DAY 1: SATURDAY DECEMBER 17: ATHENS, (PIRAEUS) GREECE – THESSALONIKI
Embark on the 18 night (or 10 or 8 night Cruise) cruise from Athens. Sail to Thessaloniki at 15:30. Dinner & overnight on board ship.
DAY 2: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18: THESSALONIKI, GREECE
At 09:00 arrive in Thessaloniki, Greece. Thessaloniki’s ancient ruins rooted in the middle of the city create a rich tapestry with the Roman Agora, the Arch of Galerius, the Rotonda, the Byzantine Baths and the Crypt of Agios Demetrios together with the neoclassical architecture and the impressive Aghia Sofia. Thessaloniki also has a reputation of its sumptuous culinary delights and delicious pastries. Join and optional excursion or free time exploring the Sail at 15:30 for Izmir, Turkey. All meals & overnight on board.
DAY 3: MONDAY, DECEMBER 19: IZMIR, TURKEY
At 08:30 arrive to Izmir, Turkey. Known as Smyrna in antiquity, was founded by the Greeks, taken over by the Romans and rebuilt by Alexander the Great before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Today, its expansive archaeological sites include the Roman Agora of Smyrna, now an open-air museum. The hilltop Kadifekale, or Velvet Castle, built during Alexander’s reign, overlooks the city. Join an optional excursion or explore the city on your own. Sail at 17:00 to Rhodes, Greece. All meals & overnight on board.
DAY 4: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20: RHODES, GREECE
At 08:00 call at Rhodes. Explore the medieval walled city of Rhodes and walk on the Street of the Knights. Along this street you will find the residences of the Knights, separated according to Order, which bear until today their corresponding crests or join an optional excursion. At 14:00 sail to Limassol, Cyprus. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21: LIMASSOL, CYPRUS
At 07:30 arrive in Limassol. Limassol is considered to be a new town and is located on the most southern part of Cyprus, built amphitheatrically over the Akrotiri Bay, between the two ancient cities of Amathus to the east and Curium to the west. Enjoy the included excursion to visit Curium and Limassol. Sail at 13:30 for Alexandria, Egypt. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 6: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22: ALEXANDRIA EGYPT
At 07:30 am arrive to Alexandria Egypt. During the Hellenistic period, it was home to a lighthouse ranking among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as well as a storied library. Today the library is reincarnated in the disc-shaped, ultramodern Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The city also has Greco-Roman landmarks, old-world cafes and sandy beaches. Its 15th-century seafront Qaitbay Citadel is now a museum. Enjoy the included excursion to visit Cairo. All meals & overnight on board the ship
DAY 7: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23: ALEXANDRIA EGYPT
Enjoy the morning at leisure or join an optional excursion. At 13:00 sail to Haifa Israel.
All meals & overnight on board the ship.
DAY 8: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24: HAIFA ISRAEL
At 09:00 arrive to Haifa Israel. Haifa is Israel’s third largest city. It sits on the slopes of Mount Carmel facing the Mediterranean Sea. Some call it ‘Israel’s San Francisco’. There are a number of great things to do in Haifa, visit the Bahai Gardens and German Colony or one of the many museums or join one of the optional shore excursions.
All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 9: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25: HAIFA ISRAEL
Enjoy the morning at leisure or join one of the optional excursions. At 16:00 begin your journey back to Athens, Greece.
All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 10: MONDAY, DECEMBER 26: AT SEA
Enjoy the day on board relaxing and participating in the various ship activities. All meals & overnight on board.
DAY 11: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27 ATHENS (PIRAEUS) GREECE
08:30 am arrive to Athens. Guests ending their cruise can disembark after breakfast.
Guests continuing can join an optional excursion to visit the Acropolis and Athens. Or enjoy the day at leisure. At 17:00 sail for Heraklion, Crete All meals & overnight on board ship
DAY 12: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28: HERAKLION, CRETE
At 08:00 arrive in Heraklion Crete, enjoy the included excursion to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the first European civilization and the legendary home of the Minotaur (half bull and half man). Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure exploring the town. At 23:30 sail to Santorini. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 13: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29: SANTORINI, GREECE
At 09:00 we arrive in Santorini (disembarkation by tender-boats, sea & weather permitting). Join the optional guided excursion to visit to the beautiful and picturesque village of Oia where you can see the famous blue domed churches, or take the cable car up to the town of Fira and enjoy free time for taking photos, browsing, shopping and enjoying the breathtaking view of the caldera. Sail at 21:00 for Athens. All meals and overnight on board.
DAY 14: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30: KUSADASI, TURKEY
At 07:30 our cruise-ship docks at Kusadasi in Turkey, starting point for our included guided excursion to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, where the Apostle Paul preached and lived for three years (Acts 18:19-21). Visit the Odeon, the magnificent Library of Celsus, as well as the Great Theatre, built in the 4th century BC, famous even nowadays for its acoustics. At 14:00 sail to Istanbul, Turkey. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 15: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
At 12:00 arrive in Istanbul. Enjoy Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents: Europe and Asia. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul, its three names span more than 2600 years, nearly 1600 of them as the capital of two of the greatest empires the world has known, Byzantine and Ottoman. We enjoy an included Bosphorus cruise from Europe to Asia, passing by the palaces of Dolmabahce and Ciragan and a visit to the Spice Market where you will have the opportunity to do some shopping. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 16: SUNDAY, JANUARY 1: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Enjoy the day exploring Istanbul. At 23:30 begin you journey back to Volos, Greece. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 17: MONDAY JANUARY 2: AT SEA
Enjoy the day on board relaxing and participating in the various ship activities. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 18: TUESDAY JANUARY 3: VOLOS, GREECE
At 07:00 arrive in Volos, Greece. Join the optional guided visit to Meteora which is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Byzantine Greek Orthodox monasteries. Sail to Athens, Greece at 17:00. All meals & overnight on board ship.
DAY 19: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 4: ATHENS (PIRAEUS) GREECE
At 07:00 arrive to Athens. Disembarkation after breakfast on board.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in Haifa
New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Istanbul
Cyprus-Curium and Limassol
Crete-Palace of Knossos
** This Voyage can be split into a 10 night cruise (Day 1-11) or 8 night Cruise (Day 11-19) **.
STOPS: Athens, Thessaloniki, Izmir, Rhodes, Limassol, Alexandria, Haifa, Heraklion, Santorini, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Volos, Athens