Disable Your Ad Blocker

The ad blocker plugin on your browser may not allow you to view everything on this page. For the best experience on our website, please disable this ad blocker.

You are using an old version of the browser and your video viewing experience may be impacted

ATTENTION: We are sorry you are experiencing long hold times on the phone

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Register for My Account

Register using the one of the following:

(How do I find my Customer Number?)

Already have an account?

* Required

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy

Forgot Your Password?

If you have forgotten your password, enter the email you used to set up your account, and click the Continue button. We will email you a link you can use to easily create a new password. If you are having trouble resetting your password, call us toll-free at 1-800-221-0814.

The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

New! 2018 The Aegean & Mediterranean: A Voyage from Athens to Jerusalem & the Greek Islands

Greece: Athens, Santorini, Patmos, Symi, Rhodes • Cyprus: Paphos • Israel: Haifa, Jerusalem

EXPLORE IN SMALL GROUPS OF 25 ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 89-PASSENGER M/V CLIO—OPERATED BY GRAND CIRCLE CRUISE LINE

12 Days from only $5095 including international airfare

Activity Level:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Courtesy of David Conover & Paul Villanova
Travelogue: Santorini & Delos, Greece 1954

See Greece in 1954 in this vintage 16mm film footage—from donkeys to hillside towns and ruins.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Greek Islands

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa to discover the sundrenched villages and natural wonders awaiting you along Greece's Cyclades islands.

FROM
$5095
12 DAYS
$425/DAY
including international airfare
11 DAYS FROM $3995 Small Ship Adventure Only
Extend Your Trip
 
 

Best Value—Guaranteed
See how to maximize
your travel dollar,
including saving up to 10%.

 

Spend more time in
Jerusalem after your
cruise ends.
See More Options »

Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Since the dawn of Western literature, the Greek Isles have been at the heart of epic adventures. Follow in the wake of legends as you explore Athens, the cradle of modern democracy ... cruise the Dodecanese, where folklore says the gods were born ... and navigate the waters of the Cyclades, a circle of legendary landscapes. Discover the rocky beauty of Cyprus, an island Marc Antony thought fit for a queen, and the panoply of archaeology and faith traditions to be found in Caesarea and Jerusalem, Israel.

At the heart of your adventure is a seven-night cruise aboard the 89-passenger M/V Clio along Aegean and Mediterranean waters, often slipping into ports that larger ships cannot. In small groups of no more than 25, you’ll wind your way through bustling markets, dine in neighborhood restaurants, and soak up the flavor of local life today in the most ancient of settings.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • Did you know that you have control over the way you want to fly with us? O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other ways you can personalize your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Upgrade your seat: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. 
    • Fly the way you want to: When you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • You can extend your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Stay for a day, a week, or even a month in a favorite locale. Or consider arriving a few days early for a fresh start or spending more time at the end of your trip in Jerusalem. Our Travel Counselors can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. Travelers who are interested in this trip may choose to continue their discoveries on our Undiscovered Adriatic: Eastern Italy, Venice, Puglia & Malta adventure, Suez Canal Crossing: Israel, Egypt, Jordan & the Red Sea adventure, Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece adventure, or Barcelona to Athens adventure. And now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many Grand Circle travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens and Jerusalem & Masada, Israel. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 5 nights from only $895

    Experience the storied cultures of Greece, from the commanding beauty of Athens to the Peloponnese, where you discover the Bronze-era metropolis of Mycenae and the Neoclassical charms of Nafplion. Witness two of the ancient world’s most memorable sites: the fabled theater of Epidaurus and the athletic playing grounds of Olympia. It’s a timeless sojourn into the past splendor of Greece.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Athens, Greece.

    • Meals included:

    You'll be met at the airport and assisted with your transfer to our Athens hotel to join travelers coming from our Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens pre-trip extension. Enjoy a walk to get acquainted with the area around the hotel, then gather for a Welcome Drink and Briefing before dinner this evening.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, delve into Athens’ ancient history as we explore the Greek capital on a guided tour. Begin with the iconic Acropolis, located atop a rocky outcropping. Dating back to the fifth century BC, its Doric columns and distinct decorative flourishes have come to serve as the definitive examples of Classical Greek architecture. Among the highlights, the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike were both likely built as shrines to Athens' patron goddess. Though the Parthenon had a statue at its heart, worshipers were not allowed to enter. Descending from the temple complex, we’ll get to know the Plaka district, Athens’ oldest neighborhood.

    We'll stroll through this neighborhood of welcoming cafes, flower-lined patios, and shops specializing in hand-painted icons, jewelry, and antiques before stopping for lunch in a local restaurant.

    This afternoon, we'll transfer to the harbor to embark our small ship. This evening, we'll meet the crew and enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. During the night, our ship sails toward the island of Santorini.

    Please note: This portion of the trip will involve steep, uphill walking over rocky terrain.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today we take in the quintessentially Greek beauty of Santorini. Perched on the remnants of a volcanic caldera, which rewrote the local landscape in a dramatic 1956 eruption, the white-walled homes and winding lanes of Santorini offer a timeless vision of Greece.

    During our tour this morning, we'll visit a local museum and learn about the excavations at Akrotiri—an ancient Minoan city buried by volcanic ash. We'll also explore the picturesque village of Oia and learn about the fascinating ancient history of this area. Oia’s merchant fleet once ruled the Eastern Mediterranean, but today, the pace of life is simpler. We’ll experience the charm of this port city during a walking tour of its narrow, sun-bleached lanes. With its pale stone dwellings, two-story captains’ houses, and blue-domed churches crowding steep sea-facing slopes, Oia offers transporting postcard images. Please note: If the museum is closed, we'll enjoy an alternative activity during our tour. 

    We'll return to our ship for lunch onboard, followed by an afternoon at leisure. You may relax aboard or enjoy time to explore Santorini at your own pace. Join your Trip Leader on a discovery walk on this gem of the Aegean, seeking out stunning sea vistas, exploring the harbor, and poking in and out of cafes and shops. You may choose to sip one of the famed local wines, from a crisp white to an amber Vinsanto dessert wine.

    Return to the Clio this evening for dinner on board. Our ship sets sail for Patmos tonight.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    In the southeastern waters of the Aegean, the Dodecanese are sacred to Greece, as the original twelve islands of the ancient land. The isle of Patmos is imbued with folklore, including the tale that it originally lay on the sea floor, but so captivated Zeus that he asked his brother Poseidon if he could bring the island up to the surface and make it habitable.

    But Patmos is perhaps even better known to the wider world as the home of St. John the Evangelist. During the apostle’s lifetime, the island’s near-inaccessibility made it a perfect site for the banishment of criminals and political agitators. Between AD 95 and 97, during his exile from Ephesus, St. John lived in a grotto beneath the Temple of Diana. The small, very rustic conditions were somehow especially productive for him: He not only wrote the Gospel that bears his name, but the Book of Revelation, which was inspired by his fiery dreams.

    This morning, we’ll head up the slopes to visit the eleventh-century Monastery of St. John, built over 900 years ago by the monk Christodolous on the ruins of the Temple of Diana, and visible from most of the island. We’ll witness its collection of religious relics, many that have been greeting the eyes of visitors for centuries, before descending the steps that lead to the grotto, now called the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse. The humble corner in which St. John slept is outlined in a small fence and often filled with flowers, a homier touch than he enjoyed when he was alive.

    After we return to the ship for lunch on board, you may choose to go ashore for free time in Patmos. The port in which our ship docks is surrounded by cafes, tables spilling right onto the beach, and little shops. But the island is small enough that a 20-minute walk will bring you to the far side, for an even quieter and more rustic view.

    Return to the Clio this evening for dinner on board. We cruise toward Symi tonight.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, we arrive at the island of Symi. The Clio’s small size allows us to pull into Symi’s deep, well-protected harbor, something few tour companies can offer. Our explorations begin with a guided discovery of Yialos, the harborside village where we dock. White and pastel Venetian mansions descend the hillside in a semi-circle, giving the port the feel of a vast amphitheater. Here at Katarinettes, the Germans surrendered control of the Dodecanese at the end of World War II, ending Axis occupation. We will see the imposing Castle of the Knights of St. John, erected in the 14th century atop the remnants of a fifth-century monastery built on the site of an ancient temple to Athena.

    After lunch onboard the ship, enjoy free time to explore lovely Symi and perhaps take a discovery walk with your Trip Leader. The harbor area features small shops and a marketplace popular with locals where you can partake in the rhythms of Greek daily life. Symi once flourished off of the sponge-diving trade and, as you stroll the island, you’ll see many of the former merchants’ grand multi-colored Neoclassical homes and the ornate churches they funded.

    Late this afternoon, return to the ship for dinner onboard. Late this evening, our ship sets sail for Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese Islands. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today we explore the largest island of the Dodecanese. With an important strategic location for Mediterranean Sea routes, an inviting climate, and stunning scenery, it was considered a plum prize for would-be rulers. The Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Venetians, and Ottomans all claimed it over the centuries, though (as happened with the Italians and Germans) the island outlasted their control, becoming part of Greece in 1948.

    This morning, we'll embark on a walking tour of the Old Town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But strolling through Rhodes is not just a history lesson. Along with witnessing the palaces belonging to the Knights of Malta and discovering the legacy of many centuries, we'll also see local people going about their everyday lives.

    After lunch on our ship, enjoy free time for independent discoveries. Rhodes is a popular destination for Greek travelers, so your visit is a chance to go with the flow. Within walking distance of the ship, you’ll find beaches, small villages, and shops full of Greek foods and handicrafts. Or, join our optional tour to Lindos, a medieval village of whitewashed houses crowned by an ancient acropolis. During your time here, you'll stroll through the network of cobbled streets and explore the hilltop citadel and the surrounding ruins, including medieval walls, tombs, and an amphitheater.

    Dinner is onboard this evening, before we cruise toward Cyprus.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    We'll spend the day at leisure onboard our ship. You may choose to relax with a book in the lounge, or revel in the warmth of the Mediterranean from your seat on the Sun Deck. Your Trip Leader will offer optional fun and fascinating shipboard activities, always a convivial way to interact with your fellow travelers. Or you may just bask in the beauty of the endless sparking sea vistas, falling under the spell that lured so many Greek heroes of legend from their home ports.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Cyprus comes into view this morning, as enticing as it was when Marc Antony presented it to Cleopatra as a gift, and when Richard the Lionheart took his wedding vows here. With white sand beaches gleaming next to the most vivid blue seas, it is a magnet for romance.

    After breakfast, we go ashore in Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which attracted Roman emperors and the apostle Paul in its early years. Outside the “new” city, the oldest territory of Paphos is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, and there has been a temple to her worship here since at least the twelfth century.

    During our walking tour, we’ll see how architecture of Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods exist side by side with modern shops and cafés. A Byzantine fort watches over the harbor which is abuzz with visitors from the wide pedestrian promenade by the water to the little tavernas selling fanciful loukoumi (“Turkish Delight”). You’ll enjoy free time to explore on your own here.

    After lunch onboard, our ship sets a course for Haifa, Israel. This evening, we'll toast to our memories of the cruise during a festive Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Our cruise comes to an end as our ship drops anchor in Haifa. Under the watchful gaze of Mount Carmel, Israel’s third largest city is both a historic port town and a thriving modern metropolis.

    After breakfast onboard, we'll disembark and travel overland to Caesarea for a walking tour. Herod the Great was given the naval station of the Phoenicians and set about transforming it into a cosmopolitan city with a sprawling palace for himself, a commercial dock, and a mix of homes and businesses. The artificial port was an engineering marvel and his aqueduct system was state of the art for its day. During our tour, we’ll see remnants of Herod’s era and the later Crusades, from Roman ruins to the remains of the walled Crusader's city.

    After lunch in a local restaurant, head south to our final destination, Jerusalem. Upon arrival in the mid-afternoon, our Trip Leaders will take us on an orientation walk acquainting you with the neighborhood around our hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    At the heart of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, Jerusalem has been dubbed the world’s most spiritual city. After breakfast, get to know Jerusalem, exploring its Old City on foot. Our walking tour begins in the area around the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, which is adjacent to the site of Solomon's First Temple and the Second Temple. From here, you can look skyward to the Islamic Dome of the Rock, perched on the Temple Mount.

    We’ll also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built around what is believed to be the site of Christ's burial and resurrection, and follow the ancient “Way of Sorrows,” the Via Dolorosa, which some believe is the path Christ walked to his crucifixion. Having explored the winding streets of Jerusalem's Arab and Christian quarters, our walk will conclude with lunch at a local restaurant.

    Early this afternoon, we visit Mount Zion, the site of the Last Supper in Christian tradition, and the Mount of Olives, home of the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ was said to have been betrayed by his own apostle. Today the summit offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Dome of the Rock and the Old City.

    The balance of the afternoon is at leisure before our dinner together in a local restaurant.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you will be assisted to the airport for your flight back to United States, or begin your Jerusalem & Masada, Israel post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Jerusalem & Masada, Israel

    4 nights from only $995

    The sweep of history is on full display in this exploration of Israel’s crown jewel and the landscapes which surround it. From the Roman-era resistance at Masada to a touching memorial to 9/11, more than a millennium of Israeli culture awaits. Navigate the lanes of the Shuk, ponder the lessons of the Holocaust at the Yad Vashem, and witness the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Israel Museum. From modern metropolis to timeless desert, you’ll discover the very heart of Israel. 

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 4 nights from only $995

    The sweep of history is on full display in this exploration of Israel’s crown jewel and the landscapes which surround it. From the Roman-era resistance at Masada to a touching memorial to 9/11, more than a millennium of Israeli culture awaits. Navigate the lanes of the Shuk, ponder the lessons of the Holocaust at the Yad Vashem, and witness the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Israel Museum. From modern metropolis to timeless desert, you’ll discover the very heart of Israel.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Jerusalem, Israel.

  • You'll be met at the airport in Tel Aviv and assisted with your transfer to our hotel to join travelers coming from the Jerusalem & Masada, Israel pre-trip extension. We'll embark on a walk to to get acquainted with the area around the hotel, then gather for a Welcome Drink and Briefing. Dinner is on your own this evening.

    • Meals included:

    At the heart of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions, Jerusalem has been dubbed the world’s most spiritual city. After breakfast, we'll get to know the Old City on foot. Our walking tour begins in the area around the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, which is adjacent to the site of Solomon's First Temple and the Second Temple. From here, we can look skyward to the Islamic Dome of the Rock, perched on the Temple Mount. We’ll visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built around what is believed to be the site of Christ's burial and resurrection, and follow the ancient “Way of Sorrows,” the Via Dolorosa, which some believe is the path Christ walked to his crucifixion. Having explored  the winding streets of Jerusalem's Arab and Christian quarters, our walk will conclude with lunch at a restaurant in the Old City.

    Early this afternoon, we'll visit Mount Zion, the site of the Last Supper in Christian tradition, and the Mount of Olives, home of the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ was said to have been betrayed by his own apostle. Today the summit offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Dome of the Rock and the Old City.

    We'll return to our hotel and enjoy the balance of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast at our hotel, we'll travel overland to Caesarea for a walking tour. Herod the Great was given the naval station of the Phoenicians and set about transforming it into a cosmopolitan city with a sprawling palace for himself, a commercial dock, and a mixture of homes and businesses. The artificial port was an engineering marvel, and his aqueduct system was state of the art for its day. In our tour, we’ll see remnants of Herod’s era and the later Crusades, from Roman ruins to the remains of the walled Crusader's city.

    After lunch in a local restaurant, we'll head north to Haifa, where we'll embark our small ship. This evening, we'll meet our crew and enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. During the night, our ship sails toward Paphos, Cyprus.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    We'll spend the morning at leisure onboard, enjoying breakfast and lunch as we sail.

    Cyprus comes into view this afternoon, as enticing as it was when Marc Antony presented it to Cleopatra as a gift and when Richard the Lionheart took his wedding vows here. With white sand beaches gleaming next to the most vivid blue seas, it is a magnet for romance.

    We'll go ashore in Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage city which attracted Roman emperors and the apostle Paul in its early years. (Paul, who was lashed at a whipping post, may have regretted his visit.) Outside the “new” city, the oldest territory of Paphos is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, and there has been a temple to her worship here since at least the twelfth century.

    During a guided walking tour, we’ll see how architecture of Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods exists side by side with modern shops and cafés. A Byzantine fort watches over the harbor, which is abuzz with visitors from the wide pedestrian promenade by the water to the little tavernas selling fanciful loukoumi (“Turkish Delight”). Enjoy free time to explore on your own here.

    After dinner onboard, our ship sets a course for Rhodes. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today, we'll enjoy the relaxing rhythm of life on the open seas. You may choose to relax with a book in the lounge, or revel in the warmth of the Mediterranean from your seat on the Sun Deck. Your Trip Leader may offer optional shipboard activities, always a convivial way to interact with your fellow travelers. Or you may just bask in the beauty of the endless sparking sea vistas, falling under the spell that lured so many Greek heroes of legend from their home ports.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today we explore the capital and largest island of the Dodecanese. With an important strategic location for Mediterranean Sea routes, an inviting climate, and stunning scenery, it was considered a plum prize for would-be rulers. The Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Venetians, and Ottomans all claimed it over the centuries, though (as happened with the Italians and Germans) the island outlasted their control, becoming part of Greece in 1948.

    This morning, we'll embark on a walking tour of the Old Town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But strolling through Rhodes is not just a history lesson. Along with witnessing palaces belonging to the Knights of Malta and discovering the legacy of many centuries, we’ll also see many local Greeks going about their everyday lives.

    After lunch onboard, enjoy free time for independent discoveries. Rhodes is a popular destination for Greek travelers, so this is your chance to go with the flow. Within walking distance of the ship, you’ll find beaches, small villages, and shops full of Greek foods and handicrafts. Or, join our optional tour to Lindos, a medieval village of whitewashed houses crowned by an ancient acropolis. During your time here, you'll stroll through the network of cobbled streets and explore the hilltop citadel and the surrounding ruins, including medieval walls, tombs, and an amphitheater.

    Dinner is onboard this evening, before we set sail for Symi.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, we’ll arrive at the island of Symi. The Clio’s small size allows us to pull into Symi’s deep, well-protected harbor, something few travel companies can offer. Our explorations will begin with a guided discovery of Yialos, the harborside village where our ship docks. It was here that Germans surrendered control of the Dodecanese at the end of World War II, ending Axis occupation. During our tour, we'll see the imposing Castle of the Knights of St. John, erected in the 14th century atop the remnants of a fifth-century monastery built on the site of an ancient temple to Athena.

    After lunch onboard the ship, enjoy time to explore lovely Symi and perhaps embark on a discovery walk with your Trip Leader. The harbor area features small shops and a marketplace popular with locals, where you can partake in the rhythms of Greek daily life. Symi once flourished off of the sponge-diving trade and, as you stroll the island, you’ll see many of the former merchants’ grand multi-colored Neo-classical homes and the ornate churches they funded.

    We'll have dinner onboard this evening before our ship sets sail for Patmos. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    The island of Patmos is imbued with folklore, including the tale that it originally lay on the sea floor, but it so captivated Zeus that he asked his brother Poseidon if he could bring the island up to the surface and make it habitable. 

    But Patmos is perhaps even better known to the wider world as the home of St. John the Evangelist. During the apostle's lifetime, the island’s near-inaccessibility made it a perfect site for the banishment of criminals and political agitators. Between AD 95 and 97, during his exile from Ephesus, St. John lived in a grotto beneath the Temple of Diana. The small, very rustic conditions were somehow especially productive for him: He not only wrote the Gospel that bears his name there, but also the Book of Revelation, which was inspired by his fiery dreams.

    This morning, we’ll be able to head immediately up the slopes to visit the eleventh-century Monastery of St. John, built over 900 years ago by the monk Christodolous on the ruins of the Temple of Diana, and visible from most of the island. We’ll witness its collection of religious relics, many that have been greeting the eyes of visitors for centuries. Then descend the steps that lead down to the grotto, now called the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse. The humble corner in which St. John slept is outlined in a small fence and often filled with flowers, a homier touch than he enjoyed when he was alive.

    After we return to the ship for lunch onboard, you may choose to go ashore for free time in Patmos. The main port area in which our ship docks is surrounded by cafes, tables spilling right onto the beach, and little shops. But the island is small enough that a 20-minute walk will bring you to the far side, for an even quieter and more rustic view.

    Dinner is onboard this evening. Tonight, our small ship sets sail for Santorini.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Go ashore this morning to take in the quintessentially Greek beauty of Santorini. Perched on the remnants of a volcanic caldera, which rewrote the local landscape in a dramatic 1956 eruption, the white-walled homes and winding lanes of Santorini offer a timeless vision of Greece.

    During our tour this morning, we'll visit a local museum and learn about the excavations at Akrotiri—an ancient Minoan city buried by volcanic ash. We'll also explore the picturesque village of Oia and learn about the fascinating ancient history of this area. Oia’s merchant fleet once ruled the Eastern Mediterranean, but today, the pace of life is simpler. We’ll experience the charm of this port city during a walking tour of its narrow, sun-bleached lanes. With its pale stone dwellings, two-story captains’ houses, and blue-domed churches crowding steep sea-facing slopes, Oia offers transporting postcard images. Please note: If the museum is closed, we'll enjoy an alternative activity during our tour. 

    Return to our ship for lunch onboard, followed by an afternoon of free time. You may join your Trip Leader on a discovery walk or go for a stroll on this gem of the Aegean, seeking out stunning sea vistas, exploring the harbor, or poking in and out of cafes and shops. You may choose to sip one of the famed local wines, from a crisp white to an amber Vinsanto dessert wine.

    Return to the Clio this evening for dinner on board. The ship sets sail for Athens tonight.

    • Meals included:

    Our ship docks in Piraeus, a seaport in Athens this morning. After enjoying our final breakfast onboard and disembarking, we'll delve into Athens’ ancient history as we explore the Greek capital on a guided tour. Begin with the iconic Acropolis, located atop a rocky outcropping. Dating back to the fifth century BC, its Doric columns and distinct decorative flourishes have come to serve as the definitive examples of Classical Greek architecture.  Among the highlights, the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike were both likely built as shrines to Athens’ patron goddess. Though the Parthenon had a statue at its heart, worshipers were not allowed to enter.

    Descending from the temple complex, we’ll get to know the Plaka district, Athens’ oldest neighborhood. We'll wend through this warren of welcoming cafes, flower-lined patios, and shops specializing in hand-painted icons, jewelry, and antiques before enjoying lunch in a local restaurant here. 

    After checking into our hotel this afternoon, our Trip Leaders will lead a brief vicinity walk. We'll enjoy dinner at our hotel this evening.

    Please note: This portion of the trip will involve steep, uphill walking over rocky terrain.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast at the hotel, you will be assisted to the airport for your flight home. Or, begin your Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens

    5 nights from only $895

    Experience the storied cultures of Greece, from the commanding beauty of Athens to the Peloponnese, where you discover the Bronze-era metropolis of Mycenae and the Neoclassical charms of Nafplion. Witness two of the ancient world’s most memorable sites: the fabled theater of Epidaurus and the athletic playing grounds of Olympia. It’s a timeless sojourn into the past splendor of Greece.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on The Aegean & Mediterranean: A Voyage from Athens to Jerusalem & the Greek Islands

Read Travel Planning Guide

Request a Call

An error has occured. Please try again

* required field