- Step aboard the magnificent square-rigger Sea Cloud, a timeless sailing yacht once owned by heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.
- Explore historic citadels and picturesque piazzas in exquisite coastal towns, and sample the distinctive cuisine unique to each island in quaint cafés and busy food markets.
- Visit two UNESCO Word Heritage sites, encountering ancient stone forts in Sardinia and the otherworldly limestone karst landscape of Corsica’s Calanquesde Piana.
- Enjoy a wine-tasting at a historic estate in the lush countryside around Alghero, before setting off by boat to explore a stunning stalactite cave called Neptune’s Grotto.
Sail aboard the legendary square-rigger Sea Cloud on an adventure to the idyllic coves and spectacular clifftop towns of Sardinia and Corsica. Delve into millennia of extraordinary history, from Bronze Age fortresses perched atop sun-soaked hills to Romanesque churches and Genoese towers. Discover Catalan accents in Alghero, the“Barceloneta” of Sardinia, and marvel at the many monuments to Napoleon Bonaparte in Corsica’s coastal cities. Experience the flavors of each island’s distinct cuisine while dining on deck in moonlit harbors,and savor the sensation of the wind in our sails while gliding through sapphire seas.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Fly overnight to Naples, a busy port city at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Board the legendary square-rigger sailing yacht Sea Cloud, and cast off for our island-hopping adventure. Cruise past the rocky coastline of Capri and keep an eye out for cliff-side Roman ruins as we sail into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Sea Cloud through Day 12
Immerse yourself in the elaborate operation of a ship as we sail toward Sardinia. Watch the crew clambering in the rigging, and learn techniques for setting square sails, stay sails, and jibs as the wind propels us over glittering waves. Feel the salt spray from the bow, or sit back in a lounge chair on deck, sipping limoncello while the sails snap overhead. Hear talks by our expedition staff illuminating the history of the Mediterranean Sea and the unique island cultures of Corsica and Sardinia.
Dock at Sardinia’s capital, Cagliari—a hillside community of limestone churches and colorful apartments overlooked by a hilltop castello. Disembark and drive inland to the archaeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini, an ancient settlement designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site centers on a stone fort called a nuraghe, over 700 of which are scattered across Sardinia and have come to symbolize the island’s antique past. Enjoy lunch onboard, then visit the impressive Roman Amphitheater in Cagliari, carved into the limestone at the city’s edge. Explore the collections of the National Archaeological Museum, and take a walking tour of the old town before returning to the ship for a delicious Sardinian dinner.
Navigate along Sardinia’s rocky coast to the port city of Oristano, where we’ll dock for the afternoon. Explore the Archaeological Park of Santa Cristina, home to one of the island’s best preserved Nuragic well temples, constructed by the same Bronze Age culture that built Sardinia’s nuraghes. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the Losa nuraghe near the village of Abbasanta, and then gather to enjoy a lunch of local cuisine accompanied by traditional entertainment. Return to the ship and weigh anchor as we set out for the next port of call.
Anchor off the coast of the medieval city of Alghero, heavily influenced by the descendants of Catalan conquerors. Explore the old town and its towering sea walls with a local guide, and learn why the city is sometimes referred to as “Barceloneta.” Travel to the nearby estate of Ledà d’Ittiri for a wine tasting and a tour of the historic farmhouse, wandering amid a backdrop of rolling hills, verdant olive groves, and vineyards. In the afternoon, join a local ship captain on an excursion to the dramatic Capo Caccia peninsula, where we’ll enter the otherworldly coastal cave known as Neptune’s Grotto.
Wake up to watch the sun spilling over the cliffs of Bonifacio on Corsica’s southern cape. Maneuver into the narrow harbor and disembark to explore this cliff-top coastal town. Take a walking tour of the fortified citadel perched high above the harbor, established by the powerful margraves of Tuscany in the 9th century. Wander narrow cobbled streets leading to balconies overlooking the brilliant turquoise bay. This afternoon, choose to drive inland to view the remarkable megalithic monuments of Filitosa, in Corsica’s Sarténe region. Or opt to venture into the sun-soaked maquis scrublands, home to fragrant herbal plants celebrated in Corsica’s folklore and traditional medicine.
Sail around Corsica’s west coast to explore one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the Mediterranean: Les Calanques de Piana. Enter the gulf of Porto to observe the calanques—narrow ravines of limestone karst shaped over eons by wind and water erosion, now designated a World Heritage site. Weather permitting, sail close to the calanques aboard the Sea Cloud for a unique perspective on these spectacular rock formations, or access the cliffs from the coastal city of Ajaccio. In the midst of this otherworldly labyrinth, we’ll explore the picturesque town of Piana, a jumble of beige and terracotta buildings tucked between the hills.
Glide into the sapphire bay of the renowned resort town of Calvi, celebrated for its crescent-shaped white-sand beach. Spend the morning exploring on foot, starting at the hilltop citadel, where we’ll learn about the island’s history at the ethnographic museum. Stroll down the hill past medieval shops and alleys to the waterfront of the Port de Plaisance, where luxury yachts anchor alongside colorful fishing skiffs. Set sail in the afternoon to circumnavigate the rugged northern peninsula of Cap Corse, keeping an eye out for the round Genoese towers that dot the coastline.
Sail toward the northeast port city of Bastia, where we’ll dock for the afternoon. Observe the bustle of this working port, the principal hub for commerce between Corsica and the French mainland. Choose to drive north to explore the mountainous wilds of Cap Corse, protruding 25 miles into the Ligurian Sea. Return to Bastia in the late afternoon and roam on your own, from the hilltop citadel of Terra Nova to the waterfront working district of Terra Vecchio, known for its lively food and fish markets. Keep a count of the city’s many monuments to Napoleon Bonaparte, a beloved son of the island.
Enjoy a day to relax on board, reveling in the salt breeze and spectacular views of the blue horizon. As the wind fills our sails, reflect on the unique cultures and incredible sites we’ve encountered on these exquisite islands, gathering your best photos for a group slide show. The following morning, disembark in Naples and transfer to the airport to connect with your return flight home; or continue the adventure on an optional extension.