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Voyages to Antiquity: Timeless Lands of the Mediterranean and Red Sea

Program Number: 19081RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/27/2014 - 11/12/2014; 4/4/2015 - 4/22/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Greece/Turkey/Cyprus/Jordan
Price starting at: $5,390.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 44; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Learn about the meaning — historic, political or spiritual — of great ancient sites in four countries: Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt. Walk on the Acropolis of Athens, go ashore on dramatically beautiful Greek isles, and explore antiquity in Kusadasi.




Activity Particulars

Walking up and downhill, up to two miles per day. Standing up to four hours per day, with breaks; uneven terrain and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.



Please note: In 2014, the ship visits Egypt and not Jordan. Please see Program Details for complete Daily Schedule.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Athens (Greece), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 11 nights, Alexandria (Egypt), 2 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.




Days 2-4: Arrival Athens (Greece) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Discover the magnificent Acropolis of Athens and explore Plaka - the picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens with its labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
Lodging: Five-star hotel.



Day 5: Delos / Mykonos:

Find the temples, building and famous lions of Delos, then continue to Mykonos for evening drinks and dinner.



Day 6: Kusadasi (Turkey):

Discover the well-preserved ruins of Ephesus, one of the greatest sites of the classical world.



Day 7: Santorini:

On this dramatically beautiful volcanic island, venture to Oia, a village of whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and tavernas carved into the cliffs.



Day 8: Rhodes:

Explore Rhodes Old Town and the Citadel of the Knights of St. John.



Day 9: Marmaris:

Survey the extensive remains of the once prosperous trading port of Kounos.



Day 10: Fethiye:

Visit this seaside village along Turkey’s southern Aegean coast, whose harbor is dominated by the Castle of Saint Peter, a well-preserved example of late Crusader architecture.



Day 11: Antalya:

Journey through this historically rich area of Turkey, walking the colonnaded streets of Perge and the palm-lined boulevards of Antalya.



Day 12: Alanya:

Venture to the Mamure Castle, controlled at various times by the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans.



Day 13: Limassol (Cyprus):

Explore the ancient Greco-Roman city of Kourion which thrived until the Middle Ages and boasts well-preserved mosaics.



Day 14: Alexandria (Egypt):

An expert-led excursion through the city founded by Alexander the Great includes Fort Qait Bey, a stronghold protecting the old harbor on the site of the ancient Pharos, and the impressive Alexandria Library.



Days 15-17: disembark / coach to Cairo / departure:

Visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx at the royal burial ground at Giza. Lodging: Five-star hotel.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  At sea, At Sea 11 nights
   Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
  Cairo, Egypt 2 nights
 Metropolitan Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Metropolitan Hotel, with its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, combines traditional hospitality and luxury in central Athens. With a view to both the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea, the fully renovated Metropolitan Hotel is ideally situated in front of the Faleron Olympic Coastal Park. It is only 10 minutes away from Syntagma square, the center of Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  Contact info: Leoforos Syngrou 385
Athens,  175-64 Greece
phone: +30 210 947 1000
web: www.chandris.gr
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, high speed Internet connection, radio, mini bar, hair dryer, safe box, and laptop and fax machine outlets.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, bar, gift shop, fitness center, marble steam bath, outdoor heated swimming pool, business center, free wireless Internet access in lobby, and a hairdresser.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The 5-star Four Seasons is situated on the legendary Corniche along the Nile River. This luxury hotel offers Egyptian and art-deco influenced décor throughout its 30 floors of dining and entertainment.
  Contact info: 1089 Corniche El Nil
11519 Garden City
Cairo,   Egypt
phone: +20 (2) 2791-7000
web: www.fourseasons.com/caironp
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes, telephone, LCD television, CD and DVD players, clock radio, safe box, wireless Internet, 24-hour room service and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers nine restaurant and lounges, meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers, fitness center with whirlpool, sauna, and steam room, three pools, WIFI Internet access, laundry service, and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Athens, Greece. The program will begin at 6:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Cairo, Egypt. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from exit 3 of the arrivals level at the airport. Cost is approximately 35-40 Euros, after midnight the cost increases to 60 Euros. Alternatively, take the airport bus X95 which departs from between Exits 4 and 5 at the arrivals level. The bus costs 5 Euro and leaves every 10 to 15 minutes for Syntagma Square – from here it is a short taxi ride to the hotel (approx. 8 Euro).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Cairo
  Transportation from site: The ship will arrange transfers to the airport from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Monday, October 27)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Tuesday, October 28)
   
 Morning: Arrival in Athens Airport (ATH). Meet group outside of customs. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Settle in at the hotel. We gather in the hotel lobby at 6:00 PM for a welcome orientation to the program.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Athens, Greece
(Wednesday, October 29)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We will explore the long anticipated $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.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Plaka.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through the ancient citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. Built during Athens' Golden Age between 447-438BC under the orders of the great statesman Pericles, the Acropolis represents the magnificent achievements of Athenian culture during this remarkable era.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Athens, Greece / Piraeus / Embarkation
(Thursday, October 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy neo-classical architecture while meandering the labyrinthine streets of Plaka -- a picturesque neighborhood of Athens -- during this morning's guided walk.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We transfer to Piraeus where we will embark the Aegean Odyssey. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Delos / Mykonos, Greece
(Friday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: 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. As the reputed birthplace of the god Apollo, Delos was once a principal religious and commercial center 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 walk. 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, savor the almost-mystical silence that pervades this haunting site of antiquity.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A lunchtime departure to the nearby cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Enjoy a guided walk with your Road Scholar Group Leader followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Late departure for Kusadasi.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kusadasi, Turkey / Ephesus
(Saturday, November 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Upon arrival in Kusadasi, we will transfer to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities in the world. The cosmopolitan city of Ephesus was, in its heyday, on par with Athens and Rome. We will also visit the newly excavated Terrace Houses in Ephesus, where the rich and the ruling class once lived in comfortable homes decorated with wonderful works of art and complete with running water.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: From Ephesus, journey to Didyma to see the impressive Temple of Apollo which is larger than a football field and has 128 finely decorated columns. This temple was once connected to his twin’s in Miletus via a Sacred Way lined with lions, sphinxes and statues.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Santorini, Greece
(Sunday, November 2)

Note: Some walking is required between the cable car station and motorcoach – approximately 15 minutes. During summer there can be a wait for cable cars. Sequence of places visited may vary.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Closed to the public for over six years, the newly reopened Minoan settlement of Akrotiri is the excursion'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 jewelry. Today's outing 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 cafés, 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 civilization.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local taverna in Pyrgos.
 Afternoon: After lunch, wander the colorful streets of Firá. Enjoy a panoramic ride to port via cable car.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Early evening departure for Rhodes.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Rhodes, Greece
(Monday, November 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: 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 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 a lookout named 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 Masters Palace. The first building of the 14th century Crusaders, the Palace was modeled 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-colored 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 excursion, you can return to the ship or stay to wander this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alternatively, you can elect to discover the Acropolis at Lindos, a destination of both historic and scenic interest, just an hour’s drive from Rhodes. For more details about the excursion to the Acropolis at Lindos, please visit the Shore Excursion desk on board.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon for independent exploration in Rhodes.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Late evening departure for Marmaris. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Marmaris, Turkey
(Tuesday, November 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Travel by road from the port of Marmaris to the small village of Dalyan where you will board a private boat to travel through the winding channels of the Calbys River which, according to mythology, was created by the tears of Apollo’s granddaughter who wept in despair and sorrow when she was parted from her beloved brother. On the way, high on the cliff face above the ancient harbor of Kaunos you will see the 2,000-year-old Lycian tombs carved into the rock. Kaunos was an important seaport, the history of which is said to date back to the 10th century BC, and was conquered by the Persians, Greeks and Romans. Your field trip will include the Acropolis (Persikon), which is situated on a 152m high rock and is fortified with Byzantine walls. From here there is a stunning view of the ancient city, Dalyan and the Dalyan river. Also, you will visit the Graeco-Roman theater, the agora and the Roman baths.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Upon returning to Marmaris, there will be time to visit the bazaar.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Late evening departure for Fethiye. Enjoy the ship's entertainment in the Charleston Lounge.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Fethiye, Turkey
(Wednesday, November 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore three great sites of Lycian antiquity: the city of Patara with its impressive agora, Xantos whose people won fame for valor in battle, and Letoon, once the area's most important sanctuary. Some of Turkey's most intriguing ruins are to found in the region known as Lycia, a mountainous place mentioned as early as 14 BC in Hittite records.

First visit Letoon, a grandiose shrine excavated in the 1950s by a French team. A well-preserved theater rises above the little village that surrounds the site. A triad of temples to Apollo, Leto and Artemis form the heart of the sanctuary and are identifiable by their foundations. Drive next to Xantos, the capital of Lycia, set above a bend in the river with commanding views of the entire valley. Here, Lycian ruins mingle with Byzantine basilicas decorated with fascinating mosaics. Lycians gained their reputation as fierce warriors here, twice burning their own city and fighting to the death rather than submit to invading Persians and Romans.

Your final visit is to the ancient city of Patara, the birthplace of St. Nicholas, a once-thriving port that counted Hannibal, St. Paul and Emperor Hadrian as visitors. Pilgrims came to worship at the shrine of Apollo and consult the oracle, although Herodotus tells us the oracle worked only part time, because Apollo went on vacation in the summer. Patara's ruins include the impressive agora, the newly excavated theater (until recently half-buried in sand) and a fine propylon that whispers of the past as it overlooks all that remains of the silted-up harbor.

Alternatively, discover the ancient city of Fethiye before venturing to an atmospheric mountain village to hike through a forest to one of Turkey's most beautiful beaches. For more details about the excursion to Ancient Telmessos & Kayakoy, please visit the Shore Excursion desk on board.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time in Fethiye, a charming seaside town with an international atmosphere and probably the only city in the world where you'll find stone sarcophagii in the streets.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Antalya. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Antalya, Turkey
(Thursday, November 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A few miles outside Antalya lie the isolated sites of Aspendos and Perge, once part of the ancient kingdom of Pergamon. Your adventure includes both destinations, beginning with a drive to the site of Aspendos. Located on the Eurymedon River and splendidly backed by the Taurus Mountains, this was a major port city in Roman times. To date, only parts of Aspendos have been excavated, but the well-preserved Roman theater was one of the most spectacular buildings of its time. The theater was built by two wealthy brothers during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD. The architect Xenon gave it a public entrance, dressing rooms, a colonnaded gallery, rows of marble seats and suites for the dignitaries, as well as a canopy to protect patrons from the weather. The founder of the Turkish republic, Ataturk, asked that the theater be used. The acoustics are so perfect that during performances, microphones are often not even needed.

Continue to the site of Perge, whose impressive ruins date back to around 1,000 BC. Though Perge was not as large, its theater was spectacular with seating for 14,000, an orchestra, and a stage that still bears traces of the marble reliefs that once covered the entire façade. Perge may have played an important role in the spread of early Christianity. The inhabitants worshipped the goddess Artemis, but the Virgin Mary took her place. Visit the basilica where St. Paul preached his first sermon in 46 AD before heading out to spread the Word across the Eastern Mediterranean. The stadium here is one of the best-preserved in Anatolia, a huge arena where over 12,000 could watch athletic competitions. The vaulted areas under the seating once were shops, and the owners' names are inscribed in the marble. Walk through the Roman Gate, the entrance to the city, and follow a fine colonnaded avenue that once took the ancients to the Nymphaeum, the Baths Complex, and the Agora.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: The ship will offer a shuttle from the port into town throughout the afternoon. Enjoy free time among the palm-lined boulevards, beautiful Old Town and excellent shops of Antalya. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the superb Antalya Archaeological Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Alanya. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Alanya, Turkey
(Friday, November 7)

Note: The excursion to Mamure Castle and Anemurium involves strenuous walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The sight of Mamure Castle's stark façade soaring out of the sea may once have struck awe in the heart of would-be conquerors, but today inspires photos. Combine Turkey's most impressive castle with a visit to the ghost town of Anemurium, located at the southernmost tip of Turkey.

The hillside city at Anemurium, which the Greeks termed "windy cape," is set on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean. The city was inhabited from the 4th century BC to the 7th century AD and reached its height as a trading center under Roman rule. Many of the remains date from that time. Mosaics testify to the wealth of a community that minted its own coins. Visitors will see the aqueducts that supplied the town with potable water, the defensive walls that protected against Isaurian raids, and an immense palaestrae for sports training. Other sights include the extensive baths, Byzantine churches and a vast necropolis. You will leave this place with a glimpse into Roman life and some tantalizing questions about this vanished community.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Anamar.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Limassol. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Limassol, Cyprus
(Saturday, November 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Although five earthquakes shook the thriving city kingdom of Kourion during the 7th century BC, it took a tsunami – created by the last earthquake – to deliver the final blow. Today visit this remarkable Greco-Roman city founded by Mycenaean Greeks and a major cultural center of its time. The setting is superb, perched atop a hill just outside the modern city of Limassol with breathtaking views of cultivated lands stretching to the Mediterranean. A highlight is the fully restored Roman theater, built in the 2nd century BC. Once two thousand spectators watched gladiators in this arena, today the site's wonderful acoustics and stunning sea views make it ideal for musical performances. Explore the House of Eustolios with its beautiful 5th century mosaic floors, colonnaded courtyard and unique baths. Continue to the romantic remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo, a 7th century shrine to the sun god that features stunning Corinthian columns. The stadium nearby was a venue for such Greek sports as wrestling, and you can still see the urns that provided water to the athletes. En route to Kourion, enjoy a short photo stop at the 13th century Colossi Castle, a fine example of Crusader architecture. An opening above the entrance gate served as ornamentation and also allowed the castle occupants to pour boiling oil or tar over unwanted entrants. Besides being the best preserved medieval castle on Cyprus, the site is where Coummandaria, the island's famous sweet dessert wine, was first produced over 800 years ago. After visiting Kourion, return to the ship or take the shuttle to the Old Town to explore on your own. The medieval castle is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 before going on to conquer Cyprus.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Afternoon on board at your leisure. Attend a late afternoon cocktail party with your Road Scholar group in the Observation Lounge.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Alexandria, Egypt
(Sunday, November 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy the morning at your leisure while the ship arrives into Alexandria. This is a good opportunity to prepare your belongings for disembarkation.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Founded by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, this city on the Nile delta is Egypt's largest port and a major resort. In antiquity Alexandria was a cultural, intellectual and economic metropolis. The Ptolemaic dynasty made the city their capital. From the ship, drive along the beachfront past the statue of Mohamed Ali, the founder of modern Egypt, and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier. Stop for a visit at Kom al Dikka, site of an impressive Roman amphitheater with twelve marble terraces and enjoy a brief photostop at Fort Qait Bey, built on the site of Alexandria's Pharos lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.

Aristotle's extensive collection of manuscripts and maps formed a prototype for the greatest public library of the ancient world, the library at Alexandria. One wonders what he would make of the new Alexandria Library, which offers everything from scrolls to virtual reality environments. This impressive cultural complex, inaugurated in 2002, is built on the site where the famous Library of Alexandria was established by Ptolemy in 288 BC. Enjoy an escorted excursion by the library's own guides, who will point out such impressive features as the six libraries, four museums, planetarium, four art galleries, 15 permanent exhibitions, and 18 academic research centers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Disembark / Alexandria, Egypt / coach to Memphis and Sakkara
(Monday, November 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Coach transfer from Alexandria to Cairo.
 Lunch: Leisurely lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and refresh before this afternoon's excursion to Memphis. At its peak, Memphis must have staggered the out-of-town visitor. Egypt's first capital is situated at the apex of the Nile delta. For thousands of years this huge, cosmopolitan city was the capital of the Old Kingdom (2650-2134BC).

Arriving at Memphis, visit the remains of the temple of Ptah, the god of Memphis and mythical creator of the universe. See such breathtaking sights as the huge fallen statue of King Ramses II and the Alabastar Sphinx of King Amenhopis II. Continue a short drive from Memphis to Sakkara, a favorite necropolis of Old Kingdom pharaohs. View one of mankind's first monumental stone buildings, the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, built in 2750BC by the engineer Imhotep, a polymath who could arguably lay claim to being the world's first architect, first doctor, first priest, first poet, first dentist and first astrologer. After visiting the complex, continue to one of the nearby mastabas (funerary chambers) such as Ptah-Hotep or Mereruca. These give important insights into the architectural origins of the pyramid and contain beautiful reliefs with depictions of daily life in ancient Egypt.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Cairo, Egypt
(Tuesday, November 11)

Note: This visit is to the exterior of the pyramids only. If you wish to go inside, there is an additional charge, but this is not recommended for those with claustrophobia or with breathing, knee or back problems. Photography is not allowed inside the pyramids.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Stand in awe before the Pyramids at Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Drive to the Giza Plateau and the pyramids built for the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty: Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinos. From the Western Plateau, take in majestic views of all three pyramids with Cairo sprawling at their feet. The pyramid of Cheops alone required tens of thousands of workers over two decades. While it was once held that the workers who created this site were slaves, it is now thought they toiled for wages or to pay off taxes.

Continue down the valley to contemplate the Sphinx, watching the passage of time and man in silence. This colossal limestone monument with the haunches of a lion and the face of a king is held to represent the guardian deity of these royal burial grounds. So great were the Sphinx's mythical powers that 15th century Egyptians thought it controlled the flood cycles of the Nile.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel to relax, pack and enjoy its amenities before dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Departures
(Wednesday, November 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfers to Cairo's International Airport (CAI) for morning departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Rhodes Medieval Old City
A short walk from the port, the old city of Rhodes is a beautifully well-preserved medieval city with meandering cobblestone alleyways. There is a large variety of shops featuring local wares.
  Rhodes Aquarium
The Aquarium in Rhodes is a research institution which provides natural living conditions for a wide range of interesting specimens of Mediterranean organisms such as reefs, sea flowers, octopuses, clams, decapods, turtles and numerous fishes. Located just over a mile from the port, it is a 30 minute walk, or a short taxi ride (fare approx. 7-10 euro).
  Antalya Antalya Archaeological Museum
The Antalya Archaeological Museum is an award-winning museum with extensive exhibits of artifacts from the 8th century BC to present day. Covering over 7 acres, including a garden and open-air galleries, its comprehensive collection creates a journey through the history of Anatolia from the first flint stone tool to a recently woven carpet. For additional information, visit http://www.antalyamuzesi.gov.tr/en
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Turkey


Author: Richard Stoneman


Description: An accessible, well-written overview of Turkish history from the Paleolithic to the present.



Athens


Author: James H. S. McGregor


Description: An erudite journey through Athenian history, from its famed days as a powerful city-state to the modern age.



Birds Without Wings


Author: Louis De Bernieres


Description: De Bernieres offers sweeping historical scope, memorable characters, drama and many new vocabulary words in this stupendous novel set in Anatolia during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.



Bitter Lemons


Author: Lawrence Durrell


Description: Durrell's lyrical memoir evokes village life and the tumult of politics in Cyprus in the 1950s. Living and teaching on the island, he became caught in the movement for self determination.



Lords of the Horizons


Author: Jason Goodwin


Description: Goodwin artfully combines his modern travels with scholarship, history and reflection, capturing the outrageous personalities, events and vagaries of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire.



Married to a Bedouin


Author: Marguerite van Geldermalsen


Description: "Where you staying?" the Bedouin asked. "Why you not stay with me tonight -- in my cave?" Thus begins the fascinating odyssey of a young nurse from New Zealand who would marry and raise her family among the community of 100 Bedouin families living in the ancient city of Petra.



Mediterranean Cruises Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.



Mediterranean by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.



National Geographic Atlas of the Middle East


Author: National Geographic


Description: These maps graphically illustrate the history, politics, people and resources of the Middle East. With 40 photographs and 80 maps, including a two-page spread on each of the 16 nations.



Parting the Desert


Author: Zachary Karabell


Description: A compelling account of the politics, intrigue and engineering challenges of the Suez Canal. It's in part a portrait of Franco-Egyptian relations and the making of the modern Middle East. The Canal was inaugurated to great fanfare on November 17, 1869.



Petra, The Rose-Red City


Author: Christian Auge, Jean-Marie Dentzer


Description: Jam-packed with color illustrations, archival material, maps and site plans, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia includes a detailed overview of individual buildings and sectors within the desert city that was occupied by the Nabataeans from the fourth-century BC, conquered by the Romans and overrun by the Crusaders.



Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter


Author: Thomas Cahill


Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.



Sea of Faith


Author: Stephen O'Shea


Description: O'Shea brings a traveler's eye and a poet's touch to this gripping tale of conquest, co-existence and conflict in the medieval Mediterranean. He focuses on seven key battles between Christians and Muslims from Yamuk (AD 636) to the Siege of Malta (1565).



Silent House


Author: Orhan Pamuk


Description: Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk returns with this gripping read, spinning history, religion, and politics and touching upon the uneasy modernization of Turkey in the 1980s. Masterfully told through the tale of three adult grandchildren visiting their grandmother Fatma in her remote, rapidly-changing fishing village home.



Sites of Antiquity, From Ancient Egypt to the Fall of Rome


Author: Charles Freeman


Description: Enticing aerial shots, detailed site plans, glorious modern photographs and illustrations illuminate 50 key monuments, cities or sites of the Mediterranean world, from Giza, Luxor and Karnak to the Parthenon, Ephesus, Pergamon, Petra and Constantinople.



The Colossus of Maroussi


Author: Henry Miller


Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.



The Great Sea


Author: David Abulafia


Description: With an eye for telling detail and anecdote, Abulafia traces the sweep of Mediterranean history from the time of Troy to the mid-19th century, populating his tale with vivid personalities.



The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece


Author: Robert Morkot


Description: This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.



Travels With Epicurus


Author: Daniel Klein


Description: Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean.





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