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Italy's incredible architecture and scenery

Shores of the Adriatic and Italy

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Lyrial (CDP)
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Discover unforgettable towns and sites along the Adriatic coasts of Croatia, Italy, and Sicily. Board the luxurious Le Lyrial to sail to picturesque islands where colorful tropical flowers abound, contrasting marvelously with the peaks of volcanic mountains. Explore magnificent UNESCO World heritage sites in these ancient lands: the ancient Greek theater at Taormina, the stunning lagoon which  contains Venice, the vibrant Amalfi coast. Between history, culture, and amazing landscapes, enjoy this family-friendly cruise through some of the finest highlights of the Mediterranean. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Venice | Embark
Day 2 : Bol
Day 3 : Lopud Island
Day 4 : Otranto
Day 5 : Taormina, Sicily
Day 6 : Lipari, Aeolian Islands
Day 7 : Amalfi
Day 8 : Civitavecchia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy the magician Alain Choquette who will be on board.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Venice's Lagoon and the Amalfi Coast.
  • Explore the marvelous Greek theatre of Taormina, overlooking the waves.
  • Tour on a kid-friendly family cruise, with specific entertainment

Ship

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Italy's incredible architecture and scenery Beautiful Amalfi Coast Beautiful Taormina, Italy, with Mt. Etna in the background Golden hour in Venice's famed Piazza San Marco Explore Italy's colorful Amalfi coast Ruins of an Ancient Greek Theater

Day 1 Venice | Embark

Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. Fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.

Day 2 Bol

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bol is one of the best-kept secrets of the Dalmatian archipelago. This picturesque village is located on the southern coast of Brac Island. Its traditional architecture has unbelievable charm: little houses with white facades and red-tiled roofs provide the perfect setting for laid-back meanders. Beyond the port, the waterfront promenade leads onto the beaches, shaded by pines and cypresses. The most famous of them is Zlatni Rat, “the golden horn”. From the belvedere on Vidova Gora mountain, admire its unusual contours and get an eyeful of the other Adriatic islands.

Choose from the following excursions:

SECRETS OF BRAC
Discover the charms of Brac, the island of stone, sea and sun. From the pier, board your coach for a short drive through the olive groves and vineyards to Pucišca Village. On arrival, visit the stone masonry workshop and school, which has been producing stone objects for centuries. Though the school itself was founded in 1909, the education of stonemasons on Brac began in 1906 because of the great need for the development of masonry. Preserving the tradition of the trade, many generations of superior craftsmen were educated at this school. In their work, one could always recognize the signature style of the school. The history of the Pucišca stone masonry school is intertwined with the history and tradition of the Brac stone, embedded in many buildings. Learning how to cut the Brac stone, the students even use toothed tools that were used by the Romans. Each year, the school enrolls one hundred students from all parts of the country. Continue your tour through the island by heading to Vidova Gora, which is the highest peak of all Adriatic islands. Overlooking the sea, you can discern the coasts of Hvar Island. This mountain has always been considered as a sacred site. The pagans thought it housed Svevid, the Slavic divinity of light, war, fertility and abundance. From here, see the world famous "Zlatni rat" beach and have some time for picture-taking before returning to Bol. Once returning to Bol, follow your guide for an orientation walking tour to discover baroque summer residences, Loza, with a little parish church and market. Next visit the Gallery Deskovic, located in the heart of Bol, inside a Renaissance Baroque palace from the end of the 17th century. It exhibits more than 380 pieces of contemporary Croatian art, paintings and sculptures showing Mediterranean motifs. 

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SEA KAYAKING
Enjoy beautiful coastal scenery as you paddle the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic. Your kayak excursion will begin directly at the pier in Bol harbor. After a safety briefing, take to the water. Take in the view of Bol Village and scenery as you paddle along the unspoiled coastline, with your experienced guide leading the way. This excursion will allow you to view the Adriatic coastline from the sea. As you paddle, you cannot miss Vidova Gora, which is the highest mountain of all Adriatic islands (778 m above the sea level). It is named after the small church of St. Vid, which stands at the top of the hill, now in ruins. Look for the many small, hidden bays that are known just to the locals and still hidden from passers-by. Bol has some of the most beautiful beaches, such as Grabov rat, Murvica and the most famous Croatian beach - Zlatni rat (Golden Cape). Zlatni rat was created by deposits of fine pebbles as a sediment around the underwater reef, spreading as a small tongue as much as 500 metres in the sea. The very tip of Zlatni rat keeps changing shape due to the influence of the winds, waves and sea currents. This location is a protected natural area and a favorite spot for surfers and kite-surfers around the globe. On arrival in Zlatni rat beach, enjoy some free time to relax, explore the beach or swim.

Day 3 Lopud Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An intimate destination among the Elaphiti islands, the harbor village of Lopud will win your heart with its picturesque waterfront. In the higher areas is the Sutvra belvedere where you can visit the ruins of a Spanish fort. Gaze at amazing views of the hillsides and coastline. Below, on an isolated promontory, stands the Franciscan monastery, nestled among maritime pines and cypresses announcing Šunj beach. This cove is famous for its fine sand and translucent waters. You won’t be able to resist taking a dip on your walk on the coastal paths.

Day 4 Otranto

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the Apulia region, Otranto is the easternmost transalpine town. Behind its medieval ramparts, you will taste the sweet life of Salento, the “heel on Italy’s boot”. Inhabited since Antiquity, today Otranto is a lovely seaside town. Yet its history is still visible as you meander through the little streets of its old center. With its magnificent 12th century ornamental mosaic tiling, the Cathedral is one of its most beautiful treasures. During a stroll along the ramparts, you can sit and relax at a café terrace.

Choose from the following excursions:

BOAT TOUR ALONG THE APULIAN COAST
From the pier, board your coach for the 45-minute drive to the port of Castro Marina, a nice village located on the very heel of Italy’s boot, from which you will embark on a local boat for your 2-hour scenic cruise along the Apulian coastline. Explore the most important and well-known caves located along this part of the Italian coast between Castro Marina and Santa Cesarea named Azzurra, Palombara, Zinzulusa, Romanelli, Streghe and Solfatara. Take the opportunity to visit two of the caves by boat, the Azzurra Cave, with its extraordinary plays of lights and the Zinzulusa Cave, with its impressive entrance, full of history and legends. Sea conditions permitting,  go swimming with an authorized guide to discover these waters.
After the boat tour is over, it will be time to return to the Otranto pier by coach, though not before taking advantage of a tasty refreshment with local snacks on board the boat.

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LECCE - FLORENCE OF SOUTHERN ITALY
The city of Lecce has earned itself various epithets thanks to its beauty and its historical and architectural treasures: in fact, it is usually referred to as “the Florence of Southern Italy” or “open-air museum” for the abundance of churches and noble palaces, made more elegant and refined by the unique and sumptuous decorations realized with the “leccese stone”, a particular stone whose color gets the same nuance as honey under the rays of the sun. Set in the very heart of the Salento region, called “the Heel of Italy’s boot”, Lecce dates back to Roman times: in fact, you can still admire in Piazza St. Oronzo the exterior of a Roman Amphitheater dating to the second century A.D. In it gladiators used to face and fight against wild animals. From Otranto, board your coach for the one-hour drive to Lecce where your walking tour of the old town will start. Walk the center of town with your guide to discover a remarkable architectural style known as the “Barocco Leccese”. From the 16th to the 18th century, Lecce knew a period of great splendor during which it was embellished with Rococo and Baroque Monuments. The local finely grained limestone was particularly easy to work, making easy the creation of a very decorative style with delicate details, which you will recognize immediately. During the tour visit Santa Croce Basilica (only outside visit), which is sumptuously decorated, without being overbearing: close to it you can admire the impressive façade of the Governor’s Palace (the former monastery of the Celestine monks). Your tour cannot end without a visit of what is considered one of the finest squares in Southern Italy: Piazza Duomo, where the Cathedral as well as the Archbishop’s Palace are located.
 

Day 5 Taormina, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval center, suspended 300 meters above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theater. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.

Choose from the following excursions:

ATV TOUR OF MOUNT ETNA
From the pier, you will embark on your coach to go to your meeting point in Ragabo Pine Forest, passing by the small town of Naxos, to start your journey. After your equipment and instructions are delivered, drive off-road through the Ragabo Pine Forest to the base of Mount Etna. During your drive, visit an old lava cave and the remains of the past eruptions, most recently in 1923 and 2002. You will cross the lava mule-tracks surrounded by chestnut and oak woods. You will also visit the oldest pine of Mount Etna called the “Zappinazzu” before reaching Piano Provenzana area to see the remains of old lava flows. Mount Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano, with slopes soaring to over 9,800 feet (2 990 m) and the flanks covered with scores of cones and craters. From this vantage point gaze out across the Catania Gulf and view the woods, orchids and vineyards from the vantage point.

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TRANSFER BY COACH TO TAORMINA
From the pier, transfer by coach to the ancient Greek town of Taormina, a 30-minute drive. Called Tauromenium in ancient times, Taormina clings to the side of Mount Tauro and offers superb views of the Mediterranean Sea, Isola Bella and a snow-capped Etna in the distance. A maze of narrow streets, stairs and tiny squares, Taormina has attracted many civilizations over the centuries. It is home to theaters and a gymnasium from the Greek period, an Odeon and baths from Roman times, buildings blending Arab and Norman cultures, traces of Byzantine, and villas belonging to European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Taormina houses many monuments from several eras such as Porta Catania, the Cathedral, Piazza IX Aprile and Palazzo Corvaja. The Teatro Antico was built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BCE, and then almost completely rebuilt by the Romans who created a gladiatorial arena. The theater is the second largest in Sicily after the one in Syracuse. Due to its size and acoustic quality the theater is still used to host festivals and concerts. Seated on the stone terraces, the audience can enjoy the concert while admiring a breath-taking panoramic view of the sea, Mount Tauro and Etna.

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VIAGRANDE & SICILIAN WINERY
From the pier, board your coach and begin your excursion with a brief drive through the town of Naxos, founded by the Greek colonizers, and then to the village of Viagrande. Viagrande is located in the foothills of Mount Etna. This village is well known for the vineyards and especially for the gastronomic traditions. It is also famous because mentioned in “Nedda”, the first novel of the Sicilian writer Giovanni Verga. You will drive through the city to the Benanti winery of Monte Serra estate. You will begin your visit with an outside walk in the vineyard, before enjoying a tour in the historical oak barrel room. Afterward, take the opportunity to taste wines of the Benanti production. Enjoy several samples of the finest vintages, paired with local tastings such as cheeses, sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, green and black olives, salami, and bruschettas. This experience will leave you with an even greater understanding and appreciation of Sicilian flavors.

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ASCENT OF MOUNT ETNA
Leave the landing pier by coach for the drive to Rifugio Sapienza, about 6,000 ft above sea level, on Mt. Etna. Mt. Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano, with slopes soaring to over 9,800 ft and the flanks covered with scores of cones and craters. From there gaze out across the Catania Gulf and view the woods, orchids and vineyards from this excellent vantage point. But, of course, the major attractions are the crater and the remnants of the awe-inspiring streams of lava.
From there and with the assistance of a professional alpine guide, continue by cable car to 7,500 ft and then by special 4x4 minibuses to reach the base of the main crater at about 8,800 ft above sea level. Up there and still accompanied with your guide, you will be able to go nearer to see lava flows.

 

Day 6 Lipari, Aeolian Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Of the seven Aeolian islands, this is the largest and the most populated. Lying off the north coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian sea, Lipari is one of UNESCO’s marvelous World Heritage sites. Its lava stone quarries and obsidian flow of Rocce Rosse are indications of its volcanic nature. The town, the largest urban area in the whole archipelago, proudly houses its citadel and its castle, both rooted in Antiquity. Head further into the center and come across a Norman cathedral, complete with a magnificent baroque façade.

Choose from the following excursions:

PANORAMA OF THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS
Lipari is the biggest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands. Famous since olden times for its obsidian quarries, Lipari is linked to Sicily by regular ferry and hydroplane services. The town and port are dominated by a citadel, testimony to the archipelago’s strategic importance in the past. Leaving from the port by coach you will take a tour of the island. First stop is the Quattrocchi viewpoint, one of the archipelago’s most striking panoramas. Here you can admire the volcanic peaks of Jacopo and Perciato, against a backdrop of Vulcano Island. There are also other good spots to see the island of Salina, the pumice stone quarries and the Rocche Rosse obsidian flow. Next return to the center of Lipari where your excursion will continue on foot. Lipari’s historic center is dominated by a castle built on the promontory. Its construction dates back to ancient times, with a tower forming part of Greek fortifications of the 4th and 5th centuries BC; medieval towers from the 13th century; and surrounding walls from the Spanish period. Inside there are numerous archaeological remains as well as the Norman Cathedral Saint Bartolomeo, which is dated to 1084 and has a Baroque facade. On the sides, notice the ruins of a Norman Abbey.  Also be sure to visit the Aeolian Archaeological Museum, which reveals the evolution of the islands in the active volcano system. Explore the “classic” section where objects on show are from Lipari and the other islands, from prehistoric times to the Greek and Roman periods.

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LIPARI ISLAND & ITALIAN COOKING
From the pier, begin your tour with a walk through the town of Lipari, main city of the Aeolian Islands. The pastel-colored houses of this little port contrast with the rugged and typically Mediterranean landscape that can be seen in the rest of the island. A 1-hour and 15 minutes scenic drive provides opportunities to discover this volcanic island and enjoy some stunning panoramas, including the Quattrocchi viewpoint, where you can admire the volcanic peaks of Jacopo and Perciato against a backdrop of Vulcano Island, one of the most iconic island of the Aeolian archipelago. At the end of this panoramic drive, you will have the chance to become a real Italian cook. In a local pizzeria, the owner will show you how to make this world famous national dish and give you the chance to realize your own pizza and personalize it with your favorite ingredients. Finally, taste your tailor-made pizza, accompanied by some wine and other Aeolian delicacies. During your stay at the pizzeria, you can also enjoy some local folk music. After the tasting, re-embark your coach and drive back to the pier.

Day 7 Amalfi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The little town of Campania gives its name to the region containing the magnificent, UNESCO World Heritage listed, Amalfi coast. And for good reason. Located at the foot of Mount Cerreto, against a rock face of a gorge that opens onto the sea, Amalfi’s absolutely splendid natural scenery alone is enough to feast your eyes on before making for the medieval streets to explore some of its history. The mix of cultural influences from the Mediterranean Rim is omnipresent here. Don’t miss the dome of Saint André the Apostle and its beautiful cloister, before sipping a delicious lemon juice made from locally grown lemons at a terrace bar.

Choose from the following excursions:

RAVELLO
From the Amalfi harbor, depart by coach for Ravello, 40 minutes of driving, following the narrow main road which stretches along the side of rocky cliffs, overlooking the sea. With each twist and turn the road offers new and breathtaking views of the world famous Sorrentine peninsula. You can see the rocks rising out of the sea like strange mythological creatures and the small boats in sheltered sandy coves that look like brightly colored toys from up above. Ravello, is a small city of ancient origins which faces a range of hills overlooking the clear blue sea of the gulf of Salerno. The beauties of this area have inspired poets, painters and musicians during its millenarian history.  On arrival you will be visiting Villa Rufolo: it was here that Wagner stayed and was inspired by the magical beauties of its gardens and the architectural works of the cloisters to exclaim “the Garden of Klingsor is found”. You can also admire the numerous arches and antique towers, and the Cathedral, outside visit.

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POSITANO BY BOAT & AMALFI
From the pier, board your motor-launch for a scenic cruise to Positano, the prettiest town along the coast where white Moorish style houses cling to the slopes around a small sparkling bay.  In 1953 when writer John Steinbeck lived here, the town was a forgotten fishing village, loved by artists.  It became a retreat for the wealthy and is now a popular resort area. Enjoy some free time to explore Positano and its quaint boutiques that sell the casual, locally made cotton clothing the town is noted for.
At the end of the visit, you will re-board your boat for a ride to the enchanting village of Amalfi, which has a Spanish flavor, its white houses sitting on the rocks facing a bright blue bay.  Flanked by an old Saracen tower and a 12th-century Capuchin monastery, Amalfi boasts a cathedral dating from the 11th century that is covered with geometrical designs in colored stones.  Your guide then will take you to view St. Andrew’s Cathedral and will offer an introduction to the town so that you make the best use of some free time to explore on your own.

Day 8 Civitavecchia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometers from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Per person starting at
$3,440
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Superior Stateroom
Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. balcony located on Deck 3. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
35 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
37 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
1 cabin, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Suite
3 cabins on Deck 6, 290 sq. ft. + 54 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, sofa, armchair and pedestal table, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
11 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Privilege Suite
8 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Grand Deluxe Suite
1 cabin, 484 sq. ft. + 96 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Grand Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Grand Privilege Suite
7 cabins, 398 sq. ft. + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with bathtub and shower, desk, minibar, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Owner's Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Owner Suite
On Deck 6, 592 sq. ft. + 129 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, sofa, table with 4 chairs, armchair and table, 2 televisions, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
• Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control)
• All meals while on board the ship 
• Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner, featuring Veuve Clicquot Champagne
• “Open Bar” (Pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands. List available upon request.)
• Evening entertainment and events
• 24-hour room service (special selection)
• Ladurée macarons served aboard
• English-speaking lecturer on selected sailings
• Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
• Park entry fees into protected areas
• Port and safety taxes
• Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers

Please Note:
Please do not forget to bring your medical certificates when it is required to participate in an expedition cruise. 

These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.

Due to the exceptional nature of this itinerary, the calls/sites listed are only a guide. The final route will be confirmed by the ship’s Captain with priority being given to passenger safety. Pack ice may also force the Captain to change course at the last minute. Zodiac® landings or outings accompanied by your expedition team offer plenty of opportunities to discover and experience what Antarctica and/or South Georgia have to offer at close range. These will of course depend on the weather conditions, the ice, the wind and the sea state.
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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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