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This centuries old capital guards the slender waterway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and is the doorway between the East and West. Visitors can explore remnants of Byzantine Constantinople in the Sultanahmet district, where you will have the chance to see ancient splendors, such as the Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. At night the city boast a lively nightclub scene and excellent Turkish dining options that may include cultural entertainment and dancing. Istanbul also features splendid shopping malls, boutiques, and hand crafted items can be found all over the city.
Bozcaada (Tenedos) is a 15-square-mile island off the western coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea. Bozcaada is planted with fields of grapevines and is known for its excellent wine. The island also has many hidden beaches, swimming holes and cafes to explore. Fishing is popular in Bozcaada, and the Bozcaada Castle is not to be missed.
Visitors come to Kusadasi for beaches and nearby ruins of Ephesus. The major attraction is the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus, considered to be most important in Turkey. The history of this ancient city dates back to 10th century BC; many remarkable structures seen today are result of an excavation and restoration program. Along a white marble road grooved by ancient chariot wheels, the two-story Library of Celsus presents a striking sight. There are temples, houses of noblemen, and community buildings lining ancient streets. Nestled in the mountainside is a 25,000-seat amphitheater, still used for performances during Festival of Culture and Art. Bible buffs may know Ephesus as inspiration for St. Paul’s Epistle to Ephesians and the site of one of the first seven churches of Asia Minor. Treasures are kept in the Seljuk Archaeological Museum. Among the better-known ancient sites near Kusadasi are ancient Miletus and Dydima. Remains include a well-preserved Roman theater at Miletus and Dydima's sacred temple of Apollo.
Santorini is everything that has made the Greek islands legendary. The world famous island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located north of Crete. Its population is distributed among thirteen villages and just exceeds nine thousand. The marvelous dry climate and unbroken sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colors.
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The small, picturesque seaside resort of Amalfi, famous for its glorious history as a maritime republic, has spectacular scenery and great weather. The white, pink and yellow cottages are surrounded by whitewashed courtyards and winding alleys that make a walking tour a pleasant experience. Amalfi also has several historical monuments worth visiting, such as the Cathedral, the old dockyards and the old Paper Mills where the famous paper of Amalfi was made in the past. Many buildings in the town are surrounded by immaculately kept gardens and terraces, lemon trees, and grape and olive vines.
Civitavecchia is the port city for Rome. Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City. With its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafés and elegant shops, Rome is one of the world’s most attractive cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum where spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals. Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once a political and commercial center. Rome’s squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Awe at Christendom’s most magnificent church, the Sistine Chapel. The busy square Piazza Venezia is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. Take a stroll to Rome's famous Trevi Fountain. Vatican City is the site of lovely St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica, where for 200 years, Renaissance masters worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Visit Vatican Museum.
Livorno serves as a convenient gateway to Tuscany - which is known for classic landscapes and lush vineyards. Visitors come to see great art centers of Florence, Lucca and Pisa - where names like Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Boticelli, da Vinci, Donatello and Dante come to mind. Pisa is known for its brilliant monuments, which include the 11th-century Cathedral, the Baptistery and the leaning Bell Tower. Lucca is one of the most handsome Romanesque cities in Europe. Its historic center features several fine old churches and lovely squares. Lucca is also known as home of composer Giacomo Puccini, whose birthplace is now a museum. Walking in the historic center, shopping in its elegant stores and enjoying a meal of renowned Tuscan cuisine are some highlights of this area. Downtown Livorno has a fine local market and a variety of fine shops and restaurants. Sights include the 14th-century Loggia della Signoria assembly hall in Florence; the Uffizi Gallery, which houses one of the world's famed museums and the Accademia best-known for Michelangelo's sculptures.
Monaco is famous as Côte d’Azur’s playground. With spacious beaches, elegant hotels and lively nightlife, this tiny domain is a jet set favorite and home to some of the world's most expensive real estate. In addition to luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, Monaco is noted for mild climate and magnificent scenery. Monaco and Monte Carlo rank high on every visitor’s must-see list. Monaco-Ville is the old city and seat of Monaco’s government. The 19th-century Romanesque cathedral Prince's Palace contains impressive works of art and the tomb of Princess Grace, while the Parliament building and Oceanographic Museum, under the auspices of the Jacques Cousteau Society, offer additional sights. Monte Carlo spells sophistication, elegance, and glamour. Every year the rich and famous gather here to bask in the sun, gamble at the world’s most opulent casino and attend spectacular parties. The most splendid hotels, several fine theaters, museums and excellent restaurants cater to the elite. Nothing typifies more the elegant lifestyle of the Côte d’Azur than glamorous Monte Carlo.
Marseille is a vibrant, cosmopolitan port in the Provence region of France. Craggy mountains provide a spectacular backdrop. As a Mediterranean melting pot, the port virtually rubs shoulders with intimate, picturesque old harbor, the Vieux Port. Packed with watercrafts, this is the heart of Marseille. Two fortresses guard the harbor: Fort Saint Nicolas and Fort Saint Jean. Several vantage points offer spectacular views, including the impressive Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde - a prominent landmark overlooking the city that is crowned by a monumental, gilded statue of Virgin Mary. Marseille boasts numerous fine museums well worth a visit. Sitting at one of the many outside cafes or strolling the streets of the old port area lets you experience the unpretentious charm of this city. Other sights include Chateau d'If - a 16th century fortress-turned-prison; Basilica St-Victor - Marseille's oldest church with the appearance of a fortress; and La Canebiere - a broad boulevard with everything from hotels to cafes and shops.
Barcelona, the self-confident and progressive capital of Spain, is a tremendous place to be. Though it boasts outstanding Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings, and some great museums – most notably those dedicated to Picasso and Catalan art – it is above all a place where there's enjoyment simply in walking the streets, stopping in at bars and cafés, drinking in the atmosphere. A thriving port and the most prosperous commercial centre in Spain, it has a sophistication and cultural dynamism way ahead of the rest of the country. In part this reflects the city's proximity to France, whose influence is apparent in the elegant boulevards and imaginative cooking. But Barcelona has also evolved an individual and eclectic cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed in the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Scattered as Barcelona's main sights may be, the greatest concentration of interest is around the old town (La Ciutat Vella). These cramped streets above the harbor are easily manageable, and far more enjoyable, on foot. Start, as everyone else does, with the Ramblas.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
Fares are in US dollars, cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy and include fees/taxes. Price does not include airfare, transfers and airline government fees and taxes.
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Pre or post cruise hotel stay.
Optional roundtrip airfare.
Optional shore excursions.
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4801 Woodway Suite 400W
Houston, TX 77056
4801 Woodway Suite 400W Houston, TX 77056
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00pm (CST)
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