Variety Cruises are pleased to announce the first of our new Wine Cruises of Greece, an all inclusive voyage. This journey takes us to many of the Greek wine hotspots including Nemea, Santorini, and Tinos. Wine and the making of it is central to this voyage, but as we follow its trail we'll also discover the limestone crags and wild mountains of the Peloponnese, the breathtaking views of Santorini, and the quieter villages of the Cyclades and Eastern Aegean islands.
We'll meet leading winemakers, taste at top wineries, and enjoy dinners paired with a specially chosen selection of wines - each exploring the superb native grape varieties of Greece's many diverse regions.
This exploration will illustrate how the wines of Greece have emerged as some of the most interesting and exciting in the world over the past 25 years, with changes at least as profound as those that have taken place in Chile and New Zealand.
Our on board chef will design classic and regional fare, matching intense local flavours with the unique and varied wines.
The Wine Cruise celebrates everything that is wonderful and alluring about Greece; the passion of its people, the evening light on the hillsides, remote swim spots in turquoise seas. We'll call upon quiet harbours, see ancient sites, and discover hidden yet exquisite corners of the country.
TIM CLARKE - OUR WINE AMBASSADOR
Tim Clarke is one of the pioneers of global wine tourism. With his wife Lynette Arblaster, he co-founded Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours, which they ran together for nearly 30 years. At Arblaster & Clarke, Tim was responsible for developing the programme and marketing. Under their ownership, it became the world's leading wine tours company.
In the early 1980s, Tim worked in wine-retail in London and saw how fascinated people were by Champagne and the many newly emerging wine regions. In 1986, Tim & Lynette invented the concept of the 'Champagne Weekend' and then pioneered wine tours around the world. Tim led the first international consumer wine tours to diverse locations around the world including Australia, Sicily, Ribera del Duero, Uruguay, The Republic of Georgia, and Greece. Indeed, Tim was one of the earliest international commentators to take the Greek wine renaissance seriously.
After selling Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours, Tim has been busy with other projects, including making a 'passito-style' Muscat wine on the island of Samos, planting a vineyard in Hampshire, and the Wine Routes wine tourism consultancy.
Tim returned to wine tours in 2019 and has developed superb up-to-the minute tours and wine holidays. He is now very happy to be the Wine Ambassador for Variety Cruises.
Day By Day
Athens, Marina Zeas (Piraeus) - Hydra
Begin as you mean to go on with a welcome glass of sparkling wine while you meet your crew and fellow passengers. Evening sail to Hydra and dinner served with wines from the Ionian Sea. Overnight at Hydra.
Nafplio - Nemea
After a morning arrival into Nafplio, we'll visit the ancient site of Mycenae. Then on to Nemea - the leading red wine appellation in Southern Greece - to visit the pioneering, top-quality estate, Gaia. Our next visit is also our lunch stop; at Semeli where we'll taste their range of fine wines from Nemea and Mantineia. Enjoy some free time in Nafplio, one of the most attractive towns in mainland Greece, before we sail south along the coast of Arcadia, letting the anchor down for a swim stop as soon as possible. Dinner on board, paired with select wines from the Peloponnese.
Monemvasia's wealth came from its Malvasia (also known as Malmsey), so it's safe to say wine meant a lot to the mediaeval town. Visit the vineyards with Monemvasia Winery who are re-establishing the island's wine fame. Lunch ashore with freetime in the afternoon; exploration of the old town and taking a dip in the cooling waters are recommended. Tonight's dinner is on board where we welcome the Tsimbidis family of Monemvasia Winery to dine with us.
Swimming at the beaches of Milos is almost unbeatable. Almost, but not quite: dropping anchor at sea nearby and diving deck to water wins every time. Spend your morning this way before drying off to explore the island, enjoying locally produced food and wines in a village taverna. Learn about the island's grape history, and about the recent Imerys investment in its vineyards. At this evening's dinner your wine host, Tim Clarke, presents some of the best wines from nearby Crete.
Santorini is rightfully known as one of the top spots for white wine in Greece, and has local grape varieties of extraordinary quality. We'll visit the top winery, Argyros, with century-old vines. Setting sail in the afternoon, we'll enjoy wines from the Santorini grapes as we cruise through the Cyclades to the Eastern Aegean islands.
Samos - Fourni
This morning we'll moor in the sleepy fishing village of Ormos before heading inland to visit the inspiring Vakakis winery. Then on to Platanos, its steep vineyard terraces seeded with White Muscat. Over an idyllic lunch we'll taste a range of Samian wines. Our afternoon sail takes us to the Fourni Isles, rarely visited by tourists and an ideal spot for swimming thanks to its largely untouched beaches. Dinner tonight is paired with wines from Chios and Ikaria, both prized wines in ancient times.
Tinos - Karystos
Tinos is a holy island, said to be home to more than 700 churches. It's also another wine hotspot, known for its Assyrtiko grape; one with extraordinary quality when grown in soils rich with volcanic ash, such as those on Tinos. In the morning we'll visit emerging star winery, Volacus, before we set sail and moor near Andros for lunch, swimming, and a tasting of Greek wines from international grape varieties. In the afternoon we make a short sail across to Karystos on Evvia island.
Athens - Marina Zeas (Piraeus)
Breakfast and disembarkation. For those not arranging their own onward transport this morning, we offer an optional tour of Athens including wine tasting and lunch at Kokotos Estate, followed by a transfer to Athens Airport.
Call (724) 443-0990 for more information or to book today! Mention code 16465775
- Cruise Line
- Variety Cruises
- Offer valid through 6/30/2022
- 8 Days
- Cruise Ship
- Harmony G
Click for more information on this ship.
- * Cruise Fares
All fares are quoted in US Dollars or Euro and are per person based on double occupancy. US $ cruise fares apply for US and Canadian passport holders and Euro rates apply for all other nationalities.
Shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation all meals and on board entertainment as specified in the cruise program selected.
Fares do not Include:
Port charges, fuel surcharge, travel insurance, transfers, optional air/sea or land programs (unless noted), shore excursions, airport facility charges, taxes/fees, nor do they include items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, gratuities, gift shop purchases, medical services, phone calls, etc. All onboard charges are in Euros.
Port Charges, Fuel Surcharge and Airport Taxes
Port charges and fuel surcharge are in addition to the cruise fares. Payment for port charges must be made at the time the final payment is made.