Voyage from Italy to Croatia & Greece with Professors Ben David and Karen Gross

Participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


Date: May 29th to June 7th, 2022

Trip Length: 8 Nights, 9 Days.

Group Size: About 14 - 22  participants; ship holds 34 participants (at least one other group will be on board)

Cost: Starting at $6,900

Find the full brochure here

Program Overview
Of the many seaborne idylls possible in the Mediterranean, sailing in the Adriatic and Ionian seas and exploring landmark historic places in Italy, Croatia and Greece is one of the loveliest and most gratifying.

Our voyage begins in Venice, the undisputed “Queen of the Adriatic.” Benefiting from its unique and defensible position, Venice, which is spread over 118 islands in a lagoon, dominated for hundreds of years not only its surrounding land territory and the nearby Croatian coast, but also the Ionian Sea and beyond. The 15th century saw the pinnacle of Venetian power, when its navy controlled the sea lanes from the northern Adriatic to the Eastern Mediterranean, and its merchants gained unprecedented wealth and prosperity for themselves and their fabled city.

After exploring Venice’s main sites, we will embark the Callisto, a private yacht-like small cruise ship that accommodates only 34 guests, and sail in the Grand Canal, providing from the ships decks superb views of Venice’s distinctive architecture. The ship will then enter the Adriatic Sea and call at ports on both shores of the Adriatic, in Italy and Croatia, where we will explore some of the best preserved ancient and medieval towns and monuments in the entire Mediterranean. Callisto will enter the canal that leads to Ravenna, an ancient city that came to prominence in the 5th century AD, when it became the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Ravenna is famed for its early churches that are decorated with luminous mosaics and other pieces of art. Next is the port city of Ancona, founded originally by Greeks in the 4th century BC, our gateway to Italy’s two most remarkable historic towns, medieval Gubbio, perched on a hill, its narrow streets and alleyways lined with well-preserved Gothic buildings, and Urbino, the evocative Renaissance town and a center of learning and the arts since the 15th century.

Cruising across the Adriatic, we arrive in Croatia’s Split, where we will tour the extensive Palace of Diocletian, built by the emperor in 295-305 AD, the only Roman palace that has been inhabited continuously since Roman times. Near Split is Hvar, one of Croatia’s most attractive islands, noted for its Venetian architecture and fields of aromatic lavender. Celebrated Dubrovnik, enclosed within is walls, is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, with splendid buildings lining its streets.

Leaving the Adriatic, we will enter the Ionian Sea to call at Corfu, the elegant Greek island whose many historic monuments span the centuries from the 6th century BC to the more recent past. The small port town of Itea provides easy access to Delphi. Located below towering Mount Parnassus, Delphi was the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his famed oracle. From Itea, the ship will cross the Corinth Canal, the narrow waterway that separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, to enter the Aegean Sea and dock in Athens’s port of Piraeus.

Treasures of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas provides a unique opportunity to explore the history, culture, and masterpieces of art and architecture from the ancient Greek and Roman eras to the Medieval and Renaissance periods. 

Lewis & Clark Professor of Art History Ben David and Professor of English Karen Gross will be a resource along the journey as they share their expertise regarding ancient art, literature, and the classics.

May 29:
Depart the US
May 30: Arrive in Venice. Transfer to the Hotel Splendid.
May 31: Tour Venice. In the afternoon, embark on Callisto and sail. Evening arrival in Ravenna. Overnight aboard docked in port.
June 1: Tour Ravenna’s ancient churches, with their glorious mosaics, and other sites.
June 2: Ancona for an excursion to two of Italy’s gems: medieval Gubbio and Renaissance Urbino.
June 3: Morning in Split, Croatia, for a tour of Diocletian’s Palace and the old town. Afternoon at Hvar, one of Croatia’s loveliest islands.
June 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Explore the walled medieval town, one of Europe’s best preserved.
June 5: Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece. Tour the island.
June 6: Itea for the excursion to Delphi.
June 7: Piraeus. Transfer to Athens airport for the return flight home.

One night in Venice at Hotel Splendid.

Seven night voyage aboard the Callisto.

In an era of mega cruise ships that carry thousands of passengers, Callisto is a delightful alternative. More like a private yacht than a cruise ship, Callisto accommodates a maximum of just 34 guests in 17 cabins that face outside. Unlike the formalities found on larger cruise ships, a relaxed and informal atmosphere prevails aboard. A well-trained Englishspeaking crew of 18 manages the ship and provides friendly and efficient service. The dining room, surrounded by large windows, accommodates all guests at one unassigned seating, while the adjoining lounge, which is also lined with windows, is a good place to meet and socialize with fellow travelers, and attend lectures. When the weather permits, several meals will be served al fresco. A library faces the spacious Sun Deck.

The 17 cabins range in size from 130 sq.ft to 145 sq. ft. There are four different categories of cabins arranged on two decks, all of which feature either windows (Categories A & B), or portholes (Categories C & D); twin, double or queen-size beds; individually controlled air-conditioning; flat-screen TV; mini fridge; wardrobe; safety deposit box; and telephone (internal use). Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower, marble sink countertop, hair dryer, and fine toiletries.

Category Descriptions and Rates (per person/double occupancy): 

D- $6,990 - Outside cabins on Lower Deck with twin beds and portholes.
Cabins 16, 19. 130 sq. feet.

C- $7,790 - Outside cabins on Lower Deck with twin beds and portholes.
Cabins 12, 14, 15, 17. 130 sq. feet

B- $8,990 - Outside cabins on Main Deck with two lower beds and window.
Cabins 1*, 2*, 5, 7, 8, 9. 135 sq. feet
*Cabins 1 and 2 have a double bed. 

A- $9,690 - Outside cabins on Main Deck with twin beds and window.
Cabins 3*, 4*, 6, 10, 11. 135 - 145 sq. feet
*Cabins 3 and 4 have a queen-size bed. 

SINGLE OCCUPANCY: A few cabins in Categories C and B are available for single occupancy at a supplement of 150% of the per person double occupancy rate.

If you are a single traveler interested in sharing a room with a fellow traveler, please email Andrew McPheeters at

Note: When you deposit, we will contact you to discuss available cabin options.

Register Here!

Faculty Leaders
Ben David, Associate Professor of Art History

Professor David specializes in Italian art from 1300-1600, with an emphasis on Early Renaissance painting. His scholarship and teaching engage the historical and theoretical implications of the practice of narrative in Renaissance art and theories of narrative more generally. He is especially interested in the relationship between art and literature. Other research projects and courses explore the complex nature of the Renaissance engagement with classical antiquity and visualizations of Dante’s Divine Comedy from the fourteenth century to the present day. He is also interested in how contemporary art creates dialogues with Renaissance and Medieval Art and in the intersections of art history and theories of memory. Professor David is the Group leader for the student semester abroad program in Athens. He led an alumni travel group to Greece in 2019.

Karen Gross, Associate Professor of English and Department Chair

Karen Gross joined the Lewis & Clark English department in 2005. She studies and teaches the European Middle Ages with an emphasis on England and Italy in the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. She is particularly interested in the reception of classical texts, Dante, medieval literary theory and education, the history of the book, and the relationship between literature and the visual arts. Her research has been supported by grants from the New York Public Library, the Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Fulbright program. In 2008 she received the Graves Award, sponsored by the ACLS, for her efforts as a teacher. Currently, she is researching illuminated Apocalypse manuscripts. She led an alumni travel group to Greece in 2019.

Questions, contact Andrew McPheeters, Associate Vice President of Alumni and Parent Engagement at: or 503-768-7936.