Antiquity to Byzantium Cruise

Take a journey through the spectacular ancient world of Greece on the grand ‘Antiquity to Byzantium’ cruise itinerary aboard the MS Galileo. Beginning its journey in Epidaurus you will explore ancient marvels, impressive sites and museums along the way in places including Mycenae, Delphi, Olympia, Nafplion and Pylos, whilst also having the exciting opportunity of crossing the Corinth Canal. Aboard the MS Galileo you will sail on a Full Board basis, enjoying a Welcome drink and Captain’s Farewell Dinner on the last evening of the cruise. A special feature of the cruise is the presence of an expert guest lecturer, who will have specialist knowledge of the sites visited and their importance in mythology, enabling you to truly immerse yourself in the history of Greece from Antiquity to Byzantium period.

Itinerary Highlights:

  • Travel through the Corinth Canal
  • Explore Mycenae
  • Travel to Delphi and Nafplion
  • Visit Olympia and Ancient Epidaurus
  • Discovering Ancient Pylos

  • Duration:

  • 8 Days, 7 Nights

  • Board Basis:

  • Full Board | Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Departures:

  • 2024
    Mar: 29, 22
    Apr: 05, 12
    Oct: 25
    Nov: 01, 08

    * Special Hiking Collection Cruise itinerary - gain an insight into Ancient Greek history with our specialist outdoor guides and resident archaeologist.

What's Included:

  • Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC and air- conditioning

  • Full Board: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a Greek night evening and Captain’s dinner.

  • Complimentary all day regular/filter coffee, tea and drinking water

  • Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability)

  • Archaeology and history-themed cruise with expert guest lecturer

What's Not Included:

  • Beverages (except those stated as included)

  • Shore excursions on the islands or other land excursions

  • Crew tips

  • Wi-Fi (additional charge)

  • Boutique items & gratuities

  • Medical expenses

  • Port charges

  • Personal expenses such as drinks, other than those included in the rate

  • Expenditures incurred ashore

Full Itinerary

Embark: Athens, Marina Zea

Day 1 | Friday

You will embark on the ship between 2-3pm where you will be greeted by a welcome drink and meet the crew and other passengers. The journey will begin with sailing to Palaia (old) Epidaurus, arriving in the evening and enjoying dinner on board.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Palaia Epidaurus – Nafplion

Day 2 | Saturday

In the morning you will depart the ship to drive to Ancient Epidaurus for the optional excursion. The site of Epidaurus was known as a healing sanctuary and was considered to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius. The sanctuary was looted by Roman general Sulla by pirates and later by the Goths in 395A.D. Asclepieion’s prosperity enabled the Epidaurus residents to build civic monuments, including a grand theatre, renowned for its symmetry and charm. Lunch will be taken on board the ship and in the afternoon, you will sail towards Nafplion. Overnight at port.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nafplion – Monemvasia

Day 3 | Sunday

Following a short walking tour of Nafplion, you will drive through the vibrant city and the wonderful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae for an optional excursion. The city was considered by Homer as “rich in gold”, with its importance beginning around 1650 B.C and ending around 1100 B.C. You will get the chance to visit the remains of the ancient city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, Agamemnon Tomb and the museum. Lunch will be on the ship before sailing in the afternoon to Monemvasia. There you will have time at leisure, and overnight will be spent sailing to Gythion.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Gythion (Optional Excursion)

Day 4 | Monday

Early morning you will arrive to Gythion, with an optional excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro, as well as the Dirou Caves with their stalactites and stalagmites. During prehistoric times, Ancient Gythion was inhabited with the Spartans later using the area as a port. Following Gythion you will cross the Mani peninsula to reach Diros and explore the caves, discovered in the 60s. After visiting the caves, you will drive to Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. The area of Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, with underground lakes ad rivers, windswept landscapes and towers. Overnight will be spent at sea to Pylos.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Pylos (Optional Excursion)

Day 5 | Tuesday

Pylos located on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese is a delightful seaside town. During the optional excursion and after appreciating the local scenery, you will continue towards Nestor’s Palace; its remains occupying a hilltop north of Pylos. The later was discovered by an American archaeologist Carl Blegen. Some highlights of the palace include the well-preserved royal apartments and bathtub, that is believed to have belonged to the old King himself. Following your visit, you will take a short trip to the town of Hora, where a museum holds thousands of impressive artefacts that were recovered. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Katakolon/Olympia - Itea

Day 6 | Wednesday

In the morning you will arrive at Katakolon, disembarking the ship around 7am, with an optional excursion to take you by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and paramount sites in the ancient world. Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic Games and in the ancient Greek world was considered the best Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Impressively the Olympic stadium looks much like it did 2,000 years ago. You will also have the chance to explore the Temple of Hera, the temple of Zeus the Philippeion, which was a lodging place for the athletes that competed in the games. Following this you will visit the Olympia Museum and enjoy lunch in the town of Olympia, before visiting the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. After your time at leisure you will travel overland to Patra, re-boarding the ship and departing for Itea.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Itea / Delphi – Corinth Canal

Day 7 | Thursday

In the morning you have the option of joining an excursion to Delphi, one of the most sacred and stunning places from the ancient world. You will disembark the ship in the morning and continue to the ruins complex. As opposed to other major sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain, with visitors standing in awe of its natural beauty. During its prime, Delphi stood as an oracle in the classical world and renowned for its wealth and reputation. It became the most important site for worship of the God Apollo, with the oracle being able to prophecy the future and offer advice. You will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit its adjoining museum. On return to the ship you will cross the Corinth Canal, with later in the evening enjoying the Captain’s Farewell dinner. You will sail to Marina Zea where you will spend overnight on board.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Disembark: Athens – Marina Zea

Day 8 | Friday

Following your breakfast, you will disembark the ship to either be transferred to the airport for your return flight home, or to extend your trip.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Note: Itineraries can be changed at the discretion of Variety Cruises and of the Vessel's Captain in case of adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.

Our Cruises:

MS Galileo

MS Galileo


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