Variety Cruises: Hungry For Some Turkey

The city of Istanbul.
The city of Istanbul.

Variety Cruises Expands to Turkey

Aegean Mosaic Cruise Now Combining Turkish and Greek Destinations

By Erica Garnett

This August, Variety Cruises is traveling to Turkey for the first time in company history. The Aegean Mosaic is the newest cruise offered with three dates in August and one in October of this year.

The Turkish Tour

The cruise will be a eight-day seven night excursion to the countries of Turkey and Greece. Being a unique, one way Mediterranean cruise sets the Aegean Mosaic apart. There is only one other one-way cruise offered by the company. This offers guests ever changing landscapes with no repeating. If a guest did love the cruise, they could always take it in reverse since the Aegean Mosaic offers two nearly identical cruises with starting points in either Greece or Turkey.

Susan Nissim, the Vice President of Variety Cruises comments, “Turkey is growing more and more as a desirable attraction.” Starting from Turkey, the Aegean Mosaic will begin in the capital, Istanbul. The capital city is known for its colorful mosaics and exotic features that can be viewed from the ship and explored by foot. The next destination is Canakkale where an optional full-day excursion to Troy and Assos is provided. The remains of the historic battle ground between Achilles and Hector make Homer’s words come to life.

In the Turkish destination of Dikili, optional excursions explore the Greco-Roman city of Pergamon which holds the infamous Acropolis, Altar of Zeus, Temple of Athena, Trojan and Dionysos and the 10,000 seat ancient theater. Snaking down the western coast of Turkey, the final of the new destinations is Kusadasi. The city is home to one of the greatest archeological sites in the Aegean region, and according to Nissim, great jewelry that she can’t resist every time she visits. An optional tour and explorations are included of the well preserved ancient remains of Ephesus.

Going Greek

The first Greek destination after Turkey is Patmos which includes the Grotto and Monastery of St. John and the historic center of the medieval town of Chora. Archeological ruins and monuments can be viewed on an optional tour, in the former capital of Greece, Delos. The gorgeous beaches of Mykonos can also be enjoyed after. Nissim makes special note of the energetic and quintessential nightlife that the place has to offer. The beaches of Ios Manganari can be explored by swimming and snorkeling completed by a sunset in Oia, Santorini. The cruise ends in Athens.

Guests exploring the archeological remains at Ephesus.
Guests exploring the archeological remains at Ephesus.

Most Greek sites on the Agean Mosaic cruise are places the company has been to many times and knows well. Other Greek destinations included in the Agean Mosaic cruise include Samos and the Arki or Lipsi Islands.

Optional, Optimal and Original

The majority of the traveling between destinations is done at night or late afternoon. This is done to optimize the time spent during the day at each place. Nights can also be spent in the port. Variety Cruises pridefully spends elongated time in ports for guests to mosey on and off the ship at their leisure, almost as if they were natives, leaving their house to go somewhere nearby.

At the ports, swim stops are nearly everyday activities built into the schedules. “You can swim right off the back of the ship,” Nissim explains.

The Variety Voyager in Patmos, Greece.
The Variety Voyager in Patmos, Greece.

All tours and excursions are done at the will of the guest, although Nissim comments that most commonly, people oblige for some guided fun. This provides the guest with a crucial option of choice, leisure and indolence, because after all, it is vacation. Tours and excursions can also be arrangedbefore and after cruise dates for those who want to stay longer in certain areas.

Closest Thing to Having a Private Yacht

In the words of Nissim, the Agean Mosaic Cruise is as close as they come to a private yacht. The ship responsible for the cruise is the Variety Voyager which is referred to as a Mega Yacht.

The Variety Voyager is a three year old ship with comfort, elegance and comfort built into small quarters. At just 223 feet long, the ship accommodates 72 passengers in 36 cabins. Deck space isn't sparse and guests are provided with a constant view of their surroundings if inside. The ship is charted out the majority of the year which, along with its small size, make it an ideal candidate for the Agean Mosaic Cruise.

The small ship and crew of 30 hosts an intimate experience for guests with personal attention and dedication. Nissim explains that the guests among the ships are always diverse and come from many different international locations. This creates a close bonding experience with the passengers aswell as a mini cultural experience by not even stepping off the ship yet.

The Big Advantages of Being Small

The boats and crew size aren’t the only small attractions of Variety Cruises. The Greek based company the world’s largest small ship cruise company. Nissim says, “We are so small and so unique because of it.”

Variety Cruises is a family based company with extensive knowledge and experience surrounding Greek and Mediterranean cultures. Because of this, accurate assessments of allotted time in each port and what tours and excursions to provide are mindfully constructed with the consideration of the guests and the local destinations.

The company operates on a lasting legacy of appreciation for family and culture since their 1949 creation. Nissim discloses that the current president of the company, is the son of the founder. By giving guests an authentic experience of the the Greek, Turkish and surrounding cultures, he fulfills his father’s legacy of wanting to introduce people to ‘his Greece.”

Find out more about the Aegean Mosaic cruises in Turkey.

Erica Garnett is a former intern at GoNOMAD Travel. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, pursuing a double major in Journalism and Anthropology.


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