Odyssey, Gems Of The Venetian Empire ex Athens Return 14 Night cruise departing from Athens return onboard Seabourn Odyssey.
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14 Night cruise departing from Athens return onboard Seabourn Odyssey.
Seabourn Odyssey is the first in a new-class of ships for Seabourn that will accommodating just 450 guests in 225 luxury suites. Although, at 32,000 GRT, Seabourn Odyssey is more than triple the size of Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend, she was the smallest new ship being built by any major cruise line, and her guest capacity is just twice that of the smaller sisters, creating the highest space-per-guest ratio in the industry.
Highlights of this cruise:
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Piraeus has been the port for Athens since 482 BC. The busy harbor is filled with ferries and cruise ships making their way to the Greek Islands and other Mediterranean cities. The busy metropolis of Athens and its treasure trove of antiquities lie just a few miles from the port. Even as the reality of the modern city took hold, with its high-rise apartments, crowded sidewalks and bustling traffic, the beauty of the Acropolis, the outstanding museums, charming cafés, sidewalk markets and startling views come together in a cultural mosaic for all to enjoy.
Although connected to the mainland by a causeway, the great hump of Monemvasia looming from the sea is an island. The medieval city seems to tumble down the sheer rock to the sea, crowned by the Byzantine church of Ayia Sophia nearly 900 feet above. In the Middle Ages, the famous Malmsey wine was made here.
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
The small commercial port of Katakolon serves the inland town of Pyrgos as chief export center for grapes, raisins, regional fruits and vegetables that grow in the fertile hinterland. Fifteen miles in the distance lies Olympia, the sacred ancient site where the Olympic Games had their beginnings.
Nydri, Nisos Lefkada, Greece
Set in a picturesque inlet, the town of Nydri is a favorite Ionian yacht harbor. Explore the vast olive groves that blanket Lefkada’s landscape, and the famous Nydri Waterfalls.
Brindisi (Lecce), Italy
Set on a peninsula between two arms of the Adriatic Sea, Brindisi was an important port of the Roman Empire, and later for the East India Company. In the 2nd century BC the Appian Way was built, linking the port to Rome, and a column near the harbor marks the end of that famous route. It is here that in 71 BC, the gladiator Spartacus led thousands of rebel slaves in an unsuccessful escape. Today visitors find Romanesque churches, a 13th-century castle and, in the surrounding Apulia region, remains of ancient Messapian culture.
Founded in the 7th century, Dubrovnik rose to greatness as a merchant state, independent republic and cultural crossroads. The traffic-free Old Town has been called a Croatian Athens. This UNESCO designated World Heritage Site is a living museum of the ages with fortifications, chapels, monastic cloisters and Europe's second-oldest synagogue crowded into its ancient walls. Relax at a sidewalk café, listen to the chimes of the 14th-century bell tower or join the promenade down the palace-lined avenue known as the Stradun.
Located in central Dalmatia Zadar is one of the Adriatic's most historically interesting towns with a wealth of sightseeing and exciting nightlife. Zadar was founded by the Romans, attacked by the Turks, ruled by the Austrians and made part of Italy until 1943 when the Germans moved in. Allied bombing destroyed much of the historic centre which was rebuilt after the war only to suffer more attacks by Yugoslav forces in 1991. In recent years Zadar has undergone a startling revival. Cafes and bars are filled, museums and churches have been restored and tourists pour in to take boats to nearby islands.
The first settlement of the marshy islands in the lagoon was for protection from barbarian tribes that terrorized mainland farms and villages. Island living quickly led to the development of skills in handling boats, then ships. Maritime trade conducted by shrewd merchants brought great wealth, which permitted the building of palaces, churches and monuments. The city became the center of the vast Venetian empire, its name forever summoning visions of grandeur, magnificence, richness, graciousness and beauty. Although later linked to the mainland, first by a railway bridge built in 1848 and then by a motor causeway in 1930, this island city will always be considered the "Queen of the Sea." There are no cars in Venice; all transportation is by boat or on foot along the time-worn, cobblestone streets and across some 400 bridges that span the city's 177 canals. Enchanting Venice truly offers an atmosphere that exists nowhere else.
Vodice (Sibenik), Croatia
Vodice is a popular seaside town on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. It has the familiar red-tiled roofs and wide stone seaside promenades of other Dalmatian ports. In the town, there are several interesting features. One is the old Church of St. Cross dating from 1402, and the newer, baroque Parish Church of St. Cross from 1746, with a tall bell tower. The Church of St. Elijah is even older, dating from 1298. There are several popular pebble and sand beaches around Vodice. Outside town are a pair of fields with archaeological remains of Roman era occupation, including walls, cisterns, wells and fortifications. Each field also holds a small church. The Coric Tower is a fortified manor built by a powerful family during the mid-17th century to protect against Turkish attacks. From Vodice it is also easy to access the seaside town of Sibenik, the waterfalls and pools of Krka National Park and the offshore islands of the Kornati National Park.
One of the best preserved medieval towns of the Adriatic, Kotor is protected by UNESCO. Between 1420 and 1797, the area was under the rule of the Republic of Venice and the Venetian influence can be seen in its architecture. The Gulf of Kotor is sometimes called the southernmost fjord in Europe, although it is actually a submerged river canyon. The overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen complete one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful landscapes.
Scenic Cruising Bay Of Kotor
The winding Bay of Kotor is really a series of broader bays, linked by narrow straits. It comprises a ria, and ancient river channel that has been flooded by submergence of the land and rising sea levels. The bay is cradled between two towering, rugged massifs of the Dinaric Alps, the Orjen Mountains on the west and the Lovcen on the east. At its narrowest point, the Verige Strait, it is just 340 meters wide. The bay is world-renowned for the breathtaking scale of its setting, with stony, gray mountains rising on either side and charming villages of red-tiled roofs dotted along the shores. There are hundreds of Catholic and Orthodox churches surrounding the bay, as well as monasteries. The entire region has been cited by UNESCO for its unique cultural heritage. The two most photographed churches are the Church of Saint-George and Our-Lady-of-the-Reef, which rise from tiny islands off the town of Perast.
Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), Greece
A scant few miles off the Albanian coast lies the island of Corfu, one of the most richly endowed of all the Greek Isles. Praised by Homer in "The Odyssey" and selected by Shakespeare as the setting for "The Tempest," the island retains evidence of cultural heritage from each of its past rulers - Byzantium, Venice, France, Russia and Great Britain. Rolling acres of olive groves, small orchards of lemon and orange trees, tall cypress, oleander, and myrtle bushes lend a lush, verdant look to the island. While the oldest part of Corfu Town has cobblestone lanes so narrow only pedestrian travel is possible, the modern sector has wide avenues. Residents boast that its "Spianada" is the largest and most beautiful square in all Greece.
Sami, Cephalonia, Greece
Like many of the towns on Cephalonia, Sami was devastated by an earthquake that destroyed its historic Venetian harbor community. As a consequence, its modern look is pretty uniform and not that interesting. Located on the east coast of Cephalonia, Sami does give access to Antisamos beach, the picturesque site used in the filming of the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It is a star-quality strand, and ready for its close-up. The town has pleasant cafés and tavernas around the harbor. Situated on a hill to the south of town are the ruins of ancient Sami, where visitors will find a fascinating site consisting of artifacts spanning several different civilizations over thousands of years.
Pylos occupies a superb and dominant position on one of the best natural harbors in Greece. Your gaze is inevitably drawn to the bay that is almost landlocked due to the position of the offshore island of Sfaktira. The Battle of Navarino, which took place here one night in 1827, effectively sealed Greek independence. An unusually stylish town with a pair of medieval castles, Pylos is an excellent base for exploring the Peloponnese.Enjoy time at leisure to explore this town, which spreads across the slopes of the hill, its picturesque cobbled lanes lined with two-story houses. Opposite the harbor, in the Square of the Three Admirals, a three-sided column rises between two canons - one Turkish and the other Venetian. The figures of the admirals of the three fleets, English, French and Russian that defeated the Turko-Egyptian navy in the Battle of Navarino are represented. A visit to Niokastro, one of the two castles guarding the harbor, affords wonderful views out over the bay.