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14 Jul 2012
Greece & Adriatic Wonders Cruise
Seabourn Odyssey - 7 nights ex Athens, Greece
Get away on the Seabourn Odyssey for 7 unforgettable nights on the Greece & Adriatic Wonders Cruise exploring Europe - Mediterranean. Your ship starts out from Athens, the cruise will take you to 8 ports in 3 countries before arriving at Venice. This 5 star cruise from Seabourn Cruise Line has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Sat 14 Jul 2012||Athens, Greece||5.00pm|
| 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.
|2||Sun 15 Jul 2012||Gythion, Greece||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Gythion is a port in the NW of the Laconian Gulf, the largest and most important town on the Mani Peninsula in southern Greece. It is well known as being the port for Sparta some 40 km away.
Today's Sparta is a modern city with little ancient history, as the Spartans lived a rather austere life and did not build grand structures as did the Greeks. Also of interest to visitors, is the ancient city of Mystras, with its huge gates and many palaces. The caves of Diros, purported to be a dwelling place of prehistoric man, are visited for the displays of artefacts discovered in 1958. It also provides the opportunity to enter the cave, by boat, to view its natural beauty.
Enjoy the town itself by visiting some of its cafes and shops and visit the secluded beaches and enjoy the stunning scenery. It is a real fishing village and not too 'touristy'. Indeed it is considered to be one of the most traditionalist and conservative regions of Greece.
|3||Mon 16 Jul 2012||Katakolon, Greece||8.00am||6.00pm|
| 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.
|4||Tue 17 Jul 2012||Parga, Greece||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Parga is a town and municipality located in the northwest of Greece in the region of Epirus. Parga lies on the Ionian coast between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa. Tourism is rather new here and the number of foreign tourists is small so people are friendly and the town still feels genuinely Greek.
It is a resort town known for its scenic beauty, a very popular destination with the Greeks themselves, and it is becoming a more popular site for foreigners. Parga is surrounded by mountainous countryside, which is rocky and bushy in the east while it is forested and grassy to the northwest.
The islands of Paxoi and parts of southern Corfu can be seen and sometimes Lefkada as well. The 14th century Venetian castle separates Parga's bay and harbour from the long sandy crescent shaped Valtos beach. There are excellent views of both bays from the now ruined fortress.
|5||Wed 18 Jul 2012||Dubrovnik, Croatia||10.00am||11.00pm|
| 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.
|6||Thu 19 Jul 2012||Hvar, Croatia||7.00am||4.00pm|
| Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea located off the Dalmatian coast. The climate is characterised by mild winters and warm summers, and this together with beautiful beaches and Mediterranean vegetation make it a most attractive tourist destination. Hvar town features a large public square, St Stephen’s Square that is open to the sea and in season the port is filled with large yachts. The many renaissance and baroque palaces, dominate the city that itself is surrounded by fortification walls dating from the 7th century.
When in Hvar town visit the Hvar Fortress and enjoy the delightful views, and be sure to visit the Franciscan Monastery and be amazed at its architecture. Many visitors take a boat excursion to Pakleni Islands and do some sea kayaking. Other things to be done include visiting: the sandy beaches near Jelsa; the ancient town Stari Grad where the past centuries mingle with modern tourist facilities; the heavenly beaches under pine trees in Zavala; the south cliffs in Ivan Dolac; and Vrboska to appreciate its ‘little Venice’ ambience.
Also called the island of Lavender there are vast fields of lavender as well as ancient olive trees and vineyards that suggests the delightful harmony between man and nature. For example, there are wine and olives, so a guest wishing to get closer to nature will stop at a small inn rather than a top quality restaurant. He will taste real home-made wine instead of some famous sparkling wine and he will listen to the old island songs and forget the monotony of ‘everyday routine’.
|7||Fri 20 Jul 2012||Ravenna, Italy||7.00am||6.00pm|
| Ravenna is an inland city in Italy that is connected to the Adriatic Sea by a canal. Interestingly it is the second largest commune in land area in the country, though it is a little larger than half the size of Rome, the largest. It has eight early Christian monuments built in the first half of the first century AD, all of which are inscribed on the World Heritage List. Truly amazing.
There are also numerous fascinating churches, built throughout the centuries that are well worth visiting, as well as the Communal Gallery - with various works from Romagnoli painters - the many museums including the National Museum, Dante's grave, and the Palace of Theoderic that includes mosaics from the palace of the king. Indeed, Ravenna is known for its stunning mosaics and produces beautiful mosaics to this day.
You could take a trip to the old Port of Classe with numerous reminders of the region's historic past. However, Ravenna is a walker's paradise, to say nothing of a shopping heaven. There are many small pizzerias and trattorias in the town that serve excellent and inexpensive fare. Be sure to take a walk around the historic centre, most of which is pedestrian only, and absorb the magnificent architecture, numerous museums, and famous concert halls of this truly fascinating city.
|8||Sat 21 Jul 2012||Venice, Italy||7.00am|
| Located at the head of the Adriatic Sea between the mouths of the Piave and Po Rivers, an intricate web of 118 tiny islands and canals make up the enchanting city of Venice in Italy. Considered to be an extremely beautiful and romantic destination, it is not surprising that Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music. One must take a gondola ride along some of the over 150 canals, including the Grand Canal. Be amazed at the numerous bridges – such as the Rialto bridge – and absorb the glorious renaissance architecture with its panorama of superbly detailed facades. A new cruise ship approach to the city is being developed, so large ships will not enter the Grand Canal.
Venice highlights would, perhaps firstly, include St.Mark's Square. Enjoy walking around and absorbing the atmosphere, but be aware that sitting at an outdoor table while the piano is playing, you will pay top price. Visit the beautiful Saint Mark's Basilica, which blends the architecture of the East and the West. To avoid the crowds, take a tour of the Doge's Palace, the most impressive building in Venice, and the Galleria del'Accademia, one of Italy's best museums. Thanks to the Vaporetto dell’Arte, you can discover Venice and its magnificent treasures along the Grand Canal. It stops at the most charming attractions and has a multilingual audio video system.
Venice, the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. The city's small winding cobblestone streets along the canals make for great walking. Be sure to visit the island of Murano that is renowned for its Venetian glass. Also be on the lookout in your walks for the beautiful marbled paper, quality lace, and carnival masks that provide great mementos of your visit. Venice is still a monument to the glory days of the Renaissance, and historical culture still throbs powerfully in the old Italians' veins.
Until September 2014 Seabourn Odyssey sails the Adriatic, Aegean, and Black Seas. Most cruises are one, two or three weeks (some longer), and she visits the larger ports (such as Venice, Athens, and overnight in Istanbul), as well as a multitude of smaller ports not crowded with other ships. In October 2014 there is a Grand Voyage from Venice (or Athens) to Singapore, calling at a great selection of ports. Singapore (or Bali) to Sydney via Indonesia and the Great Barrier Reef follows, setting out in late November 2014. In December/January the very popular New Zealand cruises of 16 nights depart each way from Sydney and Auckland. In February 2015 Odyssey retraces her steps from Auckland and Sydney to Indonesia on route to Dubai, Suez Canal and Athens. From April to September 2015 a series of 1 to 3 week cruises visit ports in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas. This is a luxury five-star vessel well suited to senior travellers. Onshore tours are far from traditional tourist tracks.
Choose from 225 ocean view suites, 90% with verandas. All accommodation suites are of generous size, bedroom separated from living area, dining table for two, bar replenished daily, the best of electronic entertainment available, and your direct-dial telephone to the outside world. All the appointments are luxurious and hardly need listing. This accommodation is a haven to refresh oneself for the next day’s onshore activities. Personal attention extends from supplying fresh fruit and flowers daily, to canapés and newly-baked pastries on returning from a day ashore. You’ll have a personal suite stewardess.
Food and Dining
Dining is in four five-star dining venues. Open seated dining in The Restaurant is a memorable experience, overseen by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer: award-winning cuisine, regional dishes, many items cooked to order, exotic foods and cheeses, accompanied at your table by ship’s officers. Breakfast and lunch menus here are expansive. The 50-seat Restaurant 2 prepares regional, seasonal cuisine in tasting portions. Seabourn has an all-inclusive complimentary beverage and no-gratuities policy.
Spend two hours dining and chatting with newly-met friends, and you make your own entertainment. The Grand Salon is the venue for small shows, cabaret acts, lectures, cooking demonstrations, movies and some social functions. The stunning Observation Bar is the place for early morning coffee or tea, and evening drinks with piano music in the background. Guests enjoy wine, champagne and spirits in any of the six bars and lounges.
What's onboard? ▼
- All suite staterooms
- Spa Villas
- Shop/boutique (3)
- Dining venues (4)
- Member Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
- In-suite dining
- Special diets (book ahead)
- Lounges, open bars (6)
- Show Lounge (shows, cabaret)
- Live music, dancing
- Onshore tours organised
- Swimming pools (2)
- Whirlpools (6)
- Health spa & salon
- Kinesis Wall
- Fitness centre, classes
- Sun Terrace
- Golf putting (9 holes)
- Marina, watersports
- Computer Centre (pay)
- Enrichment programs
- Port lectures
- Library, card room
- Wheelchair access good
- Wheelchair access limited
- Wi-Fi, cell phone (pay)
- Medical facility
- Laundrette self-service
- Elevators (3)
- 110V AC power
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
- Gratuities - tipping is neither expected nor required
- Gourmet dining with complimentary fine wines, beers, spirits
- Specialty coffee, tea, bottled water, juices & snacks 24 hrs
- Open/anytime seating & multi-venue dining
- Cocktail or champagne reception
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Open bar - premium beers, wines, spirits, soft-drinks
- Stocked in-suite bar & refrigerator at no charge
- Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
- Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
- Activities - organised & individual
- Specialty lectures, workshops, classes & programs
- Fitness and/or yoga, gym classes
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Concierge service
- Destination seminars and/or lectures
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
- Internet access & Wi-Fi in cabin (top suites complimentary)
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Casino gaming
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
"Terri remembered every member of our party from last year's Diamond Princess. She goes out of her way to say hello & is always ready with helpful advice."
Margaret from NSW
"I would like to let you know how incredibly helpful, resourceful, efficient, reliable and cheerful Natalya has been. Nothing has been too much trouble and she follows through with every single thing she says she is going to do. It is unusual, and incredibly refreshing."
Julie from SA
"We weren't really sure about which cabin was right for us, your advice turned out to be great. And thanks for organising all our flights and transport - so much easier than doing it ourselves!"
Bryan & Lara G from Brisbane