Tuesday June 26, 2018
Today we board our overnight flight to Rome.
Wednesday June 27, 2018
This morning we arrive at Rome airport. After clearing customs, we will be met by our private coach and travel to central Rome. We will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Eternal City’ and see the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, where group members can throw a coin and make a wish to return to Rome one day. In the afternoon we will check in to our hotel.
Thursday June 28, 2018
This morning we will visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The afternoon will be at leisure. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of our wonderful cruise.
Friday June 29, 2018
This morning we will be transferred to Civitavecchia to board the MV Oosterdam. Be up on deck as the ship slips her moorings at 5pm for the start of our fabulous cruise.
Saturday June 30, 2018
Pompeii and Sorrento, Italy
This morning we arrive into the Bay of Naples. We first visit the ancient, perfectly preserved ruins of Pompeii, a wealthy settlement of the Roman Empire, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. We will have a tour of the ruins with a local guide to see the Forum, the House of the Vetti, a well-preserved aristocratic villa and much more. We then visit the beautiful resort town of Sorrento, with its spectacular views of the Bay of Naples. This evening join Chris Smith for a drinks party to welcome the group to the ship.
Sunday July 1, 2018
A day to enjoy the on-board facilities. Explore the library, shops, gym and pools. This afternoon, join Chris Smith for a talk about his exciting life in the media.
Monday July 2, 2018
Arriving early in the morning, we have a day to explore Santorini, known as the Black Pearl of the Aegean; one of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece and in the world. The traditional villages of the island, built on tall cliffs, offer breathtaking views over the the sea below. Enjoy free time to explore this magnificent port.
Tuesday July 3, 2018
This morning we arrive at Rhodes, the largest island of the archipelago called Dodecanese and the capital of this group of Greek Islands. It is world known for one of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Colossus of Rhodes, now destroyed. The capital lies within the walls of a very well-preserved Venetian castle, built by the Knights of Saint John. We will have a tour of the Old Town including the castle.
Wednesday July 4, 2018
This morning we arrive in Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. We travel to the ancient Roman city of Ephesus, one of the most extensive archaeological sites in the world. We walk along the marble streets, complete with chariot wheel ruts made nearly two thousand years ago. We see the imposing twostorey façade of the Library of Celsus, the best-preserved structure of its kind in the world.
Thursday July 5, 2018
Today we call in to the ancient city of Athens, capital of Greece. Athens is home of the Acropolis and, the ultimate in ancient Greek architectural perfection, the Parthenon. Our sightseeing tour today delves into the glorious history of Athens. A highlight of the tour is a visit to the Acropolis, still dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens. Built to honour the goddess Athena, it is one of the wonders of the ancient world. We also see the historical Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis.
Friday July 6, 2018
One of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis (in eastern Peloponnese) Nafplion was the first capital of the newly-born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus. We travel to the nearby ancient ruins of Mycenae which is one of the most important archaeological sites of Greece. The fortified citadel is nestled high over the fertile plain of Argolis. Mycenaean is the culture that dominated mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, and the shores of Asia Minor during the late Bronze Age era (circa 1600-1100 BCE). It is the civilization of ancient Greece that participated in the famous Trojan War and the Argonautic expedition. Also site of the famous Lion gate and where the Mask of Agamemnon was found in 1876.
Saturday July 7, 2018
Cephalonia is the largest island in the Ionian Sea, famous for its gorgeous beaches, crumbling castles, secluded monasteries and warm Greek hospitality. Throughout the course of history, Cephalonia has exchanged hands many times—from the Normans to the Venetians to the Ottoman Turks, and it has survived occupations by German and Italian soldiers during WWII. It is famous as the location of the book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. We will have a boat tour of this amazing island where will be able to see the fantastic cliffs and beaches other natural features.
Sunday July 8, 2018
This morning we arrive in Corfu, the most northern island of the Ionian Group, lying at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. On our tour today, we will visit Corfu Town with its unique architecture influenced by Venetian, French and British occupation. The most notable examples are the Old and New Fortresses (Venetian) as well as the Palace of Saint Michael & Saint George (British) which now houses an impressive Museum of Asiatic Art. The Liston is Corfu Town’s most traditional meeting place, where people gather to read newspapers and drink coffee or ouzo at the old-established cafés. Its terrace, with a series of arches fronting the road, was designed by the French in the early 19th century and is based on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. It forms the western side of the Esplanade, which is the largest square in southern Europe. The afternoon is free for shopping or sight-seeing.
Monday July 9, 2018
Today we sail up the picturesque Bay of Kotor, a submerged river canyon. A fantastic landscape is created by the overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen. The town was founded by the ancient Romans in 168 BC and conquered by the Venetians in the 15th century. The port of Kotor was built by the Republic of Venice and is surrounded by impressive city walls. There are many attractive Venetian buildings in the town.
Tuesday July 10, 2018
This morning join Chris Smith for a fun group activity. Make sure that you are up on deck as the MS Oosterdam sails past Venice Island, one of the most beautiful sights in the world as we conclude our ‘Ancient Wonders of the Mediterranean’ cruise. We arrive into Venice at midday. After lunch we will have a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city. We visit St Mark’s Square, see the Grand Canal, St Mark’s Cathedral, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We will wind our way through the narrow alleyways to the market square of the Rialto. Later we return to the ship for our last night aboard MV Oosterdam.
Wednesday July 11, 2018
This morning we disembark the ship. We travel down the Grand Canal via Vaporetto and then visit the Doge’s Palace for a comprehensive tour of this architecturally significant building in the heart of Venice We are then transferred to our hotel to check in. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the many wonders of this medieval city.
Thursday July 12, 2018
This morning we are transferred to the airport for our flights back to Australia
Friday July 13, 2018
Today the group arrives back in Australia, and the tour concludes.