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Viking Oceans Cruises – Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities (Greece, Turkey) 15 Days

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  • 15 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 2 Countries

Map of Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities itinerary

Delve into Greek and Roman history

Travel back in time on this enriching cruise to legendary ports of three fascinating countries that combines Ancient Mediterranean Treasures and Journey to Antiquities. Overnight in historic Istanbul, where East meets West along the Bosphorus Strait. Marvel at the well-preserved ruins of ancient Troy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy two nights in iconic Athens. Sail the fabled Ionian Sea and discover the cultural splendors of southern Italy.

Porch of the Maidens at the Acropolis in Athens

Departure & Return Location

Istanbul, Turkey / Rome, Italy

Departure Dates/Times

2023 Sailings on October

2024 Sailings on January, on September, and from November to December

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $6,999.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1Istanbul, Turkey

Discover where East meets West as you arrive today in Istanbul. Take time to admire this city that straddles two continents across the Bosphorus Strait, with its Old Quarter skyline of domes and minarets and the twinkling lights of modern Istanbul across the water. Sample delicious cuisine for a taste of this fusion, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia. Enjoy a wealth of religious sites, such as the spectacular “Blue Mosque” and the legendary Hagia Sophia. We are docked overnight here, so you will have a full day tomorrow to explore this historic port.

Day 2Istanbul, Turkey

Spend a second day in Istanbul as you immerse yourself in local life and Turkish traditions. Visit a hamman and partake in a centuries-old wellness ritual. Or, you can relax and take in the sights as you cruise the Bosphorus Strait, where old-world ships once sailed as they delivered spices to Istanbul’s lively bazaars.

Day 3Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey

Located on the Dardanelles, a key waterway linking the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea, Çanakkale was an object of desire dating back to the ancient Greeks. Today, explore Çanakkale or the nearby ruins of Troy, once a powerhouse of Asia Minor. The remarkably preserved structures of this UNESCO World Heritage Site provide a glimpse of the region’s former glory and offer hints of life here in the days of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor Augustus.

Day 4Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey

One of antiquity’s best-preserved cities, Ephesus offers an unparalleled look into the lives of the ancients. Many of its ruins have endured from the time Ephesus was one of the largest metropolises of the ancient world. Excavations reach back to the 10th century BC, when this city hosted one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—the Temple of Artemis. Today, Ephesus is still full of wonders: the towering facade of the Library of Celsus, the massive amphitheater that once sat 25,000 spectators and residences adorned with frescoes.

Day 5Rhodes, Greece

Discover the Old Town of Rhodes today. This “Island of Knights” prospered from the wealth brought here from the Holy Land by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Follow the Street of the Knights to the most imposing building in Rhodes: the Palace of the Grand Masters, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour this fascinating building, which was first a castle, then a royal palace. Our berth is near the city’s historic quarter, allowing you to linger at your leisure after your included walking tour. Or, opt to visit the Acropolis of Lindos; from its rocky perch, you will have magnificent views of the whitewashed village and harbor below.

Day 6Crete (Heraklion), Greece

Home to the ancient Minoans and a former Venetian stronghold, Crete harbors a millennia-old history. Greek mythology tells us that Zeus was born here, and Theseus destroyed the Minotaur at Knossos. Later, Saint Titus of Crete preached in Heraklion’s streets. Bask in Aegean breezes while exploring the café-lined Lions Square and the arched gallery of the celebrated Venetian Loggia.

Day 7Athens, Greece

Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or, as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.

Day 8Athens, Greece

Spend another day in Greece’s iconic capital city of Athens, known as the “birthplace of democracy.” Visit the acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, with its vast collection of Greek antiquities, and partake of the city’s rich café culture. Your ship remains docked for a second night, giving you time to take in the wonders of the Acropolis or travel to the Temple of Apollo, where the legendary oracle of Delphi once dispensed her prophetic wisdom.

Day 9Athens, Greece

Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or, as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.

Day 10Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey

Explore ancient times as you discover the lives of Roman civilization in one of the world’s oldest cities. Only Roman citizens were permitted to reside in the city center; their impressive homes have been remarkably preserved and are still adorned with colorful frescoes. Alternatively, head out to view the ruins of the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The structure was built to resemble the famed Parthenon of Athens and served as a place of worship to the Greek goddess Artemis.

Day 11Crete (Souda Bay), Greece

Explore Souda Bay today, an important port since antiquity because of its natural harbor and location along Mediterranean trade routes. Visit the remnants of the once-grand Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan kingdom that ruled over the island of Crete from approximately 2600 to 1100 BC. Or, tour an olive oil factory and winery to learn how these ancient Cretan traditions have been influenced by modern production techniques. Alternatively, see the influences of former rulers, such as the Venetians and Ottomans, during a walking tour of Chania’s Old Town.

Day 12Sail the Ionian Sea

As you cruise to your next port, spend the day savoring the amenities of your elegant ship. Indulge in Nordic-inspired treatments at The Spa or find your inner calm with some yoga on the Sports Deck. Tonight, dine on thoughtfully prepared cuisine that connects you to the flavors of Italy and the Mediterranean and watch a movie beneath the stars at the Main Pool.

Day 13Sicily, Italy

Today you will call on the Sicilian city of Messina, celebrated as one of Europe’s ten greatest cities when it fell under Spain’s purview in the 17th century. Admire the surrounding mountains, picturesque orange and olive groves, and rolling vineyards. You will see the best of the city during a tour, including the expansive Piazza Municipio and the hillside Votive Temple of Christ the King. Or, choose to climb Mt. Etna’s towering volcano, and marvel at the ancient temples and arenas of Taormina.

Day 14Naples, Italy

Naples boasts a long history in a stunning seaside setting and is known mostly for its pizza. The city has long been a major center of Italian culture and was the seat of a powerful independent kingdom for 500 years. So great was its sway that it lured the region’s finest architects and artists. In the grand Piazza del Plebiscito, the grand and sweeping public square, the San Francesco di Paola Church flaunts a colonnaded facade reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome, and the Royal Palace overlooks Neapolitans with statues of all the kings of Naples peering out from alcoves.

Day 15Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

For centuries, Rome ruled much of Europe, building a vast empire from the power of emperors. More than 2,500 years of history live in the city’s streets. Ancient structures recall those heady days when the cheers of 80,000 spectators roared from the Colosseum, citizens mingled in the Forum and senators asked the gods for guidance at the Pantheon. Along with the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, this rich pocket of Italy is one of the world’s greatest repositories of history and civilization. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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