Our full day of enjoying the Greek sun and sea began with the crew hitting the rig for a leisurely morning sail. While Sea Cloud sailed under light winds, our historian provided an overview of the history, art, and architecture of ancient Greece. After the lecture, sails were taken in and we drifted in the sparkling Ionian Sea. With some luck, conditions were just right for our first swim stop of the journey, and the gangway was lowered into the sea just off the starboard side of the ship. The clear, blue waters were a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and most of the guests chose to partake of the refreshing opportunity.
After lunch on the Lido Deck, we docked at Katakolon and prepared for our afternoon excursion to the ancient site of Olympia. The weather was hot and the sun bright, but ample shade and an occasional breeze enabled us to enjoy our trip nevertheless. We wandered the majestic site and marveled at the remains of the ancient temples dedicated to Zeus and Hera as the scent of pine filled the summer air. We also explored the areas where the Olympic athletes would train and compete, including the original marble starting blocks in the ancient stadium. We then made our way to the museum, where we admired the monumental pediment sculpture from the temple of Zeus as well as the stunning Hermes sculpture attributed to Praxiteles. We then headed back to the ship where we enjoyed a Greek barbecue buffet on the Lido Deck, complete with suckling pig, tzatziki, and plenty of ouzo—a fitting end to our last full day in Greece.