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 144 merchant reviews

4.86 / 5 Rating
144 Reviews
We recently did the Garden of Eden cruise around the Seychelles on the Pegasos sailing on 17th November. The ship was not full so there was plenty of space although there was a bit of scrapping over sunbeds by some of the Germans on board! There was a group of Germans whose leader was a bit over bearing but other than that the rest of the passengers consisting of Brits, French, French Canadians and Belgians and one lone German couple not part of the group got on well. We had a class C cabin which was comfortable, a little on the small size but we spent very little time there other than sleeping and changing so it was not an issue - it did give us very easy access to the sundeck so that was a bonus although it meant we had to keep our curtains shut at all times!! As this is not the most modern ship the bathroom was also quite small and the fittings are a little dated and there was a knack to making sure the shower doors did not roll back and forth when there was a slight swell! The food however was very good throughout with a decent choice and the fish and especially the beef tenderloin were all excellent and presented beautifully. The staff were very professional and friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble, so a big credit to the captain and George who was in charge of Hotel operations. Our Entertainment host was a little distracted and perhaps not quite up to the same standard as the other staff, which was a shame. We enjoyed the excursions to Curieuse, Cousin (beware of the mosquitos here though) and Aride islands particularly, which are basically nature reserves with not many other tourists or facilities which we liked. For those interested in the natural world and ornithology in particular then these are excellent excursions and the landings on small boats through big surf waves was all part of the fun. There were several excellent snorkelling trips and the variety of fish and marine life was pretty good and a lot of new coral growth was particularly evident! As this was our first cruise with Variety it will almost certainly not be our last as we enjoyed our small ship cruise - we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise which certainly exceeded our expectations.
We cruised the Galileo August 17, 2018 and it was fantastic! I absolutely loved the ship! The entire crew went out of their way to make it a wonderful experience. The rooms are nice and the food is very good. The views from the ship are beautiful and each island is different. I loved the intimacy of the smaller ship. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend this cruise!
It is one thing to be able to cruise and enjoy the wonders of the Greek Islands. However so much more impor ant is know that your Captain has the experience to know how to ensure the safety of passengers. This past week we have been fortunate enough to undertake the Classical Greek Cruise and we were very pleased to find Captain Andreas when we boarded. With his experience he watched the weather patterns and made an early call to change the route. Yes there was some initial disappointment that we would not get to Crete. But we had a fantastic voyage and saw such interesting places that we never expected. Furthermore we enjoyed a thoroughly comfortable trip and look forward to our next visit. Thank you to captain Andreas and all the crew of Harmony V