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

Program Number: 19081RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/4/2015 - 4/22/2015; 3/18/2016 - 4/5/2016;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: Greece/Cyprus/Jordan
Price starting at: $6,695.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Voyages Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 49; 17 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 17 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

Learn about the meaning — historic, political or spiritual — of great ancient sites in Jordan, Greece and Cyprus. Walk on the Acropolis of Athens, go ashore on dramatically beautiful Greek isles, and explore antiquity in Corinth.

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.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Amman (Jordan), 2 nights; Petra, 2 nights, aboard Aegean Odyssey, 11 nights, Athens (Greece), 2 nights.

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

Days 2-6: Arrival Amman (Jordan) / coach to Petra / coach to Aqaba / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Explore historic and modern Amman, stroll through the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city of Jerash, wonder at the architectural wonders at Petra and journey to the alluring dessert of Wadi Rum. Lodging: Five-star hotels.

Days 7-8: At Sea / Suez Canal Transit:

Enjoy a daytime sailing through the 119 mile-long Suez Canal – one of the most spectacular sea passages anywhere.

Day 9: Limassol (Cyprus):

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

Days 10-11: Rhodes (Greece):

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

Day 12: Crete:

On the island of Crete, visit the Minoan palace of Knossos. This Bronze Age civilization was discovered in the 20th century by the British archaeologist Arthur Evans, who controversially “restored” the palace according to his own eccentric ideas.

Day 13: Delos & Mykonos (Greece):

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

Day 14: 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 15: Gythion:

Learn how the ancient city-state of Sparta’s singular devotion to military excellence allowed it to become preeminent in the region. Continue to the breathtaking Byzantine town of Mystras.

Day 16: Nauplia

From the port of Nauplia, visit the ancient cities of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and Epidaurus, the most acclaimed healing center of the classical world.

Days 17-19: Athens / disembark / departure:

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.

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
   Holiday Inn Amman
  Amman, Jordan 2 nights
   Petra Marriott Hotel
  Petra, Jordan 2 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 11 nights
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
 Holiday Inn Amman
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: Holiday Inn Amman is situated in a prime location in western Amman, conveniently close to shopping centers and just a 30-minute drive from Queen Alia International Airport. The hotel is a perfect base to explore the many places of interest in the surrounding area of Jordan, which includes the Dead Sea, Jerash, and Mount Nebo.
  Contact info: Al Madina Street
Amman,  11118 Jordan
phone: +962 6 5528822
  Room amenities: Each room includes a TV, direct dial telephone, high-speed Internet, mini-bar, makings for coffee and tea, hair dryer, and individually controlled air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: This hotel features a restaurant, café, bar, outdoor swimming pool and bar, fitness center, sauna and Jacuzzi. Free wireless Internet is available in public areas and rooms. Electrical adapters, power converters, and a safe deposit box at the front desk are all available upon request.
  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. 1-800-241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Petra Marriott Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Petra Marriott Hotel is conveniently located on a steep sloping site overlooking the dramatic and picturesque Petra Valley. Concealed within the quiet magnificent mountains in the red rose desert, Petra is one of Jordan's national treasures and by far its best known tourist attraction.
  Contact info: Queen Rania Al Abdallah Street
PO Box 150
Petra,   Jordan
phone: +962 3 2156 407
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes, telephone, LCD television, tea/coffee making facilities, safe box, wireless Internet for a fee, 24-hour room service, in-room safe and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar and lounge, business center, wireless Internet free in public area (for a fee in guestrooms), laundry services, giftshop, newsstand and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 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
  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 ship has an Internet center (open 24 hours) and WiFi is available in the reception area. Fees begin at 10mb for $20. As a rough guide you could send around 200 standard emails with no attachments for $20. However, if you start adding medium size web standard photographs (not hi res), each one would be about 1.5mb. There are no refunds for unused capacity. 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

 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
  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 after: 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 out time: 1:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Amman, Jordan. The program will begin at 9:00 AM on Day 3 in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Amman that night.
  End of Program:
Athens, Greece. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Please note: Usually a visa IS required when traveling to Turkey. But, in this instance, it is NOT required as participants are considered 'in transit' when calling at a Turkish port of two (versus disembarking and sleeping in Turkey which would, of course, require a visa).
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: See above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Amman
  Transportation to site: For participants NOT on the group transfer, you may book a private transfer from the Amman Queen Alia International Airport to the hotel (approx. $48). For assistance, please call Road Scholar at 413-253-9736.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation from site: For participants NOT on the group transfer, you may take a taxi from the hotel to the airport; this will cost approximately $62-68 per car. Alternatively, take a shuttle bus from the hotel to Syntagma Square. From there take bus #95 to the airport.
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
(Saturday, April 4)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Sunday, April 5)
 Afternoon: Arrival at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). Meet group inside the customs area. Transfer to hotel.
 Dinner: For participants arriving in the afternoon, dinner is available in the hotel dining room. For participants arriving the evening, dinner boxes will be arranged by the hotel and will be waiting for you upon your arrival.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Amman
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Amman, Jordan
(Monday, April 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Meet at 9 AM in the hotel lobby for an orientation to the program. Coach north approximately 1 hour to the ancient Roman city of Jerash, one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Near East. Sometimes referred to as the "Antioch on the Golden River," Jerash was a city of the Decapolis -- a league of ten Roman cities.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the city of Amman, including its Citadel where there is a panoramic view of the city. Then on to the Roman Theater, built to accommodate 6,000 spectators.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Amman
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Petra, Jordan
(Tuesday, April 7)

Note: Please bring swimsuit if you plan to swim.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Check out of hotel in Amman before enjoying a scenic drive from Amman to the shores of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, in fact a salt lake, has attracted visitors from around the world for thousands of years. It is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, over 9 times saltier than the ocean which makes swimming more akin to floating. Seize the opportunity to float in this unusual and historic 'sea' before lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit Mount Nebo, believed to be the site of Moses' grave. The view from here is spectacular allowing a bird's eye view of the Jordan Valley, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Next visit a 6th century church famous for its very large mosaics before arriving at the hotel in Petra. Though under renovation, many of its mosaics have been moved outside for visitors to enjoy.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Petra Marriott Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Petra, Jordan
(Wednesday, April 8)

Note: The excursion in Petra requires over two miles of walking on unpaved surfaces.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Excursion to Petra. Travel through a narrow gorge, called a 'siq', to the Treasury and then on to the Street of Facades, the Court House and the Amphitheater. Petra was unknown to the Western world until 1812 but is now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is truly an architectural and historical wonder.
 Lunch: Lunch in Petra.
 Afternoon: After lunch, walk back to the main gate -- approximately 1 hour -- and return to the hotel for a free afternoon to enjoy its wonderful amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Petra Marriott Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Aqaba, Jordan / Embark Aegean Odyssey
(Thursday, April 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Check-out of hotel before exploring the deserts of Wadi Rum by jeep. This alluring landscape has been home to many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabateans–leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples. Visit Lawrence Spring as well as Khaz Ali Canyon and enjoy a short stop to sample Bedouin Tea.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the ship for embarkation. Road Scholar welcome orientation to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At sea / Cruising the Red Sea
(Friday, April 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the sparkling ocean views from the Observation Deck.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Suez Canal Transit
(Saturday, April 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy a daytime sailing through the 119 mile-long Suez Canal – one of the most spectacular sea passages in the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Time to relax, enjoy the sunshine and take in an educational talk or two by the shipboard lecturers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Limassol, Cyprus
(Sunday, April 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Our call to Limassol this year coincides with the Greek Orthodox Easter, a time when all museums and historic sites are closed. However, we have a special treat in store for you as you join the locals and celebrate this most important feast in the villages. Enjoy the festive spirit and mood in the village square where the celebrating and feasting goes on into the late afternoon with wine, music and dancing.

You will visit the wine village of Omodhos with its Holy Cross monastery dating back to the 4th century. The village’s winding, narrow streets all lead to the unique cobblestoned square, lined with coffee shops and see the old wine press, now classified as a historical monument. Next stop is at an old winery where you will see how the traditional Easter bread, Flaouna, is baked and taken out of the oven for you to sample with wine and coffee.

It is then on to Apsiou, a village just outside of Limassol, where you visit the little church and village square. Here, you have the unique opportunity to get a taste of lamb, grilled in whole on a spit, with an Easter salad. Join the locals in the egg competition: red painted eggs have to be knocked against each other and the one without a crack wins. Enjoy the music and wine. Sing and dance with the locals. A different Easter Day for everyone!
 Dinner: Easter dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Antalya, Turkey
(Monday, April 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Relax pool-side as the ship makes its way to Antalya.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time among the palm-lined boulevards, beautiful Old Town and excellent shops of Antalya.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Antalya, Turkey
(Tuesday, April 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A few miles outside Antalya are the isolated sites of Perge and Aspendos, once part of the ancient kingdom of Pergamon. Your adventure includes both destinations, beginning with a drive to the site of Perge, whose impressive ruins date back to around 1,000BC.

Legend has it that the city was founded by two Greek seers returning from the Trojan War. 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 played an important role in the spread of early Christianity and we visit the basilica where St. Paul preached his first sermon in 46AD. The stadium here is one of the best-preserved in Anatolia, a huge arena where over 12,000 could watch athletic competitions. 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.

Aspendos, located on the Eurymedon River and splendidly backed by the Taurus Mountains, 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.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunching on local Turkish food, we drive to the Antalya Archaeological Museum which offers an excellent survey of the great periods in Pamphylia’s history, from the Neolithic on through the Bronze age, to Hellenistic and Roman times. You will admire the statues of divinities, mostly from Perge and the Gallery of Roman Emperors.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Rhodes, Greece
(Wednesday, April 15)
 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 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 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 field trip, you can return to the ship or stay to wander this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, instead of this excursion, you may choose to visit the Acropolis at Lindos.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to continue to explore Rhodes.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Kusadasi, Turkey / Aphrodisias
(Thursday, April 16)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain with multiple uphill segments and stairs without railings.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Two and a half times the size of Pompeii, Aphrodisias is named after the Greek goddess of love and could be said to rival Ephesus in its claim to be “the most well-preserved ancient site in the world”. Aphrodisias sprang up around one of the finest marble quarries in antiquity, and was the center for Greek and Hellenistic sculpture for nearly seven centuries. Monuments include a magnificent theater, vast stadium, and the remains of a great temple. Ongoing excavations reveal superb sculptures each year – more than any other classical site in the Mediterranean. Additionally, because of the remote setting in the hills surrounding the valley of the Meander, the site is relatively free of tourists and utterly unspoiled.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After an enticing local lunch of Turkish delights, sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2-hour drive back to Kusadasi.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Overnight in Kusadasi.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Kusadasi, Turkey / Ephesus
(Friday, April 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: 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: The afternoon will be spent at the recently renovated Museum of Ephesus in Selcuk and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Sunset departure for Delos.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Delos, Greece / Mykonos, Greece
(Saturday, April 18)
 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 walking excursion. 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: After lunch you will explore 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: Evening departure for Santorini. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Santorini, Greece
(Sunday, April 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Closed to the public for over six years, the newly reopened Minoan settlement of Akrotiri is the highlight of today's excursion, 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 field trip 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 civilization.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Pyrgos.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy some free time wandering around the colorful streets of Firá or proceed to the cable car for a panoramic ride directly to port.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Disembark in Piraeus, Greece / Transfer to Athens
(Monday, April 20)

Note: This excursion involves walking one or more hours over uneven terrain with multiple uphill segments.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After disembarking the Aegean Odyssey in Piraeus, transfer to Athens to 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 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 18: Athens, Greece
(Tuesday, April 21)
 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: Free time to explore on your own or join your Group Leader for further exploration of Athens. Individual return to the hotel via hotel shuttle from Syntagma Square.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 19: Departures
(Wednesday, April 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Athens International Airport (ATH) for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Athens Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum is made up of many buildings, which offer an in-depth look into Greek history and culture. An array of artwork and artifacts illustrate the character of the Greek world from ancient times to the 20th century. For additional information, visit
  Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art illustrates the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. The three major subjects on display are Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art, and Ancient Cypriot Art. For additional information, visit
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.


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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