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Join the Noordam over 20 exciting nights aboard the Mediterranean Adventure Cruise through the waters of Africa & Middle East. Your ship starts out from Rome (Civitavecchia) and calls into 15 ports in 7 countries before returning to Rome (Civitavecchia). This 4 star voyage from Holland America Line has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.

Day Date Port of call Arrival Departure
1 Fri 27 Jul 2012 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 5.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Rome, the capital, and largest city of Italy, is full of unending possibilities. It can be reached from the port of Civitavecchia in approximately ninety minutes either by train or coach. Rome greets visitors with a multitude of faces, such as the Ancient City with ruins like: the Colosseum; the seven hills; the Roman Forum; and the Sacred Way, the path used for triumphal processions. There is Renaissance Rome, full of winding streets and sun-dappled piazzas, and the Vatican, home to the Pope. Also popular are the Sistine Chapel with Michaelangelo's famous Creation of Adam fresco, and his masterpiece, La Pieta, at St. Peter's Cathedral.

Art is everywhere, with masterpieces often hidden in tiny, nondescript churches. Organised tours, with strictly controlled numbers, are regarded by many as the ideal way to 'see Rome', as they generally result in more prompt access, without lengthy queues. However you can explore Rome at your own pace, perhaps with a city's Roma Pass, on an extensive hop-on hop off itinerary, including 17 stops, through the heart of Rome. You have the choice of a 24 or 48 hours ticket, in especially appointed tourist friendly buses. The 48 hours ticket also allows for an interchangeable hop-on hop-off Rome cruise.

Rome has at least 40 underground burial places - catacombs - under or near the city. Though most famous for Christian burials, they include pagan and Jewish burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together. The first large-scale catacombs were excavated from the 2nd century onwards and continued until recent decades. Most visitors don’t forget to visit the Trevi Fountain, to throw in their coins and make their wishes! If you have already visited Rome, the surrounding countryside offers many fascinating choices, including the picturesque hill towns of Orvieto, Viterbo, and Bagnoreggio which are just an hour away from the port.

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2 Sat 28 Jul 2012 Livorno, Italy 7.00am 8.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Livorno is the third largest port on the west coast of Italy, and is well known for supporting cruise ship tourism to Florence, the Tower of Pisa, the hill towns of Tuscany, Cinque Terre with its enchanting villages, and the Chianti wine region, generally with time allowed for visiting some famous outlet stores of famous fashion houses. However the port of Livorno itself has a lot to offer visitors. Criss-crossed by Medicean canals that are still navigable, and with its port overlooked by towers and fortresses, this well-planned city is most appealing. In or out of town, you are sure to have a wonderful time.

Home to the first bathing establishments in Italy, many still remain along the promenade that stretches for many kilometres between impressive 19th-century buildings. There are also villas in the Liberty style, and green vegetation consisting of pine trees, tamarisks and oleanders. Local places of interest include: the Naval Academy founded in 1881; the city Aquarium; and the Museo Mascagnano with its records of famous operas. Also popular are the hands-on Natural History Museum of the Mediterranean with its 20m-long whale skeleton called Annie, and the Terrazza Mascagni that offers a wonderful view of some of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.

Be sure to take a walk along Terrazza Mascagni, an elegant terrace with its stone balustrades, which sweeps gracefully along the seafront in a dramatic chessboard flurry of black-and-white checks. The Fortezza Nuova, built in the late 16th century, is in an area known as Little Venice because of its small canals. The interior is now a park and little remains of the fort except for the sturdy outer walls. The old-fashioned baths, Bagni Pancaldi, first opened in 1846, are great for those who enjoy the opportunity to swim, rent canoes, hang out in coloured canvas cabins and frolic in the sun.

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3 Sun 29 Jul 2012 Monte Carlo, Monaco 7.00am 7.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco in France. It really has a fairy-tale image with its beautiful Riviera - Cote d'Azur - setting, yacht-filled harbor and the elegant Casino that visitors can’t miss, though most don’t even enter to see the opulence and grandeur reflecting its exorbitant cost. It is an extremely rich place, where fast cars, big diamonds and flashy yachts are the norm. With its own Royal family who have ruled here since the 13th century, it is a place with which all of us are familiar. After all, who can forget Princess Grace Kelly?

The official language is French, but Italian and English are widely spoken and understood. Take in an overview of all the major sights on a ‘little train tour’. The eastern part of Monaco that contains the palace, at which guided visits are available, is probably the most interesting part of town. The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is a great attraction for families and it also features an excellent restaurant overlooking the Riviera. Nearby, the appealing information and historical exhibits found within the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology may be of interest, along with the rather unexpected and impressive, Prince of Monaco's Collection of Classic Cars.

If you are more interested in art, then the main avenues of Monte Carlo are littered with pricey galleries, with highlights including both the Marlborough Fine Art Gallery and the Galerie Monaco Fine Arts. Visitors may simply relax and absorb the beauty of the yachts in the harbour, wander through the covered passageways of the old quarter, have a drink in the grand Hotel de Paris, or shop in chic boutiques. On the other hand the more energetic may prefer to participate in the water sports on offer at Larvotto Beach, or walk along the Avenue St Martin to soak up the atmosphere and views from the cliff-side gardens.

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4 Mon 30 Jul 2012 Barcelona, Spain Noon
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Barcelona, located in Catalonia Spain, is Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the world’s major global cities. Today, Barcelona balances itself on the cutting edge of architecture, intellectual life, and style. Indeed Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect. The ‘Gothic Quarter’ is the centre of the old city of Barcelona, where many of the buildings date as far back as the Roman settlement. The Art Nouveau architectural style has a great number of buildings listed as World Heritage Sites.

An outstanding example of this is the immense, remarkable, but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, with completion planned for 2026. There are far too many famous attractions for all to be listed, however a few of the most popular include: the Barcelona Aquarium, with the IMAX cinema right next door; the Spanish Village that is home to replicate styles of houses from different parts of Spain; as well as fascinating traditionally made Spanish goods; and for football fanatics, the not-to-be-missed Barcelona Football Club Museum.

Add to this the Picasso Museum with his paintings displayed in alphabetical order, the Zoo, the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, and the Magic fountain on Montjuic, and one realises that this city with its old world attraction will not disappoint. Last but not least is Barcelona's old town, the heart of the city. It's made up of many small neighbourhoods, full of old-world character, linked by narrow, winding streets. Students, foreigners and artists thrive in this area, attracted by its sense of history and cosmopolitan feel, along with its trendy bars, concert halls and good restaurants.

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5 Tue 31 Jul 2012 Barcelona, Spain 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Barcelona, located in Catalonia Spain, is Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the world’s major global cities. Today, Barcelona balances itself on the cutting edge of architecture, intellectual life, and style. Indeed Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect. The ‘Gothic Quarter’ is the centre of the old city of Barcelona, where many of the buildings date as far back as the Roman settlement. The Art Nouveau architectural style has a great number of buildings listed as World Heritage Sites.

An outstanding example of this is the immense, remarkable, but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, with completion planned for 2026. There are far too many famous attractions for all to be listed, however a few of the most popular include: the Barcelona Aquarium, with the IMAX cinema right next door; the Spanish Village that is home to replicate styles of houses from different parts of Spain; as well as fascinating traditionally made Spanish goods; and for football fanatics, the not-to-be-missed Barcelona Football Club Museum.

Add to this the Picasso Museum with his paintings displayed in alphabetical order, the Zoo, the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, and the Magic fountain on Montjuic, and one realises that this city with its old world attraction will not disappoint. Last but not least is Barcelona's old town, the heart of the city. It's made up of many small neighbourhoods, full of old-world character, linked by narrow, winding streets. Students, foreigners and artists thrive in this area, attracted by its sense of history and cosmopolitan feel, along with its trendy bars, concert halls and good restaurants.

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6 Wed 1 Aug 2012 Palma de Mallorca, Spain 8.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Palma de Mallorca is the major city and port on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, and capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma, and almost half of the total population of Majorca live there. Visitors are spellbound by its blue waters, white beaches, lush foliage (almost 40 percent of the island is protected countryside), and 300 days of sunshine each year. Palma is a city of modern hotel chains and flashy shops, yet is dated and still retains much of its old architecture.

The Old Town, the historic centre of Palma, with its narrow streets and restored cathedral standing proudly in the centre of town, should not be missed. It is also a refreshing area for walking on a hot humid day, as the streets are narrow and shady, and filled with great places to visit. Not surprisingly swimming, scuba diving, jet skiing, and windsurfing are popular activities. Also water sports, sky diving, horse riding, cycling, mountain climbing, and golf are readily available. Marineland is a large marine zoo, a perfect place to take children. There are daily shows of the sea lions, dolphins, and parrots.

It is also a ‘Shopping Mecca’ renowned not only for its top designer boutiques, but also its high-tech products. Art lovers enjoy visiting Mallorca for its ancient and beautiful architecture. See the impressive gothic cathedral completed in 1601, museums, towers, parks, and even streets that make a striking contrast with amazing futuristic buildings. All must visit at least one of the 1,200 restaurants and try the ‘sobrasada’ and/or the ‘botifarrones,’ which are Mallorca’s famous stuffed meats. This renowned Honeymoon Destination truly is wonderful for people of all ages.

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7 Thu 2 Aug 2012 At Sea
8 Fri 3 Aug 2012 Tunis, Tunisia 8.00am 5.30pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Tunis, the capital of the Tunisian Republic and its largest city, is situated on the large Gulf of Tunis. It may be but a slim wedge of North Africa’s vast horizontal expanse, but Tunisia has enough history and diverse natural beauty to pack a country many times its size. The city takes you by surprise with its modern conference halls, hotels and banks, and bright yellow taxis rushing passengers to business lunches. It has all the hustle and bustle of a modern Mediterranean city. Steel and glass blend with the baroque, and palm trees look down on chic boutiques, gardens and cafes.

However, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Medina with its 700 monuments that include: palaces - such as Bey’s Palace that comprises a range of architectural styles; mosques - including the Great Mosque and the Zitouona Mosque dating from 698; mausoleums; and fountains dating from the Almohad and the Hafsid periods, are what most visitors love to explore. These, put together with the beautiful ancient city walls and gates, and one appreciates that this is the best preserved urban location in the Arab world. To the south, visit the ever-enchanting sands of the Sahara and observe the traditions of the indigenous Berbers.

Tunis is refashioning itself as an ambitiously modern Arab capital, though both its long Ottoman and not-so-distant colonial past still have a powerful, palpable presence. Be sure to visit: the souks, a network of covered streets lined with shops and traders and artisans; cathedrals and churches; beautiful parks and gardens such as the Belvedere Park that is also home to the Zoo and the Museum of Modern Art; and the Bardo National Museum that has one of the richest Roman mosaic collections in the world. Tunisia is also prime territory for a straightforward sun-sand-and-sea holiday.

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9 Sat 4 Aug 2012 Trapani, Italy 7.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Trapani is a city and commune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is a fishing and ferry port with a long history. Nowadays it is renowned for its fine seafood and Sicilian culture. It is the medieval phase of the town's past which is most evident in the old town.

As there are no remains of the ancient city, the historic buildings are of the Baroque style and include many 14th to 16th century churches. The Cathedral which was restored in the eighteenth century, the magnificent Madonna of Trapani with its famed statue and with the museum of Agostino Pepoli, and the wonderful Baroque Palazzo della Giudecca or Casa Ciambra are all sights very well worth visiting.

Enjoy the beaches, especially the ones at Marausa, just 9km south of the city. Take the cable car ride to the medieval walled hill-town Erice on Monte Erice, and enjoy the views, not only of the cobbled streets and medieval castle, as on a clear day there are views of Tunisia and Africa! There is a great deal to be enjoyed at this destination.

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10 Sun 5 Aug 2012 Naples, Italy 8.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Naples is an historic city over 2,500 years old, sitting on the west coast of southern Italy by the Gulf of Naples. Located halfway between two volcanic areas, Mount Vesuvius and Camp Flegrei and with numerous tours and cruise excursions available at the port, one may be inclined to miss out on what Naples itself has to offer. It has some of the world's best opera houses and theatres, and is often called an open-air museum because of its many historic statues and monuments. View finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, at the famous National Archaeological Museum.

An interesting feature is the cable cars that provide great views and an effective method of getting around town. The city is known for its rich history, with art, culture and gastronomy playing an important role throughout much of its existence. The historic centre of the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visit the Garden of Remembrance with its splendid views over the bay and surrounding islands, the great glass-roofed arcade of the Galleria Umberto, the Piazza della Borsa, and for an alternative view of this Italian city, visit the Piazza del Gesu Nuovo, with its collection of colourful and random monuments.

Naples hosts a wealth of historical museums, indeed some of the most important in Italy. Visits to the historic Castel Nuovo, and the Palazzo Reale are of great architectural interest. Then there’s the18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex. Handicapped accessible tours in Naples are available in a variety of options: driving tours, tours by train, and tours by ferry. All tours include professionally licensed tour guides and step-free routes. All are sure to enjoy the famous guitar and mandolin music while absorbing the culture, and don't forget to taste the famous Pizzas.

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11 Mon 6 Aug 2012 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7.00am 5.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Rome, the capital, and largest city of Italy, is full of unending possibilities. It can be reached from the port of Civitavecchia in approximately ninety minutes either by train or coach. Rome greets visitors with a multitude of faces, such as the Ancient City with ruins like: the Colosseum; the seven hills; the Roman Forum; and the Sacred Way, the path used for triumphal processions. There is Renaissance Rome, full of winding streets and sun-dappled piazzas, and the Vatican, home to the Pope. Also popular are the Sistine Chapel with Michaelangelo's famous Creation of Adam fresco, and his masterpiece, La Pieta, at St. Peter's Cathedral.

Art is everywhere, with masterpieces often hidden in tiny, nondescript churches. Organised tours, with strictly controlled numbers, are regarded by many as the ideal way to 'see Rome', as they generally result in more prompt access, without lengthy queues. However you can explore Rome at your own pace, perhaps with a city's Roma Pass, on an extensive hop-on hop off itinerary, including 17 stops, through the heart of Rome. You have the choice of a 24 or 48 hours ticket, in especially appointed tourist friendly buses. The 48 hours ticket also allows for an interchangeable hop-on hop-off Rome cruise.

Rome has at least 40 underground burial places - catacombs - under or near the city. Though most famous for Christian burials, they include pagan and Jewish burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together. The first large-scale catacombs were excavated from the 2nd century onwards and continued until recent decades. Most visitors don’t forget to visit the Trevi Fountain, to throw in their coins and make their wishes! If you have already visited Rome, the surrounding countryside offers many fascinating choices, including the picturesque hill towns of Orvieto, Viterbo, and Bagnoreggio which are just an hour away from the port.

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12 Tue 7 Aug 2012 At Sea
13 Wed 8 Aug 2012 Dubrovnik, Croatia 8.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Dubrovnik, a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, is a prominent tourist destination. The city joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. An outstanding feature of the Old Town of Dubrovnik is its intact city walls that run uninterrupted for 1,940m encircling the city. This complex structure, one of the most beautiful and strongest fort systems in the Mediterranean, consists of a series of forts, bastions, towers and detached forts, originally used to protect the vulnerable city. Few of Dubrovnik's Renaissance buildings survived the earthquake of 1667, but fortunately enough remain to preserve the legacy of a glorious past.

The finest Renaissance highlight is the Sponza Palace that is currently used to house the National Archives. Other important monuments, such as the Rectors Palace – now a museum – with its ornate staircase, and the St Saviour Church – another remnant of the Renaissance period – are both much-visited. The nearby Franciscan Monastery with its outstanding exhibits, as well as its amazing library of 30,000 volumes and 1,500 valuable handwritten documents, is a must-see. Visit: the city’s most beloved church, St Blaise; the baroque Cathedral with its historical relics; and the city's Dominican Monastery that resembles a fortress, but also contains an art museum and a Gothic-Romanesque church.

All of the restaurants have a romantic ambience. In many you are facing the sea, dining outdoors, and eating excellent fresh seafood. You may take a trip on the Cable Car, visit some of the lovely local islands, and even take a ride at the Kojan Koral’s Riding Stables. There are several museums of great interest such as the Multimedia Museum and War Photo Limited with its educational, though disturbing, exhibits. There are also a few beaches including Copacabana Beach, a small stony beach part of the Elaphiti Islands, named after the popular beach in Rio de Janeiro.

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14 Thu 9 Aug 2012 Corfu, Greece 9.00am 7.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Corfu Island, located just off the west coast of Greece, boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the Greek Isles. With its impressive landscapes, rich vegetation, long golden beaches, the elegant capital Corfu Town, and many traditional villages, it is not surprising that this island receives many visitors each year. The capital is possibly most impressive, due to the Venetian, French and English civilisations that are remembered for the architectural elements they have left behind. Be sure to visit the Achillion Palace with its picturesque gardens overlooking Corfu Town, and at least one of the many Greek churches and monasteries.

The island has a great variety of excellent beaches, but if you want more than water sports, hire a car and visit the 1,000m high Mount Pantokrator to enjoy breathtaking views, and visit the old town of Kerkyra. Other places to visit include: the deserted village of Old Perithia; the island’s most treasured beauty spot, Paleokastrista; or if you have children, Aqualand. Be sure to eat at one of the restaurants, as Corfu is all about food and wine. Pyramid Restaurant consists of a luxury Dining room overlooking the ocean, and the Adventure Park where Mini-golf and Go-karts are available.

The British cemetery is a hidden gem just outside the Corfu town centre. As you walk around the peaceful gardens you will see a large number of military monuments ranging from the 1800s through to 1946, all of which have inscriptions with a story to tell. A great part of social history and the island’s colourful past is Kassiopi, a tiny peaceful village dating back to Roman times. Here, visitors can walk in the footsteps of ancient greats like Cicero and Emperor Nero. Last but not least, Corfu's little known golf course is one of the 19 greatest championship courses in Europe.

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15 Fri 10 Aug 2012 Katakolon, Greece 7.00am 3.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise The scenic seaside Greek town of Katakolon, with a population around 3,000, is your typical small-town cruise port with delightful cafes along the waterfront, shops that sell T-shirts, hats and jewellery, and a small beach that draws swimmers and sandcastle-builders. But that's not why ships make the town a destination. They arrive because Katakolon serves as the cruise gateway to ancient Olympia, just 40 km away, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. More than 3 million people annually visit the site and its companion facility, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, a treasure trove of pieced-together sculptures and statues that once adorned the ancient structures.

Here visitors can also explore the fascinating ruins of the stadium, athletics track, the actual place where the Olympic flame was lit, and indeed the structure where athletes were instructed by philosophers, poets and mathematicians, as they believed it was necessary to have a healthy mind as well as body. You will also find the fifth-century BC Temple of Zeus, an excellent museum displaying amazing marble statues from the temple, some rebuilt Dorian columns, as well as an early Christian church. In town visit the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology and the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical instruments.

As an alternative, you could hire a car or take a taxi and visit many places of interest. There’s the Castle of Chlemouts, a very antique construction with an amazing view of the surroundings. Observe the vegetation and rocky formations that have been witness of the history of its construction for many centuries. Also visit the thermal baths at Kylini, the beautiful Foloi Oak Forest, and the Merkouri Winery. At the Domaine Mercouri winery, about 3 km from Katakolon's dock, you can sit in the shade of centuries-old cypress trees, sipping noted red and white wines.

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16 Sat 11 Aug 2012 Santorini, Greece 8.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the Aegean Sea, about 200 km from Greece's mainland. It is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion some 3500 years ago, which destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and which resulted in the creation of the current geological caldera. Take the cable car to view the beautiful panorama of Santorini. The most exotic spot on Santorini is Red Beach. It is a difficult walk, but you can take a water taxi from Kamari or Perissa, and absorb the dramatic colour of the rocks 'spilling' onto the beach.

There are tours on offer to visit the beautiful beaches, while many tourists hire cars, scooters, or quad bikes and dune buggies to get off the beaten track. You could even enjoy the amazing experience of mule riding. Hot springs at Palia Kameni, with water at a temperature of about 33 C and that contains sulfur which is good for the skin, has become a popular destination, although it involves swimming from boats into a muddy-looking bay. A swim and a mud bath can be quite refreshing after a hot walk to the volcano. The volcano is frequently explored, and if climbed, will provide a view of ancient lava streams.

You can visit the well-preserved Minoan village of Akrotiri, believed to be part of the legendary lost Atlantis, or travel to the delightful village of nearby Oia. You will find shops selling intricate hand-made goods at the capital Fira, and even a winery nearby. Also worth visiting are the museums, such as the Museum of Pre-historic Thira, Imerovigili that provides the best views of the caldera, and the traditional village of Megalochiri. On the other side of the city you can visit Rodíni Park, a true paradise with many peacocks, streams and paths amidst oleander bushes, cypress, maple and pine trees.

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17 Sun 12 Aug 2012 Kusadasi, Turkey 7.00am 6.30pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkey's Aegean coast and the centre of the seaside district of the same name. While best known as a starting point for visiting Ephesus, once one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a history dating from 3000 BC, there’s also a delightful range of activities in town. Places of interest include: the City Walls, of which one gate remains to-day; the peninsula at the end of the bay with its castle and swimming beaches; several aqua parks with wave-pools and white-water slides; Ladies Beach, once segregated but now open to all; and Dilek Peninsula National Park. See all this in a pleasant walk.

If visiting in summer take time out for a swim. Scuba diving is a popular activity and a visit to the local markets will provide some interesting bargains. You could visit the Greek island of Samos, just an hour and a quarter away by ferry. It is an island with green mountains, breath taking beaches and rich archaeological sites. There are abundant opportunities for walking, mountain biking and windsurfing. For those who would rather soak up some history there are lots of old fishing villages such as Pythagorean and Ireon, picturesque towns, ancient sites and museums around the island.

Take a coach to ancient Ephesus, one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey. It was a pilgrimage centre of first Cybele, and then Artemis. It was the birthplace of the philosopher Heraclitus. Amazons, Greeks, Lydians, Romans and many other civilizations lived and left traces here. The apostle Paul spent some years in this city. e sure to tour this excellent ancient city with the Basilica of St John, and the restored Temple of Artemis, that is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Further along the road is Miletus, with its massive amphitheatre and ruins, again visited by the apostle Paul.

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18 Mon 13 Aug 2012 Athens, Greece 9.00am 6.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece, is also one of the world's oldest cities with an unparalleled history that spans around 3,400 years. Experiencing long periods of sunshine throughout the year, and known as "the cradle of Western civilisation", it is a 'must-see' destination for world travellers. The city contains a fascinating variety of different architectural styles, ranging from Greco-Roman through Neo-Classical, to Modern. They are usually all found together in the same areas, as a walk through the old neighbourhoods of the famous historic triangle will reveal. All this together with fancy restaurants and traditional taverns ensure a delightful visit. Watch the changing of the guard at the Parliament Building!

The Acropolis hill, or the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is one of the most recognisable monuments of the world. It includes the glorious marble structures of the Parthenon built in honour of Athena, the patron goddess of the city, the monumental entrances to the sacred area called the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike dedicated to the winged maidens who attended to her, and the Erechtheion "Porch of the Maiden". The Byzantine, Archaeological and Historical Museums, the Municipal Gallery, and the Athens Concert Hall are among many other sites worth viewing. Numerous tours are available, or you could hire a car.

Next to big institutions such as the National Gallery and the Benaki Museum, a large number of small private galleries, hosting the works of contemporary visual and media artists, are spread. For shoppers, the many well-known and international name brands and traditional Greek art and folklore shops as well as innumerable chic boutiques and specialty shops provide for every taste and budget. Many families visit one of the fun parks and enjoy the many activities they offer. Wild life lovers shouldn’t fail to pay a visit to the Athens Zoo, which hosts amongst others one of the biggest varieties of birds.

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19 Tue 14 Aug 2012 At Sea
20 Wed 15 Aug 2012 Messina, Italy 7.00am 1.00pm
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Messina is a harbour on the eastern coast of Sicily, a short ferry crossing to mainland Italy lying to the east. Due to the several earthquakes that have struck the area on several occasions, the city is almost completely modern. Mostly viewed as the starting point for tours and trips to Taormina and Mount Etna, both of which are truly unforgettable, it also has much to offer in the way of history and beauty.

The Regional Museum, one of the top sights, is noteworthy for its Renaissance master works. Try to be at the Bell Tower and Astronomical Clock at noon if possible. Appreciate the architecture of the churches and sanctuaries, especially the Cathedral, while the Cappuccini Monastery and Savoca are interesting historical sites. There are also some delightful fountains, the Botanical Garden at the local university, as well as the all important specialty shops to be enjoyed.

For nature lovers, Messina also provides destinations of considerable interest. From the city you can easily reach the Peloritani Mounts, surrounded with green woods and dotted with old farmhouses and small villages (Basicò, Tripi, Mazzarà, San Andrea and others). This is an area offering tourists the chance to spend time in a unique environment, and to enjoy home cooked meals and excellent local wines.

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21 Thu 16 Aug 2012 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7.00am
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise Rome, the capital, and largest city of Italy, is full of unending possibilities. It can be reached from the port of Civitavecchia in approximately ninety minutes either by train or coach. Rome greets visitors with a multitude of faces, such as the Ancient City with ruins like: the Colosseum; the seven hills; the Roman Forum; and the Sacred Way, the path used for triumphal processions. There is Renaissance Rome, full of winding streets and sun-dappled piazzas, and the Vatican, home to the Pope. Also popular are the Sistine Chapel with Michaelangelo's famous Creation of Adam fresco, and his masterpiece, La Pieta, at St. Peter's Cathedral.

Art is everywhere, with masterpieces often hidden in tiny, nondescript churches. Organised tours, with strictly controlled numbers, are regarded by many as the ideal way to 'see Rome', as they generally result in more prompt access, without lengthy queues. However you can explore Rome at your own pace, perhaps with a city's Roma Pass, on an extensive hop-on hop off itinerary, including 17 stops, through the heart of Rome. You have the choice of a 24 or 48 hours ticket, in especially appointed tourist friendly buses. The 48 hours ticket also allows for an interchangeable hop-on hop-off Rome cruise.

Rome has at least 40 underground burial places - catacombs - under or near the city. Though most famous for Christian burials, they include pagan and Jewish burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together. The first large-scale catacombs were excavated from the 2nd century onwards and continued until recent decades. Most visitors don’t forget to visit the Trevi Fountain, to throw in their coins and make their wishes! If you have already visited Rome, the surrounding countryside offers many fascinating choices, including the picturesque hill towns of Orvieto, Viterbo, and Bagnoreggio which are just an hour away from the port.

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MS Noordam is one of the four ‘compass-point’ HAL ships. Until October 2014 Noordam sails the breadth of the Mediterranean, visiting all the major drawcards filled with ancient history. The cruises are port-intensive, and often stay overnight at the more important cities to allow extra time for sight-seeing. Value for money suggests one of the 33-night cruises where virtually none of the Mediterranean is left out, yet four sea days to rest and refresh. From November to March each year Noordam sails the Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and offers a variety of port-intensive itineraries around the entire spread of Caribbean islands. Cruises range from 7 to 21 nights. In April 2015 Noordam relocates to Vancouver, for 7-night cruises of the Inside Passage along the Alaskan coast. HAL arranges excellent onshore tours, and pre- and post-tour packages. Hallmarks of HAL include spacious staterooms and public areas, rich timber furnishings set with museum-quality paintings and antiques, and discreet personal service.

Accommodation
Of the staterooms, 85% have an outside view, and of these four-fifths have a private balcony. Staterooms are spacious, and include: Interior large and standard; Ocean-view, some with panoramic windows; and three levels of suites – Verandah, Deluxe Verandah, and Penthouse Verandah. Basic features include a flat-panel TV and DVD player (book your DVDs by phone), ample storage, personal safe, excellent twin/queen bedding and bath amenities, fresh fruit on request, and nightly turndown service. The décor is very pleasing and comfortable. Complimentary meals can be ordered for in-suite dining around the clock. Triple and quad cabins are available, as well as interconnecting cabins for up to six guests. Many staterooms are modified accessible and wheelchair accessible. There are no single cabins.

Food and Dining
The ship has seven formal to casual dining areas. The two-deck main Dining Room serves open-seating breakfast and lunch. For dinner chose between set-seating at first or second servings, or open seating on the upper deck. The Master Chefs’ three-course menus are excellent, and waiting staff are friendly Indonesian and Filipino stewards. Ask for a table for 2/4/6/8. Special dietary requests can be ordered pre-cruise. Two nights in seven are formal nights, perhaps preceded with pre-dinner drinks, then after your meal retire to the Show Lounge or a musical recital. There are two alternative restaurants, best to reserve in advance: The Pinnacle Grill for steaks and seafood, and the Italian-American-influenced Canaletto (with no service charge). Ask about wine packages.

Entertainment
At night the two-deck Vista Show Lounge offers (twice nightly) musical productions, cabaret, and its features include three video screens. Alternatively, attend a musical recital in one of the lounges, dance to the backing of a band ensemble, watch sport in the multi-screen sports bar, or sip drinks while your request is sung by the pianist or guitarist. View recent movies in the Screening Room, unless you’d prefer to watch your choice of DVD in your cabin. Through the evening the disco and nightclub on the top deck will take you into the early hours of the morning, very inviting if the new day is a Sea Day and you’ve ordered breakfast in your cabin. The large casino has lots of playing options.

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View the current location for Noordam here!

Join the Noordam over 20 exciting nights aboard the Mediterranean Adventure Cruise through the waters of Africa & Middle East. When: Ship: Noordam Category: Cruise Cabins from $ per person
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise
Mediterranean Adventure Cruise bookings

Cruise summary

Cruise: Mediterranean Adventure Cruise
Duration: 20 nights
Ship: Noordam
Star rating:
Departs: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Returns: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Ports of call: 15
Forward departures:

What's onboard? ▼

  • Staterooms
  • Atrium social centre
  • Art collections
  • Shops duty free
  • DINING
  • Dining venues (6)
  • Traditional & As You Wish
  • In-room dining 24 h
  • Formal dining nights
  • Late night chocolate, snacks
  • Ice cream bar
  • Wine packages
  • Afternoon tea, High Tea
  • Lounges and bars
  • ENTERTAINMENT
  • Show Theatre
  • Cinema
  • Nightclub, music, dancing
  • Casino
  • ACTIVITIES
  • Pools (3)
  • Sliding deck pool roof
  • Whirlpools (5)
  • Sauna, steam rooms
  • Fitness Centre
  • Classes, walking, jogging
  • Spa & Salon
  • Enrichment presentations
  • Digital Workshop
  • Culinary Arts Centre
  • Sports court, table games
  • Photo gallery
  • Shore excursion desk
  • Pre/post cruise tours
  • Wedding packages (value!)
  • Library
  • Single guests program (most)
  • UNDER 18
  • Club HAL (3-7, 8-12, 13-17 y)
  • OTHER
  • Medical centre
  • Laundry dry-cleaning (pay)
  • Special dietary requests
  • Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
  • Mobile phone roaming
  • Telephone, fax ship-shore
  • 110V power
  • Wheelchair access
  • Daily newsletter

What's included? ▼

  • Accommodation as booked
  • Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
  • All main meals on-board
  • Open/anytime or traditional/set time & multi-venue dining
  • In-cabin dining at no charge
  • Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
  • Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
  • Activities - organised & individual
  • Bridge director on select cruises
  • Kids clubs & teen programs (3-17 yrs) (Prinsendam 5-17 yrs)
  • Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
  • Special needs requests & service animals allowed
  • Ship-shore-ship transfers

What's excluded? ▼

  • Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
  • Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
  • Alternate specialty dining venues (unless specified)
  • Casino gaming, bar expenses
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Insurances of all kinds
  • Increases in third party charges or taxes
  • Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
  • Service charge: USD 11.50 pp/night (suites USD 12). Adjust wth Guest Relations Manager if service inadequate
  • Service charge: bar and Dining Room wine 15%
  • Items & services of a personal nature
  • Medical services, vaccination costs
  • Laundry and/or valet charges
  • Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges

Recent testimonials

"Service was exceptional and your consultant went out of her way to answer all my questions. I called about 10 different local agents (I live in Melbourne) and no one would match your prices. Your deal is amazing."
William H from Melbourne


"The Pacific Dawn cruise was terrific - we really enjoyed ourselves. I would like to thank you for the time you have spent answering all my questions."
Ian R from Sydney


"We have returned after enjoying such a great first cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire cruise and hope to take another one at some time. We just wanted to say thank you for everything you did for us and we valued your assistance greatly."
Amelia from Melbourne