As the largest port in Europe, the Port of Piraeus near Athens is the cruise ship hub of the Mediterranean. Before simply viewing this gorgeous port as nothing more than a departure or arrival point, however, prospective passengers should learn about its rich history and culture, both of which make it an exceptional cruise destination.
Cruises from Athens
Serving more than 20 million passengers annually (including ferry traffic to other Greek Islands), the Port of Piraeus is both the largest and the busiest harbor in the Mediterranean and is regularly visited by most major cruise lines, including:
- Holland America Cruise Line
- Celebrity Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Oceania Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Crystal Cruises
- Silversea Cruises
- Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
- Windstar Cruises
- Seabourn Cruises
Equipped with twelve modern berths, the docking facilities can handle even the largest modern ships, and both the Queen Mary II and Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, two of the largest ships in the world, have visited Piraeus. Because passengers have their choice of both mainstream and luxury lines, there are many options for cruise travelers interested in visiting Athens.
With so many ships calling on Piraeus, the itinerary options vary widely. The vast majority of cruises originating from this departure port are Mediterranean cruises, involving ports of call in Spain, Turkey, Italy, France, and Greece. Both one-way and round-trip options are available, and seven-night cruises are the most popular choice, though cruise durations can range from 4-18 nights or more.
For passengers who choose not to embark or disembark in the Port of Piraeus, there are several cruise lines who also incorporate this Grecian city as a port of call on other Mediterranean, world, and transatlantic voyages, offering even more flexibility for travelers' cruise vacation plans.
Athens is a city of mystical wonder and charm, and the Port of Piraeus is the marine gateway just seven miles from the famed city. While docked, there are many historical and cultural treasures to visit, including:
- The Acropolis: The stunning hill is home to numerous famous temples and shrines, including the Parthenon, one of the most famous temples in the world, as well as the Theatre of Dionysus, Temple of Zeus, and other Grecian wonders.
- Old Olympic Stadium: Constructed for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, this attraction is an athlete's dream.
- Plaka District: Exquisite boutiques and shopping venues abound in this convenient market, including carpets, luxurious olive oils, and rare antiques.
- Loutraki Casino: One of the largest casinos in Europe and just a thirty-minute drive from the port, this glittering hotspot is a must-see for serious players.
- Piraeus Archeological Museum: With numerous displays of classical and Roman artifacts as well as modern artwork depicting these long-gone civilizations and the world-renowned 2,400-year-old bronze statues of Apollo, Athena, and Artemis, this museum offers visitors a rare glimpse into the past.
- Maritime Museum: Piraeus and Athens have long been important maritime destinations, and the maps and extensive model ship collections of this museum pay tribute to that history.
- Harbor Dinner Cruises: For passengers who have a longer stay in Piraeus, a sunset dinner cruise through the harbor is a romantic, elegant treat for both the eyes and the palate.
Getting to the Port of Piraeus
As one of the busiest ports in Europe, the transportation network connecting the Port of Piraeus to cruise ships is well-developed and easy to use. The cruise terminal is just thirty minutes from the international airport, and bus lines, metro rails, and commuter trains all run to within a few hundred yards of the dock. Open-air parking is available for personal vehicles, or passengers can choose to arrive via ferry from other islands in the Aegean Sea including Crete or the Dodecanese Islands. The passenger terminal is in the center of the port area and is easily marked for passengers' convenience.
Port of Piraeus Passenger Terminal
10 Akti Miaouli
Piraeus 185 38