Set at the foot of the rugged Dolomite Mountains, Cortina d’Ampezzo, the picturesque Italian town that once hosted the Winter Olympics – and renowned today as much for its designer boutiques and chic restaurants as its world-class ski competitions – can now be explored by the luxury cruise guests of Silversea on a ‘Hiking in Cortina’ land extension. The optional three-night, pre- or post-cruise programme is offered this European summer on Mediterranean cruises departing or concluding in Venice.
But if strolling Cortina’s ancient cobbled streets is not challenging enough, the new ‘Hiking in Cortina’ tour also features a guided alpine trek along a via ferrata, or ‘iron road,’ for more adventurous travellers. The narrow route is equipped with steel cables, ladders and other fixed anchors, such as wooden walkways and suspended bridges, making it possible for hikers of all skill levels – even those not versed in climbing technique – to hike on ledges, climb vertical walls, and reach mountain peaks.
Hikers set their own pace, and may hike for as little or as much time as they prefer. Accommodation is provided for three nights at the Rosapetra Spa Resort, where participants meet with their alpine guide to determine the itinerary best suited to their skill levels. The guide also provides proper safety equipment, including a helmet, harness, gloves, and other cable gear. During their stay at Rosapetra, guests will also enjoy complimentary access to the resort’s heated swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, and Mediterranean and Turkish baths.
“Our new ‘Hiking in Cortina’ programme is a great option for soft adventure travellers seeking a more immersive land experience in conjunction with their Mediterranean cruise,” said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager & Director Sales / Marketing, Australasia. “It’s a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and rejuvenation – all set in one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges.”
The programme is available from Venice on 17 Mediterranean voyages in 2015, which also feature a choice of included Silver Shore Select excursions offered in every port of call, as well as two hours of complimentary WiFi per guest, per day, and unlimited WiFi for the line’s larger suites (Medallion and higher categories).
Sample itineraries include:
Voyage 2524, 10 days, Silver Wind, 22 August – 1 September 2015, Civitavecchia (Rome) to Venice, with calls in Sorrento, Amalfi, Lipari, Dubrovnik and Hvar. Cruise fares from AU$7,650 per person, double occupancy.
Voyage 5526, 7 days, Silver Spirit, 4 – 11 September 2015, Piraeus (Athens) to Venice, with calls in Katakolon, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Hvar. Cruise fares from AU$4,950 per person, double occupancy.
Voyage 5528, 10 days, Silver Spirit, 18 – 28 September 2015, Venice to Istanbul, with calls in Ravenna, Hvar, Kotor, Corfu, Santorini, Kusadasi and Mytilene. Cruise fares from AU$8,450 per person, double occupancy.
The ‘Hiking in Cortina’ programme includes up to eight hours with a certified alpine guide, use of safety equipment, accommodations, transfers between airport, hotel and pier, and some meals. Participants should bring proper clothing, boots, and a backpack. Tour prices start at AU$2,149 per person, double occupancy.