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Passage Through Antiquity (Serenissima)

Passage Through Antiquity (Serenissima)

From GBP £6,995

Description

Here is a passage through antiquity, an incomparable journey with a wealth of sites on offer including biblical landmarks, Crusader castles, Egyptian temples and tombs as well as the magnificent Nabatean city of Petra. We have planned the journey for November when temperatures will be pleasant for exploring and with the aid of our knowledgeable local guides and excellent Guest Speaker, we will learn of some fascinating civilisations.

Our first call is the Cypriot port of Limassol from where we sail to Israel for three and a half days of exploration as we discover an extraordinary collection of both classical and Biblical sites. Following a transit of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s greatest feats of civil engineering, we spend time in Egypt exploring some of the great monuments of the Pharaohs, the divine kings of thirty dynasties who ruled Egypt for some thirty-five centuries. See the great temples of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and spend some time in Cairo’s magnificent Egyptian Museum.

We continue to Jordan where we leave the MS Serenissima and spend three nights in five star hotels. From the desert sands of Wadi Rum, to the grandeur of Petra and the mystical Dead Sea, Jordan is steeped in history and awe inspiring beauty. Petra, a city set deep in the Edom mountains and lost to Western ‘civilisation’ for hundreds of years was hewn directly from the rock by the Nabateans and is an amazing feat of engineering and construction. As you explore this vast and complex city, whose wealth came from its proximity to the ancient Middle East trade routes, you cannot help but be impressed by the industry and sophistication of this ancient civilisation.

Trip Name
Passage Through Antiquity (Serenissima)
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit 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. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing 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. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Limassol, Cyprus.
Fly by scheduled flight to Larnaca. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Limassol. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Limassol.
Our morning tour will include the Temple of Apollo, one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus where Apollo was worshipped as God of the Woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century BC and continued until the 4th century AD. We will continue to the ruins of Kourion, a city built in 1200 BC. Of particular interest are the public baths, the necropolis, the Fountain House, House of Gladiators and House of Achilles. The most spectacular site at Kourion is the Greco-Roman Theatre that has been completely restored and is used today for open air musical and theatrical performances. After lunch on board the afternoon is at leisure before we sail in the early evening.
Day 3 - Days 3 & 4 Haifa, Israel.
We arrive in Israel at the northern port of Haifa for two days of exploration including options to visit Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Called the City of Annunciation, Nazareth is revered as the spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary to tell her she was to bear the Son of God. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and visit the Church of the Annunciation, which is built where Mary is said to have lived. Maybe visit the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we find Capernaum’s ancient synagogue and Peter’s House before stopping in Tabgha, home to the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Leaves, with its 5th century mosaic floor. We will drive up Mount Carmel for a breathtaking view over the bay from the top of the city’s famous Bahai Gardens. We also plan to visit Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites of the region and once the chief port of the Crusaders. Visit the underground city seeing the Crusader halls, crypt and the tunnels used as a secret route to the port. Also visit the bazaar and the UNESCO site of Kahn El Umdan (Inn of the Columns) one of the bestpreserved caravanserai in Israel. The last option is to drive to Caesarea – the impressive ruins rest on the coast halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. This grand ancient city and harbour were built by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and reigned capital over its region for almost 600 years. Named after the Roman Caesar Augustus, it had all the amenities of a splendid Roman city: baths, a hippodrome, a theatre and an aqueduct and we can explore the remains in the archaeological park.
Day 4 - Days 5 & 6 Ashdod.
We continue our exploration of Israel from the southern port of Ashdod where we will spend a day and a half. During our time here we will organise visits to Jaffa, the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv developed. Famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and St Peter, it has a fascinating history stretching back over four thousand years. We will explore the highlights including the Clock Tower, Flea Market and the renovated alleys and buildings of the city. We will also drive inland to Jerusalem including a visit to the Mount of Olives from where we can enjoy spectacular views over the ‘Golden City’ of Jerusalem. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Wander the streets of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and continue through the Christian Quarter to the bazaar, passing the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter and the Western (or Wailing) Wall. Our last afternoon is at sea and we arrive in Port Said in the evening to prepare for our transit of the Suez Canal.
Day 5 - Day 7 Suez Canal Transit.
Spend the day in transit of the Suez Canal and the Great Bitter Lake.
Day 6 - Day 8 Port Tawfiq for Cairo, Egypt.
Today is a full day tour dedicated to the capital city of Cairo. We visit the impressive Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the tombs of the great Pharaohs and their queens. After lunch we visit the Egyptian Museum with 107 halls that are separated into seven sections. The museum houses statues, jewels and treasures of Tutankhamun. We will visit the Amarna Room and see the Fayoum portraits and monuments from the later periods from the Greeks and the Romans. Return to the MS Serenissima for dinner this evening.
Day 7 - Day 9 At Sea.
Spend the day on board as we sail through the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez. Join one of our lectures or find a spot on deck as we sail to Safaga where we arrive this evening and moor overnight.
Day 8 - Days 10 & 11 Safaga for Luxor, Egypt.
The port of Safaga will be our base for our overnight trip to Luxor. After driving through the desert our first call will be on the West Bank, one of the most famous and important archaeological sites in the world. See the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of the pharaohs for a period of 500 years. The tombs vividly depict the journey of the sun god and pharaoh through the dangers of the underworld. In the temple of Queen Hatshepsut you will discover scenes commemorating the reign of this exceptional monarch such as the ambitious voyage where she sent her ships on the Red Sea to the mysterious land of Punt. After our visit we transfer to our hotel in Luxor for some time to relax before meeting for dinner. Our second day will include the temples of Karnak, one of the most memorable and popular historical areas to visit in the world. Here you will witness the unbelievably vast array of monuments dedicated to Amun-Ra, king of the gods, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu. Just two of the highlights you will see are the great hypostyle hall with over 130 columns some 22 metres high and the obelisk of the powerful queen pharaoh Hatshepsut. We will have some time to explore the souk before continuing to the Nile for a short cruise including lunch. In the afternoon we will board our coaches and return to the MS Serenissima in Safaga.
Day 9 - Day 12 Aqaba, Jordan.
After a busy couple of days we will have a relaxing morning at sea arriving in Aqaba at lunchtime. This afternoon explore the old town of Aqaba including time to walk through the bustling souk. This evening we will transfer to one of the beaches in the Aqaba Marine Park for a barbeque by the sea.
Day 10 - Day 13 Wadi Rum & Petra.
Disembark this morning as we drive to Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon where the desert landscape is mixed with awe-inspiring shapes to create an almost supernatural atmosphere. We will embark on an adventurous excursion by a Bedouin open top four-wheel drive vehicle. We begin at the visitor centre from where there is a view in the distance of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the famous landmark named after the book by T.E. Lawrence ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. During our excursion we will also see the Alameleh inscriptions which are a good example of ancient rock drawings, Siq Um Al Tawaqi, a short canyon containing a carving of the head of T.E. Lawrence and ruins of Allat (Goddess) Temple of the AAD tribe. After lunch we continue our journey to Little Petra, where a modest gorge (Siq el-Barid) leads into the area of carved tombs and monuments. See the Painted Cave which is believed to have been a shelter for a sect focused on Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, as it contains remains of Greekstyle plaster artwork, quite unique for Petra, displaying tangled vines and flowers with brightly coloured birds and cupid-like figures. After our visit transfer to our hotel and meet for dinner tonight.
Day 11 - Day 14 Petra.
After breakfast in the hotel we will explore the breathtaking Nabatean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2000 years ago and has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Walk past the Obelisk Tomb and then through the Siq, the narrow 1.2 kilometre gorge that leads to Petra’s most impressive monument, the Treasury which was carved out of the pale reddish sandstone in the 1st century BC. Pass by the dozens of classical Nabatean ruins and tombs known as the Street of Facades, the remarkable 3000 seat Theatre, the Royal Tombs, the Colonnaded Street, the Byzantine Church, the Temple, the Monumental Arch and the mighty Qasr el-Bint Faroun. After lunch amidst the ruins of Petra you will have the option to return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or stay and explore the site further independently. Those feeling active may choose to climb about 900 steps up to the large, 1st century AD monument known as the Monastery with its remarkable views over Wadi Araba. Meet tonight for dinner.
Day 12 - Day 15 Madaba & Dead Sea.
After breakfast drive to Madaba, home of the most famous Byzantine mosaics. Visit the greatest and most significant of all the city’s treasures, the wonderful mosaic map of ancient Palestine, which is located on the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. The 6th century AD map, hailed as the oldest in existence, was depicted for the benefit of the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, as it represented the surrounding regions as well. After lunch we will continue to our hotel in the Dead Sea. This afternoon is free to swim or float here which, at 423 metres below sea level is the lowest spot on earth. The high salt content prevents the existence of any life forms but is also believed to provide healing properties with the mud on the sea bed being rich in minerals. Meet tonight for dinner in the hotel.
Day 13 - Day 16 Amman to London.
Check out this morning and transfer to Amman airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £6,995Standard Stateroom
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £7,195Classic Stateroom
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £7,595Superior Stateroom
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £7,995Standard Single
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £8,095Deluxe Stateroom
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £8,595Junior Suite
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £9,295Owner’s Suite
21-11-202106-12-2021GBP £9,695Serenissima Suite

Inclusions

    • Discover Haifa, Israel.
    • Explore Ashdod.
    • Spend the day in transit of the Suez Canal and the Great Bitter Lake.
    • Enjoy Luxor, Egypt.

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