AIA Tours: cruise

Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean

Tour Dates: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 to Monday, October 7, 2019 (14 days)

Tour Leader(s): Nancy Wilkie ,

Discover ancient sites, medieval towns, and quaint villages on this four-night land tour and eight-night cruise aboard the 216-cabin Aegean Odyssey with popular AIA lecturer Nancy Wilkie (from September 29-October 7, 2019). Begin with a two-night hotel stay in Athens and explore the world-famous Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Visit the Byzantine monastery of Hosios Loukas, followed by Delphi, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, home of the ancient Oracle of Apollo. Then discover Agamemnon’s fortress/palace of Mycenae and the acoustically-perfect theater of Epidaurus. Cruise to breathtaking Santorini and explore the Minoan site of Akrotiri, well-preserved beneath volcanic ash. On Crete visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, home of the legendary Minotaur’s Labyrinth. On Rhodes, choose to see the medieval Old Town or the ancient Acropolis of Lindos. Explore the white-washed Greek islands of Mykonos, Karpathos, and Nisyros, as well as the extensive ruins on the sacred island of Delos.

The Aegean Odyssey is small enough to call at ports that are inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships,’ but large enough to offer a selection of amenities, including two dining venues, a spacious theater for lectures and musical performances, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa center, and a well-stocked library. Her cabins are spacious, modern, and intelligently designed, and you can choose from a wide range of cabin types, from inside cabins, to cabins with portholes or picture windows, to luxurious suites with balconies.

Travelers have the option to start their journey with the Dalmatia & Ancient Greece program for a 20-day Grand Voyage with free airfare! Download the brochure for more information.

This is a value-priced premium learning adventure, co-sponsored by other organizations. A convenient Air/Land/Cruise package is available from a number of U.S. cities. Take advantage of early booking discounts, called “Saver Fares”! These Saver Fares are subject to change and capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time (in which case “Full Fares” will apply), so we encourage you to reserve your preferred cabin now!


Pricing per person (12 nights)
Double Occupancy Cabins start at $3,995 Saver Fare*, $4,195 Full Fare

Single Occupancy Cabins start at $5,350 Saver Fare*, $5,550 Full Fare

*Saver Fares, which are early booking discounts, are subject to change, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time subject to market demand. Once withdrawn, Full Fares will apply. We encourage you to reserve your preferred cabin now!

For complete pricing and cabin information, download the brochure

Acropolis, Athens, Greece © R. Todd Nielsen

Delphi, Greece © Yukatan

Knossos, Greece © Olaf Tausch

Santorini, Greece © Kevin Poh

Hosios Loukas, Greece © Jean Housen

Aegean Odyssey

Aegean Odyssey, Terrace Café outdoor seating

Junior Suite, balcony

Category I, Premium outside cabin

Category L, Premium inside cabin

Itinerary


Tues., September 24, 2019: Depart home: Fly to Athens International Airport (ATH).
Wed., September 25: Arrive Athens, GREECE | Overnight at the King George Hotel for two nights | The balance of the day is at leisure
Thurs., September 26: Athens: AM Acropolis & Acropolis Museum | PM at leisure (B)
Fri., September 27: Monastery of Hosios Loukas | Delphi | Overnight at the Amalia Hotel Delphi (B,L,D)
Sat., September 28: Mycenae | Nauplio | Overnight at the Amalia Hotel Nauplio (B,L,D)
Sun., September 29: Epidaurus | Piraeus | Embark the Aegean Odyssey for eight nights (B,L,D)
Mon., September 30: Santorini: Oia, Minoan ruins at Akrotiri & Pyrgos OR Oia & Argyros Winery (B,L,D)
Tues., October 1:    Heraklion, Crete: AM Palace of Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum | PM at leisure OR optional excursion to Archanes (B,L,D)
Wed., October 2: Crete: Explore sites around Agios Nikolaos (B,L,D)
Thurs., October 3: Karpathos: AM island villages tour & PM at leisure OR optional full-day island excursion (B,L,D)
Fri., October 4: Rhodes: AM Rhodes Old Town OR ancient Acropolis at Lindos | PM at leisure (B,L,D)
Sat., October 5: Nisyros: AM island tour volcanic craters, village of Nikia, and natural spa | PM at leisure (B,L,D)
Sun., October 6    Ancient Delos walking tour | PM at leisure on Mykonos (B,L,D)
Mon., October 7    Disembarkation | Fly home from Athens International Airport (ATH) (B)

View Detailed Itinerary

Tuesday, September 24, 2019: Depart home
Depart home on independent flights to Athens.

Wednesday, September 25: Arrive Athens, GREECE
Arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH) and transfer to our hotel in the heart of Athens. The balance of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the 4-star King George Hotel for two nights.

Thursday, September 26: Athens: AM Acropolis & Acropolis Museum | PM at leisure
AM visit to the Acropolis (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and nearby Acropolis Museum. Ascend the Acropolis’s rocky hill dominated by the majestic Parthenon, which is surrounded by other architectural masterpieces such as the Erechtheion, with its beautiful Karyatid Porch; and the Temple of Athena Nike (Winged Victory). A short walk down the street brings us to the excellent Acropolis Museum for a guided tour. Lunch and the balance of the day are at leisure in Athens. (B)

Friday, September 27: Hosios Loukas | Delphi
AM drive to Delphi, stopping along the way for lunch and to visit the Byzantine Hosios Loukas Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. At ancient Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site spectacularly located on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, we walk up the “Sacred Way,” past the treasuries, Temple of Apollo, and theater to the stadium. Also visit the site museum. Gather for dinner this evening. Overnight at the 4-star Amalia Hotel Delphi. (B,L,D)

Saturday, September 28: Mycenae | Nauplio
AM drive to the Peloponnese peninsula, via the Rio-Antirrio Bridge. Visit Bronze Age Mycenae, one of the greatest citadels of the Mycenaean civilization and today a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch we drive to the picturesque port town of Nauplio and check-in to our hotel. Gather for dinner this evening. Overnight at the 4-star Amalia Hotel Nauplio. (B,L,D)

Sunday, September 29: Epidaurus | Piraeus | Embark Aegean Odyssey
AM drive to Epidaurus, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a 14,000-seat theater whose acoustics are so perfect that it is said you can hear a pin drop from the highest tier. After lunch we drive to the port of Piraeus and embark the Aegean Odyssey, where we are joined by Grand Voyage travelers and AIA lecturer Nancy Wilkie, who will accompany us for the balance of the program. Overnight aboard the Aegean Odyssey for eight nights. (B,L,D)

Monday, September 30: Santorini: Oia, Akrotiri & Pyrgos OR Oia & Argyros Winery
Full day on the breathtaking island of Santorini, with a choice of two excursions (included). First, take a local boat to shore and drive to the picturesque village of Oia. Those who choose the Akrotiri excursion will visit the vast, recently-reopened Bronze Age site of Akrotiri and have lunch at a local taverna in the tiny town of Pyrgos. Those who choose the Argyros Winery excursion drive from Oia to the 18th-century Monastery of Profitis Ilias, and then to the wine estate. After some wine-tasting, have lunch at a taverna in the village of Monolithos. Everyone ends the day in the scenic capital of Fira for time at leisure before returning to our ship via cable car and local boat. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, October 1: October 2: Heraklion, Crete: AM Palace of Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum | PM at leisure OR optional excursion to Archanes
AM drive to the partially-reconstructed Bronze Age Palace of Knossos. Our guided tour will take us through this legend-rich Minoan site, and then we return to Heraklion for a tour of its Archaeological Museum, housing an extraordinary collection of Minoan artifacts. PM at leisure in Heraklion OR you may choose to join an optional excursion (at an additional cost) to the traditional village of Archanes to visit its Archaeological Museum, take a guided walk through the village, and enjoy some time to explore independently. Return to Heraklion with a stop along the way at the lovely village of Vathypetro. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, October 2: Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Explore sites around the town of Agios Nikolaos. Itinerary details are pending at press time. (B,L,D)
Thursday, October 3: Karpathos: AM island villages tour & PM at leisure OR optional full-day island excursion
AM tour of Karpathos’s old capital of Aperi, still one of the largest villages on the island. Drive to Othos and visit the wonderful folklore museum, which carefully replicates a traditional island dwelling with artifacts of daily life on display; the village of Pyles, to visit an open-air agricultural museum; and the lovely fishing village of Finiki. Also visit the village of Arkassa’s Church of Agia Sophia, one of the oldest on the island; and make a final stop at The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, dramatically poised on the edge of a steep rock.
PM at leisure OR those who prefer a full-day program may instead join an optional excursion (at an additional cost) to recapture the traditional journey (by boat) from the coastal, ancient Doric city of Vrykounda to an inland, fortified settlement that was established in the 6th century to evade pirates. On our guided tour of the village of Olympos we visit a traditional house and museum, watch a shoemaker at work, and visit a Byzantine church. After some time at leisure we return to Pigadia by boat and re-join our ship. (B,L,D)

Friday, October 4: Rhodes: AM Rhodes Town OR Acropolis at Lindos | PM at leisure
AM choice of two excursions (included) on the island of Rhodes. Those who choose to explore medieval Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, visit the restored Grand Master’s Palace, the first building of the 14th-century Crusaders; stroll the cobblestoned Street of the Knights; and explore the 15th-century Knights Hospital, now an archaeological museum. Alternatively, you may choose to drive to the Acropolis at Lindos, surrounded by 12th-century Crusader fortifications, where at the summit is the Doric (Greek) Temple of Lindian Athena dating from the 4th century B.C. PM at leisure. (B,L,D)

Saturday, October 5: Nisyros: AM island tour | PM at leisure
AM visit to the largest of Nisyros’s volcanic craters. Descend into this otherworldly landscape, as steam rises from bubbling fumaroles and the smell of sulphur fills the air. The tiny village of Nikia is perched right on the lip of the caldera and is among Greece’s most traditional villages. After exploring Nikia and enjoying wonderful views in all directions, stop at an abandoned natural spa en route to our ship. PM at leisure. (B,L,D)

Sunday, October 6: Delos walking tour | Mykonos
AM tender transfer from our ship to the tiny, deserted isle of Delos. Our guided tour takes us from the Sacred Harbor to the Agora, the Sanctuary of Apollo, and along the spectacular Avenue of the Lions. Return to the ship and enjoy lunch as we cruise to the nearby island of Mykonos. PM at leisure. (B,L,D)

Monday, October 7: Piraeus | Disembarkation | Fly home
AM disembarkation at the port of Piraeus. Transfer to Athens International Airport (ATH) for independent flights homeward. (B)


For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

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