15 Day Essential Greece & Istanbul with 5 Day Aegean Cruise

2 Istanbul, 5 Cruise, 1 Olympia, 1 Delphi & 4 Athens
Round trip airfare from JFK, 13 nights accommodation, all transfers, most meals and sightseeing
Price Includes
  • Flights New York-Istanbul, Athens-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 13 nights accommodations
    • 2 nights Istanbul
    • 5 nights Celestyal Cruise
    • 1 night Olympia
    • 1 night Delphi
    • 4 nights Athens
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Cruise gratuities & porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 24 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Unlimited drink package on board the cruise
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of local guide in Istanbul & tour manager Days 9-14
  • Entrance fees per itinerary

Special Features

  • Discover Istanbul’s extraordinary sights including the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia and the Hippodrome
  • Hunt for local treasures in the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world
  • Tour the Acropolis Museum, a striking modern building where many of the original statues from the Acropolis are now displayed
  • Visit Olympia, birthplace of the first Olympic Games
  • Tour the archaeological sites of Delphi and the Temple of Apollo

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Turkey
Depart for Turkey

DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! Arrive in Istanbul, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone
Overnight: Istanbul

DAY 3, Tuesday - Istanbul City Tour
This morning, embark on a half day tour of Istanbul, the only city that straddles two continents. Begin with a picture stop at the courtyard of the Blue Mosque, a 17th century Ottoman Mosque famous with its six minarets and magnificent interior with blue tiles. Continue to the Hippodrome, the place where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. You will also visit St. Sophia - the great Byzantine Basilica built in the 6th century, which remained the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years, it was later converted to a mosque and now serves as a museum. Afterward, explore the Grand Bazaar, in the Old City, a world-famous shopping center with more than 4,000 shops displaying jewelry, leather goods, carpets and more, at your leisure. Perhaps, join the optional half day Dolmabahce Palace with Istiklal Street Gourmet Hunt. Visit the 19th century Baroque and Rococo style Dolmabahce Palace and later experience the culinary delights of the backstreets of Beyoglu district
Optional: Half Day Dolmabahce Palace with Istiklal Street Gourmet Hunt (PM)
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Wednesday - Full Day in Istanbul, Cruise Embarkation
Today is free to explore this intriguing city on your own. Perhaps, join the optional Full Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Spice Market & Bosphorus Cruise. Begin with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. The jeweled turban crests, silken caftans and priceless Chinese porcelains of the palace bear witness to the grandeur of a bygone era. Continue to the sunken palace of Basilica Cistern, the largest surviving Byzantine cistern in Istanbul, that was used to store water for the Great Palace. Afterwards, explore the Spice Market with its unforgettable aromas. Conclude the tour with a cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding straits separating Europe and Asia. In the afternoon, transfer to the port for embarkation
Optional: Full Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Spice Market & Bosphorus Cruise (AM)
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Thursday - Full Day in Canakkale
Cruise through the Dardanelles Strait - straddling both Asia and Europe. Arrive at 7:00 am this morning in Canakkale, the entry point to the ancient city of Troy and the famous Gallipoli Battlefields. Troy, a 4000-year-old city and legendary center of the Trojan War, became immortalized by Homer's epic poem, The Iliad. Spend time exploring on your own before returning to the ship for a 5:00 pm departure
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Friday - Full Day in Volos
Arrive at the port of Volos, Greece at 7:00 am. This modern-day coastal city, tucked along the foothills of Mount Pelion, overlooking the Pagasetic Gulf, is the mythical homeland of Jason and the Argonauts. Wander around the different neighborhoods, to discover the exiting and varied architecture that encompasses the city. Be sure to take advantage of the city's energetic atmosphere, as you stroll along the waterfront. Stop at one of the Tsipouradika, traditional taverns, offering tsipouro (Greek pomace brandy) and meze. In the afternoon, at 5:00 pm the ship departs for Crete
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Saturday - Full Day in Crete
Today, spend a leisurely morning aboard the ship. At 1:00 pm, arrive in Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands. Take a scenic drive highlighting the proud Venetian heritage of Heraklion, including the Koules Fortress, the Morosini Fountain, and the 10th century Church of St Titus. Then, explore the incredible open-air museum of the great Palace of Knossos, ceremonial and political center of the ancient Minoan civilization and residence of the mythical King Minos. Free time to explore on your own or, join the locals relaxing in a café drinking coffee. The ship sets sail at 11:59 pm, just before midnight for Santorini
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Sunday - Morning in Santorini, Travel to Mykonos
This morning at 7:00 am, cruise into Santorini's caldera*. Admire panoramic views of the Aegean Sea as you drive north to Oia village, built on the caldera rim, famous for its white-washed houses with blue shutters. Leisure time to stroll along the marble paved alleys, or relax at a cliffside café, before returning to the ship. Depart Santorini at 1:00 pm. Sit back and relax, as you take in the spectacular scenery of the beautiful turquoise waters of the Aegean. Arrive at 7:00 pm in the ultra popular and chic jet-set island of Mykonos with its whitewashed houses, iconic windmills and sophisticated town with trendy cafés and boutiques. This evening, find a table at a harborside taverna and gaze at the bustle of Cycladic island life and gorgeous views. Perhaps, visit one of the island’s popular night clubs, or relax at a terrace bar before the ship departs at 2:00 am for Athens
*Due to local conditions, the order of the Santorini sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Cruise Director
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Monday - Arrive in Athens
Arrive in Athens, the classical capital of Greece, at 9:00 am; disembark the cruise ship and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to discover the ancient wonders of this city known as the cradle of Western Civilization and the birthplace of democracy. This evening, join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting at approximately 7 pm at your hotel
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Tuesday - Athens City Tour
This morning is at leisure, or join the optional guided tour of the Acropolis. This architectural masterpiece was built during the Golden Age of Athens and today is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For passengers who opt not participate in the optional tour, transportation has been included to meet the Tour Manager and the rest of the group at the Acropolis Museum. Visit the museum, built at the base of the famous monument, housing many of the precious original statues from the Acropolis. After lunch on your own, join the Tour Manager for a walk through the lively Plaka area, the oldest section of Athens, a neighborhood of charming restaurants, shops and sidewalk cafes. Continue by bus to Syntagma Square. Upon arrival, you might catch a glimpse of the colorfully-costumed Evzone guards, outfitted in the traditional Greek style. Tonight, consider joining the optional dinner in Athens. Begin the evening with a panoramic drive through illuminated Athens. Continue to the lively Plaka area under the Acropolis and enjoy a 3-course traditional Greek dinner, including wine and live music at a typical Greek taverna
Optional: Acropolis Archaeological Site Walking Tour (AM)
Optional: Dinner in Athens (PM)
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11, Wednesday - Sightseeing en route to Olympia
Depart Athens via the scenic coastal road to the mighty Corinth Canal, dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. Continue via Nauplion to Mycenae, the heartland of Greek mythology. Visit the Acropolis of Mycenae and the Tomb of Atreus, built around 1250 B.C. From here, drive through the Central Peloponnese Peninsula, whose major cities in classical times were Corinth and Sparta. Continue to Olympia, birthplace of the first Olympic Games
Overnight: Olympia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Thursday - Tour the Olympia Archaeological Site
Morning visit to the archaeological site of Olympia, including the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, and the ancient stadium where the Olympic Games were first held in 776 B.C. At the Archaeological Museum view astonishing Greek works of art such as the Nike of Paionios and terracotta statues dating back to the 5th century B.C. Then, drive north through the plains of Eliad and Achaia, crossing the Corinth Strait via a cabled bridge from Rion to Antirion. Pass the town of Nafpaktos en route to Delphi, home of the ruins of the Tholos Temple
Overnight: Delphi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Friday - Archaeological Tour of Delphi
Tour the excavated site of Delphi and the archaeological Museum, perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered one of the most important places in Greek history, its stunning setting and ancient ruins are truly inspirational. Walk the Sacred Way to the imposing 4th century B.C. Temple of Apollo, site of the most important oracle in the classical world. Travel south this afternoon, arriving in Athens in the late afternoon. The rest of the evening is at leisure to further discover Athens on your own
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14, Saturday - Full Day in Athens
Today is at leisure to explore Athens independently. Perhaps join the optional full day cruise! Travel by bus from Athens to the port for embarkation on a cruise to Hydra, Poros and Aegina islands. Enjoy time at leisure to explore Hydra on your own. Afterward, board your ship and sail to Poros, the smallest of the three islands, and historical Aegina, known for its delicious pistachios and the Temple of Afea. Explore Aegina independently, or opt for an excursion by coach to the temple. Finally, sail back and return to your hotel in Athens
Optional: Full Day Cruise to Hydra, Poros & Aegina with lunch
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15, Sunday - Depart Greece
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Dates & Prices Call to book (877) 636-6660 OR

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Notes :
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • During off-season, shops and restaurants may be closed in Mykonos.
  • Your cruise package includes the following excursions: Minoan Palace of Knossos (HER-02) and Spectacular Oia Village (SAN-01). You may purchase additional excursions on board your cruise.
  • Triple rooms/cabins are not available.
  • Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates.
  • All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary.
Not Included
Port charges of US $359 Optional shore excursions
Optional tours and gratuities

All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability at the time of booking. The from price reflects the lowest available price at time of publication, which is valid for a specific start date or dates and also based on availability at the time of booking.

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