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23513
Greece/Turkey

Odyssey at Sea: The History and Myths of the Aegean Sea

Embark on an epic adventure delving into the storied past of the Aegean Sea as you explore the history of Turkey and Greece.
Program No. 23513RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,399
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Greece/Turkey

Odyssey at Sea: The History and Myths of the Aegean Sea

Embark on an epic adventure delving into the storied past of the Aegean Sea as you explore the history of Turkey and Greece.
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,399
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Length
12 days
New
Starts at
4,399
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Program No. 23513RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Inside Ship Outside Ship Balcony
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Accommodation Details

A cabin with no window, porthole or balcony.

A representative picture of a cabin in this category.
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

A representative picture of a cabin in this category.
Accommodation Details

A cabin featuring a verandah, or balcony, that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.

Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2022
Ship Inside 4,399
Ship Outside 4,999
Ship Balcony 6,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Aug. 10, 2022 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Inside Ship Outside Ship Balcony
A representative picture of a cabin in this category.
Accommodation Details

A cabin with no window, porthole or balcony.

A representative picture of a cabin in this category.
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

A representative picture of a cabin in this category.
Accommodation Details

A cabin featuring a verandah, or balcony, that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.

Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2022
Ship Inside 5,399
Ship Outside 5,999
Ship Balcony 8,399
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Aug. 10, 2022 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

At a Glance

Turkey and Greece — two countries rich in history and culture bordering the Aegean Sea. Beyond their shores lies archaeological sites, spectacular architecture and heroic legends. You’ll delve into all this and more with a local expert as you set sail aboard the Aegean Odyssey!
Activity Level
Choose Your Pace
This program offers two activity levels to choose from on every departure date: one that has less walking and fewer stairs and another at a more active pace.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover two Istanbul gems with a local expert, the breathtaking Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Blue Mosque.
  • Set off on a field trip to the Great Tombs of the Royal Tumulus at Vergina, where Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, was buried.
  • Walk among legends with a visit to the site of Troy, the setting of Homer’s The Iliad.

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.
Eyewitness Guide Turkey
by Eyewitness Guides
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book is a thorough overview of Turkey, its history, traditions, cultures and sights. With hundreds of color photographs and illustrations.
Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey
by Anastasia M. Ashman, Jennifer Eaton Gokmen
As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals its most personal nuances. This illuminating anthology provides a window into the country from the perspective of thirty-two expatriates from seven different nations—artists, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps volunteers, archaeologists, missionaries, and others—who established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the mystique of the “Orient,” describe religious conflict, embrace cultural discovery, and maneuver familial traditions, customs, and responsibilities. Poignant, humorous, and transcendent, the essays take readers to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road, and deep into the feminine stronghold of steamy Ottoman bathhouses. The outcome is a stunning collection of voices from women suspended between two homes as they redefine their identities and reshape their world views.
Istanbul: The Imperial City
by John Freely
Whether you call it Byzantium, Constantinople, or Istanbul, the “old Turkish hand” John Freely tells the story of each creation and decline up to today’s Istanbul under the Turkish Republic. Spirited and colorful, Freely gives his readers a lively account of the turmoil each incarnation brought. In addition to “page turning history”, Freely gives a complete listing of monuments & museums in the city - he has lived there for decades. This is the one to read on Istanbul if you have a short list of books and limited time to get into its history.
Turkey: A Modern History
by Erik J. Zürcher
A revised edition looks at Turkey's modern day changes and continuations into a capitalist and modern world. Focuses on the 1950s and forward, Zürcher focuses on politics, military, human rights issues, Turkey's relationships with Europe and the West and their ambivalent relationship with the Middle East.
Ataturk: A biography of Mustafa Kemal - Father of Modern Turkey
by Lord Kinross
Kinross tells the story of Ataturk in such an engaging way that you stay glued to the page. Beginning with his birth in 1881 in Salonika, Greece, during the usual Balkan struggles, the book traces his youth through his early education and military service. Along the way Kinross reveals the experiences that formed Ataturk’s rebel spirit, leads you through the evolution of his hatred for the rich, the corrupt, and the abusive religious and political classes. He takes you onto the battlefield where Ataturk’s leadership and inspiration routs the Greeks who invaded Turkey in the aftermath of W.W.I. Kinross takes you step by step through the formation of a new, secular Republic, free of domination by Sultans, Moslem Caliphs or foreign countries, and describes how Turkey secured a place among nations. You’ll learn of Ataturk’s commitment to equality for all people, men and women alike, and how he lead the new Turkish nation westward by adopting the western alphabet overnight, creating a new Turkish language, and provided free education for all. A “must read” in order to understand present-day Turkey’s struggle to maintain the secular principles Ataturk established.
The Odyssey
by Homer
The Odyssey is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems about the Greek hero Odysseus in his long journey back to his native land Ithaca after the fall of Troy.
Introducing the Ancient Greeks, From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind
by Edith Hall
Classicist Edith Hall visits 10 Greek communities at different moments during the 20 centuries of ancient Greek history, brilliantly assembling a unified vision of the Greek spirit.
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
by Robert Graves
A new edition of Graves' classic collection with a cover by comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This informative handbook traces Greek art and architecture from the third millennium to the first century B.C.
The Iliad
by Homer
Homer's timeless poem vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction as it moves toward the tragic conclusion of the Trojan War.
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.
Homer the Classic
by Gregory Nagy
Harvard classics scholar Nagy considers how Homer’s poetry was greeted in its own day and in the centuries immediately following the great bard.
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.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Artemis Leontis (Editor)
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.
Harem - The World Behind the Veil
by Alev Lytle Croutier
The author left Turkey at age 18 for the US, returning 15 years later to visit her birthplace and family. Intrigued upon learning that her grandmother had lived in a harem, she interviewed aunts and other family members about their recollections. About that same time (mid 1970’s) the Harem of Topkapi Palace was opened to visitors. With thoughtful research and richly illustrated, Croutier pieces together a realistic description of daily life in the Sultan’s Harem. Her fascinating insights into customs, food and ceremony of the Palace through 450 hundred years, make this an enjoyable read. The addition of family photographs and an amusing chapter about Western misconceptions of the term “harem” sets this work apart from all other books of its kind.
Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds
by Stephen Kinzer
A passionate love for the Turkish people and an optimism that its ruling class can complete Turkey's transformation into a Western-style democracy mark Kinzer's reflections on a country that sits geographically and culturally at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Kinzer, the former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief, gives a concise introduction to Turkey: Kemal Ataterk's post-WWI establishment of the modern secular Turkish state; the odd makeup of contemporary society, in which the military enforces Ataterk's reforms. In stylized but substantive prose, he devotes chapters to the problems he sees plaguing Turkish society: Islamic fundamentalism, frictions regarding the large Kurdish minority and the lack of democratic freedoms. Kinzer's commonsense, if naeve, solution: the ruling military elite, which takes power when it feels Turkey is threatened, must follow the modernizing path of Ataterk whom Kinzer obviously admires a step further and increase human rights and press freedoms. Kinzer's journalistic eye serves him well as he goes beyond the political, vividly describing, for instance, the importance and allure of the narghile salon, where Turks smoke water pipes. Here, as elsewhere, Kinzer drops his journalist veneer and gets personal, explaining that he enjoys the salons in part "because the sensation of smoking a water pipe is so seductive and satisfying." Readers who want a one-volume guide to this fascinating country need look no further.
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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 Istanbul, Transfer to Port, Embark Aegean Odyssey
Istanbul
D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 1 mile including ship and port corridors and gangways.

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

Afternoon: Embark the Aegean Odyssey. After completing boarding procedures and getting your cabin, take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax. Then begin to become familiar with this comfortable ship that will be our floating home for the duration of the program. The ship’s friendly and courteous 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. There is also a well-stocked library with daily newspapers received via satellite. Each evening, a Daily Journal with highlights of the next day’s activities will be available to view in the reception area. 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. 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 each port, based on our berthing position, we will be offering shuttle busses 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 are always dependent 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 either the Marco Polo restaurant or the Terrace Café. Chef-prepared meals feature fresh ingredients in tasty preparations including healthy choices. Both restaurants offer open-seating dining. All meals aboard ship are included as well as coffee and tea in the afternoons on the Lido Deck & late night snacks. Non-alcoholic beverages and select wines at dinner are included; other beverages are available for purchase upon request.

Evening: We will gather in the Ambassador Lounge for a welcome briefing by the Cruise Director. As well as welcoming you to your floating campus, the Cruise Director will discuss some general ship policies and review any updated Covid-19 regulations. The rest of the evening will be 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
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Bosphorus Cruise
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 1 mile including ship and port corridors and gangways; further walking of about 2 miles; steps at church and mosque; standing up to 2 hours.

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 ingredients in tasty preparations.

Morning: Orientation:We will gather this morning with the Group Leader, who will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. After the orientation session, We will set out by motorcoach for field trips beginning with Hagia Sophia — Holy Wisdom — one of the world’s great historical and architectural wonders. Moving on, we will visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque for what were originally richly hued blue tiles decorating its interior. It was constructed from 1609-1616 facing Hagia Sophia. Still an active mosque, it is the only one in Istanbul with six minarets where a Muezzin calls the faithful to prayer five times each day. Beneath its multiple domes, there are more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, some 260 stained glass windows, and verses from the Qu’ran displayed in calligraphic art.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we will ride to a chartered boat for a cruise on the Bosphorus. A local expert will provide commentary as we view palaces, yalis (waterfront mansions), and fortresses along its shores before returning to the ship.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship is scheduled to leave Istanbul on our journey to Thessaloniki.

DAY
4
At Sea, Onboard Lectures & Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program. You might like to take a seat in the observation lounge with fellow Road Scholars, find something to read in the library, relax by the pool, or enjoy the spa.

Lunch: In either 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. We will gather for our first port talk in the late afternoon.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. We will continue our journey to Thessaloniki.

DAY
5
Thessaloniki, Vergina, Royal Tumulus, Free Time
Thessaloniki
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down; driving about 43 miles (69 km), approximately 1.5 hours each way to/from Vergina. Walking about 2 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; steps at the museum and tomb; standing up to 2 hours at a time.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: We will step off the ship and board a motorcoach as we begin a field trip to the Great Tombs of the Royal Tumulus at Vergina. En route, our Group Leader or a local expert will provide background on the discovery and excavation of these tombs in the late 1970s and the extraordinary relics that were found. Ancient Aigai, once the royal capital of Macedon, was lost for centuries until rediscovered near the village of Vergina. It is now a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “The city of Aigai, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.” Among the treasures found and conserved are the gold larnax (coffin box) that held King Philip’s remains, his weapons, and an oak leaf crown with 313 leaves and 68 acorns made of pure gold weighing more than a pound and a half — the most impressive such wreath surviving from ancient Greece. We will return to port after our field trip where you are welcome to enjoy free time aboard ship or stay ashore and explore independently.

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

Afternoon: Free time. This may occur in the morning for some groups. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, or take advantage of this time for independent exploration.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
6
Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 1 mile including ship and port corridors and gangways, steps at museum; standing up to 2 hours at a time.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Thessaloniki, also known as Salonika, is the second-largest city in Greece. It was founded in 315 BCE by Cassander, who named it for his wife: the daughter of Philip II and half-sister of Alexander the Great. It later became one of the richest cities in the Roman and Byzantine empires. Today, there are 15 UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites in the city. We will board a motorcoach and set out on a field trip to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Our Group Leader or a local expert will give us a behind-the-scenes look at the Greek antiquities and photographs in the collections before returning to the ship. We will return to port after the field trip where you are welcome to enjoy free time aboard ship or stay ashore and explore independently.

Lunch: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program, or take advantage of free time for independent exploration. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship is scheduled to leave Thessaloniki on our journey to Volos.

DAY
7
Volos, Meteora Monasteries
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down; driving approximately 2 hours each way. Walking about 3 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; up to 150 step at monastery; standing up to 2 hours at a time. NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level will not climb the steps and will visit a local café with a view of the steps.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: After arriving in Volos, we will leave the ship by motorcoach and travel through the plain of Thessaly on a full-day field trip to the monasteries of Meteora in Kalambaka. The very name Meteora means suspended in air. They were built amid seemingly impossible terrain and have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage: “In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these 'columns of the sky' from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremetic ideal in the 15th century.” The eremitic ideal was spurred by the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine empire in 1453, after which orthodox monks sought refuge in remote locations. Six monasteries remain today. We will continue our exploration of Meteora and visit the Varlaam Monastery with your Group Leader or a local expert. The climb is 150 steps up/down. The view from the top — where we will learn about history and heritage — is worth the climb!

Lunch: Late lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: In the late afternoon, we will return to the ship to enjoy free time on board. Later we will gather for a port talk.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship is scheduled to leave Volos on our journey to Skiathos.

DAY
8
Skiathos, Walking Discovery of Skiathos, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: The westernmost island in the Sporades, Skiathos is famous for its splendid beaches. The shade cast by the tree covered hills is said to have inspired the Pelasgians to give the island its name. Dionysus, the god of wine, was worshipped here. Herodotus wrote that the residents used beacons to notify the Greeks of the approaching Persian fleet in 480BC. Following the Peloponnesian Wars, the island endured successive waves of conquerors. Today, cosmopolitan Skiathos draws visitors from all over Europe. There are the superb beaches, the walled town of Kastro and a lively town where you can sample the local olives, honey and almond sweets. Your group leader will give a short orientation walk before free time to explore as you wish.

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

Afternoon: Afternoon Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program, or take advantage of free time for independent exploration. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk at the end of the afternoon. The ship is scheduled to leave Skiathos on our journey to Kavala.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
9
Kavala, Ancient Philippi, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Driving for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to reach Ancient Filippi. Walking about 3 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; some steps; no handrails; standing up to 2 hours, inclines and rough footpaths at the archaeological site.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Kavala, once the ancient port of Philippi,where a castle overlooks the bustling harbour, we will explore the city founded by (and named after) Philip of Macedonia in 356BC. Today, we will confront antiquity at every turn of its extraordinary archaeological site, and, in addition, visit the stream where St Paul's first European convert to Christianity was baptised. The drive to Philippi is only a short distance, but it takes us a long way back in time. The site is at the foot of Mount Pangeon on the border of a marsh that once covered the entire plain. History whispers at every turn. Thucydides was exiled here. When the city was a Roman colony, Julius Caesar's assassins, Brutus and Cassius, met their deaths at the Battle of Philippi. Saint Paul visited several imes and wrote a letter thanking the citizens for their support while he was in jail. We will visit the main archaeological site to see the extensive ruins, which include a large Roman forum, sacred gates, baths, wrestling rings and even a public latrine with marble seats. Other sights include the reputed "jail" of St Paul, a theatre from the classical period and two Byzantine basilicas. These testify to the town's transition to a Christian headquarters.

Lunch: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program, or take advantage of free time for independent exploration. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship is scheduled to leave Kavala on our journey to Canakkale.

DAY
10
Canakkale, Troy
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Enter the world of Helen of Troy and Paris, Hektor and Achilles. The 13th or 12th century BC siege of Troy by Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece has fired the imagination of poets over thousands of years. The site is one of the most significant demonstrations of early contact between the civilisations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. The shores of the Dardanelles, known in antiquity as the Hellespont, lead our way to the last vestiges of the fabled city called Ilion in Greek and Truva in Turkish. In legend, Troy was said to be founded by Dardanos, the son of Zeus and Electra. The site's existence was long considered merely a fable invented by Homer in The Iliad. Then, in 1870, Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur archaeologist working more on passionate belief than empirical evidence, discovered the site. Today, most historians agree that Troy was one of nine civilisations that inhabited the spot. There is also evidence to support the tale of a ten-year siege, giving further weight to Homer’s tales. Alexander the Great, who declared himself a descendent of Achilles, made a pilgrimage to this site in 334BC. Today little remains of the 5,000 years of habitation. Our local experts bring its storied past to life as you view the massive walls, a Roman theatre and the reputed Palace of King Priam.

Lunch: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk at the end of the afternoon. The ship is scheduled to leave Canakkale on our journey to Istanbul.

Dinner: In either 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
11
Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, Archaeological Museum
Istanbul
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 5 miles including steps at Palace; no handrails; standing up to 2 hours at each site. Popular sites may be crowded at certain periods. NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level group will not be going to the harem apartments.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: We will step off the ship, walk to and board a motorcoach, and ride to the Topkapi Palace. Constructed from 1460-1478, it served as the residence of Ottoman sultans as well as their administrative and ceremonial center until the mid-19th century. A local expert will lead our exploration as we see aspects of the Imperial Treasury that holds riches of royal history including thrones, jeweled pendants and precious stones, sacred items from the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed, decorated weapons, and much more. We will also see parts of the harem apartments that originally contained more than 300 rooms including living quarters for the sultan and his family, bath houses, courtyards, dormitories for concubines, a hospital, laundry, mosques, and pavilions.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we will visit the Istanbul Arkeoloji Muzesi, or Istanbul Archaeological Museums, complex. The museum was founded in 1875 by accomplished archaeologist, Osman Hamdi Bey, and is actually comprised of three different museums. Discover ancient treasures from the Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman civilizations.

Dinner: In either 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 and departure in the morning. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
12
Disembarkation, Transfer to Airport, 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 "Transportation Information" regarding transfers.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

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!






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.