Credit: Getty Images/Riviera Travel

Explore the Greek Isles with the local cruise specialists, partnered with Riviera Travel

Author: Daniel Edward

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Riviera Travel introduces a brand-new ship to UK cruisers, in a new partnership with Greek specialists Celestyal Cruises

Hot on the heels of the ship’s launch, Riviera Travel presents an enhanced Greek Isles package holiday with seven nights onboard Celestyal Journey followed by a further two nights indulging in the ancient beauty of the Athenian Riviera.

In addition to a seven-night cruise onboard Celestyal Journey, Riviera Travel’s enhanced package presents a further three days in the Greek capital of Athens (one before the cruise and two at the end of the holiday), with exclusive excursions supported by a dedicated Riviera Tour Manager.

The itinerary features Aegean favourites including Mikonos and Santorini, as well as a day in Turkiye, where the ship docks in Kusadasi for easy access to the ancient city of Ephesus.

Riviera Travel has partnered up with Celestyal Cruises for this Greek Isles cruise. Credit: Riviera Travel/Celestyal

What’s the deal?

Starting at £2,199 per person, your Riviera Travel package includes a seven-night cruise in the cabin or suite of your choice, plus a night in Athens ahead of the cruise and a further two nights on the beach in the Athens Attica neighbourhood to round off the holiday.

Onboard, you’ll enjoy complimentary full-board dining, which includes selected drinks from the bar, such as house wines, draft beers and soft drinks.

You’ll also have your pick of eight included guided tours in the ports, half of which are exclusive to guests who are sailing with Riviera Travel.

The crew speak English and are true local experts, something that sets Riviera Travel’s exclusively Greece-based partner cruise line out from the crowd.

Speaking of the crew, your appreciation costs nothing extra because Riviera Travel covers all gratuities, along with return flights to Athens and airport transfers.

The Greek ruins of Ephesus will be visited on this Celestyal Cruise with Riviera Travel. Credit: Shutterstock

Indulge in the journey

Fly to Athens where you’ll stay for a night ahead of joining Celestyal Journey. The cruise departs from Piraeus – the port suburb of Athens, visible from the Acropolis in the heart of the ancient capital.

Once settled into your comfortable cabin or suite onboard, you’ll head north to Thessaloniki for the first port of call in your week-long exploration of the Aegean Sea. After Athens, Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece, and home to a staggering 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Heading on to the eastern reaches of the Aegean, your Riviera Travel getaway checks in for a day in Kusdasi, which is the port gateway to Ephesus a spectacular example of an ancient city near the shores of modern-day Turkiye.

The stunning two-storey library is thought to be the third-largest of the ancient world. Many people have visited Rome, lots visit Athens… but how many take the opportunity to explore Ephesus?

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

Back to Greece next and the acclaimed birthplace of European civilisation. In port at Heraklion, you’re a short ride from the ancient city of Knossos – home of the Minoans.

Heraklion is found on the north coast of Crete – the largest of the Greek islands, and setting of the famous legend of the minotaur.

From ancient legends to modern-day legendary beauty, the cruise concludes with three island stops known for their whitewashed walls, and splashes of saturated colour: blue capped churches, vibrant pink waterfalls of flowers, and the gleaming blue sky reflecting back in the well-worn street stones. Of course, we’re talking about Santorini, Mykonos and Milos.

Back in Athens it’s up to you – are you going to treat yourself to time on the beach, dipping into the famous turquoise waters, or head into the city to continue exploring the cultural and shopping highlights that abound here?

Whatever your plans, you’ll have your Riviera Tour Manager to provide expert guidance and top recommendations to make the most out of your extra time in the city before you fly home.

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