Bring your children or grandchildren and join U.Va. archaeologist John Dobbins on a private yacht to explore the blue waters of the Mediterranean where ancient cities, idyllic islands, myth, and history are intertwined. This voyage of discovery is designed to enlighten the senses and ignite the imagination of children, awakening their minds to the wonders of Classical antiquity. With that in mind, we have fantastic family pricing for you and yourfamily to explore the storied waters around Greece and Turkey with a real archaeologist!

Aegean Cruise
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The itinerary—to some of the seminal cities and sites of the Classical world, including Athens, Olympia, Knossos, Santorini, Rhodes, Ephesus, and Delos—will create memories of shared learning and discovery as you explore this remarkable region as a family. Grandparents, parents, and children will learn about Greek history, literature, mythology, and culture while walking among the ruins of ancient Greece. And enriching the program with their knowledge of the ancient world will be our accompanying lecturers and expert on-site guides.

Our ship, the delightful Callisto, is a small, private yacht designed for just a few travelers, all accommodated in 17 outside-facing cabins. Callisto is the perfect size to explore these legendary sites in comfort with a small number of like-minded travelers. If you have ever dreamed of introducing your children or grandchildren to the wonders of Classical antiquity and the adventure of sailing to foreign lands, here is the opportunity to do so. We hope you will join us next summer on this enriching Voyage to the Lands of Myths and Legends. Please call us today to reserve your cabin(s). Remember, the Callisto only accomodates 34 people and could fill up quickly!

Program Highlights

  • Sail the storied waters around Greece and Turkey with a real archaeologist!
  • Explore the athletic fields of Olympia, the Minoan sites of Crete and Santorini, the sacred places of Delos, the grandeur Ephesus.
  • Enjoy the elegance of cruising on a private yacht.
  • Special activities for young people including exploring the volcanic island in the middle of Santorini’s caldera.


John Dobbins, classical archaeologist and Professor of Art History

Aegean CruiseJohn Dobbins is a classical archaeologist who specializes in ancient Roman art and archaeology. Mr. Dobbins is the President of the Charlottesville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and Secretary/Treasurer of the North American Branch of AIEMA. Previous professional awards and service include Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at U.Va., a three-year NEH grant, co-director of the Summer Program in archaeology at the American Academy in Rome, member and chair of the Advisory Board of the Etruscan Foundation, traveling lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, a Mead Honored Faculty Member at U.Va., and an All-University Teaching Award. He received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, his M.A. from Boston University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Popular among alumni, John led a sold out Cavalier Travels trip to Turkey last year.


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Fly From USA

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Athens | Piraeus | Embark | Corinth Canal, Greece

The birthplace of Western culture, Athens boasts a plethora of historic monuments. Upon arrival in Athens, transfer to Callisto and set sail in mid-afternoon. In the early evening, the ship will pass through the Corinth Canal, the narrow waterway that separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese. (D)

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Katakolon | Olympia, Peloponnese

From the port of Katakolon travel to Olympia, an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and one of four ancient sites where the Panhellenic games were held. Tour the sacred area, including the temples of Hera and Zeus, the Council House, the Treasuries, and the stadium. Also tour the fine museum. In the afternoon, set sail for Crete. (B, L, D)

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Gytheion | Mystra & Sparta

Built between its beautiful waterfront and a steep hill, Gytheion is the port of ancient and modern Sparta, and according to legend, the place from where Helen fled with Paris to Troy. Today, the area around Gytheion is known for its excellent olive oil. Drive inland to Mystra, the best surviving Byzantine town in Greece (14th to 15th centuries), built on a rocky spur overlooking Sparta. Once a great center of learning, art, and culture, Mystra is dominated by its ramparts, palaces, and the graceful domes of its churches, many of which contain frescoes. In Sparta, visit the Archaeological Museum. (B, L, D)

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Rethymnon | Heraklion | Knossos, Crete

Crete, Zeus’s legendary birthplace, was home to the Minoan civilization, Europe’s first. Callisto will call at the beautiful town of Rethymnon, whose architecture betrays its importance and Venetian influence. Spend the morning exploring the charming streets and alleyways of the Old Town, as well as the impressive Fortezza which overlooks both land and sea. Enjoy an early lunch on board and depart for Heraklion in the afternoon. Our first visit will be the Heraklion Museum’s temporary exhibit, housing an outstanding collection of fine Minoan pieces found in Crete. Continue on to legendary Knossos, where the brilliance and refinement of the Minoans are revealed in the excavations found here. The largest palace of the period on Crete, Knossos is a labyrinth of corridors, stairways, and chambers decorated with frescoes illustrating life as it was 4,000 years ago. (B, L, D)

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From the sea, enjoy a beautiful view of the village of Phira on Santorini. In the 2nd millennium b.c., volcanic eruptions shrouded the island in a blanket of pumice and ash, preserving many buildings in the town of Akrotiri. At the time of the eruptions, Akrotiri was inhabited by a sophisticated Bronze Age society. Visit the Prehistoric Museum of Thira. Then visit the unspoiled town of Oia and enjoy free time. (B, L, D)

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Rhodes | Lindos

The historic island of Rhodes was known in antiquity for its schools of philosophy, rhetoric, and The Minoan Palace at Knossos, Crete Olympia, Greece, site of the first Olympic Games sculpture. Explore the Old Town of Rhodes, one of the largest medieval towns in Europe. Walk along the Street of the Knights, overflowing with mosaics, finely carved portals, balconies, and coats of arms. Then visit the Archaeological Museum, housed in the former Knights’ Great Hospital. Also travel to picturesque Lindos. Set high above the village, with spectacular views of the Aegean, are the remains of the Acropolis and the Doric columns of Athena’s Temple, among other structures. (B, L, D)

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Kusadasi | Ephesus | Kusadasi, Turkey

From the bustling resort town of Kusadasi, drive to the ancient city of Ephesus, renowned for its great mother goddess, Cybele, later identified as Artemis, or Diana of the Ephesians. Ephesus was for a time the most important commercial city in Asia Minor. The immense Hellenistic and Roman excavation site includes the ancient theater, the imposing Library of Celsus, the hill houses with their fantastic mosaics and frescoes, and early Byzantine remains. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the town of Kusadasi with its many inviting shops. (B, L, D)

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Delos | Syros, Greece

In the heart of the Aegean, tiny uninhabited Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Legend identifies it as the birthplace of twins Apollo and Artemis. A walking tour leads to the excavations of the main shrines dedicated to these gods as well as to the Terrace of the Lions, with its deftly carved archaic figures, originally constructed to overlook and protect the Sacred Lake. In the afternoon, sail to beautiful Syros and enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town. Syros is divided into Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox districts, with rival churches and monasteries. (B, L, D)

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Piraeus | Disembark | Athens | Fly to USA (B)


Our ship, the delightful Callisto, is a small, private yacht that is the perfect size to explore these legendary sites with her ability to visit unspoiled ports, pristine beaches, intimate coves, and small harbors.

All 17 outside-facing cabins are beautifully furnished, comfortably arranged, and complete with amenities that include large windows (portholes on Daphne Deck), generous storage space, climate control, mini-refrigerator, safe, telephone, TV, DVD/CD player, and marble bathroom with shower. The yacht’s public areas, including an elegant restaurant surrounded by large picture windows, a spacious lounge and bar, and a library (with Internet access) surrounded by windows, are decorated with rich fabrics, handsome woodwork, gleaming brass, antiques, and fine works of art. The yacht also features a Jacuzzi, two broad decks for sunbathing, and a swimming platform. Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.


All meals aboard ship, including house wine and beer with lunch and dinner. Open bar aboard ship throughout.

Program Fees

Rates are based on cabin selection and are per person, double occupancy, land/cruise only.
Our operator can quote and book international air for you at additional cost.
A limited number of single rooms are available for no supplement but only in categories D,CC, and B.

Category Rate (per person, double occupancy)
E $3,995
D $4,495
C $4,995
CC $5,495
B $5,995
BB $6,395
A $6,795
AA $7,295

Special Family & Young Adult Rates (per child & young adult ages 7 – 18)
• 1 child/young adult sharing with 2 adults $1,995 Categories E or D
• 3 children/young adults sharing together $2,995 Categories E or D
• 1 child/young adult sharing with 1 adult $3,495 Categories E – CC
• 2 children/young adults sharing together $3,795 Categories E or D

No Single supplement: A limited number of cabins are available for solo travelers in Categories D, CC, and B.

Price Includes:
• 8-night cruise aboard the 17-cabin private yacht Callisto
• Complete program of tours and excursions
• All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
• Open bar aboard ship throughout the cruise
• Enrichment program of lectures and discussions by accompanying study leader
• Professionall tour staff

• Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
• Complete pre-departure materials
• Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program arrival and departure dates
• Port and embarkation taxes
• Gratuities to porters, guides, and drivers

Price Does Not Include:
Airfare; visa and passport fees (if applicable); luggage and trip cancellation insurance; meals, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages other than those specified above; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service; and gratuities to shipboard personnel

General Terms & Conditions

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $1,500 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. For your convenience, you may charge your deposit to your American Express, Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Cancellations & Refunds: All cancellations are subject to a $400 per person fee. Cancellations received 61-90 days prior to departure will be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the total program cost per person. Cancellations received within 60 days of departure are subject to 100% cancellation penalties.

Insurance: We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.

Itinerary: The itinerary, accommodations, and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Travel Dynamics International.

Responsibility: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and Travel Dynamics International and the tour’s sponsoring organization. The passenger is also advised to review his/her separate ticket passage contract with the vessel’s owner/operator, which will constitute the sole, legally enforceable terms of carriage for this tour and is available on request from Travel Dynamics International. Travel Dynamics International and the tour’s sponsoring organization act solely as agents for the passenger with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the passenger’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the passenger or in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the passenger, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the passenger’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the passenger beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, ships, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the passenger certifies that he/she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other passengers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other passengers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the passenger’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Passenger tickets are not transferable and are not subject to alteration by the passenger. No suit shall be maintainable against the carrier, or vessel, for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passengers, unless written notice of the claim, with full particulars, is delivered to the carrier or its agents at its office at the port of sailing or at the port of termination within six months from the day when such incident occurred. In no event shall any such suit or any claim against the carrier or vessel for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger be maintainable unless such suit is commenced within one year from the day when the incident causing such losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger occurs, notwithstanding any provision of law of any state or country to the contrary. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be brought within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, pursuant to the applicable general maritime law, and applying the applicable general maritime law and Federal maritime statutes.

Rates: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.

Fuel Supplement: Travel Dynamics International reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement, without prior notice, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $85 per barrel. This supplement may be charged even if the cruise fare has been paid in full.

Ship’s Registry: Greece CST #204 3599-40 TDI