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Cruises to Crete

Crete (Heraklion) (Photo:Vladimir Sazonov/Shutterstock)

About Crete

It's common for first-time visitors to take one look at Iraklion and marvel at how modern the city is. After all, this is the capital of Crete, the home of Europe's earliest civilization, and birthplace of countless myths and legends. Newcomers tend to expect a small village with antiquated buildings rather than the busy cosmopolitan city that occupies the same ground where Hercules, King Minos, the minotaur and other characters from ancient mythology once roamed.

The magic of Iraklion, though, is the fact that its modern amenities commingle peacefully with its ancient treasures rather than overshadowing them. The result is a vibrant town that manages to look to the future while still embracing its past.

The contemporary shops, hotels and apartment buildings might be the first things to catch a visitor's eye, but scratch the surface of Iraklion's new veneer and the town's glorious history comes shining through. Massive walls built in the 1500's circle the heart of the city like two powerful arms trying to restrain Iraklion from moving too far forward into the modern age. Lovely fountains, ornate architecture and other relics of the past lie scattered throughout the city as well, with many of these attractions dating back centuries ago to the time when Venice ruled the island of Crete.

While the blend of past and present provides a fascinating backdrop, Iraklion's true beauty comes from its simple reflections of everyday Greek life. Its small, unexpected surprises are the things that make the city such a joy to explore -- such as a tiny church with an immaculate flower garden or a hidden courtyard where an elderly man sits alone and softly strums his bouzouki, a Greek instrument similar to the mandolin. The busy public squares and festive taverns may draw more tourists, but to experience Iraklion at its best try strolling the shoreline at dusk or visit the old harbor beside the Venetian fort at sunrise and watch fishermen carefully inspecting their nets in the pink glow of dawn.

At times like these you might wonder if you've somehow stumbled backward into Iraklion's rich past, and you may also find yourself with no desire to leave it.


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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Santorini, Rhodes ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (Oceania Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Santorini
    • Day 3
      Rhodes
    • Day 4
      Port au Prince
    • Day 5
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 6
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 7
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 8
      Mediterranean Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 10
      Gythion
    • Day 11
      Zakynthos
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Catania
    • Day 14
      Sorrento
    • Day 15
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Nautica - Oceania Cruises

    Pros

    Oceania has best food at sea, with no-fee specialty restaurants and vast menu choices.

    Cons

    Popular itineraries sell out quickly, and longer sailings may not appeal to time-constrained travelers.

    Bottom line

    Nautica offers plenty of amenities in the more intimate setting of a mid-sized ship.

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.0
    Value5.0

    Imagine yourself in a floating country club, and you'll have a good feel for Nautica's onboard ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    SusanelizabethP
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Poor service , poor food , poor staff
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    Rutman
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    A Solid Upscale Cruising Experience
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    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Barcelona
    Visiting:
    Gibraltar, Marseille ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Barcelona
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Gibraltar
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Marseille
    • Day 6
      Genoa
    • Day 7
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 8
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 9
      Naples
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 12
      Kusadasi
    • Day 13
      Istanbul
    • Day 14
      Mykonos
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Enchanted Princess - Princess Cruises

    Will be the fifth ship in Princess' innovative Royal Class

    Eighty percent of cabins will have balconies

    Will feature the line's popular Movies Under the Stars

    Reviews

    Enchanted Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    The fifth ship in Princess Cruises' Royal Class was set to launch in June 2020, but delays at t...

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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Rome
    Visiting:
    Naples, Crete ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 2
      Naples
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 5
      Kusadasi
    • Day 6
      Istanbul
    • Day 7
      Mykonos
    • Day 8
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 9
      Santorini
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Kotor
    • Day 12
      Taormina (Messina)
    • Day 13
      Naples
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Barcelona
    Ship Details

    Enchanted Princess - Princess Cruises

    Will be the fifth ship in Princess' innovative Royal Class

    Eighty percent of cabins will have balconies

    Will feature the line's popular Movies Under the Stars

    Reviews

    Enchanted Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    The fifth ship in Princess Cruises' Royal Class was set to launch in June 2020, but delays at t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 17 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Dubai
    Visiting:
    Dubai, Abu Dhabi ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    MSC Cruises
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    17 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (MSC Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Dubai
    • Day 2
      Dubai
    • Day 3
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Salalah
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 12
      Suez Canal
    • Day 13
      Suez Canal
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 18
      Genoa
    Ship Details

    MSC Seaview - MSC Cruises

    Pros

    Outstanding activities, specialty restaurants and kids club.

    Cons

    Still work to be done on service and food quality.

    Bottom Line

    Beautiful ship, where the fun never stops and perfectly designed for warm-weather sailing.

    Reviews

    MSC Seaview Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.5
    Service3.5
    Value4.0

    MSC Seaview is a ship that doesn't shy away from embracing fun -- whether that's careening down...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    FelipeAnh
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Awful experience
    Read More
    jcnz
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    My Fiancé got assaulted at knifepoint while on shore and MSC didn't care.
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Crete, Jerusalem ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 5
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 6
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 7
      Limassol
    • Day 8
      Alanya
    • Day 9
      Rhodes
    • Day 10
      Kusadasi
    • Day 11
      Tenedos (Bozcaada)
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Mykonos
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern

    Cons

    Constant upcharges may turn some cruisers off

    Bottom Line

    Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Star Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Star underwent a refurbishment in summer 2018 during which it received the Sky Hi...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Freyward_Cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2019
    Bucket List Panama Canal Cruise
    Read More
    wvacations
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    NCL Cost Cutting At All Time High
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Crete

    Leaving:
    Genoa
    Visiting:
    Katakolon, Athens ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    MSC Cruises
    View Deal
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    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Crete (Heraklion) Route (MSC Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Genoa
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Katakolon (Olympia)
    • Day 4
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 5
      Rhodes
    • Day 6
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 7
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Crete (Heraklion)
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 12
      Genoa
    Ship Details

    MSC Magnifica - MSC Cruises

    Pros

    A relaxed, Brit-friendly ship that's suitable for all ages

    Cons

    Lack of speciality dining and water park

    Bottom Line

    Well laid-out vessel offering good value-for-money

    Reviews

    MSC Magnifica Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    MSC Magnifica is one of the Musica-class ships, which debuted in 2006 and include sister ships ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    mervous
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Better planning, bettter details and this would be our best yet.
    Read More
    Katcas75