|Date||Port Click to Expand||Arrival||Departure|
| ||Sep 6 – Sat||Istanbul – Turkey||Early Morning||Evening|
|Individual arrival in Istanbul ~ embarkation on the SeaDream I. |
If True Greece has arranged for your pre-cruise experience at a luxury Istanbul hotel, before meeting your private car transfer to board your cruise, enjoy a guided tour of the incredible city of Istanbul.
Standing firmly over two continents, Istanbul is the personification of a true “cosmopolitan” city. Your True Greece guide will show you this multi-cultural and historic city through the eyes of a local. Depending on the day of your Istanbul tour you will have the opportunity to visit the Blue Mosque and its superb inner courtyard, the Hippodrome originally built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD, the magnificent Byzantine church of St. Sophia, the Underground Cistern built during the reign of Constantine I, the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans presided over their vast empire and the Grand Bazaar where almost 5,000 shops are spread out in a giant maze of small streets and passages that are arranged according to their trade. By the end of this fascinating day you will feel like a citizen of this “international” city.
Following your tour, board your cruise ship at Istanbul’s main port and begin your journey of the Eastern Mediterranean. We wish you an exceptional cruise experience!
| ||Sep 7 – Sun||Kepez – Turkey||Morning||Afternoon|
|Kepez is a seaside town in the Province of Canakkale, Turkey. This port is an excellent jump-off point to the town of Canakkale, and sites of Troy and Gallipolli. In the 19th century, the area witnessed one of the worst wars of World War I in the nearby battlefields of Gallipoli. This area is also known for the ancient site of Troy, discovered in 1865-66 by archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has been of great strategic and economic importance as the gateway to Istanbul and the Black Sea from the Mediterranean.|
| ||Sep 8 – Mon||Kusadasi – Turkey||Morning||Evening|
|Kusadasi – meaning “bird island” – is a lively resort town located on Turkey’s Aegean Coast. The area’s history dates back as far as 3000 B.C. and has been a center of art and culture of many civilizations since. Before becoming a popular vacation spot in the 1980’s, Kusadasi itself was a modest town with a population consisting mostly of farmers and fishermen, while today’s Kusadasi resembles a modern European city. |
Head out for some shopping into the maze of pedestrian roads in the old quarter, where you can find some traditional Turkish goods, like leather, carpets, jewellery, ceramics, etc. On the way there, just outside the port you will pass the The Öküz Mehmet Pasha caravanserai. Built in the early 17th century, it once served as a roadside inn for travelers to rest and recover from the day's journey. Alternatively, take a walk along the bay and visit the peninsula Guvercin Adası ("Pigeon Island") that hosts a castle and several beaches, including a private beach with a café facing the town and the port, and public beaches facing the open sea.
If you have included a private guided tour of Ephesus, you will meet with your guide and driver and head toward this breathtaking ancient site. Ephesus boasts a rich and vibrant history and has become famous for its incredible historical landmarks, such as the Library of Celsus, the magnificent ancient theater, and the famous Terrace Houses. Explore this wonderful archaeological site with the assistance of your guide and marvel at one of the best preserved cities of the Ancient world. Reaching its climax during the Roman period, when it was regarded as the second largest city in the world, it is here where St Paul stayed for nearly three years preaching his beliefs. Considered as one of the seven Churches of Asia by Saint John in the Book of Revelations, Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.
| ||Sep 9 – Tue||Patmos – Greece||Morning||Late Evening|
|Patmos is considered by many to be the secret gem of the Aegean. Sheltered from the herds of mass tourism, Patmos features a variety of truly beautiful village settlements, scenic beaches, elegant restaurants and traditional tavernas. Chora, one of its main villages, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the unique scenery and tranquillity of the island has inspired Forbes Magazine to describe Patmos as the most idyllic place to live in Europe! |
If you have included a True Greece guided tour of the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John, Hora you will meet with your private tour guide upon arrival at the port. Explore the island's historic Monastery that St. Christodoulos built in 1088 AD, and visit its impressive exhibition of ecclesiastical embroideries, pendants, ceremonial artifacts, rare manuscripts and beautiful icons. Continue your tour by following your True Greece guide through the magical maze like streets of Hora, where you will be able to enjoy the authentic beauty of the best preserved medieval settlements in the Aegean. After this small adventure make your way to the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John is said to have written the Book of Revelation. Whether you identify with the pious or the religiously indifferent you will definitely feel the mysticism and spirituality of this location.
| ||Sep 10 – Wed||Bodrum – Turkey||Morning||Evening|
|Tucked into a peninsula of the same name, Bodrum is a port town in the south-western Aegean Region of Turkey. It is an international center of tourism and yachting, renowned as a vacation paradise with a mix of sandy coasts, secluded bays, evergreen forests and rocky cliffs. As you approach the port, you will be welcomed by the white-washed houses that fan down a gentle slope to its superb enclosed harbor. Birth place of Herodotus (also known as “the father of written history”), Bodrum is the Turkish name for the ancient city of Halicarnassus, and the first town in Turkey to experience a tourist boom. |
Until the 6th century BC, Bodrum (also known as Halicarnassus) is said to have either been a Dorian city or at least a member of the Dorian Confederation, including the Greek island of Kos, as well as cities on the island of Rhodes. Eventually, Halicarnassus became a Christian city as part of the Byzantine Empire, but by 1392 the city was annexed to the Ottoman Empire. Around this time, the Knights of St. John were engaged in fights with the Turks and by 1402 the Knights were granted right to settle and govern the city. The city would again be surrendered to the Ottomans by 1522 and renamed Bodrum. During WW1, the city of Bodrum was taken over by Italian forces, but in 1923 it was awarded to the new Turkish Republic.
| ||Sep 11 – Thu||Santorini – Greece||Morning||Evening|
|Santorini, world-renowned for its widely photographed, romantic sunsets and unique, volcanic natural environment, is arguably the most striking of the Greek islands. Its dramatic red and black sand beaches, narrow white-washed alleys, exquisite traditional and international cuisine, as well as its agricultural and wine-making tradition, make Santorini a truly spectacular island. |
If you have included a True Greece tour or excursion today in Santorini, meet your guide or transfer agent upon arrival at the harbor and begin your exploration of this incredible island under the care of a True Greece affiliate.
| ||Sep 12 – Fri||Hydra – Greece||Morning||Evening|
|Hydra is a beautiful island located in the Saronic group of Greek islands, near the eastern foot of the Peloponnese. A fashionable destination among artists during the 60s, Hydra still maintains a cosmopolitan character. Its picturesque capital is full of red-tiled houses and stone-paved narrow alleys. A unique characteristic to this island is that motor vehicles are by law not allowed on the island (with the exception of garbage trucks!); water taxis, donkeys, and bicycles provide for transportation on the island. Although most people choose to simply walk everywhere. Hydra is full of many bays and natural harbors, and has a strong maritime culture. The island is also a popular yachting destination and home to the international Kamini Yacht Club.|
| ||Sep 13 – Sat||Athens – Greece||Morning||Evening|
|Arrival Athens ~ individual departure. |
Disembark your cruise ship at Athens’ main port of Piraeus - Greece's largest port and gateway to the Mediterranean since 482 BC! If True Greece has arranged for your post-cruise experience, upon arrival at the Piraeus cruise terminal meet your private driver who will transfer you to your luxury hotel in Athens; then enjoy a True Greece guided tour of Athens and the Acropolis.
Together with your local True Greece guide, the highlights tour will expose you to this diverse city - birth place of modern democracy and cradle of western civilization. Follow your True Greece guide up the steps once taken by ancients like Socrates, Pericles and Plato, and gaze at the ‘sacred’ Acropolis, home to the magnificent and architecturally unique Parthenon. Allow your True Greece guide to bring the city of Athens and this exceptional experience to life, with a wealth of historical and cultural information. As part of your tour, you will also have the opportunity to visit significant and historically important sites, such as the Parliament Building, the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, the Columns of Olympian Zeus, and the Presidential Mansion.
Cruises are subject to availability. Itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.