Wonders of Sicily & the Amalfi Coast

Wonders of Sicily & the Amalfi Coast

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The island of Sicily has an incredible wealth of treasures and a geography which lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea with most points of interest located close to the coast. Owing to its benevolent climate and superb strategic position, Sicily has been coveted, fought over and colonised numerous times with the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons having all made their mark. During our voyage aboard the MS Serenissima we will discover Sicily’s rich heritage which is the result of so many invading civilisations.

From magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and bizarrely styled villas, there is so much to explore during our voyage which we have timed for September and October when the crowds of high summer will have departed and the temperatures will be pleasant for our guided tours. We finish our voyage by sailing across to mainland Italy where we visit beautiful Positano, considered one of the prettiest towns along the Amalfi coast and the magnificent site of Herculaneum.

Trip Name
Wonders of Sicily & the Amalfi Coast
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 to Malta. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Porto Empedocle, Sicily.
This morning we will explore 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. 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.
Day 3 - Day 3 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 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.
Day 4 - Day 4 Noto & Ragusa.
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. 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 Serenissima 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.
Day 5 - Day 5 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. This morning we will 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. Continuing to explore the island of Ortigia 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 meeting this evening for a private concert in one of the town’s palazzos accompanied by local food and wine.
Day 6 - Day 6 Messina for Taormina.
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 exploring 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. Those who wish to spend longer here will be able to take lunch independently in one of the local restaurants and spend an afternoon exploring at leisure before our coach returns to Messina. Alternatively, return to the ship for lunch and enjoy free time in Messina before we sail this evening.
Day 7 - Day 7 Lipari & Stromboli, Aeolian Islands.
We anchor off the picturesque island of Lipari situated in the Aeolian Islands off the north coast of Sicily. Here we will find an amazing collection of ruins from the prehistoric through to the Roman period. Lipari town is a thriving little place prettily located between two harbours. After landing by Zodiac, our morning tour includes a visit to the upper town set within fortress walls and a drive around the volcano followed by a visit to the Archaeological Museum with its impressive relics from nearby excavations. Maybe stay in town for lunch before we sail in the late afternoon. Enjoy dinner anchored off the volcanic island of Stromboli. Please note that we will be at anchor today and will use the vessel’s Zodiacs to transfer ashore.
Day 8 - Day 8 Palermo, Sicily.
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 ship for lunch and this afternoon either enjoy some time to explore independently or join an excursion to Monreale Cathedral, said to be the most beautiful Norman Church in Italy, designed and completed by William the Good in 1174. With its thick walls and powerful towers, the exterior looks like an austere fortress yet it is the interior of this great cathedral which is its crowning glory. Here the large nave, with its side aisles and grey granite columns set off the exquisite Byzantine mosaics on the walls above the arches.
Day 9 - Day 9 Amalfi & Positano, Italy.
From our anchorage in Amalfi we will board local boats and take a cruise to Positano considered one of the prettiest towns along the coast where white Moorish style houses cling to the slopes around a small sparkling bay. Spend some time exploring the streets and browsing in some of Positano’s boutiques that sell the casual, locally made cotton clothing the town is noted for. We return to our private boat and transfer back to Amalfi. Flanked by an old Saracen tower and a 12th century Capuchin monastery, Amalfi boasts a splendid cathedral dating from the 11th century that is covered with geometrical designs in coloured stones. We will visit St Andrew’s Cathedral and the Basilica of the Crucifix dating back to 596 AD. We will also have some free time to stroll along the impressive marina and discover the picturesque shops and cafes.
Day 10 - Day 10 Naples.
Spend the morning at sea as we cruise round the Sorrentine Peninsula and into the Bay of Naples seeing the Norman castle that protects Naples port and the backdrop of Vesuvius in the distance. An afternoon tour will take us to Herculaneum, this wealthy Roman town was completely submerged by volcanic mud following the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius. Since its rediscovery in 1709, excavations have revealed beautiful public baths, villas and gardens of noble families, decorated with murals and floor mosaics, and the remains of a theatre. Return to the ship for dinner as we remain overnight in Naples.
Day 11 - Day 11 Naples 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


    • Enjoy Porto Empedocle, Sicily.
    • Visit Noto & Ragusa.
    • Travel to Syracuse.
    • Discover Lipari & Stromboli, Aeolian Islands.
    • Explore Palermo, Sicily.