Arrive in Istanbul and board the Le Soleal between 4 and 5 PM. Settle in to your cabin and attend a welcome dinner before setting sail in the evening.
A placid sentry keeping watch over the Dardanelles Straits, Limnos occupies a strategic position at a junction of routes criss-crossing the Aegean Sea. Peaceful and serene, the island lies low with wide open spaces and a coastline untouched by modern tourism. Legend has it that this is where Vulcan the God of Fire lived, so do not be surprised to find works of art forged out of metal, a craft handed down through the ages to today. Join an optional excursion to see more of this historic locale.
Often compared to Mykonos, Paros owes its reputation to the magnificent white marble which was used to produce some of the world’s most famous art works, including the Venus de Milo. In the heart of the olive and vineyard covered valleys lies the startlingly white village of Paros, with its windy streets aflame with geraniums and jasmine. Optional excursions allow you to discover more here.
Syros is a cosmopolitan island with a rich history and has known rich times as is evident everywhere on the island. Today Syros is the administrative center of all the Cyclades. Excavations have brought to light different objects, many graves, ceramic vessels, statuettes, skeletons and ancient ruins dating from the Bronze Age, proving that the island has been inhabited since this period. Venture inland on one of your optional excursions today.
Bodrum, the white town where Herodotus was born, was built to replace the ancient city of Halicarnassus at the beginning of the first millennium BC. Today it offers visitors a sinuous coastline of wonderful beaches and picturesque islands. Proudly standing on a rocky promontory in the heart of the bay, the 15th century Castle of St Peter was built by Knights of the Order of Hospitallers of St John, a monastic military order and ancestors of the Knights of Malta. Choose to see more on an optional excursion.
The perfectly formed harbour of Symi island, such a beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village, has a true romantic charm: between beautiful bays and pebbled beaches. Spend some time wandering it's idyllic streets and explore local shops on your own time.
Known as the "Jerusalem of the Aegean", Patmos is a holy island for Christians and is where Saint John drafted the Apocalypse. An impressive silhouette of the crenellated walls of an 11th century monastery stands out against the hills in the center of an island which has retained its traditional architecture.
Join an optional guided tour to the St John Monastery. The monastery is the most significant cultural and religious center on the island and is visible from every part of the island. The monastery is fortified with tall, thick walls, towers and ramparts, which are a work from Byzantine architecture. An arch with four curves on the eastern side of the monastery dominates the area and also bears many frescoes symbolizing of miracles performed by Saint John. Stop at the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Old island traditions and historical documents define the cave of the Apocalypse as the location where Saint John the Divine wrote the 'Apocalypse.' The Apocalypse Cave is currently surrounded by the major monastic complex of the Apocalypse monastery, which stands out in its local white color.
Arrive in Athens and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your continued flights.