7-day Antiquity to Byzantium cruise

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An archeology and history-themed cruise with an expert guest lecturer.

A spectacular circumnavigation of the historic Peloponnese (Peloponnesos) & continental Greece from Athens on board the 51 passenger motor sailer "Galileo".

Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of Antiquity and Byzantium around the coast of the Peloponnese. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a leap back into ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you.

In the year 2022 the Corinth Canal will be closed for maintenance and therefore excluded from cruise's itinerary. For select sailing dates there will be complimentary bus transfer from or to Corinth.

7-day autumn & spring cruise in Greece itinerary


Year 2022

DayPorts / Cruise Program
Fri.Marina Zea, Piraeus (Athens)
Embarkation between 14:00-15:00. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers.
Dinner on board and late night arrival at Nafplion, the first Capital of modern Greece and main port of eastern Peloponnese.
Overnight in port.
Optional excursion to Ancient Epidaurus. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary and it is reputed for its theater, which is once again in use today and is still marvelled for its exceptional acoustics.
Lunch onboard and afternoon at leisure to discover the greater Nafplion area. Overnight in port.
Optional excursion to Mycenae: visit the remains of the glorious ancient city including the Lion’s Gate, the Cyclopean walls, the Palace, the Agamemnon Tomb and the museum following by a short guided walk in the historical center of Nafplion.
Lunch on board and sailing towards Monemvasia
Early evening arrival and time at leisure for exploring this remarkable medieval fortified town and birthplace of one of the most important Greek poets, Giannis Ritsos.
Overnight at sea to Gythion.
Morning arrival in Gythion, the ancient naval base of Spartans. Optional excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro, plus the spectacular Dirou Caves with their stalactites and stalagmites.
Dinner onboard and late evening sailing to Pylos. Overnight at sea.
Morning arrival in Pylos, a picture-perfect seaside town of the SoutWest Peloponnese. Sitting on the backside of stately Navarino Bay, Pylos was site of several famous naval battles, one of which, occurred in 1827, led to the independence of Greece, in 1829.
Today, our optional excursion takes us by bus along the coast of Western Peloponnese crossing the Messenian countryside to Methoni and Koroni.
Lunch onboard. Late night sailing to Katakolo. Overnight at sea.
Early morning arrival in port of Katakolon, in Pyrgos, which in ancient times was the natural harbour for Ancient Olympia. Optional excursion by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world; traditional lunch in the town of Olympia and optional visit to the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity (provided it is open in the afternoon).
Time at leisure; overnight at sea sailing to Itea.
Morning arrival in Itea. Optional tour to Delphi; the archaeological site of Delphi is built on the side of a mountain offering truly inspiring panoramic views. Delphi was revered for hosting the most important oracle in the classical world and visitors from across the Greek world travelled here to consult with the oracle.
Return to the ship for lunch and afternoon sailing.
Later in the evening Captain's Farewell Dinner and arrival in Corinth. Due to its rich ancient history as well as to the presence of St. Paul the Apostle in the city, some locations all over the world have been named "Corinth".
Overnight in port.
Disembarkation at 07:00 after breakfast. Bus transfer to the Athens Airport (for guests flying up to 12:00 noon) and to the center of Athens - exact place t.b.a. (for guests with cruise port arrangements).

* On April 1 & 15 and on November 4 the reverse itinerary will be followed, i.e. from Corinth to Athens.

* On November 11 a special itinerary will be followed: Athens - Nafplio - Gythio - Pylos - Kalamata - Monemvasia - Isthmia

Information on "Marina Zeas" on the map of Piraeus port.

Year 2022 special Hiking Cruise on Nov.04

DayPorts / Cruise Program
Fri.Marina Zeas, Piraeus(Athens)
Bus transfer at 16:00 to Corinth.
Embarkation between 17:30-18:00.
Overnight at sea, sailing to Itea.
Early morning arrival.
Our hike today is rich in history and - along with our optional excursion to Delphi, revered for hosting the most important oracle in the classical world - will help you understand the historical significance of the area. Indeed our hike traverses the same path ancient pilgrims did in their quest for the oracle!
Optional excursion to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
Today’s hike is in the oak forest of Foloi; it's an easy walk that we’ll take slowly, allowing us to take in the stunning flora and fauna of the area.
Morning arrival into Pylos port, the site of many famous naval battles.
Hiking options today include a round trip of Polilimnio, or through the Gorge of Stenosia; whichever we take (final route to be decided on the day), a few things are certain: lush paths, cascading waterfalls, and lots of swim breaks at natural lakes.
Our optional excursion for the day is to the Palace of King Nestor, and the nearby archaeological museum holding thousands of ancient artifacts.
Tonight we sail to Gythion with dinner on board.
We'll hike one of the most beautiful areas of the Mani area, Cape Tainaron, beginning in Kokkinogia and ending at the Tenaro lighthouse. The latter is the southernmost point of continental Europe. Our route will take about an hour and, despite several rocky sections, is a relatively easy trek with many fascinating pathways.
Our optional excursion today is a visit to the Diros Caves.
Explore the preserved Byzantine and Venetian architecture of the town of Monemvasia, nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". We’ll take a guided walk inside -delving into its winding paths and traditional churches- as well as around its castle.
Lunch on board with an afternoon sail to Nafplion, arriving just in time for dinner. Overnight in Nafplion.
The town of Nafplio is well-connected and a great location to begin our optional tours from. In the morning we'll visit Ancient Epidaurus, a healing centre and theatre.
After lunch on board we’ll drive through the stunning Argolis countryside to another major centre of Greek civilization: Mycenae, home to the Lion’s Gate, Cyclopean Walls, the Agamemnon Tomb, and more.
We’ll also take a gentle hike across the surrounding mountain paths which offer wow moments a-plenty. This is where our team will set up a barbecue lunch like no other.
Fri.Marina Zeas, Piraeus(Athens)
Disembarkation after breakfast.

Information on "Marina Zeas" on the map of Piraeus port.

Year 2023

DayPorts / Cruise Program
Fri.Marina Zea, Piraeus(Athens)
Embarkation between 14:00-15:00. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers.
Ancient Epidaurus
Evening arrival and dinner on board.
Sat.Ancient Epidaurus
We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus (optional excursion).
Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius and for its theater, which is once again in use today. The prosperity brought by the Asclepieion enabled the residents of Epidavros to construct civic monuments, including a huge theater (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty.
Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at the port of Nafplion.
After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae (optional shore excursion).
The importance of the city, which Homer calls "rich in gold" begins in 1650 B.C and ceases around 1100 B.C with the fall of the civilization to which it gives name. Visit the remains of the ancient glorious city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, the so called Agamemnon Tomb and the museum.
Monemvasia (Malvasia)
Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.
Early morning arrival to Gythion.
Optional excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro plus the Deros Caves:
Ancient Gytheion was inhabited during prehistoric times and later the Spartans enlarging the natural harbour they made Gythion their naval base.
Leaving Gythion we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach the spectacular Deros caves, discovered around the 60's, which are perhaps among the most important natural sites of Greece.
After visiting the cave we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town.
Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece.
Overnight at sea to Pylos.
Pylos is a picture-perfect seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In 1827 a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history.
After stopping to admire the scenery, we will continue up the road to Nestor’s Palace (optional excursion). The remains of this prehistoric palace occupy a scenic hilltop setting north of Pylos. Highlights include the well preserved royal apartments and a bathtub that archaeologists have speculated belonged to the old king himself. The palace, with its central courtyard, was originally two stories high and richly decorated with frescoes.
Following our visit to the remains of the palace, we will make the short trip to the town of Hora of Pylos, where a superb archaeological museum holds thousands of artifacts recovered from the site.
Overnight sailing to Katakolon.
Wed.Katakolon, Olympia
Early morning arrival in Katakolon.
We will disembark the ship around 7am in the port town of Katakolo and travel by bus (optional tour) to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world, revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2000 years ago. You will also explore the Temple of Hera, the magnificent temple of Zeus, the Philippeion, lodging place for the athletes who participated in the games.
We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world.
Following lunch in the town of Olympia, we'll visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artifacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic Games.
After having time at leisure we will travel overland to Patras on the north coast of the peninsula, where we will re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth.
Overnight at Itea.
Thu.Itea, Delphi
Early morning optional excursion to Delphi, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world:
unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much for the stunning natural beauty that surrounds the ruins as for the ancient buildings themselves. In its prime, Delphi was revered for its wealth and reputation, hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. We will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit the adjoining museum.
Return to the ship and crossing of the Corinth Canal.
Marina Zea
Later in the evening we arrive at Marina Zea, where we spend the night.
Fri.Marina Zea, Piraeus(Athens)
Disembarkation after breakfast.
Variety Cruises reserves the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the ship, without liability for damages or refund of any kind, to alter or deviate from the ship's advertised or ordinary itinerary or route, either this is caused by weather conditions reaching Beaufort 6-7, Force Majeure, assisting other ships in distress, saving of life at sea or other extraordinary conditions.
Such does not entitle passengers for any claims or refunds.
Variety Cruises will, however, ensure that passengers access their port or disembarkation on time for their outwards flights.

Information on "Marina Zeas" on the map of Piraeus port.

7-day cruise sailling dates & ships

  • Year 2022

  • Year 2023

    • Cruise departures operated by the ‘Galileo’ motor sailer cruise vessel

      • March 10, 17, 24, 31
      • April 7, 14
      • October 27
      • November 3, 10, 17

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