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Mediterranean Gems: Italy, Greece, Croatia and Malta

Program Number: 21136RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/25/2013 - 11/2/2013;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece/Malta
Price starting at: $5,080.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Set sail from enchanting Venice and voyage along the Dalmatian Coast to discover ancient ruins, knights’ strongholds and the natural beauty of the Mediterranean’s islands and bays.




Activity Particulars

Must be able to handle your own luggage, get on and off a motorcoach, walk a few blocks and climb a few stairs.



Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower activity level and the ability to choose your own shore excursion based on your preferences and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide one exclusive shore excursion and private onboard lectures with our own Study Leader.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Crystal Serenity, 7 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Venice (Italy) / embark Crystal Serenity:

Board the ship in the port of Venice and enjoy a welcome dinner. In the morning, enjoy a shore excursion in this city of labyrinthine canals, graceful bridges and opulent palazzos.



Day 4: Dubrovnik (Croatia):

Discover historic Dubrovnik, a walled city that looks much as it did when its fortifications were completed in the 13th century.



Day 5: Corfu (Greece):

Go ashore on this serene Greek isle of lush cypress and olive trees and elegant Venetian architecture.



Day 6: Valletta (Malta):

An exclusive Road Scholar field trip brings you to the “Silent City” of Mdina, a medieval walled town from which the Knights Hospitaller once governed Malta. Continue to the megalithic temple complex of Hagar Qim, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Day 7: Sicily (Italy):

Step ashore in Catania, located on a fertile plane at the foot of volcanic Mount Etna. Experience Sicily on an excursion of your choice.



Day 8: Naples:

Sail into the scenic Bay of Naples then explore this historic city or venture to Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities buried and forever frozen in time by the eruption of Vesuvius.



Day 9: Rome / disembark / departure


Crystal Serenity

At 820 feet long, this elegant ocean liner offers its 1,080 passengers plenty of space, unsparing amenities including the high-tech Computer University@Sea and several restaurants, including one by acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits available throughout voyage.


Meals and Lodgings
   Crystal Serenity
  Venice, Italy
At Sea, At Sea
7 nights
 Crystal Serenity
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The readers of Condé Nast Traveler consistently vote Crystal Serenity the number one cruise ship in the world. At 68,000 tons and capable of serving 1,070 guests, Crystal Serenity while the larger of Crystal's two ships, still maintains one of the highest space-per-guest ratios at sea, so you'll never feel crowded.
  Ship Information: Guest Capacity: 1,070 Per guest space ratio: 63 Ship’s Registry: The Bahamas Officers: European Captain, International Officers International Crew: Countries Represented: 40 European-trained Hotel and Dining Staff American/European Cruise Staff Total Crew: 655 Gross Registered Tons: 68,870 Length: 820 ft. (249.9 m) Width: 106 ft. (32.3 m) Draft: 25 ft. (7.6 m) Cruising Speed: 21 knots Maximum Speed: 22 knots
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East
Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90067 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, sewing kit, umbrealla, pillow menu, 24 hour in stateroom dining, wireless internet access, phone, TV, refrigerator filled with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water, safe
  Facility amenities: Two-story Crystal Plaza and Crystal Cove, lobby area with atrium, comfortable seating and piano bar "Avenue of the Stars" shopping arcade with three boutiques offering upscale clothing, jewelry, and specialty items. Casino featuring slot machines, bar poker and slant top poker machines, blackjack tables, craps, a roulette table, baccarat table and the Ultimate Texas Hold'em Galaxy Lounge, the ship's main entertainment venue Hollywood Theatre for recently released movies, with state-of-the-art audio visual and translation equipment that may be used for meetings and/or conferences; theatre also features audio enhancement for the hearing-impaired Computer University@Sea® center with a lab for classroom instruction and separate room offering 24-hour Internet and e-mail access The Studio, a completely new learning center for a variety of creative and educational hands-on classes Variety of lounges including the Stardust Club for dancing and cabaret, Avenue Saloon cocktail and piano bar, Connoisseur Club, an intimate refined cigar lounge, Palm Court/Sunset Bar observation lounge, and Pulse disco Fantasia children's center and Waves teen center Library featuring over 3,000 books, videos, DVDs, and books-on-tape Bridge Lounge Wi-Fi access is available on board throughout the ship Laundry Service Complimentary self-service launderettes including washing machines, detergent, fabric softener, dryers, irons and ironing boards are provided on Decks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in Venice, Italy with a program orientation on board the ship. You will be staying at Crystal Serenity that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends in Rome, Italy in the morning following breakfast on board the ship. You will be staying at Crystal Serenity the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION** All participants MUST register online with Crystal Cruises. To register go to https://checkin.crystalcruises.com to access the Priority Check-in and Planning Center. To log in, you need type in your first/last names as they appear on your passport and your booking number (which appears on your cruise confirmation or can be obtained from Road Scholar). You will need to enter your contact and passport information in order to register. Once registered you will be able to book excursions and on-board activities (such as specialty dining, spa appointments, etc). If you did not recieve a booking number, please call us at 1.866.359.5966. For more information on using the Priority Check-in & Planning Center please see the attachment at the end of this booklet. Proof of citizenship is required for ALL guests. For full information regarding traveling with Crystal Cruises, we recommend visiting the Crystal Cruise website at: www.crystalcruises.com and refer to the "Cruise Guidebook".
  Parking availability:
Driving to program site is not possible.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Transportation to site: Transfers will be provided from Venice Marco Polo Airport to the Crystal Serenity for all participants who arrange their air travel through Road Scholar, and are arriving on Day 2 of the program.
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Sea
  Transportation from site: There will be one departure transfer from the port of Civitavecchia on the morning of Day 9. Participants who arranged their airfare through Road Scholar Travel Services and who are departing on the group date will be provided with a transfer from the ship to the airport in Rome. Independent travelers may join the group transfer or take a taxi. We do not recommend booking flights that depart before 1:00 pm.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart North America for Venice
(Friday, October 25)
   
 Depart From: Flights depart from North America.

Day 2: Arrive to Venice
(Saturday, October 26)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Venice, Italy and transfer to the Port of Venice. The Terminal Venezia Passeggeri, or Venice Cruise Terminal, is located near the 4-km (2.5 miles) causeway that links the historic city with the mainland. It consists of two main areas: the Marittima basin, which can handle the largest ships that call in Venice, and the San Basilio pier, which is just around the corner in the Giudecca Canal.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: Program Welcome and Orientation: Review program details with your group leader.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Venice, Italy
(Sunday, October 27)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Venice independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day (depending on the length of time in port) with different activity levels. Venice rests three miles off the coast of mainland Italy and is considered one of the world's most enchanting cities. Known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," it actually comprises more than 100 separate islands. Laced together by a string of 400 intricate bridges, Venice is legendary for its labyrinthine network of canals. A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, as the ship sails from Venice, join your study leader for an exclusive lecture focusing on art and culture in the Mediterranean.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Monday, October 28)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Dubrovnik independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. Though it has only recently re-emerged as an independent nation, Croatia is by no means a new country. There were settlements along the Dalmatian Coast before recorded time. When Slavic people migrated here in the 6th century, they converted to Catholicism and adopted the local Latin alphabet. The region eventually became part of the powerful Kingdom of Croatia. Medieval Dubrovnik, formerly the Republic of Ragusa, was one of several walled cities established in the 7th century to guard the coastal approaches. Its fortification was completed in the 13th century and has remained relatively unchanged. The city walls are in excellent condition and today prevent invasion by automobiles. Within the walls, the lovely sleek lines of Venetian-style buildings complement a wealth of ancient stone architecture. Nearby islands feature beautiful beaches as well as intriguing ancient ruins.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Dubrovnik.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Corfu, Greece
(Tuesday, October 29)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Corfu independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. Shaped like a scythe, the island of Corfu is considered one of the Mediterranean's best-kept secrets. Its lush interior is covered in cypress and olive trees while the main downtown area has elegant Venetian architecture and a serene atmosphere. Strategically important due to its location, this island has managed to maintain its uniqueness despite numerous invasions by outside forces. Today, the culture of Corfu reflects its turbulent past as well as its origins.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Corfu. In the late afternoon, as the ship departs, join your study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Valletta, Malta
(Wednesday, October 30)

Note: Today's field trip to Valletta is included in your program price. Do not book independent shore excursions today.



   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: EXCLUSIVE ROAD SCHOLAR FIELD TRIP: “The Silent City: The Medieval Walled City of Mdina". Noted for it's unique hushed quality of quiet dignity, Mdina is a living museum with families descended from 16th century nobility still occupying its ancestral mansions, lining narrow curved streets. Walking presentation in Malta's ancient capital will include the bastians, city gates and the Cathedral.
 Lunch: Served at a local restaurant in Valletta.
 Afternoon: Field Trip continues: The prehistoric temples of Malta and the sister island of Gozo are acknowledged to be the oldest buildings still standing on the earth. Architecture in its purest and most original form is demonstrated in the 5,000 years-old Hagar Qim structure in which participants will walk. A new visitor center explains in more detail the mysterious ancient culture that created these monuments more than a thousand years ahead of the pyramids.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sicily / Catania, Italy
(Thursday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Catania, Sicily independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. On a fertile plain surrounded by mountain slopes and the sea, Catania, the economic center of Sicily's richest area is nestled snugly in a hollow. Once an important Greek and Roman colony, it is now a thriving commercial and industrial center. Though the city sometimes appears chaotic, it retains a certain beauty in the graceful elegance of its old buildings. Above the city rises Europe's largest volcano, mighty Mt. Etna. North, along the coast, picturesque Taormina beckons one and all.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Catania. In the afternoon, join your study leader on board for a presentation.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Naples, Italy
(Friday, November 1)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Naples independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. Naples, the center of southern Italian commerce, is located on the scenic Bay of Naples. View a moment frozen in time at the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, ancient cities buried by an eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Naples. In the afternoon, join your study leader for a final lecture on the Mediterranean.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Rome / Civitavecchia, Italy / Disembark
(Saturday, November 2)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: This morning the ship will dock in the Port of Civitavecchia, the main port that services Rome. The ship is scheduled to dock in Rome at 8:00 am. Disembarkation should begin at 9:00 am. The transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Please do not book flights that depart Rome before 1:00 pm.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History


Author: Robert D. Kaplan


Description: Kaplan interweaves the history, art and culture of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece with his travels in this portrait of the region.



City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth. City of Fortune is framed by two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade -- culminating in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 -- and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503.



Death at La Fenice


Author: Donna Leon


Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated theater of the title.



Empires of the Sea


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: Crowley vividly reconstructs the epic clash between the Ottoman Empire and Christendom for the control of the Mediterranean -- and the soul of 16th-century Europe -- in this thrilling account of dramatic battles and brutality, rival faiths and larger-than-life personalities.



Eyewitness Top 10 Naples & Amalfi Coast


Author: Jeffrey Kennedy


Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With a pull-out map.



Eyewitness Top Ten Dubrovnik & Dalmatian Coast


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This slim guide, geared for visitors on a short stay, features color photographs and maps.



Mediterranean Explorer Map


Author: Ocean Explorer Maps


Description: This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places across the classical world, this map serves equally well for Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises.



Mediterranean by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.



My Family and Other Animals


Author: Gerald Durrell


Description: In this hilarious memoir, Durrell recounts sparkling anecdotes of his childhood on Corfu in the 1930s -- not least his passion for the toads, tortoises, bats, scorpions and other creatures. Read it aloud or give it to the budding naturalist in your life.



On Persephone's Island


Author: Mary Taylor Simeti


Description: Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a yearlong journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.



Pompeii, The Day a City Died


Author: Robert Etienne


Description: This indispensable pocket guide illustrates daily life in the city as told by its evocative frescoes, mosaics and treasures.



The Balkans, A Short History


Author: Mark Mazower


Description: A brief, provocative survey of the complex and often contentious history of the Balkans. With eloquence and insight, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and modern nation-building in the region.



The Leopard


Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa


Description: Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition.



The World of Venice


Author: Jan Morris


Description: Morris displays her talent for research, anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited history of a beloved city.



Venice Map


Author: Berndtson & Berndtson


Description: A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals.





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