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23587
Greece/Turkey

Odyssey at Sea: The Greek Isles, Ephesus & Istanbul

Join us for an adventure of grand proportions aboard Road Scholar’s favorite ship, the Aegean Odyssey, as you learn about iconic locales and hidden gems from Greece to Istanbul.
Program No. 23587RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,199
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Greece/Turkey

Odyssey at Sea: The Greek Isles, Ephesus & Istanbul

Join us for an adventure of grand proportions aboard Road Scholar’s favorite ship, the Aegean Odyssey, as you learn about iconic locales and hidden gems from Greece to Istanbul.
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,199
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Program No. 23587 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

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.

Apr 24 - May 5, 2022
Ship Inside 4,199
Ship Outside 4,799
Ship Balcony 6,699
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

May 14 - May 25, 2022
Ship Inside 4,399
Ship Outside 4,999
Ship Balcony 6,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure begins in Istanbul and ends in Athens. Please see itinerary for details.

Sep 29 - Oct 10, 2022
Ship Inside 4,399
Ship Outside 4,999
Ship Balcony 6,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Oct 19 - Oct 30, 2022
Ship Inside 4,399
Ship Outside 4,999
Ship Balcony 6,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure begins in Istanbul and ends in Athens. Please see itinerary for details.

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.

Apr 24 - May 5, 2022
Ship Inside 5,199
Ship Outside 5,799
Ship Balcony 8,199
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

May 14 - May 25, 2022
Ship Inside 5,399
Ship Outside 5,999
Ship Balcony 8,399
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure begins in Istanbul and ends in Athens. Please see itinerary for details.

Sep 29 - Oct 10, 2022
Ship Inside 5,399
Ship Outside 5,999
Ship Balcony 8,399
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Oct 19 - Oct 30, 2022
Ship Inside 5,399
Ship Outside 5,999
Ship Balcony 8,399
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by July 31, 2021 for free air from many cities! Airfare availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure begins in Istanbul and ends in Athens. Please see itinerary for details.

At a Glance

Join us for an adventure of grand proportions aboard our first-ever floating campus! Step aboard Road Scholar’s favorite ship, 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 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 aboard our first-ever floating campus!
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…

  • Experience authentic local life and time-honored treasures on two of the most popular Greek Isles, Mykonos and Santorini.
  • Visit Istanbul’s legendary Hagia Sophia Mosque and Blue Mosque with a local expert.
  • Discover the storied past behind the ruins of Ephesus, the jewel of Greek-Roman cities, during your time in Turkey.
  • Sail exclusively with ship mates who are all Road Scholar participants, as dedicated to learning as you are.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions. Please note roommate matching is available in categories F, H and L. Looking to extend your stay? If your departure begins in Istanbul, you may enroll in "Odyssey at Sea: Lodging in Istanbul II" (#24025). If your departure begins in Athens, you may enroll in "Odyssey at Sea: Lodging in Athens II" (#24023).
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Brian Williams
Brian Williams is Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has published more than 100 papers and several books. He is also a consultant to the oil industry and small geological companies. His studies have taken him to all corners of the globe, giving him the opportunity to share his enthusiasm for rocks and earth processes with adult education classes, industry personnel, and students alike. When he is not "geologizing," Brian is passionate about rugby, American jazz, literature, film, and travel.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Christopher Witcombe
Christopher Witcombe View biography
Christopher Witcombe studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s in art history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in art history at Bryn Mawr College. He taught art history for 37 years and was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, England, and the American Academy, Rome. He is Emeritus Professor of Art History at Sweet Briar College, Virginia. He has published nine books and is working two new books on art.
Profile Image of Brian Williams
Brian Williams View biography
Brian Williams is Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has published more than 100 papers and several books. He is also a consultant to the oil industry and small geological companies. His studies have taken him to all corners of the globe, giving him the opportunity to share his enthusiasm for rocks and earth processes with adult education classes, industry personnel, and students alike. When he is not "geologizing," Brian is passionate about rugby, American jazz, literature, film, and travel.
Profile Image of Ioanna Kopsiafti
Ioanna Kopsiafti View biography
Ioanna Kopsiafti is an art historian, professor, and writer living in Athens for the past 20 years. She earned her Masters from St. Andrews University and her doctorate from Oxford. Ioanna currently lectures in Athens and Rome, primarily on ancient Greek and Roman art and civilization. Her publications include “Style City Athens” (Thames & Hudson 2006) and “Thinking Space, Advancing Art: Cassirer with Crowther” (Routledge 2015) on the philosophy of symbolic forms that explores language, myth, religion, and art within the philosophy of culture.
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.
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.
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.
Turkey: A Modern History
by Erik J. Zürcher
A revised edition looks at Turkeys 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, Turkeys relationships with Europe and the West and their ambivalent relationship with the Middle East.
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 Short History
by Norman Stone
A concise survey of Turkey's relations with neighboring countries and the wider world from 11th century to today.
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.
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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 time from the airport to the ship will be approximately 45 minutes.

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. 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. 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. Each evening, a briefing memo/daily journal will be placed in our cabins with highlights of the next day’s activities. 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 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 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 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. 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 afternoon tea and late night snacks. 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
Athens, Acropolis, Acropolis Museum
At Sea
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 “Less Active" 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 ingredients in tasty preparations.

Morning: Orientation: We will gather this morning with the Group Leader, who 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 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. After the field trip, the Group Leader will accompany those who wish to return to the ship. We will gather for a port talk in the late afternoon.

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

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 leave the port of Piraeus and begin our journey to Hydra.

DAY
4
Hydra, 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 the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: 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: 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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Hydra and begin our journey to Santorini.

DAY
5
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 the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: 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: 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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Santorini and begin our journey to Mykonos.

DAY
6
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 the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: With our Group Leader, we’ll take a tender boat or shuttle bus 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 ship tender service, or seabus available 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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
7
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.

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

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 paleo Christian 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 have an onsite lecture and explore the amazing remains here including the Marble Lions, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Temple of Isis, and impressive mosaics. 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: 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: 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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave Mykonos and begin our journey to Samos.

DAY
8
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.

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

Morning: 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. We will return to port at the end of 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 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: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to stay on shore and dine on your own.

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 leave Samos and begin our journey to the port of Kusadasi.

DAY
9
Ancient Ephesus, Terrace Houses, 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 “Less Active” group will not visit the Terrace Houses.

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

Morning: 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. We will then board a motorcoach to take us to the 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.

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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to leave the port of Kusadasi and begin our journey to Istanbul.

DAY
10
Lecture at Sea, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities according to 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: 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/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow, when the ship will arrive in Istanbul.

DAY
11
Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
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 5 hours. NOTE: The “Less Active” group will not go inside the harem apartments.

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

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

DAY
12
Istanbul, 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 the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We will complete disembarkation procedures. This concludes our program. If you are enrolled in back-to-back Odyssey at Sea programs, you’ll find details of your bonus field trip in the Information Packet of the first program in a document at the end of the packet. 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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