Bill and I took a cruise through the Greek Islands in April/May, 2015. We flew from Toronto to Isanbul, Turkey, where we spent 2 days. We stayed in the Intercontinental Hotel. On the first full day in Istanbul, we toured the Topkapi Palace and the Agia Sophia. In the afternoon we walked from our hotel to Taksim Square, then down to the Bosphorus to the Clock Tower beside a pretty mosque and a palace, then back up to our hotel. On the second day we saw the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Then we boarded our ship, the Aegean Odyssey and set sail for Izmir where we stayd for 2 days. On the first day, we took a bus to Ephesus and toured the ruins there. On the second day, we took a bus to Pergamon. Then we sailed overnight to Kos, visiting Kos Town and the Asclepion the next day. The following day we were anchored in the harbour of Rhodes Town. We took a bus to Lindos to visit the acropolis in the morning. The afternoon was free, so we walked around Rhodes Old Town, admiring the Grand Master's Palace, the city walls, the Street of the Knights and the Knights' Inns. From Rhodes we sailed to Crete where we visited Knossos and the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion. We spent Day 8 on Santorini. We had to take a tender from our ship to the shore where a bus drove us to Akrotiti to visit the archaeological dig, then on to Oia at the north end of the island, lunch in Monolithos, and the main city of Fira. From Santorini we sailed to Piraeus, the port of Athens. In Athens, we toured the Acropolis, then visited the Acropolis Museum. Our next port of call was Mykonos where we had a whole day to walk around the town, shop, see old churches and windmills. We were supposed to visit the Island of Delos but it was too windy to board tthe tenders to take us into port. We then sailed north to the port of Kavala in Eastern Macedonia on mainland Greece. We took a bus to a river where St. Paul is thought to have baptized the first Christian in the region. Then we went on to the ancient city of Philippi. On the second last day our ship docked in Canakkal, Turkey so that we could visit the ruins of Troy. Our last port was back in Istanbul where we disembarked, drove to the airport and flew home to Toronto.
The whole holiday was very well organized. All transfers from airport to hotel to ship and back to airport were included. Before the excursions, there were meetings at which we were given information about the tour. All the excursions were led by a local guide who was trained in history and archaeology. We each had a small radio with an earphone so we could hear the guide, even if we were several metres away. This was excellent. We could stop to take photos and still hear the guide. We also had 2 experts on the ship who gave lectures on the history and archaeology of the region.
The ship was very comfortable. It had a choice of restaurants, a library, a theatre, a swimming pool, helpful and friendly staff and it was small enough to get to know other passengers and be able to dock in ports so we could spend extra time on shore. A ship is a very comfortable way to tour - a different location every day without having to change accomodation.
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July 6, 2015
©copyright 2015 Vicki Sherwood
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