There are cities whose name alone leaves you spellbound - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - each of the namesof this great city, whether past or present, evoke the power and the splendor of the Orient. Istanbul, winding along the banks of the Bosphorous, is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world and it is best discovered by the sea. Ever since ancient times, Istanbul has been much more than a capital - it is a beacon in the history of civilizations. Embark Le Soleal this afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30.
A peaceful port on the Aegean Sea, Dikili is opposite the Greek island of Lesbos just a few hundred yards away on the Turkish coast. This little port has retained its picturesque charm and is of great interest quite simply because of its proximity to the superb Pergamum archaeological site. This is one of Turkey’s finest sites not just for the many and varied ruins but also its splendid hilltop location. Join an optional excursion today to visit these beautiful and intimate ruins.
Spend your day aboard Le Soleal as you cruise through the Corinth Canal, which divides the Peloponnese peninsula from mainland Greece. Take in the Mediterranean seabreeze or take advantage of your ship's amenities.
From the city of Katakolon, on the western Peloponnesus coast, discover the majestic Olympia site in the Alpheus valley on the slopes of Mount Cronion. To enter the Olympia sanctuary is to go back nearly 2,800 years in time since the first edition of the Olympic Games took place in the 7th century BC. With every step you are discovering Olympia’s numerous treasures: the temples, altars, theaters, and marble and bronze statues. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989, the location invites you to share in the lives of the Gods.
The Aeolian Islands archipelago comprises seven islands of volcanic origin. The best known is undoubtedly Stromboli whose active volcano attracts people from around the world. The island is covered in pale, light pumice stones and black obsidian, smooth and shiny like glass, thrown up by numerous volcanic eruptions.
Lipari is the biggest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands. Famous since olden times for its obsidian quarries, Lipari is linked to Sicily by very regular ferry and hydroplane services. The town and port are dominated by a citadel, testimony to the archipelago’s strategic importance in the past. Join an optional excursion today to take in a panoramic tour of the island by coach.
Sicily, an autonomous region of Italy, is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The area was highly regarded as part of Magna Graecia, with Cicero describing Siracusa as the greatest and most beautiful city of all Ancient Greece. Palermo is the capital of Sicily and the province of Palermo. Located on a wide bay beneath the shadow of Mount Pellegrino, Palermo is a jewel in the crown of Sicily. In the 9th century, Palermo was famed for the wealth of its court and its universities. Today, it is an international famed city with modern day treasures and priceless ancient monuments of architecture and art. Choose from among several half-day excursions to discover more of this 2,700-year-old city.
Described by Saint Exupéry as a “pink pebble lying on the Mediterranean”, Corsica, the Island of Beauty, is remarkable for the variety of its landscapes. Ajaccio is its capital and is also known as the “Imperial City“ for having been the birthplace of Napoleon I. Peacefully located in a calm bay, the city is surrounded by mountains and the marvelous conjunction of sea, sun and mountains captivates visitors. Ajaccio is an outdoor city, with its many squares and its lively old streets. Don’t hesitate to stroll around it.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your continued journey home.