From the ancient temples of Olympia to the medieval walled city of Hvar, immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe's more spectacular places on board the legendary four-masted Sea Cloud. Discover the remarkable sites of Albania, cut off from the modern world for decades, and explore Montenegro and incomparable Dubrovnik.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Athens. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy lunch and then head to the Acropolis Museum, which houses some of the most important classical sculptures and artifacts from the Acropolis. Later, transfer to Piraeus and embark the majestic Sea Cloud. Cast off this afternoon, and take in our first Greek sunset at sea.
Today, we’ll round the southern coast of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, enjoying a full day of sailing. Come out on deck to watch the crew hoist the Sea Cloud’s many sails by hand. Relax with a book on deck, photograph our yacht and its exquisite details designed by Marjorie Merriweather Post herself, and hear talks about the region by our expedition team.
Dock in Katákolo and travel overland to the ancient site of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, which were held here every four years beginning in 776 B.C. for twelve centuries. Wander through the evocative ruins of this World Heritage site, including the Temple of Hera and the Temple of Zeus, once home to a colossal statue of Zeus that is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. See the Olympic Stadium and pay a visit to the superb Archaeological Museum to see artifacts from the site. Late this afternoon, return to the Sea Cloud and sail north along the coast of Greece.
Discover gemlike Ionian villages nestled along the coast of Itháki today. Drive around the island to view the sites that some claim link this land to Homer's Ithaca; and in the afternoon, cruise into a stunning bay for a swim.
Cut off from the world for 50 years by its Stalinist dictator, Albania is now feeling its way into the 21st century, and its treasures are still little known. Venture into the ancient city of Butrint, a World Heritage site. With its Hellenic theater, Byzantine basilica, and Venetian towers, this lovely lakeside city tells the tale of the many civilizations that have passed through it. Return to Sarandë and experience its intriguing blend of religions, cultures, and landscapes; and enjoy refreshments at Lekuris Castle while looking down on the bay of Sarande and Corfu Strait.
Dock in Durrës, drive to the ancient capital of Krujë, and visit the medieval market and Ethnographic Museum. Also visit the Skanderbeg Museum, dedicated to Albania's national hero. Have lunch, and take in a display of traditional Albanian music and dance.
Sail into Montenegro via the magnificent Gulf of Kotor, a narrow waterway backed by soaring mountains. Stop at the historic town of Perast before taking a local boat to the islet of Gospa od Škrpjela, or Our Lady of the Rocks. Steeped in lore, the islet was created by fishermen dropping rocks from their rowboats. Meander through medieval Kotor this afternoon, or take a drive up 27 serpentine switchbacks to the top of the fjord for an unrivaled view.
Spend today in the city Lord Byron called the "pearl of the Adriatic." Dubrovnik is regarded as one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world, and its entire historic center is a designated World Heritage site. Anchor just outside the medieval walls and step into the heart of the old town. Visit the 14th-century Franciscan monastery and the Rector's Palace, walk the ramparts, and stroll through marble-paved squares. This afternoon, enjoy a special treat: a private performance of traditional Croatian klapa music in a monastery courtyard. The Sea Cloud remains anchored tonight, so you may dine on board or stay in town for dinner and an evening stroll.
After a leisurely morning of sailing, dock along the 13th-century walls of the island port of Korčula, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Balkans. Visit the town's sites, and see the house believed by some to be Marco Polo's birthplace. Take advantage of free time to wander along Korčula's lovely waterfront. Stop for a drink in a local café this evening before returning to our ship.
At the height of Venetian rule, Hvar was the region's most prosperous center. Take a morning walking tour inside the delightful walled city to the 15th-century Franciscan monastery. Visit the arsenal and Croatia's oldest active theater, and if you choose, hike up to the citadel. This afternoon, set out on our final sail.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight.
- Mostar, Trogir and Split Extension3 days from $2,290
- Athens Extension2 days from $1,460
Pre or Post-Voyage
Delve into the diverse and layered history of the Dalmatian Coast, from the Ottoman-era Stari Most bridge in Mostar to the sprawling palace complex of the Roman emperor Diocletian in Split. Feel the sea breeze sweep down ancient avenues of stone and savor local cuisine while watching the sun set over the Adriatic. Explore several UNESCO World Heritage sites highlighting remnants of Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman rule; and soak up the vibrant atmospheres of charming towns.
Disembark in Dubrovnik this morning and cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina, arriving in Mostar. This ancient city is known for its elegant Stari Most, or Old Bridge, which spanned the Neretva River from 1556 until 1993, when it was destroyed during the Bosnian civil war. The landmark has been painstakingly rebuilt using stone from the original quarry, and the bridge and the surrounding old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a walking tour of this historic district, and then explore on your own in the afternoon before gathering for a dinner of local specialties.
This morning, travel along the spectacular Adriatic coastline of Croatia en route to the World Heritage–designated town of Trogir. Stroll the palm tree-lined waterfront, past antique sailboats and modern yachts moored in the sparkling harbor. Marvel at the marble facades and terra-cotta roofs lining the medieval streets, vestiges of nearly four centuries of Venetian rule. Savor fresh seafood and Mediterranean flavors during a typical Dalmatian lunch, then continue along the coast to the seaport of Split. Venture into the city’s bustling streets this evening to enjoy a traditional Croatian dinner.
Enjoy a morning excursion to the nearby archaeological site of Salona, once the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Delve into the history of this ancient city, which was sacked by invaders in the seventh century, forcing the Roman to flee to Split. Discover the ruins of public baths, a cemetery, a church, and a second-century amphitheater. Return to Split and spend the afternoon exploring its rich history, beginning with a visit to Diocletian’s Palace, the opulent home of the Roman emperor. Pass under towering arches and wander down maze-like paths inside this enormous and well-preserved imperial complex, filled with treasures from the Classical, Byzantine, and Venetian periods. If you wish, stop in at lively shops and cafés operating within the palace’s cavernous halls. This evening, gather for a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Transfer to the airport in Split to connect with your flight home.