Our Favorite Cruises from Athens

There is a myriad of small ship cruises in Greece that embark from Athens. The difficulty comes in deciding which to choose. From the options that cover the highlights to themed trips, these are our very favorite cruises from Athens. 

Oia village, Santorini

Best of Greece 8-Day Small-Ship Cruise

If you’re looking to sample the best of Greece along with some fantastic lesser-known islands, this Greece luxury cruise may be ideal. You’ll be able to explore fascinating ancient ruins and archaeological sites, sail to Santorini to marvel at its stunning caldera and enjoy an optional tour to Akrotiri, often compared to Pompeii. It’s impeccably preserved thanks to the ash that covered it during the 1600 BC volcanic eruption in 1600 BC. Of course, you’ll visit Oia village too, the quintessential Greek island image with whitewashed buildings spilling down the cliff where crowds gather every evening at dusk to watch the iconic sunset. 

It all begins at Piraeus Port in Athens, where you’ll board your luxurious ship, with our first stop the postcard-perfect island of Ios with its famously beautiful beaches. Visit Patmos, the sacred island famous for inspiring St. John to write the Book of Revelations and then journey to Kusadisi in Turkey to explore more ancient civilizations, including the Aegean’s greatest archaeological site: Ephesus. Other highlights include the archaeological site of Delos with its extensive ruins dating from the golden age of classical Greece, including a theater and temples, along with cosmopolitan Mykonos. Enjoy a BBQ picnic and an unforgettable swim on tranquil Tinos, visit mountainous Kythnos, and on the return to Athens, we’ll sail to Cape Sounion with its nearly 200-foot-high Temple of Poseidon. 

Chania, Venetian Harbour, Crete

9-Day Highlights of Greece Cruise

This exciting Highlights of Greece Cruise begins at Marina Zeas in Athens’ Piraeus Port traveling to island favorites along with off-the-beaten path treasures. Start with a visit to Kea, an island most pass by but really shouldn’t, with the chance to soak up the stunning scenery while sipping a refreshing beverage at one of the tavernas on the seafront. You’ll cruise to the birthplace of Apollo, the UNESCO-protected site of Delos, and then venture to nearby Mykonos with the opportunity to witness its famous windmills and sample the renowned nightlife. There will be plenty of time to lounge on the sundeck while surrounded by the endless sparkling waters of the sapphire Aegean before we reach Santorini. Explore its capital city of Fira and the idyllic village of Oia – an optional tour to check out the island’s traditional village and archaeological sites is included too.

From Santorini we cruise to the island of Crete, pulling into Rethymno’s port on the north coast with its magnificent Venetian harbor. Here you can join an optional excursion to Europe’s oldest city, Knossos, to marvel at the island’s largest Bronze Age archaeological site and the renowned palace before sailing on to Kythira, a remote isle filled with cascading waterfalls and unspoiled sandy beaches. You’ll explore the ancient Chora with its 13th-century Venetian castle and dine on delicious Cretan cuisine in one of the waterfront restaurants to cap off a memorable day. Other highlights before returning to Athens include the medieval fortified town of Monemvasia that was carved into the side of a massive rock rising out of the sea, the archaeological site of Mycenae and either Hydra or Spetses, both scenic and peaceful car-free islands.

Hydra island
Spetses island

16-Night Cruise from Athens, followed by Cruise from Split to Dubrovnik

If you’re struggling to decide whether to cruise Croatia or Greece, enjoy the best of both worlds with one of our all-time favorites. This dream trip features seven nights of sailing starting from Athens, exploring some of the best Greek islands, including stops on Mykonos, Santorini, Nafplion, Hydra, Spetses and more. Some of the highlights here include exploring the sacred island of Delos and wandering through the streets of Mykonos Town with its whitewashed Cycladic buildings, including time to enjoy its legendary nightlife. On Santorini, you’ll visit the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri and wander through the village of Oia, enjoying that colorful sunset, and then witness Crete’s largest Bronze Age archaeological site and renowned ceremonial palace of Knossos. 

The other half of the adventure cruises from Dubrovnik to Split. In the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ see if you can spot the iconic filming locations from the hit show “Game of Thrones,” while enjoying its impressive medieval buildings and legendary views from the top of Mount Srd. We’ll sail to Slano where you’ll visit and oyster farm and enjoy samples of the fresh delicacies in Ston, tour the storybook Old Town of Korcula, explore lush Mljet National Park with its saltwater lakes and unspoiled Vis to experience the “Mediterranean as it once was.” Enjoy dining among Hvar Island’s international jet-setting crowd before the cruise concludes in ancient Split with a tour of the Old City and its 1,700-year-old Diocletian’s Palace.

Acropolis in Athens
Beach on Naxos island

A 12-Day Culinary Journey from Greece

For food and wine enthusiasts this small ship cruise from Athens is a culinary journey that’s hard to beat. You’ll be able to sample all sorts of gastronomic delights in Greece and visit many iconic ancient sites while traveling through Athens, Naxos, Santorini and Crete. You’ll have time to visit the iconic Parthenon atop Acropolis Hill before traveling about 90 minutes from the capital to a renowned monastery that produces wine. The island-hopping portion of your adventure starts by sailing to Naxos which not only offers some of the country’s most beautiful sandy beaches, but a thriving food and wine scene. Visit the mountainous village of Apeiranthos which impressed late chef/author/television personality Anthony Bourdain with its jaw-dropping scenery and tasty eats, including rich Rosto (pork with garlic).

In Santorini, visit the settlement of Akrotiri, frozen in time after being buried by ash during the massive 1646 BC volcanic eruption, listen to the chants of the monks at Prophet Elias Monastery and sip local wine at a traditional winery before enjoying whitewashed Oia village.

You’ll even get to take a cooking lesson in a traditional home, complete with warm Greek hospitality and time to savor the meal. Crete, the final island, brings a cooking workshop using indigenous island herbs, as well as a wine lovers’ tour to learn about Cretan wine and winemaking with visits to three wineries. 

Contact us to arrange anyone of these cruises, or perhaps there’s another one that catches your eye like the 8-Day Greece Cyclades Small Ship Cruise. Our travel experts can help you plan the small ship cruise from Athens of your dreams by calling +44 208 004 2345.

Experiences in Greece