Athens to Istanbul with Explora Journeys – Enjoy European Luxury in the Aegean




7 nights

Deal Type

Ocean Cruise, Small Ship Cruise, Ultra Luxury Cruise

Add Business Class flights to unlock an Exclusive Package discount

Explora Journeys trace vestiges of antiquity from Athens to Istanbul via bucolic Mediterranean beauty and some of the Aegean’s most alluring beaches.

Experience European luxury onboard Explora Journeys as you sail through the Aegean Sea from Athens to Istanbul.🛳️

Between the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Turkey’s turquoise coast, you’ll discover coastal temple ruins, medieval wonders and ancient kingdoms alongside muscat vineyards, rustic toes-in-the-sand tavernas and restaurants at the peak of Mykonos chic. The Sea of Marmaris ushers you to the iconic minarets of Istanbul as the sun rises over this storied nexus of East and West on this Explora Journeys cruise.

Experience all this and more onboard the luxurious Explora I with Explora Journeys. ✨

Explora Journeys have many more amazing cruise itineraries sailing all over the world. Enquire with one of our Flat Beds Tour + Cruise experts today!

Explora Journeys View

Explora Journeys View From Ship

Included Items

  • In-suite welcome bottle of champagne upon arrival
  • Bottle of wine and a bottle of spirit of the guests’ choice upon arrival
  • Authentic, cultured and intuitive service from our team of hospitality experts
  • Nine distinct culinary experiences, including in-suite dining
  • Unlimited beverages, fine wines and premium spirits, speciality coffees, teas and soft drinks available anytime, including in-suite mini-bar*
  • Thermal Spa access
  • Wellbeing and fitness programmes on board and at the destinations
  • All on-board gratuities
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Shuttle services from port to city centre (where required/available)
Additional inclusions and services apply to our Ocean Penthouse and Ocean Residence categories.  

Tour Company

Explora Journeys

Tour Location


Deal Type

Ocean Cruise, Small Ship Cruise, Ultra Luxury Cruise


Athens to Istanbul

Athens to Istanbul

More Information

Cruise Itinerary +


Athenians don’t live in the past. Ahead of its time, Athens exudes glamour and a sense of possibility – housing galleries, gelaterias, bijoux boutiques alongside a plethora of museums. And you can’t help but marvel at the archaeological wonders of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Stroll through vibrant streets and markets, dance at buzzing bouzoukia, sing along in tavernas.

At night, head to the harbour, where dimly lit bars serve the local ice cold beer. And, as you inhale the salty air and watch Greek fishing boats peacefully depart for their catch, reflect on this ancient city’s progressive attitude.




If you start early, you’ll have Mykonos to yourself. Stroll narrow streets famous for Cycladic architecture and getting lost; white-washed cubed buildings, alluring boutiques, orthodox churches and traditional windmills.

Join glitterati guests at elegant events on iconic beaches, sink into saltwater pools, tour vineyards and dance at bars where beats evolve in tempo (and volume). When the heat of the day dies down, drop into the sacred isle of Delos to explore remarkable ruins; amphitheatres, temples, public squares, marketplaces and shrines to Greek Gods.

Take a table in central Chora for perfectly-cooked, local dishes with generous views; mounds of flaky filo, Greek salads, halloumi and sea urchin, washed down with freddo. When the sun sets, head for a signature sundowner with views across the ocean.

After dark, follow the fun to legendary bars and clubs. Progressive and profoundly beautiful.




Rising from the sea like a jewel, the island of Rhodes was a gift from Zeus to Helios, the sun god. A sun-kissed home to Cicero and Caesar whose rhetoric and thinking still echo along stone-paved lanes and the UNESCO-listed Old Town.

Follow the footsteps of the Knights of St. John and their Turkish conquerors who both left fascinating monuments, fountains and shady squares. Soak up the buzzing energy and be gently tempted to step back in time.

Pay respect at the pinkish Suleiman Mosque with its tall minaret then seek serenity at the Byzantine Church or heavenly views where perfectly positioned white houses are dotted high into the hills.

Whilst you wander, lean into the legend of the 100-foot Colossus, a wonder of the world, replaced now with twin bronze deer that guard the Mandraki Harbour.




Mesmerising Marmaris, overlooked by the mighty castle of Suleiman the Magnificent, crowns Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Founded by traders and warriors more than 3000 years ago, the city and her sheltered harbour are a gateway to ancient civilisations.

Graceful Turkish gulets and sleek-sided superyachts arc through secluded coves, where pine-scented hillsides spill down to timeless beaches and crystal-clear water.

Cast your eyes upon the sacred sands of fabled Cleopatra Island and listen for Apollo’s song in the hilltop ruins of fallen empires, or a day trip to Dalyan to delve into King Tombs, mud baths, reed-lined rivers, miles of sandy beach, and the infamous Caretta-Caretta sea turtles.

Cleanse body and mind in traditional hammams and Turkish bathhouses, while an emporium of Ottoman arts awaits in the Grand Bazaar.




Imagine an old-world fishing town with high society appeal. Explore breathtaking sights on the sunlit Peninsula of the turquoise coast. Soak up the town’s buzzing energy; shop, eat, relax and explore.

Pay respect to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, savour fresh fish and meze and sip coffee of toe-tingling strength. Delve into captivating landscapes bursting with nature; the Bafa Lake, olive groves, bougainvillea and hundreds of different bird species.

Feel the wind in your hair on a private gullet as you voyage to crystal clear coves of the Aegean. Lasting memories abound.


Considered a cosmopolitan locus of leisure in the Ancient World, Samos welcomed many of the greats to its sandy shores, including Herodotus, Aesop, Pythagoras and Cleopatra.

Hera is thought to have held her wedding to Zeus here, and we retrace her steps amidst the columns and coastal temple ruins. This far-flung Aegean island also boasts lush botanical beauty: hike through the hills to springs and waterfalls, seeking pretty mountain villages, churches and monasteries, and enjoy harvests of local fruit and vegetables, olives, honey, lavender, rosemary and acclaimed muscat wine.

Alongside a wealth of great beaches with sparkling azure waters, carve time for the archaeological museum in the pretty harbour town of Pythagorio and wander Kokkari, a fishing village known as Samos’s Little Venice.


Istanbul dinner and dancing

Istanbul dinner and dancing


Embark on a European and Asian adventure packed with a wealth of charm and cultural diversity. Roam the ‘blue’ mosque of Sultan Ahmet, the Grand Bazaar, opulent Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia or sink into a serene Turkish Bath experience.

Embrace the city’s vine-shaded homely district where ladies shop for butter-soaked baklava and freshly picked olives. Explore further to haggle for gold jewellery, linen and oriental antiques. Dine in the atmospheric old city or take a ferry to Asia for street-served food.

Feast over rich platters of meze, moist grilled bluefish and succulent kebabs. Heighten your senses even further in the spice bazaar with enticing aromas and vibrant, colourful displays. After such a sensorial feast, indulge in a restorative raki, whichever continent you’re in.

By night parties don’t start until late, but expect to dance till dawn. Join the late crowd spilling into the streets overlooking the Bosphorus. Sway at European rooftop bars, shimmer by ferry over to the Asian suburbs or remain ensconced in old-fashioned folk venues. An eclectic fusion of east and west, this city is conservative at heart with a truly modern soul.

Istanbul by night

Istanbul by night

About Explora Journeys +

The ocean relaxes you and creates an energy in you that inspires inner and outer discovery, broadens horizons and triggers new connections. The ocean connects you with yourself, people and the places around you.

We call it the Ocean State of Mind. A state of mind inspired by the blue waters of our seas and oceans. A state of mind that has helped create Explora Journeys. One that is characterised by calm, unity, elegance and joy, that encourages inner and outer exploration and discovery.

EXPLORA I, the first of six luxury best-in-class ships, set sail in 2023, with the remaining ships ready to set sail in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Immerse yourself in all of the detail behind the Explora Journeys ships, from design and architecture, to safety and technology features.

Ship Highlights:

First of its kind

  • Length: 248m (~813ft)
  • Tonnage: 63,900 GT
  • Guests per hosts ratio 1.25 : 1

View the ocean, from your room

Explora I and II feature 461 Ocean front Suites:

  • 1 Owner’s Residence
  • 22 Ocean Residences
  • 67 Ocean Penthouses
  • 371 Ocean Terrace and Ocean Grand Terrace Suites

82 of our suites are multi-generation-friendly connecting suites.

Travel the world, and taste it.

Nine distinct inclusive culinary experiences focused on healthy, delicious food from local, sustainable sources.

Passion For Authenticity, Provenance And Wholesome Ingredients

Worldly, sophisticated, and well-travelled, with European panache, our culinary and beverage experts bring together an abundance of experience and artistry to the curation of immersive dining experiences. Our team brings enthusiasm for provenance along with a plethora of stories about the rare ingredients, which are hand-selected just for Explora Journeys.

Throughout the year, wine selections will reflect the regional areas where the ship sails, while offering favourite grape varietals including French Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Shiraz, and Nebbiolo. Sommeliers will constantly source boutique wine labels to build an inspiring menu with truly interesting choices and very rare bottles.

Your home at sea

  • Private terraces which are amongst the largest in the category
  • Large floor-to-ceiling windows with elegant interiors
  • Spacious walk-in wardrobe with a seated vanity area

Environmental supporting technologies

  • Hybrid-ready energy solutions
  • Waste-management and energy-saving solutions
  • No single-plastic used on-board and ashore

Generous outdoor decks

  • Three outdoor pools and one indoor pool with retractable glass roof
  • 64 private cabanas
  • Several indoor and outdoor whirlpools
  • Poolside dining and lounging

Lounge & be entertained

  • Ten indoor and outdoor bar and lounge experiences with curated entertainment and intimate performances
  • Casino, art gallery and curated shopping experiences

Holistic wellness & fitness

  • Over 700 sq m (7,500 sq ft) of indoor and outdoor wellness facilities
  • Over 270 sq m (2,900 sq ft) of fitness facilities with the latest equipment

Booking Terms & Conditions

Advertised price based on 28 April 2025 departure in an Ocean Suite. Pricing is correct as of 1 July 2024, subject to availability at the time of booking. Offers may be withdrawn or prices updated by the supplier at any time, so please enquire with our expert consultants for the latest pricing, terms and conditions. Single supplement may also apply. *Offer is strictly limited and subject to availability until sold out.

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