Learn how to cultivate your own “inspiration” for Joy. Our expertly curated programs, events, travel excursions, talks and activities will help you bring your Joyous self to the surface, all while surrounded by the ancient and inspiring coastal landscape that is Greece, in full view. Space is limited.
Step aboard the 223-foot mega yacht for an exploration of mindfulness and joy, in the calm waters of the Saronic Gulf in Greece. Reacquaint yourself with the Joyful being within you as we explore exotic locales, experience the people, arts, culture and exquisite local cuisines.
As we set sail on the high seas we will explore Joy and it’s roots in the ancient history of Greece. Each day, as you travel in luxury, you will be treated like family, enjoying local arts and culture as well as unique mindful experiences, such as yoga, meditation, connection exercises, or wisdom sharing. All with extraordinary world class guides in history, the arts, astrology, socio-emotional learning and well being. And for the true foodie, you will savor culturally authentic local dining in extraordinarily private locations. Imagine fresh fish served up alongside archaeological wonders typically off-limits to tourists. Eudaimonia (Joy!) is waiting for you.
Want to know more? A taste of what’s in store is described below. And remember, regardless of the daily schedule of offerings, your time is precious to spend as you wish, so please enjoy free time anytime. No excursions or activities are required.
Arrive in Athens and board your floating mega-yacht home for the next seven days, nestled in Piraeus, the port for Athens since 482 BC. With 360º views of the busy metropolis of Athens, its treasure trove of antiquities just a few miles away. We’ll have a welcome dinner on board, and ease into the week with restorative yoga and meditation as well as introductions as only Leslie can make them.
The beauty of the Acropolis, the museums, cafés, sidewalk markets and cultural mosaic of Athens await, with an entire day to explore this ancient and modern city. Our specially selected historian/philosophy university professor will lead our tour, with time afterward to explore more of the historic sites on your own, or to shop or stroll the picturesque narrow streets of this ancient yet modern city. We remain in port overnight, so you will have time to savor more flavors of Athens, enjoying dinner on your own.
Sail for the island of Aegina, where we’ll enjoy local tavernas and explore the island’s pine-covered landscape. With the Aeginetans’ legendary ancestor a son of Zeus and the nymph Aegina, it’s no wonder Aegina is rich in history, boasting an Archaeological Museum that houses material from the temples of Aphaia and Aphrodite, and pottery and grave-goods from the 3rd millennium BC to Roman times. Drink in the history or simply drink Ouzo and local wines, as you explore the island or relax on one of its many beautiful beaches.
Separated from the mountainous Peloponnese by a narrow sea channel, Poros’ pastel-hued houses stacked up on the hillside around a clock tower is as romantic as it gets. Stay onboard the ship and relax, or visit the ruins of a 6th-century Temple of Poseidon, with gorgeous views of the Saronic Gulf and the Peloponnese, or the “Monastery of the life-giving spring,” a picture-perfect monastery set amidst lush pine forest and springs. The small but mighty Archaeological Museum of Poros sits on the waterfront, with a beautiful collection of classic Greek sculpture, and of course beaches aplenty await your visit as well.
Hydra not only is home to the most beautiful port in Greece, but is also to Sozita’s uncle, the island’s Mayor. We’ll enjoy a traditional Greek family food experience complete with music and local wines, and insider introductions to this uniquely serene island. Hydra bans all motor vehicles and strictly preserves the island’s architecture so that you’ll be transported back to the 18th century, when shipping captains first made Hydra their home. You’ll love walking its cobbled lanes and will see first-hand why so many artists have found their home here.
Known among nature lovers, hikers and history buffs alike, Dokos served as an important ancient port, first inhabited in the 5th millennium B.C. Home to only 50 people, its pristine beaches are surrounded by unspoiled landscape. Sozita’s family owns one of the few houses allowed on the island, and access is granted only to homeowners. We thus benefit from access few have, exploring the island and nearby lagoon’s archeological wonders before dining on freshly caught fish, local wines, and music in this special, authentically Greek island where tourists generally are not allowed.
Nicknamed “The Isle of the Aromas,” verdant green Spetsai is a delight to all of the senses. First occupied during the Mesolithic Age in 8000 BC, the island’s historic old town boasts a stunning harbor, quaint shops and the finest restaurants in the Saronic Gulf. Travel the single road on this relatively unpopulated island in a horse-drawn carriage, passing quiet, rolling hills, and pausing at quiet coves to dip into the cerulean waters. View the ancient artifacts found on Dokos, housed in the Spetses museum, and enjoy a taste of the famous ouzo (licorice-flavored Greek liqueur) or a glass of wine on the waterfront. For your last island dinner, we will spoil you at the luxury restaurant in the Poseidonion Grand Hotel.
Enjoy our last full day at sea, on the beautiful blue waters of the Saronic Gulf, we will close with suggestions on how to carry on with Joy, and seal our new friendships with a special closing dinner as we return once more to Athens’ Marina Zeas.
Athens and the Acropolis at sunset. Hydra, an off-the-beaten track island with her picturesque harbor. The beautiful Aegina and Poros islands. Iconic experiences on the protected archaeological isle of Dokos and the ancient wonders of Spetses. Discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters, a glimpse of ancient history and rich cultural diversity each day. This is not just any out-of-the-box Greek Island vacation. This specially curated cruise combines mindfulness and the science of Joy with an insider’s connections to welcome you as family to this ancient seat of wisdom.
Where better to dive deep into Joy than Greece, home to philosophers and statesmen whose wisdom continues to teach us today. From Heraclitus’ understanding of the ever-changing nature of life to Pericles -- builder of the Acropolis and the Parthenon -- who taught that “what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others,” and Socrates, who understood that the more we come to know ourselves, the greater will be our ability to reason and make choices that lead to true happiness. The wisdom of these ancient Greek philosophers will come alive in our inaugural Gathering of Joy cruise. Insightful tours courtesy of a professor of Philosophy, Greek family providing us a taste of the islands visitors rarely experience, the uncrowded magic of the islands on a supersized yacht, and our Gathering of Joy mindfulness experiences combine to create a magic you won’t want to miss.
Located on the Main deck, right off the reception area, the Main Lounge is gracefully designed and finished with wood panels. There is ample seating space for moments of pleasure or relaxation and modern AV equipment for presentations. The mini library, just off the Main Lounge, offers a variety of books and magazines.
Located on the Upper deck, the glass enclosed dining room seats 75 passengers and allows for spectacular views around you, while dining in an elegant environment. It extends to the adjacent open deck dining room, also seating 50 passengers and allowing for breakfast, lunch or dinner to be taken “al fresco”. Food is served at the table or displayed on the state of the art hot & cold buffet which also includes an “a la minute cooking” section.
Located on the 360° Sun Deck, the open Bar and Lounge offers stylish shaded seating and is the ideal spot for reading, relaxing or dancing under the stars until the late hours at the sound of our resident DJ/entertainer.
Located at the Lower Deck, it offers Massage, Sauna and some fitness equipment. Our Balinese Spa Supervisor also provides hair, face and nails treatments.
Sun loungers are available to sunbathe in total comfort while enjoying drinks served from the Ocean’s Bar.
Such personal expenses as drinks (other than included in the rate), laundry, spa-where applicable- boutique items and gratuities, (gratuities are optional but as a rule, satisfied clients are expected to give to the captain, at the end of the cruise, approximately Euros 15-18 p/p p/day for distribution among all crew members) medical expenses, port taxes, shore excursions (shore excursions are proposed and arranged on board by the tour leaders), use of the on board Wi-Fi (available at a charge), expenditures incurred ashore, and anything not mentioned in cruise program.
We are in the process of confirming a number of amazing provocateurs from Greece. Artist Danae Stratou, Singer Songwriter Monika, Professor Philosopher and Historian Simon Critchley and Violinist Leonidas Kavakos. We’ll also be entertained by local musicians and artists as we travel through the islands. Currently, we have the following minds who deepen your perspective
From classical pianist to transformational guru, Maya’s unique Kundalini Yoga For Real Life makes the practice accessible to all, and will help us energize, relax, further open our hearts, and more fully embrace all the joy that life has to offer.
Astrology, author, speaker, artist, Leslie McGuirk brings people together in her own unique style, to create connections from the start. She draws out the creativity within each of us, while using her special gift of interpreting and teaching Astrology to help us understand our differences in ways that bring us closer together.
Interweaving science based mindfulness training with education, Emiliana’s work on how to cultivating the healthy qualities of the mind and heart have taken her from Casa Tibet in Mexico and India, Nepal and Thailand to Harvard, where she received her degree in Mind, Brain and Education. She has helped top executives at Corporations and Ministries in the government to deal effectively with stress through meditation and mindfulness. Along with her team she has helped more than 80,000 teachers cultivate emotional well-being both for themselves and their students.
Professor, curator and the author of "Beckett's Breath, ” Dr. Sozita Goudouna teaches at CUNY City University of New York and was the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon Curator at Performa NY, whose partnerships consist of a consortium of 80+ institutions (MoMA, New Museum, Whitney, Guggenheim). Ever since participating in our first Gathering of Joy, Sozita has been working to bring GOJ to Greece, and has been integral in introducing us to friends and family that look forward to showing us their beautiful country as only true family can.
Author of two books, Stolen Eve and The Aging Sin, Constantine, in 2018, wrote, directed, and produced the film DRAW WITH ME in collaboration with THE TREVOR PROJECT. This documentary follows in the footsteps of an artist youth Brendon Scholl, as they navigate through the complex waters of being a gender fluid youth in transition. In 2012, Constantine founded the 'Kuntaur Film Festival' bringing children’s films to the areas of West Africa that lacked access to electricity. He is also an actively engaged member of The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention line for LGBT young people.