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Step on board in Venice, the magical city renowned for its art, architecture and culture. Watch the sunlight dapple on the water as we ease our way through the archipelago. We remain docked here today, providing you with ample time to explore the city.
Awake and further explore central Venice on your own this morning, as you investigate the out-of-the-way passages that reveal beautiful, hidden piazzas, or cross the lagoon to Murano and Burano to view the world-renowned glassblowing craftsmen. Or opt for one of the many optional tours. As your ship sets sail enjoy a spectacular view of the lagoon as we head out to the Adriatic Sea.
Experience the age of antiquity as you wander through the center of the city that is built around the Diocletian Palace, walking through the well-preserved cellars before continuing to the Ethnographic Museum. In this historic quarter, you will notice the results of over 17 centuries of construction, passing pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. You may also choose more natural pursuits, from a rafting trip on the Cetina River or a journey through the Croatian hinterland to the famous waterfalls of the Krka National Park. Or spend the entire day discovering the small, more intimate destinations along the Dalmatian Coast.
Where city meets coastline, you will sail to this beautiful 12th-century walled city in Croatia. The playwright George Bernard Shaw once declared, “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.” Enjoy an entire day here to take an inclusive tour and take in magnificent views of the city and countryside. Then enter the city on foot through the historic Pile Gate, passing by the Sponza Palace, the 15th-century Onofrio’s Fountain and stop inside the Dominican Monastery to see Renaissance paintings. You may also wish to consider exploring the famed Dubrovnik Riviera with a cruise along the Lapad peninsula.
Spend the day traversing the medieval streets of this historic Montenegro town with a walking tour. Pass by Venetian walls constructed in 1420 en route to the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, built in 1166. Notice its mismatched towers, the result of an earthquake and a budget too small to rebuild properly. Included on this tour is a visit to the Maritime Museum, which documents Kotor’s heritage. As an option, venture to the small towns of Budva and Sveti Stefan, the latter once a hideaway for the rich and famous.
Spend the entire day on the romantic island of Corfu, resplendent with charming pastel townhouses and pristine white beaches. Our included tour takes us on a drive to Kanoni, where we will make a photo stop to view tiny Mouse Island and the Vlacherna Monastery. Following the coastline through Garitsa Bay, you will reach the UNESCO Site of the Old Town. See the fabled Esplanade, one of Europe’s largest public squares, and the Liston Promenade, once exclusively reserved for the local aristocracy.
Visit the quaint Greek port of Katakolon, huddled around a pretty little harbour dotted with colourful fishing boats. During your visit, venture into the fertile valleys of the western Peloponnese to the legendary city of Olympia, classical birthplace of the modern-day Olympic Games on the slopes of Mt. Kronos. Walk among the ancient city’s ancient ruins with an expert guide and historian, admiring the remains of temples, the Palaestra, or wrestling school, and the Gymnasium. You will gain insight into the very first Olympic Games at the fascinating museum.
Discover Greece’s iconic capital city of Athens, known as the “birthplace of democracy.” Visit the acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, with its vast collection of Greek antiquities, and partake of the city’s rich café culture. Your ship remains docked overnight, giving you time to take in the wonders of the Acropolis or travel to the Temple of Apollo, where the legendary oracle of Delphi once dispensed her prophetic wisdom.
Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or, as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.
Call on fabled Crete today, home to the Minoans, Europe’s oldest recorded civilization. Here, you will uncover local remnants of the Venetian Empire, which brought great wealth to the capital of Heraklion. Admire the Koules Fortress—known to the Venetians as the Rocca al Mare, or “fortress by the sea”—at the Old Port’s entrance. Explore the café-lined Lions Square and the arched gallery of the celebrated Loggia. And pause to sip tsikoudia, a grape-based brandy distilled in the hills. Alternatively, you might venture to the ancient Palace of Knossos, the famed site where Theseus is said to have slain the mighty Minotaur, or take in the splendid coastal scenery during a tour of the island’s traditional villages.
Discover the Old Town of Rhodes today. This “Island of Knights” prospered from the wealth brought here from the Holy Land by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Follow the Street of the Knights to the most imposing building in Rhodes: the Palace of the Grand Masters, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour this fascinating building, which was first a castle, then a royal palace. Our berth is near the city’s historic quarter, allowing you to linger at your leisure after your included walking tour. Or, opt to visit the Acropolis of Lindos; from its rocky perch, you will have magnificent views of the whitewashed village and harbour below.
Journey into the ancient world today with a visit to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world. Stroll the uneven streets of this once-powerful metropolis and pass sights such as the massive Great Theater and the magnificent Library of Celsus. Visit the remains of the Byzantine Basilica of St. John and see the modest home where legend states that the Virgin Mary lived out her final days. Or, take a scenic drive to the Oracle of Didyma and the Temple of Apollo, part of a once-elaborate Hellenic sanctuary.
Located on the Dardanelles, a key waterway linking the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea, Çanakkale was an object of desire dating back to the ancient Greeks. Today, explore Çanakkale or the nearby ruins of Troy, once a powerhouse of Asia Minor. The remarkably preserved structures of this UNESCO World Heritage Site provide a glimpse of the region’s former glory and offer hints of life here in the days of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor Augustus.
Discover where East meets West as you arrive today in Istanbul. Take time to admire this city that straddles two continents across the Bosphorus Strait, with its Old Quarter skyline of domes and minarets and the twinkling lights of modern Istanbul across the water. Sample delicious cuisine for a taste of this fusion, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia. Enjoy a wealth of religious sites, such as the spectacular Blue Mosque and the legendary Hagia Sophia.
Awake in Istanbul, where you will disembark your ship. From here, you can easily take a few extra days to further explore this historic city with our post-cruise extension.
Advertised prices are person twin share, cruise only based on a Veranda stateroom (V1) and correct at time of publication and are subject to availability and change at any time without notification due to fluctuations in charges, taxes and currency. ^Bonus is included in the advertised price. ¹Companion fly free offer: flights are in economy class, return, departing major Australian cities on Viking’s choice of airline and are subject to availability. Both passengers have to travel together on the same flights in both directions. Offer is valid on new bookings only. Other conditions apply. Please contact your personal travel manager for full terms and conditions.
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