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Rob enjoyed 18 years of travel experience in New Zealand before making the warm weather move to Queensland. An avid traveller, he includes Canada and South Africa on his favourite destinations list, but loves looking after local cruise holidays too. When not cruising, Rob enjoys refereeing soccer and good wine (NZ of course)."Sea days when cruising are a great way to enjoy the ship and experience life onboard, so make sure you take advantage of them."
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22 Jul 2014
Isles of the Mediterranean Cruise
Seabourn Sojourn - 20 nights ex Athens, Greece
Join the Seabourn Sojourn for 20 exciting nights aboard the Isles of the Mediterranean Cruise through the waters of Europe - Mediterranean. Your ship starts out from Athens, the cruise will take you to 19 ports in 5 countries before returning to Barcelona. 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||Tue 22 Jul 2014||Athens, Greece||4.00pm|
| 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||Wed 23 Jul 2014||Kusadasi, Turkey||8.00am||11.00pm|
| 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||Thu 24 Jul 2014||Symi, Greece||10.00am||6.00pm|
| Symi is the main town of a Greek island of the same name. Lying NW of the island of Rhodes, it has areas of significance in history and mythology. The town of Symi alone has thirteen major churches and dozens of chapels, with many dating back to the Byzantine era.
Landmarks regularly visited by tourists include the Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, the Kastro which is an expansion of a Byzantine castle and includes the remnants of an ancient citadel on which two later castles were built, the municipal clock tower built in 1880, the War Memorial in the harbour with its monument 'the Dove of Peace', and the village of Nimborio with its surviving ancient walls and set of twelve domes.
You can thoroughly enjoy snorkelling and fishing or even take a day trip to Rhodes. You are sure to remember the beautiful harbour, with tier upon tier of houses, some white some pastel yellow, rising above the water. Especially interesting is the fact that these fine old houses - there has been virtually no modern concrete construction here - are being restored, and act as a reminder that 100 years ago this was one of Greece's most prosperous islands.
|4||Fri 25 Jul 2014||Santorini, Greece||8.00am||6.00pm|
| 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.
|5||Sat 26 Jul 2014||At Sea|
|6||Sun 27 Jul 2014||Catania, Italy||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Catania, the second largest city in Sicily, lies in the middle of the Ionian coast. It is a lively energetic place with an international outlook. At its backdrop is the famous Mt. Etna, which has certainly left its mark on the city, with its inevitable black-grey volcanic stone ever evident in pavements and buildings.
Be sure to visit the Bellini Theatre, named after the locally born opera composer, built at the end of the nineteenth century. Its exterior in the remarkable Sicilian Baroque style and its extravagant interior will long be remembered. Also worth visiting are the church of Santa Maria della Rotonda, the lava and marble Roman Amphitheatre that dates back to the second century AD, the Odeon, a smaller auditorium, and the Museo Civico.
Undoubtedly, for many, the greatest attraction is the opportunity to take a volcanic excursion. If you have the time, visit some of the small towns in the National Park, or take the Circumetnea, a small railway line which circles the base of the volcano -with rail connections to town - to appreciate an eerie volcanic landscape with solidified rivers of lava. There are also several high-altitude spots which can be reached either by public transport or by car. Do make the effort. It will be something unique for most travellers.
|7||Mon 28 Jul 2014||Lipari, Italy||8.00am||5.00pm|
| The Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily. The largest island is Lapari, and the sole town in the group that is on this island shares the same name. There are signs of volcanic activity with fumaroles and thermal waters on most of the islands, while the volcano on Stromboli puts on a dramatic performance most nights!
The town of Lipari is used as a base for exploring the area, and the main street of the town, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, includes pavement restaurants as well as banks and interesting shops. The island also has four other villages, Canneto being just 2 km north of the town. There is a bus service as well as taxis available from the marina, while many enjoy riding a bike or motor scooter.
The cliff-top citadel is still surrounded by walls built in the 1500s and enclosed by the walls is the Duome, the excellent archaeological museum that exhibits remains from a dozen ages of man, from prehistoric through Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman Byzantine, Norman and Spanish. Also found within the walls are the fascinating remains of two baroque churches. This is an extremely popular destination, due to its natural beauty, the various beaches and the unique geological aspects.
|8||Tue 29 Jul 2014||Ponza, Italy||8.00am||3.00pm|
| Ponza is a port on an island of the same name and is the largest of the Italian Pontine Islands located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is well known that many celebrities take their vacations on this island – indeed Jacques and Philippe Cousteau have filmed several documentaries in the area.
Points of interest include Ponza's Botanical Garden, Cape White (a National natural monument), Lookout Hill with a building on top used for flag signalling, two caves from Homer's the Odyssey, and a natural arch that resembles a pair of giant pants. There are also some superb beaches to be enjoyed, and the Le Forna area, where the friendliness of the inhabitants can be truly appreciated, makes for a very enjoyable visit.
Many archaeological ruins are scattered all over the island, the most famous being the Blue Grottos created by the Etruscans, and the Roman Gallery which is a tunnel that connects the town of Ponza with the large sandy beach, Chia di Luna, on its west side. In addition there is a fascinating mixture of Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian, Canaanite and Greek ruins to be explored. By contrast the island is also renowned for its cooking classes, so at least taste the unique local cuisine at the excellent restaurants.
|9||Wed 30 Jul 2014||Livorno, Italy||8.00am||11.00pm|
| 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.
|10||Thu 31 Jul 2014||Portovenere, Italy||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Portovenere is a tiny town on the Italian Riviera that overlooks the Gulf of La Spezia. It is a wonderful, delightful village that acts as the gateway to the well-known Cinque Terre that has remained relatively isolated from the rest of the world for centuries, and subsequently has retained the medieval look of the 'Five Lands'. It is accessible by boat and train, and there are some great tours on offer. You can take a ferry and enjoy some of the most evocative landscapes of the Mediterranean. But perhaps you would enjoy simply wandering around the town with a map.
Visit the village's rocky fortress and San Pietro Church, with its delightful grotto, and the castle built in 1161 that, despite the climb, is well worth the effort because of the wonderful view. Do your best to see the 'water man', with his unique gasoline powered cart that has treads like a tank and can 'walk' up and down the wide steps to the village paths, in order to deliver glass water jugs. Near the castle is the village cemetery, which is fascinating, not only for the lovely views, but the fact that many of the crypts in the mausoleum had photographs of the deceased on them.
Over the roman gateway, the entrance to the village through the main walls that were built in 1160 AD, there are clear signs of where the archway has been reduced twice in succession. When entering, above the gateway stands the inscription "Colonia Ianu-ensis 1113". To the left, low down, can be seen three marble basins of uncertain origin used to measure respectively fixed quantities of grain and wine. On the wall overhead Portovenere’s original emblem, three symmetrical towers on a rocky cliff, still used today as the town symbol. Alternatively, visitors can play giant chess on the waterfront. This village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|11||Fri 1 Aug 2014||Monte Carlo, Monaco||7.00am||4.00pm|
| 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.
|12||Sat 2 Aug 2014||Propriano, France||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Propriano is a port situated in the Valinco Gulf on the French island of Corsica, the southernmost large gulf on the west coast. It is appreciated by many for its pleasant climate, beautiful mountains, and breathtaking coastlines including many with abrupt rock faces. Add to this the diverse and fascinating countryside, hillsides covered with olive trees, and beautiful sandy beaches, and one is not surprised that it attracts many visitors. However, as the island has not had the same level of intensive development as other parts of the Mediterranean it is relatively unspoiled.
Due to its calm crystal-clear waters and fine sandy beaches, water sports are very popular. Two sandy beaches where you can admire the beautiful colours of the Valinco Gulf are the Lido and Corsaire beaches. Another option is to visit the lighthouse of Scoglio Longo. Also available is the opportunity for good scuba diving, as the U Levante Diving Centre allows visitors to discover the underworld of Corsica in the hands of the professionals. Also there is tandem skydiving with a personal professional instructor, which provides amazing views of south Corsica and Sardeigna.
Try the school for parachuting at the Valinco Gulf and enjoy a magical, mind-blowing experience. Notre Dame de Misericorde is a really beautiful church offering fantastic Corsican music concerts. The statues are really beautiful, and if possible go there in the evening to listen to the traditional Corsican polyphonies as they often have concerts there. There are many outdoor activities, including fishing charters and horseback riding tours.
|13||Sun 3 Aug 2014||Sanremo, Italy||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Sanremo (or San Remo) is a city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. It lies on the Italian Riviera, near the border with France. Founded in Roman times as 'Liguria', in the Middle Ages the nobility built a castle and the walled village of La Pigna to protect the town from Saracen raids.
Sanremo enjoys special weather conditions throughout the year due to its vicinity to the Mediterranean Sea and the presence of the Maritime Alps right behind the town. The town's climate is described as one of 'perpetual spring', with warm days and chilly nights and little variation of temperature around the year.
These conditions make Sanremo one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the Italian Riviera. It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the Sanremo Music Festival and the Milan – San Remo cycling classic. The city is widely accepted as the origin of the five-card stud variant telesina.
|14||Mon 4 Aug 2014||Le Lavandou, France||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Le Lavandou is a seaside resort town on the French Riviera in SE France. In the heart of the Mediterranean playground, it has all the tourist trappings such as a casino, nightclubs, discos and crowds, as well as fine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters with rich marine life. It is a picturesque and active seaside port with yacht and fishing boat marinas. Named for the lavender that adorns the nearby fields, Le Lavandou is a favourite with visiting yachtsmen. Another famous nearby village, also named for flowers, is Bormes-les-Mimosas, an artist's retreat on a flower-filled hillside, regarded as one of France's loveliest towns.
There is a delightful selection of places to visit within a distance of 40 km. Firstly there are beautiful gardens such as Domaine du Royale, the Tropical Birds’ garden, and the garden of the Saint Claire castle. Then there’s the delightful village of Gassin as well as Le Thoronet, a religious monument found at the Thoronet Abbey. There are also several fascinating bicycle tours that can be taken. These include visiting Grimaud, dominated by its 11th C partially restored castle, which has Venetian-style channels lined with delightful houses resembling those in Saint Tropez. Tourists also take the opportunity to visit Toulon.
Boats leave Le Lavandou harbour for the three Hyères islands. Colonised first by monks and then by pirates, these islands with protected landscape have their own inimitable charm. The coastal scenery is spectacular, especially when the sea is rough, while the shaded inland walks are lovely even in high summer The Ile du Levant is a site for nature lovers, Porquerolles, the largest island of the atoll, is a succession of beaches and cliffs with sloping vineyards and forestland, while the wild and mountainous Port-Cros is a popular venue for hikers who enjoy trekking through the heart of nature.
|15||Tue 5 Aug 2014||Marseille, France||8.00am||11.00pm|
| Located on the SE coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is France's largest commercial port, and is also the largest French city on the Mediterranean coast. It serves as a gateway to the lush fertile region of Provence and all its cultural contributions to gastronomic excellence, impressionistic art, and ancient architecture. This cosmopolitan city with 300 days of sunshine a year, clear blue skies and the down-to-earth warmth of its residents, boasts a trading history that goes back more than 2,500 years. It is renowned for its beaches, a wide range of water sports, and particularly teaching scuba diving.
The main sights in Central Marseille include 20 fascinating museums that cover the historical periods of France, ancient to contemporary art, and the Fine Arts, as well as some unusual displays such as for earthenware and for motor bikes. A stroll around the Old Port, guarded by two massive forts and lined with dozens of cafes, is not to be missed. There are many religious buildings including the Abbey of Saint-Victor with its 5th century crypt and catacombs, and the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure that attract numerous visitors.
Visit: the beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, an enormous Romano-Byzantine basilica where the terraces offer spectacular panoramic views of the city; the Palais de la Bourse; the City Hall; and the delightful Pierre Puget Park. If so inclined, go shopping at the famous Centre Bourse and the adjacent rue St Ferreol district. There are also many tours of Provence available such as the wine-tasting tours, and all visitors will be fascinated by the building projects for completion by 2014, as the city has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture for that year.
|16||Wed 6 Aug 2014||Sete, France||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Sete is the most fascinating small town on the French Mediterranean coast precisely because it doesn't go out of its way to be charming. The town encircles a lone hill, the Mont St-Clair, on the otherwise flat Languedoc coast. With the sea out front, and backed by the salt water Thau lagoon - colonised by oyster and mussel beds - and the two joined by a series of canals, Sete is all but an island. The canals define the town and many townsfolk have their own little boats to take them shopping, while anglers line the banks.
For an excellent introduction to the city, try the circuitous route of the tourist train, from the blue tent on the main canal. Visit the open air market that is more of a flea market than a local produce market, as there really are some interesting things to look at. Spending the day in Sete is an easy task, if you like excellent restaurants serving the specialty of monk fish and a wide array of seafood together with some fine wine. Stroll along the quaint back streets. A half hour walk starting from the canals takes visitors to not only the inviting large main beach with crystal clear water, but also some wonderful other beaches.
Right in the centre of things is Parc du Chateau d'Eau. This park dates back well over a century and with its pond, waterfalls, caves, and many mature trees offering lots of shade and places to sit, it is a picturesque place in which to relax. Some of the restaurants in Sete are located right next to the fishing fleet, which adds a whole new dimension to the term "fresh fish". There are some popular places to visit near Sete including Bouzigues at 5 km and Balaruc-le Vieux at 6 km that some visitors prefer to visit.
|17||Thu 7 Aug 2014||At Sea|
|18||Fri 8 Aug 2014||Ciudadela, Spain||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Ciutadella (Ciutadella de Menorca) is a small port on the west coast of the island of Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. While it is the prime port for services to Mallorca, larger port of Mao (at the other end of the island) connects to mainland Spain and serves the cruise ship market.
That is changing now with extensive development underway to create a a deep water port capable of handling large cruise ships in the future. Minorca is a relatively quiet island which means that more wholesome, family fun holidays are geared towards this island. Visitors are attracted by its unspoilt beauty, postcard beaches along the south coast.
The whole island is a European/Unesco environmental reserve with more than a 75% of the territory protected. You can watch some of the last turtles of the Mediterranean, birds and protected species. If you explore the interior you will discover a wealth of of interesting and historic landmarks from El Torro the highest point on the Island to the most significant prehistoric sites at Trepucó and Torre d’en Galmés.
|19||Sat 9 Aug 2014||Ibiza Town, Spain||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Ibiza Town, or as the locals call it Vila d’Eivissa, is situated on the SE coast of the Spanish island of Ibiza, of which it is the capital. Most famous for its night life - indeed the island is regarded the undisputed Party Capital of the World - two of the island's most luxurious nightclubs, Pacha and El Divino, are located in Ibiza Town itself, while the nightclub Space is just south of the town. Ibiza Town is certainly the most fascinating part of the island, as it has a concentration of all the attractions and eccentricities which have made Ibiza world famous.
Above all, be sure to visit Dalt Vila where all are intrigued by the fairytale architecture, the dramatic entrance flanked by mighty statues of roman stone and the amazing panoramic views from the battlements. Here is also the archaeological museum with many collections from the Carthaginian era. The museum Museo Puig des Molins set in the Carthaginian burial grounds is to be recommended as it is home to one of the world's most impressive Roman museum collections, where artefacts found exclusively on this island are on display.
Explore the Ibiza Marina adorned with only the finest restaurants and yachts and relax in the Plaza del Parque as you absorb the local culture and watch the beautiful people go past. Shop to your heart's content in Ibiza Town's boutiques, stalls and bargain bins, dine in one of the many restaurants, and for a moment of blissful calm amidst the action, you could even catch a ferry to Formentera or the neighbouring beaches.
|20||Sun 10 Aug 2014||Valencia, Spain||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Valencia city, the administrative capital of the Valencian community and the centre of the region of L’Horta, is situated in the centre of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline. The Old City of Valencia, with its monuments, museums, and gardens, is a major tourist attraction. Here one finds the Gothic building of La Lonja that has been declared by UNESCO as a universal heritage monument. Built between 1482 and 1548, this late Valencian Gothic style building is possibly its major attraction.The Cathedral of Valencia, with its amazing Apostles Door that is situated in the centre of the ancient Roman city, where some believe the temple of Diana once stood, is also well worth visiting.
Then there’s ‘The Hospital’, built in 1409 with its fascinating history, as well as numerous medieval churches such as Saints John (Baptist and Evangelist) that contain some amazing frescos, and El Tempo with its large pillars imitating palm trees, all of which deserve special mention.The other half of Valencia's old town is more commercial and workaday. Here you can see the remains of the ancient city wall with its 15th century Serrano and Quart towers and the gateways used by traders and labourers to enter and leave the city. Nowadays, these old neighbourhoods live in much the same way as they have always done.
In contrast are the wide pavements, broad landscaped thoroughfares, and countless instances of modernist architecture that are equally as appealing. Here one finds a range of Squares, the largest being the Plaça de l'Ajuntament that contains the town hall, delightful gardens such as the relaxing Turia Gardens, as well as many museums housed in memorable modernistic buildings. These include the avant-garde and futuristic ‘City of Arts’ and ‘Science’ buildings that appear to be floating on water and contain the largest aquarium in Europe. This amazing city is also known for its main festival, the Falles, as well as the traditional dish paella that originated here.
|21||Mon 11 Aug 2014||Barcelona, Spain||7.00am|
| 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.
Until early April 2016 Seabourn Sojourn is in Asia, sailing between Singapore and Hong Kong. There are a number of grand tours of one to two months that really explore the countries of East Asia. From May to November 2016 Sojourn returns to the Western Mediterranean. There are many interesting sectors from which to choose, from 7 to 21 nights. In November 2016 cruise again to the Far East, These are port-intensive itineraries to all countries in E and SE Asia, from 14 to 89 nights, and many sectors. Finally in May 2017 Sojourn crosses the North Pacific to Alaska and California. Sojourn’s itineraries are carefully selected for the experiences they offer. Many ports visited by the Seabourn fleet are inaccessible to larger vessels, and hence 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
"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
"We were more than satisfied with the service we received from your agency everything was organized well. The P&O cruise itself was absolutely wonderful and thank you for your service and support."
Keith & Moira from Newcastle
"The trip was just fantastic! We loved it and highly recommend the Pacific Sun to anyone who wants a fun time. Thanks for your help booking the cruise and we will be be back soon for our next cruise."
Ron H from NSW