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14 nights
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Passage through the Levant

Spend Christmas discovering the wonders of the Eastern Mediterranean aboard the MS Serenissima with Guest Speaker Ernie Rea

  • 15 December 2021
  • History and Culture
  • Bahai Gardens, Haifa

Christmas in the Eastern Mediterranean is a very special time and exploring by sea allows us to incorporate a heady mix of fantastic places with great ease from the ancient sites of Turkey and Cyprus and the biblical landmarks of Israel to the wonders of Cairo and Luxor on the Nile. The gentle temperatures and crowd free sites make it a lovely season to explore this corner of antiquity and with the 95-passenger MS Serenissima as our comfortable base, and the aid of our knowledgeable local guides and excellent Guest Speaker, we will learn of some fascinating civilisations.

Setting sail from Turkey’s southern coast city of Antalya we will visit the ancient city of Perge and, from Limassol in Cyprus, the Temple of Apollo and the ruins of Kourion with its Greco-Roman Theatre and lovely coastal views. Continue on to Israel for four days of exploration as we discover an extraordinary collection of both classical and Biblical sites from the City of Annunciation, Nazareth, to the ancient port city of Jaffa and the ‘Golden City’ of Jerusalem. Following our transit of the Suez Canal we spend time in Egypt exploring some of the great monuments of the Pharaohs, the divine kings of thirty dynasties who ruled Egypt for some thirty-five centuries. See the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and spend some time in Cairo’s magnificent Egyptian Museum.

Enjoy a relaxing Christmas Day at sea as we sail to Safaga from where we have arranged an overnight stay in Luxor in order to maximise our time spent visiting the fascinating sites here such as the Valley of the Kings and the great temples of Karnak. Our journey through history ends in the Red Sea port of Aqaba where we disembark the MS Serenissima with the option to return home or join the post-cruise extension to explore delightful Jordan and one of the most spectacular archaeological cites in the region, the ‘Rose Red City’ of Petra.

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.  


Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. 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

  • Karnak Temple, Luxor.
  • Bahai Gardens, Haifa

Day 1 London to Antalya, Turkey.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima for embarkation. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.

Day 2 Antalya.

This morning we explore one of the principal Roman ruins along Turkey’s southern coast. We pass the modern city of Antalya en-route to the ancient city of Perge which dates back to 1000 BC and was founded by Mopsus and Calchas after their retreat from Troy. See the Basilica of Perge, which played an important role in the spread of Christianity, the 2nd century AD stadium, the baths complex and two magnificent round towers of the Greek Gate. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea.

Day 3 Limassol, Cyprus.

From our berth we take a morning tour which will include the Temple of Apollo, one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus where Apollo was worshipped as God of the Woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century BC and continued until the 4th century AD. We will continue to the ruins of Kourion, a city built in 1200 BC. Of particular interest are the public baths, the necropolis, the Fountain House, House of The Itinerary Gladiators and House of Achilles. The most spectacular site at Kourion is the Greco-Roman Theatre that has been completely restored and is used today for open-air musical and theatrical performances. The afternoon is free for independent exploration.

Days 4 & 5 Haifa, Israel.

We arrive in Israel at the northern port of Haifa for two days of exploration including options to visit Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Called the City of Annunciation, Nazareth is revered as the spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary to tell her she was to bear the Son of God. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and visit the Church of the Annunciation, which is built where Mary is said to have lived. Maybe visit the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we find Capernaum’s ancient synagogue and Peter’s House before stopping in Tabgha, home to the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Leaves, with its 5th century mosaic floor. We will drive up Mount Carmel for a breathtaking view over the bay from the top of the city’s famous Bahai Gardens. We also plan to visit Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites of the region and once the chief port of the Crusaders. Visit the underground city seeing the Crusader halls, crypt and the tunnels used as a secret route to the port. Also visit the bazaar and the UNESCO site of Kahn El Umdan (Inn of the Columns) one of the best-preserved caravanserai in Israel. The last option is to drive to Caesarea – the impressive ruins rest on the coast halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. This grand ancient city and harbour were built by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and reigned capital over its region for almost 600 years. Named after the Roman Caesar Augustus, it had all the amenities of a splendid Roman city: baths, a hippodrome, a theatre and an aqueduct and we can explore the remains in the archaeological park.

Days 6 to 8 Ashdod.

We continue our exploration of Israel from the southern port of Ashdod where we will spend two and a half days. During our time here we will organise visits to Jaffa, the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv developed. Famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and St Peter, it has a fascinating history stretching back over four thousand years. We will explore the highlights including the Clock Tower, Flea Market and the renovated alleys and buildings of the fascinating city. We will also drive inland to Jerusalem including a visit to the Mount of Olives from where we can enjoy spectacular views over the ‘Golden City’ of Jerusalem. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Wander the streets of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and continue through the Christian Quarter to the bazaar, passing the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter and the Western (or Wailing) Wall. We also hope to visit Bethlehem seeing the Church of the Nativity, the oldest functioning Christian church in the world, and the grotto venerated as the birthplace of Christ. Our last afternoon is at sea as we arrive in Port Said in the evening to prepare for our transit of the Suez Canal.

Day 9 Suez Canal Transit, Egypt.

Spend the day in the transit of the Suez Canal and the Great Bitter Lake.

Day 10 Port Tawfiq for Cairo.

Today is a full day tour dedicated to the capital city of Cairo. We visit the impressive Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the tombs of the great Pharaohs and their queens. After lunch we visit the Egyptian Museum with 107 halls that are separated into seven sections. The museum houses statues, jewels and treasures of Tutankhamun. We will visit the Amarna Room and see the Fayoum portraits and monuments from the later periods from the Greeks and the Romans. Return to the MS Serenissima for dinner this evening.

Day 11 Christmas Day At Sea.

Celebrate Christmas Day on board sailing through the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez. Join one of our lectures or find a spot on deck as we sail to Safaga where we arrive this evening and moor overnight.

Days 12 & 13 Safaga for Luxor.

The port of Safaga will be our base for our overnight trip to Luxor. After driving through the desert our first call will be on the West Bank, one of the most famous and important archaeological sites in the world. See the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of the pharaohs for a period of 500 years. The tombs vividly depict the journey of the sun god and pharaoh through the dangers of the underworld. In the temple of Queen Hatshepsut you will discover scenes commemorating the reign of this exceptional monarch such as the ambitious voyage where she sent her ships on the Red Sea to the mysterious land of Punt. After our visit we transfer to our hotel in Luxor for some time to relax before meeting for dinner. Our second day will include the temples of Karnak, one of the most memorable and popular historical areas to visit in the world. Here you will witness the unbelievably vast array of monuments dedicated to Amun-Ra, king of the gods, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu. Just two of the highlights you will see are the great hypostyle hall with over 130 columns some 22 metres high and the obelisk of the powerful queen pharaoh Hatshepsut. We will have some time to explore the souk before continuing to the Nile for a short cruise including lunch. In the afternoon we will board our coaches and return to the MS Serenissima in Safaga.

Day 14 Aqaba, Jordan.

After a busy couple of days we will have a relaxing morning at sea arriving in Aqaba at lunchtime. This afternoon explore the old town of Aqaba including time to walk through the bustling souk or take a chance to swim in the clear waters.

Day 15 Aqaba to London.

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

  • Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth
  • Perge
  • Sea of Galilee

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
15 to 29 December 2021
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £6795 £6595
3 Classic Stateroom £6995 £6795
4 Superior Stateroom £7395 £7195
5 Deluxe Stateroom £7795 £7595
6 Junior Suite £8395 £8195
7 Owner’s Suite £8895 £8695
8 Serenissima Suite £9295 £9095
10 Standard Single £7795 £7595

Tour Reference Code: SCSE151221

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • 13 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board • Overnight hotel accommodation in Luxor with all meals • Noble Caledonia onboard team including Guest Speaker • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Airport taxes • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Egyptian visa, Jordanian visa.

  • Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. 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.

 
  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins 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. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • 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 country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which 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 à 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, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    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 health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • 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 and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. 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 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & 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 cabins 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 • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown 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 at 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 & 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 not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    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/suite 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.

    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 sanitisers 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.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    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.

    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 & 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. 

    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. • 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 AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset 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 & 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.

    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

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

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

    V.6 December 2019

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    • Deckplan

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  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins 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. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • 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 country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which 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 à 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, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    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 health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • 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 and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. 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 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & 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 cabins 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 • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown 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 at 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 & 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 not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    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/suite 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.

    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 sanitisers 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.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    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.

    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 & 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. 

    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. • 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 AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset 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 & 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.

    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

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

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

    V.6 December 2019

  • Videos

    Videos

  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

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Travelling with You

  • Ernie Rea

    Ernest Rea

    Ernest Rea is a celebrated British broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular national radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the Best Speech Programme on British Radio.

    He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles. From 1989 to 2001 he was Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC responsible for all religious television and radio programmes nationally and locally. During this period, he spent much time in the United States, brokering co-production television deals with leading American broadcasters. He was closely involved in a variety of key national events, including the Funeral Service for Diana, Princess of Wales.

    He is in wide demand as a speaker at international inter faith conferences, literary festivals and academic symposia. In 1997 he was personally awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council of Christians and Jews for his contribution to Inter Faith Understanding. He has First Class Honours Degrees in Theology and in History and Politics which helped to fuel his passion for the study of world religions and the way in which they impact on the ancient and modern worlds.  

    Ernest Rea will be on the following tour dates: 15 to 29 December 2021

Tour Extensions

    • For those who wish to spend some time discovering Istanbul before embarking the MS Serenissima we are offering a two night hotel extension with included sightseeing.

      Hagia Sophia domes and minarets in the old town of Istanbul, Turkey, on sunset Hagia Sophia domes and minarets in the old town of Istanbul, Turkey, on sunset

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 London to Istanbul, Turkey.

      Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to our hotel for our two night stay. Meet this evening for dinner. (D)

      Day 2 Istanbul.

      After breakfast we begin our guided tour of Istanbul during which we will visit the Hippodrome; the Blue Mosque, named for its glorious 17th century painted tiles; and the Hagia Sophia, first a Byzantine patriarchal basilica, later an imperial mosque and today a museum. A short walk brings us to the Basilica Cistern, one of the most magnificent covered cisterns in Istanbul. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by the afternoon and evening at leisure. (B, L)

      Day 3 Istanbul to Antalya.

      Spend the morning at the impressive Topkapi Palace, a complex of buildings and annexes that was used as the Imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years. After lunch we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Antalya where we embark the MS Serenissima. (B, L)

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      13 to 15 December 2021
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £595
      Single £745

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul, meals as indicated (B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner), Noble Caledonia Tour Manager, excursions, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

    • After disembarking the MS Serenissima in Aqaba we are offering the opportunity to join our four night extension in Jordan, a land steeped in history and awe-inspiring beauty.

      Petra Petra

      The Itinerary

       

      Day 1 Wadi Rum & Petra, Jordan.

      Disembark this morning and drive to Wadi Rum, known as the Valley of the Moon, where we will embark on an adventurous excursion by a Bedouin open top, four-wheel drive vehicle. During our excursion we will see the Alameleh inscriptions, Siq Um Al Tawaqi, and the ruins of Allat (Goddess) Temple of the AAD tribe. After lunch we continue our journey to Little Petra where a modest gorge (Siq el-Barid) leads into the area of carved tombs and monuments. See the Painted Cave which is believed to have been a shelter for a sect focused on Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine. After the visit transfer to our hotel and meet for dinner this evening. (B, L, D)

      Day 2 Petra.

      Today we will explore the breathtaking Nabatean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2000 years ago. Walk past the Obelisk Tomb and then through the Siq, the narrow 1.2 kilometre gorge that leads to Petra’s most impressive monument, the Treasury which was carved out of the pale reddish sandstone in the 1st century BC. Pass by the dozens of classical Nabatean ruins and tombs, the remarkable 3000 seat Theatre, the Royal Tombs, the Colonnaded Street, the Byzantine Church, the Temple, the Monumental Arch and the mighty Qasr el-Bint Faroun. After lunch amidst the ruins of Petra you will have the option to return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or stay and explore the site further independently. Those feeling active may choose to climb about 900 steps up to the Monastery with its remarkable views over Wadi Araba. Meet this evening for dinner. (B, L, D)

      Day 3 Madaba & Dead Sea.

      After breakfast drive to Madaba, home of the most famous Byzantine mosaics. Visit the the wonderful mosaic map of ancient Palestine which is located on the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. After lunch we will continue to our hotel by the Dead Sea and the afternoon is free to swim or float in the sea which, at 423 metres below sea level is the lowest spot on earth. Meet this evening for a New Year’s Eve dinner in the hotel. (B, L, D)

      Day 4 Bethany.

      This morning is free to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities or take a swim in the Dead Sea. After lunch in the hotel restaurant we will drive to Bethany, the site where John the Baptist met and baptised Jesus Christ. This evening we will meet for dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)

      Day 5 Amman to London.

      Check out this morning and transfer

       

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      29 December 2021 to 2 January 2022
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £2195
      Single £2595

       

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Petra, two nights hotel accommodation at the Dead Sea, meals as indicated (B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner), house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch & dinner, Noble Caledonia Tour Manager, excursions, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Jordanian visa.

       

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