Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Tinos, Greece

    We are at anchor just outside the port and the main town of Tinos which is the last island we are visiting. No one is happy to see the cruise coming to an end. We would like to sail on.

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  • Sifnos, Greece

    We motored into the tranquil Kamáres Bay of Sifnos at 7:00 a.m. There was a cool soft breeze and the temperature was about 70 F. In antiquity, Sifnos was famous for its rich gold and silver mines. A legend says the prosperous islanders gave a gift of a solid golden egg annually to Apollo’s sanctuary at Delphi. One year they 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.” The legend provides a story to account for the end of the gold veins. The Roman historian Pliny reports that before Apollo’s curse, the island was called Akis.

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  • Amorgos, Greece

    Dawn was silhouetted by the ridges of Amorgos as Sea Cloud dropped anchor off the small port town of Katapola.  By the time the first half of the group were ready to disembark by ship’s tender, the sun had peered over the surrounding hills, and the harbor town gleamed white and inviting in the morning light. Once on land, an island bus was available to drive us into town. Along the way several guests exclaimed in wonder when we crested the ridge and saw the wild eastern coastline of Amorgos below and the deep blue expanse of sea before us. When we arrived to the tiny parking lot, many of the guests could scarcely believe their eyes as they alighted to a view of the white monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa plastered against the immense cliff-side above us. And I say that without exaggeration.

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  • Delos and Naxos, Greece

    The wind picked up as we sailed out of the Santorini Caldera last night. As we left this magical place, we had one of the most lingering and glorious sunsets of the trip. However, a “rosy fingered dawn” arrived by 6 a.m. on the morrow with a fresh breeze and cool temperatures in the low 60s.

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  • Santorini, Greece

    The sun rose over Santorini and we eagerly embarked by 8:00 on a local tender to explore the volcanic island. Buses awaited us at Athinios port and we drove up the switchback road to the rim of the caldera. Low-growing grapevines and unbelievable scenery appeared on the other side of the island. At Oia we explored the charming town and its vistas--thankful that digital cameras have come to exist. The village offers endless photo opportunities and great shopping!

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  • Sailing the Aegean, Greece

    After a bouncy night at sea, we awoke to a beautiful and calm sunny day. There was still a slight swell, but we didn’t let that slow us down. So, after breakfast we eagerly went up to the lido deck to listen to the sail explanation. We attempted to memorize the names of each of the four masts, 29 sails, and their functions as Chief Mate Heiner thoroughly discussed each item. When the sails were prepped, Bosun Martin yelled, “hit the rig.” Suddenly, like a scene out of movie, 18 sailors began to climb the masts up 140-feet high to loosen the gaskets of the square-rigged sails. It was impressive to see the two women leading the way to the highest yards.

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  • Rounding the Peloponnesian Coast

    The sun rose by 5:30 over Kythira and the air was fresh and the seas gentle. Today we planned to sail around the great “island” of mainland Greece named after the mythical hero Pelops, the Peloponnesian peninsula. Once the Corinth canal was completed it was possible to sail completely around Peloponnesia and hence my expression “island.” Shortly after 9 a.m. on our starboard side we came abeam of the great rock outcrop with its famous medieval village Monemvasia, meaning “one way in.” The ancient village sits atop a small rise from the sea and then gradually rises up the cliff face and at its top sits a church. Beautiful defensive walls fully encircle and protect the village and go entirely up to the church. Truly there was only one way in. It is a stunningly beautiful place and when one considers it was built a millennium and a half ago in the late 6th century, it takes your breath away. The Byzantines were being besieged in mainland and island Greece by invading Slavic and other tribes from northeastern Europe, and thus the Greek people fled here to this remote place to escape the pillaging invaders who were looking not only for gold and silver but for slaves. This small village grew in prosperity during the Middle Ages and achieved real economic wealth later in the late 16th century when it became the center of the Malmsey wine industry. They traded great amounts of Malmsey particularly with England and the local merchants made considerable fortunes.

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  • Olympia, Greece

    The Sea Cloud docked early in the morning at the port of Katakolon. We boarded the buses for the short drive to the impressive site of Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games. We started our visit with the gymnasium where the ancient athletes trained for the finals. We wandered around the extensive site and we studied the Temple of Zeus, where the great statue of him was created in the 5th century B.C. The statue was made of ivory and gold, and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

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  • 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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