Explore lands of ancient empires
Travel through waters once ruled by mighty empires and flourishing city-states during an insightful 8-day cruise from Rome to Athens. Visit Naples, gateway to Pompeii, and Messina, Sicily’s cultural crossroads. Discover Crete, the former seat of the once flourishing Minoan kingdom, and see remarkably preserved ancient ruins in Ephesus. Immerse yourself in Athens, the “birthplace of democracy,” and admire the famous Acropolis and see the bustling Plaka District.
Rome, Italy / Athens, Greece
2023 Sailings from November to December
2024 Sailings on January, and from November to December
2025 Sailings on February
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $3,599.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Step on board to begin your journey. The ship will be berthed in Civitavecchia, the closest port to the airport and Rome. Relax and settle in to your well-appointed stateroom and take time to get acquainted with the many ship amenities. Perhaps you will unwind at our Infinity Pool or browse the replicas of Viking artifacts at our onboard Viking Heritage exhibit.
Naples boasts a long history in a stunning seaside setting and is known mostly for its pizza. The city has long been a major center of Italian culture and was the seat of a powerful independent kingdom for 500 years. So great was its sway that it lured the region’s finest architects and artists. In the grand Piazza del Plebiscito, the grand and sweeping public square, the San Francesco di Paola Church flaunts a colonnaded facade reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome, and the Royal Palace overlooks Neapolitans with statues of all the kings of Naples peering out from alcoves.
Sicily has been shaped by countless civilizations, from Greek to Byzantine to Roman. When it fell under Spain’s purview in the 17th century, it was celebrated as one of Europe’s ten great cities. Surrounded by undulating mountains, orange and olive groves and vineyards are plentiful. During World War II, Messina was the destination of the unofficial “Race to Messina” between US General Patton and British Field Marshall Montgomery. In the end, Patton arrived just hours before his British comrade, receiving credit for securing Sicily.
As you cruise to your next port, spend the day savoring the amenities of your elegant ship. Indulge in Nordic-inspired treatments at The Spa or find your inner calm with some yoga on the Sports Deck. Tonight, dine on thoughtfully prepared cuisine that connects you to the flavors of Italy and the Mediterranean and watch a movie beneath the stars at the Main Pool.
Explore Souda Bay today, an important port since antiquity because of its natural harbor and location along Mediterranean trade routes. Visit the remnants of the once-grand Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan kingdom that ruled over the island of Crete from approximately 2600 to 1100 BC. Or, tour an olive oil factory and winery to learn how these ancient Cretan traditions have been influenced by modern production techniques. Alternatively, see the influences of former rulers, such as the Venetians and Ottomans, during a walking tour of Chania’s Old Town.
Journey into the ancient world today with a visit to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world. Stroll the uneven streets of this once-powerful metropolis and pass sights such as the massive Great Theater and the magnificent Library of Celsus. Visit the remains of the Byzantine Basilica of St. John and see the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days. Or, take a scenic drive to the Oracle of Didyma and the Temple of Apollo, part of a once-elaborate Hellenic sanctuary.
Today, you will have the opportunity to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Constitution Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance and glimpse an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.
Awake in Athens, where you will disembark your ship. From here, you can easily take a few extra days to further explore this historic city with our post-cruise extension.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.