Day 1 Tuesday 10 September, 2019 Depart Australia
Today we board our flights to Rome, Italy.
Day 2 Wednesday 11 September, 2019 Rome, Italy
This morning we arrive into Rome. 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.
Day 3 Thursday 12 September, 2019 Rome
This morning we will visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The afternoon will be at leisure. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of our exciting tour.
Day 4 Friday 13 September, 2019 Embarkation
This morning is free for individual exploration. In the early afternoon we are transferred to the cruise terminal. Make sure that you are up on deck as the MS Koningsdam slips her moorings as we commence our ‘Medieval Cities of the Mediterranean’ cruise.
Day 5 Saturday 14 September, 2019 At sea
Our first full day at sea to explore the fabulous facilities of the ship.
Day 6 Sunday 15 September, 2019 Katakalon, Greece
This morning we visit Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games. The Ancient Greeks flocked here every four years for more than a millennium to celebrate the sacred games dedicated to Zeus. We visit the ruins of the Sanctuary, with its athletic quadrangles, stadium, temples and treasuries; then visit the modern Archaeological Museum, a treasure house of Archaic, Classical and Roman sculptures, including the famous Niki Winged Goddess of Victory.
Day 7 Monday 16 September, 2019 Athens, Greece
Today we call in to the ancient city of Athens, capital of Greece. Our sightseeing tour today delves into the glorious history of Athens. We see such famous sights as the first modern Olympic stadium. We will have time in the Plaka district a maze of winding streets with shops, café’s and restaurants.
Day 8 Tuesday 17 September, 2019 Athens, Greece
We continue our sightseeing of Athens. Today we visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon, built to honour the goddess Athena, still dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens and one of the wonders of the ancient world. We continue on to the fascinating Acropolis museum. We return to the ship early afternoon.
Day 9 Wednesday 18 September, 2019 Mykonos, Greece
Today we arrive in the scenic Greek island of Mykonos. Mykonos is one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades complex, but is definitely the most famous, thanks to its treasure of natural beauty, rich history, cosmopolitan character combined with plenty of local colour. Chora, the islands capital is spectacular with its narrow, whitewashed streets and white cubicle houses with their tiny balconies, coloured windows lined by bougainvillea and posts of basilicum. We will have a free day to explore the quaint streets of this beautiful island.
Day 10 Thursday 19 September, 2019 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
This morning we arrive in Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. We travel to the 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 2000 years ago. We see the imposing two-story façade of the Library of Celsus, the best-preserved structure of its kind in the world.
Day 11 Friday 20 September, 2019 Rhodes, Greece
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 its colossus. It is located between Karpathos and Kos. 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 and visit the Grand Masters residence. The afternoon will be free.
Day 12 Saturday 21 September, 2019 Santorini, Greece
Arriving early in the morning, we have a free 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 a breath-taking view over the submerged volcano. They represent the most beautiful island view you have ever seen!
DAY 13 Sunday 22 September, 2019 At sea
A day at sea to enjoy the facilities of the ship. This afternoon join your fellow group members for a game of bingo with prizes for the winners.
Day 14 Monday 23 September, 2019 Naples, Italy
We arrive into Naples this morning. We have a morning tour of the beautiful resort town of Sorrento with its spectacular views of the Bay of Naples. We then 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.
Day 15 Tuesday 24 September, 2019 Bagno Vignoni, Italy
After disembarking we travel to Tuscany to the village of Bagno Vignoni, where we will spend the next three nights. This small Orcia River Valley village has long been a favourite among travelers seeking solitude in a beautiful location. We will stay at a small family-owned fifteenth century hotel, built by Rossellino as a summer-house for Pope Pius II, who took advantage of the nearby hot mineral springs. On the way we call into medieval hill-town of Orvieto. Vineyards famous for their delicious white wines surround the town. Orvieto’s impressive gothic cathedral houses some of Luca Signorelli’s most beautiful frescoes. There will be time to purchase lunch and to relax and enjoy this historic town. Delicious dinners are included each evening.
Day 16 Wednesday 25 September, 2019 Tuscany, Italy
Today we will visit two of the most beautiful towns situated in the southern region of Tuscany - Montepulciano and Pienza. We first stop in Montepulciano for a walk in the centre of this fascinating hilltop town and then a stop at an historical cellar for a wine tasting of Nobile di Montepulciano. After lunch we will go to Pienza, the “Ideal Town of Renaissance architecture” where you’ll have the time to visit the beautiful town centre before visiting a cheese shop to taste the typical “pecorino” cheese produced for centuries in this region of the Val d’Orcia
Day 17 Thursday 26 September, 2019 Siena, Italy
Today we drive through the picturesque Tuscan countryside to Siena, where we soak up the atmosphere of this lovely city. Best known for the famous Palio horse race held in the magnificent Piazza del Campo. Our local guide will introduce us to the sights of the city, including the Piazza del Campo, with its splendid civic tower and the enormous, partially completed Duomo. This afternoon there will be free time to explore Siena. This evening we will enjoy a special farewell dinner to celebrate a wonderful tour.
Day 18 Friday 27 September, 2019 Rome, Italy
This morning we travel to Rome for our overnight flight back to Australia.
Day 19 Saturday 28 September, 2019 Arrival Australia
Tour members arrive back in Australia. The tour concludes.