Having not visited Greece since 1987 it was probably time for me to go back, and what better way to visit Greece than on a small ship cruise. The MS Galileo departs every Saturday from Pireaus for the Jewel of the Cyclades cruise, a great itinerary taking in Poros, Folegandros, Santorini, Paros, Mykonos and Syros.
The MS Galileo is really informal so great for the Kiwi market and there was a real mix of nationalities on board; Kiwis, Brits, Germans, Greeks, Aussies, Americans and even a couple of Colombians. There are a maximum of just 49 guests.
The days on board were pretty relaxed as most of the travel was done overnight, when day time travel was required this was interspersed with swimming/kayaking stops. There was plenty of time ashore, lots of information was given to enable us to enjoy the islands and excursions were available where required.
The food on board was great and there was usually one meal a day taken ashore, be it lunch or dinner. Greek night was good fun with the ubiquitous Zorba dancing and a great excuse to cook all those Greek favourites like Moussaka and stuffed vine leaves.
There was a movie each night and who would of thought there were so many greek comedies you could watch; Shirley Valentine, My big fat Greek wedding, Mamma Mia and My life in ruins, add this to the World cup final and it was a very entertaining week.
It was an incredibly relaxing week and nothing says this more than the fact that I managed to read 3 novels, get a fabulous tan, eat too much and even experience some of the Santorini and Mykonos nightlife. A couple of nights in Athens at each end and this is a fabulous two week Greek experience.