Santorini (Ancient Thera), Greece

Sep 10, 2018 - Sea Cloud

Deep reddish hues of a splendid sunrise lined the ridge of the island of Santorini as we approached the great caldera. After disembarking on a local tender, we made our way from the port of Athinios up the many switchbacks, then proceeded to drive to the northern end of the island, arriving at the picturesque town of Oia. With its blue domes and whitewashed houses, Oia is a photographer’s dream, and our early arrival meant we dodged many of the tourists who emerge by midday.

We then continued on to the fascinating Museum of Prehistoric Thera, where Neolithic tools, Cycladic figures, and household items painted for us a vivid picture of life in the Bronze Age town of Akrotiri. This Pompeii of the Aegean was covered by tons of volcanic ash when the island’s volcano erupted in 1628 BC. After a local lunch featuring many of the island’s delicacies, such as fava, white eggplant, and stuffed cherry tomatoes, we headed to the archaeological site of Akrotiri. It was difficult to comprehend the great antiquity of this Bronze Age site, but the many multistory structures, stairways, and roadways made it easy to imagine a bustling ancient town.

Completing our tour, we headed back to the port and rejoined Sea Cloud. Captain Komakin arranged an unexpected treat for us: a swim within the caldera of Santorini. Refreshed after our long day enjoying the island, we retreated to the Lido Deck for a Greek buffet dinner complete with ouzo and a stunning Santorini sunset.

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About the Author

Rebecca Ingram


A research associate with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), Rebecca Ingram has studied ancient Mediterranean seafaring and trade since 2000. She earned her M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2013) through the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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