Sep 03, 2018 - Sea Cloud
We awoke aboard National Geographic Sea Cloud at anchor in the caldera of Santorini on a warm and bright sunny morning. After an early breakfast, we disembarked and headed to a small port, Athinios, where we met our coaches. We ascended a series of dramatic switchbacks, up and over the rim of the caldera, and continued on a scenic drive to the northernmost tip of the main island. There we went on a short, guided walk in the beautiful town of Oia, with its famous cubic Cycladic architecture, blue church domes, windmills, and expansive views of the Santorini archipelago. The group enjoyed some free time for photography, shopping, perhaps a café drink, or wandering and soaking up the extraordinary townscape.
We rejoined our coaches for the ride to Fira where we visited the Museum of Prehistoric Thera which contained beautiful objects and frescoes recovered from the archaeological site that most of us planned to visit in the afternoon. In Pyrgos we enjoyed an island lunch featuring wine and dishes unique to Santorini.
After the meal, some guests elected to return to Fira for more exploration while most of the group transferred to the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Called the “Pompeii of the Aegean Bronze Age,” this trading town was covered and then conserved by a massive volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC. When it was excavated in the 20th century, it provided amazing information about the Theran civilization.
We returned to National Geographic Sea Cloud for a bouncy embarkation. The ship then sailed slowly by Oia to enjoy the renowned Santorini sunset and we celebrated our voyage with a Greek dinner buffet on the Lido Deck. Finally, we finished our wonderful day gazing at stars from the Spanker Deck.
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