In The Footsteps of Edward Lear 2022

In The Footsteps of Edward Lear 2022

From GBP £4,395


“I have always loved Edward Lear’s landscape paintings and drawings. When I think of an area or place in Greece or the Balkans, often the first image I see in my mind’s eye is one of Lear’s paintings. He magically captures the very essence of the place and time in a way photographs rarely do. Not only a great artist, he was also the master of the pen and during this voyage, the talks on board will not only be illustrated with his paintings but with extracts from his journals and letters, especially the delightfully light-hearted ones to his sister Ann. His words and images from over 150 years ago are still as meaningful and fresh today and will add a welcome dimension to our travels through remarkable landscapes and historic sites.

We hope you can join us aboard the MS Serenissima for this fascinating journey through Greece, its islands and along the coast of Albania. Our voyage will take us to many of the places which Edward Lear visited, some still looking much the same as he encountered where we can share his moods, feelings and humour. The splendid legacy of his paintings and drawings can be seen as all the more remarkable considering that throughout his life he suffered from chest complaints, epileptic fits, poor eyesight and depression. Added to this he had to contend with a fear of horses and often severe seasickness but through all trials, he was at his best whilst on the move. A troubled soul, but undoubted genius, he was an English eccentric of the very best kind.”

Trip Name
In The Footsteps of Edward Lear 2022
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: Athens
Meet your fellow passengers for dinner this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Athens
Lear visited Athens in 1848 with his friend Charles Church, spending a number of weeks here and producing over 100 paintings and drawings. We will spend the morning visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon as well as the Acropolis Museum. After a local lunch we will transfer to the port of Piraeus to embark the MS Serenissima in the late afternoon.
Day 3 - Day 3 Corinth Canal & Delphi
Spend a leisurely morning on board as we navigate the narrow Corinth Canal and cruise along the Gulf of Corinth to berth at the port of Itea. After lunch on board we will visit Delphi, one of the most evocative of ancient Greek sites. Lear obviously thought so “Delphi clinging to the rocks above a sea of olive trees”. Nestling on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, the site is of significant religious and political importance; pilgrims flocked from all over the Hellenic world to the Oracle of Delphi. Take some time to enjoy the austere beauty of the valley and the Sanctuary of Athena and the Sanctuary of Pythian Apollo. We hope to visit the museum before returning to the MS Serenissima for dinner as we sail out into the Ionian Sea.
Day 4 - Day 4 Argostoli, Cephalonia.
Spend the morning at sea bound for Cephalonia. After lunch, explore the island including the ruins of the fortress of San Giorgio. Lear painted the castle in 1863 whilst working on his ‘Views in the Seven Ionian Islands’ hoping that the publication would find commercial success. The timing fitting in with the British administration returning the islands back to Greece. First fortified by the Byzantines and later developed by the Venetians, San Giorgio lost its importance and decay and the 1950s earthquake sealed its fate. Our island drive will include the capital of Argostoli and the Aghii Theodori Lighthouse.
Day 5 - Day 5 Preveza.
Returning to the Greek mainland we head for the little-known ancient city of Nikopolis, one of the largest and most important sites in the whole of Greece. Built by the Roman Emperor Octavianus Augustus following his victory at Aktiun in 31 BC over Antony and Cleopatra, inside its extensive walls are the Odeum, the Theatre, the Nymphaeum and the monument to Augustus. Later, the city flourished in the early Christian period as the seat of the archbishop of old Epiros, but earthquakes and invading Goths and Vandals led to its demise. Lear visited Nikopolis in 1849 and his lithograph of the site shows little has changed in the last 170 years. Spend the afternoon exploring Preveza at leisure.
Day 6 - Day 6 Igoumenitsa.
Enjoy a full day tour to the Byzantine city of Ioannina. Justinian was founded in the 6th century AD but it was in the late Byzantine period, 13th to 15th century, that the city flourished with the arrival of Byzantine families following the Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople. Ioannina joined Greece in 1913 following a period in the 18th and 19th centuries when the city was a major centre of the modern Greek Enlightenment. Lear was very taken with the city, in a letter to his sister Ann he commented “I think the scene of the Citadel, lake and mountains, is really one of the grandest and most beautiful I ever saw”. We explore the old city on foot with its castle, museums and mosques as well as enjoying some free time in the Stoa Louli arcade with its cafes, shops and art galleries. A highlight will be the visit to Ali Pasha’s house, that enigmatic symbol of Ottoman rule. We enjoy a local lunch and also plan a stop to visit the remote and impressive Ancient Theatre and Oracle of Dodoni. This area was a site of worship and pilgrimage from 2000 BC until Roman times and was dedicated at one time to the Mother Goddess Gaia and then to Zeus.
Day 7 - Day 7 Corfu.
And so, to Corfu, the island Lear loved, visiting no fewer than nine times and where he spent three years. In his diary in 1866 he wrote “Can I give no idea of the Paradise island to other”. Admittedly, the island has seen many changes since his time, but there are still corners where it is possible to see why he held the island in such affection. We have the day to explore and will start with a visit to the sumptuous regency style Palace of St Michael and St George Museum in lovely Corfu town. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy a drive across the island to visit the famous Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin at Paleokastritsa which is still inhabited by a community of monks. The small museum houses some priceless Byzantine icons. Spend some time in the serene monastery gardens that afford a splendid view over the turquoise waters of the bay. We will overnight in port allowing for the opportunity to go ashore in Corfu Town after dinner, the ideal time to appreciate this special place.
Day 8 - Day 8 Sarande, Albania.
Nearby, is the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and must see in Albania. Its history spans two and a half millennia and for centuries was overgrown and forgotten. Lear visited in 1857 and was fascinated by the powerful fortifications but at the time there was little else for him to see as restoration only started in the 20th century. He would be truly amazed if he could see the site today, it is extraordinary. Our guided walk will reveal the ruins from many eras and cultures including the Hellenistic theatre, Roman public baths and the Venetian Watch Tower. As well as the history, take in the spectacular views, the ancient city occupies a bluff of land which protrudes into the Vivari Channel, a stretch of water that connects the Strait of Corfu to the inland saltwater of Lake Butrint. We enjoy some refreshments before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure in Sarande.
Day 9 - Day 9 Vlore.
Just north of Sarande is the port of Vlore and from here we drive two hours to another UNESCO treasure, the hillside town of Berat which Lear visited in 1848. Some of his most important works were painted here and even today it is an artist’s dream with its steep cobbled streets and Ottoman style houses surrounded by mountains and olive and grape groves. We explore on foot the oldest quarter of the city known as Kalaja, where the castle has presided over the city for 2000 years and will enjoy lunch here. En-route to Berat, we plan to visit Apollonia, once a great city and an important port. Founded by the Corinthians in 588 BC, it prospered under Greek colonisation and Rome. It was here Octavian learned of the assassination of his great uncle Caesar and set upon his bid for power ultimately becoming emperor. Archaeological excavations by successive French missions dating back to Napoleon III mean a large area of the site is now visible, certainly considerably more than Lear witnessed after spending a draughty night in a 13th century monastery. For a more leisurely option choose to visit Apollonia in the morning followed by a free afternoon.
Day 10 - Day 10 Tirana & Kruje.
Form the port of Durres we enjoy a full day excursion to explore Tirana and Kruje Castle. Tirana has changed since Lear’s visit in 1848 but it remains a fascinating place with disintegrating Soviet style buildings, brand new architecture and historic buildings surrounded by picturesque upland scenery that Lear found so enchanting. After a local lunch we continue to Kruje Castle. Lear was very taken with the area, as he sat and sketched, he noted “the lovely landscape in a land of loveliness, than any place I ever saw”. Built in the 6th century, perched above the town of Kruje it was the headquarters of the Dragon of Albania, Skanderberg, who resisted the Ottoman forces in the mid-15th century, hindering their expansion into Western Europe. Visit the museum in the castle dedicated to the legendary Albanian leader and the Ethnographic Museum in an interesting 19th century house.
Day 11 - Day 11 Tirana to London.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Tirana

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £4,395Standard Stateroom
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £4,595Classic Stateroom
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £4,895Superior Stateroom
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £5,195Standard Single
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £5,295Deluxe Stateroom
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £5,695Junior Suite
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £6,095Owner’s Suite
25-09-202205-10-2022GBP £6,195Serenissima Suite


    • Delphi Caphalonia Corfu Butrint