Treasures of the Aegean

We just returned from this tour and are so glad we went. The trip was fabulous, as was our TD Whitney. There were 25 in the Tauck group and 65 passengers in total on the Wind Star. Very impressed with the ship and the crew - we may not be able to be on a large ship again! Vaccination cards were checked for entry to museums and archeological sites, with limits on group size and number of visitors. Masks were required indoors except when eating/drinking and outdoors if social distancing could not be maintained, including on the ship. This just became our 'normal' and everyone willingly complied. It did not impact our ability to enjoy all aspects of the trip. We did not go to Ephesus which was a disappointment but we went to the island of Milos instead. This was a great time to see Greece without the crowds, especially in the more popular islands such as Santorini and Mykonos.


  • siefringe

    Thanks for checking in!

    Your numbers add up to 90 passengers total, about 60 less than a full yacht (a tad less than 2/3 full). People-wise, did it seem like there were that many fewer passengers or that if it had been full would it be crowded?

    Were there any restrictions on seating during meals?

    Other than not visiting Ephesus which is a political issue, were there any other previously scheduled sites or activities that were omitted due to COVID?

    How were the temps in Athens? Did you have the opportunity and time to swim from the ship? How was the water temp?

    Did you do any touring on your own, pre- or post- tour? If so, where?

  • The total passenger count of 65 included the Tauck guests - 25 Tauck + 40 non-Tauck guests. Max passenger count for the Wind Star is 148, so less than 50% capacity. With 101 crew members, we all got exceptional service.

    The ship never seemed crowded, even at their outdoor BBQ night on the pool deck. There were no restrictions on seating during meals – with the small passenger count, it was easy to space tables apart. The Wind Star transforms their indoor/outdoor breakfast & lunch buffet area into a specialty steak restaurant (Candles) for dinner. Each passenger gets to go to Candles once during the week. With the low passenger count, many of us were able to go twice. Fabulous food. In Monemvasia, all passengers were taken to the Liotrivi Mansion for a tour, dinner and Greek dancing. It was a wonderful evening outdoors amidst the olive trees and gardens. There was no farewell dinner. We were told that the ship could not accommodate a separate Tauck dinner. Not sure if this was due to covid or there has never been a farewell dinner on this tour.

    I believe the only other tour alteration besides Ephesus was the Prehistoric Museum at Fira on the island of Santorini. The museum is only open to 10 guests at a time. It would have taken hours to get everyone into the museum in shifts.

    We had beautiful weather. Most of the trip the temp was in the 70’s but went into the 80’s in Monemvasia and Nafplion. We had a short rain sprinkle in Patmos. We were told it was the first rain in 5 months. I saw that temps in Greece were 100+ in the summer months. I don’t know how you could do all the climbing and walking on this trip in that heat. We were very lucky.

    They opened the ‘marina’ on three afternoons for water sports. Water temp was a little cool but comfortable. Many on the ship took advantage of the opportunity to swim in the salty Aegean.

    We went to Athens one day early. We walked around the city, saw the changing of the guard at The Parliament Building and visited The Byzantine and Christian Museum. (The Acropolis Museum and The National Archeological Museum were included on our tour.) The Acropolis Rally car race was starting in front of our hotel the next day so much of the main city area was barricaded, with special events in Syntagma Square. The Hotel Grand Bretagne was magnificent, especially the rooftop restaurant with incredible views of the Acropolis.

  • siefringe … glad you had a good time. We do like Ponant and Silversea, but Windstar is our favorite. We have done eighteen trips aboard Windstar ships, but only one Tauck trip on the Wind Surf. Our last trip on the “Star Breeze” was actually their inaugural for the newly ‘stretched’ ship. The planned inaugural was a wash out cuz they could not get the crew vaccinated, then the next two cruises (ours) were canceled when they went to Puerto Rico to get vaccinated. So we rebooked for the following two weeks. We were the ‘most loyal’ guests aboard, so they tried to give us the ‘owners suite’, but it was too large for someone who sleep walks. So we took the next smaller suite for two weeks. It was a good trade cuz the second week aboard there were people who had spent a ‘lifetime’ on Windstar … over a year anyway. (;-)

  • Question for anyone that may be able to assist me make a decision for the near future. I understand it is also apples and oranges. If anyone has been on Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles, did you love that as well and how would you compare that in anyway possible this Agean Tour? One is Windstar (which I've never been on) the other is Ponant (which I've been on quite a few times). I like the idea of starting in Marseille, traveling on to Nice and then boarding Ponant on the Mediterranean Isle tour. On the other hand, maybe a change of a ship is a good experience too. Decisions, decisions, decisions and trying to make the best choice. How would one compare the staterooms? My husband and I always seem to like alot of room as far as a stateroom is concerned. Don't ask me why. I realize one would be hearing quite a bit of ancient Greek history and speaking only for myself, sometimes I get on sensory overloard too soon with so-o much history to absorb. I've traveled with A&K (8 trips), Travcoa, Tauck (10 trips), Natural Habitat Adventures and Viking (which I'm not really a fan of because I don't like to hurry up to wait). Your thoughts are appreciated. Judy

  • Just waiting for Sealord to weigh in, I believe he has done both.

  • edited September 2021


    Sorry, I didn't read carefully. Wow, less than half!

    When researching this tour, I learned that Athens has or had the highest summer temps ever recorded in Europe in mid-late summer.

    We don't go until late May. Unless they have another Climate Change heat wave, the air temps should be perfect but water temps look to be about 68° F at that time of year- while I've swum in water that cool (a few weeks ago in Maine), I didn't enjoy it- too nippy for me!

  • edited September 2021

    I would like to do the ‘Treasures of the Aegean’. We just returned from ‘Treasures of the Med. Isles’. The boats … modern and fancy or rustic and nautical. The “Wind Star” is a really nice big sail boat. The rooms are nice and of adequate size, but I think on average the rooms on Ponant are bigger. Ponant has French balconies, Wind Star has port holes. It really is ‘apples and oranges’. We have done eighteen Windstar cruises, and three on Ponant. You think you like French food … try Windstar’s food … I think it’s better. They have a new dining venue on their newly stretched power boats called Cuadro 44. It is an Anthony Sasso restaurant. He spent several weeks on the “Star Breeze” teaching the chefs how to make his food. I think it is probably the best food at sea. Small restaurant … make a reservation when you board.

  • For people on the vessel Wind Star ... what was the temperature like in your cabins ? Are they air conditioned ?

  • Moran
    For people on the vessel Wind Star ... what was the temperature like in your cabins ? Are they air conditioned ?

    Haven’t been, yet, but cabins have AC.

  • I did the Treasures of the Aegean cruise last August - the check in procedures were as described above and no one was COVID positive. We had about 18 people on our Tauck group and about 20 other passengers so a very small group. I highly recommend that trip for anyone who wants to visit some Greek Islands. I then went from Greece to Italy (with a negative COVID test in hand) to do the Northern Italy Bellissima trip and found there were only three guests on that trip - myself and a mother and daughter. The bus was exchanged for a small van and we had a wonderful experience. With so few people to load / unload we always had extra time for our tours. I will probably never have that experience again.

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