Journey to the Lands of Gods & Heroes
Watch history come alive for the entire family as you visit some of the most important sites in Greek mythology and experience the splendor of Venice on this unique family cruise.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
The opportunity to travel with such ease and comfort with my daughter and granddaughter was fabulous. Being able to give them such a trip and enabling them to expand their horizons is an experience I will never forget. The memory of the trip even deepened our bond and our love of each other as well.”
An excellent trip for children as well as adults- informative, extremely well-organized, a superb staff and set of tour guides, a great boat and an attentive crew - and lots of fun!”
This was the best planned and executed trip I have ever experienced. I saw more and learned more, while having my creature comforts well cared for, to perfection.”
Previous Journeys Traveler
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- Fabulous shots from Smithsonian Journeys Expert Kirt Kempter
- Visiting Mount Fuji, by way of rural Japan
- Saturday in Pamplona
Special Family Savings — Please note that special rates apply for children. Call 1-855-330-1542 for complete pricing details. These rates apply to children ages 7-18.
In the summer of 2015, history will come alive for the entire family on a voyage of discovery in the eastern Mediterranean, where ancient ruins, myth, and history are intertwined. This itinerary, tested and refined for over a quarter of a century, has enlightened a generation of children and grandchildren. Begin in Athens where young explorers will engage in a treasure hunt. Sailing from Athens' port of Piraeus, call at the stunning site of Ephesus on the Turkish coast, where we'll see the facade of the Library of Celsus, among other sites. In Santorini, children will ascend a volcano by donkey and learn about the area's geology. Explore Crete's Minoan Palace of Knossos, home to the labyrinth of the legendary Minotaur. Conclude with a visit to Pompeii to learn about daily life during the Roman Empire. Throughout this program, experienced educators lead groups of similarly aged youths in a series of recreational learning activities designed from a child's perspective --activities designed to inspire young minds with the poetry of Homer, the ideas of Socrates, and examples of classical architecture.
July 16-17— Athens, Greece, Piraeus, Embark
Fly from the U.S. to Athens, Greece. Arrive in Athens, transfer to Piraeus, and embark Arethusa. (D)
July 18 — Piraeus, Athens, Piraeus
Spend the day in Athens, a city with an incomparably dramatic and influential history. Explore the Acropolis, perhaps the most important ancient monument in the Western world and where our concept of democracy was born over 2,500 years ago. The ruins include the majestic Parthenon and the Erectheion. After lunch at a taverna, adults visit the stunning Acropolis Museum while Young Explorers enjoy a fun and challenging youth-themed “treasure hunt” in Athens. (B, L, D)
July 19 — Kusadasi, Turkey, Ephesus
From Kusadasi, travel to Ephesus. Renowned as the center of worship of the mother-goddess Cybele, later known as Artemis, it was also the site where St. Paul addressed the Ephesians. Excavations continue and archaeologists are restoring the Terrace Houses, which offer a glimpse of daily Ephesian life. See the facade of the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, and Amphitheater. (B, L, D)
July 20 — Santorini, Greece
In the second millennium B.C., volcanic eruptions shrouded Santorini (or Phira) in pumice and ash and collapsed the island into a fractured caldera. This ultimately produced Santorini's wild, multihued beauty while sending its Minoan civilization into irreversible decline. Adults will visit the archaeological site of ancient Akrotiri and Phira's Prehistoric Museum while Young Explorers board a sailboat to Nea Kameni, the island in the center of Santorini's caldera, and ascend to its volcano to learn about the area's geology. Reunite for lunch and free time in the town of Phira. (B, L, D)
July 21 — Rethymnon, Crete, Knossos or Imbros Gorge
Arrive in Crete, once home of the Minoans, Europe's earliest developed civilization. From quaint Rethymnon, travel to Knossos and its fabled Minoan Palace, a maze of frescoed corridors and chambers showing life as it was 4,000 years ago. It is also home to the labyrinth of the legendary Minotaur. Continue to the Heraklion Museum. Alternatively, walk part of the rugged, scenic Imbros Gorge, ending at the coast, near the 14th-century Venetian castle of Frangokastello, for a swim. Then sail along Crete's northwest coast to anchor near the isle of Gramvousa, an old Venetian stronghold, for another swim. (B, L, D)
July 22 — Kyparisia, Olympia
Travel to Olympia, an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and one of four sites where the Pan-Hellenic games were held. Young Explorers will take part in a race at the site of the ancient games. Enjoy the afternoon at sea with special Young Explorer activities.
July 23 — Ithaca
Ithaca, the legendary home of the hero Odysseus, as portrayed in Homer's The Odyssey, is a stunning island of pristine beaches and verdant forest. Visit the bay of Dexia, Homer's harbor of Phorkys, where the Phaeacians left Odysseus sleeping on the beach. Admire the Cyclopean Walls (Alalkomenai), a ruined site known locally as Odysseus's Castle, and stand atop the Plateau of Marathia, where Odysseus's loyal servant Eumaeus kept his swine. (B, L, D)
July 24 — Crotone, Italy
Ancient Crotone was one of the most prominent cities of Magna Graecia and home of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. Visit the impressive Archaeological Museum and then drive to the small town of Santa Severina, dramatically situated on an isolated outcrop of sheer rock, to see the Norman cathedral with its 9th-century baptistery and Carafa Castle. (B, L, D)
July 25 — Messina, Sicily, Taormina
This morning pass between the legendary location of the six-headed monster Scylla, and the treacherous whirlpool Charybdis, today the easily traversed Strait of Messina. Then visit Taormina, a picturesque town on the east coast of Sicily, offers stunning views out to sea and the cone of Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Visit the Greek theater, which offers dramatic views of Etna and the Sicilian coastline, and amble among Taormina's quaint streets and gardens. (B, L, D)
July 26 — Sorrento, Pompeii
This morning we visit Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. No other place so completely captures life in the ancient Roman Empire. Tour highlights include the Forum, the Temples of Apollo and Jupiter, and the Stabian Baths, the best-preserved and most complete in Pompeii. (B, L, D)
July 27 — Anzio, Disembark, Rome, U.S.
Transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)