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Antiquity to Byzantium

Discover the fascinating history of the Peloponnese, with highlights including optional tours to ancient Olympia and the sacred site of Delphi, and a transit of the spectacular Corinth Canal. Includes an expert historian guest speaker.

Cruise Only
7 nights from £1291pp

Megayacht Holiday
Athens, Acropolis
Epidaurus
Nafplion
Mycenae
Olympia
Delphi

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

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Celebrate 75 years of Variety Cruises with 75 Euro OBC per cabin! T&Cs apply

Antiquity to Byzantium Special Offer

This historically-themed cruise features talks from an expert guest lecturer and a comprehensive range of excursions. Discover the spectacular range of ancient monuments on this circumnavigation of the Peloponnese on board a motor yacht which is designed for informal cruising, with swim stops included at many locations.

Explore the period of classical antiquity, through to the Roman conquest and the transition to the Christian empire of Byzantium. The Amphitheatre of Epidauros is one of Greece's best-preserved ancient sites, while Mycenae was once the most powerful kingdom in Greece.

Take the opportunity to visit the stunning Dirou Caves, and head to the historic town of Pylos which is home to the magnificent ruins of Nestor's Palace. Olympia was the birthplace of the Olympic Games and is one of the most famous sites in the ancient world. See the sacred site of Delphi on an optional excursion, before transiting the spectacular Corinth Canal.

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Antiquity to Byzantium Itinerary

Day 1 - Athens (Greece)

Welcome on board. Meet your fellow explorers and enjoy a welcome drink together before we sail back in time, into Greece’s fascinating past. First we’re heading for Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece. Known for forts, fortresses and castles, it’s also one of the most beautiful cities in the Peloponnese. Dinner on board and overnight in port.

Day 2 - Epidauros - Nafplion

We leave our ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus for our optional excursion. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary and it is reputed for its theater, which is once again in use today and is still marvelled for its exceptional acoustics from the stage to any of its 15,000 seats. Lunch onboard and afternoon at leisure to discover the greater Nafplion area. Overnight in port.

Day 3 - Nafplion

Today, we will drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards another major centre of Greek civilization, Mycenae, for an optional excursion. Visit the remains of the glorious ancient city including the Lion’s Gate, the Cyclopean walls, the Palace, the Agamemnon Tomb and the museum following by a short guided walk in the historical center of Nafplion. Lunch on board and sailing towards Monemvasia. Early evening arrival and time at leisure for exploring this remarkable medieval fortified town and birthplace of one of the most important greek poets, Giannis Ritsos, who enjoyed international reputation and radiation. Overnight at sea to Gythion.

Day 4 - Gythion

Morning arrival in Gythion, the ancient naval base of Spartans. Optional excursion to Mani peninsula and Cape Tenaro, plus the spectacular Dirou Caves with their stalactites and stalagmites. Leaving Gythion we will cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular cave, the entrance of which remained sealed for about 4.500 years until being discovered around the 60s. After visiting the cave, we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani, which is at the tip of the Peloponnese, is a distinctive area and desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers, which keeps the spirit of the warriors once lived and fought here alive. Dinner onboard and late evening sailing to Pylos. Overnight at sea.

Day 5 - Pylos

Morning arrival in Pylos, a picture-perfect seaside town of the SW Peloponnese. Sitting on the backside of stately Navarino Bay, Pylos was site of several famous naval battles, one of which, occurred in 1827, led to the independence of Greece, in 1829. Today, our optional excursion takes us by bus along the coast of Western Peloponnese crossing the Messenian countryside between Methoni and Koroni. First stop in Methoni which is a charmingly picturesque little town with the imposing Medieval Castle being the central attraction. Next destination is Koroni, once a Venetian naval fortress. This delightful town, clustered on a hillside, has narrow, cobbled streets and stairways leading up to a Venetian castle protected the waterways. Visiting the old town in the Castle we will discover little gems of architecture being well preserved. Sip your refreshment at the colorful port and enjoy some free time before we return to the ship for lunch. Late night sailing to Katakolon. Overnight at sea.

Day 6 - Katakolon

Early morning arrival in port of Katakolon, in Pyrgos, which in ancient times was the natural harbour for Ancient Olympia and in the Middle Ages was the site of the so called ''Pontikokastro'', or ''Beauvoir'' or ''Bel Vedere'' Castle. Katakolon is also known for being the birthplace of Yiannis Latsis, the Greek shipping multi-billionaire tycoon, who's paternal home operates today as Museum of Ancient Greek Technology as well as its historical lighthouse. Today, our optional excursion takes us by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world. Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the very stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago. Explore the Temple of Hera, the magnificent temple of Zeus, the Philippeion, built to honour the family of Alexander the Great, and the Leonidion, lodging place for the athletes. We later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world, hosting many astonishing exhibits. Traditional lunch in the town of Olympia and optional visit to the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity (provided it is open in the afternoon). Time at leisure and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight at sea.

Day 7 - Itea

Morning arrival in Itea, the second largest city of the Municipality of Delphi. Proceeding to Delphi for our optional excursion, we will pass by the Corinth Canal. Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain and the panoramic views are truly inspiring. Delphi was revered for hosting the most important oracle in the classical world and visitors from across the Greek world travelled here to consult with the oracle. We will walk around the ruins complex including the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the Castalian Spring and the Gymnasium and visit the adjoining museum. Return to the ship for lunch and afternoon sailing. Later in the evening Captain’s Farewell Dinner and arrival in Corinth. Due to its rich ancient history as well as to the presence of St. Paul the Apostle in the city, some locations all over the world have been named Corinth. Overnight in port.

Day 8 - Athens

Disembarkation at 7:00 am after breakfast. Bus transfer to ATH airport (for guests flying up to 12:00 noon) and to the center of Athens -exact place t.b.a. (for guests with post cruise arrangements). [Bus transfer service is included in the cruise fares]

For navigational reasons the Captain of the ship reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 7-night cruise with accommodation in yacht-style cabins with private facilities and air conditioning
  • Overseas transfers
  • Full board including Captain's Dinner, Greek Night and fun BBQ (weather permitting)
  • Regular filter coffee and tea free all day
  • Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability)
  • English Speaking Cruise Co-ordinator
  • Expert guest lecturer

Price Does Not Include

  • Port Tax and Harbour Fees
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Shore excursions
  • Crew tips
  • Personal expenses

Special Features

  • Guest Speakers:
  • Eugenia Alexiadou: Eugenia studied Archaeology and the History of Art at the University of Athens. She has a Master’s degree in Byzantine art, has lectured on Greek history and ancient Greek literature and is an official archaeology and Greek history tour leader. Eugenia has worked extensively on the excavations at Akrotiri on Santorini.
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2024 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • October
    • Oct 25th - Athens and back - Sailing on: Galileo From: £1721
      Category C Lower deck cabin with portholes Category B Lower deck cabin with portholes Category A Upper deck cabin with windows
      Blue Water Price from: £1721 Blue Water Price from: £2230 Blue Water Price from: £2621
  • November
    • Nov 1st - Athens and back - Sailing on: Galileo From: £1291
      Category C Lower deck cabin with portholes Category B Lower deck cabin with portholes Category A Upper deck cabin with windows
      Blue Water Price from: £1291 Blue Water Price from: £1721 Blue Water Price from: £2230
    • Nov 8th - Athens and back - Sailing on: Galileo From: £1291
      Category C Lower deck cabin with portholes Category B Lower deck cabin with portholes Category A Upper deck cabin with windows
      Blue Water Price from: £1291 Blue Water Price from: £1721 Blue Water Price from: £2230

Price Information

  • Single supplement prices are available.
  • Port Taxes and Harbour Fees - £255pp
  • Please note prices are updated regularly from a third party price feed and may fluctuate from those shown. Please contact us for latest prices
  • Prices shown usually include all available discounts
Map for Antiquity to Byzantium