ETERNAL GREECE, ITALY & CROATIA WITH MSC SINFONIA CRUISE 20 DAYS

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Tour Details

Experience the Mediterranean heartland of the classical world of Greece, in Athens, and of the Roman Empire, and marvel at the medieval glories of noble Florence and Venice.

Begin your adventure with three days in Greece, visiting many scenic and historical sites, and then cross the Ionian Sea by overnight ferry to Italy, and follow the Adriatic coastline of southern Italy before crossing the peninsula to Naples on your way towards Rome. There, experience many of the highlights of ‘The Eternal City’, including a visit to the Vatican.

Then it’s onwards through Tuscany to Florence, not only the birthplace of the Renaissance and home of the Medicis, but one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Board the MSC Sinfonia and cruise across the Adriatic Sea to Split, Croatia, before heading south to the Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos, enjoying the onboard facilities and a wide range of onshore activities in each destination. The cruise then heads back to the north via stunning Dubrovnik (one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea), and Italy’s Ancona.

This is a wide-ranging itinerary that provides a taste of some of the most beautiful, historically-important, and perennially popular destinations in Southern Europe.

Tour Highlights:

On Land:

  • Tour Athens, including a visit to the incomparable Acropolis
  • Marvel at the ancient engineering that gave us the Amphitheatre of Epidaurus
  • See Naples, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, and world-famous for pizza!
  • Visit Nafplio, and explore the mighty Venetian-built Palamidi Castle
  • Explore Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic games in ancient times
  • Take a ferry across the Ionian Sea, and follow the Adriatic coastline of Southern Italy towards Rome
  • When in Rome, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, and Vatican City
  • Enjoy stunning mountain landscapes as you cross the Apennine Mountains en route to Venice
  • Ride in a Vaporetto around the canals of Venice, and visit the marvellous Saint Mark’s Basilica
  • Enjoy two days free at leisure in Venice; explore the architecture, art, and cuisine of this unique city

At Sea:

  • Cruise through the Aegean, Ionian, and Adriatic Seas, aboard the beautiful MSC Sinfonia
  • Visit six ports in Croatia, Greece, and Italy
  • Select from a wide range of shore excursions and activities

Package Inclusions:

  • Return economy class international airfares and
  • taxes flying Etihad Airways or a European Airline
  • departing Sydney or Melbourne.
  • 9 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
  • One night accommodation aboard
  • 7 nights aboard MSC Sinfonia
  • English speaking tour guide(s)
  • City entrance fees and taxes
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Return airport-hotel transfers
  • Dedicated coach transportation
  • Insurance: Basic insurance cover is provided
  • for our clients. See below for details.
  • Evening Transfer: Plaka neighbourhood in Athens,
  • Via Cavour in Rome.
  • City Tour in: Athens, Olympia, Rome, Florence, Venice
  • Ticket Admissions: Coliseum, Saint Mark’s Basilica,
  • Murano Glass Factory in Venice.
  • Boat: Vaporetto along the canals in Venice.

Price Excludes

  • All optional activities, tours and attraction
  • tickets not included in the itinerary
  • Tipping: Not mandatory on this tour. Please tip
  • guides, drivers etc. at your discretion
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Personal expenses

Optional Attractions and Activities

Athens
  • Dinner and Folk Show in Plaka District: We will depart on the bus with our guide to the lively Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis. We will have a taste of the typical local cuisine in one of its famous taverns and watch a dance performance from different regions of this fascinating country.
    • PRICE: EUR50pp (approx. AUD78pp). Minimum participants: 15 persons. DURATION: 2h. INCLUDED: Transfers, guide, dinner and performance.
Rome
  • Baroque Rome: Enjoy the great Rome of Bernini and Borromini, the great baroque Rome with its beautiful fountains, squares and obelisks. The Rome that the Popes created. We will make a complete tour taking in the Lungotevere, Ara Pacis, Porta Pinciana, Via Veneto, the Plaza de España with its wonderful fountain of the boat and its staircase Trinidad de los Montes, Trevi Fountain where you can fulfill the rite of throwing your coin, Piazza Colona, Pantheon (possibly the best preserved archaeological temple of ancient Rome), and finish in the extraordinary Piazza Navona. An important part of this excursion is done on foot.
    • PRICE: EUR35pp (approx. AUD55pp). Minimum participants: 15 persons. DURATION: 2h 30m. INCLUDED: Entrance included to the Pantheon Transfers by bus. Local guide. Individual headphones connected directly with your local guide.
  • Vatican Museums: ADMISSION TO THE VATICAN MUSEUMS IS LIMITED. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO TRAVELERS WHO HAVE MADE RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. FOR THIS REASON, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU BUY THIS EXCURSION IN ADVANCE THROUGH MY TRIP BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL IN EUROPE. We have organized a visit for the most interested passengers, accompanied by an expert guide. Visit the most important rooms of the Vatican Museums: gallery of tapestries, sculptures, paintings and other rooms in which we will have the opportunity to appreciate some of the most important works of art of the Classical and Renaissance periods. Our highlight will be the Sistine Chapel, dazzling after its brilliant restoration. Finally, we will visit the Basilica, where we can see Michelangelo´s Pieta, the Baldachin of San Pedro, and the Dome of Michelangelo
    • PRICE: EUR70pp (approx. AUD110pp). Minimum participants: 15 persons. DURATION: 3h. INCLUDED: Admission to Vatican Galleries, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Specialized guide (max group per guide: 40 people). Right of entry to the Vatican included. Headset connected privately with your local guide.
Florence
  • Tuscan Dinner: Discover the romance of Venice in perhaps the best way to be introduced to the city. Take a Gondola ride through the channels, with musicians who play beautiful Venetian ballads. Pass thruogh the beautiful canals until you reach the Grand Canal, where the most fantastic Venetian palaces are located.
    • PRICE: EUR35pp (approx. AUD55pp). DURATION: 35min. INCLUDED: Tour on private gondolas along the canals. Musicians (1 tenor and one accordionist) for the gondola group.
Venice
  • Gondola Ride: Enjoy a magnificent dinner in a Tuscan atmosphere. A group of musicians will set the mood for this beautiful evening. Taste the typical products of the region. Do you fancy an extraordinary Fiorentina steak? During dinner we can also enjoy live music; a pianist singer from Fiorentino will perform local and international music.
    • PRICE: EUR55pp (approx. AUD86pp). DURATION: 3h. INCLUDED: Transport, guide, dinner, musical performance.

NOTES:

  • Prices are given in Australian dollars are at the rate of exchange on the date of publication. Actual prices are in Euros, and may vary from those advertised, at the time of purchase.
  • The number of people who can visit the VATICAN MUSEUMS is limited. Priority will be given to travellers who have made reservations in advance. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase your tickets for this excurion in advance through MY TRIP before your arrival in Europe.
  • Please use the above as a reference only, as prices are subject to change. Some excursions are subject to minimum numbers and local conditions. You can only book optionals/pay taxes whilst on tour with the tour manager, who will also collect payment in cash only (Euros).

 

Itinerary

Day 1Depart Australia

Take an international flight from Australia to Athens.
NOTE: Some flights may depart one day later, and may involve up to two transits.

Day 2Arrive Athens

In the morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Athens with a local guide, including the Presidential Palace, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held, the national library, the bustling squares of the city centre, and the new neighbourhoods that emerged after the 2004 Olympic Games. The tour will end at the Acropolis (entry not included), followed by free time at leisure to walk around and discover more of unforgettable Athens.

Day 3Athens City Tour (B)

In the morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Athens with a local guide, including the Presidential Palace, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held, the national library, the bustling squares of the city centre, and the new neighbourhoods that emerged after the 2004 Olympic Games. The tour will end at the Acropolis (entry not included), followed by free time at leisure to walk around and discover more of unforgettable Athens.

Day 4Athens – Corinth – Epidaurus – Nafplio – Olympia (B, L or D)

Depart for the Peloponnese region in the morning, stopping at the Corinth Canal. Excavation of the 6.4 KM canal began in 1882, but the canal had first been proposed as long ago as the 3rd century BC. Then, it’s on to Epidaurus, enjoying the view of gorgeous landscapes. We will visit the magnificent Ancient Amphitheatre which is surrounded by a unique landscape. We will later journey to Nafplio, a town by the Aegean Sea. We will visit its historic centre, its lovely marina and medieval Palamidi Castle. Nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the large fortress was built rapidly by the Venetians during 1711–1714, only to be captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1715. After a lunch break and free time to stroll around, we resume our journey to Olympia.
NOTE: To allow for any changes in today’s schedule due to local conditions, either lunch or dinner will be provided.

Day 5Olympia – Patras – Amfilochia – Arta – Igoumenitsa (B)

We will visit Olympia archaeological site with a local guide. You will have a chance to visit its museum and archaeological site (guided tour, ticket to the park not included) which the cradle of the Olympic games in ancient times. We will get back on route to Patras, Greece’s third largest city. We will visit its active, lively centre. Afterwards, we will travel to Northern Greece, Amfilochia. Short stop in the quiet coastal town of Arta, a city in the Epirus region that has an intact Roman bridge. Arrival in Igoumenitsa. Suppertime and boarding to cross the Ionian Sea. Spend the night on board (double cabins with private bathroom. We recommend bringing an overnight bag. Breakfast on the boat next morning is not included.

Note: The ferry used, which is the only one available, leaves at 1AM, but boarding is not usually possible until after midnight. There are sometimes delays due to late arrival. Occasionally, due to weather conditions, vessel inspection, schedule changes, strikes, fully booked ferryboats or other reasons, we are forced to adapt the schedules of the following day’s itinerary according to the berthing time of the ship, or fly from Athens to Rome, in which case the visits to Amfilochia and Arta are cancelled and a Sunday visit to Naples and Pompeii will be substituted.

Day 6Brindisi – Trani – Naples – Rome

Arrive in Brindisi early in the morning, and follow the Adriatic coastline of Southern Italy to Trani. This is a picturesque little town by the sea, with a fishing port, charming old cathedral, and lively streets. After lunch, we resume our trip to Naples, which played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and was a significant cultural centre under the Romans, arriving in the afternoon for a short sightseeing tour of the historic centre before resuming our journey to Rome.

Day 7Rome (B)

In the morning, we have a scenic tour of Rome – a great introduction to ‘The Eternal city’. We enter the tiny state of the Vatican. Vatican City is the world centre of Catholicism. You will be able to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. And we have also included admission to the Roman Colosseum, where gladiators battled wild animals and each other, for the entertainment of the people of Rome. This impressive construction dates back 2,000 years and will transport us in time so that we can learn about ancient society in the Roman Empire. In the evening we provide transport to the Via Cavour area, where you will find restaurants serving Italian, Indian, Chinese and other international food.

Day 8Rome – Florence (B)

Leave Rome, heading north to Florence on a route graced with beautiful landscapes. Upon arrival, head straight to Piazzale Michelangelo, an impressive site in the city. In the evening we provide a tour with a local expert, and walk through the historic centre, taking in places such as the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and Piazza della Signoria. This city is truly an outdoor museum. Enjoy free time at leisure to explore and select a restaurant for dinner.

Day 9Florence – Venice (B)

Today we enjoy stunning mountain landscapes while crossing the Apennine Mountains. Arriving in Venice, board a Vaporetto to travel around the canals of the historic city centre. With a local guide, we will visit the marvellous Saint Mark’s Basilica (entry fee included). Afterwards, visit the Murano Glass Factory, to see the technique with which this ancient commodity is made. Enjoy the rest of the day with free time at leisure, and eat dinner in the Mestre district at a restaurant of your choice.

Day 10Venice (B)

Enjoy today free at leisure, exploring Venice.

Day 11Venice (B)

Enjoy today free at leisure, exploring Venice.

Day 12Venice – Board MSC Sinfonia (B, L, D)

After breakfast, transfer to the cruise terminal and board the MSC Sinfonia.

Day 13At Sea – Split (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

Cruise to Split, Croatia. Select from a variety of shore excursions.

Day 14At Sea (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

Spend the day relaxing at sea, en route to the Greek Islands.

Day 15At Sea – Santorini – Mykonos (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

Cruise to the next Port of Call, Santorini. Select from a range of shore excursions. Depart late afternoon and cruise to Mykonos.

Day 16Mykonos At Sea (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

Start the day in Mykonos, where a variety of shore excursions are available. Then, cruise from Greek waters towards Croatia’s beautiful coast.

Day 17At Sea – Dubrovnik (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

A variety of shore excursions are available in Dubrovnik. On departure, cruise from Croatia to Italy.

Day 18At Sea – Ancona (B, L, D – On Board Meals)

Arrive in the next Port of Call, Ancona, where a variety of shore excursions are available.

Day 19At Sea – Venice (B)

On arrival in Venice, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Day 20Australia

Arrive home this morning.

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