Greek Isles Cruise aboard the Crystal Esprit: Kotor, Montenegro

Last day of this cruise and the weather is kind of miserable, with overhanging clouds and the threat of thunderstorms. I suspect there may be issues with some of the tours that are offered this afternoon—for example, the off-road adventure from the town to the peaks of Lovcen Mountain or the hike along the fortified old city walls. As there is no other vessel like the Esprit, this has been a unique experience, one that feels very …

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Greek Isles Cruise aboard the Crystal Esprit: Corfu, Greece

Last night, before we sailed away from Parga, a duo of Greek musicians came onboard to entertain during the cocktail hour. This triggered memories—and discussions—of the movie, Zorba the Greek, and of the legendary Melina Mercouri. Today, how startling it has been to see the MSC Musica docked here, with its thousands of passengers compared to our 40+. (Esprit is not full for this cruise—and now I’ve learned that capacity is 62, not 68, as I was …

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Greek Isles Cruise aboard the Crystal Esprit: Parga Greece

Aboard the Crystal Esprit-Last night, en route to Parga, we traveled under the Rio–Antirrio Bridge, one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and the longest of the fully suspended type. It crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to Antirrio on mainland Greece by road. Today, in Parga, it’s all about the olive oil, the liquid gold of Greece. Skipping a tasting here would be like passing …

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Greek Isles Cruise aboard the Crystal Esprit: Itea, Greece

My tour today stands out as a highlight of this cruise from Athens to Dubrovnik. Our small group traveled by coach to the Archeological Museum of Delphi, one of the world’s most important museums, reflecting as it does, the essence of Hellenic culture. The museum is a modern structure and the exhibits are both accessible and easily understood, with descriptions in a number of languages. Among the many spectacular exhibits is The Charioteer, a bronze statue from …

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Greek Isles Cruise aboard the Crystal Esprit: Hydra, Greece

Hydra, Greece ABOARD THE CRYSTAL ESPRIT — Today it was necessary to anchor the Espirt and to tender to shore. Although the yacht is small enough to dock in most places, some harbors are protected, so there’s a need to tender. Two complimentary tours were offered. One included a hike and a trip to the beach. I thought the beach-goers who intended to sample the sea were brave, as the water temperatures right now are pretty cold. …

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My first full day aboard the Crystal Esprit in Greece

Navplion, Greece ABOARD THE CRYSTAL ESPRIT — I just completed my full day on my week-long cruise of the Greek islands aboard the Crystal Esprit, which offers a true yachting experience, with just 68 passengers and more than 90 crew. The level of service quickly becomes obvious, with needs either anticipated or immediately fulfilled. Butler service takes care of so much, including complimentary pressing of my travel-wrinkled clothes. My cabin is spacious and well laid out, with …

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Louis Cruises launching a new brand: Celestyal Cruises

Today’s travelers want an authentic experience when they travel. They want unique destinations and a true taste of the culture, gastronomy and history of a place. And, as modern life becomes more hectic, they want a travel experience that dissolves their cares from the moment they depart. They want a temporary home in the stars… Since 2013, Louis Cruises has kept this idea at the forefront of its efforts, particularly with the inauguration of the ‘Kalimera!’ experience. …

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Louis Cruises announces new Celestyal Cruises with two ships

  Just days after my Louis Cristal cruise ended, Louis Cruises has announced that it will be reaching for the stars and launching a new brand that promises to gives travelers an authentic Greek experience. I’m glad the company is heading in this direction since my Louis Cristal cruise showed me first hand what will be offered to travelers. And I think the new name is quite appropriate. “In September 2014 we will give a name to …

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End of Louis Cristal Cruise: Saying goodbye to Greece

ATHENS, Greece – What a perfect ending to a perfect cruise. Here I am on my last night in Greece, having dinner almost in the shadow of the Acropolis. Dining at Restaurant Atticos, I’m enjoying Greek salad, tender roast beef and potatoes, eggplant, fresh olives, chunks of cheese, olive oil and crispy bread. Other dishes are being passed around the table but I already know what I like, finished off with sweet baklava. And I am certainly …

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Louis Cristal Cruise: Ruins of ancient Ephesus filled with historical treasures

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – Carved into stone, the drawing of a footprint may be the first public billboard advertisement ever recorded in history. “It pointed the way to the local brothel,” guide Bulent Yurttas said, leading us around the ancient city of Ephesus. The dots on the stone represent the number of prostitutes in the brothel and the heart carving means the women are eager for love. Never know what you are going to learn on …

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