. The Sufi fraternities, which perform this form of active meditation, were founded in the 12th century. Their customary dances are seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. We’ll remain in port overnight.
DAY 8: ISTANBUL (Turkey)
Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.