23855
France/Spain/Italy/Montenegro

Grand Odyssey: Discoveries Along the Mediterranean Coast

Step aboard our favorite ship for an unforgettable voyage that follows the Mediterranean coast from Spain and France to Italy and Montenegro.
Program No. 23855RJ
Length
22 days
Starts at
6,999
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Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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22 days
21 nights
57 meals
20 B 17 L 20 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Barcelona, Transfer to Port, Embark Aegean Odyssey
Barcelona
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; uneven terrain including steps without railings and cobblestones; standing up to 2 hours.

Morning: Transfer from the airport to the port in Barcelona. Meals aboard ship will begin with dinner; a light lunch will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for those who arrive in time.

Afternoon: Embark the Aegean Odyssey. Complete boarding procedures, get your cabin, unpack, and freshen up. Then begin to explore this comfortable ship that will be our floating home. The ship’s courteous and friendly staff are scrupulous about hygiene and you will find numerous dispensers with hand-sanitizer we are encouraged to use. Along with everyone on board, we will meet at muster stations when called for the ship’s safety drill. Orientation: We will gather late afternoon when the Group Leader 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. 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. There is also a well-stocked library with daily newspapers received via satellite. Most mornings will begin with a group stretch session. On each full day, the Group Leader will give a “port talk” about what’s ahead. Each evening, we’ll get a briefing memo in our cabins with highlights of the next day’s activities. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. In each port, we will have 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 depends on personal choice. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Aboard ship, enjoy a welcome dinner 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 local 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 will remain in port overnight.

DAY
3
Barcelona, Gothic Quarter, Modernist Barcelona
Barcelona
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; some pedestrian-only areas with restricted motorcoach drop off points. Walking up to 2 miles and standing on cobblestones, uneven terrain. La Sagrada Familia tickets cannot be secured in advance and entrance times are strictly regulated and subject to change. There is no guarantee of entrance, so this visit may be substituted for another Modernist site. Time spent inside the Sagrada Familia is restricted. Due to mobility concerns, we do not visit the towers.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — 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 local ingredients in tasty preparations.

Morning: We will set out from the ship by motorcoach with a local expert, then take a walking field trip through the Barri Gòtic — Gothic Quarter — that still has traces of its ancient Roman heritage. We will also walk down Las Ramblas, a colorful boulevard that runs through the heart of the city, and local markets where we will taste some of the local produce.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Continuing by motorcoach, we will see highlights of Gaudi’s “Modernist Route” with a local expert. Modernism was the Catalan version of Art Nouveau and its most important exponent was the visionary architect and designer Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). We will stop to view the renowned towers of the Sagrada Familia church that remains Gaudí’s most famous legacy. The first stone was laid in 1882 and Gaudí took over design responsibilities the next year. Work continues to this day following his plans and is expected to be completed around 2026. It has become an internationally recognized symbol of Barcelona. We will also see emblematic sites including the famous Passeig de Gràcia with idiosyncratic buildings designed by Gaudí and other Modernists before returning to ship for the evening. We will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

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 will remain in port overnight.

DAY
4
Lecture on Modernism, Picasso Museum, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; some pedestrian-only areas with restricted motorcoach drop off points. Walking up to 2 miles in Gothic quarter; cobblestones, uneven terrain; standing up to 1 hour at a time. Picasso Museum entrance times are strictly regulated and subject to change or substitution with another monument.

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

Morning: We will be joined by an art historian for a Road Scholar exclusive lecture on Barcelona’s Modernist movement and artists. We will then depart by motorcoach for a field trip to the Picasso Museum — Fundació Museu Picasso de Barcelona — where an expert will lead our exploration as we see works produced by the artist during the artist’s formative years. Opened in 1963, the museum occupies five large houses dating from the 13th-15th centuries and has a permanent collection of more than 4,000 works displaying the genius of young Pablo Picasso. The motorcoach will return to the ship for those who wish to have lunch aboard. Those who wish to remain downtown are welcome to do so and return independently.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. You are welcome to remain ashore and dine out on your own if you like.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. There will be a motorcoach transfer back to the ship in the late afternoon, followed by our daily port talk.

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

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

DAY
5
Sète-France, Cité de Carcassonne, Château de Carcassonne
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 85 miles (136.5 km), approximately 1.5 hours each way, Walking 3 miles during the day; cobblestone and uneven terrain; standing up to 1 hour at a time.

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

Morning: Travel to Narbonne via motor coach. On foot, we'll explore the historic sites and visit the halles. The halles is an indoor market featuring stalls for bakers, pastries, butchers, caterers, fishmongers, greengrocers, poultry merchants, delicatessens, and bars and wine merchants.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will go motorcoach to visit the fortified city of Carcassone. After learning about the history of this site, you'll have some free time to explore at your own pace. Return to the ship and gather for our port talk in the late afternoon.

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

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

DAY
6
Marseille, Arles
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, in/out of small boats. Walking up to 4 miles; cobblestone and uneven terrain; standing up to 1.5 hours at a time.

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

Morning: Set out by motor coach to explore Arles. In Arles, we will discover its ancient history, which goes back more than 2,000 years. We will visit the historic city center as well as the Roman amphitheater. Return to the ship for lunch.

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

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Marseille with an expert-led field trip and encounter the rich diversity of this city, a designated Cultural Capital of Europe. We will see highlights including the fishing village of Vallon des Auffes, the majestic seaside drive Corniche Kennedy, and the city's Old Port founded in 600 BCE by the Greeks. We'll continue exploring Marseille and venture through the winding, narrow streets of the city's oldest district, Le Panier. We will see the Town Hall overlooking the Old Port and climb the steep steps of the Montée des Accoules. We’ll also examine the austere splendor of the galleries, inner courtyard, and chapel of La Vieille Charité, a former almshouse that is now a museum before returning to the ship.

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

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

DAY
7
Toulon, Aix en Provence
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 1 hour each way. Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestones, uneven pavement; standing up to an hour at a time.

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

Morning: We will board a motorcoach for a field trip to the heart of Provence. On foot with our local expert we will explore the center of Aix-en-Provence. Here we will have a chance to see many historical sites such as the Saint Sauveur Cathedral, the Museum of Old Aix, the Archbishops' Palace, Town Hall, Albertas Square and the Palace of Justice. We'll walk along medieval streets and discover the city's architectural heritage ranging from the 5th to the 18th century. We will also see the Cours Mirabeau, Aix's elegant tree-lined main street, dotted with fountains of fresh spring water discovered by the Romans. We will also visit the Mazarin district with its discretely ornate 17th century private town-houses.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Provence with a visit to the Chateau la Coste Winery and Vineyard, and then return to the ship via motor coach. We will then gather with our Group Leader for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

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

DAY
8
Nice, Chagall Museum
Nice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking about 3 miles; uneven pavement, cobblestones; standing up to 1.5 hours at a time.

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

Morning: We will set out by motorcoach and later on foot with a local expert to see and explore some of the sites of Nice. We will drive past the Russian Orthodox Church, stop at Castle Hill for a panoramic view of the city, and drive along the Promenade des Anglais before reaching the Old Town. As we walk, we will visit the local flower market and savor flavors at famed local food markets and artisan shops featuring local specialties.

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

Afternoon: We will have an opportunity to enjoy the Chagall Museum. The permanent collection is the biggest public collection of works by Marc Chagall. It is organized around the set of works produced by the painter on the Old Testament themes. Returning to the ship, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk in the late afternoon.

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

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 will remain in port overnight.

DAY
9
Nice, Antibes, Picasso
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, in/out of small boats. Walking up to 4 miles; cobblestone and uneven terrain.

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

Morning: We will continue to explore Nice by motorcoach. We will ride to the hill town of St. Paul de Vence. One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, it is notable for its picturesque winding streets, modern and contemporary art museums, and galleries.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue on to Antibes, where we will visit the Picasso Museum (formerly known as Château Grimaldi) to learn about Picasso, his work, and his time in France. Returning to the ship, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

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

DAY
10
Monte Carlo-Monaco, Villa Ephrussi-de-Rothschild
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; uneven terrain, steps without railings, cobblestones; standing up to 2 hours.

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

Morning: Upon our arrival in Monte Carlo (Monaco), we will walk to the Prince's Palace and view the Changing of the Guard and explore the beautiful city further on foot.

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

Afternoon: Next, we will ride to Cap Ferrat and the exquisitely beautiful Villa Ephrussi-de-Rothschild. Using audio guides, we will learn about of Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864-1934) and hear tales of her life and passions. We will enter the villa and see some of the more than 5,000 fine art treasures she collected including paintings, tapestries, antique furniture, and rare porcelain. The villa is surrounded by magnificent gardens. Returning to the ship, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation and departure in the morning. The ship will depart for Ajaccio this evening.

DAY
11
Ajaccio-Corsica
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestones, uneven terrain, stairs without railings; standing up to 2 hours at a time.

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

Morning: After arriving in Ajaccio, Corsica, we will set out on a walking field trip to explore this imperial city and cultural capital of the French island. Led by a local expert we will walk through the old Genoese and Corsican districts, the harbor, and the historic Sanguinaires road. We’ll view a 16th-century Genoese defensive tower as well as the beautiful shoreline. During our exploration, we will stop for a visit at the Fesch Museum, a fine arts gallery housed in the grand 19th-century Palais Fesch. This former residency was the birthplace of the museum’s founder cardinal Joseph Fesch. Fresch's vision was to bring an institute of arts and sciences to Ajaccio, and in that pursuit, he donated a great number of artworks from his own enormous collection to the museum. We will have the opportunity to discover the museum’s masterpieces at our own pace or with an expert to learn about specifically about the floors dedicated to Napoleon, contemporary artists, and 14th- to 18th-century art. Some of the more famed pieces include works by Botticelli and Titian. We’ll return to the ship for lunch.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. We will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

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

DAY
12
Arrive Genoa, Cinque Terre Region
At Sea
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: After breakfast spend the day experiencing local life in the Cinque Terre Region.

Lunch: On your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will continue our exploration of the area and then return to the ship by motorcoach.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Port of La Spezia, Cinque Terre
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; on/off a smaller vessel. Walking up to 4 miles; varied terrain.

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

Morning: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are the names of the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) that comprise this region on the Italian Riviera. You may choose to enjoy the beauty of the region from the comfort of a chartered boat or via motorcoach with a walking field trip to explore some of what the five villages have to offer. Either way, you’ll be immersed in the beauty of the region, and perhaps driven to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and pen your own ode to Italy, “the garden of the world, the home of all art yields.”

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. You are welcome to remain ashore and dine on your own if you prefer.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for our first 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 will leave La Spezia on our journey to Livorno, gateway to Florence.

DAY
14
Port of Livorno, Florence
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving approximately 100 miles from Livorno to Florence; approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven terrain, cobblestones, stairs, uphill segments. Note: The “Moderate” activity level group will not visit the Accademia, Duomo for independent exploration, or the Uffizi Gallery, but will have a panoramic motorcoach ride through Pisa in the morning, and Lucca in the afternoon.

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

Morning: We'll board a motorcoach for a full day in the magical city of Florence. We'll begin with a walking field trip that will include a visit to the Accademia, which houses the larger than life statue of David by Michelangelo. We’ll take in more sights including the Duomo and have some time to explore independently at your own pace. You might like to climb the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo for its spectacular views, visit a gelateria for that famous frozen treat, or marvel at the wondrous art collections housed in the city's many museums. The “Moderate" activity level group will head out separately, board a motorcoach, and travel to Pisa for a panoramic ride to see some of the highlights including the famous “Leaning Tower.”

Lunch: For those on the shore excursions, lunch will be in a local restaurant. If you chose to stay on board, you have your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration of Florence with a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, home to priceless masterpieces of art by Italian masters including Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, and da Vinci. We'll also take a walk to the Ponte Vecchio for views up and down the Arno River. The "Moderate" activity level group will continue our driving field trip as we take in the sights of the walled city of Lucca. Home to Giacomo Puccini, Lucca is a wonderful example of a walled city with skinny streets and tightly packed buildings. The wall around the city is actually a park where locals can be seen cycling and enjoying walks along the elevated path. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 will leave Livorno and being our journey to Naples.

DAY
15
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship as we sail from Livorno to Naples. Our course will take us past the islands of Elba, Corsica, and Sardinia.

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

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to our program. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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.

DAY
16
Naples, Vesuvius 79 CE, Herculaneum
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off the motorcoach. Walking up to 3 miles; varied terrain, stairs in archaeology park. Note: The “Moderate” activity level group will not visit Herculaneum and will instead board a motorcoach to drive the scenic route along the Amalfi Coast, followed by a walk through the gardens and Villa Rufolo in Ravello.

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

Morning: We will set out on a field trip, via motorcoach, to the doomed ancient resort town of Herculaneum. Mount Vesuvius erupted on the 24th of August in the year 79 CE. The town of Herculaneum was overwhelmed by a massive mudflow, preserving the ruins. The excavated villa that was owned by Julius Caesar’s father-in-law is known as the Villa of the Papyri for the discovery of its library containing 1,785 papyrus scrolls, the “Herculaneum papyri.” The “Moderate" activity level group will head out separately, board a motorcoach, and take the scenic route on a drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast to the magnificent Villa Rufolo in the town of Ravello where a local expert will lead a walk through the villa and its gardens. We’ll stop at various points along the way to stretch our legs and take photos.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. You are welcome to remain ashore and dine independently if you wish

Afternoon: We’ll continue our education with a lecture on Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, and Herculaneum. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 will leave Naples on our journey to Catania.

DAY
17
Port of Catania–Sicily, Taormina
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; varied terrain.

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

Morning: We will take an expert-led walk along the Corso Umberto, Taormina's pedestrian-only main street on our way to the ancient Greek Theater that dates back to the 3rd century BCE. From here, we will have breathtaking views of the sea and Mt. Etna. Those with even more stamina are welcome to join a local expert for a hike up to Saracen Castle to take in its spectacular panoramic views. We will return to the ship at the end of our field trip. Those who wish to stay ashore and return independently are welcome to do so.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 will leave Catania on our journey to Taranto.

DAY
18
Port of Taranto-Italy, Matera
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles, approximately 1 hour each way. Walking up to 3 miles; variable terrain.

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

Morning: After arriving and docking at Taranto, we'll board a motorcoach and ride to the ancient city of Matera. A local expert will lead us in a walking field trip in the Sassi di Matera, the oldest part of the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, thought to be among the first-ever human settlements in what is now Italy. Inhabited until 1952, these cave homes are a very real link to Italy's truly ancient history. During our visit, we'll explore the underground world known as Materasum Ipogeo before returning to the ship.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 will leave Taranto on our journey to Kotor.

DAY
19
Kotor-Montenegro
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tenders. Walking approximately 2 miles throughout the day; elective climb to ascend the City Walls 1,000+ steps.

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

Morning: After stepping off the ship and boarding tender vessels, a local expert will lead our exploration of Kotor’s old town — small, but one of the best preserved on the Adriatic. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for exceptional architecture in a stunning natural setting. Founded by the Romans, Kotor developed into an important center of commerce and the arts. Traded back and forth between empires, its history is tempestuous. It was a prized city in the Venetian empire, and Venetian influence is apparent everywhere including the impressive city wall. One of the key sites we will visit is the Maritime Museum, housed in a former palace, which documents the importance of seafaring in Kotor’s history and culture as well as its former status as a naval power.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 will leave Kotor on our journey to Venice.

DAY
20
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

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

Morning: Free time. As we head towards Venice, Italy, take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most aboard ship. 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: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to our program. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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.

DAY
21
Venice, St. Mark's Square & Basilica, Doge's Palace
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a vaporetto. Walking up to 4 miles throughout the day; extended periods of standing during field trips; cobblestones, marble flooring, uneven stone sidewalks; crossing bridges that span canals, some without handrails, unavoidable stairs; elevator available in Saint Mark's Basilica. Note: The “Moderate” activity level group will not walk the mercato and will take an exclusive boat ride through the Venetian lagoon with a view of St. Mark's Square, Murano, and Burano.

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

Morning: We'll step off the ship and board a vaporetto (water taxi) for a short trip down the Grand Canal to the Rialto area, where we will see the famed bridge and stroll the centuries-old mercato like a local. A local expert will give us an overview of the area’s unique history and its importance to the city. We will also have some time to explore independently before returning to the ship. Those who wish to remain ashore and return independently are welcome to do so. The “Moderate" activity level group will head out separately for an expert-led, Road Scholar exclusive boat ride in the Venetian lagoon with view of St. Mark’s Square and the islands of Murano and Burano.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. If you prefer, you are welcome to stay ashore and dine out on your own.

Afternoon: We will continue our exploration of the city during an expert-led walking field trip to see some of the most justly famous highlights of Venice and its treasures. St. Mark’s Square is the largest public space in the city, called the "drawing room of Europe" in the 19th century. It is also one of the most impressive public squares anywhere with the Basilica di San Marco (Basilica of St. Mark), Campanile (bell tower), and Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), commonly called the Doge’s Palace. St. Mark’s Basilica, formally the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco, was long ago nicknamed the chiesa d’oro — church of gold —for its magnificent ornamentation. Construction on the present edifice began circa 1063 and was completed in 1071. St. Mark’s brilliantly represents the spiritual and material heritage of Byzantium as well as the wealth and power of Venice as a city-state. While the architectural structure is that of a Greek cross surmounted by five domes, the interiors are lavishly decorated with mosaics, gold, marble, and precious materials of many kinds as well as masterpieces of art and sculpture. Its musical heritage is no less rich and fascinating. A local expert will lead our exploration of the Doge’s Palace that was the seat of civic and political power. Doge in the Venetian dialect was equivalent to duke but the Doges of Venice served as head of state for more than a thousand years. They embellished the residential quarters and ceremonial chambers of the Great Council with lavish artwork, including murals by Tintoretto and Veronese. We will see the spacious courtrooms and the Prisons, connected by the Bridge of Sighs. Those convicted of crimes walked from the courtroom to prison across the infamous bridge, so called because of prisoners’ reaction knowing it was their last glimpse of light and air. We will return to the ship and gather with our Group Leader for our port talk.

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

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

DAY
22
Disembarkation, Transfer to Airport, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation begins at early at 5:00 am or earlier depending on local schedules. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

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

Morning: 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!






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