Spring - Autumn 2023
The Cycladic islands are sparkling gems of the South Aegean Sea and the most sought-after by a world of visitors. The name, established in antiquity, refers to the islands around (cyclic) the sacred island of Delos. The cruise touches on some of Greece’s most sensational Cycladic islands including Mykonos, Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Santorini, as well as Crete, Aegina and mainland sites in the Peloponnese.
Kea, closest Cycladic island to Athens, is a favourite sailing destination of Athenians. Its lively ports are lined with restaurants, tavernas, café and bars.
Delos is one of Greece’s most historically-rewarding destinations. Among its treasured ruins is evidence of the island’s ancient Jewish Quarter. Here, two inscriptions in Greek, represent dedications by the “Israelites who offer to Holy Argarizein,” which lay claim to the designation of a nearby building as Europe’s oldest synagogue.
Mykonos is Greece’s most cosmopolitan island and the preferred destination of international celebrities. Known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters and endless choice of nightlife, Mykonos is the favourite of the world’s jet set.
Santorini is built around a volcano, which is still active today. The island was devastated by a massive eruption in the 16th century BCE, one of the largest volcanic events in recorded history. Its two principal towns, Fira and Oia, are built on the edge of a crater, over 300m above sea level, offering dramatic views down to the sea, as well as its world-famous sunsets. Arguably one of the most dramatic landscapes on earth and a destination not to be missed.
Crete. The history of the Jews on Crete dates back to the first century BCE. The Jewish legacy of Hania comes alive in the former Jewish Quarter of the Old Town, where a Romaniote synagogue, dating from the 14th century, still exists today.
Monemvasia, a town located off the east coast of the Peloponnese, on a small island linked to the mainland by a short causeway, 200m in length. Once inside the gates, the past meets the present in an intriguing medieval town and fortress.
Naplion, one of the most picturesque towns on the mainland, combines the charm of a small seaside port with trendy restaurants, cafes, bars and a striking medieval past. A walk through the The Old Town offers a glimpse of its rich history with well-preserved Venetian buildings, elegant neo-classical mansions and large squares. Once a Venetian stronghold, Naplion is crowned by the Palamidi fortress which sits above the town and the famous Boutzi a fortified islet, built by the Venetians in 1473 to protect the harbor from pirates.
Aegina, an island in the Saronic Gulf where one of the most important Jewish findings in Greece was discovered in the 19th century; a mosaic floor with geometric patterns and two inscriptions in Greek that identify a 4th century BCE synagogue, on the island since antiquity.
Day by Day
Tour of Athens
Thursday evening arrival at the Hotel Grande Bretagne. Once you have checked in to your room, a welcoming drink will be offered at the lobby bar so that you can mingle and meet your shipmates. Thereafter, guests will be free to make their own arrangements for the evening.
Tour of Athens, lunch.
Departure from Zea Marina, Piraeus at 4 pm.
Arrival at Kea in the evening. After dinner, leisure time to explore Kea’s tiny port of Korrisia. Departure at midnight for Delos. Overnight at sea.
Delos (anchorage) – Mykonos
Morning tour of the unique archeological site of Delos with a visit the ruins of the ancient Jewish community. On to the port of Mykonos with a swim stop on the way. Free afternoon and evening to enjoy the island’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. Overnight at sea.
Arriving at 8 am in Santorini’s famous port of Fira. From the sea up to the town, you can either walk up, ride a mule or donkey, or take the cable car. The choice is yours. Once at the top, experience the dramatic landscape of the volcanic caldera. Optional tours are offered to visit archaeological sites, or just hang out in Fira enjoying the stunning views over the Aegean Sea and catch the unbelievable sunsets that Santorini is so rightly famous for. Spend a charming evening at one of Santorini’s many first-class restaurants and bars. Overnight sailing to Crete.
Morning arrival at Souda, the commercial port of Hania. Join an inspiring tour of the old Jewish Quarter in Hania’s Old Town, which highlights the long Jewish presence in Crete. Visit the Jewish synagogue of Etza Hayyim, which survived WW 11 and was restored in the mid 1990’s. The remainder of the day you will be free to explore Hania, dinning at a taverna, or restaurant of your choice. Late departure for Monemvasia. Overnight at sea.
Morning arrival. Discover the remarkable medieval fortified town, with time at leisure to explore the uniquely preserved Byzantine and Venetian architecture and experience the beauty of the natural setting. This uniquely preserved medieval town is carved into the majestic grey rock, like a sculpture. The castle at the top overlook’s endless blue waters.
Late departure from Monemvasia. Overnight at sea.
Morning arrival at Nafplion, a picturesque sea port town in the Peloponnese. The old quarter is charming, with narrow streets and characteristic period architecture. Also, impressive medieval fortifications can be seen in the port and crowning the hills above.
You’ll have most of the day free to explore this fascinating town, which became Greece’s first capital after the 1821 Greek War of Independence against Ottoman rule and where Greece’s first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated in 1831. The day is yours to explore the town, swim at a nearby beach, or just chill out at your leisure.
Late departure from Nafplion. Overnight at sea.
Morning arrival on Aegina, one of Greece’s most historical islands. Its early history reveals that the maritime importance of the island dates back to pre-Dorian times. It is usually stated on the authority of Ephorus, that Pheidon of Argos established a mint in Aegina, the first city-state to issue coins in Europe. Aegina is the site of a rare 4th century BCE synagogue mosaic. The two Greek inscriptions and lush geometric and floral designs immortalise a once prosperous Jewish community that built the house of prayer. The mosaic floor can be viewed in the yard of the Archaeological Museum of Aegina.
Departure from Aegina at 6 pm, for arrival Zea Marina Piraeus at 8 pm the same evening.
After breakfast the cruise ends and guests will disembark from the ship at around 9 am. Transport can be arranged for individual needs where requested.
Spring - Autumn 2023
Zea Marina Piraeus
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