Unveil fabled Mediterranean marvels
Witness a sweeping landscape of cultural riches and historic wonders on this fascinating cruise that combinesItalian Sojourn,Venice, the Adriatic & GreeceandAncient Mediterranean Treasures. Sail around Italys boot, discover breathtaking Croatia and medieval Montenegro, and walk among ancient ruins in Ephesus and Troy. Overnights in Venice, Athens and Istanbul afford you ample time to delve into the eastern Mediterraneans famed and hidden treasures.
Day 1 Rome, Italy
Step on board to begin your journey. The ship will be berthed in Civitavecchia, the closest port to the airport and Rome. Relax and settle in to your well-appointed stateroom and take time to get acquainted with the many ship amenities. Perhaps you will unwind at our Infinity Pool or browse the replicas of Viking artifacts at our onboard Viking Heritage exhibit.
Day 2 Naples, Italy
In Naples, your choice of excursions abounds. Take in magnificent examples of Greek and Roman architecture and the Piazza del Plebiscito, the grandest public square in the city, facing the former Royal Palace of the King of Naples. Optionally, also explore Herculaneum, Italys other Pompeii, drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, or take a trip to the summit of Vesuvius. In your spare time, sample a hot espresso, a slice of pizza (the worlds first pizzeria opened here in 1830) or a locally madelimoncello.
Day 3 Sicily, Italy
Today you will call on the Sicilian city of Messina, celebrated as one of Europes ten greatest cities when it fell under Spains purview in the 17th century. Admire the surrounding mountains, picturesque orange and olive groves, and rolling vineyards. You will see the best of the city during a tour, including the expansive Piazza Municipio and the hillside Votive Temple of Christ the King. Or, choose to climb Mt. Etnas towering volcano, and marvel at the ancient temples and arenas of Taormina.
Day 4 Crotone, Italy
Uncover the deep past of Crotone, founded as a Greek colony in 710 BC. Boasting a vast array of archaeological relics, the city was once heralded as the home of some of the Hellenic Empires most celebrated figures, including many victors of the Olympic Games and Pythagoras, whose mathematical theories altered Western thought. During your visit, marvel at the impressive cathedral, a neoclassical wonder, browse the Pythagoras Museum and Gardens, and explore the waterfront and Crotone castle.
Day 5 Bari, Italy
Explore sunny, palm-lined Bari, where streets are lined with romantic, honey-toned balconied houses, welcoming courtyards and Romanesque and baroque churches. Visit the Norman-Swabian castle, the splendid Romanesque Basilica of St. Nicholas and the Petruzzelli Theater, one of Italys most important opera houses, and stroll the picturesque waterfront. Or perhaps visit Alberobello and its fascinatingtrullihouses, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of whitewashed buildings with conical roofs.
Day 6 ibenik, Croatia
Cruise the scenic St. Anthony Channel into the oldest Croatian city on the Dalmatian Coast, ibenik. Resting at the mouth of the Krka River, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has a remarkably preserved Old Town. Roam its narrow streets past medieval houses and churches, all surrounded by four historic fortresses. The citys St. James Cathedral is the most important Renaissance structure in Croatia. Perhaps you will join an excursion to view the impressive waterfalls of the Krka River.
Day 7 Venice, Italy
Welcome to Venice, where the magical city renowned for its art, architecture and culture is the ultimate destination on your epic voyage. Watch the sunlight dapple on the water as we ease our way into the lagoon. You can enjoy a panoramic boat ride toward the magnificent St. Marks Square on your included tour, and with your guide, you will admire the glorious facade of the Doges Palace and tour the ornate interior of St. Marks Basilica. Or take a boat to Murano to see glassmakers at work in their centuries-old tradition with a stop to visit the historic island of San Giorgio Maggiore. We remain in port overnight.
Day 8 Venice, Italy
Enjoy another full day and night in Venice, affording you ample time to explore this remarkable city at your leisure. Stroll through the city, enjoy a fine restaurant, take in the vibrant nightlife, and perhaps even enjoy a romantic evening gondola ride along the Grand Canal or an evening at the opera.
Day 9 Venice, Italy
Awake and further explore central Venice on your own this morning, as you investigate the out-of-the-way passages that reveal beautiful, hidden piazzas, or cross the lagoon to Murano and Burano to view the world-renowned glassblowing craftsmen. Or opt for one of the many optional tours. As your ship sets sail, enjoy a spectacular view of the lagoon as we head out to the Adriatic Sea.
Day 10 Split, Croatia
Experience the age of antiquity as you wander through the center of the city that is built around the Diocletian Palace, walking through the well-preserved cellars before continuing to the Ethnographic Museum. In this historic quarter, you will notice the results of over 17 centuries of construction, passing pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. You may also choose more natural pursuits, from a rafting trip on the Cetina River or a journey through the Croatian hinterland to the famous waterfalls of the Krka National Park. Or spend the entire day discovering the small, more intimate destinations along the Dalmatian Coast.
Day 11 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Where city meets coastline, you will sail to this beautiful 12th-century walled city in Croatia. The playwright George Bernard Shaw once declared, Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik. Enjoy an entire day here to take an inclusive tour and take in magnificent views of the city and countryside. Then enter the city on foot through the historic Pile Gate, passing by the Sponza Palace, the 15th-century Onofrios Fountain and stop inside the Dominican Monastery to see Renaissance paintings. You may also wish to consider exploring the famed Dubrovnik Riviera with a cruise along the Lapad peninsula.
Day 12 Kotor, Montenegro
Spend the day traversing the medieval streets of this historic Montenegro town with a walking tour. Pass by Venetian walls constructed in 1420 en route to the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, built in 1166. Notice its mismatched towers, the result of an earthquake and a budget too small to rebuild properly. Included on this tour is a visit to the Maritime Museum, which documents Kotors heritage. As an option, venture to the small towns of Budva and Sveti Stefan, the latter once a hideaway for the rich and famous.
Day 13 Corfu, Greece
Spend the entire day on the romantic island of Corfu, resplendent with charming pastel town houses and pristine white beaches. Our included tour takes us on a drive to Kanoni, where we will make a photo stop to view tiny Mouse Island and the Vlacherna Monastery. Following the coastline through Garitsa Bay, you will reach the UNESCO Site of the Old Town. See the fabled Esplanade, one of Europes largest public squares, and the Liston Promenade, once exclusively reserved for the local aristocracy.
Day 14 Katakolon, Greece
Visit the quaint Greek port of Katakolon, huddled around a pretty little harbor dotted with colorful fishing boats. During your visit, venture into the fertile valleys of the western Peloponnese to the legendary city of Olympia, classical birthplace of the modern-day Olympic Games on the slopes of Mt. Kronos. Walk among the ancient citys ancient ruins with an expert guide and historian, admiring the remains of temples, the Palaestra, or wrestling school, and the Gymnasium. You will gain insight into the very first Olympic Games at the fascinating museum.
Day 15 Athens, Greece
Discover Greeces iconic capital city of Athens, known as the birthplace of democracy. Visit the acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, with its vast collection of Greek antiquities, and partake of the citys rich caf culture. Your ship remains docked overnight, giving you time to take in the wonders of the Acropolis or travel to the Temple of Apollo, where the legendary oracle of Delphi once dispensed her prophetic wisdom.
Day 16 Athens, Greece
Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the citys heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or, as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.
Day 17 Heraklion, Greece
Call on fabled Crete today, home to the Minoans, Europes oldest recorded civilization. Here, you will uncover local remnants of the Venetian Empire, which brought great wealth to the capital of Heraklion. Admire the Koules Fortressknown to the Venetians as the Rocca al Mare, or fortress by the seaat the Old Ports entrance. Explore the caf-lined Lions Square and the arched gallery of the celebrated Loggia. And pause to siptsikoudia, a grape-based brandy distilled in the hills. Alternatively, you might venture to the ancient Palace of Knossos, the famed site where Theseus is said to have slain the mighty Minotaur, or take in the splendid coastal scenery during a tour of the islands traditional villages.
Day 18 Rhodes, Greece
Discover the Old Town of Rhodes today. This Island of Knights prospered from the wealth brought here from the Holy Land by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Follow the Street of the Knights to the most imposing building in Rhodes: the Palace of the Grand Masters, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour this fascinating building, which was first a castle, then a royal palace. Our berth is near the citys historic quarter, allowing you to linger at your leisure after your included walking tour. Or, opt to visit the Acropolis of Lindos; from its rocky perch, you will have magnificent views of the whitewashed village and harbor below.
Day 19 Ephesus (Kuadasi), Turkey
Journey into the ancient world today with a visit to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world. Stroll the uneven streets of this once-powerful metropolis and pass sights such as the massive Great Theater and the magnificent Library of Celsus. Visit the remains of the Byzantine Basilica of St. John and see the modest home where legend states that the Virgin Mary lived out her final days. Or, take a scenic drive to the Oracle of Didyma and the Temple of Apollo, part of a once-elaborate Hellenic sanctuary.
Day 20 Troy, Turkey
Located on the Dardanelles, a key waterway linking the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea, anakkale was an object of desire dating back to the ancient Greeks. Today, explore anakkale or the nearby ruins of Troy, once a powerhouse of Asia Minor. The remarkably preserved structures of this UNESCO World Heritage Site provide a glimpse of the regions former glory and offer hints of life here in the days of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor Augustus.
Day 21 Istanbul, Turkey
Discover where East meets West as you arrive today in Istanbul. Take time to admire this city that straddles two continents across the Bosphorus Strait, with its Old Quarter skyline of domes and minarets and the twinkling lights of modern Istanbul across the water. Sample delicious cuisine for a taste of this fusion, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia. Enjoy a wealth of religious sites, such as the spectacular Blue Mosque and the legendary Hagia Sophia.
Day 22 Istanbul, Turkey
Awake in Istanbul, where you will disembark your ship. From here, you can easily take a few extra days to further explore this historic city with our post-cruise extension.