See the Greek isles in style on a quick-fire cruise aboard high-speed ship

Mirror Travel — The Odyssey is a former warship with a top speed of 32 knots. After one extra-quick crossing, the cruise director Ian produced a screen shot on his mobile phone showing we’d been hurtling along at 28 knots. The resulting wake was extremely impressive.

As was the whole trip, which allowed us to immerse ourselves in the dramatic wonder of ancient ruins, the proud commentary of knowledgeable guides, the glorious scenery, calm seas (on the whole), heaps of scrumptious grub, a full programme of on-board entertainment and a wonderful climate as we set sail from the port of Lavrion in Athens for an adventure which took in five Greek islands and the Turkish city of Kusadasi.Bobbing boats: The harbour at Heraklion

First stop – only hours after boarding – was Mykonos, renowned for its vibrant party scene and outstanding beaches.There was time to meander through the delightful streets of Mykonos town, see its iconic windmills, snap up unusual souvenirs, drink to a happy holiday while gazing at an awesome sunset, and enjoy a meal in one of the many enticing restaurants.

An overnight crossing took us to ­Kusadasi. I chose an early-morning excursion to the ancient kingdom of Ephesus, once the trade centre of the world.

More than 150 years of excavation have revealed marvellous structures dating back nearly 2,000 years, including the Library of Celsus, mighty temples and a huge theatre, as well as extraordinary homes and public bathrooms.

Relax: A sidewalk cafe on Patmos

Back in the city, we bagged bargains at the bazaar before boarding for our next destination, Patmos, the island of Saint John, where the Book of Revelation was written.

Known as the Holy Island, it was where the apostle John spent his final years as a prisoner. The Monastery of St John in Chora is today home to priceless icons and rare manuscripts.

It was the smallest island we visited, with a population of just 3,000 – served by 400 churches.

Another overnight crossing and we woke up in Rhodes where, after exploring Rhodes town by foot and in 9D, we drove for an hour to the pretty hillside town of Lindos, climbed up to its acropolis to gaze down at breathtaking views of the coastline, before spending a pleasant couple of hours on the beach.

Next stop, the following morning, was at Heraklion on Crete, the largest of more than 3,000 Greek islands.

On Crete: The Palace of Knossos

Here we visited nearby Knossos, a vast Minoan palace first built in 1900BC and rebuilt 200 years later. There was a brief shopping stop in the city before the short sea crossing to scenic Santorini, where a tender took us to the harbour of Athinios.

There our guide met us for a tour of Oia, the island’s most beautiful village, famous for its phenomenal sunsets.

A quick drive took us to the port of Old Fira, where the Odyssey was patiently waiting for our return – this time by cable car, which awarded us more spectacular views.

Sadly, the next morning was disembarkation day. But not only had we had a taste of the culture of Greece, we’d still had time between ports to enjoy all that the ship had to offer – Greek and salsa dance lessons, paper flower making, napkin folding, origami, basketball shootouts, ping pong tournaments, trivia contests, nightly shows, bands and singers.

As for the amazing food – I ate so much I could have served as the ship’s anchor.