The perfect antidote to behemoth liners, smaller and more stylish clipper cruise ships not only allow you to dock at ports inaccessible to their colossal counterparts, but they also allow you to do so in style. Designed to resemble classic 19th-century tall ships, these fully-rigged vessels exude the charm of a bygone era of sailing.
With frequent port stops providing access to centuries-old walled towns and sapphire beaches, a clipper cruise around Greece and Croatia has ample dry-land attractions. And though there is much to lure you off the ship, staying on board can be just as tempting. The 360-foot-long clippers hold just 170 or so passengers, and combine classic nautical-style décor (think mahogany, burnished brass and teak accents) with modern creature comforts, including spacious decks and two swimming pools.
Discover gasp-inducing views from the edge of Santorini’s caldera
See the medieval walls of Kotor spectacularly lit up at night
Stroll the polished Stradun in Dubrovnik’s old town
Wander through whitewashed fishing villages on the island of Corfu
Cycle past fragrant fields of lavender on Hvar
Many clipper cruises of the Adriatic set off from Athens. With ancient wonders every which way you look in the Greek capital, you may find yourself craving a more contemporary base. In which case, AthensWas, with its sleek marble and wood-heavy interior and modernist furniture, is a fabulous choice. The hotel is an easy stroll away from the Acropolis and has a rooftop bar-cum-restaurant that overlooks the famous hilltop citadel.
Seafood is a staple of Greek dining. And it rarely comes any fresher, tastier or more expertly prepared than in Athens’ Michelin-starred Varoulko Seaside. Diners can tuck into the likes of cuttlefish risotto, minced crayfish moussaka or sea bream with celeriac sauce and rock fish broth.
Fly above the steaming and spitting vents of the uninhabited volcano island of Nea Kameni during a breathtaking helicopter sightseeing tour from Santorini.