A Voyage to Idyllic Islands aboard the Galileo or Panorama

What the Trip is Like

This cruise is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active.  Embarkation and disembarkation is via a gang plank on the side of the boat and with opportunities to explore different ports each day, you will be boarding the boat frequently. Several times during the cruise, there will be opportunities to swim right off the boat from a platform at water level.  To have the best cruise experience, it is very important to have a good sense of balance and agility. There are three decks on board, with stairs between the decks. There are no elevators on board.   

On Board Variety Cruises
Variety Cruises specializes in small ships that are more similar to mega-yachts than huge cruise ships.  All outfitted with either twin or queen beds which are fixed, so you need to specify your preference at the time of booking. The Sun Deck has a large area for relaxing on lounge chairs. There is also a smaller, back deck on this level with comfortable benches and tables.  Inside is a bar/lounge area, ideal for relaxing in the evening.  The Dining Room is located on the Main Deck, as is a small reference area.  

All guest cabins are air conditioned, have central music, an internal telephone, a safe deposit box, hair dryer, and en suite bathrooms with a shower. The electricity on board is 220 volt, and the plugs are European-style, with two round pins. Plug adapters are necessary for your electrical equipment. Keep in mind that with smaller ships, one tends to feel the motion of the ship more keenly than on a large cruise ship, so anyone with a sensitivity to sea sickness should pack some Dramamine, in the event that the seas get a bit rocky.

From the moment you step on board, you will find the crew and staff to be welcoming and professional. With a high crew member to passenger ratio, you can expect a high level of personal attention. The crew is largely Greek and Eastern European, but all speak English. The passengers tend to come from a number of different countries, the majority from Europe but also from as far afield as New Zealand and Australia. Americans comprise about 40% of the total.

The atmosphere on board is relaxed and there is really no need to bring fancy clothes with you. T-shirts, shorts, and sandals are the daily norm although most guests will dress up slightly for the Welcome and Farewell dinners. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for shore excursions as you will be walking through small villages and medieval cities with stone streets. Shore excursions provide great opportunities to get to know your fellow passengers, and these cruises are renowned for the camaraderie that develops during the week.  

Dining takes place in the main dining room. Meals are served buffet-style with a wide selection of options, while welcome and farewell dinners are plated and served by the wait staff who are very friendly and efficient. Guests find the food to be plentiful and appreciate the variety and local ingredients, including many vegetarian options.  
 
Wilderness Travel enjoys partnering with Variety Cruises as we believe that they offer exceptional value to their passengers. At a fraction of the cost of some of the larger cruise ships, they deliver a product that is highly professional, yet intimately casual.  The main difference between Variety and other cruise companies is that guided shore excursions are charged separately from the cruise cost. Each afternoon you will receive a briefing about the next day’s shore excursion options. If you prefer to disembark the ship to explore on your own, that is always fine, and many passengers choose to grab a taxi and do exactly that. Should you want to participate in the organized tours being offered, the cost ranges from $25-$70 per person, per tour, but there is no pressure to join. Payment for the shore excursions is made at the end of the cruise.   

You should be prepared to settle up your bar and laundry bill at the end of the cruise. Only the beverages at the welcome and farewell activities are included, all sodas and alcoholic beverages must be paid for.  The purified water on board is free as is coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  Your bar bill, shore excursions and tips can be paid by credit card.  The recommended rate suggested is $100-$125 per passenger, per week for the crew as a whole, and individual tips for the shore excursion guides, averaging $10 per guide, per excursion.  Obviously, tips are optional and entirely at your discretion.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.