Norwegian Jade at Santorini, sailing past the three Bells of Fira, Greece

Ultimate Guide to Greek Isles Cruise Itineraries 2024/5

Ready to set sail on a sun-drenched Greek Island adventure? Discover the dazzling white villages of Mykonos, the ancient wonders of Rhodes, and the breathtaking caldera of Santorini โ€“ all without the hassle of packing and unpacking multiple times!

Your Greek Island Cruise Options: Round-Trip or One-Way Journeys

Round-trip cruises offer the ultimate convenience for exploring the Greek Islands. These itineraries typically depart from Athens (Piraeus), the region’s largest port. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the best round-trip options.

Maximise Your Athens Experience:

Planning to start or end your cruise in Athens? Don’t miss these helpful guides:

While one-way Mediterranean cruises often include Greek Island stops, they span from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) or Athens (Piraeus). The added travel logistics make them slightly less accessible for some travellers. Stay tuned for a future blog post exploring these extended journeys!

Round-Trip Itineraries from Athens (Piraeus) Port

Embark on an unforgettable Greek Island adventure from the iconic port of Athens (Piraeus)! Whether you crave port-packed itineraries, leisurely Mediterranean exploration, or adults-only fun, there’s a perfect cruise line and ship waiting to whisk you away.

Let’s dive into some of the top options:

1. Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Infinity Best of Greece Itinerary Map
Example of Celebrity Infinity Itinerary In Greece – courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Embrace the timeless beauty of Greece with Celebrity Infinity! Wander through the whitewashed lanes of Mykonos, gaze up at Santorini’s iconic cliffs, explore Corfu’s Venetian-influenced old town, and uncover the ancient treasures of Rhodes. Then, venture off the beaten path to charming Hydra or discover the hidden gems of Volos.

What makes these itineraries special? Celebrity Infinity is making the Greek Isles its home in 2024 and 2025, even sailing throughout the winter months! With cruises ranging from 6 to 12 nights, you’ll find a fantastic mix of itineraries packed with both classic destinations and lesser-known treasures.

My verdict: These itineraries are a win for DIY explorers who love the big-ticket ports! The smaller stops offer a relaxed vibe but may be best tackled with a pre-planned excursion if you’re looking for in-depth sightseeing.

2. Virgin Voyages: Resilient Lady in Greek Island Glow

Resilient Lady Greek Island Glow Itinerary Map
Resilient Lady Itinerary Map courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Calling all sun-seekers and history buffs! Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady is taking you on a whirlwind adventure through the best of the Greek Islands. Think picture-perfect Santorini, the timeworn streets of Rhodes, a taste of Turkey in Bodrum, and the legendary nightlife of Mykonos.

What makes this cruise extra special? You get an overnight stay in Mykonos โ€“ no need to rush back to the ship to catch the sunset! Plus, a stop in Bodrum gives you a unique blend of cultures to explore. And, as someone who’s totally hooked on Virgin Voyage’s adults-only vibe (I spent two amazing weeks on their Valiant Lady), I can confidently say this is a cruise itinerary where you can let loose and have some serious fun.

My Verdict: Ditch the tour groups โ€“ this itinerary is perfect for independent explorers.

3. MSC Cruises: MSC Sinfonia & MSC Opera

MSC Sinfonia Pool Area
MSC Sinfonia Pool Deck – courtesy of MSC Cruises

Both MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera will offer cruises focusing on the Greek Isles in 2024 & 2025. For example, MSC Sinfonia will give you a whirlwind tour of the Mediterranean: Savor the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos, delve into the historic streets of Split in Croatia, and soak up the romance of Venice. Finally, discover the charms of Brindisi, a gateway to Puglia’s stunning beaches and Baroque architecture.

MSC Opera will offer destinations less-traveled by mainstream cruise lines. Starting from vibrant Athens (Piraeus) port – a fantastic DIY destination – you can marvel at Santorini’s iconic caldera, stroll through Corfu’s charming Old Town, and explore the ancient site of Olympia from the port of Katakolon. Discover the unspoiled beauty of Argostoli (Kefalonia) and wander through the picturesque streets of Bari, Italy.

My Verdict: Both MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera offer exciting itineraries for DIY adventurers. Big-name ports like Mykonos and Santorini are perfect for independent exploration.

4. NCL Cruises: Norwegian Getaway (2024) & Viva (2025)

NCL Norwegian Getaway Greek Islands Itinerary Map
NCL Norwegian Getaway Greek Islands Itinerary – courtesy of NCL

Norwegian Getaway: Greek Island Port Lover’s Paradise (2024)

If you crave a new adventure every day, Norwegian Getaway’s 2024 itineraries are for you! These port-heavy cruises, ranging from 7 to 10 nights, offer a whirlwind tour of the Greek Islands. Departing from Athens (Piraeus), you’ll explore bustling Rhodes, iconic Mykonos, ancient Heraklion (Crete), breathtaking Santorini, the lesser-known gems of Volos and Paros โ€“ all without a single sea day!

Norwegian Viva: New Ship, New Adventures (2025)

Get ready to experience the Greek Isles in style aboard NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Viva! In 2025, Viva will offer itineraries similar to Norwegian Getaway, taking you on unforgettable journeys through this captivating region.

My Verdict: Both Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Viva itineraries are fantastic choices for DIY explorers! The ports on these itineraries are easily navigable for those who enjoy the freedom of independent excursions and want to explore at their own pace.

5. Holland America: Oosterdam & Nieuw Statendam

Holland America Oosterdam 11-day Dalamatian Delight Itinerary
Oosterdam 11-day Dalmatian Delight Itinerary – Courtesy of Holland America

If you crave longer, immersive journeys, Holland America’s Oosterdam (2024) and Nieuw Statendam (2025) offer the perfect Mediterranean escape.

Embark on a 11-day exploration of the Dalmatian Coast, taking in the Adriatic’s most captivating cities, including the beaches of Split, the walled wonder of Dubrovnik, Corfu, and Trieste. Or, embark on an epic 21-day adventure that adds Malta’s vibrant capital, Valletta, and the grandeur of Rome.

Nieuw Statendam continues this tradition of in-depth itineraries in 2025, offering cruises ranging from 14 to 28 nights. These journeys will transport you to even more hidden gems and iconic destinations throughout the Mediterranean.

My Verdict: Oosterdam and Nieuw Statendam itineraries cater perfectly to DIY explorers who appreciate a slower pace and the chance to truly immerse themselves in each port. Destinations like Dubrovnik, with its iconic Old Town walls, and Valletta offer endless possibilities for independent exploration.

6. Royal Caribbean: Voyager of the Seas (2024) & Brilliance of the Seas (2025)

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas offers a taste of the Greek Isles’ most iconic destinations. These Athens roundtrip itineraries will whisk you away to the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos, the breathtaking beauty of Santorini, and the historical wonders of Istanbul and Ephesus. In 2025, Brilliance of the Seas takes the helm, offering similar adventures through this captivating region.

My Verdict: These itineraries are perfect for those who want to check the “big hitters” off their bucket list. However, be warned โ€“ stopping in all these famous ports in a single itinerary can mean overwhelming crowds in every port day! If you’re set on this itinerary, consider a shoulder season cruise for cheaper fares, shorter cable car queues, and a less sticky (but still sunny) experience.

Featured Image courtesy of NCL – it’s the Norwegian Jade sailing past the three Bells of Fira in Santorini, Greece.

Thank you for joining me on this Greek Islands cruise exploration! I hope this guide has inspired you to set sail on your own unforgettable journey. If you found it valuable, please share it with your travel-loving friends and family โ€“ let’s help everyone find their perfect cruise experience.

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