Greece small ship cruise, ancient sites of the Peloponnese
Port fees of 235 Euros not included.
Description of Greece small ship cruise, ancient sites of the Peloponnese
So much Greek history happened on its now quiet Peloponnese peninsula. Here on the western side of Greece’s mainland, attached to Athens by a narrow bridge at Corinth, you’ll find quiet, pretty coastline, long sandy beaches, and evidences of long-vanished civilisations: ruins at Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Nafplion.
This trip takes you all around the peninsula, starting and ending in Athens. Travelling in a small ship under sail keeps your trip peaceful and low-carbon, and means you don’t look out of place mooring in the fishing villages. The boat restocks from local suppliers, making your meals on board as fresh and tasty as possible.
It’s not all ruins, of course. Once your cruise heads south you’ll find yourself on the windswept Mani Peninsula, where the Dirou Caves go on underground past fantastic stalactites and rock formations. Delphi is arguably as spectacular for its mountain scenery as it is for its history. The oracle used to give cryptic answers to the kings who came to ask it questions – even Alexander the Great paid a visit.
Your attractive cruise ship has just 26 cabins, plus en suite showers, air conditioning and large windows. On deck, there’s a Jacuzzi alongside the sun beds and deckchairs – all in all, there are plenty of places to relax and admire the view.
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1 Reviews of Greece small ship cruise, ancient sites of the Peloponnese
Reviewed on 29 Oct 2016 by Hilary Richards
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
It was absolutely fantastic to be able to visit so many places from the sea, going into small harbours and tying up among local fishing boats. Most visitors explore the Peloponnese by bus which involves long periods of travel, but we were never moored more than 30 minutes away from anything. The itinerary was well paced with a good mix of site visits, travel along the amazingly scenic coastline, and interesting talks about Greece, its history, customs and anything we wanted to ask about. We felt the programme just got better and better. I haven't even mentioned the excellent food on board, the opportunities to visit local bars and cafes, the outstanding group organizer (Joseph) or the equally excellent guide (Yevgenia). As for the visits - where can you even begin? The theatre at Epidaurus, the caves of Diros, Monemvasia, Olympia, Delphi, or the Corinth Canal?
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
It is a very intimate experience living with such a small group of fellow travelers and you have to be prepared to get along with others, as there is no escape for a week. We had a lovely group but I understand that not every group is the same.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We had one lunch in a local taverna - all the others were on board. The boat was mainly restocked at the start from its base in Piraeus, but as we had a lot of fresh fish and salad, we may have taken on local supplies during the journey, although we were not aware of this. We used local bars and cafes for drinks and coffee, but did not spend much money in the communities. The environmental impact of a small boat was probably no better than the per visitor impact of a large boat. All the visits were to areas already heavily conserved and we respected this.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent holiday BUT our cabin was awful for pollution from the engines. We had asked for a Class A twin cabin. Ours (#9) was located right at the stern of the boat. We were never free from the noise of the diesel generator immediately below us and diesel fumes on the first two calm days with no wind to disperse them were unpleasant. On the times when we traveled at night, the additional roar, clatter and vibration coming through the structure from two 850 hp engines made sleep very difficult. And on the last night, in harbor when I thought we could at last have a peaceful rest, we were moored so close to the generator from the sister ship HarmonyG that the noise resonated against the sides of the two ships with a peak right outside our cabin. I was sorry to leave the holiday but very thankful to leave the cabin. I realize this is an old boat with a lot of character and we needed to be tolerant, but the noise was unpleasant and detracted from the experience. The message is - unless you are stone deaf or do not mind living for the duration with loud machine noises, make sure that your cabin is near the front of the boat.
PlanetSail power has very obvious benefits, vastly reducing the carbon used in any form of travel. Although we cannot use the sails all the time and in all conditions, we do use them wherever possible in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
Our vessel has an on board waste treatment system to avoid polluting the sea with waste. Furthermore, the smaller size of these cruise vessels and the smaller passenger numbers, ensures that any detrimental social and environmental impacts are minimised whilst allowing the passengers to visit smaller communities that don’t usually benefit from this form of tourism.
All food on board is bought from local communities, sometimes directly from the producer themselves. By trying some local fruit juice instead of a well known American brand of soft drink, you will support the economy, it will be better for you, it will have travelled less miles, and who knows, you might find you enjoy it more too.
By using small ships, we can access many smaller harbours than larger ships, thus reducing mileage traveled and keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum.
PeopleWe encourage all our passengers to engage with the local community on a social and economic level to ensure that this tourism has a benefit to both the visitors and the hosts. This can be a small thing such as buying a local cake from a small bakery, trying some fresh seafood at a street stall or having a haircut and shave in a local barbers - excellent value .
The ship’s managers will buy as much of their produce as possible from local communities, and will also encourage our passengers to spend money in the communities that we visit. All the food on board is bought from local communities; fruit vegetables, plenty of fish, meat and other staples are all locally grown and produced, and much of it is bought from small retailers or even directly from the grower or fisherman.
Most tourists to Greece and the Greek Islands stay (and often don’t leave) some large resorts in a few restricted locations, so by enabling our passengers to visit some different areas of Greece without putting any strain on local amenities and resources, we are spreading the financial benefits and the load of our visit.
We will endeavour to maximise the benefits of tourism and to minimise or eradicate any downside, socially, environmentally & economically.
We will encourage our passengers to learn and understand as much as possible about the local traditions and way of life to enable them to appreciate the reality of life in Greece.
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