Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Piraeus (Athens), GreeceDeparts 11:00 PM "No modern metropolis is more steeped in myth than Athens, Greece. From the gritty port of Piraeusgateway to Greeces fabled islesto the Parthenoneternal symbol of Western civilizationAthens has attracted adventurers and classicists for centuries. This heritage is still very much alive for modern visitors sightseeing in Athens: ancient stadiums and temples dwell alongside apartment blocks, modern performances are staged in the marble amphitheaters where Greek drama was born and millennia-old monuments are scattered in the archaeological park that circles the Acropolis.
One of the worlds oldest maritime powers, Athens is blessed with a balmy climate and stunning coastline. The seaside suburbs of Athens are scalloped with sandy beaches, fancy yacht clubs and glamorous beach bars. While the Athenian lifestyle is known for late-night dinners and dancing until dawn, the city shines brightly by day in the bustling markets, lively cafés and fascinating museums that illuminate Greece's past and present. Contemplate the magnitude of all that culture and ancient tourist attractions while marveling at the sun setting into the Aegean or rising over the Acropolis.
Day Nafplio, GreeceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Held to be one of the loveliest small towns in all the islands, Navplion has a tradition and culture all its own. The sheltered location, below a rocky headland crowned by a Venetian fortress is perhaps unrivaled in Greece. After the Greek revolution of the early 19th century, Navplion served as the first modern capital. The neoclassical houses, large official buildings and carefully planned seafront streets all date from this period.
Day Katakolon (Olympia), GreeceArrives 10:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "The port of Katakolon is the gateway to the Peloponnese, one of Greeces most intriguing and least well-known areas. Beyond the regions famous site of ancient Olympiaone of the most treasured remnants of the classical worldthe Peloponnese gets little of the glory given the Greek islands and Athens. And it deserves much more, as youre about to discover.
A distinctly Greek welcome can be experienced here like nowhere else. The region reveals what it means to be Greek: traditions that go back thousands of years, simple but delicious and healthy cuisine, towering mountains, crystal blue seas and, above all, the true hospitality of the people. In Greek, xenos means ""stranger,"" but the word also means ""guest,"" and a respectful traveler will be treated like a favored friend."
Day Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), GreeceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Corfu is the pearl of the Ionian Sea, attracting royalty from across Europe in the 19th century, and modern celebrities from all over the world ever since. The island reflects a triple heritage. As well as being undeniably Greek, the culture and food also show a clear nod towards nearby Italy, particularly Venice, whose fortresses dot the island. The British influence may be unexpected, but as they ruled the island for many years, they have left such surprises in the Mediterranean as cricket and ginger beer.
The bustling atmosphere of Corfu Town remains elegant, infused with culture and history. Parts of the rest of the island have been overdeveloped, but there are still great swaths that epitomize why the Greek islands are still regarded as the most beautiful in the world, with white-sand beaches backed by verdant mountains hiding traditional old villages. It is easy to see how Corfu has inspired generations of writers: from Shakespeare, through Edward Lear, to Gerald Durrell. A true gem.
Day Crotone, ItalyArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Founded around 710 BC, Crotone was long one of the most flourishing cities of Magna Graecia, an area of Southern Italy extensively colonized by Greek settlers. Today, visitors enjoy the fruits of this port city's rich history, including Cortone's medieval cathedral, the 16th century castle of Charles V, as well as numerous museums and art galleries. Picturesque beaches invite a leisurely stroll followed by a carefree negroni at a nearby bistro.
Day Syracuse, ItalyArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Now a sun-bleached provincial capital, Siracusa was once one of the most prestigious cities in the known world. Founded in the 8th century BC by settlers from Corinth, Siracusa gradually grew in prestige to rival Athens and was considered the western capital of Magna Graecia. In the Greek world dictators, often called tyrants, exercised unlimited power over colonies like Siracusa. Although often unpleasant people, they also often patronized poets and artists and competed to bring intellectuals to their courts. Siracusa was home to Archimedes, Plato and Aeschylus during its height of power and prestige. Today's visitors come to marvel at the remains of the ancient structures, reminders of the past glory and rich history of the area. The city is superbly situated at the head of a beautiful bay and enjoys a mild climate. The coastline to the south is renowned for its beauty, clear waters and evocative, mythical scenery. There are romantic abandoned coves and wide, sandy beaches not easily matched anywhere else in Italy.
Day Amalfi, ItalyArrives 10:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "The Amalfi coast has been called the greatest meeting of land and sea on earth. Situated in the Campania region between Sorrento and Salerno, Amalfi is one of the main towns, the other being Positano, on the world famous Amalfi Drive - known as the most romantic drive in Italy. The road is gouged from the side of rocky cliffs plunging into the sea. Erosion has contorted the rocks into mythological shapes and hollowed out fairy grottoes where the air is turquoise and the water an icy blue. During the Middle Ages, Amalfi was an independent maritime state with a population of 50,000. The ship compass was invented here in 1302.
Approximately 10 miles away from Amalfi is the village of Ravello. An enchanting village with wonderful views and quiet lanes, Ravello boasts romantic gardens that showcase medieval ruins, and afford magnificent views of the entire Bay of Salerno."
Day Civitavecchia (Rome), ItalyArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Originally built by Emperor Trajan who had a villa here, Civitavecchia has flourished as a major port for Rome since the 13th century. Today it is an important ferry terminal and for many travelers the gateway to the Eternal City, Rome. The Renaissance fortifications that surround the harbor area were begun by Bramante and completed by Michelangelo in 1535.
Day Livorno (Florence/Pisa), ItalyArrives 07:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM "The Renaissance-era port city of Livorno, Italy, gateway to Pisa, Florence and the rest of the attractions of Tuscany, is characterized by its solid 16th-century Fortezza and the charming canal network known as Venezia Nuova. Itï¿½s also famous for cacciucco, a spicy fish stew.
To the north of Livorno, not far from the mouth of the river Arno, lies Pisa, an attractive university city best known for its Leaning Tower. Some 60 miles to the east, and also set on the Arno, is Florence, Tuscany's capital. The concentration of artistic treasures and cultural things to do in Tuscany, from museums and cloisters to bridges and chapels, is second to noneï¿½but there is lots more besides sightseeing in Florence. The food and drink culture in Florence takes in tripe stands and hole-in-the-wall wine bars as well as embracing gourmet restaurants and plenty of down-to-earth family-run trattorias. The shopping scene offers the designer stores of Via Tornabuoni and Via Roma, but there are plenty of quirky, independent boutiques too. And then there is Florenceï¿½s traditions of leather work, marbled paper, book-binding and furniture restoration. Explore the sights of the arty Oltrarno neighborhood for artisan workshops, great cafï¿½s, bars and restaurants and an authentically Florentine atmosphere.
Day Propriano (Bonifacio), Corsica, FranceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 04:00 PM Southern Corsica has plenty to appeal to any interest. Propriano itself is a popular resort with a yacht harbor and nearby beaches. The tall stone buildings in the medieval hill town of Sartene seem to grow right from the mountain itself. Its Museum of Prehistory displays many artifacts unearthed at such nearby archaeological sites as Filitosa and Palaggiu, where standing stones and megalithic tombs date from the Neolithic era through the Bronze Age. Bonifacio sits picturesquely atop the white cliffs at Corsica's southernmost end, crowned by a citadel and the walled Old Town surrounding it. Climb up and enter the gates to explore the warren of alleys and lanes inside. Or take the long, steep Staircase of the King of Aragon from the town down to the sea (and back up!)
Day La Joliette (Marseille), FranceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris. It is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Mediterranean. Cave paintings in the nearby Calanques are estimated to be 30,000 years old, and remains of brick habitations date from 6,000 BCE. The more recent history begins with a Hellenic port in about 600 BCE, some remains of which are on view at the citys History Museum. It has been one of the worlds major seaports almost from its founding, and served as the main European terminus of the French colonial empire in Africa and the Far East. It is located in the Provence-Alpes-Cote dAzur region and is the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhone department. On an island in the expansive bay of Marseille stands the prison of Chateau dIf made famous by the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The Vieux-Port with its atmospheric buildings and wharves is the area where visitors can search for the perfect example of the local specialty bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew containing at least three, and often more varieties of local fishes. Marseilles newly renovated port at the venerable Joliette Docks is situated very close to the striking Cathédrale de la Major and the fascinating collections at the Museum of African, Oceanic and American Indian Arts.
Day Sete, FranceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "The quiet, old fishing village of Sète, known as the Venice of Languedoc for its canals, is a fine antidote to some of the splashier destinations along Frances Mediterranean coast. Connected to the rest of France by the Canal du Midi, Sète in the past was a vital port in the spice trade. Since the early 19th century the towns identity has been marked by waves of immigrants from Italy, mostly Neapolitans who brought their recipes and strongly affected the local French dialect.
With a handful of fine museums, Sète puts a remarkable emphasis on the arts and culture for a town its size. But just strolling the Canal Royal and watching boats pass under all its lovely stone and iron bridges, many of which swing open, can be satisfying enoughfollowed, of course, by a canalside meal of bourride sètoise, the local monkfish stew, or just by a sip of coffee or an aperitif as the sun sets. Sète also serves as an ideal base from which to visit other famous nearby cities in the Languedoc and Provence regions.
Day Palamos, SpainArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Palamós is a quaint fishing village turned summer-vacation spot along Spains sun-drenched Costa Brava. The town still thrives on fishing: Visitors can peruse the fish market and view the day's catch at the bustling harbor, or check out the nearby Fishing Museum to learn more about both Palamós's past and the history and techniques of angling around the world. (Make sure you sample the local prawns at one of the town's seafood restaurants.)
Palamós is also a convenient departure point for attractions around the region, from wine and olive oil tastings in the countryside to the home and museums of legendary Catalan artist Salvador Dalí. Ancient historic sites dot the landscape up and down the coast, including the Greek and Roman ruins at Empúries and the medieval Castle of Begur. For an infusion of urban culture, plan a day trip to nearby Girona, where narrow, cobbled lanes wind around an imposing Gothic cathedral. Or simply take a stroll to one of the nearby beaches to swim and sunbathe along the Mediterranean coast.
Day Palma de Mallorca, SpainArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Palma de Mallorca, the largest city and capital of its own island as well as the entire Balearic archipelago, is one of Spains most delightful towns. Despite its proximity to tourist beaches where millions of Europeans take summer vacation, Palma maintains the traditional rhythm of a Mediterranean city: busy food markets, open-air terrazas for lazing and grazing and the Passeig del Born, perfect for an evening paseo (stroll) under its canopy of trees. But the city is also, increasingly, a hub of contemporary culture and cuisinewitness the old towns buzzing gallery scene, and cutting-edge restaurants like Simply Fosh and Aromata.
If location is all, Palmas peerless setting, at the center of a glorious sweeping bay, counts for a great deal. The city has its own beaches and a working harbor where a state-of-the-art new marina, Moll Vell, has brought back locals to stroll and gawk at the giant yachts. "
Day Barcelona, SpainArrives 07:00 AM On the northeast coast of Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a vibrant port city, packed with centuries of iconic art and architectureGaudí and Picasso both called it homeand lined with sunny white-sand beaches. Explore the Catalan capital's tourist attractions and historic neighborhoods, Modernisme and world-renowned art museums, galleries and local crafts shopssome of which are centuries old and stock traditional Catalan wares. After you see the sights, there are lively tapas bars around every corner where you can stop for a drink, a café amb llet (Catalan for espresso with steamed milk) or a snack, no matter the hour. Green spaces for picnics, long walks and respite from the hustle and bustle are scattered throughout Barcelona's attractions: There's Gaudí's mosaic-decorated park, a neoclassical maze at the Laberint d'Horta, as well as plenty of high places (mountains, monuments and edifices) where sightseeing visitors can take in the view. A short trip from Barcelona by car or train, luxury outlets, cava wineries, a mountaintop abbey and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast await.