From Byzantium to Athens

Find the perfect trip

13 days from

Contact us

* Current p/p indicative rate.

Overview
Highlights
Dates & Prices
Itinerary
Map
Ship

Highlights

• See the Blue Mosque and visit the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul • Walk the walls that held Helen of Troy and look down at the plain where Achilles dragged the dead body of Hector • Visit the Asclepion, a healing centre from the 4th century B.C., the Temple of Asclepios and the amphitheatre in Pergamon • Visit the Roman Odeon and the Casa Romana, a large restored Roman style villa, with wonderful mosaics in Kos • Discover the ancient Acropolis of Lindos • Explore two of Santorini's famous sites, Fira, its spectacular capital perched atop a 900 foot cliff and the buried city of Akrotiri

Capacity: 72, Type: Luxury Small Ship Cruise

Join us for this relaxing and informative voyage as we explore the Eastern Mediterranean and all its wonders. Our small, yacht-like vessel is perfect for this journey of discovery as we cruise to some of the most fascinating sites of the ancient world along with idyllic villages and coastal ports. With just 72 passengers, we can disembark with ease and explore ashore in small groups.

We have devised what we believe to be a very special itinerary between two of the Mediterranean’s greatest cities, visiting a rich collection of archaeological, historical and beautiful sites on the Greek islands and the shores of Asia Minor which are seldom reached by the usual cruise ships.

No other city has played a more important role in the fortunes of the eastern Mediterranean than Istanbul and it is here, most fittingly, that this journey begins. We have a day here to discover its wonders including a visit to Chora Church, perhaps the best kept secret of the city. We visit two sites of great sanctity - Delos sacred to the ancient Greeks, and the other, Patmos, where St John wrote the book of Revelations, to Christians. In addition, there are guided excursions to several of the great Hellenistic ruins of Asia, the splendid classical city of Ephesus and the ruins of Patara which we explore with excellent local guides.

This heady mix of islands and ports is certainly one of our most fascinating itineraries combining as it does some ‘must see’ sites together with little known and rarely visited places that are perfectly suited for our private yacht. The itinerary has been planned to ensure the balance is just right between exploring ashore, relaxing onboard and with some time at leisure on some of the picturesque Greek islands for individual exploration. Whether you are interested in ancient history or simply enjoy cruising amongst stunning scenery, this voyage has a lot to offer. Our journey is ideally timed when gentle temperatures and crowd free sites will add to our enjoyment in this corner of Antiquity.

• See the Blue Mosque and visit the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul • Walk the walls that held Helen of Troy and look down at the plain where Achilles dragged the dead body of Hector • Visit the Asclepion, a healing centre from the 4th century B.C., the Temple of Asclepios and the amphitheatre in Pergamon • Visit the Roman Odeon and the Casa Romana, a large restored Roman style villa, with wonderful mosaics in Kos • Discover the ancient Acropolis of Lindos • Explore two of Santorini's famous sites, Fira, its spectacular capital perched atop a 900 foot cliff and the buried city of Akrotiri

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 London to Istanbul, Turkey
Fly by scheduled flight. Upon arrival transfer to Variety Voyager and embark. Moor overnight.
Day 2 Istanbul
Enjoy a morning of exploration on a guided excursion of this fascinating city. See the Blue Mosque, visit the Basilica Cistern, built during the reign of the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and spend some time in the Grand Bazaar. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure or alternatively join a tour to Chora Church. Considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church, it became a museum in 1948 and the interior of the building is covered with fine stunning mosaics and frescoes.
Day 3 Canakkale for Troy
Today we call at Canakkale, our gateway for Troy, where ongoing archaeological excavations have revealed nine different layers of cities superimposed in rings on a massive mound rising above the Plain of Ilium. It was to one of these cities, as legend has it, that the Greeks fought the Trojans as told by Homer in the Iliad. Our tour follows the excavations made by Heinrich Schliemann, the archaeologist who discovered Troy and “Priam’s Treasure”, the jewels that, Schliemann claimed, were worn by Helen of Troy. We will walk the walls that held Helen of Troy and look down at the plain where Achilles dragged the dead body of Hector. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure or join an excursion to the Gallipoli Peninsula to see the World War I memorials which commemorate the famous battle of Gallipoli.
Day 4 Dikili
From the port of Dikili we will drive inland to Pergamon with its splendid acropolis towering above the valley of the Caicus River. This city, built by Alexander’s warring generals became one of the cultural capitals of antiquity, its library rivalling those of Athens and Alexandria. Today Pergamon is one of Turkey’s finest archaeological sites. We will visit the Asclepion, a healing centre from the 4th century B.C., the Temple of Asclepios and the amphitheatre. After lunch in a local restaurant continue into the town of Bergama and visit the Archaeological Museum before returning to the vessel.
Day 5 Kusadasi
From Kusadasi we drive to the nearby ancient city of Ephesus, a stunning and partially excavated site where digging has been taking place for over a century. Broad streets are lined by impressive buildings including the library of Celsus and the temples of Serapis and Hadrian. Once the capital of Ionia, St Paul preached here on his second missionary journey and we will see the Church of the Virgin Mary, the most important Christian monument in Ephesus. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon relaxing onboard or explore the town independently.
Day 6 Patmos, Greece
Patmos is one of the smaller islands of the Dodecanese however, what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and history. Of all the Greek islands it is the most sacred to Christians both Orthodox and Western; it was here that St. John received his revelation. After a short scenic drive from the port town of Scala, we reach the grotto of St. John. This small cave, now converted into a beautiful chapel, is where the Saint lived, had his revelation and wrote the Book of the Apocalypse. Continue to the village of Chora, with its simple houses and Byzantine churches and here we climb to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian. Upon entering into the courtyard, see the intricate pebbled laid floor, decorated arches and frescoes adorning the entrance to the chapel of Christodoulos.
Day 7 Didim
From the port of Didim we will drive to Priene an ancient Greek holy city and home of an important temple of Athena. Priene’s picturesque ruins include several columns of the Temple of Athena, much of the city wall, a well-preserved theatre and a council chamber. We will continue to Miletus one of the most important cities in the ancient Greek world which foolishly led a revolt of the Ionian Greek cities against the powerful Persian Empire who ruled untill the arrival of Alexander in the 4th century B.C. Here is a fine theatre, well laid out chessboard street plans, two agoras (market places), baths, a council chamber, fortifications, a stadium and harbour workings. We will return to Didim to explore the colossal temple and oracle to Apollo before returning to our ship.
Day 8 Kos
According to Myth, Kos was the homeland of the Giants. The island has given to the world Hippocrates, father of medicine, Pythagoras, and the 4th century painter Apelles. We will drive the short distance to the Asklepion, the infirmary of Antiquity, which was constructed in the 4th century BC. Among the ruins are part of the Doric Temple of Aesculapius, the altar and the Stoa which housed the famous Hippocrates Medical School. We also visit the Roman Odeon and the Casa Romana, a large restored Roman style villa, with wonderful mosaics. This afternoon is free to further explore this delightful island.
Day 9 Fethiye for Xanthos and Patara
From Fethiye we travel to the south east to discover the rich Lycian towns of the past. Drive along Esme River to the ancient city of Xanthos which was Lycia’s prominent capital city built on a great cliff overlooking the river. Xanthos boasts several significant ruins, including the Nereid Monument, an exquisite Ionic building whose figured friezes are in the British Museum. See the acropolis, the theatre and the unusual pillar tombs. After lunch in a local restaurant drive to Patara once a great metropolis and important sea port. Excavations of the site are continuing and many historical buildings are uncovered every year. We will walk through the sand dunes and see the remains of grand buildings recovered including The Grand Theatre and the ruins of the temples.
Day 10 Rhodes
Arrive this morning on the island of Rhodes. Our tour this morning will take us to the ancient Acropolis of Lindos. From here the views of the Pelagus and St Paul’s Bay (where the apostle anchored during his voyage to Ephesus) are stunning. The Medieval walls which guard Lindos were constructed by the Knights of St John. This afternoon there will be the opportunity to relax onboard or explore Rhodes Town at leisure.
Day 11 Santorini
Once a single volcanic cone Santorini is now an island archipelago. On a morning tour we will visit two of its famous sites, Fira, its spectacular capital perched atop a 900 foot cliff and the buried city of Akrotiri. This is a marvellously interesting site, rivalling Herculaneum for the magnitude of its discoveries. In the afternoon explore the island at leisure.
Day 12 Delos & Mykonos
This morning visit Delos, which though the smallest of the Cyclades, was once the political and religious centre for the whole 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. During lunch sail for nearby Mykonos, with lively cafes and shops, it is the perfect contrast for an afternoon at leisure.
Day 13 Athens to London
Disembark in Piraeus after breakfast and transfer to Athens airport for your return scheduled flight to London.

Variety Voyager

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 68 metres
Passenger Capacity: 72
Built: 2012
The new build 68m - 223ft state of the art Mega Yacht will accommodate just 72 passengers in 36 cabins. Built under the latest International “Safety of Life At Sea” (SOLAS 2010) regulations and classified by the American Bureau of Shipping (A.B.S.), the Variety Voyager guarantees guests safety with incomparable comfort and elegance.
The Variety Voyager will seduce her passengers with her sleek lines and ample deck space, very much what one expects from a millionaire’s super yacht. Inside, cabins and public areas are finished with warm fabrics, rich marbles, axminster carpeting and soft tones wood panelling. Everywhere, unobstructed views of the ocean and of the ports visited. And above all, the professional service of a crew of 28, always with a smile and a true desire to satisfy.
Ship Categories & locations may vary on some trips, please check for details.
Cabin layout for Variety Voyager
Overview
Highlights
Dates & Prices
Itinerary
Map
Ship

13 days from Contact us

Find your favorite region