Ahh the Greek islands… The whitewashed houses, the turquoise blue sea… Except that to go around the unmissable spots ( Mykonos , Santorini or even Ephesus and Heraklion), you have to get up early. Or at least, you have to have courage and an excellent organizational capacity to juggle between planes, boats, accommodation… Inevitably, the proposal of Celestyal cruises , to go around these sublime and unforgettable places, cannot be that enticing. On board the Olympia, a cruise ship on a human scale, we sail in the Aegean Sea to discover the islands and remarkable spots of the region, in 3 days, without stress. We tested and we were very pleasantly surprised… And seduced by this cruise with a 5-star program.

Greek Islands: the all-star of the Aegean Sea in 4 days flat!

Our journey across the Aegean Sea started in Paris. After a Paris – Athens flight operated by SKY Express , a Greek airline created in 2005 which covers the whole country, landing in Athens to enjoy a dinner at the Attic Urban Rooftop. First crazy view of the acropolis at sunset… Something to put our mouths on before boarding the Olympia. One night at the Mariott hotel later, and here we are in the shuttle that takes us to the port of Lavrion to board the Celestyal Cruise 4 days in the Aegean Sea. When we arrived, it was a storm. The wind is blowing so much that I end up with a Wham-style blow-dry and the handle of one of my companions’ suitcase gives up the ghost. The apprehension begins: how will the Cruise unfold with this devilish wind?

After the registration, the scan of my vaccination pass and a few meters by bus to get on the ship, all my fears vanished. Yes, things are moving a little on board, but even this devilish wind cannot rock the Olympia. We feel that the sea is moving, but on board, no need to hold on to move forward. I thus discovered our house for the next few days, a boat which has 9 decks with all the comforts on board. I’ve always thought that cruises were a bit scary (little space, lots of people…). Well Celestyal made me lie! On board, we sometimes have the impression that we are alone. On some bridges, you can walk to admire the sea, land, and meet absolutely no one. At the bar level, there are a few more people, but you are never in a crowded situation. What I liked: there is always something to do, but you don’t have to. If you want to take dance lessons, Greek lessons, play bingo or casino, you can. Everything is organized so that the hyper active are busy all day long. And if like me, you like to sleep: no problem. You can spend the moments of crossing quietly in your bed or on a deckchair by the pool, it is at your discretion. The staff on board are charming, always able to guide you (I got lost a dozen times between bridges and blocked passages due to measures against Covid-19, but I always found myself!) play bingo or casino, you can. Everything is organized so that the hyper active are busy all day long. And if like me, you like to sleep: no problem. You can spend the moments of crossing quietly in your bed or on a deckchair by the pool, it is at your discretion. The staff on board are charming, always able to guide you (I got lost a dozen times between bridges and blocked passages due to measures against Covid-19, but I always found myself!) play bingo or casino, you can. Everything is organized so that the hyper active are busy all day long. And if like me, you like to sleep: no problem. You can spend the moments of crossing quietly in your bed or on a deckchair by the pool, it is at your discretion. The staff on board are charming, always able to guide you (I got lost a dozen times between bridges and blocked passages due to measures against Covid-19, but I always found myself!) it is at your discretion. The staff on board are charming, always able to guide you (I got lost a dozen times between bridges and blocked passages due to measures against Covid-19, but I always found myself!) it is at your discretion. The staff on board are charming, always able to guide you (I got lost a dozen times between bridges and blocked passages due to measures against Covid-19, but I always found myself!)

Another good surprise on board: there are not only senior citizens. It’s a bit of a cliché for cruises, especially in France. We imagine playing bingo and dancing the waltz with Jeanine and Renée. Well you’ve got your finger in the eye! On the second day, I decided to spend a few hours by the pool, and I found myself facing a handful of young women and young men sunbathing, iPhones screwed in their hands, doing frenzied shoots for their social networks. And they weren’t the only ones. A little further at the bar, others were laughing out loud. The third Age ? We are not going to lie to you, he was also present, but certainly not in excess. In the end, visibly, there were as many djeunz as there were old people. Good news if you want to travel with your family, or with your parents. The cruise is suitable for all age groups.

If life on board was the thing that we feared a little, it turned out to be one of the highlights of this trip. We clearly do what we want, our desires are necessarily fulfilled, and the comfort is total. And what other way than the boat allows you to visit all these spots in 3 days? None.

4 days to experience the best of the Greek islands

Beyond life on board, we also really enjoyed the stopovers we visited! First stop: Mykonos. Leeward (yes, it didn’t get up in 2 hours), but with a beautiful sky. Its small streets, its luxury boutiques, its unmissable windmills… The Island revealed its charms to us for a few hours. Then we were able to visit Kusadasi, the ancient city of Ephesus, which was clearly my favorite discovery of the whole trip. Halfway between the ruins of palaces and Petra in Jordan, Ephesus offers us a stroll through time through extremely well preserved remains. The little extra? The place is inhabited by many cats who take pleasure in posing for photos. Cat mannequins. We also visited Patmos,

In the end, we lived in 4 days which would take more than a week to do if we had not opted for a Cruise. We see a lot of beautiful things and at the same time, we rest during the crossing times. We had the impression of having gone on vacation for 2 weeks, when it was only a long weekend, from Thursday to Monday morning. On our return to Paris, still aboard a Sky Express plane, we debriefed our photos and we clearly said to ourselves that this cruise was really worth it. It was the first cruise of our lives, but we clearly want to try the experience again. The only downside is that we got a little earth-sick when we got back, but the game is well worth the effort. The experience is crazy and simply makes you want to visit other areas on board a ship.

To get there SKY Express and Celestyal Cruises.

Some practical information

  • Celestyal Cruises

With its regional expertise and exceptional hospitality, Celestyal Cruises has quickly established an award-winning reputation and is recognized as the number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean. The company operates two ships, each intimate enough to offer its guests an authentic and highly personalized experience. The company’s philosophy is based on its unique Greek heritage which combines exceptional hospitality with true immersion in a cultural destination and offers authentic and unforgettable experiences both on board and ashore.

  • SKY-express

1 daily flight from Paris to Athens, except Sundays. SKY express operates the youngest and greenest fleet in Greece. The company is deploying its brand new flight program between France and Greece for 2022. It will use, for the second year of operation, its 6 brand new Airbus A320 NEO, placing France at the forefront of its destinations outside the Greece.

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