Ideal destinations for a cruise during summer

Western Mediterranean Cruise

Boarding a giant cruise ship is definitely another way to travel. For some, it is more comfortable, less surprising and a little crowded. But, in the end, every trip has its charm if you know how to take advantage of it. On this occasion, Greca Travel recommends the 7-night cruise through Italy, France and Spain. You can leave from Barcelona or Rome and also visit Naples, Livorno, Cannes and Palma de Mallorca. The cruise includes full board, 24-hour assistance service in English, boarding fees, tips and taxes.

Not included are the unlimited alcoholic drinks packages on board, signature coffees, up to 250 minutes of Wi-Fi, personal expenses and up to 500usd free to spend on board.

In addition, you can check for pre, post cruise nights and transfers and for the 5% discount for groups of more than 10 travelers.

The boat offers you very good moments if you know how to appreciate them. Walk on the deck at dawn, sunbathe on the top floor, have a drink in your hammock, watch the sunset from your cabin balcony and wake up every day in a different city. On this cruise, all your needs will be met. Rest assured.

However, all the magnificence of the cruise can be overshadowed by some issues: don't think it is dizziness, these boats have stabilizers and you hardly notice the sway. One of the biggest complaints is the cold inside the cruise (in summer). Sometimes there can be 15 degrees difference between the inside to outside temperature. So now you have been warned, you should take a jacket, a coat, or anything that protects you from the cold inside, and then take it off if you choose to go out for some fresh air.

Within these two types of Mediterranean cruise trips, there are at least two ships. Recently renovated as part of the Norwegian Edge program, the Norwegian Star combines the laid-back concept of Freestyle Cruising with cruises, among other points, to the Mediterranean. Aboard Norwegian Star you will find delicious dining options, 10 bars and lounges - such as the Gatsby's Champagne Bar- where you can enjoy a sunset toast or treat yourself with the fantastic sea views and the warm sea breeze, the Sky High Bar - a large spa-, and the always fascinating casino with VIP area and lots of fun for children of all ages. Recently refurbished as part of the Norwegian Edge program, major improvements were made to its staterooms, public spaces, restaurants, bars, and lounges. The Spice H20 is an adults-only getaway. During the day, you can recline on your lounger while enjoying a cold cocktail. At night it is something completely different. You can let go and dance under the stars.

You can also recharge your energy at the recently refurbished Mandara Spa and let experienced professionals relax and rejuvenate you with facials, massages, acupuncture and more. This cruise has a full menu of services to make you feel your best.

A Pharaonic summer Nile Cruise

Greca Travel offers you several options to navigate a cruise on the fantastic Nile River. Destinations such as Cairo, Beni, Suef, Minia, Beni Hassan, Tel El Amarna, Assiut, Sohag, Balyana, Quena, Luxor, Edfu, Esna, Kom Ombo & Asuan intersect on various cruise itineraries provided by this travel agency.

To detail any of them, after arrival in Cairo, capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt, a person from Greca's English-speaking team will be waiting for you at the exit to assist you during the visa process, inform us of all the details of our trip and answer any type of question or query that you may have, as well as make a brief presentation of the city and its day to day.

The transfer to the hotel will be done by one of the agency's private air-conditioned vehicles. At the hotel, the assistant will help you with the registration. The rest of the day is to relax, and start enjoying the comforts of the hotel.

Nile cruises, in general, will share some destinations that are detailed below:

Full day visit with lunch in Cairo to the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx, with entrance to the interior of Kefren, the Pharaonic Museum and the Jan El Jalili neighborhood. Cruise Excursions in Minia: Aket Aton Ruins in Tel El Amarna, Tombs of the Princes, Temple of Thot, Tuna El Gabal. Also, cruise excursions in Sohag: Temple of Abydos; Cruise excursions in Luxor; Thebes Necropolis, Valley of the Kings and Karnak; Cruise excursions in Quena: Temple of Hathor; Cruise Excursions in Edfu: Temple of Horus. Cruise excursions in Kom Ombo: Temple.

The Nile gives life to Egypt

Without this river, which until 2008 was considered the longest in the world, Egypt would be completely a desert. A good place to board for a cruise on this river is in the city of Luxor, which can be reached in just an hour and a half by plane from Cairo. Luxor, who currently lives basically from tourism and agriculture, has had several names throughout history: the ancient Egyptians called it Uast, which meant scepter; the Greeks named it Thebes because it resembled the homonymous Greek city; and the Arabs baptized it as Luxor or palaces with a thousand doors.

Luxor was the capital of ancient Egypt for over 1500 years. For this reason some of the most important monuments of this country are concentrated here, such as the temples of Lúxor and Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and Las Reinas and the colossi of Memnon.

Discovered in 1884, the Temple of Luxor dedicated to Amon, the Egyptian god of wind, is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular in Egypt. It was built between 1400 and 1000 B.C. by the pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramses II. The first built the interior part while the second built the outer enclosure, adding the facade, the colossi and the obelisks. It is connected to the Karnak temple through the Avenue of the Sphinxes, which was reopened to the public in 2012 after five years of intense work.

In this sense, the Karnak Temple is the largest in Egypt. It has a perimeter of 2,400 meters and is surrounded by an adobe wall 8 meters thick. Built by a multitude of pharaohs between the years 2200 and 360 BC, it contains inside it the great temple of Amon, other minor sanctuaries, chapels and the great sacred lake.

On the way to Aswan: temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo

Edfu, about 90 kilometers from Luxor, is the best preserved temple in Egypt and the most important after Karnak. Dedicated to the falcon god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris, this construction represents the typical Egyptian temple with the pylon, the courtyard, two hypostyle rooms, an offering chamber, the central hall and the sanctuary.

A visit to Aswan

Located about 900 km south of Cairo, Aswan is a quiet destination in the Nile Valley, where this river is more beautiful than anywhere else and flows between granite rocks and islands covered in palm trees and tropical plants. This city in Egypt is ideal for strolling and relaxing, while watching the feluccas that slowly cross the Nile.

An excursion to Abu Simbel

Some say that if you don't visit Abu Simbel, you don't really know Egypt. And honestly it is worth getting up at three in the morning and taking the bus tour of about five hours from Aswan to this impressive archaeological site. Abu Simbel is made up of two temples: that of Riamsese-Meryamun, built by Ramses II, and the temple of Hathor dedicated to Queen Nefertari.

The first, also called the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, was found in the early 19th century. Between 1964 and 1968, it was dismantled and moved from its original location, as a consequence of the construction of the great Aswan dam. It has an impressive facade carved out of the rock, 35 meters wide by 30 meters high, in which are the 4 famous seated colossi of Ramses II with the nemes, the double crown of the two Lands.

Greek Islands cruise 

The possibility of sailing on cruises around the Greek islands while knowing different Hellenic beauties, historical monuments, churches, beaches, archaeological ruins, parks, tasting typical foods, is a very seductive proposal, and also challenging.

The challenge is to define the itinerary with stops and decide what to see or do in front of a huge and varied offer of attractions. The dilemma is, in short, going through experiences, touching several ports (you cannot dock at all the ports of all the Greek islands) in a single trip and accumulating images and sensations at full speed, in a fascinating itinerary.

Enjoy every stop with a formula that transforms that string of ports into something memorable is possible, meeting certain requirements.

You can arrive to some of the Greek islands in the two cruises that sail the beautiful Hellenic waters. The main company is the Celestyal Cruises that departs from the Piraeus port in Athens. The main drawback is that cruises only run from mid-March to early November (during the Greek spring and summer period).

To get on a cruise and visit the Greek islands it is important to make your reservation in advance, especially in high season. Tickets are purchased through our agency, Greca Travel. Cruise routes sorround peninsular Greece and reach the nearest islands, usually several of the Cyclades (and connections to the Turkish coast are also made). There are also routes between Rhodes, in the Dodecanese, and Samos, in the extreme south of the Northeast Aegean.

Ask Greca Travel for the boat plan. This elaborate layout, in which all the numbers of the cabins appear, may seem overwhelming at first, but a closer inspection will show you all the services available on the decks; You won't like being in the kitchen or next to the engine room if you want peace of mind. The cabins generally have two beds - four in certain cases - and the exterior cabins are the most expensive. The ones in the central zone are the most economically stable and the higher you are, the cabins are more expensive.

The full board is awesome, as it includes all the food you want. They are used to being quality food and are distributed according to the following program: first-time coffee, breakfast, mid-morning buffet, lunch, snack (or afternoon tea), dinner and midnight buffet.

While the Greek islands can be explored perfectly through a cruise from March to November, the best time to embark is from mid-May to the end of June. The days are normally mild, even hot, but dry at the same time, and the sea water is heated by the sun. Mid-summer nights are ideal for dining on cruise ship buffets.

Spring is the perfect time to explore the cities, and in addition, there is much less influx of tourists than in summer. If you are not a friend of the crowds, and the beaches are not on your agenda, April and May are a good time to visit the country. The carnival season and Greek Easter, with its processions, lambs and red eggs, are the best of the season!

Aside from cruises, ferries are also available on the Greek islands, which do not depart every day from all destinations and may suspend their service as soon as the bad weather appears. In fact they are quite slow and not advisable for those prone to dizziness. There are slow and the fast ferries. The slow ones cover the main routes, and in the summer the "small and fast" ferries operate between the Greek islands. Slow local ferries, regardless of size, are subject to official fares, and tickets are also purchased by Greca Travel.

In general, Greca recommends slow ferries, since being the first contact with the Aegean Sea, the trip is more enjoyable (you can be on deck drinking delicious drinks, taking photos, etc.; something that on fast ferries you cannot do for security reasons). You must also pay close attention to destinations. If you take a ferry from Athens to Mykonos, for example, the boat does not usually make a direct destination, but first passes through Syros and Tinos and then docks in Mykonos. These boats have the advantage of offering direct links and avoid the hassle of calling in the mainland ports.




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