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3 Nov 2012
Holy Land Egypt & Italy Cruise
Seabourn Quest - 14 nights ex Athens, Greece
Take a break on board the Seabourn Quest experiencing 14 exciting nights aboard the Holy Land Egypt & Italy Cruise exploring Africa & Middle East. Your ship sails from Athens with an itinerary that includes 12 ports in 7 countries before returning to Rome (Civitavecchia). This particular 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 3 Nov 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 4 Nov 2012||Kusadasi, Turkey||8.00am||6.00pm|
| 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.
|3||Mon 5 Nov 2012||Rhodes, Greece||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Rhodes is the principal city of the island of the same name, situated in the Aegean Sea. It is renowned for having the longest summer of any of the Greek islands. It is famous for being the site of the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - as well as being the home of the Citadel of Rhodes, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. The capital itself is very beautiful. Explore the Old Town and visit the castle of the Grand Master that is famed for its superb mosaic floors.
Walk on the Road of the Knights, visit the Castle of the Knights, and simply soak in the atmosphere. Climb the hill of Monte Smith and enjoy the panoramic view of the Mandraki area, and then visit its harbour where you can see the two famous bronze deer that stand where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood. Other places of interest are the white town of Lindos with its amazing acropolis ruins, the healing baths of Kallithea, some of the picturesque villages, the ruins of Kamiros, the monastery of Filerimos, and the Valley of the Butterflies.
Rhodes is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday. With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, it is truly a blessed place. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of the cosmopolitan and traditional, as well as numerous cultural and archaeological sites, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. Outside the walls of the Old Town lies the ’new city’, with its magnificent Venetian, neoclassic and modern buildings. The island certainly has some of the best beaches, archaeological sites, shops and restaurants in Greece.
|4||Tue 6 Nov 2012||Alanya, Turkey||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Alanya, 115 km east of Antalya, is a seaside resort in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. In the summer tourist season, it is inundated with visitors due to its mild climate, long stretches of sandy beaches, the warm Mediterranean waters, and the port's accessibility to historic sites and fine cuisine.
Visit these landmarks – the vast Seljuk Turkish fortress that overlooks the town from a promontory, Kizil Kule with its the tall octagonal Red Tower, Alanya Castle, Tersane, the ship-yard, the Damlatas Cave, which is said to benefit asthma sufferers, and the beaches, which are the biggest attraction, with tourist activities that include wind surfing, parasailing and banana boating.
If interested in archaeology, then be sure to visit the Alanya Museum, while many national celebrations are centred at Mustafa Kemal Ataturk monument. Attractions also include Sealanya (Europe's largest water park), and Turkey's largest go-kart track. If you are looking for a more relaxed visit, then you will thoroughly appreciate a relaxed half-hour drive to the pine-forested Taurus Mountains, for its spectacular views as well as the atmosphere of small rural villages where life continues much as it always has. It's your choice.
|5||Wed 7 Nov 2012||Larnaca, Cyprus||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Lanarka is a picturesque port and tourist resort on the SE coast of Cyprus. From Biblical times Cyprus and this port (Kition) were famed for building ships (‘the ships of Kittim’) for both war and commerce. Modern Larnaca’s 200-berth marina is set in an attractive harbour lined with palm trees. Seafood restaurants abound with multiple courses of local delicacies.
The most important site here is the ruins of Ancient Kitium. The area has been subject to rule by at least ten ancient civilisations due to its port and richness of minerals. Today the 'Phinikoudes' is Larnaca's main tourist attraction - a strip of cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants on the beach front.
Points of interest include the seafront Fort of Lanarca alongside the Grand Mosque, the Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement, the Pierides Foundation Archaeological Museum by the Terra Santa Convent, the Church of Lazarus, and the Mosque of Umm Haram. To the west of town is the distinctive Lanarca Salt Lake and its migratory bird population (flamingos November to March).
|6||Thu 8 Nov 2012||Haifa, Israel||7.00am||11.00pm|
| Israel’s third largest city and one of its prettiest, Haifa is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain, the historic land bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia. The city is split over three tiers. The lowest is the centre of commerce and industry including the Port of Haifa, the middle level is on the slopes of Mount Carmel consists of older residential neighbourhoods, while the upper level is known for its modern suburbs. From here there are some fascinating views. Also enjoy the 17 km of beaches. Traditional, contemporary, sophisticated and relaxed, Haifa is a winning combination.
The main tourist attraction is the Bahai World Centre, with the golden-domed Shrine of the Bab and the surrounding gardens. In 2008, the Bahai gardens were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the NE across the sparkling waters of the harbor sits the medieval walled fortress city of Acre. It is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it is considered to be of extraordinary significance to the world’s cultural heritage. Other renowned sites include: the restored German Colony with some of the old Templer homes restored and even turned into cafes, boutiques and restaurants; and Stella Maris the Carmelite Monastery.
Many tourists are drawn to the Cave of Elijah, as he is considered a prophet by both Judaism and Islam. There are also several museums to be visited, such as the Tikotin Museum which is the only museum in the Middle East dedicated solely to Japanese art. Haifa has a well-known reputation in Israel for its wide variety of malls and shopping centres such as the kiryon, kastra centre, Kanyon Haifa and 'lev hamifratz'. Grand Kanyon is considered to be the newest and biggest mall, and includes international brand names. Haifa is a party for the kids and for the family.
|7||Fri 9 Nov 2012||Ashdod, Israel||7.00am||11.00pm|
| Ashdod - aka Isdud - is a city on the Mediterranean Sea coast in the South District of Israel, approximately 70 km from Jerusalem and Beer Sheba. It is a major industrial centre and Israel’s largest and busiest cargo port, through which over 100,000 tourists visit annually. It is also one of the most ancient cities in the world, dating back to the Canaanite culture of the 17th century BC, and interestingly is mentioned thirteen times in the Bible. Ashdod is a convenient jumping-off point for exploring several of Israel's most interesting cities, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bethlehem.
The best place to begin your visit to the vibrant port city of Ashdod is at the towering hill of Givat Yonah, the traditional site of the tomb of the sea-faring Jonah the prophet, who was swallowed by a large fish. A wonderful overview of Ashdod awaits you there. Take a relaxing walk along the Lachish Stream promenade where a free zoo features zebras, rare Berber sheep, deer, ostriches and other animals, or visit Ashdod's beaches that are a venue for water sports with windsurfing, yachting, and scuba-diving, operating in the Marina area.
There is much history to be found, with human settlement dating from the Paleolithic Age. The Korin Maman Museum has a permanent archaeology exhibition called Philistian World as well as various changing art exhibitions. The Ashdod Museum of Art has 12 galleries and a fascinating pyramidal entrance that is reminiscent of the Louvre, while the outdoor sculpture of Samson cannot be missed. Many visit nearby Jerusalem’s magnificent golden Dome of the Rock that dominates the vast 35-acre Temple Mount. Be aware that security check lines to enter the area are often long, so it's best to come early.
|8||Sat 10 Nov 2012||At Sea|
|9||Sun 11 Nov 2012||Alexandria, Egypt||7.00am||11.00pm|
| Alexandria, Egypt’s largest seaport, was originally founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. Extending about 32 km along the Mediterranean coast, it has become an important tourist resort. Indeed, known as The Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern. Its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country, although it is actually only 225 km from Cairo. The city's monumental highlights include the Roman Theatre and Villa of Birds at Kom el-Dikka, and the spooky Catacombs of Kom es-Shoqafa.
The city's magnificent new library and the Alexandria National Museum, exhibiting statues and other artefacts dredged from ancient cities on the seabed, should also not be missed. If possible take a 15 km trip along the coast to visit Montazah Palace/castle primarily to enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds and the delightful swimming pools right next to the ocean. Historical monuments such as: the Citadel of Qaitbay built on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria; Pompey’s Pillar surrounded by other ruins and sculptures; and the excellent ancient Cemetry of Mostafa Kamel with beautifully decorated tombs; are also very popular attractions.
Not to be forgotten is the Roman Theatre of the 2nd century AD, that is an amphitheatre with 13 semicircular tiers made of white and gray marble, sections of mosaic-flooring, and with marble seats for up to 800 spectators. Those familiar with the Rosetta Stone, now the property of England, will probably visit Rosetta City. It is a large open-air museum of Islamic architecture. There are ancient fascinating brick houses that consist of of 3 or 4 floors, with multi-level ceilings for added strength. Alternatively painted red and black, and they windows decorated with a different type of turned wood, are a great attraction.
|10||Mon 12 Nov 2012||At Sea|
|11||Tue 13 Nov 2012||At Sea|
|12||Wed 14 Nov 2012||Valletta, Malta||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Valletta (aka Belt Valletta, Città Umilissima) - traditionally reserved for the historic walled citadel that serves as Malta's principal administrative district - is the capital city of Malta, located in the central-eastern portion of the island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is essentially Baroque in style, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture. Don’t miss the the majestic St John’s Co-Cathedral, with its imposing bastions and a treasure of priceless paintings. The site is nothing short of an open-air museum, yes, living history. The city also provides a stunning snapshot of Malta’s Grand Harbour, often described as the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
Dotted with quaint cafes and wine bars, the city itself is today one of Malta’s main tourist attractions. Appreciate the delightful Upper Barrakka Gardens, visit Fort Elmo, and the ancient ruins of Mnajdra Megalithic Temples. Take a spectacular walk along the sea front around the outside of the city walls. Go to the mooring place where the ferry for Sliema leaves, and walk over the rocks towards the tip of the peninsula and then return to the city. Here is found the Malta Experience, where first-time visitors interested in culture and history find an excellent introduction to the country.
Other fascinating places are churches - such as the Church of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck, fascinating Museums - including the National Museums of Fine Arts, and of Archaeology, the Lacaris War Rooms, as well as excellent story-telling at the Mannequin Museum of the Knights. Rather different but amazingly informative are a series of theatres, such as Valletta Living History, the Manoel Theatre, and a documentary - The Malta Experience, that all provide fascinating historical backgrounds of this port. To relax, visit the magnificent Hastings Gardens.
|13||Thu 15 Nov 2012||Trapani, Italy||8.00am||5.00pm|
| 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.
|14||Fri 16 Nov 2012||Naples, Italy||8.00am||6.00pm|
| 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.
|15||Sat 17 Nov 2012||Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy||7.00am|
| 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.
Until mid-October 2013 10-night cruises reach all parts of the Mediterranean, to many ports not visited by the majority of cruise ships. In late October 2013 cross the Atlantic from Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro, at a very reasonable fare. In December/January 2014 four cruises round South America reaching the (sub-)Antarctic Peninsula, and these can be highly recommended for the amazing scenery – glaciers, fjords, and fascinating ports. Quest’s itineraries are carefully chosen for the experiences they offer. Many ports visited are inaccessible to larger vessels. 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
- 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
"I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the excellent service Roxana has provided. From the first time I spoke with Roxana, her friendly helpful manner really impressed me."
Sandra F from Brisbane
"We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and have no hesitation in using you again and would most certainly recommend your company. So thank you for looking after us, have a great Xmas and a happy new year."
Brian & Margaret from Buderim
"The trip was great. We appreciate all your arrangements which were excellent. Our cabin allocation was terrific, with an adjoining cabin for our kids, and we enjoyed the cake that you kindly requested for our daughter on her birthday."
Jenny S from Sydney