Sprinkled across the Aegean Sea and steeped in ancient mythology, the Cyclades are some of the most spectacular of Greece's many isles. Here, fishing boats cast colorful reflections in azure waters, whitewashed villages cascade down lavender-dusted slopes, and craggy headlands are punctuated by ancient ruins. Under the billowing sails of the exquisite four-masted tall ship Sea Cloud, voyage to rugged Sifnos, sun-drenched Santoríni, the mystical isles of Delos, and more.
Depart on an overnight flight to Athens. After some time at leisure and lunch in the
city, travel to Piraeus and settle into your cabin on
the majestic Sea Cloud. Cast off this afternoon,
and take in our first Grecian sunset at sea.
Sea Cloud (L,D)
Our first morning on board is spent at sea. We may stop for a late morning swim before visiting the island of Sifnos. Distinguished for its pottery and its Venetian dovecotes, Sifnos is a rugged island with a harbor village and a beautiful upper chora (village), waterfront tavernas and convenient beaches. It’s a great island for walkers or loungers alike. This afternoon, find a spot on deck to watch as the Sea Cloud’s sails are hoisted up their impressive masts by hand as we set sail for the Cyclades.
Drop anchor at beautiful Tenos, dotted with villages steeped in Venetian history. The island’s Venetian-era dovecotes, terraced hillsides, and green marble quarries have long made this a haven for artists. Explore the picturesque village of Pyrgos, adorned with carved marble facades, and visit the church of Panagia Evangelistria, where thousands of pilgrims come every year to pray at Greece’s holiest shrine.
The tiny archaeological gem of Delos is the birthplace of the twin gods Artemis, goddess of animals and the hunt; and Apollo, god of healing, music, and light. Spend the morning discovering the island’s incredible ruins, including the Terrace of the Lions and the exquisite Temple of Apollo.
Drop anchor at Amorgos, the easternmost isle of the Cyclades. Visit the main city, perched in the mountains, and see its beautiful domed churches and windmills. Explore the dazzling white monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, clinging to a cliff face above the sea. Later, return to the Sea Cloud and enjoy a relaxing afternoon beneath its splendid sails.
Incomparable Santoríni is an island archipelago
formed from a single volcanic cone that erupted
in the second millennium B.C., burying the island's Minoan culture in ash. Sail
into the caldera, and drive through windswept
vineyards to the beautiful town of Oia. Set high on
a cliff, Oia affords unrivaled views of the caldera
below. After lunch, ride a donkey or a cable car
down the cliff side back to the ship.
Enjoy a glorious day of sailing among the evocative isles of the Cyclades. Relax on deck with a book, observe the crew as they man the rigging and trim the sails, and attend presentations by our team of experts on the area’s history and ecology. In the late afternoon, we may have a chance for an impromptu stop and a swim.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight.
Book travel in the Mediterranean on the Sea Cloud in 2015 or 2016 and we will cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew.
Chris Rainier specializes in the documentation of indigenous cultures, and is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. A National Geographic Explorer, Chris was a co-founder of the Society’s All Roads Photography Program and is a co-director of the Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures. He serves as a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine. His life's mission is to document endangered cultures and help empower them to use modern technology to save their ancient traditions through a project he directs called the Last Technology Program. He has conducted expeditions to all seven continents and the North Pole. Chris has won numerous awards for his photography, including the Lowell Thomas Award given by the Explorers Club for his work with endangered cultures. Chris was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London.
Chris will join the following departure:
Sep 12 - 20, 2015
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
Add a two-day extension in Athens and/or a three-day extension in Crete. Please call for details.
|Original/Deluxe Category B||$13,880|
|Original/Deluxe Category A||$14,750|
|Original/Deluxe Category B||$14,570|
|Original/Deluxe Category A||$15,490|
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin, add $4,090 in 2015 and $4,610 in 2016.
International airfare to/from Athens is not included in the expedition cost.