Sicily with Montenegro, Croatia, Albania & Greece

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    Destinations: Europe
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Tour Description

Archaeology, gastronomy, and culture collide on this 14-day Sicily and Croatia expedition that explores the azure waters of the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. Our late-summer voyage begins with a Sicily tour. After visiting Palermo, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets, it’s off to the Greek ruins of Selinunte, wine tasting in Marsala, and the World Heritage sites of Agrigento and Syracuse. Once in the Adriatic, we explore Montenegro’s quaint village of Kotor and the archaeological highlights of Albania. Our Croatia tour is spent in the beautiful, medieval town of Dubrovnik. Greece makes a fitting finale for our Sicily and Croatia adventure travels as we embark on a full-day tour of Delphi and transit the Corinth Canal en route to Athens.

Sicily & Croatia Expedition Highlights:

  • Explore the exquisite Greek and Roman ruins of Agrigento and Syracuse—both World Heritage Sites.
  • Visit photogenic Dubrovnik, a beautifully-preserved medieval masterpiece.
  • Tour Palermo’s ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques, 12th-century cathedral, and Archaeological Museum with its Punic and Greek art—an awe-inspiring start to our Sicily expedition.
  • Sample Sicilian delicacies during wine tastings and gourmet luncheons, including Marsala wines and vintages from the Licata region, a hallmark of any Sicily tour.
  • Discover dramatic scenery and amazing archaeology in the lesser-visited countries of Montenegro and Albania.

With Zegrahm Expeditions, virtually everything is included in the cost of your Sicily and Croatia expedition:

  • All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides
  • All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel nights
  • Welcome dinner and orientation briefing to get to know one another and get a good sense of what’s to come
  • Daily activity options, from wine tasting to archaeological tours
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All meals onboard and with the group ashore
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • All transfers on the group arrival and departure days
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
  • Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your Sicily adventure travels, with everything from currency information and weather to shipboard amenities and a packing list
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator to answer all your questions
  • Photographic journal upon returning home to relive your Croatia and Sicily expedition

Itinerary

Day 1

Depart USA

Depart on your independent overnight flight.

Day 2

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Arrive in Palermo this evening where you will be met and transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Palermo/ Trapani / Embark the Clipper Odyssey

After breakfast we tour Palermo, famous for its jumbled, picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques, and glittering Byzantine mosaics. We visit the impressive 12th-century Cathedral and the Palatine Chapel in the Norman castle; today the building serves as the seat of the Sicilian government. The Archaeological Museum showcases one of the richest collections of Punic and Greek art in Italy. Enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch in Monreale, situated in the hills above Palermo. Tour the fabled Cathedral, built in 1174—hailed as Italy’s most beautiful Norman church, the interior is covered with mosaics, gold leaf, and stone intarsia. We also visit the Benedictine Cloister, whose courtyard arcade is made up of 228 sets of twin columns, each with a different design and richly-decorated capital.

We then drive through scenic countryside tomagical Segesta, a center of the ancient Elymian civilization and home to a magnificent Doric temple. Our drive continues to Erice, a charming medieval village perched high on a mountain-top with stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Founded as Eryx by the Carthaginians, the town boasts a fertility temple and a mythical association with Hercules and Aeneas, along with its Norman castles and dramatic winding streets. Our tour ends in the thriving fishing town of Trapani where we embark the Clipper Odyssey.

Day 4

Mazara del Vallo / Selinunte / Marsala

After breakfast we disembark in Mazara and drive to the sprawling 7th-century B.C. site of Selinunte. Local guides lead us through these Greek ruins to the Sanctuary of Demetra Malophoros and the Acropolis. We return to the ship for lunch as we sail for Marsala.

Situated on the westernmost tip of Sicily, Marsala was founded by the Carthaginians in 396 B.C.and was occupied by the Saracens who named it Marsa el Allah—Port of God. We visit the Regional Museum that houses the famous Carthaginian shipwreck found in the multi-hued Stagnone Lagoon. Our final stop is at Cantine Florio, one of Sicily’s ancient vineyards, where we enjoy local specialties accompanied by Marsala wines.

Day 5

Agrigento/ Licata

Today we tour the stunning World Heritage Site of Agrigento. Here we walk through the Valley of the Temples, where the exquisite architecture dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries B.C.and showcases the Temples of Juno, Concord, and Hercules, as well as the Temple of Zeus—the largest Doric temple from Greek antiquity.

We then drive to the Butero Winery and Villa for a lunch of delicious Sicilian fare accompanied by wines of the region. Continue on to Licata where we have free time to explore this charming fishing village before re-boarding the Clipper Odyssey.

Day 6

Syracuse / Ortygia

Founded by the Corinthians in the 8th century B.C., Syracuse was one of the most powerful Greek cities—defending its sovereignty against such rivals as Carthage, the Etruscans, and the Romans, who later overtook the city, followed by the Arabs. We begin at the Saint John Catacombs with their maze of underground passageways then drive to the Archaeological Park, a World Heritage Site. Highlights include the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus; the Ear of Dionysius, a grotto with an extraordinary echo; and the massive 15,000-seat Greek Theater.

We return to the ship, at port in Ortygia, for lunch, before striking out on a walking tour of the old town. Highlights include the ruins of the 6th-century B.C.Apollo Temple—the oldest in Sicily and the Piazza Duomo, built around the ancient Temple of Minerva (Athena).

Day 7

At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea as our lecturers recap the highlights of our Sicilian adventures and prepare us for our time in the Adriatic.

Day 8

Kotor, Montenegro / Dubrovnik, Croatia

Our first stop in the Adriatic is Kotor where we witness the same beautiful scenery that captivated kings for centuries. At this World Heritage Site we explore luxurious palaces, towers, and Romanesque and Gothic churches. Enjoy free time to explore before re-boarding the Clipper Odyssey for lunch.

The magnificent Dalmatian Coast unfolds in scenic splendor as we cruise toward Croatia this afternoon. Historically, Dalmatia lay at the crossroads of empires—invaded by waves of conquerors from Illyrians to Austrians. Dubrovnik has been a strategic seaport since the 13th century. Its Old Town—a medieval masterpiece surrounded by fortified walls—is a World Heritage Site. Arrive in Dubrovnik this evening and enjoy independent time to dine, stroll the labyrinthine streets, and participate in the lively evening scene.

Day 9

Dubrovnik

Today we explore Dubrovnik further with a choice of two morning excursions. Our first option includes the main square; the lovely 14th-century Dominican Monastery; the Franciscan Monastery and its Romanesque cloister; and the Cathedral, completed in 1713. The second option includes visits to the two monasteries and Cathedral, the Maritime Museum, and a walk along the city’s southern walls with beautiful views of the fortress and old Dubrovnik’s terra cotta rooftops. After lunch choose a drive through the surrounding countryside, highlighted by spectacular vistas of the city and the harbor dotted with yachts and sailboats from around the Mediterranean. Or spend the afternoon on your own, a perfect chance to get better acquainted with the city’s lovely medieval center. Wander the warren of streets that spill into fountain-splashed plazas lined with colorful cafés, lending a relaxed ambiance to the city that George Bernard Shaw called the “jewel of the Adriatic.”

Day 10

Durres, Albania / Tirana

We begin our fascinating discovery of Albania today, a land of splendid terrain and historical monuments. An inland drive brings us to Tirana, Albania’s capital city, to visit the museum and the city’s bustling quarters—an intriguing mix of Ottoman buildings, Christian cathedrals, and marketplaces. After lunch we visit Kruja Fortress, a fortified citadel with nine observation towers built during the 5th and 6th centuries. Perched high on a mountain spur, the fortress is famed for the resistance of the Albanians, led by national hero Skanderbeg, against the Ottomans in the mid-15th century. Time permitting, explore Albania’s largest Roman amphitheater near Durres’ seaport.

Day 11

Saranda / Butrint

This morning we visit the World Heritage Site of Butrint—a veritable chronological repository of its various inhabitants: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians. Among its archaeological highlights are the baptistery with its colorful floor mosaics, superb amphitheater, and medieval fortress. From the ruins we take in the splendid views of the surrounding mile-high mountains.

Day 12

Itea, Greece / Delphi

This morning embark on a full-day tour of Delphi, a World Heritage Site known in ancient times as the navel of the world. Pass by Castalia Spring, visit the archeological site with the Temple of Apollo, famous for its oracle, and tour the Museum of Delphi, with its spectacular finds, including the bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx, and the Statue of Antinoos. After Delphi visit the picturesque mountain village of Arachova, built on the south slopes of Parnassus, well known for its attractive hand-woven carpets, rugs, and quilts, as well as for its excellent wine and cheese. Visit the Byzantine Monastery of Osios Louca before lunch at a local restaurant. Return to the ship with an afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or dine ashore.

Day 13

Corinth Canal / Athens

This morning we transit the Corinth Canal, a narrow passage connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. Arrive in Athens after lunch and depart on a tour of the city’s highlights including the Acropolis, our final World Heritage Site. Enjoy a festive farewell dinner as the Clipper Odyssey overnights pier side.

Day 14

Athens / Disembark / USA

Disembark the Clipper Odyssey after breakfast and transfer to the airport for independenthomeward flights.

Departures

Pricing Information

Clipper Odyssey

One of the finest adventure ships afloat, the Clipper Odyssey is a 110-passenger luxury expedition vessel, ideally suited for cruising in off-the-beaten-path locales. On all Clipper Odyssey expeditions, guests have access to a fleet of Zodiacs, which allows remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictates. All cabins on a Clipper Odyssey cruise have an ocean view, safe, minibar, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, in-room music system, and sitting area with sofa. Beds can be configured for twin or queen-size sleeping arrangements, and all cabins have an en suite bathroom complete with shower and small bathtub. In the comfort of their cabin, passengers can track the progress of their expedition on the Global Positioning System broadcast—a highlight of a Clipper Odyssey voyage for adventure-minded guests. Additional facilities include a gourmet kitchen featuring American and international cuisine, dining room, lounge, small library and gym, outdoor pool, and gift shop. An elevator services all passenger cabin decks. Ship registry: Bahamas.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers. For planning purposes, below please find suggested travel dates for this itinerary: