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TravelBest Greek cruises: Top 5 ships sailing the Greek Isles

Best Greek cruises: Top 5 ships sailing the Greek Isles

From ancient mythology to wine and olives, there’s a lot to love about Greece. There’s something magical about the contrast between the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea and the ancient ruins and white buildings found on the Greek islands.

The best Greece cruises offer a well-rounded mix of islands and key Greece destinations: Athens for its ruins, Santorini for its blue-roofed churches, Mykonos for its shopping and nightlife, and Rhodes for its palace and charming cobblestone streets. You might even luck out and snag a visit to places like Turkey or Montenegro, too.

If you’re not sure which ships to consider, here’s a list of the best cruises to Greece for different kinds of travelers.

Note: Prices were accurate at the time of publication; they’re subject to change without notice.

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Best Greek isles cruises for families: Disney Dream


Disney Cruise Line is ideal for families. If a Disney cruise to Greece with kids sounds appealing, Disney Dream is the ship that will take you there.

The vessel isn’t the line’s newest, but it’s also not the oldest, and you’ll still find plenty to do on board. The 2,500-passenger ship’s small size means it’s easy to learn your way around. Even better, Disney Dream is typically more affordable than the line’s newest vessels.

Dream offers jaw-dropping entertainment and daily character appearances, which means your children likely won’t be bored on the ship. Its magical kids clubs feature a replica of Andy’s room from “Toy Story” and the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit from “Star Wars.” (Expect surprise visits from R2-D2 or a squad of stormtroopers.)

Also, Greece is wrapped in tons of ancient history to spark your family’s imagination. For example, in Athens, you might choose to take a guided tour of the Acropolis, followed by a “day in the life of an archaeologist” experience, where you’ll search for treasures in a faux archaeological dig.

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If the kids prefer something sportier, they might enjoy an excursion that takes visitors to the Panathenaic Stadium for a tour and a talk about the first Olympic games of the modern era.

Disney Dream sails five-, seven- and nine-night voyages from $322 per person, per night, for a windowless inside cabin. Some itineraries sail round-trip from Rome, while others cruise one-way between Rome and Barcelona with calls on Athens, Mykonos and other ports in Greece.

Related: Best cruise lines for families

Best adults-only Greece cruises for party animals: Resilient Lady

Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady. VIRGIN VOYAGES

If you enjoy a lively megaship party atmosphere but you don’t want an environment that’s overrun with kids, Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady will likely be the best Greece cruise option for you.

Although Virgin’s Greece itineraries are pretty standard, its onboard experience is what sets it apart in the region.

The adults-only ship combines a casual vibe with a ramped-up nightlife. You’ll find passengers dressed like mermaids, crew dressed like drag queens and performers that more accurately represent a cross-section of real life than those whom you’ll find on most other lines’ vessels.

As part of what just might be the best entertainment at sea, nighttime shows run the gamut from lounge singers and seemingly impromptu atrium dance parties to secret below-deck visits to the “crew bar” for a drink. There’s also Scarlet Night — a rave-like pool-deck dance party where everyone wears red.

If that’s not wild enough for you, there’s also an app that lets you order Champagne to wherever you are on board, free fitness classes that encourage you to dress up in your ’80s best and even a tattoo parlor so you can make some bad decisions.

Resilient Lady sails seven-, 10- and 11-night cruises from Athens, starting at $145 per person, per night, for an inside cabin. The voyages feature a mix of stops in Greece (including Santorini and Rhodes and an overnight in Mykonos), Croatia, Turkey and Montenegro, depending on the specific itinerary you choose.

Related: The best adults-only cruises to try if you can’t stand being around kids on vacation

Best budget-friendly Greece cruises: Rhapsody of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Want to check out Greece but have limited funds? Although you’ll have to factor in potentially expensive flights to Europe to board, a voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas could be right up your alley.

The vessel is one of Royal Caribbean’s oldest ships — it debuted in 2000 — but that doesn’t mean you won’t find fun onboard activities such as trivia, pool games, nightly theater performances, game shows, dancing and live music.

The best part if you’re on a budget is the price. You can snag sailings of six, seven or eight nights from just $85 per person, per night, for an inside cabin. These cruises sail either between Rome and Athens or between Barcelona and Athens, or round-trip from Ravenna (the port for Bologna, Italy). Voyages include calls on Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, as well as ports in Cyprus and Turkey.

Related: How to get a deal on a cruise

Best small-ship luxury Greece cruises: Windstar’s Wind Star


Windstar Cruises’ namesake, Wind Star, is a 148-passenger masted sailing yacht that offers a special Greek islands experience because it calls on some of the area’s smaller ports in addition to Athens.

The ship is great for sailing aficionados. Because of its small size, it can visit smaller ports that larger vessels can’t access. (Think Monemvasia, a town carved into rock, and Gythion, where you’ll find caves and lovely beaches.)

Also, Wind Star is an upscale ship, which means you’ll find elevated dining and service on board. All cabins offer at least one window. When you purchase an all-inclusive fare, Wi-Fi, gratuities and alcohol are rolled into the price.

Among other itineraries, the vessel sails weeklong cruises between Athens and Rome that call on Monemvasia and Gythion in Greece, as well as several ports in Italy. Rates start from $300 per person, per night, for an outside cabin.

Related: The best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Best locally based Greek isles cruises: Celestyal Journey

Celestyal Cruises’ Celestyal Journey cruise ship. CELESTYAL CRUISES

Celestyal Cruises is a line you don’t hear about too often, but it’s based in Greece, which means it has a unique perspective on Greek island sailings.

If you’re looking for a cruise vacation that’s full of local Greek flair, check out the brand’s Celestyal Journey. The ship isn’t new, but it’s new to the line. Following an extensive refurbishment, and its Celestyal debut in late 2023, it’s the youngest member of the line’s fleet.

Holding about 1,200 passengers, Celestyal Journey is small enough that you’ll still receive a personalized experience but large enough to offer a multitude of onboard amenities. Enjoy yourself at the spa and fitness center, eight bars, seven restaurants, a chef’s table experience and two pools. The ship offers 630 cabins, including 149 balcony cabins, 120 junior suites and 28 full-fledged suite accommodations.

Itineraries offered by Celestyal Journey range from four to 28 nights, departing from either Athens or Thessaloniki. Most voyages include calls on well-known Greek ports like Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, while longer sailings also venture to places in Turkey and Montenegro. Prices start from $89 per person, per night, for an inside cabin.

Bottom line

The best cruises to Greece combine a mix of fascinating destinations with a ship that fits your budget and travel style. If you’re still unsure which cruise to choose, check with a knowledgeable cruise travel agent who can help you sort through the options.

Have more cruise questions? TPG has answers:


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