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10 nights
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Albania & Greece through the eyes of Byron

A journey along the Ionian coast aboard the MS Serenissima

  • 4 October 2022
  • History and Culture
  • Cephalonia

In 1809 Lord Byron set sail on his two year Grand Tour which ultimately took him to Albania and Greece with his great friend John Cam Hobhouse. He fell in love with the region and the people and whilst on tour he began work on the poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ which when published on his return shot him to literary stardom. Byron was the ideal Romantic poet, gaining notoriety for his scandalous private life, described by Lady Caroline Lamb as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. From his letters written whilst touring we gain an insight into the man, his perceptions and the times as well as the excitement he felt on his first journey to the ‘Orient’. As we travel along the coast of Albania and Greece we will visit many places Byron explored and learn of the colourful characters he encountered including the formidable tyrant Ali Pasha of Tepelena.

Byron’s passion for Greece never faltered and in 1823 he returned to the island of Cephalonia, spent £4000 refitting the Greek Fleet and took command of a Greek unit of freedom fighters against the Ottoman Empire. His short but chaotic and fascinating life ended in Messolonghi in 1824 where he died of a fever. Looking at a beautiful region such as this through the eyes of someone who lived two hundred years ago does add an extra dimension to the geography and history and introduces us to more recent events in a corner of Europe with a deeply complicated past.

Our fascinating itinerary combines some ‘must see’ historical wonders together with little known and rarely visited places that are perfectly suited for our vessel. With a maximum of just 95 guests, our trips ashore will be a pleasure as we explore with our Guest Speaker and local guides, adding immeasurably to our knowledge of the region. Ensure you are on deck for our transit of the Corinth Canal which, whilst only built in the 19th century, was conceived as long ago as the 7th century BC, a wonderful start to our cruise and only possible aboard a small ship such as the MS Serenissima.

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.  

  • Guest Speaker – George Hart

    George Hart graduated with degrees in Classics and Egyptian Art and Archaeology from University College London and joined the staff of the British Museum in 1973. He organised a diverse programme of Courses and Lectures on the Antiquities Collections which encompassed the Bronze Age and Classical Civilisations of the Mediterranean World, the Levant and Egypt. He has accompanied tours to all the major archaeological sites in Greece and Albania. His interest in the allusions to classical antiquity in the Romantic Poets is long-standing but he regards Byron as the most important since his travels and adventures took him much further afield than Keats and Shelley – reaching into Ottoman Europe. While like many others his admiration for Byron’s passion for Greek Independence is unshakable, he has also, during three decades at the British Museum of lecturing on Classical Athens, had to discuss the question of Byron’s relentless onslaught on the removal of sculptures from Greek monuments and the subsequent thorny issue of restitution. He fully expects to be confronted with supporters of Byron’s wish “to immolate Elgin to Minerva and Nemesis” on this cruise.

    More information

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.

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Itinerary

  • Durres
  • Cephalonia

Day 1 London to Tirana, Albania.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2 Durres.

Enjoy a free morning to explore Tirana at your own pace. Meet for lunch before we drive to the coastal city of Durres which was colonised by the Greeks in 627 BC and still has the remains of a 15,000 seat amphitheatre, the second largest in the Balkans. We will explore the Medieval city and the Archeological Museum before transferring to the MS Serenissima this afternoon. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner this evening as we sail.

Day 3 Vlore.

Today on a full day tour we will drive inland to Gjirokastra, a charming hillside town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Byron spent time here and its cobbled streets and fortified Ottoman houses have changed little since his time. We will visit the interesting museum learning about Ali Pasha and Byron’s time in this historic town. After lunch in a local restaurant take a stroll through the 17th century Ottoman Bazaar before heading north to Tepelena. It was here that Byron stayed as guest of Ali Pasha Tepelena, the so-called Lion of Janina. In a letter to his mother Byron provides a description of his host, ending with, ‘He has been a mighty warrior, but is as barbarous as he is successful roasting rebels’. We will see the castle built by Ali Pasha to enclose his palace. Alternatively, enjoy a morning tour to nearby Apollonia and an afternoon at leisure. Apollonia, the ancient city of Illyria reached its zenith around the 4th to 3rd centuries BC when it is believed the population numbered over 70,000.

Day 4 Sarande.

From the port of Sarande we drive to the nearby historic UNESCO site of Butrint. Founded as a Greek colony, a Roman city and Bishopric, it enjoyed a period of prosperity under a Byzantine administration and then the Venetians. Abandoned in the late Middle Ages the site today offers a remarkable glimpse of all its past. It is thanks to the Butrint Foundation, founded by Lord Rothschild and Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, that we can appreciate this remarkable site which has over the past 25 years been conserved, preserved and developed far beyond what Byron witnessed. On a guided tour we will explore the Hellenistic temples, promenade and the 4th century BC theatre as well as the Roman public baths, gymnasium and fountains. Further into the site, from the Byzantine era, we see chapels and the large Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, whilst the Venetians are represented by a hill-top watchtower and a small castle with commanding views over the Straits of Corfu.

Day 5 Igoumenista, Greece.

Arriving in Greece we visit the lovely city of Ioannina. The walls of its old fortified city enclose an old quarter that Byron would recognise, spiked with minarets. He spent about a month in the region much taken with the scenery ‘many a mount sublime’. It was in Ionnina that Byron probably first saw himself as the future saviour of Ottoman controlled Greece and began composing Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. The highlight today will be Ali Pasha’s fortress and from its ramparts we will gaze across the lake just as it had impressed Byron and John Hobhouse in 1809. Visit the Ali Pasha Museum and later walk in this enchanting capital of the Epirus region. We enjoy a local lunch and also plan to stop and visit the remote and impressive Ancient Theatre and Oracle of Dodoni. This area was a site of worship and pilgrimage from 2000 BC until Roman times and was dedicated at one time to the Mother Goddess Gaia and then to Zeus.

Day 6 Argostoli, Cephalonia.

We will spend the day here on the largest of the Ionian islands. From our base in the capital Argostoli, we visit the village of Metaxata where Byron spent four months in 1823 and a statue of remembrance sits proudly in the main square of the village, near where the house he occupied once stood. The devastating earthquake of 1953 destroyed much of the island’s buildings. A drive across the island brings us to the delightful, quiet coastal village of Assos. Choose to take the climb up to the castle of Assos or stroll along the front.

Day 7 Messolonghi.

Situated on the northern shore of the Gulf of Patra, this picturesquely sited small city sits between craggy mountains and Europe’s largest lagoon. In January 1824 Byron journeyed to Messolonghi leading a force of Suliote troops he had funded with the aim of recapturing the Turkish occupied fortress of Lepanto. But his plans were interrupted by the arrival of the Ottoman navy. With the help of the Messolonghi Byron Society, our exploration here will include a visit to the Garden of Heroes. Here, just inside the Gate of Exodus where the Ottoman forces massacred fleeing Greeks sits a prominent statue of Lord Byron.

Day 8 Delphi.

From our berth in Itea we spend the morning exploring the archaeological treasures of the ancient site of Delphi and one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. Byron visited in 1809, carving his name on a column in the gymnasium: ‘Yet there I’ve wandered by the vaulted rill Yes! Sighed over Delphi’s long deserted shrine, Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still.’ It was nearly one hundred years after Byron’s visit that serious excavations began revealing some major buildings and structures of the sanctuary of Apollo and of Athena Pronoia including thousands of objects, many of which are housed in the Archaeological Museum. We will see the site of the sacred Delphic Oracle, walk along Delphi’s Sacred Way, visit the Treasury of the Athenians and the 5000 seat theatre dating from the 4th century BC. Spend the afternoon at sea as we sail to Corinth where we moor overnight.

Day 9 Corinth & Corinth Canal.

Byron visited Corinth with his friend Lord Sligo in the summer of 1810. His rhymed, tragic narrative poem, ‘The Siege of Corinth’ was published in 1816 and was inspired by the Ottoman massacre of the Venetian garrison holding the Acrocorinth in 1715. On a morning tour we will visit the extensive remains of ancient Corinth including the Temple of Apollo and from here we can see the hill of Acrocorinth where stood a Medieval fort, the inspiration of the poem. Be on deck in the early afternoon as we navigate the narrow Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893 and only 6.4 kilometres long and 21.5 metres wide, it is only small ships like the MS Serenissima which can now make this journey. We will continue sailing to Lavrion where we arrive this evening and moor overnight.

Day 10 Cape Sounion & Athens.

From the port of Lavrion it is a short drive to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon, one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. Nearby, see the Temple of Athena and a fortress built in 413 BC during the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans. Whilst spending several months in Athens in 1810-11 Byron visited Sounion; his name is carved on one of the columns and in his poem ‘Isles of Greece’ he mentions Sounion. After our visit either return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea sailing to Piraeus. Alternatively take lunch ashore and continue to Athens by road. Here we see Byron’s statue, located next to the National Gardens, whilst in the National Historical museum we can see some of his personal items. Return to the ship this afternoon in Piraeus where we moor overnight.

Day 11 Athens to London.

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

  • Temple of Apollo, Delphi
  • Temple of Apollo at Delphi
  • Athens

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
4 to 14 October 2022
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £4595 £4395
3 Classic Stateroom £4795 £4595
4 Superior Stateroom £5095 £4895
5 Deluxe Stateroom £5495 £5295
6 Junior Suite £5895 £5695
7 Owner’s Suite £6295 £6095
8 Serenissima Suite £6395 £6195
10 Standard Single £5395 £5195

Tour Reference Code: SCSE041022

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel • Overnight accommodation in Tirana with breakfast • Lunch on day 2 •  Nine nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board • Noble Caledonia onboard team including Guest Speaker • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, dinner on day 1.

  • 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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  • 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 

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    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

Guest Speaker – George Hart

George Hart graduated with degrees in Classics and Egyptian Art and Archaeology from University College London and joined the staff of the British Museum in 1973. He organised a diverse programme of Courses and Lectures on the Antiquities Collections which encompassed the Bronze Age and Classical Civilisations of the Mediterranean World, the Levant and Egypt. He has accompanied tours to all the major archaeological sites in Greece and Albania. His interest in the allusions to classical antiquity in the Romantic Poets is long-standing but he regards Byron as the most important since his travels and adventures took him much further afield than Keats and Shelley – reaching into Ottoman Europe. While like many others his admiration for Byron’s passion for Greek Independence is unshakable, he has also, during three decades at the British Museum of lecturing on Classical Athens, had to discuss the question of Byron’s relentless onslaught on the removal of sculptures from Greek monuments and the subsequent thorny issue of restitution. He fully expects to be confronted with supporters of Byron’s wish “to immolate Elgin to Minerva and Nemesis” on this cruise.

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