Ithaca, Greece

Aug 24, 2019 - Sea Cloud


As the sun cast its first rays upon the rugged island of Ithaca, Sea Cloud entered the natural harbor of Vathy. We disembarked on Zodiacs and began our day journeying by bus across the narrow isthmus to the northern part of the island. Our bus then climbed the narrow switchbacks dotted with the occasional goat to arrive at a Greek Orthodox monastery and church where our Greek guides, Eleni and Smaro, explained many aspects of Orthodox belief and practice. An amazing view of the southern part of the island revealed Sea Cloud anchored below. We then braved the switchbacks once more to visit the small village of Stavros, where we enjoyed coffee and pastries at one of the town’s cafés. Throughout the tour, our local guides narrated the tale of Odysseus and his links to this beautiful island.

Returning to the ship for lunch, we began a quiet afternoon of sailing in the Ionian Sea. Light winds meant that we could take the ship’s Zodiacs out for a photo safari so we could photograph the legendary vessel under sail. Following this we learned important tips and tricks for smartphone photography with photo instructor Max Seigal. After a short break, we enjoyed a fascinating presentation on the history of Sea Cloud with expedition leader John, followed by a visit to some of the ship’s original state rooms. Our eventful day concluded with a fantastic dinner in the ship’s elaborate dining room, as we pondered our many experiences in the spectacular lands of Greece.

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About the Author

Smaragda Touloupa

Cultural Specialist

Born in Piraeus into a family with roots in Macedonia, Greece, “Smaro” majored in sociology at university, then received an M.A. in cultural heritage theory at University College in London. She also completed a three-year course of study at the School of Guides in Athens. She has been guiding university, museum and other groups in Greece since 1998. She is fluent in Greek, English and Italian, and is a member of the World Archaeological Congress and the Initiative of Heritage Conservancy. Smaro enjoys reading, travelling, trekking and — still — studying!

About the Photographer

Max Seigal

Max Seigal

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Max Seigal grew up in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, and spent his early years working at his parent’s veterinary clinic, which sparked his love for animals. At a young age, Max fell in love with conservation and travel. He studied abroad in both Costa Rica and the Bahamas during high school, and went on to graduate summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University with degrees in environmental science, zoology, and economics.

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