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Classic Greece & Turkey with Oceania

11-day luxury ocean cruise

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Summary

Short description

Explore Turkey, Cyprus, and the Greek islands on a luxury Oceania cruise

Highlights

  • A chance to discover Turkey’s most ancient cities in-depth
  • Stops at Greek islands such as Santorini and Crete
  • A full day to explore Cyprus and its impressive history
  • Time to marvel at the wonders of Istanbul at the trip’s conclusion
  • Delectable culinary experiences offered onboard your luxury cruise ship

In Brief

  • 1 Night Santorini
  • 1 Night Crete
  • 1 Night Bodrum
  • 1 Night Antalya
  • 1 Night Limassol
  • 1 Night Marmaris
  • 1 Night Ephesus
  • 1 Night Bozcaada
  • 1 Night İstanbul

About

Recommended for:
History & culture | Ocean cruise

This is your chance to explore the myriad treasures of the eastern Mediterranean aboard Oceania's Vista. You'll begin in Athens, home to the magnificent Acropolis and Parthenon, before you set sail to Nauplion, a one-time Greek capital in the heart of the picturesque Peloponnese. Explore its sun-kissed beaches and grand Venetian fortresses, then head on to Crete and the great Minoan ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Next, having relaxed on the golden sands of Bodrum and Antalya in Turkey, Cyprus beckons with its mosaicked basilicas and sweeping groves of lemon, orange and olive. The relaxation then resumes in the Turkish seaside resort of Marmaris, with its palm-shaded promenades and yacht-dotted marinas, followed by the chance to explore some of Turkey's most magnificent historic treasures, showcased in ancient ruins of Ephesus and Troy. Finally, you'll end amid Istanbul's bustling markets and grand mosques, the gateway between East and West. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Athens

Depart the UK and fly to Athens, the capital of Greece. On arrival, you will be privately transferred to the port ready to board the stylish Oceania Vista. Once you step aboard, you'll immediately notice the stunning contemporary decor and spacious interiors, inspired by the land and sea. Get acquainted with your stateroom or suite in all its timeless elegance before dinner is served this evening as the ship departs the mainland. Choose from an array of dining options that range from informal to the extravagant.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: D

Day 2
Fira, Santorini

As you enjoy breakfast this morning, the whitewashed hilltops of Santorini's Fira town come into view, your first taste of the Greek Islands. Offering breathtaking views of the caldera below, Fira also has a museum with stunning artefacts, including recent finds from the excavation of Akrotiri. This stop is perfect for simply strolling the winding streets and taking in the views waiting around every corner. You can also take advantage of the optional shore excursions available here to fit every activity level. Connect with your musicality on a musical heritage tour of Santorini, or visit a family-owned winery to sample the vintages and learn how Santorini’s terroir creates a distinct flavour. It's also possible to explore the intricacies of Santorini by boat or taste the local delicacies on a foodie tour. For something a little more active, opt to hike a nearby volcano. 

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Heraklion, Crete

Today it's on to Crete – Greece's largest island, and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea – where the people are warm and the history is ancient. Enjoy a visit to the fabled Minoan ruins at the Palace of Knossos. As legend goes, Knossos was home to the minotaur’s labyrinth, and the nearby archaeological museum houses many superb and fascinating artefacts from the complex that give your visit even more context.

If you’re looking for a different type of shore excursion, explore the Lasithi plateau with its orchards, 7,000 windmills, and ancient villages. Alternatively, join a chef for a foraging tour followed by a delectable Cretan lunch, or take to the waters to explore Crete’s marine biodiversity.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Bodrum, Türkiye

What is now the modern city of Bodrum—favoured by yachters, tourists, and jetsetters—was once the ancient city of Halicarnassus. The foundations of the original city’s mausoleum are still visible today and are classed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After Halicarnassus was destroyed by earthquakes, the Knights of St John used its stones to build Bodrum Castle. This medieval monument now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, including a display of the oldest known shipwreck. Along with a highlights tour, today you also have the option to sail around Bodrum in a traditional gulet, visit crystal-clear Lake Bafa, make your way to a winery, and more.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Antalya, Türkiye

Step into history as you visit Antalya, an ancient town full of many treasures for you to enjoy. On an optional walking tour, you’ll find superb artefacts in the museum, Ottoman mansions, Byzantine churches and mosques, and Hadrian’s Gate. The ancient Roman harbour is now alive with cafés and pleasure boats, perfect for a wander.

Alternatively, immerse yourself in history even further by visiting the ruins of Perga and Aspendos. It’s easy to visualise the long history of these cities, from Alexander to St Paul, from the Romans to the Arabs. The Roman theatre and crumbling aqueduct are awe-inspiring.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Limassol, Cyprus

Spend the day exploring Cyprus, using Limassol as a jumping-off point for this island full of ancient riches. Wherever you go, you’ll spot ruins, majestic mountains, stunning beaches, and groves of lemons, oranges, and olives. Lemesos Castle is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre, and today you can visit its fascinating museum. A stroll through ancient Kourion takes you past stunning mosaics, a theatre and basilica, and panoramic sea views.

Venturing inland to Nicosia reveals wonders such as the Cathedral of St John, Venetian fortifications, its restored old town and mosque, and the Cyprus Museum. You can also visit Paphos, known as the birthplace of Aphrodite; try a basket-weaving workshop, choose a gastronomic tour or learn Cyprus’s agricultural heritage.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Marmaris, Türkiye

Chic Marmaris is Turkey’s most notable beach resort, bringing a swanky riviera feel to these Turkish shores. It’s perfect for a more relaxing day, simply taking in the elegant, palm-lined promenade and the marina full of gleaming white yachts. However, if it’s a dose of history you crave, take a boat cruise down the Dalyan River to the ancient Carian city of Kaunos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Discover a Turkish tradition with a visit to a hammam or Turkish bath. Take in the town from the waters on a sailing trip or choose to indulge in the seafood extravaganza available here on a foodie tour.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Ephesus, Türkiye

Today brings with it the most choice of any stop so far with regards to shore excursions, meaning you can really narrow down what most interests you most in this ancient region. If you so choose, explore ancient Ephesus. You’re sure to marvel at wonders such as the Library of Celsus, the amphitheatre, marble roads still bearing chariot marks, amazing mosaic sidewalks, and the rarely opened Terrace Houses.

Alternatively, you can choose to visit three monumental cities of antiquity: Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. Each is renowned for its majestic temples and well-preserved stadiums. If neither of these appeals, there are several more options, including visits to small Turkish towns and markets, a chef-led Turkish culinary experience, and more.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Bozcaada, Türkiye

Bozcaada seamlessly blends Greek and Turkish sensibilities and is best known as the site where the ancient city of Troy once sat. Today, it is a breezy Aegean gem famed for producing some of Turkey’s best wines. The whitewashed buildings will put you in mind of Greece while the periodic minarets interrupting the skyline remind you that you’re in Turkey.

Browse crafts by local artisans, perhaps picking up a jar of the island’s delicious tomato marmalade. Or perhaps discover the town’s 15th-century castle, which is quite imposing in its position next to the cosy harbour, looking out over the sea.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Istanbul, Türkiye

You’ve reached your final stop: magnificent Istanbul. Sitting astride two continents, Istanbul is full of wonders – some of the main highlights include Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, and the impressive Blue Mosque.

You can also choose to cruise the Bosphorus to view the city from a different vantage point, visit one of Istanbul’s many museums, or wander your way through the spice market and the iconic Grand Bazaar. There are several more specialised tours available too, including culinary experiences, night-time explorations, a look at the Asian side of Istanbul, and more. The ship will remain docked in Istanbul tonight.

Stay: Oceania Vista

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Return to UK

After one last breakfast onboard this morning, you will be privately transferred to the airport for your flight back home to the UK.

Meals: B

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