Trace the shores of history
Witness the origin of civilization as you cruise the fabled Aegean Sea. Spend two days in majestic Istanbul, with its Byzantine treasures and intriguing blend of Eastern and Western influences. Travel to the ruins of Troy, long steeped in myth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See historic sites in Ephesus and marvel at the gorgeous islands of Rhodes and Crete. Discover the architectural gems of ancient Athens during an overnight stay.
Istanbul, Turkey / Athens, Greece
2023 Sailings on August, and on October
2024 Sailings on January, from March to June, from August to September, and from November to December
2025 Sailings from April to August
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $3,599.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
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.
Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait, no other city in the world bridges two continents. Istanbul’s history is evident on every corner, from the cascading domes of the Blue Mosque to the courtyards of the Topkapi Palace. Visitors and locals alike flock to the European districts of Karaköy and Galata to browse shops and visit galleries, while across the strait lie the fashionable areas of Kadıköy and Moda. At night, the Old Town’s buildings illuminate the skies, and across the Sea of Marmara, twinkling lights of ships follow a trail to the Asian continent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Awake in Athens, where you will disembark your ship. From here, you can easily take a few extra days to further explore this historic city with our post-cruise extension.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.