Not only was my recent cruise aboard the Sky Princess a chance to discover the amazing features and design of the ultra-modern ship, but also to visit some incredibly enchanting places. I was so thrilled to get an opportunity to experience one of Princess’ famous Mediterranean cruises, departing from Trieste in Italy and visiting both Kotor in Montenegro and Athens in Greece.
We boarded the Sky Princess in Trieste, Italy, excited for everything that was to come. The two stops were a day in Kotor, the historic fortified city in Montenegro, and bustling Athens, the capital of Greece.
The itinerary also had two at sea days (one between Trieste and Kotor, and one between Kotor and Athens), which gave me a great chance to explore everything that the Sky Princess has to offer.
This itinerary was ideal for me – I’d visited Athens before and was keen to return, and Montenegro sat quite near the top of my bucket list. I’d heard many people singing the praises of Kotor, and was so excited to see it with my own eyes.
It was early in the morning on the third day when the Sky Princess began to pull into the Bay of Kotor. It was such a magical experience to wake up in the morning and look out of the curtains of my balcony stateroom at the view. It was genuinely goose-bump inducing to look around at the panorama of Kotor, one of the world’s most beautiful cruise ports.
Our ship didn’t pull right into the port, but instead docked in the midst of the Bay of Kotor. This gave us a beautiful 360-degree panorama of the bay as we disembarked and took a tender boat from the ship into the city of Kotor. It was such an exciting way to start my day in Montenegro.
I had been so excited to explore the town of Kotor, as I’d heard so much about it from those who’d visited. It certainly didn’t disappoint. The setting of the town is just spectacular, nestled between the mountains and the sea, with a vantage point looking over the horizon. It’s no wonder it was chosen as the location for the Medieval town and fort.
I stepped through the grand entrance under the city walls and into the ancient Old Town. It’s much like a living museum, with buildings dripping in charming history along a maze of narrow alleys. Aside from other tourists and locals, Kotor is particularly popular with hundreds of adorable cats – apparently descended from the felines that were tucked away on the ships coming and going from the bay. Wherever they came from, they certainly add charm to the city!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the walk up to the fortress to get the famous view of Kotor. However, I was still enamoured by the stunningly beautiful bay and the charming town.
After spending some time exploring Kotor, we took the water taxi to the nearby town of Perast. Even though it is quite close to Kotor, it had a very different atmosphere – there was none of the hustle and bustle, and instead, it had a quiet and peaceful atmosphere (still with a few cats). I was immediately enchanted by Perast, and loved exploring the narrow streets and admiring the beautiful houses and buildings. I’d definitely like to return one day and explore even more.
Our Lady of the Rock
After Perast, our next stop on the water taxi was the famous small island called Our Lady of the Rock. Surrounded by water in the Bay of Kotor, the charming little island is home to a beautiful historic church known as Our Lady of the Rock.
Originally built by faithful fishermen in the 15th Century (although that Church burnt down and was plundered by pirates), today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kotor.
It’s definitely an unmissable and totally charming sight and was a beautiful stop before we headed back to the ship to sail onwards on our adventure.
After another fabulous day at sea, it was our final day on the cruise – which meant stopping in Athens, Greece! I have visited Athens before, and really loved it, so I was thrilled to return to its bustling streets and historic archaeological zones.
Our first stop in Athens was at the famous Acropolis. Having been to Athens previously, I’d visited the Acropolis in the past – but I was excited to return and to hear more about the history. I noticed an increase in tourists this time. However, it was still incredible to explore the 2000-year-old structure and learn more about the time when Athens was the base of arguably the world’s most powerful and advanced civilisation.
After visiting the Acropolis, we left the site and walked over to the famous Plaka area for lunch at a traditional Greek restaurant. The Plaka area is filled with fabulous boutiques, restaurants and bars, and I remembered loving the electric atmosphere last time I visited.
I was thrilled to find it just the same as I remembered, and I was immediately reminded why I love Greece and Athens so much. During lunch, we also enjoyed some Greek folk dancing and traditional music, which added an extra element to a wonderful meal and experience.
After lunch, we decided to enjoy a coffee to soak up even more of the brilliant Plaka atmosphere. It was nice to take a few minutes and just drink in how wonderful Athens, and the whole trip had been.
Everything about my cruise with the Sky Princess was terrific, and the opportunity to visit two diverse and beautiful places was definitely one I appreciated. Magical Kotor more than lived up to its dazzling reputation, while returning to Athens, was like catching up with an old friend. As our final day drew to a close, I reflected on an amazing five days exploring the Mediterranean – and swore I’d be back soon.
Disclaimer: This post has been created as a part of sponsored collaboration with Princess Cruises, but all opinions are 100% mine.