Weekly blog for May 25: Following the Argonauts on the Black Sea

Jason brings back the Golden Fleece

Jason brings back the Golden Fleece

Here’s what a Black Sea cruise, themed on the Argonauts, might look like.

Prospectus: A 10-Day Black Sea Cruise Themed on Jason and the Argonauts

(Tour would begin and end in Constanta, Romania, staying in the Black Sea and avoiding the big city of Istanbul, which didn’t exist at the time anyway. It would also make it simpler than starting in Jason’s home town on the Aegean Sea. One country less, no straits. Those things could be added, of course, but at a cost, both in price and in complexity.) 

Vessel: a passenger ship with hotel space for up to 30 travelers, and complete food service facilities, equipped for seagoing travel on the Black Sea. 

A crew of 4 (Posing as members of Argo crew: Jason, Atalanta the runner and the crew’s only female, Heracles the strongman demigod, and Orpheus the demigod singer — all with tour director functions, one of them as chief):

A male actor, costumed as Jason, to give readings from Argonautica, by Appolonius of Rhodes.

A female runner, as athletic/social director, costumed as Atalanta: sports, games.

A male bodybuilder, as athletic/social director, costumed as Heracles: sports, posing.

A male singer/guitarist, costumed as Orpheus, for Greek and international music.

Day 1: Arrival. Supper on board.

Day 2: Tomis, the ancient Greek settlement at Constanta. Archaeological Museum, gravestones, ruins below.

Stroll to Casino, visiting ruins at leisure.

Terrace lunch on Casino grounds.

Return to ship, and cruise to Mangalia.

Mangalia. Archaeological Museum and ruins of ancient Greek Callatis.

Supper on board, as sun sets over Mangalia/Callatis.

Evening performances by crew.

Sail for Varna.

Day 3: Morning: Varna Archaeological Museum.

Lunch in Varna.

Afternoon: Necropolis site (Scythian, 4000 BC).

Supper on board, followed with performances by crew. Sail for Turkey. 

Day 4: Igneada, Turkey (near “Salmydessus”, home of Argonautica’s Phineus).

Morning optional birdwatching in local bird sanctuary, or beach.

Lunch: Lamb feast, as served to blind seer Phineus by Argonauts after driving off flying harpies who were starving him on orders from Zeus.

Afternoon: Cruise to Bosphorus.

Sail past the “Symplegades” (the ‘Cyanean or Crashing Rocks’ of the Rumelifeneri and the Anadolufeneri). Presentation by the crew, depicting passage through rocks as counseled by Phineus.

Supper on board. Games. Continued sailing.

Day 5: Anchor near site of Thynian Island, consecrated to Apollo by Argonauts.

Sunrise: Champagne breakfast with goat meat skewers and goat cheese (as eaten by Argonauts in honor of the sun god at this location).

Day cruise. Games. Presentations. Performances. Lunch on board.

Late afternoon arrival at Samsun. Supper off ship in Samsun.

Day 6: Samsun. Tekkeköy Caves (pre-Bronze-Age) in morning.

Lunch in town.

Afternoon: Archaeological Museum and Bronze Age sites in Bafra.

Supper on board, followed with presentations by crew.

Sail for Georgia/Colchis.

Day 7: Batumi, Georgia.

Medea Statue in Batumi, Georgia (Colchis)

Medea Statue in Batumi, Georgia (Colchis)

Morning: Botanical Gardens with lunch.

Afternoon: Beach or free time in town.

Evening: Performace of Euripides’ Medea (commissioned at local theatre, with supper before in nearby restaurant).

Day 8: Day trip by motor coach to Vani, Georgia. (Kingdom of Aeetes location?)

Visits to Archaeological Museum and Archaeological site in Vani.

Georgian lunch in Vani.

Bull jumping exhibition, arranged in local venue with Georgian athletes.

Supper with entertainment by Georgian sabre dancers.

Day 9: Return to Constanta.

Either an all day sail, or night sailing with day on beach at Sinop (south coast) or Yalta (north coast).

Day 10: Arrival back in Constanta, and departure.







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