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See the ancient world come alive in Athens

Ancient Treasures of the Mediterranean

Athens to Istanbul - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Lyrial
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This 8-day cruise will begin with the exploration of two of Greece’s major sites, from Napflion: the Mycenae ruins and the Epidaurus theatre, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Then head towards Paros. Nestling in the heart of the Cyclades archipelago, this island reputed for its sublime white marble offers a real concentration of Greek beauty. A little further north, arrive on Mykonos, with its iconic windmills, beaches, countless churches, and whitewashed houses. Later, reach Kusadasi in Turkey. An old fishing village with history going back 5,000 years, not far from the Ephesus site, the town is now one of the country’s most famous seaside resorts. Continue with a stop on the volcanic island of Limnos, near the Dardanelles Strait. Lastly, reach the charming Istanbul.
Explore AthensAdmire the Terrace of the Lions on DelosRelax on the sunny beaches of ParosHagia Sophia in IstanbulSee the ancient world come alive in Athens
Highlights
  • Discover the finest ancient sites of Greece, with a port of call in Turkey.
  • Visit lively cities,historic and cultural sites and beaches of unique charm
  • Explore the Mycenae ruins and the Epidaurus theatre at Napflion
  • View the iconic windmills of Mykonos
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Athens, Greece | Embark

Embark on Le Lyrial at the port of Athens and start your adventure.

The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name about the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colorful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological Museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.

Day 2: Nafplion

The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. Don’t be surprised by its extremely varied cultural heritage. Some of the must-see visits are the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square as well as the baroque fortress of Palamidi on a hillside of the same name. At the top of the hill, views of the gulf and the surrounding mountains are simply awesome. If you want to chill out by the water’s edge, walk along the Arvanitia promenade to a beautiful creek in the shade of cedars and cypresses.

Day 3: Paros

Famous for its white marble, the island of Paros is located in the Cyclades. Along the quays of Parikia, its main town, you’ll see Byzantine churches and neoclassical buildings. To make the most of the turquoise waters, you can stopover in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove and offers more than one café to sit and unwind.

Day 4: Delos | Mykonos

This legendary Cyclades island of Delos stands just a few miles southwest of Mykonos. The ceremonial solemnity of this ancient holy sanctuary will not leave you indifferent. The sheer size and importance of this UNESCO World Heritage site which covers over half of the island are thrilling in itself. From the Stoa of Antigonos, the Terrace of the Lions, to the carved marble animal statues, you will make discovery after discovery, against a backdrop of the Aegean stretching to the horizon. The theatre steps on the hillside are a particularly good place from which to enjoy the expansive view.

Nicknamed “little Venice”, Mykonos is famous for its Alefkandra district where houses are built right on the water’s edge. Their multi-colored loggias are emblematic of this Cyclades island, as are the pelicans and windmills. You can get close up to the birds on the quaysides of the old port. Upon the hillside, you can see the windmill sails turning. In the cobbled streets of the pedestrian center, bougainvillea bedecks immaculate facades. As you weave in and out of the little streets, snatches of coastline will undoubtedly call you to the island’s beaches, the quietest of which can be found on the northern coast.

Day 5: Patmos

Patmos is one of the legendary must-see islands in the Dodecanese. This is where Saint John resided, presumed author of the last book in the Bible. The cave of the Apocalypse and the Saint John Monastery are dedicated to him. These sites, which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, are located at the top of a hillside planted with vines and orchards. On the shore, the crystalline coves of Kambos and Lampi offer gorgeous swimming areas. You’ll be drawn to the bustle in Skala harbor and its taverns, famous for their fish soup and tiropita, which is a type of pasty filled with fresh Patmos cheese.

Day 6: Kusadasi

The attractive seaside resort of Kusadasi is located in a gulf on the western coast of Turkey. You can bathe there in clear waters or stroll along the coastal walk, in the shade of palms. In the historical district, you can take a mosey down the narrow streets and explore the colorful shops in the bazaar. Close by, the Ephesus archaeological site in the hillsides provides an opportunity to discover the ruins of one of the most famous cities of Antiquity.

Day 7: Limnos Island | Sailing into Dardanelles

A volcanic island located near the Dardanelles Strait, Limnos was venerated during Antiquity. Legend has it that Hephaestus, the god of fire, had his forge here. Now one of Greece’s major seaside resorts, Lemnos offers its visitors many superb sandy beaches. It is also home to several archaeological sites, such as the towers of Kastro, an ancient acropolis fortified by the Venetians, or the neolithic site of Poliochni and the city of Hephaestia. Renowned for its olives, fruits, wheat, and honey, and for the authenticity of its inhabitants, Lemnos is also known for the quality of its restaurants, ideal for tasting typical Greek dishes.

The Dardanelles Strait is an emblematic, 61 km-long waterway connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. It is strategic for controlling the passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Like the Bosporus, or Strait of Istanbul, it separates Europe from Asia. A surface current flows along with it, while a more saline undercurrent flows in the opposite direction. Along the strait, you will be able to admire hilly landscapes and arid lowlands brightened by fields and groves of olive trees.

Day 8: Istanbul, Turkey | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful of all Turkish cities. Named Byzantium when founded by the Greeks, and then Constantinople under the Roman Empire, this city is steeped in history and, for this reason, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on Sultanahmet hill, the great Blue Mosque, the mysterious Hagia Sophia and the vast Topkapi palace and its countless mosaics, dominate the Marmara Sea. In the Beyazit district, the Grand Bazaar allows discovering elegant covered passages. A little further away, the delicate aroma of loukoum and spices will draw the visitors’ attention at the Egyptian Bazaar.

After breakfast aboard the ship, disembark at Istanbul port.

Ship/Hotel

Le Lyrial

Le Lyrial Lobby
Le Lyrial Observatory Lounge
Le Lyrial Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Superior Stateroom
Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Located on Deck 3. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Le Lyrial Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
35 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Le Lyrial Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
37 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Le Lyrial Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
1 cabin, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Suite
3 cabins on Deck 6, 290 sq. ft. + 54 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, sofa, armchair and pedestal table, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Le Lyrial - Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
11 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Le Lyrial - Privilege SuiteLe Lyrial - Privilege Suite
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Privilege Suite
8 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Le Lyrial - Grand Deluxe SuiteLe Lyrial - Grand Deluxe Suite
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Grand Deluxe Suite
1 cabin, 484 sq. ft. + 96 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Le Lyrial - Grand Privilege SuiteLe Lyrial - Grand Privilege SuiteGrand Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Grand Privilege Suite
7 cabins, 398 sq. ft. + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with bathtub and shower, desk, minibar, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Le Lyrial - Owner SuiteOwner's Suite on the Le LyrialLe Lyrial - Owner Suite
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Owner Suite
On Deck 6, 592 sq. ft. + 129 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, sofa, table with 4 chairs, armchair and table, 2 televisions, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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