Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome - 11 Days

Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome

Our Mediterranean and southern Italy cruise aboard Le Ponant includes one night on Malta and two nights in the heart of Rome on the fabulous Via Veneto – featuring a Tauck Exclusive, an after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums. Your Italy cruise calls on Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, and remote Aeolian Isles. Enjoy traditional Sicilian entertainment, a spectacular night sail past Stromboli, a visit to Herculaneum’s ruins and so much more!

Only With Tauck

  • Exclusive after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel – without crowds – during two nights in Rome at the Hotel Majestic Roma, located on the Via Veneto
  • Private evening at Palazzo Parisio on Malta
Day 1
Exclusive evening at a palazzo in Malta

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Phoenicia Hotel Malta. A transfer is included from Malta International Airport to the Phoenicia HotelMalta.Richinhistorictreasures,VallettawasfoundedbytheKnightsofSt.Johninthe16thcentury. Joinustonightfora Tauck Exclusive welcome reception and dinner at Palazzo Parisio; originally the hunting lodge of Grand Master Don Antonio Manoel de Vihena who ruled the Order of the Knights of Malta between 1722 and 1736. The property was lived in by noble families for centuries and is still owned by the great-granddaughter of the Marquis Scicluna, who owned the palazzo at the end of the 19th century.

Meals – Dinner

Lodging – The Phoenicia Malta

Day 2
Explore Malta & embark Le Ponant

A guided tour of Malta includes the medieval walled city of Mdina, perched atop a cliff, and a drive around St. Julian’s Bay, a favorite setting for the colorful Maltese boats that are often photographed here for worldwide enjoyment. Return to Valletta for a walking tour and The Malta Experience, an audio-visual show that tells the dramatic story of Malta’s 7,000-year history; Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a virtual open-air museum of Baroque architecture. Visit the splendid St. John’s Co-Cathedral to see its silver and gold-leafed interior and rare art treasures, including the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Italian painter Caravaggio. Le Ponant awaits in the Grand Harbour; set sail for Sicily tonight.

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3
Antiquities and more on Ortigia Island

Le Ponant docks at Ortigia Island this morning, lined with 18th- and 19th-century townhouses, for a visit to Siracusa on the Sicilian mainland. You have a choice of shore excursions. Drive to Neapolis Parco Archeologico to see the Teatro Greco, an ancient 15,000 seat theatre hewn out of rock, and Latomia del Paradiso featuring the Ear of Dionysius. Crossing back to the Island of Ortigia, a walking tour will include the 6th-century Temple of Apollo – transformed over the centuries as a Byzantine church, a Muslim mosque and then a Norman church – and the Baroque Duomo. Alternatively, visit the Baroque town of Noto, the best example of Baroque architecture on the island and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – The Baroque Town of Noto

Day 4
Cliff-top Taormina or Mount Etna on Sicily

Admire the astounding views as you sail into Taormina, a terraced town clinging to high cliffs on the east coast of Sicily, with Mt. Etna towering in the distance. Take a Zodiac ashore for a choice of sightseeing excursion. First possibility is Taormina sightseeing on a tour that takes you to the Teatro Greco, featuring both Greek and Roman elements, and for a stroll along the Corso Umberto, Old Town Taormina’s main pedestrian street lined with cafés and pasticcerie. Or, join us for a visit to Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe – and still active. Travel by cable car up its slopes and board a special off-road vehicle, accompanied by local guides, for the ascent to one of the world’s most stunning panoramas 9,514 ft. (2900 meters) above sea level. View Mount Etna’s varied landscapes up close and gain insights into volcanic activity. Everyone enjoys some afternoon free time in Taormina before Le Ponant departs for Palermo.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – The Best of Mount Etna

Day 5
Explore Palermo or Monreale

Enjoy a pleasant morning’s cruise aboard Le Ponant en route to Palermo, the capital of Sicily and once considered among Europe’s grandest cities; your yacht will be docked in the heart of the city’s pedestrian area. You’ll have two sightseeing choices today: a tour of Monreale including a visit to the 12th-century Cathedral of Monreale, whose majestic dome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a wine tasting at a local winery. Or, join us for a two-hour Palermo walking tour that explores the history of the Mafia and the antimafia; you’ll also visit a private residence, Palazzo Gangi di Valguarnera. Late afternoon everyone meets for a tour of Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, the largest Opera House in Italy. Return to Le Ponant at the end of the day for dinner.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Segesta and Erice or the Salt Route

Anchor in Trapani for a choice of sightseeing excursions. First choice is a visit to ancient Segesta where antiquities include the unfinished temple encircled by 36 massive Doric columns, which was started in 426 BC and is remarkably preserved. Continue on to the age-old walled town of Erice, the mythological seat of the Roman goddess Venus, where a guided tour includes the town’s historic center. Your second choice is a journey to Spagnola where you’ll learn about the spectacular “Salt Route.” You’ll also visit a local well-known winery for a tasting, spend time exploring on your own, and travel to nearby Trapani. Rejoin Le Ponant in Trapani and cruise to the Aeolian Islands.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Salt, Wine & Private Home

Day 7
Sailing to Lipari & the Aeolian Isles

The largest of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari sits on red volcanic rock and looks like “a wall of bronze” according to the Greek poet Homer. Archaeological remains found have yielded clues to civilizations which date to 1700 BC, including the Neolithic stones that sit alongside ancient tombstones, and ruins of Greek walls and Roman villas. The Spaniards found their way here in the 16th century, building the castello (castle) and the 17th-century cathedral that is perched above the harbor. Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, noted for its colorful houses, 17th-century cathedral and 16th-century castle. You have a choice of two sightseeing excursions today – a walking tour of Lipari plus a visit to the Archaeological Museum or a drive across the island and a visit to the village of Quattropani and its unique vineyard. Back aboard ship, experience a different view of these volcanic islands when you sail by the island of Stromboli tonight, home to one of the world’s few constantly active volcanoes – it has continuously erupted for 2,000 years. The view is unforgettable.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Island Tour & An Organic Winery

Day 8
The Amalfi Coast & Ravello or Positano

Le Ponant calls on mainland Italy and the picturesque town of Amalfi. You can explore today on a guided walk in Amalfi, including a drive on the mountainous route along the Amalfi Coast, one of the most spectacular drives in the world. Arrive in stunning Ravello, perched on cliffs overlooking the sea. Visit Villa Rufolo, with roots dating back to a wealthy 13th-century merchant family, where you’ll savor outstanding coastal views, then enjoy a wonderful lunch of seasonal specialties in town. Or, if you wish, go on a guided walk in picturesque Amalfi followed by a drive along the Amalfi Coast to Positano, a stunning cliffside town that has been a magnet for the world’s jetsetters – writers, painters, film stars, royalty, fashion designers – for centuries. You’ll return to Amalfi by motorboat for a different perspective. Enjoy a farewell dinner on your final night aboard Le Ponant as she heads to Naples.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Discover Amalfi & Positano

Day 9
Herculaneum, Rome & the Vatican Museums

After disembarking Le Ponant in Naples, you’ll embark on a fascinating excursion to the ruins of Herculaneum. The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD is infamous – and while the ruins of Pompeii are well known, the upscale city of Herculaneum, buried under ash that same day, is better preserved. An informative guided tour of the antiquities precedes your journey to Rome, where you’ll spend two nights on the Via Veneto in the heart of the city. After settling into your hotel in the “Eternal City,” depart for a special Tauck Exclusive – and a guaranteed highlight of your Italy cruise – an after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums! With a guide – and without the usual daytime crowds – you can explore the Candelabra Gallery, the Map Gallery, the Tapestries, and the iconic Sistine Chapel, seeing them leisurely… a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch

Lodging – Hotel Majestic Roma

Day 10
Glories of Rome

Join our guide for an overview of Rome’s landmark sights, beginning with St. Peter’s Basilica. Pre-reserved tickets bypass the wait at the Colosseum, making admission to this amazing amphitheatre hassle free; keep your cameras handy. Spend the afternoon exploring Rome as you please, then share highlights of your extraordinary trip at tonight’s farewell reception and dinner.

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Lodging – Hotel Majestic Roma

Day 11
Journey home

Tour ends: Rome. Fly home anytime. A transfer from Hotel Majestic Roma to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino

is included. You should allow 3 hours for flight check-in.

Meals – Breakfast

What's Included

  • All gratuities to Tauck Director, ship staff and local guides
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $3, 385
  • Special Tauck Experiences include traditional Sicilian entertainment and a visit to the amazingly well-preserved ruins of Herculaneum
  • Night sail by the volcanic island of Stromboli
  • Aboard ship – alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available throughout the day aboard ship including house wines and spirits; premium spirits and wines are available at extra cost
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • 26 meals; service charges, applicable fuel surcharges, taxes and porterage

Night 1 Valletta, Malta

The Phoenicia Malta

Set amidst seven acres of beautiful gardens, The Phoenicia Malta lies just outside the ancient city walls of Valletta, Malta, overlooking the harbor. A national treasure opened in 1947, The Phoenicia Malta has played a key role in Malta’s social and cultural history. Stars, socialites and the crowned heads of Europe have enjoyed this 5 star hotel for over 60 years. The hotel enjoys a classical beauty that impresses at first glance; from the luxurious soft furnishings to the carefully chosen furniture, it is the details that make your stay a memorable one. Guests can enjoy the heated outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi while taking in a magnificent view of the harbor, take advantage of the fitness room or play a round or two of miniature golf. From cocktails and quick refreshments to a dining experience that is second to none, The Phoenicia Malta provides limitless options. Wake up to the lavish Phoenicia Breakfast Buffet, and for lunch or dinner, sample Mediterranean cuisine on the picturesque terrace of the Phoenix Restaurant, which recently received a fine dining award as one of the top 10 restaurants in the country. The Palm Court Lounge is perfect for specialty coffees, tantalizing snacks and traditional afternoon tea while relaxing on one of the comfortable sofas or armchairs. The hotel’s cellar boasts an unparalleled selection of wines to suit all tastes.

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Nights 2-8

Le Ponant

Given her size, shallow draft and a design that is very open to the sea (with a large sundeck, an outdoor restaurant, and easy access to the sea for swimming from her marina), Le Ponant – PONANT’s symbolic flagship – gives passengers the feeling they are aboard a private yacht. Onboard, you’ll find four decks featuring a small library with a choice of books, cozy lounge with evening piano music, small boutique, and a full-service bar. Continental breakfast is served in your stateroom or at an American-style buffet in the outdoor panoramic restaurant; lunch is also served in the outdoor restaurant, buffet style; and dinner is served nightly in the window-lined restaurant. Staterooms (approximately 130 sq. ft.) are all outside on Le Ponant and include a private bathroom with shower, mini bar, multi-channel music system, individual climate control, and a telephone with world-wide satellite access.

AMENITIES

  • Onboard restaurant, Le Diamant Panoramic Restaurant, offers high quality cuisine with a French inspiration that showcases the ship’s dedication to gastronomy
  • Alternate dining venue, Karukéra Restaurant, offers delicate cuisine inspired by the flavors of the sea
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Built-in marina ­– providing easy access to the sea for swimming
  • Wide open deck layout allows passengers to easily roam as they please with options to stargaze at night, weather permitting

Nights 9 – 10 Rome, Italy

Hotel Majestic Roma

A jewel of neoclassic elegance built in 1889, Hotel Majestic Roma is set on the renowned Via Veneto within walking distance of the Spanish Steps and the Villa Borghese Gardens. This intriguing hotel was constructed in the shape of a piano to accommodate a bend in the Via Veneto; its distinctive antiques and fresco-adorned ceilings make it a special place to stay. Welcoming guest rooms, with their unique combinations of fabrics used for drapes and bedspreads, feature air conditioning, direct dial phone, satellite and cable TV channels, hair dryer, safe, mini-bar and Carrara marble bathroom. The Fitness Center, available to guests 24-hours a day, is equipped with the latest in exercise equipment. An on-site restaurant offering local Roman and Italian dishes and cocktails on the terrace in a cozy, informal atmosphere, is one of Rome’s best-kept secrets. A part of the scenery in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, it has long been a favorite choice of royalty and celebrities.

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