Jewels of Cyclades Greece Cruise Review

April 9, 2022 • AdventureSmith Traveler

A couple revisits their honeymoon ship, the 49-guest Galileo motor sailorbut this time with the kids. Read on for a first hand review of Variety Cruises Jewels of Cyclades Cruise aboard Galileo. Research our full selection of Mediterranean small ship cruises and Greece small ship cruises to find your own Greece honeymoon cruise.

A Greece Honeymoon Cruise Revisited

It was 21 years ago that we sailed on the Galileo as part of our honeymoon. Our daughters arrived a few years later, and over the years they heard our tales about our Greece honeymoon cruise. A few framed pictures from the trip followed us from house to house, and the dream of returning to the Galileo as a family of four became a reality last summer.

The dream of returning to the Galileo as a family of four became a reality last summer.

Couple in front of the small sail ship the Galileo and a family on the deck of the Galileo.
Small ship sailboat the Galileo anchored in the Mediterranean.

The Galileo sails out of Athens and on its week-long Jewels of Cyclades voyage the stops include two classic destinations (Mykonos and Santorini). But more intriguingly, the ship’s ports of call include several islands rarely visited by tourists, and never by those aboard the massive cruise ships.

The Greek town of Mykonos from the shoreline with white structures scattered through out a hillside.
The Greek island of Santorini with white buildings and structures blanketing a hillside.

Sailing the Greek Isles Aboard Galileo

The Galileo is a small boat, with space for about 40 passengers and half as many crew. The nimbleness of the boat is what allows it to back into docks, onto which we strolled after the plank is lowered. At the massive tourist destinations, such as Santorini, we watched the huge cruise ships moored at a distance, with passengers lined up on deck and the crew feverishly shuttling them on small tender boats to shore.

The small sail ship the Galileo docked with travelers disembarking off the boat in the Greek Isles.

Our daughters quickly realized why my wife and I had been so enamored of the Galileo on our Greece honeymoon cruise.

The 48-meter Galileo is a classic steel hull motor sailer, the interiors of which were renovated two years ago. Upon boarding last summer, my wife and I were struck with the boat’s warmer and brighter cabins and dining room. The boat was launched in 1992 and rebuilt in 2007. The wood and leather appointments inside were a nice balance to the shaded outdoor deck area. All the cabins are outside, meaning everyone has portholes. Each cabin has individually controlled air conditioning, so we were always comfortable, although we were rarely in the cabins when awake. Hence, the flat screen TVs got no use from us. The en suitebathrooms are surprisingly large and modern.

Deck view from the small sail ship the Galileo on the bright blue waters next to a white hillside.
Balcony view of the small ship Galileo in the Mediterranean ocean.

Jewels of the Cyclades Greek Island Cruise Review

The attention to detail was evident not only in the boat’s original design and recent renovations, but in the day-to-day operation. Sufficiently detailed itinerary information was printed daily. The tour director struck the right balance of informing us of what was in store for us over the next day and not overburdening us with detail.

White stucco building with archway and balcony, blue picket fence and cobbled walkway and deck looking out into the ocean.

We were slack jawed at the view across the bay below us as the colors changed hues.

Our first evening was at Poros, where we arrived after a fine meal on board, just in time to climb to the clock tower at sunset. Our daughters, who were still getting acclimated to the concept of the voyage, were understandably slack jawed at the view across the bay below us as the colors changed hues.

Traveler hiking down to white sandy beach in Greece.

Much of the itinerary included overnight travel, affording maximum daylight to take in the ruggedly beautiful terrain of the Aegean Sea. I commented that in California we seem to measure time in years or decades at most, but in Greece time is measured in centuries. As I climbed up the stairs in Delos I tried to wrap my head around the thousands of summers the rocks have watched mankind march by.

Greek town of Folegandros with white building lining the beach shores and a swimmer in the blue waters.

Folegandros, once notorious as an exile for political prisoners (from Roman times until 1974) has so sufficiently shed its dark past that in 2013 CNN included the island as one of Europe’s seven most beautiful villages. I like that my wife and I were leaning in that direction twenty years ago. Our more recent visit was no less delightful.

White buiding wall with window rope ladder, bougainvillea, potted plants and old townie bike.

Photos in this post were taken by Carly Auerbach. To see more photos from Brad’s revisited Greece honeymoon cruise, view the full Facebook album on AdventureSmith Explorations’ Facebook page:

If you have questions about this Jewels of Cyclades cruise review, or if you have cruised aboard your own Greek honeymoon cruise please let us know in the comments below.

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