Today you’ll depart the USA on your overnight flight to Athens, Greece, a city with a history that dates back almost four millennia.
Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a Mayflower Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to begin exploring this capital city. Your Tour Manager will be available to offer suggestions and assist with your sightseeing plans.
The highlight of Athens is the Acropolis which stands tall, overlooking the city. During the panoramic tour you’ll see the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Gate, new Parliament Buildings, Constitution Square and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A guided tour of the Parthenon (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Acropolis Museum is included. Between the history and the view, you will stand in awe at these amazing ruins. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. Breakfast and dinner
This morning we’ll transfer you to the port for Athens where your ship will be awaiting your arrival with a welcoming atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. After embarking, you’ll have time to become acquainted with the vessel. From live shows, a disco and a casino to international cuisine, you’ll find the ship an ideal haven and perfect base from which to enjoy the islands. The ship sets sail and lunch is served onboard as you ply the waters of the Aegean Sea. This evening’s port of call is Mykonos — often called the “Jewel of the Aegean”. It is the most popular of the Greek Islands and its well-preserved windmills, red-roofed churches and whitewashed buildings make the island a joy to behold. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Shop to your heart’s content among the colorful markets in the bazaar in Kusadasi. Or, join us for an optional excursion to Ephesus, one of the most fascinating archeological sites in the world. An ancient city that dates back to 2000 BC, Ephesus still possesses a mystical atmosphere. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the theatre that could hold more than 24,000 people.
A majestic fortress monastery standing high atop the hill beckons us to the island of Patmos. The fortress is surrounded by dazzling whitewashed houses, grand sea captains’ mansions and flowering courtyards. Spend time exploring the narrow streets and shops in Patmos or join an optional excursion to the Monastery and Cave of the Apocalypse (a UNESCO World Heritage site) where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Heraklion is the capital of Crete — the largest of the Greek islands, and the birthplace of Zeus — king of the ancient gods. Close by are the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the former seat of ancient Minoan culture. An optional excursion will be available to the Palace.
The island of Santorini, “Black Pearl of the Aegean,” is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. History and nature combine to make this one of the most unforgettable places in the world. The town of Thira, accessible by cable car or mule, is postcard perfect with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets, open air cafés and glittering boutiques that cling to the steep cliffs. Stroll through this charming town or join one of the optional excursions that will be offered. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast onboard, your Greek Island cruise will come to an end but there is more of Greece to discover. After disembarking the ship, enjoy a full day tour to Delphi and the Temple of Apollo. Delphi (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the second most popular archaeological site in Greece and considered to be the center of the world, the place where heaven and earth met. Recognized as the center of worship for the god of Apollo, son of Zeus, people today believe the “Oracle of Delphi” still creates a spiritual experience. You’ll see the Doric Temple of Apollo which was the home of Pythia, the priestess who channeled the spirit of the gods, predicting the future. The ancient wisdom “Know Thyself” and “Nothing in Excess”, were inscribed on the walls of the temple and are still meaningful today. The tour concludes at our hotel in Athens. Breakfast
The day is left free for your independent sightseeing. Perhaps a return to the Pláka to visit one of the fascinating museums, or spending the day wandering through the lively markets and picturesque streets lined with shops. An optional tour to the Argolis region, the oldest continually inhabited city in Greece, will also be offered to provide a better understanding of the Greek Empire. See the Corinth Canal, a narrow passageway carved out of solid rock and the city of Mycenae, best known from Greek Mythology and its ruler King Agamemnon of The Iliad fame. See the Lion’s Gate, the imposing entrance to the city. The open-air theater of Epidaurus (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is known for its outstanding acoustics and is the best preserved in all of Greece. Today it is still used for live performances. Breakfast
This morning, transfer to the Athens airport for your flight home. After cruising through the beautiful Greek Islands and exploring the ancient ruins of Greece, your holiday will come to an end but your memories will last a lifetime. Breakfast
Ports of Call subject to change based on weather conditions
Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel, Athens, Greece
Aboard the Celystal Olympia (subject to change)
Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel, Athens, Greece