A cruise voyage unraveling the world famous Corinth Canal and the most important monuments and historic sites of Greece.
Highlights include: Mycenae · Delphi · Olympia · Corinth Canal Crossing · Ancient Epidaurus · Nafplion· Pylos
Included in package:
- Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning
- Half-board: Buffet breakfast and 2 meal daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a Greek night Evening, and Captain’s Dinner
- Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day
- Use of fishing and snorkeling equipment (subject to availability)
- English-Speaking Cruise Escort
- Beverages (except those mentioned above)
- Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements
- Crew tips
- Passenger personal expenses
- Wi-Fi (available at charge)
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1: Friday - Marina Zea
Embarkation between 2-3 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink, and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Sail for Palaia (old) Epidaurus. Evening arrival and dinner on board.
Day 2: Saturday - Palaia Epidaurus (optional excursion)
We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus for our optional excursion. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's son, Asclepius, and for its theater, which is once again in use today. The sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla, by pirates, and later by the Goths in 395 A.D. and very little remains of it today. The prosperity brought by the Asclepieion enabled the residents of Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including the huge theater (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at port.
Day 3: Sunday - Nafplion/Mycenae (optional excursion)
After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae for an optional excursion. The historical significance of the city, which Homer described as being “rich in gold,” began in 1650 B.C. and ceased around 1100 B.C with the fall of the civilization to which it gave its name. Visit the remains of ancient wonders, including the Lion's Gate, the Palace, the Tomb of Agamemnon, and the museum. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.
Day 4: Monday - Gythion (optional excursion)
Early morning arrival in Gythion for our optional excursion to the Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro, plus the spectacular Dirou Caves. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece. A strangely beautiful, desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers. Ancient Gythion was inhabited during prehistoric times and later used by the Spartans as a port. After enlarging the natural harbor, they made Gythion their naval base. Leaving Gythion, we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves. Discovered in the 1960s, the caves are among the most important natural and archaeological sites in Greece. After visiting the caves, we will drive to nearby Areopoli for a short stroll through the town. Overnight at sea to Pylos.
Day 5: Tuesday - Pylos (optional excursion)
Pylos is a picture-perfect seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In 1827, this was the site where a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history. This defeat led to the independence of Greece, which occurred in 1829. During our optional excursion, after stopping to admire the scenery, we will continue up the road to Nestor's Palace. The remains of the prehistoric palace occupy a scenic hilltop setting north of Pylos. The palace at Pylos belonged to Nestor and was discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen. Highlights include the well-preserved royal apartments and a bathtub that archaeologists have speculated belonged to the old king himself. The palace, with its central courtyard, was originally two stories high and richly decorated with frescoes. Following our visit to the remains of the palace, we will make the short trip to the town of Hora where a superb archaeological museum holds thousands of artifacts recovered from the site. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.
Day 6: Wednesday - Katakolon/Olympia (optional excursion)
This morning, we will disembark around 7:00 a.m. in the port town of Katakolon. An optional excursion takes us by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world. Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the ancient Greek world, it was also the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Olympia persisted well into Roman times until its demise in the 3rd century A.D. when fires, earthquakes, and invading tribes from the north left the ancient site in ruins. From 1875 onward, excavation work, spearheaded primarily by the German government, revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvelous archaeological museum. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago. You will also explore the Temple of Hera and the magnificent Temple of Zeus the Philippeion – lodging place for the athletes who participated in the games. We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Following lunch in the town, we'll visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artifacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic Games. After having time at leisure, we will travel overland to Patras on the north coast of the peninsula, where we will re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight in Itea.
Day 7: Thursday - Itea/Delphi (optional excursion)
Disembark early this morning for our optional excursion to Delphi, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world. Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much by the stunning natural beauty that surround the ruins as by the ancient buildings themselves. In its prime, Delphi was esteemed for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. Indeed, because everything in Greece is connected to mythology, Delphi became the premier site for the worship of the god Apollo. The oracle had the ability to prophesize the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world traveled here to consult with the oracle, and responded by offering thanks to Apollo in the form of treasure. We will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit the adjoining museum. Return to the ship and cross the Corinth Canal. Later in the evening we sail to Marina Zea for overnight.
Day 8: Friday - Marina Zea (disembarkation):
Disembarkation after breakfast.
*Itineraries can be changed at the discretion of Variety Cruises and of the Vessel's Captain in case of adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.
Ports of Call
Nafplion / Mycenae
Katakolon / Olympia
Itea / Delphi
The 48 meter "Galileo" is a classic steel Motor Sailer, with spacious and well appointed interiors renovated in 2016. At the main deck, a lounge area with an American bar leads into a warm and elegant dining room finished with wood and leather. Guests on the Galileo enjoy a shaded outdoor deck area with an outdoor bar and the ship's sun deck. The M/S Galileo, built with the most stringent safety regulations, was launched in 1992 and rebuilt in 2007.
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