Small ship cruise - Greece

Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:20 AM
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Small ship cruise - Greece

Wife and I are looking for a small ship cruise and tour of Greece and perhaps Turkey. Something around 7-12 days with some time in Athens and then visiting the various Greek Islands. I notice that some of these cruises also include Istanbul and other Turkish cities, which is fine.

Would be interested in moderately priced tour/small chip cruise?

Anyone with personal experience?

All advice appreciated, thanks.

Joe
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Most small-ship cruises are MORE expensive than the biggie cruise ships... it is the economy of scale (3,000 passengers vs 300 or less) that permit the largies to offer modest rates. I am afraid you have to make a choice ... size vs. cost. Also, the big cruises are much more rushed -- they will only give you sometimes 4 hours in a port, which is barely enough time to get off the ship, take some pictures, eat an over priced meal in a throng of fellow-cruisers, then line up to get back on the ship. Cruises on biggie ships are really about the shipboard experience NOT about seeing an island, except as a frustrating "drive-by" in many cases. if you really like just the at-sea time OK. If not, look elsewhere.

This link lists number of small ship cruises on 2 or 3 lines ... typically they allot a full day per island, which is much more enjoyable:
http://smallships.travel/Greek-Isle-...FR4HagodMSHUsA

PLEASE NOTE: If taking a smaller-ship cruise in the Aegean, It is wise to cruise in May, June or at the latest, early July. The winds of late July, August and the Autumn can affect these vessels more, and may cause you to be stuck in a port, or not be able to dock on an island you had counted on... If you check Cruisecritic.com, you will find many reports by people who loved their time aboard, but regretted the timing of their trip.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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Both Oceania and Azamara MIGHT be what you are looking for - they are small cruise ships - about 650 passengers and I think both have itineraries that invlove Greek islands, Athens and Istanbul. In fact last May we cruised the Nautica from Athens to Istanbul. These lines are not as pricey as the super-lux lines (Regent or Seabourne) but they are not a value play either. The larger ships would be less expensive and I think more and more of the lines are doing itineraries like you are looking for. We enjoyed our trip last year so much that this year we are trying a Azamara cruise that goes Rome to Athens with an overnight stop in Istanbul, plus Ephesus, Bodrum, Santoini, Crete and Amalfi. Go on over to Cruise Critic and read some reviews. Good luck!
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Beware of any trip that says SANTORINI from 8 am to 1 pm or 5 pm to 9 pm ... you'll barely get off the ship. And on the bigger liners, you have to be "tendered" in to the old port, and then have to wait, sometimes up to 45 minutes, to get up to the top via cable car. AND in such cases, the people who sign up for the overpriced ship excursions are placed at the head of the line. We hear a lot of complaints about that.

On smaller ships, not such an issue, unless your ship arrives in port at the same time as one of the biggies.
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Old Mar 24th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Try Romance Voyages in august. They have a great charter from Athens.
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Old Mar 24th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Hi

You may want to re post your query in Fodors cruise forum.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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we are trying the Azamara cruise this summer - fits all the criteria
small ship, 650 passengers and long stops at each port
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:47 AM
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Check Varietycruises.com. They have several small ships (less than 100 passengers). We are going on the MC Panorama sailing ship in August... can't wait! Prices are not too high either.
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