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Following the Footsteps of St Paul along the Turkish Coast

A voyage from Larnaca to Istanbul aboard the MS Serenissima with archaeologist Michael Hoff

In association with Criterion Travel & The Archaeological Institute of America

  • 16 March 2020
  • History and Culture
  • Monastery of St John, Patmos

Here is an opportunity to join the Archaeological Institute of America lecturer Michael Hoff, a classical archaeologist who specialises in the Roman period in Greece and Asia Minor for this cruise following St Paul’s route from Cyprus along the coast of Turkey to Istanbul. See and learn about fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine sites and civilisations. We are delighted that our US associates at Criterion Travel who have chartered the MS Serenissima for this voyage have made some cabins available for our passengers.

This voyage takes us through an area steeped in history; a history of great empires, of conquest and of conflict and a history rich in cultural and religious diversity. It is an area that can lay claim to the foundation of the early Christian Church; a place where not only churches were built but where Christian doctrine was first formulated at the great Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus. While many of these early churches no longer exist, the sense of place remains and the legacy of St Paul lives on.

Highlights are many and include the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia on Cyprus, inhabited from at least the 9th millennium BC; the 2nd century Roman theatre at Aspendos, considered perhaps the best-preserved theatre in the Mediterranean; the Greek island of Patmos, where St John wrote the Book of Revelation; a full day exploring the evocative Lycian Peninsula sites of Xanthos, Letoon, and Patara; the ruins of Ephesus, where St Paul spent three years; the ancient Greek site of Pergamon, one of Turkey’s finest archaeological destinations and finally Troy, of Iliad fame, with at least nine ancient cities built one on top of another.

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.  

  • Featured Expert

    Dr Michael Hoff
    Professor of Art History at the University of Nebraska and former member of the Archaeological Institute of America’s (AIA) Board of Trustees, Dr Michael Hoff is a classical archaeologist who specialises in the Roman period in Greece and Asia Minor. He has wide excavation experience in Greece and Turkey, including Athens, Corinth, Nemea, Crete, and for nearly 25 years in the region of Rough Cilicia in southern Turkey, where he has been Project Director for the Antiochia and Cragum excavations since 2005. In addition to many publications, Professor Hoff has participated for over 20 years in the AIA’s national lecture programme, and has led many AIA and university-sponsored study tours to Greece and Turkey.

    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

  • Inside the Roman amphitheatre at Xanthos
  • Monastery of St John, Patmos

Day 1 London to Larnaca, Cyprus.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the Sun Hall Hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day and evening are free for independent exploration.

Day 2 Larnaca.

After breakfast enjoy an orientation tour and lecture before we drive to the nearby UNESCO listed Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, inhabited from at least the 9th millennium BC, and considered one of the earliest examples of organised society. Ruins of circular mudbrick and stone dwellings remain, along with collectively constructed fortifications and planned open spaces. This afternoon, choose to join either a food tour through downtown Larnaca or an excursion to the Troodos Mountains for wine tasting. Board the MS Serenissima this evening and enjoy the welcome reception and dinner as we sail.

Day 3 Mersin, Turkey.

Today we call at Mersin, Turkey, a short drive from Tarsus, birthplace of St Paul. Walk the narrow 16th century streets and Roman roads, see the artefact-rich Tarsus Museum, and visit the decorative Grand Mosque. We continue to Silifke, stopping along the way at the resort town of Kizkalesi (Maiden’s Castle). Visit the ruins of the 5th century church of St Thecla, built at a venerable place of pilgrimage for admirers of this disciple of St Paul. We re-join the vessel at Tasucu and enjoy dinner aboard as we sail towards the Turquoise Coast.

Day 4 Antalya.

Arrive in bustling Antalya and join one of two excursions. Maybe take a full day tour to the ruins of ancient Perge, a settlement dating back to at least the Bronze Age (visited at least twice by St Paul and his companion St Barnabas), and Aspendos, whose 2nd century theatre is one of the best-preserved in the Mediterranean. Alternatively take a moderate morning hike through the pines to the ancient mountaintop city of Termessos, mentioned in the Iliad, and legendarily difficult to defeat, followed by a free afternoon in Antalya.

Day 5 Fethiye.

From our berth at Fethiye we travel southeast to discover the rich Lycian towns of Xanthos (built on a great cliff overlooking the river), Letoon (sanctuary of Leto, and one of the most important religious centres of its time), Patara (set amidst sand dunes by the beach and where Paul stopped in AD 60), and the ghost village of Kayakoy, a city with ancient roots but abandoned after World War I, among hundreds of still-standing 18th century stone dwellings and churches.

Day 6 Patmos, Greece.

Spend the morning at sea before arriving at Patmos over lunch. Of all the Greek islands, Patmos is the most sacred to Christians both Orthodox and Western; it was here that St John is said to have received the vision that led to the Book of Revelation. Visit the Cave of the Apocalypse, where John lived in exile, had his revelation, and wrote the last book of the Christian Bible. Continue to the village of Chora, known for its charming white houses and narrow stone streets, and climb to the Monastery of St John, looming fortress-like over the village. Enjoy an evening at leisure to explore the picturesque town of Skala or enjoy a swim at a nearby beach.

Day 7 Kusadasi, Turkey.

This morning we call at the bustling port city of Kusadasi for the short drive to Ephesus. An important port city and trading and intellectual centre from archaic to Roman times, Ephesus is one of the more complete ancient sites in the region, where more than 150 years of excavating have revealed broad streets, impressive buildings, intricate mosaics, towering temples, and possibly the largest theatre in the ancient world. Today you can spend the day exploring Ephesus, including a local lunch and a folkloric demonstration of dance and weaving or alternatively tour Ephesus in the morning and return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure.

Day 8 Dikili.

Drive from Dikili to the ancient Greek site of Pergamon, once a powerful and thriving cultural centre of the region, now one of Turkey’s finest archaeological destinations. Ascend by cable car to the acropolis to see the Asclepion, an ancient healing centre dating to the 4th century BC, the 10,000-seat theatre, Temples of Dionysus, Athena, and Trajan and the foundations of the meticulously planned city. Continue to the modern town of Bergama to visit its archaeological museum before returning to the MS Serenissima.

Day 9 Canakkale.

Excavations at Troy have revealed at least nine cities built one on top of another, reviving debate on the historicity of the Trojan War as described in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. In the morning, visit nearby Alexandria Troas, a major port city in Hellenistic and Roman times, where St Paul first set sail for Europe — and later brought young Eutychus back to life after he fell asleep during a late-night sermon and fell out of a 3rd-storey window. Choices of afternoon excursions are to see the site of Troy and its layered ruins that are still being actively excavated, including the nearby museum; alternatively cross the Dardanelles by ferry to the site of the Battle of Gallipoli, an infamous defeat of the Allies by Ottoman forces during World War I. Return to the MS Serenissima for our farewell dinner.

Day 10 Istanbul to London.

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

  • The amphitheatre at Aspendos
  • Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia
  • Picturesque Skala harbour

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
16 to 25 March 2020
Category Price
2 Standard Stateroom £3495
3 Classic Stateroom £3795
4 Superior Stateroom £3995
5 Deluxe Stateroom £4295
6 Junior Suite £4595
7 Owner’s Suite Fully Booked
8 Serenissima Suite £5095
10 Standard Single £3495

Tour Reference Code: SCSE160320

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Overnight hotel accommodation in Larnaca with breakfast • Eight nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board • Onboard team • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Turkish visa.

  • 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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Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000