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Explore ruins in Taormina within view of volcanic Mount Etna

From Magna Graecia to Greece

Palermo to Piraeus - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard SH Diana
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Embark on a 10-day cruise through the rich heritage and landscapes of Southern Italy and Greece, starting in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Explore street markets and the unique Arab-Norman cathedral. Continue to Lipari, the largest Aeolian Island. Discover the town's vibrant port with cafes and the 16th-century Spanish citadel. Experience Stromboli, a small island with one of the world's most active volcanoes. In Giardini Naxos, savor beautiful beaches and explore the city's history. Next, visit Taormina for incredible views of Mount Etna and the surrounding waters. Cruise along the Calabrian coast, admiring rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. End your journey in Preveza, a charming city with a yacht-filled marina. Explore ancient Nikopolis, visit Arta's Bridge and Panayia Parigoritissa Church, and savor traditional Greek cuisine at local tavernas. Finally, arrive in Athens, Greece.
Taormina port with planters seen commonly around SicilyBeautiful Taormina, Italy, with Mt. Etna in the backgroundRelax in beautiful SicilySunset over Athens' portStop in Piraeus, the port of AthensExplore ruins in Taormina within view of volcanic Mount Etna
  • Explore the street markets and Arab-Norman cathedral in Palermo, Sicily
  • Discover the port and 16th-century Spanish citadel in Lipari, Aeolian Island
  • Savor beautiful beaches and explore the history of Giardini Naxos
  • Visit Taormina for incredible views of Mount Etna and the surrounding waters
  • Explore Nikopolis, visit Arta's Bridge and Panayia Parigoritissa Church
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Palermo, Sicily

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

*Pre/Post hotels and flights are always subject to change until the Travel Documents are provided.

Day 2: Embarkation

A feast for the senses, Sicily’s capital is an intoxicating and chaotic melting pot. Bustling street markets, ancient buildings, opulent palaces, and millennia of history await those ready to embrace Palermo for all that it offers. Palermo’s history is complex, to say the least. Middle Eastern, Northern African, and European influences are all melded together here. The Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Goths, and Vandals have come and gone through the ages, leaving countless treasures in their wake. 

Day 3: Lipari, Sicily | Cruising Stromboli

The largest of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari is typically Mediterranean in its landscape. The island’s lava quarries, low-lying shrubbery, and precipitous cliffs feel familiar yet unchartered. Lipari Town is a busy little port with pretty pastel-colored buildings lining the harbor and plenty of cafes and restaurants where visitors can watch the world go by. Above the harbor is the fortified citadel and castle, built by the Spaniards in the 16th century. 


  • Work up an appetite with a sightseeing tour of the island’s most panoramic viewpoints
  • Visit the underground barrique cellar, built in the traditional style of the region
  • Learn about the windcatcher’s thermal labyrinth and chimney used to create a natural air-conditioning system

  • Take a moment to appreciate the unique mining practice of the volcanic materials pumice and obsidian
  • Enjoy stunning views of the sparkling sea, red and grey volcanoes, and lush green vegetation
  • Stop by the Church of San Bartolomeo for pictures of its beautiful facade

Stromboli is a small island in the Aeolian archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is one of the world's most active volcanoes and has erupted almost continuously since 1932. The island also has beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Day 4: Giardini Naxos (Taormina), Sicily

Giardini Naxos is a seaside town on the eastern coast of Sicily known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. The city also has a rich history and culture, with many ancient ruins and historic sites to explore. Some popular attractions include the ancient Greek city of Naxos, the Church of San Pancrazio, and the Museum of Archaeology.



  • Take in the incredible views of Mount Etna and the surrounding waters
  • Pay homage to the ancient art of performance at the Roman Theatre Corso Umberto
  • Visit one of the many local handicraft shops that populate the small lanes, the Viuzze
  • Visit the Cappuccini Church, whose crypt houses the so-called catacombs with 37 mummified bodies of friars and noble people who lived there in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Stop in at several remarkable churches of the 15th and 16th centuries like Chiesa Madre, Santa Lucia and San Michele
  • Head to the village of Forza d’Agrò, overlooking the Arab-Norman castle of Capo Sant’Alessio and the coastline

Day 5: Crotone

Cruise along the Calabrian coast and enjoy the scenery of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. As we pull into the port town of Crotone, notice the 16th-century fortress, Castle of Charles V. Inside its museum is a golden tiara, found nearby in the Capo Colonna Archaeological Park named for its column that stands proud on a promontory. Crotone itself is a delightful mix of old and new, from the ancient city walls to the cathedral notable for its icon of the Black Madonna alongside Calabrese restaurants serving traditional pasta and sausage dishes.



  • Clinging to a tuff buttress overlooking the Neto River Valley, this charming town will instantly captivate you with its fairytale-like appearance
  • See the magnificent stucco decorations and Baroque paintings by Francesco Giordano at the Carafa Castle
  • Your excursion will also include a visit to the cathedral, the beautiful Byzantine baptistery, and the Diocesan Museum
  • Visit the small village of Ciro, known for its wine production
  • At the wine estate discover the secret of this wine and taste delicious local food
  • Drive along the coast to Le Castella, to visit the fortress, built by the Aragons around an existing Anjou fortification
  • Discover Capo Colonna Archaeological Park, made up of roughly 7½ acres of excavation terrain

Day 6: Otranto

Otranto is a town in the province of Lecce in the Puglia region of Italy. It is located on the Adriatic Sea and is famous for its rich history and culture, with many ancient ruins and historic sites to explore. Some popular attractions include the Otranto Cathedral, the Aragonese Castle, and the Church of San Pietro.



  • Visit the inside of the mysterious Skull Cathedral and pay your respects to the Martyrs of Otranto
  • Be fascinated by the rich history of the Aragonese Castle
  • Enjoy a typical Italian Ice cream
  • Enjoy one of the most spectacular panoramic routes of Apulia
  • Visit the wine cellar and the underground oil mill
  • enjoy a wine tasting and typical Apulian products before returning to the ship
  • Admire the Roman Amphitheater dating back to the second century A.D. and could hold up to 20,000 spectators
  • Discover a remarkable architectural style known as the “Barocco Leccese”
  • Visit Piazza Duomo, where the Cathedral as well as the Archbishop’s Palace are located

Day 7: Sarande

The Albanian Riviera stretches along a beautiful section of the Ionian coastline, packed with stunning beaches and ancient history. Once overlooked as a result of Albania’s political isolation from the rest of Europe, the area is now being rediscovered. Sarandë is its unofficial capital, whose original settlers were said to be the descendants of the ancient Greek hero Achilles. Today crowds flock to Sarandë in the summer months to enjoy the beaches and bustling nightlife. 



  • Visit the archaeological site of Butrini. Inhabited since prehistoric times
  • Enjoy the special atmosphere created by a combination of archaeology, monuments, and nature in the Mediterranean
  • Be surprised by the authenticity of the World Heritage property Butrint related to its excellent preservation on a site
  • Admire the blue waters of the Borsh Waterfalls
  • Discover the village of Piluri and the breathtaking views
  • Visit the ruins of Ali Pasha castle
  • Visit the fortress of Gjirokastra, one of the biggest in the Balkans
  • Discover the Medieval City, today UNESCO world heritage
  • Admire the architecture while walking around

Day 8: Preveza

Located at the mouth of Amvrakikos Gulf in Western Greece, Preveza is a charming city with bundles of character. The yacht-filled marina and carless seafront offer the perfect setting for a pleasant stroll. Sit and watch the world go by at the many restaurants and tavernas, or indulge in some retail therapy in the many interesting shops. Further afield you’ll find the ancient city of Nikopolis, founded by the Roman Emperor Octavian. During the Roman and early Byzantine periods, the city flourished as the capital of Old Epirus. 


  • Visit Arta's Bridge to learn the history of its construction and myth
  • Admire the church of the Panayia Parigoritissa, dating back to the 13th c. is dedicated to the Annunciation
  • Visit Nikopolis, the amazing largest ancient city in Greece, built in the 1st c. AD
  • Learn why the impressive theatre isn’t like the other ancient Greek ones
  • Take some time to listen to the stories of the different basilicas

Day 9: Itea | Cruising Corinth Canal

An important historical place, the harbour town sits below Mount Parnassus, home to the mythical Muses, and is near the ancient Greek sanctuary of Delphi, where Pythia, the Oracle, prophesied the words of Apollo to those who sought divine advice for the future. Parnassus was also home to the winged horse Pegasus of Bellerophon. More recently, Itea was the site of the Battle of Agali during the Greek War of Independence where Greece defeated the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet on 29/30 September 1827. 


  • Visit the sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece
  • Discover the Archaeological Museum, one of the most important in Greece with its rich collections
  • Discover the beautiful Monastery of Ossios Loukas adorned with the mosaics and frescoes of the Great Church
  • Breathtaking mountain scenery passing by the village of Arachova
  • Walking tour of the town of the Golf of Corinth
  • Visit the Naval Museum of Galaxidi which exhibits models of the ship
  • Admire a mountainous landscape and discover the impressive church of Agios Nikolaos
The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. The canal is 6.4 kilometers long and only 21.3 meters wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships.

Day 10: Piraeus | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Greece’s buzzing cosmopolitan capital is served by Piraeus port and is an exciting mix of ancient and modern. Walk the Grand Promenade that winds beneath the city’s most famous landmark, the Acropolis. This walkway, built during the 2004 Olympic Games, links the city’s main archaeological sites. No visit to Athens is complete without seeing the Acropolis itself of course. Start with the Acropolis Museum for some informative context and then walk the marble path up Filopappou Hill for majestic views of the ‘high city’ with the iconic Parthenon.


SH Diana

SH Diana
SH Diana Observation Lounge
SH Diana Swan Nest

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date


Last-Minute Special Rate 24775
Take advantage of last-minute rates for sailings until November 2024. Secure a Balcony Oceanview or Balcony Stateroom with full payment to enjoy special pricing. This offer is subject to availability for new bookings and cannot be combined with other discounts. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Aug 27, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$7,714 2-3 travelers
SH Diana Oceanview D4
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Oceanview D4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Diana Oceanview M4
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Oceanview M4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Diana Balcony D5
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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.
SH Diana Balcony M5
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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.
SH Diana Balcony D6
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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.
SH Diana Junior Suite
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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.
SH Diana Suite
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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.
SH Diana Premium Suite
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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.
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 9 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.
  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • 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
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation


When to Go

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


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