21660
France/Spain
Voyages to Antiquity: Exploring History’s Grandeur in France and Spain
Aboard this premium ocean liner, voyage across ancient Mediterranean trade routes, exploring forts, gardens and architecture, and immersing yourself in classic icons of history.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21660RJ
Length
18 days
Starts at
5,495
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18 days
17 nights
41 meals
16 B 10 L 15 D
DAY
1
In Transit
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome to Nice, France!
Nice
D
Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice

Afternoon: 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: Welcome 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
Nice, France; Embark Aegean Odyssey
Nice
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

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 panoramic coach excursion of Nice to include the Promenade des Anglais, lined with Belle-Epoque buildings, the Quai des Etats-Unis, the harbor, the impressive Russian Orthodox cathedral and, finally the residential district of Cimiez. Next, enjoy a walk through the narrow streets of old Nice. Admire two Baroque churches: Sainte Reparte and Sainte Rita before strolling the Cours Saleya with its famous flower market.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own. Or, if you prefer, the ship offers a welcome lunch buffet following embarkation.

Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the port to embark the Aegean Odyssey. Take some time to settle in to your cabin, freshen up, and relax. Following embarkation there will be a safety briefing provided by the ship’s staff followed by a brief orientation to the ship by your Road Scholar Group Leader. This is preliminarily scheduled for 5:00 PM, but your Group Leader will confirm timings once on board the ship.

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. Water is served at all meals on this program.

Evening: At leisure. 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. The ship departs Nice in the evening and arrives into Cannes in the middle of the night.

DAY
4
Cannes, France; Monte Carlo
Cannes
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, breakfast will be buffet-style with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, hot dishes, juice, milk, coffee and tea and served in the Terrace Café.

Morning: This morning head to the hills above Cannes to find a stunning contrast to the Riviera's glittering coast: the medieval village of St. Paul-de-Vence, a place beloved by artists and seekers of the extraordinary. Our drive takes us through glorious Loup River canyon scenery to St. Paul-de-Vence. This idyllic spot has drawn artists from Chagall to Miró and celebrities from Garbo to Deneuve. You will find that, typical of other fortified villages guarding the frontier, St. Paul has retained much of its medieval appearance. Start your explorations at the main gate where medieval ramparts built by Francis I in 1536 remain intact to this day. Stroll the narrow cobblestone lanes lined with boutiques, museums and art galleries. Lose all sense of the modern world. By the time you leave, you can expect to be laden with souvenirs and memories, ready to return to the ship for a relaxing rest of the day. Optionally, you can elect to join the full-day excursion to Monaco & Monte Carlo (details attached, additional cost, bookable on board).

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

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal 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. Your Group Leader of the Shore Excursion team on board will be also happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

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

Evening: At leisure. The ship will overnight in Cannes.

DAY
5
Cruising the French Riviera Coast
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. In the morning, as the ship makes its way to Marseilles, you will pass close to the coast of Monte Carlo and then continue along the beautiful coastline of the Cote d'Azur passing Nice, St. Tropez and Antibes. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

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. Attend a shipboard guest lecture followed by the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship arrives to Marseilles in the evening.

DAY
6
Marseilles, France
Marseilles
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Explore the Provençal countryside on this full-day field trip that visits Avignon with its papal legacies. Your adventure starts with a 90-minute drive to Avignon which rose to glory in the Middle Ages, when a series of French born Popes fled Rome and made the town a base from which they ruled Christendom until 1407. Enjoy views of the Rhone River and Avignon's much-sung-about bridge, Pont St. Benezet. The highlight of your visit is a guided field trip of the Pope's Palace with its long, echoing Great Audience Hall, 14th-century wall paintings and Great Chapel. Also enjoy a walking tour through Palace Square and Horloge Square.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring three-course set menu.

Afternoon: After lunch, there will be a short time to explore Avignon independently before returning to the ship in Marseilles.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Evening departure for Sete, for tomorrow's visit to Carcassonne.

DAY
7
Sete, France / Carcassonne
Sete
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Relive centuries of history when you visit two cities with Roman roots: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carcassonne, an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, and landlocked Narbonne, once a leading port celebrated by the troubadour Bertrand de Bar. Your adventure starts with a drive through the wild Languedoc countryside to Carcassonne, a site continuously occupied for over 2,500 years. Encircled by double walls, this stronghold stands exactly as it did in the Middle Ages with miles of battlements, 52 towers and a castle. View the mighty gate with its chains, portcullis and intricate access system. Stroll the lists between the double walls and savor the atmosphere as you get an education in military architecture.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring a three-course set menu in Narbonne.

Afternoon: Once a prosperous sea-side city of the Roman Empire, Narbonne is now located almost 10 miles from the ocean. In the 5th century Narbonne was a Visigoth capital and in the Middle Ages an important Episcopal center, as can be seen in several superbly preserved monuments. Enjoy a walking excursion to see some of these including a portion of the Via Domitia, the Roman road which connected Italy to Spain.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

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

DAY
8
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: With your Road Scholar group, explore Barcelona on an expert-led coach overview of the city which takes in some of Antoni Gaudí's most important works. We will see the impressive, unfinished Sagrada Familia church and if we are unable to visit the inside, we will enjoy a visit to Casa Mila (commonly known as La Pedrera). Enjoy a stroll along Las Ramblas and take in the sights and sounds of La Boquería Market.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Barcelona.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion. Enjoy an early evening cocktail party with your Road Scholar group in the Observation Lounge.

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

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

DAY
9
Valencia, Spain
Valencia
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: For those who would prefer less walking, or who would like a break from navigating the cobblestones of the Old World, the ship will offer a coach tour "Panoramic Valencia" (details on board).

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Few cities are able to combine so harmoniously the remains from an ancient history with the most modern, avant-garde buildings as well as Valencia. You will visit both the historical centre and the most modern part of the city. Start by viewing the most outstanding monuments in the city including the fourteenth century church of the Knights Templar, the North Station, a modernist building designed by the architect Demetrio Ribes and inaugurated in 1917, and the Serranos and Quart Towers the only two doors that were conserved from the old wall that protected Valencia for 500 years. Continue to the Central Market (for an outside visit), Lonja (old silk exchange) – this building is one of the best examples of civic Gothic architecture, a work of great beauty by Pere Compte. For years Round Square has been used as a market and meeting place. Nowadays it is the scene of some fantastic handicraft stalls and souvenir shops. Steeped in history, the main Cathedral in Valencia's Plaza de la Virgen was built on the site of a former Roman temple and Muslim mosque. You will also see the exterior of the Basilica and the Generalitat Palace, which is a flamboyant Gothic building dating from 1421 that was the seat of the Valencian Government. In the most modern part of the city the highlight is the new landmark of Valencia, the City of Arts & Sciences, the largest cultural-educational complex in Europe.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore the menú del día at a tapas restaurant or two.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Valencia.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
10
At sea
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. Treat yourself to one of many spa services offered by the ship. Or, simply relax poolside enjoying the late spring sunshine. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
11
Málaga, Spain
Malaga
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Leave the port of Málaga and drive through the wonderful landscape of Andalusia passing endless fields of olive trees and picturesque villages. Your journey takes you to one of the most magical places in the world and the most outstanding symbol of Moorish heritage in Spain, the Alhambra. The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and home of the Nasrid Sultans. The Nasrid Dynasty (1238-1492), was the last Islamic sultanate in the Iberian Peninsula and the Nasrid Sultans chose this site for their court as it was the ideal place from which to keep watch over the capital of their kingdom and the surrounding area. From the beginning of the 13th century, the original fortress grew into a huge walled site that was clearly intended to be both a palace and court. Within this gradual change, different stages of development, grandeur and decadence can clearly be seen through the various works of art and buildings erected over the years. The Alhambra was not a single construction, but rather the result of an evolution of successive reforms and extensions. Your guide will take you inside the “Alqala hamra”, meaning "red castle" where you will be able to visit the Nazaries Palaces with intricately carved stucco walls, knotted ceilings, elaborate honeycomb vaulting, and beautiful courtyards; “Serallo”, the official residence of the Sultan and the Harem, which surrounds the famous "Patio de los Leones," with its fountains feeding water through the mouths of 12 lions (representing months of the year), and many other wonderful sites within the fortress. Continuing on, the tour will visit the “Generalife Palace” which was build as the summer paradise for the Sultans of Granada. Its lovely terraces, grottoes, flowerbeds and fabulous fountains will make you feel the glamour of the Moorish inhabitants.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Granada.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Midnight departure for Tangier. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
12
Tangier, Morocco
Tangier
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Situated only a short distance across the Strait of Gibraltar from the shores of Europe, Tangier is a gateway to a vastly different culture. This tour is perfect if you really want to discover more of Tangier, and explore the bustling Medina, with its tiny streets lined with shops filled with souvenirs and treats. First head for a photostop at Cape Spartel Lighthouse – more than a century old it shines a warning beacon to ships sailing between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Arriving back in Tangier, visit the Medina (old town) whose walls mark the line of the Roman defences. The grand Mosque rises on the foundations of a temple to Neptune, and the Petit Socco covers the area of what used to be the Forum. The bustling Kasbah is situated on the highest part of the Medina in an area that has been the preserve of palaces and castles for thousands of years. Your guide will walk you through the Medina and the Kasbah, allowing you the opportunity to view the fruit and vegetable market and Mendoubia Park where you can explore at leisure, if you wish.

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

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
13
Seville, Spain
Seville
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. This afternoon cruise the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river with its entire length in Spain.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Seville, there is free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship overnights in Seville. Free evening to prepare belongings for disembarkation.

DAY
14
Disembark Seville, Spain
Seville
B,D
Meliá Sevilla

Activity note: The Barrio de Santa Cruz is largely cobbled.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship and enjoy a guided visit of Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalucía. Explore its oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. Meander its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that open onto beautiful plazas. During medieval times, this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter and it is home to many of Seville's oldest churches. Visit its cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral – and the third largest church – in the world. In 1898 it became the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Next, visit the spectacular moorish Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens -- the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. Originally a fort built by the Almohad Dynasty, it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own. Ask you Group Leader for suggestions.

Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and enjoy some time for relaxing before heading out with your Group Leader to explore nearby Maria Luisa Park and the impressive Plaza de España, built for the World Expo in 1929, and a fine example of typical Sevillan architecture and incorporating traditional Andalucían ceramic tile.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Seville, Spain / Córdoba
Seville
B,L
Meliá Sevilla

Activity note: The drive between Seville and Córdoba is about 2 hours. The inside of the Alcazar is closed on Sundays; we will substitute the outdoors Patios of the Old Alcazar.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Enjoy the rolling plains of the Andalucían countryside during this morning's transfer to Córdoba. Today's full-day field trip will include the Mezquita, a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Next, explore Córdoba's Jewish quarter where this population flourished between from the 10th century until their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Its historic synagogue built in Mudéjar style is a memorial to the nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistence of Christians, Jews and Muslims in this city. Next, enjoy a walking route through the flowering courtyards within the old walls of the Alcazar.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Following lunch, the coach departs Córdoba by mid-afternoon for the return trip back to Seville.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Train to Madrid, Spain
Madrid
B,D
Meliá Galgos

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Following check-out, we transfer to Seville's Santa Justa station to board a high-speed train to Madrid departing at 10:45 AM. The roughly 300 mile journey takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. You are scheduled to arrive at 1:15 PM.

Lunch: On your own, likely on the train or at the station.

Afternoon: Upon arrival to Madrid's Atocha station, coach transfer to hotel for check-in. There will be time for settling in and refreshing before the evening's flamenco performance.

Dinner: Enjoy an introduction to Flamenco with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by a tapas dinner and a Flamenco show.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Madrid, Spain
Madrid
B,D
Meliá Galgos

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Morning panoramic sightseeing visit of Madrid including Paseo de la Castallaña, Madrid's chic modern district, the Paseo del Prado, also known as the Triangle of Art, the Plaza de Cibeles and Town Hall, La Gran Vía, Madrid's theatre district, and Almudena Cathedral. Next, visit the Prado Museum which holds one of the world's finest collections of European art. The magnificent building, conceived and designed in 1785, first housed the collection of the Spanish crown. It opened to the public as Spain’s national art museum in 1819. With thousands upon thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings, other works and historic documents, only a small portion of these vast collections are on display at any given time. Highlights include masterpieces of the French, German, and Italian schools, early Flemish works, and the finest collection of works by Spanish grand masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and many more. One of the most famous paintings in the museum is “Las Meninas” -- the family of King Felipe IV -- by Velázquez.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Madrid.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare belongings for tomorrow's departure.

DAY
18
Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) for departures. 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!