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10 nights
from £4695

Sicilian Odyssey

From the Bay of Naples to Malta including a circumnavigation of Sicily aboard the MS Island Sky

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  • History and Culture
  • Taormina

We have the perfect vessel and time of year for our exploration of the wonderful island of Sicily and her archaeological treasures. Sicily is a land that has seen more than its fair share of invasions, resulting in some lofty and noble architecture from magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and Norman palaces. With its benevolent climate and superb strategic position, the island has been coveted, fought over and colonised. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons have all made their mark on this astonishing island.

Sicily is endlessly fascinating and if you have promised yourself that one day you will visit, this is the time to go and what better way to explore her treasures than from aboard a small ship. The geography of the island lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea, as most points of interest are close to the coast. Appreciate in comfort Sicily’s rich artistic legacy of so many invading civilisations. The island is a celebration of the greatest achievements of Mediterranean cultures and with such a wealth of ancient sites, it is certainly not somewhere which should be visited in a hurry. With seven days spent circumnavigating the island, we have the luxury of time and are able to visit the stunning Greek theatre at Taormina, the superbly well-preserved Greek temples of Segesta and the Valle dei Templi, the Norman Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Byzantine Monreale Cathedral, the Roman mosaics of Villa Romana di Casale as well as the beautiful Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. Local guides and our onboard guest speaker will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of Sicily and once visited it is a place you will never forget and will wish to return to time and time again.

  • Our View

    “The ancient wonders of Sicily have appealed to travellers for hundreds of years and with many of them surrounding the coastline a cruise is the perfect way to see them. We can travel from Paestum to Taormina, Segesta and onto the Valley of the Temples without the need to change hotel rooms, join long coach journeys or the other hassles often associated with land travel. Our small ship can access the closest ports to the great sites and with short distances to cover we can spend longer in port each day allowing time for both an included guided tour and independent exploration. We will ensure we hear the music, taste the wines and enjoy the local foods during our time ashore whilst not missing any of the archaeological sites or charming towns. May is also a fine time to be in this part of the Mediterranean with pleasant temperatures and less crowded sites.“

    More information

Island Sky

Island Sky

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

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Naples, Italy.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Island Sky and sail tonight.

Day 2 - Paestum.

The small port of Agropoli is a convenient location for our morning excursion to Paestum. Founded by Greeks in 600 BC, this well preserved and fascinating site was rediscovered in 1752. On our half day tour we will see the impressive Temple Poseidon, the Basilica, Amphitheatre and Aethenian before spending some time in the museum, adjacent to the site. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at sea.
Please note we will use vessel’s Zodiacs to land ashore at Agropoli.

Day 3 - Taormina.

From the nearby port of Messina we will visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. The town has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and our guided tour will include walking the characteristic alleys before visiting the 15th century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek Theatre, from where there are marvellous views over the town and coast. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy some free time in Messina.

Day 4 - Palermo.

Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. After breakfast we will explore the city, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques, and the glittering Byzantine mosaics that reveal a unique and diverse heritage. We visit the impressive 12th-century cathedral which houses the royal tombs of Henri VI and King Ruggiero. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to either explore Palermo independently or join an excursion to see the remarkable Medieval mosaics in the cathedral at Monreale.

Day 5 - Trapani.

Trapani was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily and is our base for the day. From the port we travel to the nearby town of Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterized by its winding cobbled stone streets and beautiful court-yards. After our visit we travel to an olive oil farm, which dates from 1700, and is built around a beautiful Sicilian family house. We will learn about the history and techniques of the farm’s extra virgin oil production before enjoying a tasting. Also enjoy traditional Sicilian foods including cheeses, olives and breads whilst accompanied local musicians before returning to the ship this afternoon and sailing late this evening.

Day 6 - Valley of Temples & Agrigento.

Although handsome in its own right and awash with medieval atmosphere, Agrigento is not our main reason for calling at this southern coast port. Close by, is the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, and a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concord, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. After lunch onboard enjoy Paestum an afternoon to explore Agrigento, shuttles will run from the port to the town and the excellent archaeological museum where you can explore at your leisure.

Day 7 - Licata for Piazza Armerina.

Founded in 280 B.C by Phintias, Licata has grown into an important commercial centre on Sicily. However our main reason for this stop is to drive inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site on Sicily. The Imperial Roman Villa of Casale is located close to Piazza Armerina amidst wooded rolling countryside. This huge villa was built in the 3rd century and has some stunning floor mosaics. Later, explore the medieval centre of Piazza Armerina, see the Aragonese Castle and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Andrea. After our tour we will enjoy a Sicilian lunch in a local farmhouse complemented by local wines. We sail in the late evening.

Day 8 - Noto & Ragusa.

From our berth in Pozzallo we will explore the Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. Built in 1703 Noto is a picturesque city located on the terraced slopes of Mount Iblei, among Olive groves and Almond trees. Here we find Sicillian Baroque style palaces and monuments. A quiet walk along the central streets will reveal the 18th century Palazzo Ducezio and some baroque churches: San Francesco Immacolata, The Cathedral, San Carlo, Santa Chiara and the imposing Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, built in 1737. We return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and this afternoon continue to charming Ragusa. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, for its artistic-architectural heritage, with its Baroque palaces, churches, squares, stairways and winding narrow streets, all of which create an evocative and ancient atmosphere. We will discover the wonderful Ragusa Ibla: the “Pearl of the Baroque” the gardens, the magnificent palaces, the splendid church of San Giuseppe and the Dome of San Giorgio built in the 18th century on the site where an older church stood before the earthquake of 1693.

Day 9 - Syracuse.

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

Day 10 - Valletta, Malta.

Arrive this morning in the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John. Our morning tour which will include the highlights of Valletta with its stunning views across the harbour from the Barakka Gardens. We will explore Merchants Street containing the surviving auberges built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, together with the palace where Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have stayed in 1798. Our final stop will be at St John’s Cathedral. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon you can choose to either relax onboard, return to Valletta or join a tour to Mdina. Originally, this city, was given the name of “Citta Nobile” and now known as the “Silent City” at the heart of the island. Mdina is Phoenician in origin and was the fortified capital of the Island, before the arrival of the Knights.

Day 11 - Malta to London.

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

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
3 to 13 May 2017
Category Price
Magellan Deck Standard Forward Suites £4695
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £5195
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £5495
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £5695
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £5895
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £6495
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £6995
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £6695
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £7195

Tour Reference Code: SCISK030517

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 10 nights aboard the MS Island Sky on a ful board basis including wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard, shore excursions, Noble Caledonia onboard team including guest speaker, transfers, port taxes, gratuities.


Not Included: Travel Insurance.

  • All Decks

  • Explorer Deck

  • Erikson Deck

  • Marco Polo Deck

  • Columbus Deck

  • Magellan Deck

Island Sky

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

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

    On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht.

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

  • Your Space

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

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

    The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Erikson Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request. For your comfort, there is also a clinic with Doctor and a lift which serves all decks.

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

  • Dining

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

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

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

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

  • Life Onboard

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

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

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

  • For your comfort

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

  • Inclusions

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Island Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • 360's

    Island Sky Balcony 

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    Island Sky Bathroom

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    Island Sky Bridge

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    Island Sky Cafe

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    Island Sky Club

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    Island Sky Magellan Deck Cabin 

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    Island Sky Restaurant

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    Island Sky Lounge

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    Island Sky Library

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  • Cabin Plans

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

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  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

    • Explorer Deck

    • Erikson Deck

    • Marco Polo Deck

    • Columbus Deck

    • Magellan Deck

Our View

“The ancient wonders of Sicily have appealed to travellers for hundreds of years and with many of them surrounding the coastline a cruise is the perfect way to see them. We can travel from Paestum to Taormina, Segesta and onto the Valley of the Temples without the need to change hotel rooms, join long coach journeys or the other hassles often associated with land travel. Our small ship can access the closest ports to the great sites and with short distances to cover we can spend longer in port each day allowing time for both an included guided tour and independent exploration. We will ensure we hear the music, taste the wines and enjoy the local foods during our time ashore whilst not missing any of the archaeological sites or charming towns. May is also a fine time to be in this part of the Mediterranean with pleasant temperatures and less crowded sites.“

Onboard Team

  • Jannie Cloete

    Jannie Cloete

    Twenty years later, Jannie's career as Cruise Director has included work for cruise lines such as Renaissance Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, MSC and numerous smaller lines working aboard ships carrying between 114 guests in all suite accommodations to the mega liners carrying upwards of 2500 passengers. Jannie's career at sea has taken him to all seven continents, including participating in four expeditions on a Russian nuclear-powered ice breaker to the geographical North Pole. When not cruising, Jannie calls Johannesburg, South Africa, home.

    Jannie Cloete will be on the following tour dates: 3 to 13 May 2017
  • Rt Rev and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres

    Richard Chartres is currently Bishop of London and Dean of HM Chapels Royal. Before ordination he taught Ancient History in the International School in Seville. More recently he has served as Gresham Professor of Divinity and published a history of the College. He is the Founder of the St Ethelburga Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and works extensively in the inter-faith field. He was closely involved in the establishment of St Mellitus College which is now the largest Theological College in the country. He also represents the Church of England in its relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Most recently he has been appointed an Ambassador for the World Wild Life Fund and has published in the area of religion, science and the environment.

    Rt Rev and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres will be on the following tour dates: 3 to 13 May 2017

Tour Extensions

Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000