Jordan is rich in biblical history, breathtaking natural beauty, and a vibrant culture that has a long tradition of welcoming others with open arms. Begin your journey with this discovery-packed extension and experience firsthand what others have only dreamed of. Visit the legendary sites of Bethany, where Lazarus was raised from the dead, and Mount Nebo, from where Moses first laid eyes on the Holy Land. Explore the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, legendary outpost of the Empire. Float on the Dead Sea’s famously buoyant waters and meet a local artisan to learn about the region’s renowned mosaics. And with extra time, you can even see more of the remarkable “White City” of Amman, a fascinating blend of Roman-era monuments, busy souks, and urban sophistication.
Board an overnight flight to England
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to England. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Dublin, Ireland.
Arrive in London
Welcome to London! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Relax with an afternoon at leisure to acclimate and a Welcome Briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner alongside your fellow travelers at the hotel.
From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace: Exploring London’s landmarks
Today you’ll discover this great metropolis on a half-day guided city tour that introduces you to London’s landmarks, including Westminster Abbey (panoramic), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (UNESCO), Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and much more. You’ll also enjoy an included visit to the Imperial War Museum, which explores conflict from WWI to the present day. This afternoon, discover more of the English capital on your own.
Explore Windsor Castle and embark the Ocean Odyssey
Today, en route to Poole, you’ll set off to Windsor. Enjoy some free time for lunch on your own before a guided tour of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Queen Elizabeth spends most of her private weekends at the castle, which has housed 39 monarchs since its founding by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.
This afternoon, embark the Ocean Odyssey and begin your own journey of discovery. Among the highlights? The curated dining you'll experience tonight during your first dinner on board, and throughout your expedition.
Saint-Malo and Mont Saint-Michel
You’ll be transported back to medieval times when you arrive in Saint-Malo, France, today. This walled city has a long seafaring history and is the birthplace of Jacques Cartier, the first European man to discover Canada. Inside its walls, Saint-Malo’s streets overflow with cafés and restaurants — the modern mixing with the medieval.
A full-day tour unveils a true gem of France: Mont Saint-Michel. You'll transfer to this Benedictine abbey, which is dramatically situated on a hulking granite island surrounded by granite walls. It is so iconic that UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage Site! On a guided tour, learn about the history of this legendary place while wandering the tangle of lanes within. Afterward, seek out a classic French meal at a nearby brasserie with provided lunch money.
The best of Brest
Once destroyed by Allied air attacks in World War II, today’s rebuilt Brest is a major French hub, and the site of your explorations today. Depart on a city tour via coach and walking, including a visit to the Château de Brest, a strategic military outpost and the oldest functioning castle in the world. After a lunch aboard ship, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in town, perhaps touring the Musée des Beaux-Arts or the stunning Brest National Botanical Garden, which features one of the largest collections of endangered plant species in the world. Another enlightening lecture takes place before dinner on board.
Belle-Île, a sandy and secluded isle off France’s Brittany coastline, is yours to explore today. Most people arrive to the island via ferry from the mainland, or not at all — this is another oft-overlooked outpost that the versatile Ocean Odyssey can reach.
On a full-day tour, discover the stunning pastel-hued harbor and its homes, the star-shaped citadel in capital Le Palais, and charming inland villages like the commune of Sauzon — once the muse for Monet, who spent several months here during the climax of his career. This island is a favorite among celebrities who love its laid-back charm and rich history of arts and crafts. You'll also enjoy lunch at a local restaurant during your tour.
Bordeaux, the Port of the Moon
Enjoy scenic sailing this morning as the Ocean Odyssey as we make our way through the Gironde Estuary to the Garonne River and into Bordeaux, France — one of the smaller ports most vessels can’t reach!
As you cruise there this morning, spend some time in the boutique, soaking up sun and sightseeing from the deck.
This morning, join your guest lecturer for another talk that prepares you for the exciting explorations we've planned: two days exploring UNESCO-listed Bordeaux, known as the “Port of the Moon” because of its crescent-shaped docks along the river. Often overlooked by the glamorous outposts of Paris and Marseille, Bordeaux is arguably the wine capital of the world, and home to La Cité du Vin wine museum, which you’ll visit on an afternoon city tour that includes a wine tasting, too. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Bordeaux, with dinner on the Ocean Odyssey. You'll overnight in Bordeaux, so take advantage of the extra time by heading into town for an after-dinner cocktail or glass of wine, or simply stroll around town. Tonight, enjoy onboard entertainment.
Pick your choice of tours in Bordeaux
This morning after breakfast, you'll have your choice of tours: You may embark on a half-day excursion to the UNESCO-listed Saint-Emilion, or a half-day tour to Arcachon. The former will bring you to a commune teeming with medieval architecture where you'll sample local wines during a tasting. The later will bring you to a seaside resort town where you'll enjoy a tasting of freshly-shucked oysters.
Enjoy your afternoon at leisure in Bordeaux. Tonight, enjoy an informative lecture before dinner. Your ship sails overnight to San Sebastian.
Seaside splendor in the resort town of San Sebastián
Wake up in San Sebastián today, one of Spain’s most alluring resort towns renowned for its beaches and its food. A morning tour of the city’s historical gems includes the Parte Vieja (Old Town), the twin-towered Santa Maria Church, and Good Shepherd Cathedral, but merely strolling the streets of this coastal treasure — or watching the waves break over La Concha beach — is a pleasure all its own.
The Ocean Odyssey will cruise to Gijón overnight.
Oviedo, Spain’s cosmopolitan northern capital
Discover Oviedo, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s northern coast and home to some impressive churches including Cathedral of San Salvador, which is where the original Way of St. James began. Soak in the old-world beauty of this town and its collectively listed UNESCO monuments before returning to the ship for lunch.
Then, spend an afternoon at leisure in Gijón, a city of beautiful beaches and a rich history situated on the shimmering Bay of Biscay. Return to the ship this evening for dinner on board and another scintillating lecture.
Exploring UNESCO-listed Santiago de Compostela
Your expedition brings you to La Coruna, Spain, and the country's westernmost corners today, where you’ll experience a full-day exploration of the UNESCO-listed Santiago de Compostela, one of the most sacred places in the world for Christian pilgrims. It’s believed that Saint James was buried here in the first century, but the location was forgotten over the years until a ninth-century hermit saw a shining light over a spot in a wooded field, sparking an ensuing investigation that revealed what was believed to be the lost tomb of Saint James. A church was constructed, and it quickly became one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations of medieval times. It remains so today, with more than 200,000 people walking the nearly 500-mile path (called the Way of Saint James) annually. You’ll get a chance to see both the church and the route that millions have taken to get there. Lunch is included at a local restaurant today, complete with local entertainment.
Inside Porto, the “Unvanquished City”
Enjoy breakfast as the ship arrives to Porto, known as the “Unvanquished City” because the Romans or Moors never overtook it. According to 15th-century legend, the people of Porto donated all their meat to a military fleet departing for battle — leaving themselves with nothing but offal (tripas). Considering the sacrifice an ancestral badge of honor, Porto residents still proudly call themselves Tripeiros.
Embark on a panoramic drive through Portugal’s second largest city, which includes its UNESCO-listed city center and a visit to a local market. Then, enjoy a tasting of one of this region's sweetest delights — Port Wine. Return to the ship for lunch, with an afternoon at leisure to explore Porto on your own. Don’t miss a visit to one of the top bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello (which inspired J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter library), where you can peruse the shelves and admire the décor of this one-of-a-kind gem.
Later this afternoon, hear an onboard lecture about local history. Dinner is on board, with overnight sailing to Lisbon.
Lap up the highlights of monumental Lisbon
Arrive in Lisbon this morning and set out to explore its historic highlights. First is the Belém Tower, the city’s iconic gateway at the mouth of the Tagus River. Ships laden with treasures from Portugal’s far-flung empire would stop to be assessed here. Nearby, marvel at the ornate Hieronymites Monastery, an exquisite example of Portugal’s Manueline architecture. Unique to Portugal, this baroque style of ornamentation blends religious and nautical symbols with fanciful interpretations of the flora, fauna, and people of the New World.
Enjoy lunch on your own with provided money in the local currency. You’ll also enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém, a buttery custard confection based on an old recipe from the monks. It’s not only Portugal’s favorite pastry, but a trendy treat for foodies around the world.
Portimão, gateway to the vistas and villages of The Algarve
Cruise along Portugal’s scenic Algarve region this morning before mooring in Portimão, a former center of fishing and shipbuilding. Journey to the historic town of Silves, surrounded by orange and lemon groves, to visit its red sandstone Moorish Castle and 13th-century cathedral constructed by Alfonso X of Castile. There’ll be time to peruse the fascinating exhibits of the Archaeological Museum before continuing to the market town of Monchique, a delightful mountain enclave of cobbled streets where small decorative doorways lead into artisan workshops where folding wooden chairs are still handmade as they were in Roman times. You will see the 17th-century Franciscan monastery for splendid views of the Old Town and admire the traditional azulejo tiles adorning the 16th-century parish church.
We'll head back to the Ocean Odyssey for a late lunch with an evening at leisure. Before dinner, don't miss another lecture that elucidates the history and culture of this captivating region.
Give in to the seductions of Seville and home-hosted dinner on a family-owned bull farm
After breakfast you’ll tour Andalusia’s storied capital, Seville, including the Real Alcázar, a monumental complex of fortifications, palaces, and gardens spanning the Arabic period through the 19th century. Stop at the old University of Seville, whose main building is housed in the former Royal Tobacco Factory where Bizet set the famous opening scene of his opera Carmen.
At the Plaza de España, constructed for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, admire an elegant canvas of tiled fountains, bridges, and arcades. Another UNESCO site featured today is the Archivo General de Indias, a Renaissance building housing priceless historic records of the Spanish Empire. You may also step inside the Seville Cathedral — where Ferdinand, Isabella, and Christopher Columbus are entombed — and have the opportunity to climb to the top of its soaring La Giralda Tower. After exploring, you'll have lunch onboard and an afternoon at leisure.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Seville to shop and explore; your onboard Concierge can point you to the best spots. Later, you'll set out into the countryside to a local family’s bull farm, where you will enjoy a tour, a delicious home-hosted dinner of Spanish fare, and a rich cultural exchange.
Uncover the treasures of Seville and Guadalquivir River sailing
Today is full of possibilities as you have the morning at leisure to explore the Andalusian capital on your own.
If you'd like to see more of Seville, our included shuttle service will whisk you into town. Take in city views from atop the Metropol Parasol, a remarkable wooden structure of 100-foot pillars topped by a wavy roof traversed by a winding walkway. Or visit the excellent Fine Arts Museum.
This afternoon, attend a lecture about the riches of Andalusia. Then, enjoy some scenic sailing and cruise along the historic Guadalquivir River through Doñana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important habitat for waterfowl. Commentary from the bridge gives you insight into this pristine wilderness, and birders should take advantage of this opportunity to get a good look at some of the birds, including Thekla's lark and the western olivaceous warbler. If you've brought a telephoto lens for your camera, try to get some images from the deck. Relax and have dinner onboard in the evening.
A taste of Britain at the tip of Spain
Step ashore in Gibraltar, known as “The Rock” for its most famous and dominant geographic feature. Throughout the day, you will have expansive views of both Europe and Africa. Our tour includes a funicular ride to the Castle of Gibraltar. Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready in case you catch a glimpse of the famed Barbary apes (macaques) that live on the rock. British-flavored Gibraltar is a great spot for pub-hopping and duty-free shopping before we return to ship for lunch. You have the afternoon free to wander Gibraltar’s streets, perhaps coming up on a red Victorian post box or a fish-and-chips shop. Our afternoon lecture sheds light on your discoveries and you have the evening to admire the imposing Rock of Gibraltar as you sip a cocktail on the sun deck.
Discover posh Sotogrande and the stunning Ronda gorge
After breakfast we drop anchor in Sotogrande, a flashy residential enclave in historic Andalusia. Head inland to the heights of the sierras and Ronda, first settled by the Celts. A procession of Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans, Moors, Berbers, Visigoths, and other Europeans have since left their cultural mark in the town’s distinctive white stucco neighborhoods. You’ll see the old Roman Bridge spanning the deep El Tajo Gorge below, the stately Casa de Don Bosco, and Mondragon Palace. Then visit the Plaza de Toros — the oldest bullring in Spain. Here, a docent will provide an informative talk on the history of Spanish bullfighting.
While in Ronda, we’ll have lunch in a local restaurant and enjoy free time in the city. After dinner onboard we welcome some local entertainers on our ship for a lively cultural performance.
Beauty and history in seaside Málaga
Wake up in Málaga, the provincial capital and birthplace of Pablo Picasso that recently remade itself into a popular cultural hub with a restored historic center. Your city tour reveals Málaga's wide boulevards lined with turn-of-the-century apartments; the Gothic Cathedral and Gibralfaro Castle (an 11th-century Moorish fortification), the adjacent Alcazaba, (the old Moorish palace). You will also visit the Picasso Museum, home to almost 300 of the artist’s works.
After lunch on board you’ll have the afternoon to relax on the spacious sun deck or explore Málaga on your own. You'll overnight in Málaga to fully experience all this town has to offer.
This evening, enjoy another informative lecture by a local artist
before another sumptuous dinner on the Ocean Odyssey.
Explore the storied city of Granada
In Motril you set out on a full-day excursion to fabled Granada, the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors. Set in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada boasts one of the world’s most spectacular fortified palace complexes, the legendary Alhambra. On a guided tour, you'll see its most famous attractions, including the renowned fountains and gardens of the adjacent Generalife.
Enjoy lunch in a typical Spanish restaurant and then return to the ship in Almeria this afternoon. You'll learn more about Andalusia during today’s onboard lecture as you set sail for Málaga late this evening.
Exploring Cartagena's Roman flourishes
After breakfast on board the ship arrives in the natural harbor of Cartagena, in use since the city was established as a major naval center by the Carthaginians in 227 BC. You’ll get acquainted with its history at La Concepción Castle, which overlooks the old Roman Theatre, the second largest in Iberia. Walking down the Calle Mayor, you’ll also see some of the Cartagena’s noteworthy art nouveau buildings, including the gleaming white façade of the Cervantes House and the elegant Grand Hotel, where you have time to explore on your own.
After returning to ship for lunch, your afternoon is free. Perhaps you’ll relax and take in some Spanish sunshine on deck. Before another gourmet dinner on the Ocean Odyssey, yet another lecture illuminates more about this historic region.
Mallorca: Jewel of Spain’s Balearic Islands
The ship arrives in in Palma de Mallorca this morning. Perhaps you'll catch the sunrise this morning from the Ocean Odyssey's observation deck, or get in a morning workout at the gym before a delicious breakfast.
Ringed by pristine crescent beaches and cloaked in lush green forest, Mallorca is an island paradise for the Spanish and visitors alike. On a panoramic city tour, you'll explore the stunning circular Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century for the Kings of Mallorca. Later, step inside the massive, Gothic La Seu Cathedral. This honey-colored masterpiece boasts a cavernous interior designed by Antoni Gaudí and a 144-foot-high nave. Return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon at leisure in Palma de Mallorca.
Be mesmerized by Barcelona, Catalonia’s vibrant cultural heart
You'll get to know the sophisticated capital of Catalonia on a panoramic tour that includes the hugely successful revitalization project of Port Vell, the Olympic Village that hosted the 1992 Games. First, ascend Montjuïc, which means Jewish Mountain and behold its ornate castle as well as panoramic views of the city. Then, head to Plaza de España, one of Barcelona's most important historic squares. Finally, continue to La Barceloneta Beach, where you'll enjoy lunch.
Afterward, we'll have an outside visit to La Sagrada Família cathedral, Antoni Gaudí’s famous masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you'd like, you can ask for a ticket to tour the inside. After seeing the architectural treasures along the tree-lined Passieg de Gràcia — including surreal buildings by Gaudí — enjoy an afternoon at leisure on Las Ramblas. Dinner awaits back on board.
Historic and cultural wonders of French Occitanie
The seaside resort of Sète is your entrée to two historic treasures. Again today, you can select the tour that suits your interest: a full-day tour of Carcassonne or a half-day tour to Montpellier and Château de Flaugergues.
If you choose the first option, you'll journey to UNESCO-listed Carcassonne, the largest and best preserved fortified medieval town in Europe. Step back in time within its massive walls, exploring narrow, cobbled streets, the breathtaking St. Nazaire Basilica, an 11th-century Romanesque church, the 12th-century Château Comtal and countless other treasures from the Middle Ages. After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the reverential Fontfroide Abbey, founded in 1093, with its hushed cloister and vaulted chapter house.
Alternately, visit the historic and stylish city of Montpellier, capital of the Languedoc-Rousillon region. In the Old Town, admire elegant mansions and other stunning architecture that fuses the classical and the avant-garde. In the Place de la Comèdie, admire the Three Graces fountain. You also will see the fortress-like Cathedral St. Pierre and the Arc de Triomphe. Later, stop for a tour and wine-tasting at the 18th-century Château de Flaugergues. Romans were the first to cultivate grapes on these grounds 2,000 years ago. After the tasting, you'll be back on board the Ocean Odyssey for lunch and an afternoon at leisure in Sète.
Witness the magic of southern France
Steeped in history and boasting a newly-revived waterfront, Marseille provides a beguiling glimpse of a French medieval port. From here, you have two ways to delve into the celebrated south of France today: full-day tour to romantic Provence or a full-day safari in Camargue National Park.
The first included tour takes you deeper into the heart of Provence. Begin at the Gordes Castle in its namesake town, a postcard-picture hilltop village climbing a slope from the Vaucluse plateau. After, continue to the red cliffs and ochre quarries of Roussillon. The emerald pine trees and vivid blue Provençal sky create a stunning canvas. We provide you some euros to have lunch at a restaurant of your choosing, then it’s on to a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence’s Old Town, strolling under the lovely plane trees of Cours Mirabeau past elegant mansions. If you wish, you may visit Paul Cézanne’s atelier during your free time.
Your second tour option is decidedly wilder. Head into Camargue National Park to explore the vast Rhône River Delta, a pristine region of swamps, river tendrils and ponds teeming with numerous bird species, including the pink flamingo. Throughout your safari, you will pause as opportunities arise to view the region’s wild Camargue horses and bulls grazing as manades, or free-roaming herds. You will visit a working farm to learn more about the horses and bulls, and dine at a local restaurant for lunch.
Uncover the charms of Cannes
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board as you sail into one of the most glamorous ports on the Cote d'Azur: Cannes. This modern resort city is known for its annual film festival, and you’ll enjoy a panoramic walking tour here, taking in views of the Promenade de la Croisette and stopping to admire the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, home of the Cannes Film Festival. Continue to the old town of Le Suquet, where Roman ruins and sweeping views of the city and harbor await.
Next, you’ll visit the Perfume Factory of Grasse for a special presentation. You’ll tour the factory and learn about how the flowers are boiled and the essence is condensed using one of the world’s oldest distillation processes. After, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before departing for St. Paul de Vence, a hotspot for artists and celebrities. Explore this walled village with structures dating back to the 16th century and wander along narrow, cobbled lanes past high-end boutiques and art galleries. You’ll have some time to explore at leisure before returning to the ship.
After dinner, we’ll welcome local performers on board to entertain you with dances and songs of their country.
Behold the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo
Arrive this morning in Monte Carlo, capital of the tiny independent principality of Monaco. Playground to well-heeled Europeans, this sovereign nation has been ruled by the Grimaldis since the 13th century. You will arrive via the world-famous Grand Prix track of Formula One fame. Then, marvel at the world-renowned Belle Époque Grand Casino, a vision of extravagance and wealth. See the lush gardens, too, before viewing the Hôtel de Paris, a 19th-century grand dame. In the historic quarter of Le Rocher (“The Rock”), admire stunning sea views 200 feet below while strolling past the Prince’s Palace, just in time to see the Changing of the Guard. Nearby, the neo-Romanesque Monaco Cathedral is a vision in white; the Grimaldis, including Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, are entombed here. After seeing the Justice Palace, your tour ends at the Oceanographic Museum, another neo-classical gem.
After lunch on board, perhaps you’ll stroll the streets of Monte Carlo to peruse its monumental architecture. An onboard lecture fills you in on more details about this fascinating region.
Take in the bucolic beauty of Cinque Terre and Portovenere
Nestled along a short stretch of Italy’s breathtaking Ligurian Coast is the Cinque Terre — five tiny villages that date back to the early-medieval period. This national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its colorful, cliff-hugging houses, and steep, winding trails, but today, you’ll explore it by boat with a private guide!
Arriving at Portovenere, you’ll take a public ferry plying the coastline to visit the villages while checking out the superb views from the water. Explore Monterosso, Vernazza, and Manarola on foot, and gain some insight on the difficult and isolated life of the villages’ inhabitants during the early-medieval period. Lunch is a traditional affair at a local restaurant.
After, return to Portovenere and enjoy a walking tour along its narrow, charming streets up to the church of San Pietro, which sits on a craggy ledge overlooking the Gulf of Poets. A port talk rounds off your day’s discoveries before the Captain’s Reception Cocktail and Dinner Gala onboard.
Arrive in Livorno, and select your choice of tours
This morning upon your arrival in Livorno, you’ll have your choice of full-day tours: Florence and Pisa or Siena and San Gimignano.
If you choose the former, you’ll depart by coach for Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Upon arrival you’ll meet your guide and set off on a walking tour of the city’s highlights, including the exterior of the domed cathedral of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza del Signoria, as well as Ponte Vecchio, a historic bridge lined with shops. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll depart for Pisa, home of the famed Leaning Tower of Pisa. Upon arrival, enjoy free time in the town’s bustling Miracle Square.
If you decide on Siena and San Gimignano, you’ll depart by coach for Siena, a city marked by medieval architecture. Upon arrival you’ll embark on a guided walking tour, visiting its lively squares and historic highlights such as Piazza del Campo, the 13th-century City Hall and Torre del Mangia bell tower, the Sansedoni Palace, and the Gaiai Fountain. Then, depart for a locally-owned farm and vineyard, where you’ll be welcomed by the owner and feast on a farm-to-table lunch complete with a tasting of their wines and olive oils. After lunch, you’ll drive to San Gimignano and explore the “Manhattan of Tuscany,” taking in centuries-old towers along its skyline.
Return to your ship this evening and enjoy dinner onboard, complete with local entertainment
Tour Elba, where Napoleon ruled in exile
This morning you’ll arrive at the island of Elba, famed as the site of Napoleon’s first exile, where he was sovereign for close to 10 months. This island is as beautiful as it is historic, with lush hills covered in olive trees, vineyards, and beaches met by ombré blue waters.
Set off on a tour of the island, departing from your port in Portoferraio and stopping at Villa San Martino, Napoleon’s summer residence. Continue to Porto Azzurro, where candy-color houses front the town’s eponymous azure harbor. You’ll have time to stroll the charming streets, perhaps picking up a souvenir from shops selling crafts and crystals. On your way back to the ship, you’ll stop at Punta delle Grotte for a splendid bird’s-eye view of Portoferraio.
After lunch aboard your ship, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon to explore Portoferraio at your leisure. This evening, enjoy an onboard lecture before your ship sets sail for Livorno.
Sightsee in Bastia, France and savor local wines
Your ship arrives in Bastia this morning, the main commercial port of the island of Corsica. Learn about the how this town became instrumental in Corsica’s development during a tour that starts in Old Town, where you’ll see the magnificent Cathedral Ste. Marie, the governor’s palace, and the Old Port. Then, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the finest parts of the city, including St. Nicholas Square and St. Jean Baptiste Church. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to admire Bastia’s breathtaking landscapes and small, baroque buildings and chapels.
After lunch onboard your ship, enjoy a scenic drive along the scenic Gulf of St. Florent past rolling vineyards en route to the city center. Here you’ll have time to explore the bustling streets at your own pace, perhaps visiting the local shops or stopping into a café for a hot espresso!
Later, you’ll depart St. Florent and head into the mountains to the vineyards of Patrimonio. Taste the local offerings in the wine cellar and you’ll understand why the whites, rosés, and Moscatos of this region are so famous. Dinner is back onboard your ship this evening.
Explore Olbia in Sardegna with your choice of tours
Cruise into Olbia during breakfast this morning. This seaside city located in the northeast of Italy’s Sardinia region boasts not only a picturesque, palm-line coastline, but also a rich medieval history. Today, take your pick of tours: uncover the city’s history with a half-day tour of Old Sardinia, or discover its wine tradition with a half-day tour of Porto Cervo with a winery visit.
The Old Sardinia option will bring you first to the small village of Luras, where you’ll walk along the shore of lake Liscia and behold olive fields and some of the oldest trees in Europe that date back 4,000 years. Then, you’ll drive to Tempio Pausania, the ancient capital of this region. You’ll tour the old part of tour town and discover historic churches, houses, and mansions before stopping to visit the cork museum.
The Porto Cervo tour will take you on a panoramic drive through this resort town, where you’ll stop and have time to peruse the elegant shops. Then, arrive at the Surrau Winery to learn all about the wine-making process, including which wines are produced here and how the grapes are cultivated and harvested. Finally, enjoy a wine tasting complete with local snacks such as Sardinian cheese and salami.
Back onboard, enjoy an informative lecture before dinner.
Explore Rome’s grandeur on panoramic and walking tours
Today you’ll arrive in Civitavecchia for a guided panoramic tour (by motorcoach and on foot) of Rome’s historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site with highlights that include the iconic Colosseum, ancient Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, and more. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant for some classic Rome specialties. After an afternoon at leisure, you’ll return to your ship for dinner.
Uncover the mysteries of Pompeii and Neapolitan pizza
Arrive this morning along the Bay of Naples, gateway to the legendary Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where seaside villages and dizzying cliffs create a dreamy landscape. No visit here is complete without a tour of Pompeii, the ancient city buried by the ash of Vesuvius in 79 AD. A walking tour with a private guide helps you step back 2,000 years into a world of cobbled lanes worn by horse-drawn carts, fascinating villas still adorned by colorful murals, Roman baths, the old forum, and more.
This afternoon, take part in something truly extraordinary — don't forget your camera! You’ll enjoy an afternoon lunch visit to a local farm, where you'll meet your hosts for a tour and a class in creating the perfect pizza, the famed cuisine of nearby Naples.
Discover Lipari, the gem of the Aeolian Islands
It is only because of the small-ship size that you can pause for a day to explore the Aeolian Islands, Italy’s archipelago northwest of Sicily. Beauty greets you at every turn on these soaring, majestic volcanic islands. At the Rock of the Castle that is set high on a promontory, peer deep into the island’s past at an archaeological site and visit the Cathedral of Bartholomew, the island’s patron saint. Then, get a panoramic view of the island, visiting the villages of Quattrocchi and Quattropani. As you explore, enjoy splendid views of other Aeolian Islands, including Stromboli with its ever-active towering volcano. You’ll also stop to take in the vistas of Lipari Beach and observe the ubiquitous pumice stone deposited here by volcanic eruptions from millennia past. After lunch on board, you will have some leisure time in Lipari.
This afternoon’s lecture provides more fascinating context to this legendary part of the Mediterranean.
Visit ancient Erice for a tour, wine tasting, and a drive down Sicily’s “salt road”
Today’s explorations lead you inland to Erice, the supposed birthplace of the goddess Venus. While walking the town’s cobblestone streets, soak in the aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is famous. Here, you’ll visit the ruins of the town’s hilltop Norman Castle, a 12th-century construct dedicated to Venus, and the 14th-century duomo with its 90-foot belltower. You’ll also visit a private winery for another tasting of local Sicilian offerings.
On your way back to the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll have better views of the area’s famous “salt road” — where salt is extracted from the ocean by the scorching sun and delicate Mediterranean sea salt, with its briny scent permeating the air, is left behind. The scenery here is particularly breathtaking, and you’ll have a chance to photograph numerous salt pans, marshes, inlets, and Dutch-style windmills.
Back on the ship, we'll have lunch before another lecture highlights the culture and history of your cruise destinations. As we depart Trapani, we'll cruise the southwestern coast of Sicily, so head to the observation lounge or your own balcony for more incredible views of this region.
Embark on a walking tour of Valletta, then experience Malta in 5D
Arrive in Malta this morning. After breakfast, you’ll go sightseeing in Valletta, the island’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Europe’s smallest capital, Valletta is an open-air museum of 16th-century buildings built by the Knights Hospitaller. Your private guide will regale you with Valletta’s history while leading you down the city’s charming narrow streets to visit the Valletta City Gate, Triton Fountain, the new Parliament building, and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and is considered one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture.
At the conclusion of your walking tour, take in a 5D show exploring the history and culture of Malta in an interactive and exciting way. Lunch is back on the ship; afterward, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to continue your Malta explorations.
See more of Sicily in Syracuse and Ortigia
More Sicilian discoveries begin today in UNESCO-listed Syracuse, where ancient Greek ruins and antique Italian charm fuse into one splendid island called Ortigia. On a walking tour, head to the Old Town with its narrow cobblestoned lanes and welcoming piazzas. You’ll visit an archaeological area to view the remains of the Temple of Apollo and the gorgeous Fountain of Arethusa, a natural spring with roots in Greek mythology. You’ll also get a look into Jewish life here — Judaism was present here long before the arrival of Christianity in Sicily. You’ll also see the oldest mikveh (ancient ritual bath) to survive in Europe, and one of the first few in what’s now known as Italy.
Return to the ship for lunch, then enjoy the afternoon at leisure to continue your explorations in Syracuse. Later, you'll have another lecture before dinner onboard, followed by local entertainment.
Your choice of tours: Uncover Taormina’s rich history or visit Etna for a wine tasting
This morning, you’ll anchor in Giardini Naxos where you’ll have your choice of tours. Head to Taormina, the historic city set on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea. This chic resort town offers splendid views of Mount Etna in the distance and a charming medieval ambience. You'll also visit its fantastic Greek Theater, originally built in the 3rd century by Romans, and marvel at its coastal vistas before heading to the Public Gardens, boasting some 200 species. Here, you’ll have time to sample a refreshing granita.
Your second option of tours is a visit to UNESCO-listed Mount Etna, where you’ll savor a tasting at a local winery. Sicily is famous for its Nero d’Avola grape, which grows bountifully in the island’s volcanic soil.
Lunch will be back on the ship, followed by another lecture. Along the way, take in some scenic sailing as the Ocean Odyssey navigates along the coastline of Calabria and the Strait of Messina.
Uncover the charming trulli homes of UNESCO-listed Alberobello
The ship now has crossed the Adriatic from Croatia to Italy, specifically the region of Puglia, which comprises the heel of Italy’s famous boot. From the port city of Brindisi, you’ll head north to the commune of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its trulli — cone-shaped limestone homes that date back as early as the 14th-century. You’ll learn all about the history of these homes and how they survived after conflict between local peasants and feudal landlords. Your walking tour will lead you to the old city, which holds more than 1,000 trulli, most still functioning as private homes. Your tour ends at the Church of Saint Anthony, with its uniquely adorned façade and cone-shaped roof reaching 64 feet tall.
In the narrow streets of Alberobello, you can admire workshops with artisans at work. You’ll also have a chance to step inside a typical trullo house to see the architectural style and structure, and learn how people used to live in these iconic buildings. After, lunch in a typical masseria — or country estate — belonging to a local family. This will be a highlight of your day — pack the camera! A masseria is where local Italian families produce much of what they drink and eat — milk, cheeses, meats, vegetables, olive oil, and more — and you'll learn all about it during enlightening conversation and cultural exchange. Joyous and full, you'll return to the ship with a scenic drive through Puglia's countryside, lined with endless olive groves.
Revisit the Roman era at Diocletian’s Palace in Split
This morning, hear a lecture as you enjoy one of the most scenic stretches of ocean on this journey as the Ocean Odyssey sails toward Split. You’ll have marvelous views of several Croatian islands, so have your camera ready.
Split is one of the oldest cities in this historic region and one of Croatia's most famous touristic destinations. Explore ancient Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the emperor chose as his retirement home because of the area’s spectacular beauty. Your special tour also takes you into the mysterious passages in the lower levels of the palace’s massive structure — Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as one of the show's filming locations!
Tonight, enjoy more local entertainment on the ship.
Cruise into Zadar, and discover its ancient and UNESCO-listed treasures
Discover Zadar today — another coastal gem that was named Europe's top destination in 2016 and was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. This Roman-era city boasts a blend of ancient, renaissance, Romanesque, and medieval architecture. On a walking tour, you’ll see the UNESCO-listed Historic Defense Walls and explore Zadar’s ancient city center.
This afternoon, enjoy scenic sailing with views of the Kornati Islands National Park. You’ll also hear an interesting lecture while sailing.
Discover Trieste, Italy
This morning after breakfast, you’ll embark on a walking tour of Trieste, an Italian city that boasts a distinct Istrian culture. The largest port in Adriatic, Trieste is situated deep in Slovenian territory while still part of Italy. As the main port during the Austrian rule over Istria, Austrian architecture can be spotted all around the city.
With lunch money provided, you’ll have the opportunity to savor the local fare — make sure you get a taste of traditional jota (also known as Istrian stew) and Strucolo de pomi, a local take on apple strudel!
Enjoy the wonders of the Istrian Peninsula
Discover part of one of the most beautiful regions of Croatia on two half-day tours of Rovinj and Pula. Istria is one of the more developed regions of Croatia and is sometimes referred to as “Croatian Tuscany,” with some of the most picturesque towns in the country.
Explore the picturesque coastal town of Rovinj, which was part of Venice's mercantile empire and has a distinctive Venetian aspect to it. Today, it’s a jet-set town for regional and international tourists alike due to the breathtaking palate of its skyline and its mesmerizing ocean views. Enjoy a guided tour to see its charms for yourself. For the best views of the town and the harbor, make the mile-and-a-quarter trek uphill to the Church of St. Euphemia — it's well worth the effort!
We'll have lunch back on the ship before sailing along the 14-island national park, the Brijuni islands, to Pula. We’ll start our tour at Pula Arena, Europe's most complete Roman amphitheater. You'll be able to go beneath the arena floor to see the actual passageways and rooms where gladiators and their foes, including wild animals, awaited their turn in combat. We’ll also see the town and its streets that are briming with history juxtaposed with modern shops and restaurants.
This evening, enjoy your Captain's Welcome Dinner on board with klapa singers, a UNESCO protected cultural heritage of Croatia.
Discover the idyllic seaside town of Opatija
This morning, enjoy lovely scenic sailing into your next destination — Opatija — along with an informative onboard lecture. Upon arrival this afternoon, you’ll set out on a walking tour of this coastal town, which once catered to European royalty with stately villas, seaside promenade, and lovely gardens. Then, enjoy some free time to discover Opatija on your own. Enjoy a walk along the Opatija Promenade for lovely views and perhaps stop for a bite to eat or a drink. How far you go is up to you — a roundtrip walk can cover up to 7.5 miles and, in total, connects seven towns and villages of the Opatija Riviera.
This evening, your Cruise Director will present a port talk before dinner.
Explore Croatia's oldest city, in Šibenik
This morning, enjoy scenic sailing, passing by UNESCO protected St. Nicholas fortress, that is guarding the entrance into the ancient city of Šibenik. Upon arrival, depart for Krka National Park, a gem of Croatia and home to breathtaking waterfalls and gorges. We’ll witness its crystalline river rushing through the canyon against a green, mountainous backdrop as we ascend to the top of the waterfalls by bus and then hike to the bottom. On the way we’ll learn about how this water was used (and is still used today) to power local corn mills. At the end of our hike, we’ll enjoy a boat ride to the town of Skradin.
Upon arrival, set off on a walking tour among some of the oldest streets in Croatia that date back to the 11th century, where you’ll see the Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most important architectural achievement in the country.
Tonight, enjoy a performance by local musicians on board your ship.
Unearth the UNESCO treasures of Hvar
This morning after breakfast, set off to explore Hvar, another idyllic Mediterranean port. Hvar is a popular celebrity destination known for its vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees, and fruit orchards. Set off on a guided walking tour and learn the port town's history, hear about local legends, and visit the lace museum, inside the Benedictine Monastery. Aloe lace is made in Croatia only by the nuns of this monastery, and is designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage feature. You'll also visit visit Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of your afternoon is at your leisure. You may also choose to go swimming, snorkeling, or fishing (weather permitting). Active travelers shouldn't miss the walk to Hvar Fortress, with entrance included. Later, enjoy a fascinating onboard lecture.
Experience Dubrovnik's Old City and a private concert
Today, your carefully selected local guide will lead you through Dubrovnik's Old City — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — introducing you to its most heralded landmarks, as well as its hidden gems. Following the tour, you’ll relax in a centuries-old church for a Vantage-exclusive private classical concert by the Sorkočević Quartet, who are members of the Croatian National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Return to your ship for lunch, then enjoy a leisurely afternoon and evening. You'll be supplied with a one-day Dubrovnik card, which provides free entrance to numerous sites around the city, including access to the walkway atop the walls surrounding the Old City. Your Program Manager and Concierge will be happy to recommend activities to do and places to see.
Tour Kotor and the UNESCO surrounding bay
This morning you'll experience the Bay of Kotor, about which the poet Lord Byron wrote: “The Bay of Kotor, a submerged river canyon surrounded by dramatic rising mountain cliffs, is the jewel of the coast of Montenegro.” Tucked away at the head of the bay is the town of Kotor featuring intriguing medieval fortifications. Here, you’ll learn the town's history — which is believed to stretch back as far as the first century — while you walk the charming tangle of Old World streets. The city’s walls stretch up more than 800 feet from sea level to the fortress of Saint Giovanni. The views are sure to take your breath away, from medieval churches to staggering mountains.
Heading toward Dubrovnik, you’ll follow the winding Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a beautiful stretch of scenic sailing. With its narrow profile and steep walls, Kotor’s bay is often called Europe’s southernmost fjord. Technically however, the bay is not a true, glacier-carved fjord, but rather a ria, or submerged river valley. Tonight, enjoy an informative onboard lecture.
Spend the day in vibrant Corfu
Enjoy a splendid day on the scenic island of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with Venetian inspiration and a lively local lifestyle. You'll have the opportunity to explore Corfu town on the east side, full of traditional bars, restaurants, and shops framed by winding alleyways.
During your time in Corfu, you'll indulge in a tour of one of its most famed attractions — the elegant Achilleion Palace. Dating back to 1890, this property was the brainchild of Empress Elizabeth of Austria (also known as Sisi), who was fond of the island and visited often. Each floor is adorned with lavish decor, including bronze and stone statues of fabled Greek gods in the palace and the surrounding gardens.
See the birthplace of the Olympics
This morning, we’ll sail into Katakolon and enjoy scenic drives through the villages of Peloponnese. Then, you'll have a full day at the location where the ancient Olympic Games originated — in Olympia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by a natural setting of beauty and serenity, the archeological site dates back to the 10th century B.C., where it first became a sanctuary for the gods and a place to worship Zeus. Alongside temples, there's remains of various sporting venues from the festive games that began in 776 BC.
In the afternoon, you'll be delighted to join in on a traditional Greek lunch at the Magna Grecia, a family-owned Greek agrotourism farm. After a guided tour, sample its house made wine and olive oils while being regaled with local entertainment to boot.
Spend the day in ancient Delphi
This morning after breakfast, you'll dock on Greece's mainland coast at Itea and be transported to nearby UNESCO-listed Delphi. Once known as the center of the world by ancient Greek mythologists, Delphi has been revered as a hotspot of ancient Greek culture and archeology for centuries. You'll spend the morning on tour to enjoy its best points of interest, including the onsite museum.
In the afternoon, indulge in some more of the ship's amenities as you enjoy scenic sailing through the Corinth canal with commentary, including a later onboard lecture.
Behold the classical wonders of Athens
Arrive in Piraeus this morning and disembark for a thrilling tour of Athens, the sophisticated capital of Greece where mythology and ancient history come alive. You’ll visit the iconic Acropolis, where it was said that Poseidon and Athena fought over who would be patron of the city. This was the architectural pinnacle of Athens, crowned by its breathtaking Parthenon. You’ll also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, and the Presidential Palace. Along the famed Panepistimiou Avenue, pass the Catholic Cathedral, Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library. Enjoy lunch on your own with provided money in the local currency. Perhaps you’ll seek out a restaurant in the charming Plaka district, nestled at the foot of Acropolis Hill, and then enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.
Be dazzled by Santorini and visit the archaeological site Akrotiri
Santorini has been called the most magnificent of the Greek Isles. With its soaring cliffs tumbling into turquoise waters, you’re sure to agree. Take a scenic drive to the ancient site of Akrotiri, a Minoan village frozen in time by the ash of a devastating volcanic eruption. This wonder has been compared to Pompeii both for its fate and for its incredible preservation. Explore its beauty with a guide, then continue to the charming clifftop village of Oia. This vision of whitewashed and pastel houses clinging to dark volcanic rock was once home to wealthy seafarers. Its narrow streets are a paradise for walkers, as you will experience firsthand. Then, move on to Fira, perched high over the Aegean on more cliffs. You many explore here on your own and return to the ship at leisure via a dramatic cable car and your waiting tender.
This afternoon, an onboard lecturer adds more enlightenment to your knowledge of the Aegean, followed by onboard entertainment after dinner.
Fall for breathtaking Mykonos
Mykonos is big on discovery and beauty, and is renowned for its pure-white houses, tidy churches with blue domes, charming windmills, and pristine beaches. See what captivated Jackie Onassis and other celebrity yachters during a driving tour to some of its most stunning beaches: Agios Ioannis, Ornos, Kalafatis, and Agia Anna.
Then, visit the magnificent white-washed village of Ano Mera. After stopping at its unique 1542 Panagia Tourliani Monastery, enjoy a tasty bite and a sip or two of ouzo in the square. A guided walking tour reveals the narrow passages and cobbled lanes of Mykonos before you return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. You can relax in Mykonos on your own, perhaps exploring by bike or arranging a 4x4 rental with your onboard Concierge.
Your day is further enlightened by another onboard lecture this evening.
Uncover the rich biblical past of Ephesus
Discover the historical country of Turkey today. Step into the ancient past during a half-day visit to Ephesus, once the most important trading center in the Aegean. These breathtaking ruins are steeped in biblical history, as you will learn during a guided stroll down the Arcadian Way, once lined with colonnaded buildings and adorned with mosaics. Pass the impressive amphitheater and marvel at the towering façade of the Library of Celsus. This third largest library in the ancient world was built to house 12,000 parchment scrolls. You will also view the Temples of Hadrian and Diana before returning to the ship for lunch.
This afternoon you’ll enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi, which offers great walks, restaurants, and shops.
Back on board, there’ll be ample opportunities to immerse yourself in Turkish culture. Gain more insight into the famous flavors of this region when you enjoy a lecture on Turkish cuisine. Savor the creations of a Turkish master chef, whom we have invited into the kitchen to prepare your mouthwatering dinner. And get into the rhythms of traditional song and dance during a performance by locals.
Rhodes, island of the Knights of St. John
This morning, enjoy scenic sailing en route to Rhodes, Europe’s largest inhabited medieval town. After lunch on board, you'll disembark and explore this town with a local guide. See the old port of Mandraki. Traverse the heights of Agios Stefanos, or Monte Smith, for sweeping views. In the Old Town, visit the vast Grand Masters Palace, home to the Knights of St. John crusaders, and stop by the Archaeological Museum, once the Knights’ hospital. If you wish, you may linger on your own to explore more of this remarkable enclave of medieval treasures, perhaps strolling the cobbled Street of the Knights. Back on board, learn more about the rich history that has shaped the Aegean.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way out of the fabled waters of the Aegean Sea. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge and relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine the chefs are creating just for you!
Today’s onboard lecture provides more fascinating context to this legendary part of the Mediterranean.
Witness the history and traditions of Cyprus with your choice of tours
After breakfast, you'll arrive in Cyprus. The people of this island country enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, dramatic coastal vistas, the pine-wooded Troodos Mountains, and some of the finest ancient mosaics in the world. You will join them today as you choose from two included afternoon tours.
During a half-day tour to Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural and cultural treasures, stop to view Aphrodite’s Rock, said to be the spot from where the goddess of love and beauty rose from the sea. Visit the Chrysopolitissa Church, built on the remains of a Byzantine basilica, and St. Paul’s Pillar. At the Paphos Archaeological Park, view the remarkably preserved floor mosaics at the Houses of Dionysos, Aion, and Theseus. Enjoy free time to take in the relaxed atmosphere at the Harbor of Paphos.
Or, you may choose a half-day tour to the UNESCO-listed traditional village of Choirokoitia, where our local friend Petros reveals the secrets behind making Halloumi and Anari cheeses at his home. Settle in for a visit and delightful tasting of farm-fresh cheeses with honey, olives, home-baked bread, and salad. Petros will also show you how he weaves the island’s distinctive baskets. After a walk around the village, enjoy a scenic coastal drive back to the ship.
Lunch is back onboard and the rest of your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, learn more about this fascinating island during an onboard lecture. And after our port talk, some Cypriot performers join us on board for a lively folklore show.
Uncover a biblical past in Haifa
Arrive in Haifa this morning, the picturesque northern Israeli port in the shadow of Mt. Carmel. Today’s full-day tour features many places from the life of Jesus. First head to Nazareth, where Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph after his birth. Marvel at the mosaic-filled Basilica of the Annunciation. Next, view the Wedding Church where Jesus turned water to wine. In the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, see the ancient synagogue where Jesus used to teach. After a local St. Peter’s fish lunch, embark a boat to cross the legendary Sea of Galilee, believed to be where Jesus walked on water. Then visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the fishes, and the Mount of the Beatitudes, topped by the stunning church with its octagonal dome representing the 8 Beatitudes.
Enjoy your choice of full-day tours in Israel
Arrive in Ashdod, one of the oldest cities in the world, this morning. Then, choose your Israel experience during one of our included tours, ideal for travelers who have visited Israel before and may be looking for new opportunities. Join a full-day tour to Jerusalem, starting at the Mount of Olives so you can take in the ancient city from a breathtaking viewpoint. Proceed to the Gardens of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion and whose olive trees may date back as far as Christ. After stopping to see the Church of all Nations, enter the UNESCO-listed Old City for an unforgettable walking tour that includes the Western Wall. After lunch, browse the Arab Bazaar, then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of Jesus’ tomb.
Alternately, choose to spend the day on a full-day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea, with an included lunch. Begin at the famed desert fortress where a band of Jewish rebels chose the ultimate act of resistance against a siege by Roman soldiers. A short cable car ride to the top will show you the full scope of the desert and Dead Sea below. Then head down to its famously curative saltwater, where you can test how buoyant they really are. (Don’t forget your swimsuit!)
Following your tour to Jerusalem or Masada, you'll enjoy a port talk that will fill you on what’s happening tomorrow.
Cross the Suez Canal
Prepare yourself for today's travel milestone and settle in on the sun deck as you traverse the Suez Canal toward Egypt.
While at sea, an onboard lecturer will offer poignant lectures on the Suez Canal and the history of the region. You'll also listen to an onboard pianist.
These two days provide the perfect opportunity to savor the easy pace and camaraderie that small ship cruising affords. Bring binoculars for a closer view of the desert hills and sands unfolding all around while our inviting lounge area and elegant common spaces offer ideal settings to get to know your fellow adventurers.
During your cruising, take advantage of your 5-star ship’s many amenities, and see how days on board can be just as exciting as days offshore. Perhaps enjoy a spa treatment, curl up with a book on deck, or pop into the boutique for any items you may need. Your meals will bring a taste of Egypt to your experience.
Marvel at dramatic landscapes and religious heritage of Sharm El Sheikh
Catch the sunrise from the ship's multilevel observation lounge before enjoying breakfast on board as the Ocean Odyssey arrives in Egypt. Situated near the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh is a seaside desert oasis for Egyptians and travelers alike. Its waters are renowned for their diverse marine life and crystalline visibility. Jacques Cousteau called it a “corridor of marvels” and, depending on conditions and timing, you may have time to take out one of the ship’s kayaks or snorkeling equipment and see this underwater world for yourself. But first, you can join an included morning tour. Visit the magnificent Mustafa Sheikh Mosque with its soaring minarets flanking an impressive dome and marble façade. Marvel at the biblical artwork of the Coptic Orthodox Church, spiritual home to the largest Christian denomination in Egypt. After a stop at Soho Square, Sharm’s modern entertainment and shopping complex, and a perusal of the vibrant, energetic market, return to the ship in time for lunch.
Your afternoon is at leisure in Sharm El Sheikh, or perhaps you'll explore the spectacular coral reef and colorful fish here. If you're looking for something more adventurous, your onboard Concierge can help you set up an excursion.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and journey to the Lost City of Petra and Aqaba
Today, you’ll disembark the Ocean Odyssey — we hope you enjoyed your time on this voyage! But first, visit one of the world’s most magnificent archaeological treasures — awe-inspiring Petra. Dating back to approximately 300 BC, this prehistoric city was carved into the pink sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s southwestern desert by the ancient Nabataean people. As you explore Petra’s Great Temple and tombs, you will listen to some of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site’s long and intriguing history. Then, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Afterwards, continue to Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, to check into your hotel. Dinner is there tonight.
Explore historic Amman
This morning, get acquainted with this multifaceted Arab metropolis during a guided tour. Amman was originally built across seven hills but today spreads out over 19, creating an undulating city canvas. Throughout your tour, the impressive Jebel Amman Citadel watches over you from its hilltop perch as the hauntingly beautiful call to prayer echoes off ancient buildings. After an included lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy the afternoon to explore on your own, perhaps discovering the bustling Al Balad downtown area surrounding the splendid King Hussein Mosque. This evening, join us at your hotel for a discussion with a local about life in Jordan before heading to our Farewell Dinner. Depending on your home city, you may be departing for home this evening on a late flight, or some time tomorrow.
After breakfast, transfer to the Amman airport for your return flight home, or continue here on our optional Dead Sea post-trip extension.
Jordan is rich in biblical history, breathtaking natural beauty, and a vibrant culture that has a long tradition of welcoming others with open arms. Round out your journey with this discovery-packed extension and experience firsthand what others have only dreamed of. Visit the legendary sites of Bethany, where Lazarus was raised from the dead, and Mount Nebo, from where Moses first laid eyes on the Holy Land. Explore the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, legendary outpost of the Empire. Float on the Dead Sea’s famously buoyant waters and meet a local artisan to learn about the region’s renowned mosaics. And with extra time, you can even see more of the remarkable “White City” of Amman, a fascinating blend of Roman-era monuments, busy souks, and urban sophistication. Plus, enjoy the use of your hotel room right up until your evening departure!
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.