Cruises & Cabin Charter/Boutique cruises

Antiquity to Byzantium cruise

ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORY THEMED CRUISE
from ATHENS - ATHENS, with guest lecturer 
on board the 49 passenger MotorSailer GALILEO (March, April & October, November 2022)
on board the m/y CALLISTO (May, June & July 2022)

Highlights include: Mycenae, Delphi, Ancient Olympia, Corinth Canal crossing, Ancient Epidavros, Nafplion, Pylos

Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of Antiquity and Byzantium around the coast of the Peloponnese. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a leap back into ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you. With the guidance and knowledge of an experienced lecturer and guide you’ll get to know the famous ancient theatre of Epidaurus, the Tomb of Agamemnon, and the Mycenae burial complex, as well as Ancient Olympia and famous Delphi. Visit historic and picturesque cities, such as Nafplio and Monemvasia, Gytheio and Pylos, all waiting to be discovered the best way: by Small Ship.

Highlights

4 UNESCO Heritage Sites Await

Ancient Mycenae, Ancient Olympia, Ancient Delphi, Ancient Epidaurus... Enjoy guest lectures aboard and be part of small-group excursions to crowd-free sites, whilst in the company of like-minded travelers. Discover the wonders of Antiquity and the Byzantine Empire around the fascinating Peloponnese coast.



Antiquity to Byzantium cruise itinerary

Ancient Epidaurus theatre

Day 1 ~ Friday

Marina Zea
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. (If time and weather conditions allow, it may be possible to cruise to the island of Aegina for a quick tour of the town after dinner, then nighttime departure for Epidaurus.)

Mycenae

Day 2 ~ Saturday

Palaia Epidaurus - Nafplion
We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus (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 theater, 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 theater (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at port.

Monemvasia

Day 3 ~ Sunday

Nafplion- Monemvasia
After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae (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 the beautiful medieval island/fort peninsula of Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.

Gythion

Day 4 ~ Monday

Gythion 
Early morning arrival in 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.

Pylos

Day 5 ~ Tuesday

Pylos
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 artifacts recovered from the site. Overnight at sea.

Ancient Olympia

Day 6 ~ Wednesday

Katakolon - Itea
Early morning arrival in port of Katakolon. We will disembark around 7:00 a.m. 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 and 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. From 1875 onward excavation work revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvelous 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. We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Following lunch in the town of Olympia, we will visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and artifacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic Games. Time at leisure and travel overland to Patra. Re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight in port.

Ancient Delphi

Day 7 ~ Thursday

Itea - Corinth Canal
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. Stay 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. The oracle had the ability to prophecy the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world traveled 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.

Corinth Canal

Day 8 ~ Friday

Marina Zea (disembarkation)
Disembarkation after breakfast. If you haven`t already, now is the time to explore some of the special sites in Athens, including the Parthenon / Acropolis, Acropolis museum, as well as the popular shopping disctricts of Plaka and Monastiraki. 

NB: Excursion package is not included in the cruise fare but can be requested, or you can opt to go on individual excursions at ticket price.


motorsailer Galileo

Motorsailer Galileo

Imagine a place far from home that feels just like home, where the borders are delineated by the golden shores of the sea; and home is wherever the anchors drop. Imagine 157 feet of comfort, old style beauty, and safety classified by the latest International “Safety of Life at Sea” (SOLAS) standards. Imagine your floating home on board the sleek, classic design Mega Yacht as she spreads her white sails through the seas under the name GALILEO, waving her Greek flag through the wind. 

Discover m/s Galileo

Mega yacht Callisto

Mega yacht Callisto

The Callisto is a 52 m /170 ft Motor Yacht which complies with the latest SOLAS regulations for International Voyages. Her state of the art twin stabilizers allow for safe and comfortable cruising. Elegant, classic. She was fully refit / rebuilt in 2000 and was thoroughly renovated in 2015-16. This classy Motor Yacht has performed several Atlantic Ocean crossings and has also sailed along the most interesting coastal sites of Europe, North and West Africa. The M/Y Callisto is of the “boutique” category of cruiser, and offers the highest standard of accommodation, comfort and safety. Service on board is provided by your Captain, the Cruise Coordinator and your experienced Marine and Hotel crew members.

Discover m/y Callisto

 


Testimonials:

“Our trip around the Peloponnese was filled with sights we had only read about in history books. The crowds at the temples and ruins were very minimal, in fact we often were the only visitors which made for a much more pleasant visit. I would highly recommend going on the off season trips for this reason. What made our visits even better were the very knowledgeable cruise director and even more knowledgeable tour guide...”

"We really enjoyed this cruise around the Peloponnese peninsula. Everyday we got to see a bit more of Greece`s classical antiquity: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Monemvassia, Sparta, ancient Olympia, Delphi... and much more. It`s perfect for off-season because it`s not too hot and not too crowded. We met some great people on board and the crew were amazing, as were the full-board meals. The boat was also something special and we found our cabin really comfortable."

Tracy and Frances 


2022 CRUISE FARES PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

Deck

Cabins

m/s Galileo (Full-board)

18 & 25 March
04 & 11 November

m/s Galileo (Full board)

1, 8, 15 April
28 October

m/y Callisto (Half-board)

28 May, 24 June, 29 July

C Lower deck

Double / twin bed cabins (Galileo)
Twin bed cabins (Callisto)

€1250
$1490

€1800
$2190

€2300
$2790

B Lower deck

Flexible bed cabins (Galileo)
Twin or Double bed cabins (Callisto)

€1650
$1990

€2200
$2690

€2450
$2990

A Main or upper deck

Twin or double bed cabins

€2100
$2590

€2950
$3590

€3350
$4090

P Main deck

Twin or double bed cabins (only Callisto)

-

-

€3550
$4290

3rd person in cabin

CAT A (Galileo)
CAT C & B (Callisto)

-30%
CAT A

-30%
CAT A

-30%
CAT C & B

Single Supplement

+50%

+50%

+50% in Cat C & Cat B
+75% in Cat A & Cat P

Port fees

€280
$330

€280
$330

€295
$360

USD prices for USA, MEXICO & JAPAN. Euro prices for rest of the world

Children policy/Family offer

  •  SINGLE parent with 1 or max. 2 children in same cabin: The parent pays Single cruise fare & children cruise for FREE
  •  COUPLE with 1 child sharing the same cabin: No charge for the child up to 10 years old, 50% reduction for the child 11-17 years old
  •  COUPLE with 2 or 3 (regardless of age) children: Both cabins will be charged at Single rate (single adult rate)
  •  Discounts which only apply for the children (5-17 years old): 25% reduction on all optional excursions

Conditions & Restrictions for the Family offers:

  • They apply for children 5-17 years old
  • They are valid for new bookings only
  • They are on request and on first come-first served basis
  • “Special Family offer” to be mentioned at the time of booking so that the discounted rates will apply for the reservation. Otherwise, Full rates will apply
  • No reduction offered on port taxes which are additional for all participants
  • They cannot be combined with any existing or future early bird discounts or special offers including Club exclusive offers
  • Standard payment and cancellation policies apply

Cruise fares are per person and week and include

  • Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning
  • Full-board onboard M/S GALILEO: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a Greek night Evening, and Captain’s Dinner
    Half-board onboard M/Y CALLISTO: Buffet breakfast and one meal daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a Greek night Evening, and Captain’s Dinner
  • Regular (filter) coffee, tea and still mineral water free all day.
  • Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability).
  • English speaking Cruise Escort.

Not included:

  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements
  • Crew tips
  • Passenger personal expenses
  • Wifi (available with charge)

Notes:

  • Swim Stops & Beach Barbeques are weather permitting.
  • Itineraries can be changed at the discretion of the cruise operator and of the Vessel`s Captain in case of adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- or port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but the cruise company guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.
  • The Company reserves the right to substitute the vessel due to breakdown or mechanical failure.

 

The Variety Cruises passion remains unchanged since 1968: an alchemy that blends enriching oneself educationally and exploring the true identity of a destination, while enjoying the comforts and unique benefits of a small ship sailing the seas.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard one of our ships soon and discover the world the Variety Cruises way.

OVERVIEW

Variety Cruises is one of the leading yacht cruise lines worldwide, operating a fleet of 11 fully owned vessels offering travelers the ultimate Boutique Yacht Cruise experience. With capacities ranging from 5 to 36 cabins, Variety Cruises’ upscale yachts and experiential cruise itineraries embrace each destination by visiting much-loved and unfrequented ports of call in a private, intimate and relaxed environment.

THE VARIETY CRUISES DIFFERENCE

  • Private Yacht Cruise Experience, with up to 72 fellow passengers
  • Boutique-size yachts that dock right in the heart of destinations that large ships cannot reach
  • Carefully crafted itineraries focused on the destination
  • Ample leisure time in each port including overnights
  • Mediterranean fusion cuisine with a strong local influence depending on the destination
  • Personalized service on board provided by experienced and finely trained crew
  • Small group shore excursions – Immersion in the destination
  • Swim platforms allowing guests to enter the crystal clear waters on spot and swim or experience snorkeling, kayaking, SUP and more
  • Yacht Deck Barbecues & Private Events on board and ashore

AWARDS & ACCOLADES:

Some of Variety Cruises’ industry nomination highlights:

  • Tourism Awards 2019: Gold Award for “Responsible and Sustainable Tourism”
  • Cruise Critic Cruisers’ choice 2018: “Best Cruise Line in Eastern Mediterranean
  • Tourism Awards 2017: Gold Award in “Small Ship Cruising in Greece
  • USA TODAY Reader’s Choice Awards 2016: “World’s Best Boutique Cruise Line
  • CruiseCritic.Com 2015: In the top 15 Small Ship Cruise Lines and “Best in Yacht Cruises
  • CruiseCritic.Com: “Best Small Ship Cruise Line in the Scenic Nature

With more than 400 bed capacity on board 11 vessels, Variety Cruises is the largest Mega Yachts operator in the Mediterranean and one of the top 3 worldwide in the Small Ship market.

Antiquity to Byzantium 2022 Cruise Brochure

Area map