Italy, Croatia & Greek Islands Cruise

A 11 day trip to Croatia, Greece & Italy 
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From the luxury of Venice’s history to the charm of Santorini’s villages, this custom tailored cruise to Italy, Croatia and the Greek Islands will have you cruising through the Aegean Sea, where you can visit the treasured cities as if they had been collected and compiled just for you. Experience the finest of luxury Europe tours, where the canals will seduce you, the ruins of Olympia will dazzle you, and Dubrovnik, Croatia will surprise you. The sun shimmers off of the magnificent colors of the sea, calling to you, and bringing you closer to the jewels of the Aegean.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Athens, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Dubrovnik

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Soon to be Canals

The image of a European vacation enchants you, from the Renaissance masters to architecture that tells stories of antiquity. Your adventure begins today as you embark on a flight that will soar over the Atlantic and bring you to the fabulous city of Venice, Italy. You have dreamed of St. Mark’s Square and canals, majestic islands and glistening waters. Soon you will be cruising through the Aegean with the beauty of history, modernity, and remarkable landscapes at your beck and call.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Carnival Joviality

Welcome to Venice, the home of Carnevale and luxury, floating romance and labyrinthine streets. You are met at the airport and taken by a private guide to your accommodation set along the famous canals of the cityscape. The water-taxi is your first step into the opulent cruise to come, where the mist from the lagoon sprays onto your cheeks. The dome and towers of St. Mark’s Basilica rise over the water while the clock tower and affluent measure of the Doge’s Palace shine in the lagoon’s gentle wake. The comforts of your luxury hotel will help you become better acquainted with the luxuries of Venice with its plush bedding and the easy distance to St. Mark’s Square. The sun begins to settle over the horizon bringing tables and chairs out of restaurants and onto the tiny open spaces of the cobblestone streets, where any space is a great place to dine.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 3: Touring Kingdoms

The day is yours to explore Venice at your leisure, whether on a tour of the incredible city or at your leisure. The morning brings with it the rich, strong aroma of fresh espresso, made to order and preferably accompanied by a sweet, freshly baked brioche. If you choose to tour the city, you will venture you onto the fantastic streets to find the history of the city dating back to an age of fisherman inhabiting the lagoon during Roman times. The city burst into life around the 8th century and began flourishing in the 9th century. The Byzantine influence can be seen in the architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica. The domed roofs and Moorish arches resemble the Hagia Sophia in Turkey more than the classical churches in Italy. The gilded mosaics twinkle in the morning light as pigeons settle in the square.

The Palazzo Ducale, also known as the Doge’s Palace, is a design of quintessential Venetian architecture. The façade that overlooks the lagoon was decorated in the 14th century and continues to welcome visitors into the city. The lavish structure is only surpassed by its opulent interior, from the courtyard gardens to the Doge’s apartments. There is a constant aroma of fresh flowers and polished marble that course through the building. You can even visit the prisons when you cross the Bridge of Sighs, which once brought inmates from the old cells to their new ones, and now ferries visitors through the ground floor cells, a hidden link to the palace. Whether feeding the pigeons or relishing the chance to get lost in the maze of the city, you will find adventure, wonder, and merriment in Venice cast over the canals and within the city’s tremendous delight.  

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 4: Open Cruising

The morning sun brings a bright light over the lagoon. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the harbor and board your stunning cruise ship that is set to take you through the wonderful Aegean world. Once aboard, you can see the incredible luxuries of the MSC cruise liner, filled with tranquil cabins, relaxing saunas, luscious fine dining, and a style filled with Aegean excellence. As the ship weighs anchor, you can watch the towers of Doge’s Palace fade behind the horizon. The night sky is filled with stars, and the open sea is pure magic.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 5: Italian Island Shores

The new day brings you to the edges of Italy, on the shores of Bari. The island is charismatic, filled with a façade that wraps around the marina where palm trees stand taller than the historical street lamps. There is a perfume of pure ocean air that mixes with an arid, earthy landscape. Enjoy a walk along the streets or relax along the shore listening to the calm turquoise water lap beneath the walkway. You can even meander around the town of Alberobello and view the trulli, traditional huts made of dry stone topped with pointed roofing, which climb the meandering streets, shining in the daylight. Set within Piazza del Ferrarese you will have a lovely welcome to Old Town, where you can see the rounded arches of the Sala Murat Gallery and the neoclassical stonework of the indoor fish market. Jovial conversation spills out of the local cafes that border a section of the old Roman Road, roped off at the square’s center.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 6: Olympian Remains

Disembark onto the Grecian shores at Katakolon and discover the birthplace of the Olympic games. Ancient stones are scattered across the open area that range from historic temples to baths, stadiums to colonnades. The famous Temple of Zeus once proudly stood as a Wonder of the World, but what remains is a single, towering pillar that speaks to the stature of an age past. The cool breeze rattles the surrounding lush trees. An archway continues to guide people through the remainders of a hall and through the stadium gates, where people once raced and charged, athletes that competed for their own, and their city-state’s, pride. There is serenity in the vast space and the scattered ruins, where a quiet air has filled the gaps between history and modernity.

Within the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, you can see the celebrated Hermes of Praxiteles, a marvelous sculpture that depicts the God of Transitions and Boundaries, with a baby Dionysus, the God of the Grape Harvest, better known for his wine. The sheen of the marble and the delicate intricacies of the sculpture are inspiring, from the confused detail of Dionysus’s expression, to the curled hair of Hermes. Once aboard the ship, you will set out to the sea and continue your expedition.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 7: Shining Santorini

The morning sun welcomes you to Santorini, where you can see the famous Cyclades architecture climbing the cliff. The whitewashed walls give an elegant shine in the morning, topped by cobalt blue domes that reflect the color of the water below. The island is filled with spectacular sights, from villages to ruins, ready for you to visit.

The village of Oia is one of the most charming places to visit on the northern edge of the island. The paths are paved with marble that line the effortless buildings built on the precipice. There is a consistent lingering aroma of fresh baked pastries that drift from the bakeries and cafes. Traverse the walkway that will guide you through restaurants and shops, and lead you beneath a towering windmill that overlooks the Aegean and onto the remaining parapet of the castle that gives you a view of the entire island. The water is sapphire, the breeze is rejuvenating, and some of the shops feel like speakeasies, hidden beneath the walkway by old spiraling staircases that let you in on a secret that everyone else passed by.

The afternoon brings you to the famous island of Mykonos, celebrated for is beaches and charming Chora, which means town. The island is another example of Cyclades architecture, full of delight and awe, where the streets of Mykonos Chora wind like a maze, designed to deter pirates centuries ago. The cobblestone streets create a pleasant atmosphere while the stores range from high-end luxury to hip island boutique. The fresh scent of the sea mixes with the rich flavors of the island, from grilled stuffed calamari to lemon-zested fish. There is a palpable energy to the island that encourages your wandering; rounding every corner in search of that intoxicating dynamism that once discovered, will be cherished forever.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 8: Famous Marble

The morning brings with it the gentle coloration of the light glinting off of old marble. You have arrived along the shores of Athens, Greece. With the day at your leisure to experience the capital city, the ruins of the Acropolis are magnificent, calling you to witness them. Venture out into the old city center where Acropolis Hill climbs over the modern city like a beacon of the antiquity. The Plaka, a charming, ancient street, borders the hill’s base, filling the pathway with colorful pottery, vibrant antiquated mansions, and creamy olive oil. Rising along the stone walkway brings you around the fantastic Theater of Dionysus. The open-air auditorium contains remnants of its original seating within the stone crescent design. Voices and footsteps continue to echo through the theater that once held 17,000 people.

Continuing up to the plateau gives an opulent change to the footpath, from stone to marble, making the walkway shimmer like the remains of the Propylaea, the entrance gate to the citadel. Step through the massive Doric columns and find yourself within reach of the storied Parthenon. You can see how flawlessly angled the pillars look, inching inward slightly by architectural design to ensure unadulterated perfection from any and every angle. History is sculpted around the metopes and pediments, where mythological battles are commemorated and Athens’s own past is recalled, each written in persistent friezes and carved into the ruins that have captivated people’s imaginations for millennia. As the day winds down and the history continues to glisten on the hilltop, you will venture back to the ship and set out to sea.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 9: Unspoiled Palaces

Wake up to the remarkable island of Corfu outside of your window. The water is a breathtaking turquoise as you make your way from the cruise ship to the shore. The island is yours for the day, giving you a chance to experience its farthest reaches, from the deserted village of Perithia to the elegance of Corfu Town. For a touch of the island’s decadent past, you can visit Achillion Palace, named after the Grecian warrior, Achilles and built in the late 19th century. The neoclassical architecture brings a graceful ambiance to the magnificent landscape. You can see the stone jetty run through the water’s brilliant shine. The lush greenery mixes with the Aegean’s unparalleled blue. An extraordinary mural is displayed by reception that shows Achilles after his triumph over Hector. The tranquil air of the palace and the vivacious landscape of the island make for a fantastic combination.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 10: Croatian Exploration

On the shores of Dubrovnik, Croatia you can see the walls of the city that date back 1,000 years and make you feel like you have stepped into history, ready to embrace the ancient city and its stellar forts and architecture. The stone walls climb above the calm sea, where boulders act as the base and red shingled roofs add vibrancy above the heavy stones. The protective walls wrap around Old Town, guarding the past and displaying the present as you can walk along the path overlooking the azure water. The Rector’s Palace combines Venetian architectural design, as seen in the windows and staircases, and Florentine details, noticeable on the terrace. The tiled floors and marbled pillars create an opulent ambiance, where arches tower overhead, stones are cool and smooth to the touch, and massive ornaments remind you that, although you’re in the Aegean, a vacation to Croatia is a different and dazzling world. Old Town streets are filled with cafes and people, views and history, giving you a taste of the city’s past and forward progress.  

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 11: A Fabulous Venture

Today you return to the familiar Venetian lagoon. After you disembark the ship, you will be transferred to the airport where you will board your flight and make your way home. Your time along the Aegean has shown you more than you thought possible: adventure and discovery, exploration and charm, filled with history and luxury, culture and comfort. You tasted sensual flavors and witnessed the amazing ruins of Western Civilization dating further back than most people can imagine. You may be heading home, but there will always be more adventure coming soon.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$2,653
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.