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Eastern Mediterranean Crossing: The Holy Land, Greek Islands, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt & the Suez Canal - 2023

Amman • 12-night small ship cruise with Aqaba, Sharm El Sheik/Suez Canal, Ashdod, Haifa, Limassol, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Santorini, Piraeus • Athens
  • Small Ship Ocean Cruise from Amman to Athens | Eastern Mediterranean Crossing: The Holy Land, Greek Islands, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt & the Suez Canal
  • Mediterranean small ship cruise The Holy Land, Greek Islands, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt & the Suez Canal from Amman to Athens including Jordan Dead Sea and Istanbul extensions
  • The lost city of Petra against a sunny blue sky
  • Windmills, island of Mykonos, Greece, Europe
  • $688
  • 17
  • 26
  • 4 FREE Single Supplements Available
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18 DAYS FROM $13,098
FREE Solo Space
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Up to FREE Business Class. Save up to $1,849 per couple with 2-for-1 airfare.
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The Mediterranean gave birth to the world. Now here’s your chance to discover this mesmerizing region aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel's intimate 5-star small ship: the Ocean Odyssey. Your days will be filled with historical revelations, sun-kissed shorelines, and archaeological wonders from Petra to the Acropolis. On this small ship ocean cruise, you’ll have access to intriguing destinations like Cyprus, where UNESCO treasures abound, and the seaside desert oasis of Sharm El Sheikh, which Jacques Cousteau called a “corridor of marvels.”

You’ll also discover the most premier Greek isles, including Santorini and Mykonos, plus the lesser-visited gem Rhodes, just off the coast of Turkey. Cross the legendary Suez Canal, with live narration. In all, 26 included features and Cultural Discoveries will help you unpack the riches of each destination. Plus, performances and an exclusive lecture series — with a few guest speakers! — will further enhance your understanding of past and present life in the eastern Mediterranean.

Our ship’s small size also lets you navigate to exclusive ports larger ships can’t reach, with minimal tendering where you will be required to have the physical agility to maneuver getting on and off of tenders/Zodiac boats. And with fewer travellers on board, you’ll have more impactful interactions and Cultural Discoveries with locals, Tour Directors, lecturers, and more. In all, 26 included features and Cultural Discoveries will help you unpack the rich history and culture of the places you visit. Plus, performances and an exclusive lecture series (with a few guest speakers) will further enhance your understanding of past and present life in the eastern Mediterranean.

When you’re not exploring, enjoy the 5-star amenities that await you aboard the Ocean Odyssey. Spa, salon, fitness center — and that’s just the beginning. Personalized service is at your fingertips thanks to a small passenger-to-crew ratio and the assistance of our worldwide Concierge service, while onboard kayaks give you another way to stay active. Join Vantage on this unforgettable voyage across the Mediterranean!

If you're interested in this itinerary and want to revel in even more Cultural Discoveries and immersive experiences, check out our combination cruises Wonders of the World Cruise 2023: A 150-day Voyage from Australia to Sweden, The Suez to Southern Europe: A 47-day Voyage from Amman to Barcelona, and Kingdoms and Cultures: A 68-day Voyage from Jordan to England. Explore more and save.

Aqaba to Piraeus

Pre-Trip Extension

Jordan’s Dead Sea Treasures

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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Amman, Jordan

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Amman. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Jordan and the Dead Sea.

DAY 2:

Amman arrival

Welcome to Amman, known as Jordan’s “White City” for the hypnotic hue of its cityscape. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. You arrive this evening; depending on your arrival time, join a late dinner at the hotel with fellow travelers. 

Included meals:


DAY 3:

Exploring Amman

This morning, join a Welcome Briefing that will explain procedures and other logistical information on your journey. Then, get acquainted with this multifaceted Arab metropolis during a guided tour. Amman was originally built across seven hills but today spreads out over 19, creating an undulating city canvas. Throughout your tour, the impressive Jebel Amman Citadel watches over you from its hilltop perch as the hauntingly beautiful call to prayer echoes off ancient buildings. After an included lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy the afternoon to explore on your own, perhaps discovering the bustling Al Balad downtown area surrounding the splendid King Hussein Mosque. This evening, join us at your hotel for a discussion with a local about life in Jordan before heading to our Welcome Drink and Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Amman city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Jordanian culture by a local

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4:

Journey to the Lost City of Petra, and embark the Ocean Odyssey

Today, you’ll set out for Aqaba, where your 5-star ship will berth. But first, enjoy a taste of Jordan with lunch at a local restaurant. Then, visit one of the world’s most magnificent archaeological treasures — awe-inspiring Petra. Dating back to approximately 300 BC, this prehistoric city was carved into the pink sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s southwestern desert by the ancient Nabataean people. As you explore Petra’s Great Temple and tombs, you will listen to some of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site’s long and intriguing history.

Afterwards, continue to Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, to embark the Ocean Odyssey. Get settled in your cabin and take a walk through the ship, checking out the luxurious amenities offered, then gather for a port talk to hear about tomorrow’s exciting destination. In the elegant dining room, savor a special Captain’s Welcome Dinner, giving you just a glimpse of the curated fine dining you'll experience throughout your journey. The ship leaves port later in the evening.

Included Feature:

  •  Guided tour of Petra

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5:

Dramatic landscapes and religious heritage of Sharm El Sheikh

Catch the sunrise from the ship's multilevel observation lounge before enjoying breakfast on board as the Ocean Odyssey arrives in Egypt. Situated near the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh is a seaside desert oasis for Egyptians and travelers alike. Its waters are renowned for their diverse marine life and crystalline visibility. Jacques Cousteau called it a “corridor of marvels” and, depending on conditions and timing, you may have time to take out one of the ship’s kayaks or snorkeling equipment and see this underwater world for yourself. But first, you can join an included morning tour. Visit the magnificent Mustafa Sheikh Mosque with its soaring minarets flanking an impressive dome and marble façade. Marvel at the biblical artwork of the Coptic Orthodox Church, spiritual home to the largest Christian denomination in Egypt. After a stop at Soho Square, Sharm’s modern entertainment and shopping complex, and a perusal of the vibrant, energetic market, return to the ship in time for lunch.

Your afternoon is at leisure in Sharm El Sheikh, or perhaps you'll explore the spectacular coral reef and colorful fish here. If you're looking for something more adventurous, your onboard Destination Manager can help you set up an excursion. A port talk lets you know what to expect during our upcoming crossing of the astonishing Suez Canal.

Included Feature:

  •   Guided tour of Sharm El Sheikh

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Enjoy the stunning sight of the Red Sea lapping against shores of desert sand as you depart Sharm El Sheikh and circle the Sinai Peninsula

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAYS 6-7:

Crossing the Suez Canal

Prepare yourself for today's travel milestone, and settle in on the sun deck as you traverse the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea.

While at sea, an onboard lecturer will offer poignant lectures on the Suez Canal and the history of the region. You'll also listen to an onboard musician.

These two days provide the perfect opportunity to savor the easy pace and camaraderie that small ship cruising affords. Bring binoculars for a closer view of the desert hills and sands unfolding all around while our inviting lounge area and elegant common spaces offer ideal settings to get to know your fellow adventurers. A port talk will give you a glimpse of what’s ahead once you reach the Mediterranean.

During your cruising, take advantage of your ship’s many amenities, and see how days on board can be just as exciting as days offshore. Perhaps enjoy a spa treatment, curl up with a book on deck, or pop into the boutique for any items you may need. Your meals will bring a taste of Egypt to your experience.

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Lecture on the Suez Canal
  • Lecture on the history of the Sinai Peninsula

Scenic Sailing:

  • In between your informative onboard lectures, join your fellow adventures at the inviting lounge areas and use your included binoculars to get a closer view of the desert hills and sands unfolding all around

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 8:

Uncover a biblical past from Haifa

Arrive in Haifa this morning, the picturesque northern Israeli port in the shadow of Mt. Carmel. Today’s full-day tour features many places from the life of Jesus. First head to Nazareth, where Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph after his birth. Marvel at the mosaic-filled Basilica of the Annunciation. Next, view the Wedding Church where Jesus turned water to wine. In the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, see the ancient synagogue where Jesus used to teach. After a local St. Peter’s fish lunch, embark a boat to cross the legendary Sea of Galilee, believed to be where Jesus walked on water. Then visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the fishes, and the Mount of the Beatitudes, topped by the stunning church with its octagonal dome representing the 8 Beatitudes.

Today’s port talk prepares you for the next unforgettable stop, Ashdod.

Included Features:

  • Full-day Galilee excursion
  • Visit Tabgha and the Mount of the Beatitudes

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Your choice of full-day tours in Israel

Arrive in Ashdod, one of the oldest cities in the world, this morning. Then, choose your Israel experience during one of our included tours, ideal for travelers who have visited Israel before and may be looking for new opportunities. Join a full-day tour to Jerusalem, starting at the Mount of Olives so you can take in the ancient city from a breathtaking viewpoint. Proceed to the Gardens of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion and whose olive trees may date back as far as Christ. After stopping to see the Church of all Nations, enter the UNESCO-listed Old City for an unforgettable walking tour that includes the Western Wall. After lunch, browse the Arab Bazaar, then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of Jesus’ tomb.

Alternately, choose to spend the day on a full-day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea, with an included lunch. Begin at the famed desert fortress where a band of Jewish rebels chose the ultimate act of resistance against a siege by Roman soldiers. A short cable car ride to the top will show you the full scope of the desert and Dead Sea below. Then head down to its famously curative salt waters, where you can test how buoyant they really are. (Don’t forget your swimsuit!)

Enjoy a pre-dinner and port talk that will fill you on what’s happening tomorrow.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Jerusalem or to Masada and the Dead Sea

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10:

Witnessing the history and traditions of Cyprus with your choice of tours

After breakfast, you'll arrive in Cyprus. The people of this island country enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, dramatic coastal vistas, the pine-wooded Troodos Mountains, and some of the finest ancient mosaics in the world. You will join them today as you choose from two included afternoon tours.

During a half-day tour to Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural and cultural treasures, stop to view Aphrodite’s Rock, said to be the spot from where the goddess of love and beauty rose from the sea. Visit the Chrysopolitissa Church, built on the remains of a Byzantine basilica, and St. Paul’s Pillar. At the Paphos Archaeological Park, view the remarkably preserved floor mosaics at the Houses of Dionysos, Aion, and Theseus. Enjoy free time to take in the relaxed atmosphere at the Harbor of Paphos.

Or, you may choose a half-day tour to the UNESCO-listed traditional village of Choirokoitia, where our local friend Petros reveals the secrets behind making Halloumi and Anari cheeses at his home. Settle in for a visit and delightful tasting of farm-fresh cheeses with honey, olives, home-baked bread, and salad. Petros will also show you how he weaves the island’s distinctive baskets. After a walk around the village, enjoy a scenic coastal drive back to the ship.

Lunch is back onboard and the rest of your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, learn more about this fascinating island during an onboard lecture. And after our port talk, some Cypriot performers join us on board for a lively folklore show.

Included Feature:

  •  Half-day tour of Phaphos or Choirokoitia

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment: Cypriot folklore show

Scenic Sailing:

  • You may also wish to relax on the deck and enjoy the view as Limassol’s sun-kissed coast appears on the horizon

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way into the fabled waters of the Aegean Sea. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine the chefs are creating just for you!

Today’s onboard lecture provides more fascinating context to this legendary part of the Mediterranean. And this evening’s port talk previews your next incredible destination — the remarkable island of Rhodes.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12:

Rhodes, island of the Knights of St. John

Spend this morning exploring Rhodes, Europe’s largest inhabited medieval town. See the old port of Mandraki. Traverse the heights of Agios Stefanos, or Monte Smith, for sweeping views. In the Old Town, visit the vast Grand Masters Palace, home to the Knights of St. John crusaders, and stop by the Archaeological Museum, once the Knights’ hospital. If you wish, you may linger on your own to explore more of this remarkable enclave of medieval treasures, perhaps strolling the cobbled Street of the Knights. 

Back on board, learn more about the rich history that has shaped the Aegean. And though nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking sights of our next destination, Ephesus, our port talk will try!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Rhodes

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture by local lecturer

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 13:

The rich biblical past of Ephesus

Discover the historical country of Turkey today. Step into the ancient past during a half-day visit to Ephesus, once the most important trading center in the Aegean. These breathtaking ruins are steeped in biblical history, as you will learn during a guided stroll down the Arcadian Way, once lined with colonnaded buildings and adorned with mosaics. Pass the impressive amphitheater and marvel at the towering façade of the Library of Celsus. This third largest library in the ancient world was built to house 12,000 parchment scrolls. You will also view the Temples of Hadrian and Diana before returning to the ship for lunch. 

This afternoon you’ll enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi, which offers great walks, restaurants, and shops. 

Back on board, there’ll be ample opportunities to immerse yourself in Turkish culture. Get into the rhythms of traditional song and dance during a performance by locals. Gain more insight into the famous flavors of this region when you enjoy a lecture on Turkish cuisine. And savor the creations of a Turkish master chef, who we have invited into the kitchen to prepare your mouthwatering dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day historical tour of Ephesus

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Dinner prepared by a Turkish master chef

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 14:

Breathtaking Mykonos

Mykonos is big on discovery and beauty, and is renowned for its pure-white houses, tidy churches with blue domes, charming windmills, and pristine beaches. See what captivated Jackie Onassis and other celebrity yachters during a driving tour to some of its most stunning beaches — Agios Ioannis, Ornos, Kalafatis, and Agia Anna. 

Then, visit the magnificent white-washed village of Ano Mera. After stopping at its unique 1542 Panagia Tourliani Monastery, enjoy a tasty bite and a sip or two of ouzo in the square. A guided walking tour reveals the narrow passages and cobbled lanes of Mykonos before you return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. You can relax in Mykonos on your own, perhaps exploring by bike or arranging a 4x4 rental with your onboard Destination Manager.

Your day is further enlightened by another onboard lecture this afternoon, followed this evening by some fun onboard entertainment. Today’s port talk prepares you for the wonders of Santorini, tomorrow’s beguiling destination.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Mykonos scenic drive & walking tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture by local lecturer
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 15:

Be dazzled by Santorini and visit the archaeological site Akrotiri

Santorini has been called the most magnificent of the Greek Isles. With its soaring cliffs tumbling into turquoise waters, you’re sure to agree. You will tender ashore and take a scenic drive to the ancient site of Akrotiri, a Minoan village frozen in time by the ash of a devastating volcanic eruption. This wonder has been compared to Pompeii both for its fate and for its incredible preservation. Explore its beauty with a guide, then continue to the charming clifftop village of Oia. This vision of whitewashed and pastel houses clinging to dark volcanic rock was once home to wealthy seafarers. Its narrow streets are a paradise for walkers, as you will experience firsthand. Then, move on to Fira, perched high over the Aegean on more cliffs. You many explore here on your own and return to the ship at leisure via a dramatic cable car and your waiting tender. 

This afternoon, an onboard lecturer adds more enlightenment to your knowledge of the Aegean. Later, a port talk fills you in on what you can expect from our visit to the Cradle of Civilization — Athens. Savor your final dinner on board, with ample options of locally inspired cuisine.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Akrotiri and Oia

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Savor your final dinner on board, with ample options of locally inspired cuisine and a stunning last view of Santorini as we navigate past sheer cliffs and the volcanic island of Nea Kameni

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 16:

Classical wonders of Athens

Arrive in Piraeus this morning and disembark for a thrilling tour of Athens, the sophisticated capital of Greece where mythology and ancient history come alive. You’ll visit the iconic Acropolis, where it was said that Poseidon and Athena fought over who would be patron of the city. This was the architectural pinnacle of Athens, crowned by its breathtaking Parthenon. You’ll also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, and the Presidential Palace. Along the famed Panepistimiou Avenue, pass the Catholic Cathedral, Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library. Enjoy lunch on your own, perhaps seeking out a restaurant in the charming Plaka district, nestled at the foot of Acropolis Hill.

The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. Remember, you can always contact your Destination Manager in advance to help you plan your time in Athens.

Included Feature:

  •  Athens sightseeing and walking tour

Included meals:


DAY 17:

Peel back the rich layers of Athens on your own

You'll have a day to explore Athens anyway you see fit — your Vantage Destination Manager can provide plenty of tips and recommendations for what to see, do, and eat!

If you stay in Athens, set out to uncover some of the Cradle of Civilization's lesser known gems. If you’re looking for a deal, head over to the Monastiraki flea market, an atmospheric agora of secondhand Athenian treasures. While you’re there, seek out a traditional sandal-maker sure to have your size.  

Tonight, celebrate your journey during a Farewell Drink and Dinner.

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 18:

Return home

After breakfast, transfer to the Athens airport for your return flight home, or continue to Istanbul, Constantinople of old, on our optional post-trip extension.

Included meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Istanbul, Turkey

FROM: $1199 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $300 PER DAY

Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-322-6677

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Vantage Leading Competitor Vantage Advantage
Journey Eastern Mediterranean Crossing: The Holy Land, Greek Islands, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt & the Suez Canal From the Aegean to the Red Sea
Greatest value and most comprehensive features compared to our competitors!
 Departure Comparison 10/3/23 10/29/23
Per Diem $588 $686
Included Tours and Special Features 26 included features and Cultural Discoveries with state-of-the-art QuietVox portable audio headsets on all shore excursions throughout your journey - a value of $1,800
UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Mycenae ruins and the Epidaurus theatre (from Napflion), the medieval city of Rhodes, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos, Petra and Wadi Rum (from Aqaba
More included tours and cultural experiences offered!
Gratuities for local guides & drivers
10 optional excursions
Complimentary Vantage Deluxe Concierge Service on board ship to assist with all your personal requests  
 Vessel Size  Our ocean discovery vessel, the m/s Ocean Odyssey has 15 solo cabins (11 for expedition cruises) and 15 triple-occupancy cabins each, with a maximum capacity of under 150 passengers on each sailing.    Our ships are smaller, more intimate, and have an industry-leading number of solo-ready cabins, as well as a fantastic crew-to-passenger ratio.
Accommodations in hotels  On each journey that we offer with Vantage, your hotel accommodations will be included in the total price of your cruise.     We choose all of our partner hotels with comfort and luxury in mind, and will let you know ahead of time which hotel you’ll be staying in at each port.
 Cruise-Only Price*  $9,999  $7,550 Greatest value and most comprehensive features compared to our competitors! 
 # of Days 17  11 Greatest value and most comprehensive features compared to our competitors! 
Meals 44 meals: 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, and 15 dinners, with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks during dinner on board
Breakfast buffet
Lunch Buffet
Dinner French style à la carte
unlimited complimentary drinks. *Excludes premium alcohol drinks served à la carte
The MOST included meals
Single Travelers
FREE Solo Space
Solo Friendly Supplements

The leader in solo travel - best value in the industry.
Extend Your Trip
Jordan’s Dead Sea Treasures 4 days from $999
Istanbul, Turkey 4 days from $1,199

Beautiful Wadi Rum and Petra 2 nights from $1.670
Treasures of Jordan 4 nights from $2,880

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Comparison date as of 9/29/22
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