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Minarets & Macedonia with Explora Journeys

7-day luxury ocean cruise from £3,850 pp incl. flights

Early booking offer - save 5% of the cruise fare


Short description

A luxury cruise exploring Grecian & Turkish gems


  • Take in ancient history and staggering views of the Greek and Turkish coast
  • Enjoy and overnight stop in Istanbul for plenty of time to explore the melding of cultures
  • A luxury all-inclusive cruise featuring nine culinary venues onboard
  • Large suites at sea, all featuring private verandas for views of the Aegean Sea

In Brief

  • 1 Night Athens
  • 1 Night Volos
  • 1 Night Thessaloniki
  • 1 Night Kavala
  • 1 Night Day at sea
  • 2 Nights İstanbul


Recommended for:
History & culture | Ocean cruise

Starting amid the grand sites of Athens, this in-depth journey explores the myths of Volos, Thessaloniki’s UNESCO treasures and bustling Kaval. Then, finish with an overnight stay in Istanbul, one of the world's great historic cities. What's more, you'll sail in style aboard the all-new EXPLORA II, the brand-new ship from Explora Journeys, where you'll enjoy exclusive dining experiences, designer suites and a luxurious, resort-style atmosphere.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Athens

Depart the UK for Athens this morning. On arrival, you'll be privately transferred to the port ready to board your ship, the brand-new Explora II; keep your eye out for archaeological wonders such as the Acropolis along the way. After settling into your elegant stateroom or suite, enjoy a welcome dinner, choosing from a selection of six unique restaurants.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: D

Day 2
Volos, Greece

The first stop on your Aegean adventure is in Volos, the mythical home of Jason and the Argonauts. Everywhere you look in Volos, you’ll find archaic treasures and salty bays, creating an ancient and timeless atmosphere. From here, head to Pelion, homeland of the mythical centaurs. Picture a place where small villages are linked by cobbled donkey tracks, where eucalyptus, fruit trees, and thyme spring up all over the woodland. For something different, take a dip in calm Pagasetic waters, or paddle past coves and sea caves. Alternatively, board the Pelion train Moutzouris for a mythical route.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki is a wonderful blend of modernity and appreciation for antiquities, with a thriving arts and cultural scene. Its squares are charming, with an almost Parisian feel, and you’ll find Greek produce in the market along with modern art on the waterfront.

There’s so much appreciation for ancient history here too. There is no shortage of museums, and with an impressive 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you have plenty to learn should you wish to do so. The architecture is equally staggering; Galerius Palace, the domed Rotunda, multiple Byzantine churches, and the curious 15th-century White Tower, to name a few. A visit to the Archaeological Museum helps you to dig into the past, and you can visit Alexander the Great’s birthplace in Pella and Vergina’s royal tombs.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Kavala, Greece

Kavala was once known as the ‘Mecca of Tobacco’. Cobbled streets take you to the old town, where you can view the Byzantine walled fortress, while the whitewashed lighthouse gives you a view of Mount Athos. Meandering along the pedestrianised taverna-filled streets, you can also spot the Agios Nikolaos church and the old hammam and mosaic mural.

We also recommend a visit to the ancient UNESCO world heritage city of Philippi, taking the opportunity to bathe in waterfalls at the foot of Mount Pangaion. If time permits, you can relax with a Turkish coffee and a side of Greek schnapps, taking in this quiet corner of Greece.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Day at Sea

Enjoy your only day at sea today, taking in the many amenities available on your ship. Explora II is new in 2024, meaning you’re one of the first to experiences its many charms. Fine dining is available across nine culinary experiences, so there’s no shortage of cuisine for you to try during your day at sea. Take a dip in one of the three outdoor or one indoor pools, take in the entertainment in the lounge, visit the onboard art gallery, treat yourself to a wellness ritual in the spa, or simply relax in your suite, taking in views of the ocean from your private veranda.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Istanbul, Türkiye

There is much to enjoy about this city straddling two continents. You can choose how best to divide your days here. Everywhere you go, you’ll spy a blend of European and Asian influences. While you can dine like a European in the atmospheric old city, a simple ferry crossing take you across to Asia for delicious street food options. The spice bazaar too is enticing, its aromas and colourful displays a feast for the senses.

But no journey to Istanbul would be complete without a visit to the famous blue mosque of Sultan Ahmet, the Hagia Sophia and of course the the iconic Grand Bazaar. For a touch of relaxation, sink into a Turkish bath. Those looking for a livelier evening will be glad to hear of the city's spectacular nightlife, with plenty of options to keep you dancing until dawn if you so wish.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Istanbul, Türkiye

Today you may have time to fill in the blanks from yesterday’s Istanbul explorations. Visit the spots you missed, sample more traditional Turkish food or Asian fare, or spend your time wandering at your leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight home. Alternatively, speak to one of our specialists about extending your stay in Istanbul.

Stay: Explora II

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


7-day luxury ocean cruise
from £3,850 pp incl. flights

Departure: 27 March 2025

Early booking offer - save 5% of the cruise fare
Book by: 31 January 2024


  • Return scheduled flights from the UK to Athens
  • Private roundtrip transfers from airport to ship
  • 9-night cruise aboard EXPLORA II
  • Welcome bottle of champagne and spirit of choice on arrival
  • Sophisticated dining across 9 distinct culinary experiences, including in-suite dining
  • Unlimited beverages, fine wines and premium spirits, specialty coffees, teas and soft drinks available anytime, including in-suite mini-bar
  • High-speed, unlimited Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • All on-board gratuities

Early booking offer saving varies depending on category of Suite booked & requires payment in full at time of booking.

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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