DAY 1 Monday September 28, 2020 Depart Australia
Today we board our flight to Rome, Italy.
DAY 2 Tuesday September 29, 2020 Rome, Italy
Upon arrival in Rome we are transferred to our city hotel. The evening is free to unwind and take in the atmosphere of this beautiful city.
DAY 3 Wednesday September 30, 2020 Rome
This morning 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. In the afternoon we will visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.
DAY 4 Thursday October 1, 2020 Embarkation
This morning we are transferred to the port of Civitavecchia to board the luxurious Holland America Line Niuew Amsterdam. In the evening Mike will host drinks to celebrate the start of the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise.
DAY 5 Friday October 2, 2020 Sorrento & Pompeii
We arrive in 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.
DAY 6 Saturday October 3, 2020 At sea
A day to explore the ship and enjoy the on-board facilities. Explore the library, shops, gym and pools. In the afternoon Mike will introduce you to all that is involved in being a radio-show host. This promises to be a very entertaining session.
DAY 7 Sunday October 4, 2020 Santorini, Greece
Arriving early in the morning, we have a free day to explore and enjoy Santorini. Known as the Black Pearl of the Aegean; one of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece and in the world. The traditional villages of the island, built on tall cliffs, offer breathtaking views over the submerged volcano.
DAY 8 Monday October 5, 2020 Ephesus, 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 9 Tuesday October 6, 2020 Crete, Greece
Today we arrive in Iraklion, Crete. On our sightseeing tour today we will travel through the Old Town to visit and explore the Minoan Palace of Knossos, legendary home of the mythical 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. We return to the ship late afternoon.
DAY 10 Wednesday October 7, 2020 Athens, Greece
Today we call in to the ancient city of Athens, capital of Greece. Our sightseeing tour today delves into the glorious history of Athens. A highlight of the tour is a visit to the Acropolis, still dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens. We also visit the ultimate in ancient Greek architectural perfection the Parthenon, built to honour the goddess Athena, and one of the wonders of the ancient world.
DAY 11 Thursday October 8, 2020 Nafplion, Greece
Today we dock in charming Nafplion, picturesquely situated on the rocky shores of the Argolic Gulf. This morning we will take a tour of the old town and historic Palamidi Fortress. The afternoon will be spent at leisure for individual exploration of this charming town.
DAY 12 Friday October 9 2020 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 13 Saturday October 10, 2020 Corfu, 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 sightseeing.
DAY 14 Sunday October 11, 2020 Kotor, Montenegro
Today we sail up the picturesque Bay of Kotor, a submerged river canyon. A fantastic landscape is created by the overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen. The town was founded by the Ancient Romans in 168 BC and conquered by the Venetians in the 15th century. The port of Kotor was built by the Republic of Venice and is surrounded by impressive city walls. There are many attractive Venetian buildings in the town. We will have a morning tour to explore this interesting city. In the afternoon Mike will host a game of trivia with prizes for winners.
DAY 15 Monday October 12, 2020 Venice, Italy
This afternoon we arrive in the spectacular city of Venice, and make sure that you are up on deck as Nieuw Amsterdam navigates herself into the port. We will have a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city and 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. We will overnight in Venice.
DAY 16 Tuesday October 13, 2020 Italian Lakes, Italy
We disembark this morning and travel to the spectacular Italian Lakes. Along the way we stop in Verona and have a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city, renowned for its summer opera season, and for the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. We will see the Amphitheatre built by the Romans in the 1st century AD and the famous balcony where Romeo visited Juliet. We continue on to Stresa on the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore, which will be our base for the next two nights.
DAY 17 Wednesday October 14, 2020 Italian Lakes
Today we travel to beautiful Lake Como. We will visit Villa Carlotta, known for its beautiful setting and spectacular gardens. It was built in 1745 and later given as a wedding present to Carlotta, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen. We will take the ferry across the lake to the lovely town of Bellagio. Occupying a magnificent site on the promontory dividing Lake Lecco from Lake Como, Bellagio is known for its pretty streets, villas and gardens. There will be free time to visit the semi-classical Villa Melzi, known for its splendid gardens, on the shore of the lake. We return to Stresa in the afternoon.
DAY 18 Thursday October 15, 2020 Departure
This morning the group will be transferred to Milan airport for the flight back to Australia.
DAY 19 Friday October 16, 2020 Arrival Australia
Tour members arrive back in Australia. The tour concludes.