Join us aboard the MS Serenissima as we explore some of the unspoiled islands, timeless villages and ancient sites of the Aegean. The main objective when planning this island hopping voyage was to explore some of the lesser visited islands where 3000 years of history can be viewed in relative peace and quiet. Some of the islands we have included are very difficult to access without relying on the local ferry network such as Fourni, Lipsi and Icaria and it is during our time on such islands that you will truly be able to appreciate the unique atmosphere and island life. When combined with the dramatic scenery and the clear waters of the Aegean, it is evident why this region has inspired writers, poets and artists since the time of Homer.

After many years of experience of operating cruises in the Aegean, we believe we have the perfectly balanced itinerary with a mix of guided excursions and time at leisure to explore the charming villages independently or perhaps visit a nearby beach. We have planned some late departures from port, which afford the opportunity to enjoy dining ashore or an after dinner stroll in some towns which are particularly atmospheric in the evening. Owing to the fact that our small ship can moor centrally, we have the added advantage of being able to access the towns and villages by foot in many of the ports of call instead of by long coach transfers. Whether you are interested in ancient history or simply enjoy cruising amongst beautiful scenery, this voyage has a lot to offer.
Fly by scheduled flight, on arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and sail this evening.
Enjoy a morning at sea as we sail to the small island of Samothrace. This rarely visited island contains one of the ancient world’s great sites, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods the site of important religious ceremonies. We will visit the main archaeological site including the Greek theatre, ruined temples and the ruins of a rotunda built for Arsinoe one of the largest circular buildings from ancient Greece.
The birthplace of Homer, Chios remained a significant Aegean island into the Byzantine period. Homer mentions the island by name several times in the Odyssey, calling it ‘paipaloessa’, or craggy, a richly deserved epithet. The island is rich in ancient ruins and this morning we will visit the 11th century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and this afternoon either relax and explore Chios Town independently or join a tour to the south of the island where we visit the beautifully preserved 14th century fortress village of Mesta and the elaborately decorated houses of Pirgi enjoying time to wander through their maze like streets.
Overnight we will sail the short distance to Samos which lays claim to be the birthplace of Hera, the mathematician Pythagaros and philosopher Epicurus. From the port of Vathy we will visit the excellent archaeological museum with one of the richest collections in Greece including the five metre tall Kouros rescued from the Hereion and dedicated to the god Apollo. Continue to the Sanctuary of Hera, the second largest temple ever built in Greece dating from the 6th century B.C. before arriving at the charming village of Pythagorio. After lunch on board we enjoy a free afternoon and evening in Vathy when you may wish to learn about the local wine production at the museum of Samos wines, visit a local beach or wander through the historic quarter of Ano Vathy.
According to Greek myth, Icaria was created when Icarus crashed into the sea after flying too close to the sun. Today it is one of the least developed but visually dramatic Greek islands with beautiful coves, deep valleys and hidden beaches. On a morning scenic drive we will explore the villages and discover why the islanders here have a longer life expectancy than anywhere else in Europe. The island is also revered as the birthplace of Dionysus, the God of wine and we plan to visit one of the local vineyards. Enjoy lunch on board as we sail to one of the best kept secret islands in the Aegean, Fourni. Once a haven for pirates who enjoyed the island’s remote setting and little changed for centuries, it has a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to walk up from the harbour to the charming main square and enjoy a drink whilst watching island life. Sail over dinner to Patmos where we moor overnight. This evening the Easter celebrations begin with the Anastasi Mass at midnight when the local congregation walk with lighted candles between their homes and the churches.
Of all the Greek islands, Patmos is the most sacred to Christians, both Orthodox and Western, and it was here that St. John received his revelation. Today, being Greek Easter our arrangements will be flexible around the local celebrations. We plan to visit the grotto of St. John, this small cave, now converted into the beautiful chapel, is where the Saint lived, had his revelation and wrote ‘Book of the Apocalypse’. In the village of Chora, with its simple houses and Byzantine churches we will enjoy a traditional Greek Easter lunch and hope to have the opportunity to climb to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian. Here we can admire the intricate pebbled laid floor, decorated arches and frescoes adorning the entrance to the chapel of Christodoulos. We will return to the ship this afternoon and have some free time for further exploration as we moor overnight.
Today we can use our small ship to visit two of the less visited islands of the Dodecanese. Sail at first light to Lipsi, at just eight kilometres long, the tiny island is popular with yachts and has avoided the development of many surrounding islands. It is a wonderful place to spend a few hours walking amongst the whitewashed houses or watching the daily activities of the locals. Over lunch we cross to nearby Leros, the island of Artemis the God of hunting where we enjoy an afternoon exploring the island. From the village of Lakki we drive to the capital, Platanos to see the Pandeli Castle which overlooks Agia Marina offering wonderful views from the ramparts to the harbour below and islands beyond. Also learn about the fierce fighting that took place here during World War II and visit the war museum and tunnels in Merikia. We remain in Leros until late for anyone wishing to enjoy an evening ashore.
Arrive this morning in the pretty port town of Mandraki on the small island of Nisyros. You may wish to enjoy a relaxing morning wandering through the village and climb to the Monastery of Panagia Spilanior or visit the archaeological museum. Alternatively join the drive to the Polyvotis Volcano named after the Titan imprisoned under the rock of Nisyros during the battle with the gods. Here we will learn more of the legends and have the chance to walk into the caldera. Over lunch sail to timeless Tilos, this lovely island has still to find its way onto the pages of tour operator’s brochures so retains traditional atmosphere. See Livadia a lively little town and Megalo Chorio its tiny capital, rich in Crusader castles.
Relax on board this morning as we sail the short distance to the island of Simi a small, mountainous and much indented pretty island. The harbour of Gialos is particularly attractive and we have an afternoon to enjoy some time to stroll through the colourful cobbled streets. The Simians were famous boat builders and are mentioned in the Illiad as sending boats to assist the siege of Troy but are better known today for their sponge diving. Return to the ship for dinner and sail this evening.
This morning we visit Delos, which though the smallest of the Cyclades was once the political and religious centre for the whole of the Aegean. Birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, it boasted an oracle second only to that of Delphi. Explore the magnificent archaeological site including the marble sanctuary of Apollo. Sail during lunch to Syros which was the largest cultural and trade centre of the Aegean in the 19th century and the capital Ermoupolis was Greece’s principal port. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a stroll in the town of Ermoupoli, the capital of the Cyclades. The prosperity of the island in the 19th and early 20th century created through commerce and shipping is reflected in the architecture with a beautiful square, town hall and theatre. Overlooking Ermoupoli stands the hill-top Ano Syros, the original Medieval district with narrow lanes and white washed houses.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Inside cabin

£ 4195 GBP pp
Inside cabin
The inside cabins are approx 10 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Inside single

£ 4195 GBP pp
Inside single
Inside single cabins range in size from 9.9 to 11.52 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom

£ 4495 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 4495 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus

£ 4595 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 4995 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 5295 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Sole

£ 5595 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus Sole

£ 5695 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 5895 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Executive Suite

£ 6195 GBP pp
Executive Suite
The executive suites are 25 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 6195 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Cabin layout for Serenissima

Thessaloniki - Pre-Cruise Extension. From (495.00 USD)

If you would like to spend some time in Thessaloniki before embarking the MS Serenissima, we are offering a two night extension.

Serenissima

Serenissima in Greek IslandsSerenissima

Greek Islands Expedition Expedition

11 Days from
£ 4195 GBP pp

Highlights

• Onboard Expert - Nigel McGilchrist. Nigel was a scholar at both Winchester College and at Oxford University. He has lived and worked in the Mediterranean area – Italy, Greece and Turkey – for over thirty-five years, working initially for the Italian Ministry of Arts in the field of wall-painting conservation. He began teaching at Rome University, then taught for the University of Massachusetts, and was formerly Dean of European Studies for a consortium of American Universities. He lectures widely in art and archaeology at museums and institutions in Europe and the USA.

• Long popular with the yachting fraternity, the Greek Islands offer a wonderful location for leisurely cruising. On our journey from Thessaloniki to Athens we will spend ten days in the island chains stretching from Samothrace in the north to Simi in the south.

• Visit ports off the usual cruise routes and usually only accessible by the local ferry network.

• Combine the ancient sites of Samothrace and Delos with the small, traditional villages on Lipsi, Simi and Leros and the natural wonders on Nisyros.

• Balance time between half day guided tours with time at leisure where you may wish to take a village walk or explore a local market.

• Enjoy Greek Easter on the island of Patmos where we hope to join in the celebrations.

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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