Encounter a fascinating world of mythical gods, majestic temples, and stunning antiquities on a family adventure in Greece. Take to the sea aboard the three-masted S.V. Panorama and sail through the glorious Cyclades. Discover ancient temples in beautiful island settings, swim and snorkel in crystalline water, and step into legendary castles and caves. Along the way, young explorers participate in special hands-on activities.
Swim in Santoríni's volcanic caldera, and kayak into hidden coves along the coast of Poliegos.
Play "Olympic" sports on Kíthnos, and visit an ancient stadium in Neméa.
Venture into a hilltop castle and the imposing ruins of Mycenae.
Try your hand at traditional pottery techniques at a ceramics studio.
Delve into the classical wonders of Athens or Crete on an optional extension.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Athens, Greece/Piraeus/Cape Soúnion
Depart on an overnight flight to Athens. Freshen up at the Electra Palace Hotel, near the Acropolis, before gathering for lunch. Then travel to Piraeus to embark the Panorama. Settle into your cabin as the ship sails to Cape Soúnion. Take a late afternoon swim and catch the sunset on the Temple of Poseidon perched on the cliff top high above. (L,D)
Day 3 — Mílos/Poliegos
Drop anchor off the island of Mílos this morning and wander among the ruins of Phylakopi, an important Bronze Age town where archaeologists have found a Minoan palace and frescoes depicting flying fish. Explore the island’s incredible rock formations, from the cave of Papafranga to the smooth, white cliffs of Sarakíniko. Continue to Tripití, where the renowned statue “Venus de Milo” (now in the Louvre) was discovered in 1820. Take in amazing views of the island from Plaka, its largest town. We’ll spend this afternoon swimming, kayaking, and sailing off the tiny island of Poliegos. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Santoríni
Incomparable Santoríni is an island archipelago formed from a single volcanic cone that erupted in the second millennium B.C., burying the civilization that may have spurred the legend of Atlantis. Stand on deck as we sail into the caldera, the center of the old volcano now surrounded by sheer cliffs. On shore, drive through windswept vineyards to the whitewashed village of Ía. Then visit the main town of Thíra, perched high on the volcanic cliff that affords unrivaled views of the caldera below. If conditions permit, we’ll reposition the Panorama for a late afternoon swim near one of the lava islands in the center of the caldera. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Páros/Náxos
The morning finds us in Naoussa Bay on Páros, where there’s the chance to swim, hike to a lighthouse, and perhaps kayak. In the afternoon, we’ll sail to fertile Náxos, known in ancient mythology as the island where Theseus abandoned Ariadne after she told him the secrets of the Cretan labyrinth. The largest and greenest of the Cyclades, Náxos was a center of Cycladic art 5,000 years ago. Stop in at a pottery studio to learn firsthand how the ancient Greeks made their clay vessels, and meet one of the few artists who still practices the craft in the traditional way. This evening, celebrate Greek culture with customary appetizers called mezedes and dinner, followed by a traditional folk dance. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Kíthnos
Enjoy a full day of sun, sand, and relaxation in a beautiful sheltered bay on Kíthnos. We may well have some “Olympic” events during the course of the day, as part of the fun. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Mycenae/Neméa
We dock at the charming seaside town of Náfplio, at the head of the Gulf of Argolis in the eastern Peloponnesus. Spend the morning exploring the legendary site of Mycenae, which flourished from 1650 B.C. to 1200 B.C. When the royal tombs here were excavated, archaeologists found some 44 pounds of gold jewelry and masks. Venture through the Lion Gate and into Agamemnon’s citadel, and learn how the creative building techniques used here influenced architecture all around the world. Continue up the valley to the well-preserved ancient stadium at Neméa, which seated thousands of spectators during athletic events. It is said that Hercules performed his first labor here, slaying the Nemean lion. In the afternoon, take in panoramic views from the hilltop fortress of Palamidi, built by the Venetians some 300 years ago. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike the nearly 1000 steps back down to the port. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Epidaurus/At Sea
Sail to the picturesque harbor of Epídhavros for a visit to the exceptional site of Epidaurus. This sanctuary of Asklepios (god of healing and son of Apollo) was a site of pilgrimage for more than 500 years and is now a World Heritage site. Its stunning ancient theater, completed around 300 B.C., is known for its extraordinary acoustics. Our afternoon plans include swimming, sailing, and kayaking. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Piraeus/Athens/U.S.
Disembark the Panorama this morning and fly home, or take an optional extension to Crete. (B)