|At a glance:
Classical Greece Cruise
Aegean Islands Mini Cruises
Antiquity to Byzantium Cruise
Jewels of the Cyclades Cruise
Aegean Odyssey 2020
Costa Rica & Panama
Spain & Portugal
Egypt, Jordan & Israel
ANTIQUITY TO BYZANTIUM CRUISE 2019 & 2020
on board the 49 passenger MotorSailer GALILEO
ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORY THEMED CRUISE with guest lecturer
Hightlights 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.
Antiquity to Byzantium cruise Itinerary
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.)
Day 2: Saturday - Palaia Epidaurus (optional excursion)
We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus. 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.
Watch guest video of Days 1 & 2
Day 3: Sunday - Nafplion/Mycenae (optional excursion)
After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae. 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.
Watch guest video of Day 3
Day 4: Monday - Gythion (optional excursion)
Early morning arrival to Gythion. 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.
Watch guest video of Greek night dancing
Day 5: Tuesday - Pylos (optional excursion)
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. 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.
Day 5 continued....
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 sailing to Katakolon.
Watch guest video of Day 5
Day 6: Wednesday - Katakolon/Olympia (optional excursion)
Early morning arrival in Katakolon. We will disembark the ship around 7:00 a.m. in the port town of Katakolo 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. 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 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 – 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 artifacts 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.
Watch guest video of Day 6
Day 7: Thursday - Itea / Delphi (optional excursion)
Morning 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 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 we sail to Marina Zea. Overnight in Marina Zea
Watch guest video of Day 7
Day 8: Friday - Marina Zea (disembarkation)
Disembarkation after breakfast.
Watch guest video of our return trip through the Corinth Canal
*Please note: 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.
Note: 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- on 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 Operator guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.
Download yacht's brochure
The 51 meter "Galileo" is a classic steel Motor Sailer, with spacious and well appointed interiors renovated in 2015. At the main deck, a lounge area with an American bar leads into a warm and elegant dining room finished with wood and leather. Guests on the Galileo enjoy the most a shaded outdoor deck area with an outdoor bar and the ship's sun deck. The M/S Galileo, built with the most stringent safety regulations, was launched in 1992 and rebuilt in 2007.
The Variety Cruises Experience
Enjoy a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of the Turquoise Coast of Turkey and the Greek Islands of Eastern Aegean. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool you, a glimpse of ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you.
The cabins are located at the upper and main decks and are equipped with windows, while those at the lower deck come with portholes. All cabins are handsomely designed, finished with lustrous wood trims and warm fabrics. The fully equipped bathrooms are finished with marble. All cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with TV, telephone, hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, public address system and safe boxes.
Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of the Aegean Islands. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool you, a glimpse of ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you.
The MotorSailer GALILEO
The 51 meter M/S Galileo is a classic steel hull motor sailer, with spacious and well appointed interiors renovated in 2007. The Galileo is always sailing under motors. Sails are occasionally used when weather and route allow.
Life on Board
At the main deck, a lounge area with an American bar leads into a warm and elegant dining room finished with wood and leather. Guests on Galileo enjoy the most, a shaded outdoor deck area with an outdoor bar and the ship’s sun deck equipped with sun beds and deckchairs.
The M/S Galileo’s 26 outside guest cabins are located on the Lower and the Upper Deck all with large windows or portholes. Elegantly decorated, they have either twin or queen sized beds and bathrooms with showers en suite. All cabins are fully air-conditioned and offer storage space and radio music controls.
2019 & 2020 CRUISE FARES PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
USD prices for USA and CANADA passport holders. Euro prices for rest of the world
*October 2020 cruises will be on S/C Panorama
1/ Cruise fares are per person and week and include
Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning
Full - board: American buffet breakfast and two main meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a Greek Night , fun BBQ (weather permitting) and Captain's Dinner.
Regular (filter) coffee, tea and still mineral water free all day.
Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability).
Multilingual Cruise Escort.
Beverages (except those mentioned above)
Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements
Passenger personal expenses
"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, Delfi... 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 Galileo is also something special and we found our cabin really comfortable."
Tracy and Frances.