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14 nights
from £6495

Spring in the Gardens of the Mediterranean

A springtime voyage from Naples to Barcelona aboard the MS Island Sky

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  • Amalfi

Our springtime journey through the Mediterranean has been planned for those who appreciate an interesting mix of history, gardens and landscapes. We will steer clear, whenever possible, of the over-crowded sites and mega resort ships, yet include some of the most interesting and beautiful places in the ancient world. It is the most perfect time of year: verdant gardens and landscapes awash with blossoms make for an idyllic journey aboard the wonderfully comfortable MS Island Sky.


Island Sky

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Naples, Italy.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Island Sky.

Day 2 - Naples & Ischia.

Arrive this morning in Naples. There will be a choice of excursions today and you may choose to take the ferry and spend the day on the garden island of Ischia. A tour of the island will focus on La Mortella, a wonderful garden designed by architect Russell Page for Lord and Lady William Walton. We will have lunch at a local restaurant before enjoying free time to explore the main town. Alternatively enjoy a day in Naples where a morning tour will take us to Herculaneum. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Naples.

Day 3 - Amalfi.

From our anchorage off Amalfi we will go ashore this morning to visit the nearby beautiful gardens of the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello. The villa was something of a Bohemian retreat in its early days and has had many illustrious former guests. Return to Amalfi and enjoy a free afternoon at lesiure.

Day 4 - Civitavecchia.

Today we travel inland to visit two wonderful houses and gardens in Lazio. We will visit Castello Ruspoli which is owned by Princess Claudia Giada Ruspoli. Originally part of the papal estates, the castle was built in 847 AD by Benedictine monks. The garden, which still retains its original form, must be considered one of the most beautiful parterres in Italy. After lunch we continue to the beautiful gardens of Villa Lante Della Rovere. In the eyes of many, Villa Lante is the consummate example of the best period in the history of garden design: the Mannerist phase of the Italian Renaissance.

Day 5 - Elba.

Arrive this morning at the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from 1814 to 1815. Departing the island’s busy capital Portoferraio we set out for a delightful drive exploring the southern region of this charming island with superb views over the coastline. The first stop will be Villa San Martino, the summer residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, which has since been transformed into a museum. Continue to Porto Azzurro, a delightful town which is dominated by an ancient Spanish fortress and a picturesque harbour, before carrying on along the coast to the 17th century country wine farm, La Chiusa, beautifully nestled in a vineyard estate surrounded by olive trees and overlooking the ocean. Experience the estate’s interesting cellar to learn how the wine is handled and produced. A delicious sampling of the local wine will be served in the garden facing the sea. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Portoferraio.

Day 6 - Livorno.

We will spend the day in the Tuscan countryside and Chianti wine region. This morning we will visit the 15th century Villa Poggio Torselli built by the Machiavelli family and known as the “Queen of Chianti Villas”. The gardens here are made up of parkland and a terraced Italian style garden with a verdant expanse of vineyards, olive trees, roses, cypress and lemon trees. After our visit we will enjoy a lunch of local specialities and wines at a nearby villa before returning to the MS Island Sky. Alternatively spend the morning in the lovely town of Lucca.

Day 7 - Calvi.

Calvi is the capital of the prosperous Balagne region of the island. Enjoy the vista of the surrounding green hills which form a natural amphitheatre and is known as the ‘Garden of Corsica’. A guided tour will lead us through the alleyways and cobbled streets before continuing to the imposing citadel. This afternoon there will be an opportunity to explore the flora of Corsica with a visit to the seven hectare Parc de Saleccia.

Day 8 - San Remo.

This morning enjoy time to explore the twisting labyrinth of lanes in the old town that lead up from the waterfront or maybe walk along the promenade to the gardens at Villa Ormond. This afternoon we will enjoy a choice of tours, maybe travel inland to the Medieval town of Dolceaqua which is made up of two villages connected by a Medieval humpback bridge which inspired Monet who defined it as “a jewel of lightness”. Our walking tour will take us through the picturesque alleys to the Doria Castle and we will also enjoy a tasting of the village’s famous Rossese red wine and olive oil in a local taverna. Alternatively take the journey to the French border and the Hanbury Gardens which were established in 1867 by Sir Thomas Hanbury as a coastal woodland garden at his property in Ventimiglia. After falling into disrepair they were restored by the University of Genoa in 1987 who maintain the 18 hectares of Mediterranean and exotic plants.

Day 9 - Menton, France.

Arrive this morning on the French Riviera in the small town of Menton. Spend the morning at the Val Rahmeh Botanical Gardens. Established in the late 19th century by Lord Radcliffe the garden contains subtropical and tropical plants including Sophora toromiro (a species of small trees since disappeared from Easter Island) exceptional olive trees (more than 400 years old) and collections of exotic plants. Returning to the ship for lunch you may wish to revisit the town for the afternoon or relax on board. Alternatively visit the Serre de La Madone, designed in the 1920s by Lawrence Johnston. Spread over nine hectares the garden is divided into compartments by hedges and walls and includes plants sourced from his travels around the world.

Day 10 - Nice.

Drive this morning along the dramatic road to St Jean Cap Ferrat which is home to some of the most sumptuous villas on the French Riviera and where we find the Rothschild Foundation and Gardens at Villa Ile de France. We will explore the villa which houses a priceless art collection. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon either explore Nice independently or join us as we explore two of the area’s finest museums in the exclusive Cimiez Hill District. We will begin with a visit to the Musee National Marc Chagall. Established by the artist himself, the collection features the most important permanent exhibition of his work. We will continue to the Musee Matisse which is housed in the 17th century Arena Villa. The exquisite collection details the great master’s development from the late 19th century through to 1954.

Day 11 - Hyeres.

Our journey along the French Riviera continues in Hyeres, which developed as a winter destination and health resort for wealthy Britons in the 18th and 19th century with Queen Victoria giving the royal seal of approval in 1892. The pleasant climate makes it home to some wonderful gardens that we will explore or a morning tour including Castel Sainte Claire which overlooks the old town and the terraced park at Saint Bernard with wonderful views along the coast.

Day 12 - Le Ciotat.

Today we will anchor off the picturesque Provencal port of Le Ciotat where we have a morning free to explore independently. After lunch on board we spend the afternoon at the hilltop Medieval village of Le Castellet exploring the winding streets and enjoying a wine tasting.

Day 13 - Sete.

Enjoy a full day tour to the fortified city of Carcassonne which is for most the perfect idea of a Medieval castle. There will be a guided walking tour and free time before returning to the ship with lunch en-route. Alternatively, spend the morning at La Bambouseraie, a private botanical garden founded in 1856 by keen botanist Eugene Mazel and featuring exotic and rare plants, huge oak and cypress trees, giant bamboos and magnolias and Victorian greenhouses. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 14 - Palamos, Spain.

Our first call in Spain will be on the Costa Brava and the old fishing port of Palamos. This morning we will head out to the 17 hectare Cap Rog Botanical Gardens situated on the cliffs with wonderful views of the coastline. The terraced gardens contain over 1000 botanical species and spread from the house on the cliffs down to the sea.

Day 15 - Barcelona to London.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
1 to 15 May 2018
Category Price
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £6495
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £6695
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £6995
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £7395
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £8795
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £8995
Explorer Deck Island Suite £9995
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £6895
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £7295

Tour Reference Code: SCISK010518

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 14 nights aboard the MS Island Sky on a full board basis, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions, gratuities, onboard team including Guest Speaker, transfers, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

Ship to Shore: Please note that we will be at anchor at the following ports and will use local boats/Zodiacs to tender ashore: Amalfi, San Remo, Menton, Hyeres and La Ciotat.

  • Deckplan up to February 2018

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  • Deckplan from March 2018

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Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Island Sky
  • Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
    Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
  • Superior Suite (Columbus Deck)
  • Premium Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Corner Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Premium Balcony Suite (Erikson Deck)
  • Owner's Balcony Suites (Explorer Deck)
  • Lido Deck
  • Lido Deck
  • Restaurant
  • Library
  • The Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Your Suite

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies, whilst those on the Marco Polo Deck feature tinted, sliding glass doors allowing greatly enhanced viewing opportunities from your suite and quick access to the deck when a pod of whales or dolphins is spotted. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht.

    The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walkin shower, a large wardrobe, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The comfortable beds in each suite can be configured as either double or twin.

    The impressive Island Suite located on the Explorer Deck features an extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional features of this marvellous suite include complimentary internet usage, complimentary minibar stocked with your preference of beverages and complimentary laundry.

  • Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge on the Columbus Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings and talks given by the Noble Caledonia onboard team take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. For your convenience, it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Columbus Deck, there is also The Club, located on the Marco Polo Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Marco Polo Deck is The Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with complimentary internet access can also be found in the Library. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Throughout the vessel you will find a fine selection of artwork and photography, many of which have been drawn or taken by members of our expedition team.

    The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido deck located on the Erikson Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or spotting wildlife. The walk around promenade on the Marco Polo Deck provides a unique circular view of the passing seascapes. There is also a small hairdressers on board offering a small selection of beauty treatments. For your comfort, there is also a clinic with doctor onboard and a lift which serves all decks.

    As is the joy of small ship cruising, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the progress of the vessel (subject to weather or security conditions).

  • Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board MS Island Sky when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions.

    With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere onboard, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    MS Island Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. You will also find on your suite television a navigation channel showing the routing of the vessel as well as the view from the Bridge. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.

  • 360's

    Island Sky Balcony 

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    Island Sky Bathroom

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    Island Sky Bridge

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    Island Sky Cafe

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    Island Sky Club

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    Island Sky Magellan Deck Cabin 

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    Island Sky Restaurant

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    Island Sky Lounge

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    Island Sky Library

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  • Cabin Plans

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  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan up to February 2018

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    • Deckplan from March 2018

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Onboard Team

  • Rosemary Legrand

    Rosemary Legrand

    Rosemary is a former nursery owner and daughter of the late George Hyde, who was a hybridist of azaleas and rhododendrons.  Many of his award winning hybrid plants can be seen at the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley, Surrey, the de Rothschild rhododendron gardens at Exbury, Hampshire, and the National Trust Gardens at Kingston Lacy in Dorset.

    Rosemary had the honour of presenting H M The Queen with a collection of her late Father’s azaleas named after the Queen’s former Head Gardener, Fred Nutbeam, at Chelsea Flower Show in 1996.

    Her enjoyment of photography is used to great effect in creating the atmosphere of the gardens she discusses in her range of illustrated talks.  She has travelled extensively to gardens in many parts of the world to amass a substantial library of pictures.

    Rosemary is an experienced public speaker and has given presentations to a wide range of organisations since 1992.  She is on the RHS Speakers Register, is a NADFAS Area Speaker, and wrote a number of contributions for the book, 1001 Gardens you must see before you die, and a recent article for the Royal Horticultural Society Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia 2014 Year Book.

    Rosemary Legrand will be on the following tour dates: 1 to 15 May 2018

Tour Extensions

    • 27th April to 1st May 2018

       

      Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 London to Frascati. Fly by scheduled flight to Rome. On arrival transfer to our hotel for a four night stay. Settle into your room before meeting for dinner tonight.

      Day 2 Villa Landriana. After breakfast we head for the city of Ardea to visit the magnificent Gardens of Landriana which are considered one of the most impressive gardens in Italy. Created in 1956, the 10 hectares of garden space were created by an English landscape designer named Russell Page who divided the garden into 32 different “rooms” with specific characteristics, such as the valley of ancient roses, the orange garden and the blue lawn. Return to the hotel for a free afternoon before meeting tonight for dinner.

      Day 3 Tivoli. Today we visit two magnificent villas in Tivoli. The Villa Adriana is an exceptional complex of classical buildings created in the 2nd century A.D. by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. We will have time to enjoy some lunch in the town of Tivoli before we continue to Villa d’Este, masterpiece of the Italian Garden and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to the hotel this afternoon and enjoy a free evening.

      Day 4 Frascati. Enjoy a full day at leisure. We will meet tonight for dinner.

      Day 5 Frascati to Naples. After a leisurely breakfast in the hotel we will check-out and drive to the MS Island Sky, stopping en-route for lunch.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £765
      Single £995

      Price includes: Four nights accommodation at the Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana on a bed and breakfast basis, dinner on days 1, 2 and 4, lunches on days 2, 3 and 5, excursions, Tour Manager, gratuities.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

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Next Departure 30 September 2017 View all dates
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