Explore enchanting Greek islands as well as archaeological sites in Athens, Epidaurus, and Mycenae during this exceptional Aegean odyssey voyage.

* Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 View from the village of Fira on Santorini.  Credit: KJ DiLuigi  The Acropolis of Athens  The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens  The caryatids on the Temple of Erechtheion on the Acropolis   Meteora amid the limestone pillars  Monastery in the mist at Meteora  Ancient lion statue on Delos  The lions of Delos  The port area on Mykonos  Traditional houses on Mykonos  The historic port in Rhodes  The Acropolis at Lindos  Santorini, Greece.  Credit: Zachary Duffy  The view from the cliff-top on Santorini  The Lion's Gate at Mycenae  The dramatic theater at Epidaurus

A Cruise to Ancient Greece

9 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Explore enchanting Greek islands as well as archaeological sites in Athens, Epidaurus, and Mycenae during this exceptional Aegean odyssey voyage.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Definitely a wonderful "trip of a lifetime". We enjoyed so many historical sites and great accommodations throughout. Trips abroad [can be] expensive, but this one was really a great value.

- Clara Z.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Amalia Hotel

Nauplion, Greece

The four-star Amalia Hotel is situated just outside the center of Nauplion. Rooms are spacious, comfortable, and simply furnished. Public spaces are welcoming and brightly lit by natural light. There is a swimming pool and a lush garden surrounding the property.

Number of nights: 2

Sofitel Athens Airport

Athens, Greece

This five-star, 345-room luxury hotel is situated in the Athens airport and ensures a quiet retreat while enjoying the mountain views over the Mesoghaia Valley.

Number of nights: 1

Athenaeum InterContinental

Athens, Greece

This stylish hotel, named time and time again as Greece's leading hotel, provides continental grandeur in the ancient capital. The central location, award-winning fine dining venues and some of the largest guest rooms in Athens are of great appeal. The newly renovated I-Spa, by Asian Spa City Retreat, offers a wide variety of treatments and the outdoor swimming pool features natural surroundings. Travelers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Acropolis from the rooftop Premiere restaurant or relax and unwind at the casual Café Vienna or trendy Cafezoe.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Ocean-going cruise that may pull into a pier for embarkation and shore excursions and may use tenders at some ports. Excursions will be at a moderately active pace during the morning or afternoon. Some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 a.m.). Daily activities of two to three hours each day. Some standing and walking for periods of time (up to two hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes difficult terrain, such as cobblestones in towns and many archaeological sites On the island of Santorini there will be a cable car ride. The longest coach transfer is approximately 120 minutes, from Volos to Meteora to see the unique Greek Orthodox monasteries perched on the top of mountains.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Tour Extension

Athens Pre-Cruise Option 2 Nights, 3 Days

Experience the ancient city unmatched in its contributions to the foundations of the Western world—Athens, the birthplace of democracy. Explore the enduring grandeur encapsulated in the spectacular Acropolis, a World Heritage site, and the gracefully proportioned Parthenon, a perfect example of Doric architecture, dedicated to the goddess Athena in 438 B.C. See the archaeological treasures of the Acropolis Museum and tour the mystical World Heritage site of Delphi.  Deluxe accommodations for two nights are at the Athenaeum InterContinental Athens hotel.

Olympia Post-Cruise Option — 3 Nights, 4 Days

Visit the Ancient Olympia site and explore the ruins of the great monuments, including the Temple of Zeus and the original stadium and Bouleuterion.  Also, visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia which houses the statues of the Temple of Zeus. Cruise the fabled Corinth Canal considered to be one of the world’s architectural wonders. This post-program option features two nights in a deluxe, Amalia Olympia Hotel in Nafplion and one night in the Sofitel Athens Airport hotel.

Additional Pre- and Post-Cruise details will be included with your reservation confirmation.

Ship

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line, along with sister ship Le Champlain. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line, along with sister ship Le Champlain. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Definitely a wonderful "trip of a lifetime". We enjoyed so many historical sites and great accommodations throughout. Trips abroad [can be] expensive, but this one was really a great value.

- Clara Z.
Reading List

Highly Reccommended

Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)
By: Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
Since antiquity, the achievements of the Greeks in art and architecture have elicited great admiration. From the Parthenon and the other temples on the Acropolis of Athens to the fabled palace of King Minos at Knossos on Crete to the walled city of Mycenae-home of the Trojan leader Agamemnon-Greek art and architecture continue to this day to fascinate visitors to Greece and influence Western aesthetics. This informative handbook traces Greek art and architecture from the third millennium to the first century B.C. Belozerskaya and Lapatin relate the rich development of styles, techniques, and motifs to the history of this period. The culmination of these developments in architecture, sculpture, and vase painting in the fifth century B.C. is illustrated in such masterpieces as the temples at Paestum in Italy, the sculptures of the Parthenon, the bronze charioteer from Delphi, and works of the Attic black- and red-figure vase painters. Also included in the book is a discussion of the spread of Greek culture to southern Italy and Sicily and the influence of Greek artistic traditions on Roman art. With more than three hundred illustrations, this book will serve as an attractive guide for students, travelers, and all those interested in ancient Greek civilization.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (The Hinges of History)
By: Thomas Cahill
In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, his fourth volume to explore “the hinges of history,” Thomas Cahill escorts the reader on another entertaining—and historically unassailable—journey through the landmarks of art and bloodshed that defined Greek culture nearly three millennia ago.In the city-states of Athens and Sparta and throughout the Greek islands, honors could be won in making love and war, and lives were rife with contradictions. By developing the alphabet, the Greeks empowered the reader, demystified experience, and opened the way for civil discussion and experimentation—yet they kept slaves. The glorious verses of the Iliad recount a conflict in which rage and outrage spur men to action and suggest that their “bellicose society of gleaming metals and rattling weapons” is not so very distant from more recent campaigns of “shock and awe.” And, centuries before Zorba, Greece was a land where music, dance, and freely flowing wine were essential to the high life. Granting equal time to the sacred and the profane, Cahill rivets our attention to the legacies of an ancient and enduring worldview.
DK Eyewitness Travel The Greek Islands (Eyewitness Travel Guide)
By: DK Travel
Your in-depth guide to the very best of these picturesque islands of the Mediterranean. From lounging on the sandy beaches of Mykonos to looking down on sparkling blue waters while dining on Santorini to exploring more than 2,000 years of history on Rhodes, a trip to this beautiful part of the world truly offers a little bit of everything.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Greek Islands:   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Greek Islands truly shows you this destination as no one else can.Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to the Greek Islands, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Greek Islands, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time and experience the best of everything.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide. Visit TravelDK.com to learn more.
Greece - Michelin National Map 737 (Michelin National Maps)
By: Howard Hughes

Maps & Guidebooks

Top 10 Athens (EYEWITNESS TOP 10 TRAVEL GUIDE)
By: Coral Davenport, Jane Foster
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Athens will lead you straight to the best attractions this city has to offer. Whether you're looking for museums and ancient sites, alluring nearby islands, nighttime hot-spots, streets for shopping, the liveliest festivals, or want to find the best restaurants and tavernas in Athens, this guide is the perfect pocket-sized companion. Rely on dozens of Top 10 lists for all budgets, from the Top 10 Greek dishes and archaeological sites to the Top 10 city strolls and itineraries, shops, and hotels. There's even a list of the Top 10 things to avoid. Plus, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Athens includes a pull-out map with public transportation information, useful phone numbers, and 60 great ideas on how to spend your days. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Athens is packed with beautiful photographs, providing you with an inspirational glimpse into this historic city.
Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Thanasis Spilias
Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher* Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Greek phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Ask for in-the-know recommendations of the best beaches, directions to the most historic sites, and order local specialties like a local; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features Phrases to Learn Before You Go Ways to Start a Sentence Phrases to Sound like a Local Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, senior travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, shopping, bargaining, accommodations, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits! Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.) *#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS

History, Culture & Exploration

The Ancient Mediterranean (Meridian)
By: Michael Grant
Written by eminent classical scholar Michael Grant.  The Ancient Mediterranean is a wonderfully revealing, unusually comprehensive history of all the peoples who lived around the Mediterranean from about 15,000 B.C. to the time of Constantine (306-337 A.D.).  Many volumes, including Professor Grant's own previous works, trace the histories of the great civilizations of Greece and Rome.  But this unique work looks at the influences and cultures of the entire region, including Egypt, Israel, Crete, Carthage, Ionia and the Eastern colonies.  Syria, and the Etruscans, as well as the Greek and Roman states.Drawing on archaeology, geography, anthropology, and economics. Professor Grant shows how the great Oriental civilizations—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia—originated attitudes and institutions ultimately passed on to the West. He describes the effect on the people and their achievements of the long, irregular coastline, the mountainous terrain surrounding small fertile plains, the typical plant life of olive and grape, and the rapidly changing weather.  Further, he investigates how the demographic factors around this deep and stormy sea caused or influenced the great periods of ancient history, such as that of fifth-century Athens and of Rome in the first century A.D.  Appealing and fascinating reading, this impeccably researched history brings a fresh perspective to understanding our ancient heritage.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
By: Richard Buxton
A full, authoritative, and wholly engaging account of these endlessly fascinating tales and of the ancient society in which they were created. Greek myths are among the most complex and influential stories ever told. From the first millennium BC until today, the myths have been repeated in an inexhaustible series of variations and reinterpretations. They can be found in the latest movies and television shows and in software for interactive computer games. This book combines a retelling of Greek myths with a comprehensive account of the world in which they developed―their themes, their relevance to Greek religion and society, and their relationship to the landscape. "Contexts, Sources, Meanings" describes the main literary and artistic sources for Greek myths, and their contexts, such as ritual and theater."Myths of Origin" includes stories about the beginning of the cosmos, the origins of the gods, the first humans, and the founding of communities."The Olympians: Power, Honor, Sexuality" examines the activities of all the main divinities."Heroic exploits" concentrates on the adventures of Perseus, Jason, Herakles, and other heroes."Family sagas" explores the dramas and catastrophes that befall heroes and heroines."A Landscape of Myths" sets the stories within the context of the mountains, caves, seas, and rivers of Greece, Crete, Troy, and the Underworld."Greek Myths after the Greeks" describes the rich tradition of retelling, from the Romans, through the Renaissance, to the twenty-first century.Complemented by lavish illustrations, genealogical tables, box features, and specially commissioned drawings, this will be an essential book for anyone interested in these classic tales and in the world of the ancient Greeks. 250 illustrations, 120 in color
National Geographic The Greeks: An Illustrated History
By: Diane Harris Cline
On the culture that brought us democracy, the Olympics, Socrates, and Alexander the Great, this lavishly illustrated reference about ancient Greece presents the amazing history through gripping stories; the rise and fall of the phenomenal empire; the powerful legacy left by ancient Greece for the modern world; and the new discoveries shedding light on these ancient people that are still so much with us. Even today, Greek art and architecture dominate our cities; modern military strategists still study and employ Hellenic war tactics; Greek poetry, plays, and philosophy are widely read and enjoyed; and science, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy all build on the fundamentals of early Greek thinking. Included are fascinating insights into Greek island living, ancient social networking, and the extreme priority Greeks placed on athletic competition (warring city-states declared truces during the Olympic games). Learn of spectacular discoveries such as the Uluburun shipwreck, the earliest writing ever found in Europe, and buried palaces. A stunning treasure, this lushly-illustrated, uniquely comprehensive and accessible history of Ancient Greece is perfect for anyone interested in the origins of our modern world.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
By: Robert Morkot
The cradle of Western civilisation, Ancient Greece was a land of contradictions and conflict. Intensely quarrelsome and competitive, the Greek city-states consistently proved unwilling and unable to unite. Yet, in spite of or even because of this internal discord, no ancient civilization proved so dynamic or productive. The Greeks not only colonized the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas but set standards of figurative art that endured for nearly 2500 years. Charting topics as diverse as Minoan civilization, The Persian Wars, the Athenian Golden Age and the conquests of Alexander the Great, the book traces the development of this creative and restless people and assesses their impact not only on the ancient world but also on our own attitudes and environment. The authoritative narrative, illustrated with over sixty full colour maps and over seventy plates, makes this an indispensable handbook for history students and enthusiasts alike.
The World of Odysseus (New York Review Books Classics)
By: M. I. Finley
The World of Odysseus is a concise and penetrating account of the society that gave birth to the Iliad and the Odyssey--a book that provides a vivid picture of the Greek Dark Ages, its men and women, works and days, morals and values. Long celebrated as a pathbreaking achievement in the social history of the ancient world, M.I. Finley's brilliant study remains, as classicist Bernard Knox notes in his introduction to this new edition, "as indispensable to the professional as it is accessible to the general reader"--a fundamental companion for students of Homer and Homeric Greece.

Archaeology, Art & Architecture

Aegean Art and Architecture (Oxford History of Art)
By: Donald Preziosi, Louise A. Hitchcock
This is the first comprehensive introduction to the art and architecture of mainland Greece, Crete, and the Cycladic Islands from 3300 to 1000 BCE. Ancient Aegean culture has a particularly important place within European history and art history because of its profound links to the origins of European civilization.Paintings, pottery, objects made from gold, silver, and ivory, carved reliefs, textiles, and architecture, are all fully illustrated and discussed. The authors reveal the many different functions that this vast range of arts and artifacts served within the cultural and social context of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East.Combining the latest research and critical approaches with an up-to-date historiography this book gives readers a clear understanding of Ancient Aegean visual arts and of our changing interpretations of this extraordinary era.
The Parthenon
By: Mary Beard
Praise for the previous edition:"Wry and imaginative, this gem of a book deconstructs the most famous building in Western history."–Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic"In her brief but compendious volume [Beard] says that the more we find out about this mysterious structure, the less we know. Her book is especially valuable because it is up to date on the restoration the Parthenon has been undergoing since 1986."–Gary Wills, New York Review of BooksAt once an entrancing cultural history and a congenial guide for tourists, armchair travelers, and amateur archaeologists alike, this book conducts readers through the storied past and towering presence of the most famous building in the world. In the revised version of her classic study, Mary Beard now includes the story of the long-awaited new museum opened in 2009 to display the sculptures from the building that still remain in Greece, as well as the controversies that have surrounded it, and asks whether it makes a difference to the "Elgin Marble debate."

Travel, Biography & Memoir

Dinner with Persephone: Travels in Greece
By: Patricia Storace
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Full of insights, marvelously entertaining . . . haunting and beautifully written." --The New York Review of Books"I lived in Athens, at the intersection of a prostitute and a saint."  So begins Patricia Storace's astonishing memoir of her year in Greece. Mixing affection with detachment, rapture with clarity, this American poet perfectly evokes a country delicately balanced between East and West.Whether she is interpreting Hellenic dream books, pop songs, and soap operas, describing breathtakingly beautiful beaches and archaic villages, or braving the crush at a saint's tomb, Storace, winner of the Whiting Award, rewards the reader with informed and sensual insights into Greece's soul. She sees how the country's pride in its past coexists with profound doubts about its place in the modern world. She discovers a world in which past and present engage in a passionate dialogue. Stylish, funny, and erudite, Dinner with Persephone is travel writing elevated to a fine art--and the best book of its kind since Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi."Splendid. Storace's account of a year in Greece combines past and present, legend and fact, in an unusual and delightful whole. " --Atlantic Monthly
No-Man's Lands: One Man's Odyssey Through The Odyssey
By: Scott Huler
When NPR contributor Scott Huler made one more attempt to get through James Joyce’s Ulysses, he had no idea it would launch an obsession with the book’s inspiration: the ancient Greek epic The Odyssey and the lonely homebound journey of its Everyman hero, Odysseus.No-Man’s Lands is Huler’s funny and touching exploration of the life lessons embedded within The Odyssey, a legendary tale of wandering and longing that could be read as a veritable guidebook for middle-aged men everywhere. At age forty-four, with his first child on the way, Huler felt an instant bond with Odysseus, who fought for some twenty years against formidable difficulties to return home to his beloved wife and son. In reading The Odyssey, Huler saw the chance to experience a great vicarious adventure as well as the opportunity to assess the man he had become and embrace the imminent arrival of both middle age and parenthood.But Huler realized that it wasn’t enough to simply read the words on the page—he needed to live Odysseus’s odyssey, to visit the exotic destinations that make Homer’s story so timeless. And so an ambitious pilgrimage was born . . . traveling the entire length of Odysseus’s two-decade journey. In six months.Huler doggedly retraced Odysseus’s every step, from the ancient ruins of Troy to his ultimate destination in Ithaca. On the way, he discovers the Cyclops’s Sicilian cave, visits the land of the dead in Italy, ponders the lotus from a Tunisian resort, and paddles a rented kayak between Scylla and Charybdis and lives to tell the tale. He writes of how and why the lessons of The Odyssey—the perils of ambition, the emptiness of glory, the value of love and family—continue to resonate so deeply with readers thousands of years later. And as he finally closes in on Odysseus’s final destination, he learns to fully appreciate what Homer has been saying all along: the greatest adventures of all are the ones that bring us home to those we love. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part critical reading of the greatest adventure epic ever written, No-Man’s Lands is an extraordinary description of two journeys—one ancient, one contemporary—and reveals what The Odyssey can teach us about being better bosses, better teachers, better parents, and better people.From the Hardcover edition.
Reflections on a Marine Venus: A Companion to the Landscape of Rhodes
By: Lawrence Durrell
Reflections on a Marine Venus explores life on a magical and enchanting island (Rhodes) right after World War II. It is about Greece when it was a demi-paradise. But it is also about the distillation of life and experience, the savoring of all the exquisite pleasures, physical, sensual and intellectual, available on one lovely island at one time.

Literature

Greece: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Artemis Leontis
Discover Greece — a country that has inspired centuries of travel — through its best modern writers. Against a superb landscape of islands, rocks, caves, villages, windmills, vineyards, cities, ports, beaches, and ruins, all bathed in the rich light of the Mediterranean, these twenty-four stories draw from the long oral and written evolution of the Greek literary tradition. Incorporating myths, the meditative tranquillity of the region, and a past full of struggle and civil war, these stories are arranged by geographical region for the traveler and provide an enriching odyssey through the Greek landscape and mind. Contributors include Elli Alexiou, Melpo Axioti, Odysseus Elytis, Michel Faïs, Eugenia Fakinou, Rhea Galanaki, Marios Hakkas, Dimitris Hatzis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Margarita Karapanou, Alexandra Papadopoulou, George Seferis, Vassilis Vassilikos, Ilias Venezis, Leonidas Zenakos, Yiorgos Chouliaras, Georgios Drosinis, Yorgos Ioannou, Christoforos Milionis, Kostas Ouranis, Thanassis Valtinos, Eva Vlami, and Manolis Xexakis.
The King Must Die: A Novel
By: Mary Renault
In this ambitious, ingenious narrative, celebrated historical novelist Mary Renault take legendary hero Theseus and spins his myth into a fast-paced and exciting story.Renault starts with Theseus' early years, showing how the mystery of his father's identity and his small stature breed the insecurities that spur his youthful hijinx. As he moves on to Eleusis, Athens, and Crete, his playfulness and fondness for pranks matures into the courage to attempt singular heroic feats, the gallantry and leadership he was known for on the battlefield, and the bold-hearted ingenuity he shows in navigating the labyrinth and slaying the Minotaur. In what is perhaps the most inventive of all her novels of Ancient Greece, Renault casts Theseus in a surprisingly original pose; she teases the flawed human out of the bronze hero, and draws the plausible out of the fantastic.

Natural History & Field Guides

Complete Mediterranean Wildlife: Photoguide
By: Paul Sterry
The only guide currently available for the region, Complete Mediterranean Wildlife describes and illustrates 1500 species commonly found in the world’s most popular holiday destination.Mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths, other insects, spiders, slugs and snails, trees and flowering plants are all included, and each section is coded with a symbol for quick reference.From Cyprus in the east to the western end of the Mediterranean, the guide also covers species found in Portugal and the Algarve. While most Mediterranean habitats are low-lying, the range of the guide extends into the foothills of mountains. Shells and animals likely to be seen while snorkelling are also described and illustrated.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys are designed to engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian - “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian's 19 museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy) 
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Travel Director(s), and local guides throughout the tour.
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • Open bar aboard ship featuring house wines, beer, and standard brands of spirits.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted.
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only).
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi during the duration of the cruise. 

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à la carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Gratuities to ship and hotel staff.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airfare and departure taxes.
  • Taxes.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with cancelled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.

Registration
Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.

To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time).

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information

For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov). In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
 

Payments
Deposit of $1,000 per person ($200 per person pre/post optional extensions), per tour, payable by check or major credit card, to the tour operator is required to reserve a space on a tour. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Balance due upon invoicing at least 95 days prior to the program. If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration
Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered a "late registration" and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.

For additional information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time) or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

A Note About Costs
Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure. 

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $1,000 retained; $200 pre/post cruise optional extension retained (entire deposit).
  • Final Payment due 95 days prior.
  • Cancellation made less than 95 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policies. 

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, or otherwise because of a flight delay, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time.  If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high fees for changes. We urge you to check airline cancellation fees before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation fees related to domestic or international airline tickets.

Travel Insurance Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Smithsonian Journeys provides the following travel coverages with Travel Guard as part of your trip.

Limit (Maximum per person)

·   Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains up to $100,000

·   Emergency Medical Expenses up to $25,000

·   Emergency Dental Expenses up to $500

The Evacuation/Repatriation provides coverage for emergency air and ground transportation due to a serious illness or injury.  You also have worldwide access to a 24-hour travel assistance hotline if you need help with lost documents, cash transfers, and other travel-related problems.

IMPORTANT: Smithsonian Journeys offers an optional, travel insurance plan which will cover you for trip cancellation, interruption, and/or delay; baggage loss, theft, damage or delay; accident and/or sickness, medical expenses, and accidental death. To learn more, visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call 800-208-6142. Please consider this or other coverage.  Many insurance and HMO/PPO plans offer reduced benefits when traveling internationally and Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the U.S. 

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If you are a U.S. citizen and your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For certain international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and/or with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of State no longer will add visa pages into U.S. passports. Applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we strongly recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, we strongly recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, itinerary changes, speakers, experts, places visited, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation use, hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants when they are available; however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

This paragraph relates solely to the tour operator (Thomas P. Gohagan & Company). You agree that any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) concerning, relating or referring to these Terms and Conditions, the brochure or any other literature concerning your tour, or the touritself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you (and we) are waiving our right to a trial by jury.

Any action or legal proceeding against the Smithsonian Institution in connection with your trip shall be brought only in a United States federal court of competent jurisdiction.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties. This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals in certain hotels or aboard ship. There is no smoking aboard the ship, and some hotels may not allow smoking anywhere on the property. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator books services of independent suppliers for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator is liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited to inappropriate or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors and assigns (“Gohagan”) and Smithsonian Institution and its  Regents, officers, employees, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (“Smithsonian”) do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your tour including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc.  All such persons and entities are independent contractors.  As a result, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

  

In addition and without limitation, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to persons or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. 

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The reader has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation including the Dispute Resolution paragraph as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour as well as the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The reader further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to acts of force majeure, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, other criminal conduct, illness, inadequate medical facilities and difficulty in evacuation to same, and damage to persons or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of the Smithsonian, the United States, and/or Gohagan. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.