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Island Life in Ancient Greece

Program Overview

Join us for this nine-day journey cruising round trip Athens, Greece, aboard the exclusively chartered, five-star small ship Le Bougainville. Call on the islands of Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Rhodes, and Santorini, including the Peloponnese Peninsula. Visit Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century monasteries stand high atop soaring natural sandstone pinnacles; walk through the fabled Lion Gate of legendary Mycenae; and explore the monumental ruins of the Sanctuary of Asklepios of Epidaurus. Engage with local residents who will discuss contemporary life on the islands during the specially arranged Island Life® Forum. Athens Pre-Program and Delphi and Thebes Post-Program Options.

Program Details

October 8 to 16, 2022 (Le Bougainville) October 15 to 23, 2022 (Le Bougainville) October 22 to 30, 2022 (Le Bougainville)
From $4,895 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely created seven-night cruise itinerary following Gohagan & Company’s tradition of innovative, small ship programming and educational travel.
  • Visit up to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites showcasing the culture and architecture of Ancient Greece.
  • Call on islands steeped in myth and history—Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Santorini, and Rhodes.
  • Walk through the fabled Lion Gate of the legendary city of Mycenae.
  • Explore the monumental ruins of the Sanctuary of Asklepios in historic Epidaurus.
  • Exclusive Island Life® Forum with local residents who will discuss contemporary life.
  • Athens Pre-Program Option and Delphi and Thebes Post-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

Day 2 - Athens, Greece / Embark Le Bougainville

Day 3 - Volos for Meteora

Day 4 - Delos / Mykonos

Day 5 - Pátmos

Day 6 - Rhodes / Lindos

Day 7 - Santorini / Akrotiri

Day 8 - Nafplion for Mycenae and Epidaurus

Day 9 - Athens / Disembark ship / Return to the U.S. or Canada

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Bougainville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Bougainville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of five-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.

Learn more about the Le Bougainville >

Le Bougainville 2022 deck plan

Classical Athens Pre-Program Option

Experience the ancient city of Athens unmatched in its contributions to the foundation of the Western world. Explore the monumental Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the perfectly proportioned Parthenon. 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, remarkably, 15 of the original 34 Doric columns are still standing. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens.

Oracle of Delphi and Antiquities of Thebes Post-Program Option

One of the most spectacular of all ancient Greek sites, UNESCO-inscribed Delphi formed the center of the Greek world in the sixth century B.C. Tour the magnificent Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, including the life-size, fifth-century B.C. bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi. Walk the Sacred Way to the Panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi, second only to the Athens Acropolis in importance. Stand at the marble Altar of the Chians, where the common and the mighty awaited the oracle’s pronouncements. Discover the importance of ancient Thebes to Greek civilization—from the Bronze Age and Mycenaean eras until its destruction by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C.—at the superb Archaeological Museum of Thebes. Accommodations are for one night in the Hotel Amalia Delphi and one night in the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel.

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

Program Rates

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

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. Unmatched in its contributions to early Western civilization, the ancient city’s enduring grandeur is encapsulated in the spectacular Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the gracefully proportioned Parthenon, a perfect example of Doric architecture dedicated to the goddess Athena in 438 B.C.

Embark Le Bougainville and enjoy dinner on board this evening.

Day 3 Meteora

This morning, 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, Meteora’s monasteries are built on natural sandstone massifs and date to the 14th and 15th centuries.

This afternoon, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship this evening.

Day 4, Morning Delos

The mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Delos is as central to Grecian spiritual life as Olympia and Delphi. Walk along the Sacred Way to the Sanctuary of Apollo, a spectacularly rich archaeological site with remains of three separate temples from the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. Delos’ awe-inspiring ruins also showcase an entire district of Hellenistic and Roman-era houses and the 5,500-seat theater (300 B.C.), the site of choral competitions during the Delian panegyris, an ancient quadrennial festival honoring Apollo. See the legendary Terrace of the Lions, dedicated to Apollo, where hand-carved marble statues guarded the island for nearly 2,600 years.

Day 4, Afternoon Mykonos

After lunch on board the ship, enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore charming Mykonos. According to ancient legend, the craggy hills and clefts of Mykonos were formed from the petrified bodies of giants defeated by Hercules. Mykonos’ iconic 16th-century windmills, bright white, sugar cube-shaped houses, and azure bays epitomize the striking beauty of the Greek Isles. Stroll quaint streets lined with whitewashed buildings and boutiques or sip ouzo harborside in Mykonos’ Little Venice.

Day 5 Pátmos

The Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. John, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the sacred island of Pátmos, is one of Christianity’s oldest pilgrimage sites. Tour the fortified monastery, built in 1088 and still occupied by monks who continue to preserve it as a pilgrimage destination and place of religious study. See the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John the Apostle most likely wrote the Book of Revelation in A.D. 95.

This afternoon, meet and engage with local residents who will discuss contemporary daily life on these ancient islands during the specially arranged Island Life® Forum.

Day 6, Morning Rhodes

The island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, has been one of the most prosperous and strategic strongholds in the eastern Mediterranean since the Neolithic period. Dock at the fortified wall of Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and step into arguably Europe’s most impressive continuously inhabited medieval walled city—built over a great Hellenistic metropolis and a major Christian outpost during the Crusades. Visit the splendid 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters, built by the Knights of St. John and one of the only examples of Gothic architecture in Greece.

Day 6, Afternoon Lindos

Join the optional excursion this afternoon to the ancient village of Lindos. See the magnificent frescoes adorning the Byzantine-style Church of Panagia and the breathtaking views from its clifftop acropolis or enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Rhodes to further explore its rich history, charming streets, and medieval center. Later, enjoy a performance of traditional Greek music and dance on board the ship.

Day 7 Santorini

Be on deck as the ship cruises into the alluring port of Santorini, a natural caldera, beneath which some believe to be the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Tour the remarkable Bronze Age ruins of Akrotiri. Held intact by layers of pumice and ash for over 3,500 years, Akrotiri’s streets reveal the architectural sophistication and advanced culture of its Minoan inhabitants. Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which houses extraordinary finds excavated from Akrotiri. A cable car descends to sea level from the elevated town of Fira, where stunning, white-walled buildings stand in stark contrast against the dark volcanic cliffs.

Enjoy your afternoon at leisure in Santorini.

Day 8, Morning Mycenae

Visit the picturesque fishing port of Nafplion, widely considered the most beautiful city in Greece. Tour the ancient citadel of Mycenae, the classical stage of Homer’s The Iliad, an epic text foundational to Western thought.

Mycenae is bountiful in allusions to the age of Agamemnon, from its secret passages to Cyclopean walls, named as such because they were thought to have been built by giants.

Day 8, Afternoon Epidaurus

In Epidaurus, an equally quintessential Hellenic site, you will visit the ancient Sanctuary of Asklepios—which bears testimony to Greco-Roman healing gods and medicinal knowledge. The theater is renowned for its nearly perfect acoustics.

Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening.

Day 9 Athens / U.S. or Canada

Disembark in Athens and continue to the Oracle of Delphi and Antiquities of Thebes Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. or Canada.