Magical, mystical islands, beautiful landscapes, wonderful food and fantastic nightlife are all waiting to be explored on Greek Island cruises. There are 6,000 Greek islands scattered throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, each with their own unique characteristics. Whether they’re renowned for partying or their cuisine – or sometimes both – they all have one thing in common – they’re pretty wonderful destinations.
Treading in the paths of the ancients, sampling some of the very best contemporary theatre and arts – it’s all possible out here. To get you dreaming, we’ve rounded up a list of the best Greek Islands and the Greek cruise deals to get you there.
Mykonos may be known in part for its party atmosphere, but there’s a quiet side to this gorgeous island in the Cyclades. It’s one of those spots whose coastline is made blinding by the bleached white, sugar cube architecture broken up by cerulean blue rooftops and traditional windmills in the hillside. The summer sun is calmed by the cool meltemi breeze, making days at the beach here effortlessly enjoyable and nights with a cocktail at a waterfront taverna more of a hobby than a holiday pastime.
Fortunately for you, Mykonos is a hugely popular cruising destination and reachable through a number of lines. Thomson Cruises does a full tour of the Aegean and up to the Greek mainland, while Celebrity Cruises®couples the Mediterranean with Israel. For a luxury Grecian cruise, Cunard offers a round robin Athens to Athens cruise hitting a number of Greek islands – Mykonos included – along the way.
A contemporary marvel created by nature, Santorini came about after an ancient volcano eruption. With its blue-domed, whitewashed buildings, stunning sunsets and small villages, this little island will give you the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time. Sip local wine produced at one of the island’s many vineyards, visit the extraordinary ruins at Akrotiri or watch the sun go down in Oia and you’ll soon appreciate why so many people rate Santorini as one of the world’s top destinations.
P&O Cruises hits Santorini and offers a range of excursions to get you exploring this unique landscape – there are beach breaks, hikes up to the edge of the caldera or into Akrotiri. With MSC Cruises, you can head up to Oia for a wine break or embark on a private tour of the island with a local guide.
Corfu hit the psyche of many holidaymakers as a result of the TV series and book, My Family and Other Animals, though you don’t have to be entranced by wounded birds, beetles and other fauna to enjoy this Greek Island. For a start, Corfiots pride themselves on the quality of their food, so a meal at an island restaurant is imperative. Anyone looking for first rate jewellery and leather goods will enjoy browsing in Corfu Town, the island’s capital. As for the rest, we’re pretty sure the beaches will sate any other holiday craving you might have.
Corfu is a popular docking spot for Thomson Cruises, which features ships that both start and end their voyages on this lively island. Royal Caribbean® offers a number of cruises that dock here, as does Princess Cruises and Cunard. With the latter, you can pop into wineries or take intimate tours of Corfiot palaces, follow in the footsteps of the Durrells or whisk into coastal caves.
It’d be hard to say you’ve experienced all the Greek Islands have to offer unless you’ve visited Crete. It’s the largest Greek Island, after all. From its astonishing Minoan palace ruins at Knossos to contemporary dining at Elounda and vibrant nightlife at Aghios Nicolaos, Crete really is a fantastic cruise destination. And then there’s the Cretan diet, a household name for its tastiness and health benefits that’s commonplace at Cretan tavernas. It still features red wine too, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on any local tipples.
With Norwegian Cruise Lines you can dock up in Heraklion and head into Knossos to explore all the wonders of Minoan civilisation, or stick around in the Venetian port for an exclusive wine tasting. P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Cunard all hit these cultured shores as well, many of which group together Crete and other Greek Islands with Spain and Italy for the full Mediterranean experience.
Rhodes is kind of a big deal as far as ancient ruins are concerned. Walking down these streets, you’ll find that grand palaces, crumbling columns and museums are all but commonplace here. It’s even the spot where, way back in the day, you’d find the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Even the beaches are pockmarked with history, while Rhodes’s coastline is lined with kilometre after kilometre of uninterrupted beach.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a superb luxury experience that hits Rhodes in addition to a number of Greek Islands and other Mediterranean hotspots. Azamara Club Cruises features a voyage that’s exclusively Greek, with excursions that criss-cross through Rhodes’ Old Town and explore ancient temples and the Street of the Knights.
The beauty of these cruises is that no two Greek islands are the same, ensuring endless variety and some serious holiday fun. If you want to escape from the mundane and everyday, book your idyllic Greek Island cruise today.
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