Greece via the Corinth Canal & Turkey: The Marvels of Ancient Rivals
 
10 DAYS
Star Legend
Athens to Athens
Departure Date:
Price from $5,499 per guest
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Athens to Athens
Anticipate the unforgettable and immerse yourself in a distinctly different Eastern Mediterranean cruise that explores the Peloponnese in ways inaccessible to large-ship cruise lines. Walk among weathered marble blocks and the faded echoes of ancient athletic glory during the first Olympic Games nearly 3,000 years ago near Katakolon. Step inside the restored stone arches of Meryemama Evi—the House of the Virgin Mary—a Catholic and Muslim shrine situated near the steep, stony slopes of Mount Koressos, before making your way to a delicious and exclusive Turkish dinner among the towering walls and columns of Ephesus. Wander the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and the majestic Blue Mosque before taking in the endless parade of busy Bosporus shipping lights during an overnight stay in Istanbul. Your journey circumnavigates the Peloponnese Peninsula by slipping through the narrow, high-walled Corinth Canal, an ancient engineering dream that wasn’t completed until the late 1800s, but remains inaccessible to large freighters and cruise liners. You eventually end up back where you started in Piraeus, adjacent to Athens and a perfect culinary jumping-off point for sampling the countless tavernas and psistarias serving up savory grilled Greek meats paired with tart wines and chilled beers within the shadow of the Parthenon.
voyage map
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Day 1: Athens
With 3,000 years of history, you can’t turn around in Athens without encountering the past. The Acropolis, a UNESCO site, the Plaka, and the Acropolis Museum are must-sees. But leave time if you can to climb Pnyx Hill for photos of the Parthenon at sunset, to buy your own set of Greek komboloi (worry beads), and to explore the metro stations that serve as mini-museums for the relics that are constantly being unearthed. 
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Day 2: Corinth Canal
You’ll want to be on deck today as we transit the narrow Corinth Canal with other private yachts and Greek mail steamers. It’s a shortcut reserved for petite ships like ours, and as we cruise between the narrow limestone walls we are the envy of all the ancient Romans who once portaged their ships along this very route before there was a canal.
 
Canal transit time and duration is subject to change based on traffic and canal authorities.
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Day 2: Delphi
Before there were fortune cookies there was the oracle of Delphi, dating back to 1400 B.C. The oracle gave cryptic guidance to the leaders of the day and was so highly respected that Delphi, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, became known as the center of the world. An optional tour lets you go exploring, from the Temple of Apollo to the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which contains some of the finest works of art in Greece. 
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Day 3: Katakolon
Charming and scenic Katakolon is the gateway to Olympia, the original home of the Olympic Games and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit this memorable site only 30 minutes away and see the fertile Peloponnese valleys along the way, full of strawberries, tomatoes, corn and olive trees.
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Day 4: Chania
Hints of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul are everywhere in Chania, beginning with the old Venetian harbor. Go ashore and explore the harbor from the Arabian Lighthouse to the Kioutsouk Hassan Mosque. The architecture is never boring, with Turkish domes interspersed with intricate wrought iron balconies. Find the Venetian Donkey Steps at Plateia Aghiou, with their double-wide steps. Take time out in one of the picturesque tavernas for some dácos (Cretan bread) and mizithra cheese.
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Day 5: Santorini
As our ship approaches the spectacular cliffs rising from the deep azure sea, you’ll understand the magic of this area, where some say the ruins of Atlantis remain hidden. Visit the village of Oia and see the iconic Santorini blue domes or take a guided tour of Bronze Age excavations at the UNESCO site of Akrotiri. Toast the day with a crisp, cold glass of local Assyrtiko wine.
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Day 6: Kusadasi
Few places offer such a rich combination of history and scenic beauty. In Ephesus, one of the greatest outdoor museums in the world, you’ll explore legendary sites steeped in history. Also visit the houses of Bulbul Mountain, where the roof of one forms the terrace of the next. This evening we present our Destination Discovery Event -- dinner in the moonlight and a concert near the  Celsus Library or on Harbor Street in ancient Ephesus. 

 
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Day 7: Scenic Cruising Dardanelles
The Dardanelles, also known as Hellespont (Sea of Helle) is a natural strait and a significant waterway that  is 38 miles (61 km) long, almost 4 miles wide, and 180 feet deep. It forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, and connects the Sea of Marmara with both the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas while being a passageway to the Black Sea.
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Day 8: Istanbul
Ah, Constantinople, Queen of Cities and the Door to Happiness. Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents—Europe and Asia—and its appeal is truly universal. The Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans all ruled their empires from here, leaving behind some of their finest monuments and a fascinating blend of cultures. Visit the harem at Topkapi Palace, where the clatter of silver soles once warned concubines of the approaching sultan. Admire the Iznik tiles and stained glass windows of the Blue Mosque, and the mystical light bathing the nave of Hagia Sofia. Shop the Grand Bazaar for a coffee cezve, magic lamp, embroidered slippers, or hand-woven kilim. Temper a tiny cup of potent Turkish coffee with bites of sweet lokum (Turkish delight). 
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Day 9: Istanbul
Ah, Constantinople, Queen of Cities and the Door to Happiness. Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents—Europe and Asia—and its appeal is truly universal. The Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans all ruled their empires from here, leaving behind some of their finest monuments and a fascinating blend of cultures. Visit the harem at Topkapi Palace, where the clatter of silver soles once warned concubines of the approaching sultan. Admire the Iznik tiles and stained glass windows of the Blue Mosque, and the mystical light bathing the nave of Hagia Sofia. Shop the Grand Bazaar for a coffee cezve, magic lamp, embroidered slippers, or hand-woven kilim. Temper a tiny cup of potent Turkish coffee with bites of sweet lokum (Turkish delight). 
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Day 10: Myrina
Lemnos is a delightful, off the beaten path island with wild mountainous geology and large, uncrowded, sandy beaches all along the coastline. Windsurfing is becoming increasingly popular here. Sites to see here include the Medieval Castle of Myrina, Ancient Poliochni, Ancient Kavirio and the legendary cave of Philocetes.
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Day 11: Athens
With 3,000 years of history, you can’t turn around in Athens without encountering the past. The Acropolis, a UNESCO site, the Plaka, and the Acropolis Museum are must-sees. But leave time if you can to climb Pnyx Hill for photos of the Parthenon at sunset, to buy your own set of Greek komboloi (worry beads), and to explore the metro stations that serve as mini-museums for the relics that are constantly being unearthed. 
Popular Highlights
Blue Mosque
Overnight in Istanbul with plenty of time to explore the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque.
cave of Philocetes
Find the legendary cave of Philocetes on Lemnos.
Corinth Canal
Step out on deck as you transit the narrow Corinth Canal, so close you can almost touch the rock walls.
Kioutsouk Hassan Mosque
Explore the Turkish architecture of Chania including the Arabian Lighthouse and the Kioutsouk Hassan Mosque.
Olympic Games
Near Katakolon visit the original site of the Olympic Games, and a UNESCO site.
The Dardanelles
Relax and enjoy the scenery cruising in the history-rich waters of The Dardanelles.

A Complimentary Destination Discovery Event

Kusadasi: Evening in Ephesus
No one who has seen the magnificent Celsus Library of Ephesus will ever forget it. And Windstar guests will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Library – after hours during this exclusive Evening in Ephesus event.
 
You will walk the Marble Road to the Library that housed more than 12,000 scrolls nearly two millennia ago. Your 5-course, white-glove-service dinner will be in the courtyard in front of the Library. The spectacularly illuminated façade allows you to examine the statues in their niches and the elegant details of the frames. Dinner under the stars will be accompanied by a trio from the Aegean Chamber Orchestra. 
 
Just as you'd expect. No crowds. No rush. Delight in every detail.


Please note: This Destination Discovery Event has been scheduled in a way that will allow you to book and experience another shore excursion on the same day and you will not miss anything.
 
On the day that Star Pride transits the Corinth Canal, Melissa Witsoe recommends rising early, grabbing an espresso up in the Yacht Club, and scoring a prime spot on the bow as you navigate the narrow limestone walls: "I felt as if I could reach out and actually touch them," she says.
Our Storyteller: Melissa Witsoe
Product Development Manager
Melissa has been trotting the globe for more than two decades now, precuring excursions, inspecting hotels, and building local relationships to ensure that Windstar guests’ shore experience is as carefree and rewarding as possible. A few fun facts about Melissa:


Countries visited: 51
Ports visited: 220 or so, 119 of which she currently manages
Estimated miles logged: 50,000 a year
Hours spent on an airplane: Between 80 and 100 annually
Travel must-have: Nikon D5600 DSLR camera - "My best traveling companion!"
Favorite part of her job: "Working with wonderful, amazing people around the world"

On the day that Star Pride transits the Corinth Canal, Melissa Witsoe recommends rising early, grabbing an espresso up in the Yacht Club, and scoring a prime spot on the bow as you navigate the narrow limestone walls: “I felt as if I could reach out and actually touch them,” she says. Most cruise ships sail around the Peloponnese Peninsula to reach Western Greece, depriving travelers of the dramatic passage — and just one of the highlights of this history-rich voyage that, according to Melissa, “should be our bestselling cruise.” It’s a bold claim, to be sure; yet she makes a persuasive case, beginning with visits to six(!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (You can add a seventh with a pre-cruise hotel stay that’s walking distance of Athens’ Acropolis.)

There are the Bronze Age ruins of Akrotiri; Delphi, whose storied oracle revealed the ancients’ fates; and Olympia, where the first Olympics where held — and the torch for every modern-day Games begins. The Greek gods Apollo and Artemis were said to be born at Delos, while the Celsus Library in Ephesus serves as backdrop to a private, white-gloved dinner exclusively for Windstar guests. “Listening to the string quartet as the sun set, its orange glow streaming through that glorious façade—the image still brings chills,” Melissa muses. An overnight in Istanbul lets you visit the Hagia Sophia and other UNESCO-designated sites, and still have time for a Whirling Dervishes performance. Add charming little ports like Chania and Myrina, a leisurely day of cruising The Dardanelles, and, well, as Melissa puts it: “This cruise has it all!”

IF I WERE THERE...
  • Slip through the Corinth Canal, a shortcut reserved for small ships like Star Pride, “with only meters to spare on each side!”
  • Relish an exclusive Destination Discovery Event in ancient Ephesus — “A late departure allows plenty of time to explore the fascinating ruins beforehand, like the home of Mary, mother of Jesus; and the Terrace Houses, where ongoing excavations continue to reveal riches”
  • Hunt for treasures in Istanbul’s bustling Grand Bazaar, where the friendly Turkish people will likely offer a cup of tea as you browse their shops for Byzantine jewelry, silk pashminas, and Iznik pottery — With two full days, you can also visit the Blue Mosque and take a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus: “The boat drops you off at a wonderful local seafood restaurant with amazing views”
  • Explore Santorini and its iconic, clifftop town of Oia — “I love to just get lost in the narrow pathways, which inevitably lead to the most picturesque spot or quaint restaurant”
The Windstar Life
The Windstar staff-to-guest ratio is 1:1.5, and it shows.The moment you board you’ll feel it: an ever-attentive crew at your service, providing you with what you want and need, when you want and need it.
Genuine and Thoughtful Crew
Signature Onboard Barbecue
Shopping With The Chef
Watersports Platform
Cooking Demonstrations
Open Bridge
Friendly and Relaxed Atmosphere
Local and Live Performances
Signature Sail Away
Crew Talent Show
Enjoy regionally inspired treatments at World Spa by Windstar
Take In The Sun
Complimentary 24 Hour Room Service
Relax At The Pool or Hot Tub
Relax With A Morning Yoga Session
Accommodations & Pricing
This all-suite ship will complete renovation as part of the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative to provide more of what our guests love.
Star Porthole Suite
Star Porthole Suite
These rooms represent a nod to the sailing tradition of porthole windows. And while sailors might have had cramped quarters, your 277 square foot stateroom is wonderfully spacious and furnished with all the modern amenities and comforts of home.
$5,499 per guest
Ocean View Suite
Ocean View Suite
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
$5,799 per guest
Ocean View Suite 1
Ocean View Suite 1
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
$5,899 per guest
Star Ocean View Suite 1
Star Ocean View Suite 1
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
$5,999 per guest
Ocean View Suite 2
Ocean View Suite 2
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
$6,199 per guest
Ocean View Suite 3
Ocean View Suite 3
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
$6,399 per guest
Balcony Suite 1
Balcony Suite 1
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
$7,299 per guest
Star Balcony Suite 1
Star Balcony Suite 1
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
$7,499 per guest
Deluxe Suite
Deluxe Suite
Relax in 400 to 530 spacious square feet. Your living area offers beautiful views from the forward-facing window and French doors onto your private veranda. Two spacious closets give you plenty of room to unpack.
$8,299 per guest
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Call For Availability
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Call For Availability
Balcony Suite
Balcony Suite
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
Call For Availability
Star Balcony Suite
Star Balcony Suite
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
Call For Availability
Classic Suite
Classic Suite
Relax in 400 to 530 spacious square feet. Your living area offers beautiful views from the forward-facing window and French doors onto your private veranda. Two spacious closets give you plenty of room to unpack.
Call For Availability
Owner's Suite
Owner's Suite
With 575 square feet, your Owner’s Suite offers separate living room and dining areas. A veranda, two flat-screen TVs and DVD players, and a full master bath and separate powder room indulge you in spacious comfort. 
Call For Availability
Star Legend
Carrying only 312 guests, Star Legend still tucks into small ports like Sinop and Honfleur or narrow waterways like the Corinth Canal. We can’t wait to welcome you on board for your next 180 degree from ordinary adventure! Learn more about the newly renovated ship and the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.
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