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Route of Ancient Empires - Keelung to Athens

24th March 2024 FOR 73 NIGHTS | Seabourn Sojourn

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1) All guests need to be in possession of a valid UK passport. This is also the case on any British Isles cruises. Please click here to check your passport will still be valid on your dates of travel.

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WHY WE RECOMMEND Mediterranean CRUISES

From historic capital cities to charming coastal towns dotted across a sun-soaked shoreline, there is so much choice when it comes to picking your perfect Mediterranean cruise itinerary. Take your pick from a host of voyages taking in the Western Mediterranean across Spain, Portugal and the French Riviera, or the Eastern Mediterranean including Italy, Greece and Croatia.

See all Luxury Mediterranean Cruise Deals


Whichever side of the Mediterranean you decide to explore, from the enchanting east to the legendary west - or even both - you will experience the warm climate, captivating culture and fascinating history for which the region is renowned. A Mediterranean cruise offers the opportunity to explore a different city every day - enjoying famous museums, pavement cafes and stunning scenery as you go. Why not book a Cruise and Stay holiday and extend your stay in a city such as Barcelona?

Mediterranean cruises are most popular during the summer months of June, July and August. The hot weather and warm sea make this the ideal time to visit the coastal town and cities. The spring and autumn are also good times to cruise, particularly if you wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of the summer season.

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itinerary

1

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

2

At Sea

25 Mar 2024

3

Naha, Japan

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

4

Amami Oshima (Naze)

The Amami Islands is an archipelago in the Satsunan Islands, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, and is southwest of Kyushu. Administratively, the group belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

27 Mar 2024

5

Kagoshima

Capital of Japan's southernmost prefecture, Kagoshima faces the Kinko-wan Bay and the active Sakurajima Volcano. Kagoshima played an important role in Japanese history, starting in the early 7th century when Bounotsu Port was a base for trading with China and other Asian nations. The region, formerly known as Satsuma was dominated by 29 generations Shimazu lords for over 700 years until the 1867 Meiji Restoration. Between the 9th and 15th centuries, Satsuma was an important trading port with the countries of east Asia, as well as Europe, becoming one of Japan’s earliest points of contact with the West.

28 Mar 2024

6

At Sea

29 Mar 2024

7

Hiroshima

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

8

Nagato

31 Mar 2024

9

Sakaiminato

Renowned for its bounty of fresh seafood, Sakaiminato is a fishing town backed by mountains in the Honshu region. Izumo Grand Shrine is one of Japan’s most important Shinto temples, and the six-story, black Matsue Castle is one of the oldest surviving Tokugawa Samurai castles. View the snow-capped Mount Daisen, the vermilion, elaborately carved Hinomisaki temples or soak in the Kaike Onsen hot springs by the sea. The Adachi Museum holds a collection of modern Japanese art, while the Tottori Flower Road is a 124-acre flower garden. On the streets, a number of statues commemorate the Yokai figures created by the locally-born manga artist Mizuki Shigeru.

01 Apr 2024

10
11

Busan

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.

02 Apr 2024 - 03 Apr 2024

12

Cheju

Jeju (Cheju) Island is a volcanic island, dominated by Halla-san (Halla Mountain), a volcano 6,398 feet high and the tallest mountain in South Korea. The island was created entirely from volcanic eruptions approximately two million years ago. Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea. The most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol hareubang ("stone grandfather") carved from a block of lava. Jeju translates to "Island of the Gods" and lives up to its name with beautiful beaches, waterfalls and volcanic rock formations.

04 Apr 2024

13
14

Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki is situated on the West Coast of Kyushu on a scenic bay. Located closest to the Asian mainland, it has historically been an important trading center and highly influenced by Chinese culture. When Japan chose to isolate itself from the Western world for two hundred years starting in the mid 1600's, Nagasaki was the only port open to foreign vessels. In recent history, Nagasaki was the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, bringing an end to World War II.

05 Apr 2024 - 06 Apr 2024

15

At Sea

07 Apr 2024

16
17
18

Shanghai

"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.

08 Apr 2024 - 10 Apr 2024

19

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

20
21

At Sea

12 Apr 2024 - 13 Apr 2024

22
23

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is divided into four sections: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and the numerous outlying islands. One hundred sixty-four square miles of dense real estate dominate Hong Kong Island, including enormous skyscrapers with futuristic architecture, opulent hotels, residential compounds on Victoria Peak, and some of the oldest Chinese communities in the region. All these elements create one of the most exotic and exciting ports of call in the world; one that is universally loved by tourists and its own enterprising citizens.

14 Apr 2024 - 15 Apr 2024

24

At Sea

16 Apr 2024

25
26

Halong Bay

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.

17 Apr 2024 - 18 Apr 2024

27

Sanya

Hainan is the largest island administered by the People’s Republic of China, and comprises the lion’s share of the nation’s smallest and southernmost province. Warm and tropical, it has earned a reputation as “China’s Hawaii.” In fact most of the island is given over to facilities and services catering to visitors. The Serenity Coast, DadongHai, Yalong Bay and Haitang Bay all are filled with restaurants, resorts and hotels, and shopping malls suited to serve tourists from Asia, Russia and all over the world. One of the island’s top attractions is the 20 square-mile Nanshan Park, developed in 1988 to celebrate 2,000 years of Buddhism in China. There is a large Nanshan Temple, and numerous smaller pagodas and temples, as well as the world’s tallest Buddhist statue, a three-sided depiction of the Bodhisattva Guan Yin rising from the sea. Further afield, the newly developed Yanoda Rainforest Park has boardwalks winding through huge ancient trees and lush tropical vegetation.

19 Apr 2024

28

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

29

At Sea

21 Apr 2024

30
31

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.

22 Apr 2024 - 23 Apr 2024

32

At Sea

24 Apr 2024

33

Sihanoukville

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

34

Ko Kood, Thailand

Koh Kood, also known as Ko Kut, is an island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is administrated as part of the Ko Kut District in Thailand's Trat Province.

26 Apr 2024

35
36

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.

27 Apr 2024 - 28 Apr 2024

37
38

At Sea

29 Apr 2024 - 30 Apr 2024

39
40

Singapore

Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, Singapore joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963. Two years later, it became an independent island-state, developing into one of the world's most prosperous countries. With ultra-modern skyscrapers combined with a medley of Chinese, Indian and Malay influences, Singapore is a dynamic city rich in contrast and color, exhibiting a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture.

01 May 2024 - 02 May 2024

41

Port Kelang

Port Kelang is your portal to the "Garden City" of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia's famous Batu Caves. Discover Kuala Lumpur's diverse architecture in giant sky scrapers, Malay mosques, Hindu temples, and impressive municipal buildings; marvel at the colorful displays of Hindu deities in the limestone Batu Caves; and visit the 222-acre Lake Gardens with its Orchid Garden, Butterfly Park and Bird Park.

03 May 2024

42

Penang

The name Penang comes from the Malay words for the betel nut, Palau Pinang. Ever since its founding over two centuries ago, Penang has been a favored destination of travelers for both its scenic beauty and places of ethnic and historic significance. Today, Penang is one of the most culturally diverse destinations in Malaysia. Established in 1786 as a trading post by the British, the island is a contemporary metropolis with old world charm, offering the best of both worlds while maintaining its illustrious, rich heritage.

04 May 2024

43

Porto Malai

The 90 islands making up the Langkawi group lie 20 miles off the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. The islands remain quiet and relatively unspoiled, with a total population of only 30,000 inhabitants.

05 May 2024

44

Phuket

Phuket, nestled in the balmy Andaman Sea waters, lies 536 miles south of Bangkok. Initially, Phuket derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. Located on a major trade route between India and China, Phuket was frequently mentioned in foreign trader's ship logs. Blessed with a natural heritage of stunning white-sand beaches, sapphire blue seas, exotic marine life and lushly forested hillsides, Phuket is one of Southeast Asia's most popular destinations.

06 May 2024

45
46
47

At Sea

07 May 2024 - 09 May 2024

48
49

Colombo

Sri Lanka. A name that calls to mind the exotic and mysterious. This is a land of jungles inhabited by leopards and elephants, wondrous ruins of the great civilizations of ages past, and a modern city, Colombo, where western technology is superimposed on the passion of a traditional Asian metropolis. Originally known as Ceylon, the island became famous for producing the world's finest teas. Bright fragrant spices, sparkling sapphires, and the colorful trappings of a variety of ceremonies and religious festivals make this a most rewarding destination. Today, Colombo is a bustling mix of diverse races and religions, and contrasts of old and new. The tangible history of the city is a unique mix of relics from its Portuguese, Dutch and English settlements, blended with Indian influences throughout.

10 May 2024 - 11 May 2024

50

At Sea

12 May 2024

51
52

Male

Known to only a few, this tropical paradise of countless tiny islands is scattered over 34,000 square miles. Tiny specks in a vast expanse of ocean, only 199 of some 1190 coral islands are inhabited. The islands form 26 natural atolls, each enclosed by a coral reef cut by several deep natural channels. A protective coral reef and shallow lagoon also surround each island. As most of the islands are no more than 7 feet above sea level, there are no hills or rivers in the Maldives. What you will see are tall palms, white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons and crystal clear waters. The protective reefs are home to magnificent underwater gardens, and millions of multicolored fish, corals and shells.

13 May 2024 - 14 May 2024

53
54
55

At Sea

15 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

56

Salalah

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

57
58
59
60

At Sea

19 May 2024 - 22 May 2024

61
62

Safaga

Located on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, the port of Safaga is the gateway to some of Egypt's most memorable destinations: Luxor, Karnak and Thebes. Luxor has often been called the world's greatest open-air museum, and the number and preservation of the monuments in the area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The ancient Egyptians called Luxor "The City" and Homer called it the "City of a Thousand Gates." The troops of Napoleon, coming upon its grandeur, broke into spontaneous applause. The pharaoh's tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the colossal temples of Luxor and Karnak capture the imagination with splendors that have survived the centuries.

23 May 2024 - 24 May 2024

63

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

Some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world is found at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Here, on a slender promontory where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Straits of Tiran, Sharm el Sheikh offers access to serene sand beaches, wind-carved cliffs and a wonderland of colorful fish and coral reefs. The area is revered as a place of prophets and miracles, including St. Catherine's Monastery, the most important religious site in Sinai, situated at the base of the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

25 May 2024

64

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

65

At Sea

27 May 2024

66

Exit Suez Canal At Port Said

28 May 2024

67
68

Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel

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.

29 May 2024 - 30 May 2024

69

At Sea

31 May 2024

70

Agios Nikolaos (Crete)

This charming village of white houses climbing up the slopes is beautifully situated on the sparkling Gulf of Mirabello. The attractive Venetian harbor is surrounded by restaurants, outdoor cafes and clusters of shops selling everything from necessities to souvenirs. The ship docks in the center of town, and you are able to wander at will and enjoy the atmosphere of Crete's foremost resort.

01 Jun 2024

71

Mykonos, Greek Isle

The quintessential Greek island of Mykonos is marked by whitewashed houses, domed churches, imposing windmills, and a labyrinth of winding streets designed to disorient pirates. Everywhere there is a dash of bright, bold blue - doors, shutters and window frames, sea and sky. The harbor bustles with colorful fishing boats, vendors selling fish and locals gathered with visitors in the casual seaside cafes. The port even comes with two beloved mascots, the pelicans Petros and Irini.

02 Jun 2024

72

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

73

At Sea

04 Jun 2024

74

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

Piraeus has been the port for Athens since 482 BC. The busy harbor is filled with ferries and cruise ships making their way to the Greek Islands and other Mediterranean cities. The busy metropolis of Athens and its treasure trove of antiquities lie just a few miles from the port. Even as the reality of the modern city took hold, with its high-rise apartments, crowded sidewalks and bustling traffic, the beauty of the Acropolis, the outstanding museums, charming cafés, sidewalk markets and startling views come together in a cultural mosaic for all to enjoy.

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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