Cosmos

Italy & Greece with Aegean Cruise in Outside Stateroom (6486) - 2014 / 2015

16 Day Tour from Rome to Athens


Italy & Greece with Aegean Cruise in Outside Stateroom
Saint Peter's Square in Rome
Saint Peters Square in Rome
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Venice is world-famous for its canals
Enjoy a spectacular sunset in Mykonos
Venice Canal
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Santorini
Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome
Discover Santorini
Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be available. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Availability is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; you can use our online currency converter for exchange rate information.

Treasures of Rome by Night & Dinner An early evening tour will show you other aspects of Rome, perhaps not seen on the included sightseeing tour. Either before or after dinner you will have an orientation drive to probably include Castel Sant' Angelo, Palace of Justice, Mausoleum of Augustus, Aurelian walls, Villa Borghese, Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini and Via Nazionale. Dinner will be taken at one of the local restaurants and you can sample a delicious 3 course menu with dessert including local wine and mineral water plus coffee or tea. During the evening there will be music to add to the romantic Roman atmosphere.

Approximate value: €58 EUR per person


Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel On this fascinating excursion with a local guide you can stroll through the Vatican Museum and marvel at Michaelangelo's famous creation in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum houses over 2000 rooms and 9 miles of the most extensive collections of art in the world. The Museums are brilliantly decorated and brim over with treasures and history and the local guide will share with you the stories and secrets contained within the Museum's walls. In the Sistine Chapel you can marvel at Michaelangelo's masterpiece, which is perhaps the greatest example of art anywhere and certainly the largest contiguous body by one painter. There are also some lesser masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel which are also worth seeing.

Approximate value: €58 EUR per person


Tuscan Flavours A lovely typical Tuscan meal awaits you on this evening excursion. The delightful restaurant we take you to stands in front of the imposing Charterhouse of Florence, which was founded in the 14th century to accommodate monks, a prior and small group of lay brothers. The varied menu we offer you lets you sample delicious Tuscan specialites with Chianti red or white wine and mineral water. During the evening there will be music to entertain you and there is also the possibility to get up and dance.

Approximate value: €55 EUR per person


Uffizi Gallery Don't miss the chance to visit what is believed to be the earliest museum in Europe. With a local guide you will be taken around the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the most important art galleries in Italy displaying paintings from every age. The Uffizi Palace was built by Giorgio Vasari at the wishes of Duke Cosimo 1 de Medici as offices of the Medici government. It houses the most significant classical sculptures from the Medici collections and a big selection of Italian and European paintings from 13th to 18th centuries. Admire some classical works of art such as Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", Leonardo's "The Annunciation" and Michelangelo's "Tondo Doni". At the end of the visit with the local guide you will be free to remain in the museum on your own to look around further. Note that the Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person


Discover The Venetian Lagoon Discover the Venetian lagoon on an afternoon excursion lasting approximately 3 hours. After sailing past the island of St. Giorgio, the public gardens, Sant'Elena, the Lido and Murano the boat takes you to the famous island of Burano. This is the most picturesque of Venetian islands of the lagoon and the pretty fishing village has its streets and canals lined by pastel coloured houses. It is also famous for its lace-making industry. There will be time to look around Burano on your own before returning back to St. Mark's Square by boat.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person


Gondola Serenade One of the highlights of a trip to Europe and something not to be missed during your visit to Venice is a gondola serenade. The gondola ride either takes place in the morning or the afternoon and lasts approximately 30 minutes when during this time you can relax whilst cruising not only on the Grand Canal but also down many small canals to see Venice from the water. During the gondola ride a local musician will serenade you with the traditional romantic music of Italy.

Approximate value: €40 EUR per person


Magic Of Verona Verona is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy due to its artistic heritage and shows and operas which are often held in the beautiful ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans - the Arena. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status because of its architecture and urban structure. On the sightseeing tour of this fascinating city the local guide will take you first on a panoramic drive with the coach to see the Scaliger Bridge and Castle, the Roman Gavi-arch, the Roman city gate, Roman bridge and theatre and various churches. Then disembark from the coach and proceed on foot through the historical city centre to include sites such as Juliet's House, Romeo's house, Piazza "Erbe" and Piazza "Signori" and the Scaglier tombs and last, but not least, Piazza Bra with the beautiful Arena.

Approximate value: €22 EUR per person


Venetian Night Out & Dinner As the title suggests, this is a real Venetian night out. Embark on a motorboat for a cruise along the impressive Giudecca Canal with the tour director pointing out the most important palaces, all built by the Venetian gentry between the 12th and 13th centuries. Upon disembarkation an evening stroll though some of the romantic narrow streets of this fascinating city to eventually reach one of the specially chosen local restaurants for your Venetian dinner. After a welcoming aperitif of the house you can sit down and enjoy a typical dinner with a choice of starters and main course followed by a delicious dessert. Included also is red or white wine plus mineral water and tea or coffee. After dinner you will be given some free time in St. Mark's Square, said to have been called the "drawing room of Europe" by Napoleon and which is one of the few great urban spaces in Europe where human voices prevail over the sounds of motorized traffic. A motorboat will then take you part of the way back to your hotel.

Approximate value: €70 EUR per person


Archaeological Site The tour today begins with your tour director escorting your group from the hotel to the Archaeological site of Olympia where you will meet your local Greek guide at the entrance to the site. Considered today as being one of the most interesting and educational sites you will find throughout the Peloponnese, Olympia is mostly famous for being the venue of the Ancient Olympic Games and home to the Olympic flame. Today you will see the remains of a gymnasium, ancient temples, the stadium, housing structures, and just outside the site, the archaeological museum hosting findings from the ancient site and from other excavations in the surrounding areas with well labeled exhibits including the famous statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike Paionios.

Approximate value: €25 EUR per person


Athens by Night Situated on the Galatsi hill, this venue is a true taste of everything Greek beginning with the panoramic views of Athens for as far as the eye can see. An outside barbecue awaits your choice of souvlaki and while this is cooking, see the presentation of the traditional loom, wood fired oven and the water mill used for grinding flour. While you enjoy your souvlaki with olives, bread with olive oil and of course Greek ouzo, the Zafiro chef will provide a tutorial lesson of how to make some of the basic Greek dishes of mousaka, greek salad & tzatziki. The menu for tonight will include the traditional appetizers of spinach pie, feta cheese pie, stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce, meatballs, tzatziki and aubergine salad dips and Greek salad and the main course served is moussaka. This is accompanied with unlimited red or white wine. While enjoying your meal you will be entertained by the musicians and 6 Greek dancers in traditional costumes performing well known Greek dances such as Syrtaki and Hasapiko. Don't miss the opportunity to join in the circle dancing and maybe even break a plate!

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person


A Taste Of Crete This rustic natural excursion is an ode to the Cretan countryside and its values. It is characteristic, that the island of Crete has the most traditional vineyards of the whole of Europe. Grapes have been cultivated here since the Minoan era, a tradition spanning 4,000 years! So undoubtedly the Cretans are hearty connoisseurs when it comes to wine. In fact, 70% of the production of Cretan wine comes from the "Peza" valley. This will also be the first stop of your excursion. Next follows Vathypetro, a small Minoan palace with exterior courtyards of ashlar masonry, with storage facilities and porticoes, which was discovered in 1949 by Spyros Marinatos. Passing through villages and vineyards, you reach Archanes, an important Minoan settlement, built at the foot of Mount Juktas. Here you will have the time to try the Cretan delicacies, taste the local wine and take in the local music at the area's central square, under the generous shade of the trees.

Approximate value: €51 EUR per person


Akrotiri Village & Excavation In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited what today is known as Santorini, called the island Strongyle ("round"). These people enjoyed a high standard of living; they built two-story houses, tilled the earth and were skilled artists, recognizing the beauty of color. Around 1650 B.C., a volcanic eruption caused the centre of Strongyle to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs - one of the world's most dramatic geological sights. You will have the chance to visit the village of Akrotiri with its famous antiquities. There you will be taken back in time when you see these amazing ruins leaving you to imagine what life was like before the village was destroyed around 1650 B.C., by the eruption of the volcano of Thira.

Approximate value: €55 EUR per person


Ancient Ephesus At Ancient Ephesus you find Immortal relics of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian era. At the archaeological site you will be given a guided tour among the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, the Temple of Hadrian. The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics. The finds from the excavations, which have yet brought to light only 13% of ancient Ephesus, reside in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus, in the city of Selcuk. Your day couldn't close in a better way than a beautiful walk through the Covered Bazaar in Kusadasi. Here, you will be able to ramble, bargain for jewellery, cosmetics or leather products at the little shops. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €58 EUR per person


City Tour & Museum Heraklion was founded in 824 and is an important homeland of many contributors to Literature and Art, some examples of which are the Nobel winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the Renaissance painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Heraklion is also endowed with some wonderful edifices: the "Koules" fortress, the award winning Venetian structure of the Loggia, the Morosini Fountain, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Church of Agios Titos, the medieval monastery of Saint Catherine, the Cathedral of Agios Mina, the Historical Museum of Crete and of course the Palace of Knossos are some exceptional examples. The tour will come to an end at the Archaeological Museum of the city. Through the exhibits of the Museum, the history of the Cretan culture will unfold and be visualized before you.

Approximate value: €51 EUR per person


Ephesus & The Terrace Houses Passing with your tour guide through the Magnesian Gate you will wander, feeling awe in time and space, through the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, the Great Theatre, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum and the Temple of Hadrian. Opposite Hadrian's Temple, at the foot of the Bulbul hill and the covered part of the archaeological site, protected by the heat and natural elements lie the Houses of Koressus or Terrace Houses. Here lived the rich families of Ancient Ephesus and you will be surprised by the excellent state of preservation of these comfortable villas, especially their interior decor. The oldest unearthed houses date since the 1st century B.C. and were two-storied and built based on the city planning and they even had "heating", and hot and cold water. The excursion comes to a close at Kusadasi with the colorful Covered Bazaar and the little shops that brimming with the jovial energy of bargaining. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €62 EUR per person


Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House Before his crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the safety of the Virgin Mary to St. John the Evangelist. St.John moved Mary to Ephesus for safety. Virgin Mary lived here until the 101st year of her life. In 1957 the Vatican recognized the "House of the Virgin Mary" as the place where the Virgin spent the last years of her life and since then it is an important pilgrimage site for both Christians and Muslims. Next stop the city of Ancient Ephesus, the Ionian colony, which is one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in the world. Together with your tour guide, you will pass the Magnesian Gate. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian period are scattered everywhere: the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of the Kouretes, the Thermal Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, Hadrian's Temple, the Great Theatre. The excursion is completed at the Covered Bazaar of Kusadasi with some free time for shopping and bargaining! During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €62 EUR per person


Oia Village First you head up to the monastery of Prophet Ilias, for a breath-taking view, deep inhalations of clean, pure, Cycladic air and memorial photos, so as to be the envy of all who didn't come along. The tour continues its passage towards the north. To the east, in the background, you will have settlements like Kamari and Monolithos, while you will pass through Fira, the small traditional villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli with delicate architecture and beauties, to eventually arrive at the settlement of Oia. During the entire route, to the west you will have before your eyes the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea and Nea Kameni and an unsurpassable panoramic view. In Oia you will have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, to gaze at the adorably cute shops, to take pictures, to become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks and the unusual captains' manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera. After your curiosity has been sated of the area which is characterized as being of "exceptional natural beauty", your return begins.

Approximate value: €55 EUR per person


Palace Of Knossos The ancient city of Knossos, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that "gave birth" to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The first excavations were begun in 1878 by the Heraklian Minos Kalokairinos. A bit later (1900-1913 & 1922-1930) the excavations by the British Sir Arthur Evans were to complete the scientific research, bringing to light the Minoan palace in its entirety, which was, according to tradition, the residence of the wise King Minos.

Approximate value: €51 EUR per person


Santorini Sailing & Volcano The little islands of Palea and Nea Kameni are of particular geological interest, since underneath them lightly slumbers an active volcano. From the cruise ship you will be transported easily within a few minutes by small boat to Nea Kameni which resembles a moon landscape! You will walk up to the verge of the crater, the heart of the volcano, a unique geological phenomenon which will overwhelm you with awe. In Nea Kameni nowadays there is gas-steam activity at the top of the crater, while its beaches are embraced by thermal springs. The next stop of this special excursion, is Palea (or Palia) Kameni with its therapeutical, warm waters. The sea temperature here is 5C higher than in the rest of the locations and the green-yellow water contains sulphur. After the trip to the volcano, you will have the chance to walk, take keepsake photos, to touch the magic and energy of Fira. Finishing your trip in the main town of Santorini, you will descend by funicular (the ticket is included in the fee of this excursion) to the Old Port to reach the cruise ship by small boat.

Approximate value: €55 EUR per person


Scenic Island Tour Thanks to its religious value but also for its particularities, in 1999 Patmos was proclaimed a "World Heritage Monument" by UNESCO. The panoramic excursion begins at the port of Scala heading towards the centre of the island, to Chora. At the main town you will visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse and at the top of the "castle" behind the walls, you will see the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, of Byzantine architecture. The silent windmills in Chora have witnessed important events on the island which attracts thousands of tourists for religious, and also recreational, tourism. The tour of the island continues towards more desolate landscapes, which are the trademark of the Dodecanese. Rocky hills, barren, dry soil, promontories which, like earthly tongues, delve into the sea, dozens of bays and coves, and an intricate coastline. After this enlightening excursion through the island, the tour will conclude at Scala, the port, where the atmospherical cafe "Arion", the oldest and most picturesque of the area, will be waiting for you for coffee, refreshments or juice.

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person


St. John Monastery & Grotto The picturesque alleyways wind upwards, towards the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, founded in 1088 by St. Christodoulos. The visit will open the doors for you of the Monastery's yard, the place where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is the tour of the Byzantine Church of St. John, which is adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods, with both mosaic and other icons. Next stop, the small museum which hosts religious treasures of inestimable value, like manuscripts, medieval textiles, sacerdotal vestments and others. Walking down the stairs, the religious energy that you will experience is soul touching. Behind the chapel of St. Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. You will see the cross engraved by St. John the Evangelist, according to tradition, the triple fissure in the wall of the cave, from where St. John heard God dictating to him the Apocalypse. And also the spot where he lay down to sleep.

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person


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