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

Greek Island 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 Greece cruises on a variety of small ships, including small luxury vessels, megayachts, tall sailing ships and gulets. 

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About Greek Island 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 Greece cruises 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

Greek Island Highlights

Athens

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

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

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)

Delos

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)

Heraklion

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)

Katakolon

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.

Kephalonia

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)

Khania

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.

Kos

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

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

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)

Nauplia

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.

Paros

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)

Patmos

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

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)

Santorini

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

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.

Volos

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

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

I hadnt 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. Im not a fan of large ships, so this sounded perfect - a relaxed, casual cruise with just 40 or so fellow passengers. Im 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 didnt 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 didnt 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 Captains 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.

The Louis Majestys 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 didnt 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 husbands first time cruising and he is now hooked on the cruising style holiday. We cant wait for our next cruising adventure.

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 recommendedBlue Water Holidaysand the ship to some friends.

Total Reviews: 10 Read More Reviews...
.