Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit the Adriatic and in May 2018, Aegean Odyssey will sail from the port of Venice to the eternal city of Rome on her ‘Classical Italy and the Adriatic’ cruise. Today in our blog, we’re putting the cruise spotlight on the spectacular destinations you can explore on this sailing and taking a closer look at a selection of our included tours that are offered in Venice, Urbino, Split, Dubrovnik, Lecce, Corfu, Sarande, Taormina, Salerno, Sorrento and Rome.

Canal Grande, Venice.

Before sailing from Venice, Aegean Odyssey will spend an overnight in the port, allowing her guests to soak up everything that this incredible destination has on offer. Our included tour options are: Walking Tour of Venice and Murano and Burano. As these are both half day tours, you can enjoy one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so you get the very best out of your time here.

Sailing the famous Blue Lagoon, Aegean odyssey will make her way towards her next destination, the Italian port of Urbino. From here, you can enjoy a full day included tour of Renaissance Urbino, which includes stops at the home of artist Raffaello Sanzio, Palazzo Ducale and the Duomo, which was built in 1789.

Aegean Odyssey will then head for Croatia, visiting Split and Dubrovnik before arriving back in Italy, this time in the port of Brindisi for tours to Lecce. Your half-day included tour here will take in the city’s abundance of ancient ruins, Baroque churches and noble palaces. It’s a fascinating place and one that many other cruise lines don’t visit.

Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce.

The delightful Old Town in Corfu is your next destination, our morning visit here allows for some free time of exploration, or you can opt to join one of our included tours: Byzantine Corfu or The Achilleion Palace.

As Aegean Odyssey sails the Adriatic Sea from Corfu, you can enjoy lunch al-fresco beneath the warm spring air. Enjoy some evening entertainment and a drink in one of our onboard lounges before you arrive the following afternoon in Sarande, Albania. Here, you can visit the UNESCO World heritage site of Butrint – a changing settlement from Hellenistic, Roman, Medieval and Venetian times.

A relaxing day at sea comes before the port of Taormina, where you can enjoy our included morning walking tour of Sicilian landscapes and the two remote mountain villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro, famous as being locations for The Godfather trilogy. In the afternoon, cruise through the Strait of Messina and past Stromboli as Aegean Odyssey heads for Salerno and then Sorrento, where she will spend two nights in port. We offer a choice of 2 included tours in Sorrento: Pompeii and Herculaneum. Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that were engulfed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.

Temple of Apollo, Pompeii

Finally, you arrive in the port of Civitavecchia where you will disembark Aegean Odyssey and be transferred to Rome for a 2-night hotel stay in the ‘eternal city’. Our hotels of choice in Rome are the Starshotels Metropole and The Westin Excelsior, both of which are fine choices and ideally located. Your booking information will confirm which hotel you will be staying in.

Two full days in Rome calls for sightseeing and we have 2 included tour options for you to choose from. For guests that have visited the city previously, we suggest our Ostia Antica tour, as it allows for something a little different. Beginning at Via dell Tombe, you’ll stroll along the Decumanus Maximus, visit the Baths of Neptune and stop at the Museum Ostiense. It’s a wonderful way to spend half a day and take in something new. For our guests who are new to Rome, you must join us on our Rome: The Colosseum and St Peter in Chains tour. At its peak, the Colosseum could hold an average of 65,000 spectators and once featured a canvas roof to protect the crowds from the sun. First commissioned by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavia family, this huge elliptical amphitheatre was opened by his son Titus in 80AD, during a week-long celebration featuring combats between gladiators and beasts, mock sea battles and executions. Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, famous for the statue of Moses by Michelangelo, is your second highlight on this tour.

The famous Colosseum

Guest lecturers on this cruise include Prof Robin Cormack, an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance; Angus Graham-Campbell, teacher, academic, lecturer, playwright and theatre director at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge; and Dr Paul Roberts, Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society and newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum.

Visit our blog for more spring highlights in 2018 and visit our website for full itinerary details – including flight and onboard accommodation information – for our May 2018, ‘Classical Italy and the Adriatic’ sailing.