OVERVIEW

What is it about the Aegean Sea that inspires such a notion of happiness? Is it the luminous depth of its blue, which Homer called “wine dark,” or the pervasive radiance of its fabled islands, home to the Olympian gods and the heroic legends of the Ancient Greeks? Or is it that the Aegean once cradled a brilliant civilization that so deeply influenced later generations? It’s all that and more. But it’s also that, in many ways, the Aegean is our cultural home. Democracy, Western philosophy, scientific inquiry, theater, and recorded history originated here. Much of the Western tradition and the course of subsequent history derives from the Ancient Greeks. The Aegean, with its colors, lights, contours, and heights, was our original neighborhood.

We invite you to join us on a voyage that captures the essence of the ancient world. In Athens, we’ll stroll the grounds where Socrates conversed with his fellow citizens and behold the Acropolis and its famed monuments. In Olympia, the Olympic Games were held every four years for over a millennium; Crete was the birthplace of Zeus and home to the brilliant Bronze Age Minoan civilization, Europe’s earliest civilization; and Santorini, home to a sophisticated and prosperous prehistoric society, presents an unforgettable spectacle with its volcanic landscape. In Ephesus, one of the most important cities of the Greco-Roman world, St. Paul preached Christianity; and Istanbul, straddling the narrow strait that separates Europe from Asia, once was the seat of the powerful Byzantine and later the Ottoman Empires.

We will travel in autumn, one of the best times of the year to visit the Aegean Sea. The temperature is ideal for exploring the ancient sites, and the summer crowds are gone. Our ship for the voyage is the elegant Star Legend, which offers spacious suite accommodations, beautiful lounges, expansive open decks, fine dining and many other amenities. The ship is scheduled to undergo a several-million-dollar renovation in 2020.