Conflicts, Cures and Curiosities in the Eastern Mediterranean - Jon Baines Tours

Conflicts, Cures and Curiosities in the Eastern Mediterranean

10 - 20 Oct 2020
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Set sail on the MS Serenissima, a classic small cruise ship taking only 95 passengers. From Athens to Valletta, journey across the Eastern Mediterranean along the coastlines of Albania, Montenegro and Italy and explore medical and military history that spans thousands of years. Hear about ancient pharmacology, how religion and medicine co-existed in the ancient world, plagues and sailors, and WWII battles from your expert lecturers on board; Natasha McEnroe, Simon Chaplin, Briony Hudson and Michael Crumplin.

Throughout the cruise enjoy private excursions that delve beyond the ordinary. Cruise the Corinth Canal from Athens, visiting Delphi en route; explore ancient ruins from Butrint to Taormina; walk around medieval and Renaissance towns that effortlessly exude charm, and relax over delicious Italian lunches.

There will be a pre tour extension to Athens and the Peloponnese, led by Briony Hudson, that will explore the history of the area. Visits include the Acropolis, Nemea, Mycenae and Epidaurus. Explore the seaside town of Tolo - where you will spend two nights - as well as Nafplio, one of the prettiest Greek towns.

After the cruise there is the option to continue your journey in Malta, where Pete Starling will lead an extension focusing on Malta's military and medical history. Delve into the long history of this island, which has been fought over for centuries.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Natasha McEnroe

Natasha McEnroe

Natasha McEnroe is the Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London. Her previous post was Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, and prior to this was Museum Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy and Curator of the Galton Collection at University College London. From 1997 – 2007, she was Curator of Dr Johnson’s House in London’s Fleet Street, and has also worked for the National Trust and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Natasha was co-editor of The Hospital in the Oatfield – The Art of Nursing in the First World War (2014); The Tyranny of Treatment: Samuel Johnson, His Friends and Georgian Medicine (2003); and editor of Medicine: An Imperfect Science(2019) and co-editor of The Medicine Cabinet(2019). Her research interests focus on 18th and 19th-century medical humanities. Natasha is a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Barbers.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 10 Oct ( Sat) Piraeus (Greece): Embark on the MS Serenissima. In the evening meet the group over welcome drinks
  • 11 Oct (Sun) Piraeus/ Corinth Canal/ Itea (Greece): Depart Piraeus in the morning and sail through the historic Corinth Canal. Talk: 'Greek gods and Healers' by Simon Chaplin. In the afternoon arrive in Itea and drive to Delphi. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the site of the sacred Delphic Oracle and walk along the Sacred Way. Visit the Treasury of the Athenians and the 5000 seat theatre from the 4th century BC. Return to the ship in the early evening
  • 12 Oct (Mon) Corfu (Greece): Sail towards the island of Corfu in the morning. Talks: 'Theriac, the miracle drug' by Briony Hudson and 'The Durrells' medical connections' by Natasha McEnroe. Arrive in Corfu and visit the British Cemetery before exploring the Old Fort. Walking tour of the UNESCO historic old town. Stop at Bosketto, once the residence of the British High Commissioner. The ship will overnight in Corfu so there will be free time to explore or spend the evening
  • 13 Oct (Tues) Sarande (Albania): Arrive in Sarande and visit historic Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with remains of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman settlements. Explore the sanctuary, the temple of Asclepius, the Roman baths, the amphitheatre and the medieval fortress. Return to the ship for lunch before setting sail. Talk: 'Plague in the Adriatic' by Simon Chaplin
  • 14 Oct (Wed) Kotor (Montenegro): Cruise in the early morning into beautiful Kotor Fjord. Take a guided walk through Kotor's squares, faced with Renaissance buildings tracing its history as Venetian trading port. Visit the 12th century Cathedral of St. Tryphon. The afternoon is at leisure to relax or continue exploring before sailing mid afternoon. Talk: 'The Battle of Taranto' by Michael Crumplin
  • 15 Oct (Thurs) Gallipoli / Lecce/ Taranto (Italy): Disembark the ship to explore the port city of Gallipoli and visit the Antica Farmacia Provenzano, a working pharmacy dating back to 1814. Travel to the beautiful city of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the South' for lunch. Visit the historic Ospedale delle Spirito Santo and the Piazza del Duomo. Take a scenic tour through the beautiful Puglian countryside to rejoin the ship in Taranto. Evening at leisure in Taranto
  • 16 Oct (Fri) Crotone (Italy): Discover the history of Graeca Magna's oldest city, home of the Pythagorean School which made Croton one of the great centres of medical and scientific thought in the Ancient World. Explore the traditional market in Piazza Pitagora, the Archaeological Museum and see the castle of Charles V. Afternoon at leisure to explore Crotone. Talk: 'Pythagoras and the medicine of Graeca Magna' by Simon Chaplin
  • 17 Oct (Sat) Lipari/ Stromboli (Aeolian Islands): Arrive in Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands. Visit the archaeological museum and the Ecomuseo della Memoria, which covers the island's extraordinary geology and the therapeutic use of its thermal baths. Afternoon at leisure. Talks: 'Operation Husky' by Michael Crumplin and 'Volcanoes and the Grand Tour' by Simon Chaplin. As the sun sets cruise past Stromboli for dramatic views of the famous active volcano
  • 18 Oct (Sun) Messina / Taormina (Sicily): Dock in Messina. Scenic drive along the beautiful coast to Taormina and visit the Teatro Greco and the Park Giovanni Colonna to learn about the story of the remarkable English noblewoman Lady Florence Trevelyan. Enjoy lunch at a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna. Return to Messina in the late afternoon. Talk: 'Syphilis and Seafarers' by Natasha McEnroe
  • 19 Oct (Mon) Pozzallo/ Modica/ Scicli (Sicily): Dock at Pozzallo for two of southern Sicily's UNESCO listed baroque gems. In Modica visit the museum dedicated to doctor and polymath, Tommaso Campailla, as well as a historic chocolate factory still using Aztec recipes brought to Sicily by the Spanish in the 16th century. Lunch in a local restaurant. Return to the port via Scicli, visiting the Antica Farmacia Cartia. Talk in the evening 'The Seige of Malta 1940-2' by Michael Crumplin
  • 20 Oct (Tues) Valletta (Malta): Dock in the historic city of Valletta. Disembark for either the airport or continue with our Malta post cruise extension looking at the island's medical and military history.

Tour cost

Cabin prices start from $5,933.00 per person(price includes flights from London to Athens, and from Malta back to London and associated airport transfers). Excludes all other international flights and transfers.

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