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Wonders of the World Cruise 2023: A 150-day Voyage from Australia to Sweden - 2023

147-nights with 35 countries: Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Malta, France, Monaco, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden
  • 2023 Small Ship World Cruise from Australia to Sweden including Australia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Oman, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Greece, Croatia, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Norway, Russia, and Sweden
  • SET SAIL FROM AUSTRALIA AND DISCOVER THE GEMS OF THE INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO ALONG THE WAY, INCLUDING BALI AND KOMODO
  • TRACE THE SPICE ROUTE FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA TO THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, AND THEN VENTURE TO EGYPT FOR AN OVERNIGHT LUXOR EXCURSION
  • IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A BREADTH OF MEDITERRANEAN CULTURES WHEN YOU EXPLORE ISRAEL, CROATIA, ITALY, AND BEYOND
  • RELIVE THE GOLDEN AGE OF EUROPE AS YOU CIRCLE THE CONTINENT TO THE BALTICS AND RUSSIA, BEFORE ENDING YOUR WORLD CRUISE IN SWEDEN
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$84,999
  • $574
    PER DAY
  • 148
    DAYS
  • 300
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
150 DAYS FROM $84,999
Luxury
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Sydney, Australia (Pre-Trip)

5 DAYS FROM $1,799

Stockholm, Sweden (Post-Trip)

3 DAYS FROM $1,299

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It is with great excitement that we present our Wonders of the World Cruise 2023: Australia to Sweden. This 150-day journey of a lifetime will bring you to a remarkable 4 continents, 35 countries, and 113 ports of call, with access to an astonishing 59 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 300 included features and Cultural Discoveries! Plus, Vantage takes you beyond the coast with 2 luxurious overnight stays in both Sri Lanka and Egypt.

Visit the world’s most beloved cities from Darwin to Stockholm and experience the heart of each destination. Begin by uncovering the myriad treasures of Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa during the first leg of your trip, which brings you from the mystifying islands of the Indonesian archipelago to the relics of ancient Jordan. Then discover all that Europe has to offer as you cruise along the continent in its entirety — from sunny Cyprus all the way up to Scandinavia. Bask on the legendary sands of Indonesia’s Pink Beach . . . Revel in a private classical concert and a tour of old town in Dubrovnik . . . Explore France's picturesque coastline, taking in beautiful Corsica, lavender-laden Provence, and beyond . . . and marvel at the vast collections of the Hermitage Museum in lavish St. Petersburg — all in one journey!

At the center of it all is your luxurious home at sea, the 5-star Ocean Odyssey. Vantage is one of few companies to offer a cruise of this stature aboard a smaller vessel — which features a total of only 77 cabins — allowing not only for arrival in ports that larger ships can’t access, but also less tendering to and from the ship, less queuing, and more time to spend onshore in each destination. Fewer travelers onboard also means more impactful and intimate interactions with locals, tour leaders, lecturers, and more. Not to mention the breadth of this ship’s luxury amenities, from an onboard spa, a top-deck infinity pool, and two hot tubs to multiple dining options, bars, and lounges.

But that’s not all — as our World Cruise guests, we are honored to provide you with world-class amenities exclusive to this journey, including free business class airfare, private transfers to and from the airport, unlimited Wi-Fi and laundry service, and so much more. Click here to see what awaits when you reserve.

Join us in 2023 for an unparalleled sojourn you won’t soon forget — and to join Vantage Travel’s club of elite World Cruise travelers.

Darwin to Stockholm

Pre-Trip Extension

Sydney, Australia (Pre-Trip)

FROM: $1799 PER PERSON | 5 DAYS | $360 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Darwin

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Darwin, Australia. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Sydney.

DAY 2:

Cross the International Date Line

You’ll cross the International Date Line today and arrive in Darwin on Day 3.

DAY 3:

Arrive in Darwin, capital of Australia’s Northern Territory

Welcome to Darwin! Beneath this city’s laid-back nature lies a steely resolve. Darwin has had to be rebuilt four times over the past 120-odd years due to cyclones and World War II, and you’ll explore more of it in the next few days.

If you purchased your airfare with Vantage, you’ll be met at the airport by a representative who will assist in your transfer to your centrally located hotel. Get settled in and relax before joining your expert local guide for a sunset photography walk along Darwin’s scenic coastline. After, return to your hotel with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing and Welcome Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Sunset photography outing in Darwin

Included meals:

Dinner

DAY 4:

Discover the riches of Kakadu National Park

Covering over 7,600 square miles and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, Kakadu National Park has also been home to Aboriginal peoples for at least 40,000 years. You’ll explore this impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site with a full-day excursion that includes a stop at Burrungkuy, a rock art site known for its intricate paintings in various styles. Your guide will explain the various figures depicted, as well as how the paints are made with natural pigments. Then, enjoy a boat cruise through the wetlands of Yellow Water Billabong, where you’ll spot an abundance of birdlife, buffalo, and saltwater crocodiles. Make sure to pack your binoculars or a camera with zoom lens!

You’ll return to your hotel after lunch for a well-deserved rest, with dinner at your hotel.

Included Features:

  • Full-day tour of Kakadu National Park
  • Boat cruise on Yellow Water Billabong

Cultural Discovery:

  • See the Aboriginal rock art of Burrungkuy (Nourlangie)

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5:

Explore Darwin, then embark the Ocean Odyssey

After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll check out and prepare to embark the Ocean Odyssey for your voyage across Indonesia! First, a historical tour takes you around the Darwin’s highlights, including the George Brown Botanical Gardens and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, with lunch at a local restaurant. Then, we’ll transfer to the port to embark the ship. Unpack, settle in, and enjoy your first dinner on board tonight!

Included Features:

  • Darwin city tour
  • Visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and revel in the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Odyssey. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial, a swim in the infinity pool, or a soothing soak in the hot tub after an onboard lecture about your experiences so far. Perhaps you’ll even watch a movie under a canopy of stars on the sun deck, or meet friends for drinks in the lounge as you sail toward the island of Kisar.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7:

Set foot on the fortress-like island of Kisar

This morning we arrive in Kisar, a small hilly island ringed by limestone cliffs and ancient reefs. After breakfast, set off on a leisurely panoramic tour to see the island’s sacred freshwater springs and spot the neighboring islands of Wetar and Timor. We’ll return to the ship in time for an afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Kisar

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Explore Alor, the “Island of a Thousand Mokos”

Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Kalabahi, Alor’s only town. With its location on the far end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, it remains a mystery how Alor become known for its moko, or bronze kettledrums, which can be traced back to the Bronze Age Dong Son culture of Vietnam. These prized heirlooms served as currency for building a house and for a bridal dowry, and thus many valuable moko were often buried or hidden. You’ll visit the Museum 1000 Moko to admire a collection of these drums, explore Kalabahi’s thriving main market, and tour nearby Takpala Village, where you’ll get to meet the island’s indigenous Abui people and learn about their proudly traditional ways.

After lunch back on board the ship, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure. Approach your onboard Concierge in advance if you’d like to reserve snorkeling masks and fins. Alor’s waters are a paradise for diving and snorkeling, and you may even spot the rare and famously alien-like Mola mola (ocean sunfish)!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Kalabahi and Takpala Village

Cultural Discovery:

  • Observe everyday life at Takpala village

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Discover the whaling heritage of Lamalera

Lamalera is one of the world’s last few communities of subsistence whalers, and you’ll learn more about this incredible practice today as a Zodiac boat takes you from the ship to the shores of Lembata island. Your first stop is a local barter market, where your expert guide shares some insight on local communities. Then, at Lamalera, watch a demonstration of how villagers hunt sharks, rays, dolphins, and sperm whales as a group using long wooden boats and an arsenal of bamboo harpoons. After your tour, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to ship. Tonight, we’ll sail on to Ende.

Included Feature:

  • Zodiac boat excursion to the traditional whaling village of Lamalera

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit a local barter market in Lembata
  • Learn traditional whaling techniques at a whaling village

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10:

Behold Kelimutu’s color-changing crater lakes

Today we dock at Ende, Flores, and transfer to the nearby mountain of Kelimutu to witness a natural phenomenon that has fascinated scientists and tourists alike. The Kelimutu lakes are three crater lakes on the mountain believed to hold the souls of the departed, and their colors vary from brilliant emerald to onyx to — at times — blood red, depending on the chemical composition of volcanic gases and minerals present in each lake.

After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy some free time to explore Ende. Perhaps you’ll stroll through the markets and observe some haggling in action, or pick up some colorful ikat sarongs and shawls, which are renowned for their handwoven intricacy.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Mount Kelimutu and see its tricolored lakes

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11:

Revel in Sawu’s unspoiled natural beauty

Sawu is one of the most remote stops along this adventure-filled cruise, and you’ll see why it’s worth being among the rare few who have set foot on this island! The waters around here form the Savu Sea Marine National Park and are host to 18 species of whales, along with dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles, and over 500 species of corals. We’ll tour the island’s main town of Seba before heading to its main beach, where you can swim and snorkel to your heart’s content. Later, enjoy lunch on board and an afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Seba, Sawu’s main town

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12:

Spot the wild horses of Sumba, then see one of its most magnificent beaches

Enjoy a splendid day discovering the island of Sumba on a full-day tour. Despite periods of colonization by the Portuguese and Dutch, Sumba remains one of Indonesia’s less-developed islands and lies under the tourist radar. From the main port of Waingapu we head to the vast undulating hills of Bukit Warinding, where many of the island’s wild horses roam. Along the way you may also spot some Sumbanese traditional thatched houses and megalithic tombs.

Savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant at Maramba Beach, a popular resort area, before heading to Puru Kambera Beach for an afternoon of bliss. With its calm waters lapping at pine-fringed white sands, this is easily Sumba’s most picturesque beach.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day tour of Sumba

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 13:

Embark on a quest for “dragons” at Komodo National Park

Get ready for one of the highlights of your cruise today as we glide into the waters of Komodo National Park! We’ll board the ship’s Zodiac boat and tender to shore on Rinca, one of the main islands of this nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, a park ranger will guide us on a trek around the protected areas of the island in search of the Komodo dragon. At up to 10 feet and 150 pounds, these fearsome creatures are the world’s largest reptiles, capable of killing deer, horses, and water buffalo.

After lunch on board, unfurl your beach towel on Komodo island’s legendary Pink Beach and enjoy the sweeping views, or grab a snorkel to admire a stunning rainbow of fish and corals underwater. We return to the ship at sunset for dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Zodiac boat excursion to Komodo National Park

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 14:

Admire Sumbawa’s local traditions

Today you’ll anchor at the port of Badas and travel inland to the village of Pamulung, where you’ll learn more about the cultures and traditions of Sumbawa. Rice-based farming is a mainstay of local culture, and you’ll see how villagers pound the dried grains by hand to dehull them. Then, observe how local women weave their colorful traditional textiles and enjoy a performance of traditional song and dance that usually takes place at a wedding procession.

Your visit is topped off with a traditional buffalo race. In addition to their usual plowing duties, the buffalo also provide entertainment while helping to mix the soil and mud in freshly irrigated paddy fields. Make sure to have your camera ready! After lunch at a local restaurant in the town of Sumbawa Besar, return to the ship for an afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Tour Pamulung Village, in Sumbawa

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Witness traditional activities at Pamulung Village
  • Watch a Sumbawa buffalo race

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 15:

Luxuriate on the beaches of the Gili Islands

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning as you take in the gorgeous views of turquoise waters and pearlescent beaches. Located just off the northwest coast of Lombok, the triplet Gili Islands are a hotspot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and free diving thanks to the abundance of corals and marine life here. We’ll visit either Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno for a day of swimming or snorkeling. You may even spot turtles in the shallows! Alternatively, since cars and other motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands, you might reserve one of the ship’s onboard bicycles and explore at your whim.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy your Deluxe ship's amenities, or relax on the beach before dinner on board.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Gili Meno or Gili Trawangan

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 16:

Explore Bali’s Uluwatu Temple

After breakfast on board, you’ll embark on a tour of Uluwatu Temple, a gorgeous, spectacular building that your cameras will love! The temple is inhabited by cheeky macaque monkeys who are notorious for snatching sunglasses, cameras, and other goods off tourists — so, be mindful! After this enchanting visit, lunch is at a local restaurant. We’ll then return on board for an afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Uluwatu Temple visit

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 17:

Explore Singaraja, Bali’s black sand beaches and Pura Beji Sangsit temple

This morning, the Ocean Odyssey arrives at Celukan Bawang, our starting point for today’s explorations. On a morning tour, head to Lovina Beach to discover the island’s black sand beaches; then, embark on a tour of Singaraja, which includes visits to the lush Pura Beji Sangsit temple, dedicated to the rice goddess Dewi Sri. After, we’ll make our way to a local market and stop by a museum for more local history. Lunch will be at local restaurant, after which you’ll have an afternoon at leisure to return to Lovina Beach, perhaps to deepen your tan, or explore as you please.

Included Feature:

  • Singaraja tour, with visits to Lovina Beach and the Pura Beji Sangsit temple

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 18:

Arrive in Java: Visit Probolinggo and a local market, then be awed by Mount Bromo

Discover Probolinggo, on Java’s eastern side, on a city tour today. This fishing town is the gateway to Java’s Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and the Gunung Bromo volcano, which will captivate us later this afternoon. But first, we’ll explore the city, stopping by the Tri Dharma Pagoda and embarking becaks (cycle rickshaws) for a ride to a market to see what fruits, vegetables, and goods that the locals are buying and selling. After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll board motorcoaches for an inland ride to Mount Bromo and the volcano, which we’ll visit from a safe distance and be able to photograph. The volcano is an important site for the local Tengger people — one of the few remaining Hindu communities on Java — who believe that the volcano is the site of a fertility sacrifice from a legendary king and queen. You’ll hear more about this myth today!

Included Features:

  • Probolinggo city tour
  • Mount Bromo visit

Cultural Discovery:

  • Ride a becak to a local market

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 19:

Make landfall on the turquoise utopia of Madura Island

Enjoy a morning tour of Indonesia’s Madura Island. Madura is known as one of Indonesia’s most traditional isles — don’t be surprised to see locals in traditional sarongs and peci. We’ll make landfall by traditional boat for a half-day tour that includes the capital, Sumenep. Unlike most capital cities, you’ll find that Sumenep is a relaxed little town with a gilded 18th century mosque, which we’ll view on our way to visit the Sumenep Palace and Museum. Lunch is back onboard; after, enjoy some free time to explore on your own.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Sumenep tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 20:

Explore UNESCO-listed Borobudur and Candirejo Village in Java

This morning you’ll wake up in Semarang, Java. After breakfast, we’ll disembark and transfer by motorcoach to Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple in central Java and one of the world’s most spectacular Buddhist monuments. As we make our way to Borobudur, you’ll get a good look at Java’s interior countryside, as well as glimpses of its smoldering volcanoes, rainforests, and verdant green paddy fields. Once in mesmerizing Borobudur, we’ll stroll through the complex, noting the detailed stone carvings and the 504 Buddha statues peppered throughout.

We’ll enjoy lunch here before visiting nearby Candirejo, a lush, leafy, and traditional village that you’ll tour by horse cart. Navigating through town, you’ll catch glimpses of local life, including families making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan, and harvesting and drying vanilla and chiles.

Included Feature:

  • Explore UNESCO-listed Borobudur temple complex

Cultural Discovery:

  • Witness local life on a horse cart ride through Candirejo Village

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 21:

Discover paradisiac Kura Kura in Java

This morning we’ll board a boat bound for nearby Kura Kura island, where we’ll be greeted upon arrival with cocktails and traditional snacks. Fringed with white sand beaches, Kura Kura is actually a private Javanese island home to a luxury eco-resort that offers a true model for sustainability and is the only real business on the island. Don’t expect to find any Wi-Fi here, either — this is a rare chance to disconnect and live in the moment. Explore the island and enjoy some leisure time at the resort to snorkel, lounge on the beach, swim, or even take in some scuba dives — see the Concierge for details on planning activities. Lunch is back on ship, and you’ll enjoy an afternoon at leisure. As the Ocean Odyssey cruises this afternoon, hear the first lecture in our curated lecture series on Indonesia.

Included Feature:

  • Discover Kura Kura island with leisure time to snorkel, swim, and more

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture about Indonesia (1 of 3)

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 22:

Arrive in Borneo and explore UNESCO-listed Tanjung Puting National Park

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the Ocean Odyssey arrives to Kumai, part of the Kalimantan province of Borneo island, which actually belongs to three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. We’ll anchor along the Sekonyer River and board Zodiacs into the UNESCO-listed Tanjung Puting National Park, famous for its robust orangutan conversation program. You’ll explore the park in your Zodiac boat, which offers panoramic views of its various tributaries and rainforests. You’ll enjoy some light trekking into the rainforest to visit the orangutan feeding area. Lunch is at a local restaurant before we return to ship for an afternoon at leisure with an enthralling traditional dance performance before dinner!

Included Feature:

  • Zodiac tour of Tanjung Puting National Park

Inaugural Feature:

  • Traditional Indonesian dance performance on board

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 23:

Tour Borneo’s Arut River and visit the Yellow Palace

Today’s morning tour takes us along the Arut River, where you’ll get a tranquil glimpse of local life. Marvel at the traditional klotok houseboats floating on the river. Witness residents going about their daily lives on the rivers, including the local fisherman. You may even spot some wildlife, as orangutans reside here, too! Then, visit the Istana Kuning, or “yellow palace,” which is not very yellow at all, but was once traditionally draped in yellow fabric. Once the sultan’s main residence, the palace is now a replica after it was burned down in 1990. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the ship, which will depart for Java this afternoon.

Included Feature:

  • Arut River tour, with visit to the Yellow Palace

Cultural Discovery:

  • Witness local life along the Arut River

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 24:

Enjoy a day at sea as you cruise toward the Belitung Islands

Enjoy a day at sea as you cruise toward the Belitung Islands. This is an ideal opportunity to make good use of the Ocean Odyssey’s plentiful amenities. Grab a book and head to the infinity pool. Make an appointment at the spa. Head to the observation deck for bountiful views of passing islands — Indonesia has more than 17,000 of them, and 6,000 are uninhabited. This afternoon continues our curated lecture series, which will offer more insights into your journey into Indonesia.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture about Indonesia (2 of 3)

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 25:

Lunch with locals and snorkel in Pulau Lengkuas, part of Belitung Island

Arrive in Pulau Lengkuas today, just one of the gorgeous destinations that await you on this journey. You’re on Belitung Island, which is known for its pepper and its tin, in addition to the pearly sand beaches and turquoise waters. After breakfast, get ready to Zodiac to shore for a sightseeing tour of the island. During a home-hosted visit, you’ll be invited to try the local cuisine and watch a traditional performance. Your afternoon is at leisure, and you’ll want to try some snorkeling! With shallow shorelines and little current, this is an ideal opportunity to explore the vibrant fish and coral reef of Belitung’s undersea realm.

Included Features:

  • Tour of Pulau Lengkuas

Cultural Discovery:

  • Home-hosted lunch with traditional performance

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 26:

Enjoy a day at sea to unwind as you near Singapore

Another day at sea brings the culmination of our Indonesia lecture series today. Take advantage of a multitude of onboard amenities, including the pool and spa services.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture about Indonesia (3 of 3)

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 27:

Explore Singapore’s cultural diversity on a full-day tour

Singapore is known by many names, the “Garden City” and the “Lion City” among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore the city’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the Cricket Club, historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city's futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which displays handcrafted woodcarvings and artwork by Chinese artists.

This afternoon, explore the alleys around popular Bugis Street in “local” style during a trishaw ride. Then, sample Singapore’s flavorful Chinese influence during lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, stroll through the UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, the only tropical garden in the world recognized by UNESCO. We’ll return to the ship in time for dinner, as we sail onward to Malaysia.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Singapore city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Trishaw ride around Bugis Street

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 28:

Uncovering UNESCO-listed Malacca

Wake up in Malaysia today — perhaps catch the sunrise from the observation deck, or get in a morning workout at the gym, before a delicious breakfast on board. You'll explore Malacca today, a compact Malaysian outpost that was once a major Southeast Asia trade hub, with architecture exhibiting British, Dutch, and Portuguese influences from its onetime colonial rule. Explore its UNESCO-listed city center on a tour that also includes St. Paul’s Church, A Famosa Fortress, Christ Church, Stadthuys (an old Dutch spelling meaning City Hall), and more.

Lunch is traditional Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine, which melds Chinese ingredients with spices and techniques original to the Malay and Indonesian communities. The result? Tangy, aromatic, and herbal flavors that offer just a palate preview of the exciting cuisine to come. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Malacca on your own, or make use of the Ocean Odyssey's many amenities, including spa, gym, and more. 

Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Feature:

  • Tour Malacca city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lunch of Peranakan cuisine

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 29:

Colorful George Town awaits

Enjoy a morning at leisure, with breakfast and lunch on board. This afternoon, you'll explore Penang island, beginning with its UNESCO-listed capital city, George Town.

On an island tour, you’ll visit the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a museum dedicated to Penang’s Peranakan heritage — people from China’s southern provinces who immigrated to Malaysia between the 15th and 17th centuries. The museum is housed inside a mansion, which once served as the residence and office of a 19th-century Chinese industrial tycoon. You’ll also view Penang’s street art — some of which has even made international headlines! — and George Town’s Street of Harmony, which features monuments of all religions including Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, and more.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Penang Island and its UNESCO-listed capital, George Town

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 30:

A cultural tour of Penang and its temples

Spend the day immersing yourself in Penang’s culture and temples. On a tour to the dramatic Kek Lok Si Temple, you’ll discover sacred statues and a towering seven-story pagoda that blends Chinese, Thai, and Burmese architectural styles. Your private guide and interpreter will help unravel the fascinating artwork of each destination, including the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple and the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, which was built in 1803 and is the island’s oldest Burmese temple. Lunch is at a local restaurant, which will give you another taste of the diversity of Asian cuisines and flavors.

Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Odyssey departs for Thailand. Head to the sun deck or observation lounge to take in the views.

Included Feature:

  • Private guided Penang temple and cultural tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 31:

Welcome to blissful Phuket

Today you’re in Thailand’s paradisiacal island of Phuket, known for its beaches, clear turquoise waters, and rugged karst islands. Disembark the Ocean Odyssey for a half-day excursion that begins with a drive along the Phuket coastline past Karon Beach and Kata Beach to a viewpoint where you can see the island’s three most beautiful beaches.

You’ll continue to Promthep Cape at Phuket’s southernmost point for optimal viewpoints of the coastline, then drive by Rawai Beach and stop at a cashew nut factory to see how cashews are grown and processed. Then it’s on to Old Phuket, where you’ll view the charming Sino-Portuguese "shop houses" that reflect the architecture of people who arrived here years ago during the region’s tin mining boom.

After lunch on board, the afternoon is at your leisure to unwind on Phuket’s blissful beaches or work with the Concierge to plan something exciting — a speedboat exploration of nearby islands, perhaps, or even a relaxing game of golf.

Included Feature:

  • Phuket sightseeing excursion

Active Feature:

  • Swimming, snorkeling, or water sports on Phuket’s beaches

Scenic Sailing:

  • You’ll pass several sand-fringed islets on your way to Phuket, giving you a taste of what’s to come

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 32:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way toward India. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge in the swimming pool, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are cooking just for you!

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 33:

Port Blair’s beauty and history

At the heart of the Andaman archipelago off India’s east coast is Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Situated in the Bay of Bengal, Port Blair may be a little town but one rich in history — and beauty. Not only was the town once home to a penal colony that housed the most dangerous convicts, as well as political prisoners, but it’s named in honor of Archibald Blair of the East India Company, the prominent trading enterprise.

On a tour, you’ll explore Port Blair and visit the Samudrika Marine Museum — with its display of about 350 species of sea life and rare coral varieties, the museum reflects the colossal marine wealth submerged in the surrounding waters. A visit to the Anthropological Museum showcases the tribal life of the local islands and, over at the Cellular Jail, constructed by the British in 1906, you’ll hear about the stark history of this three-storied prison. Now a National Memorial, the jail houses a spectacular sound and light show, as well as a museum and art gallery. This sobering tour also reveals the small cells that once held captive 698 solitary prisoners, the gallows, the death house, and the different implements used by the British to torture inmates.

Afterward, visit the Aberdeen Bazaar for shopping, eating, and a glimpse of local life before lunch on board the Ocean Odyssey. After, enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Port Blair highlights tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAYS 34-35:

Enjoy relaxing days at sea

As you set off for Sri Lanka, you’ll spend two days at sea. During this time, you’ll hear a lecture about Sri Lanka that will prepare you for your time on shore; you can also use this time to mingle with travelers, use the onboard amenities, write home to loved ones, deepen your tan at the pool, read, and more. Your days in Sri Lanka will be filled with discoveries, so think of these sea days as necessary downtime before the excitement ahead.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Sri Lanka

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 36:

An unforgettable day seeking Sri Lankan wildlife

After two days at sea, you’ll break from the Ocean Odyssey for one night and head inland on a special excursion that will be a highlight of this journey. We’ve designed these next few days to immerse you in Sri Lankan wildlife and culture — a true Vantage exclusive!

You’re in Trincomalee (“Trinco”), Sri Lanka, today — a city of unparalleled history and beauty. Trinco is thought to be an important sight in several Hindu texts, but its white sand beaches are a different kind of spiritual sight.

However, wildlife is the buzzword of the day with a visit to the Minneriya National Park, part of the region’s “elephant corridor,” home to the largest known meeting place of Asian elephants in the world. These gentle giants can be seen here year-round as well as the purple-faced langur and toque macaque, the park’s endemic monkeys. Don’t forget your camera and your GoPro to document everything!

After lunch in a local restaurant, you'll spend the afternoon learning about Sri Lanka’s most famous export — Ceylon tea — at a local tea plantation. Amid endless tea fields, workers expertly handpick tea leaves before sending them to be processed into the fragrant, flavorful beverage drunk by millions around the world. You’ll get to sample a few brews during your tour and get a better understanding of different grades of tea.

After a rewarding day, you'll enjoy a much-deserved rest at your five-star resort, the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana, which was built on a replica of the foundations of the nearby Ritigala ruins, an ancient palace-turned-monastery. Here, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner at the hotel tonight.


Vantage Exclusives:

  • Overnight inland adventure with elephant safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Visit a Ceylon tea plantation

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 37:

Sigiriya stone fortress and dazzling Sri Lankan show

After breakfast at the hotel, a morning excursion leads you to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress that’s over 200 meters high and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it's one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. During his rule from 473 to 495 CE, King Kasyapa built his royal palace at the top of Sigiriya, lavishly decorated with colorful frescoes. The palace went abandoned after his death, and was then used as a monastery until the 14th century. 

You'll then transfer to Colombo, enjoying lunch at a local restaurant en route. Tonight, enjoy dinner back on board the Ocean Odyssey followed by a colorful onboard Sri Lanka show!

Included Feature:

  • Visit Sigiriya rock fortress

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: Sri Lankan show

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 38:

Panoramic Colombo

Embark on a panoramic tour of Colombo this morning. Often billed as a “mini Dubai,” Sri Lanka’s largest city is home to Dutch-influenced architecture and towering skyscrapers, temples and tuk-tuks.

Join a lecture on South India and its colorful culture as the Ocean Odyssey departs Colombo. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and dinner on board.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic tour of Colombo

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on South Indian culture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 39:

Afternoon tour of eclectic Cochin and Kathakali dance performance

After breakfast and a morning at leisure, followed by lunch on board, you'll begin your discoveries of southern India, starting with Cochin. This city has a long history as a spice trading hub and became the heart of the Portuguese empire in India at the beginning of the 16th century, before it was subsequently conquered by the Dutch and British. Today, remnants of these empires remain, but Cochin still has a character all its own. You’ll discover this character on an afternoon city tour, which will take you to St. Francis Church as well as the Chinese fishing nets in Cochin Harbor. You'll return to the ship just in time for dinner. After dinner, enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance performance on board!

Included Feature:

  • Cochin city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: Traditional Kathakali dance performance

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 40:

Discovering the Alleppey backwaters

The Kerala backwaters are practically de rigueur for any adventure in southern India, and you’ll understand why as you begin your discoveries today. You’ll travel to the Alleppey region and board one of Kerala’s world-famous houseboats, taking in the peaceful scenery as you float on a vessel built to ply these waters. A traditional kerala lunch on the boat fuels the next leg of the adventure in Champakulum village, where you'll see firsthand what life is like on the rice farms and villages of the region. You’ll also visit St. Mary’s Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in India.

Late this afternoon, you’ll return to the ship for an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Odyssey leaves Cochin for Goa.

Included Feature:

  • Houseboat cruise along the Alleppey backwaters

Cultural Discovery:

  • Witness everyday life at a local village

Scenic Sailing:

  • Travel to the Alleppey region and board one of Kerala’s world-famous houseboats, taking in the peaceful scenery as you float on a vessel built to ply these waters

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 41:

Cruising to Mormugao

Relax with a day at sea today as the Ocean Odyssey nears Goa’s main port of Mormugao. Enjoy the weather on the sun deck, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or nap — these precious hours of downtime can be as luxuriously lazy as you like. 

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 42:

Your choice of tours in Goa: temples and spices or cathedrals of Goa

Goa is such much more than its golden beaches that cater to everyone from backpackers to hippies to sun-seekers. Explore Goa’s offerings with your choice of tours today:

The first option is visiting Goa’s magical Hindu temples, including Shri Mangueshi, while learning about how their distinctive structural design, spaciousness, and tranquil environment are different from most Indian temples. You’ll also visit a rustic spice farm, receiving a traditional welcome with aarti, garlands, and a welcome drink.

Or, discover Goa’s colorful history, including the heavy Portuguese influence, as you visit local cathedrals including the UNESCO-listed Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the remains of the Catholic missionary St. Francis Xavier, as well as the Se Cathedral. Here, your guide will lead you to the church’s Golden Bell, one of the largest bells in the city.

Head back to the ship for lunch as the ships sets sail for Mumbai. Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Feature:

  • Goa temples and spices tour or cathedrals of Goa tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 43:

Exploring India’s “Maximum City”

This morning you’ll head out on a city tour of Mumbai. Once known as Bombay, it is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India, not to mention its wealthiest city. You’ll see the best of it today as we ride along the famous Marine Drive. Arcing along the Arabian Sea, this highway (nicknamed the "Queen’s Necklace") is dotted with historic architecture, and its Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll get a sense of everyday Mumbai life as you pass Girgaum Chowpatty beach and the Dhobi Ghats, a 140-year-old, open-air facility where tons of laundry are washed in stone basins. Things get greener as you approach the exclusive Malabar Hill neighborhood, where you will see the terraced Hanging Gardens.

You’ll also visit the Gandhi Museum, where you’ll learn about the life and death of the man Indians call “Mahatma,” meaning great soul. It will be a wonderful prelude to your visit on Day 45 to Gandhi’s hometown, Porbandar. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, and afterward you’ll return to ship for an afternoon at leisure.

Included Features:

  • Mumbai city tour
  • Visit the Gandhi Museum

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 44:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Enjoy a full day to relax on board. Perhaps you’ll join a morning yoga class, read on the sun deck, or swim in the infinity pool. Later you can join friends for cocktails in the multilevel observation deck, or take a snooze while lounging by the pool. There are dozens of books you may borrow from our library, gifts to be purchased in our boutique, and fine art to admire in the gallery. Later in the day you will enjoy a port talk and a delectable dinner on board — our curated culinary program is sure to be yet another highlight of your Vantage journey.

In preparation for tomorrow’s call at Porbandar, an expert lecturer will provide a fascinating look at the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his impact on 20th-century Indian and world politics.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 45:

Tour coastal Porbandar, birthplace of Gandhi

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the ship docks in the coastal town of Porbandar in Gujarat state.

On a half-day city tour, you'll travel as the locals do aboard a small, three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxi. You’ll ride from the pier gate into town, passing local residences and perhaps spotting some of the endemic and migratory birds that are prolific here.

Visit the birthplace of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port. You will stop to see the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims walk the temple’s giant maze to be absolved of sins. Next, your tuk-tuk proceeds to Kirti Mandir, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It stands 79 feet high, one foot for each year of Gandhi’s life, and its design includes homages to six religions. Next door you’ll tour the home where Gandhi was born in 1869 and later lived with his wife. The adjoining building houses a prayer hall, a Gandhian library, and an excellent museum. After a visit to the lively local market, where you can pick up the brightly-colored textiles the region is famous for, continue to Bharat Mandir Hall. Admire the lovely gardens, huge marble map of India and colorful pillars decorated with bas-reliefs of Hindu heroes.

Return to the ship for lunch and a leisurely afternoon featuring an onboard lecture that puts today's discoveries into perspective.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Porbandar tour with a visit to the home of Gandhi

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Porbandar city tour with tuk-tuk ride
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 46:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Another relaxing day at sea gives you plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s luxurious amenities and onboard enrichment activities. Or indulge yourself with a soothing facial at the spa. Maybe you’ll meet friends for a poolside barbecue lunch, or watch a movie tonight under the stars at the outdoor theater space.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 47:

Begin your Oman exploration with a Mystical Muscat tour

Another delicious breakfast awaits you this morning, a perfect prelude to a truly magical day we have curated for you. 

This afternoon, you're welcomed to the nation of Oman, and its capital, Muscat, which has been an important port since the 1st century AD. Its history melds the influences of the indigenous Omani tribes as well as the Abassids, Portuguese, Ottomans, and Persians who once ruled Oman. Unlike the UAE capitals, which are all about glamour on a grand scale, Muscat is a gracious, whitewashed city wedged between the mountains and the sea, with few high rises. But that doesn’t mean Muscat lacks for impact, as you’ll see during this afternoon’s exploration.

We first head to the eye-popping Muttrah Souk, a sprawling labyrinth of shops and arcades beneath a timber roof. You’ll have time to ogle the dazzling gold jewelry, J-shaped khanjar daggers, white dishdasha robes, handmade slippers, silverware, Bedu jewelry, and precious oils, perfumes and ointments like frankincense and myrrh. More treasures await at the private Beit al Zubair Museum, whose collections include ethnographic artifacts, an exhibit of traditional Omani female attire, furniture, maps, and more. 

Before departing you’ll enjoy a nice walk around the Old Town area to get some photos of Fort Mirani, Fort Jalali, and the stately Al Alam Palace, a royal residence of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. 

After dinner, special guests come on board to engulf you in the culture of Oman. If you're wondering what it’s like to live here, you’ll hear about it firsthand from an Omani woman who will share her perspective on family life, native customs, and the changing role of women in contemporary Oman. Then, enjoy local Omani musicians and dancers who will come on board to provide some captivating folkloric entertainment.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Mystical Muscat tour
  • Explore the Old Town of Muscat

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Tour of Muttrah Souk
  • Lecture by an Omani woman about life in contemporary Oman
  • Evening onboard entertainment: Omani folk music and dance

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 48:

Marvel at the Grand Mosque and experience traditional Omani culture in Barkha and Nakhal

To mark the 30th year of his reign, the Sultan Qaboos gave the nation a spectacular modern jewel of a gift. The Grand Mosque. This morning after breakfast, you'll visit Oman’s national mosque, which was completed in 2001, and explore its many marvels, including the giant prayer hall which can hold 6,500 worshippers (and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier). The stunning carpet on the main floor covers 46,750 square feet, weighs 21 tons, and boasts 28 colors in varying shades. Between the main prayer hall, additional chambers, and outdoor plazas, the Grand Mosque can hold some 20,000 worshippers.

We then ride west of Muscat to investigate some of Oman’s rural traditions, beginning in the fishermen’s village of Barkha. Set on the Arabian Sea along a broad, park-lined corniche, Barkha is a traditional fishing village where Omanis come to enjoy the wide beach promenade, and some of the freshest fish in the Arab world.

You’ll see where Omanis get their seafood at the Al Seeb Fish Market, set right on the ocean so fishermen can unload the daily catch right on the ground. Locals come to purchase red mullet crabs, squid, skate, swordfish, and more, often foregoing bags and just grabbing their fish by the tail and carting it off in their hands! 

From here you’ll loop back southward to visit Nakhal village with its pre-Islamic Nakhal Fort, chiseled into a sheer rock. Nakhal Fort boasts imposing watchtowers and battlements, as well as the living quarters of the ruling wali, including many antique furnishings. Then, ride through date palm plantations watered by the Al Thowarah springs and an aflaj irrigation system. This ancient method uses gravity to channel water from underground — a system so ingenious, and so important to desert civilizations, that UNESCO has declared Oman’s aflaj a World Heritage Site. 

Before returning to your ship you’ll enjoy a lunch at an award-winning spa resort. The balance of the afternoon is free. 

Included Features:

  • Visit the Grand Mosque
  • Excursion to Al Thowarah hot springs and tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Visit a local fish market in Barkha
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 49:

Discover the tiny emirate nation of Fujairah

Add another notch to your travel belt when you step ashore to explore a destination that most travelers have never even heard of. Fujairah is one of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one whose pretty coastline, called the Shamaliyah, does not lie on the Persian Gulf. Within its bounds lies the town of Kalba, an exclave of another emirate, Sharjah. You’ll explore both on this morning’s included Fujairah Past and Present tour.

Disembarking in Fujairah, you’ll travel beyond the city to serene Kalba, and continue south until you reach Khor Kalba. Set in a beautiful tidal estuary, it is Arabia’s oldest and largest mangrove swamp and home to a variety of rare and migratory birds.

Returning to the city, you’ll step back in time at Fujairah Heritage Village. Surrounded by a wall and watchtowers, the site carefully recreates 16th-century Arabian village life and features models of traditional homes, antique household items, and tools. Next is the Fujairah Museum, home to a magnificent collection of period weapons, traditional costumes and artifacts excavated from sites around the eastern coast. You’ll make a photo stop at the renovated Old Fort of Fujairah, which boasts lovely views of the village below and surrounding date plantations.

After lunch on board the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll set sail for the Persian Gulf and Abu Dhabi. Leaving Fujairah, you’ll circle Oman’s mountain-flanked Musandam Peninsula, with glorious views of Jebel al-Harim or “Mountain of Women,” its highest peak.

Another onboard lecture will offer more context into your discoveries into the United Arab Emirates.

Included Feature:

  • Fujairah Past & Present tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Demonstration of local traditions at Fujairah Heritage Village
  • Lecture about the United Arab Emirates

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 50:

Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s cultural mecca

Enjoy breakfast and an informative onboard lecture as the Ocean Odyssey offers some magnificent views as it arrives into Abu Dhabi just after lunchtime. Head up to the multilevel lounge with your complimentary binoculars and your camera! Witness the beauty of expedition cruising at its finest as the city unfolds along the coast.

Opening its own branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim were just the capstones to the already solid foundation of art and culture that the emirate nation of Abu Dhabi has built, and you'll discover this capital city more on a half-day city tour. First on today’s agenda is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, or the Grand Mosque, featuring its trademark bulbous domes. The mosque is said to “unite the world” because it purposefully incorporates materials and design motifs from scores of countries. The prayer hall boasts 96 marble columns inlaid with mother of pearl. There is a qibla wall where the 99 names of God are written in elegant Kufic calligraphy, whose swirls and arabesques are highlighted by fiber optic lighting. As you behold these jaw-dropping wonders, it’s easy to see why the mosque is considered one of the most important modern architectural treasures in the Arabic world.

Next you’ll learn about another foundation of Emirati life, and that is falconry. These royal birds are still revered for their grace and hunting prowess. You’ll visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, a unique avian veterinary center that treats about 6,000 of these prized raptors every year. You’ll learn about the falcon’s importance in Emirate culture, as well as the other veterinary programs offered here, including a shelter for the rare Saluki breed of dogs.

Enjoy a relaxing evening with onboard entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
  • Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 51:

Explore traditional Emirates life

The modern glitter of Abu Dhabi notwithstanding, there is a concerted effort being made here to preserve traditional culture, as you’ll see on this morning’s tour.

Driving along the corniche past the theme parks of Yas Island, you’ll come to the Emirates Heritage Village, a re-creation of an oasis town where locals demonstrate traditional crafts like tannery, pottery, glass-blowing and swordsmithing. You’ll see a barasti house, which captures the breeze via strategically-placed palm fronds; goat hair tents; and a section where camels are traded. There is also a campfire area and workshops where traditional craftsmen demonstrate their skills.

Before leaving Abu Dhabi you’ll get a last, terrific look at it from the 74th-floor Observation Deck of the Etihad Towers. These five sleek, curved skyscrapers preside over Abu Dhabi with sweeping views of the islands and Arabian Gulf. The rest of your day is free for you to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps you’ll go for a stroll in the Umm al Emarat Park, a manicured botanical garden with its own mini petting zoo. Shop for designer duds at the Marina Mall. Or take high tea at the massive Emirati Palace, a luxury hotel that is one of the city’s most important architectural landmarks.

You’ll return for dinner on board and a good night's sleep as you look forward to tomorrow's explorations of Qatar.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Tour the Emirates Heritage Village
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 52:

Discover Qatar, the richest nation on earth

One look at the skyline of Doha, Qatar’s capital, and you may wonder if you’ve arrived on another planet. There are buildings shaped like spires, ones that lean apart precariously, ones that look like fluttering lace or rising horseshoes, and the famous QIPCO Tower, which resembles a steel tornado. You’ll see the highlights of this striking city on this morning’s tour.

Start at the Pearl-Qatar and Marina, a stunning man-made island of luxury homes, parks, and marinas. It resembles a string of pearls and has two perfectly circular bays that embrace two pearl-like islets. The Oyster and Pearl Fountain commemorates the traditional Qatari pearling industry that sustained the nation before the discovery of oil. At the Katara Cultural Village you’ll adore the sparkling facilities where many artistic and creative institutions have made new homes. There is an open-air theater, opera house, multipurpose cinema, conference halls, beaches and more. You’ll have time to take a few photos when we stop along the corniche near the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by I. M. Pei, it is a stunning modern take on the ancient Islamic fortress based on striking geometric designs, and is set on its own man-made island.

Visit the popular Souq Waqif, a 100-year-old marketplace where you can buy anything from spices to scimitars, baubles to bridal gowns. You’ll also take a short guided walk through a section of the souk that is devoted entirely to falcons. Here, enthusiasts come to buy birds and accessories for them.

Enjoy lunch back on board, with the afternoon free for further exploration on your own. You’ll return to the ship this evening for dinner as we set off for Dubai. Keep an eye out for a postcard-perfect view of the evening sun outlining Doha’s futuristic skyline.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Doha city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the 100-year-old Souq Waqif
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 53:

Discover Dubai, the miracle of the Emirates

Until the 1970s, Dubai was a small fishing and trading port. Today, Dubai is the business capital of the UAE, a juggernaut of commerce and a city of superlatives where things are made to be the biggest, fastest, and best. You’ll get a feel for it during this morning’s panoramic tour.

Amazing architecture, blazing white beaches and clear turquoise lagoons and creeks make Dubai a delight for the eyes. You’ll see downtown, the city's marina, and you'll also view the Frame, a giant, picture-frame shaped structure, and some of the man-made luxury islands that float in the Persian Gulf, such as Palm Jumeirah, shaped like a palm tree. It’s studded with elegant villas, marinas, parks, and malls where you may stop to browse for interesting jewelry, artwork, Islamic calligraphy, and more.

You’ll have time to enjoy lunch on your own, with lunch money provided in the local currency, before having the afternoon to explore the city at your leisure. Remember, your Program Manager is available to offer tips and recommendations!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day modern Dubai city tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 54:

Dhow cruise to Oman’s Musandam Fjords and Telegraph Island

After breakfast you’ll disembark in Khasab, Oman, to see something you most likely have never imagined to find in this part of the world . . .

A wooden dhow awaits to take you along the Straits of Hormuz to a spectacular, fjord-fringed region that is known as the “Norway of Arabia.” The Musandam Peninsula is carved by a series of inlets called khors, lined by mountainous jebels and sheer cliffs that plummet into the turquoise waters below. You may have an escort of seabirds or dolphins as we sail into the awesome Khor Al Sham, heading towards Telegraph Island, so-called for the telegraph cables that the British laid here in 1864. Bring your bathing suit in case you want to go for a swim in the clear cool waters, or just sit back with an iced tea as you admire the backdrop of 2,000-foot Al-Hajar Mountains rising in the distance.

You'll return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Odyssey sets sail — grab a book and head to the sun deck for the ultimate relaxation, or perhaps you'll get in a workout at the gym.

Later, head to the lounge for an illuminating talk from the onboard lecturer before dinner on board. 

Included Feature:

  • Dhow cruise to Musandam fjords and Telegraph Island

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • You may have an escort of seabirds or dolphins as we sail into the awesome Khor Al Sham, heading toward Telegraph Island

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 55:

Discover Oman’s maritime heritage in Sur

Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as you sail to Sur, on the Gulf of Oman, arriving in the early afternoon. Join the onboard lecturer for another scintillating talk highlighting the culture and history of your destinations. 

After lunch, you will embark on a tour of ancient Sur, first stopping along the way to see hilltop Sunaysilah Fort, a square castle with round watchtowers that was constructed in 1648. It overlooks Sur below and the gulf to the east.

Chances are Sinbad the Sailor made most of his seven fantastical voyages aboard a wooden dhow made right here in Sur, which has been a premier shipbuilding center for nearly 2,000 years. An example of the city’s shipbuilding prowess is the Fatah al Khair, a restored, 70-year-old dhow that weighs 220 tons and now stands on dry land as a monument. It was made by hand without nails, using handmade ropes to shore up the joints. Many dhows are still made this way and you will see several under construction as you tour the shipyard. Before heading back to the ship you’ll also enjoy a walk around the old fishing village of Al Ayjah, with its lighthouse, fort, and old merchant houses with intricately carved doors.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Sur city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Lecture on Oman
  • Tour of a dhow-making shipyard in Sur

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 56:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Take a full day to relax on board. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a workout in the gym, followed by a swim in the infinity pool. Relax with a cocktail in the multilevel lounge, or take in the expansive sea views from your very own balcony. Feel like browsing? There are dozens of books you may borrow from our library, or get a massage or facial treatment at the spa. Hear another eye-opening discussion with our guest lecturer and, later, welcome a live performance onboard.

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 57:

In the Land of Frankincense: Khor Rori or the Frankincense Trail, your choice of included tours

Spend the morning sailing towards Salalah, enjoying breakfast on board. Another informative talk with the lecturer will contextualize your discoveries today. 

Salalah is the capital of Dhofar province and has been long associated with the production and trade of frankincense. This aromatic resin of the native boswellia sacra tree has been prized for centuries for its medicinal and fragrant properties. Several sites around Salalah were important to the incense trade that began flourishing between the Middle East, Mediterranean, India, and China around the 4th century BC. For that reason, they are collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site called The Land of Frankincense. After lunch on board you’ll have a choice of two included sightseeing tours showcasing different aspects of it. Both tours conclude at the Haffa souk, but begin as follows:

Khor Rori in East Salalah begins with a visit to the pretty white fishing village of Taqah, famous for the dried sardines produced here. Visit Taqah Castle, the former governor’s residence that is filled with art and household artifacts reflecting the traditional Omani way of life. From here you’ll visit the ancient ruins of Sumhuram, also known as Khor Rori, the name of the freshwater lagoon that was Sumhuram’s vital link to the sea. The ruins here include smooth limestone blocks that once lined the city’s gate, fort, well, and storage rooms.

The Frankincense Trail Tour begins with a visit to Nabi Ayoub. It is reputed to be the tomb of the biblical Job, who is considered a prophet in Islam and is also revered for his patience and devotion to God. It is set in the lush green mountains of the Salalah plains, a land of plantations. You’ll stop to taste a fresh coconut water drink at one of the fruit stalls lining the road. Also included is a visit to the Museum of the Frankincense Land at Al Baleed Archaeological Park. 

If you’re wondering what frankincense smells like, you’ll find out when both tours conclude with a visit to the old Haffa souk, the best and largest in town. The scent of frankincense fills the air as you wander among the many colorful shops selling different grades of the resin, essential oils, decorative burners, jewelry, handicrafts, and more. Riding back to the ship you’ll have a photo stop at Salalah Sultan Qaboos Mosque as well.

You'll return from your half-day tour in time to embark the ship for dinner on board as the ship departs Salalah.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to East Salalah or The Frankincense Trail

Cultural Discoveries:

  • East Salalah tour: Taqah Castle, visit to local souk (market)
  • or
    Frankincense Trail: Taste of fresh coconut water during a visit to the city's plantations, visit to Frankincense Museum
  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Prepare to be amazed as Oman’s dramatic, rocky coastline opens up to Salalah’s white sand beaches

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAYS 58-61:

Cruising the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea

Enjoy the next few days relaxing on board your floating resort at sea. This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some spa treatments, do laps in the infinity pool, watch a movie under a canopy of stars on the sun deck, or meet friends for drinks in the lounge. But that’s just the start.

During your time on board there will be an ongoing schedule of enrichment programs featuring expert lectures on a variety of topics relevant to your exploration, classes, games, and more. Your days ahead will be filled with plenty of discoveries, so think of these sea days as necessary downtime before the excitement to come. 

Vantage Onboard Enrichment:

  • Expert lectures on various topics
  • Activity classes and games
  • Onboard musician

Included Meals:

4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners

DAY 62:

Arrive in the Land of Pharaohs

Today you will continue cruising through the Red Sea, arriving around dinner at Safaga.

Prepare for your overnight journey tomorrow into Egypt’s pharaonic past as our expert lecturer delivers a fascinating talk on ancient Egyptian culture.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on ancient Egyptian culture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 63:

Overnight stay in Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes

You’ll get an early start as we ride across the desert to Luxor, the modern city that straddles the Nile and was once the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. Inhabited since about 3200 BC, it is still defined by its antique treasures, which include the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the vast Necropolis of Thebes. Together, they comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will see them all today, with an expert Egyptologist to guide you.

As you approach Luxor you will enter the Necropolis and explore its most famous section, the Valley of the Kings. Here, for some 500 years, more than 60 pharaohs' temples and burial chambers were cut deep into imposing rock cliffs, decorated with elaborate hieroglyphics, and filled with treasures and royal household implements. You’ll enter some of these magnificent tombs, including those of the powerful King Ramses and the famous boy-king Tutankhamun. You’ll also visit the Valley of the Queens, where archaeologists have unearthed more than 90 tombs of pharaohs’ wives and children.

Perhaps the most beautiful monument of all is the elegant Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahri. Carved directly into a rock cliff, it is flanked by symmetrical, colonnaded wings and entered via a long, terraced processional walkway. Hatshepsut was Egypt’s longest-reigning female pharaoh, whose mostly peaceful rule was characterized by prosperity, prolific building, and the establishment of new trade routes. She is considered one of Egypt’s most successful rulers. Leaving the Necropolis you’ll stop at the famous Colossi of Memnon, two gigantic sandstone statues that served as sentries before the (now destroyed) tomb of Amenhotep III. Legend has ascribed oracular powers to them and they have been known to emit a curious whistling or moaning sound under certain conditions. From here you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, after which we'll check into our hotel and enjoy a respite before the tour continues this evening. 

Achieve another travel milestone this evening when you explore the Temple of Karnak, the world’s second-largest religious structure. Built over 2,000 years, it is still being excavated and of its four known sections, only one is open to the public and that alone encompasses some 61 acres of temples, avenues, obelisks, pylons, sanctuaries, lakes and more. Among its highlights is the Great Hypostyle Hall, supported by a forest of 134 79-foot-high columns set in 16 rows. 

We'll have dinner before learning about the history of Karnak, and the fascinating legends of the kings, queens, gods, and goddesses it was dedicated to, at tonight's spectacular sound and light show. You’ll wander among the beautifully illuminated temple grounds and then sit beside the Sacred Lake as the past comes alive through light, music, story, and imagery.

After, you'll enjoy an evening off the ship as you check into your hotel and enjoy dinner there. 

Included Features:

  • Guided tour of the Valley of Kings and Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • Visit the Temple of Karnak

Cultural Discovery:

  • Karnak sound and light show

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 64:

Luxor Temple, travel overland to meet the Ocean Odyssey

Check out of the hotel after breakfast this morning, and then head to the fascinating Luxor Temple.

More compact than Karnak, Luxor was mainly built by Amenhotep III and the great Ramses II, but also boasts shrines built by Tutankhamun and Greece’s Alexander the Great. Later it served as a Roman legionnaire fortress. Luxor was once connected to Karnak by a long, ceremonial avenue lined with sphinxes, many of which still stand.

After exploring the temple you’ll enjoy lunch en route while traveling overland back to our ship, which awaits in the seaside resort of Hurghada. This evening you will be our dinner guest at the Alf Leila wa Leila, and enjoy its popular Fantasia 1001 extravaganza. Set in a grand theater, this celebration of Egyptian culture covers thousands of years of history through elaborate costumes, music, dance, lights, water works, acrobatics and more. There’s even a display of whirling dervishes and Bedouin horsemanship!

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Luxor Temple

Cultural Discovery:

  • Dinner at Alf Leila wa Leila with Fantasia 1001 Egyptian cultural show

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 65:

Eilat Israel Kibbutz experience or Dolphin Reef

Enjoy breakfast this morning as you sail through the Red Sea. Another interesting lecture preludes lunch on board today. 

Cruising into the Gulf of Aqaba, you’ll disembark at Eilat, the Israeli seaside resort known worldwide for its desert beauty, clear waters, and excellent diving and snorkeling. Here, you'll choose between two afternoon sightseeing tours.

Your Kibbutz Yotvata & Hai Bar Safari option takes you into the Negev Desert and the Arava Valley’s Yotvata Hai-Bar animal reserve. Here, endangered and regionally extinct species are being bred and reintroduced into their native habitat. You might see Arabian oryxes, Nubian ibexes, red-necked ostriches, wild asses, Arabian leopards, griffon vultures and more. Next, ride to Kibbutz Yotvata and experience a slice of life one of the communal settlements that was vital to the formation of modern Israel. Its main industry is a dairy that is famous around Israel for its high-quality yogurt, milk, and ice cream, which you'll get to sample.

If swimming with dolphins is on your bucket list, choose our Dolphin Reef option. You’ll ride to a secluded, horseshoe-shaped lagoon where bottlenose dolphins maintain their daily routine of hunting, playing, courting, and socializing. They are friendly and curious about humans, and you can swim and snorkel with them or watch their antics from various observation piers and platforms. Other denizens of this turquoise lagoon include angelfish, cuttlefish, butterflyfish, and blue- or black-spotted stingrays.

You’ll be back on board in time for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Included Feature:

  • Israel Kibbutz experience or swimming and snorkeling at Dolphin Reef

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Morning sailing into the Gulf of Aqaba

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 66:

Journey to the Lost City of Petra and Aqaba

This morning, you’ll accomplish yet another travel milestone. It begins as you step foot in historic Aqaba, where T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) led local Bedouin tribesmen in a historic revolt against their Turkish occupiers. Then, crossing the beautiful desert wadis, you will come to the town of Wadi Musa, home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra that was built by the Nabataen civilization around 300 BC.

Imagine walking along the Siq, a winding, sandy pathway flanked by red rock walls so high and curvy, they nearly block the sky. Suddenly, you approach a large, keyhole-shaped opening that reveals a broad plaza and Al Khazneh, the elaborately carved, tiered Treasury building hewn into a cliff wall. Like the other ruins you will see here in Petra its color shifts from fiery red to soft coral to amber gold depending on the light. In addition to a guided tour of the ruins, you will enjoy an included lunch.

Included Feature:

  • Guided tour of Petra

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 67:

Dramatic landscapes and religious heritage of Sharm El Sheikh

Catch the sunrise from the ship's multilevel observation lounge before enjoying breakfast on board as the Ocean Odyssey arrives in Egypt. Situated near the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh is a seaside desert oasis for Egyptians and travelers alike. Its waters are renowned for their diverse marine life and crystalline visibility. Jacques Cousteau called it a “corridor of marvels” and, depending on conditions and timing, you may have time to take out one of the ship’s kayaks or snorkeling equipment and see this underwater world for yourself. But first, you can join an included morning tour. Visit the magnificent Mustafa Sheikh Mosque with its soaring minarets flanking an impressive dome and marble façade. Marvel at the biblical artwork of the Coptic Orthodox Church, spiritual home to the largest Christian denomination in Egypt. After a stop at Soho Square, Sharm’s modern entertainment and shopping complex, and a perusal of the vibrant, energetic market, return to the ship in time for lunch.

Your afternoon is at leisure in Sharm El Sheikh, or perhaps you'll explore the spectacular coral reef and colorful fish here. If you're looking for something more adventurous, your onboard Concierge can help you set up an excursion. A port talk lets you know what to expect during our upcoming crossing of the astonishing Suez Canal.

Included Feature:

  •   Guided tour of Sharm El Sheikh

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Enjoy the stunning sight of the Red Sea lapping against shores of desert sand as you depart Sharm El Sheikh and circle the Sinai Peninsula

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAYS 68-69:

Crossing the Suez Canal

Prepare yourself for today's travel milestone, and settle in on the sun deck as you traverse the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea.

While at sea, an onboard lecturer will offer poignant lectures on the Suez Canal and the history of the region. You'll also listen to an onboard piano player.

These two days provide the perfect opportunity to savor the easy pace and camaraderie that small ship cruising affords. Bring binoculars for a closer view of the desert hills and sands unfolding all around while our inviting lounge area and elegant common spaces offer ideal settings to get to know your fellow adventurers. A port talk will give you a glimpse of what’s ahead once you reach the Mediterranean.

During your cruising, take advantage of your ship’s many amenities, and see how days on board can be just as exciting as days offshore. Perhaps enjoy a spa treatment, relax by the infinity pool, curl up with a book on deck, or pop into the boutique for any items you may need. Your meals will bring a taste of Egypt to your experience.

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Lecture on the Suez Canal
  • Lecture on the history of the Sinai Peninsula

Scenic Sailing:

  • In between your informative onboard lectures, join your fellow adventurers at the inviting lounge areas and use your included binoculars to get a closer view of the desert hills and sands unfolding all around

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 70:

Uncover a biblical past from Haifa

Arrive in Haifa this morning, the picturesque northern Israeli port in the shadow of Mt. Carmel. Today’s full-day tour features many places from the life of Jesus. First head to Nazareth, where Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph after his birth. Marvel at the mosaic-filled Basilica of the Annunciation. Next, view the Wedding Church where Jesus turned water to wine. In the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, see the ancient synagogue where Jesus used to teach. After a local St. Peter’s fish lunch, embark a boat to cross the legendary Sea of Galilee, believed to be where Jesus walked on water. Then visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the fishes, and the Mount of the Beatitudes, topped by the stunning church with its octagonal dome representing the 8 Beatitudes.

Today’s port talk prepares you for the next unforgettable stop, Ashdod.

Included Features:

  • Full-day Galilee excursion
  • Visit Tabgha and the Mount of the Beatitudes

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 71:

Your choice of full-day tours in Israel

Arrive in Ashdod, one of the oldest cities in the world, this morning. Then, choose your Israel experience during one of our included tours, ideal for travelers who have visited Israel before and may be looking for new opportunities. Join a full-day tour to Jerusalem, starting at the Mount of Olives so you can take in the ancient city from a breathtaking viewpoint. Proceed to the Gardens of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion and whose olive trees may date back as far as Christ. After stopping to see the Church of all Nations, enter the UNESCO-listed Old City for an unforgettable walking tour that includes the Western Wall. After lunch, browse the Arab Bazaar, then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of Jesus’ tomb.

Alternately, choose to spend the day on a full-day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea, with an included lunch. Begin at the famed desert fortress where a band of Jewish rebels chose the ultimate act of resistance against a siege by Roman soldiers. A short cable car ride to the top will show you the full scope of the desert and Dead Sea below. Then head down to its famously curative salt waters, where you can test how buoyant they really are. (Don’t forget your swimsuit!)

Enjoy a pre-dinner and port talk that will fill you on what’s happening tomorrow.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Jerusalem or to Masada and the Dead Sea

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 72:

Witnessing the history and traditions of Cyprus with your choice of tours

After breakfast, learn more about Cyprus during an onboard lecture as we sail toward this fascinating island. The people of this island country enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, dramatic coastal vistas, the pine-wooded Troodos Mountains, and some of the finest ancient mosaics in the world. You will join them today as you choose from two included afternoon tours.

During a half-day tour to Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural and cultural treasures, stop to view Aphrodite’s Rock, said to be the spot from where the goddess of love and beauty rose from the sea. Visit the Chrysopolitissa Church, built on the remains of a Byzantine basilica, and St. Paul’s Pillar. At the Paphos Archaeological Park, view the remarkably preserved floor mosaics at the Houses of Dionysos, Aion, and Theseus. Enjoy free time to take in the relaxed atmosphere at the Harbor of Paphos.

Or, you may choose a half-day tour to the UNESCO-listed traditional village of Choirokoitia, where our local friend Petros reveals the secrets behind making Halloumi and Anari cheeses at his home. Settle in for a visit and delightful tasting of farm-fresh cheeses with honey, olives, home-baked bread, and salad. Petros will also show you how he weaves the island’s distinctive baskets. After a walk around the village, enjoy a scenic coastal drive back to the ship.

The rest of your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, after our port talk, some Cypriot performers join us on board for a lively folklore show.

Included Feature:

  •  Half-day tour of Phaphos or Choirokoitia

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment: Cypriot folklore show

Scenic Sailing:

  • You may also wish to relax on the deck and enjoy the view as Limassol’s sun-kissed coast appears on the horizon

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 73:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way into the fabled waters of the Aegean Sea. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge in the swimming pool, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine the chefs are creating just for you!

Today’s onboard lecture provides more fascinating context to this legendary part of the Mediterranean. And this evening’s port talk previews your next incredible destination — the remarkable island of Rhodes.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 74:

Rhodes, island of the Knights of St. John

Spend this morning exploring Rhodes, Europe’s largest inhabited medieval town. See the old port of Mandraki. Traverse the heights of Agios Stefanos, or Monte Smith, for sweeping views. In the Old Town, visit the vast Grand Masters Palace, home to the Knights of St. John crusaders, and stop by the Archaeological Museum, once the Knights’ hospital. If you wish, you may linger on your own to explore more of this remarkable enclave of medieval treasures, perhaps strolling the cobbled Street of the Knights. 

Back on board, learn more about the rich history that has shaped the Aegean. And though nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking sights of our next destination, Ephesus, our port talk will try!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Rhodes

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 75:

The rich biblical past of Ephesus

Discover the historical country of Turkey today. Step into the ancient past during a half-day visit to Ephesus, once the most important trading center in the Aegean. These breathtaking ruins are steeped in biblical history, as you will learn during a guided stroll down the Arcadian Way, once lined with colonnaded buildings and adorned with mosaics. Pass the impressive amphitheater and marvel at the towering façade of the Library of Celsus. This third largest library in the ancient world was built to house 12,000 parchment scrolls. You will also view the Temples of Hadrian and Diana before returning to the ship for lunch. 

This afternoon you’ll enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi, which offers great walks, restaurants, and shops. 

Back on board, there’ll be ample opportunities to immerse yourself in Turkish culture. Get into the rhythms of traditional song and dance during a performance by locals. Gain more insight into the famous flavors of this region when you enjoy a lecture on Turkish cuisine. And savor the creations of a Turkish master chef, who we have invited into the kitchen to prepare your mouthwatering dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day historical tour of Ephesus

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Dinner prepared by a Turkish master chef

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 76:

Breathtaking Mykonos

Mykonos is big on discovery and beauty, and is renowned for its pure-white houses, tidy churches with blue domes, charming windmills, and pristine beaches. See what captivated Jackie Onassis and other celebrity yachters during a driving tour to some of its most stunning beaches — Agios Ioannis, Ornos, Kalafatis, and Agia Anna. 

Then, visit the magnificent white-washed village of Ano Mera. After stopping at its unique 1542 Panagia Tourliani Monastery, enjoy a tasty bite and a sip or two of ouzo in the square. A guided walking tour reveals the narrow passages and cobbled lanes of Mykonos before you return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. You can relax in Mykonos on your own, perhaps exploring by bike or arranging a 4x4 rental with your onboard Concierge.

Your day is further enlightened by another onboard lecture this afternoon, followed this evening by some fun onboard entertainment. Today’s port talk prepares you for the wonders of Santorini, tomorrow’s beguiling destination.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Mykonos scenic drive & walking tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 77:

Be dazzled by Santorini and visit the archaeological site Akrotiri

Santorini has been called the most magnificent of the Greek Isles. With its soaring cliffs tumbling into turquoise waters, you’re sure to agree. You will tender ashore and take a scenic drive to the ancient site of Akrotiri, a Minoan village frozen in time by the ash of a devastating volcanic eruption. This wonder has been compared to Pompeii both for its fate and for its incredible preservation. Explore its beauty with a guide, then continue to the charming clifftop village of Oia. This vision of whitewashed and pastel houses clinging to dark volcanic rock was once home to wealthy seafarers. Its narrow streets are a paradise for walkers, as you will experience firsthand. Then, move on to Fira, perched high over the Aegean on more cliffs. You many explore here on your own and return to the ship at leisure via a dramatic cable car and your waiting tender. 

This afternoon, an onboard lecturer adds more enlightenment to your knowledge of the Aegean. Later, a port talk fills you in on what you can expect from our visit to the Cradle of Civilization — Athens. Savor your final dinner on board, with ample options of locally inspired cuisine.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Akrotiri and Oia

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Savor dinner on board, with ample options of locally inspired cuisine and a stunning last view of Santorini as we navigate past sheer cliffs and the volcanic island of Nea Kameni

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 78:

Behold the classical wonders of Athens

Arrive in Piraeus this morning and disembark for a thrilling tour of Athens, the sophisticated capital of Greece where mythology and ancient history come alive. You’ll visit the iconic Acropolis, where it was said that Poseidon and Athena fought over who would be patron of the city. This was the architectural pinnacle of Athens, crowned by its breathtaking Parthenon. You’ll also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, and the Presidential Palace. Along the famed Panepistimiou Avenue, pass the Catholic Cathedral, Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library. Enjoy lunch on your own with provided money in the local currency. Perhaps you’ll seek out a restaurant in the charming Plaka district, nestled at the foot of Acropolis Hill, and then enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Athens panoramic walking tour, including the Acropolis

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 79:

Spend the day in ancient Delphi

This morning, enjoy scenic sailing through the Corinth Canal as we dock on Greece's mainland coast at Itea, enjoying lunch and an onboard lecture before heading to nearby UNESCO-listed Delphi. Once known as the center of the world by ancient Greek mythologists, Delphi has been revered as a hotspot of ancient Greek culture and archeology for centuries, and you'll see its highlights today, including a visit to the onsite museum.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Delphi

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture on Greek mythology

Scenic Sailing:

  • Enjoy beautiful views through the Corinth Canal

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 80:

See the birthplace of the Olympics

This morning, we’ll sail into Katakolon and enjoy scenic drives through the villages of Peloponnese. Then, you'll have a full day where the ancient Olympic Games originated — Olympia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by a natural setting of beauty and serenity, the archeological site dates back to the 10th century B.C., where it first became a sanctuary for the gods and a place to worship Zeus. Alongside temples, there are remains of various sporting venues from the festive games that began in 776 BC.

In the afternoon, you'll be delighted to join a traditional Greek lunch at the Magna Grecia, a family-owned Greek agriturismo farm. After a guided tour, sample its homemade wine and olive oils while being regaled with local entertainment to boot.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Olympia

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit to Magna Grecia agriturismo farm for lunch, wine and olive oil tasting, and local entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 81:

Spend the day in vibrant Corfu

Enjoy a splendid day on the scenic island of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with Venetian inspiration and a lively local lifestyle. You'll have the opportunity to explore Corfu's east side, full of traditional bars, restaurants, and shops framed by winding alleyways.

During your time in Corfu, you'll indulge in a tour of one of its most famed attractions — the elegant Achilleion Palace. Dating back to 1890, this property was the brainchild of Empress Elizabeth of Austria (also known as Sisi), who was fond of the island and visited often. Each floor is adorned with lavish decor, including bronze and stone statues of fabled Greek gods in the palace and the surrounding gardens.

After your tour, enjoy lunch back on board and a relaxing afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Scenic sailing in Corfu
  • Tour of Achilleion Palace

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture on olive production

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 82:

Tour Kotor and the UNESCO surrounding bay

This morning you'll experience the Bay of Kotor, about which the poet Lord Byron wrote, “The Bay of Kotor, a submerged river canyon surrounded by dramatic rising mountain cliffs, is the jewel of the coast of Montenegro.” Tucked away at the head of the bay is the town of Kotor featuring intriguing medieval fortifications. Enjoy scenic sailing in the morning before you disembark. Here, you’ll learn the town's history — which is believed to stretch back as far as the first century — while you walk the charming tangle of Old World streets. The city’s walls stretch up more than 800 feet from sea level to the fortress of Saint Giovanni. The views are sure to take your breath away, from medieval churches to staggering mountains. Your afternoon will be at leisure here, followed by an eye-opening onboard discussion about the "Dubrovnik Republic," including its unique history and foundations.

This evening, enjoy dinner onboard as we sail toward Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Kotor
  • Sail through UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard Lecture: Dubrovnik Republic

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 83:

Experience Dubrovnik's Old City and a private concert

Today, your local guide will lead you through Dubrovnik's Old City — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — introducing you to its most heralded landmarks, as well as its hidden gems. Following the tour, you’ll relax in a centuries-old church for a Vantage-exclusive private classical concert by the Sorkočević Quartet, who are members of the Croatian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Return to your ship for lunch, then enjoy a leisurely afternoon and evening. You'll be supplied with a one-day Dubrovnik card, which provides free entrance to numerous sites around the city, including access to the walkway atop the walls surrounding the Old City. Your Cruise Director and Concierge will be happy to recommend activities to do and places to see.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Dubrovnik’s Old City

Cultural Discovery:

  • Vantage-exclusive private classical concert

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 84:

Unearth the UNESCO treasures of Hvar

An idyllic Mediterranean port, Hvar is a popular celebrity destination known for its vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees, and fruit orchards. Set off on a guided walking tour this morning and learn the port town's history, hear about local legends, and visit the lace museum inside the Benedictine Monastery. Aloe lace is made in Croatia only by the nuns of this monastery, and it is designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage feature.

Later, discover even more on an island tour, including a visit to Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return for lunch on board and take the afternoon to explore Hvar at your leisure. You may also choose to go swimming, snorkeling, or fishing (weather permitting). Active travelers shouldn't miss the walk to Hvar Fortress, (entry fee included).

Enjoy dinner onboard. You ship will set sail later this evening.

Included Features:

  • Tour of Hvar town
  • Hvar island tour with Stari Grad Plain

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit a lace museum in a Benedictine monastery in Hvar

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 85:

Walk Croatia's oldest city, in Šibenik

This morning, enjoy scenic sailing, passing by UNESCO protected St. Nicholas fortress, that is guarding entrance to the ancient city of Šibenik. Upon arrival, depart for Krka National Park, a gem of Croatia and home to breathtaking waterfalls and gorges. We’ll witness the city's crystalline river rushing through the canyon against a green, mountainous backdrop as we ascend to the top of the waterfalls by bus and then hike to the bottom. On the way we’ll learn about how this water was used (and is still used today) to power local corn mills. At the end of the hike, we’ll enjoy a boat ride to the town of Skradin.

Your next stop is Jurlinovi Dvori, a Dalmatian estate with an ethnographic gallery. Enjoy a homemade lunch, prepared with centuries-old local recipes from homemade products, including Babić wine — a vintage derived from Primosten vineyards, which is strong and dry to represent the harsh land it grew on. After, depart back to Šibenik. Here, we'll explore this historic city on a walking tour, including a visit to St. Jacob's Cathedral.

Tonight, enjoy a performance by local musicians on board your ship.

Included Features:

  • Krka National Park hike and boat ride
  • Šibenik guided walking tour

Cultural Connections:

  • Jurlinovi Dvori traditional lunch
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 86:

Discover the idyllic seaside town of Opatija

This morning, enjoy an enlightening onboard lecture, followed by lovely scenic sailing into your next destination, Opatija. Upon arrival this afternoon, you’ll set out on a walking tour of this coastal town, which once catered to European royalty with stately villas, seaside promenade, and lovely gardens. Then, enjoy some free time to discover Opatija on your own. Enjoy a walk along the Opatija Promenade for lovely views and perhaps stop for a bite to eat or a drink. How far you go is up to you — a roundtrip walk can cover up to 7.5 miles and, in total, connects seven towns and villages of the Opatija Riviera. Alternatively, you may want to try your luck in one of the town's casinos.

Included Features:

  • Half-day tour of Opatija

Cultural Connection:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 87:

Enjoy the wonders of the Istrian Peninsula

Discover part of one of the most beautiful regions of Croatia on half-day tours of Pula and Rovinj. Istria is one of the most developed regions of Croatia and is sometimes referred to as “Croatian Tuscany,” with some of the most picturesque towns in the country.

Explore Pula Arena, Europe's most complete Roman amphitheater, when we stop in the ancient town of Pula. You'll be able to go below the arena floor to see the actual passageways and rooms where gladiators and their foes, along with wild animals, awaited their turn in combat. We’ll also see the town and its streets briming with history juxtaposed with modern shops and restaurants.

We'll have lunch back on the ship before more scenic sailing takes us to the picturesque coastal town of Rovinj, which was part of Venice's mercantile empire. Today, it’s a jet-set town for regional and international tourists alike because of its stunning skyline and mesmerizing ocean views. Enjoy a guided tour to see its charms for yourself.

For the best views of the town and the harbor, make the mile-and-a-quarter trek uphill to the Church of St. Euphemia — it's well worth the effort!

This evening, enjoy your Captain's Farewell Dinner on board with klapa singers, a UNESCO protected cultural heritage of Croatia.

Included Features:

  • Pula tour with visit to the Pula Arena
  • Walking tour in Rovinj

Cultural Discovery:

  • Klapa singers performance
  • Scenic sailing between Pula and Rovinj along Brijuni Islands National Park

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 88:

Discover Trieste, Italy

This morning after breakfast, you’ll embark on a walking tour of Trieste, an Italian city that boasts a distinct culture. The largest port in Adriatic, Trieste is situated deep in Slovenian territory while still part of Italy. As the main port during the Austrian rule over the Adriatic, Austrian architecture can be spotted all around the city.

With lunch money provided, you’ll have the opportunity to savor the local fare — make sure you get a taste of traditional jota (also known as Istrian stew) and Strucolo de pomi, a local take on apple strudel!

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Trieste

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 89:

Cruise into Zadar, and discover its ancient and UNESCO-listed treasures

Over breakfast this morning, enjoy scenic sailing with views of the Kornati Islands National Park as we cruise to Zadar — another coastal gem that was named Europe's top destination in 2016 and was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. You’ll also hear an interesting lecture while sailing.

This Roman-era city boasts a blend of ancient, renaissance, Romanesque, and medieval architecture. On a walking tour, you’ll see the UNESCO-listed Historic Defense Walls and explore Zadar’s ancient city center.

After dinner, some local entertainers come aboard to enthrall you.

Included Feature:

  • Guided walking tour of Zadar

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture 
  • Onboard evening entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 90:

Revisit the Roman era at Diocletian’s Palace in Split

Welcome to Split, one of the oldest cities in this historic region. Explore ancient Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the emperor chose as his retirement home because of the area’s spectacular beauty. Your special tour also takes you into the mysterious passages in the lower levels of the palace’s massive structure — Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as one of the show's filming locations!

This afternoon, enjoy one of the most scenic stretches of ocean on this journey as the Ocean Odyssey departs Split. You’ll have marvelous views of several Croatian islands, so have your camera ready.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Split and Diocletian’s Palace and its basement halls

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture 

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 91:

Uncover the charming trulli homes of UNESCO-listed Alberobello

The ship now has crossed the Adriatic from Croatia to Italy, specifically the region of Puglia, which comprises the heel of Italy’s famous boot. From the port city of Brindisi, you’ll head north to the commune of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its trulli — cone-shaped limestone homes that date back as early as the 14th-century. You’ll learn all about the history of these homes and how they survived after conflict between local peasants and feudal landlords. The walking tour will lead you to the old city, which holds more than 1,000 trulli, most still functioning as private homes. The tour ends at the Church of Saint Anthony, with its uniquely adorned façade and cone-shaped roof reaching 64 feet tall.

In the narrow streets of Alberobello, you can admire workshops with artisans at work. You’ll also have a chance to step inside a typical trullo house to see the architectural style and structure, and learn how people used to live in these iconic buildings. After, lunch in a typical masseria — or country estate — belonging to a local family. This will be a highlight of your day — pack the camera! A masseria is where local Italian families produce much of what they drink and eat — milk, cheeses, meats, vegetables, olive oil, and more — and you'll learn all about it during enlightening conversation and cultural exchange. Joyous and full, you'll return to the ship with a scenic drive through Puglia's countryside, lined with endless olive groves.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of UNESCO-listed Alberobello and its cone-shaped homes

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lunch at a local masseria (country estate)

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 92:

Your choice of tours: Uncover Taormina’s rich history or visit Etna for a wine tasting

This morning, enjoy breakfast, an informative lecture, and scenic views of the Calabrian coastline and the Strait of Messina as we sail toward our next destination.

We’ll anchor in Giardini Naxos this afternoon, where you’ll have your choice of tours. Head to Taormina, the historic city set on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea. This chic resort town offers splendid views of Mount Etna in the distance and a charming medieval ambience. You'll also visit its fantastic Greek Theater, originally built in the 3rd century by Romans, and marvel at its coastal vistas before heading to the Public Gardens, boasting some 200 species. Here, you’ll have time to sample a refreshing granita.

Your second option of tours is a visit to UNESCO-listed Mount Etna, where you’ll savor a tasting at a local winery. Sicily is famous for its Nero d’Avola grape, which grows bountifully in the island’s volcanic soil.

This evening, local entertainers come aboard.

Included Feature:

  • Your choice of tours: Tour of Taormina and its ancient Greek Theater OR Mount Etna with local winery visit and tasting

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Morning lecture onboard
  • Granita or wine tasting (depending on choice of tour)
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Scenic Sailing:

  • Enjoy scenic views of the Calabrian coastline and the Strait of Messina

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 93:

See more of Sicily in Syracuse and Ortigia

More Sicilian discoveries begin today in UNESCO-listed Syracuse, where ancient Greek ruins and antique Italian charm fuse into one splendid island called Ortigia. On a walking tour, head to the Old Town with its narrow cobblestoned lanes and welcoming piazzas. You’ll visit an archaeological area to view the remains of the Temple of Apollo and the gorgeous Fountain of Arethusa, a natural spring with roots in Greek mythology. You’ll also get a look into Jewish life here — Judaism was present here long before the arrival of Christianity in Sicily. You’ll also see the oldest mikveh (ancient ritual bath) to survive in Europe, and one of the first few in what’s now known as Italy.

Return to the ship for lunch, then enjoy the afternoon at leisure to continue your explorations in Syracuse. Later, you'll have another lecture before dinner onboard.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day guided tour of Syracuse

Cultural Discovery:

  • Afternoon lecture onboard

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 94:

Embark on a walking tour of Valletta, then experience Malta in 5D

Arrive in Malta this morning. After breakfast, you’ll go sightseeing in Valletta, the island’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Europe’s smallest capital, Valletta is an open-air museum of 16th-century buildings built by the Knights Hospitaller. Your private guide will regale you with Valletta’s history while leading you down the city’s charming narrow streets to visit the Valletta City Gate, Triton Fountain, the new Parliament building, and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and is considered one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture.

At the conclusion of your walking tour, take in a 5D show exploring the history and culture of Malta in an interactive and exciting way. Lunch is back on the ship; afterward, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to continue your Malta explorations.

Included Feature:

  • Morning Valletta sightseeing tour 

Cultural Discovery:

  • Go inside the history of this Mediterranean nation with a Malta 5D showing

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 95:

Visit ancient Erice for a tour, wine tasting, and a drive down Sicily’s “salt road”

You’ll be cruising the southwestern coast of Sicily this morning, so head to the observation lounge or your own balcony for more incredible views of this region. After breakfast, hear another lecture highlighting the culture and history of your cruise destinations. You’ll arrive in Trapani around mid-morning and eat lunch before setting off on an afternoon tour. 

Today’s explorations lead you inland to Erice, the supposed birthplace of the goddess Venus. While walking the town’s cobblestone streets, soak in the aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is famous. Here, you’ll visit the ruins of the town’s hilltop Norman Castle, a 12th-century construct dedicated to Venus, and the 14th-century duomo with its 90-foot belltower. You’ll also visit a private winery for another tasting of local Sicilian offerings.

On your way back to the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll have better views of the area’s famous “salt road” — where salt is extracted from the ocean by the scorching sun and delicate Mediterranean sea salt, with its briny scent permeating the air, is left behind. The scenery here is particularly breathtaking, and you’ll have a chance to photograph numerous salt pans, marshes, inlets, and Dutch-style windmills.

Included Feature:

  • Guided tour of Erice with drive down the “salt road”

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Wine tasting at a private Sicilian winery

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 96:

Discover Lipari, the gem of the Aeolian Islands

It is only because of the small-ship size that you can pause for a day to explore the Aeolian Islands, Italy’s archipelago northwest of Sicily. Beauty greets you at every turn on these soaring, majestic volcanic islands. The ship will anchor off the shore of Lipari and tender to Marina Corta, allowing you to walk with your guide along the Via Garibaldi. At the Rock of the Castle that is set high on a promontory, peer deep into the island’s past at an archaeological site and visit the Cathedral of Bartholomew, the island’s patron saint. Then, get a panoramic view of the island, visiting the villages of Quattrocchi and Quattropani. As you explore, enjoy splendid views of other Aeolian Islands, including Stromboli with its ever-active towering volcano. You’ll also stop to take in the vistas of Lipari Beach and observe the ubiquitous pumice stone deposited here by volcanic eruptions from millennia past. After lunch on board, you’ll have some leisure time in Lipari. 

This afternoon’s onboard lecture provides more fascinating context to this legendary part of the Mediterranean. 

Included Feature:

  • Walking and panoramic tour of Lipari

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture


Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 97:

Uncover the mysteries of Pompeii and Neapolitan pizza

Arrive this morning along the Bay of Naples. No visit here is complete without a tour of Pompeii, the ancient city buried by the ash of Vesuvius in 79 AD. A walking tour with a private guide helps you step back 2,000 years into a world of cobbled lanes worn by horse-drawn carts, fascinating villas still adorned by colorful murals, Roman baths, the old forum, and more.

This afternoon, take part in something truly extraordinary — don't forget your camera! You’ll enjoy an afternoon lunch visit to a local farm, where you'll meet your hosts for a tour and a class in creating the perfect pizza, the famed cuisine of nearby Naples.

Back on board, a delectable Farewell Dinner celebrates the cruise porion of your journey and brings you even more flavors of this region.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Pompeii

Cultural Discovery:

  • Home-hosted lunch with pizza-making demonstration at a local farm

Scenic Sailing:

  • The Gulf of Naples is a sight to behold. Get extraordinary sea views of Naples, fearsome Mount Vesuvius, and nearby Sorrento — a town that’s literally on another level perched atop sheer cliffs

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 98:

Explore Rome’s grandeur on panoramic and walking tours

Today you’ll anchor in Civitavecchia for a guided panoramic tour (by motorcoach and on foot) of Rome’s historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site with highlights that include the iconic Colosseum, ancient Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, and more. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant for some classic Rome specialties. After an afternoon at leisure, you’ll return to your ship for dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Guided panoramic and walking tour through Rome

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 99:

Explore Olbia in Serdegna with your choice of tours

After breakfast this morning, we'll cruise into Olbia. This seaside city located in the northeast of Italy’s Sardinia region boast not only a picturesque, palm-line coastline, but also a rich medieval history. Today, take your pick of tours. Uncover the history of this city with a half-day tour of Old Sardinia, or discover its wine tradition with a half-day tour of Porto Cervo with a winery visit.

The Old Sardinia option will first bring you to the small village of Luras where you’ll walk along the shore of lake Liscia and behold olive fields and some of the oldest trees in Europe, dating back 4,000 years. Then, you’ll drive to Tempio Pausania, the ancient capital of this region. You’ll tour the old part of tour town and discover historic churches, houses, and mansions before stopping to visit the cork museum.

The Porto Cervo tour will take you on a panoramic drive through this resort town, where you’ll stop and have time to peruse the elegant shops. Then, arrive at the Surrau Winery and learn all about the winemaking process, including which wines are produced here and how the grapes are cultivated and harvested. Finally, enjoy a wine-tasting complete with local snacks such as Sardinian cheese and salami.

Back onboard, enjoy an informative lecture before dinner.

Included Features:

  • Half-day tour of Old Sardinia or Porto Cervo

Cultural Connection:

  • Cork museum visit or wine tasting

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 100:

Sightsee in Bastia, Corsica, France and savor local wines

Your ship anchors in Bastia this morning, the main commercial port of the island of Corsica. Learn about how this town became instrumental in Corsica’s development during a tour that starts in Old Town, where you’ll see the magnificent Cathedral Ste. Marie, the governor’s palace, and the Old Port. Then, enjoy a leisurely stroll the finest parts of the city, including St. Nicholas Square and St. Jean Baptiste Church. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to admire Bastia’s breathtaking landscapes and small, baroque-style buildings and chapels.

After lunch onboard your ship, enjoy a scenic drive along the scenic St. Florent gulf past rolling vineyards en route to the St. Florent city center. We’ll stop here and you’ll have time to explore the bustling streets at your leisure, perhaps visiting the local shops or stopping into a café for a hot espresso!

Later, we’ll depart St. Florent and head into the mountains to the vineyards of Patrimonio. Enjoy a tasting of the local wines in the wine cellar and discover why the wines of this region are so famous as you try whites, rosés, and moscati. Dinner is back onboard your ship this evening.

Included Feature:

  • Sightseeing in Bastia

Cultural Connection:

  • Patrimonio wine tasting

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 101:

Tour Elba, where Napoleon ruled in exile

This morning we’ll arrive at the island of Elba, famed as the site of Napoleon’s first exile, where he was sovereign for close to 10 months. This island is as beautiful as it is historic, with lush hills covered in olive trees, vineyards, and beaches met by ombré blue waters.

Set off on a tour of the island, departing from your port in Portoferraio and stopping at Villa San Martino, Napoleon’s summer residence. Continue on to Porto Azzurro, where candy-colored houses front the town’s eponymous azure harbor. You’ll have time here to stroll the charming streets, perhaps picking up a souvenir from the shops selling crafts and crystals. On your way back to the ship, you’ll stop at Punta delle Grotte for a splendid bird’s-eye view of Portoferraio.

After lunch aboard your ship, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon to explore Portoferraio at your leisure. Late this afternoon, after returning to the ship, you'll enjoy an informative onboard lecture. Then, delight in another fabulous dinner onboard as your ship sets sail for Livorno.

Included Features:

  • Panoramic and historical tour of Elba

Cultural Connections:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 102:

Arrive in Livorno and embark on your choice of tours

This morning upon your arrival in Livorno, you’ll have your choice of full-day tours — Florence and Pisa or Siena and San Gimignano.

If you choose the first, you’ll depart by coach for Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Upon arrival you’ll meet your guide and set off of a walking tour of the city’s highlights, including the exterior of the domed cathedral of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza del Signoria, as well as Ponte Vecchio, a historic bridge lined with shops. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll depart for Pisa, home of the famed Leaning Tower of Pisa. Upon arrival, enjoy free time in the town’s bustling Miracle Square.

If you decide on Siena and San Gimignano, you’ll depart by coach for Siena, a city marked by medieval architecture. Upon arrival you’ll embark on a guided walking tour, visiting it’s lively squares and historic highlights such as Piazza del Campo, the 13th century City Hall and Torre del Mangia bell tower, the Sansedoni Palace, and the Gaiai Fountain. Then, depart for a locally owned farm and vineyard, where you’ll be welcomed by the owner and enjoy a farm-to-table lunch complete with a tasting of their wines and olive oils. After lunch, you’ll drive to San Gimignano and explore the “Manhattan of Tuscany,” taking in centuries-old towers along its skyline.

Return to your ship this evening and enjoy dinner onboard, complete with local entertainment

Included Features:

  • Tour of Florence with visit to Pisa or tour of Siena and San Gimignano

Cultural Connection:

  • Siena wine tasting (only if Siena tour is chosen)
  • Onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 103:

Take in the bucolic beauty of Cinque Terre and Portovenere

Nestled along a short stretch of Italy’s breathtaking Ligurian Coast is the Cinque Terre — five tiny villages that date back to the early medieval period. This national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its colorful, cliff-hugging houses and steep, winding trails, but today you’ll get to explore it by public ferry with a private guide!

Anchoring at Portovenere, you’ll take a public ferry plying the coastline to visit the villages while enjoying superb views from the water. Explore the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, and Manarola on foot, and gain some insight on the difficult and isolated life of the villages’ inhabitants during the early medieval period. Lunch is a traditional affair at a local restaurant.

After, return to Portovenere and enjoy a walking tour along its narrow, charming streets up to the church of San Pietro, which sits on a craggy ledge overlooking the Gulf of Poets. A port talk rounds off your day’s discoveries before another delicious dinner on board.

Included Features:

  • Tour of Portovenere
  • Ferry and walking tour of Cinque Terre

Cultural Connection

  • Traditional lunch in Cinque Terre

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 104:

Behold the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo

Arrive this morning in Monte Carlo, capital of the tiny independent principality of Monaco. Playground to well-heeled Europeans, this sovereign nation has been ruled by the Grimaldis since the 13th century.

This morning, in the historic quarter of Le Rocher (“The Rock”), admire stunning sea views 200 feet below while strolling past the Prince’s Palace, just in time to see the Changing of the Guard. Nearby, the neo-Romanesque Monaco Cathedral is a vision in white; the Grimaldis, including Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, are entombed here.

Then, this afternoon, marvel at the world-renowned Belle Époque Grand Casino, a vision of extravagance and wealth. See the lush gardens, too, before viewing the Hôtel de Paris, a 19th-century grand dame.After seeing the Justice Palace, your tour ends at the Oceanographic Museum, another neo-classical gem.

After lunch on board, perhaps you’ll stroll the streets of Monte Carlo to take in its monumental architecture. An onboard lecture fills you in on more details about this fascinating region.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Monte Carlo

Cultural Connection:

  • Onboard Lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 105:

Uncover the charms of Cannes

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board as you sail into one of the most glamorous ports on the Cote d'Azur. This modern resort city is known for its annual film festival, and you’ll enjoy a panoramic walking tour here, taking in views of the Promenade de la Croisette and stopping to admire the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, home of the Cannes Film Festival. Continue on to the old town of Le Suquet, where Roman ruins and sweeping views of the city and harbor await.

Next, you’ll visit the Perfume Factory of Grasse for a special presentation. You’ll tour the factory and learn about how the flowers are boiled and the essence is condensed using one of the world’s oldest distillation processes. After, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before departing for St. Paul de Vence, a hotspot for artists and celebrities. Explore this walled village with structures dating back to the 16th century and wander along narrow, cobbled lanes past high-end boutiques and art galleries. You’ll have some time to explore at leisure before returning to your ship.

Included Feature:

  • Full day guided Cannes and St. Paul de Vence (Provence) tour

Cultural Connection

  • Grasse Perfume Factory tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 106:

Witness the magic of southern France

Steeped in history and boasting a newly revived waterfront, Marseille provides a beguiling glimpse of a French medieval port. From here, you have two ways to delve into the celebrated south of France today — A full-day tour to romantic Provence, or a full-day safari in Camargue National Park.

The first included tour takes you deeper into the heart of Provence. Begin at the Gordes Castle in its namesake town, a picture-postcard hilltop village climbing a slope from the Vaucluse plateau. After, continue to the red cliffs and ochre quarries of Roussillon. The emerald pine trees and vivid blue Provençal sky create a stunning canvas. We provide you with some euros to have lunch at a restaurant of your choosing, then it’s on to a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence’s Old Town, strolling under the lovely plane trees of Cours Mirabeau past elegant mansions. If you wish, you may visit Paul Cézanne’s atelier during your free time.

Your second tour option is decidedly wilder. Head into Camargue National Park to explore the vast Rhône River Delta, a pristine region of swamps, river tendrils and ponds teeming with numerous bird species, including the pink flamingo. Throughout your safari, you will pause as opportunities arise to view the region’s wild Camargue horses and bulls grazing as manades, or free-roaming herds. You will visit a working farm to learn more about the horses and bulls and stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

After dinner, we’ll welcome local performers on board to entertain you with dances and songs of their country.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Provence or Camargue National Park

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard local entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner