Travellers will be able to visit two Greek ports a day while treating their ‘heart, mind and soul’ on the first ship being introduced by new line Elixir Cruises.
From June 26, Elysium will carry up to 48 passengers on itineraries alternating every Saturday between the Peloponnese/Ionian islands and the Cyclades.
The small ship – formerly Celebrity Xperience but completely refurbished – will stay overnight at places such as Santorini and Mykonos to allow guests to experience ‘the real Greece’, says Ioannis Termidos, the line’s president and founder.
He said: ‘The Elysium arrives in Santorini as most cruise and ferry passengers are heading home, allowing our guests to discover the beauty and charm of the island and not have to rush for the last tender.
‘Instead, we have planned our itinerary so guests can choose where they want to have supper – be it a five-star restaurant or a traditional taverna – and enjoy the fabulous Santorini sunset. As the culture and history of the island is so rich and diverse, we stay on the next morning for guests to go ashore and explore before the cruise ships and day boats arrive.
‘In Mykonos we will drop anchor off one of the southern beaches in mid-afternoon so guests can go ashore and explore or swim. We are perfectly positioned to enjoy a sunset drink at Little Venice, photograph the iconic windmills and for guests to meander through the swirling white-washed pathways of Chora, browse the many elegant boutiques, take supper in one of the plethora of cafes and restaurants and party as they choose, well into the small hours.’
Ioannis added: ‘After an exhilarating night in Mykonos, our itinerary the next day is gentle yet stimulating, visiting the less well known Serifos and Kythnos dotted with windmills, chapels, pristine beaches and many sites of cultural interest. As the sun sets and the stars start to fill the night sky, it’s time for our special farewell beach BBQ.’
On the Peloponnese itinerary, Elysium will sail a sunset transit of the Corinth Canal.
Activities on shore during the cruises will include swimming, snorkelling, horse-riding, hiking and scuba diving. On board, guests will be able to take part in daily group pilates, meditation sessions and aquarobics. They can even book private spa treatments in their cabins.
For those keen to learn or develop a new skill there will be cooking classes, a Greek dance workshop and lessons in making worry beads and jewellery.
Culture and history buffs will be able to visit Byzantine churches, monasteries and medieval towns, while nature lovers will be able to go to protected habitats, famous beaches and spectacular coastlines.
Prices start at £2,500pp for a seven-night Greek islands cruise, plus government fees and handling charges of £170pp a week in the Cyclades and £195pp in the Peloponnese islands. An optional air package from London costs from £595pp. Wifi and fitness sessions are included but shore excursions, tips, drinks and spa treatments are extra.
More details on elixirwellnesscruises.com
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