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Celestyal Journey, Christmas & New Year 2023 ex Athens Return

19 Night Cruise sailing from Athens roundtrip aboard Celestyal Journey.

Saturday, 16th December 2023
Celestyal Journey
Celestyal Cruises
Pricing is From and Per Person
Cabin Twin Triple Quad Single

Please note, while prices and inclusions are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to changes in cruise line policies and pricing and due to currency fluctuations. Currency surcharges may apply. Please check details of price and inclusions at time of booking.

19 Night Cruise sailing from Athens roundtrip aboard Celestyal Journey.

Celebrate the festive season in every way you can imagine. Joining us on a Christmas odyssey across Europe, Africa and Asia, you’ll explore waterfalls near the birthplace of Santa Claus, trace the story of Mary and Joseph on Christmas Day, and watch New Year’s Eve fireworks in Istanbul. Because why shouldn’t Christmas last 19 days?

Highlights of this cruise:

Sun-drenched and mythic, Athens is a big and modern metropolis with inspiring world heritage marvels at its very heart. The most important city-state in ancient Greece and the birthplace of democracy is also the sprawling capital of Greece today, but most of the major archaeological and historical sites are to be found within a compact area around the Acropolis itself. With a recorded history going back more than three millennia, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and rightly considered to be the cradle of Western Civilization. Even a short visit of the Greek capital’s highlights, starting with the iconic Acropolis, is enough to fall under its legendary spell.

In the great atlas of Mediterranean antiquity, few cities shone as bright as Ephesus, part of Izmir province and the most culturally significant and best-preserved ancient city in Turkey. And Kuşadası, which dominates the gulf of the same name along this stretch of the Aegean coast, is one of the most vibrant and popular destinations in modern Turkey. It’s been an important port for centuries, hosting a variety of civilizations and for a time some of the most infamous pirates of the Mediterranean. The Öküz Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai was built in 1618, confirming Kuşadası’s role as a prominent Ottoman trading center. Sizzling beaches next to sparkling blue water, lively bars and a bustling Grand Bazaar add up to exciting times in this buzzing Turkish city, but above all, it is the chief point of entry to the magnificent ruins of Ephesus. South of Kuşadası, ruins of the ancient Greek city of Miletus are located near the mouth of the legendary Meander River.

Few cities represent as ravishing a meeting of substance and spectacle as Istanbul, a grand and sprawling capital that ranks among the world’s truly great cities. Here are grand mosques and churches, palaces and bazaars, museums and sites of unsurpassed natural beauty and of course the legendary Bosphorus, flowing from the Black Sea past the Golden Horn and the heart of the city to the Sea of Marmara. The European part of Turkey straddles the western banks of the narrow strait and Asia starts on the eastern shore, making Istanbul the world’s only city built on two continents: the very definition of exotic! In the sixth century BC, Byzantium was a colony of the ancient Greek city of Megara, and only much later did Constantine the Great move the seat of the Roman Empire here. For more than a millennium and a half this timeless metropolis was the capital of empires— with the advent of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 Constantinople became the seat of the Ottoman Empire, before taking the name of Istanbul with the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923. Today as in the days of empires past, the convergence of cultures and multi-religious coexistence here is truly extraordinary. In Istanbul traditions from not only Islamic but also Christian and Jewish faiths rub shoulders easily with the vibrant mosaic that is contemporary Turkey.

Multifaceted Volos occupies a vaunted place in Greek mythology as the legendary home of Jason and the Argonauts and also has one of the most spectacular natural settings in Greece. This bright and sunny port city is the capital of the mineral-rich Magnesia region of Thessaly, located about midway between Athens and Thessaloniki on the Greek mainland coast. Volos can boast a truly marvelous location on the Pagastikos Gulf, opposite the Pelion peninsula that juts into the Aegean Sea. The lush green peninsula, named for the father of Achilles, King Peleus, was the mythical home of the half-human, half-horse centaurs and on its highest summit, Mount Pelion, was where the fabled ancient beauty contest between the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athena took place—leading to the Trojan War. No wonder a region so green and gorgeous is steeped in legend—it’s also where Jason set out on ships with the Argonaut sailors to find the Golden Fleece. Volos is a veritable springboard to the foothills of Mt Pelion, with its rustic villages sprinkled amid forested hillsides, and is also the gateway to the ethereal cliff-top monasteries of Meteora.

Volos itself offers everything you need for an exciting or relaxing day in port. Step off your Volos cruise, and you’re greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up into its whirlwind of activity, along the edge of the beautiful natural harbor and in the tsipouradika—traditional tavernas—and set you on course to uncover some real architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical. Wander around and you’ll find grand urban mansions sitting beside nods to the city’s long-lasting industrial heritage. And following the hum of activity will see you in Volos’ favorite local hangout Kontaratou, which is brimming with countless cafes and eateries of all kinds.

There are islands in the Mediterranean with captivating history, fantastic beaches and beautiful scenery, and then there is an island like Rhodes that quite literally has it all. Long before the days of the Roman Empire, many a maritime trail led to Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, named for the native pink hibiscus flowers. Unlike some popular Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini, Rhodes is lush and green, a veritable garden in the eastern Aegean. And with an area of 541 square miles (1,400 square kilometers), it’s large too. Rhodes is also home to some of the most spectacular medieval fortifications anywhere, built by the Knights of the Order of Saint John in the 14th century. The virtually intact Palace of the Grand Master in the town of Rhodes is a Gothic jewel right out of a fairytale; this, combined with the Street of the Knights and some 200 winding lanes, creates a dazzling, living tapestry.

The island of Rhodes is in many ways a microcosm of Greece. The Old Town of Rhodes, at the northernmost point of the island, is probably the best-preserved medieval city in all of Europe. Midway down the eastern side, Lindos (some 55 km south of Rhodes town) blends archaeological intrigue with a panoramic town that is more reminiscent of a Cycladic island like Mykonos. The western side, meanwhile, has many orchards and vineyards as well as impressive ancient ruins at sites like Kameiros. The island’s interior is a place of verdant forests, hills and oases of calm like Seven Springs and the Valley of the Butterflies nature park, bringing to mind the countryside of northern Greece, while the beaches you’ll find in Rhodes are among the widest and best in Greece and indeed the Mediterranean.

Cruise Itinerary
Date Activity Arrive Depart
16/12/23 Athens (Piraeus) Greece 03:00 PM
17/12/23 Thessaloniki, Greece 08:00 AM 03:00 PM
18/12/23 Izmir, Turkey 09:00 AM 03:30 PM
19/12/23 Aghios Nikolaos, Greece 08:30 AM 03:30 PM
20/12/23 Antalya, Turkey 10:00 AM 05:00 PM
21/12/23 Limassol, Cyprus 07:00 AM 12:30 PM
22/12/23 Alexandria, Egypt 07:00 AM overnight
23/12/23 Alexandria, Egypt 01:00 PM
24/12/23 Haifa, Israel 09:00 AM overnight
25/12/23 Haifa, Israel 04:00 PM
26/12/23 At sea - -
27/12/23 Athens (Piraeus) Greece 08:30 AM 05:00 PM
28/12/23 Heraklion, Greece 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
29/12/23 Rhodes, Greece 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
30/12/23 Kusadasi, Turkey 08:00 AM 02:00 PM
31/12/23 Istanbul, Turkey 12:00 PM overnight
01/01/24 Istanbul, Turkey 11:30 PM
02/01/24 At sea - -
03/01/24 Volos, Greece 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
04/01/24 Athens (Piraeus) Greece 08:00 AM
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.

Available Sailing Dates