CHRISTMAS WITH A TWIST – Celestyal Cruises – 14 Dec 2023 – Cruise Traveller

CHRISTMAS WITH A TWIST – Celestyal Cruises

Cruise Line
Celestyal Cruises
Celestyal Crystal
Package Departs
14 Dec 2023
Package Duration
21 Nights
Embark Ship
Athens (Piraeus) Greece
Disembark Ship
Athens (Piraeus) Greece
XA - Oceanview XC - Oceanview SBJ - Suite S - Suite
AU $4,265
per person
AU $4,685
per person
AU $4,985
per person
AU $5,260
per person

Package Duration: 21 nights Cruise & Stay
Package Starts: 14 December 2023 – from Athens hotel
Cruise Starts: 16 December 2023 – from Piraeus Port
Cruise Ends: 4 January 2024 – to Piraeus Port
Package Ends: 4 January 2024 – at Athens Airport


Embark on the Christmas adventure of a lifetime, celebrating the festive season and encountering unique traditions across Europe, Asia and Africa. You`ll marvel at pyramids, explore ancient cities and trace the story of Mary and Joseph on Christmas Day.

Twin XA Ocean View Stateroom – was $5096 – NOW from AU $4,265*pp
Twin XC Ocean View Stateroom – was $5656 – NOW from AU $4,685*pp
Twin SBJ Junior Balcony Suite – was $6036 – NOW from AU $4,985*pp
Twin S Suite – was $6409 – NOW from AU $5,260*pp
Single XA Ocean View Stateroom – was $6406 – NOW from AU $5,325*


CHRISTMAS WITH A TWIST Cruise-Stay package prices include:
• 2 night 4-star hotel stay in Athens with breakfast pre-cruise
• A Taste of Athens evening tour with wine tasting and locally made delicious treats on a sample as you go walking tour
• One way transfer from Athens hotel to port of Piraeus
• 19 night Christmas and New Year`s Eve cruise aboard Celestyal Crystal round trip from Piraeus (port of Athens)
• All-Inclusive Classic Drinks Package^ (includes unlimited alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages including select cocktails, wines, beers, spirits, liqueurs and hot beverages)
• All meals onboard
• Included excursion to Limassol, Cyprus
• Included excursion to Classic Cairo, Egypt
• Included excursion to the Palace of Knossos, Crete
• Included excursion to Ancient Ephesus, Kusadasi
• Bonus excursion on New Year`s Eve in Istanbul – Bosphorus & the Spice Market
• Bonus excursion to Volos on 3 Jan 24 – The Spectacular Rocks and the Hanging Monasteries
• Onboard entertainment
• Onboard port taxes and gratuities to the value of AUD $1049
• One way transfer from Piraeus port to Athens airport

Special Conditions

*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best available cruise fare as at 07Dec21. Some cabins may have obstructed views. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions may apply - please ask for full details at time of inquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. ^In addition to the complimentary drinks package, there is a fine selection of premium wines, champagnes, high-end spirits and freshly squeezed fruit juice available for a supplementary fare on a per drink basis. Optional excursions, expenditures of a personal nature, snacks, medical expenses, port charges and other services are not included in the price of the cruise (unless otherwise stated). Not included: International or domestic airfares, hotel accommodation (other than those stated) or shore excursions and onboard purchases, visas, vaccinations or medical visits. MANDATORY COVID-19 comprehensive travel insurance is required for your cruise. Proof of adequate coverage will be requested. Discount offers are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn without prior notice. Offer ends 31Mar22 or until sold out/withdrawn and is subject to availability at time of booking.

Special Validity Dates

Special is valid from 07 Dec 2021 to 31 Mar 2022 or until sold out/withdrawn.

Pre-cruise Itinerary

14 Dec 2023 Make your own way to Athens hotel by 14 Dec 23, check in for 2 night stay
15 Dec 2023 Athens at leisure, Evening food/wine sampling tour
16 Dec 2023 Transfer to port, Embark Celestyal Crystal ship

Cruise Itinerary

16 Dec 2023
Athens (Piraeus) Greece
03:00 PM
17 Dec 2023
Thessaloniki, Greece
08:00 AM 03:00 PM
18 Dec 2023
Izmir, Turkey
09:00 AM 03:30 PM
19 Dec 2023
Aghios Nikolaos, Greece
08:30 AM 03:30 PM
20 Dec 2023
Antalya, Turkey
10:00 AM 05:00 PM
21 Dec 2023
Limassol, Cyprus
07:00 AM 12:30 PM
22 Dec 2023
Alexandria, Egypt
07:00 AM overnight
23 Dec 2023
Alexandria, Egypt
01:00 PM
24 Dec 2023
Haifa, Israel
09:00 AM overnight
25 Dec 2023
Haifa, Israel
04:00 PM
26 Dec 2023 At sea    
27 Dec 2023
Athens (Piraeus) Greece
08:30 AM 05:00 PM
28 Dec 2023
Heraklion, Greece
08:00 AM 05:00 PM
29 Dec 2023
Rhodes, Greece
08:00 AM 06:00 PM
30 Dec 2023
Kusadasi, Turkey
08:00 AM 02:00 PM
31 Dec 2023
Istanbul, Turkey
12:00 PM overnight
01 Jan 2024
Istanbul, Turkey
11:30 PM
02 Jan 2024 At sea    
03 Jan 2024
Volos, Greece
07:00 AM 05:00 PM
04 Jan 2024
Athens (Piraeus) Greece
08:00 AM

Post-cruise Itinerary

04 Jan 2024 Disembark, Transfer to Athens airport, ENDS.

All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

Please select your preferred category and cabin configuration/price. Then scroll down and select Continue to provide your contact details and preference. Our cruise specialists will check availability and respond to you as soon as possible.

Category Twin Per Person     Single Per Person
XA - Exterior Stateroom
XC - Exterior Stateroom
SBJ - Junior Balcony Suite
S - Suite

19 Night Cruise sailing from Athens roundtrip aboard Celestyal Crystal.

Celebrate the festive season in every way you can imagine. Joining us on a Christmas odyssey across Europe, Africa and Asia, you’ll explore waterfalls near the birthplace of Santa Claus, trace the story of Mary and Joseph on Christmas Day, and watch New Year’s Eve fireworks in Istanbul. Because why shouldn’t Christmas last 19 days?

Highlights of this cruise:

Sun-drenched and mythic, Athens is a big and modern metropolis with inspiring world heritage marvels at its very heart. The most important city-state in ancient Greece and the birthplace of democracy is also the sprawling capital of Greece today, but most of the major archaeological and historical sites are to be found within a compact area around the Acropolis itself. With a recorded history going back more than three millennia, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and rightly considered to be the cradle of Western Civilization. Even a short visit of the Greek capital’s highlights, starting with the iconic Acropolis, is enough to fall under its legendary spell.

In the great atlas of Mediterranean antiquity, few cities shone as bright as Ephesus, part of Izmir province and the most culturally significant and best-preserved ancient city in Turkey. And Kuşadası, which dominates the gulf of the same name along this stretch of the Aegean coast, is one of the most vibrant and popular destinations in modern Turkey. It’s been an important port for centuries, hosting a variety of civilizations and for a time some of the most infamous pirates of the Mediterranean. The Öküz Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai was built in 1618, confirming Kuşadası’s role as a prominent Ottoman trading center. Sizzling beaches next to sparkling blue water, lively bars and a bustling Grand Bazaar add up to exciting times in this buzzing Turkish city, but above all, it is the chief point of entry to the magnificent ruins of Ephesus. South of Kuşadası, ruins of the ancient Greek city of Miletus are located near the mouth of the legendary Meander River.

Few cities represent as ravishing a meeting of substance and spectacle as Istanbul, a grand and sprawling capital that ranks among the world’s truly great cities. Here are grand mosques and churches, palaces and bazaars, museums and sites of unsurpassed natural beauty and of course the legendary Bosphorus, flowing from the Black Sea past the Golden Horn and the heart of the city to the Sea of Marmara. The European part of Turkey straddles the western banks of the narrow strait and Asia starts on the eastern shore, making Istanbul the world’s only city built on two continents: the very definition of exotic! In the sixth century BC, Byzantium was a colony of the ancient Greek city of Megara, and only much later did Constantine the Great move the seat of the Roman Empire here. For more than a millennium and a half this timeless metropolis was the capital of empires— with the advent of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 Constantinople became the seat of the Ottoman Empire, before taking the name of Istanbul with the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923. Today as in the days of empires past, the convergence of cultures and multi-religious coexistence here is truly extraordinary. In Istanbul traditions from not only Islamic but also Christian and Jewish faiths rub shoulders easily with the vibrant mosaic that is contemporary Turkey.

Multifaceted Volos occupies a vaunted place in Greek mythology as the legendary home of Jason and the Argonauts and also has one of the most spectacular natural settings in Greece. This bright and sunny port city is the capital of the mineral-rich Magnesia region of Thessaly, located about midway between Athens and Thessaloniki on the Greek mainland coast. Volos can boast a truly marvelous location on the Pagastikos Gulf, opposite the Pelion peninsula that juts into the Aegean Sea. The lush green peninsula, named for the father of Achilles, King Peleus, was the mythical home of the half-human, half-horse centaurs and on its highest summit, Mount Pelion, was where the fabled ancient beauty contest between the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athena took place—leading to the Trojan War. No wonder a region so green and gorgeous is steeped in legend—it’s also where Jason set out on ships with the Argonaut sailors to find the Golden Fleece. Volos is a veritable springboard to the foothills of Mt Pelion, with its rustic villages sprinkled amid forested hillsides, and is also the gateway to the ethereal cliff-top monasteries of Meteora.

Volos itself offers everything you need for an exciting or relaxing day in port. Step off your Volos cruise, and you’re greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up into its whirlwind of activity, along the edge of the beautiful natural harbor and in the tsipouradika—traditional tavernas—and set you on course to uncover some real architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical. Wander around and you’ll find grand urban mansions sitting beside nods to the city’s long-lasting industrial heritage. And following the hum of activity will see you in Volos’ favorite local hangout Kontaratou, which is brimming with countless cafes and eateries of all kinds.

There are islands in the Mediterranean with captivating history, fantastic beaches and beautiful scenery, and then there is an island like Rhodes that quite literally has it all. Long before the days of the Roman Empire, many a maritime trail led to Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, named for the native pink hibiscus flowers. Unlike some popular Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini, Rhodes is lush and green, a veritable garden in the eastern Aegean. And with an area of 541 square miles (1,400 square kilometers), it’s large too. Rhodes is also home to some of the most spectacular medieval fortifications anywhere, built by the Knights of the Order of Saint John in the 14th century. The virtually intact Palace of the Grand Master in the town of Rhodes is a Gothic jewel right out of a fairytale; this, combined with the Street of the Knights and some 200 winding lanes, creates a dazzling, living tapestry.

The island of Rhodes is in many ways a microcosm of Greece. The Old Town of Rhodes, at the northernmost point of the island, is probably the best-preserved medieval city in all of Europe. Midway down the eastern side, Lindos (some 55 km south of Rhodes town) blends archaeological intrigue with a panoramic town that is more reminiscent of a Cycladic island like Mykonos. The western side, meanwhile, has many orchards and vineyards as well as impressive ancient ruins at sites like Kameiros. The island’s interior is a place of verdant forests, hills and oases of calm like Seven Springs and the Valley of the Butterflies nature park, bringing to mind the countryside of northern Greece, while the beaches you’ll find in Rhodes are among the widest and best in Greece and indeed the Mediterranean.

The Crystal is a moderate size-cruise liner with a big ship feel. Spacious, comfortable and complete with a wide range of facilities and services, our friendly team welcomes you onboard for an epic adventure into the idyllic Aegean.

With delectable dining experiences, a full program of entertainment, wellness center, casino, pool and onboard sports activities, we are confident your time aboard with the Crystal will be memorable and exciting.

Take advantage of the many amenities onboard the Celestyal Crystal. Fancy trying your luck in the casino? We have plenty of tables and slots. Alternatively, pamper yourself in the spa and beauty salon, learn to dance Greek style, work out in the gym or simply relax with a cool, complimentary drink looking out over the silky, emerald waters of the Aegean.

At Celestyal, we care about your comfort and wellbeing. Each of our cosy staterooms are designed to cater for every guest. Fresh towels and toiletries are delivered twice a day and your personal steward is on hand to deliver room service 24/7 so you always have everything you need. All our cabins are comfortable and have adjustable air-conditioning, hairdryer, safe and TV. Suites also have a refrigerated minibar, an additional seating area and balcony.

Kick back and relax with a refreshing drink in the Crystal’s charming lounge bars. Whether you want to watch the romantic sunset, sip cocktails looking out over emerald waters, look up to the stars, or catch a show in the theater, there is an ambient feel in all our bars.

Our fully-equipped gym enables guests to maintain their fitness program whilst at sea. And when you’re ready to treat yourself to a massage and specialist therapies, simply book an appointment in our inviting spa.

Dining is our signature experience and our dining rooms and lounges are positioned at the heart of the Crystal for your convenience. With a wide array of authentic Greek and Mediterranean recipes to choose from, we invite you to indulge in our rich culinary delights. Our chefs are highly-skilled and prepare a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes to suit every taste.

Our range of onboard services ensures you are covered for every eventuality. We have an array of shops selling traditional Greek products and tax-free goods. Professional photographers are there to capture your special moments. For medical matters, we have a well-equipped medical centre and a doctor on board for all our cruises. Internet/Wi-Fi and telephone are also available should you want to check in back home.

Ship Profile & Stats

  • Length: 162 metres
  • Tonnage: 25,611 tons
  • Maiden Voyage: 1980
  • Passenger Capacity (dbl): 1200
  • Crew Nationality: European
  • Officer Nationality: Greek
  • Dining Staff Nationality: European
  • Ship Registration: Malta

Ship Amenities

  • Air Conditioning
  • Telephone
  • Hair Dryer
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • TV

Ship Facilities

  • Thalassa Bar
  • Olympus Restaurant
  • Shops
  • Amalthia Restaurant
  • Eros Lounge & Bar
  • Casino
  • Muses Lounge & Bar
  • Leda Casual Dining
  • Aura Casual Dining
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beauty Centre
  • Helios Bar
  • Sauna
  • Gym
  • Horizons Lounge & Bar
  • Medical Centre
  • Library Stand
  • Kids Corner
  • Conference Area
  • Massage Room

Celestyal Cruises are a promise. We promise to take you to the places you’ve dreamt of, iconic harbours famed the world over and idyllic islands where you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back into a bygone Greece. We promise to spoil you with our legendary hospitality and our stellar Greek food and wines, and to give you the best of Greece with spectacular excursions and special themed events.

Naturally included are the popular ports of Mykonos, Santorini, Messina and Rhodes as well as some less known but equally as beautiful and facsinating destinations… making it that much easier to find the perfect holiday.

And when it comes to cruise holidays, we understand that getting there is half the fun and ensure your onboard experience is enjoyable and entertaining.

Not only offering intimate atmosphere and personal service they are renowned for, our ships include a wide variety of onboard facilities and entertainment such as a movie cinema, fitness centre, beauty salon, arcade style games, library, dance classes and roomy sun decks by the pool. Evenings are complete with International acts in the main lounge, sophisticated Mediterrnaean cuisine in the restaurant, the latest dance hits at the discoteque or trying your luck in the casino.

And if you have a passion for shopping there are also Cruise Value Shops onboard with a wide range of goods at “transit prices”.

Select the Cabin to view detail.

* Unless otherwise noted all pricing is on a per person twin share basis. All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Special conditions may apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Any pricing not in Australian Dollars will be converted on the day of payment into the relevant currency based on our daily rate of exchange. Please note that many of the prices shown on this website are not shown in real time. Whilst we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ slightly from the live prices in our booking system. All pricing and offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Whilst all information is correct at the time of publication, offers are subject to change. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Please submit any data errors/omissions you may notice on this site.

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