Mediterranean / Eastern Aegean Luxury Cruises

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AEGEAN SEA [Aegean Sea] Gr. Aigaion Pelagos, Turkish Ege Denizi, arm of the Mediterranean Sea, c.400 mi (640 km) long and 200 mi (320 km) wide, off SE Europe between Greece and Turkey; Crete and Rhodes mark its southern limit. Irregular in shape, it is dotted with islands, most of which belong to Greece; they include vvoia , the Sporades , the Cyclades , Smos , Khos , Lesbos , Thsos , and the Dodecanese . The Aegean Sea's greatest depths (more than 11,600 ft/3,540 m) are found E of Crete. The Dardanelles strait connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Sardines and sponges taken from the Aegean are economically important. There has been considerable tension between Greece and Turkey since the 1970s over oil deposits and mineral rights in the Aegean. The name Aegean has been variously derived from Aegae, a city of vvoia; from Aegeus, father of Theseus, who drowned himself in the sea believing his son had been slain by the Minotaur; and from Aegea, an Amazon queen who drowned in it. The sea's ancient name, Archipelago, now applies to its islands and, generally, to any island group.
Greece is located in southern Europe and is a member state of the European Union. It has a population 10,900,000 and is divided administratively into 14 districts. The system of government is a Presidential Democracy and its currency is the Euro.
Citizens of the European Union traveling to and from countries that observe the Schengen Treaty (Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal) no longer require passport identification and are not subject to currency restrictions. American and Canadian citizens can visit and stay in Greece up to 3 months without a visa. Those wishing to stay longer need to get in touch with their embassy. Citizens of other countries, require a visa before entering Greece. The transportation of explosives and narcotics is prohibited. If you are carrying drugs for medical reasons, then an accompanying referral from your doctor or hospital is required. Crystal, Oceania, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea and Sea Dream all offer Mediterranean / Eastern Aegean Luxury Cruises.
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If visiting Greece in the summer, you will need light clothing, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. Your first days in the sun will require a sunscreen with a high SPF. Those traveling to the islands may need a windcheater or a pullover for the evenings.
Bringing your pet?
Make sure your pet has had all its shots and a clean bill of health, that is, a health certificate issued by the country you plan to visit. For dogs, this certificate should be valid for 12 months, and for cats up to 6 months, but not less than 7 days, otherwise your pet will not be allowed into the country.
Currency
The currency of Greece is the Euro.
Foreign currency can be converted at all the major banks and at central locations in all cities. Trading hours of the banks is from 8am to 2pm, Monday to Friday. ATMs are found at all banks and service all your electronic transactions.
If you lose your credit card you can contact the following:
American Express Tel.: 210 3244975
Access: Tel.: 210 9503673
Citicard (Citibank) Tel.: 210 9290000
Diners Tel.: 210 9290200
Mastercard / Eurocard Tel.: 210 9503673
Visa Tel.: 210 9503673
International Press
There are 2 English language newspapers: Athens News (Weekly on Friday) and The International Herald Tribune (issued daily by the newspaper 'Kathimerini') You can find a wide selection of international press at the Foreign Press Kiosks located at central locations around Athens and most tourist regions.
English language news broadcasts
Flash 96.0 FM
ER? 91.6 , 93.6 ,105.8 FM
National Holidays
New Years Day 1 January
Epiphany 6 January
Lent Monday 41 days before Easter Sunday
National Independence Day 25 March
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
May Day 1 May
Dormition of the Virgin Mother 15 August
Greek National Day 28 October
Christmas 25-26 December
Trading Hours
Winter Trading Hours
Monday - Wednesday - Saturday 09:00 - 14:30
Tuesday - Thursday - Friday 09:00 - 14:30 and 17:00 - 20:30
Supermarkets
Monday - Wednesday - Saturday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday - Thursday - Friday 09:00 - 20:30
Summer Trading hours + 30"
Tourist Regions 09:00 - 23:00 daily
Health
Public Hospitals, Private Clinics, and Medical First Aid are available in Athens and all major cities and country towns. European Union citizens have free emergency medical attention.
First Aid
Police Tel. 100
Fire Brigade Tel. 191
Tourist Police tel. 171
Thessalonika Tourist Police Tel. 2310 - 554871
Emergency
Ambulance Tel. 166
On Duty hospitals Tel. 106
Blood Bank Tel. 210 - 8219391
Poisons Centre tel. 210 - 7793777
Chemists Tel. 107 & 102
Road Service
ELPA Tel. 10500
EXPRESS SERVICE Tel. 154
INTERAMERICAN Road Service Tel. 168
Telecommunication
All telecommunication is digital and accessed with a 10-digit number. Telephone booths exist everywhere including roadside and can be used with a phonecard purchased from the kiosks. Phonecards cost 3 - 10 euros.
Mobile Phones
There are four major mobile phone companies with a range covering all Greece: COSMOTE, VODAFON, TELESTET, Q Telecom. You can access each company according to the plan you are on.
Internet
The extension for Greek web pages is .gr
Voltage
The voltage used in Greece is 220 V AC (50 Hz). If coming from North America and bringing appliances then you will need a transformer. If coming from Great Britain you will need an adaptor.
Time
Greek time is 2 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 1 hour ahead of CET (Central European Time) and 7 hours ahead of EST (Eastern Standard Time).
Drinking Water
Tap water is sufficient and drinkable. Greek bottled water is available with exceptional quality water. Each label is marked with the highest price it is allowed to retail for.
Climate
Greeces climate is Mediterranean, which means four distinct seasons each year. Temperature is recorded in degrees Celsius and averages in the summer are 20 38 C (65 - 100 F) and in the winter are 8 - 15 C (46 - 58 F). In the mountainous regions and the islands, the temperature is 3 C (6 F) lower.

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