Six-star 11-night ‘Wonders of the Ancient World’ Greek Islands Regent Seven Seas cruise, combining the Wonders of Antiquity with Sun and Sea, Wine and Gourmet Cuisine. The date is June 10, 2021, high season in the Mediterranean, and the all-inclusive price for CountryClubuk Members starts at only £4,299 per person for a luxurious Concierge Suite, saving more than £5,000 per person
Luxuriate in the cradle of Western Civilisation, see the antiquities and mysteries which shaped our lives, brought to life before your eyes, bask in the Greek islands sunshine, relax on white-sand beaches and swim in the warm, clear turquoise waters, drink Champagne and dine on gourmet cuisine, and see the beauties of some of the world’s most wonderful islands and seascapes from your private veranda and suite on this amazing all-inclusive holiday, ‘Wonders of the Ancient World’. This is a cruise to refresh all the senses!
The itinerary is superb and encompasses the full panoply of Western civilisation in Ancient Greece and Turkey: We shall visit scores of the most iconic sights in history, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to Colossus, to Akrotiri, a town buried by volcanic eruption much like Pompeii, as well as the uninhabited island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. We shall visit fine-wine vineyards and taste gourmet cuisines, explore one of the world’s most iconic islands, Santorini, together with Mykonos, Crete and Rhodes, while being pampered on a multi-award-winning, six-star cruise, with free return flights, free gratuities and up to 53 free shore excursions. And as a Club Member you will be enjoying all this from the luxurious Concierge Suite, saving from £5,000, or the magnificent Penthouse Suite with your own butler and business class flights, while saving from £6,000 per person!
This six-star luxury cruise is a magical voyage from Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul.
The dates are June 10 to June 20, 2021. Everything is included: your luxurious suite with your private veranda on the 700-passenger Regent Seven Seas Mariner, return flights and transfers, excellent and unlimited wines, fine dining in gourmet speciality restaurants, private dining in your suite, up to 53 free port excursions, free gratuities and more . . . all that is left for you to do is relax in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises wins the most coveted awards: Best for Accommodation: Best for Luxury: Best for Excursions: Best Luxury Cruise Line: Favourite Cruise Line and more.
And for all this fully-inclusive luxury you have exclusive access to special rates and extras available only to you as a CountryClubuk Member. Your rates start at just £4,149 per person for this 10-night holiday—and you are literally sailing in a six-star hotel. Think of the Dorchester Hotel afloat! So if you are seeking a six-star holiday, and you want an exclusive deal as well as the height of six-star luxury, please read on—and enjoy!
You are invited to join us aboard the six-star luxury cruise ship Regent Seven Seas Mariner, to luxuriate in the Cradle of Western Civilisation, bask in the Greek islands sunshine, relax on white-sand beaches and swim in the warm turquoise seas, to drink Champagne and dine on gourmet cuisine, and to see the beauties of some of the world’s most wonderful islands and seascapes from your private veranda. Your rate will be from only £4,149 per person for a six-star luxury suite with private veranda and simply everything included: complimentary flights, excellent wines, fine cuisine in a variety of speciality restaurants and up to 53 free top-grade shore excursions.
Is it really possible to choose just the one Greek island or historic Turkish city for 10 days’ stress-free escapism and culture in the ‘Cradle of Western Civilisation’? Surely not. Far better instead to sail your way around the deep blue waters, with every day a fresh vision of new and iconic sights laid at your feet, ready for you to explore. You can do as much, or as little, as you please.
This cruise through the Greek Islands and Turkey is a fantastic way to see the roots of our civilisation in the way that ancient seafarers once did—arriving from the sea, then basking in the pleasures of the islands. Those who love history and antiquities will immerse themselves in centuries of civilisation, from the Ancient World to the Crusades—no dry-as-dust world but one that is filled with the exploits of real figures of history, as well as fantasies of the imagination. Those who love islands, beaches and crystal seas will also be in heaven, as on this cruise are islands which rank among the most beautiful in the world. And all who love fine wine and the freshest gourmet cuisines will be in raptures over this cruise.
Our Members receive an exclusive rate, saving up to 51% off the full cruise price: But, even more importantly, what an itinerary! For starters, you can explore the two great capital cities: Athens and Istanbul. And then there are the islands, and the hidden gems. There is so much to enjoy on Santorini for example, one of the world’s top Three islands, with its picture-postcard villages and fascinating Akrotiri (a town buried by the huge volcanic eruption much like Pompeii). Uou can enjoy Mykonos, chic and trendy in itself, but also offering a day trip to the uninhabited island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. You have Ephesus and the incredible sights there, plus the lesser known and less visited Pergamum, which is equally impressive. Great Ottoman riches await us in the Turkish destinations. And littered among all this culture as we move between the Greek and Turkish treasure-houses = is the opportunity to relax on a stunning beach or two, with stops in Crete, Antalya and Rhodes.
Our dates are in June 2021—considered the best month to visit Greece and Turkey, when we shall find fewer tourists and cooler temperatures, yet still we are guaranteed sunshine from dawn to dusk.
We set up our arrangement with Regent Seven Seas to give our Members unique benefits—and we are thrilled to see how many Members are already sailing with Regent, enjoying magnificent cruises at our unbeatable Club Members’ rates, safe in the knowledge that the RSSC assurance scheme is a world-beating programme.
Here is our spectacular ‘Wonders of the Ancient World’ 10-night itinerary:
Thursday, Jun 10, Athens (Piraeus), Greece, departing at 9pm; Fri Jun 11, Mykonos, Greece; Sat Jun 12, Santorini, Greece; Sun Jun 13, Heraklion (Crete), Greece; Mon Jun 14, Bodrum, Turkey; Tues Jun 15, Antalya, Turkey; Wed Jun 16, Rhodes, Greece; Thu Jun 17, Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Fri Jun 18, Pergamum (Dikili), Turkey; Sat Jun 19, Istanbul, Turkey; Sun Jun 20, Istanbul, Turkey; flight home to UK.
We shall fly from the UK to Athens to board our six-star cruise ship, Seven Seas Mariner—and if you have chosen Concierge Suites and above you will enjoy an extra day and five-star night in Athens to explore the sights before boarding.
Magnificent Athens is the gateway to the fascinations of the ancient world and Piraeus is the gateway to the ancient city, known as the ‘Cradle of Western Civilisation’ because of its immense impact on cultural and political achievements throughout the world. A historian’s delight, Athens is home to such magnificent wonders as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the atmospheric winding streets of the Plaka, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Temple of Athena Nike, as well as the Archaeological Museum with the world’s finest collection of ancient artifacts.
We sail at 9pm into the Mediterranean night, leaving the glittering lights of Athens behind us as we enjoy the finale to our day, having wined and dined in the excellent restaurants, finishing perhaps with a nightcap on the balcony of our private suite as Mariner leaves Athens on the evening tide and sails through the night. As dawn breaks we shall see the first of our picture-perfect, sun-baked Greek islands surrounded by pristine turquoise seas: Mykonos, and the island of Delos.
Mykonos is a perfect Greek paradise, in which you can revel in history, culture and scenic wonders. Steeped in Greek mythological history, Mykonos was named after Apollo’s grandson, Mykons, and was the location of the grand battle between Zeus and the Gigantes. Today, this island is one of Greece’s most adored destinations due to its picture-postcard setting. Mykonos is a superb example of Cycladic architecture, and by law even new buildings must be built in the same style of whitewashed, organic, cube-like buildings. You can take in picturesque Little Venice, the unique Paraportiani church, and the archeological dig at Delos. Or take a cruise to discover magical Delos, the uninhabited island-birthplace of the Hellenic gods Apollo and Artemis. You will explore an open-air archaeological site, the remains of an ancient Greek city, discover three fascinating Hellenic temples, the fabled marble Lions of Naxos and homes with splendid mosaic floors. Back aboard your vessel, you’ll sail on a slender strait to Rhenia, known as Big Delos, where you’ll while away a few hours amid the natural beauty of a sun-kissed cove on an island whose only inhabitants are goats. Lounge on the beach, stroll the crystalline water’s edge, or take a refreshing dip in the turquoise sea. Hop back on board at any time to savour traditional Greek cuisine while you cast your thoughts back to a glorious, and rare, time on Delos.
After another night aboard our six-star cruise ship Mariner we shall greet the dawn over Santorini, one of the world’s top-rated island paradises. Here you can choose so many free excursions to get under the skin of this wonderful island. Whatever you choose you will look down on the deep blue waters of the four-mile-wide lagoon from an amphitheatre of whitewashed dwellings perched atop the caldera’s precipice. With dramatic views of classic whitewashed houses clinging perilously to the side of the caldera and stunning beaches of white and red sand or black pebbles, it’s no wonder this may be the most photographed scenery in the world. Visit Ancient Akrotiri, the archeological site of a town frozen in time by ash from an eruption 3,600 years ago. Also worth a day trip is the Volcano of Santorini Palea (old) Kameni and Nea (new) Kameni, two small islands of black lava positioned in the centre of the basin of Santorini. For those who love food and wine, cross the island and you’ll find the pretty hamlet of Megalochori, home of the renowned Boutari Winery. Its founder, Yiannis Boutari, is a Greek vintner whose influence on the country’s wine has been compared by Wine Spectator to that of the late Robert Mondavi’s imprint on Napa Valley. After a guided tour, you’ll sample a selection of their award-winning wines and enjoy a sumptuous luncheon featuring local specialties. Back in Fira, relish free time to shop or relax with a coffee, gazing at stunning vistas and contemplating your magnificent day before boarding Mariner for the pleasurably relaxing evening ahead.
And then there is Heraklion. Stretching more than 160 miles, and with an extraordinary Minoan heritage, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and one of the most fascinating as the birthplace of Minoan culture, Europe’s first advanced civilisation, and Knossos—discovered only in 1900—was its capital city. You will visit the great Minoan ruins of the Palace of Knossos, famous as the home of the labyrinth where the Minotaur roamed—half man, half bull—and with a legend behind it that will set your senses on fire. Without doubt the epitome of luxurious court living, four floors of rooms bring to life Minoan life more than 3,000 years ago. Portraying a remarkably advanced and peaceful society, many of the Minoan treasures and frescoes (unsurpassed in the ancient world) have been removed and are now housed in Heraklion’s Archeological Museum (second only to that of Athens). Purists will prefer the nearby Palace of Phaistos. It was excavated at the same time but left in a practically unrestored state.Or you can explore the stunning mountain-fringed Lassithi plateau with its orchards, 7,000 windmills and ancient villages. Take home fine reproduction Minoan pottery, a traditional Cretan knife, local embroidery, hand-woven rugs, gold and silver jewellery. Relax over a dish of hearty moussaka or delicious souvlaki in a taverna, perfectly matched with local wine.
Sailing from Greece to Turkey, our next magical venue is Bodrum, set in the southwestern corner of Anatolia, a coastal town in which sleek yachts are anchored in twin bays beneath the walls of a medieval Crusaders’ castle. The town owes its fame to a man long dead (Mausolus) and his famous ‘Mausoleum’, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. When Mausolus, ruler of ancient Caria, was interred in a building at Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) in 353BC, his name lived on in all such above-ground tombs. Earthquakes have left little of his mausoleum, although the stone was used to build the medieval castle. However Mausolus’s magnificent 4,000-seat stone amphitheatre above Bodrum is so well preserved as to be in regular use today—and it affords terrific sea views. Bodrum’s other claim to fame comes from Herodotus, the ‘Father of History’, and the first person to write a comprehensive world history of the West.
Or you can enjoy Nature: delight in one of Turkey’s most pristine lakes, now a thriving bird sanctuary, and glide across its waters on a small boat to the ruins of the ancient city of Herakleia. Begin your adventure with a leisurely drive into the stunning Besparmak Mountains surrounding Lake Bafa. You’ll learn that the shallow, unspoiled lake was once part of the Aegean Sea until sediment cut it off, transforming seaside Herakleia into a lakefront city. In this haven for bird-watchers, Nature lovers and botanists, you may see any of the hundreds of avian species, including pelicans and sea eagles. After a brief cruise in a small boat, you’ll discover the fascinating ruins of Herakleia. Admire the Temple of Athena, rising behind the harbour, or the remains of a two-storey agora. Refresh yourself with an invigorating swim in the crystalline lake if you wish, and savour a traditional Turkish lunch at a specially selected restaurant. On this serene tour you can truly revel in Turkey’s extraordinary beauty and the remnants of glorious civilizations past.
Dawn breaks over Antalya, a delightful ancient town and its many treasures, from the superb artifacts in the museum to Ottoman mansions, Byzantine churches and mosques, Hadrian’s Gate, and the ancient Roman harbour now restored and alive with cafés and pleasure boats. Aspendos, near Antalya, had already been going strong for a millennium when work began on the semicircular stone theatre in about 160AD. Its original capacity was 8,000-15,000 people. But what really blows you away is how well preserved it is—one of the most intact classical theatres in the world. It’s still in use, with an international opera and ballet festival every summer.
Or head for the magnificent ruins of Perge and Aspendos and imagine the history of these cities, from Alexander to St Paul, the Romans and Arabs. Stand in awe of the huge Roman theatre and the crumbling aqueduct. Look for local handicrafts in the old town including carpets, copperware, jewellery, leather goods and textiles. Try some kebabs, stuffed grape leaf ‘dolmas’ and the local dessert called beurrek, a cheese-filled pastry. Enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee or glass of wine with any of these for a delicious light meal or snack.
And then there is Rhodes, where we can enjoy more of this wondrous culture—or simply a stroll on a sun-baked beach and a swim in the turquoise waters. Renowned as the site of the former Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Rhodes was home to the Knights of St John from the 12th to 16th centuries. Their famous Palace of the Grand Masters remains a ‘must-see’, as are many of the inns occupied by the Crusaders and the replica of the old church. For a more in-depth look at the city, you can take in the archeological site where the Acropolis of Rhodes and the ancient stadium stand. Seven Seas Mariner awaits as always, and we shall wine and dine the night away as we sail on to Kusadasi, gateway to Ephesus, one of the ancient world’s largest and most important archaeological and religious sites. And as always with Regent, you can choose to be with a small, select group of up to 16—guaranteeing a personal experience.
After another wonderful night aboard Mariner we shall arrive at Ephesus, one more highlight of our voyage, a vibrant classical city representing some of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in the Mediterranean. The site is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of Ancient Roman and Greek history, allowing us to walk through its streets and view its magnificent houses, temples and stadia—and you can survey this UNESCO World Heritage site under the tutelage of an expert archaeologist. You will view parts of Ephesus off-limits to most visitors, with a guided look at some of the sites’ most breathtaking ruins.
As you walk the white marbled pathways, note the grooves made by centuries of chariot wheels. Stand in awe before the great Library of Celsus, and sit for a moment as the past seems to come alive at the Great Amphitheatre, carved from the side of a mountain, the classical theatre where it is believed Saint Paul preached to the Pagans. This mythical treasure-trove includes the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, so called because legend has it that the Romans locked seven Christian boys there in 250 AD, who awoke in the 5th century.
More riches await as we arrive at sun-blessed Pergamum (Dikili), on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Dikili has been home to Greeks (Aristotle lived here), Persians, Romans and Ottomans in its long history. This popular resort town beckons again, with miles of stunning beaches kissed by deep blue waters—it is considered one of the best places to catch the wine-red Mediterranean sunset. Nearby are the ruins of ancient Pergamum, where you may view the Asklepion, one of the earliest medical centres on record and where parchment was invented. You’ll tour the remains of the city’s library, which contained 200,000 volumes and put Pergamum on par with Alexandria as a cultural centre of the Roman Empire.
Walk around the acropolis atop a steep hill and realise that the city was built to be an inaccessible fortress. You’ll also view a 10,000-seat theatre built into the hillside, the temples of Trajan and Dionysus, the Altar of Zeus, the Sanctuary of Demeter and the agora. Continue via a sacred road lined with monuments to 4th-century BC Asclepion, built in honour of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine. The site was an ancient healing centre where people came to be cured of diseases diagnosed from their dreams. See remnants of the rehabilitation centre, the sacred spring and the mysterious psychotherapy tunnel. Following your transfer back to Dikili, you can enjoy ample free time to uncover the city’s many charms. Then it’s back to your six-star vessel, Mariner, for another evening of pleasure as we prepare for another of our cruise highlights, the great Constantinople, literally where East meets West.
Bridging both Europe and Asia Minor, Istanbul was founded by Constantine the Great and the history of this capital dates back 16 centuries to the powerful Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. We shall enjoy an overnight stay in this legendary city, allowing more time to explore its highlights. Shop among the winding byways of the Grand Bazaar and the exotic stalls of the Spice Bazaar. Tour the magnificent courtyards of Topkapi Palace, stroll among the treasures of the Blue Mosque with its unique six minarets, then view Dolmabahce Palace, the one-time residence of the sultans. Or you may cruise along the Bosphorus for a unique perspective of the city’s numerous seaside mansions, mosques and palaces. Istanbul will be a fitting finale to our spectacular cruise itinerary: we shall enjoy one more night on Mariner, soaking up her pleasures, before leaving next day for our flight home to the UK.
Free business class flights in Penthouse suites and higher
Wi-Fi throughout the ship for all bookings
Open bars and lounges
In-suite mini-bar replenished daily
Free pre-paid gratuities
Free fine dining in a choice of speciality restaurants
All-inclusive ultra-luxury cruising
Free unlimited shore excursions
Best price guarantee
Free onboard spend of up to $1000: treat yourself to additional luxuries on board from exclusive wines to Regent choice excursions, Culinary Arts Kitchen classes and indulgent spa treatments
YOUR EXCLUSIVE CLUB RATES
As a CountryClubuk Member you have special rates on this six-star luxury cruise taking you from Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul from June 10 to June 20, 2021 (and on all Regent Seven Seas Cruises). Below are some of the suites and Club savings. All rates are per person for two sharing, with all the same all-inclusive benefits of passengers paying full fare.