The ship MSC Orchestra sails from Limassol port at 15:00
Day 2: Mykonos
The ship arrives at Mykonos port at 16.00 and departs at 02.00
Nestled in the heart of Greece’s Cyclades archipelago, Mykonos pulses with irrepressible energy. With its powder white houses, sparkling blue waters, and red-hot nightlife, The Island of the Winds is as colorful as the people who call the island home. You can walk narrow marble pathways laced with purple bougainvillea blooms, or go cycling on two wheels past off-the-path Ano Mera village. Explore Greece’s maritime history at Armenistis Lighthouse, and check out the Folklore Museum’s Mykonian ship models. Join in the raucous beach party on Super Paradise’s shimmering sands, or watch the sun burn out beyond an Aegean horizon from an open-air seaside taverna.
Day 3: Piraeus
The ship arrives at Piraeus port at 08:00 and departs at 22:00
This is the cradle of civilization, the oldest city in Europe. Not only is this city home to the Acropolis and some of the most important architectural structures and archaeological finds in the Western world, It is also a very modern city, an urban amalgam of extraordinary art, culture, cuisine and shopping.
The majestic Parthenon stands proud among the remains of the ancient Acropolis, a citadel perched on a rocky cliff, rising 150-metres above the city of Athens. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site on an extraordinary excursion. Begin with a climb to the top of Acropolis Hill to admire the magnificent Parthenon, the Temples of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion. Then, visit the modern Acropolis Museum with its outstanding display of archaeological finds, before heading to the Corinth Canal.
After visiting the Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll journey to Pláka, the historical quarter of Athens. Affectionately known as the ‘Neighborhood of the Gods’, its maze of old streets is nestled around the northern and eastern foothills of the Acropolis. This excursion will see you admiring a number of sites including archaeological remains and restored Neoclassical buildings. Immerse yourself in the area’s classical atmosphere before indulging in a spot of souvenir shopping.
Day 4: Santorini
The ship arrives at Santorini port at 08:00 and departs at 18:00
Santorini was formed from the remains of a volcanic caldera which is evident in its rugged geology and is famous for its sheer cliffs, red beach, and whitewashed houses that contrast strikingly against the blue Aegean Sea. The island is also home to ancient archaeological sites, hot spring swimming, and stunning wineries.
The picturesque village of Oia lies on an edge of the volcanic caldera overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. This excursion takes you to see this fabulous town and its picturesque houses which are carved into the cliffs. Photograph the iconic blue-domed churches and take in the magnificent views. Then, explore little shops and cafes before partaking in a wine-tasting session complete with local food.
If you’re a keen history buff, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri. This Minoan Bronze-Age settlement was covered in ash by the catastrophic Theran volcanic eruption around 16th-century B.C. Only the 1967 excavation revealed the size and value of the site, uncovering exceptionally-preserved frescoes, furniture, and artworks. Wander through this ancient settlement and admire the elaborate drainage system, pottery, and multi-storey buildings.
It’s a crime to visit Santorini without exploring its natural wonders. Visit Perivolos Beach, on an excursion, for a swim in its crystal-clear waters. Renowned for its long stretch of surreal black sand, Perivolos is adorned with colourful parasols. This alluring location is ideal for catching a tan, enjoying thrilling water sports, or enjoying a drink in a local tavern.
Day 5: Ephesus, Kusadasi
The ship arrives at Ephesus port at 08:00 and departs at 18:00
Take a journey into the past in richly historic Ephesus. Once an ancient Greek city, Kusadasi was known for the famed Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built, destroyed, and rebuilt again through several notably historical periods, Ephesus boasts abounding ruins and archaeological excavation sites. View what remains of the Roman Library of Celsus, the Gate of Augustus, the Tomb of John the Apostle, and the Basilica of St. John, amongst several other ancient remnants.
Ephesus is one of the main centres of early Christianity. St. Paul remained in the city for three years during his third missionary journey. The Apostle John also came to Ephesus to live and was finally buried here.
Day 6: At sea
Day at sea to enjoy the facilities and entertainment onboard the ship MSC Orchestra.
Day 7: Haifa
The ship arrives at Haifa port at 08:00 and departs at 18:00
Haifa is beautifully set on the slopes of Mount Carmel facing the Mediterranean Sea, likened by some as ‘Israel’s San Francisco’. Although traditionally a working city, there are a number of great things to do in Haifa that you must cross off your Haifa bucket list, including the Bahai Gardens, German Colony, as well as a number of top museums.
From the top of Mount Carmel, take in the view from the Louis Promenade across the Port of Haifa heading north right across into the Western Galilee. Hop on the Carmelit, Israel’s only subway system which travels up and down the mountain, and at the bottom check out Hof Hacarmel, Haifa’s beaches.
The city’s crown jewel when it comes to tourism is undoubtedly the Bah’ai Gardens which form part of the Bah’ai World Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These beautiful gardens are a place of pilgrimage for members of the Bah’ai faith and are set across terraces sloping down Mount Carmel towards the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. At the bottom of the gardens is Haifa’s German Colony, with its pretty streets of restored templar-era buildings. The main street of the German Colony runs direct from the bottom of the gardens towards the coast and is lined with restaurants and cafes.
Day 8: Limassol
The ship arrives at Limassol port at 08:00