Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite. Credit: Shutterstock

Mediterranean cruise savings? Sorted

Author: Daniel Edward

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Book Marella Cruises’ seven-night Ancient Icons cruise from £899 per person.* It starts and finishes in Turkey, and includes visits to Cyprus, Rhodes and Crete

The Mediterranean awaits, with Marella Discovery’s seven-night ‘Ancient Icons’ cruise showing impressive discounts now. The week-long voyage from Marmaris, Turkey, is all inclusive, meaning all flights, transfers, meals, and even tips are rolled into the price. And, if you want, there are even land-based extensions you can tag on to the cruise for more time in Turkey before you fly home.

For the complete collection of itineraries in the eastern Mediterranean, click here.

Where does the Ancient Icons voyage go?
Let’s start with the turnaround port. Marmaris is Turkey’s major beach resort – and one that is reliably baked in rosy golden rays. Palm trees line the promenade and elegant yachts bob casually out in the marina. It’s an ideal homeport, especially when considering the option of adding on extra days in a TUI partner hotel before or after your cruise.

The ‘Ancient Icons’ cruise features a relaxing day at sea after departing Marmaris, to give you ample time to get into holiday mode and also enjoy many of the ship’s amenities. Marella Discovery features a wonderful spa and fitness centre, as well as a great pool deck for a refreshing splash and a poolside drink.

The cruise continues with a day in Limassol, Cyprus' biggest seaside town, and then its onto
Alanya. This Turkish port is where new meets old. This old haunt of Queen Cleopatra – the ancient Seljuk city – was a gift from Mark Antony. It now edges immediately onto a hip and with-it beach resort for more time chilling on Turkey’s golden sands.

And then the cruise heads across to Greece, with a glorious day in Rhodes – the sunniest of all the Greek islands. OK, yes, it’s another beach day. But if you’re looking for something a little different, head into the cute village of Lindos, where you’ll find an ancient acropolis.

Marella Discovery hops back into Turkish waters for the sixth day of the cruise, when you’ll be in Bodrum, complete with its luxury yachts, buzzing beach clubs, and belly dancers. Walk the quaint streets and soak up the local vibes, or head to a traditional hammam for a centuries-old spa experience.

The final port day, before returning to Marmaris, is in Heraklion, Crete. Knossos Palace is the second most-popular tourist attraction in all of Greece (after the Acropolis in Athens) and is within easy reach of the port, just on the edge of the city. In town, enjoy a strong coffee, or sip the national drink, ouzo, before heading back onboard for your final evening filled with onboard entertainment and great food.

Bodrum lies at the southernmost point of the Aegean coast. Credit: Shutterstock

Other cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean
Marella Cruises offers a wide range of itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to the ‘Ancient Icons’ voyage.

If you’re looking for a handcrafted Turkish carpet, Marella Discovery’s ‘Aegean Jewels’ itinerary has a day in Kusadasi, in addition to visiting Athens, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini.

Alternatively, if Istanbul is calling your name, then the ‘Ottoman Odyssey’ is for you – and it also includes days out in Bozcaada, Bodrum, Heraklion, and Rhodes.

For something a little off the beaten track, the ‘Undiscovered Aegean’ sailing seeks to uncover some of the lesser-known jewels of the region, like Volos, Izmir, and Patmos. You’ll also enjoy days in Thessaloniki and Heraklion on this roundtrip from Marmaris.

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