If you are visiting Athens for the first time, this outing provides an excellent introduction to one of the great cities of the ancient world. Visit the Acropolis, a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece. History opens before you as you reach the Propylaea, one of the masterpieces of classical architecture, serving as the entrance to the complex of buildings. You’ll see the Temple of Athena Nike (Wingless Victory), and the Erechtheum with its classical Porch of Maidens, the Caryatids. Stand in awe as you visit what is considered the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world—the Parthenon—designed as a shrine to Athena and at one time housing a massive gold and ivory statue of the warrior goddess. Re-board your coach and head towards your lunch venue. You will enjoy a Greek lunch and have some time to relax. Then, you’ll head to the National Archaeological Museum, which boasts the world’s finest collection of Greek antiquities. The highlights here include the golden mask of Agamemnon, Minoan frescoes unearthed at Akrotiri, and the superb bronze Poseidon. Complete your introduction to Athens with a scenic drive through the city, passing some of the most important landmarks of the city. Watch for the marble Olympic Stadium, where the Olympic Games were revived in 1896, Hadrian’s Arch and the former Royal Palace. Your coach will park close to the plaka (Old Town) area, and you’ll disembark for a guided walking tour of the historical center of Athens. Free time will be allocated for shopping and watching everyday life in Greece before you return to the port.Notes:Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.
Average Customer Rating:
(8 Reviews) 7
Rating Snapshot(8 reviews)
5 out of 8(62%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
We are a bit surprised by other reviewers negative comments respecting value. My wife and I are active seniors and wanted an introductory tour to Athens. We booked this on-line before leaving home for our cruise. We were not disappointed at all. We arrived at the Acropolis fairly early in the day and did not have any delay making the climb to the top. Of course one has to wear appropriate footwear and we did because we were advised to do so. Our guide was efficient and informative but did not hover. Once we got to the top he gave us a brief narrative and then provided ample time to explore on our own. By the end of our visit there it was getting crowded and we had a tiny bit of a delay walking back down.
Our stop at the museum was good, but as with most excursions there never seems enough time to explore the museum. Our guide gave us a thirty minute tour and narrative of key exhibits and then sent us off on our own. But first he made suggestions as to what to try to see. And was he right on! We spent some quality time seeing all of the large statues and antiquities, etc. Our panoramic bus ride was just that. It is just windshield time with some glimpses of major antiquities. One just can't see all of Athens in a one day ship's excursion. We were not disappointed. We did enjoy the luncheon at the Greek restaurant at the base of the Acropolis mountain. We could see the site way above us when looking nearly vertically. It was a bit of a walk from the bus to the restaurant.
All in all we felt that this tour contained a lot to see in one day and think that we had acceptable value for our tour dollars. HAL's description of the tour is as stated. We think it is a good way to get introduced to Athens.
We decided to do this excursion at the last minute because we had enjoyed the previous excursions very much and decided to not do Athens on our own. At the end of the day, this excursion is basically all about the Acropolis, yes it includes a tour of the museum but we found that rushed, crowded, and just ok. It also includes a lunch but we would have preferred to eat by ourselves at any of the many local places to grab lunch and order something we wanted (although the food was good).
The Acropolis is amazing, one of the highlights of the whole cruise.
Really the rating on this comes down to value. If we had to do it again we would have taken a cab or the metro to the Acropolis, spent as much time as we wanted, ate lunch, and then returned to the ship - probably could have done all that for 40% of the cost of what we paid.
Don't miss the Acropolis but I would not see if via this tour.
Our guide for this tour was Rita, very precise and knowledgeable.Enroute to Acropolis, saw the changing of the guard, the Old and new Olympic stadiums and learned about several local sites and statues. Acropolis was crowded and hot but well worth it. Went to the National Archaeological Museum. Very rushed but the guide did her best to show the highlights. Lunch was a local venue under covered patio. Food was very good. Time for a little shopping as well. Very nice tour.
This tour was average and a little bit of a disappointment. First of all, the line ups for the Acropolis were very long. Spent a lot time waiting around for the tour guide to get our tickets. There seemed to be only a few gates that were open to enter the Acropolis. Headphones were provided which was good as there were so many people around that without headphones you wouldn't have been able to hear the guide. Once we got in and up to the top, it was worth it just to see everything. One word of advice - wear proper footware - some places are very slippery - saw women dressed in high heels, flip flops and flat leather sandals. They were slipping and sliding all over the place. Could have used more time to visit the plaka - lots of stores. The lunch we had was a disappointment. Had to wait a long time to get served - the food was so so. The desert was just some ice cream - why not have a Greek dessert. The visit to the Museum was interesting but would have liked some more time there to look at the artifacts. All in all we saw what we came to see but still expensive for what was provided.
We decided to take this tour since we wanted to hit many of the sites in the limited amount of time we had in this port. We did have headphones for this tour, did two museums, the site of the Acropolis and lunch but still we wondered why was this tour so very expensive? The lunch provided was not at a resort nor an expensive meal so that certainly could not have justified the great cost. We don't regret taking this tour as it was VERY crowded at the Acropolis and our guide really advocated for our group to get in quickly, which we appreciated very much. I would caution anyone going to the Acropolis to wear proper, supportive footwear. It is VERY slippery as ground is a combination of smooth stone (marble/granite), dirt and pine needles along with being uneven. We saw women in flat leather sandals (slipping often), heels (hello???) and flip flops (not a practical decision on this site). All in all we came to see the historical sites and would not have missed this for the world. But, where did the money go?
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
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31out of33found this review helpful.
Review 6 for The Best of Athens
disappointed..could be much better
Date:August 21, 2011
Cruise Date Year:2011
Cruise Date Month:July
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
Was a good idea booking due to the chaos in Athens and taxi strikes over the past weeks. Lunch was very good and the transportation was prompt and gauranteed. The bad... -no ear audio provided and could not hear our guide at the Acropolis ! We could not hear a word ...what a waste at such a historical site. All others seen from ships and groups had audio. The guide said it was our ship's (Nieuw Amsterdam) responsibility to provide...not hers. -the shopping was not good as we were sent to the flea market area and we found the decent reasonable store shopping the opposite way too late -our time at the Archealogical Museum was terrible. Again, no audio and our herd was way too big for hearing anything and just too big for a museum. We only had 1 hour here and you need 11/2 to 2 hrs mininum. We actually broke off and hired a museum guide for 45 minutes for an express tour (a full tour is required to appreciate this place). The flea market took away from our time here -lastly, the bus a/c was not too good and a Senior's medical emergency was not handled properly at all even though an ambulance/EMT van was 50 metres away but the guide refused to ask them for help Not impressed at all
This was a very expensive tour. It was basically 1 museum -not the new one with the glass floor, a bus ride around the city, tour of the Acropolis, then a walk to a very mediocre lunch -not as good as our lunch in Olympia. I'm still puzzeled as to why this tour was so expensive. That being said the Acropolis did not disappoint. The scaffolding is down so the view was not obstructed. The city has been cleaned up since the Olympics. Our guide was knowledgable and her insight at the museum was helpful given the copious quantity of info to absorb. She handled the large straying group very well. An obviously seasoned tour guide. I still don't understand why this tour cost so much. Good shopping in the plaka!