Circumnavigate the seductive island of Sicily aboard the elegant Sea Cloud II. Autumn, when the heat and crowds of summer are gone, is the perfect time to discover the countless cultural marvels of this stepping stone between Europe and Africa. Admire Sicily’s diverse landscapes from the comfort of an elegant three‐masted barque, sail into her legendary harbors, and step ashore to admire ancient temples and theaters and glittering mosaics. For 2020, this perennially popular program, named one of National Geographic Traveler’s “Tours of a Lifetime,” includes a stop on the mainland in Reggio Calabria, to admire the fabled Riace Bronzes, rare life-sized Greek statues discovered in 1972.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Oct 11, 2020 - Oct 19, 2020
An optional prelude in Taormina is offered from October 9 to 12, 2020.
An optional postlude in Naples is offered from October 19 to 21, 2020.
- day 1
Sunday, October 11 DEPARTURE
Depart on an overnight flight to Catania.
- day 2
Monday, Oct 12 CATANIA (SICILY), ITALY / SEA CLOUD II
Arrive in Catania and transfer to the awaiting Sea Cloud II. Enjoy a bon voyage toast on deck as we sail to Reggio Calabria.
- day 3
Tuesday, October 13 REGGIO CALABRIA (CALABRIA)
Reggio Calabria, on the tip of the toe of mainland Italy, overlooks the Strait of Messina, with incredible views over Sicily and the Aetna volcano. This morning, tour the National Museum of Magna Grecia, which boasts a superb collection of prehistoric Greco-Roman and medieval antiques, including the stunning bronze Head of a Philosopher, considered the only Greek portrait head in existence, and the Riace Bronzes, the celebrated heroic nude statues discovered in 1972. Afterward, visit the nearby civic art gallery where famous works by Antonello da Messina, Mattia Preti, and other well-known artists are on display. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon under sail. This evening, enjoy the captain’s welcome reception and dinner.
- day 4
Wednesday, October 14 SYRACUSE
Today we explore Syracuse, one of the most important cities in antiquity. This morning discover the well-preserved Greek and Roman theaters of the Archeological Zone. On beautiful Ortygia Island, see the cathedral built on the ruins of the Temple of Athena and in the church of Santa Lucia all Badia see Caravaggio’s Burial of Saint Lucy. By special invitation we will visit the Baroque palazzo of Barone Beneventano, where he will welcome us for a tour and light refreshments.
- day 5
Thursday, October 15 PORTO EMPEDOCLE / AGRIGENTO
Pindar, one of the greatest classical Greek poets, called Agrigento “the most beautiful city built by mortal men.” This afternoon call at Porto Empedocle and tour the nearby ruins of the Valley of the Temples. The Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world, inspired the UNESCO logo.
- day 6
Friday, October 16 TRAPANI
Arrive at the port of Trapani and depart on a morning excursion to Segesta to view its splendid Greek temple and theater. Following lunch, you may wish to visit the medieval hilltop town of Erice. Alternatively, drive to the village of Mazara del Vallo to see its spectacular seven-foot bronze statue, retrieved from the sea by local fishermen. With his flying hair and goat ears, the 2,400-year-old figure was quickly dubbed the Dancing Satyr.
- day 7
Saturday, October 17 PALERMO
Dock in the Sicilian capital of Palermo for a morning visit to the 12th-century Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Norman Kings. Described by Guy de Maupassant as “the most surprising religious jewel ever dreamt of,” the chapel is known for its extraordinary golden mosaics. Continue to Palazzo Abatellis to admire its marvelous collections of sculptures and paintings. This afternoon drive to Monreale to discover the magnificent Norman cathedral, whose brilliantly colored mosaics depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail reception at a private palazzo.
- day 8
Sunday, October 18 DAY AT SEA
During a day at sea, experience the thrill of sailing aboard our fine ship, attending lectures and delighting in the grace and romance of a bygone era of travel. In the evening attend the captain’s farewell reception and dinner. A walking tour around Trapani will also be offered
- day 9
Monday, October 19 NAPLES / RETURN
Disembark Sea Cloud II in Naples this morning and transfer to the airport for the flights home.
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