- 15 April 2021
Travel news: the first cruise to the Greek islands from Thessaloniki
Beginning from the upcoming summer 2021, the first and only – at least for this summer – cruise departing from Thessaloniki city to some famous Greek islands and Cyprus will commence on a regular basis.
For many years the port of Thessaloniki didn’t offer this vacation choice, and therefore this fresh option is undoubtedly an upgrade for the city itself and an alternative beginning point for the cruise lovers flocking into the Aegean Sea from all over Europe and the world.
A strategically tourist choice for Thessaloniki city
Thanks to the new airport terminal and runway and the addition of many new routes, Thessaloniki will be in a very short time more connected than ever to many European cities. Moreover, it is easy to arrive by car, not only from within Greece, but also from the Balkans. Every summer and throughout the year, its Balkan neighbours reach Thessaloniki and the regions near it in order to enjoy their vacation at the second largest city of Greece.
The decision to make the most of a port used up to date mostly for commercial ships and make it the beginning point of cruise ships too, means that a bigger tourist influx is to be expected. This will eventually make Thessaloniki a logistics hub from where one can explore the lesser-known northern Greece and reach the most famous islands of the southern Aegean Sea.
The new departure point, Thessaloniki port
The port of Thessaloniki is not only the second largest in Greece (after the port of Piraeus near Athens), but also in the Mediterranean basin thanks to the cargo shipments it handles.
Besides the various cargo terminals there is a passenger terminal too, that it is housed in an architecturally beautiful building of the 20th century which unfortunately is left to its fate, since no action has been taken regarding its upkeeping.
Even with only one cruise departing from Thessaloniki, it could be all the city needs to relaunch and thrust itself in the spotlight of the tourist map and help develop its potential as a tourist destination, along with the realization of other great projects in the city. The port is practically at the city center and about 20 km from the new airport from where you can reach it by taxi or public transportation.
The programmed route of the new cruise in the Aegean Sea
The cruise ship is called Celestyal Olympia, it belongs to the Cypriot company Celestyal Cruise and it wil be operative from the summer of 2021 with weekly departures.
The duration of the cruise is 7 nights and it will dock at the following ports after departing from Thessaloniki: Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Limassol in Cyprus, Agios Nikolaos in Crete and then Lavrio (Athens), in order to complete its route again at Thessaloniki. Basically, it is a good round tour of the most famous points of the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Going on a cruise will allow you to enjoy the sea, to combine visiting historical sites and relaxing on board. Celestyal Olympia, just like a typical cruise ship, has a casino, bars, SPA, a gym and a swimming pool, duty free shops, a library and a kids club. But most important of all, it promises to welcome you aboard with the famous Greek style hospitality.
The Legendary Archipelago: stops at the most famous islands of Greece
The itinerary of “The Legendary Archipelago” begins from Thessaloniki and it actually stops at the most famous and tourist islands of Greece:
- Mykonos: the homeland of partying in the Cyclades and of the great nightlife. But Mykonos has also to offer great sandy beaches and a lovely beachfront called Little Venice, at the heart of the island.
- Santorini: there is no need for introduction, it is famous for its fabulous sunsets and for the villages of Fira and Oia overlooking the Caldera. The island offers volcanic beaches of red and black color.
- Rhodes: An island that offers history, like the Colossus of Rhodes, small enchanting villages, the medieval castle of Lindos, but also beaches with amazing blue colors.
- Cyprus (Limassol): One of the places that claim to be Afrodite’s birthplace, the Greek Godess of love and beauty, it has many beaches to choose from and history itself.
- Crete (Agios Nikolaos): the island includes the full package that one might look for, history – like the famous Palace of Knossos, incredible beaches like Elafonisi or Balos, great cuisine with unique tastes.
- Athens (Lavrio port): The capital of Greece is the cradle of history of civilization and within the day you can visit the Acropolis or Syntagma Square to watch the guards changing or if you go a little further you can see the temple of Zeus.
The first cruise that will depart from Thessaloniki represents a true tourist “revolution”. So, pack your bags, a sunscreen, your sunglasses and a camera and a ton of excitement to explore the Greek gems of the Aegean Sea.
Are you ready to sail?
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