Treasures of Sicily & Puglia with Serenissima

Treasures of Sicily & Puglia with Serenissima

From GBP £4,995


Here is the perfect voyage for those who love Italy, travelling in the company of less than 100 like-minded travellers and sailing aboard a delightful small ship with a varied programme of interesting visits ashore. Setting sail from Valletta’s Grand Harbour, we will spend time in Sicily to appreciate the island’s rich legacy of so many invading civilisations followed by time in Puglia, our itinerary taking us off the beaten track to many places that are beyond the reach of the mega-cruise ships.

Sicily is an endlessly fascinating island that lends itself beautifully to discovery by small ship and our visits ashore here will include the Roman mosaics of the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale, the magnificently sited Doric temples of Agrigento, timelessly beautiful Syracuse, and the stunning Greek theatre at Taormina. Crossing to the heel of Italy, our final days will be spent discovering Puglia’s many gems including visits with local guides to prehistoric dwellings and traditional trulli abodes as well as splendid Baroque architecture and 15th century palazzos.

Our days will be varied as we explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, walk through historic villages and towns and discover the uniqueness of each region as well as enjoying opportunities to sample the local food and wine. 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.

Trip Name
Treasures of Sicily & Puglia with Serenissima
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. 


Day 1 - Day 1 London to Valletta, Malta.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Licata for Piazza Armerina, Sicily.
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 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 before returning to the ship.
Day 3 - Day 3 Agrigento for Valley of the Temples.
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, a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. Also visit the excellent onsite museum before returning to the ship for lunch. Spend the afternoon at sea as we sail around the Sicilian coast.
Day 4 - Day 4 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 ‘Ear of Dionysius, 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 5 - Day 5 Catania & Taormina.
From the port of Catania we drive up the coast to 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 spend the afternoon in Catania. The architecture here is particularly impressive but a little forbidding being mainly constructed from black lava stone from Mount Etna. On an afternoon walking tour we will see the magnificent Piazza del Duomo, a World Heritage Site, St Agatha’s Cathedral and the imposing 13th century Castello Ursino.
Day 6 - Day 6 At Sea.
Spend a relaxing day at sea as we sail to the heel of Italy. Maybe join a lecture in the lounge or find a spot on deck.
Day 7 - Day 7 Taranto, Italy.
Our first call in Puglia with be Taranto from where we cross into neighbouring Basilicata as we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sassi di Matera (stones of Matera). Situated in the old town of Matera, the Sassi are prehistoric dwellings dug into the rock itself and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy. The site covers over 1000 hectares and comprises over 1000 buildings including houses, churches, shops, workshops and monasteries and we will learn more about the history of the town on a walking tour of the labyrinthine streets. The afternoon is free to explore Taranto at your own pace and you may want to see the 15th century Aragonese Castle or the 11th century cathedral.
Day 8 - Day 8 Otranto & Lecce.
After breakfast we will drive to Lecce, often referred to as ‘The Florence of the South’ with its amazing collection of Baroque architecture. A guided walk will include a visit to the beautifully decorated Santa Croce Basilica and Piazza Duomo, considered one of the finest and most impressive squares in southern Italy. We return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon is free to explore Otranto independently, maybe walk the winding streets or along the seaside promenade. The highlight is the wonderful cathedral with its Medieval mosaic floor created by the monk, Pantaleone, between 1163 and 1165. You can also see the Chapel of the Dead which shows the bones and skulls of 813 martyrs killed by the invading Turks in 1480.
Day 9 - Day 9 Monopoli & Alberobello.
Today we drive into the Puglian countryside which is scattered with ‘trulli’, limestone dwellings built with dome or conical roofs. We will enjoy a pleasant walk in Alberobello, a fairy-tale trulli village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the St Anthony Church also built in trullo style. Afterwards we visit ‘Cantina Albea’ and its wine museum, home to pictures and old instruments used in the past for the production of wine and where we will enjoy a tasting along with a talk on wine production. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon in Monopoli where you can wander through the historic centre, visit the cathedral or see the Castello di Carlo V.
Day 10 - Day 10 Brindisi & Ostuni.
From our berth in Brindisi we head to the “White City” of Ostuni, so called due to the almost blinding sunlight reflecting on the walls of its whitewashed dwellings. Ostuni has a privileged position as it was built on three hills and from the top of the town you can enjoy a stunning view of the Adriatic coast from which Ostuni is separated by an ocean of centuries-old olive trees. The town has maintained its Medieval atmosphere which we will experience as we walk through the meandering, narrow and picturesque streets of the old town which lead to the impressive 15th century cathedral, a beautiful example of Apulian Romanesque style. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Brindisi, maybe take a stroll along the waterfront promenade and see the Roman Arch which marks the end of the Roman Road “Via Appia” used by pilgrims, soldiers and traders as they travelled to Greece and the Holy Land. Alternatively visit the 12th century Tempio di San Giovanni al Sepolcro or wander the palm-tree lined Corso Garibaldi.
Day 11 - Day 11 Brindisi to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £4,995Standard Stateroom
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £5,295Classic Stateroom
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £5,595Superior Stateroom
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £5,795Standard Single
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £5,995Deluxe Stateroom
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £6,495Junior Suite
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £6,995Owner’s Suite
07-10-202317-10-2023GBP £7,295Serenissima Suite


    • Piazza Armerina
    • Valley of the Temples
    • Catania & Taormina
    • Otranto & Lecce
    • Monopoli & Alberobello
    • Brindisi & Ostuni