Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Celestyal Cruises introduces 'Authentic Encounters'

Traditional art, music and home cooking are among the many 'Authentic Encounters' offerings
Celestyal Cruises rolled out its new intimate, immersive and hands-on shore excursions, 'Authentic Encounters.'

These are offered at ports in Greece and Turkey and are available for two to 20 participants with prices starting at $84.

Chief Commercial Officer Leslie Peden earlier announced these offerings would debut for the 2022 season.

Wine tasting, hiking, pottery making

Sample 'Idyllic Aegean' itinerary experiences range from wine tasting in Thessaloniki, hiking in Santorini and pottery making in Rhodes to home cooking in Mykonos and sea kayaking in Milos.

A wine tour of the Epanomi Hills region of Thessaloniki features a visit to Ktima Gerovassiliou, one Greece's most noted wine producers. Wine aficionados will join a local expert for a tasting and a visit to the region’s wine museum. 

In Rhodes, where pottery played a significant role in early Greek history and culture, tour participants will go to the Bonis Ceramic Factory to learn about techniques from an expert potter before making their own ceramic item and have it shipped home.

While many flock to Santorini's village of Oia, few take the more adventurous path afforded by a new guided hiking tour beginning at Imerovigli and passing abandoned chapels, with stunning views of the caldera along the way and the islands of Nea, Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirasia on the horizon. 

Home cooking class

In Mykonos, foodies will be able to experience legendary Myconian hospitality at an exclusive home cooking class where they learn how to make a Greek spinach pie, stuffed tomatoes and peppers and the famous tzatziki dip. Afterwards, participants will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor at lunch with locally produced wine. 

For art lovers, Mykonos also offers an opportunity to learn mosaic making to create their own work of art to take home.

In Milos, adventure-seekers can explore the coastline of the stunning volcanic island of Milos on a guided kayaking excursion with a snorkeling stop at a small complex of sea caves. 

Kayakers may also explore the 'pirate coves,' rock formations and sea caves of Rhodes’ spectacular coastline, with a visit to the famous inlet where the 1961 film 'The Guns of Navarone' was filmed starring Anthony Quinn, Gregory Peck and David Niven. 

Plus, more on 'Eclectic Aegean' itinerary

On Celestyal's 'Eclectic Aegean' itinerary, options include olive oil harvesting in Volos, baklava baking and a special gentlemen's hamman (Turkish bath) experience in Istanbul.