Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Sifnos

    Today we motored into the tranquil Kamáres Bay of Sifnos and dropped anchor at 7:05 a.m. There was a cool soft breeze and the temperature was about 75 degrees. After the hustle and bustle of Santorini, Sifnos presented a decidedly different pace. The island appears to have had a number of names as the Roman historian Pliny reports that before Apollo’s curse the island was called Akis. In antiquity Sifnos was famous for its rich gold and silver mines. Of the many legends concerning Sifnos, one that I like best as it tries to explain their loss of economic abundance, tells that the prosperous islanders gave a gift of a solid golden egg annually to Apollo’s sanctuary at Delphi. One year they decided enough was enough and cheated and substituted a gilded rock. Apollo cursed them by flooding the mines and from that point on the island was known as Sifnos, meaning, “empty.” 

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  • Santorini, Greece

    Today, we boarded a tender just after 8 a.m, to the port of Athinios, then enjoyed a short ride through the caldera of Santorini. As Santorini suffered multiple eruptions of its volcano millions of years ago, we had to drive up a breathtaking winding street, to an elevation of 300 meters above sea level.

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  • Amorgos, Greece

    We sailed into the beautiful bay of the village of Katapola, on the remote isle of Amorgos, at 7 a.m. The island sits on the southeastern edge of the Cyclades, a stepping-stone to the great island of Crete, 240 kilometers due south.

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  • Delos, Greece

    The sun rose over the island where Artemis and Apollo were born. These twins were very important to the ancient Greeks, who sometimes identified them with the Moon (Artemis) and the Sun (Apollo), both so necessary for navigation!

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  • 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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