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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

Which Greece Cruise Suits Your Travel Style?

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

After more than a year of closed borders, Greece reopened its borders to American travelers today without quarantine with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result.

Current Arrival Procedures

Arriving travelers will be required to present either a vaccination certificate or negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before traveling. Children under the age of 5 will not be required to undergo a PCR test. Every traveler will also need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) 24 hours before travel.

Upon arrival, travelers will also be subject to random rapid tests from a targeted sampling system. In the event of a positive result, the traveler will be temporarily accommodated in an isolation hotel.

What to Expect?

Restaurants and bars reopened on May 3, with tables set in outdoor spaces only. Archaeological sites and beaches are open to visitors across the country. As of May 14, museums will re-open with health protocols in place, followed by open-air cinemas operating at 75% capacity on May 21. Beginning May 28, live events may be held in open-air venues with seated guests at 50% capacity. Expect masks to be required in public buildings and even outdoors.

Cruise ship in Greece
Cruise ship in Greece

Cruise Options for 2021

With Greece reopening, several cruise lines have announced Eastern Mediterranean cruises for this summer and fall. Silversea, Seabourn, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Amazara, and Royal Caribbean are welcoming vaccinated passengers onboard several Greece itineraries this summer. The choice of ships is smaller than pre-Covid summer sailing seasons, but Americans wanting to cruise still have excellent options if booked soon.

Luxury, Small-ship Cruise Lines


Best for foodies

Silver Moon sets sail
Silver Moon sets sail

Silversea launches their new ship, Silver Moon, from Athens this June with 10- and 20- night itineraries. Built to accommodate 596 passengers in all-suite accommodations, Silver Moon also features an immersive culinary program Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.). Spacious suites include butler service, award-winning cuisine, and free Wi-Fi. Silversea boosts unparalleled destination knowledge and all-included luxury at sea.


Best for luxury lovers

Seabourn sails in Greece
Seabourn sails in Greece

Seabourn offers small-ship cruising with a fleet that is the newest, most modern, and most acclaimed in the ultra-luxury segment. The Seabourn Ovation will be sailing 7-, 14-, and 21-night voyages in Greece all summer, embarking from Athens. Her sister ship, Seabourn Encore, launches in October with 7- and 18- night cruises. The longer itinerary includes Turkey.

Larger Cruise Ship Options

Celebrity Apex

Best for new ship lovers

Celebrity Apex sets sail on its eagerly awaited and long-delayed inaugural cruises in June 2021. Celebrity’s new ship will deploy from Athens, cruise around Greece, and even pop over to Israel on a series of 6-, 7-, and 8-night sailings. Most itineraries visit Cyprus, Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos; the 8-night adds Crete, and the Israel sailings offer Jerusalem/Ashdod and Haifa missing two Greek ports.

Apex is the ship for cruisers looking for variety in restaurants and attractions. The 2,910-passenger ship features 29 dining and drinking venues, innovative cabins, and the exclusive Retreat area where suite guests have their own restaurant, pool, sun deck, and lounge. The three-deck Eden space offers a unique hangout by day and cutting-edge entertainment at night. The Magic Carpet, cantilevered off the side of the ship, adds a moving vantage for after-dinner drinks, as well as tender boarding.

Two sea days on each itinerary provides time to enjoy the pool and solarium, the spa, the rooftop garden, the casino, or perhaps the Martini Bar. While Apex isn’t a child-centered ship, Celebrity does have a kids club and accepts children onboard with negative PCR tests.

Norwegian Jade

Best for active explorers

Norwegian Jade will sail an exciting itinerary from Athens, beginning in July 2021. The route features a new port every day, with no full sea days. If your goal is to see as much of Greece as you can in one week, this itinerary is for you. It includes the famous islands of Mykonos and Santorini and historic sites like Rhodes and Olympia. Read up on your Greek history and mythology before setting sail so that the sites will be more meaningful.

Onboard Norwegian Jade offers much to explore with 16 dining options, including French, Brazilian, and Asian. Enjoy nightly shows, and pack a white outfit for the traditional White Hot Party. Vaccinated tweens and teens can socialize in their own hangout while parents relax in the spa.

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas

Best for families

Royal Caribbean sets sail from Cyprus on July 10, 2021. A favorite cruise line for families, this summer, it’s a great choice for a Greek cruise since it will accept unvaccinated kids with a negative PCR test. Kids can entertain themselves onboard with rock climbing, mini-golf, a water park, video arcade, youth lounge, and teen disco.

The entire family can take advantage of a wide variety of restaurants and shows at night after their time in port. For adults, the solarium, casino, or onboard bars provide entertainment.

Unlike the other ships sailing Greece this summer, Jewel of the Seas departs from Limassol, Cyprus. From there, it sails to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes, with one sea day, in the beginning, to settle into your stateroom.

Holland America’s Eurodam

Best for seasoned travelers

Eurodam is also sailing weeklong cruises from Athens, but it won’t set sail until August. Unlike Norwegian and Celebrity, it’s not focused solely on the most popular ports in Greece. This makes it ideal for seasoned travelers who want to visit more off-the-beaten-path ports. Ports in Montenegro and Albania and Nafplion, Haifa, Chania, and Corfu are visited. Each itinerary is different, so you’ll need to match your preferred sail date to your wish list destinations.

Eurodam is a smaller ship than its premium competitors. Because they are not currently selling inside cabins, the vibe onboard will be less crowded than on the larger ships.

Onboard, you can enjoy high-quality live music at Lincoln Center Stage (classical), B.B. King’s Blues Club (R&B), and Billboard Onboard (rock). Foodies will indulge in cooking demos and multiple dining venues, including pan-Asian, steak-and-seafood, sushi, and Italian restaurants. Book spa treatments to relax after active shore excursions.

Will there be flights available to get you to your ship? United Airlines will resume its daily summer service to Athens from Newark International Airport starting June 3 and begin flying between Washington Dulles International Airport and Athens on July 1. Other carriers that currently offer direct or connecting flights to Athens from the U.S. include Delta, Air France, Swiss, and Lufthansa.

With new ships, new itineraries, and reduced guest occupancies, the summer of 2021 may be the best time to cruise the Greek isles.

Contact me to plan your cruise to Greece.

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