Embark on an 11-day cruise aboard Sea Cloud II, back to summer on the azure Adriatic. Starting in Venice, a city of canals, palaces, and art, welcomes you with its charm. Rovinj, a slice of Venetian history, offers Mediterranean delights and Istrian wines. Zadar showcases its rich history through Roman and Byzantine treasures, while Korcula boasts lush landscapes and Marco Polo's birthplace. In Dalmatia, Split's ancient city takes you on a journey through time within Diocletian's Palace. Otranto and Lecce in Italy exhibit captivating Baroque architecture, earning Lecce the moniker "Florence of the South." Taormina, perched with a view of Mount Etna, dazzles with elegance. Syracuse in Sicily offers a blend of Greek and Roman history, while Valletta in Malta boasts UNESCO-listed architecture and powerful history.
Explore the Venetian charm of Rovinj in picturesque Istria
Journey through medieval streets in Korcula, Marco Polo's birthplace
Witness Lecce's Baroque charm with honey-colored tufa, facades and churches
Experience Roman-Venetian fusion in Split, an Adriatic metropolis
The floating city of Venice sits on millions of wooden piles and more than 400 bridges cross 150 canals. No other city possesses such an abundance of stunningly beautiful churches, monasteries, palaces, and artistic treasures, and nowhere else has plaster that crumbles so elegantly. Venice is a unique work of art and, with its lagoon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gateway to the city is probably the most magical of any in the world. Slowly and majestically you glide past the proud palaces along the Grand Canal and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, giving you a long look at the fairytale setting of St Mark's Square with the Doge's Palace and Campanile.
Rovinj lies on the western coast of Istria. The old town was built on a hill and was part of the Republic of Venice for over 500 years. St Euphemia's Basilica sits above the terracotta roofs in solitary splendor and its tower has become the town's landmark. A stroll through the winding lanes transports you straight into the Mediterranean lifestyle and the region's culinary delights. Istrian wines seem to embody the sun's rich heat, the oak forests conceal precious white truffles and the region's olive oil is among the finest in the world.
As if on display, the Croatian city of Zadar stretches its beautiful old town towards visitors: The historical quarter is separated from the new town on a peninsula in the blue of the Adriatic Sea. As soon as you step through one of the Venetian gates, you walk right through the 3,000-year history of the old fortified city. Passing the Square of the Five Fountains and the Roman Forum, you will reach the landmark of Zadar, the Donatus Church with its pre-Romanesque and Byzantine elements. At sunset, locals and guests meet in a very modern way - at the sea organ and the installation Greetings to the Sun".
The Adriatic island of Korcula is one of the greenest in the region. Vineyards and olive groves stretch across rolling hills. The island's main town of the same name is protected by a city wall. It is one of the best-preserved medieval Mediterranean towns. Some buildings evoke the time when the maritime power of Venice ruled. Tintoretto is immortalized in the cathedral, and in one of the narrow streets, you can search for the house where Marco Polo was born.
Dalmatia is the southernmost region of Croatia, and Split is its most beautiful cultural center and secret capital. Gothic, Romanesque, Venetian, Roman, and Baroque – a stroll through the old city of Split is like a journey through time. Diocletian's Palace, once the Emperor's retirement retreat, is at the heart of the beautiful old city, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A vast palace complex of around 30,000 square meters (322,917 square feet) was erected in just 10 years at the end of the 3rd century AD. A city within a city.
Otranto is the most easterly port in Italy and, due to its geographic location in the Adriatic, has had an extremely eventful history over the centuries. Not far away is Lecce, one of the most beautiful and affluent cities in southern Italy whose heyday was immortalized in stone over 200 years. The Baroque cityscape, in the idiosyncratic "Barocco leccese" style, is characterized by a marble-like stone known as Lecce stone. The numerous palaces and the Basilica di Santa Croce have profusely decorated facades and art feels right at home here. There is a good reason why people are proud of its evocative nickname, the Florence of the South.
Taormina is perched on a rock with a majestic view over the sea. In the 19th century, this small town had already developed into a dream destination for well-heeled travelers and artists. The town's fascination lies in its elegance, the many ancient buildings, the stunningly beautiful coastline, the mild climate, and the view over the silhouette of Etna. Europe's largest volcano is over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) high, has four summit craters and around 400 subsidiary craters, and is covered with snow almost all year round. In ancient times it was considered the seat of the gods, but nowadays large sections of it are a nature reserve.
The municipal area of Syracuse boasts relics from cultural history going back more than three millennia. In ancient times, the city was the most powerful in the known world and was famed for its splendor. The island of Ortigia, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was where Syracuse began its rise as an ancient city. The huge cathedral is at the heart of the old town, magnificent palaces line the Piazza and wide promenades invite you to take a stroll. The archaeological park brings Greek and Roman history back to life. Yet Syracuse exudes southern Italian charm, with washing and drying outside the windows.
Day 11: Valletta, Malta | Disembark
This strategically important location has always attracted foreign conquerors. More than 7,000 years ago, a civilization existed here, leaving behind enormous temple complexes. Just like proud Valletta, these are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Jean Parisot de la Valette, Grand Master of the Order of St John, founded a modern fortified city on a rock in 1566, between the two splendid natural ports of Marsamxett and Grand Harbor. Long rows of facades made from golden-yellow blocks of chalk stretch along the straight streets. Splendid Renaissance and Baroque buildings are evidence of riches and power, such as the Palace of the Grand Master and the impressive St John's Co-Cathedral.
This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
TrustScore 4.6 | 107 reviews
TrustScore 4.6 of 5
Based on 107 reviews on
20 hours ago
Clara and Rhenee were gracious and available. Phone contact is so important to answer questions and discuss all aspects of trip. If not immediately available they scheduled a time to speak.
They were knowledgeable, honest, realistic and very friendly. They are both very professional and take their role seriously.
20 hours ago
Jason has been wonderful. He is full of information and was very willing to listen to what was of interest to us.
2 days ago
The ability (of Kassandra) to tailor a guided trip to my exact preferences is very valuable to me, as well as the ability (of Kassandra) to provide expert guidance on destinations and travel dates. I also appreciate the ability of the backup staff (Maria Ignacio, Exito Travel) to coordinate all the details to make the travel logistics easy for the customer.
2 days ago
Our Costa Rica trip was amazing! Kassandra planned everything and the excursions, hotels, overall organization were outstanding. Everything worked out smoothly, the excursions guides were knowledgeable allowing us to see so much of the fauna and flora of the country. The hotels were great as well, all in fantastic locations and with beautiful views.
2 days ago
This is our 7th trip Kassandra has planned and she is wonderful to work with. She is responsive, helpful, patient and knowledgeable. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work together with her. We love Adventure Life!