Apr 9, 2025 - Apr 18, 2025
Trip Type
By Sea

Group Size: 100 travelers across all sponsors
Price: Starting from $8,999 per person double occupancy, $13,499 single occupancy
Co-sponsored with: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Museum Travel Alliance, Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, The Alumni Associations of Colombia, Tufts, and Vanderbilt Universities

Activity Level

Trip Overview

Sail through millennia of history on a beautiful, seven-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise aboard the acclaimed new Emerald Azzurra. Journey from Cyprus, one of the world’s best-kept secrets, to the legendary Greek island of Rhodes and Türkiye’s pristine Turquoise Coast, where you will board private glass-bottom boats for a fascinating perspective on the submerged ruins of an ancient city. With experts guiding you through the extraordinary history of this less-traveled region, you’ll be enriched by this in-depth look at the rise and fall of ancient empires—from the Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Lycians to the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans—and the historical interplay of Christianity and Islam. An optional prelude is available in Istanbul, one of the world’s most splendid cities with its ancient mosques and palaces, and the otherworldly landscapes of Türkiye’s Cappadocia region.

Schedule by Day

Depart for Larnaca, Cyprus, on an overnight flight.

Arrive this morning and transfer to the Indigo Hotel Larnaca for check-in. Guests who opt for the suggested flights will meet tour representatives at the airport and join the group transfer to the hotel.

This evening, attend a welcome reception with dinner at your leisure.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Larnaca

Meals: R

This morning, you may choose between tours of Nicosia or Kition, fascinating sites featuring millennia of cultural treasures.

Explore Cyprus’s millennia-old capital, Nicosia, once ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and the British. Nicosia
is “the world’s last divided capital,” with a UN-monitored buffer zone between the Greek Cypriot-controlled south and the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north. Visit the Cyprus Museum and its extensive array of archaeological artifacts and ancient Cypriot art. After lunch, see the elaborately beautiful Selimiye Mosque, which was originally constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries as the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Sophia and later converted into an Ottoman mosque.

Alternatively, explore Larnaca starting with the ancient city of Kition, where Mycenaean Achaeans arrived in the 13th century B.C., followed by Phoenicians in the ninth century B.C. Join your expert guide to explore Kition’s remains, including the Temple of Aphrodite-Astarte, built by the Phoenicians, and a 60-foot-long Roman mosaic. After lunch, transfer to the Troodos Mountains to view the world’s largest group of painted Byzantine churches and monasteries. This UNESCO-recognized collection of monuments, richly decorated with frescoes and murals, highlights the evolution of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus over 500 years. These monuments range from small churches to monasteries such as the ornate Monastery of St. John Lampadistis, with its blend of Italian Renaissance and Byzantine art. 

All participants continue to Limassol and embark Emerald Azzurra. Enjoy a private performance of Cypriot dance on
board and raise a Champagne flute on deck as we cruise out of the harbor in the late afternoon.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, D

Step ashore in Paphos, the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, according to legend. Established by Greek settlers during the Mycenaean era, the city was eventually captured by Ptolemy I of Egypt and later the Romans, who claimed it as the island’s capital. On a guided walking tour of the Archaeological Park of Nea Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, visit the exquisite Houses of Dionysos, Theseus, and Aion, ancient Roman villas built from the second through the fifth centuries A.D. Marvel at their beautifully well-preserved mosaic floors depicting mythological and hunting scenes. View the medieval ruins of the Castle of Forty Columns, a seventh-century fortress named for its many granite columns.

Transfer to the Church of Chrysopolitissa, originally founded by the apostles Paul and Barnabas in 46 A.D. See the ruins
of its fourth-century basilica and medieval Ottoman baths. View the modest yet famous St. Paul’s Pillar, said to mark
the spot where the apostle Paul was whipped during his first missionary journey to Cyprus. After lunch on board, visit the Tombs of the Kings, followed by a visit to the Monastery of St. Neophytos. Carved out of the mountains, it houses a noteworthy ecclesiastical museum containing icons dating from the 16th century.

Return to the ship and set sail forTürkiye. .

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, D

Attend a morning lecture as the ship sails to Antalya, Türkiye’s largest Mediterranean city, renowned for its Greek, Roman,
and Byzantine landmarks against a backdrop of the Taurus Mountains.

First, head south along the coast to the ancient trade center of Perge, once claimed by Lycians, Greeks, and Romans. Perge’s archaeological site features well-preserved bath complexes, an agora, basilicas, a theater, a stadium, and impressive fortifications. Nearby is the Antalya Archaeological Museum, notable for its collection of sculptures unearthed from the ancient site. In Aspendos, stop at the renowned Roman amphitheater built during Marcus Aurelius’s reign, known for its acoustics.

Return to Antalya and Emerald Azzurra, gathering for the captain’s welcome reception and dinner this evening.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, R, D

Anchor off Türkiye’s fabled Turquoise Coast, named for the beautiful blue color of the waters, and board a tender into
Kas, an ancient Lycian trading port.

Explore the remarkably restored, 4,000-seat limestone Hellenistic Theater, a rare relic of the ancient Lycian city, constructed in the first century B.C. Also, behold a well-preserved Lycian tomb located in Kas’s historical center. After a transfer to Kekova Bay, board glass-bottom boats and cruise for a mesmerizing perspective on the ancient submerged city of Simena. Below your feet, watch as ruins and rock-cut tombs appear in the clear turquoise waters.

Return to the ship and set sail for the island of Rhodes.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, D

The ancient Lycians, initially nomads, settled in mountainous southwestern Türkiye in the eighth century B.C. and became
known for their cliffside rock-cut tombs. Arrive in the beautiful port of Fethiye and transfer to the UNESCO-listed
ancient Lycian capital of Xanthos, set on a cliff overlooking the Xanthos River, and delve into its rich history dating back
to the eighth century B.C. Join an expert guide to explore its acropolis, Byzantine basilica, theater, and rock-cut tombs,
remnants of its cosmopolitan past as a cultural, commercial, and political hub. Uncover connections between the Lycians,
Greeks, and Persians, and remnants of the city’s later conquest by the Romans.

While here, discover the Nereid Monument, an intricately crafted tomb built in the fourth century B.C., showcasing
a fusion of Lycian, Greek Ionic, and Persian architectural styles. An early example of Greek-style temple-tombs and a
precursor to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the monument was named after sea nymphs from Greek mythology.

Continue to nearby Letoon, the ancient Lycian sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Leto and her twin children, Artemis
and Apollo. See Letoon’s temples and colonnaded galleries that shed light on the religious practices and mythological
beliefs of the Lycians.

Return to the ship for lunch and depart for Rhodes.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, D

The island of Rhodes was known in antiquity for its schools of philosophy, rhetoric, and sculpture, including its mythical
Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. From 1309 to 1523, the the Knights of St. John occupied the city, surrounding it with fortifications they expertly maintained. Upon morning arrival, explore the UNESCO-listed fortified town, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. Walk along the Street of the Knights, overflowing with mosaics, finely carved portals, balconies, and coats of arms. Then visit the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, housed in the medieval Hospital of the Knights, and see its collection of vases, figurines, Hellenistic mosaic floors, and more.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, D

After morning arrival into Bodrum, delve into the history of Halicarnassus, visiting the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which showcases ancient artifacts from shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea.

Have lunch on board as the ship sails to Izmir.

After an afternoon at sea, celebrate your journey at the captain’s farewell reception and dinner.

Overnight: Emerald Azzurra

Meals: B, L, R, D

Disembark this morning in Izmir and transfer to the airport for your flights home.

Meals: B



Double Occupancy

(Per Person)

Single Occupancy

Oceanview Stateroom (302)

$8,999 $13,499
Balcony Suite / Lower Deck (403, 408, 410, 415, 416) $11,999 $17,999
Balcony Suite / Upper Deck (503, 508, 510, 511, 512, 519) $12,999 $19,499
Deluxe Balcony Suite  $14,999 $22,499
Terrance Suite $17,999 Inquire
Yacht Suite $19,999 Inquire
Owner's Suite $21,999 Inquire


  • One night accommodation at Radisson Blu Larnaca
  • Seven nights aboard Emerald Azzura


  • Optional Post-tour extension: Istanbul (April 18-20, 2025) Details coming soon

What to Expect

Activity Level 3

Busy pacing may include multiple hotel changes plus internal flights or long drives. May involve exposure to the outdoors, full days of touring, and walking up to two hours.

Study Leader(s)

To be announced

Mode of Travel

Discover why the editors of Cruise Critic picked Emerald Azzurra as their “Best New Luxury Ship” in 2022. Reaching an impressive 360 feet in length with only 50 cabins, the spectacular new Emerald Azzurra will exceed your yacht cruising expectations as it sails into some of the most picturesque ports and harbors in the world.

For More Information

Please email or call our office at 800-422-1636 or 617-496-0806.