How not to eat badly in Venice

There’s a saying that if you eat badly in Italy you must be in Venice. Being something of a foodie myself, on my long weekend in Venice, I was determined to search out the best of Venetian food. I’m afraid to report, however, that my food experiences ranged from the average to the mediocre. Since Venice is such a tourist hotspot, and so many of the visitors are there for such a short time, it is all too easy for many businesses not to try too hard. Still with a little research and planning I think that you can find the best that Venice has to offer, so here are my tips to ensure that you don’t eat too badly in Venice.

Get well away from San Marco

The San Marco district and especially the area around St Mark’s Square is the tourist hub of Venice and is always packed with visitors. Many come for the day from a cruise ship or coach tour and just have time for the tick list sights of the Doge’s palace, San Marco Cathedral, climb the campenile and then a quick gondola tour or foray to the Rialto Bridge. I’m not saying it’s not possible to find a good restaurant in this area, but you are just as likely to stumble into one with a multi-lingual menu designed to service tourists only.

Seafood Pasta in Venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Seafood Pasta in Venice

Better to venture into the less touristy districts such as Cannaregio, Arsenale or Dorsoduro where you will find more authentic wine bars and restaurants. The area around the Rialto market is good and has a number of good bacari (wine bars) plus it’s a feast for the eyes. Arrive in the morning when the fish is on sale to see the market in full flow; by lunchtime the market is winding down and stalls are packing up, although the fruit and veg stalls will be there for a little longer.

Linguine alle Vongole in Venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Linguine alle Vongole in Venice

What to eat in Venice

If you’re not sure what to order we found that it was difficult to go wrong with a seafood pasta or pizza. It’s not terribly adventurous but tends to be the least expensive things on the menu if you’re on a budget. Local specialities to look out for are linguine alle vongole, the hot antipasti of mussels and clams and a risotto with black squid ink. The meat dishes that we eat at home such as lasagne and ravioli we found were disappointing.

If you are offered fresh fish, it may be priced by weight and you should take care to establish the cost in advance or you may find yourself landed with an unexpectedly large bill. This is a bit of a scam in the San Marco tourist restaurants where a big show is made of a whole fish cooked in salt which you discover later has a hefty price tag.

Pizza in Venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Pizza in Venice

Other things to check are the cover charge which may add a few euros per person and a service charge which may be added on to the bill. Of course if you’d like to have that coffee at Florian in St Mark’s Square while listening to the musicians, you should do so knowing that it has a tourist price tag (the prices are clearly shown on the menu outside). Venice is a great place to try local Italian wines by the glass in a side-street wine bar and in the early evening you can join the locals in a bright orange Aperol Spritz, a Bellini or a glass of Prosecco.

Try the cicchetti or bar snacks in Venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Try the cicchetti or bar snacks in Venice

Eat standing up

A custom that takes us Brits by surprise, but is quite the done thing, is to stand up or perch on a bar stool while having a drink and a snack with friends. Don’t be put off in the wine bars if there are only a few small tables and you have to rest your drink on a shelf along the wall. This is where you can order cicchetti, or small bar snacks which range from miniature sandwiches to dishes of salad and cold seafood. The ideas is to order a glass of wine and point at whatever dish looks tempting, then stay for another or move on to the next bar.

Artizan gelato in Venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Artizan gelato in Venice

The stand up principle also applies to gelateria. Look for those that are artizan, which indicates the gelato is made on the premises, where you will often find a few small tables or stool to sit inside. The same stand-up approach can also apply at the Pasticceria where you can grab a coffee at the bar with a sweet pastry or cake. Generally eating or drinking standing up means that the price is cheaper since table service is not required.

Eat Venice food app

Before I visited Venice I downloaded the Eat Venice app onto my phone in the hope that I could find some more authentic places to eat. The app is by Elizabeth Minchelli whose blog about Italian food is also a great source of information about eating in Venice. I loved reading about all the great places to eat on this app but found that once we were there we invariably couldn’t find them or were too hungry to hunt around.

It’s certainly worth using the app to find out good food places in your neighbourhood, but don’t get too worried if you don’t find them, it’s better to use your eyes to judge whether a place looks authentic. If it’s busy, packed, full of Italians chatting with their friends, then it’s worth waiting for a table.

Rialto market in venice Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Rialto market in venice

Self catering in Venice

While there are plenty of apartments in Venice and indeed we stayed in one of them, although it seems to be a bit sad to always be eating in when you are in the midst of a living postcard. There are a few supermarkets in Venice but not really the convenience stores that you find in other cities. The culture is to eat out in a bar or restaurant and picnics are discouraged, in fact there seems to be a rule that they are not allowed. Still an apartment does mean you have the flexibility to make yourself the breakfast or lunch that you want, while perhaps eating out in the evening.

Food Tours in Venice

Another great way to get the feel of the local food culture is to take a food tour like the Rialto Market and Cicchetti wine bar tour with Walks of Italy. This tour takes you around the Rialto fish market and into the artizan food shops with a stop at three different local bars to taste the cicchetti as well as restaurant recommendations from the local guide. I wish that we had been able to take this tour as I feel sure that our food experience in Venice would have been improved had we been armed with some insider knowledge.

Some more Venice recommendations

The Go with Oh apartment we stayed in was one that I won through Murissa’s blog at The Wanderful Traveller in the Passports with Purpose fundraiser. Murissa knows Venice well and kindly made me some recommendations of where to eat in Venice;

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
If you don’t mind your kids drinking a bit of prossecco and toasting to what an amazing city you’ve all traveled to then head up to the top of this hotel. There is a bar that has a picturesque pool and overlooks the entire city of Venice. Take the Zattere water bus stop over to Stucky.

Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti
You’ll find this recommendation in your Eat Venice app. Delicious and not too pricey food in a quaint location not far from where we stayed. http://www.enotecaartisti.com

Al Mercà (Rialto market area)
One of my favourite cicchetti bars – cheap and amazing sandwiches (the prosciutto is my favourite!), delicious prossecco, and a view of the hustle of the market/canal. Standing room only.

All’Arco (Rialto market area)
Family run cicchetti bar where you can eat local foods for very cheap. Cicchetti are Venetian snacks for cheap and have been served for hundreds of years. I personally love the deep fried mozzarella with fresh sardines but stuffed zucchinni flowers are divine as well. Good for lunch – mostly standing room only when you visit cicchetti bars.

Do Spade (Rialto Market area)
Where Casanova frequented in the mid 1700s. Delicious cicchetti, wine and beer. Locals and tourists alike. Just go up to the counter order and find a spot. Not far from the Rialto Bridge/Market.

Book a tour of Venice

We highly recommend Walks of Italy who offer a number of different tours in  Venice and other parts of Italy, which are ideal if you are only visiting for a short time. You’ll have an expert local guide to show you around and can often skip the queues at key sites. We took the 2 hour Venice Boat Tour which took us down the Grand Canal and many of the smaller canals with views of the key sites of Venice including a visit to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore where we climbed the bell tower with amazing views of Venice. Read my review of the Walks of Italy Boat Tour here.

Where to stay in Venice

For our 3 day stay in Venice I rented an apartment with Go with Oh and was able to use the €250 voucher that I won with Passports with Purpose blogger fundraiser. We chose this apartment in the San Marco district since it was so well located for all the main sites.

Thanks to Murissa from The Wonderful Traveller who hosted this prize contributed by Go with Oh and and for her tips on what to see in Venice. Passports with Purpose is a really worthwhile organisation which supports a different cause each year and you can win some really fabulous prizes so it’s definitely participating.

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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Istanbul the golden – final stop on our Azamara Greece and Turkey Cruise

I’m slowly sailing past the Golden Horn at sunrise, listening to the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. The Blue Mosque of Istanbul emerges from the early morning haze against a back drop of what has, and will always be, one of the most important cities in the world. As Napoleon said, “If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.”

Passing the Golden Horn Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Passing the Golden Horn

Even at this hour we are not alone. Behind and in front of Azamara Journey are many other cargo ships of various sizes transiting the straits, as we arrive at the cross-roads of Europe by sea. Built on two continents, Europe and Asia, located on the shores of the Bosphorus, Istanbul stands where the waters of the Black Sea meet those of the Sea of Marmara at the Golden Horn. Near the tip of the old-town peninsula is the compact district of Sultanahmet which is home to many of the city’s most famous sites.

Heather and Guy on the Asian side in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather and Guy on the Asian side in Istanbul

For first-time visitors the city appears to be an enormous metropolis but we found that the main tourist sites of Istanbul were manageable for our final day’s cruise stop with Azamara Club Cruises. Our ship, Amazara Journey, docked right in the heart of town, close to the Galata bridge and the Golden Horn. As we had only a day we decided to focus on the compact Sultanahemet district taking one of Azamara’s Land Discovery tours.

Ferries in near the Galata bridge in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Ferries in near the Galata bridge in Istanbul

Most people know that Istanbul was originally called Constantinople, named after the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great who chose it as his capital. After the Romans came the Byzantine Empire and from the 15th century the Ottoman Empire took over, ruling through the end of World War I. Given the geography and history it is hardly surprising that modern Istanbul is a melting pot of ideas and cultures; a cosmopolitan and exciting world city.

We boarded our mini-bus for a panoramic tour over one of the major bridges to what the Turks call “the other side”, technically Asia. Despite the traffic and commuting time, this is a popular place to live since it is calmer than the European side where most of the businesses are located. Returning to the European side our first stop was the Spice Market near the Galata Bridge.

The Spice Market in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Spice Market in Istanbul

The Spice Market in Istanbul

The Spice Market was built in the 17th century and houses merchants dealing in spices, herbs, medicinal plants, vegetables, meat and fish. Tourists and locals mingle, with the smell of spices wafting enticingly throughout the area. We were offered samples of Turkish delight and pomegranate tea and whilst the salesmen were smooth tongued we were genuinely welcomed. Of course we bought some Turkish delight and Iranian saffron, then continued to walk around looking at the fresh fish stalls and the fruit and veg market.

For a foodie like me it was a real pleasure and I could have spent many hours tasting anything from walnuts through to caviar, fresh apricots, soft cheeses, spicy sausages. We found the Spice Market less intimidating than the Grand Bazaar, although you need to understand that it is fine to walk away if you find the salesmen too intense.

Fish on sale in the Spice Market Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Fish on sale in the Spice Market Istanbul

Lunch at Hamdi restaurant

Somewhat reluctantly we left the Spice Market to walk across the square to Hamdi restaurant where we had a table booked on the top floor. By now it was very hot and humid, so the air-conditioned dining room was a welcome retreat. It also provided a stunning panoramic view towards the Bosporus and the endless river traffic as well as the domes and minarets of the nearby New Mosque.

View of the Spice Market from Hamdi restaurant Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View of the Spice Market from Hamdi restaurant

Lunch was delicious and we tried kebabs of finely minced lamb and beef with pistachios and spicy chicken served with yoghurt. As mezes we had hummus, pinto beans and vine leaf dolma and a sweet taste of baklava followed by strong, sweet Turkish coffee.

The restaurant was packed with professionals taking lunch, discerning tourists and Turkish families out for a treat. Mr Hamdi started as a street vendor and I can fully understand why he now has a restaurant covering four floors and serving the same simple dishes using local fresh ingredients, both delicious and beautifully presented.

Hamdi restaurant in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hamdi restaurant in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

After lunch we were back on our air-conditioned coach for our visit to Hagia Sophia, known as the greatest house of worship in the Christian and Muslim worlds. This is the Church of Constantinople built by the Emperor Justinian in A.D. 537 on the grandest scale possible – the dome alone has a span of 56 m! Since the Emperor was in a hurry, the church took just five years to build and if you ask how they did it, the legend is that it was built by angels.

Inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia served as a church for nearly a millennium and for 1000 years it was the greatest dome in the world surpassed only by the renaissance cathedral in Florence. The day the Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 the building was converted into a mosque. Fortunately, they left much of the fine mosaic work, save plastering over the faces of the icons, since Muslims do not allow pictorial representations of the prophets.

Mosaics inside Hagia Sophie, Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Mosaics inside Hagia Sophie, Istanbul

Kemal Attaturk, the founder of modern Turkey had the sense to convert the building into a museum in 1935, since it was such an important site for both Christians and Muslims. Whilst there was much to see, the images that left the greatest impact on me were the colourful mosaics of Mary and the Christ child. Above where the altar once stood were two enormous wooden medallions, one with the Arabic lettering for Allah on the right and the other of the Prophet Mohammed on the left. Given the current conflict between the Muslim and Christian world it is humbling to see three of the most important figures in world religion venerated in one place.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Next on our tour was The Grand Bazaar, the “Mall of all Malls” with 4000 stores as opposed to the 150 in the Spice Market. The Bazaar was the centre for trade for the entire Ottoman Empire and remained Turkey’s commercial hub right up until the 1950s. The enormous covered market is bursting with everything you can imagine from jewellery (especially gold), to silks, copperware, spices, ceramics, leather goods and plenty of tourist tat. About 80% of the visitors nowadays are tourists and it is probably not the place to get the best bargains, although certainly an unmissable experience.

Painted bowls in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Painted bowls in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

We were looking for some hand painted Turkish bowls and we expected to have to haggle hard. However I was delighted to meet a lovely gentleman who’d had the shop for 40 years who not only allowed me to taste his tea but also immediately accepted our offer of four for the price of three. Our purchases were quickly bubble wrapped and we left the best of friends. While you have to visit the Grand Bazaar, I preferred the Spice Market for a less intimidating experience.

So what did we learn from our day’s cruise stop in Istanbul? Firstly, you should do your research if you only have a limited amount of time since there is so much to see, more than you could possibly cover in a day. Secondly it is worth taking one of the Land Discoveries with an air conditioned bus and guide since Istanbul is just too busy and you will waste too much time if you don’t. Thirdly you have to have an open mind. For example I enjoyed seeing headscarfed ladies, arms around the waists of their husbands doing their shopping. Everyone I spoke to was incredibly helpful and I didn’t feel intimidated at all. Of course one day in Istanbul is just not enough. Many of the other cruise passengers had decided to stay on after the cruise for three or four days and of that I was very envious.

View of Istanbul near the Galata Bridge Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View of Istanbul near the Galata Bridge

Listening to the fifth and final call to prayer as the sun sets I observe three young modern Turkish women, smart phones in hand, enjoying a chat in the evening sunshine. I can’t help but think that Napoleon had it right all those years ago. Istanbul could easily be the capital of the world.

Thanks to Guy for sharing his impressions of Istanbul. Guy occasionally writes for the blog, and is always happy to be Heather’s travelling companion, photographer and bag carrier!

About Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises is a small luxury cruise line with two ships; Azamara Journey that Heather and Guy sailed on and Azamara Quest, each with a capacity of 686 guests. The smaller ship size means you often visit destinations that larger ships can’t get into and the ships can dock in more central locations. The emphasis is on destination immersion; enjoying the destination to the full, arriving early and sailing late so that guests can enjoy nights and cool places ashore, with insider access programmes and a unique AzAmazing evening included in each cruise. No itinerary is the repeated and each year the ships visit different destinations around the world. Azamara is part of Royal Caribbean Cruise group. Visit the Azamara Club Cruises website more information about a Mediterranean luxury cruise like the one Heather and Guy enjoyed.

You can also connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Social Media via:
Azamara blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest | YouTube | Flickr

Joining your Azamara Club Cruise

Heather and Guy flew from London Heathrow to Athens and back from Istanbul using British Airways, although obviously each cruise is different in the best way to get there.

Heather used the Meet and Greet Parking Service booked through Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who offer airport parking at a range of airports across the UK as well as travel extras such as airport lounge booking and airport hotel stays.

Both flights and transfers from the airport to your cruise ship can be arranged through Azamara Club Cruises.

Thanks to Azamara Club Cruises who hosted Heather and Guy for their 7 day Greek Island Cruise and to Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who provided their airport parking at Heathrow.

Read More about our Azamara Greece Island Cruise

Sailing into Santorini – Day 1 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Windy Mykonos – Day 2 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Charming Patmos – day 3 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Visiting Kusadasi and Ephesus – Day 4 of our Azamara Greece and Turkey Cruise

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Read about our day in Istanbul with Azamara Club Cruises

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Charming Patmos – Day 3 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

After braving the crowds on Santorini and Mykonos it was a relief to arrive at the quiet and charming Greek island of Patmos on Day 3 of our Azamara Cruise. Because the island has no airport, the ravages of mass tourism have passed it by and most visitors come in on the ferry from Athens or via the nearby islands of Kos and Samos.

View of Azamara Journey on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View of Azamara Journey on Patmos, Greece

On Patmos we tried one of the Insider Access tours that are offered by Azamara Club Cruises which give insights that are a bit more unusual than the typical tourist sights. With our guide Carolyn we took the coach up the hill to the village of Chora, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, perched on the hill around the St John’s Monastery. On the way we heard a bit about the history of Patmos which is a site of pilgrimage for Christians, since it was here that St John the Evangelist was exiled from Ephesus and lived for 18 months, during which he wrote the Book of Revelations. In recent years, island has become popular with wealthy Europeans and celebrities who value the quiet and seclusion of the island and have been buying up the old houses of Chora.

Convent of Evangelismos on Patmos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Convent of Evangelismos on Patmos

Visiting the convent of Evangelismos

The monastery of St John was built in the 11th century and on the hillside below there is a much visited cave which is thought to be where St John went to pray and meditate and perhaps write the Book of Revelations which he dictated to his scribe Prochorus. We visited the nearby Convent of Evangelismos or Annunciation, where the Sunday service had just finished as we arrived and the congregation were enjoying a coffee after the service.

Convent of Evangelinos on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Convent of Evangelinos on Patmos, Greece

The convent is a community of 40 Greek Orthodox nuns who offer religious retreats, grow their own food in the gardens and carry out their other duties of religious work and prayer. We took a walk around the vegetable gardens with fruit trees of pomegramates, figs, lemons and other fruits which are made into the ‘sweet spoon’ preserves that the Greeks offer to guests with coffee. In the gardens we saw the beehives for honey and wax candles and in the gift shop were examples of the ‘Spitha’ or Spark embroidery made by the nuns, with stitches so fine that they are like tiny sparks.

View of the Convent of Evangelismos on Patmos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View of the Convent of Evangelismos on Patmos

Although the small church looked old and was filled with beautiful icons and frescos it was actually built in the last 10 years to replace a smaller chapel built in the 1930s which in turn had been build on the site of the original monastery founded in the 1600s. We saw a few nuns, dressed in their long black robes, going about their business and chatting with the congregation. One of the sisters came with us to see the church but seemed happy to stay in the background and let our guide, Caroyn do the talking. When told that were were journalists who would write about the convent she was distinctly unimpressed. “It doesn’t matter”, she said ” we depend on God not man”. The frescos and icons inside the church had been created by one of the nuns who was a skilled painter, although unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the church.

Dressing modestly for visiting a Greek monastery or convent

If you visit a Greek orthodox monastery or convent you need to dress modestly;

  • Men should wear long trousers with shirts that cover their shoulders and no hats inside the church.
  • For ladies shoulders and knees should be covered. In the strictest places such as the convent skirts must be worn but in other places trousers are allowed.
  • If you are not suitably dressed, usually wraps or shawls are provided outside the church to cover bare legs and shoulders.
  • The nuns do not wish to be photographed and so you should not point the camera in their direction.
House of Morfousa Simandiri on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

House of Morfousa Simandiri on Patmos, Greece

Visiting a traditional house on Patmos

After our visit to the convent we made made the short drive back to Chora and walked through the narrow streets to visit a local house. The village was built between 1500 and 1800 when many seafarers and merchants settled on the island from Crete and Asia Minor and built fine mansions here. These are now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site and behind the high walls and small windows are surprisingly large houses and gardens that you don’t see from the street.

House of Morfousa Simandiri on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

House of Morfousa Simandiri on Patmos, Greece

The island was subject to pirate attacks in the past, so the high walls and small windows were there for protection. When a pirate ship was spotted in the bay, the house owners would cross the interconnecting flat roofs to make their way to the protection of the monastery of St John.

The house that we visited was owned by a lively lady aged 92 called Morfousa Simandiri whose family had owned the house for eight generations. There was a portrait on the wall of her ancestor, a wealthy merchant who had built the house, with many beautiful antiques, paintings and lace on display as we walked through the rooms of the house.

Heather and Guy on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather and Guy on Patmos, Greece

After our walk around the streets of Chora we returned for lunch at a nearby restaurant with a fantastic view from the terrace, overlooking the bay where we could see Azamara Journey. Here we were able to try many of the tasty Greek specialities such as small stuffed pastries, Greek salad and the local fava bean hummus.

Fava Bean at the Cafe on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Fava Bean at the Cafe on Patmos, Greece

After our tour we were dropped off in the harbour and wandered around the streets of Skala, the main harbour town of Patmos. The town had a charming, relaxed air that was a world away from the crowds and commercialism we had experienced on Santorini and Mykonos. Since there is no airport on the island, most visitors have to take a long ferry ride from Athens or a flight to one of the neighbouring islands of Kos and Samos and then a ferry from there.

Shopping on Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Shopping on Patmos, Greece

It was interesting to compare the distinctive architecture of each of the Greek islands we had visited on our Azamara cruise. The houses on Patmos had patterned white plasterwork that followed the lines of the stones underneath, often with natural stone corners and window facings and paintwork of washed blue compared to the intense turquoise of Santorini. Since it was Sunday afternoon, I imagine that everyone was home having a siesta and we walked along the harbour to have a sit and a swim on the town beach.

Boats in the Harbour of Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Boats in the Harbour of Patmos, Greece

Returning by tender on board the Azamara Journey we relaxed and changed ready for the White Night dinner which is a tradition each cruise and the closest that the relaxed Azamara Cruise gets to a formal night. The tables were set out around the pool area and guests dressed mainly in white enjoyed their dinner in the warm night air.

White Night Party on Board Azamara Journey Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

White Night Party on Board Azamara Journey

We were entertained by the Azamara singers and dancers as the sun set over Patmos, a lovely end to a relaxing day and the end of the Greek island portion of our cruise, as tomorrow we head to the Turkish port of Kusadasi.

Sunset Over Patmos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Sunset Over Patmos, Greece

About Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises is a small luxury cruise line with two ships; Azamara Journey that Heather and Guy sailed on and Azamara Quest, each with a capacity of 686 guests. The smaller ship size means you often visit destinations that larger ships can’t get into and the ships can dock in more central locations. The emphasis is on destination immersion; enjoying the destination to the full, arriving early and sailing late so that guests can enjoy nights and cool places ashore, with insider access programmes and a unique AzAmazing evening included in each cruise. No itinerary is the repeated and each year the ships visit different destinations around the world. Azamara is part of Royal Caribbean Cruise group. Visit the Azamara Club Cruises website more information about a Mediterranean luxury cruise like the one Heather and Guy enjoyed.

You can also connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Social Media via:
Azamara blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest | YouTube | Flickr

Joining your Azamara Club Cruise

Heather and Guy flew from London Heathrow to Athens and back from Istanbul using British Airways, although obviously each cruise is different in the best way to get there.

Heather used the Meet and Greet Parking Service booked through Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who offer airport parking at a range of airports across the UK as well as travel extras such as airport lounge booking and airport hotel stays.

Both flights and transfers from the airport to your cruise ship can be arranged through Azamara Cruises.

Thanks to Azamara Club Cruises who hosted Heather and Guy for their 7 day Greek Island Cruise and to Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who provided their airport parking at Heathrow.

Read More about our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

Sailing into Santorini – Day 1 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Windy Mykonos – Day 2 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Visiting Kusadasi and Ephesus – Day 4 of our Azamara Greece and Turkey Cruise
Istanbul the golden – final stop on our Azamara Greece and Turkey Cruise

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Pinterest Patmos Flower view

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

Click to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, news and reader offers

HOHT newsletter

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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