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Cultural Treasures of the Aegean: Istanbul, Turkey to Piraeus (Athens), Greece

MS Europa 2 Voyage 1431 - October 11-18, 2014

From Istanbul, pass through the Dardanelles Strait to Thessaloniki, a city that dates back to biblical times. The Meteora monasteries, daringly built on rock pillars, seem to float between heaven and earth – their collections of art and artefacts make them the centre of Byzantine art in Greece. The impressive Ephesus*, with its huge amphitheatre, as well as Priene, Milet and Didyma* are waiting for you to discover their interesting histories. After all this culture, how about a horseback ride along the beach* or a Jeep tour* deep into the countryside? To round off your cruise, admire the stunning Greek islands with the picture-book backdrop of Mykonos.

Highlights of this cruise:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a breathtaking view – the “floating” monasteries of Meteora*.
  • From Kusadasi to Ephesus*: fascinating insights into the ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • On board: figures of mythology – the gods and heroes of ancient Greece in the literary salon.

 *These arrangements are not covered by the cruise price. The on-shore activities listed are in the planning stage. Subject to changes

Day 1- Istanbul/Turkey, departure 22.00 hrs 
Your cruise to see the works of art and natural wonders of the Aegean begins in Istanbul, where the Occident and the Orient meet over the Bosphorus.
Day 2 - Passage through the Dardanelles Strait, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm 
Great seafaring history was once made in the Dardanelles Strait – enjoy the impressive views.
Day 3 - Thessaloniki/Greece, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm 
The walls of Thessaloniki also have plenty of stories to tell. Discover the city’s chequered past, which dates back to biblical times. A city tour* takes in the city’s landmark, the White Tower from the Ottoman period, as well as the wonderful mosaics in the early Christian Agios Dimitrios basilica. Or visit Pella and Vergina*, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedonia and the birthplace of Alexander the Great, as well as the beautifully restored tomb of his father, Philip II.
Day 4 - Volos/Greece, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm 
Volos will make your holiday dreams come true – whether you take a stroll along the beach, sit in one of the tavernas along the harbour or get a bit more active on a hike through the unspoilt forests of Mount Pelion*. The nuns and monks of the Meteora monasteries live their lives between heaven and earth. The monasteries are perched on the ledges and tops of stone pillars, which rise up to 300 metres out of the forest. A visit inside the monastery walls is just as exciting as the view from outside.  FAMILY EXCURSION: The historic Mount Pelion railway* near Volos is more than 100 years old. We board the train and ride past tiny villages and pretty scenery as the train climbs the mountain at a leisurely pace. The whole family will enjoy the views along the way.
Day 5 - Kusadasi/Turkey, 9.00 – 19.00 hrs 
Boulevards lined with palm trees and the blue ocean will tempt you to explore the resort of Kusadasi. Nearby is a major World Heritage site: in ancient times, Ephesus* was one of the most important cities in Asia Minor and its power can still be seen today in the mighty amphitheatre and the impressive walls of the library of Celsus. The excavations of Priene, Milet and Didyma* are also testament to their former glory, in particular the extensive ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma.  TEENS’ EXCURSION: In Ephesus you can experience a completely different kind of history lesson*: as you roam around the former port to see the Bath of Varius, the Temple of Hadrian and the theatre, ancient history seems to come to life.
Day 6 - Marmaris/Turkey, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm 
Alternatively, you can enjoy some time out on the beach*. The bay of Marmaris welcomes you the next day in all its colours – golden sand, green wooded slopes and the deep-blue sea. Dream away the day on a sun lounger on Icmeler beach, enjoy the fantastic views on a boat trip along the coast* or take a Jeep trip into the hills.*  CHILDREN’S EXCURSION: In Marmaris, we will have great fun at the water park*. We’ll be whizzing down the water slides and splashing in the wave pool.
Day 7 - Delos/Cyclades/Greece - 8:00 am - 12:30 pm
Mykonos/Cyclades/Greece - 2:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Your last day is devoted to two islands, each with completely different yet equally enchanting charm. Delos is a practically uninhabited museum island. Allow yourself to be captivated by its special kind of magic on a walk through the ancient streets. The neighbouring island of Mykonos, with its white-washed sugar-cube-shaped houses, blue shutters and flower-filled balconies is like a scene from a Greek picture book. Enjoy the views of the harbour from the shade of the world-famous windmills or try the local specialities in one of the quaint cafes before you set off to arrive in Piraeus the next day. From here, begin your journey home, taking some wonderful memories with you.
Day 8 - Piraeus (Athens)/Greece, arrival 6:00 am
Disembarkation

* These arrangements are not included in the cruise price. The shore activities listed here are in the planning stage and are subject to changes.


5% early booking discount if booked before March 15, 2014!

 
Category Cabin Type

Prices Per Person in USD

0 Guaranteed Veranda/Ocean Suite¹

$5,040

1 Veranda/Ocean Suite

$5,850

2 Veranda/Ocean Suite

$6,400

1-2 Veranda/Ocean Suite for single occupancy

$7,980

3 Veranda/Ocean Suite

$7,070

4 Veranda/Ocean Suite

$7,370

3-4 Veranda/Ocean Suite for single occupancy

$9,520

5 Veranda Suite

$7,980

6 Spa Suite

$11,970

7 Spa Suite

$12,270

8 Grand Suite

$11,970

9 Grand Suite

$12,270

10 Grand Penthouse Suite

on request

11 Owner Suite

on request

12 Family apartment (2x20 m²)

$7,370

13 Grand Suite, equiped for disabled guests

$10,430

14 Additional bed for 3rd person

$4,010


All fares are based on the current Euro to Dollar exchange rate and are subject to change. 

¹ You pay only the guaranteed price for double occupancy shown here. Accommodation will be provided in a Veranda/Ocean Suite of Category 1 to 4, subject to availability. If you book a combination of several cruises in a guaranteed Veranda/Ocean Suite, it will be necessary to change suites after each individual cruise. Continuous occupancy of the same suite throughout the cruises is not possible. You will receive your exact suite number on board at the beginning of the cruise (limited allotment).

² If you book your cruise 210 days (approx. 7 months) or earlier prior to departure, you will receive an early booking discount of 5% on the cruise-only price (catalogue price minus surcharge for travel arrangements to cruise departure point and from cruise arrival point as well as share of fuel costs (ship)).