Variety Cruises for Greek Islands?

Feb 15th, 2015, 12:17 PM
  #1  
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Variety Cruises for Greek Islands?

We've decided to try a small ship for our next cruise, hopefully in September, and Variety Cruises has two itineraries which interest us. We know we want to go to Santorini and Delos, but are not familiar with either of the two ships or other islands/stops. I'll list both and would love feedback - either positive or negative - for either.

We love nature, wineries, beautiful views, sunsets, and touring ancient sites, but I don't think that will narrow it down too much!

Panorama II - Ios (for a swim), Santorini, Patmos, Kudasei/Ephasis, Samos, Delos, Mykonos, Tinos, Kea, Sounion

or

Harmony V - Kea (after dinner - explore the port), Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rethimnon/Crete, Kythira, Monemvassia, Nafplion (for the evening), Hydra

We've never been to the Greek islands so there would be something to be said for going to the places which are the most touristy - they are touristy for a reason - but are also intrigued by going to Turkey or lesser known islands. Again - doesn't help much! Any comments would be most appreciated! If there is another cruise which might be worth looking into, we'd be interested in hearing about that too. We've decided to try a small ship for our next cruise, hopefully in September, and Variety Cruises has two itineraries which interest us. We know we want to go to Santorini and Delos, but are not familiar with either the two ships or other islands/stops. I'll list both and would love feedback - either positive or negative - for either.

We love nature, wineries, beautiful views, sunsets, and touring ancient sites, but I don't think that will narrow it down too much!

Panorama II - Ios (for a swim), Santorini, Patmos, Kudasei/Ephasis, Samos, Delos, Mykonos, Tinos, Kea, Sounion

or

Harmony V - Kea (after dinner - explore the port), Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rethimnon/Crete, Kythira, Monemvassia, Nafplion (for the evening), Hydra

We've never been to the Greek islands so there would be something to be said for going to the places which are the most touristy - they are touristy for a reason - but are also intrigued by going to Turkey or lesser known islands. Again - doesn't help much! Any comments would be most appreciated! If there is another cruise which might be worth looking into, we'd be interested in hearing about that too, but we prefer to start in Athens instead of Rome or Venice (for example). We want to spend our time in the islands instead of spending time getting there. Thanks!
kwren is offline  
Feb 18th, 2015, 09:06 AM
  #2  
 
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I wish I could help more, we loved Mykonos, Santorini and Delos but all are included on either cruise.

Not familiar with the ships.

I would want a good 4-6 hours on Delos. The museum (houses many of the floor mosaics and wall frescos) wasn't open the day we were there so four hours was enough.

We liked Mykonos town for strolling, eating, etc. Santorini has a small antiquities museum at one end of Fira and Arkotiri at the other end of the island is open again after a closure of many years (roof collapse).

I was there before it happened, it's a combination of fascinating and disappointing in that it could have been done so much better.

Are you familiar with www.cruisecritic.com? You should find reviews of both ships and the ports there.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Feb 18th, 2015, 03:40 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for your reply! Cruise Critic have a few older reviews (11 I think) of the one ship and nothing that I could find on the other. I'm sure that's a function of the ships' small sizes.

I've been warned since I posted this that the water could be rough in September. A few of the reviews did mention times that the ships couldn't get to some islands because of the waves. I would hate for that to happen. I'm not sure at this point if we will risk it.

One review mentioned that the person writing it met another couple who went on this cruise line three times and still had not been able to get to Mykonos because of weather related problems. I wasn't to get to Mykonos!

We might just go to Santorini and Naxos and take a day trip to Delos. Unfortunately, the one I read about doesn't spend as long as you recommend there because it goes to Mykonos for the afternoon before returning. That might just have to do for us. There always seems to be something not exactly ideal. We will just have to deal with it!
kwren is offline  
Feb 19th, 2015, 01:22 AM
  #4  
 
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kwren,

When we were on Mykonos we had to check three days running to get to Delos due to choppy seas. Since then, I think more sea-worthy boats/ferries are used to get to Delos from Mykonos. This was April.

Mykonos now has at least one pier not far outside Mykonos town. We were on the Celebrity Reflection which docked there but I remember the captain saying that we were fortunate to dock, tenders are more often used.

Our first trip to Mykonos and Santorini we flew, apart for the small ferry from Mykonos to Delos.

Don't know what to recommend apart from flying to avoid the risk but it would be a shame not to sail among the islands.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Feb 19th, 2015, 08:53 AM
  #5  
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I'm glad you told me about your choppy seas experience. I'm thinking that we should forego the Variety Cruise in September. I'd hate to be stuck in a port the entire or most of a week. We'll still have to travel by ferry between Santorini and Naxos, but I'm gathering that the Blue Star Ferry is big enough to get through most anything as opposed to the yacht-like cruises.

While on Naxos, we will take the Delos/Mykonos trip the first good day. Thanks for all the helpful tips!!!

Do you recommend flying back to Athens from Naxos instead of a ferry?
I'm also thinking we should fly from Athens to Santorini to start the trip.
kwren is offline  
Feb 19th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #6  
 
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The flights were short and painless but having never taken the large ferries, can't compare!
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Feb 19th, 2015, 10:02 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Ihavwseen the various Variety cruise ships and sailboats offered by several different tour impairs which range from high end to budget levels of travel. I think I saw them listed with vNtage, Road Scholar, and Travel
Dynamics to give you an idea. It's also why you might not find them on Cruise Critic.
HappyTrvlr is online now  

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