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Islands of Italy (Serenissima)

Islands of Italy (Serenissima)

From GBP £4,995

Description

This is a voyage that will appeal to those who love Italy, and who enjoy hopping between islands. Our late summer voyage is wonderful and rare opportunity to visit the islands of Elba, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Gozo from the comfort of the MS Serenissima. The islands feature an array of ancient ruins and attractive towns and villages which we will discover during our included, guided excursions whilst we have also allowed for ample time to explore independently.

Sailing from Livorno we first visit the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from where we continue on to Corsica. Despite officially being a part of France, the island of Corsica has its own identity with stunning natural harbours and charming towns. Continuing to Sardinia we spend time in Alghero and Cagliari followed by four days of exploration of Sicily which, with a history of 3000 years has a wealth of sites to discover. Our penultimate call will be the pretty Maltese island of Gozo. Local guides and our onboard Guest Speaker will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of these island gems and you will find yourself wanting to return time and time again.

Trip Name
Islands of Italy (Serenissima)
Days
12
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 Livorno, Italy.
Fly by scheduled flight to Pisa. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and embark. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner on board as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Portoferraio, Elba.
After breakfast we will explore the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from 1814 to 1815. From our berth we set out for a delightful drive exploring the southern region of this charming island with superb views over the coastline. The first stop will be Villa San Martino which was the summer residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and has been transformed into a museum. Later enjoy some time at leisure in Porto Azzurro to explore this delightful town which is dominated by an ancient Spanish fortress and a picturesque harbour. Our drive continues along the coast to the 17th century country wine farm, La Chiusa which is beautifully nestled in a vineyard estate surrounded by olive trees and overlooking the ocean. As every self-respecting mansion on Elba, La Chiusa claims to have once housed Napoleon during his exile here. Experience the estate’s interesting cellar to learn how the wine is produced and enjoy a delicious sampling of the local wine. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy some free time in Portoferraio before we sail later this evening.
Day 3 - Day 3 L’Ile Rousse & Calvi, Corsica.
Arrive this morning on the island of Corsica and the prosperous Balagne region of the island. A morning tour will take us to Calvi where our guide will lead us through the alleyways and cobbled streets before continuing uphill to the imposing citadel. Built by the Genoese, this 15th century structure has seen off several assaults through the centuries and offers wonderful views from its five bastions. We will also see the Caserne Sampiero and 13th century Cathedral St Jean Baptiste. After lunch on board spend some time exploring L’ile Rousse at your own pace.
Day 4 - Day 4 Bonifacio.
Be on deck this morning as we arrive in Bonifacio’s stunning natural harbour. Well known by Odysseus as the home of the savage and giant laestrygonians, today Bonifacio’s breathtaking clifftop setting and relaxed pace make it one of the most welcoming ports in the Mediterranean. On our morning tour we will explore the narrow streets and the historical heart of the town. We will discover the Bosco quarter with the St Francis Convent, the 14th century Church of St Marie Majeure and take in the views from the clifftop on which the city is built. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy the afternoon in port to explore further at your own pace.
Day 5 - Day 5 Alghero, Sardinia.
The Medieval city of Alghero was colonised by the Catalans in the 14th century and today there is still a strong Catalan identity throughout the town, and it is often even referred to as “Barceloneta”. We will use the attractive port as our base for a day of exploration in the region. This morning’s panoramic drive takes us to Nuraghe Palmavera with its main tower of the Nuraghe, which still has its dome shaped ceiling that dates back to 1100 years BC. The complex, which was abandoned in the 5th century BC due to fire, shows the different phases of social life and political organisation of the tribal community. Return to the ship for lunch or spend a little longer ashore to explore the town at your own pace. Please note that we will be at anchor today and will use the vessel’s Zodiacs or local tender to transfer ashore.
Day 6 - Day 6 Cagliari.
Spend the morning exploring the Sardinian capital of Cagliari, an ancient city which dates back to the Phoenicians and Romans. On a walking tour we will stroll around the old town with its narrow streets running along a steep hillside. See the terraced Piazza del Palazzo and the 14th century Cathedral of St Cecila. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively, drive along the southwestern coast to reach Nora which was founded by the Phoenicians but also has Carthaginian and Roman ruins. After a period of Roman prosperity, there was a decline and in the 3rd century AD the city was engulfed by the sea. Still visible today are the remains of a Carthaginian warehouse and various Roman buildings, including the baths with splendid mosaics and the theatre.
Day 7 - Day 7 Trapani, Sicily.
Spend the morning at sea arriving into Trapani over lunch. This was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily. This afternoon there is the option to travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 BC as well as the theatre from where you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Alternatively visit Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour via cable car will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterised by its winding cobblestone streets and beautiful courtyards.
Day 8 - Day 8 Porto Empedocle.
Today we will visit the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, a grouping unique outside Greece. Admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. There will be the option to visit the Valley of the Temples and the Museum or just the Valley of the Temples. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore Agrigento and shuttles will run from the port to the town.
Day 9 - Day 9 Licata for Piazza Armerina.
From the port of Licata we travel inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site in 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 winemaking regions in Italy. We will break our journey at one of these vineyards and enjoy a chance to sample some wine over a Sicilian lunch.
Day 10 - Day 10 Syracuse.
Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC and by the 5th century was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean which 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 will 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 will 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. The afternoon is free to explore independently before we meet this evening for a private concert in one of the town’s palazzos accompanied by local food and wine.
Day 11 - Day 11 Gozo, Malta.
Arrive this morning off the Maltese island of Gozo, thought to be the Calypso Isles of Homer’s Odyssey and a lovely place to spend a day. On a morning drive we will visit the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra. Dating back to 3600 BC the temples, which are now recognised as a World Heritage Site, are one of the most significant archaeological finds in Malta. Continue to Our Lady of Victories Church, one of the most richly embellished places of worship on the island which was elevated to the rank of a minor Basilica in 1967. We return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon is free to explore at your own pace. Shuttle buses will run to the capital of Victoria where you can take your time to walk the walls or through the narrow streets of this small picturesque city. In the late afternoon we will sail the short distance to Valletta where we moor overnight.
Day 12 - Day 12 Valletta to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £4,995Standard Stateroom
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £5,195Classic Stateroom
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £5,595Superior Stateroom
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £6,095Deluxe Stateroom
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £6,195Standard Single
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £6,595Junior Suite
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £7,495Owner’s Suite
13-09-202124-09-2021GBP £7,495Serenissima Suite

Inclusions

    • Discover L’Ile Rousse & Calvi, Corsica.
    • Enjoy Alghero, Sardinia.
    • Travel to Trapani, Sicily.
    • Explore Gozo, Malta.

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