Experience the history-laden waters of the Mediterranean Sea aboard your cruiseliner, an effective hotel on the water which conveniently transports you between magnificent port cities. Revel in the splendor of multiple European coastal cities in a relatively short period of time, a wonderful advantage of cruise-based travel. Departing from the romantic waterways of Venice, you'll voyage to Bari, its harbour a principal seaport of ancient Rome. Sail to Katakolo on the Ionion Sea, your avenue to the ancient site of Olympia, before venturing to the Turkish metropolis of Izmir, with over 3,500 years of urban history. See the incredible architecture of Istanbul, the former Constantinople, capital of the most impressive empires of the Middle Ages. Sail to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik, the most prominent and revered destination on the Adriatic. This voyage will take you where the history, culture, breathtaking scenery and magnificent wines will capture your imagination and leave lasting impressions you won't soon forget. Discover the true Italian atmosphere on this cruise departure which combines private tours & transfers. Add private shore excursions and customize this itinerary to fit your needs.
Cruise Departure Dates:
2014: every Saturday from Apr 5 - Nov 1
2015: every Saturday from May 2 - Nov 14
For your added comfort, you will have Meet & Greet assistance upon your arrival that will be waiting for you outside the customs. Your representative will help to co-ordinate meeting up with your private water taxi driver at the airport and accompany you to your accommodation.
Enjoy a guided 4 hour private tour to Murano, Burano and Torcello on your own private boat with an English speaking Guide. After being picked up by your Guide in your hotel, take in the sights as you sail past the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the Public Gardens, the tip of Sant'Elena and the famous Lido beach resort. The first stop on your tour is Murano, known throughout the world for its glass manufacturing industry. Here we stop to visit to one of the factories. The second stop is at the picturesque island of Burano, famous not only for its lace but also for the fishermen's houses painted in bright colours. Then after a short cruise, we reach Torcello, the earliest centre of civilization in the estuary. Only the Cathedral with its magnificent mosaics and the church of Santa Fosca remain as testimony of its former glory. At the end of your tour your Guide will bring you back to your hotel.
Sit back and relax on a marvellous and enchanting half an hour evening gondola ride through the Grand Canal and inner canals of Venice. You will breathe the atmosphere of this ancient city built on water. Start your journey at the 'Stazio Gondole Santa Maria del Giglio." Close to Saint Mark, right on the Grand Canal, in front of Guggenheim Collection palace and Santa Maria della Salute church, this gondola station is one of the oldest Gondola stops in Venice.
For your added comfort, you will have a Meet & Greet assistance upon your arrival that will be waiting for you at the gangway with a sign. Your representative will help to co-ordinate meeting up with your private water taxi driver at the Venice port and accompany you to your accommodation.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in before attending the welcome dinner, where you can meet your fellow cruisemates.
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia (or, in Italian, Puglia) region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas. Bari is made up of four different urban sections. To the north is the closely built old town on the peninsula between two modern harbours, with the splendid Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035–1171) and the Swabian Castle built for Frederick II, which is now also a major nightlife district. To the south is the Murat quarter (erected by Joachim Murat), the modern heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district (the via Sparano and via Argiro).
Katakolo (or Katakolon) is a seaside town and port in western Ilia, Greece. The town centre is on a headland overlooking the Ionian Sea and separating the Kyparissian Gulf from the rest of the Ionian. The port is a frequent stop for cruise ships on tours of the Ionian and Mediterranean seas, offering an opportunity for passengers to visit the site of Ancient Olympia.
Izmir, historically Smyrna, is the third most populous city of Turkey and the country's largest port after Istanbul. It is located in the Gulf of Izmir, by the Aegean Sea. Izmir has almost 3,500 years of urban past, and possibly that much more of advanced human settlement. Modern Izmir also incorporates the nearby ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis and Klazomenai.
Depart the Izmir port with your private driver and guide, passing through lush countryside en route to the site thought to have been host to the Virgin Mary in her final years of life, the House of Virgin Mary. From there, a short drive will bring you to Ephesus, the most important ancient ruins in Turkey. Upon arrival, enter the Open Air Archaeological Museum where you will see the Odean, Fountain of Trajan, the temple of Hadrian, and the steam baths of Scholastika. The impressive Library of Celsius, adorned with columns and statues is yet another key remnant of the Greek, and later Roman, past that can be seen. One of the largest theatres of the ancient world, the Grand Theatre, remains at the site of Ephesus, with a capacity of 24,000 seats. Explore these ancient marvels, an invaluable link to antiquity. Follow your tour with a brief carpet presentation before returning to the ship.
Istanbul (Byzantium, and later Constantinople) is the world's 3rd largest city and Turkey's cultural and financial center. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is therefore the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Enjoy a half a day tour in Istanbul with your own English speaking guide and private car. The tour includes visits to the St. Sophia Church, the pride and glory of the Byzantine architecture; the Blue Mosque, famous for its architecture as for its blue tiles; the Byzantine Hippodrome, where chariot races were held. The tour ends with the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest, with 4,000 shops. Return to ship.
Today is a relaxing day spent at sea, en route to your next destination, Dubrovnik. There are plenty of entertainment options aboard your ship, or for pure relaxation, grab a drink and settle in with a book. This is the carefree beauty of cruise travel.
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. The Renaissance era city walls, and red terra cotta rooftops of the old town are spectacular remnants of the city's rich past.
After breakfast this morning, you'll be disembarking your ship back in Venice. Bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as your voyage has come to conclusion.
Meet your driver for a private transfer and vehicle from the port of Venice to Marco Polo Airport.
Enjoy your stay at the Hotel Saturnia & International (4*), located along the famous Venetian Via XXII Marzo, in the heart of this dramatic city. This fantastic property is within steps of both the Accademia Art Galleries and the famous San Marco Square. The Saturnia & International features 89 charming guestrooms, elegantly decorated with a lovely Venetian theme in mind. Truly convenient and delicious, La Caravella Restaurant located on-site, features some inspirational cuisine options for guests to choose from. Considered one of Venice's best, and most popular dining locales, La Caravella is sure to satisfy with is variety of traditional Italian dishes and popular westernized fares. With touring a mere step away from the property, fine dining within reach, it’s no wonder why the Hotel Saturnia & International is considered amongst Venice's best overnight accommodations.
With the MSC Preziosa, step aboard an elegant new masterpiece in cruise ship design. Offering the utmost in comfort, service and advanced, environmentally-friendly technology, it shares many sophisticated features with its sister ships, from the exclusive designer suites of the MSC Yacht Club to the lavish wellbeing facilities of the Aurea Spa. And like every ship in the MSC fleet, the Preziosa is designed to offer all guests the ultimate cruise experience.
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