Another port we will be visiting on the Mediterranean Cruise next April is Crete.

One of the beauties of a European Cruise is you can create your own theme. For instance history buffs can choose only excursions that involve, well, history! Those into wine and good food can visit wineries (there’s a winery in a Monastery in Crete). People of faith can see where Jesus walked or in the case of this cruise, the Apostle Paul. Or you can just play and spend the day on the beach or shopping.

Souda, the port we will come into in Crete is one I don’t think you need to book an excursion for unless you are following your theme.

When you get off the ship that morning there will be tents set up with free Greek pastries and juices and you will be able to buy a bus ticket for 3 Euros round trip to Chania. The buses fill up and leave every 5-10 minutes.

Chania is unreservedly Crete’s most evocative city. Its beautiful Venetian quarter is a web of atmospheric streets that tumble onto a magnificent harbor. Restored Venetian townhouses have been converted into chic restaurants and boutique hotels, while ruins house stunning tavernas. The prominent former mosque on the harbor and other remnants of the city’s Turkish rulers add to Chania’s exotic charm. Chania has a lively tradition of artisanship and boasts some of the island’s finest restaurants.

The bus will drop you in OldTown at the market and you can spend as much time as you like shopping and exploring the colorful town, most likely taking hundreds of pictures.

Skridloff (Leather Street) is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Chania and features a large selection of leather goods and souvenirs.

From there you can walk to the harbor which is full of bars and restaurants and also has plenty to do. You can ride around in a horse and cart, go on pirate ships, glass bottom boats; the harbor itself is like a little town with loads of quirky shops down the side streets. There is also a cooperative for Cretan artists, where they have thousands of paintings at more than reasonable prices. If you have time after that you can even walk to a beach from there before catching the bus back to the ship.

Have I tempted you yet? We’ve still got cabins available, but this ship will sell out and the airfare will go up, so don’t wait too long!

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Nancy Geiger