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Grand Aegean Experience, Dalmatia & Venice

Athens to Venice

22 days

2-night hotel stay in Athens

from $5,895 pp

27 Apr, 2018

Saver fares are limited in availability and can be removed at any time.

AEG180430A

  • 22 days
  • 4 countries
  • 2 hotel nights
  • 17 shore excursions
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Begin with a two-night hotel stay in Athens, giving you time to experience the capital’s many wonders, including the Acropolis, site of the Parthenon, where a visit to the Acropolis Museum is featured.

Setting sail from the port of Piraeus, you’ll call at Santorini to see the Minoan site of Akrotiri and then Crete to view the Minotaur’s Labyrinth of Knossos. In Rhodes, visit the Acropolis of Lindos, then step ashore on the sacred island of Delos, before relaxing in Mykonos.

Corfu is an island of natural beauty, before the fjord of Kotor Bay leads to Dubrovnik, the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean. The Palace of Diocletian in Split is a Roman marvel and the Italian city of Trieste is an historic meeting place of Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures. Finally, the “Floating City” of Venice holds a treasure-trove of unforgettable sights, including St Mark’s Square and Basilica.

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Apr 27
Fri
    Departure
    Depart North America
    Apr 28
    Sat
    Athens , Greece
    Arrive into Athens and transfer to hotel
    overnight hotel
    Apr 29
    Sun
    Athens , Greece
    Choice of tours - Visit Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum or Byzantine Athens. Optional afternoon tour to the National Archaeological museum.
    overnight hotel
    Apr 30
    Mon
    Piraeus , Greece
    Embark Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus
    8.00pm
    May 01
    Tue
    Hydra , Greece
    Day at leisure to visit one of the most charming Greek islands, Hydra
    4.00pm
    8.00am
    May 02
    Wed
    Santorini , Greece
    Enjoy the spectacular view of Akrotiri and Oia or take a leisurely tour of Santorini and visit Argyros Winery.
    6.00pm
    8.00am
    May 03
    Thu
    Heraklion, Crete , Greece
    Tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Optional tour to explore Cretan village life.
    10.00pm
    8.00am
    May 04
    Fri
    Karpathos , Greece
    Enjoy the dramatic scenery and wild mountains in Karpathos or optional tour available.
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    May 05
    Sat
    Rhodes , Greece
    World Heritage sites: choice of tours to Rhodes town or the Acropolis at Lindos
    10.00pm
    7.00am
    May 06
    Sun
    Nisyros , Greece
    Discover the treasures of Nisyros
    6.00pm
    9.00am
    May 07
    Mon
    Delos , Greece
    Morning visit to the sacred island of Delos
    noon
    8.00am
    May 07
    Mon
    Mykonos , Greece
    Afternoon at leisure in Mykonos
    8.00pm
    2.00pm
    May 08
    Tue
    Piraeus , Greece
    6.00pm
    6.00am
    May 09
    Wed
    Nauplia , Greece
    Choice of excursions: Mycenae or UNESCO Epidaurus
    6.00pm
    7.00am
    May 10
    Thu
    Katakolon , Greece
    Afternoon tour of ancient Olympia
    6.00pm
    1.00pm
    May 11
    Fri
    Itea , Greece
    Visit to Delphi or Osios Loukas Monastery.
    6.00pm
    7.00am
    May 12
    Sat
    Corfu , Greece
    Visit the Achilleion Palace or the highlights of Corfu Town
    6.00pm
    9.00am
    May 13
    Sun
    Kotor Bay , Montenegro
    Cruise Kotor Bay in Montenegro
    Cruising
    May 13
    Sun
    Dubrovnik , Croatia
    A evening at leisure ashore
    overnight
    5.00pm
    May 14
    Mon
    Dubrovnik , Croatia
    Morning tour around the walled city of Dubrovnik
    7.00pm
    May 15
    Tue
    Split , Croatia
    City tour: Diocletian's Palace including Temple of Jupiter. Optional tour of Salona and Trogir
    7.00pm
    8.00am
    May 16
    Wed
    Trieste , Italy
    Discover the highlights Trieste or visit the Mosaics of Aquileia.
    11.00pm
    2.00pm
    May 17
    Thu
    Venice , Italy
    Morning walking tour of Venice or take an optional tour and visit two islands of the Venetian Lagoon. In the evening take a special Visit to Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.
    overnight
    8.00am
    May 18
    Fri
    Venice , Italy
    Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to airport for flight home
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Athens and the Acropolis

    29 Apr Athens, Greece
    Half Day Extensive Walking
    Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th-century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon.

    Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon: a building that embodies the stunning achievements of the Athenian “Golden Age”.

    Surrounding the great temple are the other architectural masterpieces of the citadel: the Propylaia (monumental gateway), the Erechtheion with its beautiful Karayatid Porch and the Temple of Athena Nike (Winged Victory).

    Below the temple complex is the theatre of Dionysos where the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were first performed. Then explore another marvel: the longanticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum.

    In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.

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    Included
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    Cultural Activity

    National Archaeological Museum

    29 Apr Athens, Greece
    Half Day
    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

    Founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

    During your visit you will be able to see Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean and Classical Greek art, and you'll also view sculptures from the Archaic and Hellenistic periods, along with pottery from the Geometric period. A few of the museum's most important exhibits include the bronze statue of Poseidon, the head of Hygeia (Goddess of Health), the bronze statue of the "Jockey-Boy" of Artemision, the golden mask of Agamemnon and the brilliant Minoan frescoes from the site on Thira (Santorini).

    Within the museum's walls more than 11,000 exhibits provide a panorama of Greek art from prehistory to late antiquity. Wander amid the royal tombs of Mycenae, dating from 1500BC. Marvel at sculpture from the 7th to 5th centuries BC, including the kouroi, nude male athletes, carved in Naxian marble. Admire a delicate bronze by Praxiteles and frescoes from Akrotiri, buried over 3,500 years ago in a volcanic eruption. Trace the evolution of Greek pottery from earliest times in collections including rare white clayware. This astonishing museum even includes Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, as well as treasures from the sea. A shipwreck at Antikythera produced a scientific instrument used for astronomical calculations in the 1st century BC.

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    Optional $ 35

    Exploring Argolis: Mycenae and Epidaurus

    30 Apr Athens, Greece
    Full Day Extensive Walking
    Explore the scenic Argolis Peninsula in the eastern Peloponnesus and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Epidaurus, a pure masterpiece of Greek architecture and Mycenae, one of the great cities of the Mycenaean civilisation.

    Explore the scenic Argolis Peninsula in the eastern Peloponnesus and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Epidaurus, a pure masterpiece of Greek architecture and Mycenae, one of the great cities of the Mycenaean civilisation.

    Drive from lovely Nauplia, originally the port for the ancient city of Argos, to Epidaurus, set on the slopes of a beautiful wooded valley. In the 4th century BC, this area was a thriving medical centre sacred to the god of medicine, Asclepius. The site's baths, temples and hospital buildings include a sanctuary for psychology-based miracle cures. Epidaurus was renowned throughout the Hellenic world, and provides valuable insights into the healing treatments of the time. The jewel is the theatre designed by the architect Polycletus the Younger of Argos, which features a second tier added in Roman times to accommodate 14,000. Discover the incredible acoustics, so perfect it is said you can hear a pin drop from the top row. Once a stage for the great Greek dramatists, the theatre is still in use.

    Next, we board a cruiser for a transit of the Corinth Canal which links the Aegean and Ionian seas. In ancient times sailors had to drag their ships on rollers from sea to sea. The canal was envisioned by Corinth's founder, Periander; started in 67AD by the Emperor Nero; and finally completed in 1893. Continue across the Argos Plain to Mycenae, one of the greatest cities of Mycenaean culture, which flourished in the Argolis region from 1600 to 1100 BC and laid the foundations for classical Greece.

    En route, pause for a delicious traditional lunch in a Greek restaurant. Then begin your explorations of Mycenae, a citadel set high above two boulder-strewn ravines and built, it said, with the aid of the Cyclops. Walk through the Lion Gate, Europe's oldest piece of monumental statuary. At this gate, the returning Trojan war hero, Agamemnon, was greeted by his wife, Klytemnestra, only to be murdered later by her lover. Once inside the site, explore the Royal Palace, view the shaft graves and attend an archaeological briefing in the Treasury of Atreus, also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon.

    Gain insights into the greatness of Mycenaean civilisation, as well as a glimpse into the haunting legends behind some of the world's greatest dramas.

    Note: This tour involves substantial walking and stairs. Timeline may vary.

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    Included

    Santorini: Akrotiri and Oia

    2 May Santorini, Greece
    Full Day Tender Extensive WalkingLunch IncludedCable CarCobbled StreetsUphill Sections
    Closed to the public for over six years, the newly reopened Minoan settlement of Akrotiri is the tour's highlight, but you also visit several of Santorini's picturesque villages.

    Closed to the public for over six years, the newly reopened Minoan settlement of Akrotiri is the tour's highlight, but you also visit several of Santorini's picturesque villages. One of the Aegean's most important archaeological sites, Akrotiri was abandoned after severe earthquakes, then covered in pumice by a volcanic eruption in about 1625BC. A visit tells the tale of an affluent society who farmed, built two-story homes and indulged a taste for frescoes, furniture and jewellery. Today's tour includes a visit to the ongoing excavations, where you can walk amid the well-preserved streets, view the workshops and squares.

    Start your adventure with a transfer from the ship by local boat, then drive to the northern tip of the island to the village of Oia with its whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and coffee shops carved in the cliffs. Stroll along the cobblestone streets where wealthy sea captains built their mansions, now converted to cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Take in breathtaking views in all directions.

    Continue to the southern end of the island and the archaeological site of Akrotiri. The excavations, led by Professor Spyros Marintos, began in 1967. Walk around this amazing city and get an insight into the culture that laid the foundation for Greek civilisation. Then continue to tiny Pyrgos, once the capital. View the distant Venetian castle, then sit down to lunch at a local taverna. Conclude your adventure in Fira, the scenic capital. From here, you'll have the option of remaining in town or returning to the ship by cable car.

    Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion

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    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Santorini: Oia and Argyros Winery

    2 May Santorini, Greece
    Full Day Tender Extensive WalkingLunch IncludedCable CarCobbled StreetsUphill Sections
    In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited Santorini (or Strongyle, meaning “round”, as it was known) enjoyed a relatively advanced standard of living, until 1650BC, when a volcanic eruption caused the centre of the island to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs that has remained one of the world’s most dramatic geological sights.

    In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited Santorini (or Strongyle, meaning “round”, as it was known) enjoyed a relatively advanced standard of living, until 1650BC, when a volcanic eruption caused the centre of the island to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs that has remained one of the world’s most dramatic geological sights.


    Nowhere is this ancient legacy more apparent than during a stroll through the beautiful village of Oia, on the northernmost tip of the island, where many of the clifftop dwellings were built into niches hewn from the steep volcanic rock face. These delightful buildings are painted a spectrum of pastel colours, reflecting the wealthy seafarers of the past who first developed the village. Walking around its narrow cobblestone streets you will come across shops offering handmade works of ceramic art, paintings and semi-precious jewellery, as well as coffee shops with spectacular views across the island and the sea.

     

    Santorini’s highest peak is crowned by an excellent example of Cycladic architecture, the 18th-century Monastery of Mount Profitis Ilias. The scenic drive then continues from Oia to the Argyros wine estate. Founded in 1903, this family run vineyard combines ancient traditions with modern technology to produce some of the most prestigious wines on the island. After enjoying some wine-tasting, a traditional Greek lunch will be served at a tavern overlooking the waterfront, in the village of Monolithos.

     

    A short drive brings you to Fira, the picturesque capital of Santorini, with free time to explore before returning to the ship via cable car

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    The Palace of Knossos

    3 May Heraklion, Crete, Greece
    Half Day Archaeological Site
    Even without the tales of a bloodthirsty Minotaur, this magnificent palace complex with its flamboyant decoration, courts, audience chambers and residential areas is an impressive and inspiring site.

    Even without the tales of a bloodthirsty Minotaur, this magnificent palace complex with its flamboyant decoration, courts, audience chambers and residential areas is an impressive and inspiring site. Constructed around 1900BC, it was the administrative and religious centre of the Minoan kingdom. Here King Minos held court and – so mythology holds – his wife gave birth to a half-man, half-bull creature that lurked in the palace’s labyrinth. This fearsome beast was appeased only by human sacrifices.

    An earthquake destroyed the original complex; it was then rebuilt on an even grander scale, only to be destroyed again by the massive volcanic eruption on Santorini around 1500BC. Though periodically excavated by Greek archaeologists in the late 19th century, credit for the full excavation and restoration is given to amateur Victorian archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Roundly criticised for occasional missteps in restoration, Sir Arthur poured his fortune into the effort and did a remarkable job for the time period. Knossos today, at least, allows the visitor to visualise the palace as it once was and understand its intricacies.

    The guided tour will take you through this legend-rich, entrancing complex that sprawled across five acres, where everything from the throne room to royal living quarters is reconstructed with meticulous care.

    On our return to Heraklion, we will visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the greatest museums in Greece and the best in the world for Minoan art, as it contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilisation of Crete.

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    Included

    Cretan Village Life

    3 May Heraklion, Crete, Greece
    Half Day
    Nestled at the base of this beloved Cretan landmark lies the traditional village of Archanes, which has been lovingly restored to become one of the most beautiful settlements on the island. The residents are extremely friendly and proud of the fact that their home was recently voted one of the best restored villages in Europe by the EU.

    Standing before the slopes of Mount Youchtas, on the island of Crete, you may be surprised to discover that this is the place where, in Greek myth, the mighty God Zeus was entombed. Viewed from a certain angle, however, and it soon forms into an eerily lifelike human profile – a fitting resting place for such a colossal figure of myth.

     

    Nestled at the base of this beloved Cretan landmark lies the traditional village of Archanes, which has been lovingly restored to become one of the most beautiful settlements on the island. The residents are extremely friendly and proud of the fact that their home was recently voted one of the best restored villages in Europe by the EU.

     

    The Archanes Archaeological Museum opened in 1993 and is housed inside a 19th-century neoclassical building that originally served as the village’s first school. This small but fascinating exhibition contains finds and replicas unearthed during excavations of a Minoan palace in the centre of Archanes, which was thought to have been the summer residence of an ancient King of Knossos, not far to the north.

     

    After visiting the museum there will be plenty of time for a guided walk through the village to admire its traditional buildings and churches. Archanes is famous for its hospitality, so you may like to enjoy some Greek specialties in the village tavern, before returning to Heraklion via the picturesque village of Vathipetro, which is renowned for its incredible natural beauty.

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    Optional $ 35

    The Villages of Karpathos

    4 May Karpathos, Greece
    Half Day Tender Cobbled Streets
    Situated on the edge of the Aegean Sea, Karpathos has managed to remain remarkably unspoiled. This is a place of picturesque villages, where many historic traditions are still actively practised.

    Your tour begins in the old capital of Aperi, which grew in size during the Middle Ages, when coastal dwellers moved inland to avoid pirates. Situated on the edge of the Aegean Sea, Karpathos has managed to remain remarkably unspoiled. This is a place of picturesque villages, where many historic traditions are still actively practised. In 1894 Pigadia took over as the main town, but Aperi is still one of the largest villages on the island and has some charming buildings to see, including the ruins of a tower built in 3,000BC.

     

    Othos is the highest village in the Dodecanese and has some striking views looking out to sea. A highlight is the wonderful folklore museum, which has been carefully designed to replicate a traditional island dwelling. Many of the items on display here, from kitchen utensils to musical instruments, lace and clothing, are still in use on the island today.

     

    The village of Pyles has an open-air agricultural museum featuring a windmill, farmhouse and a wine press. There will also be a chance to relax in the lovely fishing village of Finiki, before arriving at the picturesque village of Arkassa to visit the Church of Agia Sophia, which is one of the oldest on the island.

     

    The final stop is another unique church, dramatically poised on the edge of a steep rock in the hillside village of Menetes. The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin is a hugely important site to the people of Karpathos, who flock here each year to celebrate the feast of the Assumption while surrounded by some stunning views of the island.

     

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    Highlights of Karpathos

    4 May Karpathos, Greece
    Full Day Tender Boat RideCobbled Streets
    Historically the people of northern Karpathos lived on the coast, in the ancient Doric city of Vrykounda, but after a series of raids by Saracen pirates in the 6th-century, around seventy families decided to move inland and build a fortified settlement on the slopes of the mountain.

    Historically the people of northern Karpathos lived on the coast, in the ancient Doric city of Vrykounda, but after a series of raids by Saracen pirates in the 6th-century, around seventy families decided to move inland and build a fortified settlement on the slopes of the mountain. Until recently the only way to reach this remote village was through the nearby port of Diafani, so this tour has been specially designed to recapture that traditional journey, via a delightful coastal boat-ride from the main town of Pigadia, where Aegean Odyssey will be docked.

     

    The picturesque waterfront of Diafani is perfect for enjoying some refreshments at a local café, before you are transported back in time to Olympos, where many local women still wear brightly coloured traditional clothing and the pastel-coloured houses are like a living museum, in a way that is quite unique to the Mediterranean.

     

    The spectacular windmills lining the mountaintop are no longer functioning, but during your guided tour you will be able to see inside a traditional house and museum, watch a shoemaker at work and visit the Byzantine church, which is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. Following the tour there will be plenty of time to enjoy some local hospitality at your leisure, before the boat-ride back to Pigadia.

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    Optional $ 45
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Old Town & Grand Masters Palace

    5 May Rhodes, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    Leave behind the port where the Colossus once stood and discover a stunning ensemble of Gothic architecture just a short drive from the port.

    Leave behind the port where the Colossus once stood and discover a stunning ensemble of Gothic architecture just a short drive from the port. These UNESCO World Heritage monuments testify to the role of Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese group, as a strategic crossroads. Many structures date to the era of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, who lived on the island from 1309 until 1522 when the Ottoman Empire finally dislodged the Knights.

    En route, you’ll visit the lookout Mount Smith, named after the British admiral Sir Sydney Smith who used this vantage point to scan the seas for French ships in the Napoleonic era. Then you enter the citadel of the Knight’s through the d’Amboise Gate and head for the restored Grand Master’s Palace.

    The first building of the 14th-century Crusaders, the Palace was modelled on the great Papal Palace of Avignon. It served as a fortress in times of war, a residence for the Grand Master of the Knights, a meeting place for senior knights, and, in later times, a summer residence of both Mussolini and Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. Stroll the cobblestone Street of the Knights and admire the honey-coloured stone buildings with their giant doorways and arched windows.

    Step into the 15th-century Knights Hospital, now an archaeological museum that counts the Aphrodite of Rhodes in flawless Parian marble among its treasures. At the conclusion of this tour, you can return to the ship or stay to wander this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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    The Acropolis at Lindos

    5 May Rhodes, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingCobbled StreetsSignificant StepsUphill Sections
    Gain inspiration from the exquisite natural setting of the Acropolis at Lindos, a destination of both historic and scenic interest, just an hour’s drive from Rhodes.

    Gain inspiration from the exquisite natural setting of the Acropolis at Lindos, a destination of both historic and scenic interest, just an hour’s drive from Rhodes. This Doric town rose in power hundreds of years before Christ and continued to thrive into the middle ages.

    We’ll walk to the Acropolis, surrounded by the contrasting 12th-century crusader fortifications, clinging to the rocks above the village. At the summit is the Doric Temple of Lindian Athena, an archaeological jewel dating from the 4th century BC, with a double-winged portico and elaborate propylaea. The site offers sweeping views over St Paul’s Bay, where the Apostle is said to have sought shelter during a storm.

    Following the Acropolis, we’ll descend to the village with its whitewashed houses and tempting shops. A favorite resort since the time of Julius Caesar, Lindos is home to writers, artists and craftsmen.

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    Nisyros at a Glance

    6 May Nisyros, Greece
    Half Day Tender Uneven or Volcanic GroundUphill SectionsGravel Flooring
    Greek mythology has it that the island of Nisyros was once a part of Kos, until Poseidon threw a piece of the island at the giant Polybotes, trapping his foe and creating a volcano, beneath which Polybotes still shakes and groans.

    Whatever the truth of its origins, Nisyros is certainly one of the biggest hydrothermal volcanoes in the world, but careful monitoring ensures there are no surprises. Over the last 150,000 years there have only been three significant eruptions, with the last occurring during the Middle Ages. Everything flourishes in the volcanic soil and there are some unique species of flora and fauna to see during a scenic drive across the island.

     

    The largest of the island’s volcanic craters is Stefanos, which is believed to be over 3,000 years old. Descending into this otherworldly landscape, as steam rises from bubbling fumaroles and the smell of sulphur fills the air, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve just stepped into a Jules Verne novel. Looking up, you will also be able to spot the small village of Nikia, which is perched right on the lip of the caldera.

     

    This picturesque settlement has a population of less than one hundred and is among the most authentic villages in Greece. The houses are brightly painted, the church dates back to the 15th-century and the main square features a memorable pebble-stone mosaic (or “choklakia”) designed by the 19th-century artist Paschalis Pashalakis. After exploring the village and enjoying some wonderful views in all directions, a stop will be made at an abandoned natural spa, for another one of a kind experience, before your return to Aegean Odyssey.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Sacred Delos

    7 May Delos, Greece
    Half Day Tender Archaeological SiteGravel Flooring
    Discover the tiny, deserted isle of Delos, the religious center of the Cyclades, where columns lie glistening in the sun, and the Lions of Delos guard the Sacred Way.

    Discover the tiny, deserted isle of Delos, the religious centre of the Cyclades, where columns lie glistening in the sun, and the Lions of Delos guard the Sacred Way. As the reputed birthplace of the god Apollo, Delos was once a principal religious and commercial centre of the Eastern Mediterranean. Pilgrims, traders, politicians and warriors alike came from all over the Mediterranean to this sanctuary. In fact, the “Cyclades,” the name of this island group, means “those islands around Delos.” In the 5th century BC, the Delphic Oracle decreed the island was to be purged of all the dead and that no person could either die or give birth on Delos to preserve the isle’s sanctity. Some of the richest archaeological treasure troves in Greece await as you leave the Sacred Harbour on your guided walking tour. Imagine the merchants in the Agora and the pilgrims entering the Sanctuary of Apollo. Walk along the spectacular Avenue of the Lions. Pay homage to the guardians of the Sacred Lake where Leto gave birth to the twin gods, Artemis and Apollo. And above all, savour the almost-mystical silence that pervades this haunting site of antiquity.

     

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Agamemnon's Mycenae

    9 May Nauplia, Greece
    Half Day Tender Archaeological SiteUphill Sections
    Tales of Agamemnon and the time of Homer’s heroes take centre stage on this visit to Mycenae, one of the greatest cities of the highly-developed Mycenaean civilization.

    Tales of Agamemnon and the time of Homer’s heroes take center stage today on this visit to Mycenae, one of the greatest cities of the highly-developed Mycenaean civilization. This culture dominated the eastern Mediterranean from the 16th to 13th century BC and laid the foundation for classical Greece.

    From the picturesque port of Nauplia, a scenic 45-minute drive across the Argolid Plain takes us to the imposing city of warriormerchants that Homer described as “rich in gold”. The citadel that stands guard over the city is built high above two rock-strewn ravines, and legend holds that it was erected with the aid of the Cyclops.

    Enter Mycenae on foot through the Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest piece of monumental statuary: it was here that the victorious, but battle-weary Agamemnon, was greeted by his wife, Klytemnestra, on his return from the long war with Troy, only to be murdered by her lover. Inside the gates, explore the Royal Palace, view the shaft graves and relive the tragic stories at an archaeological briefing in the Treasury of Atreus (Tomb of Agamemnon).

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Epidaurus Theatre

    9 May Nauplia, Greece
    Half Day Tender
    The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Epidaurus is home to a 14,000-seat ancient Greek amphitheatre, where the acoustics are so perfect it is said you can hear a pin drop from the highest tier. Carved into the hillside and extended in Roman times, the theatre is still in use today.

    In the 6th-century BC, this city was sacred to the god of medicine, Asclepius. The medical facilities and healing treatments were immensely popular and the ensuing wealth was used to inaugurate a 4th-century building campaign. Today, Epidaurus is a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site with temples and hospital buildings that provide insight into the healing cults of the time.

    The jewel is the theatre designed by the architect Polycletus. The theater was extended in Roman times, restored in the 1950s and is still in use. Nowhere else is it so easy to imagine the staging of the great ancient tragedies and comedies than in this pure masterpiece of Greek architecture.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Ancient Olympia

    10 May Katakolon, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th-century BC.

    The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC. Olympia is most familiar as the site where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC in honour of Olympian Zeus. The origin of the word Olympic comes from the ancient Greek Olympiad – meaning every four years.

    The setting could not be more idyllic: prominently located in the middle of a fertile valley with the rivers of Alfeios and Kladhios flowing past. The site was a religious sanctuary even before the Stadium was built and the games took place in the sacred area called Altis. The most imposing monument in the area was the outstanding Temple of Zeus housing the gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

    The Temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, and the Philippeion were also monuments standing in the sacred grove. The famous Stadium, the largest of its day with a capacity of 45,000 spectators, was entered through a long, tunnel-like passage, constructed in Roman times. The stadium was restored in 2004 for the historic return of the modern Olympics to Athens.

    After your exploration of the famous grounds, visit the archaeological museum which is a short 5-minute walk from the site. Among the great finds of the area that are displayed are the Head of Hera and ornaments from the Temple of Zeus, the famous statue of Hermes created by Praxiteles and the helmet of Miltiades, the Athenian general during Athens' 'Golden Age'.

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    Ancient Delphi

    11 May Itea, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteUphill Sections
    For a thousand years Delphi flourished as the most important sacred site in ancient Greece, even founding one of the earliest rivals of the Olympics, the Pythian Games, which were held in an open-air stadium at the summit of the mountain.

    For a thousand years Delphi flourished as the most important sacred site in ancient Greece, even founding one of the earliest rivals of the Olympics, the Pythian Games, which were held in an open-air stadium at the summit of the mountain.According to legend, Apollo is said to have slain the snake Python on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in revenge for the persecution of his mother Leto, but an alternative version of events maintains that the reason for Python’s death was because she refused to allow an oracle on what was then the centre of the world.

     

    Following the death of Python, Apollo installed the High Priestess Pythia in his Sanctuary at Delphi, where she began foretelling the future through cryptic messages that were interpreted by her priests.

     

    Today the stadium is the best preserved ancient arena in the world, but some other buildings have had to be restored, including the Treasury of Athens and the Altar of the Chians. At the base of the mountain, the site has an excellent museum which is home to many exquisite treasures, including the marble “Omphalos” stone (that once marked the centre of the world) and the magnificent bronze “Charioteer”, which is considered to be the finest 5th-century BC statue in existence. Alongside other statuary, there is also a marvellous scale model of how Delphi would likely have appeared during its heyday. Following the tour, a short stop will be made in the inhabited village nearby, before your return to Aegean Odyssey.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Osios Loukas Monastery

    11 May Itea, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    The region of Phocis has some spectacular mountains and forests to admire during the short journey from Itea to the monastery of Osios Loukas, on the slopes of Mount Helicon. So named after its founder, the ascetic and saint, Luke of Steiris, the original “Cross-in-square” church of Hosios Loukas dates from the 10th-century and is the oldest of its kind in the world.

    The region of Phocis has some spectacular mountains and forests to admire during the short journey from Itea to the monastery of Osios Loukas, on the slopes of Mount Helicon. So named after its founder, the ascetic and saint, Luke of Steiris, the original “Cross-in-square” church of Hosios Loukas dates from the 10th-century and is the oldest of its kind in the world.

     

    Saint Luke’s relics were entombed here following his death in 953AD, but in the 11th-century they were moved to a crypt beneath the newer Katholikon (Great Church) where they were believed to exude an aromatic smell with miraculous healing properties.

     

    Consequently, Pilgrims came from far and wide to sleep in the tomb, hoping the scented myron would cure them of their ailments. Osios Loukas quickly became extremely wealthy, allowing it to commission a series of exquisite Byzantine frescoes and mosaics. Many of the monastery’s removable mediaeval artefacts are lost to time and plunder, but virtually all of the Katholikon’s decorations remain intact, including scenes depicting the life of Christ, the Pentecost and other heavenly events. On the outside wall is a recently discovered image of Joshua, believed to represent the recapturing of Crete from the Ottomans in 961AD, an event prophesised by Saint Luke.

     

    Following your tour of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, the return drive will pass through the quaint village of Arachova, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, before stopping at the village of Delphi for some time at leisure on your way back to Aegean Odyssey.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Corfu Town Highlights

    12 May Corfu, Greece
    Half Day
    Journey to Corfu Town, where a 15th-century church holds a surprise for all who venture inside: one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art.

    Journey to Corfu Town, where a 15th century church holds a surprise for all who venture inside: one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art. Northernmost of the Ionian Islands, Corfu is renowned for its natural beauty and as a crossroads of civilisation. The island figured in The Odyssey of Homer and The Tempest of Shakespeare.

    Today's adventure starts with a scenic drive to Corfu Town's historic Campielo quarter, where the Byzantine Museum is located in the Panaghia Antivouniotissa (Our Lady Opposite the Mountain), a church that was restored by the Greek government and re-opened in 1984 as a museum. The collection exhibits a wide selection of Byzantine icons, a form of sacred art still used in the Eastern Orthodox religion and held to be an influence on Italian Renaissance artists. Highlights include an altar-cloth from Russia, the Noli Me Tangere icon (Touch Me Not) by Emmanuel Tzanes and the icon of Saints Sergius, Bacchus and Justina by Michael Damaskenos.

    After your visit a short walk takes you to the heart of Corfu Town. Visit the 16th century rococo church dedicated to St Spiridon, Corfu's patron saint, whose bones are preserved in a gleaming casket. Explore the maze of narrow, stepped streets where little has changed for centuries. Discover an array of past rulers reflected in the French boulevards, Georgian mansions, Venetian citadel and Greek temple.

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    Achilleion Palace and Paleokastritsa

    12 May Corfu, Greece
    Half Day Significant Steps
    On this tour you will journey out of the city, through the island’s fertile orange and lemon groves, to Achilleon Palace, one of the most renowned royal villas in Europe.

    On this tour you will journey out of the city, through the island’s fertile orange and lemon groves, to Achilleon Palace, one of the most renowned royal villas in Europe.

    Built in 1890, this summer residence was the dream home of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who yearned for a place of beauty to escape after the tragic death of her only son a year previously. On her ambitions for the site prior to its construction she wrote: "I want a palace with pillared colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances – a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods."

    It was up to the Italian architect Raffaele Caritto, and the German sculptor Ernst Herter, to fulfil the Empress’s wishes, delivering to her a palace and gardens full of work inspired by Greek mythology, including Herter’s garden centrepiece, Achilles Dying.

    After Elisabeth's death, the palace was inherited by her daughter and later bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II who used it as a hub of European diplomacy. Wilhelm expanded on the main theme, commissioning his own Achilles statue by Johannes Gotz, who created an imposing bronze sculpture in the Garden facing north toward the city.

    After completing a tour of the palace, there will be a visit to the Monastery of Paleokastritsa, which was founded in 1225, although the present building, a fine example of an arcaded cloister, dates from the 18th to 19th centuries.

    The monastery has a small ecclesiastical museum, with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics, along with a still-working traditional olive oil press.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Dubrovnik Walking Tour

    14 May Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Half Day Tender
    Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean.

    Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the Pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean with a seafront setting and dramatic mountain backdrop. The city skyline is a medley of bell towers, copper domes and massive 10th-century walls.

    Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century AD and was a powerful independent republic from 1358 to 1808, when Napoleon conquered the city. Today the city is an inspiration in self-resurrection. Despite a destructive earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik has managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. This morning’s walking tour of the Old Town takes you along the city’s main street, the Stradun or Placa, once a sea channel connecting two ancient settlements. Visit the Dominican Monastery, home to a beautiful 15th-century Gothic cloister and the city’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. Next, the Franciscan Monastery is home to Europe’s oldest pharmacy, founded in 1318 and still in existence.

    Your walk continues past such landmarks as the Sponza Palace with its elaborate stone exterior, the Baroque Church of St Blaise and Onofriou’s Fountain. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, originally built in the 12th century, destroyed in the 1667 earthquake and triumphantly rebuilt. View Titian’s Assumption over the main altar and, in the Treasury, one of Europe’s finest collections of gold and silver, including the bejeweled skull of St Blaise. Following the tour there will be free time to explore the nooks and crannies of the Old Town.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Palace of Diocletian

    15 May Split, Croatia
    Half Day Significant Steps
    When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia.

    When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia.

    Visit this amazing palace complex that, when completed, held three temples, a massive mausoleum, and could accommodate 9,000 people. For an intimate perspective on how life was organised, this tour includes a walk through the palace cellars. The city of Split grew inside and around this palace, with the population retreating behind its walls when under attack, and then spilling out beyond them in times of peace.

    Today the Palace of Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but don’t expect a deserted ruin. Discover instead a vibrant warren of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants mingled with medieval fortifications, preRomanesque churches and Gothic chapels. Renaissance palaces testify to a time when Split was a key port of the Venetian Republic. The tour visits Diocletian’s massive octagonal mausoleum, converted into a cathedral in the 7th century and named after a Christian martyred during that emperor’s persecutions.

    You’ll also tour the city museum where 15th-century furnishings recapture aristocratic life in that period. Other sights include the palace’s monumental Golden and Silver Gates and the columned Peristyle Square.

    Following the tour, there will be free time to visit the colorful local market or explore Split on your own.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Salona & Trogir

    15 May Split, Croatia
    Half Day Archaeological SiteCobbled Streets
    Drive along the Riviera of the Seven Castles to two gems of the Dalmatian coast: the town of Salona, home to the most important Roman excavations in Croatia, and the tiny island of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Drive along the Riviera of the Seven Castles to two gems of the Dalmatian coast: the town of Salona, home to the most important Roman excavations in Croatia, and the tiny island of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Leave behind busy Split for Solin, as ancient Salona is now called, and enter a world where time stands still. Long before Split even existed this affluent Roman colony buzzed with over 40,000 inhabitants. Here archaeologists have excavated temples, a necropolis and baths dating from the 1st century AD. There is an amphitheatre where it is thought mock naval battles where held. In this arena early Christians were martyred and their relics rest in Salona's excavated churches. Following your tour through Roman antiquity, your drive continues past the castles built by Venetians to defend against the Turks.

    Cross a bridge from the mainland and enter the Middle Ages on the island of Trogir. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a remarkable example of urban continuity starting with the Greeks in 300BC, followed by a litany of other conquerors. In the 13th century Trogir was an artistic centre under the kings of Hungary. The 13th century Cathedral of St Lawrence dominates the town, a magnificent example of sacral architecture with three naves, three apses and a grand main portal carved by a local artist known as Master Radovan.

    Enjoy an unforgettable walk along narrow stone streets whose plan dates to the Hellenistic era. Confront the past at every turn from the bright blue face of the massive Clock Tower to the mullioned windows of Cipiko Palace and Town Hall. Later you will have free time to shop for Trogir embroidery or perhaps try some palacinke (jam-filled pancakes) in a cafe.

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    Optional $ 35

    The Mosaics of Aquileia

    16 May Trieste, Italy
    Half Day
    Until 452 AD Aquileia was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the known world, with a population of over 100,000, until it was sacked and destroyed by Attila the Hun during his last attempt at conquering Rome before death, forcing the survivors to flee to the nearby lagoons of the north Adriatic coast and paving the way for modern Venice.

    Until 452 AD Aquileia was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the known world, with a population of over 100,000, until it was sacked and destroyed by Attila the Hun during his last attempt at conquering Rome before death, forcing the survivors to flee to the nearby lagoons of the north Adriatic coast and paving the way for modern Venice.

    During the Middle Ages Aquileia rose again as a Christian outpost. Its first church was built in the 4th-century and was overlaid by a flat-roofed basilica in 1031, which gradually evolved into a more Romanesque-Gothic structure. Between the 11th and 14th-centuries, a magnificent mosaic at the centre of the nave was completely covered over by plain flooring, until the beginning of the 20th-century when it was rediscovered during renovations.

    This vast mosaic covers 760 square metres and is cordoned off today, but visitors can still get close enough to admire its incredible decoration, including a boatload of angels catching different species of fish, representing the people of the world being saved by the church, as well as many other allegoric animals and portraits of local donors. After exploring the main church, the so-called “Crypt of Frescoes” contains more Paleochristian mosaics and wall decorations depicting scenes from the Old Testament. Then finally, the “Crypt of Excavations” has more mosaics, alongside the archaeological remains of a Roman villa.

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    Discovering Trieste

    16 May Trieste, Italy
    Half Day
    From the time of the ancient Romans and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the fin de siècle of the 19th-century, the Italian seaport of Trieste has always been one of the most unusual cities in Europe.

    From the time of the ancient Romans and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the fin de siècle of the 19th-century, the Italian seaport of Trieste has always been one of the most unusual cities in Europe. Frequently overlooked by visitors due to its relative isolation from the rest of Italy on the eastern side of the Adriatic, Trieste has remained something of a hidden gem and is well worth going off the beaten track to explore.

     

    The city centre has a host of highlights, including the Castle of San Giusto, which first broke ground on the site of an ancient Roman settlement in 1468 and took almost two centuries to complete. At the foot of the hill is the largest sea-facing square in Europe, the Piazza dell’Unita, which is dominated by the 19th-century Palazzo del Governo (Government House). The square is also home to several other important monuments, including the 18th-century allegorical Fountain of the Four Continents, which was designed to reflect Trieste’s place as a thriving free port and international trade centre.

     

    The neoclassical Stock Exchange is one of the oldest functioning exchanges in the world, while in the old town, the well-preserved ruins of the 1st-century AD Roman amphitheatre is large enough to have seated 6,000 spectators. The 18th-century Canal Grade is highly reminiscent of a Venetian waterway and was once the hub of Trieste’s commercial activity, but today its banks are lined with stylish cafes, theatres and museums. There are also plenty of wonderful churches to see, including a Serb-Orthodox chapel, Jewish Temple, Greek-Orthodox sanctuary and Catholic Cathedral.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Walking Tour of Venice

    17 May Venice, Italy
    Half Day Extensive WalkingBoat Ride
    Whether it is your first time or fifteenth in Venice, it is easy to get lost amid the labyrinth of bridges, footpaths and waterways, but save that pleasure for later.

    Whether it is your first or fifteenth time in Venice, it is easy to get lost amid the labyrinth of bridges, footpaths and waterways, but save that pleasure for later. On this walking tour, a knowledgeable guide will navigate the city for you, uncovering its treasures as he or she shares its tales. Travel by boat down the beautiful Guidecca Canal to the heart of Venice, St Mark’s Square, and disembark at the bustling Riva degli Schiavoni. Stand in the regally proportioned square so famous for its pigeons and pealing bell towers. Sights here include the Campanile and the 15thcentury clock tower where two huge bronze statues strike the hour.

    Walk to St Mark's Basilica, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, and admire its façade mosaics and golden dome, both superbly restored to their original grandeur. Next, take in the beauty of the Doge's Palace, a 14th-century Gothic masterpiece with pink marble exterior and lacy stone arches. For nearly a thousand years, this was the seat of the Venetian government and the residence of the Republic's elected leader, the Doge. After viewing this sight from outside, you'll have free time to explore the shops and cafes around St Mark's Square, where necklaces of Venetian glass make a treasured souvenir.

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    Murano & Burano

    17 May Venice, Italy
    Half Day Boat Ride
    Travel by boat to two islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Murano of glass-making fame, and Burano with its gaily painted fishermen's houses. En route, your guide will provide information, then enjoy independent exploration at each destination.

    Travel by boat to two islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Murano of glass-making fame, and Burano with its gaily painted fishermen's houses. En route, your guide will provide information, then enjoy independent exploration at each destination.

    Start with a visit to Murano, "the island of glass." In the 13th century the glass factories moved here from the city to prevent fires and by the 15th century this was the leading glassproducing center in Europe, noted especially for its chandeliers. To this day glass-making is the heart of the local economy. You'll have the opportunity to watch a master at work and see why these artisans once enjoyed privileges reserved for the ruling elite, including immunity from prosecution and the right to bear arms. The island's 11th-century Camaldolese Benedictine Monastery of St Michael fostered map making, critical to the era of navigation.

    Your next stop, Burano, is actually an archipelago of islands connected by bridges. Stroll along canals lined with brightly painted boats and just-as-colorful houses. While the men fished, the women specialized in delicate lace, and the island was an important trading hub in the 16th century. Today, lace made by the time-consuming traditional methods is highly prized and can be seen in the Lace making Museum. 

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    Special Evening Visit to Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

    17 May Venice, Italy
    Half Day
    San Giovanni Evangelista is one of five mediaeval “Scuola Grandi” Great Schools that once provided charitable and artistic patronage to the people of Venice and played an important part in the complex Venetian social system of its day. This very special event inside its magnificent rooms is exclusive to Voyages to Antiquity and begins with a fascinating guided tour around the complex, after which an apéritif will be served in the pilgrim’s gathering place, the grand Sala delle Colonne (“Hall of Columns”).

    San Giovanni Evangelista is one of five mediaeval “Scuola Grandi” Great Schools that once provided charitable and artistic patronage to the people of Venice and played an important part in the complex Venetian social system of its day. This very special event inside its magnificent rooms is exclusive to Voyages to Antiquity and begins with a fascinating guided tour around the complex, after which an apéritif will be served in the pilgrim’s gathering place, the grand Sala delle Colonne (“Hall of Columns”).

     

    Founded in 1261, San Giovanni Evangelista is the second oldest scuola in Venice and is famed throughout the Christian world for possessing a piece of the True Cross, which was donated to the school by a French knight and governor of Jerusalem, Philippe de Mézières, in 1369. The arrival of this most Holy Relic transformed the scuola from a confraternity of flagellants into a powerful Renaissance guild capable of commissioning paintings by many important artists, including Gentile Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio and Titian.

     

    Most of these works are now on display in the Gallerie dell’Accademies, but San Giovanni is still home to some wonderful pieces, including Domenico Tintoretto’s 17th-century rendition of the Crucifixion, as well as episodes from the life of St John the Evangelist. During your tour you will be able to see Codussi’s magnificent vaulted Scalone Monumentale (Great Staircase), followed by the elegant 18th-century Salone, that was designed by Giorgio Massari to house a series of scenes by Tiepolo from the Book of Revelation. The Sala Dell’Albergo is where the school governors would originally have convened, but it is the Oratory of the Cross, where the piece of the True Cross is kept inside its Gothic reliquary, that is the spiritual and symbolic centre of the scuola.

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    Included

    Bob Porter

    Bob Porter, Brandenburg Choral Festival of London
    Come & sing at sea with Bob Porter!

    Bob Porter’s experience as a choir master, conductor and artistic director is back by popular demand. The voyage will include daily singing workshops and a final performance at the end of the voyage, arranged by Bob Porter and the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

    Come & sing at sea with Bob Porter!

    Bob Porter’s experience as a choir master, conductor and artistic director is back by popular demand. The voyage will include daily singing workshops and a final performance at the end of the voyage, arranged by Bob Porter and the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

    After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bob worked as a musician and teacher, returning to Guildhall to teach and becoming Head of Wind and Percussion in 1985 - a position he still holds today. In the early 1980s, Bob founded the Brandenburg Sinfonia, the first of a group of orchestras under his artistic direction and later in 2010, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

    Starting with six concerts at St Martins-in-the-Fields, it has now grown to around 120 events annually making it the largest and most significant Choral Festival in the country.

    This year the Festival boasted more than 70 choirs in 67 concerts, covering the standard masterpieces of the choral repertoire along with jazz, barbershop and gospel, also making it one of the most varied and inclusive Choral Festivals!

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    Dr Christopher Whitton

    Dr Christopher Whitton, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
    Christopher Whitton is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He was educated in his home town of Lancaster, as a scholar at Eton College, and as an undergraduate and graduate student at St John’s College, Cambridge.

    Christopher Whitton is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He was educated in his home town of Lancaster, as a scholar at Eton College, and as an undergraduate and graduate student at St John’s College, Cambridge. On receiving his doctorate in 2007 he was appointed to a tenured Faculty position at Cambridge, where he teaches Greek and Latin language and literature; he is also Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics at Emmanuel College. Away from Cambridge, he has been affiliated with Harvard University as a John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow, with Basel University as a guest lecturer, and with the Free University Berlin and Rostock University as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. He has published books with Cambridge and Oxford University Presses and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement.

    Christopher’s research focuses on the literature, history and culture of the Roman Empire, but his interests and expertise extend across the ancient Mediterranean world. A regular visitor to both Greece and the Italian peninsula, he began lecturing on cruises in 2014 and has accompanied groups around the Aegean, the classical sites of Turkey, and the Black Sea.

    Outside his work (and pleasure) in Classics, Christopher is a professional church musician. As an undergraduate he was Organ Student of St John’s College, Cambridge, where he played for the  prize-winning Naxos recordings of works by Finzi, Leighton, Stanford and Walton. Having held positions at Winchester College, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Church of the Advent in Boston and St Bartholomew the Great in London, he now serves as Director of Music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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    Dr Michael Squire

    Dr Michael Squire , King’s College London
    Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London. After receiving a starred first in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology (both at Trinity College, Cambridge), he received his PhD in 2007, with the Hellenic Society prize for best dissertation. Michael has held research fellowships and visiting professorships at Cambridge, Cologne, Munich and Stanford; he also held a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, and has worked at several Berlin institutes – including the Humboldt University, the Wissenschaftskolleg and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

    Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London. After receiving a starred first in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology (both at Trinity College, Cambridge), he received his PhD in 2007, with the Hellenic Society prize for best dissertation. Michael has held research fellowships and visiting professorships at Cambridge, Cologne, Munich and Stanford; he also held a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, and has worked at several Berlin institutes – including the Humboldt University, the Wissenschaftskolleg and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

    Michael’s publications straddle the fields of Classics, archaeology, art history and aesthetics. His first book, Panorama of the Classical World (2004, with Nigel Spivey), has been translated into six languages, and as a doctoral student he co-wrote a guidebook to Rome. Since then he has written around a hundred articles and three further books (including The Art of the Body: Antiquity and its Legacy, 2011); he has also edited eight volumes, on topics including ancient ideas of ‘art’, picture-poetry, Greek and Roman picture-frames, the German Enlightenment and Hegelian philosophy. His work was recognised in 2012 with the award of a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize.

    Michael has always combined his research with an active programme of cultural engagement and education. He is an accredited NADFAS lecturer and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; he has also featured on programmes for BBC Radio 4, BBC television, the BBC World Service and ABC in Australia. Over the last ten years, he has regularly accompanied tours around Italy, the Baltic, Greece, Turkey and the Black Sea, and in spring 2018 he will be curating a London exhibition on Modern Classicisms: Contemporary and Classical Art in Dialogue

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    Prof Sandy Primrose MBE

    Prof Sandy Primrose MBE, Biotechnologist
    Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.

    Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.

    In 1981 he made a career change by moving to industry where he held senior management positions, first in a pharmaceutical company and later in diagnostic, food and environmental companies. After 20 years in industry he made another career change and started working as a biotechnology consultant as well as being an adviser to various UK governmental organisations (Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). He was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to the Food Standards Agency.

    Sandy still consults widely as well as being Chairman of a number of small, high technology companies. He has written a number of very popular scientific textbooks but is particularly proud of his recent publication entitled Plants, Poisons and Personalities which is aimed at lay audiences. Sandy’s passion is gardening and the half-acre garden of his house between London and Oxford is filled with unusual trees and shrubs.

    Over the years he has shown many groups round his garden and when he does so he tells them the stories behind the plants that he grows. These stories, and his experiences in industry, form the basis of his entertaining cruise lectures that cover topics in gardening, uses of plants, plant history and plant conservation. 

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    Hotel Grande Bretagne

    Athens, Greece
    2-night hotel stay in Athens
    Balcony Class
    Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 elegant guest rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition.

    Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 elegant guest rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition. Retreats and restaurants include the Winter Garden, Alexander's Bar, the Pool Bar (on the seventh floor!) and floodlit views of the Acropolis from the hotel's roof garden.

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    Included

    Voyages to Antiquity is pleased to offer free Economy Class airfare*, available from a variety of US gateways for select cruise itineraries!

    Free roundtrip airfare from select US gateways

    Voyages to Antiquity's Economy Class airfare program uses the world's leading airlines and offers convenient routings and exceptional savings. Upgrade costs for Business Class may be available on request - please call for details.

    Sample gateways for our free roundtrip economy airfare, relevant to select itineraries only, are shown below.

    Sample free economy airfare gateways*

    AtlantaFREENew YorkFREE
    BostonFREEPhiladelphiaFREE
    CharlotteFREEPortland, ORFREE
    ChicagoFREESan AntonioFREE
    DallasFREESan FranciscoFREE
    DenverFREESeattleFREE
    DetroitFREESt LouisFREE
    HoustonFREETampaFREE
    Los AngelesFREEMinneapolisFREE
    MiamiFREEWashington DCFREE

    *Free roundtrip airfare is economy class only, varies by gateway and departure, and includes all government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges, which may change at any time. Airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply.

    Some restrictions apply. You may not be able to change your confirmed flight arrangements without an additional charge. All air itineraries are subject to change and are not considered final until ticketed at 30 days prior to sailing. Some gateways may require departures 1 day prior to dates on pre-cruise land programs or 1 day later than dates on post-cruise programs shown on the website and in the brochure.

    Customized air travel

    You may wish to make changes to the flight itinerary provided by Voyages to Antiquity.

    Your travel agent can make these flight requests on your behalf when you confirm your reservation. For example, you may wish to request travel on a specific carrier, or travel on different departure or return dates. Any additional costs associated with the change(s) will be added to your reservation once your new itinerary has been accepted.

    Seat assignments

    Voyages to Antiquity will request aisle and next seating when making your flight arrangements. Some airlines no longer allow specific seats to be requested for Economy Class travel. You or your travel agent may contact the carrier directly to request any special arrangements.

    Frequent Flyer mileage

    You will be able to accrue miles on most carriers we use, but will not be able to use miles for upgrades or any other amenities. Special requests and services should be arranged directly with the airline. 

    Included transfers

    Transfers between airports, hotels and Aegean Odyssey while on your cruise-tour abroad are included. You'll be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred in comfort to the ship. At the end of your cruise holiday, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

    Note: Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours (including optional pre- and post hotel stays) as outlined on the website and our brochure. The included transfers are only available for guests using Voyages to Antiquity air arrangements. 

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    Owner's Suites

    BALCONY
    Owner's Suites, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    550 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, dressing area, separate sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $13,195*pp
    $14,195*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    B

    Junior Suites

    BALCONY
    Junior Suites, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    310 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $12,150*pp
    $13,150*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    C

    Deluxe Balcony

    BALCONY
    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    275 sq ft staterooms located on Lido & Bridge Decks. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected. Cabins 807, 808 on Lido Deck are smaller and do not have a sitting area.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $10,945*pp
    $11,795*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    D

    Deluxe Balcony

    BALCONY
    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    275 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $10,395*pp
    $11,245*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    E

    Deluxe Outside

    PREMIUM
    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    215 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Private bath/ shower or walk-in shower. Convertible twin beds. Cabins 556 and 563 are smaller but have a fixed double bed and a balcony.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,595*pp
    $10,345*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    F

    Deluxe Outside

    PREMIUM
    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    170-200sq ft staterooms located on Bridge and Belvedere Decks. Bath/Shower or walk-in shower.
    Convertible twin beds or Fixed Double Bed. Cabins 535 and 536 have fixed twin beds only.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,145*pp
    $9,895*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    G

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130-150 sq ft staterooms located on Bridge & Lido Decks. Private shower, fixed twin beds, convertible twin beds or fixed double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $8,595*pp
    $9,250*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    H

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    Premium Outside 130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $8,145*pp
    $8,795*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Columbus
    Columbus
    I*

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Bridge Deck. Private shower. Fixed twin beds or fixed double bed.
    Views in some cabins partially obstructed by Life Boats.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $7,595*pp
    $8,245*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    J

    Standard Outside

    PREMIUM
    Standard Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.
    * Please note the photo shows a Category H premium outside cabin. Category J standard outside cabins feature portholes instead of windows.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $7,095*pp
    $7,745*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    K

    Premium Inside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $6,745*pp
    $7,295*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    L

    Premium Inside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $6,350*pp
    $6,850*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    M

    Standard Inside

    PREMIUM
    Standard Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $5,895*pp
    $6,395*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Columbus
    Columbus
    CC

    Deluxe Balcony

    SINGLE CABINS
    Deluxe Balcony, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    135 sq ft single occupancy stateroom located on Lido Deck (Cabins 809, 810). Walk-in shower and private balcony. Fixed small double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $13,295*pp
    $14,145*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    EE

    Deluxe Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Deluxe Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    135 sq ft single occupancy Deluxe staterooms located on Belvedere Deck(554, 561). Shower, European full-size bed and a small balcony.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $11,645*pp
    $12,395*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    GG*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Single occupancy Premium outside staterooms located on Bridge and Lido Deck. Private shower and a European full-size bed. Views in cabins 726, 724 on Belvedere deck are partially obstructed by lifeboats.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $10,495*pp
    $11,150*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    HH*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Premium outside single occupancy staterooms located on Bridge & Belvedere decks, featuring a European full-size bed and a private shower.
     * Please note the cabin plan and photo shows the Category H double occupancy stateroom. Category HH single staterooms are smaller and feature one European full-size bed. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats in the cabins on Bridge deck.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,945*pp
    $10,595*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Bridge
    Bridge
    II*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft Premuim Outside staterooms located on Bridge Deck, featuring a double window and a European full-size bed with private shower. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats.
    *Please note the photo & cabin plan show a double occupancy I cabin. Cabins 710 and 712 (Category II, single occupancy) are smaller in size and feature a single European size bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,195*pp
    $9,845*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    JJ

    Standard Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Standard Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Single occupancy standard outside cabins located on Columbus Deck, featuring portholes in place of windows. A single European size bed with private shower.
    *Please note the picture shows a standard outside double occupancy cabin. Single occupancy cabins are smaller and feature a single European size bed and portholes instead of windows.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $8,750*pp
    $9,350*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    KK

    Premium Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $8,195*pp
    $8,745*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    LL

    Premium Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $7,795*pp
    $8,295*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    MM

    Standard Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Standard Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft Standard inside single occupancy cabins located on Belvedere Decks. A small double bed with private shower.
    *Please note the picture shows a double occupancy inside cabin. Cabins MM are smaller and feature a small double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $6,350*pp
    $6,850*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Port Fees & Service Charges (included in fares above)
    $1,045
    Air Credit (when making your own air arrangements)
    $1,000
    Cruise Only Credit (when making own air and hotel arrangements)
    $1,800

    MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY

     

    There is a particular pleasure that comes with cruising aboard a smaller ship. Hosting an average of just 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey is no ‘floating city’. She is small enough to sail rivers and put into the more characterful ports inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships’, the service is more personal and you get plenty of time to interact with the onboard experts.

    Yet on the other hand, she is large enough to offer a superb selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa centre and well-stocked library. Cabins are spacious, modern and intelligently designed, and 39 cabins across a range of categories (including balcony) are set aside for solo travellers at low supplement.  

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    Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. The single supplement offers only apply to our single cabin categories. Special Offers are strictly capacity controlled, subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time and are not always combinable. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other unforeseeable circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time.