Ultra-luxury cruises with private butler service.

Mediterranean

Athens to Lisbon - Voyage Number : 6706
DEPARTURE
Jun 02 2021
DURATION
14 DAYS
SHIP
Silver Cloud

Itinerary & Excursions

Go beyond your boundaries and explore the world as never before.

It's no wonder that all roads lead to the fascinating and maddening metropolis of Athens. Lift your eyes 200 feet above the city to the Parthenon, its honey-color marble columns rising from a massive limestone base, and you behold architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years. But, today, this shrine of classical form dominates a 21st-century boomtown. To experience Athens—Athína in Greek—fully is to understand the essence of Greece: ancient monuments surviving in a sea of cement, startling beauty amid the squalor, tradition juxtaposed with modernity. Locals depend on humor and flexibility to deal with the chaos; you should do the same. The rewards are immense. Although Athens covers a huge area, the major landmarks of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are close to the modern city center. You can easily walk from the Acropolis to many other key sites, taking time to browse in shops and relax in cafés and tavernas along the way. From many quarters of the city you can glimpse "the glory that was Greece" in the form of the Acropolis looming above the horizon, but only by actually climbing that rocky precipice can you feel the impact of the ancient settlement. The Acropolis and Filopappou, two craggy hills sitting side by side; the ancient Agora (marketplace); and Kerameikos, the first cemetery, form the core of ancient and Roman Athens. Along the Unification of Archaeological Sites promenade, you can follow stone-paved, tree-lined walkways from site to site, undisturbed by traffic. Cars have also been banned or reduced in other streets in the historical center. In the National Archaeological Museum, vast numbers of artifacts illustrate the many millennia of Greek civilization; smaller museums such as the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum illuminate the history of particular regions or periods. Athens may seem like one huge city, but it is really a conglomeration of neighborhoods with distinctive characters. The Eastern influences that prevailed during the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire are still evident in Monastiraki, the bazaar area near the foot of the Acropolis. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, stroll through Plaka (if possible by moonlight), an area of tranquil streets lined with renovated mansions, to get the flavor of the 19th-century's gracious lifestyle. The narrow lanes of Anafiotika, a section of Plaka, thread past tiny churches and small, color-washed houses with wooden upper stories, recalling a Cycladic island village. In this maze of winding streets, vestiges of the older city are everywhere: crumbling stairways lined with festive tavernas; dank cellars filled with wine vats; occasionally a court or diminutive garden, enclosed within high walls and filled with magnolia trees and the flaming trumpet-shaped flowers of hibiscus bushes. Formerly run-down old quarters, such as Thission, Gazi and Psirri, popular nightlife areas filled with bars and mezedopoleia (similar to tapas bars), are now in the process of gentrification, although they still retain much of their original charm, as does the colorful produce and meat market on Athinas. The area around Syntagma Square, the tourist hub, and Omonia Square, the commercial heart of the city about 1 km (½ mi) northwest, is distinctly European, having been designed by the court architects of King Otho, a Bavarian, in the 19th century. The chic shops and bistros of ritzy Kolonaki nestle at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus, Athens's highest hill (909 feet). Each of Athens's outlying suburbs has a distinctive character: in the north is wealthy, tree-lined Kifissia, once a summer resort for aristocratic Athenians, and in the south and southeast lie Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni, with their sandy beaches, seaside bars, and lively summer nightlife. Just beyond the city's southern fringes is Piraeus, a bustling port city of waterside fish tavernas and Saronic Gulf views.

Monemvasia boasts a varied and colorful history that can be traced to the 8th-century when Greeks fleeing the Slav invasion of Lakonia found refuge here. In its heyday it controlled sea travel between the Levant and European shores. The wall-encircled Lower Town extends along the slopes of a 985-foot-high crag that projects into the sea on the east side of the Peloponnese. For centuries an impressive stronghold, population dwindled as the inhabitants moved to the mainland. But with the beginning of a restoration program aimed to preserve Monemvasia's heritage, the Lower Town experienced a new lease on life, and people have begun to return. The Upper Town is situated on top of the Rock of Monemvasia. It is reached via a zigzagging, paved lane. An almost impregnable bastion in earlier days, it has been uninhabited for centuries, but still manages to preserve its magnificent appearance. Visitors today can explore the remains of the ancient citadel-castle and visit the church of Hagia Sofia. From the summit there is also a fantastic view of the surrounding area.

Journey to the centre of the world, as you explore the ancient wonders of Delphi. The pretty orange dome of Itea's church beckons you ashore, as you prepare to journey onwards to the location of some of the world's most richly-woven mythology and history. Set on the slopes of the mighty Mount Parnassus, which looms high over the area’s vineyards, almond trees and olive groves, Delphi is a location that’s blessed with a dense tapestry of incredible heritage. Known as the naval of the world by the Ancient Greeks, mighty leaders would journey here to consult the famous oracle, before making decisions that would ripple across the world. Pilgrims visited the Oracle of Delphi for prophesies, which were said to be channelled directly from the god Apollo.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Porto Empedocle has long served as the port for Agrigento, the capital of the province of the same name. Located on Sicily’s southwest coast, ancient Agrigento was Akragas to the Greeks, who established the first settlement on a ridge between two rivers in 581 BC. Through massive trade with the Phoenician port of Carthage, the city rose to such wealth and power that Pindar called Agrigento “the most beautiful city built by mortal men". Despite frequent attacks over the centuries, the city survived through the Roman era, the Middle Ages and into the modern age. Structures from all these eras stand side by side in Agrigento today. Much of the area has drastically changed due to the development of modern Agrigento. However, the historic town center, with its huddle of narrow, winding streets, still offers some sites worth exploring. Among its main points of interest is the cathedral, which stands on the foundation of a temple of Jupiter from the 6th century BC. Outside the city, the chief attraction is the Valley of the Temples, which is one of the most impressive classical sites in all of Italy. It draws scores of visitors from around the world who come to marvel at the remains of the magnificent structures scattered throughout the archaeological area. Some of the most impressive finds are displayed in the museum at the entrance to the site. The small town of Empedocle has one main street, along which are a few shops, bars and restaurants.At lunchtime, the place looks deserted; shopkeepers close their doors and head home. From Empedocle it is approximately six miles to Agrigento. Venture ashore to visit the famous Valley of the Temples or explore Agrigento’s busy town center with its numerous shops. When the hustle and bustle gets to you, cool off in a shady sidewalk café and sip a campari or enjoy a cappuccino.
Trapani, the most important town on Sicily’s west coast, lies below the headland of Mount Erice and offers stunning views of the Egadi Islands on a clear day. Trapani’s Old District occupies a scimitarshaped promontory between the open sea on the north and the salt marshes to the south. The ancient industry of extracting salt from the marshes has recently been revived, and it is documented in the Museo delle Saline. In addition to the salt marshes,Trapani’s other interesting environs include the beautiful little hill town of Erice, the promontory of Capo San Vito stretching north beyond the splendid headland of Monte Cofano, the lovely island of Motya and the town of Marsala. Trips farther afield will take you to the magnificent site of Segesta or the Egadi Islands, reached by boat or hydrofoil from Trapani Port.

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This city of nearly 160,000 people is characterized by a busy commercial center and waterfront with broad avenues and arched arcades, as well as by the typically narrow streets of the old hilltop citadel (called, simply, “Castello”). The Museo Archeologico makes a good starting point to a visit. The imposing Bastione di Saint Remy and Mercato di San Benedetto (one of the best fish markets in Italy) are both musts.

Situated between the sea, a cape and a mountain, Bejaïa is one of Algeria’s prettiest cities. With a population of about 200,000 it is also the capital of Bejaïa province. The old town lies on the slopes of Mount Gouraya descending to the French sector along the sea. Main landmarks include a 16th-century mosque, a Spanish fortress, also from the 16th century, and an old Kasbah. The history of Bejaïa can be traced to the founding by the Carthaginians in the 1st century BC. From the 2nd to the 5th centuries the town was under Roman rule and flourished as a commercial and military center called Saldae. In the 12th century, Bejaïa became the capital of the Berber Hammadid dynasty only to be annexed one hundred years later into the Hafsid Empire of Tunis. During the Middle Ages, Bougie, as the town was known then, was a favorite pirate stronghold. Later followed a succession of Spanish and Ottoman rulers. In 1833, when the French occupied Algeria, Bejaïa declined as Algiers had become the preferred port. A project in the early 1900s to improve the harbor and the construction of an oil pipeline in 1959 regained Bejaïa’s former importance and made it a leading port for oil transported from the oil fields at Hassi Messauoud. After long and fierce battles, independence from France was achieved in July 1962. Algeria has three languages – Arabic, French and Amazigh (the Berber language). While French has long been used in universities, research and journalism, Arabic is more and more taking the place of French. Guests are advised that in order to go ashore in this port, participation in one of the organized tours is required. This regulation is waived for guests who come provided with their own individual Algerian visa. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to dock at the port of Bejaïa. Distance to the town center is approximately 500 yards. Metered taxis are generally available at the pier gate, though English-speaking drivers are not easy to find. Shopping Pottery, traditional dress, carpets, jewelry and local handicrafts make for genuine Algerian souvenirs. Carpet patterns are distinct according to regions. Price and quality vary accordingly. State run shops, offering, a wide range of handicrafts and souvenirs, are a good place for comparative pricing. Store hours are normally from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The local currency is the dinar. Cuisine Fresh seafood, lamb dishes and couscous are found on most menus. The best choice is at one of the more upscale hotels. Other Sites Attractions in and around Bejaia are covered in the organized shore excursions. Private arrangements are only possible (subject to availability) for guests who are in possession of an individual Algerian visa.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Whether you pronounce it Seville or Sevilla, this gorgeous Spanish town is most certainly the stuff of dreams. Over 2,200 years old, Seville has a mutli-layered personality; home to Flamenco, high temperatures and three UNESCO-World Heritage Sites, there is a noble ancestry to the southern Spanish town. Not forgetting that it is the birthplace of painter Diego Velazquez, the resting place of Christopher Columbus, the inspiration for Bizet’s Carmen and a location for Game of Thrones filming, Seville is truly more than just a sum of its parts. This city is a full on experience, a beguiling labyrinth of centuries old streets, tiny tapas restaurants serving possibly the best dishes you’ll taste south of Madrid and a paradise of Mudejar architecture and tranquil palm trees and fountain-filled gardens.
Whether you pronounce it Seville or Sevilla, this gorgeous Spanish town is most certainly the stuff of dreams. Over 2,200 years old, Seville has a mutli-layered personality; home to Flamenco, high temperatures and three UNESCO-World Heritage Sites, there is a noble ancestry to the southern Spanish town. Not forgetting that it is the birthplace of painter Diego Velazquez, the resting place of Christopher Columbus, the inspiration for Bizet’s Carmen and a location for Game of Thrones filming, Seville is truly more than just a sum of its parts. This city is a full on experience, a beguiling labyrinth of centuries old streets, tiny tapas restaurants serving possibly the best dishes you’ll taste south of Madrid and a paradise of Mudejar architecture and tranquil palm trees and fountain-filled gardens.

Portimão is a major fishing port, and significant investment has been poured into transforming it into an attractive cruise port as well. The city itself is spacious and has several good shopping streets—though sadly many of the more traditional retailers have closed in the wake of the global economic crisis. There is also a lovely riverside area that just begs to be strolled (lots of the coastal cruises depart from here). Don’t leave without stopping for an alfresco lunch at the Doca da Sardinha ("sardine dock") between the old bridge and the railway bridge. You can sit at one of many inexpensive establishments, eating charcoal-grilled sardines (a local specialty) accompanied by chewy fresh bread, simple salads, and local wine.

Spread over a string of seven hills north of the Rio Tejo (Tagus River) estuary, Lisbon presents an intriguing variety of faces to those who negotiate its switchback streets. In the oldest neighborhoods, stepped alleys whose street pattern dates back to Moorish times are lined with pastel-color houses decked with laundry; here and there, miradouros (vantage points) afford spectacular river or city views. In the grand 18th-century center, calçada à portuguesa (black-and-white mosaic cobblestone) sidewalks border wide boulevards. Elétricos (trams) clank through the streets, and blue-and-white azulejos (painted and glazed ceramic tiles) adorn churches, restaurants, and fountains.

Of course, parts of Lisbon lack charm. Even some downtown areas have lost their classic Portuguese appearance as the city has become more cosmopolitan: shiny office blocks have replaced some 19th- and 20th-century art nouveau buildings. And centenarian trams share the streets with "fast trams" and noisy automobiles.

Lisbon bears the mark of an incredible heritage with laid-back pride. In preparing to host the 1998 World Exposition, Lisbon spruced up public buildings, overhauled its subway system, and completed an impressive second bridge across the river. Today the former Expo site is an expansive riverfront development known as Parque das Nações, and the city is a popular port of call for cruises, whose passengers disembark onto a revitalized waterfront. Downtown, all the main squares have been overhauled one by one.

In its heyday in the 16th century, Lisbon was a pioneer of the first wave of globalization. Now, the empire is striking back, with Brazilians and people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa enriching the city’s ethnic mix. There are also more than a few people from other European countries who are rapidly becoming integrated.

But Lisbon's intrinsic, slightly disorganized, one-of-a-kind charm hasn't vanished in the contemporary mix. Lisboetas (people from Lisbon) are at ease pulling up café chairs and perusing newspapers against any backdrop, whether it reflects the progress and commerce of today or the riches that once poured in from Asia, South America, and Africa. And quiet courtyards and sweeping viewpoints are never far away.

Despite rising prosperity (and costs) since Portugal entered the European Community in 1986, and the more recent tourism boom, prices for most goods and services are still lower than most other European countries. You can still find affordable places to eat and stay, and with distances between major sights fairly small, taxis are astonishingly cheap. All this means that Lisbon is not only a treasure chest of historical monuments, but also a place where you won’t use up all your own hard-earned treasure.

Suites & Fares

World Cruise Finder's suites are some of the most spacious in luxury cruising.
Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Owner's 2 Bedroom
Owner's 2 Bedroom
FROM US$ 45,800
with early booking bonus
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Grand 2 Bedroom
Grand 2 Bedroom
FROM US$ 41,600
with early booking bonus
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Owner's 1 Bedroom
Owner's 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 39,300
with early booking bonus
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Royal 2 Bedroom
Royal 2 Bedroom
FROM US$ 37,200
with early booking bonus
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Grand 1 Bedroom
Grand 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 32,900
with early booking bonus
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Royal 1 Bedroom
Royal 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 28,000
with early booking bonus
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Silver
Silver
FROM US$ 23,800
with early booking bonus
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Medallion
Medallion
FROM US$ 20,200
with early booking bonus
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Midship Veranda
Midship Veranda
FROM US$ 15,500
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Veranda
Veranda
FROM US$ 13,300
with early booking bonus
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Vista
Vista
FROM US$ 11,600
with early booking bonus
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Competitive Silversea rates. Request a quote.

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