23510
Greece/Albania/Croatia/Italy

Odyssey at Sea: Pearls of the Adriatic

Set sail for treasured European cities surrounding the Adriatic — in Greece, Croatia and Italy — on an unforgettable educational adventure aboard Road Scholar’s favorite ship.
Program No. 23510AMAVA
Length
12 days
Starts at
3,999
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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12 days
11 nights
29 meals
10 B 9 L 10 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Athens, Transfer to Port, Embark Aegean Odyssey
Piraeus (Athens)
D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Transfer to the Port of Piraeus will take approximately 45 minutes. Walking about 1 mile including ship and port corridors and gangways.

Morning: Transfer from the airport to the Port of Piraeus. Meals aboard ship will begin with dinner; a light lunch will be available for those who arrive in time.

Afternoon: Embark the Aegean Odyssey. Complete boarding procedures, get your cabin, unpack, and freshen up. Then begin to explore this comfortable ship that will be our floating home. The ship’s courteous and friendly staff are scrupulous about hygiene and you will find numerous dispensers with hand-sanitizer we are encouraged to use. Along with everyone on board, we will meet at muster stations when called for the ship’s safety drill. During succeeding evenings aboard ship, there will be activities to choose from such as a guest speaker, a performance by talented musicians, and opportunities for interaction with fellow Road Scholars. Please note that lecture times and dates may vary due to time in port. Check your briefing memo for the most up to date lecture schedule. There is also a well-stocked library with daily newspapers received via satellite. Most mornings will begin with a group stretch session. On each full day of the program, we will gather for an informal “port talk” about what’s ahead. Each evening, we’ll get a briefing memo in our cabins with highlights of the next day’s activities. Periods in the 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. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. In most ports, we will have shuttle busses, or tender boats, running from/to the ship during the day for your convenience if you wish to explore independently. The extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Aboard ship, enjoy your first dinner on board in the venue of your choice: the a la carte Marco Polo restaurant, open for dinner as well as lunch on full days at sea; and the Terrace Café with its extensive buffet open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals feature fresh ingredients in tasty preparations including healthy choices. Both restaurants offer open-seating dining. All meals aboard ship — as well as afternoon tea and late night snacks — are included. Non-alcoholic beverages and select wines at dinner are included; other beverages are available for purchase upon request.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
3
Port of Piraeus, Athens, Acropolis & Acropolis Museum
At Sea (Piraeus to Kalamata)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking up to 4 miles up/down a winding trail with many well-worn steps to Acropolis; no handrails; uneven, rocky sometimes slippery surfaces; standing up to 2 hours. At Acropolis Museum, walking and standing for more than an hour. Popular sites may be crowded at certain periods. NOTE: The “On Your Feet” activity level group will not climb to the Acropolis and will see it from the motorcoach followed by a slower paced visit to the museum.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — there are hot and cold dishes to choose from such as eggs, breakfast meats, cereals, fruits, breads, pastries, and a variety of healthy choices as well as milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. Meals feature fresh local ingredients in tasty preparations.

Morning: Orientation: We will gather late afternoon when the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. Following the orientation session, we will step off the ship with our Group Leader and walk to our waiting motorcoach for a field trip to the city’s most iconic symbol, the Acropolis. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription: “The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world.” We will climb to the top of the rocky crag and stand in awe before ruins of the Parthenon and other temples. Built between 447-432 BCE, the Parthenon — named for the city’s patron goddess, Athena Parthenos — has been called “the supreme effort of genius in pursuit of beauty” and “the most perfect Doric temple ever built.” Its perfect architectural proportions symbolize the ideals of Greek thought at the height of Greek civilization.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: The long-awaited Acropolis Museum was completed in 2007. Your Group Leader, or a local expert, will lead this exploration in the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis. We will ascend floors of glass that seem to float above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below. In addition to irreplaceable masterpieces, the exceptional collection includes items from everyday life and all historic periods. A recreation of the Parthenon’s frieze was based on existing original blocks as well as copies from museums in London and Paris. We will return to the ship by motorcoach with time to freshen up and relax. We will then gather for our first port talk in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Piraeus on our journey to Kalamata.

DAY
4
Free Time, Kalamata, Ancient Messene
At Sea (Kalamata to Katakolon)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program.

Lunch: Early lunch in your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will step off the ship and transfer by motorcoach to Ancient Messene where we will explore the ruins of one of the most well-preserved sites in Greece. The area known as Messenia — named for the legendary Queen Messini, daughter of King Triopios of Argos — rose to significance during the Bronze Age but was later dominated by Sparta. The city we call Ancient Messene was founded in 369 BCE after Spartan military power was broken. It was designed and built in accordance with classical city planning in a setting surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and the Arcadian Mountains on the other. From the UNESCO World Heritate Site inscription: “In size, form and preservation, Messene is one of the most important cities of antiquity, and one which still has a great deal to offer. It boasts not only religious and public buildings, but also imposing fortifications, houses and funerary monuments.” We will gather aboard ship in the late afternoon for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Kalamata on our journey to Katakolon.

DAY
5
Free Time, Katakolon, Ancient Olympia
At Sea (Katakolon to Corfu)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of time available for independent exploration.

Lunch: Early lunch in your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will step off the ship, walk to a motorcoach, and ride to Ancient Olympia where our Group Leader or a local expert will lead our field trip. The chronicles of Olympia are intertwined with Greek mythology and actual ancient history. From the 2nd millennium BCE or earlier, people believed in a pantheon of gods residing in and around Mount Olympus. Olympia grew over time with the establishment of numerous oracles, temples, and treasuries for offerings. Its fame increased with the original Olympic Games that began in 776 BCE. According to one authority on ancient Greek history, “At its heart the Ancient Olympic Games was a religious festival held in a religious sanctuary.” Victory wreaths were made from the sacred olive tree of Zeus. Today, the archaeological site includes ruins from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine era. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Katakolon on our journey to Corfu.

DAY
6
Corfu, Gastouri, Achilleion Palace, Free Time
At Sea (Corfu to Sarande)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 2 miles; flat, sometimes slippery stones with steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Upon early morning arrival in Corfu, we will board a bus and ride into the city for a walking field trip led by a local expert. The historic center is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “The Old Town of Corfu, on the Island of Corfu off the western coasts of Albania and Greece, is located in a strategic position at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, and has its roots in the 8th century BCE. The three forts of the town, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century. The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period, partly of later construction, notably the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.” Next, we will drive from the port to the village of Gastouri, a listed “traditional settlement” where we will explore the renowned Achilleion Palace overlooking the Ionian Sea with our Group Leader. It was built in 1891 by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria — affectionately known as Sisi — and served as one of her favorite retreats. The design was inspired by ancient palaces and Greek mythology, in particular legends of Achilles. She said, “I want a palace pillared with colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances — a palace worthy of Achilles who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods.” German sculptor Ernst Herter was commissioned to create the centerpiece of the palace gardens, a statue of “The Dying Achilles.” The palace and lush grounds are adorned with other statuary. Following her assassination in 1898, the palace was sold to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. It is now a museum.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to stay on shore and dine on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Corfu on our journey to Sarande, Albania.

DAY
7
Sarande, Butrint Archaeological Site, Free Time
At Sea (Sarande to Dubrovnik)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. NOTE: The “On Your Feet” activity level group will only do the lower part of the site, and will not visit the acropolis.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: The port of Sarande in Albania is our gateway to Butrint, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development.” A local expert will lead our visit.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy the activities of your choice during free time on board the ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program. We will gather in the late afternoon for a port talk. The ship will leave Sarande on our journey to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow.

DAY
8
Dubrovnik, Old City, Rector's Palace, Lecture
Dubrovnik
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tenders. Walking about 3 miles; flat, sometimes slippery stones with steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: With our local expert, we will explore Dubrovnik, a place Lord Byron described as “the Pearl of the Adriatic” and George Bernard Shaw called “Paradise on Earth.” Even at first glance, it soon becomes apparent that with its towering stone walls, marble streets, and beautiful baroque buildings, Dubrovnik is a city that is not just aesthetically pleasing, but steeped in rich and fascinating history. We will step onto tender vessels and take a short motorcoach transfer from the Port, then cross a stone bridge and walk down the stone-paved main street known as the Stradun. It is the city's main thoroughfare, lined with graceful stone palazzi where people both work and live. We will then explore the impressive Rector's Palace before returning to the ship.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will enjoy an on board performance, or take some free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
9
Free Time, Lectures at Sea
At Sea (Dubrovnik to Venice)
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the tender boats available for independent exploration. The ship will leave Dubrovnik on our journey to Venice.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program. In the late afternoon, we will gather for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow.

DAY
10
Venice, St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, Free Time
Venice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Getting on/off water busses or vaporettos. Walking about 5 miles; flat, slippery stones, steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will enjoy an orientation walk in St. Mark’s Square. Piazza San Marco is the largest public space in the city, called the "drawing room of Europe" in the 19th century. It is also one of the most impressive public squares anywhere with the Basilica di San Marco (Basilica of St Mark), Campanile (bell tower), and Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), commonly called the Doge’s Palace.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to dine on your own on shore.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
11
Torcello & Burano, Free Time
Venice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off with 4-5 steps up/down. Getting on/off waterbuses or vaporettos. Walking about 1/2 mile; flat, sometimes slippery stones with steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We will get off the ship and board a smaller boat for field trips to the islands of Torcello and Burano with a local expert. Our first stop will be Torcello, in the northern end of the lagoon. This island is the oldest settlement in the lagoon, and is believed to be where the city of Venice got its start. We’ll then move on to Burano. Burano is an archipelago of islands connected by bridges. Originally a fishing village, it is renowned for lace-making. With our local expert, we will stroll along canals lined with brightly painted boats and colorful houses while learning about the lace trade. There is an ancient legend that it began when a betrothed fisherman caught a seirene (siren) in his net. She sang her seductive song and the fisherman released her. She thumped his boat with her tail and the foam it created was transformed into a wedding veil. The fisherman gave the veil to his beloved. She was admired by all the young ladies who began making beautiful lace for their own wedding veils. In fact, lace-making began around 1500 in private homes and developed over centuries into both an industry and an art. We will return to the port after the field trip where you are welcome to enjoy free time aboard ship or stay ashore and explore independently.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to dine on your own on shore.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle boats available for independent exploration.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during your final dinner on board.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation in the morning. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
12
Venice, Disembarkation, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation begins as early as 2:00 a.m. or earlier depending on local schedules. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We will complete disembarkation procedures. This concludes our program. 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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