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Greek Odyssey ports of call

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Hi all, have booked to go on Greek Odyssey cruise next June, a couple of questions if anyone can help or advise please ? I know there is a website showing where ships dock at various ports around the world, I've used it before but cannot remember what it was !  Does anyone know where I can find out where about in the ports the ship docks so I can work out how close we will be to centre of town etc ?

Also - ports of call are Naples (Pompeii)., Kusadasi., Iraklion., Piraeus (Athens)., Nafplion., Katakolon., Kerkira (Corfu) and Kotor. Wondering if excursions at any of these are advisable or should we do our own thing, in particular - Athens, we want to see the Acropolis, but as we will be there a full day wondered if it would be cheaper and better to find our own excursion rather than pay alot of money to Holland America !  Anyone's help and advice would be greatly received !

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Hi, I use cruisecal.com for the schedule and look up my itinerary. I recommend Michael’s Amazing Tours in Athens and have him hire a guide for the Acropolis. We love the Acropolis museum and if you have time go to the terrace on the top for lunch, drinks or coffee. I think it’s totally worth hiring a private guide in Naples, you will get around the crowds more efficiently. In Kusadasi you are there to see Ephesus and to me if you have to mix up private and ship tours, a ship tour there will be ok. This is an awesome itinerary and you will have a great time!

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59 minutes ago, Oldies123 said:

I know there is a website showing where ships dock at various ports around the world, I've used it before but cannot remember what it was !

Maybe you're thinking of whatsinport.com ?

 

59 minutes ago, Oldies123 said:

Athens, we want to see the Acropolis, but as we will be there a full day wondered if it would be cheaper and better to find our own excursion rather than pay alot of money to Holland America ! 

I suggest you get a taxi and go early, ahead of the crowds. We did that and had very little "traffic" climbing up. By the time we came down the line going up was barely moving.  Going back we took a cheaper method: the Metro to Piraeus and a short bus ride back to the pier. The bus part was only about a mile so you could walk it if you had the time and energy left!     See https://www.athenstransport.com/english/ 

If you take the Metro be very aware of pickpockets.

Edited by catl331

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1 hour ago, Oldies123 said:

Also - ports of call are Naples (Pompeii)., Kusadasi., Iraklion., Piraeus (Athens)., Nafplion., Katakolon., Kerkira (Corfu) and Kotor. Wondering if excursions at any of these are advisable or should we do our own thing, in particular - Athens, we want to see the Acropolis, but as we will be there a full day wondered if it would be cheaper and better to find our own excursion rather than pay alot of money to Holland America !  Anyone's help and advice would be greatly received !

 

Naples: Ships dock in Naples, no tendering. Naples area has a WIDE variety of choices depending on your interests. You can easily take a ferry to Capri and back on your own -- the ferry dock is next to the cruise ship terminal. Or you can visit Pompeii -- again easily done on your own via bus that picks up near the terminal, or you can arrange with a taxi for a set rate that allows about 2 hours at the site. (You can negotiate a longer time if desired.) . If you yearn to visit the Amalfi Coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello), this is better arranged via a private operator than via a ship tour as the tour buses are limited in what they can do -- for example, the buses cannot go into Positano, so at most you will get a stop above with a photo op.

 

Kusadasi: Ships dock here. Very modern facilities with local shopping next to the dock (but be prepared that you will be constantly approached by sellers and you are expected to bargain.) The main reason for a visit here is to see Ephesus, very stunning ruins. You can take a ship tour or a private tour but be sure it includes both Ephesus and the Terrace Houses (extra cost site within Ephesus where archaeological work is underway, but wonderful frescoes, mosaics, etc.).  Private tours are cheap but will also likely insist that you visit at least one shopping stop such as a rug factory, leather factory, ceramics store, etc.

 

Iraklion:  Ships dock here. Best thing here is the archaeological site of Knossos -- somewhat controversially and eccentrically restored by Sir Arthur Evans. It is just outside of Iraklion proper. In Iraklion, there is a new (3-4 years) archaeological museum with all the best finds from Knossos and other Cretan sites -- extremely well laid out and well worth visiting. Perhaps look for a tour that includes both Knossos and the museum; usually something like that is offered.

 

Piraeus:  Ships dock in Piraeus which is about 20-30 minutes to the heart of Athens by taxi or bus. They have made it very easy to sightsee on your own here. There is an express bus that picks up passengers at both cruise terminals and drops off in a couple of places in Athens, including one near the Acropolis. Very inexpensive and reliable. If getting to the Acropolis early is important to you, a taxi into town should be around 25 euros (this is a place where it may be best to set the fee before starting out as the taxi drivers can be a little less than honest on occasion if you go by meter). Be sure to plan time to see not just the Acropolis but also the Greek and Roman agoras and the Acropolis museum (all very near).

 

Nafplion (Also spelled Nauplion):  Most ships tender here unless it is a small ship. Nafplion is a pleasant small city with some pretty architecture -- it was the first capital of the united Greece. Tenders deliver you close to town. Alternatively, it is a good place for tours to either Mycenae (home to King Agamemnon, excavated by Heinrich Schliemann) or to a very interesting Greek sanctuary at Epidauros with a beautiful, well preserved theater. Both options are usually offered as excursions.

 

Katakolon:  Ships dock. There is not much "there" there. The main reason for a stop here is to go and Olympia, site of the original Olympic games. You can take a ship tour or arrange a private taxi/car, there are some other options but some are a bit fiddly with regards to info being available (e.g., train, bus).  Be sure to have a tour that incudes (or allows time for) both the site itself and the museum onsite. You can see the place where the Olympic torch is kindled for each new Olympiad, the huge ruined temples and even stand on the starting line for the foot races and get the obligatory photo.

 

Corfu:  Ships dock in a fairly modern facility but it's a drive or a bit of a long walk into town. Corfu has gotten very popular in recent years as a cruise ship stop and it can get quite crowded in town. There is a pretty esplanade with places to sit and watch the world pass by, as well as a couple of churches worth a visit, a small but nice archaeological museum and (my favorite) a museum of icons.  Some like to tour the island, there are some pretty beaches and scenery. Another option is a visit to the 'mansion' called the Achilleion; if you know the history of ownership it is interesting and the gardens are pretty.

 

Kotor: Can't help you here, I am going myself for the first time next October. I have sailed the Bay of Kotor, though, and it is stunning scenery. Don't miss the sail in or sail out, whichever will have good light.

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1 hour ago, catl331 said:

Maybe you're thinking of whatsinport.com ?

 

I suggest you get a taxi and go early, ahead of the crowds. We did that and had very little "traffic" climbing up. By the time we came down the line going up was barely moving.  Going back we took a cheaper method: the Metro to Piraeus and a short bus ride back to the pier. The bus part was only about a mile so you could walk it if you had the time and energy left!     See https://www.athenstransport.com/english/ 

If you take the Metro be very aware of pickpockets.

 

 

Our first  time in Athens, we hired a private guide for the Acropolis.  and were so happy we did,  We were a r group of four and alll of us were so happy  to have an   excellent quide in  that  amazing place.

 

We  have toured Colosseum in Rome but I was very much more  fascinated with the Acropolis.

Edited by sail7seas

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You might try the Ports of Call page & ask there. Also if there is a roll call for your cruise ask there. Sounds like a great itinerary, enjoy your cruise.

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I would just reiterate what @cruisemom42 said about the terrace houses at Ephesus. A lot of people miss those, and they are really a high point.

 

Also with regard to Corfu, there is a wonderful film series about "Sissi," the Empress Elizabeth who owned Achilleion.  It stars the beautiful Romy Schneider and is a very fun way to "prep" for a visit.  Clearly idolized, but still...

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40 minutes ago, ski ww said:

You might try the Ports of Call page & ask there. Also if there is a roll call for your cruise ask there. Sounds like a great itinerary, enjoy your cruise.

 

 

We had a very short tender ride at  Mykonos  What a a beauti iful island that  is    We loved it there.

 

 

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So many replies and so much helpful information, many thanks to all who have replied, I have lots to work on I can see !

Looking forwards to planning our trip

Again many thanks

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In Kotakolon, there are people selling bus transportation to Olympia as you exit the dock area.  They leave at 9 am and 10 am, drop you off in Olympia just a shot walk to the site.  The bus will pick you up at the same point 2 hours later, which is plenty of time to see the ruins and both museums, plus most people had time to stop at a local cafe.  The cost is 8-€pp, plus the entrance fee. You will find several groups selling tickets, bit they are all for the same bus.      
 

We took the bus this summer and it was the best way to see Olympia.

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If you are looking for something else to do in Katakolon, there is a museum of ancient greek technology, situated at the far end of town (just a walk away).  Well worth a visit and the couple of euro entrance fee.  It's opening hours can be a bit erratic.

 

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4 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

If you are looking for something else to do in Katakolon, there is a museum of ancient greek technology, situated at the far end of town (just a walk away).  Well worth a visit and the couple of euro entrance fee.  It's opening hours can be a bit erratic.

 

We also visited the museum and found it interesting.  If you are there at the right time (not sure if it is a set time) and there are five or so people, they will have a demonstration of some of the ancient technology.  Since we opted to take the local bus to Olympia, we had time to visit the museum afterwards.

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16 hours ago, Quartzsite Cruiser said:

We also visited the museum and found it interesting.  If you are there at the right time (not sure if it is a set time) and there are five or so people, they will have a demonstration of some of the ancient technology.  Since we opted to take the local bus to Olympia, we had time to visit the museum afterwards.

Many thanks for that info 

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16 hours ago, Quartzsite Cruiser said:

We also visited the museum and found it interesting.  If you are there at the right time (not sure if it is a set time) and there are five or so people, they will have a demonstration of some of the ancient technology.  Since we opted to take the local bus to Olympia, we had time to visit the museum afterwards.

Thank you

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On 10/18/2019 at 11:39 PM, shipgirl56 said:

Thank for all the info. We are on this cruise in May. 

We are going late June - would be great if you could post your experience before we go !

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9 hours ago, Oldies123 said:

We are going late June - would be great if you could post your experience before we go !

I will post when we get back.  Hope I can post something before you leave.  We are continuing on to Croatia after The Greek Odyssey cruise and won't return to the U.S. until mid-June.

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Corfu has an inexpensive city bus from the port to the center of town. We had no trouble finding it at the port or on our return. It's a pleasant town for walking with a picturesque waterfront. Though I'm not much of a shopper, we found an interesting collection of stores selling local goods. A couple of churches were worth seeing as well. 

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Hi we just did a Med cruise on the Koningsdam in September and stopped at these ports so hopefully this might help you.

 

Katakolon - at the pier is a busy marina and shopping area with lovely, affordable waterfront cafes and bars. There’s a little war memorial, a gorgeous little church and a cool ancient toy museum as well as the ancient technology/invention museum. Both are great. As we had been to Olympia before, we took the tour bus from the pier for about 10 euros into the town - it was Sunday so the shops were closed, but they looked very nice. It was a pretty town, so you could go to fill in some time but I don't think you wouldn't  miss anything if you didn't go. There's a cathedral and square and nice bakeries.The 'walking tour' was just someone taking you from the bus stop to the cathedral. We had great fun shopping back at the marina where the ship was docked. Although there's lots of shops they are mainly the same - sun hats, souvenirs, olive soap, clothes and leather bags. Good value shopping and there are some up market ones as well.  We also loved the moussaka, beer and ouzo at a restaurant there.

 

Kotor; The tender dropped us off in the port area, which is only a few minutes walk from the main gate of the Old Town. At the port gates were lots of slightly aggressive taxi drivers offering tours. We opted for a local tourist bus from the pier for about 20 Euros that included a great drive around the coast to the main places to visit, plus a walking tour in the Old Town. It was sort of a hop on hop off bus but there are only 4 stops, and they went every half an hour. But it was great value for money actually. It was about a 40 minute drive along the coast to Risan, the oldest town in the Bay of Kotor where you can see the remnants of a Roman villa from the end of the 2nd century AD, with some original Roman mosaics intact and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Montenegro. The next stop was Perast  - “a little piece of Venice”. It’s a small, quaint and pretty place on the water, and has 16 churches and 17 former grand palaces. It’s a pleasant place to spend some time, walk around, have  coffee or ice cream and enjoy the scenery. There’s a  Museum of Old Town Perast with historical accounts about the old seafaring families, and an impressive collection of swords and muskets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here you can get water taxi for about 5 euros, to the Our Lady of the Rocks, a manmade island with a little chapel and the other little island with a monestary on it. When we got back to the Old Town we started the walking tour – which was excellent.  Inside the walled city are old palaces and churches, cathedral & museums, all beautifully old and unusual. There's a museum of cats which are everywhere inside the city. The cobblestoned narrow alley ways all seem to lead into one of the many squares/ plazas where there’s unique craft & souvenir shops, hand blown glass and lots of cafes. Outside the walls was a farmers market. I enjoyed Koper a lot better than Dubrovnik which I thought was a lot more touristy and jam packed with people.

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My teenagers and I spent the day in Corfu on a small boat and it was the highlight of the trip for them. We found other people in our roll call to go in on the cost, and that group of 12 to 15 (?had the boat to ourselves. If you are interested I can find the info on it.

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1 hour ago, luv2cruisenz said:

Kotor; The tender dropped us off in the port area, which is only a few minutes walk from the main gate of the Old Town. At the port gates were lots of slightly aggressive taxi drivers offering tours. We opted for a local tourist bus from the pier for about 20 Euros that included a great drive around the coast to the main places to visit, plus a walking tour in the Old Town. It was sort of a hop on hop off bus but there are only 4 stops, and they went every half an hour. But it was great value for money actually. It was about a 40 minute drive along the coast to Risan, the oldest town in the Bay of Kotor where you can see the remnants of a Roman villa from the end of the 2nd century AD, with some original Roman mosaics intact and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Montenegro. The next stop was Perast  - “a little piece of Venice”. It’s a small, quaint and pretty place on the water, and has 16 churches and 17 former grand palaces. It’s a pleasant place to spend some time, walk around, have  coffee or ice cream and enjoy the scenery. There’s a  Museum of Old Town Perast with historical accounts about the old seafaring families, and an impressive collection of swords and muskets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here you can get water taxi for about 5 euros, to the Our Lady of the Rocks, a manmade island with a little chapel and the other little island with a monestary on it. When we got back to the Old Town we started the walking tour – which was excellent.  Inside the walled city are old palaces and churches, cathedral & museums, all beautifully old and unusual. There's a museum of cats which are everywhere inside the city. The cobblestoned narrow alley ways all seem to lead into one of the many squares/ plazas where there’s unique craft & souvenir shops, hand blown glass and lots of cafes. Outside the walls was a farmers market. I enjoyed Koper a lot better than Dubrovnik which I thought was a lot more touristy and jam packed with people.

 

Great info, thanks for sharing this. :classic_cool:

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We used Mtours with Mladen,  for a small group and visited our lady of the rocks before the big groups, visited and had a nice lunch in Budva and time for a walk around Kotor.   We had visited Kotor previously and appreciated getting a larger view of Montenegro and learning some of the recent history. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 3:12 AM, Quartzsite Cruiser said:

In Kotakolon, there are people selling bus transportation to Olympia as you exit the dock area.  They leave at 9 am and 10 am, drop you off in Olympia just a shot walk to the site.  The bus will pick you up at the same point 2 hours later, which is plenty of time to see the ruins and both museums, plus most people had time to stop at a local cafe.  The cost is 8-€pp, plus the entrance fee. You will find several groups selling tickets, bit they are all for the same bus.      
 

We took the bus this summer and it was the best way to see Olympia.

Many thanks

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11 hours ago, luv2cruisenz said:

Hi we just did a Med cruise on the Koningsdam in September and stopped at these ports so hopefully this might help you.

 

Katakolon - at the pier is a busy marina and shopping area with lovely, affordable waterfront cafes and bars. There’s a little war memorial, a gorgeous little church and a cool ancient toy museum as well as the ancient technology/invention museum. Both are great. As we had been to Olympia before, we took the tour bus from the pier for about 10 euros into the town - it was Sunday so the shops were closed, but they looked very nice. It was a pretty town, so you could go to fill in some time but I don't think you wouldn't  miss anything if you didn't go. There's a cathedral and square and nice bakeries.The 'walking tour' was just someone taking you from the bus stop to the cathedral. We had great fun shopping back at the marina where the ship was docked. Although there's lots of shops they are mainly the same - sun hats, souvenirs, olive soap, clothes and leather bags. Good value shopping and there are some up market ones as well.  We also loved the moussaka, beer and ouzo at a restaurant there.

 

Kotor; The tender dropped us off in the port area, which is only a few minutes walk from the main gate of the Old Town. At the port gates were lots of slightly aggressive taxi drivers offering tours. We opted for a local tourist bus from the pier for about 20 Euros that included a great drive around the coast to the main places to visit, plus a walking tour in the Old Town. It was sort of a hop on hop off bus but there are only 4 stops, and they went every half an hour. But it was great value for money actually. It was about a 40 minute drive along the coast to Risan, the oldest town in the Bay of Kotor where you can see the remnants of a Roman villa from the end of the 2nd century AD, with some original Roman mosaics intact and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Montenegro. The next stop was Perast  - “a little piece of Venice”. It’s a small, quaint and pretty place on the water, and has 16 churches and 17 former grand palaces. It’s a pleasant place to spend some time, walk around, have  coffee or ice cream and enjoy the scenery. There’s a  Museum of Old Town Perast with historical accounts about the old seafaring families, and an impressive collection of swords and muskets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here you can get water taxi for about 5 euros, to the Our Lady of the Rocks, a manmade island with a little chapel and the other little island with a monestary on it. When we got back to the Old Town we started the walking tour – which was excellent.  Inside the walled city are old palaces and churches, cathedral & museums, all beautifully old and unusual. There's a museum of cats which are everywhere inside the city. The cobblestoned narrow alley ways all seem to lead into one of the many squares/ plazas where there’s unique craft & souvenir shops, hand blown glass and lots of cafes. Outside the walls was a farmers market. I enjoyed Koper a lot better than Dubrovnik which I thought was a lot more touristy and jam packed with people.

Thats great, many thanks for all that info

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10 hours ago, irvington said:

My teenagers and I spent the day in Corfu on a small boat and it was the highlight of the trip for them. We found other people in our roll call to go in on the cost, and that group of 12 to 15 (?had the boat to ourselves. If you are interested I can find the info on it.

Thank you,  not a big lover of small boats, we like to walk around and do a bit of sightseeing if possible, but thank you for the info

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