Just Returned

Wife & I are recovering from the Treasuries of the Aegean Completed Jul 9, 2022. Bottom line: great tour. It’s our 4th Tauck tour. The starting of the tour at hotel Grande Bretagne was first class. Hotel is owned by Marriott and the standards are hi. Tour Director Whitney understands the word logistics. Great job. Some of the local guides were difficult to understand using the voice boxes Tauck provides. All were very knowledgeable and polite. We were all tested for Covid at the hotel before we embarked onto the Windstar. One person was positive & stayed behind. On the subject of Covid another Tauck passenger came down with Covid and was quarantined to his cabin. I ended up with Covid after the trip. The Windstar, it’s Captain and crew are first class. Food, service was outstanding. Portions of the ship needs updating. The unfurling of the sails at 5pm everyday with music was delightful. Due to hi winds the ship could not get to Mykonos which was disappointing but no fault of anyone but think Tauck should pro-rate that day to passengers. I am waiting on a reply about proration. The most memorable event is the dinner in front of the Library at Ephesus with an orchestra of 5. Breathtaking. Other main sites are the Acropolis in Athens, Monastery and cave where Paul wrote Revelations. I highly recommend this tour. You will not be disappointed.


  • Glad you liked ‘our’ cruise line. We have eighteen cruises and about a hundred and fifty nights on Windstar. Most of our trips were on the Wind Surf, but we have cruised on all of them including ‘Wind Star’. We are doing this trip next year. We have always been pleased with the food on the Windstar boats. Breakfast and lunch is breakfast and lunch, but the evening meals and the BBQ’s are really good. They have a new venue called Cuadro 44 on the “Star’ boats … the conventionally powered ships … that is extra special. No extra charge, but very small, so you need to sign up as soon as you board. It is normally limited to one visit per cruise unless they just happen to have open tables. We have been to Ephesus, but took a rather long walk to get to the library. Is there a shortcut for the dinner?

  • This tour was the second one we took with Tauck back in 2009...although it went the reverse from what you did. I agree, just a wonderful tour! It also got us started on cruising on Windstar...Tauck used the Windstar Star for ours. We've done 12 cruises with them over the years, and agree with Sealord that they are just a great cruise line. I am so glad you had a great time, and am sorry you came down with Covid at the end. Oh, and Tauck used the Grande Bretagne on our tour as well. Did you have a chance to have dinner on the rooftop with the great views of the Acropolis?

  • Sealord
    . . . . . We have been to Ephesus, but took a rather long walk to get to the library. Is there a shortcut for the dinner?

    I don't know if Tauck, Windstar, or the site does this with all tours, just for bus groups, when it is busy, or because it is all down hill :D , but during the daytime visit we entered the site at the second entrance (far right on the map) and exited at main entrance (above the #1 lollypop) where the bus was waiting. The Library is #4. (The dinner is a Windstar arranged event.)

    When we returned for the dinner we entered and exited at the main entrance. It was 23 May so the sun had not yet set and it was still light for awhile after we arrived, but it didn't take too long for it to get dark. The evening walk to and from the Library on Marble Steet and a short section of Harbor Street is fairly level, not especially long or difficult, but uneven, so unless you have difficulty walking, you should have no problem. However, it is definitely not a high heels event. Just before exiting we walked under a canopy of arching tree limbs illuminated in bright green that also highlighted the Turkish flag.

    Harbor Street

  • We went when we actually were supposed to be in Egypt, but they were having ‘civil unrest’, so we went to Turkey and Malta instead. Malta is great, but you don’t want to go there on a Sunday … everything is closed.

  • For our dinner at Ephesus we were in shuttle buses and driven up to the side entrance. It was door to door service. We did have meals on the terrace with magnificent views of the Acropolis. Breathe taking.

  • We leave for this tour next week! I'm so excited to see all these great reviews. My mom is older and I'm just hoping that the "hikes" to some of these places aren't too long.

  • edited August 2022

    Hope you are good in heat, a very hot time to go. I’m pretty fit, but when it’s hot, I tire easily. Yesterday, I was walking in very hot weather and had to reduce my usual four or five miles to barely two. Be prepared with lots of fluids and see if the itinerary gives you a choice of easier excursions.

  • Ephesus is just amazing! Wear a hat and bring a lot of water! There is, if I remember correctly, a pavilion covering some of the excavations that will provide shade, but other than that you are in the direct sun for the tour. Delos, if your tour goes there still...no shade and a lot of walking. Have a great time!

  • edited August 2022

    As ChrisW12 says there is a roof over an area of ruins of upper class dwellings/condos (# 8 in the map I posted above.) You will be out of the sun but the roof is metal (heavy fabric?) and there are metal walls, so if there is no or little wind, I suspect it can get hot in there. The second problem with this can't miss area of Ephesus, is it is on a hillside so there are a number of scaffold stairs- you only climb up the stairs- there is a sloped walkway down. But, there is no way around the walking. Here is a short video of the "condos" from the top looking down:


    Delos has NO SHADE but is a great excursion, don't miss it. The pace is typically slow at both places and there are plenty of steps and blocks of marble to sit and rest. You can probably enter the condos but only go through the lower level and then exit. Same way for the hillside dwellings on Delos. But again, I don't want to sugar coat it, there is a lot of walking to truly appreciate the wonderful places you will see.

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