Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Tinos

    We boarded our tenders at 8:15 a.m. and landed at Chora, the main village on the island of Tinos. Our first destination was the village of Pyrgos (the name means “tower”). The ride to this classic Cycladic village―the most beautiful of the 61 villages on the island, in my opinion ―was through rugged mountain valleys covered with ancient terracing. Like most islands in the Cyclades, Tinos is rocky, lacking any depth of soil. The terracing allows for the concentration of soil and conservation of water. As we drove, we passed windmills and Tinos’s famous dovecotes. More than 1,000 of these massive birdhouses dot the island’s landscape. Dovecotes were used as a source of meat (from the birds) and fertilizer (from the guano), and as a system of communication. The structures are very beautiful architecturally, and families often vied with one another to build the most attractive examples. 

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  • At Sea under Sail

    First-time guests on Sea Cloud often wonder if we are ever going to set sail, after having seen so many glorious pictures in the brochures and online. So, it is always great fun to give them the play-by-play explanation as the yards are braced and the sailors climb the rigging to set the sails on the first day. There is much more intricately coordinated activity involved than most people anticipate, and then suddenly we are on the fo’c’sle (the forecastle on the bow) and we can’t quite believe what has just unfolded before our eyes.

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  • Sailing into the Aegean Sea, Greece

    No matter the length of a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic journey, the end always seems to arrive suddenly. Nine days ago, the Sea Cloud welcomed aboard a diverse group of travelers, most of whom had never met, in Dubrovnik. A little more than one week and four countries later, our final day of sailing dawns warm and clear upon a vessel filled with new friendships and the shared experiences of a lifetime. 

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  • Olympia

    This morning, Sea Cloud docked at the port of Katakolon, on the west side of the Peloponnese, and drove to the ancient site of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. 

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  • Ithaka

    Early this morning, Sea Cloud sailed into the deepest harbor of the Ionian Sea, on the island of Ithaka. It is named Vathi, which means deep, and indeed it is not only the deepest, but also one of the most beautiful places! 

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  • Butrint, Albania

    The sun rose over the mountains of Albania at 5:15AM. The lushly green Greek isle of Corfu is only 2½ miles from the Albanian mainland. We docked in small commercial port city of Sarandë and boarded buses for our trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of ancient Butrint. Albania was off limits to visitors for almost half a century and isolated from the world by the oppressive communist paranoid dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. The residue of those years was apparent as we drove along the roads with many half finished buildings. Today the average annual salary is about three thousand dollars a year with approximately 15% unemployment – primary school teachers make $2000 per year. The best five star hotel in Sarandë is less than $100 per day. 

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  • Durres to Kruje, Albania

    We began our visit to Albania in the industrial port of Durres, an important port along the Via Egnatia leading to Constantinople. We headed by bus up into the highlands to Kruje, the old capital and stronghold of the 15th-century national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg. As we drove through the countryside, where cows and sheep grazed in pastures alongside new residential and commercial construction, our guides, Ols and Adrian, provided us with an overview of the long and complex history of the Albanians, who claim ancestry from the ancient Illyrians. A former communist country isolated for nearly 50 years, Albania has been steadily working towards building a new democracy and meeting the requirements of joining the European Union. 

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  • Perast and Kotor

    We entered the stunning Kotor Fjord at 5:30 a.m. as the sun was just touching the black mountains of Montenegro. This magnificent 11-mile-long fjord is, strictly speaking, not a fjord since it was created by a river and not glacial ice. However, that is merely an academic distinction because as the Sea Cloud motored deeper into the fjord, the mountains rose steeply on both sides and at its narrowest point, the mountains are only 900 feet apart. We passed the prosperous village of Perast on our port side before docking at Kotor. 

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  • Dubrovnik

    We motored into the lee of the small island of Lokrum directly in sight of the southern wall of this magical city of Dubrovnik and dropped anchor at 7:28 AM. There was little breeze, the sky was filled with white cumulous clouds set against a cerulean blue and the temperature 80. Immediately facing us, across the entrance to the old harbor, were the massive high walls of the fortress of St. John and the Sea Gate of the old harbor. The towering walls of Dubrovnik, a mile and a quarter in length, were begun in the 10th century and reinforced over the years. They are 80 feet high in places and those facing the landside of the city are 20 feet thick. They were effective throughout the Middle Ages, but were no defense from the modern heavy artillery weapons of the Serbs and Montenegrins that devastated the city in 1991-92. The city has been entirely rebuilt.

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  • Kocula, Croacia

    We started the day by sailing west of the island of Korcula. After breakfast our expedition leader Tom O´Brien delighted us with a sailing explanation while Captain Nermerzhitskiy sent his crew to set the sails. Today’s sail was full of sunshine and wind that didn’t disappoint. After the sails were set we had the pleasure of listening to the Croatian cultural specialist Petra Nosetic’s presentation “History of Croatia,” taking us through the breakup of Yugoslavia.  With a little shopping in the Sea Cloud’s ships boutique and a delightful lunch that was the morning and we tendered ashore to Korcula.

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