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Colorful sunset over the Scottish Highlands

Grand Northern Expedition

Cochin to Tromso - Example 68 Day Cruise aboard Silver Cloud
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Board the Silver Cloud on this grand voyage that sees stunning nature, iconic cities and unique cultures in equal measure. Begin your odyssey by traveling on the heady scents of nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon and cross centuries of civilizations in the process. Cross the Suez Canal, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meander to Muscat, sail to Safaga and navigate to the Greek Isles. Go beyond the tourists and uncover Byzantine, Ottoman, Greek and Roman architectural masterpieces worthy of any modern civilization. Delve into a past piled high with history, as we slowly wend our way north. Watch with wonder at the changing coastline, from Mediterranean beaches to weather-beaten moors, taking in tiny islands and iconic cities along your way.
The fishing nets of KochiGolden hour over the Grand Mosque of Muscat, OmanSail the brilliant blue waters around Sur, OmanEntrance of Luxor Temple, EgyptExplore colorful villages on RhodesVisit charming NaxosThe caryatids of the Erechteion temple overlooking AthensStroll the ancient walkways of AthensBridge of Plaza de Espana, SevilleVisit the historic Belem tower near LisbonPorto, Portugal Old TownBlue hour on the French coastCharming timber houses of HonfleurSpringtime in LondonExplore the island of GuernseyStunning Icelandic CountrysideThe night lights of AkureyriHiking in SpitsbergenA polar bear climbs glacial ice in the ArcticWalruses huddling together in Svalbard.Polar bears in the ArcticGlass-still waters around SpitsbergenScattered houses of TromsoColorful sunset over the Scottish Highlands
Highlights
  • Admire ornate architecture and palaces in India
  • Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites on three continents
  • See Byzantine, Ottoman, Greek and Roman architectural masterpieces
  • Explore the moors and port cities of the British Isles
  • Cruise northward along Norway's stunning coast and admire wildlife
  • Explore Iceland's incredible volcano-built and glacier-carved landscape
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Cochin, India | Embark

A hodgepodge of cultures collide on the banks of the estuary where Cochin carves out her home. Chinese fishing nets the size of skyscrapers, boxy Dutch architecture and pretty Portuguese palaces point to the blend of influence here, while the Raj era remnants, soaring spires of old-world mosques, and near-abandoned synagogues all add to the dense, varied tapestry of inspirations and imprints. Founded by a prince in the 15th century, Cochin immediately became a favoured anchorage for sailors and traders from every far-flung corner - even taking nearby Kerala’s crown as the world's first global port city. Now, fragrant spice markets cut the hot air with cardamom and clove, while antique stores groan beneath the weight of singing copper. Hit the backstreets of Fort Kochi for a deep and dreamy Ayurvedic massage, marvel at the Krishna murals that adorn the bedchamber walls of the Mattancherry Palace, or admire India’s one of the oldest European-built Christian churches - as you duck into the cool hues of St Francis. A day can easily meander past on a backwater cruise, spreading south from Cochin, and gliding down a lacy network of creeks, lagoons, lakes and rivers. Surrounded by swaying palms and rice paddies – you’ll experience rural India in her best dress. When daylight dwindles, taste the soft spicy kick of dal roti, followed by Firni – almonds, apricots, and sweet milk crushed with pastel green pistachios for a silky light finish

Day 2: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 3: Mormugao (Goa), India

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The gateway to Goa, set on the south west coast of the Arabian Sea, Mormugao is a former Portuguese colony, which invites you to explore beautiful beaches and crumbling fortresses. Taste the spicy kick of Goan cuisine and discover a cultural landscape of gilded churches and colonial history. You may even recognise the area - it served as the setting for the film The Sea Wolves. Brilliant birdlife and plunging waterfalls wait in the wildernesses and national parks around the city, should you venture further afield. Take in the sea view from the Japanese Garden, as you explore the peninsular that Mormugao inhabits. Wander to enjoy stunning views of the coastline and beaches spreading along the shore, or head straight for the embrace of a luxury coastal resort, where you can lie back and enjoy a rejuvenating beach day. Take your pick from various welcoming beaches, like the palm-tree fringed Bogmalo beach, which has clear, turquoise water and is perfect for swimming. Hollant beach is ideal for a laidback coastal wander and is a scenic fishing spot, while Colva is bedecked with restaurants and shacks serving up refreshing coconut milk, and coconut curry – flavored with poppyseeds and red chili. For an accompanying drink, as your skin gently bronzes, give local feni a try – a delicious Goan spirit distilled from cashews. The colorful buildings of the Latin Quarters add a Portuguese echo to the city and its architecture. Goa is notable for its array of Catholic churches, which together form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, illustrating the Catholic influence on Asia. These churches and convents date back to the 16th century when St. Francis Xavier was sent to these shores to restore the virtue of the colonizers. His remains still rest here, within the treasured Basilica of Bom Jesus.


3 Included Shore Excursions
  • Heritage Walk of Panjim CityYou will need your imagination to envision the tangle of twisting streets, plazas and ochre villas of the old city, but what remains is a wealth of exceptionally impressive churches and convents, all UNESCO world heritage sites.Your first stop, after approximately 1 hour drive, is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a fine example of Jesuit architecture, and perhaps the richest of the churches, with its heavily decorated yet admirably proportioned interior. Here worshipers, or the simply curious, may view the body of Saint Francis Xavier (d.1562), which lies partially exposed in a dazzling silver casket. Its surrounding chapel, constructed of marble and jasper, was a gift of one of the last Medicis. The Se, or St. Catherine's Cathedral, was commissioned to be a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power, and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is still larger than any church in Portugal. It is not far from the Church of St. Cajetan, modeled on St. Peter's in Rome. Its neo-classical facade, with twin towers flanking the great dome, disguises an interior that is pure, unrestrained baroque. Hidden beneath the church is a crypt where the embalmed bodies of Portuguese governors were kept in lead coffins before they were shipped back to Lisbon. Nestled in the quaint village of Merces, "Casa Oliveira Fernandes", is one of the most prominent Indo Portuguese houses in Goa. The house belongs to the "Oliveira Fernandes" family and can trace its lineage to around 250 years. The family who currently resides in the household are the 7th Generation descendants. The Household has since undergone a variety of restoration but still maintains its rich ancestral heritage. "Casa Oliveira Fernandes" has also been featured in the book "Houses Of Goa".Within the walls of this house is a myriad of antiques, curios, and vintage furniture each possessing its own historical background and story. In the exterior of the house, one is a feast for the eyes of the avid nature lover. Flowers, Fruit Trees, and a bunch of unique flora populate the compound. The grounds of the household also play host to a variety of rare birds including Black swans, Geese, Turkeys among others. A local band will strike up a serenade as a late morning tea of tasty Goan snacks is laid out for your enjoyment. Feel free to browse among the antiques in the living room. The furniture is 300 years old and solid wood. On your way back to the ship you drive through the Panjim city area, Goa's bustling capital. The total drive back to the pier takes approximately 1 hour.                                                                                                                    
  • Hindu Temple and Spice PlantationTravel away from the city and the Portuguese influence with its many churches. Pass through small towns and villages, and feast your eyes on large elegant homes and brilliant green rice paddies. In the lush valleys and forests of Ponda are hidden a number of Hindu temples, built in the 17th and 18th centuries by those who attempt to practice their traditional religion away from the prying eyes and persecution of the Portuguese.                                                                                                                                                                                           Goa sightseeing and Goddess of Peace Temple -Visit a temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga, also known as the Goddess of Peace. Considered one of the most important and the largest in Goa, the original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564 but the idol of the Goddess was taken away to safety and subsequently brought to its present abode. Constructed in 1738 A.D., it is an unusual temple with a pagoda-like structure and a roof made up of long slabs of stone. The impressive idol of the Goddess dominates the temple.                                                                                                 Spice Plantation and lunch - Following your visit, a 30-minute drive takes you to a spice plantation for an introduction to Goa's cherished spices. They are an ever-present part of daily life and essential in flavoring the distinctive regional cuisine. Spices are an ever-present part of Indian life - they are essential in flavoring the distinctive regional cuisines and if you keep your eyes open you will see their bright colors reflected in the ladies' saris and decorative textiles everywhere. To find out where they come from you will pay a most enjoyable visit to a spice plantation. Take a guided walk through the trees see what you can identify, smell, taste, and learn about the myriad spices for which India is renowned. And what place could be more perfect for a meal? Enjoy lunch here where everything is fresh and fragrant. Don't worry, the simple, tasty food will be spiced for Western tastes, and the preparation of each will be explained. After lunch, conclude this delightful outing with the drive back to the port at Marmugao and the ship                                 
  • Bird Watching to Lake Karmali and Adjoining Forest - Bird Watching to Lake Karmali and Adjoining Forest You will need your imagination to envision the tangle of twisting streets, plazas, and ochre villas of the old city, but what remains is a wealth of exceptionally impressive churches and convents, all UNESCO world heritage sites. Your first stop, after approximately a 1-hour drive, is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a fine example of Jesuit architecture, and perhaps the richest of the churches, with its heavily decorated yet admirably proportioned interior. Here worshipers, or the simply curious, may view the body of Saint Francis Xavier (d.1562), which lies partially exposed in a dazzling silver casket. Its surrounding chapel, constructed of marble and jasper, was a gift of one of the last Medicis. The Se, or St. Catherine's Cathedral, was commissioned to be a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power, and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is still larger than any church in Portugal.It is not far from the Church of St. Cajetan, modeled on St. Peter's in Rome. Its neo-classical facade, with twin towers flanking the great dome, disguises an interior that is pure, unrestrained baroque. Hidden beneath the church is a crypt where the embalmed bodies of Portuguese governors were kept in lead coffins before they were shipped back to Lisbon. Nestled in the quaint village of Merces, "Casa Oliveira Fernandes", is one of the most prominent Indo Portuguese houses in Goa. The house belongs to the "Oliveira Fernandes" family and can trace its lineage to around 250 years. The family who currently resides in the household are the 7th Generation descendants. The Household has since undergone a variety of restoration but still maintains its rich ancestral heritage. "Casa Oliveira Fernandes" has also been featured in the book "Houses Of Goa".
           Within the walls of this house is a myriad of antiques, curios, and vintage furniture each possessing its own historical background and story. In the exterior of               the house one is feast for eyes of the avid nature lover. Flowers, Fruit Trees and a bunch of unique flora populate the compound. The grounds of the                           household also play host to a variety of rare birds including Black swans, Geese, Turkeys among others.
          A local band will strike up a serenade as a late morning tea of tasty Goan snacks is laid out for your enjoyment. Feel free to browse among the antiques in the            living room. The furniture is 300 years old and solid wood. On your way back to the ship you drive through the Panjim city area, Goa's bustling capital. The                   total drive back to the pier takes approximately 1 hour

Please note: These tours are not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair.We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Proper attire is required to visit the temple. Shorts and short skirts are not allowed. Guests are advised that infrastructure is basic and local conditions may be challenging: coaches, guides, hotels, restaurants, equipment, and services are the best-available in the area, but may not be up to the standards of those found on other excursions therefore, we urge flexibility and understanding.

Day 4-5: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 6: Muscat, Oman

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Oman’s capital rests overlooking the coast of the Gulf of Oman, tucked away among the country’s mountains. Discover a city surrounded by neat gardens - with streets lined by palm trees and crumbling Portuguese forts providing a tangible link to the past. Explore an elegant array of domes, minarets and marbled Arabic archways, as you’re immersed in a city where a traditional conservative outlook mingles with a pragmatic modern approach. Despite a relative boom in recent years, Muscat has clung to its old-world Arabian charm. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main mosque and an iconic landmark of Muscat. No fewer than 20,000 people cram inside below its towering minaret, which soars upwards for a stunning 90 metres. In the evening, lights shine on the exterior, and the dome glows like a mirage floating above the city’s rooftops. White and grey marble gleams inside, and you won’t miss the showpiece chandelier - which weighs in at a staggering eight tonnes. The handwoven carpet is no less impressive, created using 1.7 million knots. The Mutrah area is rich with local culture. Wander among the groaning tables of the lively fish market and busy Mutrah souk. Mutrah Fort was constructed during the Portuguese occupation of the 16th century and offers views back down over the harbour. Things can get a little sticky in this humid climate, so head to the beach to enjoy a gentle breeze and unwind. Nearby, you’ll find plenty of indulgent stretches of soft sand, met by pristine water. Swim with fish and turtles or relax below the palm trees. Or take a cruise to spot spinner dolphins playing in the waters offshore.

3 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Splendors of Muscat - Experience the best of Oman's capital during this comprehensive full-day tour. An exciting mix of medieval, traditional and modern architecture that lends Muscat an ambiance all of its own.Meet your guide on the pier and board the coach for the approximately 45-minute drive to the Grand Mosque.Construction on the mosque complex began in early 1995 and was completed six years later. Inauguration followed in May 2001 by His Majesty the Sultan. The invested patronage of Sultan Qaboos plus his instructions to the team overseeing the project at the Diwan of the Royal Court, has endorsed the spiritual and architectural role of the largest mosque in Oman, able to accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers. The whole interior is panelled with off-white and dark grey marble. The ceilings are inspired by those of Omani forts and a Swarovski crystal chandelier with gold-plated metalwork hangs down for a length of 46 feet (14 metres). Your visit to this splendid house of worship will be an impressive experience.Next, proceed to the Royal Opera House of Muscat, the leading arts and culture organization in the Sultanate of Oman. Built on the royal orders of Sultan Qaboos of Oman and completed in 2011, the Royal Opera House reflects unique contemporary Omani architecture, and has a capacity to accommodate maximum of 1,100 people. Take a tour accompanied by one of the Opera House guides.Lunch will be served in a local restaurant, enjoy a traditional Omani meal in a cultural ambience. The Omani food combines flavors picked from the path taken by Omani traveler's during there long years of trading. It stretched from East Africa to India, bringing home the best spices combined to make a unique meal which pleasantly showcases the national history.After lunch, proceed for a visit to the National Museum. Located in the heart of Muscat in a purpose-designed building, the National Museum was established by royal decree in 2013 and opened to the public on July 2016. It showcases the nation's heritage from the earliest human settlement in the Oman Peninsula some two million years ago through to the present day. Take a tour with one of the National Museum specialized guides.Following your visit to the museum, the guide leads you on a walk through the winding streets of the old town. Reach the Al Alam Royal Palace, nestled between the Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts, the palace's fairy-tale façade of gold and blue pillars make it one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. As the official estate of Oman's ruler, no inside visit is possible.At the end of your visit, you will have the choice to either make your way back to the ship by bus, or be dropped at the Muttrah Souq and return to the ship at your leisure by Shuttle bus. This colourful market, boasting scores of traditional shops, is one of the most frequented spots in Muscat. Stroll at your leisure through the narrow alleys, experience the unique atmosphere and see many authentic items, including frankincense, exotic perfumes, gold and silver jewellery, handicrafts in copper and camel bone, Omani designer products, and antiques (items over 50 years olds cannot be exported).​                                                                                            
  • Dolphin Watch & Snorkeling Adventure - While Muscat offers numerous cultural attractions, the rugged coastline and sparkling waters are equally appealing. During this water-oriented outing, spend approximately two hours looking for wild dolphins and other marine life, with an hour to snorkel.
    Leaving the port, a 20-minute drive brings you to the Marina Bander Al Rowdha where the boat stands ready for boarding. Head out to sea in search of dolphins known to frequent this area. Watching their playful antics is a thrilling experience. If lucky, you may catch a glimpse one of the many species of whales that can be found a short distance from Muscat's rugged coast.
    Next, cruise to Bander Khiran where the boat drops anchor at a spot known for its colourful coral beds inhabited by large varieties of exotic fish. From the boat, enjoy easy access into the water to swim and snorkel amidst this wonderful sea world.
    Then, relax on the return cruise to the marina, where the coach is ready to take you back to Port Qaboos and the ship.                                                     Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of activity if guests plan to snorkel; guests must be able to swim in water too deep to stand. The snorkelling activity is optional and guests not wishing to participate remain on the boat. A minimal amount of walking is required for approximately 273 yards (250 metres); however, all guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the boat. Swimming/snorkelling is done from the back of the boat. This tour operates in motorised boats, carrying 10-12 guests each. It does not include 'swimming with the dolphins' and sighting of dolphins or other marine life cannot be guaranteed. Beach attire is acceptable; wear your swimsuit under a cover-up. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a towel from the ship. Operation of the tour is dependent on favourable weather and sea conditions; it is not suitable for anyone prone to seasickness. Snorkelling equipment is provided, including fins.                                           
  • Wadi Walk & Jeep Adventure - Experience Oman's scenic beauty during this full-day adventure by 4x4 with pic-nic lunch.
    Scenic Drive by 4x4, Bimah Sinkhole, Wadi Tiwi
    Depart the pier by 4x4 for your approximate one hour scenic drive along the coast. Arrive at Bimah Sinkhole, a limestone crater of turquoise waters, it is 50 by 70 meters wide and approximately 20 meters deep. The sinkhole was formed by a collapse of the surface layer due to dissolution of the underlying limestone. However, locals used to believe this sinkhole in the shape of a water well was created by a meteorite hence the Arabic name Hawiyyat Najm which means 'the deep well of the falling star'. Enjoy a quick stop at spectacular Wadi Tiwi for photo opportunity. Wadi Tiwi offers another variant of those deep gorges cut in the mountains and running to the sea: capture in your pictures the pools of emerald waters, the old villages and lush plantations.
    Wadi Shab & Picnic Lunch
    Proceed to the pretty Wadi Shab. It is a very popular outdoor attraction for both locals and tourists. Upon arrival, begin your walk right up to the source of the Wadi through lush green plantations of lemons, banana, and dates. The fairly easy walk on a rocky path is dotted with pools and waterfalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the nature and relax your mind in these serene surroundings.
    After lunch, commence one and half hour drive back to the ship.

Please note: These tours are not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair.We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Proper attire is required to visit the temple. Shorts and short skirts are not allowed. Guests are advised that infrastructure is basic and local conditions may be challenging: coaches, guides, hotels, restaurants, equipment, and services are the best-available in the area, but may not be up to the standards of those found on other excursions therefore, we urge flexibility and understanding.

 

Day 7: Sur, Oman

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In centuries past, Arab wooden vessels dominated the trade routes of the Indian Ocean. Many were built and based at Sur, which was a major port from the 6th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries the port often had 150 vessels as Sur continued to be a centre of trade between Oman, East Africa and Asia. Its strategic location at the junction of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea was a key to the town’s importance. Modern ships and the opening of the Suez Canal reduced the maritime fortunes of the town, although some fishing and pleasure dhows still sail today. Sur’s fortunes are now tied more to the nearby gas processing industry and supporting nearby rural villages. Traditional wooden dhows are still constructed in the shipyard of Sur for local use. Plans don’t exist, as the designs and measurements are all in the shipwright’s head and passed on by word of mouth and experience. Dhows may not be as fast and comfortable as our cruise ship but they have proved an effective and resilient ocean going design. Forts and watchtowers standing around Sur reflect the historic importance of the valuable trading port. The lighthouse dominating the harbour entrance is a converted watch tower. Sunaysilah Fort, with its four towers, is a fine example of Omani defensive structures. Sur itself still embraces old architecture and many traditions are still followed. One is the importance of souqs plying a trade in everything from fish to perfumes, with the unique combination of aromas that results.

1 Included Shore Excursion:
 
  • Highlights of Sur - Sur city in Oman is an ideal location in the northeast Province of Sharqiya and is a seafaring town, a fishing village and a trading port all in one. Sur has been an important locus of waterfront and trade since the 19th century. The port was the fulcrum of commercial and cultural connections between Oman, East Africa and India. Depart the jetty and arrive at Sur Souq, a massive market that stretches over several city blocks, offering vegetables, spices that are roasted and custom-blened before you, tailors, gold shops and of course a major fish market. Watch the fishermen bring in their early morning catch to the shores or take a walk in the seaside market laden with fish. Get a sense of local life here as residents wander in and out of the other shops and taking tea along these narrow streets. Proceed from the fish market to the rest of the Sur Souq traditional market, followed by a visit of Sineslah Fort, a major local landmark that offers splendid views of the city. The Fort is comprised of a large, square fortification around a sizeable outdoor courtyard. See the cannons and utensils on display that were in use when the fort was originally open hundreds of years ago. Continue to the Dhow building yard where to see skilled craftsmen building traditional Dhows (fishing boats). Learn about the building process and the history of these impressive vessels. Return back to Sur jetty after your visit.

Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, approximately 200 meters, as well as a few steps, making this tour less recommended for guests with limited mobility. Due to the steps and uneven ground in many places, this tour is not suitable for guests who utilise a wheelchair. Slip on shoes and clothing that covers up the arms and legs are recommended.

Day 8: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 9: Salalah, Oman

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Combining thrilling history with gorgeous beaches and luxury spas, Oman’s second-biggest city is cradled by tempting ocean waters and the soaring Dhofar Mountains. A refreshing rainy season waters down the intense heat of the Gulf region, painting a rich green hue across the land and separating it from the barren desert elsewhere. Banana plantations sprawl out, and dense gatherings of coconut palms rustle together, before Salalah's cherished powdery white beaches. Sweet fragrances linger in Salalah's souqs, where exotic incenses, perfumes and spices are traded. Set in Dhofar province, the desert staging is smudged with greenery and life during the downpours and misty rains of Khareef season. The clouds tame the heat and fuel stunning waterfall torrents, with a local festival celebrating the arrival of this monsoon each year. Even in drier months, the earlier deluges ensure that there is an added vibrancy to the ravines and wadis nearby. Enjoy the sunshine and settle into the sandy embrace of luxury beaches, before indulging in stress-relieving massages. Head to popular spots like Al Mughsail beach, where explosive blowholes boom with frothing spray, as the waters collide with coastal rock formations. Travel back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed ancient city of Dhufa - which has been reclaimed from the rusty desert soil at Al Baleed Archeological Park. An ancient centre of frankincense trade, the on-site museum explains the history of this precious ingredient, extracted from the region's fragrant Boswellia trees and exported far and wide.


1 Included Shore Excursion:
 
  • Al Balid and Salalah Highlights - Discover Salalah and the surrounding area with its contrast between the lush green vegetation of the Garden city and the barren yet majestic landscape of the desert. En route to the Salalah museum you may be so lucky to even see a camel roaming the roadside.
        Al Balid
           The ancient city known as Dhufa grew in this area between the 12th and 16th centuries. Today, the ruins of this magnificent city can be seen at the Al Balid                 archaeological site in the Haffa district of Salalah. Dhufa was once surrounded by water and a massive wall complete with gates and turrets. There is                           evidence of a grand mosque, palaces, houses and tombs that indicate the historical standing of the area. There was a thriving export of frankincense and                   Arab horses to India and the Far East from Al Balid. A visit is made to Museum of the Land of Frankincense which is located inside of the Al Balid site.
           Grand Mosque
            Enjoy a photo stop of the beautiful Grand Mosque with its exquisite art work and stained tiles.
           Al Husn Palace
           Next, drive through the grounds of the magnificent Al Husn Palace where photos can only be taken from the coach. The Palace is the personal residence of               His Majesty, The Sultan of Oman.
           Al Husn Souq
          Lastly, stop at the Al Husn Souq and stroll among the vendors. The colourful stalls are heaped with mounds of frankincense, myrhh, incense, bottles of                        fragrant  perfume oils and a large variety of fascinating artefacts. Your tour concludes with a short ride back to the pier to embark the ship.

Please Note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 656 yards (600 metres) over rough, uneven ground at the archaeological site that may be on rough, uneven ground and approximately 5-10 steps throughout. This tour is not recommended for guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests with limited mobility may require the assistance of their travel partner. Women visiting the Mosque must be fully covered and are required to cover their heads with a scarf. Shorts, sleeveless tops, beachwear are not allowed at Job's tomb. Vehicles and guides are the best available in the city. Air conditioning cannot be guaranteed. The order of sites may vary. Souvenir shops accept cash in US Dollars or local currency. Credit cards are mostly not accepted. Do not take photographs of individuals without their permission. Women in particular, do not like being photographed. It is forbidden to take pictures of military facilities, borders and airports. Keep an eye out for 'No Photography' signs. The Grand Mosque is closed on Fridays and in the afternoons, therefore only outside visits would be made onstead.

Day 10-13: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 14: Safaga, Egypt | Luxor, Egypt

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Unravel the mysteries, and marvel at the artistry and scale, of some of Ancient Egypt's most important and impressive monuments, which rise from the fertile plains and palm groves of the River Nile. Safaga’s port sits on the Red Sea's dazzling coastline, where gorgeous beaches and super waters for diving and snorkelling await. Unwind here, amid the colourful fish life, or lie back to soak in ever-reliable sunshine. Most will choose to head inland to the banks of one of the world’s longest and most storied rivers - where the immense treasures of Ancient Egypt loom in the desert's haze. Modern Luxor rests beside the Nile, and is set amid an unparalleled archaeological site of swirling legend and ancient beauty. This vast, open-air museum sprawls out below the burning sun, and you'll discover preserved ancient tombs, momentous statues like the Colossi of Memnon, and vast columned temples with rows of statues, such as the Temple of Karnak. Soak in the surroundings on boats, which meander up and down the river, or head out to tick off as many of the remarkable ruins as you can. Cultural treasures like the World Heritage Site listed Valley of the Kings – carved into the copper rock of the desert – provided elaborate resting places for Ancient Egypt's revered Pharaohs. Built between the 16th and 11th centuries BC, no fewer than 63 temples have been discovered here so far. Head into incredibly preserved tombs, decorated with majestic and mystical symbols and colourful artworks. See famous sites like the cursed tomb of King Tutankhamun, and the imposing rise of Queen Hatshepsut's temple, amid the countless highlights and wonders.

5 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Aquascope Underwater Discovery - Discover the wonders of the Red Sea underwater world, cruising in its sparkling waters. See the famous marine life of colorful coral, reefs and fish through the viewing windows of the fantastic AquaScope boat.
    Depart the pier and travel 30 minutes via coach, walking another 15 minutes to the AquaScope docking area. Board a semi-submersible watercraft where the top deck of the AquaScope remains completely above the water, while the bottom deck remains submerged under the surface of the sea. The AquaScope lets you experience this marine wonderworld through viewing windows in the submerged bottom half of the vessel. Enjoy all the undersea wonders that await you on this unforgettable your 90-minute voyage.
    On the return journey, relax on the top deck while sipping a complimentary soft drink and enjoying the fresh sea breeze and warm sunshine. Arrive at the Aqua Scope landing pier, where the transfer bus waits to take you back to the ship.                                                                                                                   
  • Soma Bay Resort - Take a break from all of the travel and enjoy a day at the beach, with time to swim, take a stroll or just relax on the white sand at a beautiful resort. Depart the pier and travel 45 minutes to the Sheraton Soma Bay Resort to take advantage of the inviting surroundings and beach atmosphere of the area's leading resort hotel.
    Enjoy 2.5 hours of leisure time at the Soma Bay Resort, located between Safaga and Hurghada. This lovely destination boasts pristine white beaches, turquoise waters and stunning desert scenery.
    After a relaxing day, make the return trip to the ship.                                                                                                                                                                
  • Red Sea Snorkeling -  Explore the lively waters of a region of the Red Sea that is considered to be one of the best snorkeling spots in the world. Snorkel among colorful tropical fish and intricate coral formations for which this area is known.
    Departing from the pier, it is a short 15-minute drive to the motorboat. From here, embark for the journey to discover the exotic marine life of the Red Sea. After donning a mask and snorkel, enter the water and snorkel amid the marine life. Underwater sightings may include blue-spotted stingrays, grouper and other rainbow-collared species.
    A qualified instructor accompanies you, providing information and assistance, and directs the boat to the best spots for snorkeling and observing the beautiful marine life.
    Following this snorkeling adventure, reboard the motorboat and return ashore for the drive back to the ship.                                                                              
  • Explore the Bedouin life by 4X4 - Explore the Bedouin life and the beauty of the Egyptian desert during this off-road safari drive. The Bedouins are a nomadic Arab people that live in the desert. These people are considered descendants of the first settlers in Southwestern Arabia and have many unique traditions that together represent a fascinating culture and way of life.
    Board your air-conditioned Land Cruiser jeep and head toward the city of Hurghada, leaving the paved road and driving to through the Arabian desert to the Bedouin camp. Keep your camera handy, as the 45-minute drive includes a good pictures opportunity.
    Arriving to the destination, Bedouins are waiting for you and generously allow you to explore their camp as they share with you about their culture and life. Be sure to taste their famous aromatic tea and flat bread prepared over the wood fire.
    After this memorable visit, say your thank yous and goodbyes and make the return drive back to Safaga to re-join the ship.                                                        
  • Luxor Exploration - See the incredible landmarks known around the world in Luxor, Egypt. See the Avenue of the Sphinx at the Karnak temple, the largest religious complex ever built by man, the pink granite obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, and walk in the Valley of the Kings.
    Departing the pier, drive approximately 3.5 hours to Luxor. Upon arrival, your first stop is at the spectacular Karnak Temple, the largest religious complex ever built by man. The temple is composed of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples, Karnak is a vast complex that was built and enlarged over a thirteen-hundred-year period.
    Take the opportunity to see the impressive Avenue of the Sphinx, linking Karnak with Luxor Temple. View the massive statues of Ramses II, the great halls and pylons, and the pink granite obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut.
    Following Karnak temple enjoy lunch at a deluxe hotel, then cross the Nile to the west bank of the city to visit the Valley of the Kings. During a period of 500 years from the 16th to 11th century B.C., tombs were constructed in this Theban Necropolis for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.
    Visit one of the regular tombs in the valley as well as gaining access to two other special tombs. See the tomb of Pharoah Seti I, the largest tomb in the valley which includes the most beautiful paintings. Then visit the most famous king's tomb known as King Tutankhamen. Please note that no explanation is allowed inside tombs; your Egyptologist gives you a full explanation before entering the tombs.
    Take a final photo stop at the Colossi of Memnon, a pair of colossal statues standing alone in a farmer's field. The statues are all that remains of the Temple of Amenhotep III.
    From here, drive back across the Nile to the East Bank for afternoon tea, then commence the approximately 3.5-hour drive back to the pier.

Day 15: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 16: Suez Canal Transit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Suez Canal, gouged through Africa, is one of the world’s engineering marvels - linking two seas, and drastically shortening boat voyages around this huge continent. Few manmade waterways are so storied and iconic, and sailing the length of it is a bucket list item for many explorers. The construction of the canal started in 1859, and took ten years to complete, with the canal officially opening in November 1869. More than a million people worked on the project, often in unimaginable conditions. An engineering breakthrough, the canal connected the Mediterranean to the Red Sea - drastically improving global trade's efficiency. A hugely strategic and precious bottleneck, it has inevitably led to conflicts - and been vulnerable to scuttling to block its usage. The Six-Day War closed the canal, leaving 15 unfortunate ships trapped within for eight years. An amazing story, the crew members of the Yellow Fleet - named as their ships slowly gathered desert sand - adapted and created a community within the confines of Bitter Lake. Sit back and admire the desert views, as you transit the 101 Mile expanse, occasionally interrupted by little villages, with domed mosques and minarets towering into the sky. Look out for the tiny fishing boats that share the canal’s waterway, dwarfed by giant container ships - the plucky fishermen courageously refuse to yield to the massive vessels they sail beside. There is no need for locks in the canal, as the two seas sit at the same level, and passing lanes ensure that ships can travel the engineering marvel in both directions.

Day 17: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 18: Rhodes, Greece | Symi, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With an endless sun-soaked season, earthy history and vibrant culture, the island of Rhodes has it all. At the crossroads between continents, and sandwiched between Crete and Turkey’s coastline, Rhodes has swayed between many mighty civilisations throughout its tumultuous history. Part of the Dodecanese Islands, which are sprinkled across the blissfully blue Aegean Sea, dive into this island of dazzling beaches, historic medieval towns, and whitewash villages. Crusted with turrets and walls, alluding to its strategic significance over the years. Incredible history has been left behind, and the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site listed Old Town are some of Europe’s best. Wander back through time, with occasional minarets from Ottoman-era mosques rising from the tangle of Medieval history, and the smells of cinnamon, cumin and pepper lingering above stone-paved streets. Discover inviting outdoor restaurants, which spill across flower-filled courtyards, and enjoy fresh Greek cuisine with an eastern influence. The preserved columns of Lindos's spectacular Ancient Greek Acropolis watch out over electric blue water, while the Gothic Medieval stronghold of the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes, adds more fascinating history to explore. Fragrant, pine tree coated hills, and gorgeous beaches of eye-watering blue water, offer your choice of unbridled relaxation or thrilling action, and you can raise the pulse with water sports, or shelter in coves with shocks of turquoise water and monolithic rock formations.

3 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • The Acropolis of Lindos - Explore the ancient grandeur and spectacular beauty of the Acropolis of Lindos.
    Depart the pier in Rhodes for the scenic drive to Lindos. En route, make a stop at Mount Smith to enjoy the splendid panoramic views of Rhodes and the surrounding countryside. Continue passing by picturesque villages and a landscape dotted with citrus groves, vineyards and gnarled olive trees.
    Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the narrow, cobblestone streets of this ancient Doric village, then proceed up a long, narrow, path en route to the summit of the Acropolis.
    Perched on a bluff overlooking a village of whitewashed houses, narrow streets and souvenir shops, the Acropolis offers a splendid view of St. Paul's Bay. The top of the Acropolis is accessed via a steep flight of stairs. Here, see the magnificent remains of past civilisations, including the 4th-century BCE Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, a double-winged portico, a Byzantine church and the fortifications of the Knights, including the remains of the Governor's quarters.
    Next, re-board your coach and commence the drive back to the pier.                                                                                                                                             
  • Rhodes Old Town & Grand Masters Palace - Discover the wonderful highlights of Rhodes during this picturesque, half-day walking tour through the historic Old Town.
    Depart the pier for the scenic, approximate 30-minute drive to Rhodes. En route, pass by the old port of Mandraki, and stop for photos at Agios Stefanos, which offers lovely views over the Bay of Rhodes. Upon arrival in Rhodes, enter the Old Town from D'Amboise Gate, the closest point to the Palace of the Grand Masters. A visit is then made to the palace, which served as a wartime fortress, a peacetime residence for the Grand Master and a meeting place for senior knights.
    Next, take a guided walking tour along the cobblestone streets of the Avenue of the Knights, where the knights once lived. To this day, the street exudes a noble and forbidden aura; its lofty buildings stretch in a 1,968-foot-long (600-metre-long) unbroken wall of honey-coloured stone blocks, and its flat façade is punctuated by huge doorways and arched windows.
    A visit is then made to the Archaeological Museum, which is housed in the 15th-century Knights Hospital. Here, see many artefacts and exquisite statues dating back as far as the 4th century B.C. The most famous exhibit in the museum is the parian marble statue, the Aphrodite of Rhodes. At the conclusion of your tour, you may opt to re-board the coach for the brief drive back to the pier, or remain in town for further exploration and return to the ship on your own.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Rhodian Pottery Workshop - Learn the ancient art of Rhodian pottery making during this half-day tour.
    Enjoy a one-hour panoramic drive of the new town of Rhodes to Mount Smith, passing the Temple of Apollo and Ancient Stadium and then onto Afandou where the Bonis Ceramic Workshop is located. Upon arrival at the workshop, each guest will be given a special apron and a general introduction on the art of ceramics. Simultaneously, this will be done by a demonstration on the pottery wheel by the instructor.
    All the guests, in groups of 3, will then be given the opportunity to make their own vase pottery under the guidance of the instructor, using the pottery wheel. After this, the guests will then be able to carve a design of their choice on a raw plate provided by the workshop.
    These, the vase and plate, will then be baked and colored by the ceramic technicians, and in turn, at a later date be sent to each guest's home. There will be ample time after the pottery lesson for the guests to browse through the Ceramic Workshop's exhibition to admire the beautiful Rhodian Ceramics on display while enjoying a glass of ouzo with local snacks.
    The tour concludes back at the pier

Symi - As you sail into Symi harbour don’t be surprised if you’re left speechless. With its rows of elegant cream and beige neo-classical houses, its unique blend of gentle aristocratic beauty and its bleating hillside goats, Symi seems set in another time. This is the Greece of history; well preserved mansions, pretty inlets and film set prettiness that is the real deal. As part of the Dodecanese Islands, Symi is one of the lesser known Greek Islands. Once a thriving sponge-diving and ship building centre, the island attracted riches that far outstripped its neighbour Rhodes (and placed it among Greece’s richest islands). The island’s history is too, rich and rewarding. Although not much is known pre-14th century (bar a mention in Homer’s Illiad), it is known that the name comes from Greek mythology, and the island is widely thought to be the birthplace of the Syme, daughter Ialysos and Dotis. Syme was one of the wives of Poseidon, God of the Seas, and mother of Hthonios. But Symi is above all a place to relax, whether it be in by splashing in the achingly beautiful waters, climbing the rocky hinterland (be on the lookout for these goats) or just gazing at the Aegean Sea. The Panormitis monastery, on the south of the island is well worth visiting. Foodies should note that Symi’s eponymous shrimps are a must try - pan fried and eaten with the shell, they are a quintessential delicacy of the island. Enjoyed in a seaside taverna, we can think of no better way to experience authentic Greece.

1 Included Shore Excursion:
 
  • Symi Self Exploration - Chorio literally translates to Village in Greek. This is the upper village of Symi island, starting exactly where Gialos (the Port area) ends. It is also called Ano Symi, which is exactly Upper Symi. Boasting picturesque traditional houses of neoclassic feel and vivid colors, the village is accessed upon climbing Kali Strata which it consists of 450 steps! You can choose to climb on foot, or take the Shuttle Bus provided by Silversea. However, the view from the village is spectacular and it offers travelers the absolute sense of tranquility.
    Both in Gialos and Chorio show a vibrant lifestyle, with various restaurants, traditional taverns and bars. Chorio offers the chance to see some little churches, the old pharmacy, and a museum. Walk through the cobbled pathways to admire the mansions and especially Hatziagapitos House from the 18th century.
    A few hours at Chorio will give you that special vibe of Symi and make you feel like a local.
    Take the Shuttle bus back Gialos at your leisure and before rejoining the ship, take a walk along Symi's lively port.

Day 19: Naxos | Folegandros

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A little bit more rough and ready around the edges than a lot of other Greek islands, Naxos is the thinking-person’s Greece. The largest of all the Cyclades islands, it was once the cultural centre of Classical Greece and Byzantium, so do not be surprised that the world’s oldest culture has left its mark. Museums range from the Archaeological Museum (housed in an elegant Venetian mansion), an impressive geological museum to the lovely Venetian and unusual museum, housed in an 800-year old private house. For those who want to venture further afield, Haki, the old capital of Naxos, has a great distillery museum, run by the same family who first opened it in 1896. Not only are there two lovely monasteries worth visiting, but because of its high mountains Naxos benefits from much more rainfall than most other Greek islands, which makes the land very green and fertile. Local produces includes olives, grapes, figs, citrus fruit, corn and potatoes and if you get a chance, a healthy home-grown meal in a back-country taverna will undoubtedly be memorable. The golden sands that circle Naxos are particularly nice, catering for all personality types. The active among you will certainly want to head to the eastern side of the island, where the wind is perfect for budding kite and windsurfers, as well as those who like their beaches as natural as can be. The western side of the island, notably Platka beach, is where the sun-lovers will be seen soaking up the rays.

2 Included Shore Excursions:
  • Past & Present of Naxos - Discover the important and ancient history of Naxos as well as its modern elements on this half-day tour. Drive 30 minutes through the fertile valley of Tragaia to stop at the village Halki. Stroll past the Byzantine church of Panagia Protothroni, interesting mansions and the citrus distillery which produces the homonymous local liqueur.
    Next stop is Apiranthos, or t'Aperathou in local dialect, built at the foot of Mt. Fanari. View the Venetian towers, pretty, old two-story houses, marble paved alleys with arches above them, picturesque squares which combine to create a rare atmosphere.
    On the way back visit Flerio, Melanes, an area that was important during antiquity for its architecture and marble quarry. An aqueduct of 11km was recently discovered, a major engineering project in several historical phases, carrying water to Naxos town and ensuring their water supply. See the ancient archaic marble quarry to see the impressive statue of Kouros, so called the "Greek", 6.4m long, dated from the 7th century BC.
    Return to the ship.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Hiking Mount Zas - At an altitude of about 1,000 m (1,001-1,004 m), the peak of Mount Zas is a popular trekking destination in Naxos. Depart the pier and drive 30 minutes to the trailhead in Danakos village.
    Taking a trekking path on the southeastern side of the island, pass the small chapel of Saint Marina, the Cave of Zas and an ancient marble inscription that is translated as Mount Zas, protector of the sheep in modern Greek, confirming the importance of stockbreeding in Naxos since the ancient times.
    From the top, get breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands of the Cyclades. The slopes of this mountain are also rich in flora and fauna.
    The last meter of the trekking path is abrupt and uphill. The trekking time from the chapel of Saint Marina to the mountaintop is 1 hour.
    Make the 30-minute drive back to port.

Folegandros - There is popular saying that good things come in small packages, or that small is beautiful. And never has a truer word been said when talking about Folegandros. Because this little island in the Aegean packs a big punch. What it might lack in mainstream tourism – you won’t see any all-day breakfasts or Sky sports channels here – is more amply made up by the mouthwatering cuisine, stunning beaches, azure Aegean waters and secluded coves. At just 12.5 m2 this tiny Cycladic gem – along with its 765 year round inhabitants – is a pearl waiting to be polished. Named after the son of King Minos, the island’s auspicious history is eclipsed by its beauty. Used as a prison for exiled political prisoners until last century, the island’s remote location is a happy blessing for those who want step back in time. Despite being so secluded, there is plenty for visitpors to do once they have arrived in the charming harbour and its village. The pebbly beaches are covered with tamarisk trees, while scenic Karavostássis, with its beautiful beach is the perfect starting point for an exploration of the five other glorious beaches of on the island. Livádi, a village with a sandy beach and turquoise waters is a must-see for all those who want to go off the beaten path, but still want to swim in the warm Aegean waters. A boat tour of the island offers day-trippers to fully appreciate the tall cliffs and large “golden” cave (unfortunately closed to the public due to the archaeological excavations taking place). The whitewashed houses and zigzagging path are certainly worth the view from the water! A walk up the same path from the pretty village to the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary takes about 15 minutes, and offers stupendous views once you’re at the top.

Day 20: Athens (Piraeus)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A city of legend, civilisation and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama and democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the centre. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back to the 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.

4 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • A Visit to the British School at Athens, with Acropolis Museum - Take an educational outing to the Acropolis Museum in Athens, joined by Dr. Carol Bell, archaeologist and onboard guest lecturer. Depart the pier for the approximate 30-minute drive to the Acropolis Museum, which features approximately 150,696 square feet (about 14,000 square meters) of exhibition space.
    At the museum, the treasures from the previous museum area are displayed alongside other surviving antiquities discovered from the remains of an ancient Athenian city that is visible through the museum's glass floor. The museum is a place of learning and a symbol of Greece's role as a treasurer of world heritage. The Museum sits just below the Parthenon and is a modern building with spectacular views of the Parthenon, with all of the archaeological material excavated on the Acropolis displayed in wonderful surroundings.
    Continue to the British School at Athens, an archaeological research institute and one of the eight British International Research Institutes supported by the British Academy. Here you are welcomed by Prof. John Bennet, Archaeologist and Director of the British School at Athens. Participate in his exclusive talk focused on introducing Delphi in its Greek setting. Afterwards take a tour of the British School, enjoy the gardens or take a tour of the Library, Archive, Laboratory or the Upper House, built in 1886. End your visit with an afternoon tea.
    This excursion is for you if you have an interest in archaeology and history. Make the return ship at the conclusion of this enriching afternoon.
  • Acropolis of Athens with Lunch - Explore the incredible Acropolis for an excursion not to be forgotten. Depart the pier for your sightseeing tour of the city of Athens. Pass by the Olympic Stadium, home of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, the former Royal Palace at Constitution Square and Syntagma Square, home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
    After seeing these and other ancient and contemporary sites, take a stroll to the famous Acropolis. Upon arrival, climb the smooth marble steps of the Acropolis. After passing through the Propylaea, the entrance to the complex of buildings, view the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erectheum and its classical Porch of Maidens, the Caryatids.
    From here, visit the Parthenon, considered the world's most perfect example of classical architecture. Looking down from the Acropolis, see the ancient Greek theatre of Dionysos and the ancient Roman theatre of Herod Atticus.
    Continue with a short walking tour of the colorful Plaka district, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Athens, featuring breathtaking architecture, gardens, cafés, shops, and restaurants, and explore. Enjoy a meal at Dionysos Restaurant with incredible views.
    Make the 30-minute return drive to the ship.
  • Mt. Ymittos & Kaissariani Monastery Hike - Take a break from the cityscapes hike up Mount Ymittos, bordering Athens as one of the area's best-kept secrets! Nestled in these mountains that form a natural border for Athens is the Kaissariani Monastery dating all the way back to the 11th century.
    Drive 45 minutes from the pier to embark on your fantastic hiking course in Attica, at Ymittos mountain. Hike amidst the cooling pine and cypress trees, which provide refreshing shade even on the hot Athens days (please still bring an extra bottle of water!).
    In this beautiful place, you have the chance to wander around the 11th-century monastery of Kaissariani and admire its unique architecture. This monastery is one of the few med int and drive back to the pier.
  • Tatoi Estate: On The Slopes Of Mt. Parnitha - Hike to the intriguing Tatoi Estate, a former palace for Greek royalty in the 19th century on stunning grounds. Depart the pier and drive 45 minutes to lovely Mt. Parnitha, with plenty of scenic views along the way.
    Begin your two-hour hike up to Tatoi. Walk in the forest through hidden paths at the slopes of the greenest and most beautiful mountain in Attica. Follow the tracks up to the royal cemetery, the former Royal palace of Tatoi, and many others of the 40 buildings in the former royal family estate.
    Make the return drive to the port.

Day 21: Monemvasia (Laconia), Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A town of rustic, lyrically romantic beauty, Monemvasia boasts a glorious natural setting - perched on a colossal rock island, which rears spectacularly from the waves. A truly unique castle city, the island is linked to the mainland by just a single solitary causeway. It is hard to imagine a better – and more impenetrable - setting for a fortress town than this, and the rock is laced with tight cobbled streets, exposed stone masonry and pretty Byzantine churches. Known as the Gibraltar of Greece, you would be forgiven for assuming that the limestone monolith was unoccupied as you approach from the seas. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll begin to pick out the ancient walls and terracotta roofs of the quaint town clinging to its steep, dramatic slopes - and the walls of the fortress crowning it. A natural stronghold of overwhelming romantic beauty – the rock is said to lend couples wedded here extra strong foundations to build from. Arrive on the island to wander the historic knot of streets of a true Adriatic wonder. Encounter gorgeous, tree-shaded terraces, which look out across the rippling blue waves. Visit the picturesque Church of Christ Elkomenos, where you can shelter in the cool interior, and see storied religious iconography. A historic paved pathway twists back on itself, rising sharply up the slope on a daunting ascent to the now uninhabited upper fortress. The views from here are even more incredible, as you look down across the rustic domes of the lower village’s churches and stone-paved streets below.

1 Included Shore Excursion:

Monemvasia Castle City
 - Experience the medieval grandeur of Greece during this excursion to Monemvasia.
Go ashore by Zodiac and take a short transfer to Monemvasia. Built on a rock, this medieval castle city appears barren from the mainland. However, upon closer inspection, Monemvasia is a veritable treasure trove of impressive walls and remains.
Take a guided walking tour through the narrow lanes of the castle city. Along the way, see ruins of houses and Byzantine churches. One church that survived intact is the Church of Christ Elkomenos. Built in the 13th century and renovated during a period of Venetian occupation, it serves as the city's cathedral and displays four surviving Byzantine icons. Following your guided tour, some free time is made available to explore your surrounds at your leisure.

Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, lasting approximately 2 hours and at times on cobblestone and uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended.

 

Day 22: Itea, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Built deep in the Crissaean bay, surrounded by the Corinthian Gulf, lies the little town of Itea. A relative baby by the standards of most Greek cities, Itea was only founded in 1830, although it was an important player in Greece’s independence three years prior. So the town is relatively modern – although the wide sandy beaches, brilliant blue sea and pretty picturesque square are hallmarks for every coastal town in Greece, regardless of age. But the reason for visiting Itea is not to drink in the exceptional views of the Peloponnese nor taste the freshly caught fish, cooked to perfection. It is, of course, to experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site Delphi, by far the jewel in the crown of Ancient Greece. The so called centre of the world for ancient Greece, Delphi was the seat of the famous oracle Pythia. World leaders would travel to consult Pythia on decisions which would then ripple through humanity. Pythia was said to be the direct mouthpiece for Apollo, the god of light, knowledge and harmony. While Delphi’s exact age is unknown (the period of Ancient Greece ranged from 500-300 BC), the town definitely has significance as a religious shrine as early as the 7th century BC. Zeus determined the site by sending two eagles, one heading east, the other heading west. Where the eagles crossed paths would be the centre of Grandmother Gaia – or Earth. Set on the slopes of the mighty Mount Parnassus, the city is a fairy tale landscape of monasteries, amidst vineyards, almond trees and olive groves.

1 Included Shore Excursion:
 
  • Mythical Delphi - Explore the ruins of Delphi during a half-day sightseeing excursion to this ancient mountain city. Depart the pier for the scenic, approximate 40-minute drive inland and up Mount Parnassus en route to Delphi. Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour of the site, which offers spectacular vistas and a wealth of ancient landmarks. Along the way, see the Castalian Spring, the Sacred Way, which was once lined with statues and treasures, the Grand Temple of Apollo, the theatre with its excellent acoustics, and the well-preserved stadium with the marble starting blocks in position. Next, a visit is made to the Delphi Museum. Here, marvel at such treasures as the Omphalos, which marked the centre of the world, and the magnificent bronze Charioteer, one of the finest pieces surviving from the 5th century BC. At the end of your visit, re-boarding your coach for the approximately 40-minute drive back to the pier.

Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking (approximately 2 km/1.25 miles) along narrow and uneven paths in Delphi, and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship. The tour sequence may vary to avoid overcrowding.
 

Day 23: Nafpaktos, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A past as deep as the ocean, Nafpaktos is the quintessence of Greece. Seeped in history since the 15th century, this ex-Venetian stronghold was more commonly known as Lepanto. Liberated in 1829 when Greece gained independence, Nafpaktos (meaning “boatyard”) is an ancient Greek name, which was revived in the 19th century. Historically the name goes as far back as the Doric period, as the Dorian first used the island to build rafts. Legend has it that Heraclidea built a fleet of ships in the harbor which were then used to invade the Peloponnese. Set on the mainland at the entrance to the Corinthian Gulf, Nafpaktos was initially chosen as a strategic point due to its high hills and fertile land. The Byzantine navy used it as a communication point and, amongst others, the Knights Hospitaller occupied it in 1378 before it was captured by the Venetians in 1407. Over 600 years later, today the town could be considered one of the oldest in Greece. Unsurprisingly for a town with such a rich past, its present is very much respectful of tradition. The city is picturesque, and it has kept its style, beauty and feel for centuries. Take a stroll in the pretty old town with its naval houses and mansions and be transported back by several centuries! The port, the smallest in the Mediterranean, is a relic from the city’s Venetian past, while the bougainvillea that clings to the whitewashed walls, cobbled streets and shady squares could be from a movie set. At the time of writing – 2019 – Nafpaktos had still not fallen prey to mass tourism like many other of its neighbouring islands. So do not expect hordes of tourists – moreover authentic tavernas selling locally caught fresh fish, squid and octopus and beachside restaurants serving Grecian cuisine at very reasonable rates.

2 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • The Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos - Take a short 10-minute drive to the top of the mountain and visit the Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos. This well preserved castle proudly keeps watch on the city and the bay of Patras, offering breathtaking views, and its picturesque ramparts go down to enclose the little harbor. Its fortification passed through many phases, as it was started in the ancient times, passed through the Venetian conquest and was completed by the Turks. The castle protected the people of Nafpaktos during wars and was unique for its five defensive walls, two of which were built going down till the sea and three walls were constructed at different levels on the hill, between the maritime walls and the castle, for maximum security. In periods of sieges, people would get into the castle to protect their lives from the enemies. Through its history, it has been a base for conquerors and pirates. After your visit of the castle, sip on a coffee accompanied with local delicacies while enjoying the same remarkable views. Return to the port area, and stroll around the cobbled streets of the town, the naval houses and the well-preserved mansions at your leisure before reboarding the ship.               
  • Hike to the Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos - Start your day with an energizing short hike to the top of the mountain to visit the Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos. This well preserved castle proudly keeps watch on the city and the bay of Patras, offering breathtaking views, and its picturesque ramparts go down to enclose the little harbor. Its fortification passed through many phases, it was started in the ancient times, then passed through the Venetian conquest and was completed by the Turks. The castle protected the people of Nafpaktos during wars and was unique for its five defensive walls, two of which were built going down till the sea and three walls were constructed at different levels on the hill, between the maritime walls and the castle, for maximum security. In periods of sieges, people would get into the castle to protect their lives from the enemies. Through its history, it has been a base for conquerors and pirates. From the seashore to the Venetian Castle in the heights, hike up through fascinating alleys, beautiful houses and cobbled streets, and discover different corners of Nafpaktos. After your visit of the castle, sip on a coffee accompanied with local delicacies while enjoying the same remarkable views. Hike back to the port area, where you can reembark the ship or take the opportunity to stroll around the port area, with the naval houses and the well-preserved mansions at your leisure.

Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 5 km along uneven paths, inclines and steps. It is recommended only for guests in good physical conditions. Comfortable clothes, hiking shoes, hat and sunscreen are recommended.

 

Day 24: Sarande, Albania

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Overlooking the turquoise blue Ionian Sea, Albania’s most southerly harbour is a short 20-minute boat ride from Corfu, and bathes in the glow of more than 300 sunny days each year. Revel in Albania’s best beach life, or explore historic ancient cities and fortresses embedded with immense archaeological interest. Clear turquoise waters lap the city's beaches, and there's always something to see along the lively Boulevard Hasan Tahsini - which traces the seafront and is stacked with bars, restaurants and shops. The hardy, 16th-century Lekuresi Castle has been battered by weather and war over the years but it offers a fantastic lookout point to survey Sarande's expanse, Corfu's island, and the turquoise sea beyond. From here, you can head to the Blue Eye Spring, a rejuvenating natural landmark where a groundswell of the purest water gushes up 50 metres to surface amid the forest. Bathe in the immaculate waters, which are intensely refreshing on sunny days. The majestic ruins of Butrint's ancient city stand nearby, unearthed from the leafy site, after the city was abandoned in medieval times. Albania's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint was an ancient Greek and Roman stronghold - and you can walk back in time along stone-paved streets to discover the immense history here. Roam between the compact Roman theatre and the impressive arched-windows of the basilica, before admiring the stunning floor mosaics that have been left behind.

2 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • The Ancient City of Butrint - Explore ancient Greek ruins and marvellous mosaics during this tour to the ancient city of Butrint.Depart the pier for the approximately 45-minute drive to Butrint National Park. Dating back to the 3rd century BCE, these ruins remained uncovered until 1928 when they were discovered by Italian archaeologists. Experts spent years uncovering the secrets of Butrint, or Buthrotum as it is known in Latin and English. Once undiscovered, these ruins are now known for being one of the best-preserved examples of an ancient Greek working town.Upon arrival, local guides will lead you through the ruins, explaining the fascinating and advanced systems the ancient Greeks utilized to bring them modern-day conveniences, like running water. Guests will have the opportunity to see the public baths, Theatre of Butrint, and Lion Gate acropolis.The highlight of the tour is getting up close with ancient Greek mosaics. Expertly laid out by hand and crafted with tiny shards of multi-coloured glass, these colourful masterpieces provide us with the best-preserved examples of Ancient Greek art.Refreshments will be served before boarding the coaches for the approximately 45-minute transfer back to the pier.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Lekuresi Castle and Blue-Eye Spring - Depart the pier for the approximately 15-minute transfer to Lekuresi Castle. With its strategic location overlooking the harbour of Sarande and protecting the road to Butrint, this castle was of great importance to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. While much of it has been damaged by weather and war, it has been revived for travelers to enjoy its unmatched views overlooking the harbour. At the Castle, enjoy refreshments and a local Albanian folk performance. Re-board the coach for the scenic, approximately 1-hour drive through the Albanian countryside en-route to the Blue Eye Spring. Stop along the way at the Mesopotami Church. Dating back to the 13th century CE and rebuilt in the 17th, this church has long been renowned for its bas-relief depictions of mythical creatures.Reaching the Blue Eye Spring, at first glance, the spring appears as a shallow stream tucked into the lush Albanian forest. Upon closer inspection, guests will see that the river is fed by a subterranean spring that bubbles up perfectly-clear water from over 50 metres (164 feet) below. This pure, untouched water creates the illusion of being shallow due to its unique clarity and high visibility. It is said that these waters were so cherished that during Communist times, only ruling party members were able to bathe in the spring. After approximately 30 minutes at the spring, re-board the coaches for the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.

Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking (approximately 1 km/0.6 miles), occasionally over uneven ground or cobblestones. This programme is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight clothing, adequate sun protection, comfortable walking shoes and bottled water from the ship are recommended. Order of sites visited may vary.


 

Day 25: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side

Day 26: Sousse, Tunisia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With more than 270,000 inhabitants Sousse is Tunisia’s third-largest city. Located on the coast and bordering the Gulf of Hammamet, it is about 140 kilometers south of Tunis. Sousse’s origin goes back to Hadrumetum, a Phoenician settlement in the Tunisian Sahel. It was later used by Romans, Vandals and the Byzantine Empire, but eventually destroyed in the 7th century during the Muslim conquest of North Africa. By the year 800 a border defense was set up at present day Sousse and it became an important commercial and military port under the Aghlabids. Located next to the port, several of Sousse’s old structures are still well-preserved and are listed as “Historic Monuments”, among them the Kasbah, the Medina of Sousse with the Great Mosque, the Bu Ftata Mosque and the Ribat, the most ancient and best-preserved fort and religious building. This complex has been considered to be a unique prototype of military coastal architecture of the first centuries of Islam and one of the best examples of seaward-facing fortifications built by Arabs by UNESCO. This harmonious example of Arabian-Muslim urbanism was given World Heritage status. Although olive oil manufacture has been one of the main economic activities, tourism has played an important role since the 1960s. A harbor and beach promenade running for some 10 kilometers along fine sandy beaches and hotels is used by visitors and locals alike. The Archaeological Museum houses important Roman mosaics and artefacts from the Roman Christian catacombs.

4 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Treasures of Thysdrus​ - From the port, drive to Thysdrus. Although it was originally a native community influenced by Carthaginian civilization, Thysdrus probably received Julius Caesar's veterans as settlers in 45 BCE. Thysdrus did not become a municipium (settlement with partial rights of citizenship) until the reign of Septimius Severus.Upon arrival, proceed to the El Jem Museum. Specialists recommend a visit to this museum before visiting other vestiges of the ancient city of Thysdrus. The museum contains many architectonic elements that belonged to the decoration of the city's superb villas and public buildings and in particular, the sumptuous mosaic pavements, undoubtedly amongst the finest of Roman antiquity.Next, re-board your coach and drive to the El Jem Amphitheatre. This is by far the most imposing Roman monument of Africa; its huge, round shape rises from the desert plain and can be seen from a great distance, especially as the town that grew around the monument is made up of low-lying buildings. It is also one of the best conserved buildings of its kind, despite all the vicissitudes it encountered over the centuries, in particular when it was bombarded with cannon balls at the end of the XVIIth century in an attempt to dislodge a rebel tribe that had sought refuge within, and which provoked a large breach in the side of the building. Following your visit, re -board your coach and drive to a local hotel for lunch. After lunch, a visit is made to Dar el Jem where artisans will learn you mosaic techniques, and you will have time to create your own mosaic and take it with you.At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 1-hour drive back to the pier.
    Please note: It's forbidden to take pictures of Government & Police Buildings.                                                                                                                      
  • Islamic Kairouan & Sousse - From the port, drive to Kairouan defined as the holiest city of Tunisia, being the oldest Islamic settlement, having the oldest worship Muslim place in North Africa and the world's oldest minaret. Following a two-hour drive from the port, you arrive in the city to seek out the best examples of Islamic architecture.
    Visit the impressive mosque, featuring a prayer room with 17 naves and a three-storey minaret. You also visit the Aghlabid Basins. These basins are an impressive example of medieval hydraulic engineering. Due to the semi-arid climate, droughts are common in the region and have been for more than a thousand years; the Aghlabid Basins - two out of an original 17 survived - collect rainwater for the use of bathing and emergency drinking water. You will perhaps find the baths impressive because of their sophistication, rather than their simple appearance.
    Following your visit you will learn some techniques about the traditional (pre-Islamic) carpet industry that made Kairouan the capital of rugs in Tunisia. Enjoy lunch at a local hotel before proceeding with your exploration.
    After which, re -board your coach and you will drive for an hour to Sousse. Upon arrival you will visit the Ribat of Sousse, This is one of the finest and best conserved buildings of the series of "fortress-monasteries" that dotted the North African coastline to serve both as defences against assailants that came from overseas and as a place for spiritual retreats. The Sousse Ribat was built at the end of the VIIIth century. Its architectural style is broadly inspired by the style of the Byzantines who preceded the Arab conquerors on African soil. In fact, building materials reclaimed from Antiquity were extensively used in the construction of the monument.
    Following your visit you will discover the walled medina, the result of regular pirate attacks throughout the city's history. Spend some free time to browse the market before the 15-minute return journey to the port.
    Please note: It's forbidden to take pictures of Government & Police Buildings.                                                                                                                   
  • Berber Villages Adventure by 4*4 - Upon arrival at Zriba Al Alia you will enjoy a hike through many of the rooms and buildings.
    Afterwards continue on to Takrouna, a Berber village and historic site which played a decisive role in the end of the Second World War in Tunisia. It forms with Jradou and Zriba a site with typical and traditional architecture: stone houses, vaulted rooms and interior courtyards. Its beauty is matched only by its simplicity. The intimate aspect of this visit is the charm of the old Berber villages.
    Upon arrival, commence a guided walking tour of Takrouna where families of Berber origin still make a living from agriculture and the weaving of Alfa and Berber carpets. Your guide will show you the distinct homes and explain the lifestyle of these Berber families. There will be an opportunity to visit the local museum and sample typical mint tea as we "live" this intrinsic experience.
    At the conclusion of your visit, commence the approximately 45-min drive back to the pier                                                                                                            
  • Quad Tour Hergla and its Surrounding - Upon arrival, you will be paired up into pairs of 2 per quad and you will start your quad journey by driving towards the Salt Lake (Sebkha Halk El Menzel).
    The surroundings of the lake are exceptionally suitable for quads, and a beautiful visual sensation along the edge of the lake until arriving to Enfidha Nature Reserve for refreshments.
    Afterwards embark on your 45-minute return journey to the port.
    Please note: It's forbidden to take pictures of Government & Police Buildings. Only recommended for guests in good physical health - and must be able to drive the quad.



 

Day 27: Porto Empedocle, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As the largest island in the Mediterranean and centrally located, Sicily attracted interest from many historical powers. Greece was one state which established colonies here. Their legacy lives on as Porto Empedocle is named after a Greek philosopher. Later, the Romans made sure Sicily was part of their empire. Both ancient Greek and Roman art and culture are recognised in two outstanding World Heritage Sites on Sicily. The glory of the golden age of Ancient Greece is on show at the Valle dei Templi in the city of Agrigento. From the 6th Century BCE, Agrigento grew into one of the main cities of the Mediterranean. Despite the name, the site is a ridge, not a valley. Its many ruins include several temples constructed in the Doric architectural style. The magnificent Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved of all Greek temples. Mosaics of outstanding beauty and preservation at the Villa Roman Del Casale are the finest in the Roman world. The luxurious villa dates from the 4th century CE. The mosaics were probably crafted by North Africans using local and North African stones. Hidden and protected beneath soil for centuries, the mosaic floors of the villa are now revealed. Look for the ‘Atrium of the Fishing Cupids’, the ‘Hall of the Great Hunt’, the ‘Vestibule of Eros and Pan’ and the ‘Cubicle of Children Hunting’. It is no surprise that the mosaic in the ‘Room with Girls in Bikini’ which shows young athletic women in small two-piece outfits is legendary. Does all fashion recycle?

3 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Valley of Temples - Discover some of the oldest and best-known archaeological wonders of Sicily on this half day tour that features the Valley of the Temples, including the Temples of Concord, Juno and Zeus from 5th century BC, and get some historical context at the Archaeological Museum of Santa Nicola.
    Depart the pier for the approximately 30-minute drive to the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, your guided tour begins with a walk downhill. At the bottom, a paved road links the main ruins and the museum. During frequent stops, your guide points out key monuments and informs you about the history of the various temples you are visiting. The surrounding countryside survives undisturbed, with beautiful almond groves and thousand-year-old olive trees. Most of the temples are unenclosed, and accessible via uneven paths.
    Continue to the Temple of Concord, built in the 5th century B.C. and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. With its 34 columns still standing, the Temple of Concord ranks with the Parthenon in Athens as the world's best-preserved ancient Greek temple. Next, visit the Temple of Juno, perched majestically above a steep escarpment. Dedicated to the goddess Hera, it still has 25 complete columns and nine others partly re-erected. A sacrificial altar is located nearby.
    Be awed by the Temple of Zeus, the largest temple of Greek antiquity at a length of 372 feet (about 113 meters). One of the supporting figures, measuring 25 feet (about 7.6 meters) and resembling Atlas, was restored and can be seen lying on the ground.
    Your final stop is the Museum of Santa Nicola, one of Sicily's finest archaeological museums. Here, view an impressive collection of Greek vases dating from the 7th century B.C., coins, ancient sarcophagi and more. Following your visit, re-board your coach for the drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires extensive walking of at least 1.6 miles (2.5km). There is uneven terrain at the archaeological site and some steps at the temples and museum, making this excursion is not advisable for guests with limited mobility and is not wheelchair accessible. Guests may not return to the coach independently, but may rest at one of the bars in the valley. No photos are allowed inside the museum. Lightweight comfortable clothing, closed-toe walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen are recommended.                                                                        
  • Valley of Temples & Parco della Kolymbetra - Discover some of the oldest and best-known archaeological wonders of Sicily on this full-day tour that features the Valley of the Temples of Concord, Juno and Zeus from 5th century BC, and get some historical context at the Archaeological Museum of Santa Nicola. After lunch, discover the beautiful Kolymbetra Garden.
    Depart the pier aboard your air-conditioned coach with the assistance of a guide for the six-mile drive to the Archaeological Site of Agrigento. Stops at the Valley of the Temples entrance, from which you begin the walking tour; the main ruins are linked by a paved road, but some of the Temples are to be reached by uneven paths. Walk through the area surrounded by countryside covered by beautiful almond and olive trees; the guide leads you among the most important monuments: Temple of Juno, Temple of Concord, Temple of Hercules and the famous Temple of Zeus (the largest temple of Greek antiquity).
    At the end of the walk, continue to the Archaeological Museum of San Nicola, containing impressive collections of Greek vases, coins, and other artifacts. After the visit, re-board the coach and depart to Mandranova Estate; upon arrival you visit the Olive Oil Farm and enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch/olive oil tasting.
    After lunch, drive to Kolymbetra Garden, a stunning open-air archaeological and agricultural museum located in a small hollow in the heart of the Valley of the Temples. Kolymbetra is a Greek word for a type of pool used during Roman times for water games; in 1999 the garden was entrusted, for a period of 25 years, to the Italian Environment Fund (FAI), under a free concession from the Sicilian Region, becoming one of the most important places of archaeological and naturalistic interest in Italy.
    Re-board the coach and drive back to the pier.
    Please note: Order of destinations may vary. Comfortable shoes, a hat and sun protection are recommended. This tour involves about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) of walking on terrain that is sometimes uneven. There are stairs at the gardens and some temples. Consequently, this tour is not advisable for guests with limited mobility. No photos are allowed inside the museum.                                                                               
  • Villa Romana del Casale with Lunch at Butera Winery - Explore the remarkable city of Piazza Armerina, with its deep and ancient history, and relax in one of the best wine-making regions in Italy. This city was settled during the Norman domination in Sicily (11th century), but was inhabited since prehistoric times, also flourishing during Roman times.
    Depart the pier and travel 2 hours to Piazza Armerina (distance of approximately 70 miles, or 110 km) to discover a town famous for its Roman mosaics located in the Villa Romana del Casale. The discovery and excavation of the well-preserved, highly refined mosaics has helped attract tourists to the region. The mosaics are located in a building that is believed to have been a hunting lodge of Emperor Maximianus Heraclius (4th century AD). These are considered some of the best mosaics in the Roman world, covering 112 square meters. Scenes depict Greek and Roman mythology and the colors have been beautifully preserved.
    After the visit, proceed 1 hour by coach to Butera for a traditional lunch and wine tasting at a local winery in the heart of Sicily, Feudo Principi di Butera, which covers 320 hectares with 80 vineyards. This area today is considered one of the best wine making regions in Italy, thanks to the warm and dry climate which optimizes the development and perfect ripening of the grapes, a sea breeze which carries all its benefits to the vines and the warm, strong sunlight that is so typical of the southern areas of the island. The Zonin family is owner of the Feudo Principi di Butera and has been since 1997.
    After lunch and the visit of the wine-farm drive back to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves at least two hours of driving in each direction. Comfortable shoes, a hat and sun protection are recommended. Short trousers are acceptable. There is about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) of walking, some of it on uneven terrain. Because of this, the excursion is not advisable for guests with limited mobility. Photography is not allowed in some areas of Villa Romana.

Day 28: Trapani, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Surrounded by glowing turquoise waters and rugged coastline, Trapani invites you to explore western Sicily's ruins, intense flavours, and sun-soaked leisure pursuits. Built on salt and tuna exports, Trapani is experiencing a renaissance, having been lovingly spruced up as a sailing capital, and an international airport bringing in visitors from far and wide. The town looks out over the Egadi Islands, gazing west to witness some of Siciliy's most evocative sunset displays. Start exploring Trapani from its historic core, a dense network of alleys hosting a collection of small shops, restaurants and wine bars. You’ll encounter the Cathedral of San Lorenzo – where colourful artworks are spread below sweeping arches and a beautiful domed roof. Sicily feels like an island on the cusp of continents, and Trapani practically has one foot in Africa, as you soak in its pretty whitewash houses and fusion of foods and arts. Discover the Ancient Greek influence by venturing to rich archaeological sites nearby, like Selinus and Segesta, where the treasures from the past have been unearthed and displayed. Pyramids of white salt rise up at the Riserva Naturale Saline di Trapani e Paceco. These salt marshes and windmills are a symbol of Trapani, and although sea salt production is much less important today, the small white hills remain a Trapani landmark. Look out for the pink flamingos wading in the salt pans below. For beach days, the Egadi Islands can be easily reached from Trapani - Favignana is the largest and most popular.

3 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Segesta e Selinunte - Discover Sicily's ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Segesta and Selinunte, on this incredible full-day tour. Depart the pier for a brief panoramic drive through Trapani, before proceeding on a scenic one-hour drive to Selinunte.
    Selinus
    One of Sicily's great Greek archaeological sites, Selinunte is situated by the sea in the south -western corner of Sicily where the isolated ruins have stood abandoned for most of their history. The lack of later development allows modern visitors to imagine the ancient town of Selinus as it would have been two and a half thousand years ago.
    Arrive at Selinus to discover the remains of a city founded by the Greeks in the mid-7th century BCE. Visit the remnants of three impressive temples that once graced the site. The first is Temple E, dating back to the 5th century BCE and rebuilt in 1958. To the right stands Temple F, lying completely in ruins. Archaeologists believed that Temple G was dedicated to Zeus, and was among the largest of its type in the ancient world. Each of its columns weighs several tons. The surrounding rubble gives some indication of its immense size. Explore the Acropolis with your guide; it was partially rebuilt in 1925, and was dominated by the columns of Temple C (6th century BCE).
    Re-board the motor coach for a scenic drive to Marsala, situated on Cape Boeo, the westernmost point of the island. Upon arrival start a brief walking tour in town center to discover this ancient city, founded by the Phoenicians refugees after the destruction of Mozia by the hand of Dionysius I of Syracuse; the town of Marsala is also famous for a dessert wine, that it is named after it.
    For this reason next stop is at a local winery, "Cantine Florio," one of the most ancient wineries in Sicily, built from Vincenzo Florio in 1833 and famous producers of Marsala wine. There you have the opportunity to taste a typical Sicilian brunch accompanied with different local wines, including the Marsala one.
    Segesta
    After brunch and visit of the wine cellars, re-board your coach and drive to Segesta. Called "Egesta" by the Greeks and "Segesta" by the Romans, the city was, with Erice and Entella, one of the most advanced centers of the ancient Elymian civilization (a combination of the Trojans and Phoenicians, who mixed with the Sicans of western Sicily). The city stood on a vast plateau between the two peaks of Monte Barbaro, a very well-defended position. Likely built between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., Segesta City was surrounded by walls of the Classic or Hellenistic Age.
    Archaeological Site, Doric Temple, Theater, Free Time
    Upon arrival in Segesta, take a guided tour of its expansive archaeological site. Along the way, visit the magnificent, well-preserved Doric Temple, whose majestic appearance and dominating position bestow great nobility on this ancient landscape.
    Leaving the Doric Temple, board a local shuttle bus for the short transfer to the Theater, which is situated on the northern slope of Monte Barbaro. Following your guided tour of the Theater, return to the archaeological site via shuttle bus. Upon arrival, some free time is made available for independent exploration. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.
    Please note: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes, and sun protection are recommended. This excursion involves about three kilometers of walking on uneven surfaces inside the archaeological sites. Although the venues are wheelchair accessible, all guests must be able to disembark and embark both the ship and the coach without assistance from guides. Guests may choose to explore only parts of the sites.                   
  • Erice - Embrace the medieval beauty of one of Sicily's most impregnable hilltop fortifications during this half-day journey to Erice. The town of Erice is situated in a spectacular, naturally fortified position high above the natural harbor of Trapani, that it is not surprising that the site has been occupied for millennia.
    Depart the pier for the scenic, approximate one-hour drive to Erice, a lovely town perched on an isolated hill north of Trapani. The drive takes place along a road with numerous steep bends. Erice, a small medieval town founded in 415 BCE, was renowned in ancient times as an important sanctuary of Venus. Although it is often shrouded in mist due to its hilltop location, Erice offers splendid views of the sea and Egadi Islands.
    Erice's Norman-style influences are reflected in its imposing towers and fortifications. During your walking tour, see the walls that stretch from Porta Spada to Porta Trapani that protect the only side of the hill with no natural defenses. On all other sides, the sheer rock face made the town one of the most impregnable fortresses on the island.
    From a visit to the walls, continue to the English-style Balio Gardens. These delightful gardens were laid out in 1870 by Count Pepoli and feature a monumental entrance with a double staircase. The last stop on your walking tour is the Venus Castle. Built on the site of the original Temple of Venus, the castle offers magnificent panoramic views and the remains of the Venus Temple.
    Following your guided visit, some free time is made available for you to browse the shops before re -boarding your coach for the approximate one-hour return drive to the pier. En route, take a photo stop at the famous "Saline" salt pan and take an orientation drive through Trapani.
    Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of walking, at times on cobblestones that can be slippery when wet. Approximate distance covered on foot is 1500m (1 mile). This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair. Comfortable clothing, flat walking shoes and sun protection are recommended.                                                                                            
  • Salt Road & Mozia Island - Enjoy a tour to Mozia Island located between Trapani to the North and Marsala to the South. The island was formerly known as Motia, Mothia and San Pantaleo and lies in the Stagnone Lagoon. Discover an island rich with archaeological excavations and finds from what was an island city. Make a stop at the Whitaker Museum and view many beautiful relics that are well displayed here.
    Depart the pier area and drive one hour to Marsala towards the "via del sale" (the salt road) with the famous "Saline" and windmills; it is not unusual to also see migrating flamingos, storks, cranes and herons in this region. On the way you have the opportunity of driving through the Stagnone Lagoon, with a very unreal panorama and beautiful colors, and to have a panoramic view of Mozia Island.
    Embark for a brief sea crossing to Mozia Island by local boat. Mozia has ancient roots, and was founded at the end of the 8th century B.C. on the island, situated at the center of a large lagoon, known today as Stagnone, or big pond. Due to its presence near the coast as an important trade city, Mozia was one of the most important Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements in the Mediterranean area. Once on the island, your guide leads you to some of the interesting archaeological points with spectacular view of the Stagnone Lagoon.
    Next, make your way to the Whitaker Museum, which houses several artifacts found in Mozia and in the neighboring area. The highlight of the museum is most certainly the Ephebus of Motya, the marble statue of a young man from the fifth century BC, found in Mothia in 1976.
    Enjoy some free time on the island for further exploration, then re-board the local boat to the mainland.
    Return to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires approximately 1.5km (1 mile) of walking and is not suggested for guests with limited mobility. Venues are wheelchair accessible, but guests must be able to board and disembark the coach and ship without assistance. Comfortable clothing, flat walking shoes and sun protection are recommended.

Day 29: Cagliari (Sardinia)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The serene sea approach to Cagliari is an exquisitely beautiful way to first lay eyes on the city’s mesmerising interplay of colour, spires and domed churches. Sat on Sardinia’s south coast, Cagliari is the island’s largest city, and a sun-blessed escape of beaches, architecture and Mediterranean food – where stress evaporates on contact. That first sight of Cagliari’s mosaic of architecture reveals much about the island’s history, and is a living document of the civilisations and influences that have passed through. Combining Byzantine churches with crumbling Roman ruins and Pisan towers, it’s an elegant, beguiling place to explore. Usher in the morning with a short, sharp espresso hit, before wandering along to San Benedetto market’s bustle, crammed full of overflowing heaps of local produce. Taste crisp, freshly-baked bread, thin shavings of sheep’s cheese, and ripe red strawberries, as you wander amid the market’s melody of good-natured bartering. The Castello quarter’s tight, flower-draped streets and salmon-hued brick buildings incline up above the Med’s softly lapping waves. Climb Bastione di Saint Remy staircase to Terrazza Umberto’s views of the turquoise Gulf of Angels. Next, Cathedral of Santa Maria awaits, with its marbled interiors, elaborate side chapels and intricately decorated crypt. Once you’ve unravelled Cagliari’s historical tapestry, Poetto Beach invites you to find a spot on almost five miles of uninterrupted sand, met by a dazzling expanse of turquoise water. On a hot summer’s day, soak up some sun before saluting the sunset with an ice cold Spritz at a beachside bar. Spaghetti with salted bottarga and artichokes will keep the good times rolling, perfectly accompanied by a glass of ruby-coloured Cannonau wine

9 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Devil’s Saddle Hiking - This short tour features some of Italy's most stunning natural vistas that you can take your time exploring on this 2.5-hour hike. The excursion allows you to visit the promontory of the Sella del Diavolo (Devil's Saddle), a naturalistic pearl set in the Gulf of Cagliari, just a few minutes from the city center.
    Drive just 20 minutes to the drop-off point in Cala Mosca, and from there it is a short and accessible walk that gives you the chance to enjoy breathtaking views and observe elements of great naturalistic, archaeological and historical interest.
    Your tour begins on the western side of the Capo Sant'Elia at the Sella del Diavolo (Devil's Saddle) promontory. At this rock outcropping, experience the fresh air, sunshine, beautiful scenery and a healthy dose of exercise that await you on this half-day hike through a Mediterranean landscape full of juniper, wild olive and mastic trees.
    Your hike peaks with an unforgettable view of the bay looking over Poetto Beach and Molentargius Lagoon. After your hike make the 20-minute return drive to the pier.
    Please note: It is recommended that guests wear closed-toe shoes with grip, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, and to bring bottled water. The hike may be up to 4km (2.5 miles), depending on weather, and is on steep and rocky limestone terrain. Because of the terrain, this excursion is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. Guests may return to the bus independently.                                                                         
  • Cagliari on Foot​ - The bastions and towers tell you about attacks from the sea, invasions and the tireless defence of the city: you will relive the legends of Cagliari directly inside its most ancient and intimate district. Spend a half-day discovering the exquisite beauty and historic sights of Cagliari during a panoramic drive of the town and a walking tour through the old district of Castello.
    Depart the pier for the scenic drive through Cagliari and its panoramic points. After an exterior stop at the Bonaria Basilica to learn about this historic church, your drive continues towards Monte Urpinu. Upon arrival, take in picturesque views over ponds, saltpans, the Gulf of the Angels with Poetto beach, the port and historic centre. This area represents a real oasis to immerse in nature that is still not too far from the city.
    During your guided visit, admire the Cathedral with its fine Baroque furnishings. Your tour concludes with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, which houses an impressive display of Punic, Greek and Roman artefacts, as well as a large collection of Sardinian antiquities                                
  • The Simplicity of Traditional Flavors: Breadmaking Workshop - On this memorable excursion, sample delicious wines and local products, learn the art of traditional breadmaking, and discover a great family who run an exclusive winery located in a unique setting over Sardinia's gentle hills. Departing the pier, drive 40 minutes to a local winery.
    Let yourself be overwhelmed and be immersed in a unique and engaging experience as you discover the history of this land and its typical cuisine. Be guided on a path through the 5 senses that invites you to reconnect with the beauty of the simplest things.
    Touch the raw material with your hand in a workshop where you have the chance to learn the secrets of traditional bread preparation. Starting from basic subjects like wheat, cereal and yeast, skilled hands show you how to prepare your ceremonial bread.
    After the workshop, taste the wine accompanied by some local products while strolling amidst the stunning nature around you.
    Make the return drive to the ship.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour requires about 200 meters of walking. There are some stairs inside the winery and a short walk on uneven terrain near the vineyards. Guests with limited mobility must evaluate their ability to negotiate these obstacles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Monte Arcosu by 4x4 - Experience the pristine natural beauty of Monte Arcosu in a unique and exciting way during this excursion via Jeep and on-foot. Become one with nature when you discover pink flamingos, deer, boar and other animals travelling from Cagliari to the W.W.F. nature reserve.
    Depart the pier via 4x4 vehicles for the scenic, approximately 45-minute drive to Monte Arcosu. Drive by the Santa Gilla ponds, home to pink flamingo and one of the protected wetland areas that surround Cagliari. Enjoy a photo stop to admire the flamingos and many other species of birds.

    A natural reserve in the extreme northwest corner of Uta, Monte Arcosu belongs to the World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.), who purchased it to preserve the splendid Holm-oak forests in this territory.
    Upon arrival, begin your guided walking tour along paths lined with beautiful and fragrant Mediterranean maquis. The reserve's valleys and rocky ridges are home to the Sardinian deer, a species protected from extinction. Other animal and bird species found here include the fallow deer, boar, hare, wildcat, partridge, and golden eagle.
    After your nature trek, a snack is served before commencing the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of off-road travel over bumpy and uneven surfaces. This tour is not suitable for pregnant guests, guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with heart or respiratory conditions, guests with high blood pressure, guests suffering from vertigo, guests with limited mobility, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a light jacket or sweater, as the temperature at Monte Arcosu could be lower than at the coast. Operation of this tour is subject to weather and road conditions. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.                                                                             
  • San Sperate: A “Museum Village” in the Countryside - Discover the colors and flavors of San Sperate, the so called "town-museum", where art and nature are blended together in a perfect harmony. Enjoy the sight of the colorful murals painted on the walls of the houses and let yourself be captured by the magical sound the stones of famous sculptor Pinuccio Sciola.
    Departing the pier, drive 30 minutes to San Sperate for some memorable sightseeing. The idea of transforming San Sperate into a town-museum came to Pinuccio Sciola in 1966. The artist and sculptor invited various artists to paint their works of art onto the walls of the village houses, thus making San Sperate one of Italy's most important centers for mural art.
    After a walking tour, head to the workshop-garden of Pinuccio Sciola, where you could admire the unique creations of this artist: the Sound Stones, which not only are works of visual art but also musical instruments.
    At the end of the walking tour, before returning to the pier, enjoy a Sardinian snack in the open air of the Megalithic Garden. Tour this suggestive green lung enriched by sculptures of menhir, dolmen, stone benches and a small theater.
    Return 30 minutes to the pier.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour requires a certain amount of walking on cobblestone and paved surfaces with some steps, and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. It is not possible to return to the bus independently as the end of the tour is in a different location.                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • The Archeological Site of Nora​ - Cagliari has its origins in Sardinian prehistory which includes the birth of civilizations capable of creating organized and free societies, characterized by intense trades and cultural exchanges among the Mediterranean people. Explore the ancient beauty and history of Cagliari during this scenic, half-day excursion through the city on the way to the archaeological site of Nora.
    Depart the pier for the scenic drive through Cagliari on your way to the Bonaria Basilica, stop here to learn about this historic church with a photo stop. Afterward, continue your excursion and drive to Monte Urpinu. Upon arrival, take in picturesque vistas that include the Gulf of the Angels, or 'Golfo degli Angeli', and the Santa Gilla and Molentargius lagoons, home to flamingos, cormorants, ducks and herons.
    Continue to the ancient Roman and pre-Roman town of Nora situated on a peninsula near Pula and Cagliari in Sardinia. Nora was an important trading town in its time, with two protected harbours, one on each side of the peninsula. According to legend, Nora was founded by a group of Iberians from Tartessus led by Norax, a mythological hero (the son of Eriteide and the god Hermes). It is believed to be the first town founded in Sardinia and to have been settled by the ancient Sherden or the Nuraghi people, and later colonized by Phoenicians.
    The Nora Stone, a Phoenician inscription found at Nora in 1773, has been dated by palaeographic methods to between the late 9th century and early 8th century BC, and has been interpreted as referring to a Phoenician military victory and conquest of the area. After a period of domination by Carthage the town came under Roman control after the conquest of Sardinia in 238 BC. It went into decline from the 4th century AD and appears to have been abandoned during the 8th century.
    Several different building styles can be seen in the excavated buildings. Visit a promontory in the foreground of a 16th-century tower. From here, view the remains of Carthaginians warehouses, Roman buildings from the time of the Republic, a Carthaginian-Roman temple, large baths with splendid mosaics, a nearly-intact theatre dating from the time of the Empire, and a unique the water supply and drainage system.
    Following your visit, re-board your coach for the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 0.6 miles (about one kilometre) on uneven surfaces. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear walking shoes, lightweight, comfortable clothing and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship. Minimum age to participate is 6 years old.                                         
  • Sardinian Cheese Making Traditions - Enjoy the highlights of Sardinia, a region overflowing with beautiful architecture, stunning views and delicious cuisine. Departing the pier aboard your coach, enjoy the scenic drive that provides an overview of lovely Cagliari.
    On your way to the Basilica of Bonaria, stop here to learn about this historic church with a photo stop from the exterior. Afterward, re-board your coach and continue your excursion and drive to Monte Urpinu.
    At Monte Urpinu, take in picturesque vistas that include the Gulf of the Angels, or "Golfo degli Angeli," and the Santa Gilla and Molentargius lagoons, home to flamingos, cormorants, ducks and herons.
    Travel another 40 minutes to La Locanda di Baccalamanza, an elegant location in the countryside a few kilometers from the town. Here you have the opportunity to learn how pecorino cheese is prepared. Enjoy a tasting of cheeses and other Sardinian specialties together with wine and water before making the return to the ship.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There are about 200 meters of walking on this excursion that includes some uneven terrain and steps inside the venue. Guests with limited mobility will need to evaluate their ability to negotiate these.                                        
  • A Journey to Discover the White Gold: the Salt Pans - Learn the secrets of salt production and the history of the Sardinia salt pans at Santa Gilla pond, where for nearly a century, man and nature have worked in perfect synergy. Travel to an immense naturalistic area and an industrial archeology site within a still productive salt plant. Learn the story of the salt business with period settings and a journey through natural pools, mountains of salt and wildlife.
    The longest-lived salt pans in Sardinia extend over the 2,700 hectares of the Santa Gilla pond: still standing and in operation thanks to the forward-looking enterprise of Engineer Conti Vecchi who, at the end of the 1920s, carried out an ambitious project to reclaim the pond by setting up a colossal salt pan. This project thus contributed to the economic and social development of this depressed area on the edge of the city.
    Tour the management building and its offices, the workshop, the chemical laboratory, and the former carpentry shop. All of these rooms date back to the 1930s and have been restored and refurnished with machinery, historical objects and archival documents open for viewing. Immerse yourself in the way of life at the salt pans of the early twentieth century.
    Climb to the small convoy, learn the secrets of salt production techniques and, at the same time, cross the 2,700 hectares on which the salt pans extend, among salt boxes, evaporating basins, salt hills, glasswort meadows and colonies of waterfowl.
    Return to the ship.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There are about 200 meters of walking that includes some steps and uneven terrain. Guests with limited mobility will need to evaluate their ability to negotiate these.                                                                                                  
  • Natural Reserve and Beachfront by E-Bike​ - Explore the charming city of Cagliari by bicycle on this adventurous half-day tour. Your itinerary starts from the center of Cagliari, crossing to the enchanting Poetto beach. Pass by the Church of Bonaria and cross the salt pans and Molentargius Park, natural reserve of the beautiful pink flamingos.
    The visit to the Park is a unique experience immersed in an extraordinarily lively and wild landscape. A place in equilibrium between mankind and the environment, between bodies of water and vestiges of ancient salt basins for some 400,000 citizens.
    Within the vast area of Cagliari, Molentargius Park is an oasis for leisure just a short distance from home and for its most famous inhabitants, the pink flamingos, that find the perfect nesting place right here. Without disturbing them, you can admire these majestic birds in Molentargius, which was the richest Sardinian basin for sea-salt extraction for two and a half centuries. Salt production ceased in 1985, but its legacy is evidenced by the name itself, deriving from "molenti" (donkey), an ancient means of transporting the precious loads of salt.
    The tour includes a stop in a characteristic photo stop on the beach in front of the wonderful sea of Sardinia. Return to the pier.
    Please note: Sport attire is recommended. The ride is about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles). Because of the nature of this excursion, it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. Guests are recommended to stay with the group.

Day 30: Bejaia, Algeria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
About 250 km east of Algiers lies Bejaia. Far from the beaten track of Algeria’s tourist hotspots, this pretty seaside port is also one Algeria’s best. Overlooked by Yemma Gouraya – the mountain that take its name from its shape of a sleeping woman, and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, this largish city has a deep and interesting history. As is the often the case with ancient cities, Bejaia is built on legend. The story is that Hercules, before travelling to Gibraltar to build Tangiers (and lay the foundations to which he left his name) lived in the large cave above the village. The townspeople of Bejaia, wanting him gone, prepared him a dish of spicy beans, so spicy that he had to descend the mountain to quench his thirst and disapeer into the sea. Whether or not you choose to believe that Bejaia featured in Hercules’ 12 labours is up to you, but what is certain is that Bejaia’s (recorded) history can be traced to the founding by the Carthaginians in the 1st century BC. The city was known as Saldae under Roman rule (200-500), and later became the capital of the Berber Hammadid dynasty. French colonial rule came in 1833 until independence in 1962. Bejaia’s old town is one of Algeria’s finest. A walking tour will reveal both Byzantine history and French colonial rule. A 16th-century mosque bears testament to the city’s Muslim past, as well as a Spanish fortress, also from the 16th century, and an old Kasbah. The Pic des Singes (Monkey Mountain) is another great day out.

6 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Meet The Berbers - You visit a Berber village in the hills of Kabylie to see how these independent minded people lead their daily lives. You will visit a typical house and various workshops where things are still made in the old-fashioned unhurried way.
    You then proceed to a civic building overlooking the valley with spectacular views over the mountain range. Here you will enjoy a "dégustation" of Berber olive oil whilst tasting the different types of bread and other local produce. Your guide and the locals will be only too happy to give you an insight into their culture and history.
    You will have some free time to glance at a small exhibition that displays images of these valiant people or browse at genuine Berber arts & crafts. There are several opportunities to take some lovely photographs in this village.
    You then board your coach for the return journey to your ship.
    Please note: This tour entails a moderate amount of walking with a few steps; staff will be nearby to assist guests. Guests are recommended to wear causal light, comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sun protection and hat.                                                                                                        
  • Bejaia Vistas - You proceed uphill to Pic de Singes. You have to climb 123 low steps to get to the promontory. It certainly is worth the effort as this is the best viewing point in Bejaïa. From here you can also see Yemma Gouraya, an ancient fort dedicated to a local (female) saint. Refreshments will be served as you take in the awesome vistas around you. Down below, you will see Les Aiguades, a beautiful creek with clear blue waters.
    You reboard your coach for your final stop at another viewing spot which is reached by walking through a 20-meter tunnel dug into a mountain to marvel at Cap Carbon Lighthouse, perched on a rock outcrop 250 meters above sea-level. Not only is this one of the highest lighthouses in the world, but it is also the most powerful in Africa, having a reach of approximately 50 kilometers. Cervantes, author of the famous Don Quixote, was imprisoned here whilst in exile in Algeria. You will have some free time to take photos.
    You then board your coach for the return journey to the ship driving past the larger-than-life monument of a Freedom Fighter known as "El Mudjahid".               
  • Unesco Roman Ruins Of “Beautiful” Djemila - Once you arrive at this breathtaking UNESCO site called Djemila, which means beautiful, marvel at the mosaics which are displayed in the museum. With just over 1000 square meters of mosaics, this represents the best collection in the whole of Algeria.
    Your guide will then walk you through this site and give you an insight into the many well-preserved remains of a once buzzing Roman city. View the Arch of Caracalla, the Forum, the Basilica and the Temples. Imagine the lifestyle of this ancient civilization whose architectural skills are today still looked upon as great architectural feats.
    You will have some free time for browsing at the tiny souvenir shops outside the site. You then board your coach for the return journey. Enroute you will drive through one of the longest tunnels in Algeria which is 9 km long.
    Please note: This tour involves a lot of driving to get to Djemila - about 7 x hours in total! Photographic restrictions inside the museum.                   
  • Trekking in the National Park of Gouraya Walk 1: Cap Carbon – Les Aiguades​ - From the Port of Bejaïa you will drive up through pine and olive trees to get to Cap Carbon which rises to a height of 220 meters, offering magnificent views of the bay of Bejaïa. The prominent neck of land has a lighthouse which is one of the highest lighthouses in the Mediterranean.
    From here you will walk along a seafront ledge dug into the mountainside - as far as the beautiful rocky beaches of Les Aiguades. It is here that they say that the famous Cousteau exploration ship, the "Calypso", had anchored whilst reconnoitering the place.
    Your coach will be waiting for the return to the Ship.                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Trekking in the National Park of Gouraya - No doubt this is the "must-see" place when you visit Bejaïa. You walk through a small tunnel dug into the mountain before feasting your eyes on the magnificent Cap Carbon. Along very pretty coves the path leads to a lighthouse built 220 meters above sea level, and is one of the highest in the world.
    Then hike to the headland along a path cut into the steep sides of the cliff, which in itself is an amazing experience. The water and the view on the big blue sea is incomparable. Here you are likely to meet the magot monkeys, residents of Cap Carbon, still discreetly populating the maritime heights of this region.
    Please note: This tour entails a moderate amount of walking with; staff will be nearby to assist guests. Guests are recommended to wear causal light, comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sun protection and hat.                                                                                                                        
  • Trekking Mount Yemma Gouraya - Mount Yemma Gouraya rises as a look-out over the whole region, with a fort built by the Spaniards in the 16th century. It is also a place of pilgrimage and offerings for the locals, being the burial place of the city's patron saint, Yemma Gouraya, who seems to be watching over Bejaïa.
    To reach the tomb and the ruins of the fort you have to climb to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy the sweeping views on the whole city of Bejaïa whilst your guide unravels the secrets behind the site.

Day 31-32: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side

Day 33: Seville, Spain

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Whether you pronounce it Seville or Sevilla, this gorgeous Spanish town is most certainly the stuff of dreams. Over 2,200 years old, Seville has a mutli-layered personality; home to Flamenco, high temperatures and three UNESCO-World Heritage Sites, there is a noble ancestry to the southern Spanish town. Not forgetting that it is the birthplace of painter Diego Velazquez, the resting place of Christopher Columbus, the inspiration for Bizet’s Carmen and a location for Game of Thrones filming, Seville is truly more than just a sum of its parts. This city is a full on experience, a beguiling labyrinth of centuries old streets, tiny tapas restaurants serving possibly the best dishes you’ll taste south of Madrid and a paradise of Mudejar architecture and tranquil palm trees and fountain-filled gardens.


6 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • The Alcazar De Sevilla - Private Evening Visit - Explore the Real Alcazar of Seville, a true jewel in the crown of Spanish cultural treasures. The Alcazar is one of the best-preserved examples of Moorish architecture in Spain and still serves as one of the residences of the Spanish king.
    A knowledgeable guide is set to accompany you on your visit to the Alcazar, making your exclusive visit at night a privilege that is sure to create an unforgettable evening.
    Drive 30 minutes to Seville and walk another 15 minutes to the Alcazar for your private visit. Your guide takes you through this incredible structure and can share all about the different forms of architecture, the wonderful ornamentation and the individual features that make up this incredible Moorish fortress from the 14th century.
    After an hour, it is time to make your return walk to the coach and make your way back to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves 90 minutes of walking over uneven cobblestone surfaces, making this tour unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Flat, closed-toe shoes for walking, sun protection and lightweight, comfortable clothing are recommended.                                 
  • The Amazing Roman city of Italica - Discover the Roman village of Italica, the first of the empire's cities on the peninsula and maybe also the first outside of Italy. Over different emperors throughout the centuries, Italica became one of the most advanced cities of the Roman Empire. Italica is known for sites such as its intricate mosaics, the Roman theater, the thermal baths and its breathtaking amphitheater.
    Depart the pier and drive 45 minutes to the small city of Italica, which is also a filming location for the Game of Thrones series, where it serves as the setting for Dragonpit. After a guided visit of Italica, drive 15 minutes to the nearby medieval monastery of San Isidoro del Campo. Dating from the 13th century, this fortress monastery has a mixture of different styles like Gothic, Languedoc and Mudejar. Take a guided tour of the monastery and see up close the wall paintings that decorate it, making them some of the most remarkable medieval interiors in Spain.
    Take the 45-minute return drive to Seville.
    Please note: This excursion involves walking over a few stairs and uneven cobblestone surfaces with the possibility of some mud, making this tour unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Flat, closed-toe shoes for walking and lightweight, comfortable clothing are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Scenic Seville​ - Enjoy a scenic tour of beautiful Seville, which is filled with stunning architecture spanning medieval centuries to modern day. Boarding your coach, sit back and relax on your extended panoramic drive through the city, past the beautiful Colon Avenue with its typical Sevillian houses, the neoclassical bullring Maestranza (the largest in Spain), and the famous Golden Tower.
    Continue through the avenue of palm trees, where most of the stunning buildings from the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition are located, and the location of Expo 92, with its modern buildings.
    After your panoramic drive, visit the Santa Cruz district, a luminous labyrinth of white houses and flower-filled courtyards, where the noble families of Seville have resided for centuries.
    Make the short 10-minute drive back to the pier once your senses are filled with the architectural beauty of Seville.
    Please note: This excursion involves walking over mostly flat but sometimes uneven cobblestone surfaces, making this tour less suitable for guests with walking difficulties. Flat, closed-toe shoes for walking, sun protection and lightweight, comfortable clothing are recommended.              
  • Jerez, Exclusive Horse Exhibition and Bodega Pairing - Discover the age-old traditions of sherry production, Spanish music and even horse ballet on this finely cultured excursion. Departing the pier, drive 90 minutes to Jerez to visit Bodega Tradicion, an establishment that has rescued the region's oldest ageing and bottling techniques of sherry wine. This winery is dedicated exclusively to the elaboration, ageing and marketing of sherry and brandy, working only with maximum quality certified products. Enjoy a tasting of wine and sherry, paired with carefully selected, delicious hot tapas dishes.
    Next, drive to the Royal Andalusian Equestrian School, privately prepared for you to enjoy an amazing exhibition of these beautiful horses. Arrive to enjoy an equestrian ballet accompanied by quintessential Spanish music and 18th century styled costumes, all put together and choreographed.
    After this dazzling display, make the return trip to Seville (90-minute drive).
    Please note: This excursion involves walking over a few stairs and uneven cobblestone surfaces with the possibility of some mud, making this tour unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Flat, closed-toe shoes for walking and lightweight, comfortable clothing are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • River Majaceite Hike​ - Enjoy a scenic hike and a well-earned lunch of rustic tapas on this rugged full-day excursion. Begin with a 1-hour, 45-minute drive to Benamahoma for your 2-hour hike along a breathtaking, 6km trail. Follow the scenic trail alongside a crystal river, surrounded by the sound of the water, with different waterfalls, peaceful forest with many varied trees, birds and ruins of watermills.
    After your hike, continue with a 30-minute drive to a local, old-fashioned restaurant. Enjoy the rustic setting and many options for delicious tapas (small plates), accompanied by drinks.
    Make the 105-minute return drive to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves hiking of over 6km (3.7 miles) of hiking and walking over natural, often uneven terrain that is sometimes muddy or slippery, making this tour unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Suitable clothing and shoes for hiking as well as sun protection are recommended. Bring an extra bottle of water, as the day's hike may be hot.                                                                                    
  • Seville and Casa Pilatos​ - Discover the historic and architectural highlights of Seville on this enriching excursion that highlights the picturesque 15th century palace, Casa Pilatos. Your day begins with a panoramic bus tour of the city, past the beautiful Avenida Colón, with its typical Sevillian houses, the Golden Tower - a vestige of Seville's Moorish fortifications - and the beautiful Avenida de las Palmeras, where most of the beautiful buildings from the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition are located.
    Pass through the María Luisa Park with its unique, impressive Plaza España. Continue the tour with a walk through the winding Santa Cruz neighborhood, a glowing labyrinth of white houses and flower-filled courtyards.
    Your next stop is a visit to Seville Cathedral, which was built on the site of a mosque and is the third largest in the world. See the numerous side chapels filled with art treasures, including works by Murillo and Goya.
    Arrive finally at Casa Pilatos, a palace dating from late in the 15th century that springs from the union of the Enríquez and Ribera families. As a result of their most conspicuous members' intense relationship with Italy, throughout the 16th century the palace underwent deep transformations and became the filter through which the new Renaissance forms and tastes were introduced into Seville. Alterations carried out in the mid-19th century in accordance with the romantic tastes of the time complete Casa Pilatos' picturesque appearance, a harmonious blend of mudejar-Gothic, Renaissance and romantic styles.
    After your visit, make the return trip to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves walking some stairs and possible mud, making this tour unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Flat, closed-toe shoes for walking, and lightweight, comfortable clothing are recommended.

Day 34: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 35: Lisbon, Portugal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A glorious mosaic of beauty, freedom and authenticity, Portugal’s capital is a stirring artwork of a city. Known for the seven hills it spreads across, and its stirring fado music, Lisbon is a pastel-coloured blend of houses and beautiful tile artworks - and this creative city strikes a perfect harmony between natural and manmade beauty. Stroll along Alfama's steep, cobbled streets as you explore one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods - where each house and door could be its own photograph. Look for the decorative tiles, with the distinctive blues and whites of Azulejo ceramics, and visit the dedicated museum to learn more. Afterwards, wind up to São Jorge Castle, where views out across Lisbon’s red rooftops unravel. Just one of many majestic viewpoints, you can also seek out Miradouro da Graça for perhaps Lisbon's finest panorama, with the copper-coloured suspension bridge stretching over sparkling water beyond the sea of buildings. The elegant Tower of Belém rises in the Tagus estuary and is a historic defender of these shores. The grand, carved cloisters of Jerónimos Monastery spread out close by, and there's another UNESCO recognised location close by at Sintra, where a colourful town is set amid thick gardens and towering mountains - capped by the royal Pena Palace. Later, relax and take a quick break to drink Ginjinha, a cherry liqueur made from chocolate cups instead of coffee. Lisboetas have a sweet tooth, and the famous Pastel de Nata's crumbling pastry and caramelised-custard topping is the essential accompaniment to any coffee stop.

Day 36: Oporto (Leixões), Portugal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Steep, stacked banks of evocative buildings and cobbled streets perch scenically over the River Duoro, in this authentic, atmospheric Portuguese city. Famed for its wine and bright azulejo tiles - which turn streets into art galleries - Oporto is a charming taste of the real Portugal. Wander the uneven paths of the country’s second-largest city, which are soaked with history, tradition and eye-catching details. Start in the gorgeous, historic Ribeira neighbourhood at the River Douro, and walk up through tiny alleys and narrow streets lined with restaurants and cafes. Catch your breath with a coffee, and be sure to try the famous pastel de nata pastry as a sweet accompaniment. Enjoy views of the colourful city from the skeletal Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge. Its design might ring a bell - the structure was created by a student of Gustav Eiffel, and has a similar aesthetic to his famous tower creation. Porto Cathedral sits on a rise of steps, towering above the city and offering spectacular views down. The cloisters are a highlight - with beautiful mosaics of the renowned blue and white tiles gleaming. If you’re hungry, the indulgent Francesinha sandwich will fill you up for days. A Portuguese take on French toast - it’s packed full of ham and slathered in cheese, egg and sauce. Or settle in for a feast on some of Portugal’s ubiquitous salted cod, Bacalhau. The climate nurtures the revered vineyards, which surround the city, helping to produce harvests of perfect grapes. Head out to landscapes coated in vineyards from the Douro Valley to try some of the finest local wines.

5 Included Shore Excursions:

 
  • Historic Guimaraes - Birthplace of a Nation​ - Explore Guimaraes, cradle of the nation, the first capital of Portugal that offers a wealth of magnificent buildings and history. Depart the pier for the one-hour motor coach journey to Guimaraes, where you arrive for a 90-minute walking tour of key sites within the Guimaraes historical center, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Patrimony since 2001.
    Walk past the medieval King's Castle and visit the interior of the 15th century Palace of the Dukes of Braganca, which houses a fantastic museum and a beautiful art gallery with portraits, tapestries, fine furniture and porcelain. Depart the palace for a walking tour through the Guimaraes old town through the quiet corners and narrow streets. See a former manor house situated in the square and a 10th-century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
    Free time is allowed for you to browse the local shops for treasures or relax in the main square. Before you return to the coach to drive back to the port of Leixões, don't miss to see the Customs Tower emblazoned with the slogan "Portugal was born here."
    Note: This tour requires an extensive amount of walking on uneven cobble-stoned surfaces. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who are using a wheelchair.                                                                                                
  • Oporto Food & Wine Walking Tour - Embrace the exquisite flavours of authentic Portuguese cuisine on-foot during this picturesque, half-day food-and-wine excursion to Oporto.
    Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 45-minute drive to Oporto, a coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its stately bridges and port wine production. Upon arrival, begin your guided and narrated food-and-wine walking tour.
    During your food and wine tasting stroll along Santa Catarina Street, stop at Porto's beloved markets and cafés, including the Majestic Café in Oporto's city centre. Along the way, try regional delights, from sweet custard tarts to savoury classics like a 'bolinho de bacalhau' (codfish). In addition, taste northern Portugal's world-renowned export of port, and learn about its history and cultural impact from your guide. At the conclusion of your food-and-wine walking tour of Oporto, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 1.24 miles (about 2 km), with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and at the sites visited. This tour is not suitable for guests with food allergies, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection and a sweater or light jacket from the ship. Guests must be at least two years old to participate on this tour. The tour sequence may vary. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.                                                 
  • Paiva Walkways Nature Trail​ - Enjoy the dazzling, breathtaking views afforded by the Paiva Walkways, a highlight of any visit to Arouca municipality in Aveiro, Portugal. These walkways twist and turn in dizzying beauty as they wind along the left bank of the Paiva River.
    Drive 90 minutes from the port in Leixões to walk along this combination of wooden and dirt paths that extend over 8 km (5 miles) and provide a walk through this otherwise untouched place. Walk and be surrounded by the unique beauty of the rough and dramatic landscapes, in an authentic natural sanctuary. See falls tumbling towards the river, quartz crystals jutting out of the hillside in this home to many endangered species in Europe.
    Your route extends from the river beaches of Areinho and Espiunca, and lying between them, the Vau beach. This journey through the biology, geology and archeology is one that will not be soon forgotten.
    Make the return 90-minute trip back to the pier.
    Please note: This excursion involves over 2.5 hours of walking, making it unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Oporto: A Medley of Portuguese Wine and Olive Oil​ - This excursion is ideal for connoisseurs of olive oil, wine and gastronomy who want deeper knowledge of the best Portugal has to offer. Expect a feast for the senses as you experience the ways Portuguese wine and olive oil harmonize and blend to create something far more than the sum of its parts!
    Drive 45 minutes to Oporto City Center, where your guide accompanies you to point out the main sites before continuing on to your destination, Oliva & Co, where you get to learn all about olive oils before a tasting you won't soon forget.
    In your introduction to the session, learn about the classifications of olive oil, and what makes the difference between virgin, extra virgin and plain olive oil, as well as the main regions of the olive oil production in Portugal. Discover the determinants of the olive oil quality, olive oil in Mediterranean cuisine, well-being and health, and harmonization of different olive oils in gastronomy. Debunk the myths about olive oil and also learn how the palate and smell work together and their important role in olive oil tasting.
    Then enjoy a guided tasting of three premium extra virgin olive oils from Portugal, with different sensorial profiles. The highlight is the opportunity to learn how those three olive oils harmonize with three wines and three tasting courses (appetizer, main course and dessert) of Portuguese cuisine. Your wines for tasting are white, red and fortified (Port Wine or Douro Muscatel).
    After this delightful culinary experience make your way back to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves approximately one hour of walking, making it unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                                
  • Oporto City and Port Wine Tasting - Explore the architecture, culture and delicious wines of Oporto, the economic and cultural capital of northern Portugal. Oporto is a city with ancient origins that gave its name to the entire country.
    Drive 40 minutes from the pier to downtown Oporto and see the mix of architectural styles in Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical, which, combined with an enviable position near the mouth of the River Douro, have made this beautiful place a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a panoramic city tour and discover the Clérigos Tower, City Hall on the top of Aliados Avenue before pausing at the 12th-century Romanesque-styled Oporto Cathedral for photos.
    Continue to the ex-libris Ribeira Quarter passing the Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange palace), considered one of the most complete museums of the 19th-century interior design. Also see the Gothic São Francisco Church, containing the most exuberant gilded carved wood in Portugal. Walk to the Ribeira Quarter where there is some free time for a stroll.
    Your lovely tour is concluded with a visit to one of the famous port wine cellars for the opportunity to taste 3 varieties of Port wine. Make the return drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This excursion involves a moderate amount of walking over some cobblestone walkways, making it unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are recommended.

 

Day 37: La Coruña, Spain

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The crammed together, timber-framed houses of Honfleur's delightful waterfront simply beg to be painted, and the waterfront beauty has been immortalised on the canvases of artists like Monet, and Honfleur's celebrated son, Boudin. Located in scenic Normandy, where the Seine opens out into the Channel, this is one of France's - and the world's - most spectacular, historic harbours. Impossibly picturesque, the Vieux Bassin's Norman harbour townhouses are an artist’s dream, reflecting out onto the still water, between bright wooden fishing boats. It may be gorgeous, but it’s also a historically important port, and Samuel de Champlain's epic voyage - which resulted in the founding of Quebec - launched from these waters. Take a stroll back in time, as you wander cobbled streets where flowers spill down walls or sit to indulge in Calvados – brandy made from Normandy's famous apples. A museum dedicated to Eugene Boudin, the town's influential impressionist artist, displays visions of the harbour and region, as well as paintings of the town's stunning wooden church. Wander to Eglise St Catherine itself, to see the twisting structure, which is France's largest wooden chapel. Constructed from trees taken from nearby Touques Forest, it replaced the stone church that stood here previously, which was destroyed during the Hundred Years War. Out of Honfleur, The spectacular Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge loops up over the Seine's estuary, bringing excursions to Le Havre even closer. The pensive, sombre beaches of the D-Day landings stretch out across Normandy's coastline, while the Bayeux Tapestry unfurls within reach of Honfleur's picturesque scenery.


6 Included Shore Excursions:

 
  • D-Day: Landing Museum and American Cemetery​ - Take a day to visit and honor the fallen D-Day soldiers and be reminded of the somber history of Omaha Beach on this full-day excursion. Departing the pier, drive 1.75 hours to the American Cemetery, where the majority of the nearly 10,000 American soldiers killed at Omaha Beach are buried.
    The American Cemetery is located on 170 acres (69 hectares) of land given to the United States by France as a token of her gratitude. Here, 9,386 marble crosses and Stars of David are aligned on a plateau above the beach in a striking, sobering display. A memorial contains the Tablets of the Missing, and a map outlines the battle sites of the Normandy beaches. Observe a small ceremony in honor of these freedom fighters.
    Next, proceed to lunch accompanied by wine at a fine Castle restaurant. Your tour continues with a visit to the Landing Museum of Arromanches. Drive to the small seaside town of Arromanches via the D-Day landing beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold.
    Visit the Arromanches Landing Museum, dedicated to the largest landing operation in history on June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to attack the German lines. At the museum exhibits, see films and models that re-create the entire operation along the D-Day beaches, and illustrate the logistical importance of Port Winston.
    After the visit, drive back to Honfleur.
    Please note: There is at least four hours of driving involved on this tour, including drive time between sites. This tour requires little walking. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                  
  • Bayeux: Tapestry and Cathedral​ - See ancient history up close in Bayeux at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry, both dating back to the 11th century. Bayeux is the former capital of the Bessin region and the first French town to be liberated in WWII. The town, fortunately, was not damaged during the war and the cathedral still keeps watch over the town and Bayeux Tapestry. Made in the 11th century, the tapestry presents a unique visual record of the events of 1066; from the rivalry between Harold and William to the conquest and final Norman victory.
    Depart via coach for Bayeux on a 90-minute scenic drive. Upon arrival, your guide takes you to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, Bayeux's most important historic building, or you may opt for free time to have a look around on your own.
    Next visit the William the Conqueror Center, a former seminary where the Bayeux Tapestry is displayed. The Bayeux Tapestry is probably the world's most celebrated piece of needlework. It depicts the dramatic story of the Normans' conquest of England on 58 panels presented like a modern comic strip with action-packed scenes. The origin of the 225-foot tapestry remains obscure, but has sometimes been attributed to Queen Mathilda.
    Your visit takes you through different sections, with a 20-minute audiovisual film providing explanations before seeing the medieval work of art itself. The cloth is remarkably well-preserved, featuring scenes that depict 11th-century Norman and Saxon dress, food, tools, cooking utensils and weapons. It remains the most accurate and lively document to survive from the Middle Ages with detailed information of that period.
    Make the return drive to the ship.
    Please note: There is over three hours of driving involved on this excursion. This tour includes approximately two hours of walking, making this tour not advisable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. No guide commentary is allowed while viewing the tapestry; audio sets are provided.                                                                               
  • Honfleur & Its Hidden Garden Walking Tour, with Alan Mason - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    Ports don't come any prettier than Honfleur on the Seine's estuary. Glorious historic houses jostle for position on the quays, as do galleries and restaurants. It is by far one of the most romantic towns of Normandy. Honfleur's beauty has long attracted artists, with works to be seen both in the town museums and in the modern galleries that abound. As you stroll along the picturesque narrow streets lined by timber-framed houses, see the 15th century St. Catherine's Church and its bell tower, the salt warehouses, the Lieutenance, residence of the former governor of the city and the Old Port with its picturesque quay.
    Enjoy a stop at a local café and enjoy a patisserie in town before continuing the visit including the hidden garden of the Tripot.                                                      
  • Jumieges & Boscherville, Norman Abbayes 
  • The Giverny of Claude Monet & of The Impresionists - Departure from Honfleur to Giverny with your guide.
    Visit of the Monet's Museum with your guide: the house and gardens formerly owned by Monet are today a museum where reproductions of its famous works are displayed. The house, pink and green, contains also the collection of Japanese Prints he gathered. The dining room with its yellow painted wooden furniture, the bedroom, the "blue" reading room and the kitchen with its attractive wall tiles. The adjacent flower garden, replanted according to the original designs of Monet is a spectacular array of colour. The other side of the road is the water garden of Japanese inspiration. After your visit, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and let the impressionist flavours of Giverny convince you...
    Then reach the Impressionists Museum. Besides the Permanent Exhibit, which displays works that reflect Monet's influence on his contemporaries and on the generations that followed him, you will have the chance to see the Temporary Exhibitions "Manguin, the Joy of Colour". Henri Manguin, described as the "voluptuous painter" by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, celebrated the joy of life through Arcadian themes, nudes, Mediterranean landscapes, scenes of family life…
    After your visit, drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 3km (2 miles) and 30 steps. The driving time from Honfleur to Giverny is approximately 2 hours.                                                                                                                                                                                         
  • Medieval Rouen​ - Rouen, situated on the north bank of the River Seine, is considered as the historic capital of Normandy.
    Victor Hugo called Rouen the 'City of 100 bell towers'. It may not have that many anymore, but it certainly has enough to delight.
    Departure from the pier and drive 1.5 hrs to Rouen via motorway.
    Once arrived, follow your guide through rue Saint Romain, one of the town's most fascinating streets with the beautiful Gothic-Flamboyant style St-Maclou church, and along busting and popular Rue du Gros Horloge, which features a unique medieval defensive clock tower and nearby law court situated in an outstanding renaissance building.
    Rouen's fascinating historic streets, with their Gothic churches, mansions and hundreds of restored half-timbered houses, will offer you all characteristic examples of medieval building techniques.
    The cathedral was completed in 1507 when the grander Flamboyant Gothic south tower was completed. Rouen's Notre Dame Cathedral has the tallest church spire in France.
    It is topped by an octagonal crown and never had a steeple. Visit the inside of Notre-Dame cathedral of Rouen (built between the 13th and the 16th centuries) which is considered as one of the finest achievements of the French Gothic art.
    Go through the "place du Vieux Marché". It was on this old market square that Joan of Arc was burned alive, following her trial as a heretic in 1431.
    After the visit, drive back to Honfleur via motorway.
    Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of activity including walking on unpaved or cobblestone roads for approximately 2.3km (1.5 miles). This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Entrance to the Cathedral and churches are subject to religious ceremonies. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing, flat walking shoes and sun protection.

Day 38: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 39: Saint-Malo (Brittany), France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ship sails flutter in the breeze, at the natural port of Saint-Malo - a historic and resilient walled city, which watches out over golden sands and island fortresses. Strung tenuously to the mainland, Saint Malo was the historic home of a rowdy mix of skilled sailors and new world explorers - as well as the plunderers who earned the place its 'Pirate City' title. Some of history's great voyages have launched from here - including Jacques Cartier's, which led to the settlement of New France and modern-day Quebec. Founded by a Welsh monk, who made his way here in the 6th century, Saint Malo's castle is forged from sheer granite, and its steep defensive ramparts arise defiantly. The atmospheric walled town turns its back to the mainland and gazes out longingly into the sea. Explore streets that breathe with maritime tales and medieval charm - restored from the intense damage sustained during the Second World War. Cathédrale de St Malo rises above the tight paths, offering views of the peppered islands and fortifications. Boatloads of fresh oysters and scallops are heaved ashore - savour them or grab savoury crepes galettes, stuffed with cheese and ham. Wash Saint Malo's foods down with a Brittany cider, which challenges wine as the indulgence of choice in these parts. A highly tidal region, the pocket-sized islands of Petit Bé and Grand Bé join the mainland, and you can explore at leisure as the tide recedes. The incredible island of Mont Saint Michel also looms in the estuary of the Couesnon River nearby, hovering like a cinematic mirage above high tide’s waters. Elsewhere, Cap Fréhel's lush green peninsula juts out from the emerald coast towards Jersey, tempting with rich coastal hiking trails.

7 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Mont Saint Michel Abbaye Visit and Village Tour - After breakfast set off for the spectacular granite tidal island of Mont Saint Michel, situated on the border between Normandy and Brittany. Leave Saint Malo for lovely Mont Saint Michel, which "is to the ocean what the Pyramid of Cheops is to the desert" as Victor Hugo put it. Discover the Mont surrounded by the bay fragile with its stunning natural setting of fauna and flora.
    Stroll through the narrow streets of the mediaeval village and walk up to the Abbaye Mont Saint Michel. Inside, enjoy a guided visit of the abbey, the achievement of passionate men and skilled builders. Originated by a dream, the monastery was found during the 10th century, while the "Merveille" was added three centuries later. The abbey has been protected as an important historic monument since 1862.
    After the visit of the Abbaye, follow your guide through some of the Mont Saint Michel village's lesser known nooks and hear the history and anecdotes of this very unique village. After the tour there is free time for shopping, or simply enjoy this special place before heading back to Saint-Malo.
    Please note: There is uneven ground and more than 300 steps to reach the abbey, making this portion of the tour less suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                             
  • Walking Saint Malo & Sweet Touch - Serving as a port, Saint-Malo also begs to be explored. Traditionally known for its independent streak, Saint-Malo was in the past notorious for privateering corsairs, and sometimes pirates. The city today a popular site for tourists to visit to see its many historic structures. Strolling the quaint narrow streets, one can find sites of historical interest, view the castle, walk the ramparts and marvel at the work behind the defensive structures on the surrounding islets dating back to the 17th century.
    On the ramparts, have a sweet and delightful moment with a crepe and a glass of Cider (or soda) before taking a lovely guided walking tour of this historic place. Experience the unique charm of the town's typical streets, and pass the house of Duchess Ann, and the cathedral.
    The tour is also an opportunity to get acquainted with the more famous personalities of St. Malo, such as Jacques Cartier, known for sailing the Ille Saint Lawrence in North America and therein discovering Canada. Learn also about other important historical figures such as Duguay-Trouin, Surcouf, and the well-known romantic writer Châteaubriand.
    On the ramparts, have a sweet and delightful moment with a crepe and a glass of Cider (or soda or hot drink) before going on the walking tour and reaching the pier afterwards.
    Please note: This excursion entails a lot of walking (45 minutes at a time) and much of it on uneven ground and cobblestones, making this tour less suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Cancale Oyster Discovery - Visit Cancale, considered the oyster capital of Brittany. This picturesque fishing village is renowned for its "bancs d'huîtres" (oyster beds). Local fishermen, these gardeners of the sea, work to farm thousands of oysters up to the time they are harvested fresh and ready to please the palate.
    Take a beautiful drive down a coastal road to visit Ferme Marine, a museum and active oyster farm that educates visitors about this important local industry. Discover everything about the secret of an oyster and the work of the oyster farmer before visiting the workshop (tanks, washing, conditioning) and the shell museum. Then enjoy a wine and oyster tasting before driving back to pier.
    Please note: There is uneven ground at the farm, making some portions of the tour less suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility, though there is a ramp and some flat ground for an alternate route for those with mobility constraints who require accommodation. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                      
  • Hiking Cap Fréhel - Explore the natural beauty of the Breton coast on this moderate hiking excursion to Cap Fréhel. Drive from Saint Malo and drive one hour to Fort Lalatte where your hike begins. Built in the 14th century and added to in the 17th century, the ancient Fort Lalatte stands formidably on the coast and even has a drawbridge, turrets and dungeons - truly the stuff of fairy tales.
    Walk for a total of almost just over 1.5 hours, from the fort to Cap Fréhel following the coastguard's path. Keep your eyes open for the birdlife at this important nesting site for approximately 700 pairs of native and migratory seabirds, including petrels and razorbills.
    This spectacular headland, set on 70-meter (230 feet)-high pink sandstone cliffs, offers breathtaking scenery, among the most beautiful of Brittany. Heathland, covered with a wide variety of heather and gorse species, creates a landscape of colors changing with the seasons.
    Follow your guide and listen to the stories of the two lighthouses standing there, one modern and one ancient. End your hike at the Cap Fréhel where there is time for you to discover the beauty of this place on your own and have a moment of peaceful solitude.
    Make the return drive back to St Malo.
    Please note: This tour is not suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility due to uneven, sloped and rocky natural terrain. Casual dress code and comfortable hiking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                 
  • Medieval Dinan with Breton Gouter - Departing Saint Malo by bus, pass by the Barrage de la Rance, a unique power station that works with the tides and discover the magnificent Rance valley.
    A 45-minute scenic drive through Breton's countryside brings you to the little port of Dinan, located at the head of the Rance estuary. Upon arrival, start a guided walking tour of this charming medieval town.
    See the houses of the old town clustered together behind the long circuit of walls built by the Dukes of Brittany in the 14th century as protection against the Normans. Also see St. Sauveur's Basilica, Place des Merciers, with its triangular gables and porches, and Rue du Jerzual, which links the main part of the town with the historical port.
    Enjoy a Breton refreshment in a creperie in town before enjoying some free time to explore.
    Reboarding your coach for the return drive to the pier.
    Please note: this tour involves a moderate amount of walking at times over uneven and cobblestone surfaces.                                                                 
  • Hiking in the Bay of The Mont Saint Michel​ - Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides, at the limit between Normandy and Brittany, stands "Wonder of the West", a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the Archangel St Michel, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its walls. Discover the bay from a unique point of view - the inside. Join your guide for a nature-oriented hike, with shifting sands and unusual view on the Mont Saint Michel and the Rock of Tombelaine located in the middle of the bay. Explore the marine area outside of the walls and discover the rich treasures of the ocean.
    Please note: There is uneven ground at the farm, making this portion of the tour less suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                         
  • Upper Brittany’s Botanical Garden & Fougères, with Alan Mason - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    Join Alan Mason and your local guide on a tour to the Upper Brittany Botanical Garden, drawn in 1994, the garden is a private estate, with an area of 25 hectares, located in the Ille-et-Vilaine department of Brittany, it acclimates essences from all continents in 24 contemporary thematic gardens in three groups (gardens of Arcadia, romantic gardens and twilight gardens). Enjoy a lunch inside the park at the Castle's old farm, with quality and traditional and local cuisine.
    Then on to the medieval town of Fougères, one of the biggest remaining medieval fortress in Europe. Fougère castle was first mentioned around the end of the 10th century. At the time, it was a simple wooden fortification located on a rocky ridge: the first fortification was built in the 11th century by the Lords of Fougères. Since the Middle Ages, crafts developed around tannery, weavers and drapers in the lower town. In the 16th century, the town lost its defensive role. Crafts continued to develop, including the craft of tin. Enjoy a walk around the historical part of the town and reach the ruins of the Castle before having some free time to take photos or souvenirs.
    Please note: There is uneven ground at the farm, making this portion of the tour less suitable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                    

Day 40: Honfleur, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The crammed together, timber-framed houses of Honfleur's delightful waterfront simply beg to be painted, and the waterfront beauty has been immortalised on the canvases of artists like Monet, and Honfleur's celebrated son, Boudin. Located in scenic Normandy, where the Seine opens out into the Channel, this is one of France's - and the world's - most spectacular, historic harbours. Impossibly picturesque, the Vieux Bassin's Norman harbour townhouses are an artist’s dream, reflecting out onto the still water, between bright wooden fishing boats. It may be gorgeous, but it’s also a historically important port, and Samuel de Champlain's epic voyage - which resulted in the founding of Quebec - launched from these waters. Take a stroll back in time, as you wander cobbled streets where flowers spill down walls or sit to indulge in Calvados – brandy made from Normandy's famous apples. A museum dedicated to Eugene Boudin, the town's influential impressionist artist, displays visions of the harbour and region, as well as paintings of the town's stunning wooden church. Wander to Eglise St Catherine itself, to see the twisting structure, which is France's largest wooden chapel. Constructed from trees taken from nearby Touques Forest, it replaced the stone church that stood here previously, which was destroyed during the Hundred Years War. Out of Honfleur, The spectacular Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge loops up over the Seine's estuary, bringing excursions to Le Havre even closer. The pensive, sombre beaches of the D-Day landings stretch out across Normandy's coastline, while the Bayeux Tapestry unfurls within reach of Honfleur's picturesque scenery.

6 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • D-Day: Landing Museum and American Cemetery - Take a day to visit and honor the fallen D-Day soldiers and be reminded of the somber history of Omaha Beach on this full-day excursion. Departing the pier, drive 1.75 hours to the American Cemetery, where the majority of the nearly 10,000 American soldiers killed at Omaha Beach are buried.
    The American Cemetery is located on 170 acres (69 hectares) of land given to the United States by France as a token of her gratitude. Here, 9,386 marble crosses and Stars of David are aligned on a plateau above the beach in a striking, sobering display. A memorial contains the Tablets of the Missing, and a map outlines the battle sites of the Normandy beaches. Observe a small ceremony in honor of these freedom fighters.
    Next, proceed to lunch accompanied by wine at a fine Castle restaurant. Your tour continues with a visit to the Landing Museum of Arromanches. Drive to the small seaside town of Arromanches via the D-Day landing beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold.
    Visit the Arromanches Landing Museum, dedicated to the largest landing operation in history on June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to attack the German lines. At the museum exhibits, see films and models that re-create the entire operation along the D-Day beaches, and illustrate the logistical importance of Port Winston.
    After the visit, drive back to Honfleur.
    Please note: There is at least four hours of driving involved on this tour, including drive time between sites. This tour requires little walking. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                            
  • Bayeux: Tapestry and Cathedral - See ancient history up close in Bayeux at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry, both dating back to the 11th century. Bayeux is the former capital of the Bessin region and the first French town to be liberated in WWII. The town, fortunately, was not damaged during the war and the cathedral still keeps watch over the town and Bayeux Tapestry. Made in the 11th century, the tapestry presents a unique visual record of the events of 1066; from the rivalry between Harold and William to the conquest and final Norman victory.
    Depart via coach for Bayeux on a 90-minute scenic drive. Upon arrival, your guide takes you to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, Bayeux's most important historic building, or you may opt for free time to have a look around on your own.
    Next visit the William the Conqueror Center, a former seminary where the Bayeux Tapestry is displayed. The Bayeux Tapestry is probably the world's most celebrated piece of needlework. It depicts the dramatic story of the Normans' conquest of England on 58 panels presented like a modern comic strip with action-packed scenes. The origin of the 225-foot tapestry remains obscure, but has sometimes been attributed to Queen Mathilda.
    Your visit takes you through different sections, with a 20-minute audiovisual film providing explanations before seeing the medieval work of art itself. The cloth is remarkably well-preserved, featuring scenes that depict 11th-century Norman and Saxon dress, food, tools, cooking utensils and weapons. It remains the most accurate and lively document to survive from the Middle Ages with detailed information of that period.
    Make the return drive to the ship.
    Please note: There is over three hours of driving involved on this excursion. This tour includes approximately two hours of walking, making this tour not advisable for guests in wheelchairs or individuals with limited mobility. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. No guide commentary is allowed while viewing the tapestry; audio sets are provided.                                                                                
  • Honfleur & Its Hidden Garden Walking Tour, with Alan Mason - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    Ports don't come any prettier than Honfleur on the Seine's estuary. Glorious historic houses jostle for position on the quays, as do galleries and restaurants. It is by far one of the most romantic towns of Normandy. Honfleur's beauty has long attracted artists, with works to be seen both in the town museums and in the modern galleries that abound. As you stroll along the picturesque narrow streets lined by timber-framed houses, see the 15th century St. Catherine's Church and its bell tower, the salt warehouses, the Lieutenance, residence of the former governor of the city and the Old Port with its picturesque quay.
    Enjoy a stop at a local café and enjoy a patisserie in town before continuing the visit including the hidden garden of the Tripot.                                                         
  • Jumieges & Boscherville, Norman Abbayes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  •   The Giverny of Claude Monet & of The Impresionists - Departure from Honfleur to Giverny with your guide.
    Visit of the Monet's Museum with your guide: the house and gardens formerly owned by Monet are today a museum where reproductions of its famous works are displayed. The house, pink and green, contains also the collection of Japanese Prints he gathered. The dining room with its yellow painted wooden furniture, the bedroom, the "blue" reading room and the kitchen with its attractive wall tiles. The adjacent flower garden, replanted according to the original designs of Monet is a spectacular array of colour. The other side of the road is the water garden of Japanese inspiration. After your visit, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and let the impressionist flavours of Giverny convince you...
    Then reach the Impressionists Museum. Besides the Permanent Exhibit, which displays works that reflect Monet's influence on his contemporaries and on the generations that followed him, you will have the chance to see the Temporary Exhibitions "Manguin, the Joy of Colour". Henri Manguin, described as the "voluptuous painter" by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, celebrated the joy of life through Arcadian themes, nudes, Mediterranean landscapes, scenes of family life…
    After your visit, drive back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 3km (2 miles) and 30 steps. The driving time from Honfleur to Giverny is approximately 2 hours.                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Medieval Rouen​ - Rouen, situated on the north bank of the River Seine, is considered as the historic capital of Normandy.
    Victor Hugo called Rouen the 'City of 100 bell towers'. It may not have that many anymore, but it certainly has enough to delight.
    Departure from the pier and drive 1.5 hrs to Rouen via motorway.
    Once arrived, follow your guide through rue Saint Romain, one of the town's most fascinating streets with the beautiful Gothic-Flamboyant style St-Maclou church, and along busting and popular Rue du Gros Horloge, which features a unique medieval defensive clock tower and nearby law court situated in an outstanding renaissance building.
    Rouen's fascinating historic streets, with their Gothic churches, mansions and hundreds of restored half-timbered houses, will offer you all characteristic examples of medieval building techniques.
    The cathedral was completed in 1507 when the grander Flamboyant Gothic south tower was completed. Rouen's Notre Dame Cathedral has the tallest church spire in France.
    It is topped by an octagonal crown and never had a steeple. Visit the inside of Notre-Dame cathedral of Rouen (built between the 13th and the 16th centuries) which is considered as one of the finest achievements of the French Gothic art.
    Go through the "place du Vieux Marché". It was on this old market square that Joan of Arc was burned alive, following her trial as a heretic in 1431.
    After the visit, drive back to Honfleur via motorway.
    Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of activity including walking on unpaved or cobblestone roads for approximately 2.3km (1.5 miles). This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Entrance to the Cathedral and churches are subject to religious ceremonies. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing, flat walking shoes and sun protection.                    

Day 41: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 42-43: London (Tower Bridge), United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Centuries-old architecture shares an instantly recognisable skyline with the modern metallic and glass shards of skyscrapers in London, a city of endless history and tradition. Arrive at the centre of it all, below the watch of one of the most famous bridges in the world, Tower Bridge. From here, you can begin a tour of iconic landmarks, and discover why England’s capital is one of the most visited, adored and adulated cities. So much to see, so little time. The traditional and contemporary go hand in hand in London like nowhere else. Ascend the London Eye, for a birds-eye view of the city, before wandering across the Thames's wide flow to the Gothic architecture of the Houses of Parliament, and the rise of Big Ben’s unmistakable clocktower. A hefty sprinkle of royal pageantry awaits at Buckingham Palace, where red-jacketed soldiers stomp sternly and solemnly in their duty, during ceremonies to mark the changing of the guards. Close to Tower Bridge, you’ll find the Tower of London's historic fortress, palace and prison, while bustling central markets like Borough Market offer a taste of flavours from around the world. Sweeping green spaces like Hyde Park provide spacious relief from the skyscrapers, while world-class museums exhibit finely curated exhibitions from across the world, covering the entire scope of human history and invention, as well as the natural world. Greenwich’s leafy parks and centres of refined study are close by, or a boat ride along the Thames will introduce you to this megacity from the perspective of the water.


8 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum – Exclusive ‘out of hours’ Visit - Get an exclusive opportunity to view the private collection at Sir John Soane's Museum and visit the incredible world-famous collection at The British Museum on this cultured morning excursion.
    The world-renowned Sir John Soane's Museum is one of the most iconic and influential buildings in the history of architecture. Created by Sir John Soane, one of Britain's greatest architects, it was his home as well as his private museum. Behind its unusual façade lies London's most unexpected interior, every aspect of which reflects it creator's architectural ingenuity, imagination and love of beauty. Soane's collections include architectural fragments; Roman and Greek marbles, casts, paintings, sculpture and furniture are all still arranged today as they were at the time of his death in 1837.
    Enjoy a pre-opening tour with exclusive morning access to the house before the Museum is open to the public. On arrival, enjoy a standing breakfast (coffee/tea and small pastries) before joining your museum guide for a tour of this extraordinary Museum. Your tour includes the Museum's ground floor and first floor drawing rooms and includes the Picture Room with its paintings by Canaletto, Turner and the complete series of William Hogarth's A Rate's Progress.
    Following Soane's Museum, take a short drive to The British Museum to see the highlights of its vast, world-famous collection of art and artifacts. The museum has over eight million works in its permanent collection that were sourced during the British Empire. You may also wish to visit the Greek section, view the Rosetta stone or the fantastic treasures of Sutton Hoo; there is something for everyone.
    Re-join your coach to drive back to your ship having experienced a unique perspective of London's artistic and historic legacies.
    Please note: Portions of this tour are suitable for guests with limited mobility, though there are some steps and uneven floors at the museum. Guests needing assistance are requested to travel with a companion, as guides cannot undertake responsibility for them during the tour. Note that standard wheelchairs may be too big for the narrow corridors and doorways, but the museum has other chairs for these guests to transfer into as needed. Casual dress code and comfortable walking shoes are recommended; no stiletto shoes are allowed. Belongings like backpacks and coats must be left in the cloakroom upon arrival.                                                                                                              
  • Royal Greenwich Walking Tour​ - Discover Greenwich on this fascinating walking tour that begins with a private clipper trip to Greenwich Pier, an incredible opportunity in itself to see London from a different perspective. Greenwich brims with maritime, scientific and royal history. In 2012, this leafy London suburb became the Royal Borough of Greenwich in recognition of the town's long and illustrious heritage as well as its royal association.
    Meet your guide and take a walking tour that introduces you to some of the key highlights of Royal Greenwich. See the Cutty Sark, once the fastest ship in the world; today it is also the world's sole surviving tea clipper. Walk past Greenwich Market, London's only historic market set with a World Heritage site. Admire St. Alfege Church where Alfege, Archbishop of Canterbury, was killed in 1012 and where Henry VIII was baptized.
    During your walking tour you can also expect to see The Queen's House, the first classical building in England and the National Maritime Museum, the world's largest maritime museum and finally the Old Royal Naval College, the architectural centerpiece of Maritime Greenwich and perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks of Royal Greenwich.
    There is also free time scheduled so you can explore the city independently. After this delightful introduction to Greenwich, re-join your river boat for the trip back to the Tower Pier.
    Please note: This is a 90-minute walking tour and while the walking will be at a leisurely pace, there are no rest stops along the way, making it not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Guests are recommended to wear walking shoes and a rain jacket in case of rain showers. Please also note that this is a walking tour and does not include any interior visits.                                                                                         
  • Wetlands, Wildlife & Gardens - Take a trip to the countryside, without leaving London, and visit The London Wetland Centre, a delight for birdwatchers and nature lovers, then explore the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    The London Wetland Centre is one of nine WWT Wetland Centres in the UK. Founded by Sir Peter Scott in the 1940s, WWT is the leading wetland conservation charity in the UK, safeguarding wetlands and wildlife for future generations to come.
    Nestled in a loop of the Thames, The London Wetland Centre is not only a haven for wildlife but also a tranquil space for people. Enjoy a gentle stroll along the scenic walkways that wind among the lakes and gardens and admire the wild flowers and beautiful water birds, or enjoy watching the wide variety of wildlife from one of six viewing hides or the glass fronted observatory, which has the London Skyline as a background.
    Leaving this wonderful urban oasis, it's just a short walk to a local tavern where a traditional pub lunch awaits before continuing to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Kew Gardens is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage Site and, this once royal residence, represents nearly 250 years of historical gardens. Home to a remarkable collection of over 30,000 types of plants from all over the world that range from the beautiful to the peculiar.
    Take a walk through the gardens and discover stunning vistas, lakes and pathways. Catch a glimpse of Kew's iconic Pagoda and a whole host of follies, temples and historic buildings which reflect Kew's rich heritage. This is all in addition to the gardens themselves, which provide color and interest in every season.
    Following this delightful visit, travel back to central London where your ship awaits.
    Please note: There will be about two miles of walking over mixed terrain, so this tour may not be suitable for guests with limited mobility. Wheelchair guests will need to be accompanied by a companion. Comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing such as raincoats are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • London and the Mayflower Trail - Explore the London Borough of Southwark, which includes the former docklands of Rotherhithe, the home port of the Mayflower. The Separatists boarded the Mayflower in Rotherhithe close to the present-day Mayflower Inn and set sail for Southampton.
    Walk along Southbank as your guide explains Southwark's key role in the Mayflower's journey and links to Southwark's wider maritime heritage. Discover some of the famous landmarks and attractions including Shakespeare's Globe, Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market.
    Then continue to Rotherhithe, where Christopher Jones, Master of the ship lived and where some of the pilgrims joined the Mayflower. See the quaint St Mary Church, where the crew of the Mayflower ship worshipped and are buried.
    Enjoy a light lunch at the historical Mayflower pub surrounded by cobbled streets with stunning river views. You can spot the original 1620 mooring point of the Pilgrim Father's Mayflower ship and imagine who may have been sitting in your seat 400 years ago! Today, those who can prove a family connection to the original Pilgrims can also sign the Mayflower Descendants Book, which is available upon request. The Mayflower Pub is also the only pub licensed to sell US and UK postage stamps.
    Following these fascinating visits, re-join your coach for the return drive to your ship.
    Please note: Comfortable footwear and appropriate clothing (i.e. raincoat) are recommended. There are about two miles of walking over mixed terrain, often with steps, and may not be suitable for guests with limited mobility. Wheelchair guests are asked to be accompanied. Guests will not be able to go back to the coach before the tour is complete.                                                                                                                    
  • The Garden of the Apothecaries with Alan Mason​ - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    Visit the Chelsea Physic Garden and learn about its medicinal plants and the fortunes of its primary benefactor. Departing the pier, drive by coach for 45 minutes to the Chelsea Physic Garden.
    In 1712, Sir Hans Sloane; famous physician, naturalist and founder of the British Museum purchased the gardens and manor. On a visit to Jamaica, he witnessed local women mixing cocoa with milk to treat ailments. The recipe was eventually bought by Cadbury's, making Sloane a very wealthy man and allowing him to ensure the survival of the gardens and manor for years to come.
    In this garden that serves as home to a collection of around 5,000 edible, medicinal plants, you have time to explore a number of rare specimens and discover the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in Britain. The greenhouses hold a collection of tropical plants, complemented by a Victorian fernery. Learn about the works of the garden's notable curators, including Philip Miller, William Forsyth and Robert Fortune, and enjoy the magnificent legacies they created.
    Enjoy refreshments and free time at a local café before returning to your ship.
    Please note: The amount of walking on this tour is mostly at the guest's discretion; there is one step and gravel paths (which are level). Guests are recommended to wear casual dress and comfortable walking shoes. This itinerary is subject to change.                                                     
  • Ceremony of the Keys - Enjoy a special after hours visit of the Tower of London grounds and experience a unique and century's old tradition. The Tower of London has been the setting for many great events during its 1,000-year history as a royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, menagerie and jewel house. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, today the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses.
    Nobody knows more about the history of the Tower than the Yeoman Warders. Having guarded this palace and fortress for centuries, be captivated by their amazing stories passed on from generation to generation. Upon arrival, meet your Yeoman Warder (also known as Beefeater) for your special guided tour of the Tower grounds which is closed to the general public this evening.
    The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two parallel rings of defensive walls and a moat. This evening with your warder, visit the area within the walls.
    Following your tour, it is time for a unique and century's old tradition - the Ceremony of the Keys, the time-honored locking up of the Tower of London each night. Set amidst the mighty battlements of this ancient historic fortress, it is one of the oldest and most colorful surviving ceremonies of its kind, having been enacted every night without fail for almost seven hundred years, in much the same form as we know it today.
    Every night, at exactly 7 minutes to 10 o'clock, the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower emerges from the Byward Tower wearing his long red coat and Tudor bonnet. He carries in one hand a candle lantern and in the other hand the Queen's Keys. With solemn tread he moves along Water Lane to Traitor's Gate. Once all the Tower gates are locked, the last post is sounded by a trumpeter and the ceremony is concluded.
    Following the ceremony depart the Tower and walk back to your ship.
    Please note: Comfortable footwear and appropriate clothing (i.e. raincoat) are recommended. There are about two miles of walking over mixed terrain, often with steps, and may not be suitable for guests with limited mobility. Wheelchair guests are asked to be accompanied. Guests will not be able to go back to the coach before the tour is complete.                                                                                                                        
  • Experience Medieval London - Explore London's essential highlights, passing by the fabled Tower of London and along the Embankment with views across the River Thames. Travel into the City through Trafalgar Square and London's buzzing Theatreland before arriving at St Paul's Cathedral.
    Begin your guided walk at St Paul's Cathedral, the masterpiece of the late 17th century designed by the great architect Sir Christopher Wren. Discover some of the hidden sights of the city, including a small garden created within the walls of a burnt out church, one of the city's most unusual memorials to 'unsung heroes' and the remains of the Roman wall which once surrounded the 'square mile'.
    Continue to explore the City of London, the oldest of London's 32 boroughs and the place where the Romans settled in AD43 and where the medieval city flourished for centuries. Today, it is largely the financial and business district of London where the finest 21st century architecture sits comfortably alongside Roman ruins and medieval sites.
    Visit the Guildhall Yard, which formed the heart of the medieval city and see the magnificent 15th century Guildhall and hear about its fascinating history and its role from medieval times through to today. En route pass Goldsmiths Hall, the home of one of the City Livery companies which were formed in medieval times and pass through streets named after the guilds and trades which once operated here, such as Milk Street, Bread Street and Ironmonger Lane. These tiny, narrow streets are a strong reminder of how the medieval city once looked. Passing St Mary Le Bow Church, the church at the heart of the city in medieval times and rebuilt after the Great Fire of London of 1666.
    Following your guided walk, return to St Paul's Cathedral where you can enjoy some time to take photographs along with a coffee and small pastry before the coach journey to Tower Pier.
    Please note: This is a 2.5-hour walking tour at a leisurely pace; however, all guests should be fit and able. Wheelchair guests will need to be accompanied. There will be a rest stop at St. Paul's Cathedral. Comfortable footwear and appropriate clothing (i.e. raincoat) are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The World of Shakespeare - Immerse yourself in the world of William Shakespeare and enjoy a private tour of the reconstructed Globe Theatre. Originally built in Southwark in 1599, this historic theatre's stage entertained audiences with many of the "Bard of Avon's" most iconic works before its closing and eventual razing in 1644. Reconstructed and reopened in 1997, this modern incarnation continues the theatrical tradition of its predecessor with productions of works by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and modern playwrights.
    Following your visit to the Globe Theatre, begin your guided walk through the streets that Shakespeare and his fellow players would have known to find echoes of the past; the foundations of the original Globe, the Anchor pub and the riverside.
    Return to the ship.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour is about two miles over mixed terrain, including cobbles and steps. The Globe Theatre is accessible, but wheelchair guests need to be accompanied by a companion. Guests will not be able to head back to the coach before the tour is complete.United Kingdom



 

Day 44: St Peter Port, Guernsey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The picturesque capital of Guernsey proves that you don’t have to go to the Caribbean for white sand and crystal clear water. St Peter Port is both wonderfully pretty and atmospheric, full of blooming floral displays, tiny stone churches and brightly painted boats. What’s more, summers are mostly sunny and comfortable, making the weather something you don’t have to worry about. As the capital of Guernsey, St. Peter Port is where the “action” is found. This mainly takes the form of strolling the cobbled streets, stopping every now and then to admire, and perhaps photograph, the stunning views. Once French (original name: St. Pierre Port), the town is at least 800 years old, with the stone castle and maze like streets to prove it. Once you have made you way up to the ancient castle, make like a local and find refreshment with a cream tea, washed down perhaps with a glass of cider! If the weather is on your side, then surely there is no more invigorating pastime than hiking up to the spectacular Guernsey cliffs, taking in stunning views of wildflowers, sandy beaches and English Channel views. For those who want to spread their wings a little further, the tiny island of Herm is just a 20-minute boat ride away, and homes no cars, one pub, a few cows, some puffins and about 50 people. Don’t be fooled by St Peter Port’s nostalgic exterior. The seaside town has made a name for itself as a foodie heaven, with everything from beach huts to Michelin starred restaurants offering sumptuous, locally sourced fare.


4 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Guernsey Cliff Walk - Enjoy a roving walking tour with an opportunity to take in the charms of lovely Guernsey. Take a 25-minute drive by coach to arrive at the starting point for your coastal walk. Begin down a picturesque country lane towards Moulin Huet Bay where, in the summer of 1883, Pierre-Auguste Renoir famously spent many hours and produced a well-known series of 15 paintings inspired by the spectacular scenery.
    Admire the wonderful views as Renoir did over a century ago before following the cliff path past bird-watching hides, World War Two bunkers and Doyle column, a monument erected in honor of Sir John Doyle, the former Governor of the island. This section of coastline is both a haven for seabirds and wildflowers, and traces of ancient fortifications can also be found.
    The walk ends at the Jerbourg hotel where stunning views across to Jersey and France can be enjoyed while savoring a genuine Guernsey cream tea.
    Re-board the coach for the short journey back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour requires a fitness level to do a lot of walking (approximately 2 hours, with steps and uneven surfaces) and is therefore not suitable for those with walking difficulties. Casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                           
  • La Valette Underground Museum - Explore Guernsey's military past and discover the hardships of life under German Occupation with a half day excursion to La Valette Underground Museum. From 1940 to 1945, the Channel Islands were under German occupation, during which time the Guernsey people endured great hardships. For Adolf Hitler, possession of the Channel Islands was a first step towards invasion of mainland Britain, and he issued orders for the permanent fortification of the Channel Islands. Many of the massive concrete towers, gun emplacements and bunkers remain today as reminders of the five years of military occupation by the German Armed Forces.
    Drive a short distance from the pier and begin the excursion with a visit the infamous Little Chapel, originally built in 1914 and decorated with in a style known as "Picassiette," a French terms used to describe a mosaic of seashells, pieces of china, ceramics and colored glass. One of the smallest chapels in the world, measuring only 9ft x 4.5 foot, it truly is a site not to miss.
    Drive 20 minutes down the west coast to the La Valette Underground Museum, which tells the history of Guernsey's German Occupation years. This award-winning museum is uniquely placed within a series of air-conditioned tunnels originally built by German Forces as a fuel storage facility for their U-Boats. Be immersed in the Bailwicks' military past on a self-guided visit of the museum, which features fascinating exhibitions and an impressive collection of military and occupation memorabilia. A life-size street, bunker rooms, an armory of weapons and communications equipment as well as files of local propaganda newspapers help tell the story of Guernsey's military past and give a unique insight into life for its inhabitants during the occupation.
    After your museum tour, there is the chance for you to walk at your leisure back to the pier or be transported via coach.
    Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate and varied access within the Museum, making this excursion less suitable for those with walking difficulties. Casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society - Experience the locations featured in the best-selling book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, written by Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece, Annie Burrows.
    Depart the pier by coach with views of Castle Cornet and Havelet Bay, continue up the Val des Terres and proceed to the Jerbourg area of La Bouvee. It is on this southeast cliff-top that many scenes from the book are set. See where Dawsey. Amelia & Isola lived (albeit in a fictional story), as well as the rutted lanes, foggy meadows and farmhouses where the colorful characters conducted their lives. Walk to a panoramic viewing point where, on a clear day the other Channel Islands and France are easily spotted, and where Elizabeth met her German lover Christian and watched the German warplanes flying over to drop their bombs on London. Listen to the guide recount real-life tales of heroism, triumph over adversity and sheer determination shown by the people of Guernsey during the long period of German occupation.
    Re-board the coach and drive to the Little Chapel that Dawsey took Juliet to see. Built by Brother Deodat, it is now regarded as the smallest consecrated church in the world. To impress his Bishop, Brother Deodat decided to cover the Little Chapel with many different types of shells and broken pieces of pottery. Leaving the Little Chapel, drive down to the west coast for a local refreshment of tea or coffee and a piece of Guernsey Gache,
    Continue to White Rock Pier opposite a nearby memorial dedicated to local residents who perished in a German bombing raid on June 28, 1940. En route, see the many German fortifications as well as the Witches' Stone and Les Trepieds Dolmen that Dawsey showed Juliet. The harbor played host to one of the darkest days in Guernsey's history: German planes dropped bombs upon what they thought were vehicles carrying troops, but were actually just trucks filled with tomatoes, causing the deaths of 34 innocent civilians. After a photo stop at the memorial, re-board the coach for the return journey back to the pier.
    Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with some steps and uneven surfaces and gravel paths at the Little Chapel, making this excursion less suitable for those with walking difficulties and not accessible to wheelchairs. Casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Castle Cornet and Town Walk​ - Discover the charm and history of St. Peter Port, including the iconic, ancient Castle Cornet on this half-day tour. Take a guided walking tour of the harbor with your knowledgeable local guide, and then enjoy the chance to see the legendary, 800-year-old Castle Cornet and its many museums housed within.
    Join your local guide on a tour to the center of the town of St Peter Port, which has a fascinating history. A busy port since Roman times, the deep, safe anchorage and relative remoteness from France has made the town the Channel Islands' premier port. It is a picturesque town with cobbled high streets and narrow alleys and regency buildings.
    From the harbor, with its forest of masts and bustling Fish Quay, see Castle Cornet, originally built on an island and now reachable by a raised walkway built in the 19th Century. Built on the site of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements, the castle has been built, partially destroyed and rebuilt many times with Medieval, Tudor and World War 2 remains.
    The castle dates from the 13th century when it began as a fortification against the French after the island decided to side with England following the loss of Normandy. It has been used as a garrison, arsenal and prison. Castle Cornet guards the entrance to Guernsey's Harbor and offered defense of the seaway between the islands of Herm, Jethou and Guernsey and towards Sark over many centuries.
    See and hear the key highlights of the Castle with your guide before spending some time in the "Story of Castle Cornet" exhibition, or exploring the castle and perhaps some of their four small gardens within the castle walls - including the apothecary's garden, kitchen garden and ornamental gardens. The Castle contains several interesting museums including the Maritime Museum, the Story of Castle Cornet Museum, the 201 Squadron RAF (Guernsey's Own) Museum and the Militia Museum.
    Following the exploration of Castle Cornet, you may choose to return with your guide or make your way back on your own time to St. Peter Port harbour and the ship.
    Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at least 1.5 km (1 mile). Because of the distance, the steps and substantial uneven terrain, this tour is not suitable for wheelchairs, walkers or scooters and is not recommended for guests with otherwise limited mobility. Guests are recommended to bring camera and sunglasses and to wear suitable walking shoes. Dress according to the weather in layers, with a light waterproof jacket often useful for this island's changeable weather.

Day 45: Penzance, United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This popular seaside resort in western Cornwall occupies a commanding position at the northwest corner of Mount’s Bay. Due to this strategic location, the town was frequently raided during the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, Spanish assailants destroyed most of the original town and the majority of the old buildings remaining today date from the 18th century. Over the centuries, Penzance has served a number of important functions. Among them, as tin shipping port for the Roman Empire and medieval Europe, passenger terminal for emigrants bound for the New World, fresh-flower and fish dispatch point for London and, most recently, as a popular holiday destination. The dominant style you will see in Penzance today is Georgian and regal Regency. Along the Western Promenade stand 18th- and 19th-century townhouses, while the Barbizon, an 18th-century fish market, has been transformed into a lively arts and crafts center. But the most interesting part is the ancient cobblestoned quarter that lies at the junction of Chapel Street and Market Jew, where much of the flavor of Penzance’s seafaring is preserved. There are a number of historic buildings, including the 18th-century Union Hotel, the Victorian Market House and the Penlee Museum. The most impressive attraction in the vicinity of Penzance is St. Michael’s Mount. Its huge medieval castle and abbey dominate a granite outcrop in Mount’s Bay. At low tide the site can be reached on foot via a rocky causeway; at other times, a boat ride is required from the mainland. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to anchor off Penzance. Guests will be taken ashore via the ship’s tender. The town center can be reached via a 5-minute walk. Taxis for trips farther afield can be found at the train station within a 10-minute walk from the tender pier. Shopping Shops in the town center offer art and souvenir items and bric-a-brac. Most shops are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.The local currency is the pound. Cuisine This popular resort has no lack of eateries, ranging from a number of typical local pubs to trendy restaurants on Chapel Street. Seafood and usual tourist fare are widely available. Other Sites Town Center Take a stroll around the ancient quarter at the junction of Chapel Street and Market Jew. At the Barbizon you will find an arts and crafts center. Historic Buildings include the 18th-century Union Hotel, the Victorian Market House and the Penlee Museum. Across from the Union Hotel stands the flamboyant Egyptian House, built in 1835 and renovated twenty years ago. The Maritime Museum features a display of items salvaged from local wrecks and a collection of seafaring articles. Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Tour Office on board.

7 Included Shore Excursions: 
 
  • Pendeen to Botallack Coastal Walk - After a short transfer by coach from Penzance port, arrive at Pendeen, whose Lighthouse has been guiding passing vessels and warning of the dangerous waters around Pendeen Watch for nearly 100 years. Head off on a guided exploration hike of Cornwall's fascinating mining heritage towards Levant, known as "The queen of Cornwall's submarine mines," thanks to its dramatic clifftop setting. Today, the surviving buildings and ruins offer a window on another world where men and women toiled to extract the riches of the earth from beneath the crashing waves.
    Enjoy the delightful walk along the coastal path, dotted with iconic mine chimneys and engine houses, to Botallack, which was given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO, joining 900 places around the world with this designation. This status testifies to the importance of the mining landscape, its historic features and the technological developments and scientific research which took place here. The Cornish had a huge influence on the development of mining throughout the world, with over 250,000 people having left between 1815 and 1915 to work in other mining areas, it's estimated that there are 6 million people of Cornish descent globally. The Botallack Count House and the world-famous Levant Beam Engine have both been restored by the National Trust and are key monuments in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
    After a fascinating exploration of the Cornish coast, re-board your coach at Botallack for the short return journey to Penzance
    Please note: Suitable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are recommended. This is a strenuous walking tour with difficult terrain and is only suitable for able walkers. The walk is not circular; therefore, once guests have begun the tour, there is no option to return to the coach or continue independently.                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Penlee House, Mousehole & Scenic Newlyn -  Built in 1865 as a gracious Victorian home, Penlee House has been converted to create a first-class gallery and museum set within an attractive park, located a short coach journey from port. It specializes in showing the area's unique, rich cultural heritage. Discover both the current exhibition as well as Penlee's permanent collection of some of the best-known works from the renowned Newlyn School.
    The museum, founded in 1839, features collections that cover 6,000 years of history, from Penwith's awe-inspiring archaeological sites to the area's more recent social history. The social history gallery houses a wealth of artefacts covering the area's fascinating and often quirky heritage.
    Following a guided tour of Penlee, re-board the coach for a scenic drive through the beautiful Cornish countryside. Pass the "Merry Maidens" stone circle en route to the picturesque fishing village of Mousehole. Enjoy free time to explore at leisure. A stroll along the harbor offers stunning views of yellow-licensed houses, built from the local Lamorna granite, and beautiful views out to sea. The narrow streets and sandy beach, together with the array of galleries, gift shops and restaurants make for a charming visit.
    Return to the port by coach, but not before a panoramic view of Newlyn town itself.
    Please note: The walking is easy, but this tour is not suitable for guests who are wheelchair users due to the uneven terrain. Walking is minimal at about one hour in Penlee and, at the discretion of the guest, during free time in Mousehole.                                                                             
  • Cornwall’s Views - Your scenic exploration of Cornwall's highlights begins with a drive to St. Ives Bay on the north coast. The dazzling jewel in Cornwall's crown, the picturesque artists' haven of St. Ives was once a tiny fishing village but has been transformed into a thriving artists' colony, with generations of artists inspired by the area's undeniable natural beauty, seduced by the clarity of light unique to St. Ives and its romantic coastal scenery.
    Passing near to Rosamunde Pilcher's birthplace of Lelant, the journey heads east towards Camborne and Redruth through narrow country lanes, past small granite cottages and stern Methodist chapels, with old abandoned engine houses dotting the undulated landscape, nodding back to a time when this area was the beating heart of Cornwall's mining industry.
    Rising high over Camborne and Redruth is the spectacular tor, Carn Brea, a 90-foot granite column built in 1836 as a tribute to Francis Bassett, a philanthropist and member of the most important mining family in the area.
    Arrive in the maritime port of Falmouth, which sits on the county's south coast at the end of the Carrick Roads Estuary. Falmouth is the traditional gateway to the Atlantic and one of the world's greatest sailing harbors. After a comfort break, your journey continues towards historic Pendennis Headland where the route ascends, offering a view over the dockyard below and a spectacular vista out across Falmouth Harbour. The Headland is dominated by Pendennis Castle, one of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the Cornwall against invasion.
    The route ventures past the golden sand Gyllyngvase Beach as you set-off west to the quaint market town of Marazion. From here, pause to enjoy spectacular views of the world-renowned St. Michaels Mount. Separated from the mainland by a tidal causeway, this is no dusty museum or dormant relic of a past life. Home to a bustling island community, life on this craggy island is ruled by the tides and weather, with crystal clear waters lapping the shores during the summer months while winter storms see waves lash against the steep cliffs.
    It will then be time to re-board the coach for the short journey back to Penzance.
    Please note: There is very little walking on this tour and it is limited to optional photo stops, where the terrain is mainly flat. Guest may choose to stay on the coach if they prefer.                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Land’s End & St Ives - Transfer by coach from Penzance to arrive at iconic Land's End, where England's westernmost point on the mainland plunges into the sea at the end of the Cornish Peninsula. Stroll around the rocky plateau where, if the day is clear, fine views of the steep granite cliffs and rugged coastal scenery can be enjoyed. For generations of British mariners, sighting Land's End meant the end of a long, often arduous journey; watching it fade from view over the stern meant the beginning of unknown adventures to come.
    Next, set-off on a scenic drive to the north coast and the picturesque artists' haven of St. Ives. The dazzling jewel in Cornwall's crown, St. Ives is a charming seaside town and fishing harbor and home to a famous art movement that began a century ago. Generations of artists have been inspired by the area's undeniable natural beauty, seduced by the clarity of light unique to St. Ives and its romantic coastal scenery. Since then the tiny fishing village has been transformed into a thriving artists' colony, the epicenter of the British Modernist Movement, becoming a magnet for the world's greatest painters, sculptors and ceramists.
    Upon arrival at St. Ives, join your guide on a brief orientation walk where they will point out places of interest, before you set off to explore independently. There are plenty of galleries and creative hubs to discover, perhaps visit the renowned Tate St. Ives or call in next door to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Museum. Stroll the narrow streets, with their tiny fisherman's cottages, browse for souvenirs in the boutique shops or sample a delicious Cornish ice cream overlooking one of the award-winning white-sand beaches.
    It will then be time to re-board the coach and travel back to Penzance.
    Please note: Walking is mostly at the discretion of the guest and is suitable for those with walking difficulties. It is not suitable for wheelchairs because of the terrain, which is a mixture of flat, sloping and some uneven surfaces. Guests may choose to remain seated on the coach at Land's End.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Trebah Garden & Cornish Cream Tea, with Alan Mason - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    After traveling across Cornish countryside by coach from Penzance, with views out to sea of the renowned St. Michaels Mount, arrive at Trebah, a beautiful sub-tropical Cornish ravine garden. Rated as one of the 80 finest gardens in the world, Trebah's 26 acres are home to a stunning collection of rare and exotic plants, trees and shrubs, which cascade down to a private and secluded beach on the tranquil Helford River.
    Upon arrival at Trebah, set-off on a guided tour of the stunning garden which begins with a spectacular view out across the valley. Pass under canopies bursting with bloom en route to the water gardens, complete with water falls and koi carp. See glades of 100-year-old tree ferns and 18 feet high giant Gunneva (rhubarb) as your memorable walk through this fascinating space continues to rhododendron valley and hydrangea valley. The journey down through the sheltered garden leads to the private beach, a lovely spot to take in the views of one of the world's most beautiful sailing waters.
    The gardens at Trebah boast almost 200 years of history. During World War Two the beach here was concreted to allow access for tanks while the garden was used as an ammunition store. On 1st June 1944 a regiment of US Infantry set off from Trebah Beach through raging seas to the D-Day assault landing in Normandy but suffered huge casualties. There is a memorial at the bottom of the garden commemorating their bravery.
    After your tour of the garden, pause to indulge in a delicious Cornish tradition, a scrumptious cream tea consisting of a freshly baked scone, strawberry jam, thick Cornish clotted cream and cup of tea or coffee. Free time follows, to explore the garden at leisure or perhaps shop for souvenirs in the charming gift shop before reboarding the coach for the journey back to Penzance.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for the guided tour of the garden. The tour is not recommended for guests who use wheelchairs because of steep paths and steps. For guests with walking difficulties, there is the option to explore the gardens independently and at their own pace. Remaining on the coach during the tour is not an option.                                                                                          
  • Cape Cornwall Coastal Walk​ - Commencing in the ancient village of St. Just and following a circular route out to Cape Cornwall and back, this walking tour features a wonderful combination of fine scenery, unique wildlife, ancient history, and traditions of Cornwall.
    Travel a short distance by coach to St. Just-in-Penwith, the most westerly town in England. The 19th century mining town grew from a medieval village, which itself was founded upon an ancient monastery. Not only is the town a fascinating place to visit, but it's also a great spot from which to set-off along the gorgeous scenic coastal path.
    Enjoy a guided walk along this fabulous landscape, featuring ancient tin mines and burial mounds, and striking coastal views.
    Explore St. Just at leisure on your return, before reboarding the coach for the return journey to Penzance port.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are recommended. This tour is a bit over five miles of walking over uneven and hilly terrain. Guests must be fit and able walkers. It is not suitable for guests in wheelchairs or those with limited mobility. Returning to the coach once the walk is underway is not an option.                                                                                                                                         
  • St. Michael’s Mount - Departing Penzance, travel to the pretty seaside village of Marazion to make the journey out to the awe-inspiring St. Michael's Mount. Separated from the mainland by a tidal causeway, venturing out to the mount is an experience in itself - low tide allows a walk across the man-made cobbled causeway while high tide sees a boat ride across the waves.
    Life on this craggy island is ruled by the tides and weather, crystal clear waters lap the shores during the summer months while winter storms see waves lash against the steep cliffs. Discover the layers of history hidden within the medieval castle and church, stroll the subtropical terraced gardens, marveling at the plethora of plant life clinging to the steep granite slopes and uncover the tale of Cormorant the Giant while admiring the sweeping views across Mounts Bay and back to the mainland. St. Michael's Mount is truly a beguiling island, drenched in spiritual energy and steeped in myths and legend, a vision of the Archangel St. Michael is even said to have appeared to fishermen here in the year 495. These religious roots were somewhat cut during King Henry VIII's 'Dissolution of the Monasteries' which saw the mount transformed into a coastal defense to protect England from the long-feared French invasion. In 1659 the Mount was purchased by Sir John St. Aubyn whose descendants turned the fortress into a magnificent resident and still reside in this ancestral home today.
    Tour the Castle on St Michael's Mount and enjoy some free time to take photographs and soak up the stunning scenery, before rejoining the bus back to Penzance, or be picked up by Zodiac directly at the Castle and cruise back to the ship leaving St. Michael's Mount views behind.
    Please note: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests must be fit and able walkers. The terrain is uneven and hilly with a steep climb to the Castle. This tour is not suitable for those with walking or breathing difficulties. Children must be closely supervised due to unfenced, long vertical drops. There is no opportunity to return to the coach before the rest of the group. The Zodiac operation is weather and tidal dependant.

 

Day 46: Pembroke, United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pembroke on Wales’ west coast (approximately an hour from Swansea) will instantly steal your heart. long stretches of sandy beach and heather clad rocks will lift your mood, while crashing waves against the same beaches will soothe and energise you in equimeasure. And that’s before you have even arrived on shore. With a bit of luck, the famous Welsh weather will be on your side and nature lovers will be able to fill up on sea breeze and stunning coastal scenery. Wildlife spotters will be happy too, as Pembroke is home to puffins, dolphins, porpoises and grey seals (and the occasional whale or shark) and are often spotted from the 186-mile headland path. The town’s rich history is another reason why Pembroke is Wales’ de facto holiday destination. Henry VII of England (aka Henry Tudor) was born here in 1457 and the town’s pride and joy is the picturesque, history-laden Pembroke Castle. Built in 1093 by Arnulf de Montgomery, the long history of the castle is second to none and anyone who enjoys stepping into the past will soon be lost in the tumultuous tales of the past. Colourful painted buildings line the main street, while independent boutiques offer much in the way of souvenirs. Woollen wares take pride of place, but don’t overlook the local jewellery made with rare welsh gold (all royal brides have had their wedding rings made with welsh gold since 1932). Tea shops and of course homely, hearty pubs are warm and welcoming, so if the weather does turn bad, you’ll be spoilt for choice for shelter.

5 Included Shore Excursions:
 
  • Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk - Enjoy the beauty of the Pembrokeshire Coast as you join your guide for a walking tour that takes you along a section of the Pembrokeshire coastal path that runs from Amroth in the south to St. Dogmaels in the north. Discover a variety of scenery, wildlife and a wealth of cultural and historical diversity stretching from the Iron Age to the present.
    Drive 45 minutes by coach to Kete and begin your walk with an expert guide. Head out towards St. Ann's Head, the site of a historic lighthouse originally built in 1714 and rebuilt in 1844, which was the scene of the Sea Empress grounding in 1996. Proceed along the Coastal Path, with other highlights including additional lighthouses old and new, coastguard cottages, and Mill Bay where Henry Tudor landed in 1485 after many years of exile in France.
    Have your camera ready to visit Cobbler's Hole, a natural wonder of layers of rock revealed by thousands of years of erosion by crashing waves entering a constricted outcropping of land. Look for the signature deep red rock layered between other grays and browns, contrasting with the green grass cliffs and bright aqua water. Return to the pier but take an unforgettable and rare experience with you.
    Please note: This excursion requires sufficient fitness for guests to be able to walk for approximately 7km, or two hours, including over uneven ground and on narrow paths. Walking gear is required and sturdy hiking shoes that provide ankle support are recommended, as is a raincoat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Pembroke Castle and the Ancient Town of Tenby​ - Depart your ship and drive 45 minutes towards the second largest castle in Wales, Pembroke Castle, a place occupied as long ago as the Roman period and filled with history. Established a promontory surrounded by water and natural land defenses on all sides, Pembroke Castle was built in the 12th century by the Normans and was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (Henry VII).
    Set on a limestone hill, Pembroke Castle guarded the strategically important town of Pembroke. The massive curtain walls have five projecting round towers and a great keep, 21 meters high and 6 meters thick at the base. The castle proved so impregnable to cannon fire during the Civil War that Cromwell's men had to starve out the castle's Royalist defenders! Visit the impressive castle and enjoy the guided tour that brings this ancient, fascinating place to life.
    Afterwards enjoy a short drive to the ancient town of Tenby, a picturesque walled medieval town with a historic harbor. The old walls are almost completely intact and have served well to preserve the old town from the effects of modernization and development. The narrow lanes and small squares remain much as they were 500 years ago. Walk through the center with your guide and discover the fascinating history behind this delightful ancient town, before enjoying free time to stroll along the scenic coast and through the charming town center.
    After your fascinating tour, take the return drive to the Milford Haven pier.
    Please note: This excursion includes walking mostly at the guest's discretion, though guests with walking difficulties may not be able to fully explore the castle due to some steps and cobblestones. Other than the steps to the towers and cobblestones at the entrance, there is mainly flat terrain. Comfortable shoes recommended.                                                                                                                                                             
  • A Visit to Picton Castle​ - Take a drive through the glorious Welsh countryside to Picton Castle. Set in 40 acres of magnificent gardens, Picton Castle is perhaps the most unusual ancient building in Britain, with half of the building designed as a fortified manor house and the other half a fully developed medieval castle. Built in the 13th century by Sir John Wogan, the castle is still the family home of his descendants, although they no longer reside here.
    Make a morning visit to the castle, which still retains its medieval features in the undercroft (a church crypt). The principal rooms were remodeled in the 1750s by Sir John Philipps the 6th Baronet, with plastered rooms and fireplaces by Sir Henry Cheere. Your visit of the castle flows from one room to another on your own time, with stewards in each room to answer any questions you may have.
    Following your visit of the castle you may like to take a turn in the fabulous gardens. Picton Castle is home to some of the most beautiful woodland gardens and grounds in West Wales. Guests have the option to take a stroll beneath some of the largest and oldest trees in Wales and discover the woodland walks, ferns and the abundant feast of wildflowers that blend with unusual woodland shrubs from all corners of the world. Admire the rare species of Rhododendrons and visit the Walled Garden which is an enchanting riot of color in the summer months with its elegant fountain, rose strewn arches and medicinal herbs all labelled with their remedies.
    Make the scenic 45-minute return drive to the pier.
    Please note: This excursion includes minimal walking, at the visitor's discretion. While the castle does have some steps, these can be avoided, making this tour suitable for those with walking difficulties.                                                                                                                                      
  • Picture Perfect Pembroke​ - Discover some of Pembroke while you capture its magic with your lens. Enjoy spectacular locations for pictures that will not only be an image but a living memory with a special story behind it.
    Led by your expert guide and ship's photographer, Pembroke and its surrounding area awaits. Discover beautiful locations in this half day tour tailored to your specific interests. With guidance from your professional photographer you will be able to capture its beauty through your lens. Learn how to enhance your pictures and optimize every shot.
    Finally make your way back to your awaiting ship where you will bid farewell to your driver and guide.
    This tour is taken by a professional photographer (from the ship) who will provide instruction on how to capture the best image. Sites visited may include outside shots of Pembroke Castle (from behind the castle) so you get lovely shots of the moat. Move on to Bosherston - lovely lakes/lilyponds. Freshwater West - is just down the road - a picturesque beach where Robin Hood and Harry Potter was filmed.
    Please note: Clothing suitable to the weather is recommended. This tour is not recommended for wheelchair users; however, if guests who are wheelchair users choose to embark on this tour, they must be accompanied.                                                                                                           
  • Exclusive Visit to Dyffryn Fernant Garden, with Alan Mason​ - Alan Mason NDT. F.Inst.G. Dip.Hort. M.CI. Hort. is one of Europe's most experienced and best-qualified garden designers and consultants. Alan is a founder member of The Professional Gardener's Guild and the founder of the Senior Garden Advisors consultancy group. He is also a judge at the prestigious Sandringham Flower Show. Join Alan on today's tour as he, together with your local guide bring the gardens we visit alive!
    Experience an exclusive visit to Dyffryn Fernant Gardens and the creator, Christina Shand's home. Located between the Preseli Hills and the Irish Sea, the garden has strong links to its surroundings and historic countryside. Admire the stunning views across the rolling hills and observe how the garden blends into the wild, wider landscape. It's easy to see why Christina's garden has been described as the most inspiring garden in Wales.
    Upon arrival, be welcomed by Christina and explore the gardens with her on this intimate tour. Follow the winding paths through colorful blooms to discover the intricate sections within and admire her hard work and dedication from the last 20 years. Her passion for horticulture is clear from her attention to detail and thoughtful landscaping. Learn about how the garden was designed to be viewed from different angles and perspectives for a completely personal and immersive experience. A significant feature is the "bog garden" which was a real labor of love due to the inhospitable environment and numerous obstacles; however it is now a unique central point for the garden.
    Take time to relax, enjoying homemade cakes and tea in the tranquility of Christina's house where she will be happy to answer any questions and offer her sound gardening advice. Spend some free time wandering through the six acres of lush gardens independently. Appreciate the glorious smells from the kitchen garden and the natural grassland that attract a range of wildlife before returning to Pembroke.
    Please note: A waterproof jacket is recommended. To make the most of the tour, guests will need to walk around the garden with Christina. The walking tour will last about one hour, plus the 500-meter walk from the car park to the gardens each way. Guests may explore the garden independently.

Day 47: Iona, United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If tiny islands that resonate with peace and tranquillity are your idea of travel heaven, then welcome to Iona. Almost 200 miles east of Edinburgh, set in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, this magical island has a spiritual reputation that precedes it. And luckily, more than lives up to. The island is miniscule. Just three miles long and only one and a half miles wide, this is not a place that hums with urban attractions. 120 people call Iona home (this number rises significantly if the gull, tern and Kittiwake population is added), although residential numbers do go up (to a whopping 175) in summer. The beautiful coastline is lapped by the gulf stream and gives the island a warm climate with sandy beaches that look more Mediterranean than Scottish! Add to that a green field landscape that is just beautiful, and you’ll find that Iona is a place that stays with you long after you leave. Iona’s main attraction is of course its abbey. Built in 563 by Saint Columbia and his monks, the abbey is the reason why Iona is called the cradle of Christianity. Not only is the abbey (today an ecumenical church) one of the best – if not the best – example of ecclesiastical architecture dating from the Middle Ages, but it also serves as an important site of spiritual pilgrimage. St. Martin’s Cross, a 9th century Celtic cross that stands outside the abbey, is considered as the finest example of Celtic crosses in the British Isles. Rèilig Odhrain, or the cemetery, allegedly contains the remains of many Scottish kings.                                    


1 Included Shore Excursion:
 
  • Iona Abbey - Explore the tiny island of Iona, an enchanting place and one of deep spiritual significance. A survey carried out in 1549 listed that forty-eight Kings of Scotland are buried here, including Duncan, Macbeth's victim. Many people make their way here each year, following in the footsteps of pilgrims who have been coming here since not long after Columba's arrival in 563 CE.
    Departing the pier, walk 15 minutes to Iona Abbey and be met by your guide at the pier. Discover the abbey with a short, guided tour, followed by some free time at your leisure.
    Iona Abbey is one of Scotland's most sacred and historical sites. The original structure was Columba's monastery, established in the 6th century and surviving through the end of the 12th century, despite repeated Viking raids. At the turn of the 13th century a Benedictine abbey was founded at this site. Iona's Abbey Museum houses Scotland's finest collection of early medieval carved stones and crosses.
    The abbey church was restored at the beginning of the 20th century, while work on restoring the living accommodation began in 1938, following the foundation of the Iona Community. Today, the Iona Community continues the tradition of worship first established by St. Columba 1,450 years ago.
    Make the return walk to the ship.
    Please note: There is a 15-minute walk from the pier to the abbey over smooth terrain and minimal walking at the guest's discretion, making this tour more suitable for guests with walking difficulties who are capable of walking approximately half a mile in each direction. It is requested that wheelchair guests are accompanied, as the guide cannot take responsibility for assisting them during the tour. Warm, comfortable clothing and flat shoes are recommended.

Day 48: Fort William, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Flanked by the UK’s tallest mountain on one side and Loch Linnae on the other, Fort William – or “Bill” to the locals – is what you imagine when it comes to Scottish Highland towns. Verdant moors stretch as far as the eye can see, pastel painted houses front the water and it is not unusual to see pipers in kilts on street corners. But while Fort William may play to certain critics’ idea of a cliché, the pretty town goes far beyond tartan cushions and wee drams of Scotch (although there is a fair amount of this too!). Fort William has everything you could possibly want while in the Highlands. The High Street has plenty to keep you occupied with its good range of shops, cafes and restaurants - a lunch of locally caught seafood or the iconic haggis, neeps and tatties is a must. Because of its privileged location sitting in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis (standing a proud 1,345 metres high) outdoor enthusiasts are especially well catered for. Unsurprisingly so, as Fort William is considered the UK’s outdoor capital. But it’s not all high adrenaline sports. Certainly, those who want to climb up a rock or hurtle down white water rapids will find their nirvana, but if gentle fishing, a quiet county walk or curling up in cosy pubs warmed by an open fire are more your glass of whiskey then you’re catered for. The West Highland Museum in the centre of the town is excellent, while St Andrew's Church, towards the north end of the main street, has a very attractive interior. Also well worth a look is St Mary's Catholic Church, on Belford Road, and no visit should be considered complete without a look at the Old Fort, almost invisible to passing traffic. Add a wildlife cruise amid stunning scenery and the steam train that took Harry to Hogwarts and you can easily spend a day in this lovely port.    


6 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Eilean Donan Castle - Eilean Donan is arguably one of the most recognizable castles in the world. Located strategically on a little island where three sea lochs meet in the midst of some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery it is no wonder that the castle has featured in many films.
    Travel north from Fort William through dramatic mountain scenery and on to Eilean Donan.
    The Castle is named for the 6th century Irish saint who set up the first community on the island. There has been a fortified castle on this site since the 13th century although it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times in its long and turbulent history. The restored castle you will see today was completed in the 1930s. During your visit you will have the opportunity to learn the rich history of the castle and its clansmen and to take in the stunning views.
    Please note: Warm waterproof clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Three floors of the castle can be visited steps involved. There is a lot of walking on this excursion, but for those not able to tackle the steps, a computer-based virtual tour is available in the castle's visitor center. Photography is not permitted inside the castle.                                                                                                                        
  • Fort Augustus & Loch Ness Cruise – Wonders of the Deep - Soak up the unique atmosphere of Fort Augustus, Loch Ness and its beautiful surroundings. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and for those curious at what's beneath the deep waters of Loch Ness, top of the range sonar equipment on board your cruise will beam up live images. If you're lucky, you might just spot the Loch Ness Monster!!!
    Leaving Fort William, your coach transfer to Fort Augustus in Scotland's Great Glen passes Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain and the Commando Memorial - dedicated to the men of the British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Travel further North through the great Glen until you reach the hamlet of Fort Augustus. Situated on the southernmost tip of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus lies on the impressive 60-mile-long Caledonian Canal halfway between Inverness and Fort William.
    Board the "Spirit of Loch Ness", a purpose-built cruising vessel for a 50-minute cruise on Scotland's most famous loch. Sit back and relax whilst taking in your surroundings. We will cruise past Cherry Island, the loch's only island and you will be spoiled with a striking view of Fort Augustus Abbey from the water. Enjoy a "cake bite" and a nice hot cuppa whilst trying to spot Nessie, the loch's famous monster. The crew on board will also provide live presentations during your adventure.
    Once back on dry land, enjoy some free time to wander through the lovely little hamlet of Fort Augustus. Sit and watch the boats navigating the series of locks or browse the lovely little shops, this charming village has a lot going on and is popular with tourists, walkers and cyclists.
    Re-join your coach for the journey back to Fort William and your awaiting ship.
    Please note: Warm waterproof clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users, as boat access is via gangplank and steps. While there is a lot of walking, it is before and after boarding the boat. Guests may explore independently before or after the boat ride.                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Glen Nevis Hike​ - Commence your walk after a short drive, heading straight into attractive deciduous woodland. The rough and rocky path then goes through the Gorge and there are glimpses of tremendous rocky mountainsides through the trees. At one stream, the way has been cut out of the rock and heads round the corner on a wide ledge; beyond here there is a first glimpse of the white line of Steall Falls through the gorge. The valley now narrows considerably and the river can occasionally be seen below, crashing over and round huge fallen boulders.
    The glen suddenly broadens out once more to form a grassy meadow decorated with wildflowers and surrounded by wooded, precipitous mountainsides. The crowning glory is the Steall Falls, now seen directly ahead across the meadow.
    Continue on the main path until it reaches a bend where the glen curves round to the left and the path is close to the river. This is the best spot for admiring the great falls. They are the third highest falls in Scotland, cascading 105 meters down the rockface, and a tremendous sight particularly in spate. Rising above the falls is the Munro of An Gearanach, the first peak on the Ring of Steall, and this is the starting point for many mountain excursions.
    Return to the coach along the same route.
    Please note: Warm waterproof clothing and hiking boots that support the ankle are recommended. The total distance of the hike is about 3.5 km over uneven terrain that is occasionally muddy and steep. Guests need to have a good level of fitness for the hike. Please bring bottled water.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • High in the Nevis Range - Fort William is the outdoor capital of the UK and is a major center for snow sports, mountain biking, climbing and hill-walking but it is possible to gain altitude without any effort! After a short coach transfer to the Nevis Range take the gondola up to the slopes of Aonach Mor. Here you can enjoy a walk on the easy mountain trails with your guide and take in the scenery and wildlife of this dramatic landscape. You will see Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, and you can enjoy refreshments in the mountain restaurant.
    The Nevis Range mountain gondola system, the only of its kind in Britain, was originally constructed on the mountain of Aonach Mor, just 7 miles north of Fort William, as a way to transport skiers to the slopes. The gondola is also widely used as a short cut by climbers to the many challenging winter routes and by paragliders and hangliders on their journey to the clouds.
    However, the gondola is a highly acclaimed visitor attraction in its own right, allowing sightseers to enjoy the scenic ride, whilst absorbing the stunning views and clear mountain air, feeling fully refreshed on their journey back to firm ground!
    The gondolas transport visitors effortlessly from 300ft up to 2150ft on the north face of Aonach Mor, the eighth highest mountain in Britain. The journey takes approximately 12 - 15 minutes each way, and each gondola can accommodate up to six people inside.
    The journey allows breath-taking views of the Scottish Highlands, including the Great Glen, Ben Nevis, and surrounding areas. On a clear day this spectacular view can extend as far as the Inner Hebrides. Frequent visitors often remark that every visit to Nevis Range can be extremely different with the changing seasonal colors.
    Please note: Warm waterproof clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This excursion is suitable for guests with limited mobility if they are able to embark and disembark the mountain gondola. At the top and bottom of the gondola system, the terrain is paved and smooth. The walks to viewpoints are along crushed stone pathways; one viewpoint features a steep incline. Walking is at the discretion of the individual guest. Guests may return to the coach independently.                                                                                                                                      
  • Glenfinnan and Mallaig with Afternoon Tea - Following a short overview of Fort William, travel west and visit nearby Banavie where the 60 mile long Caledonian canal begins and ends its route across the entire country. Constructed in the early nineteenth century by Scottish engineer Thomas Telford, the Caledonian Canal connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at nearby Corpach. At Banavie stroll to the canal's Neptune's Staircase, the longest staircase lock in the United Kingdom.
    Re-join your coach for the short drive to the village of Glenfinnan. Best known for the stunning railway viaduct which featured in a Harry Potter movie, it is part of the legendary West Highland Line which operates between the towns of Fort William and Mallaig. We'll pause here for a short time. If you're feeling adventurous, you can climb the wee hill behind the Visitor Centre for a better view of the viaduct. Opposite the Visitor Centre stands the Glenfinnan Monument, erected in 1815 as a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
    Continue the beautiful journey to Mallaig. The route passes Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest sea-water loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! The views are breath-taking on this scenic coastal road, also names "The Road to the Isles".
    Upon arrival in Mallaig, enjoy an Afternoon Tea in a local hotel followed by some free time at leisure to explore the lovely little shops or simply soak up the atmosphere of this charming coastal village.
    Please note: Warm waterproof clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This excursion is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but at Banavie and Glenfinnan there are some steps and slopes. Walking is generally at the discretion of the individual guest.                         
  • Canoe Loch Lochy - Discover the beauty of canoeing the mountainous landscape of Loch Lochy, situated along the famous Caledonian canal.
    Start with a transfer from Fort William to Loch Lochy, travelling along roads with mountains looming in the distance, one of which being the impressive North face of Ben Nevis.
    At Loch Lochy meet the canoe guides for a briefing, before starting on the adventure. Your guides will continuously be adapting the day to suit the needs and desires of the group. Quality instruction will be provided for those new to paddling and top tips for those with experience. When the water is mirror calm, glide from bay to bay and take in the natural surroundings. If the wind picks up, hoist the canoe sails and race across the water. Those with a bit of a competitive side, join in on a game or 2 to test your skills. This trip offers the full versatility that canoeing brings.
    Once the adventure is over, return to the ship with the return transfer.
    Please note: This activity is recommended for active guests only. Guests are advised to wear clothes that will keep them at a comfortable temperature for the weather forecast that day, plus waterproof shoes or shoes that can get wet. Bring waterproof trousers if it is due to rain, waterproof tops are supplied, and a change of clothes in the unlikely event of a capsize. All technical and safety paddling kit, such as, canoes, paddles, buoyancy aids etc. are provided as well as a waterproof top to keep the splashing off if paddlers wish to use them. Dry barrels will also be provided to keep personal kit dry. Toilets are not available. Each participating guest will need to complete a consent form and bring it with them. Guests under 18 must be accompanied on the activity by a parent or legally appointed guardian.

Day 49: St. Kilda, United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Gloriously remote, St. Kilda is an archipelago 50 miles off the Isle of Harris. Although the four islands are uninhabited by humans, thousands of seas birds call these craggy cliffs home, clinging to the sheer faces as if by magic. Not only is St. Kilda home to the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffin (almost 1 million), but also the world largest colony Gannets nests on Boreray island and its sea stacks. The islands also home decedents of the world’s original Soay sheep as well as having a breed of eponymously named mice. The extremely rare St. Kilda wren unsurprisingly hails from St. Kilda, so birders should visit with notebook, binoculars and camera to hand. While endemic animal species is rife on the island, St. Kilda has not been peopled since 1930 after the last inhabitants voted that human life was unsustainable. However, permanent habitation had been possible in the Medieval Ages, and a vast National Trust for Scotland project to restore the dwellings is currently being undertaken. The islands even enjoyed a status as being an ideal holiday destination in the 19th century. Today, the only humans living on the islands are passionate history, science and conservation scholars. One of the caretakers even acts as shopkeeper and postmaster for any visitors who might like to send a postcard home from St. Kilda. It should be noted that St. Kilda is the UKs only (and just one of 39 in the world) dual World Heritage status from UNESCO in recognition of its Natural Heritage and cultural significance.


1 Included Shore Excursion
 
  • Expedition Activities with Silversea Expedition team - The islands of St. Kilda lie 41 miles west of Benbecula in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The archipelago is made up of stunning cliffs and sea stacks which form the most important seabird breeding colony in northwest Europe.
    The islands were inhabited for at least two millennia until the entire population requested to be evacuated in 1930, as life on the island became increasingly difficult with food shortages, flu outbreaks and a general breakdown of the economy.
    Take the opportunity today to discover the village with its many stone-built stores known as cleits. Visit the museum in one of the restored houses which tells the story of the remarkable people who lived in this breathtaking setting.
    St. Kilda is one of the few places in the world to have received dual World Heritage Status from UNESCO in recognition of its Natural Heritage and cultural significance.
    On arrival, be welcomed by the resident NTS Ranger before having the opportunity to explore independently. Take a cruise amidst the stunning sea stacks in the afternoon before returning to the ship.
    PLEASE NOTE:
    This tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties due to the landing on the Zodiac at a pier with potential swell. While there are mainly fairly level grassy paths to walk through, there is much additional ground that can be covered on rougher, more uneven terrain including steep inclines. Warm, comfortable clothing and sturdy hiking boots are recommended.

Day 50: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 51: Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The name Vestmannaeyjar refers to both a town and an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The largest Vestmannaeyjar island is called Heimaey. It is the only inhabited island in the group and is home to over 4000 people. The eruption of the Eldfell Volcano put Vestmannaeyjar into the international lime light in 1973. The volcano’s eruption destroyed many buildings and forced an evacuation of the residents to mainland Iceland. The lava flow was stopped in its tracks by the application of billions of liters of cold sea water. Since the eruption, life on the small island outpost has returned to the natural ebb and flow of a small coastal fishing community on the edge of the chilly and wild North Atlantic.


5 Included Shore Excursions

 
  • Heimaey Exploration with Eldheimar Museum - Discover the Westman Islands situated just off the south coast of Iceland. The main island, Heimaey, has a population of about 4,000, and no port in Iceland registers bigger catches than this one. Heimaey is simply buzzing with life, as it has since the days of the first settlement, when islanders began making their living from the sea.
    This 3-hour tour aims at introducing the visitor to the main attractions of the island. Leave the perfectly-formed natural harbor area with its tall cliffs tenanted by multitudes of puffin, fulmar and guillemot. Drive from the pier into the Herjólfsdalur valley, where ruins of old Viking houses dating back to the year 900 AD are, and visit a replica of the Viking house.
    The tour continues along the western part of the island, providing us with an opportunity to view the outer islands. The youngest of the group, Surtsey, being born in a volcanic eruption of 1963.
    Next stop is Stórhöfði (Great Cape) with its magnificent views over the island and majestic glaciers of the Icelandic mainland like Eyjafjallajökull. Stórhöfði is one of the windiest places on the earth, with an average wind speed of 11 m/s and only four times per year does it have days of no wind. The drive back to the harbor takes you between two volcanoes, the 5,000-year-old volcano Helgafell and the considerably younger volcano Eldfell (Mt. Fire) whose history is somewhat more recent. At 2:00 am on the night of January 23rd 1973, a massive eruptionof Eldfell began in the eastern part of Heimaey. Almost all of the 5,000 inhabitants were safely evacuated to the mainland.
    Your next stop is the viewpoint over the old town located on the new lava. The old town is 30 m below your feet, buried in the lava. Drive over the new lava field, past "Skansinn" with the wooden church, which was donated to the people of the Westman Islands by the state of Norway of commemorating the millennium of Christianity in Iceland.
    In town pass the ruins of a house buried in the lava, continue through the main streets of town. Then visit the museum Eldheimar - a museum about the eruption on Heimaey in 1973. Eldheimar, which translates to "worlds of fire," opened in 2014 and offers a chance for visitors to revisit the volcanic eruption events of 1973, getting deep insight of the island through this snapshot of life on Heimaey as well as the devastation wreaked by the volcano. Learn how on that fateful night, the vast majority of the islanders were evacuated, not returning until months later.
    After your museum tour make the short drive back to the ship.
    Please note: There is minimal, mostly optional walking involved on this trip on mostly paved or gravel surfaces, making this tour suitable for those with walking difficulties. Dress according to weather of the day and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                
  • Volcanic Hike with Eldheimar Museum​ - Discover Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the Westman Islands archipelago, a group of approximately 15 islands located just off the south west tip of Iceland. Home to around 4,000 people, Heimaey's primary economy is in the fishing industry and tourism. Though Heimaey may be thought of as relatively quiet, peaceful and perhaps even a little unadventurous, the island and the people of Heimaey have a virtual treasure trove of experiences and historical dramas to share with their audience.
    Take a highly informative 3-hour guided walking tour that guides you through the picturesque harbor area that was saved (and inadvertently improved) from the encroaching lava in 1973 by an army of volunteers who defiantly stood their ground and rerouted the flow it by drenching it in thousands of gallons of seawater sprayed from fire houses - thus heroically saving the town's livelihood from destruction.
    Pass the small stave church "Skansinn", a gift from the people of Norway in 2000 to mark the millennium of Christianity in Iceland. The site of the church was originally a fortification built for defense against foreign traders after the Westman Islands was raided by Algerian pirates in 1627. Continue our walk over the newly formed lava fields of Eldfell (Fire Mountain) the site of the dramatic 1973 volcanic eruption. At 2am on the night of January 23rd 1973, a massive eruption began in the eastern part of Heimaey. Almost all of the 5,000 inhabitants were safely evacuated to the mainland. Stop at a viewpoint located at the base of this volcano.
    Visit the museum Eldheimar - a museum about the eruption on Heimaey in 1973. Eldheimar, which translates to "worlds of fire," opened in 2014 and offers a chance for visitors to revisit the volcanic eruption events of 1973, getting deep insight of the island through this snapshot of life on Heimaey as well as the devastation wreaked by the volcano. Learn how on that fateful night, the vast majority of the islanders were evacuated, not returning until months later. Stroll through the town center on the way back to the pier.
    Please note: This excursion involves extensive activity of 3.5 to 4km of walking and hiking over uneven and grassy terrain and some paved surfaces; no hiking experience required but each guest responsible for assessing their own level of physical fitness before embarking on this tour. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and/or in a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear warm, layered clothing and sturdy walking/hiking shoes; no open-toed shoes permitted.                                                                                                                            
  • Boat Navigation of Heimaey​ - Take a lovely 90-minute boat tour of Heimaey, begining from the harbor in Heimaey, which for a long time has been a shelter for the Icelandic fishing fleet, but was almost lost in the volcanic eruption on the island in 1973.
    Sail past the cliffs surrounding the harbour to start an interesting and informative journey passing bird colonies with millions of inhabitants and exploring caves that can only be visited by boat. The birdlife we hope to see on this tour can be magnificent as the Westman Islands have one of the largest varieties of sea bird species in Iceland. These include puffin colonies of an estimated 6 to 8 million puffins. Nowhere else in the world can such large number of puffins be found in such close proximity to man.
    The islands also house one of the worlds largest gannet and guillemot colonies. Numerous other species of nesting sea birds can also be seen. In addition to the bird life, whales are also often sighted, including orcas, dolphins and porpoises.
    After viewing the island and bird cliffs from every angle the tour ends by sailing into Klettshellir (Cliff Cave) where music is played on board. The acoustics in the cave provide a sensational experience. From there return to the harbor having circumnavigated this small island in the North.
    Please note: There is a moderate amount of walking to get to the boat, and the ramp and boat surface can be slippery, making this tour unsuitable for those with walking difficulties. Dress warmly according to weather of the day and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Please note that this tour is weather dependent and sometimes it is not possible to circumnavigate. When circumnavigation is not possible passengers are guaranteed the experience of seeing the bird cliffs from as many different angles as possible.                                         
  • Rib Safari of Heimaey​ - Explore the incredible seabirds, lava, rock formations and sea caves of Heimaey harbor and on this adventurous RIB Safari boat tour. The Heimaey harbor has for a long time been a shelter for the Icelandic fishing fleet, but was almost lost in the volcanic eruption on the island in 1973. Sail around the islands in a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) on this approximately two-hour tour that offers an unforgettable view of the region's highlights.
    Take a short walk to the Rib Safari Center at the harbor to get geared up and to receive a safety briefing. Begin your boat tour by heading to the east of Heimaey to check out the new lava that was formed during the eruption in 1973.
    From there, motor off to bird paradise Stakkabót, where a magnificent array of birdlife can be spotted, as the Westman Islands have one of the largest varieties of sea bird species in Iceland. Puffin colonies of an estimated 6 to 8 million puffins (between May to August) arrive in this region; nowhere else in the world can such large number of puffins be found in such close proximity to man.
    The islands also house one of the world's largest gannet and guillemot colonies. Numerous other species of nesting sea birds can also be seen. In addition to the bird life, whales are also often sighted, including orcas, dolphins and porpoises.
    Discover six sea caves during this trip and sail into some of them. In the rock formations you can see all sorts of creatures such as the big elephant in Dalfjall, and the auks head in Ystaklettur. Visit Kafhellir cave, one of the most spectacular of all the caves, and see the sunlight shine from underneath the island. Check out some treasures left behind by the Turkish pirates who raided the Westman Islands in 1627 and enslaved about 380 Icelanders in North Africa, most of them never returning home.
    At the end of your boat tour, return your gear and walk back to the ship.
    Please note: This excursion involves minimal walking (10 minutes) over pavement. Guests must be able to board/disembark the RIB boat. This tour not recommended for guests who have neck or back issues or who are pregnant. Warm, layered clothing appropriate to the local weather and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings likely but not guaranteed.                                                                       
  • Volcano ATV Experience Take an ATV ride along the dramatic volcanic coastline and learn all the quirky history of Vestmannaeyjar on this experience. This excursion is a guided trip where each person is provided a waterproof jacket, pants, and gloves, as well as a helmet installed with an communication gadget to listen to tour guide stories as you stop at special historical locations.
    Walk to the ATV center (20 minutes) and get your gear assembled, setting out on your way. See Prestvik beach, where fishing ship Pelagus was stranded, see the site where Guðlaugur Friðþórsson came to land after 5-6 km of swimming in the dark and cold sea after Hellisey VE 503 sank. Drive around the lava and into the middle of the volcano Eldfell and along the coast, where the view is breathtaking.
    The ATVs are automatic and easy to drive so no specific experience is needed. All ATVs are 2 person where driver needs to have a driving licence.
    At the end of your adventure make the 20-minute walk back to the ship.
    Please note: Order of activities may vary from description. This excursion involves minimal walking (10 minutes) over pavement. Guests must be able to board/disembark the ATV. This tour not recommended for guests who have neck or back issues, limited mobility or for who are pregnant. Warm, layered clothing appropriate to the local weather and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. ATV drivers must have a license to drive.                                

Day 52: Cruise Surtsey, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On 14 November 1963, a trawler passing the southernmost point of Iceland spotted a column of smoke rising from the sea. Expecting to find a burning boat they were surprised to find instead, explosive volcanic eruptions. They were witnessing the birth of a new island. Columns of ash reached heights of almost 30,000 feet in the sky and could be seen on clear days as far away as Reykjavík. The eruptions continued for three and a half years, ending in June 1967. Once formed, Surtsey was 492 feet above sea level and covered an area of almost 2 square miles.  The island was named after the Norse fire god Surtur. It is a perfect scientific study area used to understand the colonization process of new land by plant and animal life.

Day 53: Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city. Iceland’s largest church's design echoes the lava flows that have shaped this remote land and boasts a clean and elegant interior. The Harpa Concert Hall’s sheer glass facade helps it to assimilate into the landscape, mirroring back the city and harbour. Its LED lights shimmer in honour of Iceland’s greatest illuminated performance – the northern lights. Walk in the crusts between continents, feel the spray from bursts of geysers and witness the enduring power of Iceland’s massive waterfalls. Whether you want to sizzle away in the earth-heated geothermal pools, or hike to your heart’s content, you can do it all from Reykjavik - the colourful capital of this astonishing outdoor country.                             


1 Included Shore Excursion
 
  • Super 4x4 Jeep Adventure - Shortly after leaving the city and heading to the countryside, you'll leave Ring Road 1 to drive along a Pipeline Road until you get to the mountain Hengill and pass a mountain track where you go 'off road'. The mountain pass offers panoramic views over Lake Thingvallavatn, the active volcano Hengill, and the geothermal power plant of Nesjavellir and its surroundings - truly a breathtaking view.
    Nesjavellir Power Plant, which was formally opened in 1990, powers a 190-megawatt geothermal plant, using the nearby field of boreholes, developing the largest high-temperature field in Iceland. This incredible geothermal field is in fact one of the main sources of hot water harnessed to heat the houses of Reykjavik.
    From Nesjavellir you'll take the gravel road along Lake Thingvallavatn, driving along the lush farmlands off the south coast to the birch grown area of Thrastarlundur. Here, in this beautiful area you'll make a short comfort stop before continuing your adventure. After reboarding your vehicle, you'll head off the beaten track by way of a trail known as 'the Thousand Waters'. Your convoy winds its way through numerous rivers, mud banks and streams before arriving in the capital.
    Please Note: This tour is not recommended for passengers with back or neck problems due to the rough driving and terrain.

Day 54: Stykkisholmur | Flatey Island, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stykkishólmur, located in western Iceland at the northern end of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, is the commerce center for the area. Its natural harbor allowed this town to become an important trading center early in Iceland’s history. The first trading post was established in the 1550s, and still today fishing is the major industry. The town center boasts beautiful and well-preserved old houses from earlier times. Stykkisholmur is very environmentally conscious – it was the first community in Europe to get the EarthCheck environmental certification, was the first municipality in Iceland to start fully sorting its waste, and was the first town in Iceland to receive the prestigious Blue flag eco-label for its harbor. It has also been a European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), since 2011.


4 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Taste of the ocean – Boat Adventure around Breiðafjörður Bay​ - This incredible boat tour sails around the unspoiled islands that lie off the shore of the scenic Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
    We will board the ferry that takes us on our archipelago adventure. We will sail through whirlpool currents past numerous islands with strange but beautiful rock formations and basalt columns.
    This tour is a treat for all bird-watchers. Birds nest and breed in the rocks and cliffs and can sometimes be observed from a very short distance providing excellent photo opportunities. Among the birds nesting here are puffins, cormorants, shags, black guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and several bird species. Occasionally seals can be spotted as they glide around the boat.
    The waters in Breiðafjörður Bay are rich in marine life and food. The captain will demonstrate this by hauling in a net filled with fresh delicacies. The more adventurous amongst us can sample the catch on the boat. Seafood doesn't get fresher than this!                                                                                   
  • Stykkishólmur Walking Tour and Eider down center - Discover charming Stykkishólmur and learn all about eider ducks and eider farming on this short and sweet tour. Depart the pier and begin your pleasant walk around town, learning about thought provoking topics such as religion, social issues and the Icelandic health system. Naturally, the historical and cultural background of this welcoming community will be topics on your tour.
    One of the defining landmarks in Stykkishólmur are the old houses which reside in the old city center and this is reflected in the atmosphere; it sometimes feels like a place from a different time. In 2008, Stykkishólmur was presented with a planning award in part for its renovation of the old houses. The town and its inhabitants have systematically rehabilitated the houses, and they have gained new and exciting purposes; what once was a library is now an art installation, a fish packing house is now a restaurant, the old recreation center is now a volcano museum.
    See the church in Stykkisholmur, a fascinating architectural structure that makes a beautiful landmark both from land and sea that offers a spectacular view over Breidarfjordur.
    Your guided tour ends with a visit to the Icelandic Eider Centre and get a short presentation. The Icelandic Eider Centre is a museum dedicated to the eider duck and the farming processes for eiderdown.
    After the museum visit, enjoy a walk on your own around the town or walk the short distance to the pier.                                                                                     
  • Hiking in the Berserk Lava fields - The central western peninsula, Snaefellsnes, is one of the most Saga invested parts of the country, and this area is no exception. The rugged Berserk Lava Field covers most of the western part of the Helgafell County and stretches between the mountain slopes and the sea. Its sources are four prominent, but differently sized scoria craters forming an east-west row from the Ogress Pass (Kerlingarskard). They probably erupted at short intervals approximately 3600-4000 years ago, the largest one first and the smallest last, almost damming the Lava Bay in the east, where the old main road crosses it. The lava flows created two lakes on their southern side and added to the serenity and beauty of the landscapes, but also represented a difficult obstacle as the area became inhabited during the Age of Settlement. In the beginning, people chose to walk or ride along the southern edge of the lava or travel past it by boat until bridle paths were opened. Nowadays three roads cross it.
    We will take one the walking paths through the lava and back.                                                                                                                                                         
  • Bjarnarhöfn Shark Farm and Helgafell - Immerse yourself in Icelandic legends, topography and culture during this captivating half-day tour that kicks off with a picturesque drive to Berserkergata, also known as Berserker Path, a massive, 4,000-year-old lava field so stark and dramatic it looks like it could be from another world. This distinctive setting serves as the backdrop in a renowned ninth-century Viking saga in which two Berserkers, known for being formidable warriors, forged Iceland's first road through this field in record time only to be murdered while relaxing afterward by their employer. Capture photos of the path's remains, still visible in the lava, along with the men's burial mound.
    Journey on to Bjarnarhöfn Shark Farm to enjoy a guided tour from the locals, who share the secrets of the traditional process of preparing shark meat, which involves allowing the meat is cured for months so that it can become hákarl, a famous Icelandic delicacy dating back 400 years. View the destination's farmers' church from outside, which was constructed in 1856, and unconventional maritime museum, where among other things, large chunks of fermenting shark meat may be seen. Before leaving, venture forth to brave the bold taste of hákarl, not for the faint of heart, and wash it down with the local schnapps, Brennivin, which means "Black Death."
    Enjoy some light exercise and fresh air at nearby Mount Helgafell. Those willing and able to climb to the top of this hillock can follow a few simple rules and have three wishes granted at this destination laden with local history and charm. Even those not up to the climb are sure to enjoy listening to the guide share tales of local heroines and the combination of spiritual forces connected to this sacred site.
    Make the return drive to Stykkishólmur.
    Notes:
    Guests must be over 20 years old to sample schnapps. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and clothing suited to the day's conditions. Bring a hat and a light waterproof jacket.

Flatey Island -  Flatey is the ‘flat island’ just as the name sounds. These days Flatey is mainly seasonally populated with many brightly painted, wooden summer cottages to be found here. Like many other small islands around Iceland though, Flatey was once a hub for fishing and trade. This particular island prospered so much that it was the center of commercial and cultural life in the 19th century for this part of Iceland. Thanks to the surroundiung nutrient-rich waters 35 species of birds have been counted on Flatey ranging from Eider Ducks and Atlantic Puffins, to Arctic Terns, Red-necked Phalaropes, Ringed Plover and Snow Buntings.

Day 55: Vigur Island, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vigur Island is the second-largest island in the Isafjardardjup Fjord, measuring 2 kilometers in length by 400 meters in width. It is home to a single sheep farming family, which ferries the sheep in summer across to the mainland so that the Eider Ducks nesting on the island will not be disturbed. One of the export articles from this small island was eider down and one can still see where the Eider Ducks nest and how the down is collected and cleaned. The small settlement of a few houses is on the southern side, next to a small rocky beach, a concrete wall, and a floating pier. On approach, grey seals can often be seen on the otherwise seaweed-covered boulders. Apart from the grey of the basalt and green of the grass, lichens add a splash of color. A path has been prepared and the grass cut, so that visitors can leisurely walk across the island to take in the beautiful scenery and to observe the large colony of Arctic Terns, Black Guillemots, and Atlantic Puffins usually only seen during the summer months. A meticulously preserved historical landmark, a small windmill dating back to the 1840s was still in use in 1917 to grind wheat imported from Denmark. Viktoria House, one of the preserved wooden farmhouses dating back to 1862, is used as a café where home-baked cakes and cookies are offered to guests. One of Europe’s smallest post offices can be found here, too.

1 Included Shore Excursion

 
  • Vigur Island Walking Tour - Enjoy a guided walk through the beautiful island of Vigur. During early summer, the island offers magnificent bird life including puffins, eider ducks and arctic terns. During your visit to the island, learn how the local farmers live off the land by harvesting the down of the eider ducks.
    Visiting Vigur is like walking through a time warp. Its 10 friendly inhabitants welcome you with their kind and easy manner. Relax over some refreshments served by the farmer's family in a mid-19th-century house -the perfect way to complete your visit before returning to boat.
    Please note: This tour requires a significant amount of walking over uneven, rough pathways that are sometimes muddy, making this tour not suitable for guests with limited mobility or in a wheelchair. Casual clothes and comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with ankle support are recommended.

Day 56: Bolungarvik, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Although the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is further north across the Isarfjardardjup, Bolungarvik is Westfjords’ and Iceland’s northernmost town. Despite its relative isolation, Bolungarvik has been settled for hundreds of years and is already mentioned in the settlement period of Iceland. Located next to rich fishing grounds and the cove of the same name, Bolungarvik has always been a place for fishermen and one of the town’s attractions is a replica of an old fishing station. Just to the northwest is Bolafjall Mountain which blocks off the wind and swells from the Atlantic Ocean. The view from the top (at 638 meters above sea level) not only covers Bolungarvik and the surrounding valleys and mountains, but several fjords and the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Although only 950 residents call Bolungarvik their home, this is the Westfjords’ second largest town. There even is a nine-hole golf course (par 71) with 18 sets of tees.

Day 57: Akureyri, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Iceland’s Capital of the North is the gateway to a thrilling land of roaring waterfalls, soaring volcanoes, and glorious wildlife. It may lie a mere 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, but Akureyri blossoms with a bright, cosmopolitan feel, and explodes into life during the summer months, when its outdoor cafes and open-air bathing spots fill up with visitors ready to immerse themselves in Iceland’s cinematic scenery. Feel the thundering impact of Iceland’s celebrated natural wonders shaking your bones at Godafoss Waterfalls, known as the ‘Waterfalls of the Gods’. Here, the Skjálfandafljót river unleashes a colossal torrent of water over charcoal-black rocks below. Or, find some peace at the Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1957 and offer space for contemplation - amid plants that bloom with unexpected vibrancy, even at this northerly latitude. The Lutheran, Akureyrarkirkja Church rises like a grand church organ and is the town’s most striking landmark. The 112-step climb is worth the effort to see light flooding in through its narrow stain glass windows, spreading colorful patchworks across the interior. Magic and mythology are important elements of Icelandic folklore, and you’ll even bump into giant sculptures of grizzled, child-snatching trolls on the town’s high street. Or, meet more earthly - but no less magical - creatures in the waters around Akureyri, where immense blue wha:les cruise by and dolphins playfully leap. A trip to the northerly Grimsey island will take you on an inspiring adventure traversing the Arctic Circle to a remote island where flame-beaked puffins nod on cliff-side perches and razorbills nest. Brush up on your puffin-watching skills with our blog.


7 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Akureyri Farmland - Then, you'll drive out to Brúnir where you will get to enjoy a professional show where the Icelandic horse is introduced in its natural environment and its history and unique qualities are brought to life with emphasis on the horse's multiple skills and diversity.
    The next stop is at Kaffi Kú, a local family-run cowshed. This cowshed is one of the largest and most technological advances in the country. Guests are taken downstairs and inside the cowshed to get a better look, ask questions and get in touch with the animals. Here at Kaffi Kú, you will also get to taste the goods produced at the farm in a farm-to-table establishment. Inside the café is an excellent viewpoint of the cowshed and the 300 cows living there through a special viewing area. Watch them relax, lie on mattresses, get a massage and get milked on their own terms.
    After this enlightening experience return to the pier.
    Please note: Comfortable clothes appropriate for the weather and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.                                                                 
  • Wonders of the North​ - The first stop is by Godafoss falls - one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland; the water of the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 m over a width of 30 m. In 1000 A.D., at the meeting of the Althing, the Icelanders voted to adopt Christianity. The wooden idols of Norse mythology were thrown into the falls in a symbolic gesture that swept away the old religion. Thus the Godafoss literally means the "Waterfall of the Gods".
    From there we drive directly to the Lake Myvatn area, stopping by the unique craters at Skutustadir before having some refreshments.
    After lunch, we visit the Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth, a paradise of towering lava castles, natural arches, and countless unexplored grottos - then continue to the gurgling purple and yellow sulfur cauldrons at the high-temperature thermal field of Namaskard, which are so hot that they actually boil.
    We head back to Akureyri with a short city sightseeing en route.                                                                                                                                                     
  • Whale Watching - Sometimes guests can also expect to see the Humpback whale, which is easily identified by their enormous black and white pectoral fins (flippers), lumps of tubercles on the snout and lower lips, and their big bushy blow. The Humpback whale is certainly one of nature's most impressive creatures. A common sight on whale watching tours in Eyjafjörður the Humpbacks are known for their energetic awe-inspiring acrobatics - breaching, fluking, tail and fin slapping, bubble blowing and spy hopping.
    A large number of seabirds including puffins and other marine mammals are also regularly spotted out in the bay - such as the fun loving harbour porpoises and white beaked dolphins who often come up close to the boats in order to playfully surf alongside the boats.
    Please note: Guest must be comfortable to walk from pier to whale watching boat - approx. 20 minutes on even pavement. Wildlife sightings can't be guaranteed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • River rafting in Skagafjörður​ - The River rafting trip starts and ends from the onsite boathouse. The friendly and professional guides will provide you with all of the equipment needed for tackling the famous glacial rivers. You will be provided with wetsuits, dry tops, helmets, buoyancy aids /life jackets, and rafting booties. All you need to bring is your swimsuit, a warm long sleeve fleece, and a towel. Optional extras are a sense of humor and adventure!
    We will then take a 20-minute drive towards the West Glacial river. At the rafting, your trip leader will give a full safety brief. You will then be divided into crews and assigned a boat and your guide. Once on the river, we will enter the canyon with its high walls and amazing geology. Along the way, we may stop for a unique hot chocolate, and for those who are brave and excited, there is an option to do some cliff jumping. The bus will be waiting at the takeout for the short drive back to the base where the hot pools await.
    Upon return, you will enjoy a lunch box while we head back to Akureyri.
    Please note: It is essential that you wear warm, layered clothing in order to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion. The outer layer should be waterproof and windproof. Wear your swimsuit under your clothing with long-sleeved thermal underwear or a thin fleece, woolen socks, or hiking socks (jeans or other cotton clothing or socks are not allowed). Wetsuits, dry tops, helmets, life jackets, and rafting booties are provided. Bring a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf. Bring a towel. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed. Participants must be able to swim and be comfortable with floating in the water. The minimum height is 4'11".                                                                                                           
  • Mountain pass to Mountain top - Depart the port of Akureyri and drive along the arctic coastline to the other side of the fjord with a beautiful view over this little town in the north and the mountains surrounding it. We follow the road until it leaves the coast and starts winding up into the mountains. On the highest point of the mountain pass it is time to leave the vehicle and start our journey on foot.
    The hike takes us into an untouched area with mountains all around us. We follow a marked path that is carved out by sheep. The sheep tracks lead us into the Valley of the Geese, where tiny rivers flow carrying the fresh mountain water to the sea. You are most welcome to drink from these mountain rivers. We might have to jump from stone to stone across a river with the help of the guide. The heather and vegetation around bursts with life from small little spiders to ptarmigans and golden plovers that call this land home. After crossing the Valley of the Geese, the trail goes uphill to the top of Mt. Ystuvíkurfjall. The view from the mountain top over Eyjafjörður is extremely beautiful and rewarding.
    The walk back is mostly downhill with breath-taking views over Fnjóskádalur and the Hrossadalur (the Horse Valley).
    Please note: Guests should bring a small snack & water bottle. What to wear - Good hiking boots and appropriate (wind and rainproof) clothes for the Iceland weather. Warm hat, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, little backpack. For safety reasons, our guide can refuse customers who are not dressed well enough.                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Kjarnaskogur Forest Walk​ - This plot of land has been owned by the municipal authorities since 1910 and was originally common. It is now a leisure and recreation area and forestation site, with footpaths, playgrounds, picnic spots, and barbecue facilities. The first trees were planted in Kjarnaskogur in 1952. Dominant species of trees are birch and larch, but a number of other trees and shrubs also grow there. The wild vegetation in the woods is also highly diversified, with more than 210 recorded species including those found in the adjoining wetlands. Among the rare species, there are strict primrose and bluebell.
    For bird lovers, the area has a very varied birdlife. The area is owned by Akureyri Municipal Council but is under the guardianship of the Eyjafjörður Forestry Commission. Enjoy an informative guided walk around Kjarnaskógur with a professional guide.
    Please note: What to wear - Good hiking boots and appropriate (wind and rainproof) clothes for the Iceland weather. Warm hat, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, little backpack.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Past and Present walking tour with the Botanic Garden - We will begin by showing you what the town center has to offer before making our way up the hill (50 m elevation) and telling you the story of Akureyri. The walk takes us to the Botanical Garden (Lystigarðurinn) where guests will have the chance to stroll amongst 2,000 species of local and foreign flowers which, incidentally, bloom outside thanks to Akureyri's warm microclimate.
    Afterward walk back to the pier
    Please note: What to wear - appropriate (wind and rainproof) clothes for the Iceland weather. Approximately 3km / 1.8 miles of walking involved.

1 Selected Shore Excursion
 
  • Polar Flight to Grimsey Island​ - Discover Island's northernmost inhabited island, Grimsey, located just off the north coast of Iceland. Covering an area of only 5.3 km², the island is small enough to be easily explored on foot.
    Transfer from the pier to the local Akureyri Airport and take a 30-minute flight to Grimsey for stunning views over the Arctic Circle. This remote and beautiful island, with its local church built from driftwood, is steeped in folklore and legend. The island's sheer cliffs are home to huge colonies of sea birds and in summer, the intrepid islanders will abseil down the cliffs to collect the eggs that are considered a local delicacy.
    Meet your guide and take a walking tour of the island to learn more. The current settlement is located in the southern and western parts of Grimsey, most of it around the little harbor which has been much improved during the last few years thanks to the transportation of large rocks from the mainland.
    Grimsey has a fascinating history; in 1793 the island was almost abandoned when the disease killed all but 6 of the male population. The remaining 6 went on a mission to the mainland in order to fetch "back-up". However, on the return journey, the boat was lost at sea and all were drowned leaving the clergyman as the only male on the island.
    Enjoy an hour-long walk embracing the highlights of this interesting community. Certificates are issued as proof showing you have crossed the Arctic Circle. Make the return flight and transfer to the pier.
    Please note: Not all guests will be able to have a window seat on the flight. This excursion involves a hike over rough terrain and is not appropriate for guests with limited mobility. Comfortable clothes appropriate for the weather and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Tour capacity is extremely limited; sign up early to avoid disappointment.

Day 58: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 59: Jan Mayen Island, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Humpback and minke whales cavort and feed in the waters around the impressive volcanic island of Jan Mayen with its towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches. The primordial landscape is dominated to the north by the 7,500 feet high (2,300 meters) Mt Beerenberg, an active volcano covered in glacial ice that last erupted in 1985. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, a landing is possible at this rarely visited outpost. Visitors may walk to the research and weather station, or beyond, for birds-eye views of the meteorological station and the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. Birds to be seen here may include Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars, and Snow Buntings


4 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Zodiac Cruise with Silversea Expedition team - Today will be an adventurous very wet landing onto the desolute beach at Jan Mayen Island where very few people have been able to land successfully. Guests will want to be dressed warm and waterproof for this exceptional landing.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistical details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck/hip problems, those who are pregnant, or guests who use a wheelchair. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to maneuver in and out of the Zodiac. Participants must be a minimum of 6 years of age. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are provided. Child lifejackets are available. Dress according to the climate, and please ensure you wear shoes that may get wet, such as Tevas or Wet Shoes (no flip-flop or similar). You may be splashed. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray. Please also ensure that you apply ample sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.                                                                                                                           
  • Hiking with Silversea Expedition team - Once we have landed successfully on a sandy beach, guests have an easy 1.5km walk to the Norwegian weather station on the island where we have the opportunity to visit their souvenir shop and admire the rugged geology of this island. This walk is often shrouded in dense fog, which only adds to the mystery of Jan Mayen Island.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity Level and Duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or guests who use a wheelchair. Guests with balance limitations (even slight) are advised to bring along walking poles to assist on slippery and uneven surfaces while hiking. Hikes will be offered in various degrees of difficulty and in order to avoid injury guests are advised to be honest with themselves regarding their abilities when deciding which hikes to participate in. Hikes will go through different types of terrains that may be wet, muddy, rocky, sandy, icy. The hike will take place in different types of weather conditions and therefore guests must be ready with appropriate clothing and footwear. We recommend you bring your filled Silversea drinking bottle to remain hydrated during the outing, as well as your Silversea backpack to carry your essential items. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.                 
  • Kayaking with Silversea Expedition team​ - Guests have the opportunity to join their expert Kayaking Guides for a paddle along the unique and rugged coastline of Jan Mayen. Along the way view the abundance of Birdlife present on this island's coastline.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is recommended only for guests in good physical condition and can require up to 60-minutes of paddling. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to climb into the transfer Zodiac and lift their own weight to transfer from the Zodiac into the kayak and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who use a wheelchair, and for guests who suffer from bodily injuries which prevent the movement of all joints. Lifejacket, dry suit, neoprene booties, gloves, and dry bags are provided. The maximum available dry suit size is XXL. We suggest you wear warm, comfortable, flexible clothing to wear under the drysuit. Wear long-sleeved thermal layers, a warm hat with a brim, sunglasses, propylene, wool, silk, or synthetic clothing (not cotton as it has poor heat retention when it is damp or wet), and use sunscreen. The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be able to speak conversational English in order to understand safety instructions. Some prior kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Expedition activities with Silversea Expedition team​ - We will visit the weather station community of Jan Mayenn to stock up on a souvenir, and have a look around. The bravest guests among us will have the opportunity to partake in the legendary Polar Plunge - and will receive a certificate as long as someone witnesses them plunging into the cold Arctic waters ... in their birthday suit!                                                                                                              

Day 60: Day at sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 61: Svalbard Northern Region

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Svalbard’s northern region is less influenced by the Norwegian Current coming through the Greenland Sea than the southern region and shows more ice. The northern part of the island of Spitsbergen shows quite a number of impressive fjords, bays and glaciers. The Nordaust Svalbard Nature Reserve includes Spitsbergen’s east coast, the Hinlopen Strait, Nordaustlandet and some islands further east like Kvitoya and Storoya. Several walrus haul-outs, spectacular glaciers, bird cliffs and bird islands, as well as surprising flora in Arctic deserts and the possibility to see polar bears and to visit historically important sites make this an area prone for exploration. Ice conditions will dictate which sites can be seen.


4 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Zodiac Cruise with Silversea Expedition team - We will do several Zodiac cruises near some of the most spectacular glaciers in the northern region, in order to give guests the opportunity to admire icebergs, Bergy Bits and glacier fronts from a safe distance. We search for wildlife on these cruises and often are fortunate enough to come across Beluga, Humback Whales and several species of seal.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistical details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck/hip problems, those who are pregnant or guests who use a wheelchair. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the Zodiac. Participants must be a minimum of 6 years of age. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are provided. Child lifejackets are available. Dress according to the climate, and please ensure you wear shoes that may get wet, such as Tevas or Wet Shoes (no flip-flop or similar). You may be splashed. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray. Please also ensure that you apply ample sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.​                                                                                       
  • Hiking with the Silversea Expedition team - We will be doing a number of hikes of different lengths that suit a variety of abilities. We will be walking along the Arctic landscapes and tundra to get a little closer to bird cliffs, Arctic Fox, Reindeer, and many other species. This happens under the constant watch of our Bear Guards who are always on the lookout to protect us from Polar Bears.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity Level and Duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or guests who use a wheelchair. Guests with balance limitations (even slight) are advised to bring along walking poles to assist on slippery and uneven surfaces while hiking. Hikes will be offered in various degrees of difficulty and in order to avoid injury guests are advised to be honest with themselves regarding their abilities when deciding which hikes to participate in. Hikes will go through different types of terrains that may be wet, muddy, rocky, sandy, icy. Hike will take place in different types of weather conditions and therefore guests must be ready with appropriate clothing and footwear. We recommend you bring your filled Silversea drinking bottle to remain hydrated during the outing, as well as your Silversea backpack to carry your essential items. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.​                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Kayaking with the Silversea Expedition team​ - There are daily opportunities to join our experienced Kayaking team for the spectacular privilege of getting out on to kayaks in this region away from the noise and close to the water. Guests may sign up for this amazing experience once on board, should they comply with a few conditions to participate in this adventurous activity.
    Please note: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is recommended only for guests in good physical condition and can requires up to 60-minutes of paddling. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to climb into the transfer Zodiac and to lift their own weight to transfer from the Zodiac into the kayak and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who use a wheelchair, and for guests who suffer from bodily injuries which prevents the movement of all joints. Lifejacket, dry suit, neoprene booties, gloves, and dry bags are provided. Maximum available dry suit size is XXL. We suggest you wear warm, comfortable, flexible clothing to wear under the dry suit. Wear long-sleeved thermal layers, a warm hat with a brim, sunglasses, propylene, wool, silk or synthetic clothing (not cotton as it has poor heat retention when it is damp or wet) and use sunscreen. The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be able to speak conversational English in order to understand safety instructions. Some prior kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.                                                                                                                                                            
  • Expedition activities with Silversea Expedition team - There are not many communities to visit in this part of the world, however, we will be visiting some landing sites where there are historical remains of whaling and sealing communities in years gone by.

Day 62-63: Svalbard Southern Region

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Svalbard’s Southern Region and specifically Spitsbergen’s west coast is less ice-clogged than the rest of Svalbard due to the moderating influenced of the Gulf Stream. Several fjords cut into the western coast of Spitsbergen and have been used by trappers and hunters, as well as the different mining companies that tried to exploit the riches of the archipelago’s largest island of Spitsbergen. Remains of huts and mines, as well as active commercial and scientific settlements can be found and visited. Depending on the time of the season, glaciers can be visited on foot or by sea. Hornsund will reveal fascinating views of geological formations, craggy mountains, spectacular glaciers and a variety of seabirds and seals.


4 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • Zodiac Cruise with Silversea Expedition team - We will do several Zodiac cruises near some of the most spectacular glaciers in the northern region, in order to give guests the opportunity to admire icebergs, Bergy Bits and glacier fronts from a safe distance. We search for wildlife on these cruises and often are fortunate enough to come across Beluga, Humback Whales and several species of seal.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistical details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck/hip problems, those who are pregnant or guests who use a wheelchair. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the Zodiac. Participants must be a minimum of 6 years of age. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are provided. Child lifejackets are available. Dress according to the climate, and please ensure you wear shoes that may get wet, such as Tevas or Wet Shoes (no flip-flop or similar). You may be splashed. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray. Please also ensure that you apply ample sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.​                                                                                       
  • Hiking with the Silversea Expedition team - We will be doing a number of hikes of different lengths that suit a variety of abilities. We will be walking along the Arctic landscapes and tundra to get a little closer to bird cliffs, Arctic Fox, Reindeer, and many other species. This happens under the constant watch of our Bear Guards who are always on the lookout to protect us from Polar Bears.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity Level and Duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or guests who use a wheelchair. Guests with balance limitations (even slight) are advised to bring along walking poles to assist on slippery and uneven surfaces while hiking. Hikes will be offered in various degrees of difficulty and in order to avoid injury guests are advised to be honest with themselves regarding their abilities when deciding which hikes to participate in. Hikes will go through different types of terrains that may be wet, muddy, rocky, sandy, icy. Hike will take place in different types of weather conditions and therefore guests must be ready with appropriate clothing and footwear. We recommend you bring your filled Silversea drinking bottle to remain hydrated during the outing, as well as your Silversea backpack to carry your essential items. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.​                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Kayaking with the Silversea Expedition team​ - There are daily opportunities to join our experienced Kayaking team for the spectacular privilege of getting out on to kayaks in this region away from the noise and close to the water. Guests may sign up for this amazing experience once on board, should they comply with a few conditions to participate in this adventurous activity.
    Please note: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is recommended only for guests in good physical condition and can requires up to 60-minutes of paddling. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to climb into the transfer Zodiac and to lift their own weight to transfer from the Zodiac into the kayak and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who use a wheelchair, and for guests who suffer from bodily injuries which prevents the movement of all joints. Lifejacket, dry suit, neoprene booties, gloves, and dry bags are provided. Maximum available dry suit size is XXL. We suggest you wear warm, comfortable, flexible clothing to wear under the dry suit. Wear long-sleeved thermal layers, a warm hat with a brim, sunglasses, propylene, wool, silk or synthetic clothing (not cotton as it has poor heat retention when it is damp or wet) and use sunscreen. The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be able to speak conversational English in order to understand safety instructions. Some prior kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.                                                                                                                                                            
  • Expedition activities with Silversea Expedition team - There are not many communities to visit in this part of the world, however, we will be visiting some landing sites where there are historical remains of whaling and sealing communities in years gone by.

Day 64: Cruise & Explore Bear Island (Svalbard)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bear Island is considered Svalbard’s southernmost island, roughly halfway between Spitsbergen and Norway’s North Cape. Although the last polar bears were seen in 2004, the name goes back to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz and his visit in 1596. The island has been used to hunt walrus, for whaling, and even coal mining has taken place. The strategic location on the border of the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea has led to a meteorological station being set up by Norway near Gravodden on Bear Island’s north coast. Some two-thirds of the island is a relatively flat plain with shallow freshwater lakes and Ramsar Wetland, while the entire island and the surrounding waters are a Nature Reserve. Bear Island has also been designated an Import Bird Area as it is a staging area for Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese and the steep cliffs south of Sørhamna are home to thousands of breeding seabirds. This is a specially protected area where Zodiacs are allowed to cruise along the cliffs around Kapp Kolthoff. In smaller amounts, Atlantic Puffins, Northern Gannets, Glaucous Gulls and Great Skuas are found in between the large Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Auk, Common Guillemot and Brünnich’s Guillemot colonies. The constant battering of the sea has not only created impressive sea caves and tunnels, but unfortunately the Russian vessel Petrozavodsk shipwrecked near Revdalen at the base of the limestone cliffs and the waves are causing a continuous disintegration of the remains of the ship.

Day 65: Gjesværstappan Islands, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Almost a hundred islands and rocks make up the Gjesvӕrstappan Nature Reserve, one of Europe’s largest and most accessible nesting areas for Atlantic seabirds. Less than 10 nautical miles from Nordkapp more than one million nesting birds have been counted on Storstappen, the largest of the islands, and the minor islands next to it. One of the most significant Atlantic Puffin colonies in North Norway is found in this nature reserve. Zodiacs are the best way to look for the Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black and Common Guillemots, Northern Gannets, White-tailed Eagles, and Arctic Skuas, Common Eider Ducks, Common Shags and Great Cormorants as well as various other species.


2 Included Shore Excursions

 
  • Zodiac Cruise with Silversea Expedition team - Today will be one of the most spectacular Zodiac cruises anyone can ever do, as we circumnavigate the coastline of Gjesverstaeen Island, a renowned birding reserve. This Island is covered in Puffins, Razor Bills, Cormorant and White Tailed Sea Eagles in their thousands gliding above. Cruise along peacefully, alongside so many of these species that are rafting in the water beside your Zodiac, flying over you, or nesting ashore.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistical details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck/hip problems, those who are pregnant or guests who use a wheelchair. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the Zodiac. Participants must be a minimum of 6 years of age. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are provided. Child lifejackets are available. Dress according to the climate, and please ensure you wear shoes that may get wet, such as Tevas or Wet Shoes (no flip-flop or similar). You may be splashed. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray. Please also ensure that you apply ample sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.                                                 
  • Kayaking with the Silversea Expedition team - This will be a spectacular Kayaking experience where you will get up close with several thousand birds during the paddle. Your expert guides will lead you as you circumnavigate the island on this spectacular experience.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is recommended only for guests in good physical condition and can require up to 60-minutes of paddling. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to climb into the transfer Zodiac and lift their own weight to transfer from the Zodiac into the kayak and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who use a wheelchair, and for guests who suffer from bodily injuries which prevent the movement of all joints. Lifejacket, dry suit, neoprene booties, gloves, and dry bags are provided. The maximum available dry suit size is XXL. We suggest you wear warm, comfortable, flexible clothing to wear under the drysuit. Wear long-sleeved thermal layers, a warm hat with a brim, sunglasses, propylene, wool, silk or synthetic clothing (not cotton as it has poor heat retention when it is damp or wet), and use sunscreen. The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be able to speak conversational English in order to understand safety instructions. Some prior kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.

Day 66: Cruising Along North Cape

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated at the very north tip of Norway and inside the Arctic Circle, there is something very special about being (almost) at the top of the world. Called the northernmost point of Europe, the North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian) lies about 1,306.3 mi from the North Pole, with no dry land between except for the Svalbald archipelago. Home to where the Atlantic and Arctic oceans meet, this is the true land of the midnight sun – constant spectacular scenic views and 24-hour sunlight lends itself to a sense of giddy informality aboard. Just imagine sipping a chilled glass of champagne at the very top of the world in full daylight at midnight – sensational. Be sure to be on the lookout for hundreds of thousands of puffins, gannets, cormorants, seals, dolphins and whales that make this stretch of chilly water their home. Not forgetting the colourful, compact fishing villages, so at odds with the otherwise this stark, barren landscape.

Day 67: Skarsvag (Nordkapp), Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For those who like to travel far (very far) off the beaten track, then you have found your Nordic nirvana in Skarsvag. Large, sparsely populated (there are just 60 human year-round residents), and a joy to all those who revel in stark, unbridled beauty, Skarsvag also enjoys the auspicious title of being the world’s most northerly fishing village. But rolling hills, prolific birdlife, and arctic fjords aside, Skarsvag is above all famous for its proximity to the North Cape. Found on the island of Magerøya, the most northernmost point of Europe above the arctic circle is a bucket list basic. Stand beneath the massive metal globe and gaze out onto the Barents Sea, where the only land between you and the North Pole is the Svalbard archipelago. This is truly the land of the midnight sun – in fact, you are so far north that the sun doesn’t even dip beneath the horizon between May and mid-July. The island’s famous bird cliffs are quite spectacular, and home to thousands of puffins, gannets, and cormorants. Those willing to hike to cape Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point on Magerøya, will be rewarded with the stunning cliff face views of the North Cape Plateau. Before leaving, head into the impressive North Cape Hall for exhibitions on the North Cape’s history. Travelers have been visiting since 1664 when Italian priest Francesco Negri arrived, so there are some tales to tell! More intriguingly, a tunnel has been hewn into the rock, leading down to the cliff face, complete with a chapel.    


2 Included Shore Excursions
 
  • The North Cape (with Guide)​ - Enjoy the awe-inspiring vistas along Europe's far northern shores and enjoy an independent visit at the splendid North Cape. Located on the reaches of Magerøya Island where the Norwegian and Barents Seas meet, the cliffs of Nordkapp rise more than 1,000 feet from the sea waters and are topped by a large, flat plateau.
    Depart the pier and drive 30 minutes to arrive at the North Cape Hall, where there is time to take in its spectacular vista of barren tundra. The North Cape Hall has shopping facilities, a post office and a chapel, a bar, restaurants, and a cinema with a 225-degree wide-screen.
    Watch an audio-visual presentation of Magerøya and the North Cape, showing the magnitude of the area's breathtaking scenery throughout the four seasons. Adjacent to the cinema there is a Hall of Fame, with models of important events that have taken place at the North Cape Plateau, and Cave of Lights with a terrace offering a nice view of the ocean further north. There is ample time for photo opportunities, shopping, writing and posting cards, or simply finding yourself the perfect overlook to enjoy the breathtaking views.
    Make the return drive to the pier, with a photo stop at the Tufjord viewpoint along the way.
    PLEASE NOTE: It is recommended that guests dress in layered clothing and wear flat, comfortable walking shoes. Walking is optional and involves uneven terrain to some of the sites. Comfort stop available at North Cape Hall.                                                                                                     
  • Kayaking with Silversea Expedition team - Today guests can paddle around the most northern tip of Europe with their Kayak Guide, along the rugged coast of northern Norway. You will be on the lookout for birdlife such as Puffins, Shags, Razor Bills, and many more as you admire the spectacular Cliffs of Nordkap from below.
    PLEASE NOTE: The activity level and duration of this activity are approximate. More specific information and logistic details will be communicated by the Expedition Leader on board. This activity is recommended only for guests in good physical condition and can require up to 60-minutes of paddling. Although no walking is required, guests must be able to climb into the transfer Zodiac and lift their own weight to transfer from the Zodiac into the kayak and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who use a wheelchair, and for guests who suffer from bodily injuries which prevent the movement of all joints. Lifejacket, dry suit, neoprene booties, gloves, and dry bags are provided. The maximum available dry suit size is XXL. We suggest you wear warm, comfortable, flexible clothing to wear under the drysuit. Wear long-sleeved thermal layers, a warm hat with a brim, sunglasses, propylene, wool, silk or synthetic clothing (not cotton as it has poor heat retention when it is damp or wet), and use sunscreen. The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be able to speak conversational English in order to understand safety instructions. Some prior kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. It is recommended to have electronic equipment sealed in waterproof bags, in case of rain or spray.

Day 68: Tromsø, Norway | Disembark

Feel your heart flutter, as you catch your first glimpse of that famous emerald haze dancing across the stars, during your visit to this wonderful Arctic gateway. Located in the far north of Norway, a visit to Tromso beckons you to the extremes of this magical country, to explore a fairytale land of jagged mountains, glistening glaciers and husky-pulled sledges. Despite its remote location, you'll discover a perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan city, with a healthy student population injecting plenty of energy. Sat 250 miles above the Arctic Circle - at 69° north - you can bathe in the midnight sun's glow during summer, before winter brings the thick blackness and starry skies of endless polar nights. The darkness doesn't stop the fun - with a polar night half-marathon taking place in January - but the return of the sun is always a reason for a celebration here. To get the best view over the city, take the cable car to Storsteinen's amazing viewpoint. Magnificent views down over the city, fjord and Tromso's arching bridge will unravel before you. Learn more about northerly traditions, polar expeditions and arctic hunting at the Polar Museum. The Science Centre, meanwhile, explains how humans have harnessed and survived these epic landscapes over the years, and explores Tromso's breathtaking natural spectacle - the northern lights. The city is famed for its extraordinary viewing opportunities, which are often said to be the best in the world. The Alpine Botanic Garden is the most northern such garden on the planet, showcasing some of Norway's hardiest plantlife, which survives and thrives at this nose-bleeding altitude.

Ship/Hotel

Silver Cloud

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$45,000
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Vista Suite
240 ft² / 22m². Decks 4 and 5. Twin beds or queen-sized bed, large picture window with panoramic views, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Veranda Suite
295 ft² / 27 m² including veranda (veranda 49 ft²/ 4.5 m²). Decks 6 and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Some suites accommodate three guests (Suites 505-510 and 605-610). Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower (some w/ tub/shower combination).
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Deluxe Veranda Suite
295 ft² / 27 m² including veranda (veranda 49 ft²/ 4.5 m²). Decks 5, 6, and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Some suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, sitting area, and marble bathroom with shower (some w/ tub/shower combination).
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Medallion Suite
437 ft² / 40.6 m² including veranda (veranda 81 ft² / 7.6 m²). Decks 5, 6, and 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Medallion Suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with convertible sofa, sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Silver Suite
541 ft² / 50 m² including veranda (veranda 92 ft² / 8 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Silver Suites accommodate three guests. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with convertible sofa, sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with shower.
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Royal Suite
736 ft² / 69m² including veranda (veranda 126 ft² / 12 m²) for one-bedroom. Two-bedroom adjoining with Veranda suite: 1,031 ft² / 96m² including veranda (veranda 175 ft² / 16.5 m²). Deck 6. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.
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Grand Suite
1,019 ft² / 95 m² including veranda (veranda 145 ft² / 14 m²) for one-bedroom. Two-bedroom adjoining with a Veranda Suite: 1,314 ft² / 122 m² including veranda (veranda 194 ft² / 18.5 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Two teak verandas with patio furniture and floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.
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Owner's Suite
One-Bedroom: 587 ft² / 55 m² including veranda (veranda: 89 ft² / 8 m²). Two-Bedroom with adjoining Vista Suite: 827 ft² / 77 m² incl. veranda (veranda: 89 ft² / 8 m²). Deck 7. Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda with floor-to ceiling glass doors, living room with sitting area, dining area, and marble bathroom with tub & separate shower.

Notes

What is included: 
 
  • Suite accommodations
  • Butler service in any suite
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi
  • Onboard meals and entertainment
  • 24-hour dining service
  • Beverages aboard the ship including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soft drinks, water, tea, and coffee.
  • Shore excursions (Included Shore Excursion Programme)
  • Gratuities aboard ship (except spa)                                     

What is NOT included: 
 
  • Selected shore excursions
  • Meals ashore
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Dinners in La Dame
  • Seishin Restaurant (Silver Spirit only) and Kaiseki Restaurant (Silver Muse only)
  • Accommodations whilst ashore
  • Casino gaming
  •  Laundry or valet services
  •  Purchases from the ship boutiques or any item or service of a personal nature such as medical care
  • Massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling, and manicures.
  • Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes, and cigars
  • Champagne and caviar are not offered onboard Silver Origin.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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