Sail on the historic Sea Cloud — a gift from millionaire businessman E.F. Hutton to his wife, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post — from the ancient temples of Olympia in Greece to the medieval walled city of Hvar, Croatia. Even our most fervent rail travelers were ecstatic with this ship, the service, the crew, the dining and excursions.
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe’s most delightful coastal gems. Discover the remarkable sites of Albania, cut off from the modern world for decades, and explore Montenegro, Corfu, and incomparable Dubrovnik.
Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet.
The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.
Add a fabulous pre-cruise extension in Athens (details below): See the Acropolis on an early morning walk, visit renowned museums, see the landmarks of the city, and dine on regional specialties—all in the company of guides who weave the narrative of life of this ancient city. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.
Add a fabulous, also IRT-tested post-cruise extension (details below): Begin in the Old Towns of Split and Trogir, whose cobblestones, ancient buildings and narrow lanes combine the richness of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Then, visit historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you’ll visit the beautiful, renowned Old Bridge, whose rebuilding has come to symbolize the rebirth of the Balkan States. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.
The following itinerary is westbound, from Athens, Greece to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Trip is also offered eastbound, from Dubrovnik to Athens.
Day 1: Athens, Greece/Piraeus
After your overnight flight to Athens, join your guide for a visit to the new Acropolis Museum (if you wish to arrive earlier, please inquire about hotel accommodations). This afternoon, transfer to the port town of Piraeus, where the elegant Sea Cloud awaits. Settle into your cabin and come up on deck to catch the sunset on the Aegean Sea. (D)
Day 2: At Sea
Today, we’ll round the southern coast of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, enjoying a full day of sailing. Come out on deck to watch the crew hoist the Sea Cloud’s many sails by hand. Relax with a book on deck, photograph our yacht and its exquisite details designed by Marjorie Merriweather Post herself, and hear talks about the region by our expedition team. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Olympia
Dock in Katákolon and travel overland to the ancient site of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, which were held here every four years beginning in 776 B.C. for twelve centuries. Wander through the evocative ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Temple of Hora and the Temple of Zeus, once home to a colossal statue of Zeus considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. See the Olympic Stadium and pay a visit to the superb Archaeological Museum to see artifacts from the site. Late this afternoon, return to the Sea Cloud and sail north along the coast of Greece. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Itháki
Discover gem-like Ionian villages nestled along the coast of Itháki today. Drive around the island to view the sites that some claim link the island to Homer’s Ithaca, and in the afternoon, cruise into one of the island’s stunning bays for a swim. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Sarandë and Butrint, Albania
Cut off from the world for 50 years by its Stalinist dictator, Albania is now feeling its way into the 21st century, and its treasures are still little known. Venture into the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its Hellenic theater, Byzantine basilica, and Venetian towers, this lovely lakeside city tells the tale of the many civilizations that have passed through it. Return to Sarandë and experience its intriguing blend of religions, cultures, and landscapes and enjoy local refreshments at Lekuris Castle, looking down on the bay of Sarande and Corfu Strait below. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Krujë
Drive to the ancient capital of Krujë and visit the medieval market and Ethnographic Museum. Also visit the Skanderbeg Museum, dedicated to Albania’s national hero. Take in a stirring folkloric performance. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Perast and Kotor, Montenegro
Sail into Montenegro via the magnificent Gulf of Kotor, a narrow waterway backed by soaring mountains. Stop in at the historic town of Perast before taking a local boat to the islet of Gospa od Škrpjela, or Our Lady of the Rocks. Steeped in lore despite its tiny size, the islet was created by fishermen dropping rocks from their rowboats. Meander through medieval Kotor this afternoon, or take a drive up 27 serpentine switchbacks to the top of the fjord for an unrivaled view. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Spend today in the city Lord Byron called the “pearl of the Adriatic.” Dubrovnik is regarded as one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world. The entire old city is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Anchor just outside the medieval walls and step into the heart of the old town. Visit the 14th-century Franciscan monastery and the Rector’s Palace, walk the ramparts, and stroll through marble-paved squares. This afternoon, enjoy a special treat: a private performance of traditional Croatian klapa music in a monastery courtyard. The Sea Cloud remains anchored tonight, so you may dine on board or stay in town for dinner and an evening stroll. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Korčula
Dock along the 13th-century walls of the island port of Korčula, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Balkans. Visit the town’s sites, and see the house believed by some to be Marco Polo’s birthplace. Take advantage of free time to wander along Korčula’s lovely waterfront before meeting up to attend a private traditional Moreska sword dance. Stop for a drink in a local café this evening and then board our ship. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Hvar
At the height of Venetian rule, Hvar was the region’s most prosperous center. Take a morning walking tour inside the delightful walled city to the 15th-century Franciscan monastery. Visit the arsenal and Croatia’s oldest active theater, and if you choose, hike up to the citadel. This afternoon, set out on our final sail. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Dubrovnik/U.S.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight. (B)
Legend for Meals: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner
Trip is also offered eastbound, from Dubrovnik to Athens.
2020 Dates:June 2-12 (Dubrovnik-Athens)*
September 8-18 (Athens-Dubrovnik)*
2021 Dates:June 1-11 (Dubrovnik-Athens)
July 2-12 (Athens-Dubrovnik)
August 27-September 6 (Athens-Dubrovnik)
Deposit price for all accommodations is $1,500 per person
Complimentary bar tab + gratuities on this cruise.
Optional Pre-Voyage Extension: Athens
Venture straight to the heart of Ancient Greek culture. See the Acropolis on an early morning walk, visit renowned museums, see the landmarks of the city, and dine on regional specialties—all in the company of guides who weave the narrative of life of this ancient city. IRT guests gave high marks to this extension.
Optional Post-Voyage Extension: Split, Trogir and Mostar
Begin in the Old Towns of Split and Trogir, whose cobblestones, ancient buildings and narrow lanes combine the richness of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Then we visit historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you’ll visit the beautiful, renowned Old Bridge, whose rebuilding has come to symbolize the rebirth of the Balkan States. IRT guests gave high marks to this extension.