Arrive in the historical city of Athens. Transfer to Piraeus and embark on the Arethusa.
Spend the day in Athens, an incomparably dramatic and influential city. Explore the Arcopolis, perhaps the most important ancient monument in the Western world, where the concept of democracy was born over 2,500 years ago. Disembark and transfer to your deluxe hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Sail to the port city of Kusadasi, then travel to Ephesus. Renowned as the center of worship of the goddess Artemis; it was also the site where St. Paul addressed the Ephesians. Excavations continue as archaeologists are restoring the Terrace Houses, which offer a glimpse of daily Ehpesian life. See the facade of the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, and the Great Amphitheater.
In the second millennium B.C, volcanoc eruptions shrouded Santorini in pumice and ash, which caused the island to collapse into a fractured caldera. This ultimately produced Santorini's wild beauty and sent the Minoan civilization into irreversible decline. Visit Phira's Archaeological Museum then ascent to its volcano by traditional donkey. Reunite for lunch and spend some free time in Phira Town.
Arrive in Crete, home of Europe's earliest developed civilization. From Rethymnon, travel to Knossos and its fabled Minoan Palace, a maze of frescoed corridoors and chambers showing life as it was 4,000 years ago. Spend some free time exploring and take a swim at a nearby beach. Alternatively, walk part of the rugged, scenic Imbros Gorge and end at the coast hear the 14th century Venetian caste of Frangokastello for a swim. In the afternoon, sail along Crete's northwest coast.
Sail to Olympia, an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and one of four sites where the Pan-Hellenic games were once held. Enjoy an afternoon of staged Olympic games before spending the afternoon at sea.
Ithaca, the legendary home of Odysseus from Homer's Odyssey, is a stunning island of pristine beaches and forest. Visit the Bay of Dexia and admire the Cyclopean Walls, a ruins site known locally as Odysseus' Castle. Here stand atop the Plateau of Marathia. In the afternoon, sail along the Corinth Canal.
Ancient Crotone was one of the most prominent cities of Magna Graecia and home to Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher. Visit the impressive Archaeological museum and drive to the small town of Santa Severina, dramatically located on an isolated crop of sheer rock.
Taormina, a picturesque village on the east coast of Sicily, offers stunning views of the sea, the island, and the cone of Mount Etna - the largest active volcano in Europe. Visit the Greek theater here and amble along Taormina's quaint streets and gardens. In the evening, sail between the legendary location of the six-headed monster Scylla and the treacherous whirlpool Charybdis, today the easily traversed Strait of Messina.
In the morning, visit Pompeii, the Roman city destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. No other location so completely captures the life of the ancient Roman empire as this lost - and then found - city does. Visit the Forum, Temples of Apollo and Jupiter, and the Stabian Baths, the best-preserved and most complete in Pompeii.
In the morning, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your independent flights onward.