A Voyage to Greece: The Land that Inspired the Founding Fathers and Shaped America
Explore legendary sites in Greece and Turkey aboard the 34-guest yacht, Callisto, with lecturer and award-winning author and historian Andrew O'Shaughnessy who will trace the line from ancient Greece and Rome to America, exploring how the democratic ideals of classical philosophers shaped the American Constitution.
Depart from the United States for Athens, Greece.
Arrive in Athens and transfer to the Hotel King George, conveniently located on Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the center of the city. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel King George (D)
One of the world’s most venerable sites, Athens is the capital of Greece and Europe’s oldest city. Its ancient monuments are testimonials to a glorious past that gave birth to democracy and witnessed the origins of many of the arts and sciences that constitute the Western tradition. Drive in the morning to Marathon, site of the great battle fought in 490 BC between the large invading army of the Persian Empire and the much smaller force of mostly Athenian citizen-soldiers that resulted in the improbable victory of the Athenians. After exploring the site and visiting the museum, enjoy lunch at a country restaurant, and then return to Athens to tour the Agora, the civic and commercial center of ancient Athens and the living heart of its democracy. Hotel King George (B,L)
Spend the morning at leisure. In the afternoon, tour the Acropolis and its celebrated monuments. Occupied since prehistoric times, the rocky plateau of the Acropolis rises dramatically out of the plain and dominates the modern city as it did in ancient times. The incomparable Parthenon and other temples and structures built in the 5th century BC, during the height of Athens’s democracy, represent the highest achievement of architecture and art of the Classical period. Also, view the hill of the Pnyx, where the Athenian assembly met, the Areopagus, the meeting place of the Athenian council, and visit the Acropolis Museum, which houses an outstanding collection of sculptures. Continue to the coast to board the Callisto and sail.
Be on deck this morning to admire one of the most memorable sights in the Mediterranean – the white-washed town of Santorini perched onthe edge of the 1,000 foot-high palisade of Santorini's volcanic caldera. Known in classical antiquity as Thera, the island was a flourishing trading center inhabited by a prosperous and well-organized society during the Bronze Age. In the late 17th century BC, a massive volcanic eruption collapsed half of the island and buried its main town, now called Akrotiri, in a thick layer of ash and pumice, thus preserving its houses, streets and squares as they existed 3,700 years ago. Excavations have brought to light the town and precious artifacts. After exploring Akrotiri, visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which houses objects from the excavation. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant ashore that provides beautiful views of the caldera, as well as time at leisure for individual activities.
Dock in the morning in Heraklion, Crete. The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is the reputed birthplace of Zeus, and home of Europe’s earliest civilization, the Minoan, which dominated the Aegean world during most of the Bronze Age, starting in 2000 BC. Drive through the island’s striking countryside to Gortyn, an important ancient city and the island’s capital during the Roman period. Gortyn’s remains include the Law Code, stone blocks attached toa public building on which the laws of the city were inscribed. The Code dates from 500 BC. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent palace of Knossos, the largest and most impressive Minoan palace in Crete. Clustered around a courtyard, the palace contains a maze of rooms, passages and stairways that probably inspired the concept of the labyrinth. More than any other palace, Knossos reveals the brilliance and refinement of the Minoan civilization. Walls decorated with frescoes illustrate life as it was 4,000 years ago. Continue to the superlative Heraklion Museum, home to the world’s finest Minoan artifacts.
Disembark in the morning in Delos, the small island that was sacred to ancient Greeks, because it was the birthplace of the divine twins Apollo and Artemis. After the defeats of the Persians in the 5th century BC, and under the leadership of Athens, Delos was the center of the Delian League, the treasure of which was used by Athens for its expansionist plans. After exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site, a vast open-air museum, sail to nearby Naxos, the lovely island that was sacred to Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, winemaking, and ecstasy. Naxos was a major center of the prehistoric Cycladic culture, and later, a member of the Delian League. Spend time at leisure to explore quaint Chora, the island’s main town.
Arrive in the morning in Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Drive to Priene, dating from the 4th century BC, and known today for the exceptional quality of its buildings that convey an excellent impression of a city from that era. Dominating the well-preserved site is the imposing Temple of Athena, a superb example of Ionic architecture. In the afternoon, tour Ephesus, one of the world’s great archaeological sites. Renowned as the center of worship of the mother-goddess Cybele, later known as Artemis, Ephesus was also the site where St. Paul preached Christianity (AD 52-54). See the stunning façade of the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the Theater, and other buildings. Excavations continue and archaeologists have restored the Terrace Houses, giving a glimpse of the daily lives of the Ephesians.
The reputed birthplace of Homer, the island of Chios is known for its beautiful landscapes, historic sites and old villages. The island is also home to the Adamantios Korais Library. Korais, an 18th-century Greek scholar, corresponded extensively with Thomas Jefferson, and a good portion of the correspondence is housed in the beautiful library, which we will visit in the morning. Continue to the 11th- century church of Nea Moni, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece, renowned for its architecture and mosaics. In the afternoon, visit the old villages of Mesta and Pyrgi.
Sail in the morning through the narrow strait of the Dardanelles to arrive in Turkey’s port of Canakkale, which gives easy access to Troy. Excavations that began in Troy in the second half of the 19th century, and which continue to this day, have revealed nine different layers of cities superimposed in rings on a massive mound rising above the “windswept” Plain of Ilium. As Homer recounts in the Iliad, one of these cities is where the Greeks fought the Trojans. After ten years of war, the city of King Priam finally fell to Odysseus’s ruse of the Trojan Horse.
Dock in the morning in Istanbul. Disembark and transfer to the airport for the return flight home. (B)
Cost and Details
More like a private yacht than a cruise ship, Callisto accommodates a maximum of just 34 guests in 17 cabins that face outside. Unlike the formalities found on larger cruise ships, a relaxed and informal atmosphere prevails aboard. The dining room, surrounded by large windows, accommodates all guests at one unassigned seating, while the adjoining lounge, which is also lined with windows, is a good place to meet and socialize with fellow travelers, and attend lectures.
The 17 cabins range in size from 130 sq. ft to 145 sq. ft. There are four different categories of cabins arranged on two decks, all of which feature either windows (Categories A & B) or portholes (Categories C & D); twin, double or queen-size beds; individually controlled air-conditioning; flat-screen TV; mini-fridge; wardrobe; safety deposit box; and telephone (internal use). Each cabin has a private bathroom with a shower, marble sink countertop, hairdryer, and fine toiletries. Callisto is equipped with stabilizers that provide smoother sailing.
Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy). Download the brochure for photos and the deck plan.
- D - $7,890 Outside cabins on Lower Deck with twin beds and portholes. Cabins 16, 19. 130 sq. feet
- C - $8,790 Outside cabins on Lower Deck with twin beds and portholes. Cabins 12, 14, 15, 17. 130 sq. feet
- B - $9,790 Outside cabins on Main Deck with two lower beds and window. Cabins 1*, 2*, 5, 7, 8, 9. 135 sq. feet *Cabins 1 and 2 have a double bed.
- A - $10,590 Outside cabins on Main Deck with twin beds and window. Cabins 3*, 4*, 6, 10, 11. 135 - 145 sq. feet *Cabins 3 and 4 have a queen-size bed.
- SINGLE OCCUPANCY: A few cabins in Categories C and B are available for single occupancy at a supplement of 150% of the per person double occupancy rate.
■ Two nights at the elegant Hotel King George, Athens. ■ Welcome dinner in Athens at a local restaurant. ■ Full breakfast each morning at the hotel. ■ Cruise aboard the Callisto as described in the itinerary. ■ All meals aboard ship, including wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. ■ Complete program of tours and excursions and other activities ashore, with professional English-speaking guides. ■ Program of lectures by accompanying professor or expert. ■ Airport transfers in Athens on September 2 and in Istanbul September 11 at specified transfer times. ■ Open bar aboard ship throughout the voyage. ■ Port, embarkation, and all other local taxes. ■ Gratuities to guides, drivers and porters. ■ Experienced Thalassa Journeys trip director. ■ Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Airfare ■ Travel insurance ■ Expenses of a personal nature ■ Gratuities to shipboard personnel■ Any items not mentioned in the Program Inclusions ■ COVID-19 related vaccinations or testing
Optional Post-Tour: Istanbul
$1,180 per person, double occupancy; Supplement for single room occupancy
This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:
- Walk on average 1-2 miles at a steady pace.
- Walk in cities and towns for approximately 2-3 hours of touring at a time.
- Be able to walk on cobblestone, dirt and pavement. Some of walking excursions require good balance as you walk over cobblestone sidewalks/dirt roads and uneven pavement.
- Stand for up to approximately 2 hours at a time each day.
- Walk up and down steep stairs without hand rails, without the assistance of another person.
- Get off and on tour vehicles without assistance
Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is the Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind: Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021). He has previously published The Men Who Lost America: British Command during the Revolutionary War and the Preservation of the Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), which received eight national awards including the New York Historical Society American History Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize and The Society of Military History Book Prize. He is also the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000) which was the alternate designate selection of the History Book Club. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is an editor of the Jeffersonian America series published by the University of Virginia Press. He is a graduate of Columbia University (School of General Studies) and received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Oriel College, Oxford University.
Terms and Conditions
A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Payment can be made by personal check or charged to a credit card.
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS:
All cancellations are subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. Cancellations received 61-90 days prior to departure will be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the total program cost per person. Cancellations received within 60 days of departure are subject to 100% cancellation penalties. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be made for any part of this program in which you choose not to participate.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent to you about travel insurance with your confirmation mailing.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS:
The health and safety of our travelers is of utmost importance to Thalassa Journeys (our tour operator) and The Commonwealth Club. Accordingly, we require that all travelers provide proof of vaccination to participate on the tour. Thalassa Journeys follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the prevailing health and safety regulations of our host countries. The staff aboard Callisto is fully vaccinated, as are our tour manager, guides and drivers throughout the journey. Strict health and safety protocols are followed at our hotels, aboard Callisto, and at restaurants where we dine ashore. Motorcoach capacity allows for safe distancing and masks may be required in public spaces. All guests will be provided with a sterilized whisper audio device that aids not only in hearing the tour guide, but in practicing social distancing. We appreciate the cooperation of all travelers in following these protocols to ensure a safe journey for all.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
The itinerary, accommodations and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Thalassa Journeys. RESPONSIBILITY: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the traveler and Thalassa Journeys. Thalassa Journeys acts solely as agents for the traveler with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the traveler’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the traveler or in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the traveler, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the traveler shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the traveler’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the traveler beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, transportation methods, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the traveler shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the traveler certifies that he/she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other travelers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other travelers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the traveler’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be affected exclusively in the state or federal courts presiding in Florida, pursuant to applicable Florida law. RATES: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.
CST 2138603-50 Commonwealth Club CST 2096889-40 ST 42048