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Extraordinary Horizons - Los Angeles to Athens

11th January 2024 FOR 145 NIGHTS | Seabourn Sojourn

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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by SEABOURN under ATOL 6294

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NOW ON SALE | World Cruise | Private car transfers doo-to-door between home and airport, Business Class flights, personal valet luggage shipping service between home and ship in Los Angeles and Athens, Gala Bon Voyage dinner & overnight hotel stay in Los Angeles, Exclusive World Cruise events, special world cruise gifts, $4,000 FREE to spend on-board per couple or book a Penthouse Suite and receive $6000 FREE to spend on-board per couple, unlimited laundry, dry cleaning and pressing on board, 3% early bonus savings (pay in full discount)

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itinerary

1

Los Angeles, California00:00 - 23:00

Home of the famous Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, Los Angeles is the place to visit for anyone interested in film and television and hoping to get a glimpse at some famous actors and artists. Stroll down the Walk and enjoy the glamorous atmosphere and famous surroundings, or take a break on the Santa Monica pier and watch the sun set on the sea.

11 Jan 2024

2

Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California07:00 - 15:00

12 Jan 2024

3
4
5
6
7

At Sea

13 Jan 2024 - 17 Jan 2024

8

Hilo, Hawaii08:00 - 18:00

“The Big Island” offers plenty of popular attractions from Punalu’u Black Sand Beach at sea level to the observatory on the peak of Mauna Kea at almost 14,000 feet! Downtown Hilo makes the most of its history with nostalgic shops like Hilo Hattie’s, famous for its vivid floral shirts, or the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory. Other choices include the 80-foot Rainbow Falls at Wailuku River Park, serene Liliuokalani Japanese Gardens or a trip to the active Kilauea caldera in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where sea-run lava flows are busy making new beach-front real estate for Hawai’i.

18 Jan 2024

9

Lanai Island, Hawaii08:00 - 17:00

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and has a small population of about 5,000 permanent residents. Sometimes called “the pineapple island” because, for most of the 20th century, virtually the whole island was one huge pineapple farm operated by the Dole company. Since 2012, 97% of Lanai’s land is owned by Larry Ellison, co-founder of the Microsoft corporation. He has invested substantial funds into restoration and infrastructure improvement, and has stated that he intends to make the island the first economically viable, 100% green community. He also owns the two Four Seasons luxury resorts on the island. Manele Bay is divided into two parts, known and White Manele and Black Manele. White Manele, or Hulupo’e Bay, is the location of the star attraction, a wide beach of golden sand. It attracts swimmers and snorkelers and is famous for frequent visits by spinner dolphins and humpback whales. Offshore, the bay supports rich and varied marine life, and is an ideal snorkeling site. One notable feature is Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, looming 80 feet above the sea about 150 feet offshore. The “Black Manele” section is lined by tall sea cliffs called Pali Lei noHauni, offering panoramic views from their tops. Elsewhere on the island, Kaunolu Village is a National Historic Site noted for its ancient Hawaiian ruins and petroglyphs.

19 Jan 2024

10
11

Honolulu, Hawaiiundefined - 23:00

Capital of Hawaii, and a popular tourist destination, Honolulu is known for surfing and water sports. However, there's more to the city than surfing; with museums, the only royal palace in the country, and a mall, there's bound to be something of interest for any visitor.

20 Jan 2024 - 21 Jan 2024

12

Lihue, Kauai Island, Hawaii08:00 - 18:00

Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It's nicknamed "the Garden Isle" thanks to the tropical rainforest covering much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are hiking destinations.

22 Jan 2024

13
14

At Sea

23 Jan 2024 - 24 Jan 2024

15

Cross International Dateline

The International Date Line is an imaginary line extending from the North Pole to the South Pole through the Pacific Ocean. It serves as the 180th meridian of longitude, and is used to designate the beginning of each calendar day. As you know, each adjacent time zone on the map has an hour time difference. However, at the International Date Line, +12 hours and -12 hours meet, bringing about a 24-hour time change. So while a person standing just to the west of the line may be celebrating Christmas Eve at 6 pm, someone just to the east will already be sitting down to Christmas dinner on December 25th. Therefore, when your ship crosses this line heading west, a day is added, and while crossing in an easterly direction, a day is subtracted. Crossing the International Date Line has long been a rite of passage for sailors, who often must participate in a line-crossing ceremony to become part of the sacred "Order of the Golden Dragon", an honorary naval fraternity.

25 Jan 2024

16

Fanning Islands08:00 - 17:00

26 Jan 2024

17

Fanning Islands, Kiribati

Tiny Fanning Island, lost in a vast ocean halfway between Hawaii and Tahiti, is rarely visited by anyone. Meet the friendly locals, enjoy a refreshing coconut milk drink while combing its pristine beaches, or dream away under a palm tree.

27 Jan 2024

18

Cross International Dateline

The International Date Line is an imaginary line extending from the North Pole to the South Pole through the Pacific Ocean. It serves as the 180th meridian of longitude, and is used to designate the beginning of each calendar day. As you know, each adjacent time zone on the map has an hour time difference. However, at the International Date Line, +12 hours and -12 hours meet, bringing about a 24-hour time change. So while a person standing just to the west of the line may be celebrating Christmas Eve at 6 pm, someone just to the east will already be sitting down to Christmas dinner on December 25th. Therefore, when your ship crosses this line heading west, a day is added, and while crossing in an easterly direction, a day is subtracted. Crossing the International Date Line has long been a rite of passage for sailors, who often must participate in a line-crossing ceremony to become part of the sacred "Order of the Golden Dragon", an honorary naval fraternity.

28 Jan 2024

19

At Sea

29 Jan 2024

20

Pago Pago08:00 - 18:00

American Samoa is a tropical paradise, located in the Pacific Ocean and home to some of the world's most unique flora and fauna. Pago Pago is the main harbour and village of Tutuila island. It is considered the capital of the territory and is the entry point for visitors exploring the picturesque volcanic islands.

30 Jan 2024

21

Apia08:00 - 18:00

Samoa is a group of ten islands located in the South Pacific. The tropical climate and volcanic landscape create a picturesque location for visitors to explore, together with the experience of Fa'a Samoa, the three thousand year old way of life on Samoa.

31 Jan 2024

22

Apia, Upolo

A total of sixteen islands comprise the Samoas, considered to be the heart of Polynesia. It was from these islands that early Polynesians sailed to populate other Pacific Islands. Today this chain of islands is divided into two political units - the U.S. Territory of American Samoa and the independent country of Western Samoa. Much of the charm of the Samoas lies in the simple village life and the friendly people, combined with a striking landscape of soaring mountain peaks, rugged coastlines, white sandy beaches and tropical rainforests rich in flowering plants. Western Samoa consists of a total of nine islands with the two main ones, Savi'i and Upolo, separated by a narrow strait. The country's capital Apia, resembling an old South Seas port during the early trading days, perches on the north coast of Upolo. Colonial-style wooden buildings and churches line the tree-shaded main street that curves around the harbor. The primary attractions include Parliament House, the village green, Independence Monument and the former home of Robert Louis Stevenson, now the residence of Western Samoa's head of state. A trip around the island passes mile after mile of stunning landscape, interspersed with tumbling waterfalls, breathtaking views, tiny villages, and coconut and cocoa plantations.

01 Feb 2024

23

Vava'u08:00 - 17:00

Nuku is a small tropical island to the west of the larger Kapa Island in the Tongan group. The vivid green vegetation of the low lying island is fringed by white sand beaches that were likely formed by centuries of bright white coral skeletons being eroded into sand grains by waves and time. Living coral reefs surround the tear-drop shaped island of Nuku with a kaleidoscope of color and diverse marine life.

02 Feb 2024

24

Nuku'alofa08:00 - 18:00

Nukualofa is the capital city of the Kingdom of Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific. The islands of Tonga are lined with coral reefs and white sand beaches, and are protected by picturesque lagoons and limestone cliffs. Tonga is also one of the very few places in the world where visitors have the opportunity to swim with whales in the tropical ocean waters.

03 Feb 2024

25

Nuku' Alofa, Tonga

The capital of Tonga is on Tongatapu, its largest island. Learn about the history and heritage of the Tongans at the Tonga Cultural Centre, a complex of traditional buildings holding museums and artisans workshops where traditional crafts are made. In the nearby village of Mu’a, see the marvelously crafted stone tombs of Tongan kings from the past.

04 Feb 2024

26
27

At Sea

05 Feb 2024 - 06 Feb 2024

28

Russel, Bay of Islands08:00 - 18:00

07 Feb 2024

29
30

Aucklandundefined - 18:00

Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Māori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Māori language and means solitary bird.According to Māori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngāti-Whātua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngāti-Whātua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Māori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools’ Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.

08 Feb 2024 - 09 Feb 2024

31
32

Tauranga09:00 - 23:00

The population center of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities. Along with its neighbor, Whakatane, this seaside city claims to be one of the country's sunniest towns. Unlike most local towns, Tauranga doesn't grind to a halt in the off-season, because it has one of the busiest ports in the country, and the excellent waves at the neighboring beach resort of Mount Maunganui—just across Tauranga's harbor bridge—always draw surfers and holiday folk.

10 Feb 2024 - 11 Feb 2024

33

Wellington08:00 - 21:00

New Zealand's capital is, arguably, the country's most cosmopolitan metropolis. It's world-class Te Papa Tongarewa-Museum of New Zealand is a don't-miss attraction, and the burgeoning film industry led, of course, by the Lord of the Rings extravaganzas has injected new life into the local arts scene. Attractive and compact enough to be explored easily on foot, Wellington is a booming destination. Modern high-rise buildings gaze over Port Nicholson, surely one of the finest natural anchorages in the world. Known to local Māori as The Great Harbor of Tara, its two massive arms form the jaws of the fish of Maui from Māori legend. Sometimes referred to as the windy city, Wellington has been the seat of New Zealand's government since 1865.

12 Feb 2024

34

Picton08:00 - 17:00

The maritime township of Picton (population 4,000) lies at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound and is the arrival point for ferries from the North Island, as well as a growing number of international cruise ships. It plays a major role in providing services and transport by water taxi to a multitude of remote communities in the vast area of islands, peninsulas, and waterways that make up the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park. There's plenty to do in town, with crafts markets in summer, historical sights to see, and walking tracks to scenic lookouts over the sounds. The main foreshore is lined by London Quay, which looks up Queen Charlotte Sound to the bays beyond. High Street runs down to London Quay from the hills, and between them these two streets make up the center of town.

13 Feb 2024

35

New Plymouth09:00 - 23:00

Picton sits at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the sail into and out of town will reveal some classic New Zealand scenery. The town offer access to the Marlborough wine country, other spectacular sounds and lots of outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, trekking and cycling.

14 Feb 2024

36

New Plymouth, New Zealand

New Plymouth is a city on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known for its coastal walkway stretching from Bell Block to Port Taranaki. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge has views of towering Mount Taranaki. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery shows contemporary exhibitions. Close by, Pukekura Park has botanical gardens and birdlife. Subalpine forests and waterfalls characterise Egmont National Park to the south.

15 Feb 2024

37
38

At Sea

16 Feb 2024 - 17 Feb 2024

39
40

Sydney, New South Walesundefined - 18:00

Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin as the plane circles the city, where thousands of yachts are suspended on the dark water and the sails of the Opera House glisten in the distance. Blessed with dazzling beaches and a sunny climate, Sydney is among the most beautiful cities on the planet.With 4.6 million people, Sydney is the biggest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. A wave of immigration from the 1950s has seen the Anglo-Irish immigrants who made up the city's original population joined by Italians, Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians. This intermingling has created a cultural vibrancy and energy—and a culinary repertoire—that was missing only a generation ago.Sydneysiders embrace their harbor with a passion. Indented with numerous bays and beaches, Sydney Harbour is the presiding icon for the city, and urban Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the 11-ship First Fleet, wrote in his diary when he first set eyes on the harbor on January 26, 1788: "We had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbor in the world."Although a visit to Sydney is an essential part of an Australian experience, the city is no more representative of Australia than Los Angeles is of the United States. Sydney has joined the ranks of the great cities whose characters are essentially international. What Sydney offers is style, sophistication, and great looks—an exhilarating prelude to the continent at its back door.

18 Feb 2024 - 19 Feb 2024

41

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city surrounded by golden sand beaches, World Heritage areas, lush national parks and acclaimed wine regions. Sydney owes much of its splendor to its magnificent harbor. Arriving by ship provides an unequaled impression, showing off the city's famous landmarks: the dramatic white sails of the iconic Opera House and the celebrated Harbor Bridge, looming over the skyline.

20 Feb 2024

42

Moreton Island, Queensland08:00 - 17:00

21 Feb 2024

43

Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia

At 23 miles long and 72 square miles in area, Moreton is the third-largest sand island in the world. It is part of a sand barrier system that includes the larger Fraser Island, and separates Moreton Bay from the Coral Sea about 27 miles north of Brisbane. Moreton Island National Park encompasses 98 percent of the island, where visitors flock to experience activities such as “sand-tobogganing” down the slopes of 920-foot Mount Tempest, the highest stable coastal sandhill on earth. They also enjoy fishing, kayaking, surfing and snorkeling over the Tangalooma Wrecks offshore. Tangalooma is the largest of four small towns on the island’s west coast. It was an active whaling station from 1952 until 1962. There are no roads on Moreton Island, so visitors get around by 4WD vehicles or ATVs. A popular site to visit is the picturesque red-and-white Cape Moreton lighthouse, built in 1857 and Australia’s oldest.

22 Feb 2024

44

Airlie Beach08:00 - 17:00

23 Feb 2024

45

Townsville, Queensland08:00 - 18:00

This coastal city has little in the way of sandy beaches or surf, but it does have shady parks, charming colonial buildings, and a boardwalk-flanked waterfront Esplanade with a terrific man-made beach and picnic facilities. The historic town center has thrived recently, with an influx of lively eateries and bars. There are also some excellent museum and a world-class aquarium.Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has an office on Magnetic Island, but Townsville Enterprise's information kiosks in Flinders Square and the Museum of Tropical Queensland (MTQ), on the mainland, are the best sources of visitor info about the island.

24 Feb 2024

46
47

Cairns, Queenslandundefined - 23:00

Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region’s stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.

25 Feb 2024 - 26 Feb 2024

48

Cooktown, Queensland08:00 - 17:00

A cosmopolitan city flanked by pristine rainforests and golden beaches, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda, and the Daintree rainforest, a World Heritage protected area. The city was recently renovated to enhance its image and provide a relaxing place for visitors and locals to congregate and have fun. Cairns Esplanade, once a huge grassy park, now features an excellent facility incorporating an outdoor amphitheatre, a sandy swimming lagoon, walking tracks, shops and restaurants, and an environmental interpretation center.

27 Feb 2024

49

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Cooktown is Australia’s first non-indigenous settlement, discovered and settled by Captain Cook and his crew in 1770. A small frontier town located at the far north end of North Queensland, it boasts a unique character born from its years of geographic isolation and hard living. From 1873 to 1883, Cooktown was the port for the Palmer River gold rush, which exacerbated race relations between the Europeans, Aboriginals and Chinese. The decline of the goldfields meant the decline of Cooktown. It had a slight recovery when tin was found in the area and it maintained its status for some years when vessels stopped on their way from South-East Asia to the ports further down the coast. Fortunes turned again in 1907 when a cyclone nearly destroyed the town. It was not until the current North Queensland tourist boom that it began to achieve a level of success comparable with the 1870s and 1880s.

28 Feb 2024

50

Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest single structure ever created by living organisms. It consists of 2,900 separate reefs and 900 islands, and stretches 1,400 miles along the Queensland coast in the Coral Sea, and is clearly visible from space. The reef was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The organisms in question are tiny coral polyps. There are some 400 species of hard and soft corals inhabiting the Barrier Reef. Reefs grow slowly, by means of the deposit of a calcareous remnant of a polyp. Living polyps have zooxanthellae algae living in their tissues in a symbiotic bond whereby the coral supplies materials needed for the algae to photosynthesize, and the algae in turn supply materials needed by the polyps. The algae also gives the corals the colors that we find so enchanting. The reef that mesmerizes us with its myriad colors and shapes, and which supports a fabulous variety of other life forms, is the result of millions of years of such growth. Its survival is believed to be severely threatened by a number of affects, most of which are directly attributable to human activities.

29 Feb 2024

51

At Sea

01 Mar 2024

52
53

Darwin, Northern Territoryundefined - 18:00

Darwin is Australia's most colorful, and exotic, capital city. Surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Timor Sea, the streets are lined with tropical flowers and trees. Warm and dry in winter, hot and steamy in summer, it's a relaxed and casual place, as well as a beguiling blend of tropical frontier outpost and Outback hardiness. Thanks to its close proximity to Southeast Asia and its multicultural population it also seems more like Asia than the rest of Australia. Darwin is a city that has always had to fight for its survival. The seductiveness of contemporary Darwin lifestyles belies a history of failed attempts that date from 1824 when Europeans attempted to establish an enclave in this harsh, unyielding climate. The original 1869 settlement, called Palmerston, was built on a parcel of mangrove wetlands and scrub forest that had changed little in 15 million years. It was not until 1911, after it had already weathered the disastrous cyclones of 1878, 1882, and 1897, that the town was named after the scientist who had visited Australia's shores aboard the Beagle in 1839. During World War II it was bombed more than 60 times, as the harbor full of warships was a prime target for the Japanese war planes. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve 1974, the city was almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy, Australia’s greatest natural disaster. It's a tribute to those who stayed and to those who have come to live here after Tracy that the rebuilt city now thrives as an administrative and commercial center for northern Australia. Old Darwin has been replaced by something of an edifice complex—such buildings as Parliament House and the Supreme Court all seem very grand for such a small city, especially one that prides itself on its casual, outdoor-centric lifestyle. Today Darwin is the best place from which to explore Australia's Top End, with its wonders of Kakadu and the Kimberley region.

02 Mar 2024 - 03 Mar 2024

54

Darwin

Despite its small size, Darwin is a modern, multi-cultural city, and its proximity to Asia makes it ideal for travel. Named after the famous scientist, Charles Darwin, the area was originally settled by the Larrakia Aboriginals. The Dutch arrived and mapped the land in the 1600s, followed by the British in 1939, when the town was given its English name. Darwin has a beautiful coastline, as well as numerous parks and gardens, making the city a top spot for outdoor activities.

04 Mar 2024

55

Dili08:00 - 17:00

05 Mar 2024

56

Kupang08:00 - 17:00

Timor is a large, curved island tucked among the Lesser Sunda Islands in the Sunda Sea. The island is divided, as it has been for centuries, with the western half a province of Indonesia and the eastern side an independent nation of Timor-Leste. In the past, these segments were colonies of the Dutch (West) and Portuguese (East). After gaining its independence from Portugal, East Timor was invaded by Indonesia, and descended into 25 years of resistance and war to gain its present state. There are 11 distinct local languages spoken by various ethnic groups on the island. The official languages of East Timor are Tetum and Portuguese. The city’s old colonial section is located near the waterfront, and contains some impressive Portuguese-style buildings including the old Market Hall, now used as a Congressional Centre. Points of interest for visitors include a very good Resistance Museum tracing the struggles of the Falintil insurgents, as well as some examples of indigenous crafts such as textiles, woven mats and pottery. Outside of town, on the Cape Fatucama headland, is a large statue of Cristo Rei, with wonderful views over the sea and the surroundings. One of the island’s best beaches, the Jesus Backside Beach, is located just under the statue. Another display, known as Chega! (Stop!) is housed in the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, an old prison. Timor is renowned for the indigenous textiles and baskets of its various ethnic groups, which you will likely find for sale in the city’s markets and galleries.

06 Mar 2024

57

Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia

Kupang is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, and had an estimated population in 2019 of 434,972. It is the biggest city and port on the island of Timor. Kupang is a part of the Timor Leste–Indonesia–Australia Growth Triangle free tradezone.

07 Mar 2024

58

Banda Neira08:00 - 18:00

Banda Neira is the main island and town of the minute Banda Archipelago in the Banda Sea some 2500 kilometers away from Jakarta. Although the Portuguese already contacted the Banda Islands for nutmeg and mace in 1512, it was only ninety years later that the Dutch established a trading post on Neira and neighboring Lonthor to export the spices. Rivalries between the Dutch and the British led to forts being built –the ruins of Fort Nassau and the restored Fort Belgica can be visited on Banda Neira. The area surrounding the town still has nutmeg plantations and several sites relate to the Dutch spice trading time.

08 Mar 2024

59

Ambon Island08:00 - 18:00

Bandanaira is one of ten small volcanic islands located in the Banda Sea about 1250 miles east of Java. These islands were the original, and until the mid-19th Century, the only source of nutmeg and mace in the world. Arab traders jealously guarded their secret source until 1511 when a Portuguese explorer stumbled onto the Banda archipelago. They became a critical part of the so-called “Spice Islands” of Indonesia, a violently contested resource for the colonial powers of the Portuguese, Dutch and English. In the town of Bandanaira, the Dutch star fortress of Belgica, from 1611, is still the largest intact Dutch fortress in the country, and is nominated for UNESCO World Heritage inscription. Nutmeg is still grown here, and you can visit orchards containing trees, some of which are hundreds of years old. The coral reefs in the Banda Sea are listed among the most beautiful in the world, resplendent with hard and soft corals and myriad vividly colored fishes. Other sites of interest include the 300-year-old Sun Tien Kong Chinese Temple, the Schelling House mansion, the 1820s Dutch mansion of Istana Mini and the house where the Indonesian patriot Mohammad Hatta, Indonesia’s first Vice President and Prime Minister, was exiled between 1936 and 1942 during the struggle for independence from the Dutch.

09 Mar 2024

60

Ambon, Indonesia

See the Tiahahu Monument, a tribute to a young female Maluku freedom fighter, the Siwalima Museum’s ethnic arts and crafts, visit Soya Atas village, or the “Sacred Eels” of Waai.

10 Mar 2024

61

Ternate Island08:00 - 18:00

11 Mar 2024

62

Bitung, Sulawesi08:00 - 18:00

Ternate is the largest city in the Indonesian province of North Maluku and an island in the Maluku Islands. It was the capital of the former Sultanate of Ternate and de facto provincial capital of North Maluku before Sofifi on the nearby coast of Halmahera became the capital in 2010.

12 Mar 2024

63

Bitung

Bitung is the busy port for Manado on the island of Sulawesi. Like other Indonesian ports, it’s interesting just to see what sorts of ships turn up in the port. The narrow strait between Bitung and the island of Lembeh is famous for its colorful sea life, particularly smaller species such as nudibranchs, miniature seahorses and so forth. Manado has ample evidence of its Dutch colonial history, but many visitors are drawn to the remarkable nature preserves such as Tangkoko, where achingly cute, saucer-eyed tarsiers and endangered crested black macaques are the main attractions, along with toucan hornbills. The village of Airmadidi has remarkable carved stone sarcophagi dating from the pre-Christian Minahasan culture.

13 Mar 2024

64

At Sea

14 Mar 2024

65

Puerto Princesa, Palawan07:00 - 17:00

The Spanish arrived at this beautiful corner of the world in March of 1872, founding the city, that would eventually become the Capital of Palawan. In 2011, the area received a huge boost, when New7 announced its list of the 7 Wonders of Nature – counting 500 million votes in the process. Puerto Princesa’s stunning underground river - complete with a cavernous, sunken lagoon - beat off wonderful sites like the Great Barrier Reef, to claim a spot on the final, prestigious list. Set sail across the glowing green water, on a journey into the gaping mouth of the limestone caves at Puerto Princesa. Known for being one of the least densely populated, cleanest and most environmentally friendly cities in the Philippines, there’s a raft of natural wonders to explore - from diving hotspots to towering limestone cliffs, and the entrancing underworld of the underground river.

15 Mar 2024

66

Coron Island09:00 - 18:00

Spoken of with awed reverence in scuba-diving circles, Coron's dramatic rock protrusions, which jut from emerald seas and glorious sweeps of sand, make it a destination that you can't help but dive into. The perfect base for an adventure holiday, Coron's exquisite setting means you'll face taxing choices on a daily basis - to spend the day relaxing on the soft sand, or to pound through the jungle on horseback? Whether you choose relaxation or all-out-action, you're sure to fall head over heels for Coron's beauty.

16 Mar 2024

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Manilaundefined - 18:00

MANILA, the capital city of the Philippines, was founded in, 1571 by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and was the seat of power for most of the colonial rules of the Philippines. It is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and contains a multitude of landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century. It is home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and military prison. In the 19th century Manila became one of the most modern cities in Asia. Before the Spanish–American War, Manila saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution. Under the American rule following the Spanish-American War, the United States changed the official language from Spanish to English. Towards the end of World War II, during the Battle of Manila, most of the city was flattened by intensive aerial bombardment. Today, tourism is a vital industry in Manila. Major shopping malls and bazaars thrive around Manila.

17 Mar 2024 - 18 Mar 2024

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Manila, Philippines

The port of Manila is the largest and most important in the archipelago. The city of Manila proper, which boasts the densest population in the world, is really only the center of a larger urban cluster called Manila Metro, housing over 12 million people. Most visitors will be attracted to the oldest section, called Intramuros, to see Spanish colonial architectural icons such as the Manila Cathedral or the ancient San Agustin church. The city’s Binondo neighborhood is the oldest Chinatown on earth, predating the arrival of the Spanish in the mid-18th Century. Rizal Park, in the area called Ermita, is home to many museums, themed gardens and other notable sights. An overnight stay will enable you to enjoy the renowned Manila sunset along the Baywalk, and also leave time for a visit to the important historical site of Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, the site of an Allied surrender in World War II, and then the triumphant return of General Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines.

19 Mar 2024

70

Kaohsiung08:00 - 23:00

Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city, its biggest seaport, and the world’s fourth largest container port. It entered the 21st century as a newly emerging international metropolis. In the forefront of Taiwan’s expansion and modernisation efforts are the China Steel Corporation and China Shipbuilding. They are perfect examples of what Taiwan’s export-oriented economy is all about. The Love River, which has seen some recent landscaping, adds to the beauty of the city. Coffee shops along its banks offer good opportunities to view the river’s activities and enjoy a nice breeze. A 495-feet (150 metres)-long urban corridor of light, known as Urban Spotlight, was designed by local artists who wanted to make light and shadows the theme of the hall. The result is an urban space in the Central Park area teeming with artistic vision. A very important event in Taiwan’s recent history occurred here in 1979, and is known as the Kaohsiung Incident. It was the day of the first major human rights celebration on the island. Until that time, the authorities had never allowed any expression of discontent. When the day came, however, the celebration ended in chaos when police encircled the peaceful crowd and started using teargas, and pro-government instigators incited violence. Kuomintang (KMT) authorities used this as an excuse to round up all well-known opposition leaders and imprison them. Although it was hardly noticed internationally, it is recognised locally as an important turning point in the island’s transition to democracy, and it galvanised the Taiwanese people into action.

20 Mar 2024

71

Makung08:00 - 17:00

Visit the Dutch colonial Old City of Zuoying, or enjoy the scenic seafront at Sizihwan and see the pesky Formosan rock macaques at the Shoushan Monkey Mountain nature park.

21 Mar 2024

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Keelung (Chilung)undefined - 17:00

With the glittering lights of Taipei - a futuristic metropolis of culture and ideas - sparkling nearby, Keelung is the first calling point for many visitors arriving in Taiwan. While this port city essentially serves as Taipei's ocean gateway, you shouldn’t be too hasty in dashing off to Taipei's neon-lit magic – first it’s well worth spending some time exploring the famous glowing night market, which hums with life each evening and is famous for its local seafood.

22 Mar 2024 - 23 Mar 2024

74

Taipei (Keelung)

Keelung is the second largest port in Taiwan, and a booming trade industry has turned it into a very prosperous city and international seaport. However, the main reason for calling here is to travel inland to visit the contemporary metropolis of Taipei. Not long ago, the scenic valley of the Tanshui River was home to rice and vegetable farmers, but today it is the site of Taiwan's bustling center of culture, commerce and government.

24 Mar 2024

75

Naha, Okinawa08:00 - 19:00

25 Mar 2024

76

Amami Ōshima09:00 - 16:00

Okinawa’s capital was heavily damaged during World War II. Its most famous landmark, the Chinese-style Shuri Castle, is a reconstruction, but well worth visiting, especially its impressive Shureimon gate, a UNESCO Heritage Site. Just nearby, a couple of relic sites remain: the stone houses and cobbled walkways of the Shrikinjocho Stone-Path Road, and the tranquil Shikina-en Garden. The Okinawa Prefecture Museum and Art Museum reveals a great deal of the local history. Okinawa has long been famous for a distinctive style of ceramic wares, which are still made in Naha’s Tsuboya neighborhood. Visit the Tsuboya Pottery Museum to earn about the craft, then stroll the shops along Yachimun Street to pick up some examples as souvenirs.

26 Mar 2024

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Kagoshima08:00 - 21:00

Kagoshima city is the capital of Kagoshima prefecture and also Kyushu’s southernmost major city. This city is often compared to its Italian sister city Naples, due to its’s similarities such as mild climate and active volcano, Sakurajima. Sakurajima is one of the most renowned active volcanos not only in Japan but also in the whole entire world. This smoking Sakurajima is centred in Kinko Bay and is one of the main symbols of this prefecture. We cannot talk about Sakurajima without the history of continuous eruption. Sakurajima used to be an isolated island; however, the land has banded together with Osumi peninsula from the eruption in 1914. You may have a chance to see the smoke coming from the top of Sakurajima depending on the weather condition. Not only does the scenery of Sakurajima represent the beauty of Kagoshima City but Senganen garden is also symbolic to elegance in the Kagoshima region. This Japanese garden was constructed by a feudal lord, Mitsuhisa Shimazu, as a guest house of the Kagoshima castle which attracts many visitors for its splendid view.

27 Mar 2024 - 28 Mar 2024

79

Hiroshima07:00 - 18:00

History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover. Sadly she died before she finished her task but her classmates finished the rest. It is impossible to ignore the events of 1945 in Hiroshima, but this is far from a depressing place. The great efforts that have been made in rebuilding of the city over the years have given Hiroshima a vibrant, eclectic edge, with the downtown shopping area and street food stalls being well worth a visit. The proximity to Miyajima and its iconic, impressive, Torii gate should not be overlooked either. If you are lucky enough to visit during the unpredictable and short-lived Sakura (cherry blossom) season, then the extraordinary sight of the delicate pink blossom floating across the water to the red gate, means you can consider yourself one of the luckiest people on the planet.

29 Mar 2024

80

Nagato08:00 - 18:00

Hiroshima means “wide island” in Japanese. The city was established in the 16th Century on Japan’s largest island, Honshu, and grew into an important shipping center and prefecture capital, boasting a fine castle. Although it was an important city in Japan throughout the imperial period, its reputation in the greater world was burned into history when it became to target of the first atomic bombing of a civilian target in August of 1945. The United States airplane Enola Gay dropped a nuclear device nicknamed “Little Boy” on the city that morning, obliterating everything within a two-kilometer radius and directly killing 80,000 people. Approximately 70 percent of Hiroshima’s buildings were destroyed. Within a year, injury and radiation illness had killed an additional 90, 000 to 116,000 citizens. The attacks on Hiroshima and nearby Nagasaki quickly led to the surrender of Japan and effectively precipitated the end of World War II in Asia. Within a few years, Hiroshima had begun to rebuild, and the city became the focus of an international movement to eliminate nuclear weapons from future wars. Relics of its past such as the impressive Hiroshima Castle and the tranquil Shukkeien Garden were rebuilt, and the city undertook the construction of a Memorial Peace Park, which today attracts visitors from around the world. The park, which holds a museum and a memorial “Atomic Dome” constructed on the closest remaining building to the blast site, is a moving and impactful place of pilgrimage in this re-born City of Peace. One notable feature is a colorful memorial to Sadako Sasaki, a young woman whose dying wishes for world peace were recounted in the story A Thousand Paper Cranes.

30 Mar 2024

81

Sakaiminato07:00 - 16:00

Sakaiminato is a small city almost totally surrounded by water: the Sea of Japan to the east, the Sakai Channel to the north and Lake Nakaumi to the west. Across the lake the towns of Matsue and Yasugi offer interesting experiences. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” next to scenic Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. It has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan. Touring the castle and boat rides on the Horikawa River and the castle’s moat are popular. Yasugi has the Adachi Museum of Art, a private museum that houses one of the finest collections of contemporary Japanese paintings, but also has a 165,000 square metres garden –with plants and rocks collected by the museum’s founder. Six different gardens show different scenarios depending on the season. These gardens have been selected as “Japan’s best garden” for several years.

31 Mar 2024

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Busanundefined - 18:00

White-sand city beaches and hot-spring resorts may not be everyone's first image of Korea, but these are what Koreans flock to Busan for all year. And there are plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, retail therapy, and even a touch of glamour every October with the Busan International Film Festival. Busan's beaches are the big summertime draw but there is plenty to be seen year round. Quintessential experiences include taking some rest and relaxation at a local spa and exploring the Beomeosa temple complex.

01 Apr 2024 - 02 Apr 2024

84

Jeju Island08:00 - 17:00

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea, and the country's seaside connection to Japan and the West. Lovely urban scenery, the Pusan International Film Festival, and near-by hot springs has made Busan a popular leisure destination. Busan has the sophistication of a major city, as well as famous beaches that lure visitors from all over the world. The city is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose economic success often obscures, to Westerners, one of Asia's most sophisticated and venerable cultures.

03 Apr 2024

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Nagasaki

Nagasaki city has developed into one of the most important port cities in Japan. During Japan’s period of isolation in the 17th century, Nagasaki played a prominent role in foreign trade relation and only a very few ports were open to restricted numbers of foreign traders. Even though Holland was a major country who conducted trading during this period, Dutch people were only allowed to stay in Dejima Island and were not allowed to have contact with the Japanese people. Today, you will still find the strong influence of Dutch and Chinese culture in the city which is very different from all other cities in Japan. In the more recent history, Nagasaki became the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the end of World War II. From the visit to Atomic bomb museum and peace memorial park, people could understand how chaotic the situation was and the agony that the people in the days have experienced from the damage inflicted by the atomic bomb. It continues to appeal to the world with their wish for world peace.

04 Apr 2024 - 06 Apr 2024

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Shanghai

Shanghai is a city of two faces. It is home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, miles of luxury goods shops, and scores of trendy bars and restaurants. But look just beyond the main streets and you’ll find narrow alleyways packed with traditional lane houses, where laundry billows from bamboo poles, and local communities are alive and well.Shanghai has always been China’s most Westernized city. In its heyday, Shanghai had the best nightlife, the greatest architecture, and the strongest business in Asia. Nearly a century later, after extreme tumult and political upheaval, it’s back on top.Shanghai’s charm lies not in a list of must-see sites, but in quiet, tree-lined streets, the Bund’s majestic colonial buildings, sweet boutiques, and a dizzying array of places to eat and drink, from literal hole-in-the-walls to celebrity chef restaurants.Today, Shanghai has nearly 24 million people, the skyscrapers keep getting taller, the metro keeps getting longer, and the historical buildings continue to evade the wrecking ball. For how much longer is anyone’s guess.

07 Apr 2024 - 09 Apr 2024

91

Zhujiajian Island08:00 - 18:00

"Paris of China" and "Pearl of the Orient," the vibrant city of Shanghai is a shining symbol of the economic emergence of the world's largest nation. A comfortable jumble of old and new, it is a city in seemingly unstoppable transition. Like the rest of China, Shanghai is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has ever seen, yet has striven to retain its historical roots. Today's Shanghai is a montage of stunning architecture, mixed with noble reminders of long-gone eras. Shanghai, as you soon discover, has many faces.

10 Apr 2024

92

Zhujiajian (Putuoshan), China

A short way offshore lies one of China’s most important Buddhist sites, which has attracted pilgrims for over a thousand years. The island of Putuoshan is named for Mt. Putuo, the highest peak in the archipelago. The mountain is one of four peaks in China sacred to Buddhists, and the island is a picturesque treasury of temples, over 80 monasteries and gardens that embody every nostalgic image of China one could hope for. The slopes rise from a shoreline boasting two lovely sand beaches; Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach, divided by a rocky promontory topped by a temple. The island’s main temple is dedicated to Guanyin, sometimes called Avalokitesvara, the Goddess of Mercy and Hearer of Cries, beloved of the common folk. On Longwu Hill stands a remarkable 33-meter statue of the Goddess, crafted of bronze and gold and erected in 1997, which continues to draw pilgrims from around China and the wider world.

11 Apr 2024

93

At Sea

12 Apr 2024

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Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Island skyline, with its ever-growing number of skyscrapers, speaks to ambition and money. Paris, London, even New York were centuries in the making, while Hong Kong's towers, bright lights, and glitzy shopping emporia weren't yet part of the urban scene when many of the young investment bankers who fuel one of the world's leading financial centers were born. Commerce is concentrated in the glittering high-rises of Central, tucked between Victoria Harbor and forested peaks on Hong Kong Island's north shore. While it's easy to think all the bright lights are the sum of today's Hong Kong, you need only walk or board a tram for the short jaunt west into Western to discover a side of Hong Kong that is more traditionally Chinese but no less high-energy. You'll discover the real Hong Kong to the east of Central, too, in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and beyond. Amid the residential towers are restaurants, shopping malls, bars, convention centers, a nice smattering of museums, and—depending on fate and the horse you wager on—one of Hong Kong's luckiest or unluckiest spots, the Happy Valley Racecourse. Kowloon sprawls across a generous swath of the Chinese mainland across Victoria Harbour from Central. Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of Kowloon peninsula, is packed with glitzy shops, first-rate museums, and eye-popping views of the skyline across the water. Just to the north are the teeming market streets of Mong Kok and in the dense residential neighborhoods beyond, two of Hong Kong's most enchanting spiritual sights, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Chi Lin Nunnery. As you navigate this huge metropolis (easy to do on the excellent transportation network), keep in mind that streets are usually numbered odd on one side, even on the other. There's no baseline for street numbers and no block-based numbering system, but street signs indicate building numbers for any given block.

13 Apr 2024 - 15 Apr 2024

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Ha Long Bayundefined - 15:00

A visit to the north is not complete without a trip to Halong Bay, where placid waters give way to more than 3,000 limestone karsts and wind-sculpted limestone formations that jut from foggy lagoons. Dotting the bay are tiny islands bordered by white sandy coves and hidden caves, adding to the majestic landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adding to this naturalist’s dream is the biodiversity of islets, grottos, and Cat Ba Island National Park. The bay, however, shows tourism’s impact: the clearing of mangrove forests to make way for jetties and piers, marine life threatened by game fishing, and garbage from passenger boats and fishing villages washed up on the shores.Beyond its geological uniqueness are activities like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, or exploring one of the many floating villages where fishermen bring in their daily catch. The downside to all this allure is the large number of unlicensed boats it draws to the bay each day.Boat trips out onto the bay are the main tourism stock in trade farther north, but a more multifaceted side of the area can be experienced at Cat Ba Island. The largest island in Halong Bay, Cat Ba is very much its own entity. Its national park offers incredible biodiversity, with more than a thousand species of plants having been recorded here. Animal life is slightly thinner on the ground, but alert visitors may spy inhabitants such as the endangered golden-headed langur, wild boar, deer, civets, and several species of squirrel. Trekking through the wilderness is a highlight with a number of fascinating trails to follow.Cat Ba Island has also become a firm favorite with the adventure sports set. Indeed, along with Railay Beach in Thailand, it is recognized as one of the top spots in the region for rock climbing. Other outdoor pursuits include sailing and kayaking around the karsts. Although Halong Bay has arguably been tainted by over-exposure, Bai Tu Long Bay farther east toward China, retains all the majesty of Vietnam’s premier bucket-list natural attraction but sees a fraction of the traffic of its immediate neighbor to the west. Here, visitors will find islands of substantial size with deserted beaches and untamed jungle. Halong Bay's 3,000 islands of dolomite and limestone cover a 1,500-square-km (580-square-mile) area, extending across the Gulf of Tonkin nearly to the Chinese border. According to legend, this breathtaking land- and seascape was formed by a giant dragon that came barreling out of the mountains toward the ocean—hence the name (Halong translates into "descent of the dragon"). Geologists are more likely to attribute the formations to sedimentary limestone that formed here between 300 and 500 million years ago, in the Paleozoic Era. Over millions of years water receded and exposed the limestone to wind, rain, and tidal erosion.Today the limestone formations are exposed to hordes of tourists—but don't let that discourage you. Hundreds of fishing trawlers and tour boats share space on these crystal waters, yet there seems to be room for everyone. Most people use the main population center, Halong City, as a base from which to venture into the bay. Although it's now officially one municipality, Halong City was, until 1996, two separate towns: Bai Chay is now Halong City West, where Halong Road winds its way around the coast and past the lifeless central beach; Hon Gai is the grimier Halong City East, where a coal transportation depot dominates the center of town and covers nearby roads and buildings with a sooty film. Locals still refer to the towns by their old names, but they are now inexorably lassoed together by a bridge. Boat trips through Halong Bay are the main attraction. Little of the majesty of this region can be found in the city, so head out onto the water and start exploring. Countless 10- and 30-foot fishing boats have been converted into Halong Bay's formidable tourist-boat fleet. Hotels or travel agencies in Halong City or Hanoi can arrange boat trips for you (often they are part of organized tours from Hanoi). It is still possible to go down to the wharf and bargain yourself onto a boat for the day, but you are likely to be charged (sometimes significantly) more than you would pay for a prebooked tour, so this is not advised. Self-sufficient travelers have fallen victim to the old bait-and-switch: they've arranged a next-day boat tour with local fishermen, only to be told in no uncertain terms the following morning that they could not board their chosen boat, but they could take a different one for quite a bit more money. You may have no choice in the end. Usually travel agencies, however, have their tried-and-true favorites.

16 Apr 2024 - 17 Apr 2024

99

Sanya10:00 - 18:00

Just off the coast of Vietnam, a myriad of karstic islands are clustered in this picturesque setting. Looming out of the sea, undercut by erosions into fantastic shapes, they reminded the Vietnamese of the looping back of a swimming dragon. Scattered among them, whole communities of fishing families live most of their lives on sampans, trading among themselves and periodically going into nearby towns such as Haiphong to sell their catch and buy supplies.

18 Apr 2024

100

Da Nang08:00 - 18:00

Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam with the land area of 1283 square kilometre and the population of approximately 1million people. Da Nang is growing into one of the most organized urban area, with attractive beach front villas on the one side and Han River flowing on the other. Of the few attractions that belong to the city, Museum of Cham stands out with its rich collection of Cham artefacts. For those who crave for more outdoors activities, My Khe beach is a good place to spend time, either by yourself or with your loved ones. Da Nang is in close proximity to Hue- 3 hours North and Hoi An- 30 minutes south, which makes it a perfect stop point for those who need a break from touristy areas. Hue was once the Royal Capital of Viet Nam. The city represents the outstanding demonstration of the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire, including a complex of monuments, tombs and pagodas that attract tourists coming from all over the world. Hoi An has to this days well preserved its most sacred treasure, the centuries-old architecture. The town used to harbour foreign traders back in the 17-18th, and once is an important heavily-frequented trading port in Southeast Asia.

19 Apr 2024

101

Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang, known as Tourane by the French, succeeded Hoi An as the most important port in central Vietnam during the 19th century. Today, Da Nang's distance from other power centers, its natural endowments, (the port and proximity to Laos and Thailand), and its high degree of provincial autonomy allows for considerable local initiative. Among the Da Nang area sites of interest to visitors are the Marble Mountains, China Beach, the ancient port town of Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue.

20 Apr 2024

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Ho Chi Minh Cityundefined - 16:00

Romantically referred to by the French as the Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City today is a super-charged city of sensory overload. Motorbikes zoom day and night along the wide boulevards, through the narrow back alleys and past vendors pushing handcarts hawking goods of all descriptions. Still called Saigon by most residents, this is Vietnam's largest city and the engine driving the country's current economic resurgence, but despite its frenetic pace, it's a friendlier place than Hanoi and locals will tell you the food—simple, tasty, and incorporating many fresh herbs—is infinitely better than in the capital.This is a city full of surprises. The madness of the city's traffic—witness the oddball things that are transported on the back of motorcycles—is countered by tranquil pagodas, peaceful parks, quirky coffee shops, and whole neighborhoods hidden down tiny alleyways, although some of these quiet spots can be difficult to track down. Life in Ho Chi Minh City is lived in public: on the back of motorcycles, on the sidewalks, and in the parks. Even when its residents are at home, they're still on display. With many living rooms opening onto the street, grandmothers napping, babies being rocked, and food being prepared, are all in full view of passersby.Icons of the past endure in the midst of the city’s headlong rush into capitalism. The Hotel Continental, immortalized in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, continues to stand on the corner of old Indochina's most famous thoroughfare, the rue Catinat, known to American G.I.s during the Vietnam War as Tu Do (Freedom) Street and renamed Dong Khoi (Uprising) Street by the Communists. The city still has its ornate opera house and its old French city hall, the Hôtel de Ville. The broad colonial boulevards leading to the Saigon River and the gracious stucco villas are other remnants of the French colonial presence. Grisly reminders of the more recent past can be seen at the city's war-related museums. Residents, however, prefer to look forward rather than back and are often perplexed by tourists' fascination with a war that ended 40 years ago.The Chinese influence on the country is still very much in evidence in the Cholon district, the city's Chinatown, but the modern office towers and international hotels that mark the skyline symbolize Vietnam's fixation on the future.

21 Apr 2024 - 22 Apr 2024

104

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City covers an area of more than 800 square miles, stretching westward from the South China Sea to the Cambodian border. Its land is overwhelmingly rural, dotted with villages and clusters of houses set amidst rice paddies. The downtown section of Ho Chi Minh City is still known as Saigon, and it is here the economic changes sweeping Vietnam and their social implications are most evident. The level of activity and energy of this city will amaze you, and make it clear that this country does not intend to stand still.

23 Apr 2024

105

Sihanoukville07:00 - 20:00

24 Apr 2024

106

Koh Kood08:00 - 17:00

Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, is located in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand, and is Cambodia's only international marine port. Its beaches are the most prominent natural feature of the city, spanning most of the surrounding coastline. Sihanoukville has several cultural sites, including Victory Monument built to symbolize friendship with Vietnam, and Independence Square, constructed in honor of independence and the Cambodians that lost their lives defending their country.

25 Apr 2024

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Laem Chabangundefined - 18:00

There are two Bangkoks, the ancient soul of Thailand with its long and fascinating history and the frantic, modern metropolis that embraces the latest trends both Eastern and Western. The two blend together remarkably well—even the most jarring juxtapositions of old and new somehow make sense. Bangkok is not only the biggest city in Thailand, but also the most mesmerizing, with some of the country's most beautiful temples and shrines. The city's energy is palpable, especially at night, when traffic opens up a bit, its famous markets get going, and everything seems lit up—from its proudest monuments to its seediest streets. When Ayutthaya was besieged and pillaged by the Burmese in 1766, Thonburi became Thailand's capital. The Thais call Bangkok Krung Thep (City of Angels), and in 1782 King Rama I moved his capital here, just across the Chao Praya River. Laem Chabang is approximately 130 km (81 mi) from Bangkok.

26 Apr 2024 - 27 Apr 2024

109

Bangkok (Laem Chabang)

Bangkok is a city of endless fascination. Spiked with countless high-rise buildings of concrete and glass, Bangkok is an exhilarating mix of chaos and refinement, of frenetic markets and hushed golden temples, early-morning alms-giving rituals and ultra hip designer boutiques. In the heart of the city is the Chao Phraya River, its vast network of canals (klongs) as important to local transportation as the intricate road system. There is a wealth of history and culture to be discovered here: palaces, temples, markets, and exquisite classical Thai dance performances.

28 Apr 2024

110

At Sea

29 Apr 2024

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Singaporeundefined - 15:00

The main island of Singapore is shaped like a flattened diamond, 42 km (26 miles) east to west and 23 km (14 miles) north to south. Near the northern peak is the causeway leading to West Malaysia—Kuala Lumpur is less than four hours away by car. It is at the southern foot where you will find most of the city-state’s action, with its gleaming office towers, working docks, and futuristic "supertrees," which are solar-powered and serve as vertical gardens. Offshore are Sentosa and over 60 smaller islands, most uninhabited, that serve as bases for oil refining or as playgrounds and beach escapes from the city. To the east is Changi International Airport, connected to the city by metro, bus, and a tree-lined parkway. Of the island's total land area, more than half is built up, with the balance made up of parkland, farmland, plantations, swamp areas, and rain forest. Well-paved roads connect all parts of the island, and Singapore city has an excellent, and constantly expanding, public transportation system. The heart of Singapore's history and its modern wealth are in and around the Central Business District. The area includes the skyscrapers in the Central Business District, the 19th-century Raffles Hotel, the convention centers of Marina Square, on up to the top of Ft. Canning. Although most of old Singapore has been knocked down to make way for the modern city, most colonial landmarks have been preserved in the CBD, including early-19th-century buildings designed by the Irish architect George Coleman.

30 Apr 2024 - 01 May 2024

113

Port Klang08:00 - 18:00

Kuala Lumpur, or KL as locals refer to it, intrigues visitors with its diversity and multicultural character. The city's old quarter features stretches of shop houses that hint at its colonial past, while modern buildings—including the iconic Petronas Towers—give a glimpse of its modern financial ambitions. The city is filled with culturally colorful quarters dedicated to Chinese, Malay, and Indian communities. New shopping malls with designer labels, five-star hotels, and top-notch restaurants also proliferate in this bustling city of 1.6 million.

02 May 2024

114

Georgetown, Penang10:00 - 23:00

An island off the northwest coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang is blessed with a multicultural history that's led to a fascinating fusion of East and West. Claimed by the British East India Company in 1786, the island's city center of Georgetown—listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is filled with colonial architecture, temples, and museums. The island has also attracted many Chinese immigrants, who now make up the majority of the population. On Penang you'll find an exciting mix of jungle, coast, farmland, and fishing villages, along with the country's largest Buddhist temple.

03 May 2024

115

Langkawi Island08:00 - 17:00

On Malaysia's west coast, Langkawi is an archipelago made up of 99 islands. The only real settlement is on the main island, Pulau Langkawi. This popular beach destination attracts divers from around the world to explore the sea life, and after being declared a duty-free zone back in the '80s, it has become a favorite shopping spot for visitors seeking cheap booze. You'll find sightseeing attractions—such as national parks, a cable car ride, and a large aquarium—throughout this island of lush rainforests. However, it's the long stretches of sandy beach that attract most visitors to this tropical paradise.

04 May 2024

116
117

Phuket08:00 - 21:00

Though few tourists linger here, Phuket Town, the provincial capital, is one of the more culturally interesting places on the island to spend half a day. About one-third of the island's population lives here, and the town is an intriguing mix of old Sino-Portuguese architecture and the influences of the Chinese, Muslims, and Thais that inhabit it. The old Chinese quarter along Talang Street is especially good for a stroll, as its history has not yet been replaced by modern concrete and tile. And this same area has a variety of antiques shops, art studios, and trendy cafés. Besides Talang, the major thoroughfares are Ratsada, Phuket, and Ranong roads. Ratsada connects Phuket Road (where you'll find the Tourism Authority of Thailand office) to Ranong Road, where there's an aromatic local market filled with fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats.

05 May 2024 - 06 May 2024

118
119

At Sea

07 May 2024 - 08 May 2024

120
121
122

Colombo

Sri Lanka's capital and largest city, Colombo offers fine restaurants, a buzzing nightlife scene, and good museums, parks, and beautiful Buddhist temples that are all worth visiting. The beach resort of Mt. Lavinia is only a short taxi ride from the downtown area and offers a golden, sandy beach and sunset views to die for. As an exciting blur of colors and cultures, Colombo presents a neatly packaged microcosm of this island nation.

09 May 2024 - 11 May 2024

123
124
125

Male

There are many nations around the world with bragging rights to miles of pristine white coral sand and balmy turquoise seas but few can take it to the same level as the Maldives. Its 1,200 islands are spread out over 26 coral atolls; the combined land of all the islands is little more than 100 square miles. That means you are rarely more than a few steps from the beach. Many of the villas are actually built on stilts out over the water, so you may actually have to walk onshore in order to get to the beach. Besides curling your toes in the sand, many people come here to sample the Maldives enviable world-class dive spots. Others simply snorkel among the endless coral reefs. There are so many coral atolls here that our English word derives from the Maldivian name atholhu.

12 May 2024 - 14 May 2024

126
127

At Sea

15 May 2024 - 16 May 2024

128

Salalah07:00 - 17:00

The lush landscape around Salalah is the intriguing result of a quirk of nature. Since it is uniquely situated in the path of the Khareef, or South Western Monsoon, this stretch of the Dhofar Coast is covered in fine mist and frequent rain from mid-June through mid-September. By the time the monsoons cease, the entire coastline is a verdant stretch. Waterfalls, rolling grasslands, and thickly wooded wadis (riverbeds) thrive alongside rapid mountain streams. Unique in this desert region, Salalah attracts many visitors from the surrounding Arabian Gulf countries who are anxious to experience a rare lushness in a region where rain and greenery are in short supply. Once a stop on the ancient trading routes that connected the Levant to India and China, Salalah has a rich history that goes back centuries. Traders from Mesopotamia, the Persian Empire, and beyond passed through Salalah in their search for frankincense, making it a major center for trade in the coveted exotic ingredient. Pre-Islamic tombs and grave sites, some believed to be up to 2,000 years old, are scattered all over the nearby mountainsides and the present-day city, which has an estimated 195,000 inhabitants.

17 May 2024

129

Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman's ancient incense capital is an oasis with lush vegetation resulting from seasonal monsoons. The city's roads wind through groves of coconut, papaya and banana trees, and roadside stands sell fresh fruit and coconut water. The tropical atmosphere is a striking contrast to the otherwise arid landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula. Even the Queen of Sheba fell under the spell of the area's treasure far greater than gold, and sent gifts of frankincense to impress Solomon. Today, the beautiful sand beaches, cultural history, archaeology and natural diversity draw visitors to this ancient paradise.

18 May 2024

130
131
132

At Sea

19 May 2024 - 21 May 2024

133
134

Safagaundefined - 22:00

Port Safago has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday rsort. Like other cities on the Red Sea, the commercial port town sits close to great offshore dive sites. Unlike others, however, tourist development hasn't taken off in a meaningful way. But if the mass tourism in Hurghada is a turnoff, Safaga offers a small-scale and much more low-key alternative, though the best dive sites can still be seen on a day trip from Hurghada. Safaga is also the closest beach resort to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, which lies 200 km (124 mi) to the southwest; when cruise ships offer land excursions to Luxor, they often do so through Safaga.

22 May 2024 - 23 May 2024

135

Sharm El Sheikh05:30 - 20:00

The port and town of Sharm-el-Sheikh lies near the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Straits of Tiran meet the Gulf of Aqaba. With its strategic position, the Sinai posed a desirable target for various rulers over the centuries. In recent times, the last battle for the Sinai was fought between Egypt and Israel from 1967 to 1979, ending with a peace treaty signed in Washington, D.C. Since the withdrawal of the Israelis, more and more Egyptians have settled in the Sinai, taking advantage of the booming tourist trade. However, vast interior regions are still sparsely populated. Many Bedouins have been affected by the advent of the 21st century, which is rapidly changing their age-old customs and nomadic lifestyle. As tourism and hotel projects continue to spring up along the Sinai coast, contact with Bedouins not involved in tourism is becoming increasingly rare. Once their nomadic life kept them on the move with their tents; today many Bedouins cultivate grain, vegetables and dates in addition to catering to the tourists. Sharm-el-Sheikh was initially developed by the Israelis during the Sinai occupation. Na'ama Bay, a short drive from the port, has grown from virtually nothing into a sizeable resort since the early 1980s. Between the two towns, a string of hotels line a once-untouched coastline. Resort hotels offer great opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Glass bottom boat trips are available for those preferring to view the exotic marine life of the Red Sea without getting their feet wet.

24 May 2024

136

'Aqaba07:00 - 20:00

The resort town of Aqaba, on the Red Sea at the southern end of Jordan, is a popular spot for divers with some of the best coral reefs in the world. Snorkeling and other water sports are popular, and it's easy to hire a boat for a day or half-day, including lunch.Aqaba has become quite a bustling destination, with several large luxury hotels and a large shopping area. There are many jewelry stores selling pearls, gem stones, and gold and silver jewelry. It's worth noting that although it's an international beach resort, Aqaba is quite conservative—certainly much more so than Amman—and North Americans tend to be more comfortable at the private hotel beaches.

25 May 2024

137

Aqaba

Aqaba is a sleepy fishing village with a long and historic past. At various times, the port was a stopover on ancient caravan routes, a garrison for Roman troops and meeting place for pilgrims en route to Mecca. Recent excavations have revealed a third-century church, one of the worlds oldest. In medieval times, Aqaba was an important part of Palestine before being absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, a time when Lawrence of Arabia figured in local history. Today Aqaba is important as Jordan's only deep water port and the jumping-off point for excursions to Petra, the country's premier historical attraction.

26 May 2024

138

At Sea

27 May 2024

139
140

Haifaundefined - 20:00

Spilling down from the pine-covered heights of Mount Carmel, Haifa is a city with a vertiginous setting that has led to comparisons with San Francisco. The most striking landmark on the mountainside is the gleaming golden dome of the Baha'i Shrine, set amid utterly beautiful garden terraces. The city is the world center for the Baha'i faith, and its members provide informative walking tours of the flower-edged 100-acre spot, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the top of the hill are some small but interesting museums, the larger hotels, and two major universities. At the bottom is the lovingly restored German Colony, a perfect area for strolling.Israel's largest port and third-largest city, Haifa was ruled for four centuries by the Ottomans and gradually spread its tendrils up the mountainside into a cosmopolitan city whose port served the entire Middle East. The climate is gentle, the beaches beautiful, and the locals friendly.You don't see the religious garb of Jerusalem or the tattoos and piercings of Tel Aviv in this diverse but fairly conservative city. In fact, you can't always tell at a glance who is part of an Arab or Jewish Israeli family, or if someone is a more recent immigrant from the former Soviet Union.

28 May 2024 - 29 May 2024

141

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is marked by stark 1930s Bauhaus buildings, thousands of which are clustered in the White City architectural area. Museums include Beit Hatfutsot, whose multimedia exhibits illustrate the history of Jewish communities worldwide. The Eretz Israel Museum covers the country’s archaeology, folklore and crafts, and features an on-site excavation of 12th-century-B.C. ruins.

30 May 2024

142

Agios Nikólaos, Kríti08:00 - 18:00

31 May 2024

143

Mykonos08:00 - 21:00

Although the fishing boats still go out in good weather, Mykonos largely makes its living from tourism these days. The summer crowds have turned one of the poorest islands in Greece into one of the richest. Old Mykonians complain that their young, who have inherited stores where their grandfathers once sold eggs or wine, get so much rent that they have lost ambition, and in summer sit around pool bars at night with their friends, and hang out in Athens in winter when island life is less scintillating. Put firmly on the map by Jackie O in the 1960s, Mykonos town—called Hora by the locals—remains the Saint-Tropez of the Greek islands. The scenery is memorable, with its whitewashed streets, Little Venice, the Kato Myli ridge of windmills, and Kastro, the town's medieval quarter. Its cubical two- or three-story houses and churches, with their red or blue doors and domes and wooden balconies, have been long celebrated as some of the best examples of classic Cycladic architecture. Luckily, the Greek Archaeological Service decided to preserve the town, even when the Mykonians would have preferred to rebuild, and so the Old Town has been impressively preserved. Pink oleander, scarlet hibiscus, and trailing green pepper trees form a contrast amid the dazzling whiteness, whose frequent renewal with whitewash is required by law. Any visitor who has the pleasure of getting lost in its narrow streets (made all the narrower by the many outdoor stone staircases, which maximize housing space in the crowded village) will appreciate how its confusing layout was designed to foil pirates—if it was designed at all. After Mykonos fell under Turkish rule in 1537, the Ottomans allowed the islanders to arm their vessels against pirates, which had a contradictory effect: many of them found that raiding other islands was more profitable than tilling arid land. At the height of Aegean piracy, Mykonos was the principal headquarters of the corsair fleets—the place where pirates met their fellows, found willing women, and filled out their crews. Eventually the illicit activity evolved into a legitimate and thriving trade network. Morning on Mykonos town's main quay is busy with deliveries, visitors for the Delos boats, lazy breakfasters, and street cleaners dealing with the previous night's mess. In late morning the cruise-boat people arrive, and the shops are all open. In early afternoon, shaded outdoor tavernas are full of diners eating salads (Mykonos's produce is mostly imported); music is absent or kept low. In mid- and late afternoon, the town feels sleepy, since so many people are at the beach, on excursions, or sleeping in their air-conditioned rooms; even some tourist shops close for siesta. By sunset, people have come back from the beach, having taken their showers and rested. At night, the atmosphere in Mykonos ramps up. The cruise-boat people are mostly gone, coughing three-wheelers make no deliveries in the narrow streets, and everyone is dressed sexy for summer and starting to shimmy with the scene. Many shops stay open past midnight, the restaurants fill up, and the bars and discos make ice cubes as fast as they can. Ready to dive in? Begin your tour of Mykonos town (Hora) by starting out at its heart: Mando Mavrogenous Square.

01 Jun 2024

144

Kusadasi07:00 - 23:00

Whilst the busy resort town of Kusadasi offers much in the way of shopping and dining – not to mention a flourishing beach life scene, the real jewel here is Ephesus and the stunning ruined city that really take centre stage. With only 20% of the classical ruins having been excavated, this archaeological wonder has already gained the status as Europe’s most complete classical metropolis. And a metropolis it really is; built in the 10th century BC this UNESCO World Heritage site is nothing short of spectacular. Although regrettably very little remains of the Temple of Artemis (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), the superb Library of Celsus’ façade is practically intact and it is one of life’s great joys to attend an evening performance in the illuminated ruins once all the tourists have left. The history of the city is fascinating and multi-layered and it is well worth reading up on this beforehand if a visit is planned. Another point of interest for historians would be the house of the Virgin Mary, located on the romantically named Mount Nightingale and just nine kilometres away from Ephesus proper. Legend has it that Mary (along with St. John) spent her final years here, secluded from the rest of the population, spreading Christianity. An edifying experience, even for non-believers. For the less historical minded amongst you, Kusadasi offers plenty in the way of activities. After a stroll through the town, jump in a taxi to Ladies’ Beach (men are allowed), sample a Turkish kebap on one of the many beachfront restaurants and enjoy the clement weather. If you do want to venture further afield, then the crystal clear beaches of Guzelcamli (or the Millipark), the cave of Zeus and the white scalloped natural pools at Pamukkale, known as Cleopatra’s pools, are definitely worth a visit.

02 Jun 2024

145

Kuşadasi

Kusadasi, which means "bird island," is set in a superb gulf known for its sparkling water, broad sandy beaches and large marina. The city has managed to retain a certain earthiness while doing a brisk trade in Turkish carpets and leather goods to visitors. The town's old quarter is a picturesque maze of winding streets and houses adorned with flowers and birdcages. In the center stands a 17th-century caravanserai, now converted into a hotel. The resort is also gateway to important sites of archaeological and religious interest.

03 Jun 2024

146

Piraeus

It's no wonder that all roads lead to the fascinating and maddening metropolis of Athens. Lift your eyes 200 feet above the city to the Parthenon, its honey-color marble columns rising from a massive limestone base, and you behold architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years. But, today, this shrine of classical form dominates a 21st-century boomtown. To experience Athens—Athína in Greek—fully is to understand the essence of Greece: ancient monuments surviving in a sea of cement, startling beauty amid the squalor, tradition juxtaposed with modernity. Locals depend on humor and flexibility to deal with the chaos; you should do the same. The rewards are immense. Although Athens covers a huge area, the major landmarks of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are close to the modern city center. You can easily walk from the Acropolis to many other key sites, taking time to browse in shops and relax in cafés and tavernas along the way. From many quarters of the city you can glimpse "the glory that was Greece" in the form of the Acropolis looming above the horizon, but only by actually climbing that rocky precipice can you feel the impact of the ancient settlement. The Acropolis and Filopappou, two craggy hills sitting side by side; the ancient Agora (marketplace); and Kerameikos, the first cemetery, form the core of ancient and Roman Athens. Along the Unification of Archaeological Sites promenade, you can follow stone-paved, tree-lined walkways from site to site, undisturbed by traffic. Cars have also been banned or reduced in other streets in the historical center. In the National Archaeological Museum, vast numbers of artifacts illustrate the many millennia of Greek civilization; smaller museums such as the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum illuminate the history of particular regions or periods. Athens may seem like one huge city, but it is really a conglomeration of neighborhoods with distinctive characters. The Eastern influences that prevailed during the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire are still evident in Monastiraki, the bazaar area near the foot of the Acropolis. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, stroll through Plaka (if possible by moonlight), an area of tranquil streets lined with renovated mansions, to get the flavor of the 19th-century's gracious lifestyle. The narrow lanes of Anafiotika, a section of Plaka, thread past tiny churches and small, color-washed houses with wooden upper stories, recalling a Cycladic island village. In this maze of winding streets, vestiges of the older city are everywhere: crumbling stairways lined with festive tavernas; dank cellars filled with wine vats; occasionally a court or diminutive garden, enclosed within high walls and filled with magnolia trees and the flaming trumpet-shaped flowers of hibiscus bushes. Formerly run-down old quarters, such as Thission, Gazi and Psirri, popular nightlife areas filled with bars and mezedopoleia (similar to tapas bars), are now in the process of gentrification, although they still retain much of their original charm, as does the colorful produce and meat market on Athinas. The area around Syntagma Square, the tourist hub, and Omonia Square, the commercial heart of the city about 1 km (½ mi) northwest, is distinctly European, having been designed by the court architects of King Otho, a Bavarian, in the 19th century. The chic shops and bistros of ritzy Kolonaki nestle at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus, Athens's highest hill (909 feet). Each of Athens's outlying suburbs has a distinctive character: in the north is wealthy, tree-lined Kifissia, once a summer resort for aristocratic Athenians, and in the south and southeast lie Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni, with their sandy beaches, seaside bars, and lively summer nightlife. Just beyond the city's southern fringes is Piraeus, a bustling port city of waterside fish tavernas and Saronic Gulf views.

04 Jun 2024

147

Athens (Piraeus), 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.

05 Jun 2024

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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