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Viking Oceans Cruises – Iconic Mediterranean Treasures (France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Turkey) 22 Days

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  • 22 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 6 Countries

Map of Iconic Mediterranean Treasures itinerary

Set sail through the storied ages

Visit ancient sites and cosmopolitan cities when you combine Ancient Mediterranean Treasures, Journey to Antiquities and Iconic Western Mediterranean into one captivating journey. See remarkably preserved ruins in Turkey and Greece, and call on some of the Mediterranean’s most beloved ports in Italy, Monaco, France and Spain. Overnights in Istanbul, Athens, Florence/Pisa and Barcelona allow you to fully explore the region’s wealth of cultural treasures.

Sagrada Familia and lake at sunrise in Barcelona

Departure & Return Location

Istanbul, Turkey / Barcelona, Spain

Departure Dates/Times

2023 Sailings on October

2024 Sailings on January, on September, and from November to December

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $10,799.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1Istanbul, Turkey

Discover where East meets West as you arrive today in Istanbul. Take time to admire this city that straddles two continents across the Bosphorus Strait, with its Old Quarter skyline of domes and minarets and the twinkling lights of modern Istanbul across the water. Sample delicious cuisine for a taste of this fusion, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia. Enjoy a wealth of religious sites, such as the spectacular “Blue Mosque” and the legendary Hagia Sophia. We are docked overnight here, so you will have a full day tomorrow to explore this historic port.

Day 2Istanbul, Turkey

Spend a second day in Istanbul as you immerse yourself in local life and Turkish traditions. Visit a hamman and partake in a centuries-old wellness ritual. Or, you can relax and take in the sights as you cruise the Bosphorus Strait, where old-world ships once sailed as they delivered spices to Istanbul’s lively bazaars.

Day 3Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey

Located on the Dardanelles, a key waterway linking the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea, Çanakkale was an object of desire dating back to the ancient Greeks. Today, explore Çanakkale or the nearby ruins of Troy, once a powerhouse of Asia Minor. The remarkably preserved structures of this UNESCO World Heritage Site provide a glimpse of the region’s former glory and offer hints of life here in the days of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor Augustus.

Day 4Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey

One of antiquity’s best-preserved cities, Ephesus offers an unparalleled look into the lives of the ancients. Many of its ruins have endured from the time Ephesus was one of the largest metropolises of the ancient world. Excavations reach back to the 10th century BC, when this city hosted one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—the Temple of Artemis. Today, Ephesus is still full of wonders: the towering facade of the Library of Celsus, the massive amphitheater that once sat 25,000 spectators and residences adorned with frescoes.

Day 5Rhodes, Greece

Discover the Old Town of Rhodes today. This “Island of Knights” prospered from the wealth brought here from the Holy Land by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Follow the Street of the Knights to the most imposing building in Rhodes: the Palace of the Grand Masters, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour this fascinating building, which was first a castle, then a royal palace. Our berth is near the city’s historic quarter, allowing you to linger at your leisure after your included walking tour. Or, opt to visit the Acropolis of Lindos; from its rocky perch, you will have magnificent views of the whitewashed village and harbor below.

Day 6Crete (Heraklion), Greece

Home to the ancient Minoans and a former Venetian stronghold, Crete harbors a millennia-old history. Greek mythology tells us that Zeus was born here, and Theseus destroyed the Minotaur at Knossos. Later, Saint Titus of Crete preached in Heraklion’s streets. Bask in Aegean breezes while exploring the café-lined Lions Square and the arched gallery of the celebrated Venetian Loggia.

Day 7Athens, Greece

Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (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 for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.

Day 8Athens, Greece

Spend another day in Greece’s iconic capital city of Athens, known as the “birthplace of democracy.” Visit the acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, with its vast collection of Greek antiquities, and partake of the city’s rich café culture. Your ship remains docked for a second night, giving you time to take in the wonders of the Acropolis or travel to the Temple of Apollo, where the legendary oracle of Delphi once dispensed her prophetic wisdom.

Day 9Athens, Greece

Today, you will have the entire day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano Marina as you enter the city’s heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma (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 for an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.

Day 10Crete (Souda Bay), Greece

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.

Day 11Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey

Explore ancient times as you discover the lives of Roman civilization in one of the world’s oldest cities. Only Roman citizens were permitted to reside in the city center; their impressive homes have been remarkably preserved and are still adorned with colorful frescoes. Alternatively, head out to view the ruins of the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The structure was built to resemble the famed Parthenon of Athens and served as a place of worship to the Greek goddess Artemis.

Day 12Sail the Ionian Sea

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.

Day 13Sicily, Italy

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.

Day 14Naples, Italy

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.

Day 15Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Explore the “Eternal City” today. For centuries, the city ruled much of Europe, building a vast empire from the power of emperors. Ancient structures recall those heady days when the cheers of 80,000 spectators roared from the Colosseum, citizens mingled in the Forum and senators asked the gods for guidance in the Pantheon. Time permitting, marvel at the magnificent Colosseum , the historic Roman Forum and Vatican City.

Day 16Florence/Pisa, Italy

Tuscany is known equally as the cradle of the Renaissance and a center of culinary delights and astounding wines. Throughout this emerald-green countryside dotted with cypress trees, endless delights unfold. Among them is Florence, a living museum of the Renaissance. Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo dominates the medieval cityscape—an architectural achievement. Another Tuscan treasure, the Square of Miracles, unfolds in Pisa. Here, a trinity of masterpieces—the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery—comprise some of Europe’s finest art and architecture.

Day 17Florence/Pisa, Italy

Tuscany is known for its scenic beauty and exudes a unique, rustic character. Vineyards, olive tree groves, wheat fields and endless expanses of farmland skirt the bases of medieval hill towns as they march across an undulating landscape of gentle hills. Fertile soils produce some of the world’s finest wines, including Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. More than this, many consider Tuscany the birthplace of the original farm-to-table movement. Simple, honest food graces the Tuscan table, from creamy cheeses to thick Florentine steak grilled over a wood fire.

Day 18Monte Carlo, Monaco

The chic city of Monte Carlo in the petite kingdom of Monaco boasts some of the world’s most exclusive shopping and a beautiful old port. A fairy-tale aura has settled on this glittering city of the Grimaldi family, perhaps nowhere more elegantly than at the Prince’s Palace, where the late American actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly presided with Prince Rainier III. Monte Carlo’s medieval quarter perches on “The Rock,” an escarpment at the foot of the Maritime Alps, and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the harbor lined with mega-yachts.

Day 19Marseille, France

Marseille is rich in historic treasures, nestled between the Mediterranean and rocky hills of limestone. Two 17th-century fortresses dominate the charming Vieux Port, or Old Port, the natural harbor that hosts all manner of watercraft, from sleek elegant yachts to old style fishing vessels. Its picturesque quay is one of the world’s most romantic walks, lined with dozens of cafés and shops. Also worth exploring is the city center, graced by La Canebière boulevard. Linger in a café and sample the city’s signature bouillabaisse made from freshly caught fish.

Day 20Montpellier (Sète), France

Montpellier has been a center of learning for centuries. Its namesake university, founded in 1160, is one of the world’s oldest, predating the Renaissance. Still, a student population breathes life into a vibrant culture. The social and cultural center of Montpellier is the Place de la Comédie, anchored by the elegant Three Graces fountain and the stunning, neoclassical Opéra Comédie. Other sites pay tribute to a rich heritage, from the art-filled Musée Fabre and impressive St. Clement Aqueduct to the St. Pierre Cathedral with its “floating” porch supported by a pair of towers.

Day 21Barcelona, Spain

Arrive in Barcelona and enjoy exploring the Catalonian capital. Start on Las Ramblas, the mile-long leafy pedestrian boulevard. Or take a turn through the myriad side streets of the Gothic Quarter, where the ancient and the modern sit side by side, perfect for a leisurely stroll. Or head to the Passeig de Gràcia, a boulevard renowned for its architecture including works by Antoni Gaudí. You may also choose from one of the many optional tours.

Day 22Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is steeped in history, with stunning architecture and a rich culture. Mediterranean breezes grace the shore and Catalonia’s capital is a feast for the senses. Long strolls on wide boulevards—such as Las Ramblas, the mile-long leafy pedestrian way, and the Passeig de Gràcia, lined with some of Europe’s most elegant buildings—set the tone for a city that moves to its own tempo. Native son and famed architect Antoni Gaudí adorned his city with whimsy, whether along fantastical city blocks or with his colossal masterpiece, the towering La Sagrada Família cathedral.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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