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CRUISE OF THE HOLY LANDS
ISRAEL, EGYPT, GREECE, TURKEY AND CYPRUS

ENJOY THIS ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE WITH UNLIMITED DRINKS, ALL MEALS, ALL GRATUITIES, AND ALL TAXES INCLUDED, AS WELL AS SHORE EXCURSIONS INCLUDED IN EGYPT AND TURKEY CRUISE PORTS

CRUISE DATES SAT. DEC. 10-17, 2022

OPTIONAL 4 NIGHT PRE CRUISE LAND PROGRAM in Athens – Including sightseeing of Athens, as well as the incredible cliff top monasteries of Meteora, the impressive engineering wonder of the Corinth Canal, the scenic Odontotos Railway, the incredible Cave of Lakes, plus free time in the beautiful mountain top village of Kalavrita

OPTIONAL 3 NIGHT POST CRUISE LAND PROGRAM -Including sightseeing of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic games were held, featuring the very first ancient Olympic flame cauldron, a visit to the Temple of Poseidon to view the Sunset over this magnificent seaside temple, as well as a visit to the incredible outdoor amphitheater of Epidaurus, with acoustics you will be amazed by!


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The pathway through the ruins of Ephesus which we will visit on an included shore excursion.

Join us for a most unique cruise.  Our cruise will begin in ATHENS.   Our cruise will feature a full day in EGYPT with an included excursion visiting the legendary PYRAMIDS, SPHINX AND CAIRO MUSEUM.  Our cruise will also feature a full day in KUSADASI TURKEY with an included excursion to the ruins of EPHESUS.  We will also spend a day on the island of RHODES GREECE, with an optional excursion to the ruins of the Palace of Lindos and free time to explore the walled city with its charming shops, cafes and historical monuments.  Our cruise also includes a day on the island of CYPRUS with optional excursions to see its scenic and historical gems and a day in the holy land of ISRAEL, with an optional excursion to float in the Dead Sea, take the cable car to the top of Mount Masada and explore the holy city of Jerusalem, or take an optional excursion to visit the biblical birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem.

UNLIMITED FREE DRINKS ARE INCLUDED THE ENTIRE CRUISE, (ALCOHOLIC AND NON ALCOHOLIC) AS WELL AS FREE GRATUITIES.

So escape the December cold in much of the U.S. and enjoy the warm weather in Egypt, Israel & more, as you relax, sipping one of your all inclusive cocktails aboard our magnificent cruise ship and visit amazing wonders of the holy lands and more.

TRIP ITINERARY

OPTIONAL 4 NIGHT PRE CRUISE LAND PROGRAM:


Tuesday December 6th, 2022– Arrive into Athens, Greece on your own flight arrangement.  Transfers are available for purchase from the airport to our four star hotel, the Best Western Amazon Hotel, located right in the heart of the Plaka district with its lively restaurants and Greek tavernas (Greek bars which ooze with local charm).  Tonight we will have a group orientation at our hotel.

Wednesday December. 7th, 2022 Today we will enjoy our included city tour via the Athens Hop on Hop Off Open Top Double Decker bus, with commentary from a local guide telling you what you are seeing at each stop, including stops at the Parthenon, New Museum of the Parthenon, Olympic Stadium and much more.  Stay as long as you wish at each stop and get back on when you wish.  There are 25 stops on two different routes and both routes are included for you to enjoy at your own pace and interest today.  So whether you are a first time visitor to Athens or have been here before, there is something for all interests on the Hop on Hop off tour today. Plus with the convenience of the enclosed first deck and open top deck, you are can choose which way you wish to travel through Athens.

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The view of the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis hill.

Or – If you wish, you can visit to the NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM –featuring thousands of fascinating artifacts from the Parthenon and other segments of Greek history.

Or, if you wish, upgrade to a full day three island boat tour visiting the nearby local Greek islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina.  This full day tour visits these three small, yet beautiful islands in one day.  This full day tour includes lunch and the upgrade from our included hop on/off city tour or museum visit is only $89 including lunch served onboard the boat

            The port of Hydra, whose amphitheater shape once served as a safe shelter for Pirates, welcomes you. From the decks, you will be able to admire the very special architecture and dramatic landscapes of the island, whose old traditional stone houses and mansions silently witness to a long and turbulent history.

            Poros- The smallest of the three islands, separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strait and offering a most enchanting view of Poros Town. In Poros you will have a time to explore the city and enjoy the short walk.

Built on top of a wooded hill, it offers the most magnificent view over the island, the Saronic Gulf, Piraeus and Salamina Island. Our local guide will tell you the fascinating story of the intriguing history of this beautiful site and then from there we make a small stop for photographs to the Church of Saint Nectarios, where you can admire of its beautiful Byzantine architecture

            This optional full day excursion lasts approx. 11 hours. From approx. 7:30am-6:30pm

Tonight enjoy the lively nightlife of the Plaka district with your new singles friends and see the illumination of the Parthenon at night.

if you are looking for a lively Greek locals nightlife experience, head to one of the local tavernas, for Greek music and dancing, or for another lively local experience, pop into one of the local sports tavernas, where locals will surely be gathered to watch on big screens, the World Cup soccer tourney taking place in Qatar all this week and next week too.

Greeks are known for being lively partiers, so whether it is the local music scene in one of the Plaka’s tavernas, or one of the World Cup viewing sports pubs, you are sure to find lively local entertainment.


Thursday December 8th, 2022

Today we will enjoy an incredible full day excursion to see the amazing cliff top monasteries of Meteora.

Feast your eyes on the rock-built monasteries of Meteora on this full-day trip from Athens.

Travel by either train or private mini-coach with professional local driver guide (train vs. private mini-coach will depend on the size of our optional pre cruise group.  Both forms of transport take approx. 4 hours from Athens to reach Meteora and both offer a scenic ride through inland Greece to Kalambaka, and on arrival, enjoy a panoramic drive to see all six UNESCO-listed monastery retreats. Uncover their history, stop for photos, and choose to visit inside one or two of the most impressive monasteries atop their rock pinnacles.

One of the monasteries was featured as a setting for the climactic final scene in the 1981 James Bond thriller “For Your Eyes Only”.

The view from the base is impressive and the view from the monasteries, atop their cliff-top perches in incredible (and no worries, despite their lofty perch, there is no hiking needed to reach the monasteries, as we will be driven by a professional local driver, from the base to the monasteries at the top).

Together they are one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars which dominate the local area.  They are located near the town of Kalambaka, near the Pineios river and the Pindus Mountains, offering breathtaking views.

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One of the monasteries, perched atop the cliffs of Meteora.

At the end of the tour we will be returned to Athens the same way we came and we will then enjoy a second evening at leisure to revel in the local nightlife, all walking distance from our centrally located hotel.

 

Friday December 9th, 2022

Today, enjoy another full day tour to see more amazing sites of Greece.

We will visit the Impressive engineering wonder of the Corinth Canal, the scenic Odontotos Railway, and the Kastria Cave of Lakes, plus enjoy free time in the mountain top village of Kalavrita.

Today’s Excursion Itinerary
 
Stop At:   Corinth Canal

Depart from and drive along the coast line until we reach the Corinth Canal where we will make a brief stop. The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, arguably making the peninsula an island. It is considered one of the great engineering accomplishments of Greece. The canal was dug through the Isthmus at sea level and has no locks. It is 6.4 kilometers (4 mi) in length and only 21.4 meters (70 ft.) wide at its base.

The canal was constructed from 1880 to 1893, however, it is something that ship owners and captains had dreamed about for some 2000 years before it became a reality.

Our photo stop will give us a great opportunity to realize the magnitude of this engineering marvel and if we get lucky, we may even time our stop when a ship (or ships) is/are passing through the canal, making for an even more impressive view and photo opp.
Duration of photo stop: 15 minutes

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A ship transiting through the Corinth Canal

 

Stop At:   Odontotos rack railway Diakopto – Kalavrita

 From there we will continue straight to Diakofto, for one of the most spectacular rack and pinion rail trips in the world. We will cross the beautiful gorge of Vouraikos and discover a lot of villages dressed in green, the color of nature. Going through Vouraikos Canyon, we will admire one of the most beautiful natural sights in Greece.

Kalavrita is a place full of history and such natural beauty that attracts visitors throughout the year. The Vouraikos river starts its journey from Kalavrita, runs through the homonymous gorge and ends in Diakopto, on the coast of the Corinthian Bay.

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The Odontotos rack railway
Duration of our train ride: 1 hour 

 

Stop At:   Kalavrita village

Kalavrita is a typical mountainous Greek village and is the terminal of the Diakopto-Kalavryta rack railway. Where you can enjoy the nature, the local products and traditional Greek cuisine. Duration: 2 hours including free time for lunch at one of the local Greek cafes with scenic views and local charm. 

Stop At:   Kastria Cave of the Lakes

The Cave of the Lakes is an old subterranean river consisting of three levels. During the winter when the snow melts it is transformed into a flowing river with waterfalls. During the summer, it dries up, leaving behind 13 lakes
Duration: 1 hour 

We will be returned to Athens for a final evening at leisure to relax or enjoy the local nightlife.

Saturday December 10th, 2022

Today we will be transferred as a private group from our hotel in Athens to our cruise ship, the new Celestyal Experience.

Our cruise is aboard Celestyal Cruise Line.  That may sound familiar to some, as it was the same cruise line on which we took 30 passengers for a 7 day cruise of Cuba in 2017.  The cruise line is based in Greece and thus not as well known to Americans, but, as anyone who was on our Cuba cruise can attest, the cruise line offers some of the best nightly shows.

Even better, we will be sailing on their new flag ship, the Celestyal Experience.

Providing a fantastic, fun and beautiful cruising experience, the elegant interior design and premium amenities of the new Celestyal Experience introduce you to a life of luxury. Boasting four exquisite restaurants, seven ambient bars and lounges, two pools and Jacuzzis, casino, theatre, onboard boutiques and more, life at sea with Celestyal cruises is never a dull moment.

Indulge in specialty wines, delectable cheeses, sumptuous cuisines and a wide variety of entertainment. And with generous Greek hospitality on top, our friendly crew are confident your holiday will be exciting, fun-filled and memorable.

Fresh towels and toiletries are provided twice a day and amenities are provided including adjustable air-conditioning, hairdryer, security box, TV and refrigerated minibar.

With seven ambient bars and lounges aboard the Celestyal Experience, you have the option to choose your mood whilst you indulge in complimentary drinks and selected wines. Kick back and relax as you watch the sunset over pristine landscapes, mingle with other guests or enjoy the romance of the glittery Mediterranean night sky and with all drinks included on this cruise, you can savor your favorites to your heart’s content.

And if you like acrobatic performances, singing, dancing and magic shows, there is a full program of entertainment every night.

This ship takes only 1400 passengers per voyage, but treats everyone with fantastic service. The ship has 14 passenger decks, with all of the cruise ship amenities you expect like two pools, two Jacuzzis, a spa offering massage, facial and other services; a gym with the modern workout facilities, a jogging track, plus classes of such popular trends as Zumba.

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 Plush lounges on one of the sun decks on the new Celestyal Experience.


Choose from an inside or ocean view cabin and let us assign you a roommate of the same gender or enjoy Celestyal Cruise Line’s reduced single supplements, which are some of the lowest in the cruise industry

At night enjoy group dinners in the main dining room followed by a nightly show of spectacular dance and song, making you feel like you are on Broadway.  The ship also offers great dancing, offering both the latest pop dancing, as well as special opportunities to learn the best in Greek dancing.
Demonstrations (All Free to participate in)

Maybe you’ve tried a dish on board and you want to see how it’s made? Then enjoy Free cooking demonstrations where our talented chefs show you how they prepare and cook some of your favorite food from the buffet or a la carte menu. There’s also ice carving demonstrations where you’ll be shown how intricate designs are meticulously sculpted by the crew for your viewing pleasure.
Language Lessons (All Free)

Traveling to a different country you may want to pick up a few words of the local language, so we have arranged before our days in the Greek ports of Rhodes and Athens, to have Greek lessons on board to immerse you into the country’s culture. You’ll learn everything from greeting people, ordering in a bar and telling people about yourself so that you can master basic conversations with the locals when you arrive on dry land. (Greek is also the primary language spoken in our port on the island of Cyprus, despite Cyprus being an independent nation of its own, just off the coast of the Greek mainland.  You may notice however, that the Greek spoken in Cyprus has a distinctive nature to it which is referred to as Cypriot Greek.

And our cruise includes unlimited drinks, all meals, all gratuities, all shows, shipboard demonstrations, classes and ship sponsored shore excursions in both our visit to Egypt and our visit to Turkey

UNLIMITED Drinks are included in our cruise:

Celeystal Cruise Line offers more than just house liquor brands.  They offer popular brands such as:

  • Whiskies: Johnnie Walker Red Label, Jim Beam, J&B
  • Gin: Beefeater & Gordon’s
  • Rum: Bacardi & Havana Club 3 years
  • Vodka: Smirnoff & Stolichnaya
  • Tequila: Jose Cuervo White
  • Martini Corner
  • Greek flavors: Aegean Cocktails and Signature Martinis
  • Beer: Draught Beers & Non-Alcoholic beers
  • Wine: White/Red/Rose wines by the glass
  • Ports
  • Sherries & Aperitifs: Sandeman’s
  • Sparkling and Mineral Water by the glass
  • Sodas: Coca Cola, Sprite and others by the glass
  • Ice Tea by the glass
  • Juices by the glass. Freshly squeezed orange juice is offered at a supplement price
  • Non Alcoholic Cocktails: A wide range of non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Coffees: Cool & Exotic Coffees, including Espresso Freddo, Cappuccino Freddo, Frappe Iced Coffee
  • Hot Beverages: A wide range of popular non-alcoholic coffees (espresso, cappuccino, filter, latte, Greek coffee), hot chocolate and tea (various flavors)
  • Greek flavors: A variety of Greek beverages



CRUISE ITINERARY



After boarding our cruise on Saturday December 10th, 2022  our ship sails at 5pm. 

Passengers who choose not to take our optional 4 night pre cruise stay in Athens are advised to book their flight to arrive by a suggested scheduled flight arrival of 12 noon or earlier, to allow for potential flight delays, as well as for clearing Greece immigrations customs, baggage claim and then the approx..45 minutes transport to the cruise ship.  Transport from the airport to the cruise ship is available for purchase 7 days or more prior to the cruise.

Our group will have a group orientation on the ship, hosted by your SC&T group trip escort before our group dinner, so that those in our group who did not take our optional 4 night pre cruise land package can meet each other and meet those who began our trip before the cruise.  Travelling as part of our group gives you the services of our dedicated group trip escort with you at each dinner on the ship and on each of the ship sponsored shore excursions, thus providing you the confidence, security and friendships that are provided by sailing with a group that has been doing this since 1995.

NOTE: You do NOT NEED ANY VISAS for this cruise. The cruise line takes care of everything for you so you can get on and off the ship in each port, without the need for any visas.  You only need your passport, which does not expire within 6 months of the date you will return home.

Each evening we will enjoy a group dinner in the main dining room on the ship, followed by a lavish Broadway style show.  Celestyal Cruise Line’s shows are some of the best in the cruise business. 

Sunday December 11th, 2022 – Today is the only day at sea on our cruise.  It is time to sleep in, relax on a lounge chair on the sun deck, soaking in the sunshine or take a dip in the pool.  There will also be many fun games on the ship today.

As a group, we will have fun sociable activities onboard today including Team Trivia.

Monday December 12th, 2022  Alexandria, Port Said and Cairo Egypt   7am-10pm

Today we will enjoy our first included shore excursion.  Our two included excursions during this week’s cruise are all provided by the cruise line with their own local professional tour guides providing expert guidance and commentary. Today’s excursion will take us to see the three major tourist sites here:

            The Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the National Archeological Museum, as well as a fascinating Papyrus and souvenir shopping stop.

EXCURSION DETAILS  - Full Day: Up to 12 hours

The largest city in Africa and all its top sights are waiting to be discovered on this full day excursion from Alexandria. Leaving the port in a luxury air-conditioned coach, you’ll journey south towards Cairo. And your first port of call will be the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the mighty Pyramids of Giza. From the base of Chephren’s pyramid, the time is yours to explore these ancient marvels.

If you wish, climb aboard a camel, or simply roam the complex on foot. Then, continuing through the valley, you’ll spot the supreme Sphinx guarding the land. An included buffet lunch will be served at a 5-star hotel, after which, there’s more sightseeing on the agenda – this time in the heart of Cairo. From the bustling Tahrir (Liberty) Square, you’ll head to the National Archaeological Museum to become acquainted with Egypt’s ancient history - spanning an incredible 50 centuries - through eye-catching antiquities, including the collection of King Tutankhamen. After visiting a Papyrus Institute, there’s some time dedicated to souvenir shopping before travelling back to the cruise ship.

 

Tuesday December 13th, 2022– Ashdod Israel     8am-10pm

Today we arrive in the holy land of Israel. 

Join us today for an optional private group excursion to visit three of the most historic sites and activities of Israel – Taking the cable car to the top of Mount Masada, Floating in the salt and mineral rich Dead Sea and lastly exploring the biblical city of Jerusalem.

Settle into your air-conditioned mini coach and travel from our cruise ship into the Judean desert, the rugged wilderness in the heart of Israel.  Enjoy the views of the desert, and pass the site of the Inn of the Good Samaritan.  Then, get glimpses of the Dead Sea as you approach Masada, a mountain topped by a ruined fortress palace built by King Herod more than 2,000 years ago.

Ride the cable car to the mountaintop of Masada and take a guided tour of the fascinating archaeological ruins. Soak up the awesome views as you inspect the crumbled remnants and hear about the site’s history.  

Descend the mountain via the same cable car and then we will be driven to the Dead Sea past the Ein Gedi oasis and ancient settlement of Qumran.  Stop to enjoy views of the famous Qumran caves, where approximately 900 ancient parchments, many incorporating the earliest known manuscripts of the Bible were discovered - the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls.

Continue to the Dead Sea and enjoy roughly two hours relaxing on a mineral beach. This salt-rich lake sits at around 1,312 feet (400 meters) below sea level — the Earth’s lowest point. Wade into the waters to experience the bizarre floating sensation, enjoy a therapeutic mud bath, and if you wish, take the opportunity to buy some rejuvenating Dead Sea skin products at duty free prices.

After our Dead Sea float, we will be driven to Jerusalem where we will enjoy a guided tour of its biblical, historical sites.

In Jerusalem, we will visit the Mount of Olives for splendid views over the walled Old City, including the golden Dome of the Rock at the Temple of the Mount. Then, drive along the Kidron Valley past the Garden of Gethsemane, Dormition Abbey and other sites before entering the Old City through the Zion Gate. Follow the twisting alleyways of the Armenian Quarter to the Jewish Quarter, and pass the Byzantine Cardo, the city’s main thoroughfare during Byzantine times.  See the Western Wall (also called the Wailing Wall), where thousands of Jewish worshippers gather, and enter the Christian quarter to trace some of the route taken by Jesus to his crucifixion along the Via Dolorosa.

We will then be driven back to our cruise ship in Ashdod.

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Aerial view of Mount Masada

Wednesday December 14th, 2022  -     LIMASSOL CYPRUS           11am -6pm

For anyone who thinks history is all boring textbooks and dull teachers, think again. Cyprus is literally brimming with historical and archaeological marvels and on this cruise you will have the opportunity to bring them to life. Take an optional excursion offered by the cruise line to nearby Curium, Kolossi Castle, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paphos and more.

This evening, after dinner, if you wish, enjoy a TV viewing party of the World Cup Soccer Semi-Finals at 9pm local ship’s time

Thursday December 15th, 2022    Rhodes Greece   12 noon to 8pm

Enjoy the morning to sleep in and relax on the ship. 

This morning, onboard our ship, take part if you wish in the ship sponsored Greek language lessons and Greek dancing/culture in preparation for our visit to Rhodes Greece this afternoon.  Of course the locals at the tourist sites will all speak English but it is fun to learn a few words of Greek and learn their culture to share in Greece.

This afternoon we will enjoy an optional shore excursion provided by our cruise ship. 

Medieval tour - Acropolis of Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights

Half Day: Up to 4 ½ hours

Centuries of culture and layer upon layer of extraordinary civilizations await to be discovered during our bus tour through impressive Lindos and within the awe-inspiring structure of the Acropolis of Lindos. We will follow the footsteps of heroes as we walk along the Knight's Street in the heart of historical Rhodes. The seven lodges of the Order, still bearing their original coats of arms, are displayed along the cobblestone street where Rhodes’ history was written for over two centuries. Sitting at the top of Knights Street, the Grand Master’s Palace is well worth its name. You will be awed by the fort’s imposing Gothic architecture and strength displayed throughout its court structures, as you get a glimpse into the fascinating era of the Knights. We will end our tour of historical Rhodes with free time so that you may fortify your memories of Rhodes at your own pace, exploring the medieval style atmosphere of shops, cobblestone streets and cafes throughout the amazing walled city and then we will be returned to the ship.

If you prefer, at the end of our optional excursion, you may choose to explore further at your leisure and return to the ship before the 7:30pm all aboard time for our 8pm ship departure from Rhodes.   The ship docks very close to the main entrance gate of the old town outdoor shopping plaza where we will enjoy the free time at the end of the tour, so if you wish to stay there longer, rather than returning to the ship on the tour bus at the end of the tour, you can make an easy walk or a very short cab ride back to the ship when you wish before the 7:30pm required all aboard time.

The Old Town is a true joy to explore by foot, as it is filled with cobblestone streets brimming with quaint cafes and shops.  My personal favorite here is the Greek Creperies here which offer both savory crepes filled with cheese, mushrooms and other delights, or Sweet Crepes, filled with Nutella chocolate spread, bananas and topped with ice cream if you wish.

For those wishing to give their respects to the tragedy of the Holocaust, you can follow your trip escort from Singlescruisesandtours.com on a short walk within the old town to see the monument dedicated to the memory of the Greek Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust and then walk with your trip escort to the nearby small Holocaust museum, which also has an adjacent small synagogue.  Both the museum and the synagogue were started and operated for many years by a Greek Jew who survived the Nazi concentration camps of WW II.

For those joining your trip leader on this short visit, we will then return to the cruise ship together, or you can choose to remain in Old Town for further exploration at your own leisure and then return to the ship at your own pace.

Alternatively, you may choose to ship the cruise line sponsored optional four hour excursion to the ruins of Lindos and enjoy the full afternoon exploring the delightful and charming walkways in the old town.

Friday December 16th,2022       KUSADASI TURKEY                     7am-7:30pm

Today everyone will enjoy another included excursion provided by the cruise ship.  This excursion takes us to explore the historical ruins of Ephesus. .


Excursion details:  Ancient Ephesus through the ages - Hellenistic and Roman
Half Day: Up to 4 ½ hours

Our Ancient Ephesus bus tour is a journey through the golden ages which shaped a pivotal center of commerce and spirituality. Built 3,000 years ago, Ephesus shaped the history of Greek, Turkish and Christian civilizations from its privileged location, chosen (according to legend) by the oracle of Delphi. A site of pilgrimage, due to its proximity to the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 Wonders of the World) and the presence of major Christian figures (the apostles Paul and John and the Virgin Mary) within the city walls, Ephesus is currently one of the largest Roman archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. The splendor of its golden age is visible throughout its streets and exceptionally well-preserved ruins. As we explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site you will have the opportunity to breathe in the centuries of cultural effervescence, visible in the Ephesus Agora, Odeon, the Houses of the Patricians, the beautiful Temple of Hadrian and the astonishing Library of Celsus. You will also have the opportunity to bargain and shop local merchandise such as carpets, leather goods, souvenirs etc.
After returning to the ship, take part if you wish in the ship sponsored Greek language lessons in preparation for our visit to Athens tomorrow. Of course the locals at the tourist sites will all speak English but it is fun to learn a few words of Greek to share in Greece.

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The pathway through the ruins of Ephesus which we will visit on an included guided tour today

Saturday December 17, 2022  Athens Greece    Our ship arrives back in Athens Greece at 7am.  Passengers not taking our optional 3 night post cruise stay will return to the airport today on their own arrangement.  Transfers to the airport can be purchased.  We suggest booking your flight for a departure of 12 noon or later, to allow time to clear customs, claim bags and be taken to the airport for check-in and normal security procedures.

OPTIONAL 3 NIGHT POST CRUISE LAND PACKAGE VISITING THE RUINS OF THE ANCIENT OLYMPIC GAMES IN THE HISTORIC CITY OF OLYMPIA GREECE AND ALSO VISITING ONE AMAZING OUTDOOR AMPHITEATER AND WITNESS THE DRAMATIC SUNSET OVER THE SEASIDE TEMPLE OF POSEIDEN, PLUS MUCH MORE  DEC. 17-20,2022

If you want to see more amazing historical sites and more beautiful scenery, join us on this 3 night weekend post cruise land package, visiting the site of the first Ancient Olympic Games in Olympia on Saturday, plus another full day tour visiting three more historic Greek countryside towns on Sunday. 

Optional 3 night post cruise land package itinerary

Saturday December 17th,2022 – We will be picked up at our ship and driven to our hotel in Athens, the same ideally located Best Western Amazon hotel, walking distance from the restaurants, shops and tavernas of the Plaka district.
Later This afternoon, if you wish, join us for an optional excursion:

optional Sunset tour to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.
Visit one of Greece’s most picturesque coastal viewpoints on a half-day small-group tour from Athens to Cape Sounion. Travel by minivan along south Attica’s scenic shoreline roads to reach the ancient Temple of Poseidon, built atop a towering sea cliff with fantastic views of the Aegean.  Explore the ruins of this temple dedicated to the Greek god of the sea, and catch a famously beautiful sunset over the temple and the sea.  A magnificent photo opp. and a memorable excursion!


Optional Excursion Itinerary – tour time from 4pm-8pm (Giving you free time before the tour this afternoon and after the tour, to explore the lively dining & nightlife of the Plaka, all walking distance from our hotel)

This half day small-group tour begins by picking you up from your hotel. You will be driven along coastal roads passing through some of Athens most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza) and watching some amazing views of the Saronic Gulf.

Stop At: Lake Vouliagmeni-A short stop for amazing photos at one of Athens most photographed locations. Vouliagmeni Lake is the result of a volcanic eruption which lies below sea level. A lake by the sea, certainly one of a kind!... Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free

Stop At: Temple of Poseidon

Last stop will be at the location of a temple dedicated to the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Our Greek excursion guide/driver will provide you background information about the 5th century B.C. temple. Free time is then available to watch the famous sunset over the temple and the sea, providing mesmerizing sunset photos or if you wish, enter the temple’s well preserved ruins
Duration of stop - : 1 hour

Optional Sunset tour cost: Only $75

 

Sunday December 18th 2022– Today enjoy the first of the two included full day tours on our three night post cruise program.  We will be driven to Olympia Greece, a drive of approx. three and one half hours.  The drive passes the Saronic Gulf and the Isthmus of Corinth.

Today’s excursion will take us to the birthplace of the Olympic Games in comfort on a private day trip to ancient Olympia and other highlights of the Peloponnese. Admire the engineering of the Corinth Canal, and then trace the victories of ancient Greece’s greatest athletes at gymnasium and track ruins plus the site’s archeological museum. A personal driver means a flexible itinerary, catered to our group’s interests that day with pickup directly from the cruise port.

Beginning with a drive along the coast, you will get the chance to see some Greek seaside villages and the island of Salamis. Salamis is where the historical naval battle took place between the Athenians and the Persians.  Our first stop of the day is the Corinth Canal.  Eventually opened in 1892, it separates the Peloponnese from the rest of Greece all the while connecting the Saronic Gulf to the Corinthian Sea.  Having time to walk across on a pedestrian bridge and admire the canal closer, you may even witness adventure seekers engaging in the activity of bungee jumping off of the bridge.


Stop At: Archaeological Site of Olympia 

We will visit the archaeological site and the museum of Ancient Olympia. This is one of the largest sites in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. Walking through the site you will pass by the Gymnasium, the Palaistra, the workshop of Phidias, the Temple of Zeus and you will end up at the Stadium where for every four years the Greeks competed for glory and for spiritual elevation honoring their cities.

You will also see where even in modern times, in an Olympic year, every four years, the Olympic torch is first lit in Olympia at the same site here where it was lit for the  ancient Olympics. 

In modern times, the torch is lit in a cauldron which you will see at the Olympia site here today.  The torch is then transported from Olympia to the host country of that year’s Olympics and it is then run by volunteers across the host country, ending at the Olympic Stadium in the Host City on the night of the Opening Ceremonies.
 
Stop At: Archaeological Museum of Olympia.  The museum is also quite unique as it includes the renowned statue “Hermes of Praxiteles” with its perfect analogies and tools that belonged to Phidias himself. With the tools he created one of the seven wonders of the world - “the gold ivory statue of Zeus”....


Stop At: Museum of the Olympic Games.  The Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games hosts 463 ancient works, from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, and other museums in the Greek territory. The exhibits cover a wide chronological range, from the second millennium BC until the 5th century AD. Exhibits show the history of the Olympic games, the longest ancient institution. Apart from ancient art, the visitor can see rich visual material.

After walking in the footsteps of ancient athletes, we will take free time for lunch at leisure in the village (not included) and then leave for the comfortable drive back to Athens to check into our hotel for our 2 night stay.

Monday December 19th, 2022
Our final day provides an included full day group tour exploring the archaeology and mythology of ancient Greece.  Following pickup at our hotel, we will visit the archaeological sites of Epidaurus, Mycenae, and Nafplio.  Along the way, discover 4th-century amphitheaters, spectacular countryside scenery, and ancient ruins, and listen as your guide sheds light on mythical rulers such as King Agamemnon.

We will visit the archeological site of Mycenae, built on a hill rising 900 feet about sea level, with its iconic Lion’s Gate entrance way, then visit the ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus, where the acoustics are so good, someone seated in the top row can hear the spoken words of someone on the stage with no microphones, nor speakers nor any other devices.  Passengers are always amazed when they self- test this and realizing its true, wonder how the ancient Greeks had the knowledge of acoustics to build such an advanced structure. 

We will have free time for lunch at our leisure (not included) in the historic village of Naplio and then an optional visit to the Palamidi Fortress and Castle, before retuning back to our hotel in Athens.

Tuesday December 20th, 2022

Return home from Athens. Transfer from the hotel to the airport can be purchased in advance, starting September 15th, 2022.

 

TRIP PRICING

CRUISE ONLY – December 10-17, 2022 Starting and ending in Athens, Greece

ALL RATES INCLUDE:   ALL TAXES, ALL MEALS, UNLIMITED DRINKS (YES THAT INCLUDES ALL ALCOHOL TOO), ALL GRATUITIES AND INCLUDE A PROFESSIONALLY GUIDED SHORE EXCURSION PROVIDED BY THE CRUISE LINE ON THE DAYS THE CRUISE VISITS EGYPT, and KUSADASI TURKEY.

Also included are the cruise line’s fun onboard experiences such as learning Greek Zorba dancing, Greek cooking classes &, Greek language lessons on board to immerse you into the country’s culture and much more.

Also included are the services of your experienced group trip escort from singlescruisesandtours.com, there to provide over 25 years of experience in escorting singles group trips, as well as group trip communication starting Sept. 1st, 2022, so all confirmed passengers can communicate with each other in the weeks leading up to your cruise.

OCEAN VIEW CABINS IN CATEGORY XB WITH A WINDOW AND A NON SMOKING ROOMMATE OF THE SAME GENDER: Only $1799 PER PERSON
Our Group’s Ocean View Cabins Are in Category XB Ocean View which are on decks 5 And 6 and have a large window.   Our Group’s Ocean View Category XB rooms have a large window, compared to Cat. XA cabins which have just a small port hole)

Our Category XB Ocean View cabins feature 2 single lower beds for double occupancy.  These can be pushed together to form one large bed, upon request, for anyone choosing the single occupancy option.  Our Category XB Ocean View cabins have a bathroom with shower, air conditioning, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box, and TV

Or upgrade to an OCEAN VIEW WITH PRIVATE BALCONY JUNIOR SUITE IN CATEGORY SJA for only $299 per person more than the ocean view category XB cabin.
SJA – Balcony Junior Suite. They are on deck 7 and have a floor area of 275 square feet (including a balcony of 55 sq. feet) and accommodate up to 4 persons, with 2 lower beds plus space for 3rd/4th berths if desired. 

Optional single room supplement - If you wish the privacy of having your own room, please add the following to the rates above for your selected cabin type:

Ocean View XB Cabins: Add Only  $289 single room supplement

SJA Balcony Junior suites: Add $889 single room supplement

OPTIONAL 4 NIGHT PRE CRUISE LAND PROGRAM IN ATHENS GREECE
INCLUDES:

* 4 Nights at the four star Best Western Amazon hotel in Athens Greece, ideally located in the center of town in Syntagma Square Plaka district - walking distance from shops, restaurants and Greek tavern pubs  December 6-10,2022
* Hop On Hop Off bus tour of Athens on December 7th
* Full Day tour visiting the Monasteries of Meteora
*Full day tour visiting the Impressive engineering wonder of the Corinth Canal, the Kastria Cave of Lakes, the scenic Odontotos Railway, and free time in the scenic mountain top village of Kalavrita.
* Group transport from the hotel to the cruise ship

Cost: Only $1499 per person with a non-smoking roommate of the same gender assigned

Optional single room supplement for anyone wishing the privacy of their own room on our four night pre cruise package: Only an additional $399

Optional 3 night post cruise land package

INCLUDES

  • Three nights at the four star Best Western Amazon hotel in Athens Greece, ideally located walking distance from shops, restaurants and Greek tavern pubs
  • Full day private guided tour to Olympia Greece, to see the ruins of the sites from the ancient Olympic games
  • Full day private guided group tour from our Athens hotel to visit the sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus, the historic village of Naplio and an optional visit to the Palimidi
    Fortress

Cost: $999 per person with a non-smoking roommate of the same gender assigned

Optional single room supplement for anyone wishing the privacy of their own room on the 3 night post cruise stay: Add $299

 

PAYMENTS:

CRUISE ONLY  A DEPOSIT OF $500 IS DUE WITHIN 7 DAYS OF BOOKING
(OR IF BOOKING A BALCONY CABIN - WITH A ROOMMATE TO BE ASSIGNED, YOUR DEPOSIT DUE WITHIN 7 DAYS IS $900.)


4 NIGHT PRE CRUISE PACKAGE: NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED

3 NIGHT POST CRUISE LAND PACKAGE : NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED

THE BALANCE PAYMENT FOR ALL PASSENGERS IS DUE SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2022

CANCELATIONS:

IF YOU HAVE TRAVELED WITH US BEFORE AT LEAST ONCE AND HAVE BOOKED A SINGLE OCCUPANCY SPACE, OR WITH YOUR OWN FRIEND AS YOUR ROOMMATE, YOU CAN CANCEL FOR A FULL REFUND OF YOUR $500 DEPOSIT UNTIL JULY 1st, 2022

IF YOU HAVE TRAVELED WITH US BEFORE AND HAVE BOOKED A SPACE IN DOUBLE OCCUPANCY, WITH A ROOMMATE TO BE ASSIGNED IN AN OCEAN VIEW CABIN, YOU CAN CANCEL FOR A FULL REFUND OF YOUR $500 DEPOSIT UNTIL June 15th, 2022

IF YOU HAVE TRAVELED WITH US BEFORE AND HAVE BOOKED A SPACE IN DOUBLE OCCUPANCY, WITH A ROOMMATE TO BE ASSIGNED IN A BALCONY CABIN, YOU CAN CANCEL FOR A FULL REFUND OF YOUR $900 DEPOSIT UNTIL APRIL 15TH, 2022

IF YOU HAVE NOT TRAVELED WITH US BEFORE, THE SAME CANCELATION DATES APPLY, BUT INSTEAD OF A REFUND OF YOUR DEPOSIT, YOU WILL RECEIVE A FUTURE TRIP CREDIT IN THE FULL AMOUNT OF YOUR DEPOSIT, GOOD TOWARD ANY SINGLES TRIP ON OUR SITE IN EITHER 2022 OR 2023.

BOOK ME A SPACE ON THIS TRIP

 

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