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Greece/Croatia/Italy

Grand Odyssey: The Best of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy & More

Program No. 24220RJ
From the beaches of Normandy to the museums of Athens, embark on the ultimate European voyage on board the Aegean Odyssey.
Length
46 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
12,999

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At a Glance

Immerse yourself in the grand artworks, historic landmarks and iconic locales of Europe on this 44-night learning adventure on board the Aegean Odyssey. On an educational voyage that leads through England, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia and more, experience capital cities and quiet islands, all filled with fascinating people and places to explore. Walk along Utah Beach in Normandy to delve into the events of D-Day in WWII, and take a field trip to the idyllic Mont St. Michel. Spend multiple days in cities like Barcelona and Venice to take in all their architecture, history and artistic masterpieces, and delight in opportunities to explore Tangier, Monte Carlo and Dubrovnik. Throughout your journey, enjoy the private ambiance of the Aegean Odyssey as you attend expert-led lectures and presentations, and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow Road Scholars.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Pay a visit to Utah Beach and Cherbourg to learn about the D-Day invasion sites of Normandy.
  • Explore the artworks and landmarks of Barcelona, including Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell, the Museum of Montserrat and the Picasso Museum.
  • Delight in three days to experience Venice, where you’ll explore St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and more with your expert instructor.

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.
Barcelona
by Robert Hughes
A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook
by Clara De MacEdo Vitorino
A handy pocket phrasebook for Portuguese basics, covering pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
by Jose Saramago
Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.
A Traveler's Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
by Carl Shilleto, Mike Tolhurst
A compact guide to Normandy's WWII battlefields, memorials, sites and cemeteries.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Cristina Hernandez Montero
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
by Ross King
The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.
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.
Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743
by Ross King & Anja Grebe
A magnificent, never-before-published collection of every painting and fresco on display in the Uffizi, the Galleria Palatina of the Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo, and more -- nearly 2,000 works of art -- all presented in a beautiful slipcased package.
A Traveller's History of Croatia
by Benjamin Curtis
Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.
Art and Life in Renaissance Venice
by Patricia Brown
This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations.
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
by Paul Roberts
Drawing on sharp, full-color photographs of more than 200 objects excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roberts, a curator at the British Museum, discusses what life was like in the ancient cities. He covers everything from birth certificates to the prevalence of bakeries and taverns.
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.
Culture Smart! Portugal
by Sandy Guedes de Queiroz
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
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 Venice
by Jan Morris
Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.
A Taste of Croatia
by Karen Evenden
This engaging memoir of a three-year sailing odyssey includes 100 enticing recipes.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z
by Carla Gambescia
La Dolce Vita University (LDVU) is the perfect sampler for anyone curious about (or already in amore with) Italy and its remarkably rich cultural gifts, both past and present.
The Stones of Florence
by Mary McCarthy
Renowned for her sharp literary style, essayist and fiction writer Mary McCarthy offers a unique history of Florence, from its inception to the dominant role it came to play in the world of art, architecture, and Italian culture, that captures the brilliant Florentine spirit and revisits the legendary figures—Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and others—who exemplify it so iconically. Her most cherished sights and experiences color this timeless, graceful portrait of a city that's as famous as it is alluring.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
by Robert Morkot
This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.
Venice: A New History
by Thomas Madden
Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the city’s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
Dubrovnik, A History
by Robin Harris
Harris, a journalist who writes frequently on the Balkans, presents a comprehensive portrait of the historically important maritime city-state in this nicely illustrated, scholarly and readable history of Dubrovnik.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.
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46 days
45 nights
131 meals
44 B 43 L 44 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive London, Transfer to Port, Embark Aegean Odyssey
Tilbury (London)
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 Tilbury. 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 the Daily Journal for the most up to date lecture schedule. 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 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
Depart Tilbury, At Sea, Onboard Lectures & Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Orientation:We will gather this morning with the Group Leader, who will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program After the orientation session, enjoy free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship.

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

Afternoon: We’ll gather in the Ambassador Lounge for a lecture on topics relevant to our program. The ship will leave Tilbury at 1:00 p.m. on our journey to Cherbourg. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather together for our first daily 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.

DAY
4
Cherbourg, Utah Beach
Cherbourg
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 34 miles (54 km) each way. Walking up to 3 miles, uneven, rocky terrain at Utah Beach; standing about an hour at a time. NOTE: The "Relaxed" Group will visit the Arromanches Landing Museum instead of walking Utah beach.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 9:00 a.m.We will depart by motorcoach to Utah Beach where a local expert will give us an on-site presentation about the American landing here on D-Day: June 6, 1944. As our expert takes us through the stages of the landing at the site, we will learn about the ferocity of the battle from a number of perspectives, the larger Allied invasion on D-Day, and its impact on France and World War II.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue our walking discovery of Utah Beach. Once back onboard, we will gather with 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 Cherbourg at 8:00p.m. on our journey to St. Malo.

DAY
5
St. Malo, Mont St. Michel
Cherbourg
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 35 miles (56 km), approximately 1 hour each way. Walking 2 miles over the course of the day. Climbing approximately 350 steep, narrow stairs at Mont St. Michel. The motorcoach will arrive at a designated parking lot and local shuttle busses will bring the group to the village. NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level group will not climb the stairs or enter the Abbey.

Breakfast: In 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. We will depart by motorcoach for an expert-led field trip to explore a place locals call “le Mont” — better known as Mont St. Michel, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. This is the second-most visited monument in France after the Eiffel Tower. Little has changed here for centuries. From the UNESCO inscription: “Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.” Tradition says that in the year 708 CE, the local bishop had visions of St. Michael the Archangel who instructed him to found a religious sanctuary. The development of such an extraordinary architectural achievement may itself be regarded as something akin to a miracle.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time in St. Malo to explore at your own pace. At the end of the afternoon, we will return to the ship and 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 St. Malo at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
6
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Afternoon: We will gather for 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. The ship will continue on our journey to Le Verdon.

DAY
7
Le Verdon, Bordeaux Wines, Médoc Chateau
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving approximately 4 hours including stops. Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestone walkways, stairs without railings; standing up to 2 hours at a time.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. We will depart by motorcoach to explore the Médoc wine region. En route, we will learn about the history of Bordeaux wines and their economic impact on the region. We will arrive at a Médoc chateau, where we’ll have more information and enjoy a wine tasting.

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

Afternoon: Returning to the ship, we will gather for a port talk at the end of the afternoon. The ship will leave Le Verdon at 3:00 p.m. on our journey to Bilbao

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
8
Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach; driving about 9 miles (14 km), approximately 1/2 hour to/from Bilbao. Walking 2 miles indoors and out; cobblestones, uneven terrain; standing in museum.

Breakfast: In 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. After arrival in Bilbao, we will board a motorcoach and ride to the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum for a docent-led exploration of the exterior and interior architecture. We’ll also have some time to see museum exhibits independently. We’ll then reboard the motorcoach for an overview of Bilbao city, to learn about its aesthetic rejuvenation with commentary by a local expert as we ride. The motorcoach will return to the ship for lunch.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship. We will gather for a port talk in the late afternoon. The ship will leave Bilbao at 5:00 p.m. on our journey to Porto.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
9
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Afternoon: We will gather for 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. The ship will continue on our journey to Porto.

DAY
10
Porto, Historic Porto
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach. Pedestrian-only areas with very restricted motorcoach drop off points. Walking 3-4 miles over the course of the day; cobblestones, uneven terrain, some steep slopes; standing up to 2 hours at a time.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city, with a history dating back to its days as a Roman trading outpost. We will set out with a local expert to explore Porto’s highlights by motorcoach. We will continue our exploration with a local expert on a walking field trip in the historic city center, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.”

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

Afternoon: Free time in Porto. Take advantage of the Road Scholar shuttle to explore Porto at your own pace. At the end of the afternoon, we will return to the ship and gather for a port talk. The ship will leave Porto at 5:00 p.m. on our journey to Tangier.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
11
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Afternoon: We will gather for 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. The ship will continue on our journey to Tangier.

DAY
12
Tangier, St. Andrew's Church, American Legation Museum
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Driving under 1/2 hour per field trip. Walking about 3 miles including ship and port corridors and gangways; uneven terrain, steps without railings, cobblestones; standing up to 2 hours. NOTE: The "Relaxed" Group will not visit St. Andrew's Church or the American Legation Museum & will visit Hercules Grotto instead.

Breakfast: In 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. During our time in Tangier, we will set out by motorcoach with a local expert to explore St Andrew’s Church and the American Legation Museum. The Relaxed Group will visit Hercules Grotto.

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

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship. Later in the afternoon, we will also have our daily port talk. The ship will leave Tangier at 2:00 p.m. on our journey to Barcelona.

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 briefing memo placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow.

DAY
13
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to our program.

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 continue on our journey to Barcelona.

DAY
14
Barcelona, Gothic Quarter, Modernist Barcelona
Barcelona
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles and standing during field trip; cobblestones, uneven terrain. Outside visit of La Sagrada Familia only.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 10:00 a.m. We will set out from the ship by motorcoach with a local expert, then take a field trip through the Barri Gòtic — Gothic Quarter — that still has traces of its ancient Roman heritage. We will also see Las Ramblas, a colorful boulevard that runs through the heart of the city.

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

Afternoon: Continuing by motorcoach, we will see highlights of Gaudí’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 (outside visit only). 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. At the end of 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 remain in port overnight.

DAY
15
Barcelona, Picasso Museum, Free Time
Barcelona
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 — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: We will 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 his 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.

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

Afternoon: Free time to explore Barcelona at your own pace.

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 remain in port overnight.

DAY
16
Barcelona, Montserrat, Free Time
Barcelona
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 and standing on cobblestones, uneven terrain.

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

Morning: After travelling north via motorcoach, we’ll reach the mountain of Montserrat, which has long cast a mystical spell with a spiritual heritage predating Christianity. An ancient hermitage on this spot grew to become an independent abbey in 1409. The buildings and contents were destroyed by Napoleon’s troops in 1811 and were reconstructed many years later. Gothic and Renaissance architecture of the basilica contrast with architectonic spaces created for the Museum of Montserrat by modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Among the abbey’s notable achievements are one of the world’s oldest printing presses and more recently a translation of the Bible from original Middle Eastern languages into Catalan. During an expert-led exploration, we’ll see treasures of history and culture from ancient Egypt to works by Caravaggio, El Greco, Dali, Picasso, Tapies, and many others. However, the most precious object is the 12th-century carving of a Black Madonna, Our Lady of Montserrat, Patron Saint of Catalonia. Free time to explore Barcelona at your own pace.

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

Afternoon: Free time to explore Barcelona at your own pace. Meet in the late afternoon for your daily 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 remain in port overnight.

DAY
17
Barcelona, Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell, Free Time
Barcelona
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 and standing on cobblestones, uneven terrain.

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

Morning: We will set out by private motorcoach for an expert-led panoramic field trip through Barcelona, which will include a visit to the Basilica of the impressive but unfinished Gaudí masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Next, we’ll also go to Gaudí's equally exotic Parque Guell and Montjuic Hill. Our local expert will lead us inside and outside at both sites with commentary provided.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer back to the ship for your daily 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 remain in port overnight.

DAY
18
Barcelona, Free Time, Ship 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 — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Free time. Spend your final morning in Barcelona exploring independently.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of free time to explore more of Barcelona. There will be a late afternoon port talk. Prepare for the next leg of your journey as you head to France.

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 Barcelona at 6:00 p.m. on our journey to Sete.

DAY
19
Sète-France, Cité 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. NOTE: The "Relaxed" group will not visit Narbonne or Carcassonne, we will have a panoramic field trip and discovery of Sete instead.

Breakfast: In 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. 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 board our 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: 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 for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will leave Sète-France at 6:00 p.m. on our journey to Marseille.

DAY
20
Marseille, Arles
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 4 miles; cobblestone and uneven terrain, steep steps to ascend Montée des Accoules; standing up to 1.5 hours at a time.NOTE: The “Relaxed” group will not visit the Amphitheatre or Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde.

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

Afternoon: We'll continue our 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 to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde before returning to the ship.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will leave Marseilles at 10:00 p.m. on our journey to Toulon.

DAY
21
Toulon, Aix-en-Provence
Toulon
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 — 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 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 a local winery, before returning to the ship via motorcoach. We will then 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 remain in port overnight.

DAY
22
Toulon, Toulon Exploration
At Sea
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 — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: Toulon lined with sandy beaches has a significant naval base, the harbor is home to submarines, warships, fishing boats, & ferries. We will explore this picturesque city full of ancient fountains and colorful markets with our group leader.

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

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy the activities of your choice aboard the ship. Later in the afternoon, we will also have our daily port talk. The ship will leave Toulon at 2:00 p.m. on our journey to Sardinia.

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.

DAY
23
Alghero-Sardinia, Nuraghe Palmavera Archaeological Site
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tenders. Walking up to 4 miles; cobblestone and uneven terrain. NOTE: The "Relaxed" Group will not visit the Archaeological Site and will drive to Capo Caccia & have a short walking exploration of Old Town Alghero.

Breakfast: In 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. We will take tenders to the port of Alghero where will board our motorcoach for a visit to an ancient Nuragic settlement. Let the scenery and history of Sardinia unfold as we drive 30 minutes to the Nuraghe Palmavera Archaeological Site.Dating to the Nuragic Age between 1900 and 730 BC, this ancient settlement is typical and symbolic of Sardinia. There were once more than 10,000 nuraghes dotting the island, mostly in northwest and south-central Sardinia. Today, there are fewer than 7,000. While exploring we will encounter numerous truncated circular stone buildings and huts. The main tower, dating to 1100 BC, still has its dome-shaped roof. The Relaxed group will head to Capo Caccia to admire striking views from atop this rugged limestone headland overlooking the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Next we will head to Alghero for a short exploration of the Old Town including St. Mary’s Cathedral. Founded in the 14th century, the church features five radiating chapels of the original building, fine examples of gothic design. The center of the church is largely Renaissance, while the neoclassical façade was added in the 20th century.

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

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration to further discover Alghero's cobbled walkways and perhaps stroll along the centuries-old seawall on your own or enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. At the end of 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 Alghero at 6:00 p.m. on our journey to Olbia, Sardinia.

DAY
24
Olbia-Sardinia, Ethnographic Museum of Aggius
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 — 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 ride to Aggius along a panoramic road while admiring the Sardinian landscape. Upon arrival, we will explore the Ethnograpic Musuem to discover the ancient traditions and culture of the peasants of Aggius and Gallura where we will see tools of daily use. We will also learn how bread and cheese were prepared, how wine and olive oil were produced and also learn about carpet manufacturing. At the end of the museum visit, we will enjoy a Sardinian style snack (sausage, cheese, pane carasau, wine and water). After our Sardinian snack, we will reboard our coach and depart from Aggius to reach Olbia and back to the ship.

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

Afternoon: Free time to explore Olbia at your own pace. NOTE: some color groups will have Free Time in the morning and go to the Ethnographic Museum in the afternoon. We will gather with our Group Leader 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 Olbia at 6:00 p.m. on our journey to Ajaccio.

DAY
25
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. NOTE: The "Relaxed" Group has a panoramic drive along the coastline instead of a walking field trip and will not visit the Fesch Museum.

Breakfast: In 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. 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. Fesch'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: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather for a port talk. The ship will leave Ajaccio at 4:00 p.m. on our journey to Savona.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
26
Savona,Genoa Highlights
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 — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. Transfer by coach to “Piazza Caricamento” for a discovery walk through Genoa’s historic town center. Wander the charming narrow streets known as “carruggi” and listen to your group leader speaking about the great Andrea Doria and admire the façades of the ancient mansions before reaching “Piazza de Ferrari”, the commercial heart of Genoa, where you will admire “Palazzo Ducale” (external visit only). This was the Palace where the Doge lived, the symbol of the power for the Genoese republic. Your field trip will continue with a visit to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Free time in the Expo area will be given before boarding the coach and returning to the port.

Lunch: In either 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 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 Savona on our journey to La Spezia, gateway to the Cinque Terre.

DAY
27
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 — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 6:00 a.m 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. Enjoy the beauty of the region from the comfort of a chartered boat and a walking field trip to explore some of what the five villages have to offer. You will 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: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to stay on shore and dine on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. 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 for our 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 La Spezia at 10:00 p.m. on our journey to Livorno, gateway to Florence.

DAY
28
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 “Relaxed” activity level group will not visit the Palazzo Vecchio or Duomo for independent exploration.

Breakfast: In 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. 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 inside the Palazzo Vecchio. We’ll take in more sights including an outside visit of 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 “Relaxed" activity level group will start with a walking exploration of Florence.

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

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration of Florence with a walk to the Ponte Vecchio for views up and down the Arno River. Take a little free time to explore on your own before returning to the ship. The "Relaxed" activity level group will take some free time, then board a motorcoach for a panoramic photostop of Florence starting at Piazzale Michelangelo. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader 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 Livorno at 10:00 pm. and begin our journey to Naples.

DAY
29
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

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

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on topics relevant to our program. We will gather for 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.

DAY
30
Naples, 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.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 9:00 a.m. 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 16 meters deep. The depth of the ash left much of Herculaneum very well preserved, including wooden structures and food! This UNESCO World Heritage site offers an in depth view into the daily lives of ancient Romans. 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: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant, or you may choose to stay on shore and dine on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship, including a lecture on a topic relevant to the program, or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of 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 Naples at 10:00 p.m. on our journey to Catania.

DAY
31
Port of Catania–Sicily, Taormina
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; varied terrain.Note: The “Relaxed” activity level group will not visit the Greek Theater.

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

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 9:00 a.m. We will depart the ship on a motor coach and drive to nearby Taormina for a 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. We will return to the ship at the end of our field trip. Those who wish to stay ashore and explore independently are welcome to do so.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. The ship is scheduled to leave Catania at 4:00 p.m. on our journey to Taranto. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk at the end of the afternoon.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
32
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. Note: The “Relaxed” activity level group will not visit Meterasum Ipogeo.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather for a port talk. The ship will leave Taranto at 3:00 p.m. on our journey to Kotor.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
33
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 — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. 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: In either the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather for a port talk. The ship will leave Kotor at 2:00 p.m. on our journey to Venice.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
34
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

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

Morning: Free time. 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: 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.

DAY
35
Venice, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace
Venice
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.

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

Morning: We will enjoy an orientation walk in St. Mark’s Square. Piazza San Marco 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.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy activities of your choice aboard ship, or take advantage of this time to explore independently. In the late afternoon, we will gather for a port talk.

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

Evening: At leisure. The ship will remain in port overnight. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area

DAY
36
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Venice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off water busses or vaporettos. Walking about 5 miles; flat, slippery stones, steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

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

Morning: We will set out on a walking field trip to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, founded in 1478, one of the leading lay confraternities of its time. These “scuole” were composed of middle class citizens who played important roles in Venetian society by engaging in a variety of charitable works. Thanks to the people’s devotion to San Rocco (Saint Roch), it grew rapidly and became the richest of the grand scuolas. Plans were drawn up in the early 1500s for a new headquarters. The great artist Tintoretto was commissioned to decorate the finished palace and worked on it for more than twenty years, eventually creating more than 60 paintings illustrating scenes from the Old and New Testaments. They are preserved in their original setting that has changed little over the centuries. A local expert will lead our exploration. Finish your field trip with a walking exploration of the Jewish Quarter.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. 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. The ship is scheduled to remain in port overnight.

DAY
37
Venice, Free Time
Venice
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off water busses or vaporettos. Walking about 5 miles; flat, slippery stones, steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

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

Morning: Free time. The day is yours to explore Venice on your own or enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Afternoon: Continue the day at your leisure. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus 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
38
Venice, Torcello & Burano, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off waterbuses or vaporettos. Walking about 1/2 mile; flat, sometimes slippery stones with steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

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

Morning: We will get off the ship and board a smaller boat for field trips to the islands of Torcello and Burano with a local expert. Our first stop will be Torcello, in the northern end of the lagoon. This island is the oldest settlement in the lagoon, and is believed to be where the city of Venice got its start. We’ll then move on to Burano. Burano is an archipelago of islands connected by bridges. Originally a fishing village, it is renowned for lace-making. With our local expert, we will stroll along canals lined with brightly painted boats and colorful houses while learning about the lace trade. There is an ancient legend that it began when a betrothed fisherman caught a seirene (siren) in his net. She sang her seductive song and the fisherman released her. She thumped his boat with her tail and the foam it created was transformed into a wedding veil. The fisherman gave the veil to his beloved. She was admired by all the young ladies who began making beautiful lace for their own wedding veils. In fact, lace-making began around 1500 in private homes and developed over centuries into both an industry and an art. We will return to the port after the field trip where you are welcome to enjoy free time aboard ship or stay ashore and explore independently.

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

Afternoon: The ship will leave Venice at 12:00 p.m. on our journey to Dubrovnik. Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
39
Dubrovnik, Old City, Rector's Palace
Dubrovnik
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tenders. Walking about 3 miles; flat, sometimes slippery stones with steps, no handrails; standing up to 2 hours. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

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

Morning: We will gather in the Ambassador Lounge for a lecture on topics related to our program.

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

Afternoon: The ship is scheduled to arrive at 1:00 p.m. With our local expert, we will explore Dubrovnik, a place Lord Byron described as “the Pearl of the Adriatic” and George Bernard Shaw called “Paradise on Earth.” Even at first glance, it soon becomes apparent that with its towering stone walls, marble streets, and beautiful baroque buildings, Dubrovnik is a city that is not just aesthetically pleasing, but steeped in rich and fascinating history. We will step onto tender vessels to the port, then cross a stone bridge and walk down the stone-paved main street known as the Stradun. It is the city's main thoroughfare, lined with graceful stone palazzi where people both work and live. We will then explore the impressive Rector's Palace before returning to the ship.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
40
Dubrovnik, Free Time, Lectures at Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice

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

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the tender boats available for independent exploration. The ship will leave Dubrovnik at 12:00 p.m. on our journey to Sarande.

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.

DAY
41
Sarande, Butrint Archeological Site, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level group will only do the lower part of the site, and will not visit the acropolis.

Breakfast: In 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.The port of Sarande in Albania is our gateway to Butrint, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development.” A local expert will lead our visit.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or enjoy independent exploration of Sarande. We will gather aboard ship for a 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 Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will leave Sarande at 10:00 p.m. on our journey to Corfu.

DAY
42
Corfu, Mon Repos, Corfu Town, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Mon Repos requires a moderate amount of walking (approx.2 hours) over uneven and cobbled surfaces. Short walk from the coach drop-off point to the Mon Repos Museum and an incline to negotiate. Corfu Town is only accessible by walking uphill and downhill mostly over level uneven terrain, cobblestone and marble streets, and slippery surfaces. NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level group will not visit Mon Repos or Corfu Town, instead we will visit the village of Lakones & the Asian Art Museum.

Breakfast: In 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. Upon early morning arrival in Corfu, the active group will board a bus and travel through the island's groves of olive, orange, and lemon trees, interspersed with tall, graceful cypresses on our way to Mon Repos Palace, where Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born. Visit what is now the Paleopolis Museum and discover various fascinating finds from archaeological sites. Be sure to take in the sweeping coastline views from high up, adding to the beauty of the location. Next, we will travel by motorcoach to Corfu Town to explore the historic town center, walking through a maze of narrow cobblestoned streets by foot with your local expert. See the old Venetian Fortress, a 14th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a tasting of locally produced olive oil. Enjoy some free time to explore this unique town for yourself, perhaps strolling along the main esplanade or discovering the quiet streets of the Campielo Quarter. The Relaxed group will discover Corfu with a scenic drive through lush green countryside to Paleokastritsa. Famous for the crystal blue-green seawater of its beaches, the impressive rocks, and bays, forming one of the most beautiful places in Greece. Enjoy some free time at the idyllic mountain villages of Lakones. We will continue by motorcoach to Corfu Town for a guided visit of the Asian Art Museum. The museum contains some eleven thousand objects, the oldest from the 11th century BC. Artistic collections include Japanese printed pictures, Chinese porcelain, and Indian sculptures in bronze and other materials plus wood carvings of superb quality. The museum is set in the well-preserved rooms of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, built during the British rule, with ornate furniture and decorations from that period. We will stop at Spianade Square and have some free time to explore the Old Quarters and browse through the shops before returning to the ship.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. We will gather aboard ship for a port talk in the late afternoon. The ship will leave Corfu at 4:00 p.m. on our journey to Katakolon.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area.

DAY
43
Katakolon, Ancient Olympia, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.

Breakfast: In 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 step off the ship, walk to a motorcoach, and ride to Ancient Olympia where our Group Leader or a local expert will lead our field trip. The chronicles of Olympia are intertwined with Greek mythology and actual ancient history. From the 2nd millennium BCE or earlier, people believed in a pantheon of gods residing in and around Mount Olympus. Olympia grew over time with the establishment of numerous oracles, temples, and treasuries for offerings. Its fame increased with the original Olympic Games that began in 776 BCE. According to one authority on ancient Greek history, “At its heart the Ancient Olympic Games was a religious festival held in a religious sanctuary.” Victory wreaths were made from the sacred olive tree of Zeus. Today, the archaeological site includes ruins from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine era.

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of time available for independent exploration. We will gather for a port talk in the late afternoon.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will leave Katakolon at 8:00 p.m. on our journey to Messene.

DAY
44
Kalamata, Ancient Messene, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking about 3 miles from motorcoach parking area including an unpaved winding trail with steps, no handrails; uneven, rough footpath; standing up to 2 hours exposed to sun, no shade. Extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice.NOTE: The “Relaxed” activity level group has a photo stop only at Ancient Messene & Kalamata olive tasting.

Breakfast: In 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 step off the ship and transfer by motorcoach to Ancient Messene where we will explore the ruins of one of the most well-preserved sites in Greece. The area known as Messenia — named for the legendary Queen Messini, daughter of King Triopios of Argos — rose to significance during the Bronze Age but was later dominated by Sparta. The city we call Ancient Messene was founded in 369 BCE after Spartan military power was broken. It was designed and built in accordance with classical city planning in a setting surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and the Arcadian Mountains on the other. From the UNESCO World Heritate Site inscription: “In size, form and preservation, Messene is one of the most important cities of antiquity, and one which still has a great deal to offer. It boasts not only religious and public buildings, but also imposing fortifications, houses and funerary monuments.”

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

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of time available for independent exploration. We will gather for a port talk in the late afternoon.

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the Daily Journal with highlights for tomorrow in the reception area. The ship will depart Kalamata at 6:00 p.m. as we begin our journey to Athens.

DAY
45
Piraeus, Athens, Acropolis & Acropolis Museum
Athens
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down.Walking up to 4 miles on 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” activity level group will not climb to the Acropolis & will see it from the coach followed by the Temple of Zeus & a slower paced visit to the museum.

Breakfast: In 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 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 perfect architectural proportions symbolize the ideals of Greek thought at the height of Greek civilization. Note: The “Relaxed” activity level group will view the Acropolis by a panoramic motorcoach ride and then head to the Acropolis Museum for a slower-paced visit.

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. We will return to the ship.

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

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

DAY
46
Piraeus, Athens, Disembarkation, 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. If you are departing today, refer to your personal air itinerary for specific flight information.

Breakfast: In 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 Athens 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.