Buffet breakfasts daily; 7 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Florence and Nauplia
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Italy’s ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
ROME. The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built; the Roman Forum; Piazza Venezia, and Campidoglio. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment.
ROME–PISA–FLORENCE AREA. Vistas of rolling hills, cypress trees, vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Stop in Pisa to see the Square of Miracles and the amazing Leaning Tower, then on to the Florence area. End the day by joining the optional Tuscan dinner in a typical restaurant.
FLORENCE. This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile.
FLORENCE AREA–VERONA–VENICE AREA. Journey north to enchanting Verona to see the legendary balcony from Romeo and Juliet and spend some time at leisure strolling around Market Square. Continue to the Venice area.
VENICE. Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet little piazzas. Take a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and enjoy time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS at work. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.
VENICE AREA–RAVENNA–ANCONA (EMBARKATION)–OVERNIGHT FERRY CROSSING TO PATRAS, GREECE. Travel across the flatlands of the Po Delta to medieval Ravenna, where you will admire some of its unique byzantine MOSAICS, listed by UNESCO. Next, reach Ancona on the shores of the Adriatic, to embark on the FERRY for the crossing to Patras.
PATRAS (DISEMBARKATION)–OLYMPIA. During the crossing, enjoy all the ship’s facilities. Disembark in Patras and drive south into the Peloponnese to Olympia.
OLYMPIA–NAUPLIA. Time at leisure, or make the most of this morning by taking the optional tour of the sites of ancient Olympia, including the ruins of the Temple of Zeus. In the afternoon, enjoy the rugged scenery of the Peloponnese on the way to Nauplia. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
NAUPLIA–MYCENAE–ATHENS. Morning visit with a Local Guide to the impressive ruins of MYCENAE, an ancient city indissolubly linked to the Homeric epics. Later, stop to view the Corinth Canal, which was built between 1881 and 1893.
ATHENS. Join the included sightseeing tour of Athens, featuring the highlights of the ancient capital and a visit to the ACROPOLIS. Explore the shops and museums or take a trip to the coast to swim. In the evening, enjoy the lively atmosphere of the tavernas in the old Plaka district with its narrow streets and sound of bouzouki music or maybe join an optional Greek dinner.
ATHENS–LAVRION/PIRAEUS (EMBARKATION)–MYKONOS. Board your cruise ship. Afternoon cruising in the Aegean on your way to Mykonos with its white houses, chapels, and windmills. Late-evening departure for Kusadasi, Turkey. (B,L,D)
KUSADASI, TURKEY–PATMOS, GREECE. Two ports of call today. First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. An included excursion is available to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. The 11th-century monastery with its valuable manuscript collection is well worth a visit. (B,L,D)
HERAKLION–SANTORINI. First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. A few miles away, visit Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization, on the included excursion. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” The included shore excursion takes you up to the cliff-top village of Oia for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas. (B,L,D)
LAVRION/PIRAEUS, GREECE (DISEMBARKATION)–ATHENS. Early morning arrival at the famous port of Lavrion/Piraeus. After disembarkation, continue to Athens for an overnight.
ATHENS. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.