Take a month to roam the world, exploring some of the planet’s lost cultures and gaining insights into the achievements and legacies of past civilisations.
A new double-cruise combination holiday from Cruise Traveller (cruisetraveller.com.au) offers an array of must-see ancient attractions, including the Colosseum, Pompeii, Sparta, the altar of Zeus at Ephesus, ancient Troy and the Khmer cities of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
Named ‘Lost Civilisations of Europe and Asia’, this double-cruise holiday wraps a 12-night Mediterranean and Aegean voyage aboard Aegean Odyssey with a seven-night Mekong Pandaw cruise in Indochina. Shore excursions are included as well as tips and there are plenty of choices in what to see.
‘Lost Civilisations of Europe and Asia’ represents sensational value at $12,989 per person twin share for 28 nights away. Single travellers are catered for too. A Single Outside (category JJ) cabin on Aegean Odyssey combined with a Main Deck Single cabin with Pandaw comes in at A$16,319.
As well as the cruises, the price covers flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Rome and back from Istanbul, via Singapore. Hotel stays are included in Rome (two nights), Istanbul (two nights), Siem Reap in Cambodia (three nights) and Ho Chi Minh City (two nights).
‘Lost Civilisations of Europe and Asia’ departs Australia on 16 July 2016 with a flight to Rome for a two-night stay. Choose between morning tours to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and St Peter’s Basilica, or visit Ostia Antica, the ancient port of Rome.
From Rome’s port of Civitavecchia, embark on 12-night Aegean Odyssey cruise from Rome to Istanbul. All shipboard meals and wine with dinner aboard are covered, as are onboard tips. Shore excursions are covered too, with options at selected ports and a lecture program featuring expert guest speakers.
Aegean Odyssey is a classically elegant mid-size ship carrying an average of 350 passengers and providing a choice of restaurants.
The voyage will delight history buffs and those who just love Europe. Historic Sorrento includes your choice of sightseeing tour, either Pompeii or Herculaneum, destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Cruise past Capri and the Amalfi Coast to Palermo, Sicily, to visit Monreale Cathedral. Next, Taormina, with a visit to the Graeco-Roman theatre, before sailing on to Corfu, where you can explore either Venetian or Byzantine heritage – the choice is yours.
Next port of call is Pylos, Greece, with a choice of touring ancient Messini or the Venetian castles. Next day in Gythion, opt to visit Sparta and Mystra or choose Dyros Cave with its underground waterways.
Wonders flow fast on the rest of the cruise. Classical ruins and lively tavernas in Athens give way to the sacred island of Delos, then Mykonos: classic Greek island views set against a dark blue sea.
From Izmir, Turkey, visit Ephesus, the ancient Roman capital, or opt instead for Pergamon to see the remains of the altar of Zeus. From Canakkale, Turkey, choices are ancient Troy or Gallipoli, where the Anzac legend was born in ferocious fighting after the landing here in 1915.
Cruising through the Dardanelles, disembark Aegean Odyssey in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel for two nights. City sightseeing takes in Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, with optional sightseeing or a river cruise the following day.
Time to switch hemispheres now and jet to Singapore, then to Siem Reap in Cambodia for a night at the Victoria Angkor Resort. A two-night pre-cruise tour from Siem Reap includes excursions to the ancient Khmer cities of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
The seven-night Mekong Pandaw river cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City includes entrance fees, English-speaking guides, crew tips, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and spirits, coffee and tea.
You’ll visit the hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey, the Twin Holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey, the vast wetlands around the mouth of the Tonle river. Tour the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on a private cyclo pedicab. Optional excursions to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim detention centre are available.
Disembarking in My Tho, you’ll be transferred to InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel for two nights after the cruise. City history is revealed on visits to Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, the former US Embassy, City Hall and the War Museum. A visit to the extraordinary Cu Chi network of tunnels, built by Vietcong guerrillas, is included. On the way, you’ll experience the essence of rural life, from cashew nut farming and duck breeding to rice farming and rice paper production.
After a great holiday, time to jet back home to Australia.
For more information, contact:
Cruise Traveller, Boutique Voyage and Cruise Specialists
Freecall 1800 507 777 or (07) 5575 8094.