Lido pool on the Louis Cristal

Lido deck on the Louis Cristal

Greek specialist operator Louis Cruises has introduced an alternative, quite appealing itinerary in the shape of a new, four day cruise for summer 2014.

Sailing from Athens’ port of Lavrion, these four night voyages will be operated by the 24,000 ton Louis Cristal after her return from a winter charter offering Cuba cruises.

Departing at 1430 in the afternoon- a complete change to the normal 1100 departures- the Louis Cristal arrives in Syros at 1900 for a four hour run ashore. Next day, the ship arrives at the Turkish resort of Cesme at 0700 for a six hour stay, before sailing on to the popular resort of Bodrum that same evening for an overnight stay, departing at five the following morning.

An 0700 arrival in Kos gives a full day on the island, with departure at 1800. Next day features a morning call on Ios, and a final afternoon call at Santorini before arriving back in Athens the next morning.

All things considered, this is a great little run to some of the lesser known gems of the Greek Islands, combined with an opportunity to sample the overnight nightlife ashore in the party capital of the summertime Turkish riviera.  And, with Santorini as a stunning finale, it packs in a huge amount into a short space of time indeed.

Santorini is a fabulous finale

Santorini is a fabulous finale

The Louis Cristal is a good choice for a short cruise; compact enough to get into the smaller, more appealing yacht harbours in the islands, she offers an intimate, comfortable ambience with good sized cabins- a handful of them have small balconies- and the warm hospitality that typifies the Louis product.

The ship has a small central pool, covered by a sliding glass roof, that also showcases a bar and buffet area. There are several other bars featuring live entertainment, and a forward facing show lounge for evening entertainment. The ship also features a casino, internet centre, and a shop for souvenirs and essential sundries.

A series of terraced aft decks offer fantastic views out over the wake, as well as a sublime, aft facing hot tub ideal for lounging in and watching the horizon.

Most impressive of all the facilities on board the Louis Cristal is a spectacular, glass walled disco cantilevered around the funnel. inward sloping, floor to ceiling glass affords spellbinding views out over the sea in three directions. It works just as well as a cool, shady observation lounge during the day, and as a vibrant, late night focal point for partying late into the night.

Combining several small, enchanting little islands with the style, warmth and intimacy of the Louis Cristal makes for an invigorating little break. It neatly side steps the often overcrowded ‘greatest hits’ ports of the Greek Islands, and offers an appealing new take on what has always been a classic, affordable mini cruise. Definitely recommended.


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