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12 nights
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Spring in the Secret Mediterranean

A voyage from Malta to Istanbul aboard the MS Island Sky

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  • History and Culture
  • Butrint

The month of May is the perfect time for cruising in the Mediterranean. Just about everything is as perfect as it can be, from the comfortable temperatures to the relatively crowd free sites. Join us aboard the MS Island Sky for what promises to be an informative and relaxing journey and immerse yourselves in the historical and cultural gems of the hidden Mediterranean. As we sail from Malta to Istanbul we will visit ancient sites, excellent museums, charming villages and see some of the loveliest scenery imaginable whilst enjoying all the comforts of our vessel. We will have the added benefit of excellent local guides and our knowledgeable onboard guest speaker who will bring to life all we see.

  • Our View

    “The Mediterranean has for years been a focal point for cruising with the combination of grand sites and major cities a draw to ships. However there is an advantage on sailing on a ship with only 114 passengers in that we can access some of the smaller ports, visit some fascinating but less frequented sites and moor in picturesque harbours and islands. During our spring cruise we will sail from Malta and see the wonders of Calabria and Puglia in Southern Italy, spend three days in Albania visiting sights only opening up now 25 years after the fall of communism and Greek islands where we can enjoy guided tours as well as time to wander and explore independently. We also enjoy a transit of the Corinth Canal which is only possible for a ship such as ours.“ 

    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 Malta.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Island Sky.

Day 2 - Crotone, Italy.

Relax onboard this morning as we cruise to Italy, maybe join one of the lectures or find a spot on deck. Over lunch we arrive in the Calabrian port of Crotone which was once one of the most important settlements on Magna Graecia. This afternoon we drive inland to Santa Severina, a pretty town overlooking the Neto River valley. After our tour of the town there will be the opportunity to taste the famous local Ciro wines and sample the local cuisine: olive oil, local cold cuts and a selection of cheese before returning to the ship.

Day 3 - Otranto for Lecce.

From the port of Otranto we will drive to Lecce, often referred to as ‘The Florence of the South’ with its amazing collection of Baroque architecture. A guided walk will include a visit to the beautifully decorated Santa Croce Basilica and Piazza Duomo, considered one of the finest and most impressive squares in southern Italy. After the tour, there will be an exclusive, private visit to the 15th century Palazzo Tamborino-Cezzi. The owner of the palazzo will personally take us on a tour, sharing interesting stories and anecdotes regarding his family and the palazzo itself. Enjoy a light lunch of local specialities before a concert of traditional music of the Salento region called La Pizzica.

Day 4 - Kotor, Montenegro.

This morning we enter the Gulf of Kotor and sail up the fjord-like entrance to the Medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor. This really is an extraordinary place full of marvellous architecture and pretty town squares. Our morning guided walk will include the 12th century cathedral of St Trython, the ancient town gates, the Maritime Museum and Romanesque churches including St Luke’s. After lunch onboard enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 5 - Shkodra, Albania.

There will be a choice of activities today and on the full day tour we will drive from Kotor through the Montenegro countryside. We will cross the border into Albania to reach Shkodra which was founded in the 4th century BC and has been occupied by the Romans, Serbians and Venetians. Here we will visit the Rozafa Castle which rises majestically on a rocky hill just outside the city, and explore the museum within the walls. We will continue into the countryside for lunch where we will enjoy a slow food experience of Albanian specialities before returning to the MS Island Sky which will have relocated to Shengjin port. Alternatively you may prefer to stay onboard and enjoy a day cruising through the Kotor fjord and along the coast.

Day 6 - Sazan Island, Albania.

Located around ten miles from the port of Vlore, Sazan is Albania’s largest island albeit at only 2.2 square miles. Having been under Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman control due to its strategic location it was occupied by the Italians in 1914 and only returned to Albania in 1947. During the Cold War the Russians built a submarine base and the Albanian Communist regime built a military base complete with bunkers and tunnels which could withstand a nuclear attack or western invasion. Since 1992, following the end of communism, the island has fallen into disrepair but we are able to explore this derelict base and ruined buildings which still contain original furniture and the tunnels. We return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and this afternoon explore the rest of the island which is situated in the Karaburan – Sazan National Marine Park.

Day 7 - Sarande for Butrint, Albania.

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

Day 8 - Delphi & Corinth Canal, Greece.

From our berth in Itea, we will drive through lush olive groves up to Delphi, stunningly situated upon a mountain terrace and one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. Our visit begins at the Castalian Spring, erupting from the spot where Pegasus is said to have struck his hoof. We will continue up the Sacred Way, passing the treasury of the Athenians and the bases of many monuments, the temple of Apollo, the 5000 seat theatre dating from the fourth century BC and the ancient stadium. Return to the vessel for lunch and in the late afternoon we will transit the Corinth Canal.

Day 9 - Nafplion.

Nafplion’s sheltered location below a rocky headland and large natural fortress crowned by a Venetian castle is perhaps unrivalled in Greece. From here we will enjoy a scenic drive through the Argos Plain, once ruled by Agamemnon, conqueror of Troy, to the famous citadel of Mycenae. High above the confluence of two boulder-strewn ravines, Mycenae is entered by way of the Lion Gate. Once inside the gate, we will explore the Royal Palace, the shaft graves and the remains of the city walls. Return to the MS Island Sky and enjoy a free afternoon in Nafplion.

Day 10 - Sifnos & Folegandros.

This corner of the Cyclades is far from the well-trodden tracks of the big ships. After breakfast go ashore to the little known island of Sifnos where you will be greeted by traditional white houses, picturesque churches and narrow lanes and alleys. Our morning will include Apollonia, the islands tiny capital, the Virysianni Monastery and the villages of Kastro and Artemos both delightful places to wander and admire the traditional architecture. Over lunch we sail to the little known island of Folegandros. Explore at leisure the clifftop capital of Chora, a wonderfully picturesque village.

Day 11 - Chios.

The birthplace of Homer, Chios remained a significant Aegean island into the Byzantine period, when the monastery of Nea Moni, with its 11th century mosaics was built. The island is rich in ancient ruins and this morning we will visit the 11th century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and this afternoon you have the choice to relax and explore Chios town independently or join a tour to the south of the island where we visit the beautifully preserved 14th century fortress village of Mesta and the elaborately decorated houses of Pirgi.

Day 12 - Limnos.

Arrive over breakfast in Myrina, the small capital of Limnos. We have a choice of activities this morning, maybe enjoy a gentle walk along an idyllic rural pathway to the pretty village of Kondias. Alternatively enjoy a morning in Myrina which is known for its romantic castle built over the rocky promontory. The castle foundations date back to Classical times, when it was the site of a temple of Artemis. We will continue to the archaeological museum before returning to the vessel for lunch and a final relaxing afternoon at sea.

Day 13 - Istanbul, Turkey to London.

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

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £300 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
25 May 2017 to 6 June 2017
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Magellan Deck Standard Forward Suites £5495 £5195
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £5695 £5395
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £6095 £5795
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £6495 £6195
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £6695 £6395
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £7095 £6795
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £7495 £7195
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £6895 £6595
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £7295 £6995

Tour Reference Code: SCISK250517

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 12 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, visas. 

Ship to Shore: Please note that whilst we plan to be alongside for most ports of call, depending on local harbour conditions the vessel’s Zodiacs may be used to transfer ashore at Otranto, Sifnos and Folegandros. 

  • All Decks

  • Explorer Deck

  • Erikson Deck

  • Marco Polo Deck

  • Columbus Deck

  • Magellan Deck

Destinations

  • Albania

    To see our current selection of tours in Albania click here.

  • Europe

    To see our current selection of tours in Europe click here.

  • Greece

    To see our current selection of tours in Greece click here.

  • Italy

    To see our current selection of tours in Italy click here.

  • Malta

    To see our current selection of tours in Malta click here.

  • Montenegro

    To see our current selection of tours in Montenegro click here.

  • Turkey

    To see our current selection of tours in Turkey click here.

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
  • Library
  • The Lounge
  • 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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  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

    • Explorer Deck

    • Erikson Deck

    • Marco Polo Deck

    • Columbus Deck

    • Magellan Deck

Our View

“The Mediterranean has for years been a focal point for cruising with the combination of grand sites and major cities a draw to ships. However there is an advantage on sailing on a ship with only 114 passengers in that we can access some of the smaller ports, visit some fascinating but less frequented sites and moor in picturesque harbours and islands. During our spring cruise we will sail from Malta and see the wonders of Calabria and Puglia in Southern Italy, spend three days in Albania visiting sights only opening up now 25 years after the fall of communism and Greek islands where we can enjoy guided tours as well as time to wander and explore independently. We also enjoy a transit of the Corinth Canal which is only possible for a ship such as ours.“ 

Onboard Experts

  • Dr Alan Borg

    Dr Alan Borg

    Alan began his career teaching the history of art at Indiana and Princeton Universities . Returning to Britain in 1970, he became Assistant Keeper in the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London.  In 1982 he became Director General of the Imperial War Museum, where he was responsible for the complete refurbishment and reinterpretation of the Museum, the opening of the Cabinet War Rooms, the preservation of HMS Belfast and the development of Duxford Airfield as a major aviation museum.  In 1996 he became Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he undertook the redisplay of the entire sequence of British Galleries.  He retired from the Museum in 2001 and is currently Vice President of the Foundling Museum, and Librarian of the Priory of England and the Islands, the Venerable Order of St John.  Awarded the CBE in 1991, he also a Knight of the Order of St John. 

     His publications include books on Romanesque art, the history of Arms and Armour, War Memorials,  Histories of the Painter-Stainers’ Company and the Cooks’ Company and A History of Vauxhall Gardens, together with numerous articles.

    Dr Alan Borg will be on the following tour dates: 25 May 2017 to 6 June 2017
  • Agnieszka Hobbs

    Adda Hobbs was born in Warsaw and caught the travel bug after deciding to take a six month work placement onboard the cruise ships working in the Purser's department. Those six months sparked a long lasting and ongoing love affair with travel in it's many forms. 

    After settling in Chichester, West Sussex, she has worked worldwide onboard small cruise ships specialising in discovery cruising as well as tour managing of overland tours in Japan, Russia & South East Asia. Working for two years onboard privately owned vessels led to the in depth knowledge of the Mediterranean and Caribbean region.

    As a keen trekker, she led expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro, Everest Best Camp, trekked in Peru, india, Morocco and cycled across Vietnam and Cambodia, those adventures were often combined with managing charity projects in local communities.

    She loves sharing her local knowledge whilst managing tours, adding little extra walks or detours to show hidden gems. She is a keen photographer and illustrator and loves keeping travel journals.

    Agnieszka Hobbs will be on the following tour dates: 25 May 2017 to 6 June 2017
  • Neil James Horrocks

    Neil has been at sea since 2001, a year after he graduated in Pure Maths from the University of Manchester. Working for Fred. Olsen, Celebrity, Saga and Voyages to Antiquity has seen him experience everywhere from the Arctic to Antarctica. He was on the inaugural and farewell cruises of the much-loved "Spirit of Adventure" and enjoyed many cruises with former Noble Caledonia Captain Frank Allica. That developed his passion for small-ship cruising and Neil has been delighted to be welcomed into the Noble Caledonia family. An accomplished pianist, Neil is very much an all-rounder, with a keen sense of humour and eye for detail. He is equally comfortable interviewing political heavyweights, driving zodiacs ashore or even writing evening quizzes. When not at sea, Neil lives on the south coast of England and tries to enjoy following the misfortunes of his local football team, Brighton & Hove Albion, and visiting steam railways up and down the country.

    Neil James Horrocks will be on the following tour dates: 25 May 2017 to 6 June 2017
  • Elaine Weddick

    Elaine Weddick

    Elaine was born and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne and still maintains a strong connection with the area, although she has now lived in the South of England for many years.  Her love of travel started with a ‘road trip’ from Newcastle to Northern Spain in a Ford Prefect at the age of 10 and has continued throughout a career spanning 40 years and encompassing many aspects of the travel industry.  A husband with a career in an oil-related industry involved several years of interesting overseas postings. 

    After a varied career, including 7 years working as Tour Manager on long haul land tours, Elaine joined Noble Caledonia more than 8 years ago and a whole new world, that included river and sea cruises, opened up.  There has been the opportunity with Noble to explore again long held favourites such as South America, with Ecuador and the Galapagos firmly at the top of that list after an extended stay in the country.  Japan is another great passion, with its fascinating mix of ancient and modern, never failing to surprise and delight.  After leading many land tours over the years, cruises around the islands have revealed yet more facets of the culture. 

    Danube and Rhone tours have presented Elaine with the chance to extend her knowledge of those areas of Europe either side of their banks and beyond, whilst the land tours that are accompanied by the London Festival Opera have created a renewed interest in classical music.  Playing Bridge is what Elaine enjoys most when not working, and if travelling and Bridge can be combined, then so much the better. 

    Elaine Weddick will be on the following tour dates: 25 May 2017 to 6 June 2017

Tour Extensions

    • Extend you stay in Istanbul with our two night package offering the chance to explore some of the highlights of the city.

      Blue Mosque Blue Mosque

      Day 1 Istanbul. Disembark this morning and we will enjoy the sights of old Constantinople with visits to the Hippodrome and the great Byzantine church of Santa Sophia. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before checking into our hotel for a two night stay. The afternoon is free to explore at your own pace. Maybe look for a bargain in the Grand Bazaar, visit the fascinating Basilica Cistern. This evening is free to enjoy dinner independently in one of the local restaurants.

      Day 2 Istanbul. Our morning tour will include a visit to Chora church; for the best Byzantine art, mosaics and frescoes in the city and a visit to the great Theodosian walls which protected the city for 1,000 years. Return to the hotel for a chance to relax and explore independently. Meet this evening for a farewell dinner.

      Day 3 Istanbul to London. After breakfast in the hotel we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £545
      Single £695

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, excursions as per the itinerary, transfer from ship to hotel and hotel to airport, meals as described.

      Not Included: Travel Insurance, visa. 

Itinerary Highlights

• Private visit to Palazzo Tamborino-Cezzi in Lecce
• Cruise along the magnificent Kotor Fjord
• Maiden visit to Sazan Island, Albania, formerly a closed military site
• Transit the Corinth Canal
• Explore Delphi and Mycenae - iconic hilltop ancient Greek sites

Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000