Greek Isles Cruise
Depart Time: 8:00 PM - Arrive Time: --
Depart Time: -- - Arrive Time: --
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Depart Time: 8:00 PM - Arrive Time: 8:00 AM
Depart Time: 8:00 PM - Arrive Time: 7:00 AM
Depart Time: 8:00 PM - Arrive Time: 7:00 AM
Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece
Depart Time: 6:00 PM - Arrive Time: 7:00 AM
Depart Time: 3:00 PM - Arrive Time: 7:00 AM
Depart Time: -- - Arrive Time: 7:00 AM
ATHENS — Athens provides a good study in how the New South coexists with the Old South. A lively music scene
(supported by students from the University of Georgia) flourishes in the bars, clubs and coffeehouses of the restored
downtown (it brought the world such bands as R.E.M. and the B52s). But you don’t have to look far to find the Old South: It’s apparent in the many Greek Revival homes and buildings that dot the city, the best example being the Taylor-Grady House. The University of Georgia, across the street from downtown, boasts a number of these Greek Revival buildings, including Demosthenian Hall and the president’s house. The university is where you’ll also find the Georgia Museum of Art (a collection heavy in 19th- and 20th-century American and Italian Renaissance paintings). Off campus you’ll find the Church-Waddel-Brumby House, the oldest surviving residence in the city, now serving as the visitors center. Athens is also home to the fragrant State Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Nature trails wind through the gardens of native flora — the rose garden is especially nice (it blooms May-November). Southeast of Athens in Washington is the Robert Toombs House, the restored home of a recalcitrant Southern politician who hated the North for political reasons and hated the Confederacy almost as much for not electing him president. One of the least mellow individuals the smooth-as-silk South has produced, Toombs never gave up his secessionist fervor or his cantankerous manner. 66 mi/106 km east of Atlanta.
Sitting under the shoulder of smoldering Mt. Etna, Catania is your base for an ascent to the very top of Europe’s largest volcano. Close by is Taormina, where you’ll take in fantastic views of the Bay of Catania.
Kérkira or Corfu, island (1991 pop. 105,043), 229 sq mi (593 sq km), NW Greece, in the Ionian Sea. Its industries include agriculture, fishing, and tourism. Settled c.730 B.C. by Corinthians, it later concluded a rebellious alliance with Athens that helped to precipitate (431 B.C.) the Peloponnesian War.
Koper, Slovenia, Europe
Mykonos is the most chic and sophisticated of all the Greek Islands–instantly recognized by its glittering crescent of white-washed houses lining an azure bay. The beaches here are unspoiled and inviting, especially along Plati Tialos Bay. Miniature churches, lazy windmills, and tiny cafes serving up Greek specialties line the streets. Sample the freshest squid or lobster just snatched from the blue Aegean Sea, or shop for typical flokati rugs.
Lava, spewing from a live volcano–no, you won’t see this in Naples, Italy, and you’re lucky, because the last folks in these parts who witnessed such an event were the natives of Pompeii, who were buried under 30 feet of ash and pumice stone in AD 79. You can, however, visit the beautifully preserved remains of this unfortunate city on a short tour from Naples.
There’s much more to Naples, of course. This picturesque city is one of the great cultural centers, full of extraordinary works of art and architecture in the classical Greek and Roman styles.
Naples, on its justly famous blue bay, is the great city of the south. Located on the southwest coast of Italy, south of Rome. The Amalfi Drive to the south arguably is the world’s most scenic motor route. Naples enjoys a very dry and warm climate year around.
Rhodes (rodz) or Ródhos, island (1981 pop. 40,392), c.540 sq mi (1,400 sq km), Greece, in the Aegean Sea, near Turkey; largest of the Dodecanese island group. Its fertile coastal areas produce wheat, tobacco, cotton, and olives. Tourism and fishing are important. Colonized by Dorians before 1000 B.C., it reached its height as a commercial and cultural center in the 4th-3d cent. B.C. Julius Caesar studied at its renowned school of rhetoric. After its decline, Rhodes was an ally of Rome. Captured (1204) from the Byzantine Empire during the Crusades, it was held by the Knights Hospitalers (1282-1522) and the Ottoman Turks before it was taken by Italy in 1912. In 1947 it was ceded to Greece. The famed Colossus of Rhodes (see under colossus), a statue erected (292-280 B.C.) by the citizens of the ancient capital
city of Rhodes, was destroyed by an earthquake in 224 B.C.
Rome wasn’t built in a day…but you can tour it in just over 10 hours. A teeming anthill of humanity and antiquity intermingled with awful traffic jams, Rome grew up on the Tiber (“Fiume Tevere”) among seven low hills that rise from the river’s soggy eastern banks. It’s a city of many peeling layers of history, of which the bottom layer–that of the earliest Roman centuries–is the most interesting and still astonishingly whole. The hub of this layer is the Palatine Hill, the Forum, the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus.
On the western bank is the Citta Vaticana, the independent papal city where the Pope blesses pilgrims from all over the world. Neighboring Trastevere (“Across the Tiber”) is a mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish subcultures, great for little restaurants and nightlife. Further north on the other bank is “vecchia Roma,” medieval Rome of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona; Renaissance Rome is centered south of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Commercial Rome is the city of the Via del Corso, the Piazza del Popolo, the controversial Victor Emmanuel monument and finally the Stazione Termini, the nexus for all trains and roads from Rome.
As you approach the city over the bridge from the Italian mainland, you leave behind terra firma and, with it, earthbound notions of how to see and experience a city. Venice is not solely the spill of churches and palazzi on either side of the Grand Canal, but rather a city of islands, 118 in all, some of which are little more than the weedy, humps you see in the Lagoon of Venice. And yet these mud flats provided haven for the people who fled here (without benefit of a bridge) from Huns, Visigoths, and other marauders in the fifth century. And those refugees gave birth to a culture that ripened into a thousand years of greatness.
As you near the end of the bridge, you see at first only the back side of the city itself. But in the time it takes to walk through the train station, you begin to hear sounds peculiarly Venetian–the low rumble of boat motors, a humid incubation of voices, water lapping insistently against wood and stone. And then Venice confers her greatest gift: No matter how many times you’ve been here, it always seems, in that first glimse, like the first time.
If you are smart, you will immediately start a tour down the Grand Canal by hopping on a vaporetto (water bus) or gondola or water taxi. If you are lucky, it will be during those few hours before sunset when the light shines most kindly on the venerable facades that line this liquid boulevard. If you are particularly observant, you might even notice that neither the light nor the colors are quite Italian, not like the tawny earth tones of Florence or Rome.
The canal is a murkey green, the palazzi a mix of faded, grimy sherbets–watermarked mint and sun-blanched apricot and deep overripe peach. Sunlight shatters into spangles on the water, gondolas knife bach and forth, the Rialto Bridge looms overhead, and then, beyond one final curve, the Palladian church of Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile (bell tower) of San Marco come into view.
Piazza san Marco is Venice’s grand salon–expansive, familiar, picturesque, pigeonesque. It is anchored at its eastern extreme by the Basilica di San Marco, which is not only the spiritual seat of Venice’s patron saint but also one of the most glittering monuments of Christendom.
All cruise prices are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy. All prices are subject to change as often as daily and are based on availability at the time of the booking. Certain restrictions apply.