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
Star Clippers Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Star Clippers Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Explore the stunning Greek Islands and Turkish Coast on a unique tall ship sailing voyage.

Join Star Flyer for a destination-packed cruise exploring the ancient history and dazzling island scenery of the diverse Greek Islands and Turkish coast from Athens and Istanbul. Star Flyer sails into the heart of smaller ports that large cruise ships cannot venture into.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020

About Eastern Med Cruises

The Northern Cyclades cruise explores the perfectly preserved Byzantine walled town of Monemvasia and lively Mykonos as well as the magnificent ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. The Southern Cyclades cruise sails the scenic Turkish coast between Dalyan and Bodrum, also visiting historic Rhodes, breath-taking Santorini and the traditional Greek port of Hydra.

New for 2019, Mamma Mia Sailing Cruise visits the verdant Sporades islands of Skiathos and Skopelos, setting for the film Mamma Mia.

Combine a sailing cruise through the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Coast, visiting Dubrovnik and Hvar, with the Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos on a longer cruise from Athens to Venice.

Eastern Med Highlights

Antalya

The delightful town of Antalya has an ancient Roman harbour, now restored and alive with cafes and pleasure boats. There are a superb collection of artefacts in the museum, Ottoman mansions, Byzantine churches and mosques, and a popular Water Park. Hadrian's Gate was once part of walled defenses against pirates and invaders, and below the arch are grooves left behind by carts over the centuries.

Antalya (Turkey)

Argostolion

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.

Arrecife

Arrecife is the busy capital of Tenerife, offering good shopping along the attractive Calle Leon y Castillo, and a popular city beach. In the harbour is the 15th-century fortress of Castillo de San Gabriel, connected to Arrecife by a causeway. Castillo de San Juan displays works by the town's famous artist, Cesar Manrique and also houses a restaurant.

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)

Bodrum

Bodrum is a lively port on the Aegean Sea overlooked by the Crusader castle of St Peter. It is a successful combination of modern holiday resort and ancient sites. The hillside is dotted with whitewashed houses, and along the coast are sandy beaches backed by pines and olive groves. Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Bodrum (Turkey)

Cairo

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and its chief port. Although a Middle-eastern city, it has a Mediterranean atmosphere. It was the site of the lighthouse of Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is now the site of Qaitbey Fort. Alexandria is also famous for its library and the Kom el Shokafa Catacombs, large burial grounds three floors deep.

Cairo (Alexandria, Egypt)

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)

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)

Haifa

Haifa is one of Israel's prettiest cities, crowned by Mount Carmel. There are several interesting sights, including the lush gardens of the Carmel Nature Reserve, the cave of the Prophet Elijah and the former German Colony, established in 1868 as an agricultural community and now one of Haifa's most picturesque areas. Wadi Nisnas is a network of narrow alleys, restaurants, old stone houses and Turkish haanim which is occupied by Jews and Arabs.

Haifa (Israel)

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)

Hydra

This interesting island has no roads or vehicles, and the only transportation is by donkey. It has a wild and sparsely populated interior, and some magnificent mansions built by 19th-century shipping magnets. In the 50s and 60s it was a favourite haunt for artists, among them Leonard Cohen, who were inspired by its natural beauty. There are coves and beaches close to Hydra Town.

Hydra (Greece)

Istanbul

It is often said that Istanbul is where east meets west, and there are numerous places of interest in the Old City, opposite the port. The highlights are the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and the landmark of the city, the Blue Mosque, which is decorated with blue Iznik tiles and houses a market, public kitchen and theological school. The palace of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi, houses sacred Muslim relics including the Prophet Mohammed's cloak and sword.

Istanbul (Turkey)

Izmir

Izmir is surrounded by mountains on Turkey's scenic Aegean coast and has some of the region's best beaches. Below the modern skyline along the waterfront are Gustav Eiffel's Konak Pier and the attractive Pasaport Quay. Founded by Alexandra the Great, there are many interesting sights, including the Agora, the lovely Clock Tower near the pier, the old Kemeralti bazaar and the castle of Sancakkale.

Izmir (Turkey)

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.

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)

Kusadasi

The large port of Kusadasi is also a tourist resort, and has a lively nightlife, a long palm-lined boulevard and numerous sandy beaches offering watersports, including the best-known, Ladies Beach. Calls to Kusadasi usually include a visit to the magnificent and well-preserved site of Ephesus, 18 kilometers away.

Kusadasi (Turkey)

Limassol

The city of Limassol on the south coast of Cyprus is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and also the largest tourist resort on the island, with pleasant beaches, tavernas and cafes. Above Kourion Beach are the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre, and the Cyprus Medieval Museum is situated in the Castle of Limassol. Close to the town are the ruins of Amathus and the former headquarters of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, Kolossi Castle.

Marmaris

The lively resort and modern port of Marmaris is based around the original Old Town and its fort. Along the seafront is a promenade, and several marinas offering sailing and diving facilities. The Old Town area has a traditional Grand Bazaar, Turkish Baths in the Cami Aylu district and a small caravanserai, an old inn for travellers and their animals. Marmaris Castle was built by Suleyman the Magnificent and now houses galleries and exhibition halls.

Marmaris (Turkey)

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

Lesbos is Greece's third-largest island and lies just off the coast of Turkey, with its port adjacent to the town of Mytilene. There is a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty in the harbour, and the landscape is green and fertile. Sights include a Roman aqueduct, an interesting Petrified Forest created during a volcanic eruption, thermal springs and sea caves, and an excellent museum in Mytilene.

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)

Piraeus

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.

Piraeus (Athens, Greece)

Portoferraio

This is the capital of the Tuscan island of Elba. Around the harbour are yellow, pink and ochre-painted houses and the old quarter sits inside a Medicean fortress. The home of Napoleon, Villa dei Mulini and his private house, Villa San Martino, are open to the public, and the streets of the town are decorated with flower-filled balconies. Portoferraio has excellent botanic gardens at Giardini Ottone and good views from the Roman ruins of Villa Romana Della Grotta.

Portoferraio (Italy)

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)

Suez Canal

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal took 10 years to build, and after several extensions is now 120 miles long, running at sea level for its entire length with no locks. It runs between Port Said in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez in the Red Sea, and allows shipping to avoid the long journey around Africa and the Cape, connecting Europe to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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)