Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Agrigento and Syracuse; cruise among the scenic Aeolian Islands and enjoy up-close views of still-active Stromboli Volcano; and tour Monreale’s impressive 12th-century Cathedral, hailed as Italy’s most beautiful Norman church, all on this circumnavigati

Highlights


• Attend cooking demonstrations on how to prepare traditional Sicilian dishes, and enjoy wine and olive oil tastings.

• Enjoy free time to stroll through picturesque coastal towns with opportunities to dine ashore on your own.

• Tour Monreale’s impressive 12th-century Cathedral and the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, hailed as two of Italy’s most beautiful Norman churches.

• Explore the exquisite Greek and Roman ruins of Agrigento and Syracuse—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

• Cruise among the scenic Aeolian Islands and enjoy up-close views of still-active Stromboli Volcano.

Arrive in Malta this afternoon and transfer to our hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. This evening, attend a welcome reception with dinner and overnight at our hotel.
After breakfast, explore historic Valletta, Malta’s enchanting capital city built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. Visit the National Museum of Archaeology, the Grand Master’s Palace, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, and the Temple of Hagar Qim, a complex of monolithic edifices built between 3600 and 2500 BC. Embark the Serenissima this evening.
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Agrigento, a World Heritage Site. The exquisite architecture of the Valley of the Temples dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC and includes the Temple of Zeus—the largest Doric temple from Greek antiquity. Return to the ship for lunch and attend informative lectures as the ship cruises toward Mazara del Vallo. Time permitting, there may be an opportunity to go ashore for dinner on your own.
After breakfast, disembark in Mazara and drive to the sprawling 7th-century BC site of Selinunte. Local guides lead you through these Greek ruins to the Sanctuary of Demetra Malophoros and the Acropolis. Return to the ship for lunch, then drive to Marsala for a walking tour. Make a stop at Cantine Florio, one of Sicily’s ancient wine estates, to enjoy local specialties accompanied by Marsala wines.
Step ashore in the thriving fishing town of Trapani, then depart overland to visit Erice, a charming medieval village perched high on a mountain-top with stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Alternatively, visit the ruins of Segesta, once the center of the ancient Elymian civilization, and home to a magnificent Doric temple. Both groups will enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch at Olive Oil Farm in Fontanasalsa, before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon of lectures.
Palermo is famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques, and Byzantine mosaics. Visit the impressive 12th-century Cathedral and the Palatine Chapel in the Norman castle; today the building serves as the seat of the Sicilian government. Highlights of your walking tour through the town center include the famous Ballaro food market, Massimo Theater, Quattro Canti, Town Hall, and Martorana Church. Then enjoy an aperitif at the Palazzo Gangi, noted for its Sicilian Baroque ballroom decorated with Murano chandeliers, gold fittings, and glittering mirrors. This afternoon, you are free to explore Palermo on your own, or join a guided tour of Monreale’s fabled Cathedral. Built in 1174 and hailed as Italy’s most beautiful Norman church, the interior is covered with mosaics, gold leaf, and stone intarsia.
Situated on the northern coast, Cefalù is of Greek origin; its name, meaning “head,” derives from its position below a precipitous rocky headland. A walking tour includes the splendid Norman-Arab Cathedral, begun in 1131 and famous for its glittering Byzantine mosaics; a medieval wash-house; and the Osterio Magno, the 11th-century residence of King Ruggiero II. Lunch is a highlight today as you join a local chef at Tasca Lanza Estate who will teach you how to prepare traditional Sicilian dishes. There will also be time for wine sampling and a chance to explore the lovely grounds of the Estate, or to simply relax among your scenic surroundings.
Take a walking tour through the center of Lipari to reach the impressive fort, built in 1556 upon the ruins of an ancient Greek acropolis. Within the fort walls you will find the superb Aeolian Archaeological Museum and the lovely Norman St. Bartolomeo Church. Return to the ship for an afternoon of cruising through the lovely Aeolian Islands en route to active Stromboli Volcano for sunset photos, with the chance to watch for the Stromboli “fireworks” as darkness falls.
This morning, disembark in Taormina and board coaches for an excursion to 9,500-foot-high Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Take a cable car up Etna’s pock-marked slopes, then continue in 4x4 vehicles to reach the main crater at 9,000 feet, with the opportunity for a short hike. In the afternoon, a walking tour of charming Taormina takes you to the 3rd-century Greco-Roman Theater, renowned for acoustic effects that make it a favorite concert venue to this day. Then take a stroll along the lively pedestrian-only Corso Umberto and explore its many narrow off-shooting lanes that lead to pretty piazzas lined with shops.
Today you have your choice of two tours. An inland drive takes you through a series of photogenic villages to Piazza Armerina, famous for its superb Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale. Enjoy lunch at a Sicilian restaurant near the Greek site of Morgantina, then tour the ruins and visit the small, but excellent Aidone Museum. Or, choose a city tour that visits the famous morning fish market in Catania’s town square where a colorful variety of local products are on display. After lunch aboard the ship, or on your own in town, drive to Piazza Armerina for a tour Villa Romana del Casale.
Founded by the Corinthians in the 8th century BC, Syracuse was one of the most powerful Greek cities—defending its sovereignty against such rivals as Carthage, the Etruscans, and the Romans, who later overtook the city, followed by the Arabs. Begin at the Saint John Catacombs with their maze of underground passageways then drive to the Archaeological Park, a World Heritage Site. Highlights include the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus; the Ear of Dionysius, a grotto with an extraordinary echo; and the massive 15,000-seat Greek Theater. Return to the ship, at port in Ortygia, for lunch, before striking out for a walking tour of the old town. Highlights include the ruins of the 6th-century BC Apollo Temple—the oldest in Sicily—and the Piazza Duomo, built around the ancient Temple of Minerva (Athena). There will be time to explore the small food market, or enjoy free time on your own, before heading back to the ship.
Disembark in Valletta this morning and transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Category 1

$ 9980 USD pp
Category 1
Ocean-view suites on Decks 3, 4, and 5 range from 109-136 square feet, and have one or two portholes. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Category 1 Special Single Rate (Limited)

$ 9980 USD pp
Category 1 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Ocean-view suites on Decks 3, 4, and 5 range from 109-136 square feet, and have one or two portholes. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom. There are limited singles available at this special single rate; additional singles may be available—contact an Expedition Advisor directly for further details.

Category 2

$ 10480 USD pp
Category 2
Ocean-view suites on Deck 3 range from 109-211 square feet, and have one or two portholes. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Category 3 Special Single Rate (Limited)

$ 11280 USD pp
Category 3 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Ocean-view suites on Deck 4 range from 124-198 square feet, and have either portholes or windows. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom. There are limited singles available at this special single rate; additional singles may be available—contact an Expedition Advisor directly for further details.

Category 3

$ 11280 USD pp
Category 3
Ocean-view suites on Deck 4 range from 124-198 square feet, and have either portholes or windows. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Category 4

$ 11980 USD pp
Category 4
Ocean-view suites on Decks 4, 5, and 6 average 172 square feet, and have two windows. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Category 5

$ 13280 USD pp
Category 5
Ocean-view suites on Deck 6 average 230 square feet, and have three windows. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Category 6

$ 15280 USD pp
Category 6
Ocean-view suites on Decks 6 and 7 range from 244 - 284 square feet; some feature seven windows, while others have a window and patio doors leading to private balconies. They each have either two fixed twin beds or one double bed, and and feature an en suite bathroom.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95)

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018

We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

AIR-CONDITIONING

The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

DAILY PROGRAMME

A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance.

DISABLED FACILITIES

The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

DOCTOR

A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. 

ELECTRICITY

The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

GRATUITIES

Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

INTERNET

The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

LANGUAGE

All members of the crew speak English.

MONEY

The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

PUBLIC AREAS

• Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00.

• Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access)

• Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines

• Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area)

• Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

SNORKELLING

Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach. 

TELEVISION

The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship.

ZODIACS

Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 

 

Cabin layout for Serenissima
Serenissima
Italy and France ExpeditionExpedition
12 Days from
$ 9980 USD pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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