On Tuesday, Reunion Cruise guests onboard Marina sailed for the Greek Isles, beginning with the lovely island of Corfu. This beautiful green island is covered in olive and cypress trees and blooming with deliciously sweet strawberries and kumquats. The charming old town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but there are also many other interesting sights to explore in the mountains of this lush peninsula, such as the Achilleion Palace.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who was known as Sissi, fell in love with Greek culture and in 1890 commissioned a summer palace to be built on Corfu. The art and architecture honored the Greek gods with which she was so fascinated, in particular the god Achilles.
The famous sculpture, Achilles Dying, is the centerpiece of the lovely gardens surrounding the palace.
As Blogger-at-Large, I was privileged to explore Corfu with an Oceania Cruises excursion specially designed for the Reunion Cruise. Not only did we enjoy a drive through the old town and a tour of the Achilleion Palace, but we were also treated to an authentic Greek lunch at a gorgeous private residence, Villa Rosa.
The estate was aptly named, for the gardens were filled with myriad varieties of enormous rose blooms, as well as numerous other beautiful blossoms. Our lunch was held in this lovely garden setting overlooking the sea.
Our host (pictured above left) prepared moussaka, souvlaki, tzatziki and an impressive assortment of other delectable Greek specialties. She was even kind enough to share some of her recipes!
We were entertained with Greek music and dancing during our visit.
Guests were invited to learn a traditional Greek dance. We discovered several talented dancers in our group, including Oceania Cruises VP of Sales Jeff Drew (second from left).
Oceania Cruises Manager of Loyalty Marketing Nick DeSantis planned this fabulous excursion that we all so enjoyed. If you have the opportunity to sail on a Reunion Cruise in the future, be sure to check out the Reunion Cruise Excursions, as they promise to highlight the most interesting local sights, a taste of local culture, and quite often a delicious meal of authentic local cuisine.