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Odyssey at Sea: Pearls of the Adriatic

Program No. 23510RJ
Set sail for treasured European cities surrounding the Adriatic — in Greece, Croatia and Italy — on an unforgettable educational adventure.
12 days
Rating (4.67)
Activity Level
Starts at

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At a Glance

Mythological Greece. Regal Croatia. Bewitching Italy. The pearls of this idyllic region are legendary, and you can experience them all! Set sail on a monumental journey around Greece and along the northern Adriatic coastline. Travel back in time as you explore ancient Greek ruins and proud Croatian architecture. Experience authentic local life as you sail along the Albanian Riviera and among charming Venetian islands. What's more, unlike most cruise ships that are briefly in port, you'll have overnight stays in many locations, giving you plenty of opportunity for deeper exploration. This is no cruise, after all — it’s an educational odyssey!

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Climb the Acropolis for awe-inspiring city views before exploring the New Acropolis Museum in history-rich Athens.
  • Explore the treasures of the Old City of Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful ports in all of Europe.
  • Set off to discover the gems of Venice with an expert, including St. Mark’s Square.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
It's All Greek to Me
by Charlotte Higgins
With timelines, a who's who, charts and maps, this handy little primer is a thoroughly entertaining introduction to everything Greek, from poetry and drama to philosophy, history and culture.
Art and Life in Renaissance Venice
by Patricia Brown
This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations.
A Taste of Croatia
by Karen Evenden
This engaging memoir of a three-year sailing odyssey includes 100 enticing recipes.
Dubrovnik, A History
by Robin Harris
Harris, a journalist who writes frequently on the Balkans, presents a comprehensive portrait of the historically important maritime city-state in this nicely illustrated, scholarly and readable history of Dubrovnik.
The World of Venice
by Jan Morris
Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.
Athens Map
by Borch Maps
An excellent laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:7,500 with inset maps of the Acropolis, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Attica and the surrounding region.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
by Thomas Cahill
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.
The Greeks, An Illustrated History
by Diane Harris Cline
This accessible photographic history of ancient Greece pays special attention to Greek innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the Olympics, Socrates and much more. Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek empire with archaeological discoveries.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
A Traveller's History of Croatia
by Benjamin Curtis
Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.
Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands
by Eyewitness Guides
Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you. Includes a chapter on Athens.
Venice: A New History
by Thomas Madden
Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the city’s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
Eyewitness Guide Croatia
by Eyewitness Guides
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book offers a thorough overview of Croatia's history, traditions, cultures and sights.
Croatia, A Nation Forged in War
by Marcus Tanner
A modern history of Croatia, from its medieval origins to Nazi occupation to the present day, written by the British correspondent who reported from the region during the events of 1993.
8 Reviews
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4.67 Average
This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 10/30/2022

My husband and I took this trip ( his first cruise) and enjoyed it. Our guide was fantastic and knew a great deal about the archeology and history of the countries we visited. There are several suggestions we thought would make it better. Free internet ATM on board Not enough convenient electrical outlets in cabins More free time… too structured Variety of entertainment at night More info on navigating (Venice) by ourselves and using water taxies Water issues in cabins (toilets flushing continuously) Infrastructure concerns. We adapted and overall had a great time, met wonderful people and ended our trip with Covid!

(5) Review left 10/26/2022

We have wanted to visit this area for a long time and visiting the Pearls of the Adriatic was a splendid cruise! Each stop was unique, engaging, memorable, and interesting. Local experts and on-board lectures provided excellent context for all venues. We would have liked to have more free time, but can't imagine eliminating any of the ports of call. The Agean Odyssey was a perfect size, with about 270 passengers on our trip. The smaller vessel was able to be in ports that the huge cruise ships could not access. Meals on board were plentiful, tasty, with many choices. For dinner, we were able to choose between a more formal dining room and the Terrace, open to the fresh air, as well as an indoor space with buffet style and less formal. Both were great. We enjoyed breakfast and lunch in the Terrace. Loved reading on the Lido deck in the afternoons while at sea between ports. The Road Scholar staff was helpful and, in spite of groans for early morning tours, got us there before the hordes of large cruise groups. Our group leader was helpful, knowledgeable, and accommodating to our concerns. Recommend!

(3) Review left 10/03/2022

This Road Scholar trip is heavy into archeological findings and architecture. Our group leader, Marilee who is Greek, was outstanding. Although half of our age, she related well to the demographics of those traveling. It would have been nice if we had more rest times or availability to sit down while lecturing us. There was a lot of content given to us and maybe more free time is recommended to take our time exploring on our own. The trip on the Aegean Odyssey was very disappointing. The meals were Heavily salted which caused my ankles to be swollen the entire trip. The meals were unimaginative with the same foods in the same compartments meal after meal. There was absolutely No creativity in the meal preparations. The design of and placement of the food served was in the exact spot each of the three meals. It was very boring and not tasteful besides being exceedingly salty. It would have been so much more interesting to offer food selections and representations from the countries we were visiting. The condition of the plumbing was awful! Time and time again our toilets would not stop flushing before we called the attendant. The smells of sewage was pervasive through much of our voyage. The condition of our cabin was tired and used looking; it needed repairs. It was old and not in good repair. However, our attendant , Dennis, was very congenial and pleasant. In fact, the staff aboard the Aegean Odyssey was very pleasant and accommodating. The entertainment provided on board our ship was extremely good with talented instrumentalists and singers. I am speaking primarily of the group from Moldova who performed nightly. I would have liked to have seen more traditional dancing, singing,etc. from countries we were visiting. We had only 1 night of Greek performers. All in all I doubt whether I’d take a Road Scholar voyage again. I think I should stick to the land trips.

(5) Review left 10/02/2022

Outstanding experience. The food, staff, accommodations, guides, lectures and the sites we visited were simply the best. Thank you for a trip and memories that will last for a long time

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 7/13/2022

Hello, I enjoyed making some great memories and friends. There were so many great aspects of the trip. The only disappointment was that the schedule for the slower paced group I was in, along with other slower groups at times seemed to not get to do all that the daily schedule at a location communicated. This was a loss at certain locations. This happened mainly because some group members were not able to keep up with the slow pace. It seems that there needs to be a plan in place ahead of time for what the participants of a group can do when they can not keep up with the already slow-paced group and communicate that for the benefit of everyone in the group. Thank you for hearing this concern. With gratitude, Sincerely, Sheila Jenkinson

(5) Review left 6/08/2022

This program offers travel to a magnificent region, and helped bring antiquities to life. It was an introduction to a part of the world where I would like to spend more time.

(5) Review left 6/08/2022

Pearls of the Adriatic was a gem of great value. Every stop was informative beyond my expectations. And the Aegean Odyssey is a unique and wonderful ship on which to travel to explore these wonderful places. Of particular note and pleasure was a cooking demonstration (and tasting) of Apple Strudel by the executive chef (who is from Austria and knows his strudel).

(5) Review left 6/05/2022

When I access Road Scholar site in Safari I receive a virus notice. When I use Chrome it seems fine.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.