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Book It: Istanbul to Athens

Istanbul Athens

Looking for a last-minute escape this autumn? This Aegean adventure is departing soon—but there are still a few spots available.

The ports of call on the Istanbul to Athens Sailing Adventure (Sept 3–10, 2016) are some of the most significant sites in Mediterranean antiquity. Departing from iconic Istanbul, the cosmopolis that straddles Europe and Asia, this cruise will sail to: Turkish Canakkale, a site of one of the Trojan War’s major sieges, the charming town of Myrina on Lemos island, the picturesque island of Skiathos with its whitewashed houses, the iconic gay destination of Mykonos with its beautiful beaches, the island of Poros with its magnificent neo-classical buildings, and the historic city of Athens, home to the famous Acropolis. 

If the magnificent ports weren’t enticement enough, the ship should be. The Royal Clipper is a five-masted true sailing ship, and a truly amazing cruising experience for its 227 guests.

Brand g Vacations’ Jeff Gundvaldson offers up some thoughts and tips for this adventure: 

What are you most excited for on the upcoming Istanbul to Athens Sailing Adventure? 

The ship is a big draw for this particular trip. Sailing on the Royal Clipper is an experience onto itself and is a true nautical experience, especially for connoisseurs of sail cruising. The five-masted Royal Clipper allows us to visit some of the smaller islands in the Aegean Sea that you simply can’t get to on larger vessels. It also offers a very intimate guest experience, which allows you to get to know your fellow travelers and virtually eliminates waiting in lines and minimizes crowding in ports. The itinerary itself is the perfect mix of history, culture, beaches and fun nightlife. There is plenty to see and do, yet also plenty of time to relax, unwind and enjoy being at sea with a great group of LGBT guests.

The cruise departs from Istanbul. Though the military coup d’état failed, I know some travelers may be uneasy about going to Turkey. Are you anticipating any difficult or unusual conditions for travelers? 

We are working closely with our land providers and port security to minimize risks in Turkey. We plan to break up our [pre-departure] Istanbul tours into smaller groups to avoid drawing too much attention. Our ground operators will also implement other security measures to help keep our guests safe. For those who wish to avoid spending time in Istanbul, we have made it easy for them to go directly to the ship for boarding.

Are there any staterooms available now?

We do have a few staterooms available and we are able to take new reservations up to 10 days prior to sailing.

What’s your best tip for travelers boarding a cruise?

The most useful tip for sailing on the Royal Clipper and with Brand g Vacations is to pack light as it’s a very casual experience and to come with an open mind and heart. The intimate atmosphere of small ship cruising provides the perfect opportunity to meet new friends and the chance to totally let go and unwind. Sit back and let us do the planning so that you return home refreshed and relaxed from a well-deserved vacation.

For more information, or to book your cruise, visit

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