|The Venetian Empire & the Medieval World: A Voyage from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Adriatic Sea|
12 Days/11 Nights: Late in the 11th century, Western Europe began to look East. Drawn by the artistic and intellectual achievements of the Byzantine Empire, attracted by the rich trade routes of the Middle East and China, inspired by the cause to liberate the Holy Land, artists, philosophers, merchants, and crusaders began to travel eastward in unprecedented numbers. Today, all along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, we can see marvelous examples of the blending of East and West.
The city that played a key role in the events of the period and dominated the trade with the Eastern Mediterranean was Venice. For 800 years Venice ruled over a cultural and mercantile empire in the Eastern Mediterranean. As we sail through this beautiful region, you will see countless reminders of Venice’s influence and power.
In Syria, visit the grand fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, the castle of the Knights Templar and one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world. Walk along the streets and squares of Chania’s waterfront Old Town on the island of Crete and see Byzantine monuments embellished with Venetian flourishes. On the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese, explore the immense ruins of Methoni, a formidable Venetian fortress that guarded the trade routes between the Adriatic Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. And in Croatia’s Zadar, see at least half a dozen majestic Romanesque churches, as well as elegant Venetian Renaissance loggias.
All the lands we visit were centers of civilization long before the coming of the Venetians. In Israel, we’ll discover one of the Middle East’s most important archaeological sites, Roman Caesarea; visit the Temple of Zeus at Silifke in Turkey; and explore the ruins of Minoan Knossos, the birthplace of Europe’s first civilization. With 57 staterooms accommodating only 114 guests, the small cruise ship Corinthian II is the ideal ship for this splendid itinerary. All accommodations aboard are suites, and all are exterior. Lovingly designed and exquisitely furnished, Corinthian II features a beautiful dining room, comfortable lounges and public areas, and broad decks for sunning or watching the passing scene.
Spring is the perfect time to visit the Mediterranean. The days are warm but not too hot. The towns and ports are lively but not over-crowded. And the countryside is in full blossom.
Join us aboard Corinthian II as we trace the fascinating currents of ancient and medieval civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
2011 Departures:• April 23
Arrive in Larnaca on Cyprus’s south coast, and transfer to the Amathus Beach Hotel, located on a private beach near Limassol.
LIMASSOL | OMODOS | LIMASSOL | EMBARK
Spend the morning at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s lovely grounds and facilities. In the afternoon, visit the village of Omodos to experience a taste of Easter in Cyprus. After visiting the Church of Stavros with its exquisite wood carvings, explore the village and sample traditional Easter pastries. Return to Limassol to board Corinthian II and sail.
HAIFA | AKKO or JERUSALEM | HAIFA, Israel
From Haifa, drive to nearby Akko (or Acre), one of the oldest towns in the world. Taken over by the Crusaders in 1104, and renamed Saint-Jean d’Acre, it became the main commercial center for trade between the east and Europe. In 1187 Akko surrendered to Saladdin, but was retaken by Richard the Lionheart and remained the capital of the Latin kingdom until 1287. Visit Akko’s Old City, with its twisting medieval alleyways, including the quarter of the Knights Hospitallers. After lunch, take an excursion to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea for 600 years and one of Israel’s most important archaeological sites. Alternatively, spend the day in Jerusalem visiting its most important monuments.
TARTUS | PALMYRA or KRAK DES CHE VALIERS | TARTUS, Syria
Known as Tortosa by the Crusaders, Tartus was an important port town for the Knights Templar. Travel to fabled Palmyra at the edge of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. This desert oasis was a vital link on the historic Silk Route from China to Europe and a buffer between the Persian and Roman Empires. The excavations of the 2nd-century A.D. city are vast and fascinating. See the great Temple of Baal, the 300-column colonnade flanking the main street, the beautiful theater fašade, and the museum. Alternatively, drive to Krak des Chevaliers, the world’s best-preserved and most magnificent Crusader castle, which stands in its commanding site essentially unchanged from the 12th – 13th centuries. Explore this incredible landmark and, after lunch, visit the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George.
TASUCU | SILIFKE | TASUCU, Turkey
Dock in Tasucu on Turkey’s south coast and drive to nearby Silifke, built along the banks of a river. The ancient Seleucia ad Calycadnum, Silifke was an important point of embarkation for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Explore the town before continuing on to Olbia-Diaceserea, a beautiful Greek site. View the Temple of Zeus, Hellenistic Tower, and city gate. Enjoy a dance performance and taste local pastries before eating lunch at a local restaurant. Also visit Corycus to see the nearby fantastic castles, built in the 12th century, when this area was part of the Armenian Cilician Kingdom.
RETHYMNON | CHANIA or KNOSSOS & IMBROS GORGE | RETHYMON, Crete
Land in Crete, home of the Minoan civilization, Europe’s first. The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete was under Venice from 1204 to 1669, when they lost it to the Turks. Crete was important to the Venetians not only as a source of grain and other commodities, but also because of its strategic position. In the morning, visit Chania, perhaps Crete’s loveliest city. Alternatively, you may explore Knossos, the most imposing Minoan palace of the island, or explore Crete’s magnificent southern country.
PYLOS | METHONI | PYLOS, Peloponnese
Quaint Pylos is our gateway to Methoni, a strategic port the Venetians took over and fortified in the 12th century. Overlooking the east-west shipping routes and deriving great wealth from its commercial activities and as a port of call for pilgrims to and from the Holy Land, Methoni was known as the “eye of Venice.” Tour the imposing fortress, built on a promontory facing the sea.
CORFU, Ionian Islands
After a morning at sea, arrive in Corfu. A stronghold of ancient Corinth, Corfu was a valuable possession of Venice from 1386 to 1797, guarding the approach to the Adriatic and the maritime lanes to the Eastern Mediterranean. The city’s characteristic architecture dates from the Venetian period, with its forts, loggias, palaces, narrow streets, and churches.
KOTOR, Montenegro | DUBROVNIK, Croatia
Corinthian II navigates the fjord-like Bay of Kotor. Disembark in Kotor, whose lovely palaces and churches reveal the former Venetian domination, for a walking tour. Then take a scenic drive to Dubrovnik, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. See the Rector’s Palace, Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, and the Baroque cathedral.
Controlled by Illyrian tribes, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Hungarians, Zadar came under the Venetians in 1409, who held it until 1797, becoming an important naval center of the Venetian Republic. Explore the old city, including the Roman Forum; the 9th-century church of St. Donatus; the Cathedral of Anastasia, one of the finest Romanesque churches in Dalmatia; and the Archaeological Museum.
VENICE, Italy | DISEMBARK
Disembark and transfer to the airport.
Number of Crew:75
Official Language: English
Passeng. Cap.: 114
Ship Speed: 15 knots
Tonnage: 4200 GRT
Length: 302 Feet
Beam: 51 Feet
Draft: 14 Feet
| (per person)
A limited number of cabins have been designated for single travelers in Categories D - A at a supplement of $1,995 to the per person, double occupancy rates indicated above. Singles in Categories AA - PHS are available at double the per person, double occupancy rates.
• 1-night stay in Larnaca at the Amathus Beach Hotel
• 9-night cruise aboard the all-suite, 114-guest Corinthian II
• Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
• All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
• Open bar aboard ship throughout the cruise
• Complete program of tours and excursions
• Educational program of lectures and discussions by accompanying guest lecturers
• Professional tour staff
• Complete pre-departure materials
• Baggage handling and transfers on the designated program departure and arrival dates
• Port and embarkation taxes
• Gratuities to porters, guides and drivers
BOOKING AND PAYMENT CONDITIONS:
At the time when/if you decide to go ahead with your cruise on board the Corinthian II Yacht we will send to you our booking confirmation document. Our booking confirmation document includes detailed terms and conditions applicable to your cruise.
The deposit of USD 1,200.00 per person will secure your reservation. Payment for the reservation is to be accomplished within one week from the day when we issue and send to you by email our booking confirmation document. Final payment due will be no later than 95 days prior to your embarkation.
All cancellations of confirmed reservations are subject to a $US 400,00 per person administrative fee. Additionally, passengers are subject to any cancellation fees assessed by the purveyors of services, including airlines or hotels used in the itinerary.
Cancellations received 71-95 days prior to departure will be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the total program cost per person.
Cancellations received within 70 days of departure are subject to 100% cancellation penalties. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be made for any part of this program in which you choose not to participate.
Service fees may apply to deviations and are non-refundable.