by Katerina Nikolas
If the idea of traversing the waters of the Aegean on a Greek Islands cruise appeals to you then think small. Some of the enormous floating cruise ships which pull into dock at the Islands look ridiculously out of place and can seem to dwarf the islands. The islands themselves have great natural beauty which is not enhanced by the appearance of massive liners discharging their hordes.
To appreciate cruising the Greek islands then a smaller ship is much more appropriate and you will be able to enjoy the islands with more freedom, and not waste as long trying to disembark and find the spot which you’ve earmarked on your map as the must see place to visit. The Greek islands themselves are simple places where the informality of smaller cruises fits in better than the luxury element of a large ship.
Greek cruise lines which offer smaller ships and sometimes carry less than 200 people can offer a more relaxed cruise for those whose aim is to enjoy as much time as they can on the actual islands. Small Greek lines such as Fantasty Travel are worth checking out for those who prefer less formality.
The best time to cruise the Greek islands is in the spring and autumn as the intense heat of July and August limit the amount of exploring you can when not used to the combination of heat and humidity. August is a very busy time in Greece generally as it is the Greek holiday season as well as the busiest tourist month. If you want to see the islands when they aren’t as crammed with the crowds then avoid July and August.
The young and carefree whose main priority is partying rather than exploring the Greek islands, can take a budget cruise on one of Stellios’s Easy Cruises. Cheap and cheerful the ships are more like ferries than cruise ships, but conveniently dock at the Islands in time for bar hopping and dancing and will definitely want to be avoided by all but those who don’t mind budget basic on the waters.
The most popular destinations for Greek Island cruises are Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini and Heraklio, and many of the cruises also take in Kusadasi which is Turkish. If you can find a cruise which combines the Greek Islands with a stop allowing travel to Ephesus in Turkey, then the ancient town there is well work disembarking for.
To make the most of cruising the Greek Islands think small, think fewer crowds, and avoid the hottest time of the year. Support the smaller Greek cruise lines which really do fit in better with the simple ambiance of Greece, and appreciate the Islands as the smaller cruises glide effortlessly into harbour.