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The Mediterranean Sea Through The Ages: An Education & Discussion on Historic Events and Current Challenges

With Distinguished Guest Lecturer Admiral James Stavridis and Cultural Lecturer Anastasia Akrivaki

Departure    April 24 – May 5, 2020

Situated strategically between Europe, Asia and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been from deep antiquity to the modern era the place where great civilizations originated and flourished, and empires, cultures, religions and political systems crossed paths and sometimes clashed.  This is a sea where history is felt deeply.  The Mediterranean is also a place with some of the world’s loveliest and most gentle shorelines, idyllic islands, towns and villages.

We are honored to have Admiral James Stavridis as our Distinguished Guest Lecturer on this voyage from Rome to Athens.  A retired 4-star United States Navy admiral, Admiral Stavridis served as the commander of U.S. Southern Command and commander U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the first Navy officer to hold these positions.

We will sail out of Rome’s port of Civitavecchia, cruise along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy to the fabled Amalfi peninsula, continuing to Sicily and on to Malta.  We will cross the Ionian Sea to reach the west shore of Greece and its island of Cephalonia.  We will enter the Gulf of Corinth, explore Delphi, the ancient sanctuary of Apollo, navigate the Corinth Canal, and reach the Aegean Sea where we will call at two magnificent islands, Milos and Santorini, before arriving in Athens’ port city of Piraeus.

Our ship for the voyage is the Star Pride, one of the finest cruise ships in the Mediterranean, featuring all-suite accommodations.  Our small group through the voyage will be comprised of Admiral and Mrs. Stavridis and approximately 30 travelers who will enjoy his private lectures and our private shore excursions during the trip.

Please join us for a rare travel happening.

Why Travel with Thalassa Journeys

Thalassa Journeys was established by the principals and managers of Travel Dynamics, the company that 50 years ago pioneered the concept of educational travel for America’s educational and cultural institutions. The belief that travel is primarily a learning experience forms the core principle of Thalassa Journeys.

Each Thalassa Journey is constructed around a particular theme. Unlike most tours, each of our journeys are intimate, and led by lecturers who are truly subject-matter experts for each theme. Although many other companies claim to have expert lecturers, few truly have accomplished, renowned experts in their fields, like Thalassa.

Itinerary

The spacious and elegant cruise ship Star Pride measures 440 feet in length and with a beam of 63 feet, and accommodates only 212 guestsin 106 suites that provide ocean views. The smallest suite measures a generous 277 square feet, and some of the suites feature French balconies. All suites are equipped with a queen-size bed that can be arranged as twins, walk-in closet, fully-stocked minibar/refrigerator and bathroom with granite countertop and full-size tub and shower. Fine toiletries and other amenities are provided. There are several lounges, a library, a spa and fitness center. There is also ample open deck space, including a deck that circles the ship, and an outdoor swimming pool. The dining room serves fine cuisine in one seating.

Day 1 : Depart the USA

Depart for Rome, Italy.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 2 : Tour ROME/CIVITAVECCHIA - Embarkation

Arrive in Rome and transfer to the port of Civitavecchia to embark on the Star Pride. Sail late in the afternoon, cruising along Italy's coast.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 3 : Tour PONZA, Pontine Islands

In the morning, arrive in Ponza, the largest of the Pontine islands, a group of small islands lining Italy's shore. Colonized first by the Etruscans, Ponza has been considered to be the home of Circe, the Homeric mythological sorceress. The island's picturesque main town is built between a high cliff and a fishing harbor. Explore the island, known for its unspoiled nature and relaxed atmosphere.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 4 : Tour SORRENTO & THE AMALFI COAST or POMPEII & HERCULANEUM

The old town of Sorrento, where the ship will spend the day, stands on a cliff rising from the sea. From here, travel the celebrated Amalfi Drive, which follows the indented coastline, famous for its views. Stop in Amalfi, nestled in the slopes of a rugged ravine, a prosperous maritime city in the 11th century. Visit the Cathedral of Sant' Andrea, with its splendid frescoes and mosaics, and the adjoining Cloisters of Paradise. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Ravello, one of Italy's most enchanting hill towns. Alternatively, explore Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed and preserved by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 5 : Tour TAORMINA, Sicily

From Giardini Naxos, on Sicily's east coast, drive to nearby Taormina. Founded by Greeks in 403 BC, the town of Taormina clings to the edge of Mount Tauro and commands superb views of the sea and Mount Etna. Visit the magnificent ancient Greek theater and explore the city's narrow streets, lovely gardens and terraces.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 6 : Tour VALLETTA, Malta

Arrive in Valletta, the capital of Malta, and the base of the knights of the Order of St. John for 270 years. Tour the city in the morning, including St. John's Co-Cathedral, commenced in 1573, and the Cathedral Museum, which house some of Malta's finest treasures; the state rooms and armory of the Grand Master's Palace; and the Museum of Archaeology, whose exhibits chronicle Malta's history from the prehistoric period to the Roman era. In the afternoon, drive to the island's interior to visit the remarkable Tarxien Temples, the most important magalithic structures of the island, dating to about 3,000 BC.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 7 : At Sea

Spend the day at sea cruising to Greece.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 8 : Tour CEPHALONIA, Ionian Islands, Greece

Arrive in the morning in Cephalonia, one of Greece's Ionian Islands that line the west coast of the country. Inhabited since deep antiquity, Cephalonia in the Bronze Age may have been part of the kingdom of Odysseus. Land at the pretty town of Fiscardo, known for its architecture that dates from the period when the island was under Venetian rule. Explore the island, noted for its mountainous landscape, including the attractive Assos peninsula and its fishing village, crowned by an old castle; the Drogarati Cave, with its phantasmagoric display of orange stalactites and stalagmites; and the Melissani Cave, which includes within its confines a saltwater lake of shimmering blue and violet colors.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 9 : Tour DELPHI & THE CORINTH CANAL

From the small port of Itea, drive the short distance to Delphi, the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle. Sited on high ground and surrounded by towering mountains, Delphi is one of the most spectacular ancient sites in Greece. Walk the Sacred Way past many monuments such as the Treasury of the Athenians, to the Temple of Apollo, the theater and the stadium. Also, visit the Museum, home to treasures that include the famed bronze statue of the Charioteer, dating to 475 BC. Over lunch aboard, sail in the Gulf of Corinth. Later, the Star Pride will navigate through the steep-walled Coringth Canal, the narrow waterway that separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese, to enter the Aegean Sea.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 10 : Tour MILOS

One of the most attractive in the group of islands known as the Cycladic, Milos' deposits of obsidian and other minerals attracted settlers since the Neolithic era. Disembark in the port of Adamas, overlooking a spacious bay, and tour the island. Visit Plaka, built over the acropolis of the ancient city, now a quaint town of characteristic whitewashed cubic houses; the remains of the ancient city, with its Roman theater; and the spot where the famed statue of Venus de Milo (or Aphrodite of Milos) now housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, was discovered.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 11 : Tour SANTORINI

Be on deck as the ship approaches Santorini to admire the spectacle of the island's town of Phira, set atop a 1,000 foot-high palisade at the edge of the volcanic caldera. Undoubtedly, this is one of the Mediterranean's most iconic views. During the Bronze Age, Santorini was a flourishing trading center inhabited by a sophisticated society. In the late 17th century BC, a cataclysmic earthquake collapsed half of the island, burying its main town, now called Akrotiri, in a thick layer of ash and pumice. Visit Akrotiri, which conveys a powerful lifelike picture of a well organized and prosperous Aegean prehistoric town. Time at leisure for independent activities will be provided so that you may explore atmospheric Phira on your own.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Day 12 : Transfer ATHENS / USA

Disembark at Athens's port of Piraeus and transfer to the airport for the return flight home.

Accommodation

Meals Included

Tour Price

Category Price
S – Ocean view suite, Deck 4 $ 7,890 - Single Supplement: $ 2,790
S1 – Ocean view suite, deck 4$ 8,090 - Single Supplement: $ 2,990
S2 – Ocean view suite, Deck 5$ 8,290 - Single Supplement: $ 3,190
S3 – Ocean view suite, Deck 6$ 8,490 - Single Supplement: $ 3,390
BS – Ocean view suite with balcony, Deck 5$ 9,190 - Single Supplement: $ 3,990
BS1 – Ocean view suite with balcony, Deck 6 $ 9,490 - Single Supplement: $ 4,490

Journey Extension

Pre Journey Extensions

In conjunction with the cruise, an optional two-day pre-cruise stay in Rome will be offered. In addition to fine hotel accommodations, tours to the most important landmark sites will be included. Price is TBA.

Post Journey Extensions

In conjunction with the cruise, an optional two-day post-cruise extension in Athens will be offered. In addition to fine hotel accommodations, tours to the most important landmark sites will be included. Price is TBA.

Expert Guest Lecturer

Admiral James Stavridis

Admiral James Stavridis

Admiral James Stavridis is an Operating Executive of the Carlyle Group, following five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  A retired 4-star officer in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security.  He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009.  He earned more than 50 medals, including 28 from foreign nations in his 37-year military career. Earlier in his military career he commanded the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, winning the Battenberg Cup, as well as a squadron of destroyers and a carrier strike group - all in combat.  In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Hillary Clinton and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position in the Trump Administration. Admiral Stavridis earned a PhD in international relations and has published eight books and hundreds of articles in leading journals around the world.  His 2012 TED talk on global security has over 800,000 hits.  Admiral Stavridis is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News, and has tens of thousands of connections on social networks.  

Anastasia Akrivaki

Anastasia Akrivaki

A resident of Athens, Anastasia Akrivaki earned a BA in Archaeology from Athens' National University, and a Master's Degree in Physical and Forensic Anthropology from the University of Granada, Spain.  Anastasia participated in archaeological excavations in Greece, most notably in the prehistoric (Bronze Age) settlement in Santorini's Akrotiri which you will visit on this cruise.  Excavations at Akrotiri have brought to light a well-preserved Bronze Age town and precious artifacts. For the past two years, Anastasia has also worked as a social scientist at the Athens branch of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.  

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E-Mail : Reservations@ThalassaJourneys.com

Phone : +1 866.633.3611