The art, architecture, and archaeological wonders of the eastern Mediterranean are legacies of the world’s most celebrated empires. Over the millennia, a succession of cultures traded, conquered, and settled in these fabled lands, and we follow in their wake, piecing together the pages of the defining chapters of ancient civilization.
• Discover seven amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites that recall the glory of several ancient civilizations.
• Wander through the impressive ruins of Kourion, set on a high bluff overlooking the Mediterranean.
• Embark on an overnight excursion to Luxor, meander down the sphinx-lined entrance, and bask in the grandeur of the Luxor Temple at twilight.
• Visit important historic sites in Israel including the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, Old Jaffa, Acre, and Jerusalem.
• Enjoy a daylight transit of the Suez Canal and learn about its construction and ancient trade routes.
• Explore the majestic Wadi Rum Valley and enjoy a sumptuous lunch surrounded by dramatic desert scenery.
Board your independent flight to Cyprus. Arrive in Larnaca on October 23 and check in to the Radisson Blu Hotel Larnaca for dinner and overnight.
This morning, visit the ruins of Kourion, one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity. Take a stroll through the extensive site to view the magnificent theater dating from the 2nd century BC, the Roman forum, public baths, a palace complex, stately villas with well-preserved mosaics, and an early Christian basilica. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the Caledonian Sky in the late afternoon.
Spend two full days exploring from our anchorage in Haifa. Highlights include the Sea of Galilee for a visit to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the site where Jesus delivered the “Sermon on the Mount.” Visit the Byzantine-style church, and admire the beautiful gold mosaics that decorate the interior. You’ll also visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and make a stop at Capernaum, where Jesus preached and performed several miracles, and view the remains of a famous 2nd-century synagogue. More history unfolds in Acre; a subterranean city and former capital of the Crusader kingdom, today it is one of Israel’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While there, enjoy a tour of the British fortress. A drive along the scenic Mediterranean coast brings you to the ancient city of Caesarea. Originally an ancient Phoenician settlement, the city was given as a gift from Augustus Ceasar to Herod the Great in 30 BC. Explore the fascinating ruins, including the Roman theater still in use today as a venue for musical performances. In Haifa, ascend the slopes of Mount Carmel for breathtaking views of the city. Marvel at the gleaming golden dome of Baha’i Shrine and continue to the 19th-century Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, located on the slopes of Mount Carmel.
From the port of Ashdod, explore some of Israel’s most famous sites. In Old Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest ports, take a stroll along the winding cobblestone streets lined with handicraft shops and art galleries to visit the vibrant Jaffa Flea Market. A walking tour of Tel Aviv includes city hall and the Diaspora Museum, which tells the ongoing story of the Jewish people. You’ll also discover the treasures of ancient Jerusalem on a tour of the Old City, including the Dome of the Rock, the greatest monumental building from early Islamic history. Walk along the Via Dolorosa to see the Stations of the Cross and follow in the traditional footsteps of Jesus to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Resurrection Tomb, thought to be the actual site of the crucifixion. Explore the city’s Jewish Quarter, and experience Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall. You’ll also take a drive up to the Mount of Olives for a picturesque, panoramic view of Jerusalem and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, Mt. Zion, and The Israel Museum to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.
An extraordinary experience awaits as our ship slips into a convoy of vessels for the southbound transit of one of the world’s greatest engineering feats: the 101-mile-long Suez Canal. Its completion in 1869 marked the severing of the African and Asian continents, providing a convenient shortcut for ships that formerly made the arduous and lengthy journey around the Cape of Good Hope. Learn the history of the canal and the ancient trade routes that preceded it and our vantage points on deck afford us up-close views of the contrasts in landscape: rugged terrain on one side and lush greenery on the other.
Today, board a local boat for a delightful snorkeling experience among the colorful coral reefs.
Disembark in Safaga and depart overland for Luxor, the site of the ancient city of Thebes. Check in to the Hilton Luxor Resort, the ideal base from which to explore the ancient culture of the Nile Valley. Visit the Temple of Karnak, featuring the Temple of Amun and the amazing Avenue of the Sphinx. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall; its expertly aligned columns, the largest of which is 80 feet high with a 33-foot circumference, are an amazing sight to behold. At the striking Temple of Luxor, view the three large statues of Ramses II along the front of the temple pylons; the Courtyard of Ramses II behind the East Tower; and the Colonnade of Amenhotep III, with its 14 papyrus-headed columns, some towering up to 50 feet in height. The Temple of Hathor at Denderah is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. View its massive stone roof, dark chambers, underground passages, and columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. Return to the ship on November 1, arriving in time for dinner.
From the coastal town of Sharm el Sheikh, take a scenic cruise to Ras Mohammed, where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez, for a day of snorkeling.
Disembark this morning and board 4x4 vehicles for a ride through Wadi Rum, the majestic valley made famous by T.E. Lawrence and featured in the epic movie Lawrence of Arabia. Enjoy tea with a Bedouin family before tucking in to a sumptuous lunch surrounded by dramatic sandstone formations that tower over the desert floor strewn with immense boulders. Continue overland along the King’s Highway through the Jordanian countryside, passing the spectacular canyon of Wadi al-Mujib en route Amman. Check in to the Intercontinental Amman for dinner and overnight.
Board your independent homeward flight.
Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
23 October, 2021 to 04 November, 2021
Ocean-view staterooms on the Caledonian Deck are 232 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and one window.
Category 1 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Ocean-view staterooms on the Castle Deck are 244 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and three portholes. There are limited singles available at this special single rate; additional singles may be available—contact an Expedition Advisor directly for further details.
Ocean-view staterooms on the Promenade Deck are 217 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and one window plus one porthole.
Category 2 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Ocean-view staterooms on the Caledonian Deck are 232 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and one window. There are limited singles available at this special single rate; additional singles may be available—contact an Expedition Advisor directly for further details.
Ocean-view staterooms on the Promenade Deck are 217 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and a sliding mirrored glass door leading directly to the promenade.
Category 4 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Ocean-view staterooms on the Promenade Deck are 217 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and a sliding mirrored glass door leading directly to the promenade. There are limited singles available at this special single rate; additional singles may be available—contact an Expedition Advisor directly for further details.
Ocean-view staterooms on the Promenade Deck are 243 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and a sliding mirrored glass door leading directly to the promenade.
Ocean-view staterooms on the Bridge Deck are 260 square feet, and feature beds that are configurable into two twins or one queen, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, and a sliding glass door leading to a private balcony.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)
Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.
Overall, prices include accommodations in hotels and on board the ships as outlined in the itineraries; all onboard meals; meals on land as indicated in the itineraries; group transfers; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities.
Charter flights mentioned on the itinerary.
Airfare from your home city/Larnaca and Amman/home city;