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Choose Your Greek Cruise

See Greece by Sea

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Mykonos

Mykonos

Compagnie Ponant
Join me for a look at some of the cruise and tour packages available in Greece. Check for current prices; in many cases, additional taxes and fees may apply.

Cruise providers are listed in alphabetical order.

Archaeological Adventure Cruises offer small yacht-based cruises, sometimes in a flotilla, visiting a number of Greek islands with an eye to visiting archaeological sites on each. While the 8-12 passenger yachts are not for everyone, it can be a fascinating and surprisingly inexpensive way to explore Greece.

Azamara Club Cruises offers some unusual repositioning cruises from Asia to Greece, providing an interesting way to arrive in Europe. However, events in the Middle East may modify these cruises for 2011-2012.

Brendan Tours is offering several low-price Greece packages, generally excluding airfare, however. Brendan focuses on the more-independent traveler, so the schedule is generally less frenetic, with time for your own exploring. They also have add-on modules which can extend or enhance a vacation.

Okay, it's not a cruise, but it's definitely a getaway. Club Med has long been renowned for offering planned inclusive vacations, and this members-only organization has several locations in Greece. One "village", as they call their resorts, is located near Athens and is called Athenia but has not posted open dates for 2011. The Club Med at Kos closed for renovations and has not yet reopened. The other, at Gregolimano near Volos, is accepting online reservations for summer 2011. Note - Some American representatives of Club Med are not aware of the Greek villages, and they may not be on all lists.

Compagnie Ponard offers indulgent cruises with a French flair. Check out their ships

From Crystal Cruises, the Crystal Symphony, an ultra-deluxe ship, makes a number of Athens stops.

While none of the Crystal Cruises really do Greece in depth, if you are considering a splurge before or after your Greek idyll, you may want to consider the Symphony cruises through Europe, or their reasonably-priced Athens to Rome cruise in September.

Costa Cruises is based in Italy and offers a number of cruises with stops in Greece. They also provide a couple of cruises that combine Greece with at least a brief stop in Egypt, ideal for those who want to see both countries on the same trip. Their prices are reasonable but some of their cruises have two or even three days spent "at sea", fine for the experienced cruiser but possibly disappointing for the average traveler. Their prices are reasonable and they offer cruises including Greek stops most months of the year. An October, 2006 7-night cruise with four Greek stops starts at just $899 US per person.

Want to do it yourself, or with the assistance of a licensed captain and/or crew? Check out the bareboat and other charter options from Fyly Yachting. Nothing beats the sense of freedom of letting your whim and favorable winds choose your next landfall. Fyly specializes in revealing "unknown" islands to their clients. Amoulianoi, anyone?

While Greek Ferries are not cruise ships, they also offer a convenient way to get from island to island with more freedom than organized cruses. You have to arrange your own lodgings on each island, the food isn't free and there's usually no entertainment on the overnight journeys, but the tradeoff is a much more open schedule.

Remember the joke "I just flew in from London, and boy, are my arms tired!"? If you prefer to be a bit more proactive in your Greek on-the-water experience, consider cruising by self-propelled sea kayak from village to village along the unspoiled southern coast of Northwest Passage. The price is US $2995 per person, including all meals, sightseeing, equipment, lodgings at family-run inns, and instruction for an eight-day, seven-night trip. Think you're not up to it? Read my account of one such journey.

There are plenty of Greek Island offerings from Orient Lines, a well-respected international cruise line. Among other cruises, Orient offers a good general Mediterranean cruise with some Greek stops, in the cruise they call "Best of (the) Mediterranean" Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. In addition to Athens, you do get to visit Delos-Mykonos and Santorini.

High-luxury Princess Cruises is offering some cruises with Greek stops, though with this line, you travel as much for the ship as you do the destination. Their Greek Isles & Mediterranean is a 12-day cruise that starts in Rome and ends in Venice, unfortunate for the traveler who really wants to do Greece. But the cruise does make stops at Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Katakolon (Olympia). The note that adds Kusadasi/Ephesus as a destination in "Greece" is a misprint - Ephesus is the remains of a Graeco-Roman city in Turkey.

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