July 5th: Canakkale, Turkey
We boarded the Azamara Journey on July 5, 2015 to enjoy a 7 night cruise from Istanbul to Athens. Our first stop after cruising the Dardanelles (the boundary between Europe and Asia) was Canakkale. The day’s excursions were visiting cemeteries and places of great battles between the Turks and the British, Australian and New Zealand armies between April 25,1915 to January 9, 1916.
July 7th: Pause at Sea
On the morning of July 7th, the ship stopped and the Captain announced that we would be standing by until help arrived. A small rubber raft with 20 plus refugees was drifting with no outboard motor or any other means of propulsion. They were finally rescued by the Greek Coast Guard. Our Journey continued.
July 7th: Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey
This was a day we will remember for many reasons: walking on history in Ephesus, experiencing the impressive Colosseums, the architecture and the heat! In the evening, we were back at Ephesus for a concert at one of the smaller Colosseums, that was an AzAmazing evening.
July 8th: Kos, Greece
This small tourist town is now filled with Syrian refugees.
July 9th: Rhodes, Greece
Another Greek Island Paradise! Highlight here was to have lunch in a truly authentic Greek home. It turned out that our guide was actually related to this family.
July 10th: Santorini, Greece
A visual paradise, a must see place. There was a hair-raising bus tour to the top of the Island, but overall, it was a fabulous bus tour from one end to the other. One of the stops was at the Santo Winery. Wine and appies were offered. From the tasting area, there was an amazing view of the Aegean Sea looking north toward Fira, a mecca for shoppers.
JULY 10TH CONTINUED
That night, we were treated to the White Night dinner and a parade of the men and women of the Azamara Journey, followed by a conga line headed by Eric, the Cruise Director. Spectacular to say the least!
July 11th: Mykonos, Greece
Beautiful city with narrow streets, lots of flowers and of course, shops to die for. It is known to be a popular destination, but it was surprisingly empty of tourists. We were tendered at Mykonos, the trip back to the ship was quite interesting as the wind had kicked up a bit. This was the last night on the Journey and what a journey indeed. The ship is fabulous, the crew and service could not have been better.
July 12th: Athens, Greece
We were quite concerned about our next destination as Greece was voting in the referendum and depending on the results, we could have ended up stuck. Fortunately, that did not happen. Our flight to Venice left on time.