Antiquity to Byzantium | 8 Days

Jump to Section
TRIP IN BRIEF

Antiquity to Byzantium

5
(3 Reviews)
From $2,958 AUD
  • 8 Days
  • Cities Visited

    Athens, Palaia Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Monemvasia, Gythion, Diros, Areopolis, Pylos, Hora, Katakolon, Olympia, Patras, Itea, Delphi

    Group Size:
    1 to 49
    Age Range:
    5 to 99
    Languages: English
    Type: Cruise, Small Ship: Variety Cruises

Or contact your local travel agent.

Greece
Speak to our Greece Expert - Katie

Katie is Greece. She’s travelled to over 30 Greek Islands and regions, going back every year to discover new destinations.

Book with security & flexibility
  • Trust & Confidence

    We’ve been around for over 30 years, and are accredited with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and the Council of Australian Tour Operators.

  • Largest Selection

    We have the largest range of quality tours, packages and cruises in the Mediterranean and Middle East; carefully selected by our specialised product experts.

  • Expert Knowledge

    Collectively, our team have travelled to every destination we feature – ensuring you always have the best and most up to date advice in choosing your perfect holiday experience.

  • 24/7 Support

    Our team is available via phone, email or online chat. We also have a 24/7 team of experts based in each country we feature, to assist during your travels.

Cruise at a Glance

Cruise at a Glance

Unravel the wonders of Antiquity and the Byzantine Empire around the fascinating Peloponnese coast

  • Accommodation in a cabin with private SH/WC & air conditioning
  • Optional excursions in Epidaurus, Mycenae, Gythion, Pylos, Olympia and Delphi
  • Full board; Buffet breakfast, and two main meals daily including welcome cocktail, a local theme night and Captain’s dinner
  • Start Point:
  • End Point:
  • Stops:
  • Map is an indication of destinations visited and may not depict the exact route taken.

Itinerary

November 10, 2023 Departures:

Embarkation between 2-3 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Sail for Palaia (old) Epidaurus. Evening arrival and dinner on board. Overnight in Port.

March 24, April 7, October 27, 2023 Departures:

Day 1 | Athens (Marina Zea) – Nafplion (at port)

Embarkation between 2-3 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Sail for Nafplion, the first Capital of modern Greece and main port of eastern Peloponnese. Nafplion is known for Bourtzi, a fortress built on a small island nearby the port, and Palamidi, the hill fort of ”999 steps”, which is a protected habitat of European Ecological Network Natura 2000. Dinner on board and late-night arrival. Overnight in port.

March 31, April 14, November 3, 2023 Departures:

Day 1 | Corinth (At Sea)

Bus transfer* from Marina Zeas / Athens to Corinth port. The bus departs Marina Zeas at 16:00 pm sharp for embarkation between 17:30-18:00 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Dinner on board and sailing to Itea. Overnight at sea.

Meals Included:
Dinner

We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus for our optional excursion. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius – and for its theatre, which is once again in use today. The sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla by pirates and later by Goths in 395 A.D. and very little remains of it today. The prosperity brought by the Asclepieion enabled the residents of Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including a huge theatre (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at port.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colourful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae for an optional excursion. The importance of the city, which Homer calls “rich in gold” begins in 1650 B.C and ceases around 1100 B.C with the fall of the civilization to which it gives name. Visit the remains of the ancient glorious city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, the so called Agamemnon Tomb and the museum. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning arrival to Gythion. Optional Excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro plus the spectacular Dirou Caves with their stalactites and stalagmites. Ancient Gythion was inhabited during prehistoric times and later the Spartans used as a port, enlarging the natural harbor they made Gythion their naval base. Leaving Gythion we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves, discovered around the 60s, which are perhaps among the most important natural sites of Greece. After visiting the cave we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece. A desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers who is strangely beautiful. Overnight at sea to Pylos.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Pylos is a picture-perfect seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In 1827 a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history. This defeat led to the independence of Greece, which occurred in 1829. During our optional excursion and after stopping to admire the scenery, we will continue up the road to Nestor’s Palace. The remains of the prehistoric Palace occupy a scenic hilltop setting north of Pylos. The palace at Pylos belonged to Nestor and was discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen. Highlights include the well-preserved royal apartments and a bathtub that archaeologists have speculated belonged to the old king himself. The palace, with its central courtyard, was originally two stories high and richly decorated with frescoes. Following our visit to the remains of the palace, we will make the short trip to the town of Hora where a superb archaeological museum holds thousands of artefacts recovered from the site. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning arrival in Katakolon. We will disembark the ship around 7:00 a.m. in the port town of Katakolo and an optional excursion takes us by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world. Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the ancient Greek world, it was also the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Olympia persisted well into Roman times until its demise in the 3rd century A.D. when fires, earthquakes and invading tribes from the north left the ancient site in ruins. From 1875 onward excavation work, spearheaded primarily by the German government, revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvellous archaeological museum. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago. You will also explore the Temple of Hera, the magnificent temple of Zeus the Philippeion – lodging place for the athletes who participated in the games. We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Following lunch in the town of Olympia, we’ll visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artefacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic Games. After having time at leisure we will travel overland to Patras on the north coast of the peninsula, where we will re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight at Itea.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Morning optional excursion to Delphi, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world. We will disembark the ship early this morning and proceed to the ruins complex. Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much for the stunning natural beauty that surround the ruins as for the ancient buildings themselves. In its prime, Delphi was revered for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from the site’s location as hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. Indeed, because everything in Greece is connected to mythology, Delphi became the premier site for the worship of the god Apollo. The oracle had the ability to prophecy the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world travelled here to consult with the oracle, and responded by offering thanks to Apollo in the form of treasure. We will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit the adjoining museum. Return to the ship and cross the Corinth Canal. Later in the evening Captain’s Farewell Dinner and sail to Marina Zea. Overnight in Marina Zea.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Disembarkation at 9:00 am after breakfast. End of services.

Meals Included:
Breakfast

Want to read this later?

Download this trip's brochure as a PDF.

What’s included?

7 nights Variety cruise

Professional English speaking cruise escort

Tours as per itinerary

7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners

Cruise by M/S Galileo

Optional Epidaurus: Ancient Theatre tour on day 2

Duration: 3.5 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee

Price: 68 euro per person

We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary and considered by many to be the birthplace of modern medicine. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius and for its famous theatre, which is once again in use today. The Asklepion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing centre of the Classical world, the place where ill people travelled long distances to be blessed by the deity. Over the years the holy men in the site began using herbs, cleansing rituals and other techniques that transformed the treatment from divine to scientific. The theatre was designed by Polycleitus the Younger in the 4th century B.C. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. When full, the theatre seats up to 15,000 people. As it did during the time of the ancient Greeks, the theatre is still marvelled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect perception of spoken words from the stage floor to all spectators, regardless of their seating. We will return to our ship after completing our visit to all sites and enjoying time at leisure.

Optional Nafplion: Mycenae tour on day 3

Duration: 4 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee

Price: 66 euro per person

After a short drive through the colorful city of Nafplion and the beautiful fertile countryside of Argolis arrive at Mycenae, a major center of Greek Civilization. The importance of the city, which Homer calls “rich in gold” begins in 1650 B.C and ceases around 1100 B.C. with the fall of the civilization to which it gives name. Visit the remains of the glorious ancient city now a UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Cyclopean walls, the famous Lion’s Gate, the Palace – home to the Kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, the so-called Agamemnon Tomb and the museum. Mycenae in legend was the royal seat of the ill-fated House of Atreus, and from Mycenae Agamemnon, “king of men”, went off as leader of the Achaean expedition to war against Troy. The name of Mycenae was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek prehistory, the Mycenaean civilization, while the myths related to its history, its rulers and their family members (such as Clytemnestra, Iphigeneia, Electra, Orestes) have inspired poets, writers and artists continuously from the ancient to the contemporary times.

At the end of the tour, we will have a short, guided walk in the historical center of Nafplion, first Capital of modern Greece with its dominating castle walls, old houses and picturesque narrow streets.

Optional Gythion: Mani & Diros Cave tour on day 4 

Duration: 6 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee

Price: 85 euro per person

Ancient Gythion was inhabited during prehistoric times and later the Spartans used as a port, enlarging the natural harbour they made Gythion their naval base. Leaving Gythion we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves, discovered around the 60s, which are perhaps among the most important natural sites of Greece. The Paleolithic and Neolithic findings, many in display at the museum, mean that the caves were one of the earliest inhabited places in Greece. The human skeletons are those of unburied dead, a fact which has led the Head of Antiquities to suggest that at the end of the Neolithic period or at the beginning of the Bronze Age, a severe earthquake shook the area blocking the mouth of the cave, so that its inhabitants were walled up and died of starvation. The cave entrance remained sealed for about 4.500 years. The cave today is partially filled with water so we will board small fishing boats and explore the cave which is full of stalactites and stalagmites.

After visiting the cave, we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece. A desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers who is strangely beautiful. The Maniots are known in Greece for their traditional dwellings, built three or four stories high with flat roofs and tiny openings for windows. At one time there were over 50 such villages made up of these extraordinary houses. The spirit of the warriors that once lived and fought here continues to live on making Mani one of the most enigmatic regions in Greece.

Optional Pylos: Methoni – Koroni tour on day 5

Duration: 4 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee, refreshments

Price: 68 euro per person

Pylos town sits on the backside of stately Navarino Bay the site of several famous naval battles: In Antiquity between the Spartans and Athenians during the Peloponnesian conflict. In 1827 a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history. This defeat led to the independence of Greece, which occurred in 1829. After stopping to admire the scenery, we will continue along the coast of Western Peloponnese, crossing the Messenian countryside between Methoni and Koroni which is ravishing.

We will have a brief stop in Methoni which is a charmingly picturesque little town with the imposing Medieval Castle being the central attraction. There is a graceful structure known as the Bourtzi (fortified islet) at the castle’s outermost point. It looks and is a little gem of architecture, but has a dark history, for the Ottomans built it as a place of imprisonment and execution. Even if you don’t know of this history, the vibrations emitted from the solid stone are disturbing.

Our next destination is Koroni, once a Venetian naval fortress. It is a delightful town, clustered on a hillside. Its narrow, cobbled streets and stairways lead up to the Venetian castle which protected the waterways.

Visiting the old town in the Castle we will discover little gems of architecture being well preserved such as iron balcony railings, arched windows and doors, forgotten mansions and some modest cottages still alive offering unique views and garden scents. A convent, Aghia Sophia Byzantine Chapel and a few cemeteries surrounded by beautiful wild flowers and perfect solitude. Sip your refreshment at the colourful port and enjoy some free time before returning to our ship.

Optional Olympia tour from Kalamata on day 6

Duration: 8 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee, lunch

Price: 105 euro per person

We will disembark the ship early morning in the port town of Kalamata and travel by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world.

Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the ancient Greek world, it was also the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Although the first recorded Olympics took place in 776 B.C., evidence indicates that some type of games or athletic contests were held as early as Mycenaean times (11th-12th centuries B.C.). Remarkably, from 776 on, the games were held uninterrupted for the next 1,000 years. From 1875 onward excavation work, spearheaded primarily by the German government, revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvellous archaeological museum. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago.

You will also explore the Temple of Hera, the magnificent temple of Zeus the Philippeion – circular memorial of Ionic columns honouring the family of Alexander the Great and the Leonidion – lodging place for the athletes who participated in the games.

We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. It is filled with treasures unearthed from the mud that covered Olympia after a flood in about 400 AD. Among the many astonishing exhibits are the bronze helmet of Miltiades, worn by the Greek general at Marathon in his victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 B.C.; and the statuary from the east and west pediments of the temple of Zeus.

Following a traditional lunch in the town of Olympia, we’ll visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artefacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic games.

(The History Museum visit is optional provided it is open in the afternoon).

After having time at leisure we will return to the ship.

Optional Delphi: Isthmia tour on day 7

Duration: 9.5 hours

Includes: Bus, guide, entrance fee, lunch

Price: 120 euro per person

We will disembark the ship early this morning and proceed to Delphi passing by the Corinth Canal. Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much for the stunning natural beauty that surround the ruins as for the ancient buildings themselves. Behind the site, the bare limestone cliffs of the Phaidriades thrust several thousand feet up, towering over the archaeological site and museum, while to the south runs a deep and fertile river valley. The panoramic views from the road are truly inspiring. In its prime, Delphi was revered for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from the site’s location as hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. Indeed, because everything in Greece is connected to mythology, Delphi became the premier site for the worship of the god Apollo. The oracle had the ability to prophecy the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world travelled here to consult with the oracle, and responded by offering thanks to Apollo in the form of treasure.

We will walk around the ruins complex and visit the adjoining museum. Some of the highlights include the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the Castalian Spring, the Gymnasium, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasuries (built by various Greek city-states to commemorate victories), and the stadium. We will return to the ship after having lunch and some leisure time.

Regular filter coffee, tea and drinking water

Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability)

Port taxes

Beverages (except those mentioned above)

Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements

Crew tips

Passenger personal expenses

Wi-Fi (available at an additional charge)

Any items of personal nature

Pricing & Availability

Filter Dates
2024
2025
Departing Ending

All rates are based on twin/double share. Please enquire for single and triple rates. Rates are based on AUD. Availability is conditional on final confirmation from the supplier and is subject to change.

Ship Details

  • Renovated: 2020
  • Length: 47 m
  • Breadth: 10.50 m
  • Speed: 10 kn
  • Passengers: 49
  • Cabins: 24
  • Two sun-decks with sun beds & sub chairs and shaded areas
  • Main deck dining room
  • Spacious main deck lounge with 360 degree views
  • Outdoor American bar
  • Library
  • Upper deck outdoor bar and lounge
  • classic lines and wood paneled lounges
  • Sails
Lower Deck
  • Cabin: Category C’
  • Bedding: Double/Twin
  • Size(sqm): 9.50-11
  • Window: Portholes
Lower Deck
  • Cabin: Category B’
  • Bedding: Double/Twin
  • Size(sqm): 11-14
  • Window: Portholes
Upper Deck
  • Cabin: Category A’
  • Bedding: Double/Twin/Triple
  • Size(sqm): 12-13
  • Window: Portholes
  • En-suite with shower
  • Air-conditioning
  • flat screen TV
  • mini fridge
  • Internal music
  • Telephone
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Wardrobe
  • Desk

Important things to note

Covid 19 vaccinations or pre-testing are no longer mandatory. Vaccinations are preferred, but not required.

Swim stops and port stops are weather permitting.

Itinerary is subject to weather conditions and sailing is not permitted in force 6-7 Beauford winds.

The company reserves the right to substitute the vessel.

All itineraries and cruise vessels are subject to change without notice.

Sailing is at the Captains discretion.

Port Taxes are subject to change at any time.

*Kindly note that free bus transfers will be offered to all guests from Corinth to Athens and reverse.
– For the cruises disembarking in Corinth (March 24, April 7, October 27), disembarkation in Corinth port will be at 07:00am to Athens airport and then to the centre of Athens (location t.b.a.)
– For the cruises embarking in Corinth (March 31, April 14, November 3), the meeting point will be in Marina Zeas and the bus to Corinth will depart at 16:00 sharp.
For your information the distance between Corinth port and Athens is approx. 1 ½ – 2 hours depending on the traffic.

Have a question about this tour?

You can ask your question here, and we’ll get back to you!

Reviews for Antiquity to Byzantium

avatar default
Anthony Le-Lenhardt
Best services and super friendly

Review for: Antiquity to Byzantium

Best services and super friendly staff throughout my trip to Greece 🇬🇷 in July. everyone on board so helpful and the cruise 🛳 very clean and the food is outstanding. looking into booking it again for 2024.
avatar default
Life-is-good
Dream Vacation

Review for: Classical Greece

The phenomenal staff made this trip the dream trip for which we were hoping. Our trip was held in May 2022 when Covid was raging, and the United States were requiring a negative Covid test for reentry. Due to this, there were only twenty-five passengers on our ship, and many of the staff told us that this was one of the very first trips they had had since the pandemic began. The long hiatus resulted in some small challenges, but the staff truly went above and beyond to meet our every need. For example, they told us our excursion to Mycenae might be canceled because we did not have the minimum number of subscribers; however, the staff found a way to make it happen as scheduled. Another example is that even though the gym on board was being remodeled, the staff made some quick adjustments which allowed us to use the gym during the voyage. Most importantly, they were able to schedule on board Covid testing on the day prior to final departure so we could be certain we would be able to fly home the next day. These are just some examples of how hard the staff strived to make the trip successful. On the last day of the cruise, the captain announced that three passengers tested positive for Covid, and as a result we would have to miss our last excursion. However, he went out of his way to sail slowly by the stop, and the evening was so beautiful that he had turned a negative into a positive. Since we always tend to sail at night, we hadn’t seen the beauty of the varying shades of blue that the islands take on as the sun begins to set in the gorgeous Aegean Sea. I will never forget that evening, and I can’t thank the captain enough for making the best of a difficult situation.
avatar default
swhipps26
Loved it!

Review for: Jewels of the Cyclades - M/S Galileo

We absolutely loved our cruise. It was our very first cruise experience and it was perfect. The staff was amazing. They went above an beyond. They remembered every preference and were so helpful and enthusiastic. We really enjoyed the swim stops. Seeing only the sea and a remote, uninhabited island was so fun. The crew was great about safety and getting us to and from shore. The islands were amazing. We had just the right amount of time off the boat to explore. They were so helpful with restaurant suggestions and how to get places. The boat itself was beautiful and well taken care of. Our cabin was small but that was expected. I only really had trouble with the size the first night. I would say that if you were choosing Cabin C, to try to be away from the anchor. That was the loudest part. The motor didn't bother us. But bringing up the anchor in the mornings at 4/5am was not pleasant. I would highly recommend this trip. We were the youngest couple on our cruise; however, the other passengers were so great to include us and we had a great time getting to know them. We played cards each night with 2 other couples and went on walks and took taxis to another to see different places on the islands.

Looking for more?

TRIP IN BRIEF

Antiquity to Byzantium

5
(3 Reviews)
From $2,958 AUD
  • 8 Days
  • Cities Visited

    Athens, Palaia Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Monemvasia, Gythion, Diros, Areopolis, Pylos, Hora, Katakolon, Olympia, Patras, Itea, Delphi

    Group Size:
    1 to 49
    Age Range:
    5 to 99
    Languages: English
    Travel Style: Cruise, Small Ship: Variety Cruises

Or contact your local travel agent.

Greece
Speak to our Greece Expert - Katie

Katie is Greece. She’s travelled to over 30 Greek Islands and regions, going back every year to discover new destinations.

Similar Trips

Cruise
Wines of Greece

Wines of Greece

8 Days | Marina Zeas to Marina Zeas

5
(3 Reviews)
Cruise
Unexplored Greek Islands

Unexplored Greek Islands

8 Days | Marina Zeas to Marina Zeas

5
(3 Reviews)
Cruise
Jewels of the Cyclades – M/S Galileo

Jewels of the Cyclades – M/S Galileo

8 Days | Marina Zeas to Marina Zeas

5
(3 Reviews)
Cruise
Classical Greece

Classical Greece

8 Days | Marina Zeas to Marina Zeas

5
(3 Reviews)