A voyage from Athens along the coast of Libya aboard the MS Clipper Odyssey
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 empires. Perhaps 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.
Romans In Africa itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON/MANCHESTER TO IZMIR, TURKEY.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight. On arrival, transfer to Kusadasi and embark the MS Clipper Odyssey. Moor overnight.
Day 2 - KUSADASI & EPHESUS.
From Kusadasi we will drive to the nearby ancient city of Ephesus, a stunning and partially excavated site where excavations have been taking place for over a century. Broad streets are lined by impressive buildings including the library of Celcus and the temples of Serapis and Hadrian. We will see the Church of the Virgin Mary, the most important Christian monument in Ephesus.
Day 3 - HERAKLION, CRETE.
Morning at sea. This afternoon arrive in Heraklion for our guided excursion of the Palace of Knossos, legendary home of the Minotaur.Wander round the site impressively excavated by Sir Arthur Evans seeing some of the 1300 rooms adorned with lively frescoes where KingMinos held court.Moor overnight.
Day 4 - SITIA.
This morning drive to the Minoan palace at Malia and the excavated town of Gournia. Interestingly, both sites were built in open, indefensible locations; the ancient Minoans believed no invaders could possibly attack them.
Day 5 - TOBRUK, LIBYA.
Our first call in Libya will be Tobruk in the far east of the country close to the Egyptian border. It was here that some of the fiercest battles of the Second World War North African Campaign took place. We will visit some of the battle sites and the British War Cemetery.
Day 6 - DERNA, CYRENE & APOLLONIA.
This morning, the MS Clipper Odyssey docks in Derna (the ancient Darnis) on Libya’s Cyrenaican coast. Take a full-day excursion to Cyrene, one of North Africa’s great cities of antiquity. Founded by Greek colonists from the island of Thera (Santorini) in the 7th century B.C., Cyrene was built on the side of a hill, facing the plain and the sea. Its substantial ruins and monuments testify to its wealth and power. Continue to Apollonia and see the impressive marble columns of the Eastern Basilica.
Day 7 - BENGHAZI & PTOLEMAIS.
From Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city and a major commercial port, travel to Ptolemais, an ancient port that occupies a narrow area between the sea and the lower area of the Jebel Akhdar. Originally a Greek settlement of the 7th century B.C., it was refounded by Ptolemy III in the 3rd century B.C. as Ptolemais.
Day 9 - KHOMS & LEPTIS MAGNA.
This morning, call at Khoms on Libya’s Tripolitanian coast. Nearby are the ruins of Leptis Magna, one of the Mediterranean’s most compelling ancient sites. Leptis Magna achieved its prominence in the 3rd century A.D. under the Severan emperors, who launched an unprecedented, lavish building scheme, embellishing the city with extraordinary public buildings. Excellently preserved to the present day because of its burial under shifting sands, this glorious coastal city is a unique example of ancient town planning. Spend the day exploring the city’s magnificent buildings, monuments, temples and streets.
Day 10 - SABRATHA.
From the port of Tripoli, drive to nearby Sabratha which began life as a Carthaginian trading post. Under the Romans the city flourished and the impressive ruins including temples, public baths, fountains and an excellent museum are located by the sea. Moor overnight in Tripoli.ith its spacious natural harbour, Tripoli’s site attracted Phoenician and Greek settlers, followed by the Romans, who erected the impressive arch honouring Marcus Aurelius. Later, Tripoli grew wealthy from the Saharan caravan trade. Spend the morning exploring Libya’s capital, focusing on the Medina, the medieval walled town built on the site of the Roman settlement. Also tour the Jamahiriya Museum, housed in the massive Citadel, which dates from the medieval period. There will also be time to explore the city’s colourful souks. Afternoon at sea.
Day 11 - TRIPOLI.
With its spacious natural harbour, Tripoli’s site attracted Phoenician and Greek settlers, followed by the Romans, who erected the impressive arch honouring Marcus Aurelius. Later, Tripoli grew wealthy from the Saharan caravan trade. Spend the morning exploring Libya’s capital, focusing on the Medina, the medieval walled town built on the site of the Roman settlement. Also tour the Jamahiriya Museum, housed in the massive Citadel, which dates from the medieval period. There will also be time to explore the city’s colourful souks. Afternoon at sea.
Day 12 - MALTA TO LONDON/MANCHESTER.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for the return scheduled flight to your chosen airport.embark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for the return scheduled flight to London.
The Clipper Odyssey is a 110-passenger luxury expedition vessel, ideally suited for expedition cruising.
She carries a fleet of Zodiacs, which allows us to land anywhere nature or curiosity dictates. All cabins have an ocean view, safe, minibar, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, in-room music system, and sitting area with sofa. Passengers can track the progress of their voyage on the Global Positioning System broadcast in each cabin. Beds can be configured for twin or queen-size sleeping arrangements. All cabins have an en suite bathroom complete with shower and small bathtub. In the comfort of their cabin, passengers can track the progress of their expedition on the Global Positioning System broadcast—a highlight of a Clipper Odyssey voyage for adventure-minded guests.
Additional facilities include a gourmet kitchen featuring American and international cuisine, dining room, lounge, small library and gym, outdoor pool, and gift shop. An elevator services all passenger cabin decks. Ship registry: Bahamas.