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Get Ready Greek Isles Cruise

Are You Ready For The Greek Isles?!?

The countdown is on! It’s time to start planning and fine tuning all those little details that will make our OUTbound cruise to the Greek Isles even more epic! Below are a few things to help you make the most of your cruise with us. As always, if you have any questions that we haven’t covered, or have a special request, hit us up… either by phone at 916.683.1000 or email us at info@iamOUTbound.com.

Let’s get started!

Athens Pre-Package
Arrivals

Getting to our host hotel, The Stanley Athens, from Athens International Airport (ATH)

The Stanley Hotel Athens   Address: Odisseos 1, Athina 104 37, Greece  •  Phone: +30 21 1990 0900

By Taxi:  Flat rates for taxis are set at €35 (day time) or €49 (night time), plus a toll of €4, from ATH to The Stanley Hotel. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

By Subway:  The Metro departs from ATH every 30 minutes and costs €10 to The Stanley Hotel Athens. The journey takes about an hour, but there are no trains after 11:35pm local time. Follow the signs to cross the street from the arrivals terminal, go up one level via either elevator or escalator, and cross over the pedestrian bridge.

  • Take the Blue Line from the airport
  • Transfer at Syntagma metro station to the Red Line
  • Take the Red Line from Syntagma station to Metaxourghio (4 stops – towards Anthoupoli)
  • Exit the Metaxourghio station, walk 200ft southwest down Odisseos Street to the Stanley Hotel lobby

By Rideshare:  Uber in Athens is used exclusively by the city’s yellow taxi cabs, and Lyft does not operate in Greece. Uber fares will typically be more expensive than using the taxi cue at the Athens airport (almost double the cost). The most popular rideshare program for private cars is BEAT. You can download the BEAT app here for iPhone or Android. You’ll find the app interface identical to Uber in the US.

 

Hotel Room Upgrades

The hotel rooms included with our package are the Stanley Superior. Upgrades to the Stanley Superior Acropolis View (+ $40 per night for two) or the Stanley Junior Suite (+ $95 per night for two) are available upon request. Call us at 916.683.1000 or email us at info@iamOUTbound.com to request your upgrade.

 

Sunday Tour Ideas

Sunday is our free day in Athens… yours to spend as you like, whether lying by the rooftop infinity pool ordering drinks from the bar or exploring the Plaka district and doing a little souvenir shopping… both perfectly fantastic options. However, for those of you looking for an added experience, we have asked our local LGBTQ+ tour operator for some unique, optional tours that our OUTbounders may want to schedule for Sunday, October 31.

Guided Acropolis Museum Tour:  For OUTbounders looking to personalize their Acropolis Museum experience. Take a guided walk following the life of two Ancient Athenians and decode hidden messages contained in the artifacts they left behind. Based on these, you will play a ‘truth-or-dare’ game, which lets you discover new things about yourself and ancient Greek history in an original way.  (2 hours)  Price $55 per person

Mythological Storytelling Walk:  Ancient myths come to life just for you in a live show on the streets of Athens! This unique storytelling experience combines a leisurely walk through some of Athens’ most iconic areas (Acropolis pedestrian street, Plaka and Mars Hill) and an emotional component of storytelling. Professional storytellers pop up unexpectedly along the tour and narrate tales from the Greek mythology, accompanied by live music, traditional Greek songs and even some delicious food tastings that include traditional Greek sweets, red wine, and olive oil.  (2 hours)  Price $105 per person

Olympic Games Experience:  Travel back in time to the site of the first modern-day Olympic stadiums of Zapion and Panathenaic. Learn how ancient Olympic athletes lived and trained, and then try your hand at several of the events including the long jump, shot put, javelin throw, and tug of war before competing in a relay race in the world’s first modern Olympic Stadium!  (2 hours)  Price $70 per person

Athens Street Art Tour:  Athens is a hip, trendy city that is home to some of Europe’s best aspiring artists. On this walking tour, you’ll discover the surprising (and sometimes hidden!) street art scene of Athens, guided by one of the local artists. From edgy outdoor murals to elaborate stencils and raw graffiti, you’ll get to know the city through a unique and little seen perspective.  (3 hours)  Price $50 per person

As these are private, a la carte tours, the tour guide has set a minimum participation of 8 people on each for the tour to operate. Call us at 916.683.1000 or email us at info@iamOUTbound.com to reserve your spot. Guests will not be charged for a tour until the minimum number of participants reaches 8 people on any given tour. Once a tour is reserved by 8 OUTbounders, payment will be processed and the tour will be officially set. Each tour has a maximum of 20 guests.

 

Check Out

We will check out of the Stanley Hotel Athens after breakfast between 10:00am and 10:30am. Our luggage will be loaded onto our private tour buses as we begin our city tour, starting at the Parthenon. All entrance fees (including our skip-the-line passes) are included with your package. We will start with a walking tour of the Acropolis, followed by some free time and a guided tour of Athens. Our tour will end at the Piraeus Cruise Terminal at approximately 6:00pm, where we will board our ship.

Boarding Our Ship
Arrivals

Getting to the Piraeus Cruise Terminal from Athens International Airport (ATH)

Piraeus Cruise Terminal   Address: 10 Akti Miaouli Street, Piraeus 158 38, Greece, Terminal A, Gate 11

By Taxi:  Flat rates for taxis are set at €55 (day time) or €70 (night time), plus a toll of €4, from ATH to the Piraeus Cruise Terminal. Travel time is approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.

By Subway:  The Metro departs from ATH every 30 minutes and costs 10€ to Piraeus Cruise Terminal. The trip takes about an hour and a half, but there are no trains after 11:35pm local time. Follow the signs to cross the street from the arrivals terminal, go up one level via either elevator or escalator, and cross over the pedestrian bridge.

  • Take the Blue Line from the airport
  • Transfer at Monastiraki metro station to the Green Line
  • Take the Green Line from Monastiraki station to Piraeus (7 stops – towards Piraeus)
  • Exit the Metaxourghio station, walk 200ft southwest down Odisseos Street to the Stanley Hotel lobby

By Rideshare:  Uber in Athens is used exclusively by the city’s yellow taxi cabs, and Lyft does not operate in Greece. Uber fares will typically be more expensive than using the taxi cue at the Athens airport (almost double the cost). The most popular rideshare program for private cars is BEAT. You can download the BEAT app here for iPhone or Android. You’ll find the app interface identical to Uber in the US.

 

Boarding

Boarding begins at 4:00pm local time. You are free to arrive at the ship at any time in the afternoon. In the event your stateroom is not ready, feel free to drop your bags at the reception desk, grab a drink from the bar and relax in the panoramic lounge or head up top to the sun deck to recover from your long travel day.

Guests participating in our Athens Pre-Package will be arriving at the ship after their city tour at about 6:00pm.

 

Late Arrivals

We get it… it’s your first trip out of the country in almost two years. There are flight delays, a backup at the immigration queue, and who knows what else. No worries… we’ve got you. OUTbound has arranged for our ship to stay docked at the Piraeus Cruise Terminal until the last possible moment, meaning that we don’t set sail for Mykonos until Tuesday morning, November 2nd at 5:00am. We didn’t want anyone stressing about missing the boat.

And hey, if for some reason your flight still doesn’t arrive in Athens in time? We got you there too. There are a half dozen ferries that run from Athens to Mykonos every few hours, and guess where they leave from? Yup… the Piraeus Cruise Terminal. Relax, you’re an OUTbounder now. We’ve always got you covered!

 

Still Want To See Athens?

Arriving on Monday but still want to see Athens?  We’ve got you there, too.

Athens City Tour:  For those OUTbounders arriving on Monday and transferring directly to the ship, we wanted to make sure you had the option of seeing as much of Athens as possible. We have arranged a special, abbreviated tour of the city. As our guests from the Athens Pre-Package arrive at our ship, OUTbounders who have just arrived in Athens can participate in a special night tour of the city.  (3 hours)  Price $75 per person

Cyprus Flights
Since our cruise leaves from Athens and ends in Cyprus, OUTbound recommends booking round trip airfare to and from Athens, with a one-way ticket from Larnaca back to Athens at the end of our cruise. This is the most cost-effective option while also giving our guests the ability to extend their stay in Cyprus and do a little exploring on their own.

As you may have noticed, our ship actually arrives in Larnaca the night before we disembark, around 9:00pm on Saturday, November 6th. That lets our guests catch the very first flights out of Cyprus (airport code LCA) on Sunday back to Athens.

Larnaca airport is only about 10 minutes from the cruise terminal where we will be disembarking, plus it’s a Sunday morning… so getting to the airport won’t be an issue.

Aegean Air

Aegean Air offers several daily direct flights from Larnaca to Athens, ranging in price from about $80 to $100 for an economy classic ticket. Checking a bag will add about $40 to $50 to the ticket price. Scheduled LCA to ATH flights on Sunday, November 7 are at 5:25am; 10:30am; 3:35pm and 8:40pm. You can book your Larnaca to Athens flight directly at AegeanAir.com

Sky Express

Sky Express offers two daily direct flights from Larnaca to Athens. Flights range in price from about $60 to $80 for an economy classic ticket. Checking a bag will add about $30 to $40 to the ticket price. Scheduled LCA to ATH flights on Sunday, November 7 are at 9:35am and 9:20pm. You can book your Larnaca to Athens flight directly at SkyExpress.com

Olympic Air

Olympic Air offers the same daily direct flights from Larnaca to Athens, operated by Aegean Air. Flights range in price from about $80 to $100 for an economy classic ticket. Checking a bag will add about $40 to $50 to the ticket price. Scheduled LCA to ATH flights on Sunday, November 7 are at 5:25am; 10:30am; 3:35pm and 8:40pm. You can book your Larnaca to Athens flight directly at OlympicAir.com

Wizz Air

Wizz Air is another option that offers direct flights from Larnaca back to Athens. Flights range in price from about $80 to $100 for an economy classic ticket. Checking a bag will add about $40 to $50 to the ticket price. The only scheduled flight from LCA to ATH on Sunday, November 7 is at 6:25am. You can book your Larnaca to Athens flight directly at WizzAir.com

What's Open

During normal times, the tourist season for the Greek Isles runs well into the fall. However, as we all know, these are not normal times. Merchants and business owners lost all of their 2020 season and got a late start on the 2021 season as vaccinations were ramping up. As a result, this year’s tourist season will be running through the end of the year, perfect timing for our OUTbound Greek Isles cruise!

Greece Is Extending Tourist Season

As Greece was one of the first countries to re-open (thanks to aggressive vaccination scheduling and an effective public awareness campaign), every major cruise line re-deployed their cruise ships to the islands as the first step in resuming normal operations. Since cruise lines line Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and others sell their itineraries six months in advance, the cruise lines have committed to having their ships sailing the Greek Isles until the end of the year.

What Does That Mean for Us?

When visiting Athens last month, OUTbound was able to meet with several of the local tour operators and representatives from the Greek Department of Tourism. Greece has extended federal tax credits and assistance to local businesses that will help merchants and restaurants stay open through the end of the year, both on the mainland and across the Greek Isles. For our OUTbounders, this means the best of both worlds… shops, restaurants and  resorts will be open without the normal shoulder to shoulder crowds of the high season.

General Tips

We’re going to Greece! Since it’s probably been awhile since you last left the country, here’s a few helpful tips to make the most of your OUTbound experience…

Use Your Credit Card

If there’s a bright side to the pandemic, it’s that Europe has been forced to accelerate the speed at which merchants have begun accepting credit cards. Sure, cash is still the preferred method of payment since merchants don’t have to pay credit card fees to the banks, but you can insist on using your card. Look for your card symbol on the door or in the window of any establishment before you walk in, or if you’re unsure… ask if cards are accepted before ordering or attempting to make a purchase.

With credit cards, you won’t pay the normal flat fee for an out-of-network ATM or foreign ATM transaction fees. Many cards issued by the larger banks won’t even charge you a foreign transaction fee, and you’ll get the most current exchange rates.

Exchanging Dollars for Euros

Sometimes, it’s unavoidable… you’re going to need cash. The best case is to exchange your dollars for euros at your local bank before stepping on the plane. However, some of us just can’t plan that far ahead. If you think you’ll need cash, withdrawing from an ATM is a far better option than exchanging your dollars at the airport.

When arriving in Athens, walk right on past the currency exchange booth and head straight for the nearest ATM. It’s Europe… you can’t throw a rock without hitting an ATM, and you’ll get the most current exchange rate without paying a currency exchange transaction fee.

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