Come with us to some of the greatest historic cities, ancient sites and charming islands as we make our way from the Aegean across the Middle Sea to Lisbon aboard the MS Serenissima. Our journey is perfectly timed to take advantage of the gentle temperatures and for us to witness the coast and islands at their springtime best before the crowds of summer arrive. Sailing from Athens we will traverse the Corinth Canal by daylight before visiting the fascinating sites of Delphi and Olympia, Sicily with its incredible wealth of treasures and spend time exploring the Balearic Islands. Upon reaching mainland Spain we will call into the naval port of Cartagena and Motril, from where we will explore the treasures of Moorish Spain during our visit to the magnificent Alhambra, before our arrival in the great maritime city of Cadiz.

This itinerary is very much a classic that has been enjoyed over the decades and combines some ‘must see’ sites together with some smaller places that are totally unsuitable for vessels larger than ours. Owing to the fact that our small ship can moor centrally, we have the added advantage of being able to access the towns by foot in many ports of call and we have also included time at leisure for individual exploration enabling you to soak up the atmosphere at your own pace. We have the added benefit of excellent local guides and our knowledgeable guest speaker who will add much to your experience and knowledge of this fascinating region.

Highlights


• Enjoy a visit to the sacred site of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity.

• Have an excursion to Olympia which fame rests upon the Olympic Games.

• Sail into the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John.

• On a tour of Menorca see the mysterious rock mounds (talayots) and megalithic stone monuments which were erected some 4,000 years ago.

• Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Alhambra, one of the finest examples of Moorish culture, art and architecture.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Pireaus.
Be on deck this morning as we transit the Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893 and only 6.4 kilometres long and 21.5 metres wide, it is only small ships like ours which can now make this journey. During the remainder of the morning we sail to Itea arriving in the early afternoon. From here we will visit to the sacred site of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. The ruins here are exceptional. We will explore the Sanctuary of Apollo, site of the sacred Delphic Oracle and walk along Delphi’s Sacred Way, visiting the Treasury of the Athenians and the 5,000 seat theatre dating from the fourth century B.C.
The port of Katakolon will be the base for our morning excursion to Olympia. Pastoral and lush, Olympia’s plentiful ruins are shaded by Aleppo pines and olive trees. The fame of Olympia rests upon the Olympic Games. During the celebrations that accompanied the Games, competitors, while not forgetting that they were Athenians, Spartans or from other city states, remembered that they were Greeks and regarded an Olympic victory as the highest honour. We will see the gymnasium, the stadium and the palestra or wrestling school. We will also explore the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus, which houses structures including the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples on the Greek mainland and the Archaeological Museum that houses some fine sculptures and artefacts from the site. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at sea as we sail to Sicily.
After a morning at sea we arrive into Syracuse over lunch. Founded by the Greeks in 734 B.C. by the 5th century Syracuse was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean and rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. We have a choice of tours today, either visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park where we find a well preserved Greek theatre with seats carved from limestone. Paradise Quarry, now an attractive garden and orange grove, was the primary source of that limestone and is the site of the curious ‘Dionysus’ Ear’ - a vast grotto with an amplifying resonance. We will continue to explore the island of Ortigia where we find the Temple of Apollo, considered to be Sicily’s most ancient Doric temple and the Baroque Cathedral, erected over the remains of the Temple of Minerva. Alternatively, explore the Baroque village of Noto. Built in 1703 Noto is a picturesque city located on the terraced slopes of Mount Iblei, among olive groves and almond trees. Here we find Sicillian Baroque-style palaces and monuments. A quiet walk along the central streets will reveal the 18th century Palazzo Ducezio and some baroque churches: San Francesco Immacolata, The Cathedral, San Carlo, Santa Chiara and the imposing Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, built in 1737. Return to the ship for dinner and sail this evening.
Sail this morning into the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John. On our morning tour we will see the highlights of Valletta and enjoy stunning views across the harbour from the Barakka Gardens. We will explore Merchants Street, containing the surviving auberges built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and the palace where Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have stayed in 1798. Our final stop will be at the richly decorated St John’s Cathedral. The barrel vault of the cathedral is painted with scenes from the life of St. John and the floor is inlaid with the glittering tombs of 400 Knights. Chapels around the sides belong to the different “tongues” of the Order and in the oratory is Caravaggio’s intensely moving picture, “The Beheading of St. John”. We will return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and this afternoon you can choose to relax on board, return to Valletta or join a tour to Mdina which lies at the heart of the island. It was originally given the name of “Citta Nobile” and is now known as the “Silent City”. Mdina is Phoenician in origin and was the fortified capital of the Island before the arrival of the Knights.
Founded in 280 B.C., Licata has grown into an important commercial centre but the main reason for our visit is to drive inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site on Sicily, the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale, which is located close to Piazza Armerina amidst wooded rolling countryside. This huge villa was built in the 3rd century and has some stunning floor mosaics. Our return drive takes us through the province of Caltanissetta, recognised today as one of the best wine making regions in Italy thanks above all to its production of high quality, prestigious red wines including Nero D’Avola. We will break our journey at one of these vineyards and enjoy a chance to sample some wine over a Sicilian lunch. Return to the MS Serenissima in the late afternoon and sail this evening.
Trapani was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily and is our base for the day. From the port choose to either travel to the nearby town of Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterized by its winding cobbled stone streets and beautiful courtyards. Alternatively, travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 B.C. as well as the theatre from which you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon to explore Trapani at your own pace.
Enjoy a day to relax at sea. Perhaps join one of the lectures in the lounge or find a quiet spot on deck.
Arrive this morning into Menorca, the most northerly of the Balearics and the least dedicated to tourism. The island of Menorca offers pastoral countryside, historic towns and superb beaches. On our afternoon tour we will see the mysterious rock mounds (talayots) and megalithic stone monuments which were erected some 4,000 years ago before making our way to aristocratic Ciudadella, the architectural showpiece of Menorca. Situated at the head of a long channel from the sea, the city has had its share of disputes over sovereignty, and its character reflects the influence of Moorish, Turkish and Spanish rule. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Mahon.
The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca has a rich history dating back to the Phoenecians when it was under control of Carthage the principal city at that time, before flourishing under Roman rule. This morning we anchor off the attractive town of Soller from where we will take the beautifully maintained vintage train that connects Soller with Palma. Whilst on board we enjoy splendid mountain views of the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the course of just seven kilometres the railway rises 199 metres and runs through thirteen tunnels and crosses several bridges. We will return to Soller this afternoon for the opportunity to enjoy some free time to explore the quaint town. Please note that we may be at anchor today and therefore use the vessel’s Zodiacs or local tenders.
After a leisurely morning at sea we arrive this afternoon in Spain’s main naval port of Cartagena. Enter the deep natural harbour through two fortified rocky headlands for an afternoon of exploration in a historic city that dates back to the Phoenicians. The city walls remained intact until the 20th century, creating a dense historic centre. Take the lift or walk up to Concepcio Castle for amazing views of the city and harbour, view the Roman amphitheatre and the archaeological site of Molinete where work continues to uncover the Roman city. Later enjoy a stroll along the tree-lined harbour promenade as we return to the MS Serenissima.
Motril is the base today for our visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Alhambra, one of the finest examples of Moorish culture, art and architecture. Alhambra’s construction began in the 11th century on the red hill known as Assabika which overlooks Granada. The Alcazaba fortress was the first structure to be built, followed by the royal palace and residence of members of the court. We will visit the most important halls and courtyards of the Alhambra, including the Alcazaba Fortress, the Serrallo, the Patio of los Arrayanes (Myrtle Courtyard), the Hall of la Barca, the Salon of the Embajadores (Ambassadors Hall), the Patio de los Leones (Lions Courtyard), the Hall of the Abencerrajes, the Royal Baths and the Palace of Charles V. Next to the Alhambra, we will also visit the sumptuous Generalife Gardens, the luxurious summer retreat of the Moorish kings of Granada. The beautiful gardens feature abundant and varied flora and stunning water features. Day 13 Cadiz. Located on a peninsula jutting out into a bay Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water. It is the oldest surviving city in Spain, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. During our guided tour we will discover the most beautiful feature abundant and varied flora and stunning water features.
Located on a peninsula jutting out into a bay Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water. It is the oldest surviving city in Spain, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. During our guided tour we will discover the most beautiful monuments and landmarks of the city including the Mudejar-style tobacco factory, Santo Domingo Church, the Santa Catalina Fortress and finally the Cathedral of Cadiz and Diocesan Museum in the old city. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure to explore further. Alternatively, join a full day tour to Seville where we will see the Alcazar with its exotic terraced garden. Built by the Moors in the 14th century it is still used as a residence by the King of Spain. Also see the Christian Cathedral, reputed to be the largest Gothic style church in the world and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
Our first call in Portugal is at Portimao where we will wander back in time to the era of the Portuguese Discoveries. Our morning tour will take us to Lagos, the ancient maritime town that Prince Henry the Navigator called home. On a guided walk we will see the city walls, the fortress, the site of the former slave market and the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator. We then head for Sagres, a fishing village that was the starting point for many expeditions and the location of Prince Henry’s navigation school. Return to the ship via Cape St. Vincent, the most South West point of Europe known as “The End of the World” and the lighthouse for one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Enjoy lunch on board and an afternoon at sea.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight to London.

Inside cabin

£ 4895 GBP pp
Inside cabin
The inside cabins are approx 10 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Inside single

£ 4895 GBP pp
Inside single
Inside single cabins range in size from 9.9 to 11.52 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom

£ 5595 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 5595 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus

£ 5695 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Sole

£ 5995 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 5995 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus Sole

£ 6095 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 6095 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 6495 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 6995 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Executive Suite

£ 6995 GBP pp
Executive Suite
The executive suites are 25 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Cabin layout for Serenissima

Post-Cruise Portugal Extension. From (545.00 GBP)

8th to 11th May 2018. Day 1 Lisbon to Coimbra. Day 2 Coimbra. Day 3 Guimaraes. Day 4 Guimaraes to London.

Serenissima

SerenissimaSerenissima

Expedition Expedition

15 Days from
£ 4895 GBP pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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