Galileo is not a cruise ship in the traditional sense. It's really more of a yacht, with three masts and three decks, so don't expect shows, entertainment or swimming pools. However, what you can expect is outstanding personal service, traditional Greek food and discovering some of the most stunningly beautiful islands in Greece.
You'll also need to be quite social; this is a small ship and you'll get to know your fellow passengers in no time at all. There's just one dining room, one bar and the sun deck. All cabins have a sea view, but there are no balcony cabins, though the top deck ones do have a shared promenade.
Galileo is getting on a bit now at almost 30 years old. Although it went through a significant refurb in 2007 when it was sliced in half and a section was added, adding cabins, there's no getting away from the fact it could do with a refresh in the cabins and shower rooms which look and feel rather dated. Public areas however are lovely, particularly the sun deck and dining, with bright modern carpets, cushions, fixtures and fittings.
Bear in mind too, that Galileo does not have modern tech such as stabilizers, so you can really feel the motion of the ocean, especially when the wind picks up in the Cyclades (which is often). If the wind is too strong in the Cyclades, the Captain chooses a different itinerary in more sheltered waters, for example, circling the Peloponnese, or combining a section of the Peloponnese with some different islands in the Cyclades. There will always be swimming stops, though, conditions permitting, and in summer, the half board dining arrangement is extremely popular, as you have dinner ashore most nights and stay in port until the early hours.
The ship is not luxurious, but nor does it pretend to be; the emphasis here is very much on destination. The beauty of a cruise on Galileo is finding a Greece you might never have known existed if you travel on a large ship: tiny islands, empty coves and tidal beaches and often just stopping somewhere for a sea swim. It's a magical, memorable and authentic experience.
The passenger make up is primarily made up of English-speakers-- three-quarters US, also Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brits. In July and August you'll find more Europeans, primarily French, German, Spanish and Italians. The average age is around 60, made up of groups of couples, groups of friends and full- or part-charter groups. Children are allowed to sail, but recommended minimum age is 13+ (there are no facilities for kids). All announcements are in English.
Daytime: Casual, with shorts and tees most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups outside.
Evening: Mostly casual except on the "Captain's Night" dinner when men are asked to wear long pants and collared shirts and women are encouraged to dress up a bit, but it's not enforced.
Daytime: Swim suits in the dining room.
Two meals per day (except on a sea day, when it's three).
Two receptions, one at the beginning and one at the end of the cruise, with cocktails and canapes
A weekly theme night, typically ‘octopus and ouzo’, with live entertainment
Snorkels, fins, masks for the swim stops
Use of kayaks and paddleboard
Tea, coffee, water, select drinks in buffet
Gratuities (Suggested 13.50 euros-15 euro/person/day)
All drinks beyond water, tea, coffee and select juices in the buffet
Fabulous experience on the Galileo around the Cyclades
Ancient history and places put smiles on our faces
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