At the Heart of the Greek Islands
Discover the cultural and natural treasures of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands on this 8-day voyage through the heart of the Greek islands. Choose from two itineraries and four luxury expedition ships to explore the most beautiful Greek islands of the Aegean Sea, stopping for refreshing dips in turquoise waters along the way.
Both itineraries follow a similar route, round-trip from Athens, each with a few unique visits. Highlights of both itineraries include: UNESCO World Heritage Sites the sacred island of Delos, the monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos; ancient ruins, classic Greek landscapes and fantastic beaches and beautiful swimming opportunities throughout the cruise. The main At The Heart of The Greek Islands cruise specially features an exceptional sailing in the Santorini caldera and a visit to Symi, an island of cypress forests, vineyards and olive orchards, as well as a visit to Hydra with its colorful waterfront and cascading hillside dwellings.
The themed Cruising the Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean itinerary features special visits to the island of Rhodes with its UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval city, plus forested interior mountains and coastal vineyards; the volcanic island of Santorini with its preserved relics of the Bronze Age and commanding views; and the city of Nafplion on the Peloponnese, revealing ancient ruins.
On all Smithsonian departures, visit some of the most compelling sites in all of the Mediterranean. These Ponant voyages in alliance with Smithsonian Journeys uniquely include transfers to and from the ship on embarkation and disembarkation days, talks and discussions aboard ship by world-class experts from Smithsonian Journeys, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the local environment and culture. Look for the themed icon in the Rates and Dates table below.
Passage is aboard 264-guest L’Austral, 244-guest Le Lyrial or 184-guest identical sister ships Le Jacques Cartier, Le Champlain and Le Bougainville, all luxury expedition ships cruising the Mediterranean. Enjoy their elegant decor that reflects the seas in which they sail. Explore breathtaking medieval walled cities, romantic canals and magical bays off ship, then return on board Le Lyrial or Le Jacques Cartier for 5-star hotel service and a plethora of activities such as performances, culinary tastings and enriching lectures.