Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Greek Islands
We’d love if every cruise we took could be aboard a luxury liner like the Queen Elizabeth, but budget constraints normally keep us from splurging on all that opulence and personal service. However, these amazing, limited time fares – up to 60 percent off – on Cunard’s fall Mediterranean sailings mean you don’t have to sacrifice savings for style.
The best value is the 10-day Mediterranean Moments, where inside cabins start at $699, or about $70/day; the cruise goes from Rome to Southampton and makes calls in Italy, Monaco, and Spain. Other itineraries we love range from the 12-day Holy Land Explorer (Rome to Venice, with stops in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt) from $899, to the 12-day Pearls of the Black Sea (Venice to Athens, with stops in the Greek Islands, Turkey, and Ukraine) from $1,299. Even better: all sale fares also include an onboard credit of $100-$300, depending on cabin class.
To give you some perspective, these fares are comparable to similar itineraries currently on offer from Royal Caribbean, which don’t include Cunard’s luxury perks like white-glove service and formal evenings. Just be warned that all sailings with the exception of the 12-day Greek Isles and Turkish Splendours start and end in different ports, and buying two one-way flights may increase the cost of your airfare. You’ll also have to hurry, as the sale ends August 6! Find all the details at www.cunard.com/sale.
If a Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Baltic cruise is on your 2012 travel wish list, check out the $1,776 July 4th sale fares now being offered by Windstar Cruises (must be booked by July 6). Windstar, which operates three tall-masted luxury ships – 312-passenger Wind Surf and 148-passenger Wind Star (shown at left in Greece) and Wind Spirit – has lowered fares on 20 European voyages sailing from mid-July to mid-November (with some fall voyages priced as low as $1,476 and December Caribbean voyages priced from $976).
I have cruised around Europe extensively and have sailed on both Wind Star and Wind Surf. If, like me, you prefer smaller ships to the behemoths, you’ll enjoy the intimate ambiance, wonderful service, superb cuisine, and easy camaraderie that these ships offer. Here are few of my recommendations for itineraries among those on sale until July 6:
I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
There’s nothing like 3,500-year-old frescoes and 1,000-year-old cathedrals to put 50 years of life or 30 years of marriage into perspective – both are a mere heartbeat in the history of humanity. If you’re the kind of traveler who lives your life forever looking forward, but are entranced by the past, you may want to consider a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity. This two-year-old company offers a variety of 14- to 33-day itineraries in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean (through late October) and Asia (November to March and featuring nine new itineraries). What differentiates VTA from other cruise lines is its laser-like focus on ancient cultures explored via extended voyages with lyrical names like “The Light of Greece” and “Those Who Seek Paradise.”
A day trip to Oia certainly inspires oohs and ahs. But only by sleeping here, in the Greek Islands’ most iconic locale, can you really understand the true psyche of the Cycladic islands – the brilliant sunlight, the sensual sunsets, the braying donkeys, the mellifluous church bells, the hushed laughter, the tipsy footsteps, and the silence. Once the cruise ships are gone, this gravity-defying hodgepodge of whitewashed traditional houses, clinging to steep cliffs that tumble down to an ancient caldera filled with the deep blue Aegean, truly becomes one of the most mesmerizing spots on the planet. As a result, it’s chock full of luxury resorts commanding upwards of $700 per night in season. On a recent visit, I opted to think small and stay in an intimate and affordable three-room inn set on one of the town’s most enviable perches: 1864 The Sea Captain’s House.
The Greek islands have sounded their siren call to maritime-minded adventurers since the days of Homer, topping the list of the world’s great sailing destinations from ancient times through present day. The isles offer stunning beaches, crystal-clear seas, world-class nightlife, lip-smacking eateries, and worthwhile shops – and island-hopping from the comfort of a cruise ship makes it possible to thoroughly sample their bounty with absolute ease. Consistently featured on some of the most coveted cruise itineraries on the high seas, the popularity of the Greek isles during the high season months of summer is illustrated by suffocating crowds and inflated costs for cruise bunks, boutique booty, and everything in between. Having just completed a shoulder season autumn sailing to the Greek isles (aboard the sleek sailing yachts of Windstar; read on to nab discounted fares for sailings with them in spring 2012), I’ve rounded up some firsthand tips on the pros and cons of crafting your own custom-tailored, cost-effective, crowd-reducing Greek island odyssey à la shoulder season in spring (March and April) or fall (September and October). Read more
I’ve posted before about the Greek islands, but I’m always looking to pass along new tips and advice on these ever-changing isles. A few bits of wisdom I’ve accumulated recently:
Visit Folegandros: I met locals who suggested a trip to Folegandros, an undeveloped, very beautiful island that draws in-the-know travelers. I suggest spending a few quiet days here before heading to livelier Mykonos or Santorini.
If you tend to get bored after a few days in a single destination, consider visiting Greece, where it’s easy to hop between neighboring islands. I recently spent time on Mykonos and Santorini, which are linked by regular two-hour high-speed catamaran service. Crowds thin and room rates fall in September and early October, making those six weeks a great time to visit. Here are resort options on both:
Mykonos: If you love sun, fun, and nightlife, this party-centric island is the one for you. But couples with a more low-key or romantic sensibility can find lots to love, too. You’ll enjoy its bohemian charms, especially from sunset on, and spending three or four days here – and renting a small car or one of the ubiquitous ATVs (Quads) – will let you sample its many beaches, appealing small eateries, and the maze of streets in Mykonos Town (don’t miss sunset from the patio of a small bar or café in Little Mykonos, with its view of the island’s iconic windmills – shown above at left).
Celebrate spring in the Greek Islands with an affordable vacation package from EuropeanDestinations.com. This 6-night air-inclusive package provides a budget-friendly opportunity to unwind in the romantic Cyclades, and also get a taste of the glory of ancient Greece with time in Athens. Spend a few days in the capital city exploring the Parthenon and the renowned National Archeological Museum. Next, head to Mykonos for a trendy beach and nightlife scene second to none. Round out your trip with two nights on beautiful Santorini, one of the world’s most picturesque volcanic islands. Starting at just $1017, the offer includes round-trip flight from the US, ferry transportation, breakfast, your choice of hotels. While the offer is available through summer, you’ll beat summer’s crowds by traveling soon. Plus, you’ll also enjoy mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s ideal for exploring white-roofed cliffside villages, glittering black-and-red-sand beaches, and some of the world’s most picturesque ports and fishing marinas.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals