EXPLORING GREECE INCLUDE TOUR FEATURES: * Round Trip Airfare * Full Breakfast Daily (B) * Delicious Dinners Every Night (D) * Welcome Dinner with wine & Local Entertainment * 7 - nights Cruising - Greek Islands - Mykonos - Rhodes - Crete - Patmos - EphesusIstanbul - Santorini * Beautiful Outside Cabins on board ship * All Meals Sumptuous Dining while Cruising Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner -Midnight Buffets * Meet the Captain Cocktail Party * Entertainment & shows - on board ship * Professional Guides & Private Deluxe Motor coach * Porterage & Baggage Handling * Wine & Cheese Orientation before Departure * Taxes & Services for all included features *** Fully Escorted by Nuovo Tours’ Representative INCLUDED SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS: * Athens City Tour - the Royal Palace & the Temple of Zeus - the Ancient Stadium Hadrian’s Arch * Visit the Acropolis & the Plaka District * Excursion to Ancient Corinth - The Agora, Gallio’s Seat and the Old Harbor where St. Paul sailed to Ephesus - the Corinth Canal * Visit Cape Sounion - The Temple of Poseidon * Istanbul City Tour: - The Hippodrome -The Blue Mosque Hagia Sophia - the Grand Bazaar * See the Treasury Rooms and Harem of the Sultans - Topkapi Palace Museum Istanbul ITINERARY DAY 1 - USA - ATHENS-GREECE Today marks the magic moment when you meet your travel companions at the airport. You will also be met by our Nuovo Tours Representative who will assist you with check in procedures. Later, along with your escort you board your non-stop, Olympic Airlines flight and depart for ATHENS. Relax and enjoy the in-flight services. Dinner and Breakfast will be served in flight. DAY 2 ATHENS Welcome to Athens - the Cradle of Western Civilization- an incredible city that combines the ancient with the cosmopolitan. Upon arrival at Athens you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. Your orientation tour acquaints with the sights and sounds of the ancient city of Athens . . . The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the Evzones dressed in National costumes, the Olympic Stadium, the Presidential Palace and the House of Parliament. Passing by the colorful Plaka District we arrive at our hotel to relax and unwind. Tonight you are guests at Nuovo Tours’ Welcome to Dinner- - with wine and local entertainment . . . OOOPA!(D) DAY 3 -ANCIENT ATHENS - CAPE SOUNION Today after breakfast you are off to discover Athens and the places associated with St. Paul the Apostle. Starting with the Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. Next we visit Athens; famous landmark - “The Acropolis” crowned by the exquisite Parthenon. This architectural masterpiece is an important characteristic monument of ancient Greek civilization. See the columnar gate, of Propylaea, the all -marble Temple of Athena Nike. You will also see the Areopagus -Mars Hill - where Paul delivered his soul-stirring sermon to the giants of Philosophy, logic and learning. (Acts 17:22) Soon after that he left Athens for Corinth. Later we enjoy a relaxing drive along the scenic coastal road which takes us to beautiful Cape Sounion. Here you will see the 5th century B.C Doric. Temple of Poseidon, which is believed to be the house of Poseidon - (Neptune) - “God of the Seas.” . . . The sheer precipice (197 ft above sea) offers you a chance to experience one the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world. On a clear day you can see seven islands! (B.D) DAY 4 - CORINTH - PLAKA - ATHENS This morning after breakfast This morning we journey in the footsteps of St. Paul. Crossing the spectacular Corinthian Canal, which connects the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, we arrive in Corinth. St. Paul lived and preached here for nearly two years as reflected in his letters to the Corinthians. In Corinth St. Paul worked with Priscilla and Aquila and made an important decision that changed the history of Christianity. . . Paul stopped preaching solely in synagogues and decided to begin his missionary work among the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). Your tour includes the famous Agor, (market place) and the Roman Odeon and Gallio’s Seat, the chair from which the Roman Governor refused to condemn St. Paul. We will also visit the Cenchreae, where St. Paul shaved his head and the old harbor from where he sailed to Ephesus. We spend the afternoon discovering the PLAKA, the oldest section of Athens, filled with tiny souvenirs shops and boutiques, restaurants, jewelry stores, and cafes. The quaint Plaka (B,D) District is a very pleasant place to enjoy lunch or a leisurely afternoon stroll. DAY 5 - PIRAEUS - Board your cruise ship... This morning after a leisurely breakfast we depart for the ancient Port city of Piraeus. Here we board our awaiting cruise ship. - - the S.S.ORIENT QUEEN. Welcome aboard as your steward greets you to your Mediterranean/ Greek Isle cruise adventure. You will feel a deep sense of anticipation and exhilaration as your ship gently sails through the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas for the next seven days, delighting you with the most exotic and intriguing ports of call. Relax on board activities as the ship sails for the Bosporus Straits to our first port of call - - - Istanbul (Constantinople) ( B,L.D) DAY 6 - ISTANBUL Welcome to Istanbul, a truly great romantic city. Its skyline studded with domes, minarets and churches offering a fantastic view from the deck of our ship as it glides into port. Istanbul was formerly known as the city of Byzantium, and later Constantinople. It was given its modern name of Istanbul, by Sultan Mehmet II in 1458. This amazing city straddles between the two continents of Europe and Asia. You may choose to dine on board your floating hotel, or join an optional excursion - Istanbul by Night with Dinner. (B,L,D) DAY 7 - ISTANBUL SIGHTSEEING . . . After leisurely breakfast aboard ship we are off to discover the highlights of the Old and New World of Istanbul - . The Hippodrome, where chariot races, carnivals and political gatherings all took place . . . in contrast the Blue Mosque, the world’s second largest mosque, and the beautiful Hagia Sophia also known as The Church of the Holy Wisdom , whose intricate mosaics and stained glass windows make it one of the world most magnificent architectural gems. The highlight of your tour is a visit to the beautiful Topkapi Palace, located on the peninsula that overlooks the Golden Horn, the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara. Surrounded by three miles of walls, the Topkapi Palace is the largest and oldest palace in the world. It was the seat of the Ottoman Empire and contains multiple rooms including the legendary “Harem” family quarters of the Sultan. No visit to Istanbul would be complete without exploring the Grand Covered Bazaar a Mecca for shoppers and a Kaleidoscope of Turkish traditions. (B,L.D) DAY 8 - MYKONOS Today our ship calls on the beautiful island of Mykonos. This jet-set island offers beautiful beaches and chic boutiques. Mykonos is a grand example of Cycladic architecture set around a picturesque fishing-village on the bay. You will be enchanted by windmills, whitewashed homes and a maze of narrow alleyways and streets. Mykonos combines in a unique way a luxuriant, sophisticated lifestyle with a simple and charming way of life of this Cycladic Island. Free time to stroll through the flower decked alleyways and the lovely waterfront. Enjoy a spectacular sunset while sipping Ouzo at a lively local (B.L.D) tavern. DAY 9 - PATMOS - KUSADASI - EPHESUS Today our ship sails into in the colorful Turkish port of Kusadasi,, where we board our awaiting motor coach head for Ephesus - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Later we explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus as we walk along the ancient marble streets to the Temple of Hadrian. Passing the Roman Baths and the Library of Celsus we arrive at the Great Amphitheater (24,000 seats). This is where St. Paul preached for two-and-a half years. Our next port of call is the Holy Island of Patmos, where St. John Divine received the “Mystical Revelation” which forms the last book of the New Testament. The optional excursion takes you to the Grotto of the Revelation, and the 11th century Monastery of St. John (which houses the original script of the Gospel). The island of Patmos offers spectacular scenery, neighborly cafes, and quaint little shops. (B,L,D) DAY 10 - RHODES An Invigorating ocean breeze greets us this morning as we arrive in the sunny island Rhodes . . . the most popular of the Greek Islands also known as the “Island of Roses” It boasts of a magnificent display of exotic flowers which grow in profusion throughout the island. The harbor was once the site of the famous Colossus of Rhodes, a giant bronze statue of Apollo that was one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” Take an optional tour of the historic Old City and visit the Palace of the Grand Masters built by the knights of St. John during their crusades. Or you may wish to visit Rhodes’ sun-drenched beaches and colorful shopping districts within easy walking distance from your ship. ( B.L.D) DAY 11 - HERAKLION (Crete) - SANTORINI This morning we arrive in Heraklion the capital of Crete and its principal commercial port. A few miles away you’ll find the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered by Sir Arthur Evans and partially reconstructed, this elaborate palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos, and the seat of the ancient Minoan culture. In the afternoon we set sail for Santorini perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. It’s a spectacular approach as your ship enters a vast, almost landlocked circle. Clinging on the steeps cliffs is the town of Thera with its, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques. You may transfer to the town by cable car and return to the ship by cable car or traditional means - the donkey! Towards the south is Akrotiri, where recent Minoan excavations support the theories that Santorini might have been the lost continent of Atlantis.. Tonight enjoy the great camaraderie, good foods and complementary wine at the ship’s farewell dinner. (B,L,D) DAY 12 - ATHENS - USA All too soon your Treasures of the Aegean tour has come to an end. After breakfast this morning we disembark our cruise ship and join our awaiting motor coach that takes you to the airport for your flight back home. (B) Memories! OOOPA! - Happy Memories!
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