Have you always dreamt of visiting the Acropolis, Parthenon, or Plaka in Athens? Going on shore excursions on the Greek Isles? Exploring the old towns and archaeological sites in Crete or Cyprus? Watching the sunsets on the Aegean Sea from a cute cafe or cruise port? Visiting Greek tavernas in Rhodes or Piraeus? You should go on a Greek Islands cruise!

Greece, both the mainland and islands, is an ancient and storied tourist destination, a place of legend and real-life treasures with a seafaring heritage embraced in contemporary times by countless cruise passengers from all over the world. With the exception of epic around-the-world voyages, at the time of publication only a handful of cruise lines departing from the United States call at ports in Greece – all on their way to Italy. They range from 25 to 47 days and these cruise ships call at numerous other European countries in addition to Greece.

Princess Cruises: Western Mediterranean Grand Adventure

The Western Mediterranean Grand Adventure offered by Princess Cruises is a 25-day cruise starting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ending in Rome. The journey begins with seven full days at sea while crossing the Atlantic to Madeira in Portugal. From there, it's to the British territory of Gibraltar, followed by four ports in Spain – Cartagena, the island of Mallorca and Barcelona – then to Marseille, a gateway to the region of Provence, France. A day docked at Livorno, Italy, from which you can reach Florence and Pisa, precedes a full day at sea on the way to Greece. The following three days are spent at three different Greek destinations: Katakolon, a fishing village not far from the remarkable ruins of Olympia; the isle of Mykonos, famous for its picturesque windmills; and Santorini with its dramatic volcanic landscape. Leaving Greece, the ship sails through the longest fjord in Southern Europe to reach Kotor, Montenegro, then returns to Italy for a day in Naples, from which you can venture to Capri and Pompeii, before ultimately landing in Rome.

Holland America: Passage to Spain and Mediterranean

Holland America's 27-day Passage to Spain and Mediterranean cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale and starts with eight full days at sea before reaching Funchal in Madeira, Portugal. This is followed by another day at sea on the way to Lisbon. The next ports are in Spain – Huelva (near Seville), Malaga, Cartagena and Barcelona – followed by Marseille and world-famous Monte Carlo in Monaco. Five days in Italy are next, including Livorno (for Florence and Pisa); Rome via the port of Civitavecchia; Naples; Sicily's Taormina; and a day of scenic cruising across the Strait of Messina. You'll reach Greece on day 23 when the ship docks on the island of Corfu with its UNESCO World Heritage-listed old quarter. The following days are spent in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Kotor, Montenegro. Then it's back to Italy for two days in Venice, the final port of call.

Oceania Cruises: Waves to Waterways

Oceania's Waves to Waterways cruise begins in Miami, ends in Venice and calls at 14 countries over 47 days. The initial transatlantic crossing is broken up with a visit to Bermuda. Days 13 to 27 are dedicated to ports in Spain and Portugal. Among them are two of Spain's Canary Islands; three of its Balearic Islands; mainland cities including Seville, Valencia and Barcelona; and Madeira and Lisbon in Portugal. Numerous French and Italian ports follow, including Saint-Tropez, Marseille and Corsica in France and Portofino, Sardinia, Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. A day on Malta is also featured. One destination in Greece is included – Cephalonia in the Ionian Islands. The final days of the cruise are spent in Tirana, Albania; Kotor in Montenegro; Split in Croatia; and finally, Venice, where the journey ends.


While Greece cruises from the U.S. to Greece are desirable, they are limited in number and availability and call at only one to three destinations in Greece. If visiting ports in Greece is a priority for you, consider flying to Europe to pick up one of the many available cruises with more comprehensive arrays of Greek islands and mainland ports in their itineraries. This way, you might find a special offer for a better Greek Isles cruise that visits more ports in Greece – and may even visit nearby countries like Turkey.