Embark your ship – Norwegian Epic
Rome is often described as being the world’s biggest open air museum – The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain where a tossed coin promises your return to the Eternal City. Take a walking tour of its many historical landmarks and enjoy the food, the culture, the ambience, and the surrounding scenery. There is no doubt you’ll learn the meaning of la dolce vita (the sweet life) when you visit Rome.
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Santorini
Santorini (or Thira) is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. The island is described as the most scenically dramatic of all the Greek Islands – blessed with rugged landscapes, stunning caldera (volcanic crater), and an array of beautiful beaches – including Perissa, Kamari, and the famous Red Beach. Stroll among the white-washed churches and clifftop houses of Fira and Oia and purvey the spectacular vista below.
Day 4: Piraeus (Athens)
Athens is a world centre of archaeological research, and home to exciting historical sites such as the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as world-class institutes such as the National Archaeological Museum. It also has a thriving nightlife as well as lively markets, luxurious Hammam baths, and stunning views of the city from the peak of Mount Lycabettus
Day 5: Mykonos
Mykonos is a picture perfect island town filled with whitewashed steps and cube houses with blue doors. Narrow marble clad streets, mazes of quirky shops famed for their gold jewellery, easily accessible trips to admire the historic white windmills on the hillside. This is an ideal port to tour on foot.
Day 6: Chania
This is a beautiful port town on the North West coast of Crete, with an atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past. The old town is centred around the harbour, it is a maze of alleys and houses that is full of souvenir, art and crafts shops. Also head down the coast to Heraklion for the Archaeological Museum which holds the remains of the 3000-year old Minoan civilization.
Day 7: Malta
Malta is a Mediterranean island of great historical importance influenced by many great empires. The capital fortress city of Valletta, described as an open air museum, is mainly Baroque in character having been built in the 16th century by the Order of St John of Jerusalem. It offers some of Europe’s finest palaces, churches, and works of art. Valletta harbour is surrounded by cream coloured buildings, twisting streets, hillsides beyond, fishing craft and luzzo boats below.
Day 8: Straits of Messina (scenic cruising)
The Strait of Messina is a narrow waterway between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. A cruise down this strait provides beautiful views of the neighbouring countries’ coastlines.
Day 9: Naples
Under the shadow of Vesuvius, Naples is best known for its cache of medieval and Baroque architecture, and as the birthplace of the pizza. With Pompeii on its doorstep, a labyrinthine World Heritage-listed historic centre, and as many churches as Rome, there’s a lot to see in this city on the Bay of Naples. Sip a glass of Lacryma Christi wine from the slopes of Vesuvius or shop for a handcrafted nativity scene on Via San Gregorio Armeno. Visit the Archaeological Museum, Museo di Capodimonte, Cathedral, Posillipo Terrace or simply order an authentic Margherita pizza at a piazza café.
Day 10: Livorno (Florence/Pisa)
The cradle of the Renaissance and home to the Uffizi Gallery which is only rivalled by the Louvre for its collection of Renaissance masterpieces. You can also make your way to the world famous tower of Pisa which took over 177 years to build and has been leaning since construction began in 1173.
Day 11: Civitavecchia (Rome)