An Aegean Odyssey - Star Clipper

An Aegean Odyssey - Star Clipper

11 Days


An Aegean Odyssey - Star Clipper

11 Days Starting in ISTANBUL and ending in Athens

Visiting: İstanbul, Pergamon Ancient City, Chios, Patmos, Thera, Monemvasia, Athens

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Cruise, Sailing


Cultural, History

$4062 (USD) including Flights from the UK
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Tour Overview

Embrace the history of the greatest ancient civilisations, legendary cities at the crossroads of eastern and western cultures, and picturesque islands in the glistening Aegean where time has almost stood still. Discover some of the world's most spectacular classical legacies, from Athens, the birthplace of democracy and crucible of civilisation, theatre and philosophy to the exotic mystique of Istanbul, with its wondrous architecture and intriguing Eastern ambience. You'll be transported back in time to a grand maritime age as you sail through this extraordinary region aboard our spectacular vessel the Star Flyer (Star Clipper for 2024). This four-masted barquentine, evoking the spirit of a true maritime adventure, attracts enviable glances on the quayside with its polished teak decks, shining brass and gleaming mahogany and as you set sail into the dazzling blue, you're assured an unforgettable journey of a lifetime.


  • A fascinating voyage of discovery visiting Istanbul and Athens – combining some of the world’s most beautiful islands with little-known gems and the great classical sites of Pergamon

  • Included shore excursions in every port of call*

  • Guided tour of Istanbul, visiting the Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace

  • Sail along the Turkish coast and discover the great ancient city of Pergamon, famed as a centre of learning and medicine, with the steepest amphitheatre in the world

  • Visit Chios, one of the most fertile and richest islands in Greece, known in ancient times for its superb wine

  • Explore Patmos, stunningly beautiful and beloved of the ‘jet-set’

  • Sail into the vast caldera of Santorini, the fabled site of Atlantis and one of the world's most breathtaking anchorages

  • Visit the amazingly preserved walled town of Monemvasia, the ‘Gibraltar of the East’ and a medieval marvel

  • Guided tour of the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora and the acclaimed Acropolis Museum


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Day 1 : Arrival In Istanbul




Accommodation Name:

Barceló Istanbul

Arrive at the airport for your flight to Istanbul from where you will be taken to your hotel.

Day 2 : Istanbul




Accommodation Name:

Barceló Istanbul

Meals Included:


Istanbul is a revelation: an exotic metropolis of huge contrasts and a centre of shifting civilisations for 2,500 years. Chosen by Emperor Constantine as the eastern capital of the Roman Empire, it then became the capital of the Ottoman Empire and probably nowhere in the world can you find such an array of diverse monuments and fascinating places to see. We visit the Blue Mosque, symbol of the city - you cannot fail to be impressed by its grace and harmony, but its real attraction is the interior lined with 20,000 blue Iznik tiles and Arabesque inscriptions. Its beauty is hardly surprising when you consider that many of the same craftsmen who built it also worked on the Taj Mahal!

We continue our tour at the Topkapi Palace, the glittering imperial residence of the Sultans for a thousand years. Today, it is a spectacular museum, but in its heyday, it was a city within a city, home to over 4,000 elite guards, eunuchs, courtiers and, of course, the ladies of the Harem. There is a superb display of arms from throughout history: crossbows, firearms inlaid with ivory and beautifully crafted armour from as far afield as Japan. The Treasury is breathtaking too, with an amazing array of jewellery including the world’s fifth largest diamond, emeralds, jewel-encrusted thrones and the famous Topkapi dagger – all displaying outstanding craftsmanship. One of the world’s most visited attractions with 4,000 shops, the Grand Bazaar dating back to the 13th century, was home to merchants from all over the known world and as you browse the maze of stalls along its 61 streets, selling everything you could possibly imagine and more, from silk scarves and lamps, to hand-made carpets and leatherware, it’s like stepping back in time and an experience not to be missed!

Day 3 : Istanbul & Board The Ship


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we enjoy further exploration of this mystical, alluring city, at the crossroads of Eastern and Western civilisations. Firstly, we visit the Hippodrome, the site of Byzantium’s political, sporting and social life for a thousand years! As you marvel at its obelisks and statues, imagine the chariot races and huge spectacles that once graced this spot. We continue to the breathtaking Haghia Sophia, conceived as a mirror of the heavens, arguably the greatest church ever built and quite simply one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements. Built in the 6th century it was the largest enclosed space in the world for 1,400 years! Gaze in awe at the amazing Byzantine mosaics with their vibrant golds, reds and yellows. And, just as you leave, you see a beautifully crafted massive bronze door dating from 300BC – the sheer skill of these ancient artisans will never cease to astound you.

Complete your morning’s visits with a fascinating browse around the Spice Bazaar. Wander amongst the fragrant stalls, laden with colourful spices of every hue, nuts and dried fruits, some familiar, some intriguingly exotic and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant bustling market whilst haggling with the characterful vendors for the best price perhaps over a cup of sweet mint tea!

In the afternoon we leave for Istanbul port where your ship awaits! After time to settle in, we enjoy our first dinner on board, as our ship slips its moorings and heads out through the city’s twinkling lights towards our first port of call, Dikili.

Day At Sea On Star Flyer/Clipper


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or new to the scene, nothing quite beats life on the ocean waves and as we set sail into the blue, excitement mounts around what promises to be a maritime adventure of a lifetime. After a leisurely breakfast enjoying the views, head up on deck and soak in the coastal vistas and the bracing sea air – this is what holidays are all about! Find yourself a comfy chair or sink into a sun lounger and catch up on some reading before a refreshing dip in the saltwater pool perhaps. As we round the headland and commence our south westerly course, enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to swap notes with the ship’s captain during a visit to the bridge and thrill-seekers have the chance to climb up the crow’s nest – with harness of course! When lunch is served, return to the convivial ambience of the ship’s restaurant and then perhaps there’s chance for a snooze in the sunshine or to enjoy a quiet moment in the ship’s library. You’ll certainly be fully unwound by the time dinner is served after which enjoy your favourite digestif from the bar as the sun sets on the glistening water.

Day 5 : Pergamon

Pergamon Ancient City

Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning enjoy watching your first arrival into port as the Star Flyer/Clipper glides into picturesque Dikili. From here our included guided tour explores the fascinating ancient Hellenistic city of Pergamon. Perched on a high rocky outcrop with stunning views, the city was famed for its library, which rivalled Alexandria’s. Knowledge then, as now, was power and so concerned were the Egyptians about this competition, they cut off supplies of papyrus, thus prompting the invention of parchment. We’ll see the remains of the Temple of Trajan, the altar of Zeus and the steepest ancient amphitheatre in the world. Pergamon was also renowned as a healing centre, so we visit the Asclepion sanctuary where the sick came to be cured by having their dreams analysed! We return to our ship in the afternoon to continue our journey across the legendary Aegean.

Day 6 : Chios


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Chios is one of the richest and largest islands in the Aegean, yet it remains little known. The island has produced some of the most successful Greek shipping entrepreneurs, who still control around 50% of the Greek merchant marine. Its southern half has been known since ancient times for its cultivation of the mastic plant – a precursor to today’s chewing gum and highly prized. Our included tour will visit Pyrgi, a village unique in Greece, as all the houses are intricately decorated in a geometric ‘sgraffito’ style. Continue to the Mastic Museum where you can discover how this unique traditional product is produced, harvested and used. Our final stop will be the village of Mesta with its labyrinthine vaulted streets – an amazingly well-preserved living medieval village. This evening we sail on to our next port as we sit down for dinner amid the wood and polished brass splendour of our luxurious nautical home.

Day 7 : Patmos


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we anchor in Patmos - one of the smaller islands of the Dodecanese; however, what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and history. It’s been called the ‘Jerusalem of the Aegean’ for it was here that St. John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. Our included tour departs the pretty port of Skala for the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where St. John lived for two years. This small cave is now a beautiful little chapel and is still an active place of worship. Towering above the main town of Chora is the imposing 11th century fortified monastery of St. John, an architectural masterpiece, with eight chapels, courtyards, terraces and galleries with stunning 12th century frescoes. The Monastery’s Museum has manuscripts from the 5th century, jewelled chalices, crowns, crucifixes, and vestments, along with an early work of El Greco. We also visit the three-hundred-year-old mansion of the Simandiris family. This exceptional example of island architecture houses a fine collection of antiques, with gilded mirrors, silverware, paintings, chandeliers and exquisite furnishings. The rest of the day is free to wander around the meandering streets of whitewashed houses before setting sail in the late afternoon.

Day 8 : Santorini


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stand on deck this morning for one of the finest experiences Greece has to offer, sailing into the vast caldera of Santorini. Mere words struggle to describe the extraordinary magnitude of the panorama before us, multi-hued 1,000- foot cliffs rise above the dark-blue sea, their rim crowned by the blindingly white cubist architecture so typical of the Greek islands. If the views from below are amazing, the spectacular vista from the top is simply breathtaking! Back in the Bronze Age, most of the island was blown apart by one of the biggest volcanic explosions in history, destroying the sophisticated Minoan civilization in Crete, just 60 miles away. A small crater still bubbles away on an island in the middle of the bay and you can easily spot the pumice stones floating in the water. The main town of Fira perched high above the harbour is nowadays easily reached by cable car. Our included trip visits the highest point on the island, as well as some of the most interesting of the island’s small villages. We end our tour with free time in the stunning cliff-top village of Oia before we drive back to Fira. This evening, our ship does not set sail until later so head up on deck to watch dusk falling across this amazing and unique landscape.

Day 9 : Monemvasia


Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take a stroll on deck before breakfast and savour the fresh sea breeze as the giant white sails silently propel the Star Flyer/Clipper through the azure Aegean.

Known as the ‘Gibraltar of the East’, Monemvasia’s vast rocky bulk juts out of the mountainous coastline of the Peloponnese, linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway – a superb defensive position. It reached its zenith during the medieval period, supporting a population of 40,000, when it was known for its excellent wine (Richard III’s brother drowned in a vat of it!). It was a valuable prize and was besieged and attacked numerous times. During WWII a large number of New Zealanders were successfully evacuated to Crete from here.

Monemvasia has been sympathetically restored and is considered a wonderful time-capsule of a medieval Greek town. We have plenty of time to wander through the maze of narrow pedestrian streets and relax in one of the tavernas. The more energetic may try the steep path up to the ruins of the Upper Town – on a clear day you may catch a glimpse of the mountains of Crete!

Day 10 : Athens




Accommodation Name:

Wyndham Grand Athens

Meals Included:


This morning we disembark the Star Flyer/Clipper and transfer to this extraordinary capital. Enjoy a walking tour of Athens, visiting the Acropolis, so fittingly one of the great wonders of the ancient world. Ascending the hill you soon experience the grandeur of the Parthenon – its blindingly white marble columns with their perfect symmetry and balance completely dominate the skyline.

We also visit the Acropolis Museum with its amazing glass floor displaying ancient houses and streets below. After a stroll through the Agora, the political, social and commercial heart of the ancient city, there’s some free time to have lunch and explore the picturesque old district of Plaka. Dating from the end of the 18th century when Athens had shrunk to little more than a village below the Acropolis, it’s utterly charming, crammed with neo-classical mansions, balconies overflowing with geranium pots and twisting cobbled lanes lined with homely tavernas. Later we check into the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day and evening at leisure.

Day 11 : Return Flight


Transfer to Athens airport for your flight home.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    7 nights on the Star Flyer 3 nights in 5-star hotels

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Fully Guided

    Services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

  • International Travel

    Return flights & transfers

  • Meals

    Full board cruise, B&B hotels

  • All visits and excursions as mentioned including sightseeing in Istanbul and Athens

  • Attentive service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides

  • Additional Services

    All port charges (worth £165) airport taxes and overseas transfers

  • Porterage of one item of luggage per person

  • ABTA, ATOL and IATA protection

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuity

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Return flights & transfers

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?


  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?


  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    For cruises, the minimum age limit is 12 years old at the date of departure. We reserve the right to limit the number of children on any particular cruise.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?


  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Sunday

May 22, 2025 - Jun 01, 2025
$4062 (USD)

Including UK Flights

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 500 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 101 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 101 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 100 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 75% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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