Seductive Sicily, that stepping stone between Europe and Africa, bears traces of the many civilizations that have conquered her, from the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans, to the Arabs, Normans, and more. Autumn, when the heat and crowds of summer are gone, is the perfect time to discover Sicily’s pearls of antiquity aboard this four-masted barque. Embark Sea Cloud in Valletta, Malta, and sail to Syracuse, once Athens’ rival in wealth and culture. Explore the seven temples of Agrigento during an astonishing afternoon. From Trapani, choose an excursion to the medieval hilltop town of Erice or to Mazara del Vallo, home to the 2,400-year-old “Dancing Satyr,” a spectacular seven-foot bronze statue. Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, beckons with its extraordinary Norman-Arab-Byzantine influences, while Lipari, inhabited continuously for 7,000 years, boasts an archaeological museum that is a must-see.
Traveling with us will be a curator of medieval art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a naturalist from Harvard University, and a specialist in ancient Greece from the University of Chicago.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1: U.S. DEPARTURE
Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Malta.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2: VALLETTA, MALTA / SEA CLOUD
Arrive in Valletta and gather for lunch before transferring to the awaiting Sea Cloud. Enjoy a bon voyage toast on deck as we sail out of the historic harbor en route to Sicily. L,D
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3: SYRACUSE, SICILY, ITALY
Splendid Syracuse, once the largest city in the ancient world, was a formidable rival to Athens. Discover the cathedral built on the ruins of the Temple of Athena and admire dramatic, well-preserved theaters where Aeschylus’ plays were performed. By special invitation, Barone Beneventano will welcome us to his Baroque palazzo for a tour and light refreshments. In the early evening the captain hosts a welcome reception and dinner. B,L,R,D
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4: PORTO EMPEDOCLE / AGRIGENTO
Pindar called Agrigento “the most beautiful city built by mortal men” and the nearby ruins of the Valley of the Temples demonstrate why. The Temple of Concord, perhaps the bestpreserved Greek temple in the world, inspired the UNESCO logo. B,L,D
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5: TRAPANI / SEGESTA
Explore Segesta’s splendid Doric temple, strangely unfinished, whose columns are said to produce organ-like tones on windy days. Later you may visit either Erice—a hilltop medieval town whose Norman castle sits atop the ruins of a temple of Venus—or Mazara del Vallo, to see its 2,400-year-old, seven-foot bronze statue the “Dancing Satyr,” rescued from the sea by fishermen in 1998. B,L,D
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6: PALERMO
Sicily’s capital of Palermo was the envy of Europe under the Normans, whose enlightened rule produced the golden mosaics we will see in the 12th-century Palatine Chapel, described by Guy de Maupassant as “the most surprising religious jewel ever dreamt of.” After lunch on board, drive to Monreale to admire the brilliant mosaics in the magnificent Norman cathedral before a special reception at Palazzo Gangi, where the ballroom scene in The Leopard was filmed. B,L,D
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7: LIPARI (AEOLIAN ISLANDS)
Early this morning we sail through the Aeolian archipelago, volcanic islands off the north coast of Sicily. Tender ashore to Lipari, which has known uninterrupted occupation since the Neolithic Age. The Archaeological Museum within the fortress walls boasts a superb collection of artifacts, including extraordinary masks from this and other islands. B,L,D
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8: AT SEA
Experience the thrill of sailing aboard our fine ship, attending lectures and delighting in the grace and romance of a bygone era of travel. B,L,D
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9: NAPLES, ITALY / U.S. RETURN
Disembark Sea Cloud in Naples this morning and transfer to the airport for the flights home, or continue on the optional postlude. B