Silversea - Athens to Athens

Silversea - Athens to Athens

12 Days / 11 Nights

Price from$10,530

• Kusadasi • Patmos • Rhodes • Antalya • Jerusalem • Haifa • Crete

Underscored by thousands of years of history, the eastern Mediterranean is a cradle of culture and tradition. Bathe in civilisations past as you visit the ancient city of Ephesus, visit St. Johns revelatory cave in Patmos, and see where the colossus once stood in Rhodes. Moving onto Jerusalem and Nazareth, spend three days visiting the Holy Land. A day at sea proves some R&R, before Crete's Souda bay add some sun soaked charms.

Day 1: Athens (Piraeus) A city of legend, civilisation and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama and democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the centre. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back to the 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.

Day 2: Kusadasi Explore the towering columns, and storied remains of Ephesus - one of the most spectacular cities left by the Ancient Greeks. Kusadasi welcomes you to the Turkish coastline and is your base for exploring these majestic remains, which sit just 10 miles inland from the port. The Ephesus UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true archaeological gold mine, and an amazingly well-preserved site - once home to 150,000 people. The grand Temple of Artemis rose up majestically here and was recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before its untimely destruction. The grand city was a fitting location for such a wonder, and with a mere 20% estimated to have been uncovered, the scale and majesty of Ephesus is hard to fully comprehend, as you walk its ancient streets. Visit the precious Library of Celsus - a gorgeous, double-layered facade of columns and artistry - and enjoy the city's gently illuminated, atmospheric venues - which still host stirring evening concerts. Ephesus's museum adds context to the 25,000 treasures that are exhibited within. After a long hot day exploring, recharge with a perfectly-charred and seasoned kebab or vegetable and rice stuffed grape leaves like dolma. In Kusadasi itself, you can discover a lively seaside city with a buzzing Aegean beach scene, and a glut of restaurants and cafes to kick back in.

Day 3: Patmos The seahorse-shaped Patmos is a Greek island of stunning seascapes and immense cultural significance. Rising from the Aegean Sea, Christians embark on pilgrimages here from all across the world, seeking out the small hillside cave, said to be the location where St. John penned the Book of Revelations, in AD 95. Whether you're religious or not, there is something of the divine in this gorgeous island - a place of sanctuary fringed by crystal-clear waters and blissful beaches. Sleepy, whitewash towns gleam in the strong sunshine, while cats slink between the crumbling walls of this ruggedly beautiful island. High on the hillside, above the cobalt-blue bay, you'll find the sacred chapel, where an exiled John of Patmos is said to have entered the Cave of the Apocalypse and prophesied of the end of the world's fire and brimstone - a striking juxtaposition with the peaceful serenity of the calm location. Higher up you'll find the 11th-century Monastery of St. John, which offers spectacular views of the island's mounds curving around like a scorpion's tail. It stands watching over the island like a fortified crown. Sun-wrinkled, black-robed, monks climb the streets up to this World Heritage site, where bells peel out melodically. Inside, vaulted chambers and stunning frescoes tell stories amid the striking religious iconography. Chora's incredible narrow streets - moulded white - are an enchanting place to lose your bearings, spreading below the monastery. Elsewhere, blissful beaches stretch out across the coastline, or this remote Greek island's curves can be admired while bobbing offshore in a sailboat.

Day 4: Rhodes With an endless sun-soaked season, earthy history and vibrant culture, the island of Rhodes has it all. At the crossroads between continents, and sandwiched between Crete and Turkey's coastline, Rhodes has swayed between many mighty civilisations throughout its tumultuous history. Part of the Dodecanese Islands, which are sprinkled across the blissfully blue Aegean Sea, dive into this island of dazzling beaches, historic medieval towns, and whitewash villages. Crusted with turrets and walls, alluding to its strategic significance over the years. Incredible history has been left behind, and the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site listed Old Town are some of Europe's best. Wander back through time, with occasional minarets from Ottoman-era mosques rising from the tangle of Medieval history, and the smells of cinnamon, cumin and pepper lingering above stone-paved streets. Discover inviting outdoor restaurants, which spill across flower-filled courtyards, and enjoy fresh Greek cuisine with an eastern influence. The preserved columns of Lindos's spectacular Ancient Greek Acropolis watch out over electric blue water, while the Gothic Medieval stronghold of the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes, adds more fascinating history to explore. Fragrant, pine tree coated hills, and gorgeous beaches of eye-watering blue water, offer your choice of unbridled relaxation or thrilling action, and you can raise the pulse with water sports, or shelter in coves with shocks of turquoise water and monolithic rock formations.

Day 5: Antalya Antalya instantly shot to fame when Turkey opened to wider tourism in the early noughties. And with its enviable balance of picture perfect beaches, glorious climate and superb architecture it is no surprise. Since then it has carved a niche for itself as an all-purpose resort, offering much to see and do for couples young and old and families alike. Arrival into Antalya is a breathtaking sight. The turquoise waters stretch long and far, fringed by golden sands and a classically beautiful coastline. The city has changed hands several times, with many archaeological remains proving testament to its past. One such must see is the unmissable Hadrian's Gate. Built in 130AD to commemorate the visit of Emperor Hadrian to the city, it is the perfect starting point to begin a pleasant stroll through the labyrinthine streets of Kaleici (literally, Castle Town), otherwise known as Antalya Old Town. Narrow, cobbled lanes offer a chance to get lost in a bit of Ottoman history, while enjoying a thick, sweet (and very strong) Turkish coffee. For those wishing to delve a little deeper into the city's fascinating past, the Antalya Museum offers history buffs a comprehensive journey from the city's initial foundations in the Stone Age right through to the Byzantine Empire. A short 30-minute taxi ride will take you to the stunning Duden Waterfalls, a site (and sight) of exquisite natural beauty. There are in fact two parts of the falls, both of which offer a pleasant moment to revel in the power of Mather Nature.

Day 6: Day at sea Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you've been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 7: Ashdod (Jerusalem) From Ashdod's port, it's a just a short ride to Jerusalem's land of incredible religious significance and cultural wonder. A city like no other, Jerusalem is a melting pot of traditions, and a place of staggering complexity and immeasurably deep, impactful history. It's almost impossible to fully digest Jerusalem's importance in the scriptures of the world's largest religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and this collision of faiths helps to make it one of the world's most fascinating locations. The Old City is the focal point for much of the religious reverence, with aged buildings from the world's major faiths jostling for space, and melodic calls to prayer echoing down tight stone streets. Stroll the walkways to travel between deeply contrasting quarters, where you can sample roughly ripped pita bread, dipped into fresh, flavourful hummus. A place of unbridled passion and importance - but also extraordinary beauty - it's easy to get swept away in the raw emotion that Jerusalem generates. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which archaeologists believe stands on the site where Jesus was crucified. Inside, emotional worshipers kneel before the stone where his body was wrapped in cloth in preparation for burial. The Wailing Wall is another place where passions run high, as worshipers place their folded messages into the wall's cracks. Temple Mount's golden dome glints in the sun nearby, signifying another point of pilgrimage for Jews - and for Muslims, who believe it is the place where Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Days 8 & 9: Haifa (Nazareth) At less than 45 kilometres from Nazareth, Haifa is often neglected when it comes to travel experiences. And understandably so, as Nazareth is definitely the superstar of the region. The pilgrimage site is certainly a must for all believers of all denominations, and the chance of seeing where Jesus spent his childhood is too good an opportunity to pass up for some. If, however you go expecting to find a bucolic utopia then think again. Nazareth today is bustling modern hub of a mega metropolis, which has grown up around the crumbling walls of the Old City. Nazareth Old City is stunning, and the historic sites where Jesus is believed to have lived and preached prior to his death are certainly bucket list. These include the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel visited Mary to inform her of her virgin birth, the Church of Joseph, the ancient site of Joseph's carpentry shop and Cana (located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee), where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine. But that is not to say that Haifa itself is not worth a visit. The city - the third largest in Israel after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem - is a mosaic of cultures and faiths, with Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bahais all living peacefully side by side. The Bahai Gardens, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, are without a doubt the city's main attraction. Set on the flanks of Mont Carmel and sloping into the Mediterranean Sea, both the gardens and the city offer stunning views.

Day 10: Day at sea Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you've been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 11: Souda Bay (Crete) Enter Souda Bay to land on Greece's largest island, and explore the sun-soaked charms of this fascinating land of legends, landscapes and luxuries. Packed with beautiful beaches and rich maritime history, Souda Bay's huge natural harbour is a spectacular entrance, opening up the treasures of Crete's many well-stocked museums, rich archaeological sites, and charming Venetian fishing towns. The massive natural harbour of Souda Bay also makes the site an interesting spot for military history - with a huge NATO base here, as well as the Souda Bay War Cemetery, which honours Allied soldiers of World War II. Soak up some Mediterranean sunshine by heading straight to one of the luxurious white sand beaches - where you can recline to a soundtrack of fizzing waves, and dine with sparkling sea views stretching out before you. Explore olive groves producing golden oil, and savour the deep, fruity flavours. The island's renowned wineries, also invite you to sample lovingly-crafted Vilana grape wines. Rethymnon's old town and star-shaped, seafront fortress are impressive sites to explore, or you can head to Akrotiri to discover the Arkadi Monastery's role in the Cretan resistance - and visit the site where the Greek flag was hoisted high into the sky by rebels in 1897. Crete retains its independent spirit but has gathered countless influences over its history. The island's most beautiful Venetian port - Chania - is close by, and its picturesque old town and collage of historical influences are a highlight of any trip.

Day 12: Athens (Piraeus) A city of legend, civilisation and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama and democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the centre. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back to the 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.

• 1 Shore Excursion per port, per day • Spacious suites - over 80% with private verandas • Butler service in every suite • Unlimited free Wifi • Personalised service - nearly one crew member for every guest • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits • 24 - hour dining service • Onboard entertainment • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports • Onboard gratuities

Pricing (per person) $AUD

Type TWIN

2022

2 May from

Vista Suite

Classic Veranda Suite

-

12 Oct & 10 Nov from

Vista Suite

Classic Veranda Suite

-

-

$10,530

$12,960

-

-

$10,440

$12,780

Departs

2022 2 May
12 Oct
10 Nov

Booking conditions

• Price quoted reflects the 10% Early Booking Bonus which is valid on booking and payment by 31 May 2021 • Please enquire for other cabin categories and pricing.

Cruising Post-Covid • Silversea have very strict health and safety protocols to protect guests • If Silversea cancel a cruise, you get a 110% cruise fare refund in the form of a future cruise credit, which is valid for two years, and can be transferred to friends or family (or a 100% cash refund) • You may cancel up to 30 days prior and receive a 100% future cruise credit

NB: All standard Silversea terms and conditions apply.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.