Come with us on a journey through the Near East as we visit a wealth of treasures including biblical landmarks, Byzantine settlements, Egyptian temples and tombs as well as impressive Greek and Roman sites. With the aid of our Guest Speaker and local guides, we will learn and reflect on the successive civilisations and a period of history spanning well over 2000 years.
Our journey begins with a five day escorted tour of Jordan, which from the grandeur of Petra to the desert sands of Wadi Rum and the mystical Dead Sea is a country 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 Nabataeans 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. We embark the MS Serenissima in Aqaba for our twelve night voyage to Turkey’s coastal city of Antalya beginning with time spent exploring the wonders of Egypt. See the great temples of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and visit Cairo’s magnificent Egyptian Museum. Next will be our transit of the Suez Canal, a highlight for many, followed by a visit to Alexandria from where there is the option to travel out to the Western Desert to the Museum and graveyards of El Alamein.
After a leisurely day at sea we arrive in Cyprus where from Limassol we visit the Temple of Apollo and the ruins of Kourion with its Greco-Roman Theatre before continuing to the Turkish Riviera where we will explore several ancient sites including Side, Perge and the Amphitheatre of Aspendos. This unusual itinerary offers a fascinating mix of some of the world’s most impressive and historic sites, including the ‘Rose Red City’ of Petra, combined with time to relax on board the MS Serenissima, enjoying good food and informative lectures in the company of just 95 fellow travellers.