Venice to Durban – Santorini & Seychelles

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Take an extraordinary 29-night cruise to the Greek Isles, through the Suez Canal, to the beautiful islands of the Indian Ocean and on to South Africa.

This incredible cruise takes in many gorgeous Greek Isles, delightful Red Sea resorts in Jordan and Israel and includes overnight stays in the Seychelles and in Mauritius.

Departing from iconic Venice you first port of call is the pretty Croatian city of Split. You then sail to Piraeus, the local port for historic Athens, before you start island hopping, visiting the famous islands of Santorini, Crete and Rhodes followed by Cyprus. You will travel through the magnificent engineering feat of the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Your next stop is Aqaba in Jordan, perfect for laying on a sandy beach, snorkelling, or an excursion to the magnificent city of Petra, carved out of the sandstone rocks millennia ago. You’ll visit the Red Sea resort of Eilat before you cruise into the Indian Ocean. You will enjoy an overnight stay in the island paradises of both the Seychelles and Mauritius.There’s one last stop in the remote island of Reunion before you cruise on to Durban in South Africa where your cruise comes to an end.

Inclusions

  • Direct flight from Dublin to Venice, Italy
  • Transfer from airport to port
  • 29 nights onboard the 4* MSC Opera based on 2 adults sharing
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • Entertainment onboard
  • Onboard Gratuities included
  • Transfer from port to airport
  • Indirect flight from Durban to Dublin
  • Taxes, charges and 20kg check-in bag per person

Itinerary

Day 1 Venice Italy

Following your flight, you will be transferred to the port to board the 4* MSC Opera to begin your adventure.

Day 2 Split, Croatia

Croatia’s second-largest city, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split has been humming along for thousands of years.

To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic and help divert attention from the dozens of shabby high-rise apartment blocks that fill its suburbs. It’s this thoroughly lived-in aspect of Split that means it will never be a fantasy land like Dubrovnik, but perhaps it’s all the better for that.

Day 3 At Sea

Cruising.

Day 4 Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.

Day 5 Santorini, Greece

Did the catastrophic volcanic eruption that ravaged Santorini circa 1600 B.C. destroy Crete’s ancient Minoan civilization – and give birth to the myth of Atlantis? In 1967, archaeologists on Santorini unearthed the remains of a Bronze Age city that may have been home to as many as 30,000 people. Whether the Lost Continent of Atlantis is rooted in myth or reality, an undisputed fact remains. The eruption created a caldera – and one of the most dramatic land and seascapes in the entire Mediterranean. On Santorini, whitewashed buildings cling to vertiginous cliffs that plunge to a turquoise sea. Part of the Cyclades Archipelago, the three-island group of Santorini, Thirasia and uninhabited Aspronisi present the traveler with unforgettable vistas. The island has had a number of names throughout history – from Strongyle or “Round” to Thera in honor of an ancient hero. Santorini is more recent and stems from the island church dedicated to St. Irene – Santa Rini to foreign sailors. Note: Santorini is an anchorage port: passengers transfer to shore via shore tender.

Day 6 Heraklion, Crete

Heraklion, also known as Iraklio, is a port city and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for the Palace of Knossos, just outside the city. The huge archaeological site dates back thousands of years to the Minoan civilization, and includes frescoes and baths. Guarding the city’s Venetian port is the 16th-century Koules fortress. Heraklion Archaeological Museum has a large collection of Minoan art.

Day 7 Rhodes, Greece

The island of Rhodes is just waiting for you when your cruise takes you to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its northernmost headland is straddled by Rhodes Town, by far the largest town on the island, in full view of Turkey less than 20km north.

The ancient city that occupied this site, laid out during the fifth century BC by Hippodamos of Miletos, was almost twice the size of its modern counterpart, and at over 100,000 held more than double its population. While the fortified enclave now known as the Old Town is of more recent construction, created by the Knights Hospitaller in the fourteenth century, it’s one of the finest medieval walled cities you could ever hope to see.

A Mediterranean cruise excursion to Rhodes will recall one of the lost Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Colossus, an ancient statue of Apollo erected to commemorate the 305 BC siege, which supposedly straddled the entrance to Mandhráki harbour.

Day 8 Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus. It’s known for the centuries-old Limassol Castle, home to the Cyprus Medieval Museum and its collection of pottery and tombstones. On the seafront is the Prokymea (Molos) Sculpture Park, with sculptures by Cypriot, Greek and international artists. To the northeast is the Limassol Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts from the Neolithic to the Roman periods.

Day 9-10 Transit the Suez Canal, Egypt

Transiting through the Suez Canal is sure to be one of the lifelong memories of your cruise. The thought of a canal linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea extends back in history as far as 2100 B.C. Napoleon Bonaparte, pursuing his dreams of conquest, entertained the notion in 1798. But it was French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps who finally proved that a canal across the Suez was practicable. Work on the canal began in 1858. Eleven years later the opening of the Suez Canal was an international event. The world had acquired a quicker route to Asia-as well as a Verdi opera called Aida.

Of course the Suez Canal was a source of immediate controversy. The British wrested control of the canal from Egypt in 1882. Egypt regained control during its revolution of 1952. In 1956, the British, allied with the French and Israelis, nearly took the canal back. The Arab-Israeli Six Day War of 1967 closed the canal until 1973, when another war and intense international negotiations led to its return to Egyptian control.

Turbulent history aside, what greater cruising memory can one have than serenely sailing along the sands of the desert aboard a Princess ship?

Day 11 Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba is a Jordanian port city on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. Inhabited since 4000 B.C., it’s home to the Islamic-era Aqaba Fort and the adjacent Aqaba Archaeological Museum. Its beach resorts are popular for windsurfing and other water sports, and the area is a top destination for scuba divers, with notable dive sites including the Yamanieh coral reef in the Aqaba Marine Park, south of the city.

Accommodation

MSC Opera

The third ship in a journey of innovation Even before MSC Opera sets sail, stepping on board is like embarking on a voyage of discovery. With its impressive array of new features and facilities, the ship is now even better equipped to satisfy every need. We’ve added spacious new cabins with balconies to delight our guests with superb panoramic views. We’ve enlarged the restaurant and buffet areas to serve up an even greater variety of culinary treats.

We’ve included a new 319 m2 area to fill with music and dancing. With the help of prestigious partners like Chicco, LEGO and Namco, we’ve created fabulous new play areas for children of all ages, starting with an exciting Spray Park packed with fun water features. And to offer even more routes to relaxation, we’ve enhanced the lavish MSC Aurea Spa with more space for massages.

A new shopping area named WALK THROUGH SHOPS will be opened at the deck 6. The Teatro dell’Opera is an ultramodern reinterpretation of traditional lines. Please note that access to the theatre for the evening shows is by booking only (not needed for the other ships). There are three quick and easy ways to book: connect to the free onboard wi-fi network with your smartphone or tablet, use the touch screens on different decks of the ship, or ask at the Reception. All this is just a taste of what a cruise on MSC Opera can offer. There’s a world of new experiences to discover on board, day after day, moment after moment.

Because MSC Opera is the ship that suits you.

Extra Information

Booking Remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable or transferable booking deposit of €250 per person (full payment due at 16 weeks from departure)
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • All Inclusive drinks package can be pre-booked from €29 pppn (call for details)
  • Prices are correct at time of going to press, flight & fuel supplements may apply depending on availability of negotiated airfares.

  Cost per person: €2,829pp
  Number of nights: 29

08 Nov 2020 Inside Bella €2579 - Sold Out
08 Nov 2020 Inside Fantastica €2829
08 Nov 2020 Oceanview Bella €2989
08 Nov 2020 Oceanview Fantastica €3339
08 Nov 2020 Balcony Fantastica €5729

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