We have the perfect vessel and time of year for our exploration of the wonderful island of Sicily and her archaeological treasures. Sicily is a land that has seen more than its fair share of invasions, resulting in some lofty and noble architecture from magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and Norman palaces. With its benevolent climate and superb strategic position, the island has been coveted, fought over and colonised. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons have all made their mark on this astonishing island.

Sicily is endlessly fascinating and if you have promised yourself that one day you will visit, this is the time to go and what better way to explore her treasures than from aboard a small ship. The geography of the island lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea, as most points of interest are close to the coast. Appreciate in comfort Sicily’s rich artistic legacy of so many invading civilisations. The island is a celebration of the greatest achievements of Mediterranean cultures and with such a wealth of ancient sites, it is certainly not somewhere which should be visited in a hurry. With seven days spent circumnavigating the island, we have the luxury of time and are able to visit the stunning Greek theatre at Taormina, the superbly well-preserved Greek temples of Segesta and the Valle dei Templi, the Norman Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Byzantine Monreale Cathedral, the Roman mosaics of Villa Romana di Casale as well as the beautiful Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. Local guides and our onboard guest speaker will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of Sicily and once visited it is a place you will never forget and will wish to return to time and time again.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Island Sky and sail tonight.
The small port of Agropoli is a convenient location for our morning excursion to Paestum. Founded by Greeks in 600 BC, this well preserved and fascinating site was rediscovered in 1752. On our half day tour we will see the impressive Temple Poseidon, the Basilica, Amphitheatre and Aethenian before spending some time in the museum, adjacent to the site. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at sea. Please note we will use vessel’s Zodiacs to land ashore at Agropoli.
From the nearby port of Messina we will visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. The town has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and our guided tour will include walking the characteristic alleys before visiting the 15th century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek Theatre, from where there are marvellous views over the town and coast. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy some free time in Messina.
Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. After breakfast we will explore the city, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques, and the glittering Byzantine mosaics that reveal a unique and diverse heritage. We visit the impressive 12th-century cathedral which houses the royal tombs of Henri VI and King Ruggiero. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to either explore Palermo independently or join an excursion to see the remarkable Medieval mosaics in the cathedral at Monreale.
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 we 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 court-yards. After our visit we travel to an olive oil farm, which dates from 1700, and is built around a beautiful Sicilian family house. We will learn about the history and techniques of the farm’s extra virgin oil production before enjoying a tasting. Also enjoy traditional Sicilian foods including cheeses, olives and breads whilst accompanied local musicians before returning to the ship this afternoon and sailing late this evening.
Although handsome in its own right and awash with medieval atmosphere, Agrigento is not our main reason for calling at this southern coast port. Close by, is the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, and a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concord, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. After lunch onboard enjoy Paestum an afternoon to explore Agrigento, shuttles will run from the port to the town and the excellent archaeological museum where you can explore at your leisure.
Founded in 280 B.C by Phintias, Licata has grown into an important commercial centre on Sicily. However our main reason for this stop is to drive inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site on Sicily. The Imperial Roman Villa of Casale 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. Later, explore the medieval centre of Piazza Armerina, see the Aragonese Castle and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Andrea. After our tour we will enjoy a Sicilian lunch in a local farmhouse complemented by local wines. We sail in the late evening.
From our berth in Pozzallo we will explore the Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. 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. We return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and this afternoon continue to charming Ragusa. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, for its artistic-architectural heritage, with its Baroque palaces, churches, squares, stairways and winding narrow streets, all of which create an evocative and ancient atmosphere. We will discover the wonderful Ragusa Ibla: the “Pearl of the Baroque” the gardens, the magnificent palaces, the splendid church of San Giuseppe and the Dome of San Giorgio built in the 18th century on the site where an older church stood before the earthquake of 1693.
Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC and by the 5th century was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean and rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. On leaving the vessel we 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. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening to explore independently.
Arrive this morning in the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John. Our morning tour which will include the highlights of Valletta with its 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, together with the palace where Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have stayed in 1798. Our final stop will be at St John’s Cathedral. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon you can choose to either relax onboard, return to Valletta or join a tour to Mdina. Originally, this city, was given the name of “Citta Nobile” and now known as the “Silent City” at the heart of the island. Mdina is Phoenician in origin and was the fortified capital of the Island, before the arrival of the Knights.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight to London.

Magellan Deck (Forward)

£ 4695 GBP pp
Magellan Deck (Forward)
Suites measure approximately 21m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite

£ 5195 GBP pp
Magellan Suite
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior

£ 5495 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Premium

£ 5695 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Premium
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite

£ 5895 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony

£ 6495 GBP pp
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2 with an extra 4 m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite Sole

£ 6695 GBP pp
Magellan Suite Sole
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Explorer Owners Balcony

£ 6995 GBP pp
Explorer Owners Balcony
Suites measure approximately 22m2 with an extra 8m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full-length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator

Columbus Deck Superior Sole

£ 7195 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior Sole
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Cabin layout for Island Sky
Island Sky

Island SkyIsland Sky

Luxury Small Ship Cruise Luxury Small Ship Cruise

11 Days from
£ 4695 GBP pp

Highlights

• Hear the music, taste the wines and enjoy the local foods.

• See the impressive Temple Poseidon, the Basilica, Amphitheatre and Athenian in Paestum

• Visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mount Etna

• Tour Palermo, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets

• Admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concord, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules in Agrigento

• Explore the Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa

• Discover Valletta, the 16th century ‘Fortress City’ built by the knights of St John

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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