from just £799 per person.

About Heraklion

The proud city of Heraklion is the modern capital of Crete, largest and most ruggedly beautiful of the Greek Isles.

Just along the coast, you'll find the scrupulously renovated remains of Knossos, the Palace of King Minos and the island's capital under the Minoans. Here, the endless maze of salons, staircases and courtyards gave rise to the legend of the Labyrinth, housing the evil Minotaur at its heart. See the legend come vividly to life!


Shore excursions in Heraklion

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.

Knossos - The Minoan Miracle

Activity highShopping

Duration: 4 hours

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

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.

Essential information

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 1 euro for use of the toilet facilities may be implemented at Knossos, which is payable locally.

The Best of Crete

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 7½ hours

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

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 1 hour to explore for souvenirs of your visit. A typical Greek lunch 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.

Essential information

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.


A selection of cruises to Heraklion

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