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Greece/Turkey

Odyssey at Sea: The Greek Isles, Ephesus & Istanbul

Program No. 23587RJ
Join us for an adventure of grand proportions aboard the Aegean Odyssey as you learn about iconic locales and hidden gems from Greece to Istanbul.
Length
12 days
Rating (4.53)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,399

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At a Glance

Join us for an adventure of grand proportions! Step aboard the Aegean Odyssey and learn about iconic locales and hidden gems from Greece to Istanbul. Beginning in legendary Athens, you’ll discover countless treasures across the Aegean — both ancient and modern — from the energetic local life of Mykonos to the romantic vistas of Santorini, ending in the historic Byzantine capital of Istanbul. 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. We’ve taken care of every detail — and can’t wait for you to join us!

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Experience two of the most popular Greek Isles, Mykonos and Santorini.
  • Visit Istanbul’s legendary Hagia Sophia Mosque.
  • Discover the storied past behind the ruins of Ephesus, the jewel of Greek-Roman cities, during your time in Turkey.

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.
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.
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.
Greece, Land of Light
by Nicholas Gage, Barry Brukoff
Brukoff's dramatic color photographs are paired with incisive commentary by award-winning author Nicholas Gage for this striking portrait of the people, land and history of Greece and the islands
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.
A Traveller's History of Athens
by Richard Stoneman
A brief history of Athens through the 1990's -- wide-ranging, accessible and effectively condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
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.
Travels With Epicurus
by Daniel Klein
Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean, primarily set on Hydra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The World of the Ancient Greeks
by John Camp, Elizabeth Fisher
Featuring hundreds of illustrations and invitingly short chapters on topics from the first Greeks to the Heroic Age and classical Athens. With modern color photographs of great Greek cities from Athens and Delphi to Knossos, Ephesus, Pergamum and Priene.
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.
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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 tea & coffee in the afternoon 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 will remain in port overnight.

DAY
3
Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
At Sea
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 5 hours. NOTE: The “Relaxed” group will not go inside the harem apartments.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant, there are freshly made 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: 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: 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.

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 will leave Istanbul at 8:00 p.m. and begin our journey to the port of Kusadasi.

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

Breakfast: In either 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.

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. In the late afternoon, 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, when the ship will arrive at the port of Kusadasi.

DAY
5
Kusadasi,Ancient Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 5 miles; unpaved, winding trail with steps; no handrails; uneven and rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. NOTE: The “Relaxed” group will not visit the Terrace Houses.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 7:00 a.m. We will step off the ship, board a motorcoach, and set out on a field trip to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, ancient Ephesus, where a local expert will lead our exploration. From the UNESCO inscription: “Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World,’ which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean.” Unlike her Greek counterpart, this Artemis was primarily a fertility goddess. We will also see ruins of what have been called the Terrace Houses, residential structures once inhabited by wealthy Ephesians.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch we will transfer to the Ephesus Archaeological Museum. This multi-room museum houses many findings from the Ephesus archaeological site. Originally built in 1929, it expanded over the years to accommodate the growing collection. The last expansion was in 1995. Next, we will visit House of the Virgin Mary. This catholic pilgrimage site is believed to be where the mother of Jesus spent the last years of her life. Once back onboard, we will gather aboard ship late afternoon 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 the port of Kusadasi at 8:00 p.m. and begin our journey to Samos.

DAY
6
Samos, Vathi, Pythagoras, 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 40 to 50 minutes to reach the wine making museum. Walking about 3 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; some steps; standing up to 2 hours.Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.NOTE: The “Relaxed” group will not visit the Museum of Samos Wine.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 6:00 a.m. Setting off the ship with our Group Leader, we’ll board a motorcoach for a field trip into Samos, a small island in the eastern Aegean Sea. In Vathi, the capital and main port, we will explore on foot and see where neoclassical architecture intertwines winding streets and small squares. We will also learn about Pythagoras, the influential philosopher and mathematician born here in the 6th century BCE. For a time, he lived in a cave apart from society where he developed and taught his theories. At the Museum of Samos Wine, we will learn about the millennia old tradition of wine making on this island and sample Samian wines, valued for the unique taste and bouquet. At the end of the morning, we will return to the ship.

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 aboard the ship, or take advantage of free time for independent exploration. Back aboard ship, we will gather 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 will leave Samos at 8:00 p.m. and begin our journey to Mykonos.

DAY
7
Mykonos & Little Venice, Free Time
Mykonos
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting in/out of tender boats. Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 4 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; some steps; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. With our Group Leader, we’ll take a shuttle bus or boat into the old town. Explore Mykonos on foot. As we walk, we will see the three main highlights of Mykonos: the Church of Panagia Paraportiani, one of the most photographed churches in Greece; the iconic windmills that can be seen from almost every angle in the village; and “Little Venice” where the buildings are built perched over the water's edge. At the end of the field trip, the Group Leader will accompany those who wish to return to the ship.

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, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program, or take advantage of the seabus available 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
8
Mykonos, Sacred Delos, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a local boat with steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles; some rough terrain, steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.NOTE: The "Relaxed Group" will visit the lower part of the archaeological site only without heading up to the Theater Quarter.

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

Morning: We will board local boats for a walking field trip in Delos, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “According to Greek mythology, Apollo was born on this tiny island in the Cyclades archipelago. Apollo's sanctuary attracted pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos was a prosperous trading port. The island bears traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the palaeochristian era. The archaeological site is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.” During our field trip, we will explore the amazing remains here including the Marble Lions, the Sanctuary of Apollo, and impressive mosaics.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle busses available for independent exploration. We will gather aboard ship at the end of the afternoon 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 will leave Mykonos at 8:00 p.m. and begin our journey to Santorini.

DAY
9
Santorini, Traditional Villages, Wine Tasting
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tenders and a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles uphill; narrow alleyways paved with stones, some steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. What we call Santorini is really a group of islands born out of violent eruptions — often associated with the legend of Atlantis. The sea-filled caldera covers what is still an active, though currently dormant, volcano. We will step into tender vessels then board a motorcoach and drive through the village of Megalochori on the northern coast to Oia. This is the most picturesque village on Santorini with charming houses, narrow streets, and blue-domed churches. We will explore the village with our Group Leader or a local expert and take in the amazing views over the caldera.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: There is no way to describe the wild volcanic beauty of Santorini where cliffs drop straight down to the dark blue waters of the caldera. We will go to one of the numerous wineries to taste some of the fine Santorini wine. At the end of the field trip you are welcome to return to the ship or stay ashore and explore independently. Return to the port by cable car and then tender back to the ship. We will gather aboard ship at the end of the afternoon 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 will leave Santorini at 10:00 p.m. and begin our journey to Hydra.

DAY
10
Hydra, Walking Exploration,Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting in/out of tender vessels. Walking about 3 miles; narrow, cobblestone streets; standing up to 2 hours at a time. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. We will anchor off the island of Hydra and board tender boats. Then set out on a walking field trip with our Group Leader to learn about local traditions and customs. Separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water, Hydra has developed a strong maritime culture around the many natural bays and harbors. It was around these harbors that towns grew into picturesque port towns along the steep hillsides. After the field trip, the Group Leader will accompany those who wish to return to the ship.

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 tender vessels available for independent exploration. Later in the afternoon, 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 will leave Hydra at 8:00 p.m. and begin our journey to the port of Piraeus.

DAY
11
Piraeus,Athens, Acropolis, Acropolis Museum
Piraeus (Athens)
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 “Relaxed" group will not climb to the Acropolis and will see it from the motorcoach followed by the Temple of Zeus & a slower paced visit to the museum.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 1:00 a.m. 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 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. During an expert-led 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.

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

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

DAY
12
Piraeus, Athens, Disembarkation, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation begins early at 2:00 a.m. depending on local schedules. See your program’s "Transportation Information" regarding transfers.

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

Morning: After completing disembarkation procedures, we will transfer to the airport. 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.