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Looking for a Very Specific Greek Cruise


donaldsc
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I am looking for a Greek cruise with very specific requirements.  I have checked a whole bunch of cruise sites with limited success.  In fact, the only one that I have been able to find is a B2B Clipper cruise which would be OK

 

1. Want a cruise that would be from Athens to Athens and that basically do just the Greek Islands although a few stops in Turkey would be OK.  Don't want one of the cruise that start and/or stop in places such as Venice or in other Italian ports which a lot of them do.  My primary interest is the Greek Islands. 

 

2. Want a small ship so that we can get into smaller ports.  Luxury would be OK but is not necessary.

 

3. Want a total trip length of at least 14 days although a B2B that totals 14 days or more would be OK.  If a B2B, don't want too much port duplication.

 

4. Plan to cruise in 2022 Covid permitting.

 

The fact that I don't want to start or stop in Venice or visit Italian ports and I want a longer cruise seems to be my main problem.  Any thoughts?

 

DON

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You don't say what time of year you're looking at. Seabourn has 14-day cruises starting in May (I think, didn't look any earlier) on Encore that start and end in Athens and have about an equal number of calls in Greece (some less common ports) and Turkey. 

 

The stops vary slightly by itinerary, e.g., some to go Istanbul and some do not.  You can do a 21-day jaunt on same ship (add another 7 days) on some itineraries and have Israel and Cyprus included. Or the occasional sailing around Greece to the Adriatic and back.

 

These seem to continue through October. Again, didn't look any further.

 

 

 

 

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Exactly what I was looking for and settled on NCL Greek Islands & Turkey, several dates available off the top of my head, Oct 2, 2022 and one I booked April 17 , 2022 a 7 day cruise you might be able to piece the 2 together with some time for land tours. Check for more dates. Also check Viking Ocean cruises, there's an 11 day one .

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2 hours ago, ISLABONITA said:

 

I had found that cruise.  The problem is that it is only 11 days of which 3 of the days are spent in Athens.  I had hoped to do my 14+ day cruise on the ship followed by several day pre or post as a DIY land Greece tour.  Also the cost of flying from the US to Greece for just an 11 day tour is prohibitive.  

 

We had actually booked a B2B Azamara cruise in Greece pre-Covid that was perfect for us but was of course cancelled.  

 

Thanks for the suggestion however.

 

Response to CruiseMom's post.  I will have to check on Seabourne.  Again - thanks a lot.

 

I realize that I am sounding very fussy but I know exactly what sort of cruise I am looking for.  If I can't find it, I will find something else to do.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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Just a thought, and not the sort of cruises discussed on Cruise Critic ...................

 

Consider flying or ferry from Athens to take a Gulet cruise (for two weeks, probably two Gulet cruises) from one of those Greek islands.

Never done a Greek one, but a fabulous 7-day cruise in Croatia. Small (about 10 to 30 guests) traditional sailing boats (mostly modern but traditional design). Sailing boats, but most use motor rather than the sails which are often just "ornamental". They sail during the morning, then the afternoon and overnight in port - small ports, often small islands, off the main tourist trails.  Usually inclusive of breakfast & lunch, you find yourselves a restaurant or taverna for dinner.

So  a Gulet cruise is for the relaxation and a Greek way-of-life rather than for iconic sights - you'll get your fill of iconic sights in Athens.

 

Just Google "Greek Gulet cruises"

 

JB 🙂

Edited by John Bull
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7 hours ago, donaldsc said:

Response to CruiseMom's post.  I will have to check on Seabourne.  Again - thanks a lot.

 

I realize that I am sounding very fussy but I know exactly what sort of cruise I am looking for.  If I can't find it, I will find something else to do.

 

No problem, I am equally fussy.

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Don,  Have you ever considered just "island hopping" using ferries?  The problem with most cruise ships is that they are too focused on a small subset of islands and ignore the bulk of the Greek Islands many of which are fantastic to visit.   This year, because COVID restrictions limited options, several decent small ship cruise lines (such as Seabourn and Silverseas) did offer some fantastic itineraries out of Pireaus (the port for Athens).  But I am not sure what they will do next year and the truth is that cruise lines have often been changing itineraries on a routine basis.    When looking at next year I was impressed with the Windstar itineraries which have some pretty intensive Greek Island itineraries with a stop in Kusadasi tossed in for good measure.   I would add that Kusadasi is a fabulous port.  Windstar does not look like a good bet for back to backs but consider 7 days on that small ship and then extend the trip with some island hopping.   We recently did something similar with Seabourn when we took a 14 day and then spent another week island hopping to Naxos and Paros.   

 

But the Greek ferry system goes to nearly every island with a majority of their ships embarking from Pireaus (within a very short taxi ride (or a long walk) from the main cruise piers).  While there is a lot of good to say about visiting islands on a cruise ship there are some great reasons to actually spend a few days on some of the islands.  There are plenty of fabulous small hotels/inns on the Greek islands and a decent selection of restaurants (especially on the more popular islands) that are generally missed by cruisers.  Having a huge fresh fish platter in Paros was a real thrill after a few weeks of eating the usual frozen fish served on even the best cruise ships.  The fish we had on Paros had been caught only a few hours before lunch and reinforced the difference between true fresh fish and all others.

 

Hank

 

 

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On 9/21/2021 at 10:43 PM, donaldsc said:

I am looking for a Greek cruise with very specific requirements.  I have checked a whole bunch of cruise sites with limited success.  In fact, the only one that I have been able to find is a B2B Clipper cruise which would be OK

 

1. Want a cruise that would be from Athens to Athens and that basically do just the Greek Islands although a few stops in Turkey would be OK.  Don't want one of the cruise that start and/or stop in places such as Venice or in other Italian ports which a lot of them do.  My primary interest is the Greek Islands. 

 

2. Want a small ship so that we can get into smaller ports.  Luxury would be OK but is not necessary.

 

3. Want a total trip length of at least 14 days although a B2B that totals 14 days or more would be OK.  If a B2B, don't want too much port duplication.

 

4. Plan to cruise in 2022 Covid permitting.

 

The fact that I don't want to start or stop in Venice or visit Italian ports and I want a longer cruise seems to be my main problem.  Any thoughts?

 

DON

Well, I had a good Greece intensive cruise picked out on Oceania, but it was for last month, and didn't go, and they're not offering it for 2022.  But at least Oceania seems to go to some of the smaller, less-visited places in Europe, so they MAY have something of interest for you.  And their smaller ships (Sirena, Regatta, Insignia, maybe one more) carry less than 700 passengers so they're pretty small.  I vaguely remember a cruise that focused on the Greek Isles, but it may have been one of the 2021 ones that didn't get off the ground. But if you haven't checked Oceania Cruises, I would do that, and possibly Regent, which is a little more inclusive than Oceania and possibly a little more luxury.  I know Oceania's Sirena goes to Chania Crete, Zakynthos, and Rhodes on a May 2022 cruise, but those are the only Greek ports in its 14 day cruise, so not too helpful.  

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I’ll be sailing on a Crosi cruise of Greek islands in 3 weeks.  200 passengers, La Belle d’Adritique.  Mine is a charter but the ship is running similar itineraries in 2022.  Athens to Athens, 8 days, maybe back to back or combine with island hopping.  Crosi is French company.  

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2 hours ago, MMsteffey said:

I’ll be sailing on a Crosi cruise of Greek islands in 3 weeks.  200 passengers, La Belle d’Adritique.  Mine is a charter but the ship is running similar itineraries in 2022.  Athens to Athens, 8 days, maybe back to back or combine with island hopping.  Crosi is French company.  

Have you sailed on Crosi before? I would love some info on the cruise line,  ships, etc.

Thanks.

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On 9/22/2021 at 1:34 AM, donaldsc said:

I know exactly what sort of cruise I am looking for. 

 

This is never a bad thing, in anything. Sometimes it means making adjustments or waiting for things, but you seem to get that (which is a different kind of compromise) and so all respect for knowing the way you want to go.

 

I also thought of using the ferry system as Hank suggested, (I would) and outside hiring your own boat, probably one of the few ways to see islands that big ships won't call at,  and I also have a friend who takes Mediterranean cruises similar to the Crosi which they absolutely loved, and looked amazing from the daily posts. 
 

But if you're willing to wait for exactly what you want, then that's probably the best way to go. Good things are worth the wait. 

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4 hours ago, MMsteffey said:

I’ll be sailing on a Crosi cruise of Greek islands in 3 weeks.  200 passengers, La Belle d’Adritique.  Mine is a charter but the ship is running similar itineraries in 2022.  Athens to Athens, 8 days, maybe back to back or combine with island hopping.  Crosi is French company.  

I would certainly like to hear more about your experience with Crosi.  We think of this line as primarily French speaking and as a river cruise company.  We were not even aware they are doing Greek Island cruises.  So please post more info.  We really enjoy smaller ship cruising so looking forward to your coments.

 

Hank

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5 hours ago, marazul said:

Have you sailed on Crosi before? I would love some info on the cruise line,  ships, etc.

Thanks.

 

3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I would certainly like to hear more about your experience with Crosi.  We think of this line as primarily French speaking and as a river cruise company.  We were not even aware they are doing Greek Island cruises.  So please post more info.  We really enjoy smaller ship cruising so looking forward to your coments.

 

Hank

I'll be back in early November so will report back then.   There are at least 3 Greek Island Athens to Athens tours offered on this vessel in 2022,   The week we are aboard is a 100% charter for a bike tour operator, we picked the tour operator, not the ship 🙂  .

 

  In the meantime here is Crosi's description. 

 

Our sea cruises onboard the MS La Belle de l’Adriatique, the only maritime vessel in the CroisiEurope fleet, let you sail the Mediterranean to discover Italy, the Greek Islands and Croatia.

 

The MS La Belle de l’Adriatique takes you on a unique trip, very different from all the other CroisiEurope cruises. The Mediterranean Sea and its enchanted coasts, on board the Belle de l’Adriatique, offer an exceptional voyage from wonderful Italy to exotic Croatia. It is also the only ship that can access small ports larger vessels cannot enter.    

 

Built in 2007, La Belle de l’Adriatique is the biggest ship in the CroisiEurope fleet, with a capacity of 200 passengers on 4 decks. 

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37 minutes ago, MMsteffey said:

 

I'll be back in early November so will report back then.   There are at least 3 Greek Island Athens to Athens tours offered on this vessel in 2022,   The week we are aboard is a 100% charter for a bike tour operator, we picked the tour operator, not the ship 🙂  .

 

  In the meantime here is Crosi's description. 

 

Our sea cruises onboard the MS La Belle de l’Adriatique, the only maritime vessel in the CroisiEurope fleet, let you sail the Mediterranean to discover Italy, the Greek Islands and Croatia.

 

The MS La Belle de l’Adriatique takes you on a unique trip, very different from all the other CroisiEurope cruises. The Mediterranean Sea and its enchanted coasts, on board the Belle de l’Adriatique, offer an exceptional voyage from wonderful Italy to exotic Croatia. It is also the only ship that can access small ports larger vessels cannot enter.    

 

Built in 2007, La Belle de l’Adriatique is the biggest ship in the CroisiEurope fleet, with a capacity of 200 passengers on 4 decks. 

Had never heard of this ship until we saw your post.   It kind of looks like a river boat built for the sea.   Please post your itinerary.   

 

Hank

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6 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Had never heard of this ship until we saw your post.   It kind of looks like a river boat built for the sea.   Please post your itinerary.   

 

Hank

Kos Rhodes Santorini Mykonos Delos Paros Andros Naxos.  Not sure of the exact order 🙂 The Crosi website has more info including ship photos, deck plans and future itineraries. 

 

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1 minute ago, MMsteffey said:

Kos Rhodes Santorini Mykonos Delos Paros Andros Naxos.  Not sure of the exact order 🙂 The Crosi website has more info including ship photos, deck plans and future itineraries. 

 

Sounds fantastic :).  We have never been to Kos but have visited the other islands (just on Naxos for 4 days in August).  I am not a bike guy, but honestly cannot imagine using a bike on Santorini.  There are too many crazy drivers (including me when on the island).  Will look forward to seeing your post cruise posts about Crosi.  

 

Hank

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9 hours ago, MMsteffey said:

Kos Rhodes Santorini Mykonos Delos Paros Andros Naxos.  Not sure of the exact order 🙂 The Crosi website has more info including ship photos, deck plans and future itineraries. 

 

That's great. I am looking forward to your report. 

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On 9/26/2021 at 7:54 PM, MMsteffey said:

 

I'll be back in early November so will report back then.   There are at least 3 Greek Island Athens to Athens tours offered on this vessel in 2022,   The week we are aboard is a 100% charter for a bike tour operator, we picked the tour operator, not the ship 🙂  .

 

  In the meantime here is Crosi's description. 

 

Our sea cruises onboard the MS La Belle de l’Adriatique, the only maritime vessel in the CroisiEurope fleet, let you sail the Mediterranean to discover Italy, the Greek Islands and Croatia.

 

The MS La Belle de l’Adriatique takes you on a unique trip, very different from all the other CroisiEurope cruises. The Mediterranean Sea and its enchanted coasts, on board the Belle de l’Adriatique, offer an exceptional voyage from wonderful Italy to exotic Croatia. It is also the only ship that can access small ports larger vessels cannot enter.    

 

Built in 2007, La Belle de l’Adriatique is the biggest ship in the CroisiEurope fleet, with a capacity of 200 passengers on 4 decks. 

 

I notice that the company is very French.  I have no problem with that except that with the French people often being very French, it is possible that the passenger list might be 100% French and the only language that will be used on the cruise will be French.  I don't care if a cruise is multi-lingual but a cruise that is mono-lingual  in a language I don't speak might be a problem.  Does anyone know?

 

DON

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18 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

I notice that the company is very French.  I have no problem with that except that with the French people often being very French, it is possible that the passenger list might be 100% French and the only language that will be used on the cruise will be French.  I don't care if a cruise is multi-lingual but a cruise that is mono-lingual  in a language I don't speak might be a problem.  Does anyone know?

 

DON

This issue is mentioned in several of the reviews of CrosiEurope on Cruise Critic.  Mostly in a positive light.   Maybe start there? (here?) 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi  I'm back from La Belle.... Crosi Cruises. 

 

I was part of a private charter of the entire ship for a bike outfitter, so the ship's social schedule and amenities were not as usual. 

The Ship is well cared for, and the multi lingual crew is very good.   Our room was on the third level, aft, with a single large window.  It was clean and comfortable.  

The ship features three main public areas. the lounge which can hold all 200 passengers, a smaller lounge, and the sun deck.  We had minimal use of the sun deck as our 200+ bikes and mechanic's workstation were up there.  I saw 2 small hot tubs, lots of stacked sun chairs and some stationery bikes on that deck.  No gym, spa, nor casino.  

Our menu was planned by the tour operator and may not be the customary fare on board.  We enjoyed a full buffet breakfast with eggs cooked to order, buffet lunches, and 4 course dinners, usually a plain protein, vegetable and carbs.  Always a fish and vegetarian option.  Dining staff service is great, they strive to remember you and your preferences no matter where you sit. 

I think the biggest question for a typical cruise on La Belle is how late do they stay in port?  After Dinner options are only the aforementioned lounges.  There was a pianist on board and he got to retire early every night. The main lounge has a dance floor and DJ stand,  so likely there is more entertainment on a typical cruise.  We had all ridden 35-100 miles each day so not looking for night life.  If the ship remains in port at night it's a great way to island hop without dealing with the crowds of a mega ship. 

Speaking of mega ship several of our participants experienced sea sickness as you do feel the swells in a boat this small.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

This is a reply to myself.  Found my cruise!!!  We are doing a B2B2B for 22 days in October 2022 on a Clipper Cruise Lines Star Flyer from Athens to Malta.  Doing 22 days on a large sailboat that actually cruises under sail sounds wonderful.  We do 11 ports in Greece, a couple of ports in Turkey and a couple of ports in Italy.  Can't wait.

 

Clipper Lines has some really good deals now or at least they did a week ago including 2 nights either pre or post cruise in a hotel.  Since we are doing a N2N2N, we get 2 nights in a hotel in Athens at the start of the cruise and 2 nights in a hotel in Malta at the end of the cruise.  We also get complimentary gratuities and some on-board credit.

 

Can't wait.

 

DON

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