On this voyage aboard Sea Cloud II, travel along the turquoise waters of the Aegean to unspoiled islands, timeless villages, and ancient sites in Turkey and Greece. As you set forth into this ancient cradle of culture, discover treasures spanning millennia, from Bronze Age archaeological wonders to Byzantine monasteries. From Istanbul, sail to the port of Kepez to view the ancient ruins of Troy and archaeological finds from the city in the on-site museum. Stop in Kuşadasi to venture to Ephesus, whose impressive ancient buildings include the Library of Celsus.
Be on deck as the ship approaches the lush and mountainous island of Samos, which was a center for art and science. Discover the remains of the celebrated Heraion of Samos, dedicated to the goddess Hera and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then view artifacts from its excavation at the Archeological Museum, including a colossal kouros and other votive offerings to the goddess. Arrive in Patmos, and explore where St. John the Evangelist lived in exile in the Cave of the Apocalypse. On the Cycladic island of Amorgos, see the impressive Byzantine Monastery of Hozoviotissa set on a precipitous cliff facing the sea. Cruise onward to the island of Sifnos—home to picturesque traditional villages, cubic houses, and fascinating traditional pottery workshops—before disembarking in Athens. An optional Istanbul prelude will be offered.