Credit: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Embark on a record-breaking cruise with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines through the Corinth Canal

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Corinth Canal sailing for 2023 is an absolute must-do for any cruising fanatic - sail through the stunning cliffs of the Corinth Canal and explore beautiful Greece.

Fancy going on a record-breaking cruise? Well, with Fred. Olsen’s Braemar beating the world record as the largest ship to cruise through the narrow walls of the Corinth Canal in Greece due to its smaller size – you can.

The Corinth Canal is a man-made waterway only 24 meters wide at its narrowest point, so hold your breath as you sail through and admire your surroundings of rugged, imposing cliffs that pass closely by – definitely a sight to get your camera out for.

That’s not the only thing that’s special about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Corinth Canal cruise, you can also explore a plethora of hand-crafted ports that have been specially chosen for closer docking, courtesy of Braemar's smaller size such as the medieval city of Rhodes and the stunning Palace of Knossos in Crete.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Corinth Canal and Fred. Olsen’s exciting itinerary.

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Braemar is the smallest ship in the Fred. Olsen fleet, and has an uncrowded, intimate feel. Credit: Fred. Olsen

Fred. Olsen’s Corinth Canal Cruise itinerary

Fred. Olsen’s 25-night Greek Islands and Corinth Canal itinerary onboard Braemar, sailing from Southampton on May 3, 2023, is a popular one for sailing this incredible corner of the world thanks to Braemar’s small size.

In fact, in 2019, the Corinth Canal cruise generated the highest guest satisfaction rating ever.

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Thanks to Braemar being a smaller ship, you’ll dock within a one-mile walk of the centre in most destinations visited so you can get stuck into exploring straight away.

Find out all the information you need to know about some of the ports visited on this inspiring Fred. Olsen cruise…

Embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Credit: Shutterstock

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Corinth Canal, Greece

The Corinth Canal is in southern Greece and connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf, separating the Peloponnese peninsula from the Greek mainland and is notoriously narrow.

The product of many centuries of planning and building, the Corinth Canal is one of the oldest man-made canals in the world.

The canal was the brainchild of Roman emperor Nero – ruler of ancient Corinth – with the aim of saving ships from having to travel a massive 185 nautical miles.

Before the passage, ships passing through had to sail an extensive circular route to reach the Aegean Sea as well as the Mediterranean and Black seas.

Reach the Aegean Sea with ease thanks to the Corinth Canal. Credit: Shutterstock

Fun fact – Emperor Nero attempted to construct the canal himself in 67 AD and began to dig up the first pieces of soil with a pickaxe before a Roman workforce took over and dug trenches on both sides.

This progress was abandoned after the Emperor’s death and was only restarted in 1881- but you can still see the progress they made all those years ago today.

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While the canal may be a man-made marvel, it only measures a minimum of 24 meters between each cliff-face, making the route inaccessible for many modern cruise ships and other large vessels.

Except for the small, but mighty, Braemar of course which allows you to experience the once-in-a-lifetime navigation between the solid rock.

Admire the natural beauty of Milazzo with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Credit: Shutterstock

Milazzo, Sicily

Milazzo possesses a colourful history and dates back as far as 648 BC when the Greeks founded a colony called Mylae on the island of Sicily in southern Italy.

Visit Castello di Milazzo, a gorgeous castle perched on the top of a hill overlooking the town, before you wander around its grounds which include a cathedral and Benedictine convent.

Milazzo acts as the perfect base to explore the Aeolian Islands, situated North of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

These islands possess an intriguing variety of landscapes, from rocky coastlines to mountainous landscapes as well as an active volcano, Stromboli.

Gaze in awe at the Acropolis of Athens in Athens, Greece, as your tour is a roundtrip from here. Credit: Shutterstock

Athens, Greece

To get a true understanding of the fascinating history of Ancient Greece, Athens is the place to be.

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city and home to one of the best-preserved arrays of ancient Greek monuments. Wander up the Acropolis via one of the wide-set pedestrian paths lined with cafes and restaurants to discover the crown of the hill, the Parthenon.

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This former temple, and the other impressive buildings on the Acropolis, were ordered in the fifth century by Greek statesman Pericles, who widely supported the arts and architecture.

Take your time to admire the structures which each have an intriguing story behind them such as the Erechtheion, a beautiful structure where Poseidon and Athena had a contest over who would be Patron of Athens.

Rhodes is a medieval city full of culture and history. Credit: Shutterstock

Stromboli, Italy

As arguably one of the most famous Aeolian Islands due to its volcanic activity, Stromboli is best seen via cruise, especially with Fred. Olsen.

From the comfort of your ship, take in stunning landscapes formed and see if you can spot a black sand beach along this cone-shaped island.

Rhodes, Greece

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the medieval city of Rhodes transports you back to medieval times. Navigate your way through the cobbled streets and admire architecture that has been well preserved.

This city also features a 4km long wall which divides the North and South of the town.

The north features an abundance of monuments such as the Inn of Auvergne on the street of the Knights.

This cobbled street is lined with inns of seven different knights, each with a crest that represented their nation.

The south side of the town has plenty of beautiful churches to admire – see if you can spot the churches constructed during the Byzantine empire.

Fred.Olsen is the largest ship to sail through the Corinth Canal. Credit: Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

Fred. Olsen's Braemar

Fred. Olsen is renowned for its smaller ships that can take guests off-the-beaten-track, to intriguing destinations. Braemar is the smallest in the fleet, bringing you as close as possible to the countless destinations you visit.

With large picture windows, spacious open decks and balcony suites; everywhere you turn you will be greeted with a picture-perfect view.

Want to know why Braemar can dock in such hard-to-reach places? Thanks to her flatter hull and shorter length, she’s able to navigate shallower rivers and journey straight to the heart of destinations that larger ships cannot.

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With four restaurants, a heated saltwater swimming pool, a spa, gym and bubbling jacuzzi, Braemar is equipped to succumb to your every demand - even you seasoned cruisers will be impressed.

Braemar has 485 cabins onboard with capacity for 924 passengers and an impressive 401 crew members – making for an uncrowded cruising experience.

So, if you fancy embarking on a cruise which offers a completely different cruising experience then the Corinth Canal cruise is the one for you.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.