Fall under the spell of the Mediterranean’s key sites during an 8-day cruise offered by PONANT. With Athens as the departure point, board Le Lyrial for an unforgettable sailing experience discovering exceptional islands and cities.
Your cruise will begin with the exploration of two of Greece’s major sites, from Napflion: the Mycenae ruins and the Epidaurus theatre, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Le Lyrial will then head towards Paros. Nestling in the heart of the Cyclades archipelago, this island reputed for its sublime white marble offers a real concentration of Greek beauty, from olive groves to ancient monuments.
You will discover Delos, a minuscule island in the Cyclades archipelago. According to mythology, Apollo was born here. Like an open-air museum, Delos offers unique testimony of the civilisations that followed one another in the Aegean world.
A little further north, you will arrive on Mykonos, with its iconic windmills, beaches, countless churches and whitewashed houses.
Following a stop on the island of Patmos, Le Lyrial will leave Greece to reach Kusadasi, in Turkey. An old fishing village with history going back 5,000 years, not far from the Ephesus site, the town is now one of the country’s most famous seaside resorts.
You will discover the volcanic island of Limnos, near the Dardanelles Strait. Protected during Antiquity by Hephaestus, the god of fire, this green and lush island has now become one of Greece’s major seaside resorts.
Then you will reach Istanbul, a rich historical UNESCO listed site, at the end of a magnificent cruise.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes and flights before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://en.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Turkey: note that some nationalities are required to get a visa for Turkey. The visa can be obtained online at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
6 July 2023 Athens
Embarkation 06/07/2023 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 06/07/2023 at 18:00
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.
7 July 2023 Nafplion
Arrival 07/07/2023 late morning
Departure 07/07/2023 late afternoon
The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. Do not be surprised by its extremely varied cultural heritage. Some of the must-see visits are the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square as well as the baroque fortress of Palamidi on a hillside of the same name. At the top of the hill, views of the gulf and the surrounding mountains are simply awesome. If you want to chill out by the water’s edge, walk along the Arvanitia promenade to a beautiful creek in the shade of cedars and cypresses.
8 July 2023 Paros
Arrival 08/07/2023 early morning
Departure 08/07/2023 evening
Famous for its white marble, the island of Paros is located in the Cyclades. Along the quays of Parikia, its main town, you’ll see Byzantine churches and neoclassical buildings. To make the most of the turquoise waters, you can stop over in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove.
9 July 2023 Delos
Arrival 09/07/2023 early morning
Departure 09/07/2023 midday
This legendary Cyclades island of Delos stands just a few miles southwest of Mykonos. The ceremonial solemnity of this ancient holy sanctuary will not leave you indifferent. The sheer size and importance of this UNESCO World Heritage site which covers over half of the island is thrilling in itself. From the Stoa of Antigonos, the Terrace of the Lions, to the carved marble animal statues, you will make discovery after discovery, against a backdrop of the Aegean stretching to the horizon. The theatre steps on the hillside are a particularly good place from which to enjoy the expansive view.
9 July 2023 Mykonos
Arrival 09/07/2023 early afternoon
Departure 09/07/2023 late evening
Nicknamed “little Venice”, Mykonos is famous for its Alefkandra district where houses are built right on the water’s edge. Their multi-coloured loggias are emblematic of this Cyclades island, as are the pelicans and windmills. You can get close up to the birds on the quaysides of the old port. Up on the hillside, you can see the windmill sails turning. In the cobbled streets of the pedestrian centre, bougainvillea bedeck immaculate facades. As you weave in and out of the little streets, snatches of coastline will undoubtedly call you to the island’s beaches, the quietest of which can be found on the northern coast.
10 July 2023 Patmos
Arrival 10/07/2023 early morning
Departure 10/07/2023 evening
Patmos is one of the legendary must-see islands in the Dodecanese. This is where Saint John resided, presumed author of the last book in the Bible. The cave of the Apocalypse and the Saint John Monastery are dedicated to him. These sites, which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, are located at the top of a hillside planted with vines and orchards. On the shore, the crystalline coves of Kambos and Lampi offer absolutely gorgeous swimming areas.
11 July 2023 Kusadasi
Arrival 11/07/2023 early morning
Departure 11/07/2023 midday
The attractive seaside resort of Kusadasi is located in a gulf on the western coast of Turkey. You can bathe there in clear waters or stroll along the coastal walk, in the shade of palms. In the historical district, you can take a mosey down the narrow streets and explore the colourful shops in the bazaar. Close by, the Ephesus archaeological site in the hillsides provides an opportunity to discover the ruins of one of the most famous cities of Antiquity.
12 July 2023 Limnos Island
Arrival 12/07/2023 early morning
Departure 12/07/2023 midday
A volcanic island located near the Dardanelles Strait, Limnos was venerated during Antiquity. Legend has it that Hephaestus, the god of fire, had his forge here. Now one of Greece’s major seaside resorts, Lemnos offers its visitors many superb sandy beaches. It is also home to several archaeological sites, such as the towers of Kastro, an ancient acropolis fortified by the Venetians, or the neolithic site of Poliochni and the city of Hephaestia. Renowned for its olives, fruits, wheat and honey, and for the authenticity of its inhabitants, Lemnos is also known for the quality of its restaurants, ideal for tasting typical Greek dishes.
12 July 2023 Sailing in the Dardanelles
The Dardanelles Strait is an emblematic, 61 km-long waterway connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. It is strategic for controlling passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Like the Bosporus, or Strait of Istanbul, it separates Europe from Asia. A surface current flows along it, while a more saline undercurrent flows in the opposite direction. Along the strait, you will be able to admire hilly landscapes and arid lowlands brightened by fields and groves of olive trees.
13 July 2023 Istanbul
Arrival 13/07/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 13/07/2023 at 08:00
Located on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful of all Turkish cities. Named Byzantium when founded by the Greeks, and then Constantinople under the Roman Empire, this city is steeped in history and, for this reason, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on Sultanahmet hill, the great Blue Mosque, the mysterious Hagia Sophia and the vast Topkapi palace and its countless mosaics, dominate the Marmara Sea. In the Beyazit district, the Grand Bazaar allows to discover elegant covered passages. A little further away, delicate aroma of loukoum and spices will draw the visitors’ attention at the Egyptian Bazaar.
Aboard your ship, English-speaking lecturer will enlighten you about the culture and history of your destination to deepen your knowledge of the origins of local traditions, the history of emblematic sites, the stories involving famous personalities and those of major historical significance. During on-board lectures or your shore visits, this expert will be there to share his precious knowledge with you throughout your PONANT cruise.