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.
Cruise Departure Dates:
2013: every Saturday from Aug 3 - Oct 26 (aboard MSC Divina)
2014: every Saturday from Apr 5 - Nov 1 (aboard MSC Preziosa)
For your added comfort, we will have a Meet & Greet assistance for you upon your arrival which 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 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.
Meet your english speaking guide for a 4 hour guided private tour to Murano and Burano on your own private boat. After being picked up by your guide at 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 Arsenal of the Venetian Republic. 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 most famous and ancient glass factories, where you can enjoy a live glass blowing demonstration performed by a Maestro Glass Maker. 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. Relax and enjoy a coffee before your tour guide will bring you back to your hotel or to Venice centre.
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, we will have a Meet & Greet assistance for you upon your arrival which 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.
MSC Divina, named in honour of screen legend and MSC Cruises “godmother” Sophia Loren, will be christened in Marseille in May 2012. Modelled on her sister-ships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, she features some remarkable enhancements. The gorgeous Infinity Pool in the aft of the ship, with its “beach zone” adjoining the glass balustrade, offers a unique view of the ship’s wake fading into the sunset. And if you’re travelling in the expanded MSC Yacht Club, you can relax in style in the Top Sail Lounge. Your cruise ship is your first and last destination each day. As well as a hotel, spa, sports club, shopping centre and entertainment complex, it should also be a place where you can enjoy a cosy coffee break, a quiet stroll or a romantic drink beneath the stars. Experience the glamour of the past with all the comforts of the 21st century, thanks to their unique Italian style.
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.
After breakfast this morning, you'll be disembarking your ship in the beautiful medieval city of Dubrovnik. Bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as your voyage has come to conclusion.
A transfer between the port and your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
Enjoy a half day walking tour of Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful stone-built cities in the world. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik owes its special charm to the historic monuments that testify to its rich history. While strolling down Stradun, the main street, you will get to stop and visit the Franciscan Monastery of the “Order of Friars Minors” that preserves one of the three oldest pharmacies in Europe. Continue down to Orlando Column and the Sponza Palace and visit the Church of St. Blasius, the patron-saint of the town. Discover Rector’s Palace and the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary and its treasury. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore this stunning town on your own. We recommend you to take a walk along the city walls, visit one of the numerous museums or take a funicular ride to the top of the Srđ hill. Entrance fees to Franciscan Monastery, Recto'rs Palace, and Cathedral of the Virgin Mary are included.
Carved into a cliffside, the peaceful seclusion of the Hotel Bellevue (5*) makes you feel as if you’re on your own private island. From the moment you arrive, you are immersed in a world of luxury, elegance, and impeccable service. Situated on a 30m cliff above Miramare Bay, overlooking the majestic Adriatic Sea, the Hotel Bellevue’s unrivalled location differentiates it from other luxury hotels in Dubrovnik. Less than 1km from the historic city centre, it is also close to Dubrovnik’s key cultural and historical attractions. Each of their 91 rooms have fabulous views across Miramare Bay and beyond, with mile upon mile of deep blue sea stretching uninterrupted in front of you.
During a six hour private guided tour today you will get to tour of the Dubrovnik Hinterland – the region of Konavle.
Meet your private driver and guide in the hotel lobby and relax on the drive to the ancient Mediterranean town of Cavtat. After a 7th century invasion destroyed the town, refugees from the Cavtat formed another settlement, Dubrovnik. Your guide will take you for a stroll through this picturesque little town and up to the top of the hill where you will discover the extraordinary Mausoleum of the Račić Family.
After the walk, continue your exploration of the traditional countryside of Konavle. In the village of Čilipi, a local family will welcome you at their humble estate that has a small ethno-museum presenting Konavle's history, a tavern with a wine cellar, and a variety of agricultural buildings. While you enjoy their hospitality, they will serve a traditional lunch.
After lunch, you will be brought back to Dubrovnik. Entrance fees and lunch are included.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
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