DAY 1: Fly overnight to Istanbul, Turkey
DAY 2: Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul and check in to our extraordinary hotel, the Palace Kempinski, a former palace located on the banks of the Bosphorus, the strait that divides Europe and Asia. This afternoon you may rest or explore on your own, and then gather for dinner. (D)
DAY 3: Istanbul /Izmir /Ephesus /
Today we board our flight to Izmir and drive to Ephesus, an ancient Greco-Roman city that was for many years the second largest city of the Empire, ranking only behind Rome. Ephesus was famed for one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis (Diana), who had her chief shrine there; for the Library of Celsus; and for its theater, which was capable of holding 25,000 spectators. We,™ll explore the Great Theater and the ruins of the Library. After lunch, we drive the short distance to the port of Kusadasi and embark Sea Cloud. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: At Sea/Didyma
On deck, watch as nimble sailors climb the lines to raise Sea Cloud’s sails by hand. Under full sail we head for Didyma. Once a shrine of ancient Greece, Didyma was established preceding literacy, and even before the Hellenic colonization of Ionia. Next to Delphi, this site was home to the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world. Here we visit the Temple of Apollo and learn the site,™s meaning in the ancient world. Late this afternoon return to Sea Cloud. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: Bodrum
Bodrum enjoys a picturesque setting on the Aegean. On a small promontory lies the Castle of St. Peter, built in the 15th century by Crusader knights and later captured by Suleiman the Magnificent. It houses the fabulous Museum of Underwater Archaeology, where well have a special visit, seeing many items excavated from shipwrecks of the Bronze Age and subsequent eras, including artifacts from all over the Mediterranean. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: Sailing the Aegean
Today we’ll set the sails and leave them up all day long, sailing among the Cycladic islands, watching the crew up in the rigging, trimming the sails. We’ll hear presentations from our Historians and Naturalist, catch-up on reading and experience the 5-star service and cuisine for which the Sea Cloud is famous. And we might even go for a swim or make an impromptu stop in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)
DAY 7: Santorini, Greece
Incomparable Santorini is an island archipelago that was once a single volcanic cone. It erupted in the second millennium BC and buried what some say might have been the legendary island of Atlantis. Stand on deck as we sail into the caldera (the center of the old volcano) and observe the cliffs from the sea. On shore, we drive through windswept vineyards characteristic of Santorini, and along the rimmed town of Oia before visiting the main town of Thira. Perched high on the volcanic cliff, Thira affords unrivaled views of the caldera below. SantorÃni is, quite simply, one of the most spectacular islands on earth. (B,L,D)
DAY 8: At Sea/Fologandros
As we head up to the stunning, cliffside town of Hora. With quiet lanes, cafes and great vistas, is quintessentially undiscovered., This afternoon the crew climb the rigging and set sail as we chart a course for the renowned island of Santoini. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: Delos/At Sea
Tiny Delos is where the twin gods Artemis, goddess of animals and the hunt, and Apollo, god of healing, reason and light, were said to have been born. Today Delos is a magnificent archaeological site, where we explore, among other places, the Street of the Lions and the marble Temple of Apollo. On our final afternoon we relax, unwind and set sail one last time, bound for Piraeus. (B,L,D)
DAY 10: Piraeus/Disembark/Athens/U.S.
Disembark Sea Cloud this morning for transfers to Athens airport. (B)
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting. Try these pre and post trips for an additional fee: Athens
The center of the world during the reign of ancient Greece and home to some of the world’s finest ruins. See the Acropolis and benefit from knowledgeable, friendly guides and special access at renowned museums.
Istanbul’s position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, as a meeting point between East and West, has given it a long and intriguing history.