There are some 1400 islands of Greece with more than 160 inhabited islands to explore. The Greek Islands are divided into seven main groups including: Argosaronic Gulf, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, Aegean, Ionian, and Crete – the largest of the Greek Islands.
The Argosaronic Gulf includes: Aegina, Agistri, Hydra, and Spetses; Cyclades include: Andros, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Santorini; Dodecanese includes: Halki, Karpathos, Rhodes and Symi; Sporades includes: Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos; Aegean includes Thassos; Ionian features Ithaca, Kefalonia, Lefkas, and Zakynthos, and not far from the coast of North Africa is Crete which features one of the most picturesque cities in Europe – Rethymnon.
The most popular Greek Islands are Santorini, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos, Paros, Skiathos, Los, Naxos, and Sifnos. One of the most popular ways to explore the most visited islands of Greece is by taking a Greek cruise. Besides spectacular scenery, culture, history, and ancient ruins to explore, the Greek Islands also feature amazing beaches, world-class restaurants, and numerous opportunities to shop.
While most Greek island cruises will highlight Greek history through various guided shore excursions, the cruise lines that offer Greek Island cruises are also pretty exciting in themselves. Keep in mind that it is up to you if you would like to take a guided tour, but it’s perfectly ok to leave the cruise ship at each port of call and go off on your own to explore the many unique sights, beaches, or local attractions.
Most veteran Greek cruisers will agree that solo is the best way to go! You will certainly find the usual suspects here including mainstream cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean; mid-sized cruise lines such as Crystal, Holland America, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas, and luxury small-ship cruise lines such as Silversea, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Hebridean International, and Windstar, but there are several popular lines that specialize in Greek cruises including: Louis Hellenic Greek Cruises and MSC Cruises.
A typical seven day Louis cruise will cover the Greek Isles and Turkey covering ports such as Piraeus (Athens), Istanbul, Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, and Heraklion (Crete). Greek cruises can last anywhere from three days up to 15 days or more. Depending on a variety of factors such as season, cruise line, length of cruise, accommodations, etc., a Greek cruise can cost as little as $1,000 a week up to several thousand dollars of more.
If you want to save on a Greek cruise, there are a several tricks and tips that can help you maximize savings. Cruise lines love advance booking, so you may enjoy special incentives, credits, and cash back just for booking far in advance. If you’re one to procrastinate, no worries, there are benefits for you too! If a cruise isn’t completely booked several weeks or so before the cruise is set to sail, prices are slashed. If you book last minute, you may enjoy savings up to 75 percent. Cruise lines will do anything to fill up those last few rooms!
Other ways to enjoy additional savings on Greek cruises include: booking with a group/family, taking advantage of package deals, booking online, and booking with popular cruise lines that sail to Greece. You can also cruise off-season. The Greek cruise season runs from around the end of April through November. Some cruise lines operate Greek cruises in December, and even year-round. April, early May, and November/December are considered shoulder seasons, and lower fares are usually offered during these months. High season runs through the summer months.
Besides special rates for groups and families, just about every cruise line has special rates for seniors. A senior is typically defined as a person who is 55 or older. The only drawback is, to lock in the special rates you can’t book online. You must call a cruise travel specialist or book directly with the cruise line. Keep in mind that proof of age is required.
For more discounts and deals for Greek cruises, visit any of the following websites or contact a cruise travel specialist: