Owned by Greek company Variety Cruises, this 49-passenger sailing ship — launched in 1992 and rebuilt in 2007 — is an attractive older vessel with three towering masts. The crew hoists the sails now and then, but it’s only for show — the ship is actually propelled by a motor. A 2016 refurbishment refreshed public spaces and cabins, which are clad in dark wood and traditional décor.
The ship cruises exclusively to the Greek islands and Peloponnese, taking you to big hits like Mykonos and Santorini, as well as lesser-visited islands mega ships can't reach, such as Folegandros and Syros. You'll learn about ancient civilizations from local guides, take morning swims from the ship's diving platform, and soak up the Mediterranean sun while island-hopping around the Cyclades.
What We Love
The friendliness: M/S Galileo's compact design (with only one lounge and dining room, plus a small outdoor bar and a sundeck) means everyone gets to know each other quickly.
Casual atmosphere: Dining is not a formal affair. Sit where and with whom you want and come as you are. Even in the evening, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable.
Swimming platform: Depending on the weather, you can dive right off the back of the ship's swimming platform and use snorkeling gear on request.
Best Known For
Going Greek: M/S Galileo sails around the Greek islands in summer and circumnavigates the Peloponnese, with a transit of the Corinth Canal, in spring and autumn. The ship stays late in port — and sometimes overnights — so passengers can go ashore after dark.
Local expertise: Variety Cruises uses Greek guides with sound knowledge of local history and attractions — and the best times to visit to avoid the crowds. There is usually one guided tour offered per port, though it's not included in your fare.
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Who It's Best For
Laid-back cruisers: If you want to avoid traditions such as formal night and set dining, this intimate ship is a good choice, and appeals to a wide range of ages (but note: the line doesn't advise bringing children under 11).
Europhiles: The onboard currency is Euros, and the passenger list is usually a mix of Europeans and Americans.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Restless nights: The engine is really noisy — so sleeping may not be easy (especially on bed linen and mattresses have seen better days). Luckily, most itineraries avoid much night navigation.
Cabins are tight: The ship's 25 ensuite cabins are compact and have minimal storage. The lowest grade rooms are accessed via stairs from the lounge, and the higher-grade ones open up to the promenade deck.