Family Seminar

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Jump in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean or relax on the beach in Crete

Walk or enjoy a donkey ride up the acropolis in the village of Lindos

Explore some of the most significant archeological sites in the Mediterranean, including one of the Panhellenic Games sites where we compete in a friendly race

Take in the white-washed town with its blue-capped roofs on the island of Santorini, perched on the edge of the a volcanic caldera

Faculty leader

Barbara Clayton

Barbara Clayton, PhD ‘99, has been teaching at Stanford since 2000. She currently offers courses through Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, where she is always looking for new ways to bring the ancient world to a contemporary audience. Barbara is the author of A Penelopean Poetics: Reweaving the Feminine in Homer’s Odyssey. She has also written on topics that include Aristotle’s Parts of Animals, the Roman poet Lucretius, and the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes. Although she is primarily interested in the literature of the ancient world, with the Odyssey a particular passion, her academic career has allowed her to branch out into history, philosophy, and political thought. Her current research focuses on adaptations of the Homeric epics from the 20th and 21st centuries.


June 22–July 2, 2022
Day 1

Athens, Greece

Arrive in Athens, the capital of Greece and Europe’s oldest city. Athens gave birth to democracy and witnessed the origins of many of the arts and sciences that constitute the Western tradition. Upon arrival transfer to our hotel, located steps from Constitution Square.

Hotel – Athens Capital Center Hotel

Day 2


After a morning lecture, explore the Agora, the civic and commercial center of Athens and the living heart of its democracy. See the remains of public buildings and the well-preserved 5th-century BCE Temple of Hephaistos. Spend time at the Agora Museum, housed in the impressively reconstructed Stoa of Attalos, originally built in the 2nd century BC. In the afternoon adults will visit the National Archaeological Museum, with the finest collection of Greek antiquities in the world. Young Explorers will participate in a treasure hunt tour of Athens. Late in the afternoon, adults and children will drive to Lycabettus Hill for panoramic views of the city and a welcome dinner.

Hotel – Athens Capital Center Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3

Athens / Nemea / Nafplio / Epidaurus

A full-day outing to Argolis in the eastern Peloponnese begins at Nemea, one of the four sites of the Panhellenic Games, where Young Explorers will compete in a race in the venerable stadium. Head to the charming waterfront town of Nafplio for lunch and free time. Continue to Epidaurus, the shrine dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing, famous for its incredible 4th-century BCE theater with perfect acoustics. Return to Athens in the late afternoon and indulge in the city’s culinary offerings on your own.

Hotel – Athens Capital Center Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 4

Athens / Embark

Spend the morning at leisure to take in Athens. In the afternoon marvel at the Acropolis and its celebrated monuments. Occupied throughout prehistoric times, the rocky plateau rises dramatically out of the plain and dominates the modern city as it did in the ancient world. The incomparable Parthenon and other temples erected in the 5th century BCE represent the highest achievement of architecture and art of the Classical period. Also delight in the superb Acropolis Museum, which features an outstanding collection of sculpture, then travel to the coast to embark Callisto and set out to sea.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5

Santorini, Greece

Be on deck this morning to admire one of the most memorable sights in the Mediterranean: the whitewashed towns of Fira and Oia perched on the edge of the 1,000-foot-high palisade of Santorini’s volcanic caldera. During the Bronze Age, the island was a flourishing trading center inhabited by a prosperous and well-organized society. In the late 17th century BCE, a massive volcanic eruption collapsed half of the island and buried its main town, now called Akrotiri, in a thick layer of ash and pumice, thus preserving its houses, streets and squares as they existed 3,700 years ago. After touring Akrotiri, visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which displays artifacts from the Akrotiri excavations. Lunch will be served at a restaurant with vistas of the caldera. While adults will have the afternoon at leisure to appreciate this uniquely beautiful place, children will board a boat to sail to Nea Kameni, the island in the center of Santorini’s caldera, and ascend to its volcano by donkey to learn about the area’s geology.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6


The largest of the Greek islands, Crete was the home of the Minoans, who created Europe’s earliest advanced civilization. Callisto docks at Rethymno, one of the island’s most picturesque towns, for a choice of walking part of the rugged and scenic Imbros Gorge, or exploring Rethymno and swimming at its beach. After lunch drive to Knossos to wander its fabled Minoan Palace. Clustered around a courtyard, the palace contains a maze of rooms, passages and stairways that might have inspired the concept of the labyrinth. Many myths originated here, including that of the Minotaur. Drop by the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, whose exhibits reveal the brilliance and refinement of the Minoan civilization.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7

Karpathos / Lindos, Rhodes

The destination this morning is Diafani, Karpathos, an island that remains outside of the tourist circuit, for an excursion to Olymbos, one of the most authentic and traditional villages in Greece. Then cruise to the island of Rhodes, known in antiquity for its schools of philosophy, rhetoric and sculpture. Callisto will stop at Pefkos Bay for an afternoon swim before continuing to the striking town of Lindos, crowned by an acropolis. Overnight aboard the ship, anchored in Lindos Bay.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8


This morning tour the lovely village of Lindos, either walking or riding a donkey up to the acropolis, set on a cliff 400 feet above the sea with spectacular views of the village and bay below. After lunch at a classic taverna, head to Rhodes, one of Europe’s biggest medieval towns and the site of the former Colossus of Rhodes. Discover the Old Town’s winding streets and splendid plazas, which owe their 14th-century charm to the Crusader Knights of Saint John.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9

Kusadasi / Ephesus, Turkey

After a morning cruising in the Aegean Sea, arrive at Turkey’s port of Kusadasi. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the town before our late-afternoon adventure to Ephesus, one of the world’s great archaeological sites. Renowned as the center of worship of the mother goddess Cybele, later known as Artemis, it was also the site where Saint Paul preached Christianity (BC 52-54). See the stunning façade of the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the theater, and other structures. Recent excavations include the Roman terrace houses, with their sumptuous decorations, which illustrate daily life in Ephesus during Roman times.


Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10

Delos, Greece / Tinos

Dedicate the morning to roaming the island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis, a vast archaeological site and open-air museum inhabited only by antiquity guards, archaeologists and conservators. Our final afternoon is on the alluring island of Tinos, where we anchor at the Bay of Aghios Ioannis for swimming, then dock in the main town of Tinos for time at leisure before sailing in the evening.

Hotel Callisto

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11

Athens / Home

Disembark Callisto in the morning in Piraeus and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Meals – breakfast

Day 12

Day 13

Map of trip's locations
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Map of trip's ship

Our ship

Chartered exclusively for Stanford, the Callisto has 17 cabins, all of which face outside. Unlike the formalities found on larger cruise ships, a relaxed and informal atmosphere prevails aboard. An English-speaking crew of 18 manages the ship and provides friendly and efficient service. The dining room accommodates all guests at one unassigned seating, and the adjoining lounge is a good place to socialize with fellow travelers and attend lectures. When the weather permits, meals may be served alfresco. A library is located on the spacious sun deck.

The 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 a shower, a marble sink countertop, a hair dryer and fine toiletries.

Category D

Cabins 16, 19†

130 sq. ft.

Double - $9,995

Child Triple**- $9,595

Category C

Cabins 12, 14, 15, 17

130 sq. ft.

Double - $10,695

Single - $15,895

Child Triple** - $10,295

Category B

Cabins 1, 2, 5, 7-9

135 sq. ft.

Double - $11,695

Single - $17,495

Category A

Cabins 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

145 sq. ft.

Double - $12,595

†Occupants may hear occasional propeller noise.*Stanford Alumni Association nonmembers add $300 per person. For a child sharing with one adult or two children sharing a double, deduct $400 per child from the double rate.

Trip details

Group size / age

34 participants / Minimum age: 6


From $9,995*

*Stanford Alumni Association nonmembers add $300 per person. For a child sharing with one adult or two children sharing a double, deduct $400 per child from the double rate.


Educational program with lecture series and predeparture materials, including an education resource list and travel information · Young Explorer program and activities for kids · Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program · All tours and excursions as described in the itinerary · Gratuities to guides, drivers and ship crew for all group activities · 3 nights of deluxe hotel accommodations · 7-night cruise aboard the Callisto · Port fees and embarkation taxes · 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners · Welcome and farewell receptions · Group transfers and baggage handling to and from the Athens Capital Hotel · On-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · General medical, accident and evacuation insurance

Not included

Your personal flights to and from the program · Passport and visa fees · Immunization costs · Meals and beverages other than those specified as included · Independent and private transfers · Nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · Baggage insurance · Excess-baggage charges · Personal items such as internet access, telephone calls, laundry and gratuities for nongroup services

Air arrangements

You are responsible for booking and purchasing airfare to the start location and from the end location of the program. These air purchases are NOT included in the program cost. To assist you in making these independent arrangements, we will send you details with your confirmation materials on when to arrive and depart.

Room arrangements

Most of the trip will be on the Callisto, where families may choose cabins that accommodate as many as two adults and one child. Families with more than one cabin will be situated near each other. Cabins are not connected. In our hotel in Athens, families stay in standard hotel rooms, typically with one king or queen bed (depending on the property), or two twin beds. Flexibility is a must. If you plan to have three people in one room, please indicate your bed preference for the first two people. We will request a rollaway for the third family member. For families in multiple rooms, Travel/Study always requests rooms that are next to each other or as close as the accommodations permit. If your family would like interconnecting hotel rooms, please indicate as much when you register. Travel/Study can request interconnecting rooms on your behalf where available, but most accommodations will not guarantee them in advance.

What to expect

Our Family Adventures are built from the ground up, always keeping families traveling with children in mind. That means that everything—from the timing to the activities to the special events—is selected to enhance the overall experience for your entire family. You’ll spend most of your time on tours together as a family. On occasion the kids will go off adventuring with their Young Explorer leaders while grownups enjoy adults-only activities such as extended museum time and site tours. Parents and grandparents enjoy lectures by renowned Stanford scholars while kids meet in their Young Explorer groups. Young Explorer leaders—at least one for every 10 kids—come prepared with games, activities and lots of energy to keep kids engaged and entertained.

The Aegean Family Adventure is moderately strenuous and at times physically demanding, with some late nights. Participants must be physically fit, active and in good health. Daily programs involve walking three to five miles from bus drop-off points through city centers, in museums, at archaeological sites and on tours, as well as extended periods of standing in museums and on tours. Participants will encounter uneven terrain, including hills and some dirt and cobblestone paths. Summer in Greece and Turkey is typically hot and humid; temperatures on this program range from the low 90s F during the day and down to the mid-60s F in the evenings.

Request information

This program is still in development. Dates are subject to change and details on trip costs are not yet available. Submit your request to be among the first to receive notification when final details are available. At that time, you will have the opportunity to place a deposit, ahead of our general audience.


Get started

If you’re ready to reserve your space, click on the “reserve” button below to place a deposit. Please note: you’ll need to log into your Stanford Alumni Association account to complete the transaction. You do not need to be a Stanford Alumni Association member or an alum to create an account.

Questions? Call the Travel/Study office at (650) 725-1093.


Contact us

For all other inquiries, complete the form below or email us at and a Travel/Study associate will contact you within one to two business days.

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Stanford Travel/Study Terms and Conditions


We encourage membership in the Stanford Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $300 more than the members’ price. The nonmember fee is waived for anyone traveling as a paid guest of a current member, as well as for emerita or emeritus faculty and staff. To purchase a membership, call (650) 725-0692 or click here for more information.

Deposits, Payments and Cancellations

A $1,000-per-person deposit is required to reserve space on this program. Final payment is due 120 days prior to program start. Deposits and any payments are refundable, less a $500-per-person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior to program start. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and we resell your place(s), in which case a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee will apply.


Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with general medical, accident and evacuation coverage, as well as on-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage, under our group-travel insurance policy. Our group policy is intended to provide minimal levels of protection while you are traveling on this program. You may choose to subscribe to optional nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage and/or baggage insurance. Information offering such insurance will be included in your confirmation materials. The product offered includes special benefits if you purchase your insurance within 14 days of receiving your welcome email.


The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and ship arrangements and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motor coach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as tour rates include arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. We reserve the right to cancel any program prior to departure, in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. We also reserve the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner’s risk entirely. It is understood that the ship’s ticket, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the cruise company. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Stanford Alumni Association, nor Stanford University, nor our operators accept liability for any carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is published and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign an Assumption of Risk.

California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50

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