Variety Cruises History

Variety Cruises was established in 2006 following the merge of Zeus Tours & Yacht Cruises – a 3rd generation cruise and tourism business operating since 1949- and Hellas Yachts which started operating small ships cruises in 1993.
Zeus Tours & Yacht Cruises: Zeus Group was born out of Zeus Tours, a company founded in 1949 by Greek tourism visionary and pioneer Diogenis Venetopoulos, as an incoming Travel Agency and soon became among Greece's leading travel companies. In 1968 the company enters the 'Small Ships' scheduled cruises niche market by chartering the yacht ELEFTHERIOS and in 1973 launches its first fully owned small ship, the Motorsailer NIKI, a wooden hull cargo vessel rebuilt to offer 18 cabins. In 1978 Triantafyllos (Lakis) Venetopoulos took over the company and more ships followed including a new generation of steel hull ships of 4 star level, the M/Y HARMONY G and the M/S GALILEO.

Hellas Yachts: 
Hellas Yachts has been offering high class services in almost all yachting fields since 1978. In the 90ies the company decided to enter the mega yachts niche market with the commissioning of the 25 cabin PANORAMA (launched in 1993) and of the PANORAMA II (launched in 2004).

Key Moments of our History:
1949 Diogenis Venetopoulos establishes the company Zeus Tours and ignites incoming tourism to Greece.

1968 Zeus Tours charters the wooden yacht Eleftherios (Freedom) and becomes the pioneer of yacht cruises in Greece.

1973 Zeus Tours introduces the weekly scheduled cruise concept on an 18-cabin motor-sailer.

1978 Zeus Tours is taken over by Lakis Venetopoulos and is re-named Zeus Tours & Yacht Cruises.

1978 Dimitris Vassilakis establishes Hellas Yachts Group; a company specializing in sailing yachts’ sales, management, charters and operation.

The premium motor-sailer Panorama, the first full Solas, sailing motor-sailer of Hellas Yachts Group is launched, with 50-guest capacity.

Zeus Tours launches the new construction full SOLAS premium motor-sailer GALILEO, with 50-guest capacity.

1997 Zeus Tours operates the first ever non-Greek cruise, embarking on Seychelles aboard the Galileo.

2001 The new full Solas, premium M/Y Harmony G is launched and added to Zeus Group fleet, with 44-guest capacity.

2004 The new full Solas, sailing M/Y Panorama II is launched and added to the fleet of Hellas Yachts Group, with 50-guest capacity.

2005 Zeus Tours and Hellas Yachts merge and Variety Cruises is founded.

2006 Variety Cruises adds the premium M/Y Pegasus to the fleet, with 46-guest capacity.

2009 The premium M/Y Harmony V, with 50-guest capacity, is added to the fleet.

2012 The M/Y Variety Voyager, flagship of Variety Cruises, with 72-guest capacity, is launched.
2015 Variety Cruises purchases the elegant  M/Y Callisto, accomodating just 34 passengers in 17 cabins. The M/Y Callisto undergoes a thorough renovation and upgrading from September 2015 through March 2016, before being deployed in Greece for the Summer 2016 season and in Costa Rica and the Panama for the Winter 2016/17 season.

Variety Cruises is rated 4.86 stars by based on 139 merchant reviews

4.86 / 5 Rating
139 Reviews
Our 2nd cruise with variety cruises July 2018 onboard panorama was just as amazing as our first on Harmony V (2014). We loved everything, from the food (so delicious) to the service from all the crew! The swimming from the boat was the highlight for us. Joseph our cruise co-ordination is just an amazing person, so warm and friendly and knowledgeable about all the ports, where to eat, swim, shop and of course Valeria our bar person, who remembered everyone’s name from day one, thanks for all the fun! We would highly recommend variety cruises to anyone looking for a more personal approach to cruising, the crew (including the captain) are always available for a chat, offering further insight to the cruise. We can’t wait to get on board again!
The primary reason I chose the "adriatic odyssey" on the Callisto was the opportunity of daily swimming from the boat. The brochure advertised almost daily swimming, but in reality we were able to swim only once from the boat in the entire week. Something to do with the ship being of Panamanian registry. Whatever the reason, this is by definition false advertising, and given the cost of the cruise, pretty outrageous.
After having traveled around the world with my wife over the past 30 years, we never expected to have our cruise aboard the Callisto this past May, 2018 be the trip of our lifetimes. From the captain on down through the rest of the crew, we found everyone to be of the highest caliber professionally, and accommodating to the extreme. The food was extraordinary and artistically presented. Thank you Variety for a trip we will never forget. We're already planning our next voyage with you. John and Traudy