Malta and Sicily: A Circumnavigation—Sea Cloud II
Following one night in Valletta, Malta, one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world, embark the beautiful Sea Cloud II to cruise the isle of Sicily. Consider an array of excursion options geared to your interests in nearly every port. Spend a day under sail before calls in Trapani, with its wonderfully well-preserved Doric temple; Palermo, to sample its famed street food; Giardini Naxos (for Taormina and Mt. Etna), and Siracusa. Experience seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Aeolian Islands, and enjoy a specially timed sailing through the Strait of Messina at sunset.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
Jun 15, 2024 - Jun 24, 2024
OPTIONAL PRE-CRUISE EXTENSION
BEYOND VALETTA: MALTA’S SOUTHERN COAST & GOZO ISLAND
June 13 – 16, 2024
This two-night pre-trip extension offers the chance to experience the sites, stunning landscape and local charm of this island nation beyond its capital city, including a day trip to the idyllic island of Gozo to see the oldest megalithic temples on Earth.
Thursday-Friday, June 13-14
Depart United States on overnight flights to Europe. Arrive Valletta and transfer to the Grand Excelsior Hotel. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. PHOENICIA HOTEL (D)
Saturday, June 15
MALTA’S SOUTH COAST
Head out today for an exploration of Malta’s south coast beginning with the megalithic complex of Hagar Qim, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that overlooks the wide expanse of the blue Mediterranean and islet of Filfla. Continue to picturesque Marsaxlokk, a fishing village since Roman times, with its artistic building facades and colorful boats bobbing in the harbor. Wander the local market, set right on the water, and enjoy lunch independently. Just before sunset, head to M’dina, one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture, best seen as the light fades. The lamp-lit streets of Malta’s oldest town radiate medieval intrigue. Celebrate being in Malta together during a festive dinner, followed by a moonlit amble when M’dina is at its most atmospheric. PHOENICIA HOTEL (B, D)
Sunday, June 16
Disembark the Sea Cloud II following breakfast and launch your post-tour exploration ferry to Gozo, one of the three main islands that make the Mediterranean nation of Malta. Gozo Island is full of stunning panoramas and historic sites, including one of Malta’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, the UNESCO World Heritage Site site of Ġgantija. Following a guided visit to the temples, continue to the charming capital city of Victoria and a visit to the Citadel, the center of the Gozo since Neolithic times. Enjoy a seaside lunch before taking in the island’s extraordinary landscape of intricately carved salt pans and towering cliffs. Late this afternoon ferry back to Malta and begin the main tour with a welcome reception and dinner. PHOENCIA HOTEL (B, L)
Extension Program Fee:
Per person, sharing accommodations …………………………………………………………….. $2,290
Single Supplement ……………………………………………………………………………………….. $2,590
Upon payment of the $1,000 per person deposit, all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below and by which the passenger agrees to be bound. Cancellations shall not be in effect until they are received in writing and confirmed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Deposits are refundable (less a $250 per person administration fee) if written notice of cancellation is received within 30 days of reservation; after that, deposits are 100% nonrefundable. After final payment deadline all payments are 100% nonrefundable, regardless of booking date. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
Depart on an overnight flight to Valletta.
Upon arrival in Valletta, transfer to the Phoenicia Hotel, where you will meet fellow travelers. Welcome Orientation & Reception at the hotel.
Morning lecture, followed by choice of full day excursions: 1) Archaeology of Malta: Tarxien Temples, Hypogeum, National Archaeological Museum; 2)Military History of Malta: walking tour of oldtown Valletta w/visit to underground tunnels and National War Museum at Ft St. Elmo; 3) Architecture Tour of Valletta with St John’s Cathedral, Renzo Piano’s new works, & lunch in historic palazzo. Board Sea Cloud II in the late afternoon and set sail for Sicily.
Full day under sail in the southern Med; education program continues, tours of the ship are offered, and tenders are used to photograph the ship (weather permitting); Captain’s welcome evening.
AM Greek Doric temple of Segesta, sitting high atop Mount Barbaro, followed by choice of tours: 1) the hilltop fortress of Erice; or 2) wine tasting in Marsala. Afternoon at sea, with sailing opportunity (weather permitting) and continuation of lecture program.
AM visit to Palermo’s Norman castle, Capella Palatina and Monreale’s stunning UNESCO listed Cathedral followed by street food tour/lunch in Old Town Palermo; PM choice of excursions: 1) Batellis Art Museum; 2) Archaeological Museum
Lipari, Aeolian Islands
AM choice of tours in Lipari: 1) In-depth walking tour of Lipari center w/visit to Aeolian Archaeological Museum; 2) driving tour of island ending in Lipari center for free time. Return to the ship for lunch, afternoon swim off the ship, and time for sailing and lectures. At sunset, cruise by Stromboli to see some of the pyrotechnics of this active volcano.
AM choice of tours: 1) Early departure for the slopes of Mt. Etna to see Silvestri Crater and ride the cable car to the summit; 2) Visit 3rd c. B.C. Greco-Roman amphitheater of Taormina w/free time in town.
AM Syracuse Archaeological Park, followed by guided walk of Ortygia Island w/highlights including lively morning market, Cathedral Square. In a lovely private palazzo, view collection of etchings featuring ancient Syracuse and Sicily followed by wine tasting in the palace cellars hosted by a nobleman. Afternoon cruising to Malta. Captain’s farewell reception and dinner cruising to Valletta.
Disembark for flights home
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