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Halcyon Days on Aegean Islands

Halcyon Days on Aegean Islands

From £3,395 GBP

Description

Join us for a relaxing and informative voyage to some of the most idyllic islands in the Aegean. A cruise aboard the Panorama II is a wonderful way to experience the lesser known islands of the region and encounter their timeless quality. We have devised our itinerary to allow ample time to wander through the whitewashed villages and picturesque harbours of some hidden Greek Islands gems such as Fourni, Nisyros, Simi, Ios and Agios Nikolaos on Crete. For those who wish to swim in the intensely blue Aegean there will be time at leisure to explore the local beaches. In addition we have ensured there is some day time cruising through some magnificent scenery and have scheduled in overnight moorings, allowing for the opportunity to dine ashore independently and enjoy the evening atmosphere of some delightful harbour towns.

Of course, whilst ensuring a relaxing time will be had by all, we could not devise an itinerary in this wonderful region without including visits to at least some of the greatest ancient sites the first of which will be our call at Delos, a cultural treat as we explore the legendary birthplace of Apollo. We will also visit the fascinating site of Ephesus where St Paul preached and spend some time on Patmos where we will visit the grotto of St John. With a maximum of only 49 guests, our trips ashore will be a pleasure as we explore with local guides who will also join us on board for our cruise, adding immeasurably to our knowledge of the region. Whether you are interested in ancient history, Greek myths or simply the joy of cruising aboard a private yacht and experiencing new places and islands in this beautiful region, our island hopping voyage has something for everyone.

Trip Name
Halcyon Days on Aegean Islands
Days
11
Overview
Vessel Type: Sail Cruiser Length: 54 metres Passenger Capacity: 49 Built / refurbished: 1993 / 2008 / 2012 / 2015 Launched in 2004, fully renovated in 2012 and upgraded again in 2015,  the two-masted Panorama II is a 164 foot motor sailer accommodating just 49 guests. If you find large resort style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers attractive then of course this isn’t the vessel for you. However, if you prefer an informal and warm atmosphere more akin to a private yacht combined with an itinerary dedicated to both discovery and relaxation then you need look no further.  All the cabins on board Panorama II are designed for comfort and have a nautical feel with light fabrics and wood trimmings. Cabins range in size from 97 to 173 square feet and those located on the Upper and Main Decks are equipped with windows, while those on the Lower Deck have portholes. Cabins either have twin beds or fixed double beds. (Cabins  A1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 14, 15, 16, 17). Facilities include en suite bathrooms with showers, cabin TV (for DVD only), mini-fridge, safety deposit box and hairdryer. The public areas include a main lounge and bar with comfortable sofas, a restaurant located on the Lower Deck and the Upper Deck al fresco dining area where meals can be enjoyed when weather permits. There is also a swimming platform enabling guests to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit and the Upper Deck provides a generous semi covered or sun exposed space with sun loungers and chairs, ideal for relaxation and fantastic views.  Located on the Lower Deck, the indoor dining room seats all passengers in a single, unassigned seating and offers generous buffet space. The aft area on the Upper Deck provides a generous semicovered area where guests can enjoy meals al fresco with wonderful views, weather permitting. Food is served at the table or displayed on the hot and cold buffets stands. The menu is Greek and international, with a focus on local specialties. On each itinerary, we have included the opportunity for you to dine ashore independently allowing you to experience the local flavours.  During the day, life on board focuses around the indoor lounge area, and the indoor dining room, as well as the open and inviting deck areas. These are natural gathering places and perfect for enjoying your meals al fresco, settling into a comfortable chair with a good book or socialising with your fellow passengers and enjoying the views. The swimming platform on Panorama II’s stern enables you to swim off the yacht when weather and anchorage conditions permit. (only applicable for voyages around Greece).  Deck plans vary depending on cruise operator, please check for details.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 - London to Athens, Greece.
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the Panorama II which will be moored in Piraeus. Enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 - Delos & Syros.
This morning we visit Delos, which though the smallest of the Cyclades was once the political and religious centre for the whole of the Aegean. Birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, it boasted an oracle second only to that of Delphi. We will explore the magnificent archaeological site including the marble sanctuary of Apollo. During lunch we will sail to Syros which was the largest cultural and trade centre of the Aegean in the 19th century and the capital Ermoupolis was Greece’s principal port. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a stroll in the town of Ermoupoli, the capital of the Cyclades. The prosperity of the island in the 19th and early 20th century created through commerce and shipping is reflected in the architecture with a beautiful square, town hall and theatre. Overlooking Ermoupoli stands the hill-top Ano Syros, the original Medieval district with narrow lanes and white washed houses.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Chios.
The birthplace of Homer, Chios remained a significant Aegean island into the Byzantine period. Homer mentions the island by name several times in the Odyssey, calling it ‘paipaloessa’, or craggy, a richly deserved epithet. The island is rich in ancient ruins and this morning we will visit the 11th century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece. Return to the Panorama II for lunch and this afternoon either relax and explore Chios Town independently or join a tour to the south of the island where we visit the beautifully preserved 14th century fortress village of Mesta and the elaborately decorated houses of Pirgi enjoying time to wander through the maze like streets. Tonight is free to enjoy dinner ashore.
Day 4 - Day 4 - Kusadasi for Ephesus, Turkey.
From our berth in Kusadasi we will 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. We will also see the spectacular Grand Theatre, originally built in the 3rd century BC by the Greeks, and later expanded by the Romans to its present capacity of 24,000. From this theatre, which has a row of seats 30 metres above the orchestra, St Paul used to give his sermons. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi before we enjoy dinner on board and set sail this evening.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Icaria & Fourni, Greece.
According to Greek myth, Icaria was created when Icarus crashed into the sea after flying too close to the sun. Today it is one of the least developed but visually dramatic Greek islands with beautiful coves, deep valleys and hidden beaches. On a morning scenic drive we will explore the villages and discover why the islanders here have a longer life expectancy than anywhere else in Europe. The island is also revered as the birthplace of Dionysus, the God of wine and we plan to visit one of the local vineyards. After lunch on board we sail to one of the best kept secret islands in the Aegean, Fourni. Once a haven for pirates who enjoyed the island’s remote setting and little changed for centuries, it has a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy an afternoon leisure to walk up from the harbour to the charming main square or maybe relax with a drink in a café and watch island life. Alternatively walk to one of the nearby beaches for a swim. This evening is free to dine ashore in one of the local restaurants.
Day 6 - Day 6 - Patmos.
Of all the Greek islands, Patmos, is the most sacred to Christians both Orthodox and Western; it was here that St John received his revelation. This morning we will make our way to the grotto of St John. This small cave, now converted into the beautiful chapel, is where the Saint lived, had his revelation and wrote ‘Book of the Apocalypse’. From here we continue to the village of Chora, with its simple houses and Byzantine churches and climb to the Monastery of St John the Theologian. Upon entering into the courtyard, admire the intricate pebbled laid floor, decorated arches and frescoes adorning the entrance to the chapel of Christodoulos. Return to the Panorama II for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the picturesque town of Skala or maybe take a swim at a nearby beach. This evening is free to enjoy dinner ashore in one of the local restaurants.
Day 7 - Day 7 - Nisyros & Tilos.
Arrive this morning in the pretty port town of Mandraki on the small island of Nisyros. You may wish to enjoy a relaxing morning wandering through the village and climb to the Monastery of Panagia Spilanior or visit the archaeological museum. Alternatively join the drive to the Polyvotis Volcano, named after the Titan imprisoned under the rock of Nisyros during the battle with the gods. Here we will learn more of the legends and have the chance to walk into the caldera. Over lunch we sail to timeless Tilos, this lovely island has still to find its way onto the pages of tour operator’s brochures and so retains its traditional atmosphere. See Livadia, a lively little town and Megalo Chorio, its tiny capital rich in Crusader castles. There is a beach nearby for those that prefer to relax or swim. Tonight enjoy dinner in one of the harbour-side restaurants.
Day 8 - Day 8 - Simi.
Simi is a small, mountainous and much indented pretty island. The harbour of Gialos is particularly attractive and we have a morning to enjoy some time to stroll through the colourful cobbled streets. The Simians were famous boat builders and are mentioned in the Illiad as sending boats to assist the siege of Troy but are better known today for their sponge diving. Maybe walk to the local church or see the windmills whose location also offer beautiful views over the bay. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at sea sailing to Crete.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Agios Nikolaos, Crete.
This morning we arrive in Crete and the small port town of Agios Nikolaos. From here we take a local boat to discover the uninhabited island of Spinalonga, guarded by a 16th century Venetian fortress which withstood Turkish invaders for 45 years after the mainland had fallen. Following the reunion of Crete with Greece, the island became a leper colony and remained so until 1953. This afternoon is free to explore Agios Nikolaos, maybe visit the local beach or people watch from one of the charming tavernas.
Day 10 - Day 10 - Folegandros & Ios.
Arrive this morning at the little known island of Folegandros. Visit the clifftop capital of Chora, a wonderfully picturesque village with alleys lined with bougainvillea and hibiscus and a dramatic seascape over an edge which drops some 700 feet directly into the Aegean. Return to the vessel for lunch and sail across to Ios. We hope to have time to swim in the crystal clear waters off one of the beautiful beaches before continuing to the main town where we can enjoy some free time to explore. Enjoy dinner on board as we set sail this evening for Athens.
Day 11 - Day 11 - Athens to London.
Disembark this morning and after a panoramic drive of Athens we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-07-201821-07-2018£4,295Main Deck Cabin Sole
11-07-201821-07-2018£3,695Lower Deck Forward Cabin Sole
11-07-201821-07-2018£4,295Upper Deck Cabin
11-07-201821-07-2018£3,395Lower Deck Forward Cabin
11-07-201821-07-2018£3,695Lower Deck Cabin
11-07-201821-07-2018£3,895Main Deck Cabin
21-07-201831-07-2018£3,695Lower Deck Forward Cabin Sole
21-07-201831-07-2018£4,295Main Deck Cabin Sole
21-07-201831-07-2018£3,895Main Deck Cabin
21-07-201831-07-2018£3,695Lower Deck Cabin
21-07-201831-07-2018£3,395Lower Deck Forward Cabin
21-07-201831-07-2018£4,295Upper Deck Cabin

Inclusions

    • Visit Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis
    • Visit the 11th century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece
    • Discover Icaria which, according to Greek myth, was created when Icarus crashed into the sea after flying too close to the sun

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