Our upcoming 10 day Greek Isles cruise has just two sea days meaning we have many ports and to make the most of them planning is essential. I’ve spent many hours reading up on activities, tours and making plans.
I even organized two group tours with other Cruisecritic passengers. Finally I have plans in place for all seven ports.
We have two Italian stops; one for the third time (Naples) and the other is brand new to both of us. I decided what to do in Messina right away but Naples was another story.
This is the first private group tour I arranged. We have a van of 10 taking the Godfather and Taormina tour with Sicily with Mario. I’m looking forward to my first visit to Sicily.
Our land tour in 2014 drove by Naples and we had views of the city, bay and Mt. Vesuvius from our patio dinner in Sorrento but we never went into the city.
When I returned there last year on the Norwegian Epic, instead of touring the city my tour choice was Herculaneum. This time we’re actually going to tour the city.
After reviewing the ship’s offerings and those offered by private companies, we decided on a do-it-yourself walking tour. I guess it’s not entirely do-it-yourself since I got the route and details from Rick Steves but since he won’t be there to help if I take a wrong turn it definitely is in most ways.
Somewhere along the way I plan to have pizza!
What sealed the deal for me with this tour was the number of stops in Greece. The only thing better would be a land tour but this is a great introduction. Originally, Ephesus in Turkey was a stop instead of Rhodes.
The ship docks in Piraeus which is a short 5-6 miles from Athens. This is where I booked the other private group tour. We along with four other couples are touring Athens with Private Greece Tours.
We’ll see a lot on the all day Athens tour but after seeing the Acropolis everything else is gravy to me.
Souda is the port city for this stop in Crete. Will take a shuttle to the town of Chania where will do a self-guided tour of what appears to be a very charming town.
We wanted to visit a Greek beach and picked Mykonos for that experience. This island has limited taxis and I’m not patient enough for public bus transportation so we booked a ship’s beach tour when the price dropped 20% during a cruise planner sale.
The tour takes us to Elia beach where I plan to rent loungers and umbrella. When we get back to Mykonos we will tour the town before taking the tender back to the ship.
Originally, Ephesus in Turkey was a stop instead of Rhodes but the cruise line decided to change ports after the political unrest there in the past couple of years.
I booked our second ships excursion, Journey to Lindos, during a cruise planner sale which brought the price down below a private taxi tour. Lindos offers ancient Acropolis ruins, great views and a charming Greek city. We have time after the tour to roam the port area.
When many people think of Greece, the iconic pictures of Santorini like above come to mind. We haven’t booked a tour here but plan to take advantage of the port boat/bus combo offers. For 20 euros we’ll take a boat to Oia. After a couple of hours here, we’ll take the bus to Fira to see the sights and have lunch before taking the gondola down to the port.
Yes, down as these towns are high above the sea. The trick will be to get to the gondola line early enough to avoid having to walk down 600 steps alongside smelly donkeys and avoiding their droppings!
I’m hoping by only scheduling one full day tour (Athens) we won’t get too worn out and have energy to enjoy the ship activities; something that was a challenge on the Epic Western Med last year.
You’ll have to wait until June for trip reports, but that’s a short wait compared to the time we’ve been planning.