The final day of our voyage was spent exploring the picturesque island of Hvar. We began with an early morning journey by coach to Stari Grad Plain, passing steep cliffs and lush forests along the way. At Stari Grad, rustic stone walls mark ancient divisions of land devised by Greek colonists in the 4th century BC. We arrived at Hora Estate, a small farm that produces lavender, wine, and other organic products. A few photogenic donkeys greeted us at the entrance, and some of us took the opportunity to photograph the local “wildlife.” We learned about the island’s ancient farming traditions, as well as Hvar’s rich history of lavender cultivation. We enjoyed a delicious meal of fresh, organic foods produced by the Hora Estate, and then we journeyed back to the main town of Hvar.

In Hvar, we explored the different neighborhoods used by the ruling Venetian nobles and the commoners, taking note of the many winged lions — the symbol of the Venetian maritime empire. We also toured the splendid Arsenal of Hvar. First built in the 14th century for the repair of ships, the Arsenal was expanded over time; it was reconstructed in the early 1600s after an attack by Ottomans. By the mid-1600s the upper story of the Arsenal was used as a public theater, making this the oldest public theater in Europe.

Heading back to the ship, we enjoyed one last afternoon aboard with a decadent, creamy iced coffee at tea time. During cocktail hour on the lido deck, many guests shared stories of this one-of-a-kind journey; together we enjoyed the guest slide show, prepared by photographer Sue Forbes. We hope to meet again with our Sea Cloud family and fellow shipmates on a future Lindblad expedition.