Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Barcelona, SpainDepart 05:00 PM 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.
Day Palma de Mallorca, SpainArrive 08:00 AM Depart 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 Mahon, Menorca, SpainArrive 08:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM Mahon is the capital of Menorca, second largest of the Balearic Islands. It stands out from the others because of the abundance of prehistoric structures, and because its culture was influenced by British occupation in the 18th century. The people who built the prehistoric constructions are believed to have been responsible for similar works in Sardinia, and for Stonehenge in England. Believed to have been founded by the Carthaginian General Mago, Mahon was held by the Moors from the 8th to the 13th century and in turn occupied by the English, the French and the Spanish. Mahon was finally ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.
Day Alghero, ItalyArrive 11:00 AM Depart 10:00 PM "The city of Alghero on Sardinia was founded in 1102 by the powerful Doria family from Genoa on the Italian mainlandthough long before they arrived, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs all had settlements in the area. The civilization that had the most influence on the island's fifth-largest city was, however, not Italy but Spain; specifically Catalonia. One of Algheros nicknames is Little Barcelona, and the local dialect has much in common with the Catalan spoken on Las Ramblas.
The Catalans conquered Alghero in 1353 and colonized it, building the city walls that can still be seen today. Thanks to their economic and military power, the Algheresiboth Italians and colonistsenjoyed a golden age of prosperity lasting well into the 16th century."
Day At Sea
Day Amalfi, ItalyArrive 07:00 AM Depart 05:00 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 Catania, ItalyArrive 01:00 PM Depart 09:00 PM Sicilys second-largest city is intimately connected to the active volcano that towers above it. The smoking, gurgling peak of Mt. Etna, one of the island's most iconic landmarks, has shaped Catania significantly, most notably in the 1600s when an eruption sent lava flowing to the sea. But the real damage happened some 25 years later when an earthquake rocked and destroyed the city. Catania was reconstructed in the Baroque style using the lava rock at hand, earning the historical center its UNESCO World Heritage status. In the 20th century, Catania had a reputation as a rough-and-tumble port, but recent decades have seen major restoration and revitalization, making the city an ideal spot to explore local street markets, visit Roman ruins and learn about a rich history that dates back to Ancient Greece. Catanias central location on the eastern Sicilian coast also makes it a great base for exploring nearby Taormina and Syracuse, the wineries on Mt. Etna and idyllic local beaches
Day Valletta, MaltaArrive 09:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM "The ancient city of Valletta is teeming with historic monuments, churches and gardens. At just one-third of a square mile in area, Europe's southernmost capital is one of the easiest to explore on foot.
Given Maltas strategic location and succession of rulers including the Romans, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, its somewhat surprising to see Valletta so well preserved. The city dates back to the 16th century and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Extensive restorations of historic buildings are underway, including the rebuilding of the city entrance to mark Valletta's recognition as the European Capital of Culture in 2018."
Day At Sea
Day Gythion, GreeceArrive 08:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM Gythion, the small port town for Sparta, edges its way up the hillside, which surrounds the harbor. According to Homer, Paris and Helen spent their first night together here, on a tiny islet in the bay. To commemorate the occasion, Paris erected a shrine to Aphrodite, goddess of love, only to have it torn down by the vengeful Menelaus after he recaptured Helen. In its place Menelaus erected statues honoring Praxidica (Punishment) and Themis (Justice). Not far away, at the tip of the Peloponnese, lies the Mani, a distinctive area unlike anything else in Greece. This desolate region of underground lakes and rivers and windswept landscapes is strangely beautiful. To the north of Gythion lie Sparta and Mystra, well worth a visit.
Day Athens, GreeceArrive 07:00 AM Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the Golden Age of Pericles) the culmination of Athens long, fascinating history the citys values and civilization acquired a universal significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments - a rare historical palimpsest. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.