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Voyage to the Aegean Sea: An Exploration of Greece, the Greek Islands, and Turkey

Oct. 27-Nov. 8, 2008
Faculty: Tyler Jo Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Art
This program also features faculty from Stanford University.
Stanford Professor: Herant Katchadourian
Price: Starting at $5,995 per person, double occupancy, not including airfare.

Registration is Open

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Join Assistant Professor Tyler Jo Smith and Stanford Professor Herant Katchadourian on an exploration of the Aegean world. There is nothing quite like an Aegean cruise. Each morning we wake to bays bathed in the bright sun, the silvery green of olive groves, whitewashed cubes of Cycladic villages, and most breathtaking, the proud ruins of classical cities. This itinerary is a complete embrace of the Aegean's circumference and the riches of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations.

We begin in Athens, the heart of the ancient world, before continuing on to Larissa, which will be our base while we discover the surrounding wonders of the Pelion peninsula. Among these are the 14th-century monasteries of the hermit monks of Meteroa, the exceptional chamber tombs of Macedonian kings, and the charming historic villages nestled among mountains of wildflowers. From Thessaloniki, the birthplace of Hellenism, we sail to Troy, where the mythological Trojan War was fought over the beautiful half-goddess, Helen. Next, it's on to Ephesus to walk down ancient stone streets in the footsteps of St. Paul. On the island of Santorini, known for its feral beauty, we can gaze into the caldera of what was likely the biggest volcanic eruption in history, and on Crete, wander around the grand Minoan Palace of Knossos. After exploring legendary Mycenae, our visit ends with the city of Tiryns, which stands on a rocky summit surrounded by massive walls built more than 3,500 years ago.

Join U.Va. alumni and friends on this voyage across the Aegean, one of the most alluring and culturally fascinating places in the world.

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Program Highlights

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Tyler Jo Smith is a classical archaeologist who specializes in Greek vase-painting and iconography. Her research has focused largely on images of komasts (revelers) in Archaic Greek art and their relationship to drama, religion, and social customs. She has recently revised her doctoral thesis (Oxford 1997) for publication. Other areas of research interest include the archaeology of Anatolia and the Black Sea, connections between art and religion, ancient performance, and the history of collecting. Her recent publications have appeared in the Annual of the British School at Athens, Art Documentation, Games and Festivals in Classical Antiquity, and Griechische Keramik im kulturellen Kontext. She is currently working on the publication of the Greek vases in the collection of Sir John Soane's Museum in London. As an active field archaeologist, Ms. Smith has participated on excavations and surveys in Greece (Knossos, Chios), Turkey (Northern Lycia), England, and most recently Morgantina, Sicily.

Herant Katchadourian is emeritus professor of psychiatry and human biology at Stanford and former president of the Flora Family Foundation. Since joining the Stanford faculty in 1966, he served as dean of undergraduate studies and vice provost of undergraduate education. His personal history embraces several cultures. Born in Turkey to Armenian parents, he received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the American University in Beirut and his psychiatric training at the University of Rochester in New York. Professor Katchadourian has received numerous awards including Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Award and the Lyman Award from the Stanford Alumni Association.

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Day 1

Fly from the United States to Athens, Greece.

Day 2 - Athens

Arrive in Athens. Spend the night at the Sofitel Airport Hotel.

Day 3 - Amphiareion - Thermopylae - Larissa

This morning we depart for Amphiareion to visit this small uncrowded site with the remains of a Doric 4 th century B.C. shrine to the healing diety Amphiaraus. We continue to Thermopylae, stopping for lunch en route. At Thermopylae, a narrow pass defended by Leonidas and his Spartans during the Persian invasion of 480 B.C., we will use Herodotus' Histories as a guide to follow the vivid and dramatic depiction of the battle. After touring the site, we continue to the town of Larissa for a three-night stay at the Imperial Hotel. This evening we'll enjoy a welcome cocktail reception at the hotel, followed by dinner.
Imperial Hotel (B,L, D)

Day 4 - Portaria - Makrynitsa - Volos

Our morning is at leisure. This afternoon we enjoy the magnificent scenery and charming historic villages of the Pelion peninsula. We drive through Portaria, where the houses are beautifully painted in vibrant colors, to Makrynitsa, one of Greece's prettiest villages, which boasts a panoramic view of Volos. Continuing to Volos we visit the Archaeological Museum, which houses items from the Neolithic age, dating from 6,500 B.C., as well as pieces from the Mycenaean period.
Imperial Hotel (B, D)

Day 5 - Meteora

Today we will enjoy a full-day excursion to Meteora. About 1335, hermit monks seeking religious isolation and a secure retreat from turbulent times began to build small monasteries and chapels atop towering natural rock pillars. Access was intentionally difficult, being made either by a series of vertical wooden ladders that could be retracted in an emergency or in a net drawn by rope and windlass to specially built towers overhanging the abyss. The monasteries soon became refuges from war and persecution. Visit a monastery and church, admiring their late Byzantine frescoes and touring the small museums.
Imperial Hotel (B,L, D)

Day 6 - Dion - Vergina - Thessaloniki

We'll visit the archaeological site at Dion, comprising sanctuaries honoring both Greek and foreign gods. Continue to Vergina, the ancient Macedonian royal capital of Aigai, to visit the ruins of the palace and the unique chamber tombs of Macedonian kings. We'll also visit the nearby museum and then continue to Thessaloniki where we embark Corinthian II in the late afternoon.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Canakkale - Troy

We call at Canakkale for an excursion to famed Troy , which consists of nine cities, superimposed in rings, on a massive mound rising above the windswept Plain of Ilium. It was to one of these cities, legend has it, that Paris abducted the beautiful Helen, igniting the Trojan War.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Kusadasi - Ephesus - Priene

From the seaside town of Kusadasi, we'll visit the great ancient city of Ephesus, settled since the second millennium B.C. One of the most important sites in the history of Asia Minor, Ephesus displays extensive ruins from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. We'll visit the large theater in which the Ephesians rioted against St. Paul, the Library of Celsus with its imposing facade, and the Temple of Serapis. We continue to Priene, founded in 350 B.C., to see the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 9 - Santorini

Corinthian II cruises into the flooded volcanic crater that forms the great circular bay of Santorini. From the sea, we'll enjoy a beautiful view of the village of Phira, set atop a 1,000-foot-high palisade. In the second millennium B.C., volcanic eruptions shrouded the island in a blanket of pumice and ash, preserving many of the buildings in the town of Akrotiri, which centuries ago was inhabited by a sophisticated Bronze Age society. We'll also visit the Nomikos Exhibition, where excellent reproductions of the frescoes at Akrotiri are on display, and the Prehistoric History Museum of Thira, and then drive to the unspoiled town of Oia.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 10 - Kali Limenes, Crete - Phaestos - Gortyn

From the port of Kali Limenes we drive to the beautifully situated Minoan palace at Phaestos, noted for its breathtaking view of Mount Dikti and the Plain of Massara. We continue to the archaeological site at Gortyn, the Roman capital of Crete, where the Gortyn Law Code was written.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 11 - Heraklion - Knossos

Heraklion, Crete's main port, is the gateway to one of the finest achievements of Minoan civilization: the partially reconstructed Palace at Knossos. After visiting the Minoan site, we continue to Heraklion's Archaeological Museum, one of the world's finest repositories of Minoan artifacts, where many of Knossos' frescoes are on display. (The Museum is currently closed for renovation. Should it not reopen in time for our tour, another interesting site will be included.)
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 12 - Nafplion - Mycenae - Tiryns - Argos

We arrive at Nafplion for an excursion to Mycenae, one of the centers of the Mycenaean world, an extraordinary civilization that flourished in the second millennium B.C. Homer referred to Mycenae, the traditional home of Agamemnon, as “rich in gold.” A tour of the citadel includes the beehive-shaped royal tombs that lie outside its walls and the dramatic Lion Gate, which leads to the acropolis and grand palace. We continue to Homer's “wall-girt” city of Tiryns, situated on a rocky summit, where imposing, massive walls of red and gray limestone still stand 3,400 years after construction. We'll also tour Argos, an important ancient city with remains that include the Mycenaean necropolis, the Sanctuary of Apollo and Athena, and the Agora.
Corinthian II (B, L, D)

Day 13 - Athens

Disembark and transfer to the Athens airport for return flights to the United States .

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Program Fees

The rates for this trip are as follows, per person, double occupancy:

Category E $5,995
Category D $6,895
Category C $8,195
Category B $9,495
Category A $10,495
Category AA $11,195
Veranda Suite $11,995
Penthouse Suite $13,495
Single Supplement $2,695

A limited number of single rooms in categories D through A are available for a supplement of $2,695 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Singles in Categories AA through PHS are available at double the per person double occupancy rates.

Flight arrangements: The above rates do not include international airfare. All inquiries will be directed to TDI Program Director David Lemaire, who will in turn have VWTI contact the traveler at the traveler's request.

Price includes:

Price does not include:
Airfare; visa and passport fees; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; meals, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages other than those specified above; and personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service.

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us toll free at 866-765-2646. Or e-mail with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately 4 months prior to departure. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made via your American Express, Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions


Your tour operator will include information on obtaining trip insurance in your confirmation letter. Please note that there is a time frame for securing trip insurance. The University of Virginia will cancel its endorsement of and faculty and staff participation in any program destination for which a Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State. Vendor Terms of Agreement will specify under what circumstances the vendor will cancel a program and/or under what circumstances participants might receive some reimbursement if they cancel their travel with the vendor themselves. U.Va. strongly recommends that all participants purchase trip cancellation insurance which includes protection in the face of political unrest, natural disasters, and personal emergencies and participants should discuss this insurance directly with the vendor or other travel services with whom they deal. You will find more useful travel information by going to the Travel Resources link on this website.


Payment Schedule: A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. For your convenience, you may charge your deposit to your American Express, Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Cancellations & Refunds: All cancellations of confirmed reservations are subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. Additionally, passengers are subject to any cancellation fees assessed by the purveyors of services, including airlines or hotels used in the itinerary. 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 cancellation must be made in writing. No refunds will be made for any part of this program in which you choose not to participate. Service fees may apply to deviations and are non-refundable.

Insurance: 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. You may enroll with Travel Dynamics International's insurance carrier, Travelex, or you may obtain coverage through a company of your choice.

Itinerary: The itinerary, accommodations, and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Travel Dynamics International.

Responsibility: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and Travel Dynamics International and the tour's sponsoring organization. The passenger is also advised to review his/her separate ticket passage contract with the vessel's owner/operator, which will constitute the sole, legally enforceable terms of carriage for this tour and is available on request from Travel Dynamics International. Travel Dynamics International and the tour's sponsoring organization act solely as agents for the passenger with respect to all transportation, hotel, and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the passenger'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 passenger 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 passenger, 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 passenger 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 passenger's behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but we shall not have any obligation or liability to the passenger beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour's itinerary and to substitute hotels or ships 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 passenger 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 passenger 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 passengers. 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 passengers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled, or stored at the passenger'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 the City of New York, pursuant to applicable New York 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.

Ship's Registry: Malta CST #204 3599-40

An Honest Discussion about Fuel Costs: In the uncertain, often volatile oil market of late, it is difficult—if not impossible—to predict fuel costs over the long term, and, more specifically, at the time of operation of this voyage. Our prices are based upon the prevailing fuel rates at the time of brochure printing (usually nine months before departure). While we will do everything possible to maintain our prices, if the fuel rates increase significantly, it may be necessary to institute a fuel surcharge. If one is necessary, the total surcharge for your voyage will not exceed $180 per person. Thank you for your understanding.

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