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SH Diana - 192 Guests

Cultures Of East Mediterranean

9 Day Istanbul to Limasol,Cyprus


Experience the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean on this unforgettable voyage. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the charming town of Kavala, and the vibrant city of Thessaloniki, this cruise takes you through some of the world's most beautiful and historic destinations. Explore the ancient ruins of Volos and Chíos, stroll through the picturesque streets of Kusadasi and Rhodes, and soak up the sun on Heraklion’s breathtaking beaches.



 

 

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Sep 16, 2024Sep 24, 20248,520 9,278
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Sep 16, 2024Sep 24, 20248,520 9,278

ITINERARY


DAY 1  ISTANBUL

Istanbul bridges Europe and Asia, shaped by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. This diversity infuses the city's architecture, cuisine, music and arts. Sites include the Hagia Sophia museum, a former church and mosque, the stunning Blue Mosque with six minarets, Topkapi Palace, the former residence of the Ottoman sultans, and the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

DAY 2  KAVALA

Kavála in eastern Macedonia, Greece, is a rarely explored port that offers unexpected delights - a blend of history, culture and architecture. Known as Neopolis in ancient times, Kavála was historically a significant seaport, used by Middle Eastern traders to access European markets. The Ottoman old town's alleys lead to a Byzantine citadel while the Imaret is a former Islamic soup kitchen and mosque, now a cultural centre with a museum.

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DAY 3  THESSALONIKI

In the heart of the Thermaic Gulf, Greece's second city is a vibrant mix of diverse neighbourhoods, each with its unique character. The Byzantine walls offer the best views of the city. The narrow lanes of Ano Poli take you through one of the city’s oldest districts, past ancient castles and monuments. Remnants from the reign of 4th-century emperor Galerius Maximiliano include the Palace, Triumphal Arch and Rotunda.

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DAY 4  VOLOS

The homeland of the mythical centaur, the port city of Volos offers a mix of salty sea breeze, fresh mountain air and fascinating mythology. With a replica of the infamous Argo, recreated from historical texts, this is where Jason and his Argonauts sailed on a quest for the Golden Fleece. The extensive seafront is lined with traditional cafes and tavernas, known for freshly caught seafood and traditional tsipouro (a local spirit).

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DAY 5  CHIOS

The birthplace of Greek poet Homer, Chios island In the Aegean Sea, is known for mastic production and medieval villages. Fortress-like mastic villages were built under Genoese rule in the 12th century. Highlights include Olympi and medieval Pirgi with its intricately patterned geometric house decorations, Mesta with its fortified alleyways and central Taxiarches Church, and the mastic tree groves used to produce the unique resin.

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DAY 6  KUSADASI

Kusadasi is the gateway to 11th century BC Ephesus, a well-preserved ancient site. This UNESCO-listed treasure was a vital Roman capital and religious hub from 129 BC. It features marble streets, the Temple of Hadrian, mosaic-adorned Terrace Houses, the Library of Celsus and the amphitheatre where St. Paul spoke. Nearby stood the Temple of Artemis/Diana, once among the Seven Wonders. The Seljuk archaeological museum displays Ephesus artefacts.

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DAY 7  HERAKLION, CRETE

Heraklion, Crete's largest city and capital, holds a rich history dating to the Minoans and Venetians. The Palace of Knossos, around 2000 BC, is a key Greek archaeological site, central to Minoan civilization. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum showcases Minoan artefacts, including Knossos' famous frescoes. The city's Venetian legacy is seen in the 16th-century fortress and the Lions (Morosini Fountain), supplying 1,000 barrels of water daily.

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DAY 8  RHODES

Rhodes Town, one of Europe's best medieval walled towns, is known for the 14th century UNESCO-listed Old Town constructed by the Knights of St. John and the 100-foot Colossus statue that once stood in the harbour. Highlights include the bustling Turkish district, Grand Masters' Palace adorned with marble mosaics and Gothic Street of the Knights. Nearby Lindos offers whitewashed streets and an Acropolis with views over St. Paul's Bay.

DAY 9  LIMASSOL

Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, lies between the ancient sites of Amathous and Kourion. The city has witnessed various occupations. Modern waterfront buildings and a sleek promenade stand in contrast to the ancient core of the Old Town. Notably, Limassol Castle played a historic role, serving as the venue for Richard the Lionheart's marriage to Berengaria of Navarre after his conquest of the island in 1191.

SH Diana (Luxury Expedition, 192-guests)

The 2023-built SH Diana will be providing elegant and spacious 5-star accommodation for 192 guests in 96 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED


  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • All meals onboard
  • Onboard accommodation in a stateroom selected category
  • 24-hour room service
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • One selected shore excursion/expedition activities per port of call (Kayak not included, bookable for a fee on board)
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions
  • Standard WiFi
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes


DAY 2  KAVALA

PHILIPPI
Included
03 h 00 m
Visit Philippi, a UNESCO World Heritage site
See the most important monuments of the archaeological site as the Romano Forum
Visit the St. Lydia site, the stream where Lydia was baptized

WINERY AND LOCAL FLAVOURS
Optional
05 h 30 m
Discover how in this region wine was celebrated since antiquity
Have a unique experience visiting two of the most renowned wineries in all of Greece
Enjoy the tasting of very special wines

DAY 3  THESSALONIKI

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF DION & MT OLYMPUS
Included
08 h 00 m
Visit the archaeological site of Dion situated at the foothills of Mount Olympus
Discover how the Roman Theater is still used nowdays
Pay a visit to the Museum

KERKINI LAKE
Optional
07 h 30 m
Discover Lake Kerkini, one of the 10 most valuable wetland habitats in Greece
Admire the beautiful flamingos and the magnificent buffalos that walk near you
Enjoy bird watching through the lake

POZAR THERMAL BATHS AND EDESSA
Optional
08 h 00 m
Take the chance to bath in the waters at the Loutra Pozar
Visit to Edesaa, ancient capital of Macedon
Admire the beautiful gorge located in the majestic mountain Edessa Waterfalls

TRACES OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Optional
08 h 00 m
Visit Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great
Admire the public buildings and luxurious private homes with intricate marble-floor mosaics
In Vergina, visit the tomb of King Philip II of Macedonia, dating from 335 B.C

DAY 4  VOLOS

REMARKABLE MONASTERIES OF METEORA
Included
08 h 00 m
View fascinating Meteora Monasteries
Explore the Agios Stephanos Monastery, still stunning despite damage sustained during multiple military conflicts
Enjoy the incredible views while wending up the slopes of Mount Pelion

COOK LIKE A LOCAL AT A GREEK FARM
Optional
04 h 00 m
Enjoy a visit to the Karaiskos Farm
Visit the vegetable garden to learn about the seasonal products and herbs locally grown in Pelion
Cook local recipes learn your hosts' secrets

DAY 5  CHIOS

CHIOS HIGHLIGHTS
Included
04 h 30 m
Visit Pyrgi Village one of the most beautiful villages on the island of Chios, known as the "painted village" thanks to the unique facade of the stone houses
Continue the island discovery to the Mesta, the best preserved medieval village of Chios
Discover the secrets of Masticha plantations

NEA MONI MONASTERY & ANAVATOS
Optional
04 h 00 m
Pay a visit to the Nea Moni monastery, considered as one of the most famous buildings of the Byzantine period
Stroll around the small streets of Avgonima, surrounded by the stone made houses with the flat roofs and have a coffee break at the central square
Discover Anavatos, an impressive medieval village located at the center of Chios island

CHIOS TOWN HISTORY AND FOOD TOUR
Optional
03 h 00 m
Walk through the small alleys of Chios Town and make several stops to the locals’ favourite places
Taste some local specialties
Discover the Medieval castle of Chios

DAY 6  KUSADASI

EPHESUS - TERRACE HOUSES & MUSEUM
Included
04 h 30 m
Visit Ephesus, considered Europe’s most complete ancient city. Ephesus was an important religious center second only to Athens and later Jerusalem
Admire the Terrace Houses "The Houses of the Rich", luxury Roman Villas
Sepnd some time in the Ephesus Museum, here are not only findings from the ongoing excavations

PRIENE -MILETUS & DIDYMA
Optional
08 h 00 m
Discover Priene, less visited than other site in the region offers gorgeous Turkish landscapes, and retains a great deal of its ancient Greek heritage
Learn the history of Miletus, home not only to explorers and traders, but to a significant intellectual community
Wonder in front of the Didyma's Temple of Apollo

ST. JOHN BASILICA - ARTEMIS TEMPEL & V. HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
Optional
03 h 30 m
Visit this mystical site believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary
Stop at the Basilica of St. John, which was one of the most significant religious monuments of its time
Stop at the Temple of Artemis also known as the Temple of Diana, one of the 7 wonders of the world

DAY 7  HERAKLION, CRETE

THE PALACE OF KNOSSOS & HERAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Included
04 h 00 m
The ruins of Knossos palace are incredibly well-preserved, and offers a glimpse into the lives of the Minoans
Marvel at the intricate carvings on the walls, or wander through the courtyards and imagine what life was like in this ancient city
Admire The House of the Frescoes, which has wall paintings, and the Villa of Dionysos, a private home with magnificent mosaic decorations

ARCADI MONASTERY & RETHYMNON TOWN
Optional
07 h 30 m
Discover one the most important monuments of Crete, the Holy Monastery of Arkadi
Stroll the historic alleys of Rethymnon
Enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch

GO BACK IN TIME IN AROLITHOS VILLAGE
Optional
07 h 30 m
Discover Arolithos Village, this unique place which has preserved the Cretan traditions unaltered through time and pass it down to children and adults
Learn about the Heraklion's long history of agricultural life and handicrafts at the Museum
Try a real Cretan product closely related to the Greek way of life, hospitality and entertainment of the Greeks, the "raki"

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person, subject to availability and can change at any time