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Istanbul shoreline and ships

Sailing the Cusp of Europe and Asia

Istanbul - Limassol - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard SH Diana
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Embark on a 12-day expedition cruise named Sailing the Cusp of Europe and Asia, which will take you from Istanbul to Limassol aboard the SH Diana. This cruise will immerse you in the rich history of the Eastern Mediterranean region. You will explore World Heritage archaeological sites, discovering remnants of ancient trading hubs, cities, and temples built by the Greeks and Romans. From medieval towns to sites marked by significant battles of World War I, you will be surrounded by history that reveals how ancient cultures have left a lasting impact on the contemporary cities of today.
Explore ancient monasteries in GreeceEnjoy the natural beauty of RhodesOld town harbor of AntalyaLimassol promenade or embankment at sunset. Aerial view of famous Cyprus alley with palms and walking people.Istanbul shoreline and ships
  • Explore Istanbul's vibrant and inclusive cityscape that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity
  • Experience an authentic and sensory journey through the medieval villages of Chios
  • Wander through the ancient streets of Ephesus, one of the ancient world's most legendary cities
  • Visit the sacred site of Patmos, where St. John is believed to have written
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, relax, and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.

*Specific hotel and location to be announced

Day 2-3: Istanbul | Embark

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
An enchanting city that divides two continents, Istanbul is approached from the Bosphorus Strait, one of the world’s most important maritime routes. With the shores of Asia to the east, the first Bosphorus Bridge to the north, and ‘old Istanbul’ to the south, few other ports offer such an immersive welcome. After disembarking, discover that the city is a vibrant, inclusive, and friendly place that blends its tradition and modernity with ease. The history here is diverse and far-reaching. The city’s strategic location attracted many conquering forces over the years, including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and Ottomans. Istanbul was also the final point on the legendary Silk Road, attracting traders from the world over and paving the way for the culturally diverse Istanbul of today.

Day 4: Canakkale

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The culturally important seaport of Canakkale is the gateway to the Dardanelles (known in classical antiquity as the Hellespont), which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. Alongside the Bosphorus, these are the two historically significant and legendary Turkish straits. And there is no better way to explore this historical waterway than by small-ship cultural cruising. Cruising into the Dardanelles, you pass the site of ancient Troy (the Biga Peninsula) and the Gallipoli Peninsula, the place of the epic World War I battle.

Day 5: Chios

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the beautiful Aegean Sea, Chios is the birthplace of the Greek poet Homer and is known for its incredible beaches and fascinating medieval villages. Pyrgi and Olympi stand out for their elaborate architecture and intricate geometrical patterns. When the Roman Empire fell, Chios joined the Byzantine Empire. Castles, villages, and strongholds were built, most of which remain today. Chios remains largely untouched by mass tourism, and walking through the narrow streets of the villages and along the harbor is an authentic, sensory experience.

Day 6: Kusadasi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, one of the ancient world’s most legendary cities. Remarkably well preserved, Ephesus is a UNESCO-listed world heritage site and the best place in the Mediterranean to learn about past civilizations. A short distance from Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once stood. Although the temple is no longer there, it is still possible to walk among its foundations. After the Romans arrived in 129 BC, Ephesus became the capital of Western Asia Minor. Wander through its ancient streets and step back in time to one of Rome’s most important commercial hubs.

Day 7: Patmos, Pamos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Patmos, an Aegean island in the Dodecanese Islands, is an important sacred site for Christian pilgrims. It is here that St. John, or John of Patmos, was believed to have written the Book of Revelations in the Cave of the Apocalypse, above the port of Skala. Visitors can also walk to the top of the hill to the 11th-century Monastery of Saint John, which overlooks the picturesque whitewashed capital of the island, Chora.

Day 8: Rhodes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rhodes’ archeologic crown jewel is dominated by its remarkable Acropolis. The Apostle Paul landed in St. Paul’s Bay, located at the foot of the Acropolis. Further below, old, whitewashed buildings line a warren of alleyways where the mansions of long-vanished sea captains now house tavernas, bars, and cafes.

Day 9: Kastelorizo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kastelorizo is the remotest island in Greece, located on the easternmost edge of Dodecanese. It is also known as Megisti. The island is a small complex of fourteen rocky islets and islands. Kastelorizo’s origins trace back to prehistoric times. The Knights of Rhodes ruled the island in the 14th century. The Ottoman Empire followed them until it was ceded to Italy in 1912. The British occupied it during World War II and returned the island to Greece in 1948.

Day 10: Fethiye

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fethiye is a port city on Turkey's aptly named Turquoise Coast, best known for its blue waters. The town is also the site of numerous rock tombs, including the 350 B.C. Tomb of Amyntas, carved into a bluff overlooking the city Modern Fethiye is built over the ancient Greek city of Telmessos, the largest city in Lycia. The newly created Lycian Way Trail runs 400 kilometers between Fethiye and Antalya. In the south, Belcekız beach at Ölüdeniz is sheltered by the glistening warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, while nearby Butterfly Valley is a designated nature reserve.

Day 11: Antalya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Founded in 150 BC by Attalos II, King of Pergamon, Antalya is now a major harbor and the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast. The city’s long and fascinating history is evident just about everywhere. Hadrian’s Gate marks the historical entrance to Antalya, and in the Archaeological Museum, you can find impressive collections of pottery, mosaics, and artifacts. Immerse yourself in ancient times as you wander the narrow, winding streets of Antalya’s Old Town. For an authentic Turkish shopping experience, the Antalya Bazaar is a must.

Day 12: Limassol | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The second-largest city in Cyprus, sunny Limassol, is located between the ancient sites of Amathous and Kourion. Just like its island home, Limassol has seen many occupations come and go, and the result is delightfully cosmopolitan. The modern waterfront buildings and sleek promenade stand in contrast to the ancient core of the Old Town. Here you can find Limassol Castle, best known as the place where Richard the Lionheart (King Richard I) married Berengaria of Navarre after his conquest of the island in 1191. Kolossi Castle is located around 14 kilometers outside the city and was a command post during the Crusades. Take a break from the city’s long and fascinating history and explore the beautiful beaches, bustling restaurants, and cafes, or perhaps enjoy the island’s natural beauty on a hike along Cape Greco’s stunning coastal trails.


SH Diana

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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Oceanview D4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
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Oceanview M4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
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Balcony D5
Located on decks 5, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
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Balcony M5
Located on decks 5, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
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Balcony D6
Located on decks 6, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
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Junior Suite
SH Diana’s Junior Suites features a Super King Size bed, separate living room area with homely flame-effect fireplace, private kitchen, luxurious en-suite bathroom and a 7 sq. m private balcony.
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Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
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Premium Suite
SH Diana’s Premium Suites feature a Super King Size bed, separate living room with homely flame-effect fireplace, luxurious en-suite bathroom, spacious walk-in wardrobe and a 12 sq. m private balcony.


  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • All transfers between Airport, Hotel and Ship
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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