A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Author, historian, and educator Diane Harris Cline has investigated the creativity and innovation of the ancient Greeks for 35 years. As the author of National Geographic’s The Greeks: An Illustrated History, she collaborated with the filmmakers who produced the PBS/National Geographic video series The Greeks and led 14 tours of the exhibition while it was in Washington, D.C. She has traveled extensively in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas as an expert study leader. As an associate professor of classics and history, Diane teaches courses on Greek history, religion, mythology, literature, and culture at George Washington University. In her research, she is a pioneer in the digital humanities, applying social network analysis to the ancient Greek personalities of Pericles, Socrates, and Alexander the Great.
"I am especially excited to spend the night in Nafplio, one of the most charming towns in Peloponnesian Greece," says Diane. "Much of the architecture dates to the Venetian occupation in the early 18th century, including the high castle 'Palamidi' towering above, and the island fortress called 'Bourtzi' used as a prison, a palace for officials, and then a luxury hotel just off shore. At sunset locals still participate in the quaint and charming tradition of the Volta, walking with families or friends back and forth in the central plaza or along the promenade by the sea, where for generations teens first laid eyes on their potential mates as they passed each other back and forth with their families. In Athens, I am excited about our special access to an archaeological conservation lab, where we will learn about the most advanced sciences being put to work to preserve the humanities. The American School of Classical Studies in Athens has been the preeminent center for the study of the Greek world from antiquity to the present since it was founded in 1881."
William Saturno is an anthropologist, archaeologist, and storyteller who has been exploring the cities and ruins of Europe—from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia—since childhood. As a National Geographic Explorer and avid student and scholar of the ancient world, he is an expert at narrating the tales of adventurers, artists, commoners, and kings to bring the past vividly to life. He is equally passionate about Europe's past and present and has taught extensively on how these modern nations continue to build upon their varied Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance foundations.