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14 Jul 2012
Greece & Adriatic Wonders Cruise
Seabourn Odyssey - 7 nights ex Athens, Greece
All aboard the Seabourn Odyssey over 7 relaxing nights aboard the Greece & Adriatic Wonders Cruise exploring Europe - Mediterranean. This cruise departs from Athens and visits 8 ports in 3 countries before returning to Venice. This 5 star voyage 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 of Athens 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 luxurious department stores, small intimate shops, fancy restaurants and traditional taverns ensure a delightful visit.
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, but above all, enjoy the proud ancient heritage of the 'High City', as ancient Athens was once called.
|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|
| Katakolon's main claim to fame is that it is a deepwater port that lies just 35 km from Ancient Olympia, the site of the original Olympic Games. Here can be seen 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. The little town of Olympia itself offers tourists the opportunity to do some shopping and enjoy some refreshments.
As an alternative, you could hire a car or take a taxi and visit some of the following places of interest – the Chlemoutsi Castle, the thermal baths at Kylini, the beautiful Foloi Oak Forest, and the Merkouri Winery. In town itself visit the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology and the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical instruments. There is simply so much you can see and do at one of the most important religious centres of ancient Greece.
|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 one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic. The city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. An outstanding feature of the Old Town of Dubrovnik are it intact city walls which run uninterrupted for 1940 meters 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, casemates, 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, while 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 all much-visited. The nearby Franciscan Monastery with its amazing library of 30,000 volumes and 1,500 valuable handwritten documents along with other outstanding exhibits. Another ‘must-see’ is Dubrovnik's most beloved church St Blaise, while other religious buildings including the baroque Cathedral with its historical relics, and the city's Dominican Monastery that resembles a fortress, but the interior contains an art museum and a Gothic-Romanesque church are also worth visiting.
It is hard to choose the most romantic restaurants in Dubrovnik because almost all of them have a romantic ambience. In many restaurants you are facing the sea, dining in the outdoors, 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 Kojan Koral with its horseback Riding Stables. There are several museums of great interest such as the Multimedia Museum and War Photo Limited with exhibits that may disturb some but are very educational. 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 117 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. Cruise ships approach the heart of Venice via the Venice lagoon and Giudecca Canal, but by 2016 a new approach canal will be constructed. From November1 2014 ships over 96,000 GT will not enter the Giudecca Canal near St Mark’s Square.
One must take a gondola ride along some of the over 150 canals, especially the most famous Grand Canal, to enjoy seeing some of the 400 bridges (don't miss the most famous Rialto bridge in the heart of the city) and the glorious renaissance architecture with its panorama of superbly detailed facades. The city's small traffic-free, 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, watercolours of Venetian scenes, carnival masks and quality lace that provide great mementos of your visit.
Venice Highlights would, perhaps firstly, include St.Mark's Square. Enjoy walking around and absorbing the atmosphere, but be aware that you will pay top price if you sit at an outdoor table. 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. This truly is a city that will ever remain with you!
Seabourn Odyssey graces Australian and New Zealand water until February 2014, so this is a great opportunity for you to enjoy luxury cruising. In early 2014 three sectors leave Sydney for Bali, Singapore, Dubai, and finally Athens. For the remainder of 2014 Seabourn Odyssey sails the 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
"Ultimately it came down to attitude and the service from you was genuinely impressive so I rewarded that with my business. Price is very important but that good old thing called Service is hard to find these days."
William H from Melbourne
"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
"I wanted to send a quick email thanking you once again for your help with the cruise. We had an amazing time and I've heard everyone else did as well."
Emily from WA