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White buildings on the Island Of Paros

Treasures of the Aegean Sea - From Istanbul to Athens

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Lyrial (CDP)
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This 8-day cruise explores the treasures of the Aegean Sea. Discover volcanic islands, green and lush islands and unique landscapes combining white sandy beaches and rocky coves. Like an open-air museum, Delos offers unique testimony of the civilizations that followed one another in the Aegean world. Explore Mykonos, an island of white windmills, sinuous lanes and whitewashed buildings, with a small port where fishing boats and dinghies lazily bob at the foot of the terraces. The adventure ends in Athens, the mythical city dominated by the Acropolis and its monuments that form the most extraordinary architectural and artistic collection bequeathed by Ancient Greece to the rest of the world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Istanbul | Embark
Day 2 : Limnos Island
Day 3 : Syros
Day 4 : Patmos
Day 5 : Delos | Mykonos
Day 6 : Paros
Day 7 : Hydra
Day 8 : Athens | Disembark

Highlights

  • Cruise in the Aegean Sea, discover the Greek islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Discover Patmos, Delos, Paros and Mykonos, four unspoiled Greek Islands
  • Explore Athens after your cruise

Ship

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

White buildings on the Island Of Paros Visit the Buyuk Mecidiye Mosque, which overlooks the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul Patmos Iconic Athens Statues found on Delos Island Adventures in Mykonos! Pottery found during excavations on Delos Adventures in Mykonos!

Day 1 Istanbul | Embark

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, this city is home to the great Blue Mosque, the mysterious Hagia Sophia, and the vast Topkapi palace with its countless mosiacs. In the Beyazit district, the Grand Bazaar hosts incredible finds within a maze of passageways. A little further away, delicate aroma of loukoum and spices will draw the visitors’ attention at the Egyptian Bazaar.

Day 2 Limnos Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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, Limnos 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, Limnos is also known for the quality of its restaurants, ideal for tasting typical Greek dishes.

Choose from the following excursions:

POLIOCHNI ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE & WINERY
From the pier, board your coach and start your 50-minute drive to the east coast of Limnos, where you will find the archaeological site of Poliochni. Here, in 1930, Italian Archaeologists discovered seven different layers of civilizations, one on the top of the other. The Neolithic town predates Egyptian dynasties, the Minoan Kingdoms of Crete and even Troy. It dates back to the 3rd century BC, but was destroyed by an earthquake in 2100 BC and was never rebuilt. Poliochni is considered one of the largest early urban centers of the Early Bronze Age and the first city in Europe with a basic social and civic structure. It is believed to have welcomed a number of craftsmen as many gold jewels were discovered during the excavations. Following your visit to Poliochni, proceed to a Limnos winery for a wine tasting accompanied with local snacks.

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MYRINA ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM & CASTLE
Myrina is the island's capital and main port. It is sometimes referred to as Kastro, for the Venetian castle built over the rocky promontory in the midst of the sandy shore. A long, main shopping street winds up from the commercial harbor in the south, lined by houses and shops with little gardens built in the Thracian style.
From the pier, you will meet your guide and start your climb to the Venetian castle, a 15-minute walk. The walk up to the castle offers a panoramic view over the island and across the sea to the Mount Athos. The castle foundations date back to Classical times, when it was the site of a temple of Artemis. The walls were originally fortified in the 12th century, then substantially rebuilt by the Venetians in the 13th century and the Turks in the late 15th century. The castle divides Myrina's waterfront in two, the harbor on the south side near the commercial port and, on the north, the main long, sandy Romaikos Yialos beach, with taverns and much of the town's night life. After your guided visit, walk to Romaikos Yialos to visit the Archaeological Museum. Recently renovated, the museum houses a large collection, filling ten rooms with findings from Limnos, including prehistoric relics from Poliochne, discoveries from Hephaestia, Hloi and Myrina. Discover a reproduction of the Stele of Kaminia representing a warrior shown with Tyrrhenian inscriptions as well as statuettes of Sirens and Cybele.

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LIMNOS BOAT TOUR
The best way to discover Limnos Island is by the sea. Admire the landscapes with romantic beaches, coves and bays with crystal-clear waters.
From the pier, board your private caique (traditional wooden boat) for a cruise along the coast of Limnos to the sandy beaches of the northeastern cape.
Your 1-hour cruise will lead you to a beach where you can relax or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

Day 3 Syros

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located to the west of Mykonos, Syros is an attractive island in the Cyclades. It has been inhabited since early antiquity, as you’ll discover by visiting the archaeological museum in Ermoupoli, its capital built in the shape of an amphitheater and stretching out over two hills. Don’t miss the historical district, where the beautiful houses are evidence of the island’s strategic location for trade between the East and the West. Admire the superb Agios Nikolaos Church or the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Further on, in the medieval town of Ano Syros, succumb to the charms of its stairways and arched passageways, the small, white houses decorated with bougainvilleas, and the sweetness of the ambient air. 

Excursion:

SYROS BETWEEN HISTORY & LOCAL SWEETS
Syros is a cosmopolitan island with a rich history. Today Syros is the administrative center of all the Cyclades. From the pier, meet your guide and walk to the Archaeological Museum of Syros, located on the west side of the City Hall megaron. The museum exhibits house from the Hellenistic and Roman period as well as sculptures from the islands of Amorgos, Los, Kea and Naxos. You can also see finds from the prehistoric period discovered on Protocycladic acropolis of Chalandriani. Continue your stroll and visit Syros’ town hall, the work of the well-known Austrian architect Schiller. Its foundations were laid in 1876 and the building was completed at the end of the 19th century. Next visit the church of Saint Nicholas, the patron and protector of Syros seafarers. The church was built between 1848 and 1905. You can see its blue dome and bell tower. Visit the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin (Greek Orthodox Church), which houses the Dormition of the Virgin Mary by Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco). The icon was, in all probability, transferred from Venice some time during the past century. In 1983, the signature of el Greco was revealed by cleaning of this work showed for the first time that the artist had started his career as an icon painter. Your tour will conclude with a visit to "Sykoutris" traditional loukoumi workshop, which has been running since 1928 and is considered as one of the best in Syros. Loukoumi is the traditional dessert of the island, made of sugar and water boiled together and it is said that Syros loukoumi is unique, due to the use of local water.

Day 4 Patmos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 theSaint-John-the-Theologian 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 absolutely gorgeous swimming areas. You’ll be drawn to the bustle in Skala harbour and its taverns, famous for their fish soup and tiropita, which is a type of pasty filled with fresh Patmos cheese.

Choose an excursion:

ST JOHN MONASTERY & APOCALYPSE CAVE
From the pier, board your coach for a drive to the Saint John Monastery. Overlooking Skala port and the island’s southern region this medieval monastery looks more like a fortress than a house of prayer. It was built to repel attacks by pirates. In 95, Saint John the Evangelist was banished from Ephesus and exiled to Patmos. In 1088, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos authorized Saint Christodoulos, an abbot from Asia Minor, to erect a monastery in memory of Saint John. The whole island was yielded to the monastery. The adjoining Theotokos Chapel has frescoes dating back to the 12th century. The other part of the Byzantine treasures is to be found in the monastery. Today this holy place is a veritable museum of Byzantine art thanks to the countless frescoes, icons, holy objects and manuscripts contained within its walls. After visiting the monastery, the coach will take you to the Apocalypse Cave where the final book of the New Testament was revealed to John the Apostle. The Book of Revelation prophecy came to him through a symbolic vision and was written in Greek. This cave was the house of the evangelist and now is surrounded by a monastery and school of theology. You can see the resting place outlined in beaten silver where St John laid his head every night. To the right the rock is shaped like a pulpit and is where the disciple Prochoros wrote the revelation as dictated by John.

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PHOTO SAFARI IN PATMOS
This tour, covering the south side of the island, not only gives you the opportunity of discovering hidden places but also an opportunity to photograph the most amazing land and seascapes along. From the pier, board your minibus to the old village of Chora, the island’s capital and a photographer’s paradise! Your first experience is a panoramic view right over the island and over the 11th century monastery built like a fort, standing with proud dominance. You will be guided through Chora’s labyrinth of winding cobbled streets and maze of arched alleyways. The settlement of houses dating from 16th century with their white-washed walls, reflect the light casting shadows and creating geometric patterns. The alleys, arches and doorways display a harmonious balance revealing subtle architectural details which, through your lens, can become exciting atmospheric images trapped in time. You will continue with a 10-minute drive to the top of the mountain of Profit Illias, the highest point of the island - 269 meters above sea level. Next you will make your descending drive to Diakofti stopping off to photograph the view of the mystical rock of Petra and then go to a boatyard. Here you will have the opportunity to photograph the local islanders at work and the streamline shapes of vessels in dry dock before enjoying refreshment.

Day 5 Delos | Mykonos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 is thrilling in itself. From the Stoa of Antigonos, the Terrace of the Lions, to the carved marble animal statues, make discovery after discovery against a backdrop of the Aegean stretching to the horizon. The theater steps on the hillside are a particularly good place from which to enjoy the expansive view.

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF DELOS
Start your visit from the port on the west coast of the island, to go discover one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Both the oldest and the largest open-air site in Europe, this antique site has many houses, temples and sacred shrines. Emerging from a burned grass carpet, the ruins are spread out below Mount Kynthos. At the top of this small hill and only relief of the island, the Sanctuary of Zeus and Athena Cynthiens dating from the 3rd century BC. Overlooking the area, as on the hillside, you can see a range of cultural institutions dedicated to oriental divinities. Frozen by 2,000 years of abandonment, the city ruins draw an impressive maze of white stone in which one can get lost like the pilgrims and the merchants of yesteryear, when Delos was beaming on the Aegean. Reach the sanctuary of Apollo, known as the “Temple of the Athenians”, and admire the temples dedicated to this god, their altars, their votive offerings and other buildings. Then, discover the Terrace of the Lions, with its famous marble lions that dominated and protected the town. Continue to the Theater District, the most luxurious district of the ancient city with the mansions known as the home of Dionysus, Cleopatra, and Dioscuri. See the different mosaics that adorned the floors of Hellenistic houses, and the streets, the houses, the workshops and the shops that made Delos a bustling city.

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. Up on the hillside, you can see the windmill sails turning. In the cobbled streets of the pedestrian center, bougainvillea bedeck 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 6 Paros

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 stop over in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove and offers more than one café to sit and unwind.

Choose from the following excursions:

PARIKIA & NAOUSSA
From the pier, board your coach for a 10-minute drive to the famous Byzantine Church of Ekatontapyliani. Also named the “Lady of the hundred doors”, this church is one of the greatest early Christian monuments in Greece. The name was a creation of the 17th century scholars who wanted to compare the splendor of the church to that of the Temple of Hundred Doors (Ekatonpylon) in ancient Thebes of Egypt. Following your visit, board your coach for a panoramic drive to the traditional village of Lefkes. Lefkes is the most mountainous village of Paros and the most verdurous one. It was the first capital of Paros. The village is located under a pinewood on the hill. A walk around its narrow streets with the white joints will impress you. See the old wash-houses that are still used by some housewives, the House of Literature, the picturesque Ramnos, a street with taverns and other stores and the wonderful view: the sea and Naxos in the background. The first residents here were immigrants that came from Crete and Naoussa and locals who chose to build their village on the mountain, in order to be protected from pirates. The town hall was built with the famous marble of Paros. Once leaving Lefkes, you will head for the picturesque village of Naoussa. The port of Naoussa is protected by a separate fortification, the Venetian Castle. The fortification was built in the 15th century by the dynasty of Sommaripas and emerges from the sea behind the small harbor with the traditional fish boats. Today, although half sunk, the castle offers a very impressive sight worth seeing. Before rejoining your ship, take some free time to stroll around its narrow streets, little squares and traditional whitewashed houses.

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PAROS BY BOAT & SWIMMING
From the pier, board your motorboat and start your cruise around Antiparos Island. Antiparos is a small and quiet island with only one village built around the Venetian fort, an example of fortification of the 15th century. Hosting many sandy beaches, this island became famous in the last couple of years, as many Hollywood actors and singers like Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and Madonna have their own properties. During your boat trip, see many beaches and take the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

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PANORAMA & WINERY
Your tour starts off with a panoramic drive to the traditional village of Lefkes, a beautiful hilltop village built in an amphitheater shape, offering wonderful vistas all around. The town hall is especially nice, being built with the famous marble of Paros. After a short visit, continue towards the traditional Moraitis Winery, see the vineyards, visit the production areas and the old winery basement, where the famous red wines of Moraitis are still aged. End your visit with a wine tasting accompanied by local snacks. Next continue to the nearby village of Naoussa, considered to be one of the prettiest in the Cyclades. Despite the development of tourism, the village has managed to keep its authenticity, its character and its charm, with its whitewashed and flowered little houses and its tiny whitewashed churches and chapels, surrounded by labyrinthine stone-paved streets. Your last stop will be in Parikia town, to visit the famous Church of a Hundred Doors. This church is the holy place of Paros and is linked to the history and myths of Byzantium.

Day 7 Hydra

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This unusual gem belonging to the Saronic islands is located to the east of the Peloponnese. There are no cars here. Named after the island, the harbor town is layered up the slopes of a mountainous bay. You may be surprised to see beautiful stone mansions. These are traditional here, as are the multi-colored caïques along the quays. Further along the shore, discover the Historical Archives Museum. Collections from Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.
 
Choose from the following excursions:

The charm of Hydra town certainly lies in its rich history, port and waterfront unspoiled by motorized vehicles. This island offers a rugged charm and many scenes to discover. From the pier, together with your guide, start your walking exploration through the island's historical landmarks. Your first stop will be the Hydra Museum Historical Archives where you may admire 19th century paintings of considerable artistic value as well as rich documentary and photographic material detailing the long maritime tradition and history of the island. Continuing your walk around the port, you will visit the Church of the Dormitian, which houses icons, chandeliers and other offerings from the wealthy seafarers of the island. It is even said one of the chandeliers was stolen from Louis XIV and given to the church. Enjoy a coffee or a refreshment together with Hydra's local sweet " amygdaloto" at a promenade local coffee shop. Next, take the road uphill to reach Koundouriotis Mansion, one of the finest examples of the traditional 18th and 19th century architecture of Hydra. Built in 1780 by the ship owner Lazaros Koundouriotis, it now houses various items from the National Historical Museum of Athens, such as traditional costumes, jewelery, fine embroideries, pottery and wood-carvings. Enjoy a leisurely walk through Hydra's little alleys and stone houses before your return to the port.

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HIKE & SWIM
The charm of Hydra town certainly lies in her rich history, port and waterfront unspoiled by motorized vehicles. This island offers a rugged charm and many scenes to discover. From the pier, meet your guide and start your exploration. Hiking in Hydra is the best way to explore its natural beauty. Walk along the coastal road passing Avlaki bay on the way to Kamini. Located in a sheltered cove, the Avlaki bay houses a small pebble beach with deep, calm and clear water. Nearby, Kamini is a natural and picturesque small fishing harbor. After a photo stop, you will continue to Vlihos village and then along the coastal track to Plakes Vlichou. Here, you will have free-time to swim or just relax on Vlihos beach.

Day 8 Athens | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to 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 shrimp 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.

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Per person starting at
$3,410
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.
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. balcony located on Deck 3. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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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.
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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.
Grand 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.
Owner's Suite on the Le Lyrial
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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.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h Room service (special selection)
  • English speaking lecturer 
  • 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
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
Please Note:

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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.
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