Warm weather, deep blue waters and the beauty of the Greek islands are at arm's reach in adventure cruises. An unforgettable experience.
Littered with tiny and beautiful islands, in Greece cruises offer you the opportunity to explore everything the Greek archipelagos have to offer from the comfort of a small ship cruise boat. Visiting the very best of Greece’s glittering white sand beaches on one island then away to the lively nightlife hotspots on another is the best way to visit this beautiful part of the world in style. Greece caters to a variety of tastes and interests from fine dining and endless historical and cultural sites to shimmering blue waters, white beaches, and bustling nightlife.
Many cruises around Greece begin in Athens, the capital, and an impressive cultural hub. Cruises then take in the Cyclades Islands, Ionian archipelago as well as the beautiful Dodecanese archipelago home to the iconic island of Rhodes. These island chains are each unique in culture, architecture, and cuisine, all enjoy the azure waters, sandy beaches, and laid-back atmosphere that is the postcard image of Greece. Whether you are hoping to see the wonders of Greek history, bronze yourself on the beach, or party until the morning visitors will find a host of wonders on a small ship cruise around Greece.
Best Greece cruises and areas to visit
Home to some of Greece’s most famous islands the Cyclades has always been a hotspot for discerning travellers. The all-night parties of Mykonos to romantic sunsets over the Caldera of Santorini the Cyclades has a reputation as a magical place. The larger islands are home to rows of beautiful tavernas, panoramic restaurants and wine cellars for fine dining aficionados. Sun worshippers will find a beach for every taste in a place where a cloud is so rare it seems almost a curiosity. A small ship cruise gives you the chance to make the most of hundreds of stunning swimming spots in the Cyclades with beautiful blue holes, caves and hidden beaches.
Rich in history and blessed with a dramatic coastline the Ionian islands are renowned for their natural beauty. The islands are geologically fascinating with huge white cliffs along the coast and white sandy beaches nestled in between them, hard to access from land but drop off a small ship cruise and explore some the quietest and most beautiful spots. Paxos, in particular, has a huge number of tiny coves, inlets and beaches tucked away, the largest island Kefalonia has a number of caves including an underground lake with the surrounding forest. For those looking for nightlife and fine dining Corfu, the second largest island is heaven. The main town is bustling with people enjoying the tavernas, cocktail bars and local shops.
Home to the iconic and well-loved island of Rhodes, a small ship cruise of the Dodecanese is not only the chance to explore some of the best beaches in Greece but a host of significant historical and archaeological sites including an acropolis and palace. Rhodes is also famed for its unique local delicacies especially its wide range of delicious desserts and cookies. Kos island is also a popular island for small ship cruises thanks to its vibrant nightlife and abundant beaches. Kos is a wonderful mix of experiences with beaches and bars often found just next to historical buildings and ancient villas.
Best time to cruise in Greece
The best time to visit Greece depends on which of its treasures you want to experience and how you like your sun. The summer is high season running from June to September, this is the time when not only visitors from abroad flock to the islands but locals from the mainland too. This is a vibrant and lively time to visit the islands when a rich variety of people are living the high life on the Greek archipelagos, be prepared to share these islands with the rich and famous and share the waters with their superyachts too. It can be pretty hot during the summer perfect for heading to the beach and making gloriously cool swim stops along the coast. Visiting Greece in spring and winter is cooler and it’s a great time for those looking to take in the sights and appreciate the history and architecture of Greece. It is worth noting that during the winter months there will be fewer local businesses open as many are closed during the low season.
How to get to Greece
Most small ship cruises around Greece depart from Athens which is the main international hub of Greece. Athens international airport provides flights from around the world with good connections by metro to Piraeus port where most small ship cruises depart from. There are some of the cruises that start on the archipelagos themselves which usually means either travelling from Athens by flight or ferry out to the island chains. Some of the larger islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Zakynthos have their own international airports many of the smaller ones have domestic airports making it a short hop over from Athens or one of the larger islands.
Greece Cruise Tips
- Small ship cruises of Greece are extremely popular thanks to the calm waters and rich experiences on offer. It is advisable to book early if you would like to visit in the summer as many boats are booked up months or more in advance.
- For those who are travelling to the islands by ferry or domestic flight, it is worth noting that they are subject to delays, especially in the peak months. It is best to arrive a day or two before departure and enjoy a little more of Greece at the same time. The ferries and inter-island flights are also extremely busy and it is worth booking well in advance.
- Check the itinerary for your small ship cruise, different cruises of Greece offer different activities. Sun worshippers should look out for beach tours and plenty of swim stops. Those looking to experience the history and culture of Greece will find some islands such as Rhodes and Kos to have the widest variety of sites.
- Greece is extremely hot and sunny, good news, in the summer and still sunny in the cooler months making suncream and good coverage of hats and clothing a must. There are also some mosquitos, not so many on the islands themselves thankfully but it is worth bringing a repellent to avoid any bites.
- The water in Greece is said to often look so clear your boat seems to be floating so it should come as no surprise that snorkelling is a big hit here. Beautiful geological formations, bubbling volcanic seabeds and shoals of fish make it worth bringing your own mask and fins if you enjoy snorkelling and swimming.
- Greece is part of the E.U. and uses Euros as its currency, banks are easily found on the islands and cards widely accepted. Tipping is widely accepted as customary for good service. It is interesting to note that due to local regulations your bill for food or drinks must always be left displayed on your table as proof that you have been legally charged.