Island Life in Ancient Greece

Travel to the cradle of Western civilization and the classical world, exploring the iconic jewels, legendary and mythical places of Ancient Greece from October 4 - 12, 2018. 

Greece

Join alumni and friends on a comprehensive Aegean Odyssey from October 4 – 12, 2018. Travel to the cradle of Western civilization and the classical world, exploring the iconic jewels, legendary and mythical places of Ancient Greece. This spectacular voyage calls on Santorini, Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Rhodes, and the Peloponnese peninsula—ancient destinations steeped in myth and history—and offers opportunities to visit nine magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Cruise aboard the specially-chartered Five-Star LE LAPÉROUSE. Launching in 2018, LE LAPÉROUSE introduces the deluxe and exclusive Blue Eye, the world’s first multisensory underwater lounge. Featuring only 92 Suites and Staterooms, this elegant small ship is able to sail into ports inaccessible to larger vessels. Visit the extraordinary scenic wonder of Meteora, where 24 Orthodox monasteries, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, are perched high atop soaring natural sandstone cliffs. Walk through the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, where the history of Hellenic and Roman early healing practices is engraved onto exquisitely preserved stelai, or inscribed stone slabs, and the Theater’s exemplary acoustics still reverberate today.

Learn more about contemporary Greek island life during the ISLAND LIFE®
FORUM, where you will meet and interact with local residents. Enjoy guided tours in these storied destinations and traditional Greek villages, with time at leisure to encounter their mysteries and delights at your own pace. Aegean historian Eleni Zachariou will accompany us and share her extensive knowledge and expertise of the islands, classical art and architecture, and the peoples of her native Greece.

Island Life® in Ancient Greece is a comprehensive travel program, including all accommodations, meals, exclusive Cultural Enrichments, and one excursion each day. Shared with cosponsoring associations, pace is limited, so please contact the Travel Study Program at 866-325-8664 or travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details and to reserve today!

Dates and Prices:

Trip Dates: October 4 - 12, 2018

Prices: from $4,695 - 13,995  per person based upon double occupancy. Taxes and port fees are an additional $465 per person (subject to change).

Please inquire directly about single occupancy rates or request to be matched with a roommate.


 Itinerary:

Day 1: Depart the U.S. for Athens, Greece

Fly overnight on independently arranged flights to Athens, Greece.

Day 2: Athens, Greece
Upon arrival, transfer from the Athens International Airport to the Port of Pireus and embark the Le Laperouse. After a welcome briefing and safety drill, join your fellow travelers for dinner aboard the ship this evening.

Day 3: Volos for Meteora
Volos is one of the largest and most attractive cities in Greece as well as one of the country’s most prominent ports. The modern-day city, built near the site of ancient Iolcos, dominates the region of Magnesia from its position at the foot of Mount Pelion overlooking the Pagasetic Gulf. Inc. Excursion to Meteora including lunch  UNESCO World Heritage Site: Meteora Drive from Volos through the rich agricultural basin of Thessaly, to Meteora, world famous for its monasteries “suspended in the air”, and situated in a magnificent landscape on top of giant rock pillars rising up to 600 meters above sea level. Meteora (translation is: “suspended in the air”) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Greek Orthodox monasteries, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars at the northwestern edge of the plain of Thessaly, near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains. The monastic history of the Meteora dates to the 11th century AD when the first hermits sought peace and solitude in the rifts and caves of the rocks. But the first monasteries were not built until the 14th century AD, attaining their peak in the 16th century.The development of the monasteries led to an illustrious period of monastic life, particularly in the 15th and 16th century. Originally the only access to the monasteries was by means of very long ladders, which could be drawn up when not in use, or by basket or net suspended on ropes from a winch which was mounted in a tower above the void. Steps have now been cut out in the rock face and there is a fine modern road servicing the main monasteries.

Enjoy the Captain''s Welcome Reception and Gala dinner aboard the ship this evening.

Day 4: Delos/Mykonos
The Cycladic islands take their name from the Greek word “Kyklos”meaning circle around the sacred island of DELOS, legendary birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Delos was an important pilgrimage center in antiquity and one of the busiest trading centers in the Mediterranean. It is unique because the entire island is an archaeological site. Follow the majestic, Sacred Way, (the route of the procession to the sanctuary during the holy delian festival) to the Sanctuary of Apollo, where temples, alters, Treasuries, votive offerings and other buildings once stood. Visible today are the ruins of three temples dedicated to Apollo, one of which is the Temple of the Athenians. The tour continues north past the narrow stoa of Antigonus, which forms the northern boundary of the sanctuary, and gets to the point where the Sacred Lake used to be, to see the famous Terrace of the Lions. We then head to south , taking a different way past the Sanctuary of Dionysos so as to start walking through the Theatre Quarter, where you have the opportunity to walk through one of the neighborhoods of Delos.

Day 5: Pátmos
Tour to the Monastery of St. John whose library houses the 6th century Codex Porphyries containing many of the Gospels of St. Mary. Continue to the Cave of the Apocalypse , where the apostle John is said to have received the Book of Revelation though divine inspiration. This afternoon, enjoyi edifying lectures and the Village Life Forum aboard the ship.

Day 6: Lindos/Rhodes
Enjoy the monring at leaisre in Lindos or take the Optional Acropolis of Lindos Tour. Walking conditions include a steep climb over uneven areas and up more than 200 stairs to reach the Acropolis. This tour is not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. During your visit, you will take a walking tour through the narrow cobbled streets, and past the colorful courtyards and mosaics for which Lindos is famous. Ancient Lindos was the most important town on the island, and has been inhabited for 5,000 years. After your guided tour of the Acropolis , you will walk down to the village of Lindos for a visit to the Byzantine Church to Panaghia, dedicated to the "Assumption of Our Lady", followed by some free time to explore the area at your leisure.

This afternoon set out to explore the Rhodes Town.Beginning from the port, which dates back to the antiquity and was the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, you will explore the old town as it was constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 14th & 15th century. On your walking tour, visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, a formidable castle also built by the Knights. Inside the palace is a treasure of art, furniture and icons from the medieval era.

Enjoy a traditional folklore show this evening.

Day 7: Santorini
The most dramatic of the Cyclades, Santorini is a crescent shaped island featuring 1,000 foot cliffs, sculpted by a destructive volcanic explosion in 1630 B.C.E. AKROTIRI is a unique archaeological site of a prosperous city and the center of a sophisticated civilization akin to the Minoans of Crete. After a brief tender ride to the port of Athinios where you will board a motor coach for a drive to the southern end of the island, for a guided tour of the newly-reopened and improved excavations of Akrotiri . These excavations, which began in 1967, reveal an amazing city with houses, squares and workshops that were covered under a thick blanket of pumice during the massive eruption of 1630 B.C.E. The remains indicate in prehistoric times, the island of Santorini was the center of civilization akin to the Minoans of Crete. Also visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera , noted for its collection of finds from Akrotiri, frescoes, well-preserved pottery, a model of Akrotiri, and the most recent discoveries. The tour concludes in Fira , the island's most important village, which is perched high above sea level. Enjoy free time in Fira or descend by cable car to the pier, where you board the tender for the short ride back to the ship.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Santorini.

Day 8: Nafplion
After breakfast aboard the ship, we arrive in Nafplion. Travel from the pier by coach to the ancient citadel of Mycenae , a UNESCO World Heritage site, from which, in Homer’s epic The Iliad, King Agamemnon led the Greek army to battle the Trojans in Sparta.

This afternoon, Tcontinue to Epidaurus, to see the purest masterpiece of classical Greek architecture—the ancient 14,000-seat theater of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Sanctuary of Asklepios, built in the fourth century B.C., known for its natural acoustics.

Join fllow travelers for the Captain's Farwell Reception this evening, followed by dinner aboard the ship.

Day 9: Athens/U.S.
We will disembark the ship in Athens and continue on the Post-Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for our flight home to the U.S


INCLUDED FEATURES:

    •    Seven-night cruise round trip Athens, Greece, with port calls at Volos for Meteora, Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Rhodes and Santorini; and Heraklion for Knossos, Crete.
    •    Elegantly appointed, Five-Star Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom.
    •    Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
    •    Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise.
    •    All meals—early continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
    •    Wine is served with lunch and dinner.
    •    Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.
    •    Excursion to the extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century Greek Orthodox monasteries sit atop towering natural sandstone pinnacles, with lunch.
    •    Walking tour of medieval Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a visit to the 14th‑century Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John.
    •    Visit to the Acropolis of Lindos.
    •    Tour of the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the island of Pátmos.
    •    Walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Delos’ splendid classical ruins including the Sanctuary of Apollo and the theater quarter.
    •    Tour of Santorini, featuring a visit to the renowned Museum of Prehistoric Thera and a cable car ride down from the hilltop town.
    •    Guided tour of the phenomenal Minoan site of Bronze-Age Akrotiri.
    •    Time at leisure to explore Heraklion and the islands of Mykonos, Rhodes and Pátmos.
    •    Tour the extraordinary frescoed Palace of Minos at Knossos, where Theseus of Greek mythology prevailed.
    •    Visit to Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum, featuring the world’s best collection of Minoan antiquities.
    •    Choice of a half-day excursion in Lindos to the Acropolis or an afternoon at leisure in Rhodes.
    •    Island Life® Forum with local residents who will discuss contemporary life on the ancient islands of the Aegean Sea.
    •    Traditional Greek music and dance performance.
    •    Introduction to Greek language basic phrases.
    •    Special culinary presentation given by the ship’s pastry chef.

Not included:
Airfare; Taxes; passport fees; visas and fees for obtaining visas; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; excess baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air taxes; airfare and associated local taxes*, airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed int he "included features" section of the program brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later and/or departing earlier or later that scheduled group transfer(s); meals and and alcoholic beverages not listed in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure; and all other services not specifically mentioned in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure.


Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.