10 Best Greece Cruises, According to Travel Experts

With its stunning beaches, rich history, iconic landmarks, and delectable cuisine, a trip to Greece is always a great idea. However, since the nation is home to more than 6,000 islands — some of which are only accessible by boat — your best bet is to explore via cruise. Just take it from Rob Clabbers, Travel + Leisure A-List travel advisor and Q Cruise + Travel founder, who tells T+L that “Greece and the Greek isles are just the perfect destinations to explore by ship” since “a cruise allows you to see more islands and gives you a unique vantage point.” Several of the best Greece cruises also include visits to neighboring countries like Turkey and Italy, for example, which allow travelers to experience several cultures and countries in one action-packed trip. Intrigued? We don’t blame you: Ahead, check out our favorite Greece cruises for every type of traveler, along with itinerary recommendations and expert insight.

Meet the Expert

Rob Clabbers is a T+L A-List travel advisor and founder of Q Cruise + Travel, a Chicago-based travel agency. 

Mary Curry is a T+L A-list travel advisor and small ship specialist.

Kari Dillon is the owner of Marvelous Mouse Travels, an agency specializing in theme park and cruise vacations.

Megan Guinnup is a travel agent with Marvelous Mouse Travels.



Windstar Cruises

Courtesy of Windstar



According to Clabbers, this small luxury cruise line is perfect for those who prefer “a smaller, more casual yacht-style experience.” Per the pro, the onboard vibes are best described as “upscale, but not stuffy or over-the-top.” It’s also worth noting that “each ship offers a water sports platform with kayaks, water trampolines, stand-up paddling, snorkel gear, floating carpets, and other ‘toys’ that are deployed (weather and location permitting, of course) at least once on most Greek itineraries.” 

Itinerary: While you can’t go wrong with any of Windstar’s Greece itineraries, Clabbers is quick to call out the popular Treasures of the Greek Isles voyage, which sets sail each week from May through October. Passengers can visit beloved ports of call like Mykonos and Santorini, along with “lesser-known (and less-crowded!) places like Monemvasia and Patmos.” As part of the experience, guests have the unique opportunity to feast among the ruins in neighboring Turkey as part of the line’s complimentary Evening in Ephesus “after-hours” event, which, per Clabbers, features a decadent five-course dinner accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Speaking of culinary offerings, it’s worth mentioning that Windstar is the official cruise line partner of the esteemed James Beard Foundation, which means you can expect some of the top eats at sea.



Explora Journeys

Courtesy of Explora Cruises



“A new entrant in the luxury travel industry, Explora Journeys offers all the style and comfort of a modern European luxury resort property on its 922-guest yacht-inspired Explora I and, launching later this year, Explora II,” explains Clabbers. The line has taken the industry by storm, doing away with cliche cruise staples like main dining rooms, large buffets, and notoriously small staterooms. Instead, says Clabbers, guests can choose from a selection of “excellent restaurants that other companies would call specialty restaurants,” as well as “four swimming pools, each with their own vibe,” and all-suite accommodations, some of which boast private plunge pools. Per the pro, it’s worth noting that “Explora Journeys is the first luxury line that offers a dedicated youth activity program and facility year-round;” as such, it’s an excellent option for multi-generational families looking to cruise Greece in style. 

Itinerary: Sailing round-trip from Athens, the aptly named eight-night A Journey from Athens to Athens itinerary includes a mix of popular ports like Mykonos and Santorini, along with hidden-gem locales like Syros, which is famous for its neoclassical architecture, a buzzy main town, and (essentially) crowd-free beaches. The cruise also visits the serene resort town of Marmaris in Turkey before heading to its final port of call, Kos, a gorgeous Greek island known for its sandy beaches, white-washed buildings, and historical sites.



Celebrity Cruises

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises



According to Clabbers, “Celebrity Cruises was launched by a Greek shipping family,” so the line has deep ties to — and many officers who hail from — the country. What’s more, he says, “When you visit Greece, they are taking you to their homeland, and it shows in their passion and love of the Hellenic nation.” The line offers a range of larger ships and, thus, more options between accommodations (from economical inside rooms to luxurious suites in The Retreat), itineraries, restaurants, and entertainment; as such, Celebrity is “a great option for adults and families who like more activities on their ship.” 

Itinerary: The nine-night Best Of Greece itinerary cruises round-trip from Athens on select dates from May to October and takes place aboard the 2,170-passenger Celebrity Infinity, which Clabbers described as one of the line’s “smaller and more seasoned ships.” The first port of call is Santorini, followed by Ephesus in Turkey and Mykonos. “Additionally,” says Clabbers, “Infinity  travels to Volos and Thessaloniki, ports that are not typically visited by large ships.” Kavala, located in the northern part of the country, serves as the final port of call before heading back to Athens. Here, cruisers can enjoy a mix of history, culture, and architecture — plus some seriously stunning landscapes (from lagoons and lakes to wetlands and beaches) along with lush flora and fauna.

Related: What to Know About All 16 Ships in the Celebrity Cruises Fleet



Silversea

Courtesy of Silversea cruises



Silversea offers a variety of Greece cruise itineraries, and it’s one of few truly luxe all-inclusive cruise lines. Per Clabbers, the 596-passenger Silver Moon offers all-suite accommodations and a classic small-ship feel — complete with excellent meals, beverages, and shore excursions all included in your cruise fare. Speaking of the latter, he says, “The inclusion of shore excursions also makes it easy to dive deeper into Greek culture and culinary experiences.” 

Itinerary: While you can’t go wrong with any of Silversea’s Greek itineraries, Clabbers especially recommends the seven-night Athens to Athens cruise, which “calls on highlights, but adds places like Souda Bay in Crete, Nafplion, Patmos, and Rhodes,” where he recommends visiting the “temple ruins at Lindos, with views over the Mediterranean, and then walk in the footsteps of the Crusaders in the old town.” The cruise also stops in Nafplion, which, despite its romantic seaside setting and lovely beaches, is yet to be uncovered by most American travelers — for now, at least.



Variety Cruises

Courtesy of Variety Cruises



According to T+L A-list travel advisor and small ship specialist Mary Curry, this local Greek cruise line offers its own fleet of yachts, most carrying fewer than 50 passengers. Since the ships are so small, says Curry, “you can travel a bit further off the beaten path.” Variety offers a handful of Greece itineraries, including specially themed hiking and wine cruises.

Itinerary: Travelers craving a true off-the-beaten-path experience can book the seven-night Unexplored Greece voyage, which sails round-trip from Athens. The first port of call is Ikira, a tiny island known for its hot springs that also happens to be one of the world’s Blue Zones. Then, it’s off to Patmos, known for its fascinating history and unspoiled beaches, before overnighting in Lipsi, a laid-back isle famous for its gorgeous scenery. On board, guests can taste the destination’s famous wine, Aposperitis. The fun continues in Levintha, inhabited by a single family who raises animals and runs a restaurant where guests can enjoy fresh-caught fish. After, it’s off to Amorgos, where scenic hiking and beautiful beaches abound. The next day, you’ll stop at Panagia Hozoviotissa, a cliffside monastery dating back to the 10th century, before heading to Koufonisia, which boasts majestic caves and rock pools accessible only by boat (thankfully, Variety as you covered). The final stop of the day is the serene island of Iraklia, which offers clear-blue waters ideal for swimming. After remaining here overnight, you’ll head to the final port of call, Serifos, where guests can visit a remote beach, followed by an onboard BBQ feast to refuel before heading to Chora, a fairy-tale village.



Ponant

Courtesy of Ponant Cruises



This French-owned cruise line offers an impressive fleet of small luxury ships. Additionally, says Curry, “Most cabins have private balconies, and travelers who plan early are rewarded with excellent value for the money.” What’s especially unique about Pontant, explains the pro, is that they “partner with Smithsonian Journeys on select departures to offer an enrichment program of included lectures and shore excursions in each port.”

Itinerary: Curry especially recommends the seven-night Cruising the Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean sailing, which will cruise round-trip from Athens in July and October 2025. The cruise calls on aforementioned spots like Patmos, Rhodes, and Amorgos before visiting Adamas in Milos, a volcanic island teeming with postcard-worthy white-washed towns and breathtakingly beautiful beaches. Adamas itself is a tiny fishing port where colorful boats shimmer against the blue waters. Finally, it’s off to Mykonos and Napflion before finally disembarking in Athens.



Disney Cruise Line

Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line



Disney Cruise Line is world-famous for its exciting onboard offerings for children of all ages — including character and superhero meet-and-greets, dining options themed after beloved Disney princesses, and live performances galore — making it a favorite for families hoping for a fun-filled Greece vacation.

Itinerary: “Setting sail aboard the Disney Dream on the seven-night Mediterranean with Greek Isles itinerary is nothing short of magical!” says Megan Guinnup, a travel agent with Marvelous Mouse Travels. Cruising round-trip from Rome, the ship calls on Naples before exploring Greece. In addition to popular ports like Athens and Mykonos, you’ll also visit Chania on the island of Crete, which offers a bustling harbor, exquisite architecture, and cobblestone streets that look like they were plucked straight from a (Disney) fairy tale. After exploring each locale, the fun continues back on board, where, per the pro, “there is enchantment everywhere — meeting beloved characters, enjoying deck parties with Mickey and Minnie, and indulging in exquisite cuisine.”

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Disney Cruise Ships



Royal Caribbean

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean



This mega-ship line truly has it all: Flashy entertainment and onboard activities — which, depending on the ship, can include everything from water slides to zip lines — and plenty of drinking and dining offerings to appease even the pickiest eaters. Guinnup and Kari Dillon, owner of Marvelous Mouse Travels, recommend setting sail aboard Odyssey of the Seas, which offers several Greek itineraries. “On board,” says Guinnup, “There’s a plethora of activities to enjoy, from bumper cars and roller skating to exquisite dining and a bionic bar — there’s something for everyone!”

Itinerary: The seven-night Greek Isles itinerary sails round-trip from Rome with stops in Santorini, Ephesus, Mykonos, and Naples. Keep in mind that because the ship is so large, Santorini and Mykonos are both tender ports. With that in mind, Dillon recommends springing on The Key, an optional add-on that includes priority tender access so that you can spend as much time as possible on land basking in its beauty.



Virgin Voyages

Courtesy of Virgin Voyages



Richard Branson’s adults-only line has taken the industry by storm with its innovative offerings, including 20-plus restaurants instead of buffets, an onboard tattoo parlor, adult-focused entertainment offerings, and a two-story nightclub.

Itinerary: Dillon especially recommends the seven-night Greek Island Aglow itinerary for travelers seeking a high-energy, adults-only option. She continues, telling T+L, “Not only does this sail to the islands of Santorini and Rhodes, but it [also] has an overnight in Mykonos, which is world-famous for its lively party atmosphere.” As a bonus, the cruise also calls on Bodrum in Turkey, which boasts beautiful beaches, flower-filled cafes, and a bustling nightlife scene.



Celestyal Cruises

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images



The Greece-based Celesytal Cruises prides itself on offering an authentic Greek vacation experience. Additionally, Celesytal is unique in that it offers year-round Aegean Sea sailings cruising round-trip from Athens and ranging in length from three to 14 nights. On land, Celeystal guests can choose from a selection of the line’s “Authentic Excursions,” which are specially curated, small-group, expert-led experiences designed to take travelers off the beaten path. Options — including walking food tours and pottery-making demos at a local factory — abound, depending on the particular port of call.

Itinerary: The seven-night Idyllic Aegean voyage visits Thessaloniki (which offers an eclectic combination of history, nightlife, and gastronomy), Kuşadası (a popular Turkish resort town), and Heraklion (the capital of Crete) before heading to iconic isles like Santorini and Mykonos, where the ship will remain overnight. Before returning to Athens for disembarkation, you’ll also stop in magnificent Milos.


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