19079
Greece/Albania/Croatia/Italy
Voyages to Antiquity: Venice, Athens and the Adriatic Coast
On a premium ship immerse yourself in art and opulence, discovering grand cities, iconic architecture and the dramatic landscapes of the historic Mediterranean.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19079RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
4,995
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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16 days
15 nights
35 meals
14 B 9 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Departures
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome
Venice
D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment. The Group Leader will be on hand to provide assistance as needed. Then take some time to freshen up and relax before Orientation. At 5:00 PM, meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome three-course set menu dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Venice, Italy
Venice
B
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will be buffet-style with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Water will be served at every meal on this program.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture on the history of Venice before visiting Venice's most famous cathedral: St. Mark's Basilica. For its Italo-Byzantine opulence, a public display of Venetian power, it is known also by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro, or Church of gold. Next, experience Venice as a Venetian. Breathe in a bit of every day life of this fragile city at a relaxed pace. From St. Mark’s square enter the Castello district and meander the narrow calli. Learn about the Venice of yesterday and today. Stop at Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, a most impressive open space dominated by the stunning Gothic basilica which is home to many monuments of Doges and sea captains. Continue to the densely populated district Cannaregio; explore Chiesa dei Miracoli, a little “jewel box” of a 15th century church to gain insight into Venetian beliefs and traditions.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities provided in your first Information Packet. Alternatively, you may choose to walk to Rialto or simply sip a Bellini at Harry's Bar.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: Enjoy a concert at small venue near to the hotel.

DAY
4
Venice, Italy; embark the Aegean Odyssey
Venice
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Free time for independent exploration of Venice.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Meet the group at the hotel to transfer for embarkation. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."

Dinner: Aboard the ship, you may choose from either the Marco Polo Restaurant or the Terrace Café. The former serves a variety of á là carte items while the café is buffet-style. Menus are inspired by fresh local ingredients. Wine is complimentary with dinner in both dining areas.

Evening: Most evenings aboard ship are free to enjoy as you like whether it’s attending a shipboard guest lecture or listening to live music in the Charleston Lounge.

DAY
5
Venice, Italy
Venice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, breakfast will be buffet-style and served in the Terrace Café.

Morning: Free time to explore Venice independently or to enjoy the optional excursions offered by the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Ancona, Italy (Urbino)
Ancona
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A gem of a day! From the port of Ancona, enjoy the rolling hills and lush plains of the Marche countryside en route to Urbino. Located at the foothills of the Apennines, Urbino’s clay earth still supports industrial brickworks, but its greatest incarnation is the Ducal Palace. Built during the 15th century, at the height of Urbino’s cultural importance, its presence helps to preserve the Renaissance spirit of this small hill town.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Continuation of the day's excursion to Urbino before returning to the ship in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Early evening departure for Split. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
7
Split, Croatia
Split
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The morning will be spent at the Palace of Diocletian, including the Temple of Jupiter and Diocletian's mausoleum. Born in Salona, a town a few miles to the north of Split, Diocletian became Emperor of Rome in 284AD. To ensure a comfortable retirement, Diocletian commissioned the construction of a massive limestone and marble palace in the town of Split. When it was completed in 305AD, Diocletian abdicated, the first Roman Emperor to do so. His palace complex included three temples as well as Diocletian’s massive mausoleum (now the Cathedral of St. Dominus), and could house around 9,000 people. Today the palace is not a deserted ruin but a shell containing a bustling warren of houses, shops and cafés.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of the Roman walls, squares and temples in Split’s historic center or stroll along the Riva waterfront promenade.

Dinner: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Korcula, Croatia
Korcula
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The pine-forested island of Korcula, with its rich maritime history, is the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. This morning’s walking excursion will include visits to the impressive Cathedral of St. Mark where a Tintoretto presides over the alter, as well as to the Bishop’s Palace whose 14th century Treasury holds a small but amazing art collection including works by Carpaccio, Raphael and Leondardo da Vinci. Next, visit the City Museum which boasts an impressive collection of Greek and Roman artifacts and is housed within the walls of a 16th-century palace before walking past Marco Polo’s presumed family home en route to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. We will spend the afternoon cruising the clear blue waters off the Dalmatian coast, passing the stunning shores of the islands of Brac, Korcula, and Hvar.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Arrive in Dubrovnik in the early evening. You are free to stroll around the charming old town.

DAY
9
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Dubrovnik was formerly known as Ragusa and gave us our English word "argosy." Lord Byron called it "the Pearl of the Adriatic." As we walk around the city this morning we will visit both the Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries, the former housing a fine collection of Renaissance paintings, as well as the Cathedral of our Lady which boasts Titian's Assumption over the main altar.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon the ship cruises through one of the finest natural harbors in Europe. Kotor Bay is sometimes referred to as Europe's southernmost fjord, but the winding bay is actually a submarine river canyon. At one time Kotor Bay was rival to Venice and Dubrovnik for sea power. Stretching between Croatia and Montenegro, the bay offers picturesque vistas of fortified towns and mountains dotted with castles.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Sarande, Albania (Butrint) / Corfu, Greece
Corfu
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The Albanian archaeological site of Butrint has been occupied since at least the 8th century BC. The Roman Emperor Augustus founded a colony here, and Butrint remained a Roman port until the 6th century. Its later medieval history was turbulent as the town was involved in the power struggles between Byzantium and successive Norman, Angevin, and Venetian states. It is consequently a fascinating archaeological and historical site.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At the height of their Empire, Corfu held a special place in the heart of the Venetians. The historian Jan Morris wrote: "The Greek Island of Corfu is made for pleasure and escape... Corfu was the most desirable station of the Venetian colonial service." Today, this Venetian heritage is still visible in Corfu Town as you will discover on this afternoon's excursion that takes in the Old Fortress, the red-domed Agios Spyridon church and the famous Esplanade.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Katakolon, Greece; Olympia
Katakolon
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Arrive in the early morning at the port of Katakolon for a morning's excursion of Ancient Olympia. The first Olympic Games took place here in 776BC when the top athletes for Greece's city-states met to compete in sprinting, wrestling, and boxing. The site was also an important religious center as Mount Olympus, after which the site was named, was believed to be the home of Zeus. Return to the ship for a lunchtime departure to Nauplia.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Enjoy a shipboard guest lecture as the ship sails to the next port, Pylos.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. You are welcome to enjoy the evening ashore in Pylos where the ship will overnight.

DAY
12
Pylos, Greece
Pylos
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Visit ancient Messini to explore ruins of the large classical city-state of Messene refounded by Epaminondas in 369 BC after the fall of Sparta. Admire its Odeon, Asclepeion, and Stadion.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Pylos.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Monemvasia, Greece
Monemvasía
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A massive rock rising from the sea and joined to the mainland only by a causeway, it is easy to see how Monemvasía got its nickname “the Gibraltar of Greece.” The morning will be spent on a walking excursion of the lower town, which includes the 13th century Christós Elkómenos cathedral.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Dinner: Aboard the ship or explore local fare in a café dotting Hydra's crescent-shaped seafront.

Evening: At leisure. Free time to enjoy the port of Hydra and to prepare belongings for disembarkation.

DAY
14
Disembark Piraeus; Athens
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L
Metropolitan Hotel

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy an excursion to 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. Next, 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: At a local restaurant in Plaka.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Athens.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Athens, Greece
Athens
B,D
Metropolitan Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Enjoy a walk with your Group Leader through Plaka - the picturesque old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Athens.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner with your Road Scholar group in the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer to Athens International Airport (ATH) for morning departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!