Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Greek Islands Cruises

The Greek Islands offer a fascinating history laced with legend and spectacular landscapes with olive groves, small villages clinging to hillsides and clear turquoise seas - a winning combination for a refreshing island-hopping holiday

We offer a wide choice of superb itineraries on a variety of ships, including small luxury vessels, tall sailing ships and gulets. 

  • Corfu beach scene
  • Santorini - the famous Greek island view
  • Corfu

About Greek Islands Cruises

The 200 islands of the Cyclades circle the sacred island of Delos.  Fashionable Mykonos is renowned for its windmills, Paros for its wild spring flowers, and the volcanic island of Santorini, with its houses perched on the cliffs, is the scene of many postcards and views of Greece.

In the northerly Sporades Islands are Skiathos, with over 70 beaches and a rugged coast, and the vineyards and mountains of Skopelos where Mamma Mia was filmed. 

In the Dodecanese Islands, visit Patmos with the pretty harbour town of Skala and the Cave of the Apocalypse where St John wrote the Book of Revelation. The larger island of Rhodes has a unique walled old town set around its harbour. Picturesque Symi, set around a superb natural harbour with classical style houses under a barren rocky hillside, and the popular tourist destination of Kos are also visited.

Further south is the very mountainous island of Crete, the fifth largest in the Mediterranean and great walking territory, criss-crossed with donkey trails. Visitors are drawn by the dramatic landscape and the famous Minoan Palace of Knossos.

Around the Peloponnese Peninsula, the Ionian islands include Zakynthos, well-known for Shipwreck Bay and popular with divers; and Corfu, famous for its beaches and landscapes and offering a blend of Italian and Greek cultural heritage with stunning classical architecture.

Some Greek Island itineraries include calls to the Turkish port of Kusadasi for visits to the impressive remains of Ephesus, and further north, to the exotic city of Istanbul. On mainland Greece, calls to Katakolon are an opportunity to see the equally impressive remains of Olympia.

Greek Island cruises may also take in the atmospheric island of Sicily, the Italian Riviera and the Croatian coast and islands.

Mykonos Typical Greek Island scene Rhodes

Cruise Collection

Greek Islands

All of our Greek Islands cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, type and duration.

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  • Cyclades Islands

    7 Nights - Lavrion to Santorini

    Seafarer Ship - Malama Choice of Ships

    Explore the sun-drenched Cyclades in Greece on this relaxing island-hopping 8-passenger yacht cruise, visiting glamorous Mykonos and picture-postcard Santorini. Includes return flights from the UK 2017 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct

    Cyclades Islands Fly Cruise Package
    From £998pp
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  • Dodecanese Islands

    6 Nights - Rhodes to Kos

    Seafarer Ship - Atlantis Atlantis

    Enjoy relaxing swim stops on this tranquil island-hopping cruise around the delightful Dodecanese Islands in Greece on board 8-passenger yacht Atlantis. Includes return flights from the UK. 2017 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Dodecanese Islands Fly Cruise Package
    From £1049pp
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  • Sicily and Greece

    6 Nights - Valletta to Piraeus

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Cruise from Malta to Athens aboard Star Flyer and discover the lesser-known Greek treasures of Monemvasia and Hydra, and beautiful Syracuse on Sicily 2017 - Apr
    Exclusive £50pp discount!

    Sicily and Greece Cruise Only
    From £1165pp
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  • Antiquity to Byzantium

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Variety Cruises Ship - Galileo Galileo

    Discover the fascinating history of the Peloponnese, with highlights including ancient Olympia, the sacred site of Delphi and a transit of the spectacular Corinth Canal. This cruise is an educational experience with an expert historian guest speaker 2017 - Oct, Nov

    Antiquity to Byzantium Fly Cruise Package
    From £1196pp
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  • Ionian Islands

    7 Nights - Kefalonia to Corfu

    Seafarer Ship - Malama Malama

    Enjoy swimming in tranquil bays on this unique island-hopping cruise around the idyllic Ionian Islands of Greece, on board a beautiful 8-passenger yacht with experienced crew. Includes return flights from the UK 2017 - Jul, Aug

    Ionian Islands Fly Cruise Package
    From £1199pp
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  • Southern Cyclades and Turkish Coast

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Sail to picturesque Greek Islands and Turkey's Turquoise Coast with the opportunity to see the famous Lycian tombs in Dalyan and explore Santorini and the small island of Hydra 2017 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug
    2018 - Aug
    Save 10% on 2018 PLUS exclusive £50pp discount on all dates!

    Southern Cyclades and Turkish Coast Tall Ship Cruise Cruise Only
    From £1259pp
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  • Northern Cyclades and Turkey

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Join Star Flyer on this 7-night sailing voyage visiting the archaeological jewels of Patmos and Monemvasia, fashionable Mykonos and Kusadasi in Turkey for Ephesus 2017 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug
    2018 - Aug
    Save 10% on 2018 PLUS exclusive £50pp discount on all dates!

    Northern Cyclades and Turkey Sailing Cruise aboard Star Clipper or Star Flyer Cruise Only
    From £1259pp
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  • Greek Islands and Turkey

    7 Nights - Athens to Istanbul

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    A unique tall ship cruise exploring the idyllic Greek islands of Mykonos and Patmos and the medieval Turkish towns of Dikili and Canakkale on the Aegean coast 2017 - Jun
    Exclusive £50pp discount!

    Greek Islands and Turkey Sailing Cruise Cruise Only
    From £1370pp
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  • Yachtsmans Paradise

    7 Nights - Istanbul to Athens

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Discover the delightful Greek islands of Skiathos and Skopelos, the location for Mamma Mia, on this unique sailing adventure from Istanbul on Star Flyer 2017 - Jun
    Exclusive £50pp discount!

    Yachtsman's Paradise Sailing Cruise from Istanbul to Athens Cruise Only
    From £1370pp
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  • Jewels of the Cyclades

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Variety Cruises Ship - Galileo Choice of Ships

    Discover the idyllic Greek Cyclades Islands, including the lesser-known gems of Paros and Antiparos on board traditional 49-passenger yachts Galileo and Harmony V 2017 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save 25% on cruise cost plus FREE shore excursions!

    Jewels of the Cyclades Greek Islands Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £1385pp
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  • Classical Greece

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Variety Cruises Ship - Harmony G Harmony G

    Explore the highlights of Greece, including Santorini, Crete and Mykonos on board superb 46-passenger yacht Harmony G, from Athens 2017 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save 25% on cruise cost plus FREE shore excursions!

    Classical Greece Megayacht Cruise from Athens Fly Cruise Package
    From £1655pp
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  • Greek Islands and Croatia

    10 Nights - Athens to Venice

    Star Clippers Ship - Star Flyer Star Flyer

    Join tall ship Star Flyer on this sailing holiday exploring the idyllic Greek islands and Croatia coast visiting the historic city of Dubrovnik and the islands of Korcula and Hvar 2017 - Jul, Sep, Oct
    2018 - Jul, Sep, Oct
    Save 10% on 2018 PLUS exclusive £50pp discount on all dates!

    Greek Islands and Croatia aboard Star Clipper Cruise Only
    From £1822pp
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  • Amalfi to Sicily and Greece

    8 Nights - Civitavecchia to Piraeus

    Azamara Club Cruises Ship - Azamara Journey Azamara Journey

    Sail along the spectacular Amalfi Coast to the idyllic Greek Islands on this luxury all-inclusive cruise, visiting ancient ruins, colourful villages and breathtaking countryside 2017 - Oct

    Amalfi to Sicily and Greece Cruise Only
    From £2256pp
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  • Classical Greek Isles

    7 Nights - Athens and back

    Azamara Club Cruises Ship - Azamara Quest Azamara Quest

    This all-inclusive luxury holiday aboard Azamara Quest is the chance to see the best of the Mediterranean's treasures in Greece and Turkey from the iconic blue domes in Santorini to the ancient ruins of Ephesus 2017 - Jun

    Classical Greek Isles Luxury Cruise Cruise Only
    From £2289pp
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  • Empires of the Mediterranean

    9 Nights - Venice to Athens

    Viking Ocean Cruises Ship - Viking Star, Sea and Sky Choice of Ships

    Join brand new Viking Star, Sea or Sky journeying from Venice along the Croatian coast and on to the idyllic Greek islands, visiting ancient ruins, charming towns and medieval cities. Includes return flights from the UK and shore excursions 2018 - Mar
    Save £500pp!

    Empires of the Mediterranean Fly Cruise Package
    From £2490pp
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  • Dalmatia and Ancient Greece

    12 Nights - Venice to Athens

    Voyages to Antiquity Ship - Aegean Odyssey Aegean Odyssey

    Sail the beautiful Adriatic Sea to the classical sites of ancient Greece on this unforgettable 12-night discovery cruise from Venice with a 2-night hotel stay in Athens. Includes return flights from the UK, guided excursions and guest lecturers 2017 - Sep
    2018 - Sep
    Save up to £600 per cabin!

    Dalmatia and Ancient Greece Fly Cruise Package
    From £2495pp
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  • Classical Greece and Aegean Islands

    13 Nights - Athens and back

    Voyages to Antiquity Ship - Aegean Odyssey Aegean Odyssey

    Join Aegean Odyssey for a superb discovery voyage exploring the ancient treasures of the stunning Greek Islands with a 2-night hotel stay in Athens. Includes return flights from the UK, guided excursions and guest lecturers 2017 - Oct

    Classical Greece and Aegean Islands Fly Cruise Package
    From £2595pp
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  • Ancient Greece to Sicily and Spain

    17 Nights - Athens to Seville

    Voyages to Antiquity Ship - Aegean Odyssey Aegean Odyssey

    A fascinating 17-night holiday combining a 13-night cruise on Aegean Odyssey with hotel stays in the fascinating cities of Athens and Seville. Includes return flights from the UK, guided excursions and guest lecturers 2017 - Oct
    Save up to £1400 per cabin!

    Ancient Greece to Sicily and Spain Fly Cruise Package
    From £2695pp
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  • Adriatic and Aegean Allure

    12 Nights - Venice to Piraeus

    Oceania Ship - Riviera Riviera

    This unique 12-night luxury cruise explores the stunning coasts of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro before discovering the magical gems of the Greek islands 2017 - Jul
    FREE Internet PLUS Free Shore Excursions, Drinks Package OR OBC!

    Adriatic and Aegean Allure Cruise Only
    From £2829pp
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  • Amalfi Coast and Ancient Greece

    7 Nights - Athens to Civitavecchia

    Ponant Luxury Expeditions Ship - Le Lyrial Le Lyrial

    Join Le Lyrial on this luxury music-themed voyage to the beautiful Greek islands of Patmos and Santorini, and the stunning Italian coast, with the opportunity to visit the sacred site of Delphi and ancient Pompeii 2017 - Sep

    Amalfi Coast and Ancient Greece Cruise Only
    From £2835pp
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  • Secrets of the Greek Islands

    7 Nights - Piraeus and back

    SeaDream Yacht Club Ship - SeaDream II SeaDream II

    Enjoy the private yachting experience whilst exploring the unique islands of Greece including Hydra, Patmos and Santorini 2017 - Sep

    Secrets of the Greek Islands Cruise Only
    From £3749pp
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  • Mediterranean Discovery

    10 Nights - Rome to Venice

    Regent Seven Seas Ship - Seven Seas Voyager Seven Seas Voyager

    Explore picturesque Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast, the UNESCO-listed city of Valletta and historic Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic", on this superb all-inclusive voyage to the treasures of the Mediterranean on Seven Seas Voyager. Includes return flights from the UK and unlimited shore excursions 2017 - Sep

    Mediterranean Discovery Fly Cruise Package
    From £5209pp
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  • Voyage through the Middle Sea

    11 Nights - Athens to Malaga

    Voyages to Antiquity Ship - Aegean Odyssey Aegean Odyssey

    Chart a course through the ancient Middle Sea on this superb springtime discovery cruise from the Greek Islands to historic Malta and Sicily, accompanied by renowned historian John Julius Norwich. Includes return flights from the UK, guided excursions and expert guest lecturers
    Special offer price PLUS no single supplement!

    Voyage through the Middle Sea View Full Details

  • Greek Islands Highlights


    Piraeus is 12 kilometers south-west of Athens and is the city's port. The port town itself has a long nautical history, as told in the Maritime Museum, and close to the port is the area of Piralki and its fish taverns. Walking beyond the peninsula, the coast is dotted with picturesque creeks. The hillside area of Kastella has narrow alleys, the church of Profitis Ilias and fantastic views of the Acropolis.

    Athens (Greece)


    Chios is well-known for its wild jasmine and a cluster of medieval villages, the Mastihochoria. Mesta, a castle-village, is little-changed since the 14th century and Pyrgi has uniquely decorated black and white plastered houses. Chios is also renowned for the World Heritage Site of Nea Moni, an 11th-century monastery with wonderful mosaics. The prettiest region of the island is Kambos, a green valley where the Genoese built their villas among citrus groves and ancient cisterns.

    Chios (Greece)


    Corfu Town, or Kerkyra, is the charming port for the lovely island of Corfu. There are many restaurants and shops radiating out from Kapodistra and the elegant, colonnaded Liston building. Overlooking the harbour is the palaia Anaktora, formerly the residence of British-Greek royalty. Paleokastritsa has lovely beaches backed by olive, cypress and lemon trees, and one of Corfu's key sights is the handsome Palace of Achilleion and its gardens.

    Corfu (Greece)

    Corinth Canal

    The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean Sea, allowing ships to avoid a journey of 430 miles around the Peloponnese Peninsula. It is almost 4 miles long, with steep cliff walls reaching a height of 52 meters. The journey through the canal is dramatic, as the width of the water is just 79 feet, and most vessels must be boarded by the pilot and towed by a Tugboat.

    Corinth Canal (Greece)


    The sacred and uninhabited isle of Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It was a holy sanctuary where death and birth were forbidden by the Delphic Oracle, and the impressive remains lead off from the Sacred Way and include the Maritime Quarter, Terrace of Lions, the House of Dionysus and the Sanctuary of Apollo.

    Delos (Greece)


    The town of Heraklion has a picturesque harbour, tree-shaded squares and a splendid Venetian loggia and fountains. Boutiques can be found on Daedalou Street, and curios and gifts along 1866 Street. Koules Venetian Fortress is situated on the harbour walls close to the Natural History Museum of Crete, where visitors can stand on the 'experience an earthquake' platform. The famous Minoan Palace of Knossos is only 25 minutes' drive from Heraklion.

    Heraklion (Crete)


    The small seaside town of Katakolon has a beach at the end of the pier, and tavernas and bars along the waterfront. It is used as the gateway to the ancient site of Olympia, 35 kilometers away, which is where the Olympic Games began.


    This is the largest of the Ionian Islands, and is largely unspoilt by tourism. The main port and capital is Argostoli, a modern town with a busy central square, the Plateia Valinou and shops along Lithostroto Street. Cephalonia is famous for the remote, curving arc of Myrtos Beach backed by steep cliffs and the underground lake of Milissani. The most picturesque coastal village is Fiskardo, which is also the oldest settlement on the island.

    Kephalonia (Greece)


    The Venetian harbour and town of Chania on Crete is an historic area with a thriving nightlife and waterfront restaurants. The Old Town area of Kastli is interwoven with narrow alleys and pretty balconied houses. Aside from the pleasure of exploring this picturesque town, places of interest include the Byzantine Museum, the Ottoman Baths and the Fortress of Souda on an island in the bay.


    The island of Kos has long been a popular destination and has good facilities for tourists. It lies just off the Turkish coast, with mountainous terrain and good sandy beaches. Kos Town has a mixture of ancient, medieval and modern buildings, with broad, leafy streets. Connected to the town and harbour by a bridge is the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of Saint John. South of the town is the Asklepieion, the ruins of an ancient Greek centre of medicine.

    Kos (Greece)


    Mykonos is one of the most fashionable and cosmopolitan of the Greek islands. Its hills are dotted with white-washed cube houses and churches, and the thatched windmills for which the island is famous. Pink pelicans are often spotted from the waterfront tavernas. The main sight in the town is lovely white domed Parportiani Church, which incorporates 5 separate buildings. The cruise port is a mile north of Mykonos Town, where ferries make the 40-minute journey to the sacred island of Delos.

    Mykonos (Greece)


    Mytilene is the port for the island of Lesbos. There is a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty overlooking the harbour, which runs alongside the town. Teriade Museum has an excellent collection of books illustrated by Chagall, Matisse and Picasso and the town has a castle, parts of which date back to the 5th century, and neo-classical mansions.

    Mytilene (Lesbos, Greece)


    Nafplion is one of Greece's most attractive towns with narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses and neoclassical mansions. On a high cliff overlooking the harbour is the Palamidi Fortress, built by the Venetians in the 15th century and accessible by a flight of 857 steps. Bourtzi Castle sits on an island in the bay, and hosts the summer music festival. Calls to Nafplion might include a visit to the ancient site of Mycenae.


    Whitewashed cube houses, narrow paved alleys and wild flowers make Paros one of the most popular of the Cyclades. Cafes line the main street of the capital and port, Parikia, where the Monastery of the Hundred Doors was built in 4AD by Eleni the mother of Emperor Constantin. The white marble mined on Paros was used by sculptors in antiquity, notably for the Venus de Milo.

    Paros (Greece)


    Skala is the pretty harbour of Patmos, built below the fortified monastery and the Sacred Grotto where St John wrote the Book of Revelation, both open to visitors. It is easy to get around by boat or bus, and around the harbour there are numerous picturesque tavernas and a few nightclubs. Beaches can be found at nearby Grikos and Diakofti.

    Patmos (Greece)


    Rhodes port in the ancient Mandraki harbour is next to the walled Old Town with shops, restaurants and chief sights all within walking distance. These include the Palace of the Grand Masters built by the Knights of St John, the Sulemain Mosque, Byzantine churches, Venetian mansions and old Crusader inns along the Street of the Knights. The famous Acropolis of Rhodes on a hillside beyond the city is not to be missed.

    Rhodes (Greece)


    The best way to arrive in Santorini is by sea, with spectacular views of the high caldera walls and the cliff-top town of Fira. Cruise ships berth in the old port, where the journey to the town is via donkey or cable car ' either option provides dramatic views of the Mediterranean and the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Along the narrow alleys of the cliff-top are brilliant white and blue buildings, and the much-photographed church of Ag Mina.

    Santorini (Greece)


    Thessaloniki is a free port and one of the Aegean's largest, being the trade hub of the Balkans and the cruising gateway to the eastern Mediterranean. This sophisticated city has several attractions, among them the Roman Place of Galerius, large squares beside the waterfront, traditional tavernas and an excellent Archaeology Museum.


    The busy cruise, cargo and ferry port of Volos is surrounded by ancient sites and is situated on the Pelion Peninsula. To the west are the ruined acropolis of Dimini and of Sesklo ' the oldest in Greece - and across the Thessaly plains, the monasteries of Meteora, built on top of limestone pillars. Volos' waterfront and centre is full of shops, and bars and cafes are tucked away around St Nikolas Square.


    Zakynthos is the most southerly of the Ionian islands. Its landscape is a mixture of mountains and plains, with a main town and port clustered around a waterfront of bars and white-cube houses. Navagio Bay is the beach famous for the shipwrecked hulk of the Panagiotis, and the offshore islet of Marathonisi is a nesting site for Caretta-Caretta turtles. The Blue Caves near Volimes are a major attraction and can be reached by local hire boats.

    Zakynthos (Greece)

    Customer Reviews

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      Church in Mykonos
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      Harmony V at Mykonos
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      Restaurant on board Harmony V
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      View from Santorini

    I hadn't been to the Greek Islands for a few years so was really looking forward to my week of island hopping on the megayacht Harmony V. I'm not a fan of large ships, so this sounded perfect - a relaxed, casual cruise with just 40 or so fellow passengers. I'm pleased to say that from the minute we boarded Harmony V, we were instantly made to feel very welcome on this immaculately maintained yacht. Moored at Marina Zea in Athens, the ship was easy to find and so much easier than setting off from Piraeus, the main port of Athens. From the outside, Harmony V looks exactly like a large private yacht, and the inside didn't disappoint either! My cabin was small but very well designed with lovely furnishings, flat screen TV and DVD player, a great shower/wet room and was very clean.

    We met the cruise co-ordinator, Iossef immediately, who was absolutely fantastic - his knowledge of the islands we stopped at was amazing, he was very helpful and friendly and his briefings really made the cruise flow very easily. As on any small ship, the weather dictates the route to a certain extent and the itinerary is never set in stone. The captain had a wonderful knowledge of the Greek Islands, and ensured that the route we took was always the best

    Mykonos and Santorini were the ports of call for the first two days with optional visits available to the impressive classical ruins of Delos, and an exploration of the island of Santorini. Excursions were not pushed on us - if we didn't want to take them we were given information about the places we moored and could spend relaxed days discovering for ourselves. However, we did take a couple of excursions which were good value for money and very informative, obviously in small groups as Harmony V is a small ship!

    The cruise is on a half board basis, which is a perfect way to enjoy all that these lovely islands had to offer. We had a great buffet breakfast on board (fruit, cereals, pastries, plus all the usual hot food like bacon, eggs, sausages, toast) and then either had lunch or dinner on board depending on the schedule, meaning that we were free to enjoy a Greek salad in a harbour side taverna for lunch, or a great moussaka for dinner in the evening. The food on board was fabulous - lunch buffets were enormous and freshly prepared - a wide variety of salads and grilled fish, chicken and Greek specialities. Most of the time we had dinner on land, but enjoyed a memorable Greek night, complete with Greek dancing, plus excellent five course Captain's Dinner on board ship.

    Where this cruise really excels is the ports this superb small ship can visit. We ventured far off the tourist trail and visited islands untouched by the large cruise ships - tourist-free places that the Greeks keep a well-guarded secret. My favourite of these was Kythira, with its stunning double bay, wonderful beaches, and amazing views from the top of the island. Another memorable highlight was sailing past Monemvasia and seeing this medieval walled town from the sea - a unique view that not many people get to see. This was a wonderful evening as we walked the short distance from Harmony V for a delicious meal in this atmospheric old town.

    Another benefit of this relaxing cruise was being able to stop for a refreshing swim. Several times, the yacht cruised into a secluded, picturesque bay and dropped anchor so we could swim off the very useful platform at the back of the ship. There is no better feeling than swimming in the clear, warm waters of the Aegean sea in a tranquil and incredibly beautiful location! Floats, flippers and snorkels were always available - as was a small kayak for the more energetic guests!

    With an interesting mix of Americans, Australians, Europeans and Brits on this cruise (just 40 guests altogether!), there was always someone to chat to, or a quiet corner of the ship to relax in. The crew were friendly and helpful, always working hard to make sure everything ran smoothly. Whilst not a luxury ship, Harmony V is classy and well-designed, superbly looked after, and has all the comforts you need. However, the real benefit of being on a small ship was the unique itinerary and superb destinations we could visit - this really felt like a tailor-made cruise on a private yacht and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

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      Louis Majesty
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      Fountain in Messina
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      Marseilles Old Port
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      Louis Majesty Jacuzzi

    The Louis Majesty's standards were very impressive, excellent and friendly staff, fantastic food (far too much). As this was for our honeymoon, we decided to splash out and reserve an XG outside deluxe cabin (deck 7). Great standard, double bedded, plenty of storage space and good size shower room.

    Louis Majesty provided plenty of areas for people who wanted to relax, read a book or play cards and people tended to congregate around the pool bar/swimming pool area. I enjoyed a daily Jacuzzi dip. Even though on our departure the majority of passengers were German, French and Italian we didn't feel left out. The staff spoke a variety of languages with English as the main language. Signs, announcements, entertainment and menus were all in English.

    Entertainment was provided throughout the day from ping pong and dart matches to dance lessons and towel folding demonstrations. There was evening entertainment twice an evening, which was colourful and exciting. Our itinerary covered Italy, Greece, Ionian Islands and Albania. Each port of call allowed you plenty of time to look around. The time ranged from an hour and a half to a few hours.

    We particularly enjoyed Messina in Italy and Zante. I do have to say I found that the organised excursions to be a little expensive and not necessarily available with an English speaking guide we therefore went off on our own accord everytime we were in port. Overall I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a relaxing style cruise with a continental feel. This was my husband's first time cruising and he is now hooked on the cruising style holiday. We can't wait for our next cruising adventure.

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      Gardens by Blue Mosque in Istanbul
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      Pythagorus Street
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       Rhodes old town
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      The moat between inner and outer walls
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       A corner of Mylonos

    The MV Cristal is a small ship by current standards but very impressive, not least in the proportion of staff to guests. All the staff were smartly turned out, cheerful and very attentive, and spread over some 40 nationalities. The food was on the whole very good, with a choice of restaurants.

    The itinerary was busy but well balanced, we enjoyed Istanbul very much, were very impressed with the very cheap and frequent tram system and would like to go back to sample the delights of this unique city in more detail. Ephesus too justified a further visit. We found the organised excursions to be very expensive but with some homework online prior to your holiday it is possible to use the local transport systems and to meet the local people. We personally find this sort of experience most rewarding and economical, and would be happy to pass on all the tips we accumulated.

    We have already recommended Blue Water Holidays and the ship to some friends.

    "Cyclades Islands in April" by David and Gerda Perrott4 star
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      Our yacht at Santorini
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      The blue roofs of Santorini
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      Inside of our yacht

    I had long wanted to visit the Greek Islands, and I had never been on a cruise.  Skipton sounded a reassuring place on which to base this venture. Departing on April 20th, perhaps it was not surprising that only eight passengers had booked, and no doubt we were lucky that the cruise took place at all.  A New Zealand couple, two pairs of Germans, and ourselves from the UK, with eight crew to minister to us.  There could have been up to fifty customers.  Not surprisingly, Diogenes V was replaced by a smaller boat: a 3 masted wooden schooner painted blue and brown, the H & B . We passengers all got on very well, and we had Silvia, a delightful guide, as well as the attentive and friendly crew. 

    After some rearrangements we settled into cabins which were adequate if not spacious, and we shared a beautiful wooden interior as dining room and lounge, as well as a deck above with plenty of reclining chairs.  Food and drink were plentiful and excellent.   Our captain who was on leave from a large cargo ship, seemed to decide our itinerary on a daily basis, officially according to weather forecasts, though we suspected also according to his personal preferences, but everyone was happy.  We went overnight to Santorini, then worked our way back to Athens by the end of the week.  Mostly the weather was lovely, but we did encounter a force 7 gale, which caused us to to by-pass the last scheduled island, Kea, in case worsening weather kept us in port, so we headed back a day early and had a splendid if windy mainland excursion to Cape Sounion instead.  

    It was unfortunate that the port of embarkation was changed at the very last moment from Piraeus to Lavrion, some fifty miles away, as we had booked a hotel in Piraeus for our arrival night after flying into Athens ... but a helpful Anglophile taxi-driver took us to Lavrion the next morning;  and after three circuits of the harbour, he found the H & B tucked away beside a large ship.  Despite this rather stressful start, we had a wonderful and memorable holiday.

    "Classic greece cruise" by Jenny Barton4 star
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    This holiday was a wonderful experience, despite our ship being changed at last notice, but we were compensated (financialy and with 2 free excursion    seeing the real greece as opposed to the busy tourist resorts.


    "Classical Greece" by K.Clueit5 star

    To review the cruise I thought I would break down the cruise into it's various components in no particular order :-

    Food. This was excellent.
    At breakfast everybody was catered for, from full English with all the trimmings, to continental and American with pancakes and maple syrup
    Lunch, this was generally a buffet but there was always plenty of choice and more than enough for everybody.
    Dinner usual consisted of 5 courses with a choice for the main course.
    In all cases the quality of the food was first class
    The bar prices, as you would expect were a little higher than local prices but extremely reasonable

    All the staff were extremely friendly and would go out of their way to help
    W had a nice cabin with a large window and large and comfortable bed. If anything we could have managed with a slightly smaller bed and more drawer space
    The sunbathing area was quite sufficient although not everybody wanted to use the sun beds

    We certainly enjoyed the places we visited,although we felt that there was too much overnight sailing. On a small boat you can the engines running which is not good if you are a light sleeper.
    Whilst it is by far the best small boat we have been on for getting in and out of the water at the swimming stops the choice of stops could have been better, In two cases the sea was quite rough with strong currents taking people away from the boat

    We did enjoy the cruise and met a lot of friendly people

    "Classical Greece" by Elliott5 star

    Having read some so-so reports of Seafarer Cruises, we found this one to be perfect. Spiros, the hotel manager, and his team went out of their way to make it a memorable holiday; the chefs produced meals of a very high quality, and Iossef, our cruise coordinator, was exceptional.

    "THANK YOU" by STEVE5 star


    Had a wonderful time. The ship, crew, accommodation and food all excellent. The itinerary is a little too busy and two ports in one day is exhausting, particularly if you do the organised excursions in both places. Choose carefully - if visiting Crete, unless you dock in Heraklion there is not sufficient time to make a visit to Knossos Palace really worthwhile. The facilities on board are very good for a ship of its size. Although the evening entertainment was disappointing to some of my fellow passengers, we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed friendly atmosphere and would certainly cruise with them again.

    "Greek Delights" by Kelly0 star

    My friends and I had a great time on the Diogenis V. The crew was extremely accomodating and it was such a pleasure.

    Blue Water Reviews

    Greek Island-Hopping Small Ship Cruise Review

    Thurs 11 Sept 2014

    "We embarked 49-passenger Panorama II at Marina Zea in Athens for our relaxing Aegean Odyssey island-hopping cruise around the lesser-known gems of the Greek Islands. The first thing that struck us about the ship was the superb outside space on board. On a small-ship cruise like this, one of the best things is to be able to soak up the beautiful sights from the sun deck, or simply read a book in the shade at one of the many seating areas.

    Another reason we chose this cruise was for the wonderful and unique swim stops. Again we were spoilt, with several stops in secluded bays for swimming, snorkelling and even kayaking from the ship’s rear platform. Everyone on board joined in and several happy hours were spent swimming in the miraculously clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

    Panorama II in Syros Traditional windmills in Mykonos Ancient ruins of Ephesus Monastery of St John Ephesus Library Ephesus Ampitheatre Town Hall in Syros Monastery of St John Santorini Patmos Syros Plenty of opportunities for swim stops Sunrise over the Greek Islands

    Due to the small size of this motor sailing ship, everyone quickly got to know each other and enjoyed chatting over a glass of wine or local Greek beer (very good – I recommend Mythos!). With guests from numerous countries including New Zealand, Australia, France, America and Britain, the atmosphere on board was informal and unhurried – perfect for this beautiful destination.

    I have been to Greece several times before, but was delighted at the sheer variety of the islands we visited. For me, these cruises are all about discovering hidden Greece. Far removed from the resorts on the larger islands, these destinations reveal sleepy villages of winding marble-clad streets; authentic Greek tavernas where the locals come to eat (at local prices!); sandy beaches with peaceful turquoise seas, and lots of ancient and medieval history to discover.

    We enjoyed visiting islands that the tourists simply haven’t got to yet – Patmos with its imposing monastery and Grotto of St John; unspoiled Syros with its beautiful beaches and medieval town, and delightful Samos with its friendly bars, tavernas and shops. Of course, also amongst the highlights were the sunset on stunning Santorini, a tour of ancient Ephesus and a night in glamorous Mykonos.

    The crew on board were helpful and knowledgeable and went out of their way to make this cruise special. The bar staff knew our favourite drinks after just one day, and the ship was always immaculately clean and well looked after.

    Instead of eating meals in the main dining room, everyone was welcomed on deck for meals – what better experience is there than eating delicious, freshly-prepared Greek food in the open air, with tantalising views of white-washed villages perched on cliff-tops? Half-board accommodation was a real bonus, as depending on the schedule we could either enjoy lunch or dinner in a traditional Greek taverna onshore. Most of the time we ate dinner on land, but had a memorable Greek night, complete with Greek dancing, plus excellent five course Captain's Dinner on board ship.

    As on any small ship, the weather dictates the route to a certain extent and the itinerary is never set in stone. When overnight winds sprung up making visiting Mykonos that day impossible, we were taken to the island of Syros instead. By 9am, we had been given island information, maps, bus timetables, details of local beaches and even a guided walk around the town – the superb cruise co-ordinator Chara had obviously been up very early making sure we would have everything we could possibly need to spend a wonderful day on the island. We made it to Mykonos the next day so everyone was more than happy!

    All in all, I have nothing but admiration for these relaxed, small ship cruises. With destinations ranging from Greece, Croatia and Italy to the exotic Seychelles, Cuba and the Azores, there is enough variety to keep anyone interested for many years!"

    Blue Water Blog