Summary : From the ancient temples of Olympia to the medieval walled city of Hvar, immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe's most spectacular places—aboard a legendary tall ship, the extraordinary and historic Sea Cloud. Ply the waters of Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic seas under sail like the ancients. Step back in history at four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the evocative ruins of Olympia, Greece and Albania's historic city of Butrint. Skim across Montenegro's Gulf of Kotor to Our Lady of the Rocks, a tiny islet formed of sunken fishing boats. And spend a day among the marble-paved lanes and ramparts of Dubrovnik's Old Town. Experience the trip of a lifetime under sail in a region where the ancients sailed millennia ago.
Activities : Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography
Just-Released Offer Bar Tab and Tips Included
$12,690 to $24,720
Depart on an overnight flight to Athens.
Make your way to the Electra Palace Hotel for a buffet lunch. Then explore the new Acropolis Museum, which displays some of the finest sculptures and other art of Ancient Greece, including many items brought in from the Acropolis to protect them from the elements. Transfer to Piraeus and embark the majestic Sea Cloud. Cast off this afternoon, and take in your first Greek sunset at sea.
Today the sails are set and will be up all day long as you sail along the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Sails are raised the old-fashioned way, by hand, and the excitement is palpable. Hear presentations from the historian and naturalist, catch-up on reading and experience the impeccable service for which the Sea Cloud is famous.
Dock at Katákolo and depart for the ancient site of Olympia, home of the Panhellenic Festival that was held here every four years beginning in 776 BC. 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.
Sail to Odysseus’s home of Ithaca (Itháki). 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. This afternoon sail southward.
Visit the ancient city of Butrint, one of the great sites of antiquity and now a UNESCO World Heritage site where monuments date from the 4th century BC to the 5th century AD. Its Hellenic theater, Byzantine basilica and Venetian towers lie in a lakeside setting. Continue to Sarandë, with its blend of religions, cultures and landscapes. Drive up to Lekursi Castle for a view of the harbor below. Set sail in the afternoon.
Dock in Durrës, drive to the ancient capital of Krujë, and visit the medieval market and Ethnographic Museum. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum, dedicated to Albania's national hero. Have lunch, and take in a display of traditional Albanian music and dance.
Visit the historic town of Perast, and take a local boat to the islet of Gospa od Skrpjela, home to the Church of Our Lady of the Rock. This tiny islet was created by fishermen dropping rocks from their rowboats. See medieval Kotor or join a drive up the 27 serpentine switchbacks to the top of the fjord for an unrivaled view.
Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is regarded as the best-preserved medieval town in the world. Stroll marble paved streets to the 15th-century Rector’s Palace and the Franciscan Monastery, then walk the ramparts that circle the town. This afternoon see a private performance of traditional Croatian klapa music in a monastery courtyard.
The walled medieval town on Korcula Island, also called Korcula, is exceptional even by the standards of the Dalmatian coast. It retains a strong Venetian influence, and strolling the town is a real pleasure. Visit the house said to be Marco Polo’s birthplace, among other sites. Enjoy free time to take in cafés and the waterfront; with time for a drink in a local café if you wish.
This morning arrive at Hvar, 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. Today is a day to hoist the Sea Cloud’s sails, an experience that is sure to have everyone on deck.
Disembark for flights home, or join the optional extension to Mostar and Split.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Dubrovnik/Athens): 6/7/2018, 8/21/2018, 8/30/2019
Optional Pre- or Post- Voyage Extensions:
Athens: Before sailing explore the heart of ancient Athens including the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Agora, plus visit many of the fine neoclassical buildings, antique shops, and fine restaurants. Benefit from knowledgeable, friendly guides and special access at renowned museums. 2 Days from $1,390 per person. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Mostar, Trogir and Split: Visit these spectacularly beautiful, historic cities to explore famous archaeological sites, stroll winding medieval streets, and dine on superb regional cuisine. Learn the ancient and recent history of the region, and visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites. 3 Days from $2,190 per person. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Included: Accommodations aboard ship; meals as indicated; services of expedition leader, historian, naturalist staff, and expert guides; port charges and service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport, visa, and immigration fees; meals not indicated; baggage/accident/travel protection plan; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, email, and laundry; gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion.