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Ephesus, Turkey

New 2021 Crystal Esprit Voyages Explore Epicenters of Humanity and Culture

If only all history classes included complimentary champagne and butler service, we all likely would have paid much closer attention in school. Since this is not the conventional structure of most academic institutions, we present another wonderfully indulgent option for enthusiasts of history, archaeology, ancient civilizations and religions to pursue their passion for learning.

In 2021, four of Crystal Esprit’s 11 new itineraries will sail along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Greek Isles and Cyprus, exploring some of the world’s most well-documented and fascinating historical and archaeological sites. Guests can almost literally travel through time with visits to the precise spot where St. John is said to have written the Book of Revelations; the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love; the footsteps of Hippocrates, father of medicine; and the mountaintop that Alexander the Great could not conquer.

Bonus points: these cradles of antiquity lie in a region soaked in sun and sea breezes, creating an atmosphere ideal for hiking, bicycling, kayaking, horseback riding and general pursuits of island bliss.

Here is just a sampling of what’s in store for present-day explorers who relish discovering sites and events that shaped the world.

Ephesus (featured image, from Kuşadasi, Turkey)

Quick History: Once the Ancient World’s center of commerce and trade, later the center of early Christianity, and home to the Temple of Artemis, Basilica of St. John, and House of the Virgin Mary, where she was said to have spent her final days.

Clout: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Extra Credit: The Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Bodrum, Turkey
A cannon at Bodrum Castle, near the site of the Mausoleum of Halincarnassus

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Bodrum, Turkey)

Quick History: Built around 350 B.C. as a tomb for King Mausolus, the monument was damaged by 13th century earthquakes, destroyed by 16th century Christian Crusaders. Excavation of the remains of the 140-foot, white marble structure began in the 19th century, including statues of Mausolus and Artemisia.

Clout: One of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Antalya Museum
Antiquities in the Museum of Antalya, home to the archaeological site of Perge

Archaeological Site of Perge (Antalya, Turkey)

Quick History: Once the important city of Pamphylia founded after the Trojan War, Perge welcomed Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. Following his death, the city was ruled by Romans, Turks and Ottomans over centuries, vestiges of which can be seen in ruins of a 15,000 seat theater, gymnasium, baths and necropolis.

Clout: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mosaic, Paphos, Cyprus
An ancient mosaic in the archaeological site of Paphos, Cyprus

The Mosaics of Paphos (Cyprus)

Quick History: The intricate tile mosaics are considered among the finest in the world, located in the Paphos Archaeological Park and depicting scenes from Greek mythology. Nearly 6,000 square feet of the marble stones cover 14 rooms in the House of Dionysos, as well as Orpheus and Aion and the House of Theseus.

Clout: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Limassol, Cyprus
Neolithic Choirokoitia Village in Limassol, Cyprus

Choirokoitia Neolithic Site (Limassol, Cyprus)

Quick History: This remarkably preserved settlement offers a glimpse into life in prehistoric times, between the 7th and 4th millennia B.C., with cylindrical dwellings and native vegetation surrounding. Only part of the site has been excavated, leaving many more discoveries for future researchers.

Clout: UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 2021, Crystal Esprit will sail 45 voyages of epic discovery, most of which are convenient seven-day itineraries, easily combined to expand the journey. Venture to historically significant and profoundly beautiful locales along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, the Dalmatian Coast, Greek Isles, Holy Land, UAE and the Seychelles.

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Posted on July 11, 2016