Alluring Aegean An Ancient Adventure from Athens to Istanbul

Alluring Aegean An Ancient Adventure from Athens to Istanbul



Behold archaeological wonders including the Bronze Age site at Thira in beautiful Santorini. Sail to the Cycladic island of Amorgos, and see an impressive Byzantine monastery perched on a seaside cliff. Explore sacred Patmos, one of the famous Dodecanese islands, where St. John the Evangelist lived in exile. Head to Turkey for a visit to Ephesus, whose ancient city center showcases a wealth of Hellenistic, Roman Imperial, and early Christian monuments. On the island of Chios, tour the gorgeous 11th-century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before concluding in Istanbul, venture to fabled Troy, immortalized by Homer.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Jun 28, 2022 - Jul 6, 2022


An optional prelude in Athens is offered June 26-29, 2022.

An optional postlude in Istanbul is offered July 6-8, 2022.






Alluring Aegean map


  • day June 28


    Depart on an overnight flight to Athens.

  • day June 29


    Arrive in Athens, and transfer to Piraeus, where you will embark the awaiting Sea Cloud II. In the late afternoon, stand on deck as the ship sails past the 5th-century B.C. Temple of Poseidon, a dazzling icon of the Golden Age of Athens, poised atop Cape Sounion.

  • day June 30


    After a morning at sea, arrive at the Cycladic island of Santorini (officially known as Thira), taking in the stunning vistas as Sea Cloud II approaches the port during lunch on board. This afternoon, visit the Bronze Age archaeological site of Akrotiri, and explore the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which houses treasures excavated from the site. Continue to the enchanting village of Oia, and spend some free time admiring its traditional white houses carved into the clifftops. Return to the ship this evening for the captain’s welcome reception and dinner.

  • day July 1


    Step ashore on Amorgos, a small island of whitewashed villages set in a rugged landscape. Visit the impressive Byzantine Monastery of Khozoviotissa, built in the 11th century, and marvel at how this stark white structure clings to precipitous cliffs facing out to sea. For more than 1,000 years, the monastery has been a place of pilgrimage for worshippers, who come to venerate its miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. Return to the ship for lunch and set sail for Patmos.

  • day July 2


    Explore the sacred island of Patmos, site of St. John the Evangelist’s exile. Visit the UNESCO-listed Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John reportedly dictated the visions documented in Book of Revelation to his loyal disciple, and the 11th-century Monastery of St. John, with its enormous towers, domed roofs, belfries, and battlements. Inside, behold the artistry of the monastery’s icons, manuscripts, and fine embroideries.

  • day July 3


    From the port town of Kusadasi, venture to the well preserved ruins of Ephesus, one of the most significant cities of Ancient Greece as well as early Christianity. Renowned as the center of worship of the great mother-goddess Cybele, it was also the site where St. Paul addressed the Ephesians. Excavations continue and archaeologists are currently restoring the terrace houses, luxurious residential villas that offer a glimpse of the daily lives of ancient Ephesians. See the dramatic façade of the Library of Celsus, the temple of Hadrian, and the immense ancient theater. Enjoy lunch on board Sea Cloud II, with the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the lively port town of Kusadasi, or opt for an afternoon excursion to the archaeological site of Priene, including the Temple of Aphrodite and the well-preserved stadium.

  • day July 4


    Upon midday arrival into Chios, visit the Monastery of Nea Moni, one of the most important ecclesiastical buildings in Greece. UNESCO recognized this site as an exceptional example of Byzantine architecture, with its simple octagonal space, elegant works of marble, and superb Byzantine mosaics on a gold backdrop. Continue with a tour of the island, and conclude with refreshments during a private visit to a 16th-century palazzo at the Argentikon Estate, a wonderful example of medieval Genoese architecture.

  • day July 5


    From the port of Kepez, drive to fabled Troy, where excavations began in 1872 and continue to this day. Later transfer to the Çanakkale Archaeological Museum, which contains artifacts from the excavations at Troy. Spend the afternoon sailing to Istanbul through the narrow Dardanelles while attending the captain’s farewell reception and dinner.

  • day July 6


    Disembark Sea Cloud II this morning in Istanbul and transfer to the airport for flights home.

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