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Wonders of the Ancient World

Discover highlights of the Ancient World on a voyage from Malta to Athens with Guest Speaker Louise Schofield aboard the MS Serenissima

  • 1 October 2020
  • History and Culture
  • Otranto

The seas between Malta and Athens offer access to a wealth of ancient sites. Join us aboard the MS Serenissima in October and take advantage of comfortable temperatures and the absence of high season crowds. As we journey from Malta across the Mediterranean, our small ship will take us on a voyage through the playground of the Greek Gods learning of the myths and legends before our arrival in Athens, the cradle of Western civilisation.

We will visit some of the Ancient World’s most fascinating sites including Olympia, the principal shrine of Zeus and Hera and the site of the original Olympic Games, set in a lush mountain valley beside the River Kladeos. We also visit Mycenae, the home of Agamemnon which stands atop a remote hill in the southern Peloponnese and Epidaurus, one of the most renowned of Greece’s ancient sites. In addition to these we visit the equally interesting Byzantine town of Mystras, a Medieval ghost town set on a cliff overlooking the site of ancient Sparta and one of the best preserved Byzantine towns in Greece, with excellent examples of 14th and 15th century architecture. Our penultimate port of call is the town of Nafplion, one of the most beautiful towns on mainland Greece where we have the advantage of an overnight mooring.

Our custom-made itinerary focuses mainly on many places that the mega cruise ships cannot access and, in addition to our included guided excursions, we will visit vineyards in both Greece and Italy to sample the local wines and enjoy ample time at leisure for some independent exploration.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Our View

    "The route from Malta to Athens is full of rich sites from the Ancient World and so when planning this itinerary it was difficult to decide what to omit. This cruise ensures we see some of the highlights including Mycenae, Olympia and Sarande all with the advantage of berthing in the most convenient ports and travelling in small numbers so we do not overrun these wonderful locations. In addition we can use our small ship to moor in central berths in Syracuse and Nafplion where we can take the opportunity for a pre dinner drink or after dinner walk once the day trippers have left. We also have the added bonus of having our Guest Speaker join us on the excursions and provide talks on board to bring the legends of these ancient places to life."

    More information

Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

View vessel details

Itinerary

  • Greek theatre, Syracuse
  • Syracuse

Day 1 London to Valletta, Malta.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Valletta. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner on board as we sail this evening.

Day 2 Syracuse, Sicily.

Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC and by the 5th century was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean and rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. We will visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park where we find a well preserved Greek theatre with seats carved from limestone. Paradise Quarry, now an attractive garden and orange grove, was the primary source of that limestone and is the site of the curious ‘Dionysus’ Ear’, a vast grotto with an amplifying resonance. We will continue to explore the island of Ortigia where we find the Temple of Apollo, considered to be Sicily’s most ancient Doric temple and the Baroque Cathedral, erected over the remains of the Temple of Minerva. The afternoon is free to explore independently before we sail tonight.

Day 3 Crotone, Italy.

After a morning at sea we arrive in Calabria and the port of Crotone which is on the site of the ancient Greek City of Kroton. Whilst little remains of the Greek city it was one of the most important settlements of Magna Graecia, where Pythagoras set up a school in 530 BC and whose athletes were very successful at the Olympic Games. We will take a scenic drive inland this afternoon to Santa Severina, one of Italy’s prettiest towns overlooking the Neto River valley. We will explore the majestic Carafa Castle which was built by the Normans in 1076 and is surrounded by strong, crenellated walls with a moat on three sides and contains intricate underground labyrinths and stables, with the remains of Medieval frescoes. Also see the cathedral, the beautiful Byzantine baptistery and wander the town’s tangled streets. As we return to the ship we will stop at one of the vineyards that produce famous Calabrian wine, Ciro, for a tasting accompanied by typical Calabrian food.

Day 4 Otranto & Lecce.

From the port of Otranto we will drive to Lecce, often referred to as the ‘Florence of the South’ with its amazing collection of Baroque architecture including an abundance of churches and noble palaces decorated with the ‘Leccese stone’, a chalky stone ranging in colours which became the local style due to its ease to work with. A guided tour will include a visit to the beautifully decorated Santa Croce Basilica and Piazza Duomo, considered one of the finest and most impressive squares in southern Italy. After the tour, there will be an exclusive, private visit to the 15th century Palazzo Tamborino-Cezzi. The owner of the palazzo will personally take us on a tour, sharing interesting stories and anecdotes regarding his family and the palazzo itself. Enjoy a light lunch of local specialities before a concert of traditional music of the Salento region called La Pizzica, a popular Italian folk dance, originally from the Salento peninsula which later spread throughout the Puglia region. Return to Otranto for some free time to explore the town before we sail this evening.

Day 5 Sarande for Butrint, Albania.

Our morning in Albania sees us discover the archaeological and ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the ruins that feature the remains of many eras and cultures. From the Hellenistic period there are temples, the promenade and the 4th century BC theatre. From the Roman era are the public baths, gymnasium and fountains. From the Byzantine era we see chapels and the large Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, whilst the Venetians are represented by a watchtower and a small castle with commanding views over the Straits of Corfu. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea.

Day 6 Olympia, Greece.

The port of Katakolon will be our base today for our excursion to Olympia. Pastoral and lush, Olympia’s plentiful ruins Mystras are shaded by Aleppo pines and olive trees. The fame of Olympia rests upon the Olympic Games. During the celebrations that accompanied the Games, competitors, while not forgetting that they were Athenians, Spartans or from other city states, remembered that they were Greeks and regarded an Olympic victory as the highest honour. We will see the gymnasium, the stadium and the palestra or wrestling school. We will also explore the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus, which houses structures including the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples on the Greek mainland and the Archaeological Museum which houses some fine sculptures and artefacts from the site. After our visit either choose to return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon or stay for an independent lunch in Olympia and have an afternoon to explore further and maybe visit the Olympic Museum, before returning to the ship this afternoon.

Day 7 Kalamata & Mystras.

Arrive this morning in Kalamata which grew from the ancient city of Farai to the second largest city on the Peloponnese due to the fertile soils producing olive oil and figs. This morning we drive inland to Mystras, a remarkably intact Byzantine town that once housed a population of 20,000 people. Here we visit the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, where the two-headed eagle, which is the symbol of the Palaiologos Dynasty, is carved into a plaque on the floor. According to tradition, this is where Constantine XII stepped when he was crowned king. Strolling through the narrow lanes of the dead city, we will also visit the Church of Agia Sophia, the Palace of the Despots and the Monastery of Pantanassa, with its brilliant frescoes. Before returning to the vessel, refreshments will be served at the picturesque tavern located just beneath the site offering sweeping views over the local terrain. The afternoon is free to explore Kalamata at your own pace.

Day 8 Nafplion.

Looking out across the translucent water of the bay towards the Arcadian Mountains, Nafplion’s sheltered location below a rocky headland and large natural fortress crowned by a Venetian castle is perhaps unrivalled in Greece. After breakfast we will enjoy a scenic drive through the Argos Plain to Nemea, the site of a religious sanctuary which hosted the pan-Hellenic athletic games every two years from 573 BC until 271 BC. Nemea was not a town or settlement but a venue where festivities were held during the games and our tour will include the Temple of Zeus, the bath house and the stadium before spending time in the small but excellent on site museum. Nemea is also famous for its red wines and we will enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard before we continue to the famous citadel of Mycenae which is located high above the confluence of two boulder strewn ravines and accessed by way of the Lion Gate. Once inside the gate, we will explore the Royal Palace, the shaft graves and the remains of the city walls. An archaeological briefing within the Treasury of Artreus (also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon) will add to our understanding and appreciation of the sights. We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning to Nafplion this afternoon where we will remain moored overnight.

Day 9 Nafplion.

This morning we will visit one of the most renowned of Greece’s ancient sites. Situated on the slopes of a beautiful and wooded valley, Epidaurus was known throughout the Hellenic world for its unique medical facilities and healing treatments. Dedicated to Aesclepius, the god of healing, the city was filled with curative spas and baths and only priests had access to certain secret rites. Most of the ruins of Epidaurus have been reduced to their foundations, with the exception of the astonishing theatre. Still used for special performances, the theatre is in an admirable state of preservation. Built into the ground, rather than above it, it is known for its fantastic acoustics, which we will observe during our visit. Return to Nafplion and have the afternoon at leisure to wander the twisting labyrinthine streets and view the Venetian and Turkish architecture.

Day 10 Athens to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

  • Mystras
  • Olympia
  • Otranto

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
1 to 10 October 2020
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £4150 £3950
3 Classic Stateroom £4400 £4200
4 Superior Stateroom £4750 £4550
5 Deluxe Stateroom £5250 £5050
6 Junior Suite £5750 £5550
7 Owner’s Suite £5950 £5750
8 Serenissima Suite £6200 £6000
10 Standard Single £4950 £4750

Tour Reference Code: SCSE011020

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Nine nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch & dinner on board • Noble Caledonia onboard team including Guest Speaker • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

  • Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

 
  • Serenissima
    Serenissima
  • Standard Stateroom - Cabin 319
    Standard Stateroom - Cabin 319
  • Standard Single - Cabin 421
    Standard Single - Cabin 421
  • Classic Stateroom - Cabin 318
    Classic Stateroom - Cabin 318
  • Superior Stateroom - Cabin 408
    Superior Stateroom - Cabin 408
  • Superior Stateroom - Cabin 408
    Superior Stateroom - Cabin 408
  • Superior Stateroom - Cabin 409
    Superior Stateroom - Cabin 409
  • Deluxe Stateroom - Cabin 407
    Deluxe Stateroom - Cabin 407
  • Owner's Suite
    Owner's Suite
  • Executive Suite
    Executive Suite
  • Reception
    Reception
  • Harald Jarl Lounge
    Harald Jarl Lounge
  • Harald Jarl Lounge
    Harald Jarl Lounge
  • Venice Restaurant
    Venice Restaurant
  • Venice Restaurant
    Venice Restaurant
  • Venice Restaurant
    Venice Restaurant
  • Venice Restaurant
    Venice Restaurant
  • Andrea Lounge
    Andrea Lounge
  • Andrea Lounge
    Andrea Lounge
  • Andrea Lounge
    Andrea Lounge
  • Andrea Lounge
    Andrea Lounge
  • Lido Deck
    Lido Deck
  • Outside Deck
    Outside Deck
  • Outside Deck
    Outside Deck
  • Serenissima
    Serenissima
  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm. Cabins are due to be refurbished in December 2019 but will retain their unique style.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served a la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks, and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel 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 the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your comfort

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    For your comfort

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with the stringent health and safety requirements. There is a doctor onboard and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style. 

    The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The  Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018
    Registered: St Vincent and Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

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    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Mini Bar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by Email: cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

    DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that the ship is unable to guarantee special requests and is not equipped to prepare or serve kosher or halal cuisine.

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director will provide you with disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a Welcome and Farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events, for example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    DOCTOR

    A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    SHORE EXCURSIONS

    Please be on time for the organised excursions, so as not to keep others waiting. If you do not wish to participate in an excursion, please let your Cruise Director know.

    GOING ASHORE INDEPENDENTLY

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitizers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MASSAGE

    Please contact reception (charges apply for massages).

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can the ship be held liable for such occurrences.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX

    During our excursions, we use a whisper system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY AND LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    We recommend that you do not drink the tap water in your cabin. The tap water in your cabin is not potable. Complimentary bottles of mineral water will be placed in your cabin daily and near reception before an excursion.

    ZODIACS

    Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.

    Please Note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.5 May 2019

  • Videos

    Videos

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  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

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  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm. Cabins are due to be refurbished in December 2019 but will retain their unique style.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served a la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks, and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel 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 the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your comfort

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    For your comfort

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with the stringent health and safety requirements. There is a doctor onboard and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style. 

    The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The  Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018
    Registered: St Vincent and Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

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    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Mini Bar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by Email: cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

    DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that the ship is unable to guarantee special requests and is not equipped to prepare or serve kosher or halal cuisine.

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director will provide you with disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a Welcome and Farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events, for example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    DOCTOR

    A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    SHORE EXCURSIONS

    Please be on time for the organised excursions, so as not to keep others waiting. If you do not wish to participate in an excursion, please let your Cruise Director know.

    GOING ASHORE INDEPENDENTLY

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitizers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MASSAGE

    Please contact reception (charges apply for massages).

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can the ship be held liable for such occurrences.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX

    During our excursions, we use a whisper system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY AND LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    We recommend that you do not drink the tap water in your cabin. The tap water in your cabin is not potable. Complimentary bottles of mineral water will be placed in your cabin daily and near reception before an excursion.

    ZODIACS

    Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.

    Please Note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.5 May 2019

  • Videos

    Videos

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  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

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Our View

"The route from Malta to Athens is full of rich sites from the Ancient World and so when planning this itinerary it was difficult to decide what to omit. This cruise ensures we see some of the highlights including Mycenae, Olympia and Sarande all with the advantage of berthing in the most convenient ports and travelling in small numbers so we do not overrun these wonderful locations. In addition we can use our small ship to moor in central berths in Syracuse and Nafplion where we can take the opportunity for a pre dinner drink or after dinner walk once the day trippers have left. We also have the added bonus of having our Guest Speaker join us on the excursions and provide talks on board to bring the legends of these ancient places to life."

Travelling with You

  • Louise Schofield

    Louise Schofield

    Louise Schofield, recently appointed Visiting Professor of Archaeology at the American University of Rome, is an archaeologist specialising in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world. Formerly Curator of Greek Bronze Age and Geometric Antiquities at the British Museum, her book The Mycenaeans was co-published by the British Museum and the Getty Museum in 2007 and she made a television programme on the Trojan War with the BBC Horizon team. Leaving the British Museum in the year 2000, she now works on large-scale archaeological projects - including (for seven years) at Butrint (Albania). The statue of a Roman Emperor that she found in her trench there in 2005 now has pride of place in the museum at the site.

    Louise Schofield will be on the following tour dates: 1 to 10 October 2020

Tour Extensions

    • If you would like to spend some time in Malta before embarking the MS Serenissima we are offering a two night stay at a centrally located hotel offering the chance to explore Valletta and the surrounding area.

      Valletta Valletta

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 London to Malta.

      Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Meet tonight for a welcome dinner in the hotel.

      Day 2 Valletta.

      After breakfast in the hotel we will embark on a city tour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John. We will explore Merchants Street containing the surviving auberges built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, together with the palace where Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have stayed in 1798. Our final stop will be at St John’s Cathedral. The afternoon and evening are free for independent exploration.

      Day 3 Mdina.

      Enjoy time at leisure before we check out of the hotel in the late morning and transfer to Mdina which was the fortified capital of the island before the arrival of the Knights. We will have lunch in one of the restaurants and transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Valletta.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      29 September to 1 October 2020
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £545
      Single £895

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation with breakfast, tours as described, lunch on day 3, dinner on day 1, Tour Manager, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, meals not mentioned in itinerary.

    • If you would like to spend some time in Athens upon disembarking the MS Serenissima we are offering a two night stay at a centrally located hotel.

      Athens Athens

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 Athens.

      Disembark after breakfast and drive to the Acropolis, a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece. Stand in awe of what is considered the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world – the Parthenon, designed as a shrine to Athena. A brief walk will bring you to the new Acropolis museum with artefacts from the site. After our visit we will make our way to Plaka for a traditional Greek lunch. After checking into the hotel the remainder of the day and evening is at leisure.

      Day 2 Athens.

      Today is free to explore independently. Meet this evening for dinner.

      Day 3 Athens to London.

      After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      10 to 12 October 2020
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £545
      Single £875

       

      PRICE INCLUDES: Two nights hotel accommodation with breakfast, tours as described, lunch on day 1, dinner on day 2, Tour Manager, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, meals not mentioned in itinerary.

       

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Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000