23176
Greece
A President’s Voyage to Greece: A Celebration of the Islands
Join Road Scholar President James Moses for a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to Greece and its ancient islands of Monemvasia, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Santorini and Syros.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23176RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,499
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11 days
10 nights
25 meals
9 B 8 L 8 D
DAY
1
In transit
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Athens, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Athens
D
Wyndham Grand Athens

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment from the Road Scholar Hospitality Staff in the lobby. Then, take some time to freshen up and relax before orientation. At 6:00 PM, meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. Your Road Scholar Study Leaders will greet everyone. 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. In addition to the lectures and field trips exclusive to Road Scholar, all meals aboard ship are included, as well as afternoon tea and late night snacks; non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and select wines included with dinner. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. Your Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will enjoy a welcome dinner buffet with coffee, tea, water, and wine included; other beverages available for purchase.

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
Athens, Greece / Epidaurus
Athens
B,L
Wyndham Grand Athens

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive to Epidaurus is about 86 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to an hour at a time; some uneven terrain and uphill segments.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant. Breakfast 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: This morning, we will divide into 9 different color groups. Each group is approximately 35 Road Scholars. You will be with the same color group and Road Scholar Study Leader for the entirety of the program. We have made every effort to ensure that traveling companions are in the same group, but if you notice an error, please alert our office immediately. We will board our motorcoach by color and transfer through the countryside to Epidaurus, sacred to Asclepios, the God of medicine, and once the most acclaimed healing center of the classical world. With your Road Scholar Study Leader, discover the theater, one of the best preserved in all of Ancient Greece.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Epidaurus or Mycenae based on your color group. We will have a family style meal plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, beer, wine.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will transfer to the ancient city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the "well-built citadel" of Homer's Iliad. With our Study Leader, we will explore the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area known as Argolid Plain between 1600 - 1300 B.C. Late afternoon transfer to the hotel.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Your Study Leader can provide suggestions. There will also be a one way coach transfer available from 7:15 PM onward if you would like to have dinner in the Port or Plaka areas of Athens. You may also choose to have dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out.

DAY
4
Acropolis and Acropolis Museum / Embark Aegean Odyssey
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments and sometimes without railings. This is a long, but rewarding day.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant.

Morning: After breakfast and hotel check-out, we will transfer by coach to the Acropolis with our color group. With our Study Leader, we will climb the ancient citadel of Athens—the Acropolis—to admire the Parthenon and the ruins of many other temples. 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: Explore local fare on your own. Or, if you prefer, the ship offers a welcome lunch buffet following embarkation.

Afternoon: We will transfer to the port of Piraeus and embark the Aegean Odyssey by color group. After getting your cabin, take some time to freshen up and relax. We will gather late afternoon in the Observation Lounge for our Road Scholar orientation to the ship. Along with everyone on board, we will participate in the ship’s mandatory safety drill when announced.

Dinner: Aboard 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
Monemvasía, Greece
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Going ashore in Monemvasía will require the use of a tender, requiring climbing in/out of it; assistance provided as needed. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to an hour at a time; some uneven terrain and uphill segments.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning, we will pass through a gap in a rocky cliff and emerge into a Medieval scene in Monemvasía, a castle town that has been called the Gibraltar of Greece. For us, it provides a transition from the classical world to the Byzantine era. Monemvasía dates back to the 6th-century. After breakfast, we will disembark the ship by color group to begin our discovery of Monemvasía with our Study Leader. We will walk along the narrow streets, sometimes only wide enough for two, and visit the 13th-century Church of Christos Elkomenos (Christ Chained to the Cross), home to several Byzantine icons. Next, we'll board our motorcoach by color group and travel to the Kinsterna Hotel, a painstakingly restored Byzantine-era rural mansion. The owners have recreated the perfect model of sustainability. The Kinsterna's ultimate aim is to come as close as possible to being a totally self-sustainable and independent community.

Lunch: In the restaurant at the Hotel Kinsterna, enjoy Greek Mediterranean cuisine featuring an abundance of local ingredients.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will have the opportunity to view a local villager baking traditional country bread or a local artisan crafting handmade soap on the grounds of the Kinsterna Hotel. Next, we will transfer back to the ship and enjoy a lecture from one of our Study Leaders.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship sets sail at 4:00 p.m.

DAY
6
Heraklion, Crete / Palace of Knossos / Cretan Wedding
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles, standing up to an hour at a time; some uneven terrain and uphill segments.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After breakfast, we will disembark the ship by color group and board our motorcoach for a short drive to the Minoan site of Knossos. The heyday of Minoan civilization (2000-1600BC) was marked by the construction of great palaces, the best known of which is Knossos. Excavations were begun in 1899 by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who controversially "restored" the palace with his own eccentric ideas of Minoan interior design. With our study leader, we will explore the complex. On our return to Heraklion, we will visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the greatest museums in Greece and the best in the world for Minoan art, as it contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. Next, we'll drive a short distance to Arolithos, a unique and traditional private Cretan Village run by a local family. Here, we will become guests of a traditional Cretan wedding. We will have the opportunity to participate in the customary preparations and festivities for the event.

Lunch: After the traditional ceremony, we will have lunch in the village served family style.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will enjoy an authentic and lively show of traditional dances from Crete and Greece accompanied by a live band. After returning to the ship in the early evening, one of our Study Leaders will present another lecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship sets sail at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
7
Rhodes, Greece
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to an hour at a time; some uneven terrain and uphill segments.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning, we will disembark the ship by color group and board our motorocoach with our Study Leader for a driving overview of Rhodes. Next, we will explore the Old Town and the Citadel of the Knights of St. John on foot. After, we will discover the Knights Hospital, now an archaeological museum to see its impressive collection of art and artifacts.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Rhodes. We will have a family style meal plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, beer, wine.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The ship’s shore excursion desk as well as your Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Late afternoon, return to the ship. Before dinner, one of our Study Leaders will present another lecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship sets sail at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
8
Kos, Greece
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to an hour at a time; some uneven terrain and uphill segments.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After breakfast, we will disembark the ship by color group and board our motorcoach to discover the Asklepion in Kos, an infirmary of Antiquity, with our Study Leader. Among the ruins, you can discern part of the Doric Temple of Aesculapius, the alter and the Stoa which housed the famous Hippocrates Medical School. After, we'll return to the town of Kos and visit the archeological museum which holds a vast collection reflecting the importance of the island. Then, we'll enjoy a stroll around the town. View the huge plane tree of Hippocrates, planted 2,400 years ago.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The ship’s shore excursion desk as well as your Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Late afternoon, return to the ship. Before dinner, one of our Study Leaders will present another lecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship sets sail at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
9
Santorini, Greece
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Going ashore in Santorini will require the use of a tender, requiring climbing in/out of it; assistance provided as needed. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven, cobblestone streets; standing in archaeological site. Use of cable car to return to port.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After breakfast, we will disembark the ship by color group and board our motorcoach in Athinios to discover 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 1625 BC. We will explore the excavations on foot with our Study Leader.

Lunch: At a local winery. You will have an opportunity to sample some of the praised local wine of Santorini.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll board the motorcoach and drive to the Northern tip of Santorini to Oia. Here, we'll explore the picturesque village on foot and take in the amazing views over the caldera. Then, we'll return to Fira, the capital of Santorini. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The ship’s shore excursion desk as well as your Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Wander the colorful streets of Firá at your leisure. Enjoy a panoramic ride to port via cable car.

Dinner: Aboard ship or on your own to explore.

Evening: At leisure. The ship sets sail at 9:00 p.m.

DAY
10
Syros, Greece
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; potentially slick, marble streets.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Upon arrival, we will disembark the ship by color group to begin our walking overview of Syros with our Study Leader to see the wonderful architecture of old mansions, marble paved streets, grandiose marble squares, imposing churches, monuments, statues, and well preserved neoclassical buildings. We will walk to visit magnificent Miaouli Square, one of the most beautiful in Greece, named for Admiral Andreas Miaouli, a hero of the Greek War of Independence. Its most prominent feature is the imposing Town Hall, designed by the famous Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller. Construction began in 1876 and was completed in 1898. The square has become the heart of the island’s social life. After, we will have some free time for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most.

Lunch: Aboard ship or on your own to explore.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The ship’s shore excursion desk as well as your Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Late afternoon, one of our Study Leaders will present another lecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation.

DAY
11
Disembarkation, Program Concludes, In Transit from Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation will begin following docking in Piraeus at approximately 6:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Aboard ship depending on departure times. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfers to Athens International Airport (ATH) for morning departure. 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.






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