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Grand Aegean Experience I

Athens to Athens

23 days

1-night hotel stay in Nauplia

1-night hotel stay in Delphi

2-night hotel stay in Athens

from $6,395 pp

30 Sep, 2018

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

AEG181005A

  • 23 days
  • 1 Country
  • 4 hotel nights
  • 17 shore excursions
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The first of our Greece only grand voyages, this quintessential journey into the classicism of the region begins with four nights on land, including a two-night hotel stay in Athens, giving you time to experience the capital’s many wonders, including the world-famous Acropolis, site of the Parthenon. Then take a sightseeing drive to the monastery of Osios Loukas and Delphi, before exploring one of the greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilisation, followed by the Greek amphitheatre of Epidaurus.

Board Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus and head for the Minoan site of Akrotiri on Santorini and the Minotaur’s Labyrinth of Knossos. In Rhodes, visit the Acropolis of Lindos, then step ashore on sacred Delos, before relaxing in Mykonos. On the island of Tinos, the shrine to Our Lady of Tinos is a major landmark, as are the Byzantine Monasteries at Meteora, one of the most remarkable sights in the Mediterranean.

Mount Olympus, home of the gods, lies near Thessalonica, then cruise past Mount Athos to Philippi, where the apostle St Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe. Experience some Greece’s most beautiful islands, from historic Samothraki to picturesque Chios and Patmos, the “Jerusalem of the Aegean”, where Saint John is said to have written the Book of Revelation.

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Sep 30
Sun
    Departure
    Depart North America
    Oct 01
    Mon
    Athens , Greece
    Arrive into Athens and transfer to hotel
    overnight hotel
    Oct 02
    Tue
    Athens , Greece
    Choice of tours - Visit Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum or Byzantine Athens.
    overnight hotel
    Oct 03
    Wed
    Delphi , Greece
    Morning drive to Delphi via Osios Loukas, lunch and afternoon Delphi sightseeing.
    overnight hotel
    Oct 04
    Thu
    Nauplia , Greece
    Morning drive to Mycenae for sightseeing, then on to Nauplia for overnight
    overnight hotel
    Oct 05
    Fri
    Piraeus , Greece
    Sightseeing in Epidaurus en route to embark Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus
    8.00pm
    Oct 06
    Sat
    Hydra , Greece
    Day at leisure to visit one of the most charming Greek islands, Hydra
    10.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 07
    Sun
    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
    Oct 08
    Mon
    Heraklion, Crete , Greece
    Tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Optional afternoon tour to explore Cretan village life
    10.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 09
    Tue
    Karpathos , Greece
    Enjoy the dramatic scenery and wild mountains in Karpathos or optional tour available.
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 10
    Wed
    Rhodes , Greece
    World Heritage sites: choice of tours to Rhodes town or the Acropolis at Lindos
    10.00pm
    7.00am
    Oct 11
    Thu
    Nisyros , Greece
    Discover the treasures of Nisyros
    6.00pm
    9.00am
    Oct 12
    Fri
    Delos , Greece
    Morning visit to the sacred island of Delos
    noon
    8.00am
    Oct 12
    Fri
    Mykonos , Greece
    Afternoon at leisure in Mykonos
    8.00pm
    2.00pm
    Oct 13
    Sat
    Piraeus , Greece
    Sightseeing in Athens
    8.00pm
    6.00am
    Oct 14
    Sun
    Tinos , Greece
    Visit the sleepy island of Tinos
    2.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 15
    Mon
    Volos , Greece
    See the famous Byzantine monasteries at Meteora
    7.00pm
    7.00am
    Oct 16
    Tue
    Thessalonica , Greece
    A choice of two city tours: City tour or The Byzantine heritage of Thessalonica, including 5th-century basilica Agios Dimítrios & the Rotónda or explore the Roman baths complex and the Odeon in Dion. Optional tour available
    overnight
    7.00am
    Oct 17
    Wed
    Thessalonica , Greece
    Depart Thessalonica
    5.00am
    Oct 17
    Wed
    Mount Athos , Greece
    Cruising past Mt Athos
    cruising
    Oct 18
    Thu
    Kavala , Greece
    Morning tour to the famous site of Philippi. Afternoon at leisure
    8.00pm
    6.00am
    Oct 19
    Fri
    Samothraki , Greece
    Explore Samothraki.
    2.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 20
    Sat
    Chios , Greece
    Discover the magical island of Chios
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 21
    Sun
    Patmos , Greece
    Visit the Medieval village of Chora and the Monastery of St John the Theologian – together a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    2.00pm
    8.00am
    Oct 22
    Mon
    Piraeus , Greece
    Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to airport for flight home

    Byzantine Athens

    2 Oct Athens, Greece
    Half Day
    Never in the history of Christianity has a school of artists infused such a high degree of spirituality into its work.

    Never in the history of Christianity has a school of artists infused such a high degree of spirituality into its work. Byzantine theologians insisted that painters and mosaicists reflect the image of God. This morning's sightseeing reveals the splendour of Byzantine art in a tour that combines visits to both the Byzantine Museum, home to the world's largest collection of icons, and also the Monastery of Kaisariani with its fine frescoes and elegant gardens.

    Drive from the pier to Illissia Mansion, winter residence of the Duchess of Piacenza, and home to the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Founded in 1914, this renowned museum focuses exclusively on Byzantine art from the 4th to 19th centuries. In addition to its impressive icons, frescoes and tapestries, there are paintings, sculptures and illuminated manuscripts. Displays recreate Byzantine churches from the 5th to 11th centuries.

    Continue next to the slopes of Mt. Hymettos, for a visit to the Monastery of Kaisariani, a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture. Inside its high walls discover the 11th-century catholicon, or main church, built in a Greek cross shape. The dome is supported by four columns from an earlier Roman temple and colourful frescoes from the 14th to 18th centuries enliven the interior walls. There is also an 11th-century bathhouse. Later additions include a refectory, the monks’ cells and a 19th-century bell tower. Savour the views of Athens and the serenity of this delightful spot before returning to your hotel.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Acropolis and Acropolis Museum

    2 Oct Athens, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteCobbled StreetsUphill Sections
    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

    Delphi and its Museum

    3 Oct Delphi, Greece
    Overnight Lunch Included
    Delphi was considered by the ancients to be the physical and spiritual center of the earth.  The shrine of Apollo, set nearly 2,000 feet up on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, exerts today a potent grip on the visitor. Here was the most respected oracle of antiquity.

    After breakfast, board your coach and drive to Delphi, on the way visit Osios Loukas Monastery. 

    Delphi was considered by the ancients to be the physical and spiritual center of the earth.  The shrine of Apollo, set nearly 2,000 feet up on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, exerts today a potent grip on the visitor. Here was the most respected oracle of antiquity.  Even the most intelligent individuals who lived during the brilliant civilization of Athens believed implicitly in the responses of the god. These were given by the inspired priestess Pythia and were interpreted, usually with an ambiguous touch, by the priests. 

    Delphi grew fabulously rich with offerings and though the ruins have almost disappeared now, you can admire them and try to picture the sanctuary as it was during its 1,000 years.  Zealous Christians initiated the destruction of this holy place and earthquakes added to its destruction. Your tour begins with a drive northwest via Thebes and Levadia, and you will be able to buy refreshments during a brief stop before reaching Delphi. 

    The site is breathtaking and the view from the top, down to the blue waters of the  Gulf of Corinth, is spectacular.  The drive will take you by the sacred Castalian spring and close to the ancient site of Apollo's sanctuary.  You will then walk the sacred way, visiting the treasuries, the place of offerings, the Grand Temple of Apollo and the theater, with its splendid acoustics.

    The tour continues with a visit to the Museum housing many treasures.  Omphalos, which marked the center of the world and the Charioteer, one of the finest pieces surviving from the fifth century B.C.are among the many wonders housed in the museum.

    Afterwards a short drive will take you to your hotel for overnight in this beautiful village, where dinner will be included.

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    Included

    Sightseeing tour of Argolis

    4 Oct Nauplia, Greece
    Overnight Lunch IncludedArchaeological Site
    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.

    In the morning take a coach and drive towards the Peloponnese, passing through the Rio-Antirrio bridge. Arrive in Mycenae and visit the great sites. 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.

    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).

    In the afternoon drive to Nafplio, the capital of Argolis area. The ancient part of the town is exciting and has its own unusual, authentic atmosphere. It has cobbled alleyways paved with stone and is lined with shops and many local taverns. With its old medieval neoclassic town, Nafplio is a dream to visit. We overnight at a hotel in this picturesque port, where dinner is included.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Epidaurus

    5 Oct Piraeus, Greece
    Half Day
    In the 6th century BC, Epidaurus 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 BC building campaign.

    In the 6th century BC, Epidaurus 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 BC building campaign.

    Today Epidaurus is a vast UNESCO World Heritage site with temples and hospital buildings that provide insight into the healing cults as well as the theatrical arts of the time. The jewel is the theatre designed by the architect Polycletus.

    Over 14,000 seats are carved into the hillside and the acoustics are so perfect that it is said you can hear a pin drop from the highest tier. The theatre, universally admired from the start, was extended in Roman times, restored in the 1950s and is still in use.

    Nowhere is it so easy to envision the staging of the great tragedies and comedies than in this pure masterpiece of Greek architecture.

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    Included

    Santorini: Akrotiri and Oia

    7 Oct 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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    Santorini: Oia and Argyros Winery

    7 Oct 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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    Cultural Activity

    The Palace of Knossos

    8 Oct 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

    8 Oct 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.

    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.

    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

    9 Oct Karpathos, Greece
    Half Day Tender Cobbled StreetsWinding road
    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

    9 Oct Karpathos, Greece
    Full Day Tender Boat RideCobbled StreetsWinding road
    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

    10 Oct 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. 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.

    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

    10 Oct 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

    11 Oct 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

    12 Oct 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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    Tinos Highlights

    14 Oct Tinos, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    Located in the Cyclades archipelago between Andros and Mykonos, Tinos is an island of huge Christian importance, but in ancient mythology it was also the place where Hercules killed the sons of Boreas. In revenge, The God of the North Wind cast an eternal breath across Tinos, which you may feel during your scenic drive through its picturesque villages.

    Located in the Cyclades archipelago between Andros and Mykonos, Tinos is an island of huge Christian importance, but in ancient mythology it was also the place where Hercules killed the sons of Boreas. In revenge, The God of the North Wind cast an eternal breath across Tinos, which you may feel during your scenic drive through its picturesque villages.

    The mediaeval convent of Kechrovouni is where the nun Pelagia is said to have received her vision from the Virgin Mary in 1822, shortly after the formation of modern Greece. This holy communion led to the discovery of a miraculous icon buried near the town of Tinos where you will later visit. Today the convent is inhabited by about forty nuns, but you will be able to see the cell where Pelagia spent her time in quiet contemplation.

    From here the tour continues to the mountain of Xomburgo and the ruins of a Venetian castle, before arriving at the unusual village of Volax, which is surrounded by huge red boulders of volcanic rock that are a stark contrast to the charming white houses.

    Returning to the main town of Tinos, the world famous Panagía Evangelístria Church was built directly above the site were Pelegia’s icon was discovered. This miraculous event is celebrated by pilgrims throughout the year, but especially on the feast day of the Virgin, when thousands travel from all over the world to visit the most important Marian shrine in Greece.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Remarkable Monasteries of Meteora

    15 Oct Volos, Greece
    Full Day Lunch IncludedSignificant Steps
    Perhaps the highlight of any trip to Greece is the sight of the Byzantine monasteries built atop the rock towers of Meteora.

    Perhaps the highlight of any trip to Greece is the sight of the Byzantine monasteries built atop the rock towers of Meteora. The very word means "suspended in air" and their effect is unforgettable. These sandstone "columns in the sky" soar up over a thousand feet above sea level and are crowned with monasteries built by anchorite monks from the 11th century onward. In all, there are twenty-four monasteries in Meteora, and while many have fallen into ruin, some of those that remain are adorned with beautiful frescoes which mark a key stage in postByzantine art. Originally visitors were winched up to the monasteries by a windlass, but stairs were cut in the 1930s to ease access a bit.

    From the ship, it’s a 2-hour drive across the fertile plain of Thessaly, the country of the mythical centaurs and the site of a battle between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. The monks who built the monasteries were looking for an escape from later battles, and nature provided the perfect place in Meteora. The rock formations unfold along a winding road, and whether they were formed, as some hold, by an ancient lake 30 million years ago or by the flow of the Peneus River, they are stupendous. Six of the monasteries are still inhabited and two are nunneries. Visit the oldest and most accessible monastery, Agios Stephanos, now a convent. The Byzantine Emperor Paleologos stayed here in 1333 while en route to a battle on the plains below. The nuns here are involved in artistic pursuits that include icon painting, and the monasteries 15th-century church has an icon museum.

    Next, visit the Varlaam Monastery, which requires climbing about 150 steps, but it is well worth the effort both for the commanding views of the Pindus Range and also the fabled frescoes that include an apocalyptic vision of hell. Following the visit, we'll continue driving through this unearthly landscape, viewing new sights as we descend slowly to the plain. Few sights are more iconic than this.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Thessalonica City Tour

    16 Oct Thessalonica, Greece
    Half Day
    Since its foundation by king Cassander of Macedonia in 315 B.C. and named after his wife and stepsister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki has always been a metropolis.

    Enter the ancient walls of Thessalonica to discover the wondrous monuments of a city that was once the capital of Roman Macedonia and, in the Byzantine era, second only to Constantinople. Founded in 315BC by Cassander of Macedonia and named after his wife, a stepsister of Alexander the Great, the city was a metropolis from the start. Today it is the second largest city in Greece, as well as the principle gateway from the Mediterranean to the Balkans and Central Europe. The past has left a splendid variety of art and architecture from the Hellenistic era to the present, witness to a far-reaching heritage.

    Begin with a visit to the White Tower, a restored 15th century Venetian fortification that is the city symbol. Also known as the Blood Tower, this was the site of a massacre of Christian soldiers during the Turkish occupation. Your scenic tour includes a look at the grounds of the International Trade Fair, the campus of the university and such Roman treasures as the Arch of Galerious and a brickwork Rotunda probably intended as that emperor's mausoleum.

    Visit the Church of St Dimitrios built on the spot where the city's patron saint was martyred. Then continue to the Archaeological Museum, home to a wealth of gold jewellery, part of the celebrated finds from the Hellenistic tombs at Derveni, discovered by chance in 1961. Other highlights include the Citadel and City Walls, from which you will have a marvellous view of the city, the Thermaic Gulf and, in the background, Mount Olympus, the home of the gods.

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    Cultural Activity

    Ancient Dion

    16 Oct Thessalonica, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    Dion was founded in the 5th century BC at the foot of Mount Olympus, home to the gods of classical Greece, where festivals and games took place that lasted nine days, dedicated to the divinities of art and culture, known as the nine muses.

    Dion was founded in the 5th century BC at the foot of Mount Olympus, home to the gods of classical Greece, where festivals and games took place that lasted nine days, dedicated to the divinities of art and culture, known as the nine muses.

    Alexander the Great is said to have offered a sacrifice to the gods here before heading to Asia Minor with his fleet. Dion grew and flourished until the 5th century AD, when an earthquake resulted in the city being abandoned.

    You will start your visit exploring the Archaeological Park outside the ancient fortification walls, taking you past the sanctuaries of the Olympic gods, a Roman theatre and Hellenistic theatre that is still in use today during the summer festival.

    Your tour will then continue inside the walls, where you will follow your guide through the streets of the ancient city to see the Roman baths complex and the Odeon, where music and poetry was performed. Farther along are the Sanctuary of Asclepius, whose worship was connected with the healing of the body, and the Villa of Dionysos which has a unique mosaic floor.

    Finally you will be given a tour of the museum complementing everything you have seen in the park. Exhibits here include remains from the first cult of Zeus and its sanctuary near the site of Mount Olympus, as well as some vases, jewellery and statues from the Villa of Dionysos. Construction materials, building tools and coins unearthed during the excavation also provide a look at everyday life in this ancient city.

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    Traces of Alexander the Great

    16 Oct Thessalonica, Greece
    Full day Extensive WalkingLunch IncludedArchaeological Site
    During this tour to the archaeological museum near Pella, the ancient city of Macedon, we will see many residences of the ancient aristocrats, alongside findings from various excavations, including exceptional floor mosaics from the 4th century BC.

    During this tour to the archaeological museum near Pella, the ancient city of Macedon, we will see many residences of the ancient aristocrats, alongside findings from various excavations, including exceptional floor mosaics from the 4th century BC.

    The daily life of Pella has been wonderfully brought to life in this museum, where the restoration of period furniture, models and clothes has been carefully designed to provide an insight into every facet of the ancient city, from administration and production to commerce.

    After finishing at Pella, we will have some free time before we move to the town of Veria, where Apostle Paul famously preached, for a traditional Macedonian lunch. We will then visit the burial site of Macedonia’s kings, including the father of Alexander the Great.

    The Royal Tombs of Vergina are among antiquity’s greatest treasures, although for centuries they lay hidden beneath a mound known as the “tumulus” where local children played football. The small village of Vergina, once known as Aegea, is renowned for its remarkable temple complex, which has only been open to the public since 1993. Here we will visit the unique museum and descend underground to see the tombs, including a newly constructed exhibit of ancient artefacts, all of which are masterpieces of ancient Greek art, including golden laurel wreaths, silver vessels, miniature sculpture and paintings. Of special note are the crown, armour, shield and magnificent gold casket of Philip II.

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    Optional $ 79
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    Cultural Activity

    Ancient Philippi

    18 Oct Kavala, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    Visit the city founded by (and named after) Philip of Macedonia in 356BC, confront antiquity at every turn of its extraordinary archaeological site, and, in addition, visit the stream where St Paul's first European convert to Christianity was baptized.

    Visit the city founded by (and named after) Philip of Macedonia in 356BC, confront antiquity at every turn of its extraordinary archaeological site, and, in addition, visit the stream where St Paul's first European convert to Christianity was baptised. Today's adventure starts from Kavala, once the ancient port of Philippi, where a castle overlooks the bustling harbour. The drive to Philippi is only a short distance, but it takes you a long way back in time. The site is at the foot of Mount Pangeon on the border of a marsh that once covered the entire plain. History whispers at every turn. Thucydides was exiled here. When the city was a Roman colony, Julius Caesar's assassins, Brutus and Cassius, met their deaths at the Battle of Philippi. Saint Paul visited several times and wrote a letter thanking the citizens for their support while he was in jail.

    Tour the main archaeological site to see the extensive ruins, which include a large Roman forum, sacred gates, baths, wrestling rings and even a public latrine with marble seats. Other sights include the reputed "jail" of St Paul, a theatre from the classical period and two Byzantine basilicas. These testify to the town's transition to a Christian headquarters. On your return to the ship, stop at the stream where St Paul's first European convert, a merchant-woman named Lydia, was christened along with the rest of her household. The site is marked by a Greek Orthodox basilica. From here it's a short drive back to the ship. Time permitting you may chose to remain in town and return to the ship at leisure.

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    Included

    Samothraki Highlights

    19 Oct Samothraki, Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingCobbled Streets
    In the time of Antiquity, initiation into Samothraki’s mystery cult of the Great Gods brought with it the promise of protection at sea and the opportunity to “become a better and more pious person in all ways”. The nature of these rites was held in silent trust by its members, but today the Samothrace Temple Complex still maintains the aura of a place where momentous events occurred.

    In the time of Antiquity, initiation into Samothraki’s mystery cult of the Great Gods brought with it the promise of protection at sea and the opportunity to “become a better and more pious person in all ways”. The nature of these rites was held in silent trust by its members, but today the Samothrace Temple Complex still maintains the aura of a place where momentous events occurred. Your guided tour of this remarkable archaeological site includes all the major ruins, from the Propylon gatehouse of Ptolemy II, to the temple of Hieron, where initiation into the cult took place. Another highlight are the remains of the largest covered round space in the ancient Greek world, the Arsinoé Rotunda, which is believed to have been used for animal sacrifices during festivals.

    From here the tour moves to the Folklore Museum in the town of Samothraki. This multi-storey building recreates two versions of traditional life on the island. The ground floor is filled with agricultural tools and paraphernalia relating to Kechagias, or cattle farmers, while the upper floor represents a more urbane Samothraki household. On display are authentic costumes and decorative plates, alongside an ornately carved wooden iconostasis and a 20th-century ‘mesandra’. This large wardrobe was an essential piece of furniture for any wealthy Samothrace family and would have taken pride of place in the living room. The walls are adorned with silk and cotton woven towels known as ‘marchamades’, as well as early photographs that provide a fascinating insight into the stories of the people who lived on the island.

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    Chios Highlights

    20 Oct Chios, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    During the Middle Ages some of the richest and most powerful families of Chios built huge walled estates across the vast plains to the south of the capital. At the time the island was under the rule of Genoa, so many of these 14th-century houses are surprisingly Italianate in style, with water wheels and wooden bridges creating a scene of rural peace that is quite unlike anywhere else on the Greek islands.

    During the Middle Ages some of the richest and most powerful families of Chios built huge walled estates across the vast plains to the south of the capital. At the time the island was under the rule of Genoa, so many of these 14th-century houses are surprisingly Italianate in style, with water wheels and wooden bridges creating a scene of rural peace that is quite unlike anywhere else on the Greek islands.

    The village of Pyrgi is famous for its geometrically patterned black and white houses, which have been decorated using a similar technique to foil engraving in fine art. Its main church is dedicated to the Ayioi Apostoloi (the Holy Apostles) and features a highly decorated interior of medieval frescoes showing scenes from the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, the Four Evangelists and six-winged angels.

    The village of Mesta is a fine example of a fortified medieval settlement with a large central tower that was used to protect the peasantry from Saracen pirates. It has two churches dedicated to the Taxiarchis (the Archangels Michael and Gabriel) who are patron saints of the Aegean and Dodecanese islands. The larger and more recent of the churches dominates the main square and has an atmospheric interior featuring a finely carved altar-screen.

    Chios is famous worldwide for its production of mastic, so a visit will be made to a Mastichochoria (literally “mastic villages”) in Armolia to learn more about how this aromatic natural sap, often referred to as the “tears of Chios”, has been harvested since antiquity.

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    Cultural Activity

    Nea Moni and Anavatos

    20 Oct Chios, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    Chios has long been famous for its production of mastic and its claim to be the birthplace of Homer. Invaders and occupiers may have tried to force the island into submission on more than one occasion, but the artistic and spiritual strength of its people has endured and today it thrives.

    Chios has long been famous for its production of mastic and its claim to be the birthplace of Homer. Invaders and occupiers may have tried to force the island into submission on more than one occasion, but the artistic and spiritual strength of its people has endured and today it thrives.

    One location that has long been bound to the fate of the island is the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, which stands at the site where a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary is said to have been discovered. During the Greek War of Independence the monastery was sacked by Ottoman invaders and in 1881 it was badly damaged by an earthquake, but it has since been restored and contains some wonderful mosaics and frescoes.

    Not far from Nea Moni is the Byzantine village of Anavatos, which was built atop a steep hill that is inaccessible from most directions. This remote outpost was first inhabited in the Middle Ages, by woodcutters hired to build the New Monastery. For many centuries it was considered unassailable, but tragically this was not to be the case.

    During the infamous massacre of 1822 the entire village was wiped out at the hands of the Ottomans. With the menfolk defeated, hundreds of women threw themselves and their children over the cliff to avoid being captured. Since then only a handful of people have tried to move back to the settlement, which is now a ghost town, but it has been well preserved as a memorial to the dead and an important reminder of an appalling event.

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    Cultural Activity
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    St John's Patmos

    21 Oct Patmos, Greece
    Half Day Tender Cobbled StreetsUphill Sections
    Visit the small cave where St John received his revelation, the medieval village of Chora and the Monastery of St John the Theologian – together a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Visit the small cave where St John received his revelation, the medieval village of Chora and the Monastery of St John the Theologian – together a UNESCO World Heritage Site that constitutes an exceptional example of a Greek Orthodox pilgrimage centre.

    Patmos may be one of the smallest islands in the Dodecanese, but it compensates for size with beauty and history. Called the "Jerusalem of the Aegean," the island has long been a site of pilgrimage. When St John came to Patmos in 95AD the Emperor Domition's persecution of Christians were at their height and the "beloved disciple" lived for two years in a small cave on the island. Here he wrote his Gospel and dictated the Book of the Apocalypse.

    This afternoon, a short drive takes you from port to the grotto where St John once lived. The cave is now converted into a beautiful chapel with a stone orifice the saint is said to have used as a pillow. From the cave, continue to the 12th-century village of Chora and the Monastery of St John the Theologian which dominates the town.

    The walking tour starts with a climb to the castle-like monastery, founded in the 10th century. Enter the courtyard with its intricately pebbled floor, decorated arches and old well fed by a reservoir beneath. Visit the ornate chapel of Christodoulos with its frescoed entrance and religious relics that include the skull of St Thomas. Tour the old treasury, where the breathtaking collection includes jewelled chalices, crowns, crucifixes and an El Greco icon. Later, there will be free time to explore Chora with its whitewashed houses and Byzantine churches before the return to the tavernas of Skala and the ship.

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    Included

    Prof Roderick Beaton

    Prof Roderick Beaton, King’s College London
    Roderick Beaton is a leading authority on Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Middle ages to today. He holds the Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London, where he is also Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies.

    He has lived for several years in Greece and has travelled widely throughout the region – on land, often on foot, as well as by sea! A fluent Greek speaker, he has often appeared on Greek TV and radio talking about his work.

    Roderick Beaton is a leading authority on Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Middle ages to today. He holds the Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London, where he is also Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies.

    He has lived for several years in Greece and has travelled widely throughout the region – on land, often on foot, as well as by sea! A fluent Greek speaker, he has often appeared on Greek TV and radio talking about his work.

    Nearer home, Roderick has a lifelong commitment to sharing his enthusiasm for the post-classical Greek world with audiences up and down the UK. He has also given talks about his work in many European countries, the USA and Australia.

    Roderick is the author of several award-winning books on Greek literature, culture, and history from the twelfth century to the present. He has translated Modern Greek poetry and fiction and is himself a published novelist. His most recent book, Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013), won the Runciman Award and the Elma Dangerfield Prize in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2013. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

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    Group Captain Mike Clegg BA(Hons) RAF (Ret’d)

    Group Captain Mike Clegg BA(Hons) RAF (Ret’d), RAF Retired and The Art Society Accredited Speaker
    Group Captain Mike Clegg served for 39 years in the Royal Air Force, firstly as a professional submarine hunter, finally as a political adviser to the Commander Allied Air Forces Southern Europe on contentious issues (of which there were many) concerning Greece and Turkey.

    Group Captain Mike Clegg served for 39 years in the Royal Air Force, firstly as a professional submarine hunter, finally as a political adviser to the Commander Allied Air Forces Southern Europe on contentious issues (of which there were many) concerning Greece and Turkey.

    His interest in archaeology was stimulated by membership of an expedition to survey the Roman harbour of Sabratha in Libya (in the days before Colonel Gaddafi!). Later, while based in Malta, he was able to visit many of the famous archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, helped by the fact that his aircraft - the Shackleton – was none too reliable and various technical malfunctions led to emergency landings the length and breadth of the Med. These enforced stops, as well as scheduled exercises in Greece and Turkey, gave opportunities to visit such fascinating places as Pompeii, the Acropolis of Athens, the Palace of Knossos on Crete, Ephesus in Turkey, and Kourion in Cyprus. These experiences led to an abiding interest in the ancient world.

    Later in his career, based in Naples for the first of two tours as a NATO officer, Mike became a founder member of the International Archaeological Society and was involved in lecturing, leading tours of the major sites of southern Italy and Sicily, and excavating Roman and pre-Roman sites.

    On returning to the UK he undertook a two-year part-time archaeology course at the University of Oxford, which resulted in the award of the University’s Advanced Certificate in British Archaeology. Mike then studied with the Open University and completed several archaeology-based courses before returning to Naples where he continued his degree studies with courses on Renaissance Art (where better to study this subject than Italy?) On completion, Mike was awarded a First Class Honours Degree and a Diploma in Classical Studies.


    While still in the Royal Air Force Mike started to plan and lead ancient history tours for a company run by an ex-army colleague from National Defence College days. Since retiring from the RAF in 1998 he has continued to do this, working freelance for a number of travel companies and adding Greece and Cyprus to his list of destinations. Mike also continued his association with the RAF as an instructor on one of its volunteer squadrons tasked with teaching young cadets to fly, finally retiring in 2014 when all RAF gliders were grounded.

    He has written articles for archaeological and travel magazines as well as publishing a children’s book. He is currently completing a sequel to this and is working on one covering his experiences as a NATO officer in Italy during the Cold War.

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    Prof Robin Cormack

    Prof Robin Cormack, Courtauld Institute of Art, London
    Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

    Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Robin has published books on Byzantine Art, and co-curated the recent Royal Academy exhibition, Byzantium 330-1453. 

    He has a special side-interest in British architects who worked in Khartoum and New Delhi, and since he has always made it an aim never to write or lecture about monuments and sites unless he has visited them and studied them at first hand, travel is one of the things he does most often. Fortunately his wife, Professor Mary Beard, agrees with this aim, and travels too (and not just on twitter). So do his children who are both students working in Africa, and who spend time in Cairo and South Sudan. He is currently trying to learn to play the harpsichord, but that does not travel with him.

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    Gillian Hovell

    Gillian Hovell, Archaeologist, Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society
    After graduating in Latin and Ancient History at Exeter University and a career in BBC Television, Gillian became deeply involved in archaeology. As an author, historian, archaeologist, tour guide and Accredited Lecturer of The  Art Society of considerable experience and astonishing range, the Reithian mantra of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ remains central to her work; she specialises in lively, passionate and engaging history that connects with our lives today, enabling audiences to relate to archaeology and to find depth and colour in our modern lives through the past’s continuing influence on us today. 

    After graduating in Latin and Ancient History at Exeter University and a career in BBC Television, Gillian became deeply involved in archaeology. As an author, historian, archaeologist, tour guide and Accredited Lecturer of The  Art Society of considerable experience and astonishing range, the Reithian mantra of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ remains central to her work; she specialises in lively, passionate and engaging history that connects with our lives today, enabling audiences to relate to archaeology and to find depth and colour in our modern lives through the past’s continuing influence on us today. 

    She has lectured to audiences including the national media, Classical Associations, art galleries, museums and literary festivals and her books include Visiting the Past: finding and understanding Britain’s archaeology and Roman Britain, while Latin All Around Us: Why the Romans still matter today is due out in 2014 (CUP) and she is currently working on her next book on the History of the Mediterranean. She also shares her love of ancient history by teaching Latin and Roman History to adults and by continuing to work with community archaeology projects. She embraces all media for spreading the word about archaeology and was most recently heard on Radio 4. 

    To read more about Gillian's work, visit her blog: www.muddyarchaeologist.co.uk

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    Amalia Hotel

    Nauplia, Greece
    1-night hotel stay in Nauplia
    Amalia Hotel Nafplio is situated right at the entrance of Nafplion town. It  was built with respect to the town’s culture and architecture, a neoclassical building with  170 luxurious guest rooms, set in spacious surroundings, a beautiful swimming pool, enclosed by beautiful gardens with palm trees and flowers.

    Amalia Hotel Nafplio is situated right at the entrance of Nafplion town. It  was built with respect to the town’s culture and architecture, a neoclassical building with  170 luxurious guest rooms, set in spacious surroundings, a beautiful swimming pool, enclosed by beautiful gardens with palm trees and flowers. Situated over three levels, with views of Palamidi Fortress, the sea or the beautiful green gardens, all rooms are fully air-conditioned and offer all nescessary amenities for a pleasant and comfortable stay. 

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    Amalia Hotel

    Delphi, Greece
    1-night hotel stay in Delphi
    Renowned kings, warriors and philosophers visited Delphi and the famous Pythia, the prophetess, anticipating an oracle about their future. At Amalia Hotel Delphi, you do not have to wonder about the future as you are assured of an unforgettable stay!

    Renowned kings, warriors and philosophers visited Delphi and the famous Pythia, the prophetess, anticipating an oracle about their future. At Amalia Hotel Delphi, you do not have to wonder about the future as you are assured of an unforgettable stay! This hotel has an exquisite location at the foot of Mount Parnassus offering panoramic views of the valley, all the way to the sea, Itea and the beautiful town of Galaxidi.

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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.

    This pre- and post-cruise city hotels includes breakfast only. 

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    King George

    Athens, Greece
    2-night hotel stay in Athens
    Premium Class
    As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events.

    As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events. With panoramic views over the illuminated city and the Acropolis, the hotel transcends all expectations. The refined accommodation and the picturesque dining at the Tudor Hall Restaurant set the scene for a most memorable experience.

    This pre- and post-cruise city hotel includes breakfast only. 

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    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. 

    A

    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)

    $13,750*pp
    $14,550*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.

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    $12,650*pp
    $13,450*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.

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    $11,295*pp
    $11,995*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.

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    $10,850*pp
    $11,550*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)

    $9,995*pp
    $10,595*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)

    $9,550*pp
    $10,150*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)

    $9,095*pp
    $9,595*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)

    $8,650*pp
    $9,150*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.

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    $7,995*pp
    $8,495*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.

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    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $7,495*pp
    $7,995*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)

    $7,195*pp
    $7,595*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)

    $6,795*pp
    $7,195*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.

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    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $6,395*pp
    $6,795*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.

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    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $14,045*pp
    $14,745*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)

    $12,195*pp
    $12,795*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)

    $11,095*pp
    $11,595*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)

    $10,495*pp
    $10,995*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.

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    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $9,986*pp
    $10,486*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.

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    $9,350*pp
    $9,850*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)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $8,875*pp
    $9,275*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)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $8,350*pp
    $8,750*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)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $7,895*pp
    $8,295*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Port Fees & Service Charges (included in the fares above)
    $1,300
    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.