Passage to Libya
(*1st to 11th March 2011 Cruise repeated in reverse)
Few places around the Mediterranean can inspire the traveller as much as Libya. Its Greek and Roman sites are simply breathtaking and beautifully illustrate the brilliance of their cultures. The greatest site, Leptis Magna, transports you to another world and time and here, it is easy to imagine daily life in Roman times. As we take our passage through history, our guest speaker and local guides will enhance our knowledge of this epic land where once the legendary Ulysses travelled, Caesar battled with the Berbers and his Roman rivals and Belisarius, the greatest of all Byzantine generals, fought and ejected the Vandals.
There is another vital element that makes Libya so attractive. The very lack of any real tourism infrastructure means that very often the sites are oddly quiet with few other visitors. This combined with the stunning settings where a dazzling blue sea forms a dramatic backdrop makes Libya unique. For most lovers of history, Libya remains a mystery and here is an opportunity for a small group to discover some of the most thrilling archaeological sites, as if fresh from the archaeologists’ spades. Leptis is one of the largest and least disturbed, retaining the wonderful buildings that its favourite son Septimius Severus bestowed on his home town when he became emperor. His forum, much of it still standing, is one of the largest public spaces, not just from antiquity but down to the present day.
And if the grandeur of Rome palls for just a moment, ancient Cyrene, the most important and complete Greek city in Africa, is similarly undisturbed and serenely occupies one of the most numinous sites, centred on a magnificent Doric temple to rival the best of Sicily or Paestum. Furthermore the museums on the sites and in the capital of Tripoli are full of treasures which are not familiar owing to the lack of publications and which include some of the finest mosaics anywhere.
Passage to Libya itinerary:
The MS Callisto has a guest list which is limited to 34, a party large enough to bring together an interesting mix, but small enough to foster a true spirit of community. Beautifully appointed and filled with amenities one would expect to find in a fine country house, the 17 cabins feature large windows (portholes on the Daphne Deck) that look out to sea. Cabins also feature:
• Satellite TV, DVD/CD player
• Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
• Plush terry robes and slippers
• Decorated with rich fabrics, handsome wood, polished brass, the yacht’s public spaces are warm and inviting. These include:
• Library with Internet access
• Lounge with audiovisual facilities
• Dining room
• Two sun decks
• Swimming platform
MS Callisto’s steward and kitchen staff seek fresh provisions from many ports of call. Guests savour just caught fish and perfectly ripened produce from local markets, resulting in menus of classic regional specialties as well as creative Continental fare. Select regional wines are complimentary with lunch and dinner (wine is not permitted to be served in Libyan waters). Meals are served at a single, unassigned seating in the elegantly-styled dining room, surrounded by large picture windows. Weather permitting, guests may also dine al fresco on the broad sun decks.
An Uncommon Advantage
MS Callisto’s compact size allows visits to unspoiled islets, pristine beaches and intimate coves inaccessible to larger cruise-liners. She is both large enough to offer every possible comfort and small enough to navigate tiny inlets and berth in exclusive harbours, taking travellers where few have gone before.