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The Perfect European Ocean Cruise: The Greek Islands

Why Greece?

Cruise Ship in Greece

If you’ve ever seen pictures of the classic bright white and brilliant blue buildings adorning coastal hillsides and offering sweeping ocean views, then “Why Greece?” should be an easy question to answer: It’s gorgeous beyond belief!

And the beautiful views are just the start. The history reverberating from every step taken in this Ancient country is unparalleled, as Greece is responsible for laying the foundations for much of Western Civilization. Grecian contributions to philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and especially the arts, including theatre, architecture and sculpture, have made the world what it is today. From the columns at the Acropolis to the stage at the Theatre of Dionysis, the influence of the Greeks can be felt from Broadway to the Plantation Mansions in the South. 

Greek Theatre

Besides the views, and the history, and the art and architecture, there is also the modern everyday culture, especially the culinary delights, that will make you want to plan your next trip back before you even leave. While many European countries are famous for their cuisine, people who have traveled the world return from Greece raving that they’ve never had food as delicious as they enjoyed in Greece. 

Food and Wine in Greece

In Greece, you get that “vacation” feel along with deep-rooted history, you get an island escape and a city adventure, you get centuries-old traditions alongside modern designs and amenities. In Greece, you get the best of ALL worlds.

White Buildings in Greece

And if you still need more reason to consider Greece as your next vacation destination, it’s worth noting that Greece fared better throughout the last few years than most other countries. This was due to the swift actions taken to keep their people healthy before many other places even admitted there was a problem. The precautions and necessary restrictions put in place has kept Greece one of the safest and healthiest places to travel. 

Why an Ocean Liner Cruise?

Greek Island Cruise

Because Greece has so many gorgeous islands, one of the best ways to make the most of your visit is by taking a cruise! Cruising your way around Greece and its islands allows you to see more islands in less time than if you were island hopping from hotel to hotel. Not to mention the time it would take to pack up every time you went to a new island or city! A cruise ship is a hotel (and so much more) on the water, allowing you to settle into your room for the duration of your stay, and conveniently taking you to all the best places!

Greek Church with Cruise Ship

Plus, taking an Ocean Liner Cruise specifically is a fabulous way for families to experience Greece. The kids can absorb all the culture and history of one of the most storied countries in the world while off the ship, and then get their fix of all the kid-centered activities such as pools and Kids Clubs while on the ship. It’s a win-win for the whole family!

With so much to see and do in Greece, you’ll definitely want an Inspiring Itinerary to guide your journey! Ready for the Perfect Ocean Liner Cruise to the Greek Islands?

Let’s Go!


Day 1

Arrive in Athens ready to explore what is perhaps the world’s most architecturally incredible city before your cruise departs at 4pm. Better yet, if you have never been to Athens, flying in a few days prior to your cruise departure would give you an excellent opportunity to really experience everything the famed city has to offer. 

Greek Temple

Depending on your time frame, prioritizing Acropolis Hill and the Parthenon is a must. Marvel at the centuries-old columns adorning the world’s most famous temple, built to honor the goddess Athena. Gaze at the Caryatids on the most sacred building of the Acropolis, the Erechtheion, and don’t miss the Temple of Athena Nike, too. If you have time, consider taking a Mythology Tour to understand which goddesses and gods each structure is designed to honor, and brush up on your Greek Mythology while you’re at it. 

Whether you spend one day or three in Athens, you’ll have no problem at all filling your time with sightseeing and touring the famous ancient landmarks that abound throughout the city. Of course, your Love of the Magic Travel Agent can help you decide what length of time is right for you, and find the most interesting tours for you and your family. 

Meteora Monastary

Day 2

Continue your Greek Cities exploration with a visit to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Besides Thessaloniki being full of unique history, art and architecture itself, there are also options for exciting day trip excursions from this seaside city. You can travel to the base of Mount Olympus, the Mythical home of the gods and goddesses, where the ancient and excavated city of Dion awaits your discovery, or you can head to Meteora, a quaint town of white-buildings nestled into the hillside next to the sea, with multiple monasteries perched above the picturesque landscape. With a full day docked in port, you’ll have plenty of time, whatever adventure you choose. 


Day 3

Today is the start of your Greek Islands experience, beginning with the famed island of Mykonos. With its whitewashed buildings, and iconic windmills, the beauty here is abundant in every direction you look. While you are free to explore  Mykonos at your own pace, of course, there are also options for delving even deeper into the local culture with tours and excursions. You can opt for a full tour of the entire island, getting a taste of everything by walking, driving and sailing around the island, or you can choose something more specific, like a local authentic cooking class, or a sail around the most beautiful beaches, with time to swim and sunbathe in each location. Whatever your decision, your first day traveling the Greek Islands will not disappoint. 


Day 4

Your cruise today brings you to the ancient Greek settlement of Ephesus, which is located in the town of Kusadasi, Turkey. The history and ruins here are an archaeologist’s dream, as the entirety of the ruins at Ephesus have been established as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, not to mention that one of the temples has been visited by three popes, and after 150 years of excavation, only 20% of the ruins have been uncovered! Whether you tour the ruins guided by an expert, or head off to Turkish wine country, at the end of your day, you’ll be wishing you had even more time to see this unique, history-steeped place. 


Day 5

The destination of the day today is Rhodes, the Greek Island with a little bit of everything: the signature white buildings built into hills, ancient ruins, beaches, wooded areas, an Acropolis and an Old Town, and of course the welcoming and friendly atmosphere inherent in Greek culture. With such a diverse landscape, there are a myriad of ways to spend your day on Rhodes. You can take one of many guided tours offered, exploring a medieval castle, the Old Town, or the Acropolis of Lindos, you can indulge in an ancient thermal spa, relax on the beach, or even take a pottery class, or do a little bit of everything by taking a full tour of the whole island. Whatever you choose, your day on Rhodes is sure to be a memorable part of your trip!


Day 6

It’s here; the day everyone visiting Greece waits for! Today is Santorini! You can’t get a more quintessentially Greek vacation destination than Santorini. True, most of the world knows how incredible Santorini is now, so peak travel months can get a bit crowded, but the places that draw crowds do so for a reason, and Santorini is full of ALL the reasons! The views, the famous Caldera, the views, the wine, the views, the picturesque white and blue buildings, and have I mentioned the views? Almost every picture you’ve seen advertising travel to Greece, besides of the Parthenon, was probably taken on Santorini. 

Santorini Church

Your cruise will spend the longest time in port today, in order to give you the maximum amount of time to explore as much as possible on this storied island. You also have an array of choices for excursions on Santorini as well. From full and half-day tours of the whole island, to tours centered around wine or museums or beaches, to sailings on the Caldera, to in depth tours of the quaint villages, such as Oia, with hand-picked restaurants for authentic local fare, your day in Santorini is sure to be one of your favorites of the whole trip!


Day 7

Just when you think your journey peaked at Santorini, think again, because today you arrive on the island of Hydra. When you step onto Hydra, you also step back in time to a place where the only mode of transportation allowed besides walking is donkey-riding! Hydra has no cars, no scooters, and even no bicycles, though it does offer water taxis to different docks around the island. Known as one of the most romantic destinations throughout Greece, Hydra is full of red-tiled houses, cobblestone streets, hanging flowers, and tiny shops and cafes where you can sit outside without any traffic whizzing by. And of course there are beaches to explore, too! As your last destination before heading back to Athens, Hydra offers the perfectly tranquil and relaxing wind down you’ll crave after your incredible adventures throughout the week. 

Athens Acropolis

Day 8

You’ll arrive back in Athens bright and early, with time for one last excursion or exploration around the city (depending on your flight time of course). You can get to any of the famous landmarks that you may not have had time for before embarkation, or spend the day shopping for any souvenirs you still want to pick up, or even take a tour of the Acropolis that includes an airport transfer to get you to your gate on time! Or, if you didn’t spend a few days exploring Athens before your cruise, maybe you’ll decide to stay an extra night or two in the city to get to everything you want to see! 

Ready to Plan?

Greek Buildings

If you are ready to plan your Perfect European Ocean Cruise to the Greek Islands, contact your Love of the Magic Travel Agent today. And of course, if you prefer smaller cruise ships to Ocean Liners, or if you really love hotel hopping, your LOTMV Travel Agent will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for. 

Santorini at dusk

Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?

So far, we have:

January – The Perfect London & Paris Vacation Itinerary for Families

February – The Perfect Hawaiian Vacation

March – An Insider’s Guide to the Perfect Alaskan Vacation

April – The Perfect Immersive Italian Vacation 

May – All the Fall Things for the Perfect Autumn Vacation in Orlando

June – The Perfect Mexican Beach Vacation

July – The Perfect European Holiday Vacation: A Christmas Market River Cruise

July Bonus – The Merriest and Most Magical Place on Earth: Holidays in Orlando

August – The Perfect All-Inclusive Vacation in Grenada

A new inspiring itinerary comes out each month!

And don’t forget to check out our New Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! 

Ready to plan The Perfect European Ocean Cruise to the Greek Islands? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email

The Perfect European Ocean Cruise: The Greek Islands



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