Between Athens’ ancient landmarks and contemporary atmosphere, it is a big bucket list destination for many cruisers! Most itineraries to the Greek Islands begin in this world-famous city, making it very easy to spend a day or two here before you embark. Athens is filled with landmarks, boutiques, restaurants, bars, colorful buildings, museums, and numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its public metro system makes it easy to get around, and there is a fabulous culinary scene, featuring all kinds of choices, including traditional Greek items, and seafood of course.
There are many cruise lines that feature cruises from Athens! Whether you are looking for a mainstream cruise, a luxury cruise, or something in between, there is certain to be a cruise leaving from Athens for you. There are also a few specialty cruise lines doing cruises from Athens, providing you with a very intimate and unique onboard experience. A great time to visit Athens is during spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), when the sun is plentiful and temperatures are comfortable.
If you are looking for a cruise that has great value and many onboard features, you’re in luck. Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, and Pullmantur all feature cruises from Athens. These cruise lines are best known for their numerous onboard features, including theaters, youth programs, pools and hot tubs, spa and fitness centers, spray parks, specialty restaurants, and more. These cruise lines will take you from Greece to either Europe, the Mediterranean, or the Middle East. You can get away for as little as 3-nights, as many as 21-, or choose an itinerary in between that fits your schedule!
If you are looking for the finest cruising experience available, there are several great cruise lines to choose from. Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Silversea all offer cruises from Athens. You can expect everything from highly personalized service to gourmet cuisine, spacious accommodations, and top-shelf amenities with these cruise lines. Destinations include Europe, the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Cruises range in length from as little as 5-nights, all the way up to a 71-night repositioning cruise.
For an experience between mainstream and luxury, there are also several fine options for cruising from Athens. Azamara, Oceania Cruises, and Viking Ocean Cruises have a wonderful selection of itineraries that you can choose from. Cruises range from 7- to 24-nights with disembarkations in Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe. Specialty cruise lines Ponant, Star Clippers, and Windstar Cruises also do a number of cruises from Athens, ranging from 5- to 20-nights.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from Piraeus (Athens), Greece. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from Piraeus (Athens), Greece. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from Piraeus (Athens), Greece:
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Athens, along with a brief description:
♦ Acropolis of Athens
No visit to Athens is complete without seeing the famous Acropolis of Athens. Located atop a steep, rocky hill, this now-UNESCO World Heritage Site has been overlooking the city since fifth century BC. Tours of this citadel are available, which include a challenging climb, rewarded by breathtaking views. Since the marble can tend to be slippery, it is advisable to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes if you plan on visiting this landmark.
Athen’s Parthenon is a temple that was constructed in 5th century BC as a shrine to the Greek Goddess Athena. A large part of this marble shrine still stands today, its towering columns overlooking the city. History lovers are certain to appreciate the architectural design and history behind this incredible wonder, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The climb up to this monument is a great way to keep in shape during vacation, and there will be plenty of photo ops!
♦ National Archaeological Museum
If you grow tired of exploring ancient ruins, pay a visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. You can discover all sorts of treasures here, including Greek art, masks, statues, pottery, jewelry, and so much more. With two floors of exhibits and artifacts, you can easily spend the better part of the day in this museum. There is also a coffee shop located inside, where you can take a break and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee with some delicious Greek pastries or snacks.
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