Day 1 Monday 17 June, 2019 Depart Australia
Today we board our flights to Venice, Italy.
Day 2 Tuesday 18 June, 2019 Venice, Italy
Upon arrival in Venice this afternoon we are transferred to our hotel. Built on 117 islands, Venice was once the head of the Mediterranean empire. We will have two nights here before the cruise to enjoy the canals, renaissance palazzos and of course, the fabulous food and wine from the Veneto region. The rest of the day will be free for individual exploration.
Day 3 Wednesday 19 June, 2019 Venice, Italy
Today we will have a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city. We visit St Mark’s Square, see the Grand Canal, St Mark’s Cathedral, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We will wind our way through the narrow alleyways to the market square of the Rialto. There will be free time in the afternoon to explore the meandering laneways and bridges of this magical city. Perhaps try an espresso or gelato and take in the sights and sounds of Venice. This evening join Bernard for an included welcome dinner to celebrate the start of the tour.
Day 4 Thursday 20 June, 2019 Embarkation
This morning is free for individual exploration. In the early afternoon we are transferred to the cruise terminal. Make sure that you are up on deck as the MS Veendam slips her moorings as we commence our ‘Wonders of the Adriatic’ cruise.
Day 5 Friday 21 June, 2019 Split, Croatia
Today we visit Split, the second largest city in Croatia. The old town grew up around the Emperor Diocletian’s vast Roman Palace. We have a morning sightseeing tour, during which we visit the interior courtyard of the Roman complex and the Golden Gate, the main entrance to Diocletian’s Palace. We visit the Baptistry of St John a small, beautiful building consecrated in the sixth century. We see the Renaissance Town Hall on People’s Square surrounded by Venetian buildings.
Day 6 Saturday 22 June, 2019 Dubrovnik, Croatia
This morning we call in to the historic city of Dubrovnik. Known as The Jewel of the Adriatic, the city is situated on a promontory surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea. It is renowned for the beauty of its monuments, its magnificent city walls and welcoming atmosphere. It was founded by fugitives from the Roman city of Epidaurum during the 6th century. We have a comprehensive tour of Dubrovnik and see the impressive Fort of St John and the Sponza Palace, which was built in the 16th century as the Mint for the city.
Day 7 Sunday 23 June, 2019 Corfu (Kerkira), Greece
This morning we arrive in Corfu, the most northern island of the Ionian Group, lying at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. On our tour today, we will visit Corfu Town with its unique architecture influenced by Venetian, French and British occupation. The most notable examples are the Old and New Fortresses (Venetian) as well as the Palace of Saint Michael & Saint George (British) which now houses an impressive Museum of Asiatic Art. The Liston is Corfu Town’s most traditional meeting place, where people gather to read newspapers and drink coffee or ouzo at the old established cafés. Its terrace, with a series of arches fronting the road, was designed by the French in the early 19th century and is based on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. It forms the western side of the Esplanade, which is the largest square in southern Europe. The afternoon is free for shopping or sight-seeing.
Day 8 Monday 24 June, 2019 Olympia, Greece
This morning we visit Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games. The Ancient Greeks flocked here every four years for more than a millennium to celebrate the sacred games dedicated to Zeus. We visit the ruins of the Sanctuary, with its athletic quadrangles, stadium, temples and treasuries; then visit the modern Archaeological Museum, a treasure house of Archaic, Classical and Roman sculptures, including the famous Nike Winged Goddess of Victory.
Day 9 Tuesday 25 June, 2019 Chania, Greece
Today we arrive in Chania, Crete. On our sightseeing tour today we will travel inland through the Old Town to visit and explore the Minoan Palace of Knossos, legendary home of the Minotaur. We will walk through the ruins and excavations of the island’s vast ancient palace and learn about the Greek mythological tales that are linked to it. This evening Bernard will talk about Greece and Italy, their history and culture, followed by an informal Q&A session about social media and, oh, I don’t know, how about smashed avocados?
Day 10 Wednesday 26 June, 2019 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
This morning we arrive in Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. We travel to the Roman city of Ephesus, one of the most extensive archaeological sites in the world. We walk along the marble streets, complete with chariot wheel ruts made nearly 2000 years ago. We see the imposing two-story façade of the Library of Celsus, the best-preserved structure of its kind in the world.
Day 11 Thursday 27 June, 2019 At sea
A day at sea to enjoy the facilities of the ship. This afternoon join Bernard Salt for a talk on Demography.
Day 12 Friday 28 June, 2019 Valletta, Malta
The capital of Malta, Valletta was founded by the Knights of St John in 1566. Its purpose was to strengthen the Order’s position on the island, following the siege of Malta by the Turks in 1565. The sightseeing tour includes visits to St Johns Cathedral and the magnificent Palace of the Grand Masters. We also visit Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital and a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island. Late this afternoon join Bernard for a fascinating talk about where young people are at today and suggestions of what they should be doing.
DAY 13 Saturday 29 June, 2019 Mgarr, Gozo, Malta
This morning we arrive on the island of Gozo, one of the 21 islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. Our sightseeing begins with a visit to the Temples of Ggantija. The two temples at this UNESCO World Heritage Site were built back in 3600BC, however were not revealed to the modern eye until the 19th century. Locals believed that the temples were built by giants, and once you see the size of the blocks you’ll understand why. This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of Victoria, the ancient fortified city that dominates the island. We will see sights such as It-Tokk (Independence Square), St George’s Basilica and the Old Prison which was used by the Knights of St John in the 16th century.
Day 14 Sunday 30 June, 2019 Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, the city has been home to numerous settlers including the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans and Spanish, before finally becoming part of a unified Italy in 1860. We will visit the medieval Cassaro quarter which contains the cathedral, 14th century palazzos and gardens. We will also visit the La Kalsa quarter which is in the old Islamic area, the centre of the city when it was ruled by the Arab Emirs. In the afternoon we visit the Palatine Chapel build by Roger II of Sicily in 1130 its mosaics are arguably the most spectacular the world. This evening Bernard will discuss the history of Sicilian history and culture and lead a Q&A session.
Day 15 Monday 1 July, 2019 Sorrento, Italy
We arrive at the port of Naples this morning and have a tour of the beautiful resort town of Sorrento, with its spectacular views of the Bay of Naples. We then visit the ancient, perfectly preserved ruins of Pompeii, a wealthy settlement of the Roman Empire, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. We will have a tour of the ruins with a local guide to see the Forum, the House of the Vetti, a well-preserved aristocratic villa and much more. This evening join Bernard for our farewell drinks party to celebrate the end of the cruise!
Day 16 Tuesday 2 July, 2019 Rome, Italy
This morning we arrive in the port of Civitavecchia and travel by coach to Rome where we will spend the next two nights. We will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Eternal City’ and see the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, where group members can throw a coin and make a wish to return to Rome one day. In the afternoon we will check in to our hotel.
Day 17 Wednesday 3 July, 2019 Rome, Italy
This morning we will visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The afternoon will be at leisure. This evening we come together for a final night dinner to celebrate our fantastic Bernard Salt tour of the Mediterranean.
Day 18 Thursday 4 July, 2019 Departure
This morning the group will be transferred to Rome airport for the flight back to Australia.
Day 19 Friday 5 July, 2019 Arrival Australia
Tour members arrive back in Australia. The tour concludes.