Arrive Athens, Greece
Arrive in Athens, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Join fellow guests for a welcome reception this evening.
Athens | Ancient Majesty
Wake in the world’s ancient capital, a veritable open-air museum filled with iconic architecture. Choose to begin your day at the Acropolis, where you discover its Hellenistic ruins, among them the majestic Parthenon. Take in stunning views over the Plaka Quarter; the ancient Agora; and the Theater of Dionysus, where the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides were performed. Alternately, set out on a scenic drive to the Peloponnese peninsula, pausing at the 19th-century Corinth Canal, an engineering marvel. Continue to the Argolis region, the land of Homer’s Golden Mycenae. Admire the Cyclopean Walls, the Lion’s Gate and the Royal Tombs, including the Treasury of Atreus and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Epidaurus, where you stand in awe of its ancient, acoustically impressive theater. Should you prefer to experience Athens’ art scene instead, meet your art-focused guide and walk to a nearby gallery, learning about local, contemporary artists. Proceed to the Benaki Museum, the oldest in Greece, where you discover its eclectic, extensive collection of works from the Bronze Age. This evening, join your Expedition Team and fellow guests for a festive, private event on an Athenian street, featuring a scenic view of the Acropolis, live music and dancing with folkloric entertainment.
Athens | Setting Sail
After breakfast at your hotel, spend the morning at leisure or join a guided visit to the renowned Acropolis Museum, seeing its antiquities that span the Bronze Age to the Roman and Byzantine eras. Regroup with fellow guests for lunch at a beloved restaurant overlooking the Acropolis and Parthenon. After some time at leisure, enjoy a guided panoramic tour of Athens and head to the port of Piraeus to board stylish ‘Le Bougainville,’ your exclusively chartered home for the next seven nights.
Crete | Cultural Immersions & Minoan Treasures
Disembark in Heraklion this morning and join one of three expert-led shore excursions. Choose to visit the famous Archaeological Museum, discovering its Minoan art and artifacts from the Neolithic period to Roman times. Proceed to Knossos for a guided visit to King Minos’ imposing Minoan palace, which dates back to the 15th century BC, then sit down to an authentic Cretan lunch. Alternately, visit the Historical Museum of Heraklion, which showcases the cultural heritage of Crete from Byzantine through modern times. Soak in living history during a walking tour of the city, seeing fabled Lion Square and 25th of August Street with its stunning neoclassical architecture. After some time at leisure, set out on a scenic drive through the island and enjoy a lunch of local specialties. You may also choose to visit Heraklion’s renowned Archaeological Museum, followed by a scenic drive to a hilltop farm. Learn how to make cheese and grow olives; attend a hands-on cooking demonstration, kneading bread and making local dishes; and then enjoy lunch on the terrace overlooking the fields and sea. Each excursion concludes in the port town of Rethymnon, where you may take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets.
Santorini | Volcanic Vistas
Arrive in Santorini and take in magnificent views of the caldera. Choose to participate in a guided visit to the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri, exploring its meticulously preserved houses, streets, squares and workshops, all preserved in volcanic pumice since the 16th century BC. You may alternatively opt for a short boat ride to the island of Nea Kameni, overlooking the towns of Oia and Fira, which are dotted with white homes and blue-domed structures. Ascend the still-active crater on a vigorous guided hike, learning about the volcano’s history as you go. Then, sail to the thermal springs of Palea Kameni, where you may swim in the warm waters. Oenophiles may otherwise opt for a scenic drive through hilly Santorini, learning about the particulars of vine cultivation on the windy, dry island. Visit a local winery to experience Santorini’s winemaking process firsthand, and later, sit down to a wine presentation and sample an array of specially selected local vintages. Each excursion ends in Fira, where you may enjoy time at leisure in the picturesque town.
Rhodes | Medieval Marvels
Spend a full day on the island of Rhodes, perhaps exploring its medieval past and fortifications on a guided walk. In the Old Town, visit the Grand Master’s Palace, inspired by the Papal Palace of Avignon, France. Stroll the Avenue of the Knights, where knights once lodged, and then visit the Archaeological Museum, a knight’s hospital in the 15th century. For a more active experience, take a drive toward the ancient Doric town of Lindos. You may hike to the acropolis, seeing the temple of Athenia Lindia and the Byzantine church. Next, drive to a ceramic workshop, where you watch local artists create pottery before attempting to make pottery yourself. Alternately, pay a visit to the Grand Master’s Palace and take a walking tour of Rhodes’ Old Town before transferring to a rustic, beloved restaurant for a hands-on cooking experience.
Symi | Vibrant Homes & Breathtaking Views
Arrive at the colorful, mountainous island of Symi, where you may explore at leisure or join an expert for an educational walk. See its brightly painted neoclassical homes and scenic waterfront before returning to your vessel mid-morning. This afternoon, enjoy cruising along magnificent Mediterranean isles.
Mykonos | Cosmopolitan Paradise
Today, you may choose to take a private boat ride to the small, uninhabited island of Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the remarkably preserved ruins, including government buildings, homes, the cistern and the amphitheater. Should you wish to stay in Mykonos, set out on a guided walk along its narrow, whitewashed streets, their meandering layout designed to confuse pirates. Otherwise, choose a panoramic drive through the island, taking in its unique landscape and vistas, including nearby islands, sun-drenched beaches and quaint villages. Stop in the village of Ano Mera, where you visit the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani and pause for local snacks and beverages. Weather permitting, you may relax this afternoon on a wind-sheltered beach, where lounge chairs, towels, snacks and beverages await.
Syros | Cyclades Treasure
Cruise to Syros this morning, arriving after lunch, when you disembark for a guided walk of the island. See the impressive Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Vaporia Quarter with its neoclassical mansions and the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. End your exploration at the Apollo Theater, where you witness a rousing private performance. Enjoy a little time at leisure or opt to visit the Church of the Assumption to see an original icon by El Greco. Tonight, attend a festive farewell dinner aboard your luxury vessel.
Arrive in Piraeus this morning, where you disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the Athens airport and board your return flight home, or join our optional extension, featuring an excursion to incomparable Meteora.