Greek Isles and Turkey - Cruising the Aegean
When: October 11, 2012 - October 19, 2012 (iCal)
Join us on an odyssey to Greece’s islands and Turkey’s coast aboard the exclusively chartered M.S. L’AUSTRAL, launched in 2011. Our voyages will bring us to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the classical ruins of Delos, the Old Town of Rhodes, the Monastery of St. John on Pátmos, and legendary Troy. We will witness panoramic views of Santorini’s caldera from a cable car and stroll down the marble-paved boulevards of Ephesus, the most spectacularly preserved Greco-Roman city in the world. The special opportunity to immerse ourselves in the Aegean way of life has been arranged as we meet local residents during an intimate forum. We will also have the the exclusive opportunity to hear enriching talks by Guest Speaker Ari Fleischer former White House Press Secretary (01-03). The options to extend our journey with an Athens Pre-Cruise Option and an Istanbul and/or Cappadocia Post-Cruise Option are available.
Activity level: Active
Download the Program Brochure.
For Early Booking Incentive, your choice of cabin category, & to avoid disappointment of a sold out program, register now!
From $4,595 per person, double occupancy. Book by May 15, 2012 and save $1,000 per person.
For more information,contact Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-5323.
Day 1 & 2 - U.S. /Athens, Greece/Piraeus
Depart from home gateway for Athens. Upon our arrival in Athens we will transfer to the M.S. L’AUSTRAL.
Day 3 - Delos/Mykonos
As we draw close to the shore this morning we will be able to view the magnificent Lion Terrace. Our walking tour of the island’s classical ruins takes us past ancient temples, a district of homes dating from 700 B.C., and the ancient Theater built in 300 B.C.
After lunch, we will continue to Mykonos where according to ancient legend, craggy hills and clefts were formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. With its iconic windmills and white cube houses, Mykonos epitomizes life in the Greek Isles. We have the option to choose an afternoon at leisure or join the island tour and visit the traditional village of Ano Mera. We reboard the ship this evening.
Day 4 - Santorini
Today we awake to views of black cliffs soaring above the ship in Santorini. Onshore we will visit the village of Oia, renowned for its traditional architecture and cliffside setting above the remains of a volcanic caldera. Later we will visit the Prehistoric Museum of Fira, the 18th-century Profitis Ilias monastery in nearby Pyrgos, followed by a cable car ride from the town of Thíra.
This afternoon, we may join an optional arranged lunch in Pyrgos, where the chef will prepare authentic local fare. Each dish will be paired with wine produced from local grapes, which grow on ground-hugging, drought-resistant vines not typical elsewhere in the world.
Day 5 - Rhodes
We will walk through Rhodes Town, an extraordinarily well-preserved medieval city. The vast array of monuments and architectural styles reflects the past rule of the Byzantines, Ottomans and Knights of St. John. We will then visit the 14th-century fortifications of the Palace of the Grand Masters, erected by the Knights.
This afternoon, we may choose the optional excursion to ancient Lindos, whose acropolis, perched nearly 500 feet above the town and topped by a fourth-century B.C. temple to Athena, offers breathtaking views of the entire village. After a visit to the Byzantine Church of the Ascension there is free time to explore at our leisure.
Day 6 - Patmos, Greece
It was here in Pátmos that St. John the Divine received a vision of fire and brimstone in the Cave of the Apocalypse that became the Book of Revelation. Founded in 1088 adjacent to the cave, the Monastery of St. John was built to protect religious treasures. We will explore this “Jerusalem of the Aegean,” and participate in an exclusive VILLAGE FORUM with local residents to discuss life in the Greek Isles.
Day 7 - Ephesus (Kusadesi)
Accessible from the Turkish port of Ku¸sadasi, the extensive ruins of Ephesus are among the greatest relics of antiquity. On a guided tour we will discover the multistory Library of Celsus, a breathtaking example of Greco-Roman architecture. We will then continue along Marble Way to reach a 24,000-seat amphitheater, where gladiators battled to the death and St. Paul preached to some of the world’s first Christians.
After the tour join the optional culinary gathering and learn the history of Turkey’s exquisite cuisine and make the savory Turkish flat bread known as gözleme and feast on a lunch of Turkish delicacies.
Day 8 - Troy (Çanakkale)
On a guided excursion to Troy, immortalized by Homer in The Iliad, explore remnants of the Bronze Age citadel and ruins of the sixth-century B.C. Temple of Athena and the Roman Theater, and see how subsequent civilizations built new cities and settlements over the salted ruins of their predecessors.
Day 9 - Istanbul, Turkey
Disembark the M.S. L’AUSTRAL and depart for home.
Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change