Celestyal Cruises - Christmas & New Year 2023 Excursions - USD

excursions 2023 Christmas & New Year

AUTHENTIC ENCOUNTERS EXPERIENCES JUST FOR YOU AND A FEW EXPERIENCES TO CHERISH, FROM THIS YEAR TO THE NEXT This part of the world is very special. Where else can you explore the most beautiful, historic, and iconic lands? All with their own legends, natural wonders, and evocative sites waiting for you. We may be biased, but we can’t think of anywhere better to celebrate the festive holidays and New Year 2023. As you reminisce over 2022, you’ll be immersed in the myths and legends of Ancient Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel. You’ll also watch the sunset over some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world, all in 19 days. We’ve put together a rich itinerary of excursions at each destination. Expert guides will lead you in the footsteps of great figures from history and introduce you to places the locals love today. From the mosaics of Ancient Ephesus to the towering Pyramids of Giza. From sacred Bethlehem to the spectacular Hanging Monasteries of Meteora. From a River Nile cruise to a Cretan Jeep Safari. You’ll wind your way around the medieval city of Rhodes and Istanbul’s myriad markets. You’ll be amazed at what we can see and do in just under three weeks. We’ll take you on your very own voyage of discovery. Whether history and culture are your thing or you are more about outstanding natural beauty, our experiences are sure to stir something within you. Our guides know each destination inside and out. They will uncover the stories that shaped our world, long-cherished traditions, and local delights, every step of the way. Short or no walking involved. Easy walking: General walking over an even surface. Moderate walking: Moderate amount of physical activity such as walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. Might not be recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Hard walking: High amount of physical activity for extended periods of time. Recommended only for sporting guests with good physical health. Includes visits to religious sites, knees and shoulders must be covered. It is recommended to bring your swimming suit and a towel. Shopping with an experienced guide. Meal included on this excursion. Refreshments included on this excursion. Please be advised it is recommended that you take a bottle of water for your journey. Panoramic, nature, landscapes. Cultural experience: This tour will feature art, architecture, history and religion. Folklore: We focus on local habits, traditions, food and tasting. Adventure and fun. Suitable for families travelling with children. GUIDE TO SYMBOLS Half day - up to 5 hours Full day - 6 hours and above All timings and order of visits are subject to change depending on traffic congestion of the sites and weather conditions. Operation of tours may be subject to the time of the year - please check at time of booking. Normal excursions require a minimum participation as per terms and conditions. Please be aware of the dress code in order to enter the monasteries; legs and shoulders should be covered, no shorts, long skirts (below the knee). Terms and conditions are available at: www.celestyalcruises.com/shorex-conditions CONTENTS 04 Thessaloniki 09 Izmir 14 Agios Nikolaos 20 Antalya 24 Limassol 28 Alexandria 34 Haifa 40 Athens 46 Heraklion 50 Rhodes 54 Kusadasi 58 Istanbul 64 Volos 68 Athens

St Paul Orthodox Church THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS

Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 02 This a fascinating half day, step back time. Vergina was the first ancient capital of the Greek Kingdom of Macedonia and we have the privilege of visiting the Royal Tombs. The most important tomb is that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. We will be accompanied into the museum by our guide to look at some of King Philip’s most important possessions, including the king’s shield and goldtrimmed breast plate. Legend has it that the golden chest containing the king’s bones was washed with wine and wrapped in purple cloth. We will find out how this was unearthed before being able to discover it for ourselves. Also on display are gold diadems of unparalleled artistry, lavish wall paintings and a golden wreath of oak leaves. This is also the site of an extensive royal palace and one of the most important museums in Greece. The area was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilisation.” THE ROYAL TOMBS OF VERGINA The Golden Chest 5 THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS The Royal Tomb King Philip II tomb CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 06 Thessaloniki is the second city of Greece and the capital of Macedonia. It has a fascinating and colourful history with evidence of Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman remains and it was the richest city in the Byzantine Empire. It is a glorious blend of beauty, history, and culture, framed by vast and stunning sea views and is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. Our panoramic tour begins along the waterfront boulevard to Aristotelous Square, named for Macedonia’s leading philosopher Aristotle. We will see Thessaloniki’s most famous sight, the White Tower, part of the lower city’s original fortification which has also served as a prison. We hear the fascinating narrative by our guide as we take in many of the city’s highlights including, the Gallerius Arch, the Rotunda, and numerous neoClassical buildings. We visit the 5th century St. Demetrius’ Cathedral as well and stop up to the Upper Town for sweeping views of the city with Mount Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf in the background. Aristotelous Square The White Tower PANORAMIC THESSALONÍKI The Arch of Galerius 6 THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS CHILD US$51 ADULT US$76

7 THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS

City Square IZMIR EXCURSIONS 8

Duration: Half day Tour code: ISM - 04 We say with Celestyal every moment is a destination and every destination is a wonder. That’s more than just a figure of speech. In some cases it’s literally true. So our visit to Ephesus brings us near to the site of one of the lost Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus was an Ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia. It’s now in Turkey. The temple, with more than 100 marble pillars each standing 56 feet tall took 120 years to build and it earned the city the name ‘Servant of the Goddess.’ A single solitary pillar remains standing on the site, found during an excavation in the 1870s. As with so many places in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus changed hands many times over the centuries. But it remains one of the largest Roman archaeological sites in the region. You will be in awe of this incredible historic complex and the ruins you explore still give some idea of the original splendour of Ephesus. Among the sights to be admired still are the iconic and instantly recognisable Library of Celsus, the Gate of Augustus, Magnesian Gate, the Agora, Odeon, the Houses of the Patricians, the Great Theatre, Hadrian’s Temple and the House of the Virgin Mary. HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY & ANCIENT EPHESUS One legend suggests Mary may have spent her last years here following Jesus’ instruction to St John the Evangelist to look after his mother. Many consider it to have been her final home and it has become a place of pilgrimage. In 1957 the Vatican formalised this recognition. Three Popes have visited. Another reason why Ephesus is important in Christianity is that the apostle Paul lived, preached and wrote extensively here including his Letter to the Corinthians. Our tour includes time to shop for souvenirs, carpets, jewellery, leather and other goods. Ephesus is one of the largest, most fascinating and most inspiring open-air archaeological museums in the world. This is an excursion you are unlikely to forget. City of Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary 9 IZMIR EXCURSIONS CHILD US$70 ADULT US$98

Ephesus Ephesus Ephesus Duration: Half day Tour code: ISM - 03 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. ANCIENT EPHESUS IZMIR EXCURSIONS 10 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Library of Celsus Main Street of Curetes Ancient Roman Mosaics from Terrace Houses 11 Duration: Half day Tour code: ISM - 07 Every step we take in Ancient Ephesus brings us closer to the Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian eras. We will enjoy a truly exceptional experience in one of the most important and complete classical cities in Europe, even though only a fraction of it has been uncovered. We pass through the Magnesian Gate and wander through the Agora, Odeon, the magnificent and restored Library of Celsus, the marble-paved Main Street of Curetes, Baths of Scholastica, The Great Theatre, Trajan’s Fountain, the Houses of the Patricians, 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 from the heat and natural elements, lie the Houses of Koressus or Terrace Houses. It was here that the wealthy families of Ancient Ephesus lived. These villas are excellently preserved, especially the interior decor. The oldest houses so far unearthed date from the 1st Century BC, were built on two storeys and even had hot and cold water and a heating system, clay pipes under the floor. They were even constructed to a city plan in which roads intersected with each other at right angles. Ephesus, which became the second largest city in the Roman Empire, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis and the magnificent temple built to honour her took 120 years to complete. It is one of six of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that have long gone. Our tour includes time to shop for souvenirs, carpets, jewellery, leather and other goods. ANCIENT EPHESUS AND THE TERRACE HOUSES IZMIR EXCURSIONS CHILD US$70 ADULT US$98

Clock tower in Izmir Duration: Half day Tour code: ISM - 01 Izmir, more than 12,000 square kilometers and home to more than three million people, is Turkey’s thirdlargest city. It presents itself as a modern, teeming metropolis, but as we tour Izmir its magnificent ancient past comes alive. The remains of the ancient agora, built by Marcus Aurelius in 178 BC, lie at the heart of the city. Our guides will also show you the only two-storey agora yet discovered - its first floor was dedicated to trade, manufacturing and storage, its second to civic meetings and retailing. Many of the artifacts recovered from this remarkable site are on display at Izmir’s New Archeological Museum, whose galleries are arranged to send you on an evocative journey through history. IZMIR CITY TOUR 12 IZMIR EXCURSIONS CHILD US$33 ADULT US$54

14 Richtis Gorge AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS

Duration: Half day Tour code: AGH - 06 We travel by air-conditioned bus to the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Knossos, the capital of the Minoan civilization, was the first civilisation in Europe. The hill of Kephala, which hoists the Palace above a valley of pines a few miles outside Heraklion, has been continuously inhabited since 7000 BC. The Minoan civilisation, which endured for about 2000 years, was one of the most advanced in the ancient world, and Knossos is one of the instances in which Greek mythology might dovetail with archeological fact. Minos, a legendary king and lawgiver of Crete, was one of Europa’s three sons, all born after her tryst with Zeus, who appeared to Europa as a white bull and carried her off to Crete. The frescoed Palace at Knossos, which comprises more than 1500 rooms and occupies more than 20,000 square metres, may have been the mythical labyrinth designed by Daedalus wherein Minos imprisoned the Minotaur, a monstrous half-bull, half man born to his wife, Pasiphaë, who was impregnated by a bull sent by Poseidon. We depart from Knossos to bustling Heraklion, the city of Hercules and the resting place of Nikos Kazantzakis, Crete’s most famous son and the author of Zorba the Greek. Within the Venetian walls of Heraklion, a busy metropolitan port and the capital of Crete, you’ll find unique shops and many lively cafes. THE PALACE OF KNOSSOS & COSMOPOLITAN HERAKLION Archaeological Museum of Heraklion The ancient city of Knossos 15 AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS Heraklion CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: AGH - 02 From Agios Nikolaos we drive to Elounda, a quiet resort on the beautiful Bay of Elounda - its hotels have been designed to complement the area’s rocky geography and turquoise waters. Elounda is an unforgettable beauty, famed throughout the Aegean for its gorgeous green hills, its sugar-sand beaches and its pristine, inviting sea. We leave Elounda for lovely Kritsa. Enjoy an incredible view of the Bay of Elounda and spectacular Mirabello Bay, then wander the narrow streets of this traditional village. Its residents are known for planting flowers and fruit trees in their courtyards and on the balconies and terraces of their houses. After Kritsa we continue to a local olive farm we particularly love - the owners have designed all of its 2,000 square metres to embrace Cretan countryside life. Olive oil, wine and raki, the traditional drink of Crete, are produced here using traditional methods from the early 20th century. On arrival you will be welcomed with a glass of raki and with a snack of traditional Cretan meze. Enjoy the local delicious snacks while you thrill to a performance of Cretan music and folk dances. We leave the olive farm and return to picturesque Agios Nikolaos, the St. Tropez of Crete and home to many charming cafes and restaurants. The city’s most famous landmark is a small lake in the centre of the city at the foot of a cliff - the lake, known as “Voulismeni,” is where the goddess, Athena, used to bathe. Also noteworthy here, in the capital of Eastern Crete, are the Archeological Museum and the cathedral, just southwest of the lake on Platia Venizelou. Elounda A DELECTABLE DAY IN CRETE Elounda 16 AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS Olive grove CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: AGH - 05 The amazing Richtis Gorge is between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia, on the north of Eastern Crete, and there is water flowing through the gorge year-round. Our hike, which takes between three and four hours, begins just outside the village of Exo Mouliana, at the Lachanas Bridge, a stone arch built in the 19th century. We will travel approximately three kilometres along the gorge, to Richtis Beach, and we will climb about 350 metres total. The mountain rises above us as we hike, and throughout our journey the air is redolent with the scent of local herbs and flowers, including oleander and sage. The highlight of our trek is the Richtis Gorge waterfall, from which water cascades year-round from a height of more than 20 metres. We will also pass abandoned water mills, which lie in the gorge like footprints from the past. We finish our hike at beautiful Richtis Beach, a pebble beach near the village of Kalabro, where we’ll rest and regroup at stone picnic tables under tamarisk trees before returning to the ship. Tour may not be available at certain times of the year. RIVER TREKKING TOUR Richtis Gorge 17 AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS Shrine of Exo Mouliana Lachanas Bridge CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

Duration: Half day Tour code: AGH - 07 This tour will give you the opportunity not only to discover, see and learn the wild Cretan landscape, meet local people, enjoy typical Cretan villages, but also have great fun as a team hunting for the treasure. In every jeep will be a team of 4 persons that will be given printed material with allegoric maps. During stops on the route and, off-course limited time, you will have to use your imagination in search of hidden trails that, actually represent points. The team with the most points will be the winner. The top three winners will receive, respectively, gold, silver and bronze medals at a small ceremony during dinner in the evening. Tour may not be available at certain times of the year. CRETAN JEEP SAFARI Cretan Hollyhock Cretan countryside Jeep safari 18 AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$92 ADULT US$131

Duration: Half day Tour code: AGH - 03 We drive from Agios Nikolaos to the resort of Elounda, an unforgettable beauty famed throughout the Aegean for its gorgeous green hills, its sugar-sand beaches and its pristine, inviting sea. From Elounda we sail the calm waters of the Bay of Elounda for the island fortress of Spinalonga, a former Venetian bastion and, until 1957, a leper colony. Spinalonga also features in Victoria Hislop’s debut novel, The Island, which was adapted by Greek television channel Mega into a 26-part drama, To Nisi, the most successful television series ever broadcast in Greece. We leave Spinalonga for a small nearby bay to swim in its turquoise waters and enjoy a barbecue on the beach. THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS OF ELOUNDA AND SPINALONGA The island of Spinalonga Elounda Spinalonga Fortress 19 AGIOS NIKOLAOS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Temple of Apollo ANTALYA EXCURSIONS 20

Harbor in Antalya old town Duration: Half day Tour code: ANT - 05 An extra special stop on our festive cruise brings you within 100 miles of the birthplace of St Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. Here in the coastal city of Antalya, nature, culture and Christmas combine. A short coach ride from port, we get our first glimpse of the region’s natural beauty. Entering a verdant municipal park, the rumble and roar of waterfalls begins to grow. First we take in the views from above, standing beside the cascade and watching it tumble. Then we take in the views from below, winding our way through the rocks themselves to explore the caverns and follow the current. Antalya city centre is our next stop, only 15 minutes away. Throughout history, Antalya has been an important location on the Turkish riviera. Here you’ll follow the footsteps of a Roman emperor at Hadrian’s Gate. You’ll discover Ottoman-era houses and gardens in the old town of Kaleici, and marvel at the magnificent turreted clock tower that guards its entrance. You’ll even meet the founder of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, at his striking monument in Republic Square. Christmas presents from distant lands are a great way to share your travels with loved ones, so we leave ample shopping time at the end of our trip. Many of Kaleici’s old cobblestone streets are lined with local souvenirs, jewellery and antiques. Some of the best the Turquoise Coast has to offer. ANTALYA CITY TOUR 21 ANTALYA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$54 ADULT US$83

Arch of Apollonius in Perge Aspendo’s amphitheatre Duration: Half day Tour code: ANT - 03 Once you board your coach we will drive up a to a scenically wonderful coastal road, may be the best in Turkey, before we reach the ancient city of Perge. Around 1500 B.C. the Hittites settled down in a place we know as Perge. However some people believe that Perge was founded by Mopsus and Calchas in the 13th century B.C. Invaded by Alexander the Great, much of Perge’s architectural splendor is a living proof of the Hellenistic period. It was soon followed by a prosperous Roman Imperial period for the first three centuries A.D. With the arrival and spread of Christianity, Perge played an important and active role in its expansion. A slow disintegration of the Roman rule soon followed and the Byzantines occupied Perge. With the end of the Seljuk rule, which followed soon after, Perge was completely ruined and was soon abandoned. We will depart for Aspendos where we will visit the Antique Theatre of Aspendos. The most important property of the theatre with the capacity of 15000 people is its solidity. After many earthquakes, Aspendos is still standing with its astonishing architecture. There are the boxes of selected citizens on the main entrances. The upper side of the auditorium is surrounded by 58 columns and a gallery consisted of an arch. The whole auditorium has 20 lines of seat in underside and 21 lines of seat in upper side. This theatre is built by local architects Xenon and his two brothers Curtius Chrispinus and Curtius Auscipatus in the period of the Emperor Antonius Pius (138-164). It attracts attention with its special acoustic. You can test it by yourself too. We will drive back to Antalya. Before your reach the port you will have the opportunity of shopping in one of the major carpet & jewelry handicraft center of the region PERGE AND ASPENDOS 22 ANTALYA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$54 ADULT US$83

23

Limassol LIMASSOL EXCURSIONS

Duration: Half day Tour code: LIM - 01 The colourful and vibrant city of Limassol is a huge tourist draw. It may have developed rapidly with large hotel complexes along the Mediterranean waterfront in the past few decades, but the heart of Limassol is still very much full of charm and character. Limassol is situated between the ancient cities of Amathus and Kourion (Curium). Its focal point in the old city is a medieval castle. On that site, the history books have it that Richard the Lionheart on one of his Crusades married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191. Although a visit to the castle is not included in our tour, there is free time to stroll around the old city. From the centre, a number of lanes fan out and old shuttered houses and modern shops sit comfortably side by side. The area buzzes with cafes, bars and restaurants, popular with visitors and the residents. Our excursion takes us on to Curium, once an important city-kingdom founded by the Greeks in the 14th century BC and now one of the most important archaeological sites on the island. It is situated in a magnificent place, west of Limassol and high up overlooking the sea. We visit the Greco-Roman amphitheatre and the House of Eustolios, originally a private villa but later opened to the masses with its complex of baths and rooms with beautiful mosaic floors. PANORAMIC LIMASSOL & CURIUM The amphitheatre has been painstakingly restored and is now used for musical and theatrical performances as well as being a major tourist attraction. Historic medieval city centre of Limassol Ancient theatre of Kourion Medieval castle of Kolossi 25 LIMASSOL EXCURSIONS CHILD US$54 ADULT US$76

LIMASSOL EXCURSIONS Duration: Half day Tour code: LIM - 04 This is a wonderfully delicious culinary tour which will give you an authentic and mouthwatering taste of Cyprus Not only will you prepare and sample tasty local dishes but you’ll also take part in the time-honoured tradition of basket-weaving - all in the beautiful surroundings of a traditional house belonging to an agricultural family. The location is the village of Choirokitia around 40 minutes drive from the popular tourist hub of Limassol. After a short stroll through the village’s picturesque alleys, we will be welcomed by Petros and his family at their traditional country house with its gorgeous courtyard. Petros is a great culinary talent specialising in Cypriot cuisine and also a highly experienced basket weaver. First we have the chance to participate in the preparation of fresh Halloumi and Anari cheeses. Then, with the cheese boiling process underway, Petros will show us how to weave traditional baskets out of thin bamboo. Pay close attention, because shortly afterwards it will be your turn. And since no effort should go unrewarded, you will get to savour all the Cyprus specialties, halloumi cheese, anari (sweet) warm cheese with honey or carob syrup, local olives, homemade bread, cucumber, tomato, fresh lemonade, water, Cyprus coffee. This is one traditional and authentic experience that is definitely not to be missed. Finally, our bus ride back to the port will be through Limassol and along the coast. EXPERIENCE THE TRADITION Fresh bread and olives Halloumi CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

28 The Great Pyramid complex and the Sphinx ALEXANDRIA EXCURSIONS

29 Duration: Full day (approximately 12 hours) Tour code: ALX - 01 Depart from Alexandria in luxury air-conditioned motor coaches en-route to Africa’s largest city, the teeming metropolis of Cairo. Your first stop will be at Giza Plateau where the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza still stand. Your coach will park at the base of Chephren’s pyramid and time will be allocated to explore the site on your own. Continue down the valley where the guardian of this mortuary complex, the mighty Sphinx lies watching the passage of time and men in eons of silence its expression an enigma yet to be unravelled. Take time out to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch buffet at a leading 5* deluxe hotel. After lunch drive to Tahrir (Liberty) Square, the heart of down town Cairo. Visit the National Archaeological Museum and acquaint yourself with Egypt’s ancient history, spanning a period of over 50 centuries. The Museum is the repository of the world’s largest and richest collection of Egyptian Antiquities amongst them the priceless collection of King Tutankhamun. CLASSIC CAIRO Visit a Papyrus Institute where the art of paper making from reeds discovered by the Ancient Egyptians will be demonstrated for you. Limited time for souvenir shopping will also be allocated before you commence the drive to Port Said. See Tutankhamun’s funerary mask at the National Archaeological Museum ALEXANDRIA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$109 ADULT US$153

The Citadel of Qaitbay Duration: Half day Tour code: ALX - 05 Set in a broad and barren lying northwest of the Nile Delta, Alexandria is the largest port in the Arab Republic of Egypt and one of the major summer resorts on the Mediterranean sea. Depart from the pier for a drive through the colorful streets of Alexandria viewing beautiful architecture and experiencing the charming aura and nostalgia of yesteryear. The bronze statue of Mohamed Ali on his horse, founder of modern Egypt, decorates Mansheya square. Few steps away is the elegant marble edifice dedicated to the Unknown Soldier, its guards of honor at attention on either side. Your first visit will be at the eerie and intriguing Catacombs of Shawqafa, an extensive three level funerary complex dating from the 2nd century A.D. Visit the site and continue to the Qait Bey Fort, built on the original site of the Pharos, Alexandria’s lighthouse which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. A short photo stop will take place here before you arrive at the nearby Mosque of Abu El Abbas, one of Alexandria’s Islamic landmarks characterized by its tall minarets and four domes. A short stop will be made here as well to photograph this imposing landmark with its surrounding architectural showpieces. Your next stop will be at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, one of the most unusual architectural masterpieces of the 21st century. Marvel at the ultra modern scientific interiors as the Library’s guide takes you through Alexandria’s crown jewel. Visit the Scrolls and the Antiquities Museum of the Library before you rejoin your coaches for the return drive to the port. LANDMARKS OF ALEXANDRIA 30 ALEXANDRIA EXCURSIONS Mosque of Abu El Abbas CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

31 ALEXANDRIA EXCURSIONS Montaza Palace Gardens Alexandria Duration: Half day Tour code: ALX - 06 Lying northwest of the Nile Delta, Alexandria is the largest port in the Arab Republic of Egypt, one of the major summer resorts on the Mediterranean sea. Depart from the pier for a drive through the colorful streets of Alexandria viewing beautiful architecture and experiencing the charming aura and nostalgia of yesteryear. The bronze statue of Mohamed Ali on his horse, founder of modern Egypt, decorates Mansheya square. Few steps away is the elegant marble edifice dedicated to the Unknown Soldier, its guards of honor at attention on either side. From here, a short drive away is the Mosque of Abu El Abbas, one of Alexandria’s Islamic landmarks characterized by its tall minarets and four domes. Across from the Mosque square, the Qait Bey Fort, built on the original site of the Pharos, Alexandria’s lighthouse which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, will be your next stop for photographs. Enjoy a refreshment at a local venue and then enjoy a scenic drive to the Montaza Palace Gardens where you will view the summer residence palace of the former king of Egypt, Farouk. Driving along the corniche on the return to the ship a short photo opportunity will take place at the world famous Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the New Library of Alexandria. HIGHLIGHTS OF ALEXANDRIA CHILD US$59 ADULT US$83

Duration: Full day Tour code: ALX - 02 Our journey takes us first from Alexandria to the largest city in Africa, Cairo and takes around two and a half hours. We travel through reclaimed cultivated desert and modern towns. Our first stop in the Egyptian capital is the Giza Plateau where we find the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid. And it truly is a wonder the behold. Our panoramic view from the Western Plateau takes in the entire complex which also includes the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parking at the base of Chephren’s pyramid we have time to explore on our own before heading down the valley to visit the guardian of this extraordinary burial complex, the mysterious and enigmatic Sphinx. We leave Giza with a full appreciation of one the world’s most magnificent sights. Waiting for us on the banks of the mighty River Nile is a luxurious cruise boat to take us on the same timeless waterway travelled by the Pharaohs, the Queens and the Nobles many thousands of years ago. You can sit back, relax and enjoy a sumptuous buffet in the elegant surroundings as we sail past Cairo’s waterfront landmarks. A folklore show and belly dancing is performed for us. We dock and drive to the Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali where we can admire the exquisite interiors and the fascinating skyline of Old Cairo from the top of the hill. We make our final stop at a Papyrus Institute to see the ancient art of turning reeds into paper before having a little time for shopping ahead of our return to our ship at Port Said. THE PYRAMIDS & THE RIVER NILE IN STYLE Mosque of Muhammad Ali in the Citadel complex, Cairo Cruise the River Nile ALEXANDRIA EXCURSIONS 32 CHILD US$109 ADULT US$153

HAIFA EXCURSIONS 34

The Wailing Wall Duration: Half day Tour code: HAI - 01 The excursion begins from the hills of Judea. The Mount of Olives is the place, where Jesus visited the Holy Church of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, returning from Jericho and Bethany. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem, which is surrounded by walls and the Seven Gates. There follows the Church of Gethsemane or the Church of All Nations, built where Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, apprehended by the Romans and later convicted by Pontius Pilate. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is perhaps the most significant and almost certainly the best-known holy city on Earth. In no other single place can you find such a concentration of sites sacred to not just one, but three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This compact ancient city, surrounded by a wall built more than 450 years ago, never fails to amaze visitors with the extraordinary religious history contained-and very much alive-within After lunch you will visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The city of Bethlehem, which means the “house of bread” in Hebrew, is built upon a hill, at the edge of the Judean desert. Here you will visit the Church and the Grotto of the Nativity. The ancient city of Jerusalem dates back more than 3,000 years. Its colorful bazaars, called “souks”, are great for shopping and of course bargaining is a must! You will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the place of the Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus which draws thousands of visitors daily. You will walk the “Way of Grief”, the Via Dolorosa, towards the Wall of Tears in the Jewish quarter. For the end there awaits at Mount Zion, the room of the Last Supper, where Jesus broke bread with his disciples. JERUSALEM & BETHLEHEM 35 HAIFA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$98 ADULT US$136

36 Church of Beatitudes Church of the Annunciation Duration: Half day Tour code: HAI - 02 A pleasant drive will bring you from the port to the picturesque hills of Nazareth by highway. Upon your arrival to Nazareth, you will Visit St. Gabriel Church and Mary’s Spring. The church, also known as St. Gabriel’s Greek Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, is located over an underground spring that according to Eastern Orthodox belief is where the Virgin Mary was drawing water at the time of the Annunciation. Water from the spring still runs inside the apse of the church and also feeds the adjacent site of Mary’s well, located 140 m away. The spring was the village of Nazareth’s only water supply at the time the church was constructed and served as a local watering hole for some three thousand years. The spring inside the church is located at the end of a low vaulted cavern built by the Crusaders in the 12th Century. Ancient Armenian tile work decorates the walls of the cavern and there is a small recess with a shaft leading down to the spring where one can lower a metal cup to draw water. Free time for shopping and souvenirs. Your second stop will be Jardenit, place of baptizing of the first Christians, where you will have a guided visit. Lunch break in a typical restaurant. A panoramic drive through ancient Tiberias with its modern hotels and restaurants will bring you to Capernaum, a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today but was inhabited from 150 B.C. to about A.D. 750. Here where you will see the ancient synagogue and the House of St. Peter. Following site will be Tabgha, with the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes. You will visit the interior of the church with the mosaic of the fish and loaves laid next to a large rock, which has caused some New Testament scholars to speculate that the builders of the original church believed that Jesus stood on this rock when he blessed the fish and loaves just before the feeding of the crowd who had come to hear him. The Mount of the Beatitudes will be your next stop with the Byzantine church which was erected near the current site in the 4th Century, and it was used until the 7th Century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938. Return back to the vessel. NAZARETH & GALILEE HAIFA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$98 ADULT US$136

Port of Jaffa Duration: Half day Tour code: HAI - 03 You will drive along the busiest road of Israel to Jaffa, the ancient port mentioned in the Bible. Jaffa is the place where the prophet Jonas was ejected from the wale fish. From Jaffa King Salomon brought the doors for the temple he built in Jerusalem about 3,000 years ago. At the beginning of the state of Israel, this was an area of crime and delinquency, but the municipality cleaned the area in the 60s and it became a picturesque artists’ quarter. You will wonder in those little streets, enter some artists’ workshops, and enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the hill towards modern Tel-Aviv. You will continue your tour with a panoramic drive through TelAviv, the second largest city in Israel, founded in 1909 on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa. Its beaches, bars, cafés, restaurants, upscale shopping, great weather and cosmopolitan lifestyle have led to it being a popular tourist destination, and given way to its reputation as a “Mediterranean metropolis that never sleeps”. Your journey will bring you to discover the highlights of this wonderful town. The coach will lead you to a panoramic drive through the major thoroughfares of Tel Aviv, including Rothchild Boulevard with the famous Bauhaus architecture. Your will continue in the city centre and the renovated Old Port where you will have the chance to stroll around and find numerous interesting stores and the cafés and restaurants. Return to Haifa to board your ship for lunch. TEL AVIV & JAFFA 37 HAIFA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

38 The Dead Sea The Dead Sea Duration: Half day Tour code: HAI - 04 Departure from Haifa to the Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world. We are enjoying the nice, quiet, calm atmosphere of the Judean Desert and the Road of the Good Samaritan along the coast of the Dead Sea. Massada. Climbing up in the Cable car to the top to the fortress built by Herod the Great, learning about the last uprising and the tragedy of the zealots, gazing at the ancient holy sites and the baths, the big cistern, the water project, and so on, surrounded by the old Roman walls. (Story by Josephus Flavius) Lunch break. Swimming break in Dead Sea. You can lie on your back on the water without sinking and read your newspaper! MASADA/DEAD SEA HAIFA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$98 ADULT US$136

View over Haifa Bah’ai Gardens Duration: Half day Tour code: HAI - 05 Picture yourself standing amid the peace and tranquillity of the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, a gentle warm breeze on you face, gazing down at the city below and beyond to the bright blue Mediterranean. Sitting beautifully on the slopes of Mount Carmel the port city of Haifa is known as Israel’s San Francisco. It is a stunning location and views are spectacular. The city is famous across Israel for its mixed population of Jews and Arabs. They peacefully coexist resulting in an amazing fusion of Arabic and Jewish cultures across the city, the country’s third largest after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The city’s crown jewel is the Baháʼí Gardens on terraces sloping down Mount Carmel. They form part of the Baháʼí World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracting more than a million visitors a year. These beautiful gardens are a place of pilgrimage for members of the Baháʼí faith and are also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, a place of contemplation. There are 19 terraces and 1500 steps. At the bottom of the gardens is Haifa’s bustling Germany Colony, the cultural heart of the city, established in the 19th century. It is famous for its pretty streets of restored templar-era buildings. The main street of the German Colony runs directly from the bottom of the gardens towards the coast and is lined with restaurants and cafes. Mount Carmel itself dominates 15 miles of the coastline between Hadera and is spectacular if not especially high and has breathtaking views in all directions. HAIFA CITY TOUR 39 HAIFA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

ATHENS EXCURSIONS Parthenon 40

Duration: Half day Tour code: ATH - 101 A walk with us through the very heart of Athens brings us to one of most recognisable, historic and most photographed sites in the world, the famous Acropolis with the Parthenon at its summit. It is a reminder of Ancient Greece’s powerful civilisation and the greatest architectural complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity. The monuments on the Acropolis (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) have survived for almost 25 centuries. On this hill that still dominates Athens, democracy and philosophy were born so it is little wonder that a visit to Classical Athens is quite simply awe-inspiring. The Parthenon is dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the city. At the foot of the Acropolis and its ancient temples lies the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, Plaka. Visitors are mesmerised and charmed by its beautiful houses, cobblestone streets and tiny shops, architecture, elegant atmosphere and neo-classical colours and the well preserved gardens and Byzantine churches. ATHENS MONUMENTS AND THE ACROPOLIS As we head away from the Acropolis and Plaka, we pass the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament with the familiar sentries or Evzones, synonymous with the city. No visit to Athens can be complete without a stop at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. We also see the ‘Trilogy of Athens’ which comprises the University of Athens, National Library and the Academy of Athens. Our three hour odyssey through ancient history ends appropriately at the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma, the very centre of modern day Athens. Panathenaic Stadium Acropolis 41 ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$70 ADULT US$92

Duration: Half day Tour code: ATH - 103 A visit to the central of Athens and a walk on the historical hill of the Acropolis which carries the renowned Parthenon atop its shoulders, which is dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the city of Athens. Its inauguration took place in 438 B.C. at the Great Panathenaea. Below the Acropolis hill lies the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, Plaka. Plaka resembles a picturesque little village within a busy big city. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the houses with neoclassic colours, the architecture, the well-preserved gardens and Byzantine churches, the elegance and the atmosphere of the whole area. Leaving the historical hill of Acropolis, you will pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Greek Parliament Building. A stop at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, is necessary. Next follows the stylish “Trilogy of Athens”, which was constructed at the end of the 19th century: the old building of the University of Athens, the National Library and the Academy of Athens. The excursion comes to an end with a trip through the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma, the heart of modern Athens. CLASSICAL ATHENS AND ITS MONUMENTS Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Parthenon Plaka 42 ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Duration: Half day Tour code: ATH - 107 We head to central Athens for a panoramic tour of the city named after the goddess of wisdom and warfare. First we see the magnificent Temple of Zeus, standing at the south east of the Acropolis. The Temple is dedicated to the father of the 12 gods. We continue past the Greek Parliament Building and stop at the Panathenaic Stadium which staged the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. We arrive at the “Trilogy of Athens”: three 19th century buildings, influenced by classical architecture, on Panepistimiou Street. A trip through Omonia Square and Syntagma Square, the epicentre of modern Athens, will bring us to the beautiful, picturesque preserved quarter of Plaka, beneath the Acropolis. Our final destination is the modern, bright and imposing Acropolis Museum. Opened in 2009 and on multiple levels, it houses a whole host of exhibits of classical antiquity and is thematic. It’s the perfect way to draw everything together and give context to the wonderful structures you have just seen. At the end of our journey we hope you will have a full appreciation of the glories of classical Athens and a sense of one of the most historically important capitals in the world. ATHENS TOUR AND THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM Acropolis The Hellenic Parliament building in Syntagma Square 43 ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

Duration: Full day Tour code: ATH - 108 Our starting point for this truly monumental tour is the Acropolis, which means ‘high city.’ At the end of our journey we hope you will have a full appreciation of the glories of the very heart of Athens. This historic hill is the home of the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, and a number of other monuments. They include the Propylaea, originally part of Pericles’ great rebuilding programme and the Temple of Athena Nike. This once contained a wooden statue of Athena. It was wingless signifying she would never leave Athens. Meanwhile, the Erechtheion and its marble edifice is an Ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis. The eastern part is dedicated to Athena Polias and the western part to Poseidon-Erechtheus. From the hill you can marvel at the glorious stone theatre structure of the Odeon Herodes Atticus on the southwest slope. To bring us up to date, many of the world’s biggest names have performed here including Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and of course Nana Mouskouri. The modern, bright and imposing Acropolis Museum is our next stop. Opened in 2009 it houses a whole host of exhibits of classical antiquity and is thematic. THE ACROPOLIS & THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM It’s the perfect way to draw everything together and give context to the wonderful structures you have just seen. We leave the high city and pass the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We make a stop at the site of the first modern Olympiad in 1896, the Panathenaic Stadium and then visit the stylish ‘Trilogy of Athens’, the old building of the University of Athens, the National Library and the Academy of Athens. We end our day with a trip through the epicentre of modern day Athens, the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma. This is a monumental excursion of discovery, literally and figuratively. New Acropolis Museum Odeon Herodes Atticus ATHENS EXCURSIONS 44 CHILD US$76 ADULT US$103

45

Knossos Palace HERAKLION EXCURSIONS

Duration: Half day Tour code: HER - 01 The island of Crete may be best known for being one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations but look a little deeper and you will find something a little fascinating. The ancient city of Knossos, near the capital Heraklion, was the place that ‘gave birth’ to the very first civilisation of Europe, the Minoans. So we can probably say it’s Europe’s oldest city. Our excursion will open up the world of the Minoans as we visit one of the continent’s most important archaeological treasures. The first excavations were undertaken in the 1870s by Minos Kalokairinos, a Cretan himself. A few decades later in the early 1900s, more work by Sir Arthur Evans from Britain brought to the world’s attention the Palace of Knossos, according to legend the residence of wise King Minos in its entirety. We will be able to explore the large Central Court, the wonderful Throne Room, the imposing Grand Staircase and see the fresco of the ‘Prince of the Lilies.’ As you stroll through the palace apartments and view the archaeological finds, we think you will be just a little impressed by the rich cultural heritage of the Minoan civilisation. You will undoubtedly hear the Cretan legend of the Minotaur, half man, half bull who lived in the Labyrinth and was slain by Theseus. But that’s a whole other story. We call in at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion to find out more of the background to the history and culture of Crete. Our tours ends in Heraklion and the home to many important historical figures, including Nobel Prize winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the painter El Greco and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The city is also blessed with some beautiful buildings and edifices including the ‘Koules’ fortress, Venetian Loggia, Morosini Fountain, Basilica of St Mark, Church of Agios Titus, medieval monastery of St Catherine and the Cathedral of Agios Minas. KNOSSOS PALACE AND THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Archaeological Museum of Heraklion The ancient city of Knossos 47 HERAKLION EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: HER - 02 The ancient city of Knossos, near Crete’s capital Heraklion, was the place that ‘gave birth’ to the very first civilisation of Europe, the Minoans. So we can say with some certainty it is Europe’s oldest city. Our excursion will open up the world of the Minoans as we visit one of the continent’s most important archaeological treasures. The first excavations were undertaken in the 1870s by Minos Kalokairinos, a Cretan himself. A few decades later in the early 1900s, more work by Sir Arthur Evans from Britain brought to the world’s attention the full impressive scale of the Palace of Knossos, according to legend the residence of wise King Minos. We will be able to explore the large Central Court, the wonderful Throne Room, the imposing Grand Staircase and see the fresco of the ‘Prince of the Lilies.’ As you stroll through the palace apartments and view the archaeological finds, we think you will be just a little in awe of the rich cultural heritage of the Minoan civilisation. You will undoubtedly hear the Cretan legend of the Minotaur, half man, half bull who lived in the Labyrinth and was slain by Theseus. But that’s another story. Exploring from room to room we will relive time in the Hall of the Royal Guard and the King’s Chamber, hearing about the extraordinary rule of King Minos. Knossos The Magazine in Knossos palace MINOAN PALACE OF KNOSSOS - 1ST EUROPEAN CIVILISATION The ancient city of Knossos 48 HERAKLION EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: HER - 04 Leaving the Venetian walls of Heraklion behind us, we drive deep into the beautiful countryside of Greece’s largest island and the birthplace of Zeus according to mythology. We pass through Episkopi and Sgourokefali before arriving at the traditional village of Stironas. Here you take a deep breath, enjoy the fresh mountain air and take in the majestic view at 550 metres above sea level. Stironas is made up of traditional stone buildings arranged amphitheatrically looking towards the mountains. You will see how the Cretans lived centuries ago. We also visit a botanical parterre, home to various aromatic and medicinal herbs from the mountains of Crete. There will be the opportunity for a little wine tasting - wine has been in Crete since the Minoans, so the locals have a bit of experience in the matter. We visit a raki distiller and sample the product straight from the barrels in his cellar. After finding out more about production and bottling there will be a Cretan meze to enjoy with pure local olive oil and traditional dancers performing for their guests. You will have imbibed the true flavour of countryside life for a few hours. We head back to historic Heraklion which was founded in 824 and learn about some of its key historic figures and the jewels in the crown of its wonderful structures including the ‘Koules’ fortress, Venetian Loggia, Basilica of St Mark, medieval monastery of St Catherine and the Cathedral of Agios Minas. EXPERIENCE THE CRETAN COUNTRYSIDE AND LIFESTYLE Agios Minas Cathedral Traditional Cretan dancers at the Raki distillery Enjoy the Cretan countryside 49 HERAKLION EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

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