CRETE (AGIOS NIKOLAOS) The beautiful town of Agios Nikolas embraces the picturesque lake where Athena and Artemis were rumoured to have bathed and in more recent times where the Germans sunk their weapons when retreating from Crete in WWII. The town is one that is typically found on the Greek island. Neoclassical buildings, restaurants, bars and shops line the lakeside. Wander the streets and marina and soak up the sun in one of the many cafes. ANTALYA An extra special stop on our festive cruise brings you within 100 miles of the birthplace of St Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. Here in Antalya you’ll follow the footsteps of a Roman emperor at Hadrian’s Gate. You’ll discover Ottoman-era houses and gardens in the old town of Kaleici. And you’ll even meet the founder of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, at his striking monument in Republic Square. LIMASSOL This bustling tourist heart of Cyprus is full of character and history, not least the centuries-old Limassol Castle, home to the Cyprus Medieval Museum and its collection of pottery and tombstones. A short drive away is iconic Aphrodite’s Rock and the striking Crusader castle at Kolossi. The centre of Limassol buzzes with cafes, bars and restaurants that are as popular with locals as with visitors. ALEXANDRIA Egypt’s second city was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It is the stuff of legends and the home of the first of our Seven Wonders. The towering Pharos lighthouse marked the entrance to the ancient harbour and the city’s Great Library was the archive of ancient knowledge. Little remains of its glorious past but Alexandria has been reinvented as a lively, cosmopolitan and commercial centre. If you want to travel a little further please join us on an excursion to Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza, the only one of Seven Great Wonders still standing. HAIFA Your Christmas story leads you down the same path as the Three Wise Men on their journey to Palestine’s Bethlehem. Here in Haifa in what is now Israel, you will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bringing scenes from the holy story to life for yourself. Wander through ever-changing neighbourhoods and witness the blend of modernity with ancient culture. ATHENS When we arrive back in Athens for a day of festivities, Greek-style, you can choose how to spend our day together. Visit the monuments you know from legends and history? Marvel at the view of the city from the Acropolis? Shop for last-minute gifts to share your voyage with loved ones at home? It’s all up to you. This is our home city, and we can’t wait to show you around. CRETE (HERAKLION) Welcome to Crete, Greece’s largest island, a place of mystery, myths and legends. There’s the chance to take in the bustling city of Heraklion and some of Crete’s extraordinary archaeology and history. You can also learn more of the art and creativity of the Minoans at The Palace of Knossos, once the home of Europe’s oldest civilisation and the setting for the legend of Greek hero Theseus and the Minotaur. 04 DAY 05 DAY RHODES The Colossus of Rhodes, the third of our Seven Wonders, once bestrode the harbour but he is long gone. So you can take in the lovely Old Town, a maze of atmospheric cobbled streets that will transport you back to the Byzantine Empire and beyond. KUSADASI Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, once the second largest city of the Roman Empire and of course the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It’s believed that Paul wrote his Letter to the Ephesians here and preached at the Great Theatre of Ephesus, carved into the side of Mt Pion. It is still renowned for its wonderful acoustics. ISTANBUL The Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Ottomans have all held sway over this city straddling Europe and Asia across the mighty Bosphorus. You will see the stunning Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque, Hippodrome, Church of Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Galata Bridge and of course the incomparable Grand Bazaar. This only touches the surface of the place once known as Byzantium and Constantinople. VOLOS We arrive in the attractive coastal port city of Volos in the morning. The area’s background will captivate you and features in some of the most remarkable tales of Greek mythology. Volos was the mythical home of Jason and the Argonauts. The famous Argonaut expedition set sail from the region which was also the birthplace of the Centaurs, part human, part equine. There is also the opportunity to visit the monasteries of Meteora, perched on the top of vertical rock formations and a wonder to behold. 19 DAY 83 07-8 DAY 12 DAY 13 DAY 14 DAY 15 DAY 09-10 DAY 06 DAY 16-17 DAY For reservations visit celestyal.com or visit your local travel consultant.