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Take a break on board the Noordam experiencing 10 relaxing nights on this Roman Empire Cruise to Europe - Mediterranean. Your ship embarks from Rome (Civitavecchia) with an itinerary that includes 8 ports in 4 countries before returning to Rome (Civitavecchia). This particular 4 star cruise from Holland America Line has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.

Day Date Port of call Arrival Departure
1 Tue 17 Jul 2012 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 5.00pm
Roman Empire 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 Wed 18 Jul 2012 At Sea
3 Thu 19 Jul 2012 Dubrovnik, Croatia 8.00am 6.00pm
Roman Empire 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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4 Fri 20 Jul 2012 Corfu, Greece 9.00am 7.00pm
Roman Empire 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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5 Sat 21 Jul 2012 Katakolon, Greece 7.00am 3.00pm
Roman Empire 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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6 Sun 22 Jul 2012 Santorini, Greece 8.00am 6.00pm
Roman Empire 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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7 Mon 23 Jul 2012 Kusadasi, Turkey 7.00am 6.30pm
Roman Empire 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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8 Tue 24 Jul 2012 Athens, Greece 9.00am 6.00pm
Roman Empire 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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9 Wed 25 Jul 2012 At Sea
10 Thu 26 Jul 2012 Messina, Italy 7.00am 1.00pm
Roman Empire 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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11 Fri 27 Jul 2012 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7.00am
Roman Empire 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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Take a break on board the Noordam experiencing 10 relaxing nights on this Roman Empire Cruise to Europe - Mediterranean. When: Ship: Noordam Category: Cruise Cabins from $ per person
Roman Empire Cruise
Roman Empire Cruise bookings

Cruise summary

Cruise: Roman Empire Cruise
Duration: 10 nights
Ship: Noordam
Star rating:
Departs: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Returns: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Ports of call: 8
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

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