Galileo port side

Galileo port side

Your first impression of the M.V. Galileo is of old-world opulence. Walking through the lovely dining room set for dinner you can’t help but be impressed.

Once we’re settled in our Cruise Director Joseph, a native of Athens himself, gives us the welcome talk and we go through the safety drill.

With only thirty-five passengers onboard we head up for a welcome drink and snacks in the upper deck bar at the stern and soon start to gel and find ourselves a mixture of British, German, Swedish, Greek and Australian voyagers.

The crew are a mixture of nationalities as you would expect in cruising these days and they are cheery and bright extremely proficient at what they do.

Nafpoli

Nafplio

Then next morning we find ourselves berthed at the tiny port of Nafplio regard by many as the most beautiful town in Greece. It has a huge open-air farmer’s market on a Saturday at least a quarter of a mile long full of wonderful local produce. How great to see the Ships Hotel manager buying fresh produce there for tonight’s meal!

The theatre at Epidaurus

The theatre at Epidaurus

We travel some thirty minutes by coach to head back to the 4th and 3rd Centuries B.C. Not just an archaeological site Epidaurus is one of the most important centres of antiquity. The crown in the jewel of the site is the incredible theatre which held some 13,000 people. A wonder of the ancient world the acoustics in this open-air theatre must be heard to be believed. Wherever you stand or sit you the actors speaking perfectly.

After lunch back at the ship we journey to the Bronze age to the greatest city of the Peloponnese and the Home of Agamemnon, Mycenae, and the staggering tomb of Atreus nearby with its huge building blocks of sandstone some weighing up to 3 tons.

Lion Gate Mycenae

Lion Gate Mycenae

You will never forget Mycenae with the famous Lion Gate and the Trojan War seems to drip off the trees here as you walk beneath them.

In the evening  Joseph provides us with a town plan so we can explore Nafplio, visit some local bars on the Waterfront and soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful place. There’s even time to visit an ATM machine opposite the ship!

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Steve Newman was a guest of Variety Cruises