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Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece

Rome to Athens

28 days

2-night hotel stay in Rome

2-night hotel stay in Athens

from $7,295 pp

04 Sep, 2019

Saver fares are limited in availability and can be removed at any time. Details of our Shore Excursions Program are being finalized. Therefore, shore excursions may be subject to change. Please contact us for more details.

AEG190907A

  • 28 days
  • 6 countries
  • 4 hotel nights
  • 17 shore excursions
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From St Peter’s and the Pantheon to the Colosseum and the Forum, Rome is a city blessed with bountiful historical treasures. A two-night hotel stay in this remarkable city begins your cruise, which ends in the equally impressive surroundings of Athens. From the Roman port of Civitavecchia, you’ll sail to Sorrento for the ruins of Pompeii as well as cruising the spectacular Amalfi Coast.

Sail close to the volcanic island of Stromboli on the way to Taormina in Sicily, followed by Corfu in Greece. The charming Croatian ports of Split and Dubrovnik come next, before you return to Italy for the Renaissance treasures of Urbino.

Two nights in one of the world’s greatest destinations, the beautiful Floating City of Venice, will include an exclusive evening event. Then cruise the Dalmatian Coast to Greece and the Greek Islands. Here you will visit ancient Olympia, overnight in the historic Peloponnese port of Pylos and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the island of Hydra. Your journey ends with a two-night hotel stay in that greatest of classical cities, Athens.

Date
Port
Depart
Arrive
Sep 04
Wed
    Departure
    Depart North America
    Sep 05
    Thu
    Rome , Italy
    Arrive into Rome and transfer to hotel
    overnight hotel
    Sep 06
    Fri
    Rome , Italy
    Choice of tours to the Colosseum & St Peter in chain, or Ostia Antica. Optional visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
    overnight hotel
    Sep 07
    Sat
    Rome , Italy
    Optional tour to the grounds of the Villa d'Este. Transfer to Aegean Odyssey.
    7.00pm
    Sep 08
    Sun
    Sorrento , Italy
    Sightseeing tour of Pompeii.
    overnight
    8.00am
    Sep 09
    Mon
    Sorrento , Italy
    Sightseeing tour of Herculaneum.
    overnight
    Sep 10
    Tue
    Salerno , Italy
    Morning cruising past Capri and the beautiful Amalfi Coast.
    7.00am
    Sep 10
    Tue
    Salerno , Italy
    A choice of tours to magnificent Ravello or Paestum.
    8.00pm
    1.00pm
    Sep 11
    Wed
    Taormina , Sicily
    Cruise past Stromboli and through the Strait of Messina for an afternoon walking tour of Taormina or Sicilian landscapes.
    8.00pm
    1.00pm
    Sep 12
    Thu
    At sea
    Lectures and activities at sea
    Sep 13
    Fri
    Corfu , Greece
    Visit the Achilleion Palace or the highlights of Corfu Town.
    noon
    7.00am
    Sep 13
    Fri
    Sarande , Albania
    The UNESCO World heritage site of Butrint - a changing settlement from Hellenistic, Roman, Medieval and Venetian times.
    8.00pm
    2.00pm
    Sep 14
    Sat
    Lecce (Brindisi) , Italy
    Visit Lecce - a city of architectural treasures, including the Roman amphitheater, Baroque buildings and the stunning Santa Croce Basilica or visit Alberobello a small town in Puglia known for its trulli houses.
    8.00pm
    7.00am
    Sep 15
    Sun
    Dubrovnik , Croatia
    Morning city tour featuring city walls, Baroque church of St Blaise, Cathedral and Rector's Palace.
    7.00pm
    8.00am
    Sep 16
    Mon
    Split , Croatia
    City tour: Diocletian's Palace including Temple of Jupiter. Optional tour of Salona and Trogir.
    8.00pm
    7.00am
    Sep 17
    Tue
    Urbino (Ancona) , Italy
    Visit the birthplace of Rafael, Palazzo Ducale and the magnificent Duomo.
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    Sep 18
    Wed
    Venice , Italy
    Morning walking tour of Venice. Optional afternoon tour to visit two islands of the Venetian Lagoon.
    overnight
    8.00am
    Sep 19
    Thu
    Venice , Italy
    VENICE Italy
    overnight
    Sep 20
    Fri
    Venice , Italy
    VENICE Italy
    7.00pm
    Sep 21
    Sat
    Urbino (Ancona) , Italy
    Visit the birthplace of Rafael, Palazzo Ducale and the magnificent Duomo.
    8.00pm
    8.00am
    Sep 22
    Sun
    Split , Croatia
    SPLIT Croatia
    10.00pm
    8.00am
    Sep 23
    Mon
    Korcula , Croatia
    Cruising past Hvar and Brac
    1.00pm
    7.00am
    Sep 23
    Mon
    Dubrovnik , Croatia
    Evening arrival into Dubrovnik for time at leisure.
    overnight
    6.00pm
    Sep 24
    Tue
    Dubrovnik , Croatia
    DUBROVNIK Croatia
    noon
    Sep 24
    Tue
    Kotor Bay , Montenegro
    Afternoon cruising Kotor Bay.
    Sep 25
    Wed
    Sarande , Albania
    SARANDE Albania (Butrint)
    7.30pm
    8.00am
    Sep 26
    Thu
    Katakolon (Olympia) , Greece
    Morning tour to Ancient Olympia.
    1.00pm
    7.30am
    Sep 26
    Thu
    Pylos , Greece
    Spend a relaxing evening ashore in Pylos.
    overnight
    6.30pm
    Sep 27
    Fri
    Pylos , Greece
    Visit some of Pylos historical sites: Ancient Messini or the castle of Paleokastritsa
    8.00pm
    Sep 28
    Sat
    Monemvasia , Greece
    Walking tour of the beautiful lower town.
    noon
    7.00am
    Sep 28
    Sat
    Hydra , Greece
    Evening at leisure to visit one of the most charming Greek islands, Hydra.
    midnight
    5.00pm
    Sep 29
    Sun
    Athens , Greece
    Disembark Aegean Odyssey for a full morning tour of the Acropolis and its Museum and then transfer to hotel in Athens.
    overnight hotel
    7.00am
    Sep 30
    Mon
    Athens , Greece
    Day at leisure to explore sites such as the ancient Agora and National Archaeological Museum.
    overnight hotel
    Oct 01
    Tue
    Athens , Greece
    Transfer to Athens Airport for flight home.

    Ostia Antica

    6 Sep Rome, Italy
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteCobbled Streets
    Buried for centuries, this well-preserved archaeological site is far less visited than Pompeii, yet in many ways provides a more complete picture of daily life in the Roman Empire. Ostia Antica was ancient Rome's main port on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Buried for centuries, this well-preserved archaeological site is far less visited than Pompeii, yet in many ways provides a more complete picture of daily life in the Roman Empire. Ostia Antica was ancient Rome's main port on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Anco Marzio (640BC to 616BC), the fourth king of Rome, is traditionally named the founder of this city at the mouth "ostia" of the Tiber. At the city's peak, about 100,000 people from all classes and all parts of the Mediterranean lived here until decline began due to silting river, barbarian invasions and malaria. Excavations reveal a hard-working city with apartments, warehouses, bakeries, bars, plus public and religious buildings.

    Your tour of the archaeological zone begins at Via delle Tombe, leading to the city gates. Stroll along the Decumanus Maximus, the main road. Visit the Baths of Neptune with beautiful black-and-white mosaics of the god's wife, Amphitrite. Walk to the theater, the Forum and such public buildings as the Capitolium and the Temple of Rome and Augustus. A variety of religious buildings include several temples dedicated to the cult of Mithras, Egyptian and Roman gods, plus a 1st century BC Jewish synagogue and a Christian basilica.

    See the large thermal baths, the 20-hole public latrine and the living complex called the House of Diana. The Termopolium with its marble counter where ancient Romans could have a quick lunch features a fresco representing the food on sale. Round out your visit with a stop at the Museum Ostiense, displaying some of the wonderful sculptures and mosaics found at this remarkable site.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Rome: The Colosseum & St Peter in Chains

    6 Sep Rome, Italy
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteCobbled Streets
    This tour begins at the Flavius Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum of Rome, the biggest and most imposing stadium of the ancient Roman world. Built with a series of arches, it remains an extraordinary feat of engineering.

    This tour begins at the Flavius Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum of Rome, the biggest and most imposing stadium of the ancient Roman world. Built with a series of arches, it remains an extraordinary feat of engineering.

    At its peak, the Colosseum could hold an average of 65,000 spectators and once featured a canvas roof to protect the crowds from the sun. First commissioned by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavia family, this huge elliptical amphitheatre was opened by his son Titus in 80AD, during a week-long celebration featuring combats between gladiators and beasts, mock sea battles and executions.

    After a guided walk around the site, it’s only a short stroll to the Arch of Constantine. Built in 315AD to honour the first Christian Emperor, the arch is the largest of its kind in existence and spans the site of the ancient Via Triumphalis, the route used by emperors for entering the city in triumph.

    From here you, will re-board your coach for the short journey to the Colle Oppio, where you will see some of the remains of Nero’s Residence, known as the Golden House, and the Baths of Titus, before your visit to the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, famous for the statue of Moses by Michelangelo. Legend has it that one day the great Master said to his statue, “You are so beautiful. Why don’t you speak to me?”

    Finally, we will drive to Via della Conciliazione for a glimpse of St Peter’s Basilica and Square.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Exploring the Vatican

    6 Sep Rome, Italy
    Half Day PM Extensive WalkingSignificant Steps
    At the Vatican Museums, you will wander through the fascinating Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. Then pass through the magnificent Stanza of Raphael, where in the 16th century the young artist decorated the rooms of Pope Julius II's residence with his masterpieces, including the "School of Athens," depicting Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers.

    Enjoy a dazzling visit to what is considered one of the world's most important art collections, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

    At the Vatican Museums, you will wander through the fascinating Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. Then pass through the magnificent Stanza of Raphael, where in the 16th century the young artist decorated the rooms of Pope Julius II's residence with his masterpieces, including the "School of Athens," depicting Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers.

    Your tour will then move to the Vatican's most celebrated building, the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo painted the chapel's extraordinary ceiling with nine scenes from Genesis, including the Creation of Man, the Expulsion of Adam and Eve, as well as The Flood.

    On the wall behind the main altar, The Last Judgment, painted twenty years later, provides further testament to the artist's genius. Though working against his will and in a medium he disliked (he saw himself as a sculptor), Michelangelo managed to fill the room with masterpieces and left a legacy at which the world can only marvel.

    Finally, there will be a visit to St Peter’s Basilica, the most important basilica in the Christian World, where inside an almost unimaginable wealth of art treasures await. The basilica is built on the site of the church where St Peter, the first Pope, is said to be buried. Fronting the basilica is one of Rome’s most famous squares, Bernini’s elliptical Piazza San Pietro, an extraordinary sight punctuated by an Egyptian obelisk and a graceful colonnade.

    Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion

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    Optional $ 79
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Tivoli & the Villa d'Este

    7 Sep Rome, Italy
    Half Day Extensive WalkingSignificant StepsUphill Sections
    Among the world's most beautiful gardens, the grounds of the Villa d'Este embody Renaissance culture at its most refined and are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Among the world's most beautiful gardens, the grounds of the Villa d'Este embody Renaissance culture at its most refined and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Your visit to this remarkable place starts with a drive to Tivoli, a small town in a lovely wooded area on the slopes of the Apennines. The region is rich in caves, waterfalls and legend (a local Sybil prophesied the birth of Jesus). In the hills, opulent villas date to a time when Tivoli was the resort of Roman emperors. Your destination is the 16thcentury Villa d'Este, famed for its spectacular gardens, which feature the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains, the Rotunda of Cypresses and an Organ Fountain that still makes music. With their grottoes, terraces and water displays, these gardens had a profound influence on European mannerist and baroque style garden design.

    Originally a Benedictine convent, the palace was the residence of the exiled Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, governor of Tivoli from 1550. He envisioned a garden set amid hanging cliffs and enlisted the painter-architectarchaeologist Pirro Ligorio to design them. Their innovative construction and the series of terraces upon terraces call to mind the hanging gardens of Babylon. The Aniene River laces the property and the control of its waters, along with the gravity-powered fountains evoke the engineering skill of the Romans.

    Following your visit, enjoy free time to wander through the colourful open air market offering souvenirs, fruit, and a variety of local products.

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    Optional $ 75
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Pompeii

    8 Sep Sorrento, Italy
    Half Day Tender Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    Discover what many consider to be the world's finest example of an ancient Roman town. The patricians who built their mansions in Pompeii came to escape the turmoil in Rome, but a different sort of violence awaited them in their southern retreats. In 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted at 10am and, within three hours, extinguished these affluent communities even as it preserved their remains for our discovery.

    The patricians who built their mansions in Pompeii came to escape the turmoil in Rome, but a different sort of violence awaited them in their southern retreats. In 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted at 10am and, within three hours, extinguished these affluent communities even as it preserved their remains for our discovery. Begin with a scenic hour drive along the Bay of Naples to Pompeii.

    On the walking tour, you will be guided expertly through this spectacular site. Places not to be missed include the aristocratic mansions, temples, theatres, markets and large forum. At every turn, inscriptions bring the hustle and bustle of this ancient city to life: there are notices of wine sales and apartment vacancies, upcoming gladiatorial events in the theatre and political announcements.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Herculaneum

    9 Sep Sorrento, Italy
    Half Day Tender Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    A scenic hour drive takes us to Herculaneum - engulfed by volcanic mud in the same eruption that claimed Pompeii.

    A scenic hour drive takes us to Herculaneum which was engulfed by volcanic mud in the same eruption that claimed Pompeii. Fortunately for us, this mud sealed and protected entire buildings: today inlaid marble floors, paintings, mosaics and carbonised woods can all be seen. These range from the sculpture of the Drunken Hercules in the House of the Stags to mosaics of tritons in the city baths. Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii with an extraordinary density of fine houses, with far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding. The discovery in recent years of some 300 skeletons along the sea shore came as a surprise since it was known that the town itself had been largely evacuated.

    Following our visit, we will return to central Sorrento where you have the option of exploring independently or returning to the ship in the company of the guide.

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    Included

    Paestum

    10 Sep Salerno, Italy
    Half Day Archaeological Site
    Imagine the surprise of the King of Naples when his 17th-century road project revealed three Greek temples in a state of near perfection amid a malaria-infested swamp. He had discovered Paestum, a major city of classic times, surviving untouched since the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Imagine the surprise of the King of Naples when his 17th-century road project revealed three Greek temples in a state of near perfection amid a malaria-infested swamp. He had discovered Paestum, a major city of classic times, surviving untouched since the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Drive from the ship to the east-west mountain ridge that acted as a boundary between the colonies of Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) and the indigenous Lucanian people. Mythology credits Jason and the Argonauts with the city’s founding but, more likely if less romantically, the honour belongs to the Greeks who settled here in 600BC, naming the site Poseidonia to honour the god of the seas. The city was occupied by the Lucans in 400BC, but evidence suggests that the two cultures prospered together. In 273BC, the city became a Roman colony and was renamed Paestum. Three exquisite Greek temples, built between 530BC and 460BC, are at the heart of the city and are complemented by magnificent Roman discoveries that include baths, an amphitheatre and the remains of a forum.

    We will also visit the site’s museum, where the tomb frescoes, discovered by a local farmer in 1969, are worthy of special note. Thankfully, moist conditions enabled these Greek paintings to survive the centuries without drying and flaking and maintain their colours. The various themes include a banquet attended by male lovers, a spirited chariot race and a diver captured in midplunge. They are among the world’s rare surviving examples of ancient Greek painting.

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    Ravello

    10 Sep Salerno, Italy
    Half Day Cobbled StreetsUphill Sections
    Settle back for a beautiful drive along the legendary Amalfi Coast to magnificent Ravello.

    Settle back for a beautiful drive along the legendary Amalfi Coast to magnificent Ravello. From the harbour, the narrow main road winds along sheer cliffs and offers breathtaking panoramas at every hairpin turn. Many consider this the most beautiful drive in the world and it certainly is a fitting prelude to Ravello. Perched 1,150 feet above the Bay of Salerno, the town is a vision of antique towers, graceful arches and flowering gardens that contrast with the rugged surrounding landscape. Its beauty has drawn poets, artists and musicians over the millennia. Boccaccio wrote of Ravello in his Decameron and, more recently, the author Gore Vidal made the town his home.

    Our first stop will be at the aristocratic Villa Rufolo, which has hosted Pope Adrian IV and King Robert of Anjou. The 11th-century Arab style structure has a fountain-decked garden that so entranced Wagner he called it "the garden of Klingsor" after the legendary sorcerer and guardian of a magic garden from his opera Parsifal. The terrace is the setting for Ravello's annual music festival. Later, you'll have time to browse Ravello's cafes, shops and such gems as the cathedral's pulpit which features mosaics of lions and parrots in its sumptuous design.

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    Taormina Walking Tour

    11 Sep Taormina, Sicily
    Half Day Tender Extensive Walking
    Nowhere is the beauty of Sicily more apparent than in the hilltop town of Taormina. Today we will tender ashore for a short, scenic drive to this idyllic spot with its mountainous backdrop, lemon-blossom scented air and narrow, medieval “streets”. This walking tour proceeds past the Cathedral and the 15th-century Palazzo Corvaja with its black and white lava decoration.

    Nowhere is the beauty of Sicily more apparent than in the hilltop town of Taormina. Today we will tender ashore for a short, scenic drive to this idyllic spot with its mountainous backdrop, lemon-blossom scented air and narrow, medieval “streets”. This walking tour proceeds past the Cathedral and the 15th-century Palazzo Corvaja with its black and white lava decoration.

    The highlight is a guided tour of the theatre. Originally built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC and rebuilt by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, the site offers heart-skipping views of the sea and Mount Etna. Your tour concludes with a stroll along the pedestrian Corso Umberto. In the small lanes and twisting viuzze you can shop for colourful ceramics, seek out the wines that won the praise of Pliny or dine on the mullet favoured by Ovid. Passengers wishing to linger in Taormina after the tour can do so, as we have a later return transfer back to the ship.

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    Sicilian Landscapes

    11 Sep Taormina, Sicily
    Half Day Tender Significant StepsUphill Sections
    As you disembark for a drive through Naxos, founded by Greek colonists in the 8th-century BC, the magnificent bay, Taormina and Mount Etna are just a taste of what's to come.

    When seeking locations for The Godfather trilogy about the notorious Corleone family, the filmmakers felt the town of the same name was too developed and chose, instead, two remote mountain villages: Savoca and Forza d'Agro. Both are reached by a drive through scenery that exemplifies the sensual beauty of Italy.

    As you disembark for a drive through Naxos, founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, the magnificent bay, Taormina and Mount Etna are just a taste of what's to come. Enjoy the coastal scenery before turning inland to the Peloritani Mountains, where Savoca is set in a saddle between two hills. Here, the Bar Vitelli seems undisturbed from the time when Francis Ford Coppola was here and has a collection about the film. From the bar, a leisurely walking tour traces the wedding path of Michael Corleone and his bride up the main street past the 15th and 16th century churches to Santa Lucia, where they were married. Climb to the hill's summit for panoramas of a Norman Castle and the Strait of Messina. Also visit the Cappuccini Church where mummified bodies stand fully dressed in the crypt's shadowy niches.

    Your excursion into Godfather Country winds to the nearby village of Forza d'Agro, where Al Pacino and Sophia Coppola came to shoot scenes for Godfather III. Landmarks include the Church of S. Agostino with its Gothic-Catalan portal, the Baroque Mother Church and the Arab-Norman Castle of Capo Sant'Alessio. You don't need to be a film buff to appreciate this choice part of Sicily.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Corfu Town Highlights

    13 Sep Corfu, Greece
    Half Day
    Journey to Corfu Town, where a 15th-century church holds a surprise for all who venture inside: one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art.

    Journey to Corfu Town, where a 15th century church holds a surprise for all who venture inside: one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art. Northernmost of the Ionian Islands, Corfu is renowned for its natural beauty and as a crossroads of civilisation. The island figured in The Odyssey of Homer and The Tempest of Shakespeare.

    Today's adventure starts with a scenic drive to Corfu Town's historic Campielo quarter, where the Byzantine Museum is located in the Panaghia Antivouniotissa (Our Lady Opposite the Mountain), a church that was restored by the Greek government and re-opened in 1984 as a museum. The collection exhibits a wide selection of Byzantine icons, a form of sacred art still used in the Eastern Orthodox religion and held to be an influence on Italian Renaissance artists. Highlights include an altar-cloth from Russia, the Noli Me Tangere icon (Touch Me Not) by Emmanuel Tzanes and the icon of Saints Sergius, Bacchus and Justina by Michael Damaskenos.

    After your visit a short walk takes you to the heart of Corfu Town. Visit the 16th century rococo church dedicated to St Spiridon, Corfu's patron saint, whose bones are preserved in a gleaming casket. Explore the maze of narrow, stepped streets where little has changed for centuries. Discover an array of past rulers reflected in the French boulevards, Georgian mansions, Venetian citadel and Greek temple.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Archaeological Site of Butrint

    13 Sep Sarande, Albania
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteInsect Repellent
    Surrounded by a picturesque lagoon, Butrint is one of the Ionian's most remarkable archaeological sites and one of Albania's most beautiful national parks.

    Surrounded by a picturesque lagoon, Butrint is one of the Ionian's most remarkable archaeological sites and one of Albania's most beautiful national parks. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint, in antiquity Buthrotum, was successively the site of a 6th-century Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. The city prospered under Byzantine administration, was occupied in the 14th century by the Venetians, then by the French, and then the Ottomans. The Ottomans built a fortress for private entertaining and one of their regular visitors was Lord Byron who wrote a poem dedicated to Butrint. Butrint began to be abandoned in the late Middle Ages due to marshes forming in the area. Wars, earthquakes and new cities hastened the city's decline. Today the site is a rich repository of the past and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the pier, a 45-minute drive takes us to Butrint, where the visit begins.

    The word Butrint is related to Aeneas, the Trojan hero who sailed to this area and sacrificed an ox to gain safe entrance to the region. The ox swam to shore, the site of Butrint, thus giving the area its name, "wounded ox". The idyllic wooded setting has inspired writers from Virgil to Racine. An Italian archaeological team headed by Luigi Ugolini supervised three excavations here from 1928 to 1939. Following the war, Albania continued the excavations. Since 1994, archaeologists of the University of East Anglia have made further excavations.

    Today, the approximately 50 square mile site (86 sq. kilometers) is an Albanian National Park and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Walk along the winding paths to discover layers of civilisation: Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian. Complete the visit with a view from Butrint's acropolis and a short visit to the museum.

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    Included

    Alberobello

    14 Sep Lecce (Brindisi), Italy
    Half Day
    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Lecce

    14 Sep Lecce (Brindisi), Italy
    Half day
    Lecce is a city of outstanding historical and architectural treasures. With its abundance of ancient ruins, Baroque churches and noble palaces carved out of honey-coloured local stone, it is a place that will stay long in the memory.

    Lecce is a city of outstanding historical and architectural treasures. With its abundance of ancient ruins, Baroque churches and noble palaces carved out of honey-coloured local stone, it is a place that will stay long in the memory.

    Set in the heart of the Salento region on the south-eastern tip of Italy’s “boot”, Lecce was founded in the 5th century BC and was later an important Roman city. The 25,000-seat amphitheatre dating from the 1st century BC in the Piazza St Oronzo is a magnificent legacy of the city’s Roman past and it is here that your tour begins. You will also pass by the Roman column that marks the end of the Appian Way and then continue on to the city centre to discover the remarkable buildings from a later time.

    From the 16th to the 18th century, Lecce flourished under a period of great splendour and was duly embellished with Rococo and Baroque monuments. The local limestone was particularly easy to work, making the creation of decorative relief and delicate detail relatively easy and created a style known as Lecce Baroque.

    You will visit the Santa Croce Basilica, which is sumptuously decorated and represents the triumph of Baroque art in Lecce. Nearby, admire the impressive façade of the Governor’s Palace (the former monastery of the Celestine monks). Visit one of the finest and most impressive squares in southern Italy – Piazza Duomo.

    Explore the elegant streets of Lecce adjacent to the square and you will discover that the typical local crafts of the town, such as papier-mâché or Leccese stone items, are traditional art forms here. The objects created in the artisans’ workshops are crafted according to ancient traditions handed down from generation to generation.

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    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Dubrovnik Walking Tour

    15 Sep Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Half Day Tender
    Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean.

    Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the Pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean with a seafront setting and dramatic mountain backdrop. The city skyline is a medley of bell towers, copper domes and massive 10th-century walls.

    Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century AD and was a powerful independent republic from 1358 to 1808, when Napoleon conquered the city. Today the city is an inspiration in self-resurrection. Despite a destructive earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik has managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. This morning’s walking tour of the Old Town takes you along the city’s main street, the Stradun or Placa, once a sea channel connecting two ancient settlements. Visit the Dominican Monastery, home to a beautiful 15th-century Gothic cloister and the city’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. Next, the Franciscan Monastery is home to Europe’s oldest pharmacy, founded in 1318 and still in existence.

    Your walk continues past such landmarks as the Sponza Palace with its elaborate stone exterior, the Baroque Church of St Blaise and Onofriou’s Fountain. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, originally built in the 12th century, destroyed in the 1667 earthquake and triumphantly rebuilt. View Titian’s Assumption over the main altar and, in the Treasury, one of Europe’s finest collections of gold and silver, including the bejeweled skull of St Blaise. Following the tour there will be free time to explore the nooks and crannies of the Old Town.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Palace of Diocletian

    16 Sep Split, Croatia
    Half Day Significant Steps
    When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia.

    When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia.

    Visit this amazing palace complex that, when completed, held three temples, a massive mausoleum, and could accommodate 9,000 people. For an intimate perspective on how life was organised, this tour includes a walk through the palace cellars. The city of Split grew inside and around this palace, with the population retreating behind its walls when under attack, and then spilling out beyond them in times of peace.

    Today the Palace of Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but don’t expect a deserted ruin. Discover instead a vibrant warren of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants mingled with medieval fortifications, preRomanesque churches and Gothic chapels. Renaissance palaces testify to a time when Split was a key port of the Venetian Republic. The tour visits Diocletian’s massive octagonal mausoleum, converted into a cathedral in the 7th century and named after a Christian martyred during that emperor’s persecutions.

    You’ll also tour the city museum where 15th-century furnishings recapture aristocratic life in that period. Other sights include the palace’s monumental Golden and Silver Gates and the columned Peristyle Square.

    Following the tour, there will be free time to visit the colorful local market or explore Split on your own.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Salona & Trogir

    16 Sep Split, Croatia
    Half Day Archaeological SiteCobbled Streets
    Drive along the Riviera of the Seven Castles to two gems of the Dalmatian coast: the town of Salona, home to the most important Roman excavations in Croatia, and the tiny island of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Drive along the Riviera of the Seven Castles to two gems of the Dalmatian coast: the town of Salona, home to the most important Roman excavations in Croatia, and the tiny island of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Leave behind busy Split for Solin, as ancient Salona is now called, and enter a world where time stands still. Long before Split even existed this affluent Roman colony buzzed with over 40,000 inhabitants. Here archaeologists have excavated temples, a necropolis and baths dating from the 1st century AD. There is an amphitheatre where it is thought mock naval battles where held. In this arena early Christians were martyred and their relics rest in Salona's excavated churches. Following your tour through Roman antiquity, your drive continues past the castles built by Venetians to defend against the Turks.

    Cross a bridge from the mainland and enter the Middle Ages on the island of Trogir. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a remarkable example of urban continuity starting with the Greeks in 300BC, followed by a litany of other conquerors. In the 13th century Trogir was an artistic centre under the kings of Hungary. The 13th century Cathedral of St Lawrence dominates the town, a magnificent example of sacral architecture with three naves, three apses and a grand main portal carved by a local artist known as Master Radovan.

    Enjoy an unforgettable walk along narrow stone streets whose plan dates to the Hellenistic era. Confront the past at every turn from the bright blue face of the massive Clock Tower to the mullioned windows of Cipiko Palace and Town Hall. Later you will have free time to shop for Trogir embroidery or perhaps try some palacinke (jam-filled pancakes) in a cafe.

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    Optional $ 35
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Renaissance Urbino

    17 Sep 21 Sep Urbino (Ancona), Italy
    Full Day Significant StepsUphill Sections
    Situated on a hilltop, Urbino is a small town with a big history. This place had a huge influence on Renaissance culture and Urbino’s Ducal Palace is one of the finest buildings of the period. In the fifteenth century, Urbino was ruled by the Montefeltro family, and reached its peak during the reign of the Duke Federico da Montefeltro.

    Situated on a hilltop, Urbino is a small town with a big history. This place had a huge influence on Renaissance culture and Urbino’s Ducal Palace is one of the finest buildings of the period. In the fifteenth century, Urbino was ruled by the Montefeltro family, and reached its peak during the reign of the Duke Federico da Montefeltro.

    Urbino was also the birthplace of the artist Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio 1483-1520) and your tour includes a visit to the house where he lived up to age of 14. This modest dwelling contains memoirs and artistic furniture of that period. Raphael was born here in 1483 and trained at home at least until the age of 11, when his father died. There is a small mural attributed to the boy painter in one room, but the house is chiefly interesting as an atmospheric 15th-century home/workshop.

    Your visit continues to Palazzo Ducale, Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance palace built for Duke Federico da Montefeltro, who ruled Urbino between 1444 and 1482. Today the palace is enriched with a comprehensive library, famous paintings including works by Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Titian and refined architecture.

    Another of Urbino’s magnificent buildings is the Duomo built in 1789 on top of a sixthcentury sacred site. Completed in 1604, it was destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt. The duomo now has a neo-classical appearance and houses several important artworks, including a painting of the Last Supper by Federico Barocci. The Museo Diocesano has a collection of glass, ceramics, and religious items. After visiting the cathedral there is some free time for lunch on your own in one of Urbino’s many restaurants (you may wish to try Antica Osteria della Stella, an ancient inn that claims to have hosted Raphael and Piero della Francesca) and souvenir shopping.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Walking Tour of Venice

    18 Sep Venice, Italy
    Half Day Extensive WalkingBoat Ride
    Whether it is your first time or fifteenth in Venice, it is easy to get lost amid the labyrinth of bridges, footpaths and waterways, but save that pleasure for later.

    Whether it is your first or fifteenth time in Venice, it is easy to get lost amid the labyrinth of bridges, footpaths and waterways, but save that pleasure for later. On this walking tour, a knowledgeable guide will navigate the city for you, uncovering its treasures as he or she shares its tales. Travel by boat down the beautiful Guidecca Canal to the heart of Venice, St Mark’s Square, and disembark at the bustling Riva degli Schiavoni. Stand in the regally proportioned square so famous for its pigeons and pealing bell towers. Sights here include the Campanile and the 15thcentury clock tower where two huge bronze statues strike the hour.

    Walk to St Mark's Basilica, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, and admire its façade mosaics and golden dome, both superbly restored to their original grandeur. Next, take in the beauty of the Doge's Palace, a 14th-century Gothic masterpiece with pink marble exterior and lacy stone arches. For nearly a thousand years, this was the seat of the Venetian government and the residence of the Republic's elected leader, the Doge. After viewing this sight from outside, you'll have free time to explore the shops and cafes around St Mark's Square, where necklaces of Venetian glass make a treasured souvenir.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Murano & Burano

    18 Sep Venice, Italy
    Half Day Boat Ride
    Travel by boat to two islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Murano of glass-making fame, and Burano with its gaily painted fishermen's houses. En route, your guide will provide information, then enjoy independent exploration at each destination.

    Travel by boat to two islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Murano of glass-making fame, and Burano with its gaily painted fishermen's houses. En route, your guide will provide information, then enjoy independent exploration at each destination.

    Start with a visit to Murano, "the island of glass." In the 13th century the glass factories moved here from the city to prevent fires and by the 15th century this was the leading glassproducing center in Europe, noted especially for its chandeliers. To this day glass-making is the heart of the local economy. You'll have the opportunity to watch a master at work and see why these artisans once enjoyed privileges reserved for the ruling elite, including immunity from prosecution and the right to bear arms. The island's 11th-century Camaldolese Benedictine Monastery of St Michael fostered map making, critical to the era of navigation.

    Your next stop, Burano, is actually an archipelago of islands connected by bridges. Stroll along canals lined with brightly painted boats and just-as-colorful houses. While the men fished, the women specialized in delicate lace, and the island was an important trading hub in the 16th century. Today, lace made by the time-consuming traditional methods is highly prized and can be seen in the Lace making Museum. 

    Read more
    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Renaissance Urbino

    17 Sep 21 Sep Urbino (Ancona), Italy
    Full Day Significant StepsUphill Sections
    Situated on a hilltop, Urbino is a small town with a big history. This place had a huge influence on Renaissance culture and Urbino’s Ducal Palace is one of the finest buildings of the period. In the fifteenth century, Urbino was ruled by the Montefeltro family, and reached its peak during the reign of the Duke Federico da Montefeltro.

    Situated on a hilltop, Urbino is a small town with a big history. This place had a huge influence on Renaissance culture and Urbino’s Ducal Palace is one of the finest buildings of the period. In the fifteenth century, Urbino was ruled by the Montefeltro family, and reached its peak during the reign of the Duke Federico da Montefeltro.

    Urbino was also the birthplace of the artist Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio 1483-1520) and your tour includes a visit to the house where he lived up to age of 14. This modest dwelling contains memoirs and artistic furniture of that period. Raphael was born here in 1483 and trained at home at least until the age of 11, when his father died. There is a small mural attributed to the boy painter in one room, but the house is chiefly interesting as an atmospheric 15th-century home/workshop.

    Your visit continues to Palazzo Ducale, Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance palace built for Duke Federico da Montefeltro, who ruled Urbino between 1444 and 1482. Today the palace is enriched with a comprehensive library, famous paintings including works by Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Titian and refined architecture.

    Another of Urbino’s magnificent buildings is the Duomo built in 1789 on top of a sixthcentury sacred site. Completed in 1604, it was destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt. The duomo now has a neo-classical appearance and houses several important artworks, including a painting of the Last Supper by Federico Barocci. The Museo Diocesano has a collection of glass, ceramics, and religious items. After visiting the cathedral there is some free time for lunch on your own in one of Urbino’s many restaurants (you may wish to try Antica Osteria della Stella, an ancient inn that claims to have hosted Raphael and Piero della Francesca) and souvenir shopping.

    Read more
    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Ancient Olympia

    26 Sep Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
    Half Day Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th-century BC.

    The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC. Olympia is most familiar as the site where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC in honour of Olympian Zeus. The origin of the word Olympic comes from the ancient Greek Olympiad – meaning every four years.

    The setting could not be more idyllic: prominently located in the middle of a fertile valley with the rivers of Alfeios and Kladhios flowing past. The site was a religious sanctuary even before the Stadium was built and the games took place in the sacred area called Altis. The most imposing monument in the area was the outstanding Temple of Zeus housing the gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

    The Temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, and the Philippeion were also monuments standing in the sacred grove. The famous Stadium, the largest of its day with a capacity of 45,000 spectators, was entered through a long, tunnel-like passage, constructed in Roman times. The stadium was restored in 2004 for the historic return of the modern Olympics to Athens.

    After your exploration of the famous grounds, visit the archaeological museum which is a short 5-minute walk from the site. Among the great finds of the area that are displayed are the Head of Hera and ornaments from the Temple of Zeus, the famous statue of Hermes created by Praxiteles and the helmet of Miltiades, the Athenian general during Athens' 'Golden Age'.

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    Included

    Ancient Messini

    27 Sep Pylos, Greece
    Half day Tender Extensive WalkingArchaeological Site
    Take a short drive to the Arcadian Gate, an impressive structure that once acted as an entrance to the ancient city of Messini. From here, you’ll head for the archaeological site of Messini.

    Messini is regarded by many as one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Take a short drive to the Arcadian Gate, an impressive structure that once acted as an entrance to the ancient city of Messini. From here, you’ll head for the archaeological site of Messini, which dates back to 146 BC. This is a marvellous site that includes an almost-intact theatre, the ruins of a 3rdcentury temple, a time-worn sanctuary and a Byzantine monastery.

    Then on to Mavromati village, about five minutes away, for a coffee break and the chance to enjoy the great panoramic view of the ancient site of Messini before making your way back to the ship.

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Castles of Southern Greece

    27 Sep Pylos, Greece
    Half day Tender Extensive WalkingArchaeological SiteUphill Sections
    This tour combines ancient history with a taste of everyday local life. Proceed to the castle of Niokastro, situated at the southern part of the port of Pylos.

    This tour combines ancient history with a taste of everyday local life. Proceed to the castle of Niokastro, situated at the southern part of the port of Pylos. The castle was built by the Turks in 1573 and, due to its strategic importance, it quickly became one of the major castles in the Peloponnese during the Turkish occupation. It was captured by the Venetians in 1686 but was recaptured by the Turks some years later. Niokastro is one of the most well preserved castles in Greece, and is today the home of the Centre for Underwater Archaeological Studies.

    Then on by road to the city of Methoni where you will find beaches of golden sand, winding alleyways, cobbled houses, and where you will visit the Venetian castle of Methoni. 

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    Included
    Choice of Tours
    Cultural Activity

    Monemvasia Walking Tour

    28 Sep Monemvasia, Greece
    Half Day Cobbled Streets
    Pass through a gap in a rocky cliff and emerge into a Medieval scene on this morning tour of Monemvasía, a castle town that has been called the Gibraltar of Greece.

    Pass through a gap in a rocky cliff and emerge into a Medieval scene on this morning tour of Monemvasía, a castle town that has been called the Gibraltar of Greece.

    Indeed, the name means “single entrance.” For us, it provides an illuminating transition from the classical world to the Byzantine era. Monemvasía dates back to the 6th-century, when inhabitants of Laconia settled on the site, which developed into a major city- state. In the 15th-century the city suffered a hundred-year blockade by the Turks. Walk along the narrow streets, sometimes only wide enough for two, and visit the 13th-century Church of Christos Elkomenos (Christ Chained to the Cross), home to several Byzantine icons.

    Those who wish can climb on their own to see another 13th-century treasure: the ethereal Agia Sofia, a rare example of a domed octagonal church with original wall paintings. The views out over the sea and lower town are a spectacular reward. Those who prefer not to climb may want to seek out a quiet cafe and a sip of Malmsey, the sweet dessert wine that originated in this atmospheric spot.

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    Included
    UNESCO World Heritage Site

    The Acropolis & its Museum

    29 Sep Athens, Greece
    Half Day Extensive Walking
    Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th-century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon.

    Visit the sublime expression of Classical Greece, the Acropolis with its sweeping views of Athens. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th century BC, the site is dominated by the majestic Parthenon: a building that embodies the stunning achievements of the Athenian “Golden Age”.

    Surrounding the great temple are the other architectural masterpieces of the citadel: the Propylaia (monumental gateway), the Erechtheion with its beautiful Karayatid Porch and the Temple of Athena Nike (Winged Victory). Below the temple complex is the theatre of Dionysos where the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were first performed.

    Then explore another marvel: the longanticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum. In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.

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    Included

    National Archaeological Museum

    30 Sep Athens, Greece
    Half Day
    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

    Founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.

    During your visit you will be able to see Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean and Classical Greek art, and you'll also view sculptures from the Archaic and Hellenistic periods, along with pottery from the Geometric period. A few of the museum's most important exhibits include the bronze statue of Poseidon, the head of Hygeia (Goddess of Health), the bronze statue of the "Jockey-Boy" of Artemision, the golden mask of Agamemnon and the brilliant Minoan frescoes from the site on Thira (Santorini).

    Within the museum's walls more than 11,000 exhibits provide a panorama of Greek art from prehistory to late antiquity. Wander amid the royal tombs of Mycenae, dating from 1500BC. Marvel at sculpture from the 7th to 5th centuries BC, including the kouroi, nude male athletes, carved in Naxian marble. Admire a delicate bronze by Praxiteles and frescoes from Akrotiri, buried over 3,500 years ago in a volcanic eruption. Trace the evolution of Greek pottery from earliest times in collections including rare white clayware. This astonishing museum even includes Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, as well as treasures from the sea. A shipwreck at Antikythera produced a scientific instrument used for astronomical calculations in the 1st century BC.

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    Optional $ 35

    Ernest Rea

    Ernest Rea, Broadcaster
    Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles.

    Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles. From 1989 -2001 he was Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC responsible for all their television and radio programmes nationally and locally. During this time, he spent much time in the United States, brokering co-production television deals with leading American broadcasters. He was closely involved in a variety of key national events, including the Funeral Service for Diana, Princess of Wales. He is in wide demand as a speaker at a wide variety of events, including international inter faith conferences, literary festivals, and academic symposia. 

    In 1997 he was personally awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council for Christians and Jews for his contribution to Inter Faith understanding. He has First Class Degrees in Theology and in History and Politics which helped fuel his passion for the study of world religions and the way in which they impact on the ancient and modern worlds. He was one time Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Education at Manchester University.

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    Dr. Joyce Salisbury

    Dr. Joyce Salisbury, Professor Emerita of History, University of Wisconsin
    Dr. Joyce Salisbury, Professor Emerita from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, has a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is an author of more than ten books, including a best-selling western civilization textbook, The West in the World, and other non-fiction books on history and religion.

    Dr. Joyce Salisbury, Professor Emerita from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, has a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is an author of more than ten books, including a best-selling western civilization textbook, The West in the World, and other non-fiction books on history and religion. Some noteworthy books are The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence and the award-winning Perpetua’s Passion: Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman, and The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages, that explores the moment when people in the West decided they were indeed animals. Salisbury is also a lecturer for “Great Courses,” that produces educational DVDs. Her course “History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad” is a current best-seller, and many of the images on the DVD were taken while Salisbury was cruising with Voyages to Antiquity. A new course “Women, Warrior, and Intellectuals: A Premodern History” is in preparation and will be released in 2019.

    Salisbury was an award-winning teacher for over 25 years, even receiving the prestigious CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) Professor of the Year award. Professor Salisbury has done many radio shows and television interviews on her academic subjects, and since retiring in 2005, she has been teaching and lecturing around the world. Salisbury has taught on Semester at Sea three times, teaching courses in religion and medieval history while circumnavigating the globe.

     

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    Lars Tharp

    Lars Tharp, Ceramics and Oriental Art Specialist and Broadcaster
    Born in 1954 in Copenhagen and educated in England Lars was influenced from an early age by his Danish grandfather - a classical philologist, archaeologist and museum curator. As a freelance broadcaster he worked regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 a familiar face  as the ceramics expert on the Antiques Roadshow.

    Born in 1954 in Copenhagen and educated in England Lars was influenced from an early age by his Danish grandfather - a classical philologist, archaeologist and museum curator. In the 1970s he read archaeology ('Arch and Anth') at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. The Master of his college was the legendary Joseph Needham, genius of the multi-volume History of Chinese Science and Civilization (CUP).  Influenced by Professor Needham Lars worked at Sothebys specialising in Chinese Ceramics under the late Julian Thompson,  becoming director and auctioneer, and representing the company throughout its European offices.  

     As a freelance broadcaster he worked regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 a familiar face  as the ceramics expert on the Antiques Roadshow, plus dozens of TV and Radio programmes including his own series, Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (chairman and writer, Radio 4), and on the Art of the Baroque (Radio 2), not to mention the occasional contribution to Woman's Hour  - on Scandinavian knitwear and on Archive on Four with Men in Bow Ties.  In 2011 and 2013 Lars filmed two documentaries on the China Trade shown on the BBC that are still syndicated throughout the world: Treasures of Chinese Porcelain and China in Six Easy Pieces.  He also filmed One Man and his Pug - a journey with William Hogarth and his pet dogs, in the hope of re-discovering the long-missing terracotta model by L-F Roubiliac.

    Before two recent series of Griff Rys Jones's Quizeum he has appeared in several light-hearted programmes including Call My Bluff and was on the victorious team of University Challenge Christmas 2013 (Gonville and Caius Alumni)

    Lars is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and serves on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Weavers, London’s oldest recorded guild dating from 1130.

    Today he lives with his family in Leicestershire from where he runs the Lars Tharp business.

    Bibliography:
    Hogarth’s China (1997); the Little Brown Encyclopaedia of Antiques (with Paul Atterbury); Treasures in your Home (Reader’s Digest, with editor David Battie); and two books for the BBC under the Roadshow banner, one on Fakes, the other on 20th Century Antiques.
     

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    Prof NANCY WILKIE

    Prof NANCY WILKIE, CARLETON COLLEGE, NORTHFIELD
    Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for Carleton College and the Archaeological Institute of America, is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. Nancy is the William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, and Co-Director of the Archaeology Concentration at Carleton College (Northfield, MN), where she has been on the faculty since 1974. 

    Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for Carleton College and the Archaeological Institute of America, is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. Nancy is the William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, and Co-Director of the Archaeology Concentration at Carleton College (Northfield, MN), where she has been on the faculty since 1974. 

    She is also an Honorary President of the Archaeological Institute of America and on the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Nancy began her archaeological career in 1968 when she joined a pioneering program of survey and excavation in the region of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in Greece. Since then Nancy has worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Egypt, and Nepal, and has authored more than 30 articles and co-edited three books on archaeology.

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    Christopher Walton

    Christopher Walton, Author and Journalist
    Chris has lived and worked in Cape Town and London, with stints in New York, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. He worked as a journalist in Cape Town during the apartheid era before a moving to one of the world’s largest publishing companies in 1981, becoming South African Editor-in-Chief three years later. In 1997 he transferred with the company to London as International Editor General Books, responsible for editorial content worldwide.

    Chris has lived and worked in Cape Town and London, with stints in New York, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. He worked as a journalist in Cape Town during the apartheid era before a moving to one of the world’s largest publishing companies in 1981, becoming South African Editor-in-Chief three years later. In 1997 he transferred with the company to London as International Editor General Books, responsible for editorial content worldwide.

    He has travelled to more than 140 countries, edited and published books on subjects as diverse as travel, law, medicine, history and cookery. He helped open new markets for books in Eastern Europe, and spearheaded the drive into teaching English as a foreign language.

    Since his retirement, he has been a lecturer on board cruise ships, specialising in Italian and South African history, food and culture. To date he has given over 160 lectures on 80 different subjects and destinations - from South America and the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, Middle and Far East.

    Chris’s very close knowledge of the Mediterranean area stems from his marriage in 1986 to his Italian-born wife, Daniela, and is fluent in Italian. He spends part of every year in Italy.

    When not working, Chris is passionate about photography and music - and collects hand-made acoustic guitars. 

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    Starhotels Metropole

    Rome, Italy
    2-night hotel stay in Rome
    Premium Class
    Starhotels Metropole is located in a peaceful spot, fully refurbished to offer comfort without compromise. You’ll find everything you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in Rome including room service, laundry and dry cleaning, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and a fitness room.

    Starhotels Metropole is located in a peaceful spot, fully refurbished to offer comfort without compromise. You’ll find everything you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in Rome including room service, laundry and dry cleaning, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and a fitness room. The hotel is near the Termini railway station and the Teatro dell’Opera, from where it’s just a short walk to Rome’s most iconic monuments. 

     

    Please note: Guests will be staying at one of the listed hotels in Rome. Please review your confirmation documents for the relevant hotel information. 

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    Included

    Hotel Grande Bretagne

    Athens, Greece
    2-night hotel stay in Athens
    Balcony Class
    Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 elegant guest rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition.

    Hotel Grande Bretagne has 321 elegant guest rooms with courtyard or city views and lavish public rooms decked with crystal, damask and tapestries, which make this a grand hotel in the finest tradition. Retreats and restaurants include the Winter Garden, Alexander's Bar, the Pool Bar (on the seventh floor!) and floodlit views of the Acropolis from the hotel's roof garden.

    This pre- and post-cruise city hotels includes breakfast only. 

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    Included

    King George

    Athens, Greece
    2-night hotel stay in Athens
    Premium Class
    As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events.

    As one of Athens’ finest hotels, the King George is situated right in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1930, its 102 rooms have hosted not only legendary personalities but also some of Athens’ most prestigious events. With panoramic views over the illuminated city and the Acropolis, the hotel transcends all expectations. The refined accommodation and the picturesque dining at the Tudor Hall Restaurant set the scene for a most memorable experience.

    This pre- and post-cruise city hotel includes breakfast only. 

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    Included

    The Westin Excelsior

    Rome, Italy
    2-night hotel stay in Rome
    Balcony Class
    One of the city’s most imposing palaces, this hotel is rich in history and located on one of the most celebrated streets of Rome, the legendary Via Veneto. Since 1906, the Westin Excelsior has hosted celebrities, statesmen and artists visiting the Eternal City and is nestled between the Spanish Steps and the Borghese Gardens.

    One of the city’s most imposing palaces, this hotel is rich in history and located on one of the most celebrated streets of Rome, the legendary Via Veneto. Since 1906, the Westin Excelsior has hosted celebrities, statesmen and artists visiting the Eternal City and is nestled between the Spanish Steps and the Borghese Gardens. Its grand guest rooms and indoor pool, with health and fitness centre, make this one of the most unique hotels in Rome.

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    Included

    Voyages to Antiquity is pleased to offer free Economy Class airfare*, available from a variety of US gateways for select cruise itineraries!

    Free roundtrip airfare from select US gateways

    Voyages to Antiquity's Economy Class airfare program uses the world's leading airlines and offers convenient routings and exceptional savings. Upgrade costs for Business Class may be available on request - please call for details.

    Sample gateways for our free roundtrip economy airfare, relevant to select itineraries only, are shown below.

    Sample free economy airfare gateways*

    AtlantaFREENew YorkFREE
    BostonFREEPhiladelphiaFREE
    CharlotteFREEPortland, ORFREE
    ChicagoFREESan AntonioFREE
    DallasFREESan FranciscoFREE
    DenverFREESeattleFREE
    DetroitFREESt LouisFREE
    HoustonFREETampaFREE
    Los AngelesFREEMinneapolisFREE
    MiamiFREEWashington DCFREE

    *Free roundtrip airfare is economy class only, varies by gateway and departure, and includes all government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges, which may change at any time. Airline-imposed personal charges such as baggage fees may apply.

    Some restrictions apply. You may not be able to change your confirmed flight arrangements without an additional charge. All air itineraries are subject to change and are not considered final until ticketed at 30 days prior to sailing. Some gateways may require departures 1 day prior to dates on pre-cruise land programs or 1 day later than dates on post-cruise programs shown on the website and in the brochure.

    Customized air travel

    You may wish to make changes to the flight itinerary provided by Voyages to Antiquity.

    Your travel agent can make these flight requests on your behalf when you confirm your reservation. For example, you may wish to request travel on a specific carrier, or travel on different departure or return dates. Any additional costs associated with the change(s) will be added to your reservation once your new itinerary has been accepted.

    Seat assignments

    Voyages to Antiquity will request aisle and next seating when making your flight arrangements. Some airlines no longer allow specific seats to be requested for Economy Class travel. You or your travel agent may contact the carrier directly to request any special arrangements.

    Frequent Flyer mileage

    You will be able to accrue miles on most carriers we use, but will not be able to use miles for upgrades or any other amenities. Special requests and services should be arranged directly with the airline. 

    Included transfers

    Transfers between airports, hotels and Aegean Odyssey while on your cruise-tour abroad are included. You'll be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred in comfort to the ship. At the end of your cruise holiday, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

    Note: Included transfers are provided only in conjunction with arrival and departure dates of cruise-tours (including optional pre- and post hotel stays) as outlined on the website and our brochure. The included transfers are only available for guests using Voyages to Antiquity air arrangements. 

    A

    Owner's Suites

    BALCONY
    Owner's Suites, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    550 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, dressing area, separate sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $15,995*pp
    $17,150*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    B

    Junior Suites

    BALCONY
    Junior Suites, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    310 sq ft staterooms located on Lido Deck. Marble bathrooms, walk-in closet, sitting area and private balcony. Convertible twin beds.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $14,595*pp
    $15,695*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    C

    Deluxe Balcony

    BALCONY
    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    275 sq ft staterooms located on Lido & Bridge Decks. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected. Cabins 807, 808 on Lido Deck are smaller and do not have a sitting area.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $13,295*pp
    $14,250*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    D

    Deluxe Balcony

    BALCONY
    Deluxe Balcony, BALCONY
    Layout
    virtual

    275 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Bath/shower or walk-in shower, sitting area and private balcony. Fixed double bed, separate twins or convertible twins depending on cabin selected.

    Guests in Balcony Class will also enjoy a welcome bottle of champagne & Petit Fours, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, complimentary bottled water, robe and slippers and Molton brown bathroom amenities.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $12,650*pp
    $13,595*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    E

    Deluxe Outside

    PREMIUM
    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    215 sq ft staterooms located on Belvedere Deck. Private bath/ shower or walk-in shower. Convertible twin beds. Cabins 556 and 563 are smaller but have a fixed double bed and a balcony.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $11,550*pp
    $12,450*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    F

    Deluxe Outside

    PREMIUM
    Deluxe Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    170-200sq ft staterooms located on Bridge and Belvedere Decks. Bath/Shower or walk-in shower.
    Convertible twin beds or Fixed Double Bed. Cabins 535 and 536 have fixed twin beds only.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $10,995*pp
    $11,850*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    G

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130-150 sq ft staterooms located on Bridge & Lido Decks. Private shower, fixed twin beds, convertible twin beds or fixed double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $10,495*pp
    $11,250*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    H

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    Premium Outside 130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,895*pp
    $10,650*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Columbus
    Columbus
    I*

    Premium Outside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Bridge Deck. Private shower. Fixed twin beds or fixed double bed.
    Views in some cabins partially obstructed by Life Boats.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $9,250*pp
    $9,995*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    J

    Standard Outside

    PREMIUM
    Standard Outside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.
    * Please note the photo shows a Category H premium outside cabin. Category J standard outside cabins feature portholes instead of windows.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $8,750*pp
    $9,450*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    K

    Premium Inside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere Deck. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $8,250*pp
    $8,895*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    L

    Premium Inside

    PREMIUM
    Premium Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $7,795*pp
    $8,395*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    M

    Standard Inside

    PREMIUM
    Standard Inside, PREMIUM
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft cabins located on Belvedere and Columbus Decks. Fixed twin beds with private shower.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $7,295*pp
    $7,895*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Columbus
    Columbus
    CC

    Deluxe Balcony

    SINGLE CABINS
    Deluxe Balcony, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    135 sq ft single occupancy stateroom located on Lido Deck (Cabins 809, 810). Walk-in shower and private balcony. Fixed small double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $16,195*pp
    $17,150*pp
    Lido
    Lido
    EE

    Deluxe Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Deluxe Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    135 sq ft single occupancy Deluxe staterooms located on Belvedere Deck(554, 561). Shower, European full-size bed and a small balcony.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $13,995*pp
    $14,895*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    GG*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Single occupancy Premium outside staterooms located on Bridge and Lido Deck. Private shower and a European full-size bed. Views in cabins 726, 724 on Belvedere deck are partially obstructed by lifeboats.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $12,695*pp
    $13,450*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    Lido
    Lido
    HH*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Premium outside single occupancy staterooms located on Bridge & Belvedere decks, featuring a European full-size bed and a private shower.
     * Please note the cabin plan and photo shows the Category H double occupancy stateroom. Category HH single staterooms are smaller and feature one European full-size bed. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats in the cabins on Bridge deck.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    $11,995*pp
    $12,750*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Bridge
    Bridge
    II*

    Premium Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft Premuim Outside staterooms located on Bridge Deck, featuring a double window and a European full-size bed with private shower. Views are partially obstructed by lifeboats.
    *Please note the photo & cabin plan show a double occupancy I cabin. Cabins 710 and 712 (Category II, single occupancy) are smaller in size and feature a single European size bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $11,250*pp
    $11,995*pp
    Bridge
    Bridge
    JJ

    Standard Outside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Standard Outside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Single occupancy standard outside cabins located on Columbus Deck, featuring portholes in place of windows. A single European size bed with private shower.
    *Please note the picture shows a standard outside double occupancy cabin. Single occupancy cabins are smaller and feature a single European size bed and portholes instead of windows.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $10,650*pp
    $11,350*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    KK

    Premium Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $9,995*pp
    $10,650*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    LL

    Premium Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Premium Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $9,395*pp
    $9,995*pp
    Columbus
    Columbus
    MM

    Standard Inside

    SINGLE CABINS
    Standard Inside, SINGLE CABINS
    Layout
    virtual

    130 sq ft Standard inside single occupancy cabins located on Belvedere Decks. A small double bed with private shower.
    *Please note the picture shows a double occupancy inside cabin. Cabins MM are smaller and feature a small double bed.

    Select from the menu to view different areas of the ship (Takes up to 10 seconds to load)

    There is not currently a virtual tour of this cabin. Why not take a look at other areas of ship.

    $8,895*pp
    $9,495*pp
    Belvedere
    Belvedere
    Port Charges and other fees (included in prices above)
    $1,145
    Air Credit (when making your own flight arrangements)
    $1,000
    Cruise Only Credit (when making own flight and hotel arrangements)
    $1,800

    MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY

    There is a particular pleasure that comes with cruising aboard a smaller ship. Hosting an average of just 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey is no ‘floating city’. She is small enough to sail rivers and put into the more characterful ports inaccessible to the ‘mega-ships’, the service is more personal and you get plenty of time to interact with the onboard experts.

    Yet on the other hand, she is large enough to offer a superb selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable lounges and bars, a relaxing spa centre and well-stocked library. Cabins are spacious, modern and intelligently designed, and 39 cabins across a range of categories (including balcony) are set aside for solo travellers at low supplement.  

    Go to top

    Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. The single supplement offers only apply to our single cabin categories. Special Offers are strictly capacity controlled, subject to availability, may be withdrawn at any time and are not always combinable. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other unforeseeable circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time.