The Real Deal: A round-trip sail from Athens to Poros, Poligeos, Folegandros, Santorini, Antiparos, Paros, Mykonos, Syros and Kythnos; seven nights in a category B cabin aboard Variety Cruises' 49-passenger Galileo motor sailer; half-board accommodations, including a welcome cocktail, buffet breakfast, one main meal daily, coffee, tea and water; two nights' at the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel; a half-day sightseeing tour in Athens; use of fishing and snorkeling equipment; and the services of multilingual cruise escorts; from $1,490 per person — plus port charges of $180.
When: April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 22, 29, 2010 (a $400 per person discount applies for these dates); add $310 for May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, Jul. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27, Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15 (a $300 per person discount applies for these dates).
The fine print: The starting rate of $1,490 reflects a $400 discount off the typical price and also includes a complimentary two-night hotel stay in Athens. Port charges are an additional $180 per person. Airport-marina transfers are $83 per taxi ride each way. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $765. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: Feb. 1, 2010.
Contact: Variety Cruises, 800/319-7776, varietycruises.com.
Why it's a deal: The Variety Cruises' Jewels of the Cyclades special brings a seven-night sail in a category B cabin, which normally costs $1,890 per person, down to $1,490. That's $40 less than the cost of accommodations in a lower-grade category C cabin, which starts at $1,530 per person. Plus, you get a free stay for two nights at a hotel in Athens.
More: Upgrade to seven nights in a category A cabin for an additional $540 per person. Additional nights start at $190 per room per night at the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel. Optional shore excursions include a guided tour of Santorini's Oia village with a wine tasting and a visit to the Fira museum ($85 per person); a tour of the Parikia, Lefkes, and Naoussa villages on Paros ($55 per person); and a guided tour of archeological sites on Delos ($70 per person).