Viking Ocean Cruises will return to Turkey in 2021 with two new 10-night roundtrip cruises from Athens that will include port calls in Kusadi, the gateway to Turkey’s archeological marvel of Ephesus, as well as several ancient Greek ports.
Viking Ocean Cruises, along with most of the world’s major cruise lines, pulled out of Turkey between 2016 and 2018 due to political unrest in the country.
Only Celestyal Cruises, Azamara, Windstar, Star Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea have continued to cruise to Turkey in 2018 and 2019.
Viking Ocean Cruises two new 10-night itineraries aboard Viking Sea will depart Athens on January 20th and February 20th, 2021, calling in Volos, Thessaloniki and Nafpilo in Greece (all new cruise ports for the line) as well as Kusadasi in Turkey and Rhodes, Crete and Santorini, with an overnight in Athens on the last night of the cruise.
Viking Ocean Cruises is a luxury cruise line focusing on destination-imersion and cultural enrichment.
The three new Greek ports all feature a combination of ancient and modern life, including the remains of the Macedonian kingdom of Alexander the Great in Thessaloniki, and the ancient religious center of Dion, located at the foothills of Mt. Olympus in Volos.
Because the cruises will be taking place in the winter season, there will be fewer crowds, enabling passengers to have a more intimate experience of getting to know the region.
There will only be one seaday on the 10-night voyages, and it will be spent cruising around Mt. Athos, home to 20 monasteries, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A two-night pre-cruise tour and a four-night post-cruise tour, in Athens, are available to add to this itinerary.
All Viking ships are adults-only, with no casino, and a focus on enrichment. To find out more about the Viking Ocean Cruises experience, see our report here.
“Our guests are curious explorers who want opportunities for learning while they travel in comfort,” says Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our destination-focused ocean itineraries are built on the same successful principles as our river itineraries – we offer our guests more time in port, enriching cultural experiences, the best-designed ships at sea with no children, no casinos and no nickel-and-diming.”
“With this new itinerary in Greece and Turkey offered during the quiet winter season, we look forward to helping our guests explore such a culturally rich region of the world in ‘The Viking Way’,” he added.
Viking Ocean Cruises is one of several luxury cruise lines that will be returning to Turkey in 2021. Crystal Cruises will also be offering Istanbul as a port of call on its 13-night roundtrip Athens cruise aboard Crystal Symphony.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the first mainstream mass-market line to return to Turkey, with a 2020 cruise to Kasadi scheduled for February 13th aboard Norwegian Spirit on her 21-night cruise from Athens to Dubai, departing February 10th, 2020.