One of Europe’s busiest ports, Piraeus serves as the setting-off point for cruises in the Aegean Sea. Some itineraries travel down the Athens Riviera and the coast of Greece’s mainland, while others venture to some of the 3,000-plus Greek islands that are scattered off the country’s coast. Here’s what you need to know about cruises in Athens.
Day cruises from Athens typically depart from Piraeus or Lagonisi and showcase the scenic coastline of the Athens Riviera and beyond. Choose between motor yacht, sailing boat, and high-speed RIB (rigid-inflatable boat) tours.
Some day cruises include stops at small beach-lined islands such as Moni, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, and Aegina, and include free time for snorkeling, swimming, or sunbathing beneath the Mediterranean sun. Others stop at sights on the mainland such as the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio. Alternatively, opt for a day cruise to the Corinth Canal, and leave the modern day behind at ancient sites such as the Acropolis and Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.
Evening cruises from Athens showcase the Aegean at its most romantic. Both intimate sailing boats and larger cruise ships set sail late in the afternoon, floating past the coastal suburbs of Athens as the sun begins to set. Many evening cruises include a selection of Greek-style meze (small plates) and accompanying wine and beer.
Multi-day cruises from Athens allow travelers to explore some of the more far-flung Greek islands that are not accessible on a day trip. On a 2-day cruise, you might set sail for Santorini, an island known for its scenic volcanic caldera, or explore glamorous Mykonos, a beloved beach destination among A-listers. Alternatively, explore nearer islands such as Poros and Aegina, but at a much more leisurely pace. A longer 7-day sailing trip might combine offshore and mainland destinations such as Perdika, Hydra, Porto Heli, Nafplio, Spetses, and Poros.