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Greece & Turkey: From Athens to Istanbul
Aboard the Sea Cloud 

Sea Cloud

Sea Cloud — Photo: Courtesy Sea Cloud Cruises

In June 2015 VENT will return to the Eastern Mediterranean for a Birds & History cruise from Athens to Istanbul. For this special journey, June 18-29, 2015, we have chartered the peerless Sea Cloud for a trip that explores the illustrious history of Greece and Western Turkey with additional emphasis on finding some of the special birds of southern Europe and the Aegean Sea region.

Our itinerary begins in Athens where we’ll have most of two days in the “City of Athena.” We will navigate stretches of the Aegean Sea—one of the world’s most historic bodies of water; visit the islands of Chios (reputed birthplace of Homer) and Lesbos (home to exciting birding); and explore famed archaeological sites of Western Turkey, notably Pergamon, Troy, and Assos. We’ll also cruise the historic Dardanelle Strait on the 100th anniversary of the epic World War I battle of Gallipoli. Our journey culminates in Istanbul, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and historically rich cities.

Adding to the allure is the opportunity to travel aboard Sea Cloud. Ornate in her all-wood construction and resplendent under sail, this four-masted ship is widely regarded as the world’s most beautiful sailing vessel.

The Short-toed Eagle prefers drier habitats than many of its kin. Additionally, this is a snake-eating species. Short-toed Eagles are one of many raptor species found in the Hortobagy area.

Short-toed Eagle — Photo: Ecotours Wildlife Holidays

June is a good time of year to travel in the Eastern Mediterranean. We can expect dry weather, a variety of wildflowers, and breeding birds on territory. Among the species we’ll seek are Levantine Shearwater, Short-toed Eagle, Eleonora’s Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, Audouin’s Gull, Blue Rock-Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Nuthatch, and Black-headed Bunting in addition to other resident birds.

Joining VENT leaders Victor Emanuel and Barry Lyon for this special departure are Dr. Paul Woodruff, a professor of philosophy and classics at the University of Texas, and Peter Zika, a field biologist and botanist at the herbarium of the University of Washington. Paul is well-versed in the history and culture of ancient Greece and will present several lectures that incorporate the dominant themes of ancient Greek civilization, namely history, philosophy, and theater. Peter has done field work in different parts of the United States and traveled with tour groups around the world. He is a superb presenter, and will deliver lectures on the botany of the Aegean Sea region and botanical interpretation on our excursions.

I hope you will join us on what promises to be a very special Greece & Turkey cruise. Cabins begin at $8,895 per person in double occupancy from Athens.

News & Field Reports

VENTflash #177


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