Greece: A Circumnavigation of the Peloponnese: May 16—25, 2018

A History & Nature Cruise Aboard the Harmony V

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Athens
Tour Limit: 46
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (1.3 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 70 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have t...


Barry Lyon

Barry Lyon's passion for the outdoors and birding has its roots in his childhood in southern...


Paul Woodruff

Paul Woodruff is an experienced guide to the intellectual landscape of ancient Greece. He ha...

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Monemvasia— Photo: Variety Cruises


A round-trip transit of Greece’s famed Peloponnese emphasizes historical wonders and superb natural history including birds, wildflowers, and captivating scenery.

Join us for an unforgettable voyage as we circumnavigate the beautiful Peloponnese with a focus on the history, culture, and philosophy of ancient Greece and the natural world of present-day Greece.

We have chartered the M/Y Harmony V, an elegant motor yacht, for this adventure. An exciting itinerary showcases some of the most famous and important historical sites in the ancient Greek world while providing opportunities for quality birding and nature viewing. We will make excursions to Epidaurus, the near-perfectly preserved 2,500-year-old theater that still hosts Greek dramas today; Mycenae, the ancient domain of King Agamemnon and the famed Lion’s Gate; Pylos, site of Nestor’s Palace and stately Navarino Bay; Olympia, where the Olympics started in 776 B.C.E.; and Delphi, home of the ancient Delphic Oracle and perhaps the most beautiful location of all. Other highlights include an evening on the enchanting Byzantine-influenced island of Monemvasia, a day on the island of Kythira, passage through the remarkable Canal of Corinth, and a final evening on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf.

Our travels will include opportunities for birding at several coastal locations and around the archaeological sites themselves. We should see an impressive assortment of waterbirds. Among the possibilities are Corey’s and Levantine shearwaters, European Shag, a range of Eurasian shorebirds, Yellow-legged and Audouin’s gulls, Gray Heron, and Little Egret. Resident and migrant landbirds should also be evident in the form of Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Eleonora’s Falcon, Little Owl, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Woodchat Shrike, Blue Rock-Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Crested Lark, and many others. We should also be treated to a wonderful collection of Mediterranean wildflowers.

M/Y Harmony V

M/Y Harmony V— Photo: Variety Cruises


Victor Emanuel and Barry Lyon will co-lead this trip with Dr. Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy and classics at the University of Texas at Austin. He will present a series of lectures that incorporate the dominant themes of ancient Greek civilization, namely history, philosophy, and theater. Dr. Woodruff has translated works by Plato, Thucydides, Sophocles, and Euripides. His books include Reverence, First Democracy, The Necessity of Theater, and The Ajax Dilemma.  

Variety Cruises’ Harmony V is an excellent ship for this voyage, offering high standards of accommodation, high quality cuisine, and spacious viewing decks. Each cabin is equipped with large windows and en suite bathrooms. We are confident that the multi-thematic approach offered by this cruise will provide a rich and rewarding trip. It is an ideal choice for those who desire a travel experience that includes more than natural history and for those with a non-birding partner.

An optional four-night Athens Pre-trip will explore the historical and natural history riches of the southern Greek mainland.

All nights aboard the handsome Harmony V; daily shore excursions to ruins and nature sites will involve short, easy walks; mild temperatures and little to no precipitation are expected.