Ferry Tales: Tales of Adventure and Relaxation in the Greek Isles

Embrace the yachtie lifestyle with SeaDream’s intimate ships, which offer all-inclusive drinks and personal, intuitive service. Explore secluded beaches and off-the-beaten-track destinations such as the fortress town of Monemvasia or dreamy Fiskardo on Cephalonia.

Norwegian’s bright and active cruise ships sail to Greece throughout summer. Itineraries range from seven to ten nights and include popular ports such as Santorini, Corfu and Athens.

Star Clippers

If you’re a boating enthusiast, Star Clippers offers a chance to live out your Jack and Rose fantasy (without the sad ending). During at least one day of every itinerary, you can help crew members hoist sails and enjoy the exhilarating feeling of power as they billow in the breeze.

The indoor-and-outdoor Tropical Bar, connected to a lounge with an ivory-colored grand piano, is the main mingling mecca; guests sing, schmooze, laugh and linger all day long and into the night. Star Clippers also invites local performers from itineraries’ ports to entertain.

Aside from sailing, the main activities are swimming, sunning on deck or climbing to the Crow’s Nest, a platform partway up the mast. You can also learn to tie a proper sailing knot or take in the ocean views from the bowsprit, which is a hammock-like netting suspended over the sea—one of the most unique settings on any ship afloat. Excursions are included in most cruises, but some are not offered during high season. English-speaking guides lead all excursions, although it’s possible to request a guide of another language.

Sea Cloud

As a voyager on Sea Cloud, you’ll be treated to an old-world cruise experience that’s reminiscent of a cross between “Downton Abbey” and the Orient-Express. From the golden swan-shaped water taps to the marble fireplaces, every detail exudes elegance.

Whether you’re watching the athletic young deck hands scamper up the rigging or lolling in what Marjorie Merriweather Post called her “Blue Lagoon,” your Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic trip aboard this four-masted square rigger will be a memorable one. You’ll get to know your fellow travelers, a mix of affluent Europeans and Americans, in the common lounges and on decks that encourage camaraderie.

You’ll also learn about the capricious winds of this historic ship through talks from our experts and by assisting in raising or lowering her 30 sails—provided you receive the proper safety training, of course. And you’ll take plenty of photos, because this is a ship that demands it. Evenings are generally casual, but men may need to wear long pants and a jacket for the captain’s dinner. Other than that, Sea Cloud cruisers usually stick to a sophisticated summer look on most days at sea.

Star Flyer

Revel in the romance of a bygone era aboard Star Clippers’ elegant tall-masted sailing ship, Star Flyer. This 360-foot vessel carries just 170 guests in pampered comfort, and life onboard is blissfully relaxed, much like traveling on your own private yacht.

The line’s itineraries range from one-week hops between Athens and Rome to 18-day odysseys that span Jerusalem to Istanbul. Big-hitting ports are always included, such as Santorini and Rhodes, but you’ll also visit less-traveled spots like quaint old Venetian Chania on the Peloponnese or Argostoli in Captain Corelli country, Cephalonia.

Noble Caledonia’s luxurious small ships have a friendly country-house vibe and serve up immersive, culturally oriented itineraries. Several voyages take in antiquities, including the dreamy ruins of ancient Athens and Delphi’s Temple of Apollo. You’ll also explore places where few other cruises go, such as the rock monasteries of Meteora in Central Greece or the old town of Nafplio in Arcadia. In addition to a generous selection of excursions, all meals and drinks are included. The line also offers itineraries combining Greece with other countries, such as Rome and Malta.

Royal Caribbean

The largest cruise line in the world, Royal Caribbean International appeals to a wide range of travelers. Its ships take you to the most sought-after destinations on the planet. In addition, they offer a variety of first-at-sea innovations that set it apart from all other cruise lines. These include rock climbing walls, ice skating and thrilling waterslides.

Experience the essence of Greece on a Royal Caribbean cruise. From savoring the flavors of local cuisine in the cobblestone streets of Athens to strolling through the original site of the Olympic Games on Katakolon, a trip to the birthplace of poetry and art will leave you enriched.

Island-hopping on a Royal Caribbean cruise lets you visit all the top sights, from the acropolis of Athens to the white-hot beach club of Mykonos. Or, you can explore the ancient past at temples, amphitheaters and villages preserved in volcanic ash on Santorini. Whether you prefer to shop for handmade pottery or taste Robola wine, you’ll find something for everyone on a Greek Isles cruise. Royal Caribbean understands that families want to spend quality time together. That’s why they create a unique program for kids called Adventure Ocean, which features age-appropriate parties, crafts and games.


Celestyal Cruises, formerly known as Louis Cruise Lines, offers destination-focused itineraries to the Greek islands and Eastern Mediterranean. The cruise line’s mid-sized liners allow for access to smaller ports that larger cruise lines cannot, and guests are given the opportunity to experience the Greek islands in a relaxed and intimate way.

The company offers several onboard activities, including Greek dancing lessons and cooking classes, as well as a spa that features mud wraps, hot stone therapy and more. The line’s fleet consists of two ships, the Celestyal Crystal and the Celestyal Olympia, and both feature interior, exterior and balcony suites.

The ships feature a variety of dining options, including the main restaurant and the Aura Grill. The six-course meals feature Mediterranean flavors, from the first course’s Cretan octopus to the sixth course’s selection of Greek cheeses. The cruise line also has a wide variety of public areas, including several bars and lounges, as well as meeting rooms for business travelers. Aboard the Celestyal Olympia, passengers can also try their hand at gambling in the onboard casino.