Venture into the heart of ancient Greek culture on a pre- or post-trip extension in Athens. See the Acropolis on an early morning walk, visit renowned museums and major city landmarks, and dine on regional specialties—all in the company of guides who weave in the narrative of life of this ancient city. Please call for pricing.
DAY 1 - U.S./Athens
Depart on an overnight flight to Athens.
DAY 2 - Athens
Arrive in Athens, and transfer to the Electra Palace Hotel, located in the shadow of the Acropolis. Following a buffet lunch, visit the new Acropolis Museum, which displays some of the finest sculptures and other art of ancient Greece, including many items brought in from the Acropolis to protect them from the elements. See the former royal palace (now the parliament building), along with a number of Athens' finest neoclassical buildings, and walk through the Temple of Olympian Zeus, built between the second century B.C. and the second century A.D. This evening, gather for a brief introduction to Greek history and mythology. Dinner is on your own, allowing you to discover one of the city's' many delicious restaurants. Electra Metropolis Hotel (L)
DAY 3 - Athens
This morning is devoted to the Acropolis, the spiritual heart of Athens and much of the Ancient World. This enormously rich site has not only the Parthenon, which was built in 438 BC, but a host of monuments from both earlier and later in its rich history. After visiting the site, we'll continue to the Agora, the heart of ancient Athens, and the focus of political, commercial, administrative, and social activity of the city. The Agora also has an excellent small museum. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, take a guided stroll through the lively food market, and walk through lively neighborhood streets lined with shops selling antiques, housewares and other goods. Dinner tonight will be at a restaurant featuring Greek specialties. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Athens/Piraeus
This morning we continue our visit to Athens at the acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, which houses some of the finest artwork, statues and pottery of all antiquity. We then drive to the Aegean coast for a waterside Greek meze lunch, and continue to Cape Sounion, site of the evocative Temple of Poseidon, god of the sea. The temple is perched on a headland that offers compelling views of the mainland and nearby islands. We then make our way to the port of Piraeus and embark Sea Cloud. (B,L)
Croatia and Bosnia Pre- or Post-trip Extension
See the beautiful old towns of Split and Trogir, whose narrow and cobblestoned lanes and ancient buildings combine the richness of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Then travel to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit the renowned Old Bridge, whose rebuilding has come to symbolize the rebirth of the Balkan nations after years of conflict. Please call for pricing.
Please note: For Sea Cloud voyages that begin in Athens and end in Dubrovnik, this extension travels in the reverse of the itinerary described below.
DAY 1 - Split, Croatia
Arrive in Split and transfer to our hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner. Marmont Hotel or Hotel Park (D)
DAY 2 - Split
Spend the morning discovering the archaeological highlights of ancient Salona, capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, set near the birthplace of the emperor Diocletian. In the afternoon, explore Split—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and see Diocletian's Palace, which is more like a small city than a single palace. It brims with archaeological wonders from the era of classical Rome through the Byzantine and Venetian periods, while maintaining a lively bustle of shops and street merchants. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
DAY 3 - Trogir/Mostar, Bosnia and Herzogovina
A morning drive takes us along the Dalmatian coastline. We arrive in medieval Trogir, a small island town that has been designated a World Heritage site, and whose main square, cathedral, streets, and alleyways invite exploration. Enjoy a lovely Dalmatian lunch at a local restaurant, and then drive to historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This beautiful town spans the Neretva River and is famed for its Old Bridge. This spectacularly graceful bridge stood between 1566 and 1993, when it was destroyed during the Yugoslav civil war. It has now been lovingly rebuilt, using stone from the original quarries. Later this afternoon, visit the Herceg Ethno Village which recreates everyday life in centuries pass. Stop for dinner before returning to Mostar.
Hotel Bevanda (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Mostar/Dubrovnik
Get further acquainted with historic Mostar on a morning walking tour, and then enjoy free time to explore on your own. After lunch, drive along the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik, where we embark Sea Cloud. (B,L)