Serenissima, From Turquoise Coast to Aegean Islands ex Larnaca to Athens

10 Night cruise departing from Larnaca to Athens onboard Serenissima.

Departure date: 5 April 2020
Embark port: Larnaca, Cyprus
Cruise line: Noble Caledonia
Ship: Serenissima

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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary
Date Activity Arrive Depart
05/04/20 Larnaca, Cyprus
06/04/20 Alanya, Turkey
07/04/20 Antalya, Turkey
08/04/20 Kekova, Turkey
09/04/20 Kas, Turkey
09/04/20 Kastelorizo, Greece
10/04/20 Fethiye, Turkey
11/04/20 Marmaris, Turkey
12/04/20 Symi, Greece
12/04/20 Nisyros, Greece
13/04/20 Patmos, Greece
14/04/20 Delos, Greece
14/04/20 Syros, Greece
15/04/20 Athens (Piraeus) Greece
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.

Cruise Description

10 Night cruise departing from Larnaca to Athens onboard Serenissima.

The Lycians were definitely on to something when they set their empire on the peninsula nestled between Antalya and Fethiye. It is an astoundingly beautiful stretch of azure coastline backed by the luscious forested hills. Whilst the Turquoise Coast may appear all sun-and-sea, join us aboard the MS Serenissima and discover the ancient cities of Perge and Xanthos, floating over the slopes, with the decorative tombs engraved into the cliffs at Myra.

We begin our spring voyage in Larnaca and from here head to Turkey where we will be captivated by ancient relics from Roman and Byzantine eras. Sailing on, we will explore the Aegean in some depth visiting charming islands, many of which are out of bounds to the big ships and where the laid back atmosphere will complement our small ship as we explore delightful towns, sleepy villages and visit some magnificent ancient sites, all in the company of like-minded travellers and informative guides.

Every new day brings a different vista and whether you are interested in ancient history or simply enjoy cruising amongst beautiful scenery, this voyage has something to offer for everyone.

Day by Day Itinerary:

Day 1 - Larnaca, Cyprus.
Make your way to the MS Serenissima. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks as we sail this evening.

Day 2 - Alanya, Turkey.
Spend the morning at sea as we sail towards the Turkish coast arriving after lunch. This afternoon, choose to drive through the town, with views of the Taurus Mountains in the east, then towards Incekum along the Turkish Riviera to the west, where we pass citrus and banana plantations and visit Damlatas Cave which is a masterpiece of nature, known for its curative effect on asthma. Drive along the beautiful Turkish Riviera towards the ancient city of Side which was one of the leading Pamphylian cities on the south coast of Anatolia. Visit the Grand Theatre, a perfect example of a Roman theatre built on vaults on flat land. Walk through the town, view the old harbour and see the remains of the Apollo Temple. Alternatively spend the afternoon exploring the town of Alanya with its Medieval fort perched on a rocky peninsula.

Day 3 - Antalya.
Over breakfast we will arrive in Antalya from where we explore the principal Roman ruins along Turkey’s southern coast. We pass the modern city of Antalya en-route to the ancient city of Perge which dates back to 1000 BC and was founded by Mopsus and Calchas after their retreat from Troy. See the Basilica of Perge, which played an important role in the spread of Christianity, the 2nd century AD stadium, the baths complex and two magnificent round towers of the Greek Gate. We drive further east for a visit to Aspendos, whose amphitheatre built in the 2nd century AD is considered the best preserved in the Mediterranean. After lunch in a local restaurant continue to Antalya to visit the excellent Archaeological Museum.

Day 4 - Myra & Kekova.
From our anchorage in the Bay of Cayagzi we will use local boats to visit the ancient port of Myra, the former capital of Lycia and the departure point of Paul to Rome in 60 AD. Surrounded by orchards and miles of greenhouses stands a large, well-preserved Roman theatre backed by splendid Lycian cave-tombs with delicately carved façades. In the town of Myra, the birthplace of St. Nicholas, we visit the 11th century Church of St Nicholas, only recently excavated, with its faded frescoes and beautiful mosaic floors. We will return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and the afternoon is free to relax on board or join a local boat excursion into Kekova Bay where the narrow island of Kekova forms a number of beautiful bays and indented waterways. Here we can view the half-submerged ruins of the ancient city of Simena. We will also land at the village of Kalekoy where a strenuous walk will take us up to the Lycian castle with sarcophagi overlooking the sea.

Day 5 - Kas, Turkey & Kastellorizo, Greece.
Spend the morning in Kas, a delightful fishing town in a beautiful bay at the foot of the Taurus Mountains overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. As you walk up from the port you will see narrow streets lined with beautiful Ottoman houses with flowered balconies and traditional painted doors. See the rock-cut tombs that date to the 4th century BC, the impressive Lycian Tomb and the Hellenistic theatre. This afternoon we will head over to the tiny island of Kastellorizo, a gem of a place. A Greek possession and technically part of the Dodecanese, it is a long way east of Greece and only two kilometres from the Turkish coast. However, with few ferry connections it is well off the main tourist routes. Spend the afternoon exploring the delightful harbour, the Crusader Castle and the monastery of St George on the Mountain.

Day 6 - Xanthos & Patara.
From the harbour at Fethiye, we travel to the south east to discover the rich Lycian towns of the past. Drive along the Esme River to the ancient city of Xanthos, Lycia’s prominent capital city built on a great cliff overlooking the river. Xanthos boasts several significant ruins, including the Nereid Monument, an exquisite ionic building whose figured friezes are in the British Museum. Continue to Letoon, a city named after Leto, mother Goddess of Lycians. We will see the ruins of the temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo and the amphitheatre. Enjoy a local lunch before visiting Patara, located amidst sand dunes and by a long sandy beach. The city was conquered by Alexander the Great and St Paul stopped here on his way to Rome in AD 60. It was also the birthplace of St Nicholas. See the Grand Theatre and the ruins of the temples.
Please note that we may be at anchor today in which instance the vessel’s Zodiacs will be used for transport ashore.

Day 7 - Marmaris.
After breakfast we will drive inland to Kaunos which was a city of ancient Caria and said to have been founded by Kaunos, son of Miletos and Kyane. Located at the foot of Mount Tarbelos, its acropolis was called Imbros and it exported highly prized figs chiefly to Rome. It was the home of the painter Protogenes and was a member of the Chrysaorian League. The ruins of the city are near Dalyan, on the right bank of the ancient Kalbis (Dalyan River) and include a theatre, a large rectangular building that may have been a temple, a roman bath, a Byzantine church, and rock-hewn tombs. Accessible only by river we will take local boats to the site. Return to the ship for lunch and sail this afternoon arriving at the island of Symi this evening.

Day 8 - Symi & Nisyros, Greece.
Today we will explore Symi, a small, mountainous and much indented pretty island. The harbour of Gialos is particularly attractive and we have a morning to enjoy some time to stroll through the colourful cobbled streets. The Simians were famous boat builders and are mentioned in the Illiad as sending boats to assist the siege of Troy but are better known today for their sponge diving. Return to the ship in the late morning as we sail to Nisyros, arriving after lunch. From the port of Mandraki you may wish to spend a relaxing afternoon wandering through the village and climb to the Monastery of Panagia Spilanior or visit the archaeological museum. Alternatively, join the drive to the Polyvotis Volcano named after the Titan imprisoned under the rock of Nisyros during the battle with the gods. Here we will learn more of the legends and have the chance to walk into the caldera.

Day 9 - Patmos.
Of all the Greek islands, Patmos is the most sacred to Christians both Orthodox and Western; it was here that St John received his revelation. This morning we will make our way to the grotto of St John. This small cave, now converted into the beautiful chapel, is where the Saint lived, had his revelation and wrote ‘Book of the Apocalypse’. From here continue to the village of Chora, with its simple houses and Byzantine churches and climb to the Monastery of St John the Theologian. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure to explore the picturesque town of Skala or maybe enjoy a swim at a nearby beach.

Day 10 - Delos & Syros.
This morning we visit Delos, which though the smallest of the Cyclades was once the political and religious centre for the whole of the Aegean. Birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, it boasted an oracle second only to that of Delphi. Explore the magnificent archaeological site including the marble sanctuary of Apollo. Sail during lunch to Syros which was the largest cultural and trade centre of the Aegean in the 19th century and the capital Ermoupolis was Greece’s principal port. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a stroll in the town of Ermoupoli, the capital of the Cyclades. The prosperity of the island in the 19th and early 20th century created through commerce and shipping is reflected in the architecture with a beautiful square, town hall and theatre. Overlooking Ermoupoli stands the hill-top Ano Syros, the original Medieval district with narrow lanes and white washed houses.

Day 11 - Athens.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Please note: To best enjoy your experience on this voyage you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in some walks uphill and over uneven terrain. Many of the sites are reached by uneven steps/terrain without handrails.

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