For those who relish discovering ancient ruins and for traveling in the ancient footprints of past civilizations, a cruise that includes the cities of ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt as ports of call is the jackpot of itineraries.
Of course, the quickest way is to fly, but if you are a person who wants to unwind and leisurely get from point A to point B, then leave the maneuvering to someone else and hop aboard.
Whether you are a history or archeology lover or you just want to see another part of the world, there are a number of major cruise lines that travel between multiple ancient sites. Let's take a look at a couple of the cruise lines, their itineraries, and some traveling tips before you book your adventure.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers many itineraries ranging from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Peninsula, and their offerings change as often as demand and interests change.
For example, the cruise line features an 18-night Rome to Dubai cruise that includes ports of call in the ancient Greek city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, a passage through the Suez Canal with stops at the ancient cities of Luxor in Egypt and Petra in Jordan, and around the Arabian Peninsula with Dubai as the final destination.
This cruise can cost upwards of $10,000 per person. Base fare on Regent Seven Seas ships includes most alcoholic beverages onboard ship and most shore excursions in ports of call, as well as all gratuities that would normally be paid to hotel staff on the ship.
Viking Ocean Cruises
The Passage to India cruise offered by Viking Ocean Cruises sails from Athens to Israel then crosses through the Suez Canal, stops in several Egyptian ports including Luxor, visits Aqaba, Jordan for a day then passes through Oman for its final port of Mumbai. This 21-day cruise visits 6 countries and offers 9 guided tours with prices starting at $6,500 per passenger.
A Los Angeles-based cruise line, Viking's original claim to fame had been its mass-market European and Asian river cruises. In 2013, Viking launched its first ocean liners featuring oversized staterooms all with balconies. The ocean liners are more intimate in size than mega-sized cruise ships with an average of 500 to 900 passengers per cruise.
Before You Go
You may need a visa to visit Egypt even if you do not need one for Greece. Check with your cruise line and the country's authorities prior to your visit.
Learn a little about the currency exchange at the various ports of call. Greece uses euros, Israel uses shekels and Jordan uses dinars. The Egyptian pound and the Indian rupee are the currency of those respective countries. Most cruise lines have a bank onboard that will exchange currency for you, usually at a fee. In most ports, you can use most major credit cards at a fair exchange rate.
Check for Travel Advisories
As of mid-2019, the U.S. Department of State had posted a warning for U.S. citizens to consider the risks of travel to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups.
For example, Egypt has had sporadic civil unrest since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2010 and the subsequent elections. During that time, cruise ships canceled port stops at Port Said and Alexandria. Keep this in mind. Just like with an unforeseen hurricane that reroutes cruises to other ports, the same came to be said of any unsafe political situations. In the event of a terrorist threat at your port of call, you may be rerouted past your intended destination delivering you to another country entirely.
Travel by Air
If time is of the essence and you would rather spend more time in Greece or Egypt, then air travel might be the quickest, easiest, and cheaper way to go. Flights start at about $300 nonstop, round-trip. In just two hours you can fly from Athens to Cairo.