Worldwide Grand Voyages Cruises
(Grand Voyage Cruise)
Travel around the world, from Los Angeles to Barcelona on a 116 day trip. Following the Tradewinds of Time, and you'll soon understand why this is the connoisseur's choice for travel excellence. Savour the small ship ability to slip into boutique ports and the genuine camaraderie that develops on board as you follow in the path of early navigators. Journey across the vast Pacific to lush Polynesian islands and lands Down Under. Explore Asia in depth and step back in history to visit the birthplace of civilization. This fantastic World Cruise itinerary arrives with the spring season to sail the Mediterranean from coast to coast. With 113 nights on board, you'll see 54 ports and 29 countries. A true Grand Voyage from start to end. Includes private shore excursions in selected ports, private tours in Spain, onboard credit, exclusive tours in various destinations , business class air ticket & much more.
Available Cruise Departure Dates:
Jan 6, 2014.
Meet your driver at the airport for a private transfer to your hotel.
Get ready for the Gala Bon Voyage Reception & Dinner this evening, which will appropriately set the stage for your voyage commencement tomorrow.
Prior to arrival, you'll be notified of your luxury accommodations in Beverly Hills, a benefit of your early booking.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, explore the length of your ship, and mentally gear up for this incredible voyage you're setting out on. Tonight's dinner on board will provide an ideal environment to meet some of your fellow cruisemates.
Silver Whisper, the newest ship in the Silversea fleet, was launched in 2001. The Whisper offers its guest the ultimate in intimate Italian Cruising – six-star service, fewer guests, more space and the ability to slip into exotic ports off the beaten path. It is as elegant as a grand hotel, as gracious as a long-time friends’ home. Every ocean-view suite provides a sumptuous retreat. Each public space is intimate yet inviting. It’s a warm feeling of home upon the seas of the earth. Aboard Silver Whisper you will find a most accommodating place to view our world. Whether it’s delicious onboard diversions, world-class cuisine, memorable dining venues or staying connected from anywhere, Silversea’s impeccable standards apply to every detail of your voyage. Pamper yourself at the beauty salon. Find the perfect bauble in the boutique. Test your luck in the casino. Enjoy an invigorating workout. Curl up with a good book in the library. Or simply soak up the sun on the pool deck.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Pacific Ocean.
Hilo is a town on the Big Island of Hawaii. The county seat and largest city in Hawaii County, Hilo is the one of the best starting points to explore the eastern half of the island, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Most Downtown Hilo stores are located along the "Bayfront", or Kamehameha Avenue. Many of the activities that are available are strictly daytime, and focus on the ocean. Surf culture is big, and boards may be rented from Orchidland Surf, located in the Bayfront district.
In the historic whaling village of Lahaina, the old grog shops and ships’ chandlers have been transformed into more than 40 art galleries and a wide range of restaurants. Once known as Lele, which means “relentless sun” in Hawaiian, Lahaina’s sunny climate and oceanfront location offers a beautiful view of the island of Lanai and stunning West Maui sunsets. Once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Lahaina is also on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still explore Lahaina’s rich history by following the signs on Lahaina’s Historic Trail located throughout town. While you dine at a seaside restaurant, don’t forget to scan the ocean for humpback whales – Maui’s warm waters are a whale sanctuary during the winter.
Honolulu is the capital and most populous city of Hawaii, and also the sea port serving the island of Oahu. The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor near the city on December 7, 1941, and as the birthplace of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The impressive Aloha Tower has been greating ships at the port since its completion in 1926, while the marine conservation at Hanauma Bay is one of the area's most popular tourist spots.
Lose a Day (Crossing International Date Line)
Tabuaeran, also known as Fanning Island or Fanning Atoll (both Gilbertese and English names are recognised) is one of the Line Islands of the central Pacific Ocean, and part of Kiribati. The atoll was discovered by the American captain Edmund Fanning on June 11, 1798, on the American ship Betsy and was named for him. At the time, the atoll was uninhabited, and in fact, like all of the Line Islands, has no truly native population. After Fanning, it was visited by whalers of several nationalities.
Grand Voyage Complimentary Experience: Fanning Island Culture. Enjoy a group experience, exploring the rich Pacific island culture of Fanning Island, once annexed to Britain in 1888, and later populated as a labor force for a coconut plantation.
Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa. Pago Pago is a mixture of colorful semi-urban communities, a small town, tuna canneries, which provide employment for a third of the population of Tutuila, and a harbor surrounded by dramatic cliffs, which plunge almost straight into the sea. A climb to the summit of Mt. Alava in the National Park of American Samoa provides a bird's-eye view of the harbor and town.
Nuku?alofa is the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga. It is located on the north coast of the island of Tongatapu, in the southernmost island group of Tonga, which British explorer Captain James Cook sailed to in 1777, during one of his three voyages through the then-uncharted Pacific Ocean.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the South Pacific Ocean.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the South Pacific Ocean.
Port of Auckland is the country's premiere exchange port for cruises, hosting around 70 calls each year. The port of Auckland has a long history on both the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. The early ports in Auckland and Onehunga, vital to the survival of these new settlements, grew in tandem with the cities they serve and into the successful trade gateways they are today.
The Port of Tauranga is located in a natural harbour protected by Mount Maunganui and Matakana Island, and is the only natural harbour between Auckland and Wellington, offering good shelter in all weather.
The Port of Napier is situated in the heart of the highly productive Hawke’s Bay region. Home to the National Aquarium of New Zealand which holds the largest collection of marine animals and indigenous species (including sharks, crocodile, piranha, and kiwi) than any other facility in New Zealand. The Port of Napier has many walkways and paths that link the city’s neighborhoods and afford many opportunities for pleasant quiet strolls. Ranging over hills to river- and sea-side locations, visitors can choose from a mix of circular, one-way, and inter-linked walkways.
Picton is a town in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It is near the head of Queen Charlotte Sound near the north-east corner of the South Island. Inter-island ferries to and from Wellington arrive and depart here by way of the Marlborough Sounds. The Main North railway line and State Highway 1 link Picton southwards to Blenheim, Christchurch and beyond, while scenic Queen Charlotte Drive winds westward to Havelock. The daily TranzCoastal long-distance passenger train to Christchurch begins and terminates in Picton.
Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement located on Banks Peninsular in the Canterbury region of the South Island. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, craft stores, and cafés. Relax in the sun at French Bay, or find a secluded beach of your own in one of the neighbouring bays. Head out onto the harbour, where scenic, fishing, and wildlife encounter cruises are available. The beautiful harbour dominates the landscape and is home to a variety of sea and bird life including the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hectors Dolphin.
Port Chalmers is a suburb and the main port of the city of Dunedin, New Zealand. Much of Port Chalmers is located on a small hilly peninsula, at the northern end of which is a large reclaimed area which is now the site of Dunedin's container port. Close to the southeastern shore of this peninsula are a pair of islands, which lie across the harbour between Port Chalmers and the Otago Peninsula. These two islands are Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua and Goat Island.
Full day spent at sea, cruising New Zealand's Dusky Sound and Milford Sound.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Tasman Sea.
Sydney is the largest and most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.Sydney has a reputation as an international centre for commerce, arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, music, education and tourism, making it one of GaWC's Alpha + world cities.
With a departure from Sydney in the late evening, you have a full day to explore more of this incredible city.
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane is also known as the River City and has the self-proclaimed title of Australia's New World City. Popular tourist and recreation areas in Brisbane include the South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, the City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane Forest Park and Portside Wharf. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 and was the world's first koala sanctuary.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns is a regional city in the far north of Queensland, Australia, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region. As of June, 2012, the population is approximately 153,075. Cairns is located about 1,700 km from Brisbane, and about 2,700 km from Sydney by road. It is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because of its tropical climate. It serves as a starting point for people wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland.
You'll have the majority of today to further your discovery of Cairns, with an early evening departure from port.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Coral Sea.
Alotau is the capital of Milne Bay Province, a province of Papua New Guinea. The town is located within the area in which the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942, before the Kokoda Track battle. A memorial park at the old battle site commemorates the event. Alotau is the gateway to the Milne Bay Province which contains some of the most remote island communities in the world. The whole of Milne Bay is noted for its coral reef and scuba diving experiences.
Grand Voyage Complimentary Experience: Alotau Culture. Enjoy a group experience, exploring the town of Alotau, gateway to the Milne Bay Province, home to some of the most remote island communities in the world.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Solomon Sea.
Madang is the capital of Madang Province and is a town on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. It was first settled by the Germans in the 19th century. During the Japanese occupation in WWI and the counterstrike, the town was virtually destroyed by 1944 and had to be rebuilt afterwards.
Koror is the state comprising the main commercial centre of the Republic of Palau. It consists of several islands, the most prominent being Koror Island. Much of Palau's economy comes from tourism. Diving in the state of Koror is one of the most spectacular experiences available, while the Rock Islands of Palau are all located in the Koror. Scuba diving shops and facilities are located all over the state as well.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Directly south of Intramuros lies Rizal Park, the country's most significant park. Also known as Luneta (Spanish term for "crescent-shaped") and previously as Bagumbayan ("New Town"), the 53 hectare Rizal Park sits on the site where José Rizal, the country's national hero, was executed by the Spaniards on charges of subversion. A monument stands in his honor. Other attractions in Rizal Park include the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, the Department of Tourism building, the National Museum of the Philippines, The National Library of the Philippines, the Planetarium, the Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion, and more. Aside from Rizal Park, Manila has very few other open public spaces.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the South China Sea.
Hong Kong, A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. After 156 years of British colonial rule, the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transfered back to China in 1997. As a result of the lack of space and demand for construction, few older buildings remain, and the city is becoming a centre for modern architecture.
Docked in port the entire day, you're free to explore more of Hong Kong, a cityscape on the cutting edge of modernity.
Grand Voyage Exclusive: Rising Dragon. This elegant evening event in Hong Kong will be hosted at the spectacularly situated Four Seasons Hotel, where guests will savour fine cuisine in a richly decorated setting that reflects both traditional and contemporary elements of this vibrant metropolis.
Your third and final day in Hong Kong is spent soaking up as much of the culture as possible before your late evening departure from port.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the East China Sea.
The Port of Shanghai faces the East China Sea to the east, and Hangzhou Bay to the south. It includes the heads of the Yangtze River, Huangpu River, and Qiantang River. The city of Shanghai is the most populated city not just in China, but in the entire world. Shanghai is also a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden, as well as the extensive and growing Pudong skyline. It is described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China.
Full day private guided tour of Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, and Yu Garden with deluxe lunch. Shanghai Museum is a veritable treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphies are distinctive features of the Museum's collection. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most popular sights in Shanghai containing rare white jade Buddhas brought from Burma in the nineteenth century. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The garden has six areas, each with its own style, the most popular being the Grand Rockery in the center.
Today your ship will remaind docked at port until the early evening, allowing you plenty of time to delve further into this impressive megacity.
Naha is a coastal city located on the East China Sea coast of the southern part of Okinawa Island, the largest of Okinawa Prefecture. The modern city was officially founded in 1921, but prior to that Naha had already been for centuries one of the most important and populous sites in Okinawa. The seas surrounding Okinawa's islands are considered among the world's most beautiful with coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife.
Keelung City is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan's second largest seaport (after Kaohsiung). When the Pacific War broke out in 1941, Keelung became one of the first targets of Allied bombers, and was nearly destroyed as a result.
Chan May Port is located in the south-east corner of Thua Thien-Hue Province in Loc Vinh commune, Phu Loc district, Vietnam. Occasionally, luxury cruise liners berth at Chan May as the port is located between the main tourist locations of Hue City and Hoi An.
Meet your private driver at the port for a 2 hour transfer to the city of Hoi An, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town of Hoi An. Upon arrival you'll take a walking tour of the old town, visiting ancient architecture and see an interesting combination of Vietnamese and Chinese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There is plenty to see in this delightful town, including the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 year-old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda, and the vibrant market. Lunch is included in your tour. To round off the day, you'll take a boat trip on the Thu Bon River, giving you a chance to admire the spectacular countryside and explore a handicraft ceramic village and boat building yards. After finishing the tour, your guide and car will transfer you back to the port (another 2 hour ride).
The city of Nha Trang is becoming more popular with tourists in recent years. Yet, with a population of 300,000, Nha Trang still retains its small town atmosphere. This resort town is well known for its miles of beach and the friendliness of its people. The city is flanked by nearly ten kilometers of prime beach where the water is warm year round. The average temperature in Nha Trang is 26 C. It is 1,287 km south of Hanoi, 624 km south of Hue and 442 km from Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon). Nha Trang has several famous islands. Most notable are Hon Tre, Hon Yen, Hon Rua and the Spratly islands.
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), is a seaport and the largest city in Vietnam. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 km from the South China Sea. Today, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city center are Reunification Palace, City Hall, the Municipal Theatre, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic, dating from the French colonial era, and the Rex Hotel, Caravelle hotel some former hangouts for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s and 1970s.
Spend another half day discovering the impressive colonnial architecture and history of Ho Chi Minh City, before departing from port in the early afternoon.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Gulf of Thailand.
Bangkok is a frequently chaotic jumble of traffic, temples, savory food and entertainment. Over the last few years, the opening of a slick new elevated tramway that enables visitors to glide over the chaotic scenes below, coupled with the cheap and frequent river boats and the reasonably priced air-conditioned taxis, have made tourism in the city newly appealing. Within the city limits is a wealth of over 300 Buddhist temple and shrines. Most famous are Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Trimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha). One of the largest temple complexes in the country is Wat Pho. Altogether, there are over 30 individual temples scattered here, of which the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is the largest. The Buddha's statue is enormous, an amazing 47.5m (156ft) long and 15m (49ft) high. Wat Phra Kaeo is a temple complex that houses the Emerald Buddha.
One of the most popular tours, bringing you along 3 of the most stunning temples, Bangkok has to offer! It features the “Wat Traimit” with its 5, 5, ton heavy Golden Buddha Image, the Wat Chetuporn (commonly known as the Wat Po), that boasts the over 45-meters long Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple-educated people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation and to be considered, home of the Thai traditional massage. We end the tour with a visit to the Wat Benchamaborpit (also known as the Marble Temple): a representation of an outstanding success of marriage between Italian Carrara marble and classical Thai architecture. Especially for those interested to know a bit more about Buddhism and its history, combined with the always-busy city life.
Grand Voyage Exclusive: Sunset over Angkor Wat. From Bangkok guests will fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to explore the magnificent temple complex at Angkor Wat, enjoying overnight accommodations at a 5-star hotel, and dinner surrounded by colossal statues in the spectacular Bayon Temple.
Spend another day exploring the cultural epicenter of Thailand, with your ship docked at port until late afternoon.
Over the last decade or so Ko Samui, once a backpacker's haven, has developed into a more sophisticated beach resort, complete with an airport that offers regular flights to and from Bangkok and Krabi. Ko Samui is Thailand's third-largest island, and although tourism is now the main industry, its lingering rustic charm is summed up by the fact that coconut farming is still a major industry.
Singapore is the East's great melting pot, a cultural potpourri that leaves the unsuspecting visitor dazzled. Sir Stamford Raffles, a British civil servant, brought the ‘Lion City’ to world prominence after searching for a trading station to counter the Dutch influence in the Straits of Malacca, and trade has remained the island’s mainstay. The best way to experience the remarkable diversity of the city is on foot: the traditional architecture, customs and cuisine of the various ethnic areas are in fascinating contrast to the lavish luxury shopping arcades of Orchard Road and Raffles City. Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and Anglican and Catholic cathedrals are all likely to be encountered during a comparatively brief walk around some of the central areas of Singapore. St Andrew’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the Al-Abrar Mosque, the vast and florid Kong Meng Sang Phor Kark See Temple Complex, the Chettiar Hindu Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple are only a few of these.
Spend today exploring more of the eclectic cultural mix of the impressive city-state, Singapore.
Kuala Lumpur - KL, as it is locally known, is Malaysia’s hub; a huge, bustling, cosmopolitan city that is the business heart of the nation. Its very ethnic diversity is part of the attraction with Malays, Chinese, Indian and European cultures melting together on the tropical streets. Often overlooked by many tourists, KL has a wealth of attractions, with the voluminous Petronas Twin Towers, at a height of 436m (1453ft), amongst the tallest buildings in the world. From the viewing level of the Towers the city unfolds with its old mosques and ramshackle buildings, contrasting with the gleaming skyscrapers that have sprouted as Malaysia has become one of the regional economic powerhouses.
Sumatra (also spelled Sumatera) is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia, and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km² with a population of 50,365,538. Its biggest city is Medan with a population of 1,770,000. People who spoke Austronesian languages first arrived in Sumatra around 500 BCE, as part of the Austronesian expansion from Taiwan to Southeast Asia. With its location in the India-China sea trade route, several trading towns flourished, especially in the eastern coast, and were influenced by Indian religions. It is also a geologically active area due to its location on the 'Ring of Fire'.
Phuket is a city and port located in the southeast of Phuket Island, Thailand. The city is famous for its night life, fine dining and is a favorite destination with international travelers.
Meet your private driver at the port for today's private guided tour of the city of Phuket. You'll visit the Promthep Cape, Rawai Beach, Sea Gypsies and of course Phuket Town itself. Located 2km from Rawai Beach is Phromthep Cape, a beautiful rock promontory which stretches from the main part of the island, out into the sea. The cliffs and coastline here are wonderful, and it is a renowned spot for magnificent sunrises and sunsets. The nearby Rawai Beach is largely a local beach, offering a pleasant seaside backdrop for eating simple grilled food while socializing amongst friends. You'll have an opportunity to see some of the local Moken people, referred to as Sea Gypsies for their nomadic, seaside lifestyle. You'll also visit Phuket Town, the capital of the island of Phuket. It is known as a hot spot for entertainment and nightlife on the island, and is a more urbanized look at life on Phuket. Return to port.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Andaman Sea.
Yangon (Rangoon) is a city of Buddhist temples, open-air markets, food stalls and ill-repaired colonial architecture. It has a population of over two million. Although most of the city has been built in the last hundred years, and although it suffered considerable damage during World War II, there are still several examples of a more ancient culture. These include the golden Shwedragon Pagoda, one of the most spectacular Buddhist shrines in Asia and reputedly 2500 years old (although rebuilt in 1769); the Sule Pagoda, also over 2000 years old; the Botataung Pagoda, hollow inside with a mirrored maze; and the Maha Pasan Guha, or ‘Great Cave’.
Today is your second day in Yangon, the city with the most remaining colonial buildings in Southeast Asia.
An early evening departure from port today allows you one final chance to get out and explore Yangon. Join the locals socializing and sipping tea in one of the many tea-shops found throughout the city.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Bay of Bengal.
Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Located on the west coast of the island, it is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park as well as the National Museum. The Galle Face Green is the city's largest and most elegant promenade. Lined with palm trees and adjacent to the coast, this mile-long stretch in the heart of the city is a constant beehive of activity.
Kochi (Cochin) has a powerful lure for tourists. Its location between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and Kerala’s emerald backwaters, rich medley of Indian and foreign architecture, unusual sights like the Chinese fishing nets, and quaint localities like the Jewish Quarter, all draw the attention of visitors. Kochi played a pivotal role in the development of shipping and trade in the southern region with its prime location on the west coast, fine bay, and protected harbor. Merchant ships made frequent stops to stock up on spices, coffee and wood, en-route to the rich markets of Europe and West Asia. The city was alternately controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, whose influences are evident in the architecture of city buildings.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Arabian Sea.
Mumbai (Bombay), the cosmopolitan capital of India is located in the west of India. Its most recognizable monument is the Gateway to India, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. From there you can catch a boat to the Elephanta Island, a UNESCO world heritage site where you can see rock-cut temples and caves dating back to the 6th century. There are museums such as the Gandhi, art galleries, bazaars, parks and temples. Bollywood, the film industry in Mumbai produces over 400 films a year and is therefore, the largest movie industry in the world. The actors enjoy their god-like statuses and dwell in exclusive mansions on Malabar Hill.
Muscat is the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Oman. The city lies on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman and is in the proximity of the strategic Straits of Hormuz. The rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat. Known since the early 1st century CE as an important trading port between the west and the east, Muscat was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians and the Portuguese Empire at various points in its history. A regional military power in the 18th century, Muscat's influence extended as far as East Africa and Zanzibar. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society.
Salalah is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. Salalah is a city of antiquity, boasting both the ruins of the fortified town Sumharam, an important port from 100 BC – AD 400, and the alleged resting place of Job in nearby Jabal Gadu. The city is a popular destination for tourism due to the natural attractions of the nearby mountains and abundant stands of frankincense trees lining mountain wadi courses. Around the city and into the mountains the countryside is lush and green during the monsoon period with the vegetation supporting herds of cattle. The climate supports wildlife often more commonly associated with East Africa, such as leopards and hyenas.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Red Sea.
Safaga is a marine port in Egypt, on the Red Coast. The port town was founded between 282 BC and 268 BC. Safaga City is considered one of the most important therapeutic tourist centres, as special medical researches have proved the potential of attracting international tourism to Safaga. The resort is reputable for its unpolluted atmosphere, black sand-dunes and mineral springs which have acquired specific characteristics for remedy of certain ailments.
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, and the country's only seaport. It is also the largest city on the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but has history dating as far back as 4000 BC, profiting from its strategic location at the junction of trading routes between Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Sharm el-Sheikh is a beach town on the Sinai Peninsula and a great place to relax after seeing the country. Ras Mohammed is located on the very tip of the Sinai Peninsula, and is one of the best dive sites. St. Katherine’s is the oldest active monastery in the world, and has been attracting pilgrims since the year 330 AD. Climb the slopes of Mount Sinai and enjoy stunning views of the desert landscape, while considering the significance of this culturally important site.
Full day spent at sea, with a transition through the Suez Canal in the late afternoon.
Ashdod is the fifth-largest city in Israel, located in the Southern District of the country, on the Mediterranean coast, with a population of 210,000. Ashdod is an important regional industrial centre. The Port of Ashdod is Israel's largest port accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods. The city one of the oldest in the world. Ashdod is mentioned thirteen times in the Bible. During its history the city was settled by Philistines, Israelites, Byzantines, Crusaders and Arabs.
Begin this tour with a drive to Jerusalem to enjoy panoramic views of the old city, and the Judean Desert from the famed, Mount of Olives. From here, enter the old city, and visit Mount Zion, King David's tomb, the Last Supper hall, the Cardo, the Jewish Quarter, and the Western Wall. This tour of Jerusalem also visits the The Temple Mount, boasting unbelievable views of this ancient city. Next, proceed to the Christian Quarter, the Via Dolorosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher before entering the Arab Market and the Jaffa gate. In the afternoon continue to Bethlehem for a visit to the Church of Nativity. Upon completion a return transfer back to the ship is provided.
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country. Jewish citizens make up a 90% majority of the population. It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Haifa has a history dating back to Biblical times. Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: It has been conquered and ruled by the Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians, and the British. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the city has been governed by the Haifa Municipality. Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Mediterranean Sea.
The Port of Kusadasi is situated right in the downtown area of Kusadasi, a resort town on Turkey's Aegean coast. The town caters to tourists, arriving by land, and as the port for cruise ship passengers heading to Ephesus. Old houses near the seafront, some of them converted to bars and cafes, are the remnants of old Kusadasi, which has become a modern-European looking town.
The Port of Istanbul is the most important one in the country. The old port on the Golden Horn serves primarily for personal navigation, while Karaköy port in Galata is used by the large cruise liners. Istanbul is a major highlight for any cruise in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, with ships arriving in from the Marmara Sea, past the Princes' Islands and Golden Horn to dock at the start of the Bosphorus strait, between Asia and Europe. The main cruise ship ports used in Istanbul are usually on the European side of the city, about 30 mins from the Old City.
Grand Voyage Exclusive: Dinner in a Sultan's Palace. Highlighting this immersive experience in Istanbul is a panoramic cruise along the Bosphorus, bordering Asia and Europe, followed by an atmospheric dinner in the glorious Ciragan Palace, once home to powerful sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
Your early evening departure today leaves a good amount of time to get out and continue your exploration of Istanbul today.
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea seven kilometres (five miles) off the Turkish coast. The island is noted for its strong merchant shipping community, its unique mastic gum and its medieval villages. The eleventh century monastery of “Nea Moni”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the island.
Piraeus is a city within the Athens urban area, located 12 km from the Athens city centre. The city was largely developed in the early 5th century BC, when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens. In modern era, Piraeus is a big city bustling with life and an integral part of Athens, having the biggest harbour in the country and all the typical characteristics of a huge marine and commercial-industrial center.
Full day spent at sea, cruising the Ionian Sea.
Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, Italy and the capital of the province of Messina. The city, founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on December 28, 1908, killing about 60,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year, yet later incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943. Later, the city gained a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort of reconstruction.
Surrounded by hills and shielded from the Mediterranean by perpendicular cliffs that plunge directly into the water, Sorrento is the centrepiece of the Amalfi Coast. The train station is steps away from the downtown with its cluster of hotels and restaurants. Sorrento is the most popular base to explore the Amalfi Coast with more budget options. It has a very good beach, and is the main port for the ferry to the island of Capri (a great day trip). It is also famous for limoncella, a sweet lemon liqueur made from the profusion of lemon trees growing up the steep cliffs along the entire coast. And of course, you must try the seafood cuisine.
The Port of Civitavecchia on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is located 80 kilometers west-north-west of Rome, across the Mignone river. The harbor is formed by two moles and a breakwater, on which latter is a lighthouse. Civitavecchia means "ancient town", and it is today a major cruise and ferry port, the main starting point for sea connection from central Italy to Sardinia, Sicily, Tunis and Barcelona.
The Port of Monte Carlo is a favorite port of call for many cruise visitors to the Mediterranean. The city is widely known for the Monte Carlo Casino and its international prominence. Monte Carlo is one of Europe's leading tourist resorts, although many of the key tourist destinations are located in other parts of Monaco, which can be visited during a shore excursion. These include such attractions as Monaco Cathedral, the Napoleon Museum, the Oceanographic Museum and aquarium, and the Prince's Palace, all of which are located in Monaco-Ville.
The Port of Barcelona has a 2000-year history and a great contemporary commercial importance. The Port is divided into three zones: Port Vell (the Old Port), the commercial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port). The Port Vell houses the Maremagnum (a commercial mall), a multiplex cinema, the IMAX Port Vell and Europe's largest aquarium, containing 8,000 fish and 11 sharks contained in 22 basins filled with 6 million litres of sea water. The Maremagnum, due to being situated a designated tourist zone, is the only commercial mall in the city that can open on Sundays and public holidays.
Enjoy a 5 hour sightseeing tour with your own private vehicle, driver, and professional guide. See all of the modernist buildings including the well known Casa Milà and the Casa Batllò as well as Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Cathedral, an unfinished masterpiece.
This morning you'll disembark from your ship, with an unforgettable world voyage under your belt. Bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as you make landfall.
Meet your private driver and guide for a half day tour of the Catalunya countryside en route to Montserrat. Driving through the centre of Barcelona, you'll head north through villages and beautiful countryside to the sacred Montserrat mountain range. You'll be guided through the Monastery, as well as a Renaissance Basilica from the 16th century. Here you can view the Black Madonna, the Patron Saint of Catalunya. Perched on a protruding piece of rock, the Monastery is one of Spain's most significant pilgrimage destinations. Entrance fee included.
Hotel Omm (5*) is where you can tune in to what's on in the city. The hotel is situated on Paseo De Gracia in the very city centre of Barcelona. This unique mix of a hotel and restaurant created by the Grupo Tragaluz is spacious, warm and luxurious, encompassing the character and urban trends of the city. The 91 elegant rooms with smooth textures and light tones offer an unconventional approach to hotel rooms, exemplified by the bathrooms that are open to day light and the varnished aluminium cabinets. Enjoy the views of Gaudi's La Pedrera from the rooftop pool. The Moo restaurant, with one Michelin star, is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in town, as well as the Moodern a trendy cocktail bar and the spa, Spaciomm, is a brand new concept unique in Barcelona. Near the bar the Moovida restaurant offers informal and healthy food and in the basement the Mon Key Club, the OMM nightlife.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
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