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Adriatic Odyssey Aboard Minerva: Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy

Program Number: 21370RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2014 - 10/8/2014;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece/Montenegro
Price starting at: $3,449.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 42; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Beginning in Greece and ending in Italy, voyage through the Adriatic Sea to find ancient ruins, Renaissance treasures and magnificent coastline. Your journey will be enriched by the presence of distinguished speakers drawn from the academic and diplomatic worlds who bring your destinations to life through engaging lectures.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven, hilly terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Athens (Greece), 1 night; aboard Minerva, 14 nights.



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


Days 2-3:
Arrival Athens (Greece) / coach to Piraeus to embark Minerva:

Walk in the steps of Socrates and Plato on the legendary Acropolis, then examine artifacts up close at the spectacular new Acropolis Museum. Lodging: Centrally located four-star hotel.



Days 4-6:
At Sea / Kotor (Montenegro):

Navigate through the narrow Corinth Canal then north toward the Adriatic. Explore the walled city of Kotor, a rich commercial and artistic center in the Middle Ages.



Days 7-8:
At Sea / Dubrovnik (Croatia):

Discover walled Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” An expert-led walking excursion showcases Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, palaces and fountains.



Day 9:
Sibenik:

Go ashore in the historic Dalmatian Coast town of Sibenik, built during the reign of the Croatian kings. Step inside the magnificent Renaissance-era Sibenik Cathedral.



Day 10:
Pula:

Continue to Pula, once a major Roman town designed “for the pleasure of the rich.” Visit the Pula Arena, one of the largest and best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.



Day 11:
Venice (Italy):

Make sure you’re on deck as the ship pulls into the lovely Venetian Lagoon. Walk through the sprawling Piazza San Marco and visit the opulent Doge’s Palace.



Day 12:
Ravenna:

Experience Ravenna’s treasure trove of Byzantine art and culture. View some of the city’s famous mosaics at the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Basilica of San Vitale.



Days 13-14:
At Sea / Brindisi:

Sail down the coast of Italy to Brindisi on the Puglian coast. Venture to the city of Lecce for an excursion highlighting its splendid Baroque churches and piazzas.



Days 15-16:
At Sea / Gaeta:

The ship sails around the “toe” of Italy, and, in the evening, you get a close-up look at the active volcano of Stromboli. Discover the lovely Tyrrhenian Sea port of Gaeta independently.



Day 17:
Civitavecchia / disembark / coach to Rome for departure


MV Minerva

This stylish, newly upgraded vessel is operated by a long-established British company and boasts a loyal following of British travelers. It offers its 350 passengers two restaurants plus al fresco dining, a cinema, two bars, a library/card room, a swimming pool, a gym and a sauna. The spectacular Orpheus Lounge provides panoramic views of your surroundings.


Meals and Lodgings
   Titania Hotel
  Athens, Greece 1 night
   Minerva
  Athens, Greece
Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England
14 nights
 Titania Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This classically designed modern hotel is an urban oasis conveniently nestled in the historic and commercial center of Athens, between Syntagma and Omonia, the city's major squares. Reflecting the ancient atmosphere of its location, the hotel features a typically decorated interior with traditional touches that evoke images of the city’s historic heritage. There are also artistic antique-style elements which decorate the rooms, creating the perfect atmosphere for your stay in this wonderful city.
  Contact info: Panepistimiou 52
Athens,  106 78 Greece
phone: +00302103326000
web: www.titania.gr
  Room amenities: Guestrooms feature satellite television with pay movies, refrigerators, and minibars. Bathrooms include bathroom phones, hair dryers, and bathtubs. Other amenities include complimentary newspapers, air conditioning, housekeeping and wake-up calls.
  Facility amenities: Titania Hotel features a restaurant, serving breakfast only. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning. The property provides 24-hour room service. Meeting facilities include conference rooms, exhibit space, banquet facilities, and meeting rooms for small groups. Titania Hotel also offers a bar/lounge, a business center, and a coffee shop/café. The property has a 24-hour front desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact your program provider for details.

 Minerva
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: No matter which corner of the globe you choose to discover, after exploring ashore, you will always appreciate Minerva’s stately comforts: a relaxed lounge with entertainment, well-stocked library, restaurants, gym, Wheeler bar and Shackleton's bar. An elegant environment in which polished wood and gleaming brass are complemented by works of art and fresh flowers. With over 50 years experience in discovery cruising, Swan Hellenic knows all the ingredients for the perfect cruise. From the on board environment to inspiring itineraries, and from our knowledgeable reservations team to our European ship's officers and attentive crew, we are committed to providing you with the ultimate discovery cruise experience. You will travel with like-minded people and as you share the experiences of your voyage, you may find acquaintances turn into lasting friendships. Your cruise will be further enriched by the presence of distinguished speakers drawn from the academic, diplomatic and media worlds. Their presentations and the more informal conversations you can enjoy in the Darwin Lounge will really bring our destinations to life.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage - 12,449 Length - 437 ft Beam - 66 ft Draft - 19 ft Cruising Speed - 14 knots Passenger Decks - 6 Stabilisers - retractable fin Registration - Bahamas Passengers - 350 Crew - 160; mainly Filipino and Ukrainian Officers - British and European Entered Service - 29th April 1996
  Contact info: Swan Hellenic - North America
1800 S.E. 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-923-9182
web: us.swanhellenic.com/homeus.html
  Room amenities: TV, Hairdryer and Personal Safe in Every Cabin
  Facility amenities: Facilities include: 44 Balcony cabins 100 Outside cabins (74% outside cabins including 23% balcony cabins) 2 Restaurants Orpheus Lounge Internet Lounge Livingstone Lounge Darwin Lounge Shackleton & Wheeler Bars Cinema Library/Card Room Boutique and Gift Shop Swimming Pool Gymnasium, Sauna and Spa Services Complimentary Launderette with Washers and Dryers Beauty Salon Medical Centre Telephone, Fax and E-mail Facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins at 6:00 pm on Day 2 in Athens, Greece at the program hotel. You will be staying at Titania Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends on Day 17 after breakfast on board the MV Minerva. You will be staying at Minerva the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Swan Hellenic requires all guests to register online prior to sailing. They will ask you to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.swanhellenic.com - click on "Already Booked" then "Required Passenger Information" to enter your details. The embarkation date is the date you board the ship. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied. If you did not receive a booking number or if you need assistance registering online, please contact our program department at 1.866.359.5966 and someone will assist you.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains and buses are available in Athens and Rome.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation to site: All participants, who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar and are arriving on the program start date, will be transferred from the Athens International Airport to the program hotel. If you did not purchase your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight arrives before or at the same time as the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Minerva
  Transportation from site: Rome Fuimicino Airport is located approximately 26km northeast of the city of Rome. All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will be transferred from the ship to the airport at the end of the program. If you did not purchase your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight departs at the same time or after the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program. Taxi: If you are departing independently in Rome and plan to make your own way to the airport, taxis are readily available at the port.
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: Departures from the US
(Monday, September 22)
   
 In Transit: Flights depart from various US gateways

Day 2: Flights arrive in Athens, Greece
(Tuesday, September 23)
   
 Arrive To: Athens, Greece
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for your program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Titania Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Athens / Embark MV Minerva
(Wednesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: ROAD SCHOLAR EXCLUSIVE EXCURSION: Discover the Acropolis: The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. Although there are many other ruins in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. Opened to the public in 2009, the New Acropolis Museum represents one of the highest-profiled cultural projects undertaken in Europe in the past decade. The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own in Athens.
 Afternoon: Transfer and board the Minerva. The ship will be docked in Piraeus, located approximately 20-30 minutes from central Athens.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Athens / Transit the Corinth Canal
(Thursday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship. Breakfast - with a wide range of options - can be enjoyed in the Swan Restaurant, the Veranda or out on the open deck around the pool. Morning coffee and pastries are served in the Veranda and afternoon tea in the Swan Restaurant. Both restaurants offer the same wide choice of menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 Morning: Enjoy free time on your own in Athens this morning before the ship sets sail for the Corinth Canal this afternoon.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva will set sail for the Corinth Canal this afternoon. East of Corinth, the isthmus is only 6.4km wide and it must have been apparent from a very early period that if you could get your ships across at this point, you would avoid the long and dangerous journey round the Peloponnese. Such a maneuver would in fact shorten the journey from Athens to the west by some 322 km. In AD67 Emperor Nero conceived the idea of digging a canal and embarked on the project using 6,000 prisoners of war. These diggings were destroyed in the building of the present canal; work began in 1882 and was completed in 1893. The canal is 6km long, nearly 23m wide and 8m deep, the central part running through a 91.5m deep cutting in sandstone rock. The canal is crossed by two roads and a railway bridge.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea
(Friday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: On board presentations from your study leader and the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy expert presentations and other shipboard activities as you sail the Adriatic Sea.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kotor, Montenegro
(Saturday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Ship arrives in Kotor at 8:00 am. Enjoy a walking tour around old Kotor, one of the best-preserved medieval towns along the Adriatic coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover surrounding walls pierced by gates dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, old mansions and palaces and many sacred buildings. You will visit the most important, being the 12th century St. Triphun cathedral.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Ship departs Kotor at 17:00. If time allows, have some free time to explore Kotor on your own. Minerva will sail towards Dubrovnik this evening.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Sunday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Dubrovnik’s magnificent medieval old town is renowned for its surrounding city walls, marble-paved streets and squares, fountains and museums. Discover the delights of this historic city-state on a guided walking tour which includes visits to the Baroque cathedral, the Rector’s Palace, the 14th century Franciscan monastery – housing one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in Europe – and the Dominican monastery.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Dubrovnik. Minerva is scheduled to sail at 17:00
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sibenik, Croatia
(Monday, September 29)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Ship arrives in Sibenik at 8:00 am. Explore the old town of Sibenik, built during the reign of the Croatian kings, on a walking tour. Sights will include the 15th century Cathedral – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest cathedrals on the Adriatic – the City Hall and the Baroque Orthodox church.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical Croatian lunch at a local restaurant near the Krka waterfalls.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The Minerva is scheduled depart at 16:00.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Pula, Croatia
(Tuesday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Pula at 7:00. According to myth, Jason and Medea founded the town of Polai, on the southernmost part of the Istrian peninsula. Later the Romans changed it into a town for the "pleasure of the rich". Today it is known as Pula. The city is best known for its many surviving ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is its well preserved 1st-century amphitheatre. Known locally as the Arena, it is the sixth largest amphitheatre in the world. Enjoy a guided walking tour, including a visit to the Arena and passing other notable and well preserved Roman structures, including the Sergius Arch and the temple to the God Apollo, built in the honour of the 1st-century Roman emperor Cesar Augustis. Among other sites you will view are the Roman city gates and walls, and a Byzantine chapel.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch on board.
 Afternoon: If time allows, spend some free time exploring the port of Pula. The Minerva is scheduled to depart at 23:00
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Venice, Italy
(Wednesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Venice at 8:00. Transfer by boat to Cornoldi’s Quay to begin your walk. View the Bridge of Sighs on your way to St Mark’s Square to visit the magnificent Doge’s Palace, symbol of Venetian power. You can also visit the lavishly ornate St Mark’s Basilica with its glittering mosaics and wander around the famous square, absorbing its atmosphere.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Spend some free time exploring Venice. The Minerva is scheduled to depart at 22:00
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Ravenna, Italy
(Thursday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Minerva arrives in Ravenna at 8:00. Discover the splendour of Ravenna’s famous mosaics. Visits will include the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia displaying some of the finest examples of early Christian art, dating from the 5th century, and the Basilica di San Vitale, consecrated in 547 by Archbishop Maximian and adorned with colourful mosaics representing scenes from the Old Testament. Further exquisite mosaics, together with the sarcophagi of former Archbishops, can be seen in the 6th century church San Apollinare in Classe. You will also be able to view Theodoric’s tomb from the coach as well as enjoying some free time in the town.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: If time allows, spend some free time exploring the port of Ravenna. The Minerva is scheduled to depart at 18:00
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruising the Adriatic Sea
(Friday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: At sea. Join your study leader for an exclusive lecture.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Relax on board the ship as you sail towards Brindisi, Italy.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Brindisi, Italy
(Saturday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Minerva arrives in Brindisi at 8:00. Explore historic Lecce, celebrated for its extravagant Baroque architecture. Your walking tour will take you through the Piazza Sant’ Oronzo to see the remains of the Roman amphitheatre and to the Piazza del Duomo – one of the finest squares in southern Italy – to view the 17th century cathedral and the Episcopal Palace. You will also view the 18th century seminary and visit the opulent Basilica della Santa Croce, the finest example of Lecce’s Baroque architecture, with its richly decorated façade.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is free to independently explore the port of Brindisi. The ship will be in docked until 17:00.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: At Sea
(Sunday, October 5)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive lecture while at sea.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the ship's activities and amenities as you sail towards Gaeta.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Gaeta, Italy
(Monday, October 6)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive lecture
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva arrives in Gaeta at 13:00. Explore the town independently.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Rome, Italy
(Tuesday, October 7)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Minerva arrives in Rome at 7:00 am. A drive through the countryside will take you to the medieval walled hill town of Viterbo where you will embark on a walking tour. Among the extremely well-preserved buildings, you will view the Piazza del Plebiscito, Piazza del Gesu, the Cathedral and the imposing Pope’s Palace along with the medieval district of Quartiere San Pellegrino, often used as a film location.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is free to independently explore the port of Rome. The ship will be in docked overnight.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Civitavecchia / Disembark / Departures
(Wednesday, October 8)
   
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the Rome airport for flights returning to North America.
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.

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