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Admire the incredible Terrace of the Lions on Delos

Ancient Splendours of Greece & Egypt

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Le Jacques Cartier
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Explore the splendor of the ancient world on this 11-day cruise from Jordan to Greece. Board your luxurious ship in Aqaba and sail the Red Sea, making sure to soak up sunshine on the glittering Egyptian shores. Cross the Suez Canal to the eastern Mediterranean as you continue your voyage to Greece. Visit Rhodes, where you can enjoy immaculate villages and medieval cities as well as stunning natural beauty. Wander through ancient sites such as the temples and terraces of Delos, or the home of John the Apostle on Patmos. Explore Greek and Roman temples on islands scattered across the Aegean, and marvel at detailed Byzantine churches. Enjoy fresh local cuisine and relax on sandy beaches, or swim in the warm, clear waters. Your journey concludes in Athens, center of the ancient world and home to a vibrant modern city. 
Sunlight over the Aqaba skylineExplore colorful villages on RhodesThe famous windmills of MykonosExplore ancient monasteries in GreeceLearn about Classical history in AthensAdmire the incredible Terrace of the Lions on Delos
Highlights
  • Soak up sunshine on the shores of the Red Sea
  • Explore legendary ruins on the Greek island of Rhodes
  • Visit incredible religious sites at Delos, Patmos, and more
  • Discover the history, myths, and cultures of the ancient world
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Aqaba, Jordan | Embark

Located on the shores of the Red Sea, Aqaba offers Jordan its only access to the sea. At the crossroads of the land and sea routes that linked Asia, Africa, and Europe, the town is rich with more than 5,000 years of history. The warm waters of the Red Sea attract divers to this seaside destination, where the underwater sites are home to colorful coral and fish. Aqaba is also the gateway to the magnificent desert of Wadi Rum and the marvelous site of Petra. Explore this stunning region before boarding your ship and setting off on your journey. 

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique, or to meet the onboard photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. Enjoy this enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 3: Ain Sokhna, Egypt

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ain Sokhna, which means “hot spring,” is located in the Gulf of Suez. Around fifty kilometers from the entrance to the Suez Canal, and less than two hours from the Egyptian capital, it is an elegant seaside town that is popular with wealthy families from Cairo. It's also an ideal base for discovering the marvels of Ancient Egypt.

Day 4: Crossing the Suez Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Suez Canal slices through 162 km of desert and was inaugurated in 1869 in the presence of Empress Eugenie, then nationalized by Nasser in 1956. Today, cruise through this waterway to connect to the Mediterranean.

Day 5: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique, or to meet the onboard photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. Enjoy this enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 6: Rhodes, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With its particularly agreeable climate, the island of Rhodes invites you to walk its pathways and discover its immaculate villages and sumptuous medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. At the center of the island the mountains are covered in forests, and on the western slopes find vineyards and crops. Rhodes also owes much of its charm and its character to the Knights of St John who reigned over the island from 1310 CE to 1522 CE, and built impressive defensive walls punctuated with majestic gateways. Do not miss this delightful island with its peaceful beaches and its large walkways, perpetuating the myth of the famous Colossus, the legendary statue that is one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

Today you may choose to join an optional excursion: 

From the pier, board your coach for the one-hour drive to Lindos. The scenic drive will take you through small villages with their white-washed houses scattered amongst orchards and olive groves. 
Built between the 7th and 6th century BCE, the Lindos Acropolis is a sprawling complex of structures from various historic periods, perched dramatically above the town. A place of worship from the Mycenaean age, it was enlarged in the Hellenistic period before the Knights of the Order of Hospitallers established a fortress here, a role it retained until the Ottoman era. As in ancient times, access is via a rough-hewn path with many stairs. The first medieval gate, with steps down to the Knights’ building, is cut into the rock face. To one side, observe an antic relief of a warship’s stern, sculpted into the same rock.
The acropolis’s most sacred building is the Athena Lindia sanctuary, sited on the highest terrace, offers panoramic views. 
At the end of your visit, you will have some free time to stroll the streets of the lower city before boarding your coach to reach Rhodes where a typical Greek lunch will be served.
After lunch, discover the old city of Rhodes and visit the most imposing building of medieval Rhodes: the Palace of the Grand Masters. Built-in the 14th century, it contains priceless mosaics from Kos island.
At the end of the walking tour, you may choose to stroll the colorful shopping streets and return to the ship on foot or join your coach and return directly to the ship.

OR

From the ship, discover the Knights City on a guided walking tour. Follow your guide through the cobbled streets to the impressive Palace of the Grand Masters of the Order of Hospitallers, which dates from the 14th century and contains Greek and Roman mosaics originating from the island of Kos. After visiting the palace, walk along the famous Avenue of the Knights lined with the old Knights’ inns from the Order’s various nationalities. It is unusually straight for a medieval street, and its somber buildings present a majestic and forbidding face to the world, with their 15th-century Gothic walls and arcades worn smooth over the centuries. Retracing an ancient route, the straight line of this street cuts through the maze of winding alleyways surrounding it.
After your guided tour, you can return directly to your ship with your guide or wander around the streets and shops at your leisure. 

Day 7: Patmos, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Patmos is one of the legendary must-see islands in the Dodecanese. This is where Saint John, presumed author of the last book in the Christian Bible, resided. The cave of the Apocalypse and the Saint John Monastery is 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.

Today you may choose to join an optional excursion: 

Join a tour covering the south side of the island that only gives you the opportunity of discovering hidden places but also an opportunity to photograph the most amazing land and seascapes. 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 the 11th-century monastery. You will be guided through Chora’s labyrinth of winding cobbled streets and a maze of arched alleyways. The settlement of white-washed houses dating from the 16th century reflects 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.
Continue with a short drive to the top of Profit Illias Mountain, the highest point of the island - 880 feet (269 m) above sea level. Next, venture to Diakofti, stopping to photograph the view of the mystical rock of Petra.  Later, visit a boatyard for the opportunity to photograph the local islanders at work and the streamlined shapes of vessels in dry dock. After a local refreshment, with your camera full of great images, return to Skala port.

OR

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 the year 95 CE, 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. Other Byzantine treasures are 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, you will have the opportunity to visit the Monastery’s icon restoration studio, where you see meticulous skilled work in progress and learn about restoration techniques. Later, a short drive will take you to the Apocalypse Cave where the final chapter 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. Finally, you will re-board your coach for the drive back to the pier.

Day 8: Delos, Greece | Mykonos, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The legendary Cyclades island of Delos stands just a few miles southwest of Mykonos. More than half the island is occupied by a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which encompasses the Terrace of the Lions, the Stoa of Antigonos, multiple holy sites, a preserved theater, and so much more, all set against expansive views of the glittering blue Aegean sea. 

On the island of Delos, you'll have the opportunity to join an optional excursion. Your tour will start directly from the pier: follow your guide and discover one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Both the oldest and the largest open-air site in Europe, this 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, find the Sanctuary of Zeus and Athena Cynthiens, dating from the 3rd century BCE. Overlooking the area, as on the hillside, you can see a range of cultural institutions dedicated to divinities. Frozen by 2,000 years of abandonment, the city ruins draw an impressive maze of white stone. Reach the sanctuary of Apollo, where you can admire the temples dedicated to the god, with altars, votive offerings, and other buildings. Next, visit 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, there the mansions are known as the home “of Dionysus”, “of Cleopatra” and “of 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.

This afternoon, visit Mykonos. Nicknamed “little Venice,” the island 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. 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.

Here, you have the opportunity to join an optional excursion. From the pier, follow your guide and begin your walking tour through the narrow streets of Mykonos town.
Your first stop will be in front of Paraportiani Church, which dates back to the 15th century. This unique church is in fact an asymmetrical conglomeration of 4 churches and mixes 4 different architectural styles: Byzantine, vernacular, traditional and western style. It is the most important element of the “Kastro” or the castle area, the oldest part of the town. Continue towards Little Venice to discover the old houses situated on the edge of the sea.
After, return to your ship.

Day 9: Paros, Greece

  • 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 stopover in Naoussa, a little fishing port bounded by a beautiful cove.

Today you may choose to join an optional excursion: 

From the pier, board your motorboat and start your cruise around Antiparos, a small island that hosts only one village built around the 15th-century Venetian fort. With its many sandy beaches, this island became famous the last couple of years, as many Hollywood actors and singers have their own properties. During your boat trip, you will see many beaches where you will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Later, stop at an anchorage in a cove, where you can go explore a cave while snorkeling. After a final swim in crystal clear waters, enjoy some refreshments before returning to the port of Alyki, where your coach will be waiting for you to get back to your ship.

OR

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. Your visit to the property will end with a wine tasting accompanied by local snacks. 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 churches and chapels, surrounded by labyrinthine stone-paved streets. Your last stop will be in Parikia town, where you can 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.

OR
 
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, the first capital of Paros. The village is located under a pine forest on the hill. Follow your guide on a walking tour through its narrow streets with white walls. From here, visit the picturesque village of Naoussa, which is protected by a  Venetian castle, built in the 15th-century by the dynasty of Sommaripas. Today, although half sunk, the castle offers a very impressive sight worth seeing. Before rejoining your ship, you will have some free time to stroll around the narrow streets, little squares, and traditional whitewashed houses.

Day 10: Nafplion, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. It's home to an extremely varied cultural heritage. Some of the must-visit sites include the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square, and 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.

In Napflion, you have the opportunity to join an optional excursion. From the pier, board your coach for a 45-minute drive to Epidaurus, a town known for its ancient theater. Considered one of the most important sanctuaries in the ancient world, Epidaurus was dedicated to the god of Medicine, Asklepios. The world-famous Theater of Epidaurus, built in the 4th century BC, is a marvel of harmony and acoustics and the best-preserved ancient theater in Greece. Built of limestone, it can welcome 12,000 spectators. Next, re-board your coach for a drive to the archaeological site of Mycenae, where the first in-depth excavations were carried out in 1876 by the German archaeologist Schliemann, who was obsessed with finding the grave of King Agamemnon. His diligent work exposed the famous Lions Gate, the entrance to the city which contains the shaft burial graves of some ancient nobles. A short distance away is the Beehive Tomb, so-called due to its unusual shape.
Finally, board your coach for the 30-minute drive to Nafplion.

Day 11: Athens, Greece | Disembark

Your cruise concludes in Athens, a bustling modern city full of the myths and history of the ancient world. Disembark after breakfast and continue on your independent travels, or begin your journey home. 

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Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following
  • All meals while onboard the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except for 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 the ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Gratuities to onboard crew
  • 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, onboard medical consultations, and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)

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