Aug 31, 2018 - Sea Cloud
The final day of our trip was spent enjoying the Aegean Sea. We began with a morning lecture on the Fourth Crusade during which the western knights and Venetian sailors besieged the Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople—a fascinating tale that ties together various aspects of the region’s history. In the aftermath of this event, the Byzantine Empire was fractured, Constantinople was ruled by a Roman Catholic emperor, and many islands and port cities came under Venetian rule, further strengthening Venice’s ability to dominate trade in the Adriatic and the eastern Mediterranean. After the lecture, we had one final swim off the ship, making this the third sea in which we swam on this voyage: the Adriatic, Ionian, and Aegean seas.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed one last afternoon under sail in the Aegean. This sea is named for the legendary King Aegeus of Athens who long awaited the return of his son, Theseus, from Crete. When he saw black sails on the returning Athenian ship, he believed his son was dead, and he jumped into the sea—now named for the grieving king—to his death. The legends tell us, however, that Theseus was very much alive, and he went on to perform many heroic deeds in the mythical Greek past.
Unlike the black sails of Theseus’ ship, the weathered white sails of National Geographic Sea Cloud stood out against the bright blue Aegean sky. We concluded our evening with a cocktail hour on the Lido Deck, followed by an unforgettable dinner in the ship’s ornate dining room.
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