Island Life®
Greek Isles and Ephesus

Program Overview

Call on the islands of Volos, Delos, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, and Santorini on this epic, eight-night voyage.Enjoy excursions to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora; Delos’ classical ruins, including the Sanctuary of Apollo and the theater quarter; the archaeological site and ancient ruins of Ephesus; and Santorini, believed to be the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Discuss life on the islands with local residents during the Island Life® forum. Extend your journey with the Athens Pre-Program and/or Delphi Post-Program Options.

Program Details

October 14 to 22, 2024 (Le Bougainville) October 21 to 29, 2024 (Le Bougainville)
From $5,215 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Nine-day, eight-night, 5-star cruise round-trip Athens, Greece, on the Aegean Sea.
  • Visit up to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, showcasing the culture and architecture of ancient Greece and Turkey.
  • Call on islands steeped in myth and history—Delos, Mykonos, Patmos, Santorini, and Rhodes.
  • Walk through legendary ruins of Ephesus, Turkey, and the UNESCO-inscribed Meteora.
  • Exclusive Island Life® forum with local residents who will discuss contemporary living.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Delos—the legendary birthplace of Artemis and Apollo—and walk along the Sacred Way to the Sanctuary of Apollo. Also see the legendary Terrace of the Lions, where hand-carved marble statues have guarded the island for nearly 2,600 years.
  • Arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey, and drive to Ephesus, a vast archaeological site of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins.
  • In Patmos, visit the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. John and see the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John the Apostle most likely wrote the Book of Revelation in A.D. 95.
  • Dock in Rhodes at the wall of Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters.
  • Athens Pre-Program Option and Delphi and Thebes Post-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Athens, Greece / Embark Le Bougainville

Day 3 - Volos for Meteora

Day 4 - Delos / Mykonos

Day 5 - Kusadasi, Turkey for Ephesus

Day 6 - Patmes, Greece

Day 7 - Rhodes / Lindos

Day 8 - Santorini

Day 9 - Athens / Disembark ship / Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Bougainville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Bougainville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of 5-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

View Le Bougainville Deckplan >

Learn more about The PONANT Fleet >

Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Classical Athens Pre-Program Option

Begin your journey with an immersive experience in the ancient city of Athens. Explore the monumental Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its perfectly proportioned Parthenon, a graceful example of Doric architecture. Tour the archaeological treasures of the Acropolis Museum and enjoy the colorful neighborhood of Plaka, the oldest section of Athens. Discover the idyllic coves and sparkling Aegean waters of Cape Sounion and follow the ancient route of Pericles to the Temple of Poseidon—where 15 of the original 34 Doric columns are remarkably still standing. Accommodations are for two nights in the five-star Hotel Grande Bretagne.

Delphi, Greece

Oracle of Delphi and Antiquities of Thebes Post-Program Option

Extend your journey with a two-night itinerary exploring Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Thiva, or Thebes—featuring a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Thebes, where exhibits span from the Neolithic era to the end of the Ottoman rule. Tour Delphi and visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum. Walk on the Sacred Way to see the Treasury of Athens, the Temple of Apollo, the theater, and the impressive stadium. Spend one night in the Domotel Anemolia Hotel and one night in the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel.

Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing your home city.

Day 2 Athens, Greece

Arrive in Athens, the birthplace of democracy and home to many of history’s greatest philosophers and poets, from Socrates to Herodotus. Embark Le Bougainville and enjoy dinner on board this evening.

Day 3 Volos / Meteora

Arrive in Volos and enjoy an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora. One of the most important complexes of Greek Orthodox monasteries, they are built on natural sandstone massifs and date to the 14th and 15th centuries. Originally the only access to the monasteries was by means of long ladders, which could be drawn up when not in use, or by a basket or net suspended on ropes. Steps have now been cut out in the rock face and there is a modern road servicing the main monasteries, which is how we will reach these remarkable structures. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening.

Day 4 Delos / Mykonos

This morning, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Delos—the legendary birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. Walk along the Sacred Way to the Sanctuary of Apollo, a spectacularly rich archaeological site with remains of three separate temples from the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. See the legendary Terrace of the Lions, dedicated to Apollo, where hand‑carved marble statues guarded the island for nearly 2,600 years. After lunch on board the ship, explore the island of Mykonos, where according to ancient legend, its craggy hills and clefts were formed from the petrified bodies of giants defeated by Hercules.

Day 5 Kusadasi, Turkey for Ephesus

Arrive in Kusadasi and drive to Ephesus, a vast archaeological site of Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins including the restored and reconstructed Celsus Library and the Great Theater. Visit the Terrace Houses and the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, which showcases artifacts that were retrieved from Ephesus during excavations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—including the famous statue of Artemis.

Day 6 Patmos, Greece

On the island of Patmos, tour the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. John, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John the Apostle most likely wrote the Book of Revelation in 95 A.D. This afternoon, meet and engage with local residents who will discuss daily life on the islands during the Island Life® forum.

Day 7 Rhodes / Lindos

Dock in Rhodes at the wall of Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a stop at its ancient port—where the mighty Colossus of Rhodes statue stood before it was destroyed by an earthquake in the third century B.C. Explore the medieval old town as it was built by the Order of St. John, which occupied Rhodes from the early 14th century through the 16th century. Visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, a formidable Gothic castle that houses a treasure trove of art, furniture, and icons from that era.

You will be able to choose from two activities this afternoon. One is an excursion to the ancient village of Lindos to see its Church of Panagia and clifftop Acropolis. At a height of 535 feet, this iconic site offers breathtaking views and photo opportunities of the entire village, including its medieval castle, sandy beaches, and charming whitewashed, sugar-cube houses. Alternatively, you may opt to indulge in an afternoon at leisure in Rhodes. Enjoy a traditional Greek folklore show with local musicians and dancers, followed by dinner on board the ship this evening.

Day 8 Santorini

Be on deck as the ship cruises into the port of Santorini, beneath which some believe to be the legendary lost city of Atlantis. From the port we will drive to the southern end of the island for a guided tour of the newly reopened excavations of Akrotiri—a unique archeological site that dates to prehistoric times. Tour these spectacular Minoan ruins, held intact by layers of pumice and ash for over 3,500 years. Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which houses finds excavated from Akrotiri. Continue to the town of Fira, renowned for its whitewashed buildings, stunning views, and vibrant energy, for some free time to explore. You may also choose to descend by cable car to the pier for the short ride back to the ship.

Day 9 Athens / Return to home city

Arrive in Athens this morning. Disembark and continue on the Thebes and Delphi Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.