Piraeus

The port of Athens since Classical times
The magnificent National Archaeological Museum
The dramatic ruins of the Parthenon on the Acropolis

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Piraeus/Athens

Testimony of an ancient civilisation

Pireas (Piraeus) is the port of call for you during an MSC cruise to the Mediterranean. It has been the port of Athens since Classical times, when the so-called Long Walls, scattered remnants of which can still be seen, were built to connect it to the city.
 
Today it’s a substantial metropolis in its own right. The island ferries leaving from the port where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return are the reason most people come here; if you’re spending any time here, though, the real attractions of the place are around the small-boat harbours of Zéa Marina and Mikrolímano on the opposite side of the small peninsula.

Here, the upscale residential areas are alive with attractive waterfront cafés, bars and restaurants offering some of the best seafood in town. A shore excursion on your MSC Mediterranean cruise can be the opportunity to visit Athens too. The vestiges of the ancient Classical Greek city, most famously represented by the Parthenon and other remains that top the Acropolis, are an inevitable focus, along with the magnificent National Archaeological Museum.

The rock of the Acropolis, crowned by the dramatic ruins of the Parthenon, dominates almost every view of Athens. Surrounded by pedestrianized streets, it can be appreciated from almost every angle. Entering via the monumental double gatehouse, the Propylaia, you’ll see the elegant, tiny Temple of Athena Nike on a precipitous platform to the right, overlooking Pireás and the Saronic Gulf.

The Parthenon is the highlight, though, the first and greatest project of Pericles’ Athenian Golden Age. Originally the columns were brightly painted and the building was decorated with the finest sculpture of the Classical age, also lavishly coloured. To the north of the Parthenon stands the Erechtheion and its striking Porch of the Caryatids, whose columns form the tunics of six tall maidens.

Must see places in Piraeus

Discover our excursions

9 results found

  • A VOYAGE TO ANCIENT GREECE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    PIR09

    Meet your guide at the port and board the bus for a sightseeing tour through the main streets and squares of this historically important city. After reaching Athens city centre, we will arrive at the famous Acropolis that towers imposingly 150 metres abov
    • Best seller

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      5:30 h

    • Adults$95.00Price per person

    • Children$72.00Price per person

  • ATHENS & ACROPOLIS

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    PIR04

    Take some time off the ship and head for Athens for a comprehensive sightseeing tour through the main streets and squares of a city steeped in classical history. Not only is Athens widely regarded as the cradle of western civilisation and the birthplace o
    • Best seller

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults$89.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • ATHENS & ITS ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    PIR20

    History lovers and hobby archaeologists will be in their seventh heaven on this cultural tour of Athens and its architectural treasures. A short coach ride will first see you reach the hilltop location of the Acropolis, arguably Athens’ best known landmar
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      9 h

    • Adults$152.00Price per person

    • Children$109.00Price per person

  • PLAKA, ACROPOLIS & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    PIR02

    Situated only a short distance from Athens, the port of Piraeus makes a perfect starting point for a visit to the Greek capital and, of course, the world-famous Acropolis, an ancient citadel that sits atop a rocky hill that rises 150 metres above the city
      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        6 h

      • Adults$95.00Price per person

      • Children$72.00Price per person

    • THE MAGNIFICENT ORACLE OF DELPHI

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      PIR21

      Once venerated as the physical and spiritual centre of the earth, Delphi and its famous oracle loomed large in ancient Greece. Nowadays, the remains draw visitors keen to understand its former importance and your visit begins with a relaxing 3-hour coach
      • Long route by bus

      • Lunch or dinner included

      • Shooting videos and/or taking pictures is not allowed or subject to fee

      • Limited seats

      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        9 h

      • Adults$149.00Price per person

      • Children$109.00Price per person

    • BREATHTAKING VIEWS OF ATHENS AND PLAKA

      SCENIC ROUTE

      PIR16

      Spend a few hours on dry land to experience Athens from two very different perspectives: from the lofty heights of Mount Lycabettus, the tallest peak in the vicinity, and then at ground level in the city’s sprawling historical quarter, the so-called Plaka
      • Limited seats

      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$52.00Price per person

      • Children$39.00Price per person

    • CORINTH CANAL BY BOAT

      SCENIC ROUTE

      PIR03

      Leave the port of Piraeus and enjoy a 1.5-hour drive by coach through the Greek countryside to Corinth Canal, where a short stop will be made to observe the boats that will very likely be passing through the narrow waterway. Separating the Peloponnese pen
      • Snack included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        5:30 h

      • Adults$79.00Price per person

      • Children$59.00Price per person

    • PANORAMIC TOUR OF ATHENS

      SCENIC ROUTE

      PIR08

      This excursion is ideal for those unable to climb the steps to the Acropolis but who wish to gain an overall impression of Greece’s capital city. We will meet our guide at the port and board the bus for an excursion that covers the key attractions. As we
      • Shopping

      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • Best seller

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      • Adults$52.00Price per person

      • Children$39.00Price per person

    • BEACH FUN AT YABANAKI

      SEA & SUN

      PIR22

      Pack your beach bag, step off the ship and hop on a coach to head south from Piraeus to reach your seaside location: the wonderfully child-friendly Yabanaki Beach in Varkiza. The hour’s drive will give you a chance to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the
      • No guide available

      • Possibility of swimming

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        6 h

      • Adults$52.00Price per person

      • Children$39.00Price per person

    The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
    Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

     

    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    Greece

    Under the protective wing of the gods
    Under the protective wing of the gods

    It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
    With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

    For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes.
    But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
    Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.

     
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