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Across the Eastern Hemisphere: Singapore to Croatia - 2022

Singapore • 61-night small ship cruise to Malacca, George Town (Penang), Phuket, Port Blair, Trincomalee, Colombo, Cochin, Mormugao, Mumbai, Porbandar, Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Khasab, Sur, Salalah, Safaga (Luxor), Hurghada, Eilat, Aqaba, Sharm El Sheik/Suez Canal, Haifa, Ashdod, Limassol, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Santorini, Piraeus/Athens, Itea, Katakolon, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Šibenik, Zadar, Pula, Rovinj • Zagreb
  • EXPLORE 16 COUNTRIES ABOARD VANTAGE’S SECOND 5-STAR SMALL SHIP: OCEAN ODYSSEY
  • CROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN AND SPOT ELEPHANTS ON AN OVERNIGHT SRI LANKAN ADVENTURE, THEN TOUR MUMBAI, PORBANDAR, AND MORE
  • TOUR SINGAPORE AND EMBARK ON A TRISHAW RIDE DOWN FAMOUS BUGIS STREET
  • FROM MUSCAT TO SALALAH, GET A FEEL FOR OMAN’S HISTORIC HIGHLIGHTS, INCLUDING ITS UNESCO-LISTED AFLAJ IRRIGATION SYSTEMS AND FRANKINCENSE TRAILS
  • THE ARABIAN PENINSULA: BEHOLD THE GLAMOUR AND STAGGERING WEALTH IN DOHA, DUBAI, AND ABU DHABI
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$34,199
  • $518
    PER DAY
  • 66
    DAYS
  • 127
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
67 DAYS FROM $34,199
Luxury
Extend Your journey (4 available)
Lake Bled, Slovenia (Pre-trip)

4 DAYS FROM $1,099

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat (Pre-trip)

5 DAYS FROM $1,499

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Discover the cultures, religions, histories, and cuisines of half the globe on this veritable odyssey that takes you from Singapore all the way to Zagreb. There are two departures on this fascinating and enriching voyage, and you can choose which one works best for you: Join us in March for a springtime spectacular or cruise in October and spend Christmas in Phuket! Whichever you choose, you’ll discover the flavors of Malaysia; enjoy an inland overnight excursion in Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle; explore intriguing Petra in Jordan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates; cruise the best of the Cyclades; and fall in love with Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. We’ve picked the best highlights of each region to wow you — add on pre- and post-trip extensions to Lake Bled, Slovenia and Siem Reap, Cambodia for the ultimate, immersive experience!

Cruising aboard our 5-star Ocean Odyssey, you’ll find indulgent amenities and unforgettable enrichment, thanks to expert talks by a handpicked Resident Lecturer and stunning onboard performances. With 128 included features and Cultural Discoveries — including inland overnight stays in Sri Lanka and Luxor, Egypt — plus, 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you simply can’t miss this comprehensive exploration of Asia, Middle East, and Europe.

Singapore to Croatia

Pre-Trip Extension

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat (Pre-trip)

FROM: $1499 PER PERSON | 5 DAYS | $300 PER DAY

Lake Bled, Slovenia (Pre-trip)

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $275 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Singapore

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Singapore. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Siem Reap and the dazzling temples of Angkor Wat.

DAY 2:

Cross the International Date Line

You’ll cross the International Date Line today, meaning that you’ll arrive in Singapore on Day 3.

DAY 3:

Singapore arrival

Selamat datang! Welcome to Singapore! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Reception at the legendary Raffles Hotel — birthplace of the Singapore Sling cocktail — and sip a few before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner.

Inaugural Feature:

  • Welcome Reception and Welcome Dinner at Raffles hotel, with Singapore Sling cocktails

Included meals:

Dinner

DAY 4:

Exploring Singapore's cultural diversity

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 (cricket is a major sport here!), 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 artworks 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 a dim sum lunch at a local restaurant, where servers bring carts of small-plate dishes to tempt you. Dim sum literally means “touch the heart,” and perhaps yours will be filled by some fluffy, pork-filled bao buns . . . mouthwatering shumai dumplings . . . translucent shrimp cheung fan rolls . . . beef balls seasoned with coriander . . . and more.

After lunch, stroll through the UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, the only tropical garden in the world recognized by UNESCO. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Singapore city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Trishaw ride around Bugis Street

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 5:

SkyPark, nature park, then embarking the Ocean Odyssey

After breakfast, you'll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.

Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Odyssey! After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities. Take a walk around the pool, meet your Concierge to arrange a spa appointment, then convene in the dining room for your first dinner on board — one of many memorable meals on this journey! This evening, the Ocean Odyssey sets sail toward Malaysia.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Sands SkyPark and Gardens by the Bay

Scenic Sailing:

  • Get your camera ready for a picture of Singapore’s skyline lighting up at sunset!

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

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 one-time 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, with complimentary shuttle service to and from the ship, 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 7:

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 8:

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 9:

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 10:

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 11:

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 12-13:

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 14:

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 15:

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 16:

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 17:

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

Inaugural Feature:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: Traditional Kathakali dance performance

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 18:

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 19:

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 20:

Your choice of tours in Goa: Temples & 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 & Spices tour or Cathedrals of Goa tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 21:

Exploring India’s “Maximum City”

Arrive in Mumbai, known as India’s “Maximum City.” This is a city of dreams — a teeming, cosmopolitan metropolis that’s the beating heart of this nation. On your city tour, you’ll visit Hanging Gardens and the famed Dhobi Ghats, and drive past Marine Drive, Malabar Hill, and Chowpatty. 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). After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Included Features:

  • Mumbai city tour
  • Visit the Gandhi Museum

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 22:

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 23:

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 24:

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 25:

Begin your Oman exploration with a Mystical Muscat tour

Another delicious breakfast awaits 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. In fact, the Sultan Qaboos (Oman’s head since 1970) has forbidden the construction of anything over seven stories so as not to obscure the views. 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 Qaboos. 

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 26:

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 27:

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 see Beit Al Sheikh Sayeed, a beautifully restored, 19th-century heritage house that is filled with traditional Islamic collectibles. The building nestles on a beach and features barjeel wind towers and a lovely central courtyard. Continuing south you’ll 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 28:

Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s cultural mecca

Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board 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 29:

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 30:

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 & 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 & 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 31:

Discover Dubai, the miracle of the Emirates

Today is sure to be a dramatic day — you're in Dubai! Until the 1970s, Dubai was a small fishing and trading port. Today, it’s 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.

You’ll have time to enjoy lunch using local currency provided by Vantage. Tonight’s dinner on board features local entertainment!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic Modern Dubai city tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 32:

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 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 33:

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 on board 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 Omani history and culture
  • Tour of a dhow-making shipyard in Sur

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 34:

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. Later in the day you will listen to a port talk.

Talk and participate in another eye-opening discussion with our guest lecturer.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 35:

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 & 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 re-embark the ship for dinner on board as the ship departs Salalah.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to East Salalah or The Frankincense Trail

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit Taqah Castle and a local souk
  • Sample fresh coconut water from a fruit stall
  • 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 36-39:

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 cooking classes with special guest chefs, 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:

  • Cooking classes with special guest chefs
  • Expert lectures on various topics
  • Activity classes and games

Included Meals:

5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners

DAY 40:

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 41:

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 pharaoh’s 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 & 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 & Light show

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 42:

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 43:

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. You’ll have the chance to enjoy the best of it with a choice of 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 oryx, Nubian ibex, red-necked ostriches, wild ass, 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 the Captain's Farewell 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 44:

Discover the “Rose Red City” of Petra

After breakfast this morning, it’s time to 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, followed by more afternoon sightseeing.

Included Feature:

  •  Guided tour of Petra

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 45:

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 46-47:

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 expedition 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
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Scenic Sailing:

  • In between your informative onboard lectures, join your fellow adventures 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 48:

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 49:

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 50:

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

Your morning is at leisure today, another ideal opportunity to take a swim, catch up on a book in the sun, and learn more about fascinating Cyprus during an onboard lecture. 

After an early lunch on the ship, you'll arrive in Cyprus. 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.

After our port talk tonight, 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 51:

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 52:

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
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 53:

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 past when you sit in on a lecture. 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

Inaugural Feature:

  • Dinner prepared by a Turkish master chef

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 54:

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 55:

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 your final 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 56:

Behold the classical wonders of Athens

Arrive in Piraeus this morning for a panoramic tour of Athens, the sophisticated capital of Greece. Mythology and ancient history come alive here, as you’ll see at the iconic Acropolis. It was here that Poseidon and Athena were said to have fought to determine 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, the Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Pan Athenian 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, perhaps dining in the charming Plaka district, nestled at the foot of Acropolis Hill.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Athens.

Included Feature:
  • Athens panoramic walking tour, including the Acropolis

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 57:

Spend the day in ancient Delphi

This morning after breakfast and an onboard lecture, you'll dock on Greece's mainland coast at Itea and be transported 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. 

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Delphi

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 58:

See the birthplace of the Olympics

Today, you'll have a full day at the location where the ancient Olympic Games originated — in 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's remains of various sporting venues from the festive games that began in 776 BC.

In the afternoon, you'll be delighted to join in on a traditional Greek lunch at the Magna Grecia, a Greek farm. Sample its house made wine and olive oils while being regaled with local entertainment to boot.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Olympia

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit to a Greek farm with lunch

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 59:

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 town on the 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, 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:

  • Tour of Corfu
  • Tour of Achilleion Palace

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 60:

Tour Kotor and the UNESCO surrounding bay

Have a scenic breakfast as you sail into the coast of Montenegro. Tucked away at the head of the bay is Kotor, a fortified medieval town. Here, you’ll learn the history of the town — which is believed to stretch back as far as the first century — while you walk the charming tangle of Old World streets. The views are sure to take your breath away, from medieval churches to staggering mountains.

Heading toward Dubrovnik, Croatia, you’ll follow the winding Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its narrow profile and steep walls, Kotor’s bay is often called Europe’s southernmost fjord. Technically, however, the bay is not a true, glacier-carved fjord, but rather a ria, or submerged river valley. You'll enjoy commentary onboard about this bay as you sail, and later an onboard lecture about the "Dubrovnik Republic" before dinner on the ship.

Included Feature:

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

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Bay of Kotor commentary
  • Onboard Lecture: Dubrovnik Republic

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 61:

Experience Dubrovnik's Old City and a private concert

Today, your carefully selected 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. 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 will be happy to recommend activities to do and places to see. 

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Dubrovnik’s Old City

Cultural Discovery:

  • Classical concert

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 62:

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.

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, with entrance included.

Back on board, enjoy a lecture entitled "Mediterranean Diet & Local Products," and later, an evening entertainment by a local folkloric ensemble.

Included Features:

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

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture on the Mediterranean diet, with product sampling
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 63:

Revisit the Roman era at the 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 this site as one of the show's filming locations!

Upon arriving in Šibenik, set off on a walking tour among the medieval streets, where you’ll see the Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Included Features:

  • Tour of Split and Diocletian's Palace
  • Šibenik guided walking tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 64:

Explore ancient Zadar and Croatia's scenic northern coast

Following breakfast this morning, you'll have a little free time in Šibenik. You'll be back on board for lunch and scenic sailing. 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 have an afternoon lecture to prepare you for your walking tour. This Roman-era city boasts a historic blend of Ancient, Renaissance, Romanesque, and medieval architecture. You'll have the chance to tour the UNESCO-listed Historic Defense Walls in the city, dating back to the 1500s.

Included Feature:

  • Guided walking tour of Zadar

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 65:

Enjoy the wonders of the Istrian Peninsula

Discover one of the most beautiful regions of Croatia on a full-day tour of the Istrian Peninsula. Explore Pula Arena, Europe's most complete Roman amphitheater, when we stop in the ancient town of Pula. You'll be able to go beneath the arena floor to see the actual passageways and rooms where gladiators and their foes, including wild animals, awaited their turn in combat. We'll have lunch back on the ship before scenic sailing takes us to the picturesque coastal town of Rovinj, which was part of Venice's mercantile empire and has a distinctive Venetian aspect to it.

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 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

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 66:

Discover Opatija Riviera and disembark the Ocean Odyssey

After breakfast, you'll disembark the Ocean Odyssey and say goodbye to your ship before transferring to the lovely seaside town of Opatija. Then, enjoy a walking tour of Opatija, which once catered to European royalty with stately villas, seaside promenade, and lovely gardens. Lunch is 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 round trip 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 Opatija's casinos.

Later, you'll transfer to your hotel in Zagreb, paired with a lecture about this Croatian city during a lovely scenic drive through the Croatian Highlands. At the hotel this evening, you'll have a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day guided tour of Opatija

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Zagreb

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 67:

Discover Zagreb's monuments and markets

You'll met your expert local guide this morning for a tour of Zagreb. View the city’s impressive landmarks, including the Croatian National Theater and Opera House, Croatian Parliament, Prime Minister's office, St. Mark’s Square, the Old City, the Stone Gate, and Zagreb Cathedral.

This afternoon, enjoy an afternoon at leisure, perhaps visiting the city's Museum of Broken Relationships. Zagreb also has one of the world's most extensive tram systems. So, consider boarding the local tram to Jarun Lake and Park. There, you can enjoy the walking trails or rent a bike to go for a spin. Your Vantage Cruise Director will be happy to assist with directions or suggestions of other activities. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic and walking tour of Zagreb

Included meals:

Breakfast

DAY 68:

Fly home

Head to Zagreb’s airport today for your return flight home. If you purchased our optional tour to Slovenia and Lake Bled, you’ll transfer there today.

Included meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Lake Bled, Slovenia (Post-trip)

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $275 PER DAY

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat (Post-trip)

FROM: $1499 PER PERSON | 5 DAYS | $300 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

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CALL 1-888-514-1845

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