Road Scholar : Home
Great Islands of the Mediterranean in Springtime

Program Number: 21203RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/6/2013 - 5/14/2013;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Spain/Italy
Price starting at: $6,990.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Sail to five great islands of the Mediterranean, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, Corsica and Menorca, at a time of year when the sun is warm, the air is fragrant with citrus and the tourist crowds have not yet materialized. These islands are rugged yet beautiful, their cultures have been shaped by a dozen different civilizations, and they remain unexplored by most American travelers. Joining you on this voyage are outstanding expert lecturers including Richard Seager, a Columbia University climate scientist, and Boris Berman, Yale Professor in the Practice of Piano.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven and hilly terrain. Small boats are sometimes used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Palermo (Italy), 1 night; aboard Corinthian, 7 nights.

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

Day 2: Arrival Palermo (Italy) / embark Corinthian

Day 3: Valletta (Malta):

Take a journey back to the time of knights as you walk Valletta’s medieval streets and step inside the Grand Master’s Palace.

Day 4: Trapani (Italy):

Back on Sicily, explore the medieval hilltop town of Erice then continue to Segesta to find a magnificent Doric temple, among the best preserved anywhere.

Day 5: Cagliari:

Sail to the island of Sardinia to discover Su Nuraxi, the archaeological site of a village that dates to the 16th century BC. Enjoy some independent time in Cagliari.

Day 6: Corsica (France):

Voyage onward to Corsica, the French island famed as Napoleon’s birthplace. Admire the fine Gothic architecture and dramatic scenery of Bonifacio, the capital.

Day 7: Alghero (Italy):

Return to Sardinia to explore the fishing port of Alghero with its picturesque cobblestone streets and flamboyantly decorated churches.

Day 8: Menorca (Spain):

Go ashore on this Spanish island to discover its renowned prehistoric sites including a 14-foot tall taula (“table”), a stone construction exclusive to Menorca, and the large settlement of Torre d’en Galmes.

Day 9: Barcelona / disembark / departure


Launched in early 2009 after extensive refurbishment, redecoration, and other improvements, the private yacht-like Corinthian accommodates a maximum of 100 passengers in 50 suites, all offering ocean views. Public facilities include a single-seating restaurant, two lounges, expansive library, gym, spa, Jacuzzi and spacious sundeck.

Meals and Lodgings
  Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Italy
Aboard the Corinthian, At Sea
7 nights
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: This private yacht-like cruise ship accommodates only 100 guests in 50 suites.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage: 4,077 Overall Length: 290 feet Beam: 50 feet Draft: 12 feet Flag Malta
  Contact info: 132 East 70th Street,
New York ,, NY 10021 USA
phone: 800-257-5767
  Room amenities: All accommodations aboard the Corinthian are suites. And include a bedroom with two twin-sized beds or one queen sized bed, sitting area, mini bar, VCR/DVD/CD player, color TV, Marble appointed bathroom with spacious shower and other amenities.
  Facility amenities: Public facilities include a restaurant tha accomodates guests at a single, unassigned seating, two lounges, expansive library with Internet access, state-of-the-art gym/spa, beauty salon, boutique,Jacuzzi, hospital and ample deck areas for sunbathing and relaxing.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins late in the afternoon of Day 2 on board the ship in Palermo You will be staying at Corinthian that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on board the ship in Barcelona You will be staying at Corinthian the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Palermo, Sicily, Italy
  Nearest airport:  Palermo International Airport (PMO)
  Transportation to site: All participants who are arriving on May 7, 2013 will be met at the airport and transfered to the ship. Participants arranging their own air should arrive no later than 1:00pm. Taxis are readily available at the airport for independent travelers.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the Corinthian
  Transportation from site: All participants who are departing on May 14, 2013 will be transfered from the port in Barcelona to the airport. Participants arranging their own air should not book flights that depart earlier than 12:00 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: Overnight Flight from the US
(Monday, May 6)
 Depart From: Depart the US for international flights to Palermo, Italy

Day 2: Arrivals
(Tuesday, May 7)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Palermo, Italy and transfer to the ship
 Dinner: In the evening, join your group leader for a welcome dinner and program orientation
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Valletta, Malta
(Wednesday, May 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore the Palace of the Grand Masters and the National Museum of Archaeology. Then it's a short drive to the remarkable Tarxien Temples, which date back to 2800 B.C.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Visit Hagar Qim, even older than the Tarxian Temples, that stands atop a hill on the southern edge of the island overlooking the sea.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Trapani, Sicily / Erice / Segesta / Trapani
(Thursday, May 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Drive up winding roads to the medieval town of Erice. The town was known for its temple to the fertility goddess, Astarte. Look around the 12th-Century Venus Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue on to Segesta for a glimpse of its magnificent Doric temple, built in 420 b.c. and among the best preserved ancient Greek sites.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cagliari / Su Nuraxi / Nora or Cagliari, Sardinia
(Friday, May 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Arrive in Cagliari, Sardinia's capital, built on a hill facing the sea. Disembark and drive to the village of Barumini to visit Su Nuraxi, Sardinia's most important and impressive nuraghic complex and a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity Site.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Spend time at leisure to explore Cagliari or take an excursion to Nora.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Bonifacio, Corsica, France
(Saturday, May 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Call in Bonifacio, built on spectacular high cliffs on Corsica's south coast. Admire the fine Gothic architecture and dramatic scenery.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Bonifacio.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Aleghero, Sardinia, Italy
(Sunday, May 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Experience Alghero, the region's major fishing port, and explore the picturesque cobblestoned streets and flamboyantly decorated churches of its historic core. Also visit the nearby Anghelu Ruiu Necropolis - a pre-Nuraghic cave complex with more than 30 hypogea and Nuraghe Palmavera.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Aleghero
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Mahon, Menorca, Spain
(Monday, May 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Explore two prehistoric sites: Torralba d'en Salord, with its spectacular 4.3 meter-high taula, a stone construction that is exclusive to Menorca, and the large prehistoric settlement of Torre d'en Galmes.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Learn more about the island's history and archaeology in Mahon's Museum of Menorca.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Barcelona, Spain / Disembark
(Tuesday, May 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark in Barcelona and transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S.
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

A Book of Mediterranean Food

Author: Elizabeth David

Description: A classic mix of lore, literary asides, recipes and enthusiasm for the food and culture of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and the Middle East. Published in the gloom of post-WWII Britain, David's tribute brims with affection for the strongly flavored food of the Mediterranean.


Author: Robert Hughes

Description: A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.

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.

Homage to Catalonia

Author: George Orwell

Description: Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades

Author: David Ball

Description: In this rousing historical novel the fates of a young boy, his sister, one of the Knights of Malta and an inquisitor play out against the backdrop of the 16th-century Ottoman assault on Malta, the formidable citadel of the Knights of St. John.

Master and Commander

Author: Patrick O'Brian

Description: The very first of O'Brian's wildly successful seafaring novels about Captain Aubrey and sidekick Maturin sets the duo against a well-researched Napoleonic wars backdrop in the Western Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Cruises Map

Author: Freytag & Berndt

Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.

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.

Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra

Author: Peter Robb

Description: Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Peter Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south.


Author: Paul Johnson

Description: In just over 200 blistering pages, British historian Johnson not only traces the major events of the emperor's life, from his birth on Corsica to his death on St. Helena, but also exposes Napoleon's ruthless appetite for power and his naked opportunism.

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.

On the Shores of the Mediterranean

Author: Eric Newby

Description: A sparkling observer and famously entertaining, Newby tackles the Mediterranean in this merry classic account of travels to North Africa, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cairo and Jerusalem.

Paul, The Mind of the Apostle

Author: A.N. Wilson

Description: A richly detailed portrait of the apostle Paul, firmly grounded in the everyday details of life in the Roman Empire. It's a mind-opening, partly historical study of the culture, politics and religion of the early years of Christianity.

Pillars of Hercules

Author: Paul Theroux

Description: Theroux seems to have had an exceptionally good time on his tour of the Mediterranean, circling the celebrated sea on foot, horseback, train and boat from Gibraltar to North Africa.

Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates

Author: Paul Dallman

Description: Richly illustrated, clearly written and engaging, this book is an ecological overview of the landscapes, plants and vegetation types found in Mediterranean climates.

Sea and Sardinia

Author: D.H. Lawrence

Description: A marvelous account of a trip to Sardinia, evoking both the charms and travails of the then-remote island, and the personality of the author. It's a pleasingly exaggerated, accessible portrait of life on the island, circa 1921.

Sea of Faith

Author: Stephen O'Shea

Description: O'Shea brings a traveler's eye and a poet's touch to this gripping tale of conquest, co-existence and conflict in the medieval Mediterranean. He focuses on seven key battles between Christians and Muslims from Yamuk (AD 636) to the Siege of Malta (1565).

The Ancient Mediterranean

Author: Michael Grant

Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to sketch this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and the influence on western civilization.

The Disorderly Knights

Author: Dorothy Dunnett

Description: The third volume in the Lymond Chronicles follows Francis Crawford of Lymond to Malta, where he has been sent to help the Knights of Hospitallers defend their island against the invading Turks.

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 Mediterranean in History

Author: David Abulafia (Editor)

Description: A professor at Cambridge, David Abulafia leads a team of eight historians in this engaging, richly illustrated overview of the civilizations, societies and grand themes in the history of this great sea at the heart of Europe. Published in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the book features 150 well-integrated color and 150 black-and-white illustrations.

The Middle Sea

Author: John Julius Norwich

Description: A marvelous writer who has already tackled Byzantium, the Normans in Sicily and Venice, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.

The Wine-Dark Sea

Author: Leonardo Sciascia, Avril Bardoni (Translator), Alberto Mobilio (Introduction)

Description: A collection of 13 stories, all set in the celebrated writer's native Sicily and featuring mafiosi, carabinieri and villagers.

Travelers' Tales Italy

Author: Ann Calcagno (Editor), Jan Morris (Introduction)

Description: A collection of 48 stories on traveling in Italy and Italian life, featuring the writing of Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Frances Mayes, Jonathan Keats, Stanley Crouch and others.

Treason's Harbour

Author: Patrick O'Brian

Description: Stephen Maturin, Jack Aubrey and the crew of the H.M.S. Surprise contend with pirates and Napoleon's spies in this splendid novel set on and around Malta.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768