Heraklion cruises

Wander among the squares and fountains here in the island’s capital and largest city, or gaze out over the azure blue waters of the Cretan Sea as you enjoy fresh seafood in a local taverna on the promenade. Most likely, you’ll seek out the immense reconstructed Minoan palace at Knossos. The incredible complex houses a warren of rooms decorated with columns and frescoes.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • East Island Panorama

    A leisurely option that allows you to enjoy the sights and scenery of Crete’s east coast.

    East Island Panorama

    Setting off from the pier, enjoy a short drive through the island’s capital, Heraklion. View the old fishing harbour and admire the Venetian fortress and arsenals, before your drive takes you further east.

    You’ll pass through the thriving resort of Hersonissos en route to Elounda Bay, where a short photograph stop will be made for you to enjoy the lovely coastline views. Continue to the charming village of Plaka, located in the lovely setting of the Mirabello Bay, with views across to the famous island of Spinalonga. A stop will be made at a local taverna to enjoy a local snack and a soft drink refreshment.

    To round off your tour, you’ll drive to the popular resort of Aghios Nikoalos for short photograph stop, before the return drive to Heraklion.

    This excursion will operate by coach. This tour involves limited walking; however there is five minute walk to reach the refreshment venue from the coach drop off point. Guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach.

    Tour code

    HER_016

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Knossos - The Minoan Miracle

    This popular tour visits the fascinating Knossos archaeological site, proving the existence of the Minoan civilisation.

    Knossos - The Minoan Miracle

    The original palace of Knossos was raised around 1900 BC, but was destroyed by an earthquake 200 years later. It was rebuilt on a grander scale, only to be severely damaged by the eruption of Santorini in 1600 BC and ravaged by fire in 1400 BC.

    Your guided tour will take you through the marvellous ruins of the ancient complex, restored by Sir Arthur Evans. His work has been criticised by some for its modernity, but it does help you visualise the palace as it was, when it served as the administrative centre for the region.

    There will be over an hour of free time for you to stroll at leisure in the town of Heraklion. Perhaps visit the Fountain of Morosini, near the colourful fruit and vegetable market, or shop for some Cretan souvenirs.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The archaeological site, which will be explored on foot, has uneven pathways and rough ground and numerous steps to be negotiated in various places. Flash photography is not permitted at the archaeological site. Heraklion will be explored on foot during the free time. A nominal charge of 50 cents to one euro for use of the toilet facilities may be implemented at Knossos, which is payable locally.

    Tour code

    HER_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Spinalonga & Elounda

    Explore the intriguing island of Spinalonga and meander through the lovely resort of Elounda.

    Spinalonga & Elounda

    Discover the dramatic coastal vistas that Crete offers in abundance, during a scenic drive to the bustling resort of Elounda.

    Then it’s a short island hop by boat to the intriguing island of Spinalonga, or most commonly referred to as the ‘island of tears’. Housed within the formidable Venetian fortress walls are the remains of the last leper colony in Europe. Entering the island through Dante’s Gate, your guide will host you on a walking tour along the main street. This abandoned quaint village with its shops, houses and small church portrays a normal Cretan village, until its haunting past is revealed.

    Sailing across Mirabello Bay, you’ll return to the old fishing harbour of Elounda. The charm and elegance of Elounda has been carefully preserved despite its growing popularity as an upmarket holiday resort. Enjoy some free time to explore this famous resort, lined with interesting boutiques and souvenir shops. Chill out on its award winning blue flag beach or perhaps relax in the town square.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, passengers are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This tour involves approximately one hour of walking over uneven terrain with some steps to negotiate when embarking the boat. The order of itinerary may vary. Guests are advised to take a hat, sun protection and wear closed toe shoes. Those prone to seasickness should take the necessary precautions as the sea can get rough at times. The operation of this tour is weather dependent.

    Tour code

    HER_013

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • Knossos & Winery

    Explore the archeological site of Knossos before rewarding yourself with wine tasting at a local winery.

    Knossos & Winery

    The great discovery of Knossos not only proved the existence of the Minoan as the earliest civilisation in Europe, but also left all experts amazed at how advanced it was.

    Your guided tour will take you through the fantastic ruins of the ancient complex, restored by Sir Arthur Evans. View in amazement, parts of the original labyrinth and picture its maze haunted by the mythical Minotaur, for whose containment it was built, by its master builder, Deadalus. He was kept prisoner so as to not reveal its secret until he and his son, Icarus, literally took flight, with a tragic end.

    Built in expansive vineyards, the Boutari, Fantaxometaho Estate is one of the most modern and impressive wineries of Crete and the setting for a winery tour to see its production facilities and wine cellars. The tour is followed by a multimedia presentation on the history of wine making and an introduction to the art of wine tasting. Enjoy a sample of wines produced at the winery and a plate of Dakos, a Cretan dried rusk soaked in olive oil and topped with fresh tomato and cheese.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The archaeological site, which will be explored on foot, has uneven pathways and rough ground and numerous steps to be negotiated in various places. Flash photography is not permitted at the archaeological site. Heraklion will be explored on foot during the free time. A nominal charge of 50 cents to one euro for use of the toilet facilities may be implemented at Knossos, which is payable locally.

    Tour code

    HER_010

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • The Best of Crete

    Discover the real Crete on this full day tour, including Knossos, the resort of Aghios Nikolaos and a typical Greek luncheon.

    The Best of Crete

    The capital of Minoan Crete was the largest and most sophisticated palace on the island. It contained over 1,000 rooms and enjoyed the comforts of an elaborate drainage system, flushing toilets and paved roads. In legend, Knossos was believed to be the setting of an underground labyrinth, designed to imprison the mythical Minotaur. This half-man, half-bull was born of King Minos’ wife and slain by Theseus. Your guided tour will take you through the ruins of the ancient capital of Minoan Crete.

    An hour's drive, through the ever-changing Cretan countryside, will bring you to Aghios Nikolaos, one of the island's most famous resorts. Boasting a superb setting on the Bay of Mirabello, built around the harbour and Lake Voulismeni, now interconnected by canals, the area is filled with a variety of shops and cafés of every description and you'll have approximately one hour to explore for souvenirs of your visit. A typical Greek luncheon with wine and coffee will be served in a local restaurant.

    A stop will be made at a vantage point for you to admire the islet of Spinalonga; this former leper colony is dominated by a Venetian fortress.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Knossos will be explored on foot over uneven and rough ground and there are around 15 steps to be negotiated in various places. Flash photography is not permitted at the archaeological site. Some shops in Aghios Nikolaos may be closed during low season.

    Tour code

    HER_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7½ hours

  • Plateau of Lassithi & Kera Monastery

    A scenic tour, giving you a glimpse of what Crete has to offer along with a visit to an ‘Eco-Park’ to see the craftsmen at work.

    Plateau of Lassithi & Kera Monastery

    Depart on a scenic drive from the Venetian fortress-dominated harbour of Heraklion and climb from the coast to the Lassithi Plateau located approximately 2700 feet above sea level. Surrounded by mountains, the Plateau is home to ancient monasteries, traditional small villages and over 10,000 magnificent, self-driven windmills, which dot the landscape.

    Visit the historical monastery of Kera Kardiotissa that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is renowned for its Byzantine icons, 14th century frescoes and carved altar screens. The Monestary offers sweeping views of Mount Dikte, the Pediada Valley and the sea.

    The ‘Lassinthos Eco-Park’ seeks to preserve Crete’s traditions and culture and provides the opportunity for you to watch local artisans practicing their traditional crafts. Women weave blankets and rugs on an old loom while a candle maker crafts candles for a village church. Visit the wine press, dairy and plant workshop before viewing the small menagerie, which includes peacocks, grouse, ostrich, deer and Crete’s native goat, the Kri-Kri. Free time will be given for you to browse in the small souvenir shop or purchase a refreshment.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are a few hairpin bends on the journey to the Plateau and approximately 15 steps at the entrance to the Monastery. The Monastery does not allow flash photography and guests are advised to dress conservatively. Shorts are not permitted and women must cover their shoulders and knees. Please note we cannot guarantee wildlife sightings.

    Tour code

    HER_011

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Aghios Nikolaos On Your Own

    Simply chill out on the beach or explore the cosmopolitan charms of Aghios Nikolaos.

    Aghios Nikolaos On Your Own

    Hop aboard your coach for a scenic drive along the coast to Aghios Nikolaos, undoubtedly the most picturesque harbour in Crete. >br>
    Upon arrival, you’ll have approximately 3-3½ hours of free time to explore. The heart of the town is set around the famous Voulismeni Lake, and the pretty pedestrianised harbour is lined with colourful boutiques, tavernas and cafés. This beautiful harbour town also boasts a wealth of culture, housing the Archaeological and Folklore Museums. >br>
    If you wish to take things at a slower pace, Kitroplatia beach is close by, which have been awarded the blue flag standard.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This tour is unguided and does not include luncheon or refreshments. Please carry local currency (euros). The transfer time is approximately one hour each way. Please make a note of the return time and meeting point, as coaches cannot be held for latecomers. Please remember swimwear, a towel and sunscreen if wishing to swim. Please note that Aghios Nikolaos is a seasonal resort and some shops and venues may be closed during the winter period from November until April.

    Tour code

    HER_014

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • Heraklion Beach Break

    Enjoy some rest, relaxation and a dip in the cooling Grecian waters.

    Heraklion Beach Break

    Hop aboard, for a short transfer to one of Crete’s famous sandy beaches.

    Enjoy around three hours at the beach, in an area known as Kokkini Hani. Here, you can soak up the sun and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Southern Aegean Sea.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by coach. Please note that that the actual beach area is dependent on the time of year. Walking is at the discretion of the guest; however there may be steps to negotiate. Guests are required to bring a towel, sun protection and plenty of drinking water. Please note that sun beds and umbrellas are available to hire locally, but these cannot be guaranteed, as this is one of the island’s most popular beaches and it can become very crowded during the peak season. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports, these are provided by parties unconnected to Cunard.

    Tour code

    HER_012

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    4 hours