Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • Ithaka, Greece

    “At many a Summer dawn to enter,

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  • Kotor fjord, Montenegro

    The hardy among us were up on the Deck by 5:45 a.m. to experience the majestic passage through the Kotor fjord. This entrance to Montenegro always reminds me of Norway. Soaring bald grey limestone mountains rose up to 3,000 feet from the sea and surrounded us. The entrance to Perast and Kotor is the result of eons of abrasion as the many rivers that empty in the fjord carved their way to the sea and the land uplifted. In Tivat, we passed submarine pens carved into the living rock that once thwarted intelligence services but is now a luxury yacht marina and owned by the United Arab Emirates.

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  • Sarandë and Butrint, Albania

    The sun rose over the mountains of Albania at 5:30 a.m. We docked in the small port city of Sarandë, and boarded buses for our trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of ancient Butrint. The lushly green Greek isle of Corfu is only 1.5 miles from the Albanian mainland. Albania was once isolated from the world for nearly half a century by an oppressive communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, who thought Stalin’s policies were too liberal! The residue of those repressive years was apparent as we drove along roads with many half-finished buildings. As we motored we occasionally spotted one of the many bunkers, Hoxha had ordered built. Imagine a country of 3.5 million ordered to produce something like 750 thousand concrete bunkers. There was often mass unemployment. During the communist period, our guide earned 70 euros a month as a secondary school teacher, but now the same position pays almost 400 euros – an increase but still well below other European countries. Today the average annual salary is about 4,000 dollars annually with approximately 15% unemployment. Tourism is becoming the number one industry.

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  • Durres/Kruje Albania

    Today when we woke up, we felt a world apart from the stunning mountains of Montenegro. We were docked in the busy port of Durres, Albania but luckily this was just the jumping off point for further exploration of the interior of the mysterious country. Although Durres has become quite a modern city, it has been used as the main port of this region since the 7th century, and evidence can be seen in the ruins that are surrounded by bigger buildings. We hopped on the buses and listened to our local guides cover the many stages of Albanian history from the Neolithic era ending with the Communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha to the present day. We drove for about 75 minutes through the country side, occasionally having to yield to a passing car driving head-on in our lane. Our expert bus drivers kept us safe, and we arrived in the mostly medieval town and former capital of Albania, Kruje, to begin the day tours.

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  • Dubrovnik, Croatia

    This morning we woke anchored just off the coast of Dubrovnik’s walled city. We spent the morning walking through medieval alleyways and along the fortified walls, enjoying incredible views over the old city and the Adriatic. Many even took the advantage to cool off by taking a dip right off the Sea Cloud after lunch before heading to our private performance by traditional a cappella Klapa singers. The weather couldn’t have been more enjoyable as we meandered through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik, into the evening where the city’s lights lit up the streets and live music and warm restaurants welcomed us back to the shore. 

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  • Korčula, Croatia

    We woke south of Korčula Island to considerably lower winds than our day at Hvar with even some brief periods of sunshine. However, passing rain squalls delayed our sailing talk. The captain took us a little farther out from land and steered for the sunshine, and before too long we found an area of sustained clear weather. The mast teams hit the rigging while, from the spanker deck, Chief Officer Heiner gave a narration to events unfolding above. By the time the sailors were finished, we saw a beautiful array of upper and lower topsails, course sails including the “bikini” on the mizzen mast, t’gallant sails and the flying jib sails. Guests were invited to the foc’sle (forecastle) to enjoy the view and to ask more questions. Also this morning, Tom Heffernan gave his lecture “The Wildly Surreal and Sadly True Story of Venice and the Fourth Crusade.”

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  • Stari Grad, Croatia

    This morning dawned, the sky was a slate grey with low clouds on the horizon. The sea swells were five feet with a wind of seven on the Beaufort scale (34 knots per hour). I think most of us were surprised to see the sails hoisted, but the sailors on the Sea Cloud always want to sail.  They went to their stations, and the lower top sails went up at 8:15 a.m. We were making about 7.7 knots under sail with a following sea on our way to the magical island of Hvar. Eric Skogg gave a fascinating lecture on photography. After a short break Petra Noesvic treated us to a wide-ranging and informative presentation on modern Croatia.

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  • Hvar, Croatia

    Our day began as Sea Cloud approached the Croatian island of Hvar, an important Venetian outpost during the medieval era. This beautifully wooded island, prized throughout history for its shipbuilding timber, was a lovely morning stop on the final day of our voyage. Today the island is better known for rosemary, figs, and in particular lavender, the scent of which wafts delicately through the main square of town. We began with a guided walking tour of the picturesque town of Hvar, the name of which is derived from the Greek name Pharos. We spotted the winged lion of St. Mark—state propaganda of the Venetian Republic—throughout the town, which was under Venetian control for several hundred years. Our tour included the loggia, remains of the medieval pier, and the Franciscan monastery, with its splendid painting of the Last Supper and an oddly shaped, 500-year-old cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens). We ended our tour at the Cathedral of St. Stephen before free time in town, which some spent shopping in the island’s many charming shops, while others enjoyed a walk through the wooded park adjacent to the old town. After returning to the ship and indulging in chef Maik’s famous parmesan pasta wheel, we had one final afternoon of sailing, accompanied by a lecture on the stranger-than-fiction Fourth Crusade, which was a major event that influenced life in the Balkans in the 13th century and beyond.

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  • Korcula, Croatia

    After a night of swell coming in from the central Adriatic, we woke to a change from the fine weather that we had experienced for the entire voyage thus far. There were a few light showers and quite a bit of wind. The captain and deck crew raised only the upper topsails and two jib sails under these conditions. Our Croatian cultural specialist, Marijana Radovan, gave her presentation, An Overview of Croatian History, and guests appreciated her perspective and personal account of having been a young person during the wars in Dubrovnik in the 90s. Afterwards, the captain called me to the bridge to show me that a thunderstorm was moving in from the west so that sails would have to come down quickly.  Sailors were up in the rigging as the rain began, but they made a quick job of getting the sails furled and secured.  Guests enjoyed the storm’s electrical display from the promenade deck, and the captain turned the ship to provide some lee for hotel manager Simon’s excellent lunch buffet organized on the starboard Promenade Deck.

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  • Dubrovnik, Croatia

    We awoke this morning already anchored near Lokrum Island off the walled Venetian city of Dubrovnik. There was a slight chill, and we could feel fall in the air as we disembarked the ship to take the tenders ashore. We luckily beat the crowds and enjoyed the empty streets during our walking tour with Maris and Marijana. We enjoyed the city at our leisure as we had the entire day to explore, and even had time for a nap! Toward the end of the fabulous day, we were treated to a beautiful a cappella performance, and had the chance to eat on the ship before returning back to the Sea Cloud and heading off to Korčula. 

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