Summary : Sailing aboard the legendary Sea Cloud has to be one of the most exhilarating ways imaginable to explore the Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic Seas. These waters have been home to sailors for millennia, and you will follow in their path as you explore coasts with long and rich histories. You will discover Olympia and the charming Ionian island of Corfu in Greece, and continue to the beautiful Dalmatian Coast, a historic region with a tranquil present. Croatia’s coastal Dalmatians, seafaring Montenegrins, irrepressible Albanians and enduring Greeks all make this voyage an enjoyable expedition. This is the ideal environment for sailing aboard Sea Cloud.
Activities : Culture
$999,999,999 to $0
Fly Overnight To Athens, Greece.
Arrive in Athens, and make your way to the Electra Palace Hotel, located in the shadow of the Acropolis. This afternoon, board Sea Cloud in the port of Piraeus and sail into the Aegean.
Today is a day to hoist the Sea Cloud’s sails, an experience that is sure to have everyone on deck. Sails are raised the old-fashioned way: by hand, by the enthusiastic crew, and the excitement is palpable. You’ll make your way around the Peloponnesian Peninsula, with time to relax and hear talks by your expedition staff.
Dock in Katakolo and depart for the ancient site of Olympia, home of the Panhellenic Festival that was held here every 4 years beginning in 776 BC. You will see the excavations of Olympia, the Temple of Hora, the famous temple of Zeus in which the statue of Zeus (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) stood, the Olympic Stadium and the superb Archaeological Museum, along with other sites. Return to the ship and sail northward.
Spend the morning sailing toward the Ionian Islands. Few names elicit the intrigue and sense of adventure as Odysseus’s home of Ithaca. Today, the island remains off the beaten track, with gems of small Ionian villages. Drive around the island to explore the sites that link it to the era described by Homer. In the evening, continue north to Albania.
Today, you visit the ancient city of Butrint, one of the great sites of antiquity and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The major monuments date from between the 4th century BC and the 5th century AD. Its Hellenic theater, Byzantine basilica and Venetian towers lie in a beautiful lakeside setting. Continue to Sarandë, with its blend of religions, cultures and landscapes. In the afternoon, drive up to Lekuris Castle for a view of the harbor below.
From the port of Durrës, drive to Albania’s fascinating capital of Tiranë, where you see relics from one of the longest dictatorships in Eastern Europe. The country is emerging from decades of isolation. You’ll visit the central Skanderbeg Square and the National History Museum and meet with a local luminary. You return to Durrës and unfurl Sea Cloud’s sails as you head northward in the afternoon.
Sail into the fjord-like Gulf of Kotor, backed by soaring mountains with sparse villages clinging to the slopes. Visit the historic town of Perast, and then take a local boat to the islet of Gospa od Skrpjela, home to the Church of Our Lady of the Rock, created by local fishermen. Spend the afternoon in medieval Kotor, or join a drive up the 27 serpentine switchbacks to the top of the fjord for an unrivaled view.
Under UNESCO’s protection, Dubrovnik is regarded as the best-preserved medieval town in the world. Unlike most ships, the Sea Cloud will actually anchor off the city walls and land in the heart of the Old Town. Here, you stroll marble-paved streets to the 15th-century Rector’s Palace and the Franciscan Monastery. Walk on the ramparts that circle the town. This afternoon, a special treat: a private performance in a monastery courtyard of traditional Croatian klapa music. You remain anchored for the evening, so you might opt for dinner on your own or a stroll through town.
You’ll travel under sail in the morning, then dock along the 13th-century walls of the island port of Korèula, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Balkans. Visit the town, including the house believed by some to be Marco Polo's birthplace; enjoy free time to take in Korèula’s cafés and waterfront; and see a spectacular private performance of the traditional Moreška sword dance. There’s time for a drink in a local café in the evening.
Hvar is known as one of the most attractive of Croatia’s historic Venetian towns. A walking tour takes you through the Franciscan monastery, the stunning main street arsenal and the oldest active theater in Croatia. Those who want some exercise can hike up to the Citadel. You then head southward for a final afternoon’s sailing.
Disembark for flights home. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for available optional extensions to Mostar and Split.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Dubrovnik to Athens): 6/10/2015, 9/2/2015
Optional Extensions: Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details
Athens Pre- or Post-trip: Explore the center of the reign of Ancient Greece.
Mostar, Trogir & Split Pre- or Post-trip: Explore the city Mostar, the Dalmatian coastline, and the ancient Old Towns of Trogir and Split.
Accommodations aboard ship; meals indicated; excursions; services of Expedition Leader, Historian & Naturalist staff and expert guides; all port charges and service taxes.
Air transportation; some meals; extensions; passport, visa, and immigration fees; travel protection plan; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, emails, etc.; optional extensions; discretionary tips to ship’s crew.