A Cruise from the Adriatic to the Aegean
From legendary Venice to fabled Athens, sail in the wake of Roman galleons to explore the treasures of the island-dappled Dalmatian Coast.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
The combination of big picture lectures on board and knowledgeable local guides in the towns was excellent. The very complex history of the area was brought into meaningful and sharp focus.”
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Save $1,000 per person when you book by March 11, 2016!
Cruise from Venice along the stunning Dalmatian coast to Athens for seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered five-star small ship Le Lyrial. Visit five countries and up to eight World Heritage sites. Enjoy an exclusive Coastal Life Forum® with local residents, a folk music performance and specially arranged lectures. Optional extensions to Venice and Athens are also available.
- Croatia: Enjoy walking tours of Split, with its immense Roman Palace of Diocletian, and Hvar and Korcula, with their Gothic and Renaissance sites. In Dubrovnik, see the most famous landmarks of this beautifully restored 15th-century walled city. Plus, meet with local residents and attend a folk music performance.
- Montenegro and Albania: Admire the Venetian baroque Old Town of Kotor and explore the archaeological site at Butrint.
- Greece: Sail to the Ionian island of Corfu. Ascend the trail to the ancient site of Delphi, home to the mythical Oracle and considered by the Greeks to be the center of the world. Cruise through the dramatic Corinth Canal before concluding in Athens.
Day 1 — Depart U.S.
Depart for Venice, Italy.
Day 2 — Venice, Italy / Embark
Arrive in Venice, Italy and embark the five-star Le Lyrial in the afternoon. (D)
Day 3 — Split, Croatia
Enjoy a walking tour of Split’s historic city center, a World Heritage site, built on the foundation of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s retirement palace. Today, people live and work in this thriving, nearly 2,000-year-old complex. Visit the Temple of Jupiter, considered to be one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world, and the Cathedral of St. Domnius, regarded as the world’s oldest Catholic cathedral (A.D. 305) that remains in use in its original structure. Experience the unique vision of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most accomplished sculptor, on a visit to the Mestrovic Gallery. During the exclusive Coastal Life Forum®, local residents will discuss contemporary life along the Adriatic.
Attend the Captain’s welcome reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)
Day 4 — Hvar, Korčula
Since the fourth century B.C., Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians have all left their mark on the island of Hvar. The Old Town is filled with impressive landmarks, including the Renaissance Cathedral of St. Stephen and its four-story bell tower. Visit the Benedictine Convent, well known for its unique lace, a tradition recognized by UNESCO today for its important cultural heritage contribution.
After lunch on board, arrive in Korčula. This charming island city retains its original 13th-century walls, within which you will find the Abbey Treasury, home to a priceless collection of medieval manuscripts and artwork and masterful works by Tintoretto, housed in the 15th-century, Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. Mark.
This evening on board ship, enjoy a specially arranged, traditional Croatian klapa performance of harmonized a cappella singing, recognized by UNESCO for its cultural heritage of humanity. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Dubrovnik
Affectionately called “the pearl of the Adriatic,” the entire city of Dubrovnik is a World Heritage site in recognition of its historic treasures and incomparable beauty. Visit the city’s most famous landmarks, including the 15th-century Rector’s Palace and the fascinating Maritime Museum. Walk amid the well-preserved Old City walls and see the Franciscan Monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Kotor, Montenegro
Montenegro is one of the newest nations in the world, having gained its independence in 2006. The spectacular Bay of Kotor, deeply carved into the Montenegrin mountains, leads to the charming town of Kotor, a World Heritage site. Enjoy time at leisure to explore its Venetian baroque Old Town and impressive medieval fortifications. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Corfu, Greece and Sarandë, Albania for Butrint
Cruise to the Ionian island of Corfu, Greece, Homer’s “beautiful and rich land,” where the varying cultural influences of past rulers are reflected in the French boulevards, Georgian mansions, Venetian citadel and Greek temple. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town of Corfu, a World Heritage site. See the Town Hall, once a Venetian theater, built in 1663, and the Edwardian Palace of the King of Greece. Visit the museum at the grand, mythologically inspired Achilleion Palace.
Upon arrival in the picturesque coastal city of Sarandë, Albania, travel overland to the revelatory remains of Butrint, where ancient history is displayed through its well-preserved archaeological ruins. Virgil speaks of Butrint as a parvam Troiam (little Troy), a stop for Aeneas and his exiled Trojans on their epic journey. Today, Butrint’s ruins, a World Heritage site, trace the rise and fall of 3,000 years of ancient civilizations, from the Greek and Roman to the Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman Empires. The Greco-Roman amphitheater highlights the city’s rich cultural life during boom times. Public baths, a gymnasium and an aqueduct built by Emperor Augustus offer glimpses of Butrint as a Roman port, while the intricately tiled Baptistery resounds with early Christian symbolism. A short drive to 16th-century Lekursi Castle provides a stunning panoramic view of Sarandë. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Itea for Delphi and Cruise Corinth Canal
Ancient Greeks of all classes flocked to this sacred ground on Mount Parnassus to consult Pythia, the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo, on matters as mundane as farming and as monumental as the declaration of war. Visit the spectacular ruins of the iconic sanctuary of Delphi, considered the center of the Greek world in the sixth century B.C. and today a World Heritage site. Pass through the Sacred Way and stand at the marble Altar of the Chians, where the common and the mighty awaited the oracle’s pronouncements. Tour the magnificent Delphi Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove of ancient artifacts including a life-size fifth-century B.C. bronze charioteer.
Return to Itea and cruise through the Corinth Canal, first proposed at the end of the seventh century B.C. but not fully realized until a French engineering company completed it in 1893. An impressive waterway that cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth, at only 82 feet wide at the water’s surface, it is so narrow that only small ships can make its passage. Transit the canal aboard your small ship Le Lyrial, a thrilling highlight for sea captains and travelers.
Attend the Captain’s farewell reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)
Day 9 — Depart Athens for U.S.
Disembark the ship in Athens and begin the Athens Post-Cruise Option, or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)
Please Note: All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.