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13 destinations in 18 days! Set sail on a dream vacation to many of the best places to visit in the Mediterranean. This region offers some of Europe's most classic cultural landmarks alongside some of its best weather to top it off. Onboard two luxurious cruise ships, you'll enjoy superior service and quality-everything as you discover culture, cuisine and history unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Taste wood-fired pizza in Naples, the city where it was created, or visit the historic grounds of a famous Greek god. Whether you sip, savour or stroll your way through these places, you won’t just learn about history, you’ll relive it.
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* All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and bookings are subject to availability. Price, Getaway Cash travel credit usage, Free Flights Voucher usage and deposit amount varies according to travel date. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Full booking terms and conditions are available here.
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Explore the sights, sounds and flavours of the Mediterranean all on your own terms. Experience lively Santorini as you stroll through its picturesque, winding streets. Travel through the coast of Italy while indulging in traditional flavours and admiring iconic landmarks. Discover Barcelona's unique Catalan identity while taking in its stunning architecture and delectable dining. Do all of this and more while enjoying a luxurious cruising experience onboard the MSC Grandiosa and MSC Musica. Enjoy extra time in the gorgeous city of Venice after your cruise. Whether it's your first or fifth time in the Mediterranean, there is always something new and beautiful to discover in this stunning part of the world.
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This itinerary is fully customisable to suit your requirements. Your personal travel consultant is available to discuss changes and additions that will enhance your travel experience.
Add comprehensive, best-in-class, travel insurance for just $447 per person*, valued at over $1110 per couple. Full insurance cover details are available on request.
Lonely Planet is renowned for its first-hand approach, up-to-date maps and commitment to providing the best information for travelers. Lonely Planet authors are experienced, insightful travel experts. They personally research the places they write about - both in the first and in subsequent editions - and provide essential travel details along with a wealth of insider information and first-hand tips.
You will receive this guide to help you gain the most out of your holiday. Recommendation: Take the time to read suggestions for things to see and do before you leave home. Take your Lonely Planet guide with you in your luggage.
* All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and bookings are subject to availability. Price and deposit amount varies according to travel date. A flight cost provision (allowance) applies. Total price after Getaway Cash credits and Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers is generally payable as follows: Deposit on booking, balance 120 days prior to departure. Packages can be priced for families and groups on request. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Standard (retail) price comparisons are with similar packages offered elsewhere or what would be payable by a non-member for the same package. Flight pricing included in packages or other estimates is based on travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Travel can be arranged from any other major centre and for any number of people. Travel insurance pricing if stated is based on two travellers aged 69 years or less as at the date of departure from Australia. Surcharge applies for travellers aged 70 years and over. Valid for 2020 travel subject to availability. Travel Directions Pty Ltd (t/as Australian Escapes Holiday & Travel Club) standard booking terms and conditions apply to all booking enquiries and bookings and are available here to view. (Visit our website and go to the "Bookings" menu item.)
Whether you love art, history, natural wonders, fine cuisine, or all of the above, this Mediterranean journey lets you experience something amazing at every stop. Starting in the bustling port city of Genoa, embark on a 15-day luxurious cruise, taking you to all the top destinations in Mediterranean Europe. Your first stop: Naples, the city of volcanic drama, where you will be able to witness Mount Vesuvius. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Valletta, wander the streets of Barcelona and bask in the architectural glory of Santorini. Relive history as you journey through Katakolon and Piraeus, visiting ancient Greek monuments such as Olympia and the Acropolis of Athens. Finish your already perfect holiday with 2 full days in Venice.
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." ďż˝ Augustine of Hippo
Say Buongiorno! (good morning!) to Italy today with a morning flight into beautiful Genoa, gateway to the Italian Rivier. Genoa’s port area now hosts museums and dining options and the old town is well worth a visit. After checking into your accommodation, spend the rest of your day exploring all this charming city has to offer…
Enjoy your morning in Genoa before embarking on your 15-day Mediterranean cruise aboard the luxurious MSC Grandiosa. First stop, Naples!
Naples is gritty yet charrming in its own way, a place of soul-stirring art and panoramas, spontaneous conversations and unexpected, inimitable elegance. Welcome to Italy's most unlikely masterpiece. Disembark the cruise ship in the early afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day exploring this historic city. Make sure you sample the world's best pizza. Return to the ship in the evening and begin the journey to Messina.
You'll arrive in Messina in the early morning so the entire day is yours to enjoy at leisure. With wide boulevards and lower-rise, turn-of-the-century buildings, Messina exudes a sense of space and calm missing from the other major Sicilian cities. Tourist attractions like Messina Bell Tower, Piazza del Duomo, Messina Regional Museum, Camposanto and many more provide you with an insight into the city’s rich culture and history. Make your way back to the cruise ship in the evening and continue along to Valletta, the capital city of Malta.
Valletta is Malta's lilliputian capital, built by the Knights of St John on a peninsula that's only 1km by 600m. Its founder decreed that it should be "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen", and it retains its 16th-century elegance. Named a World Heritage site in 1980, Unesco described Valletta as "one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world". Return to the cruise ship in the evening. Your next destination is Barcelona!
Today will be spent at the sea. Relax, take in the fresh breeze of the sea and spend your time enjoying onboard entertainment with new-found friends.
Barcelona is an enchanting seaside city with boundless culture, fabled architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene. With beautiful places like Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and mesmerizing beaches, the city is truly a visual treat.
Arriving in Barcelona in the morning, you have the whole day to spend indulging in rich Spanish culture. The cruise will depart on the same day at 6.00pm and will head towards Marseilles, France.
Bonjour Marseille! Today you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in French history and culture with a full day to explore the port city of Marseille. Founded more than 2,500 years ago, this black sheep of the Provencal coastline has blossomed in cultural confidence since its 2013 stint as the European Capital of Culture. During your visit, it is highly recommended that you visit the Vieux Port, Notre Dame de la Garde, MuCEM and Le Panier neighbourhood. After a day of exploring, return to the ship to begin the journey back to Genoa.
Today your cruise will dock back in Genoa, Italy. After departing the ship, you will be transferred to Venice to begin the second leg of your Mediterranean cruise. Your next destination: Brindisi, Italy.
Your cruise ship will reach Brindisi in the early afternoon. Depart the ship and discover this gorgeous harbour city, taking in its gorgeous views, historic structures and religious monuments. Being a commercial port city, Brindisi has absorbed a lot of foreign culture which you can see reflected throughout the city. In the evening, after enjoying a delicious dinner seaside, return to the cruise ship and start for Katakolon, Greece.
Katakolon is a quiet seaside Greek village in western Ilia, Pyrgos municipality. It is the gateway port to Olympia, where the ancient Greeks flocked every four years for more than a millennium to celebrate the sacred games in honour of the god Zeus. Departing the cruise ship in late morning, spend your day visiting its charming local galleries and shops. You also have the opportunity to journey to Olympia itself. Re-board the cruise ship in the evening.
Today is yours to explore gorgeous Santorini at your own leisure. Spend your time wondering its streets, taking in the famous colourful cliff-side homes, visiting the many historical sites, and exploring the vineyards. Don’t miss watching the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea before returning to the cruise ship after a day well spent. Your next destination is Piraeus, Athens.
Ten kilometres southwest of central Athens, Piraeus is dazzling in its scale; its seemingly endless quays filled with ferries, ships and hydrofoils. Docking in the morning, the day is yours to immerse yourself in ancient Greek history dating back more than 1,000 years. Travel into Athens to spend some discovering Greece’s famous capital city. Return to the cruise ship in the evening.
Situated in the Ionian Sea on the northwest coast of Greece, Corfu is one of the most historic and beautiful islands in Greece. Unmatched in natural beauty with dozens of sightseeing opportunities and beautiful beaches, your experience in Corfu will be unforgettable. Arriving in the early afternoon, spend your time in Corfu exploring the island and uncovering its 3,000-year-old history. Head back to the ship after dinner and begin the journey to your next destination, Kotor, Montenegro.
Wedged between brooding mountains and a moody corner of the bay, achingly atmospheric Kotor is perfectly at one with its setting. Hemmed in by staunch walls snaking improbably up the surrounding slopes, the town is a medieval maze of museums, churches, cafe-strewn squares, and Venetian palaces and pillories. Departing in the early afternoon, spend your time in Kotor taking in the ambience, romance and living history of this old town.
Ciao Venezia! In the early morning, your ship will dock in Venice, the last destination of your Mediterranean cruise. Say goodbye to your newfound friends before journeying along the city’s ancient canals to your Venice accommodation.
After checking in, spend the rest of your day exploring all this gorgeous city has to offer. Your Lonely Planet guide will be invaluable here, giving you insider tips and restaurant suggestions.
You have the entire day today to explore Venice and discover the pleasures of la dolce vita (the beautiful life) that only locals know. Experience the gondoliers' call "Ooooeeeee!", a morning spritz in a sunny campo (square), lunch in a lively bacaro (bar) and a fuschia-pink sunset that has sent centuries of artists mad.
After a delicious Venetian breakfast, head to St Mark’s Square where you will embark on a tour to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano. An expert guide will join you on your discovery of the famous landmarks, exquisite crafts, and relaxed way of life to be found there.
Your journey begins with a boat ride to the cluster of small islands that make up Murano. Here, you will pay a visit to the ancient church of Santa Maria e Donato, home to a grand 12th-century Byzantine mosaic, and then walk to the nearby workshop to see the island's venerable glass-blowing techniques in action.
After some free time to visit the shops that fill the island's markets, your boat will carry you over to the peaceful community of Burano Island. Take a stroll along the streets lined with vividly coloured houses and get lost in this little gem. The tour ends with a return boat ride to Venice, where you can relax with a glass of prosecco wine before you set out on your own.
To finish off your perfect day, we recommend taking a relaxing evening cruise down the aptly named Grand Canal.
Spend your morning soaking up last-minute experiences before heading to the airport for your return flight home.
"Just to let you know what a wonderful holiday we had in Canada/Alaska thanks to Ben. He did a great job with our Travel Itinerary everything went to plan I would recommend Australian Escapes and this holiday to my friends and family we are definitely going to do this holiday again. I did give Ben a ring and thanked him and told him what a great job he did. We are looking forward to our next holiday with Australian Escapes." Rosanna M.
"I was one of the ladies who went with Cherrie to Norfolk. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and thought you did a marvellous job organising it all for us. The accommodation in both Sydney and Norfolk was outstanding - I had never been to either places before and could have stayed much longer in Sydney, as the view from our hotel windows was wonderful. Everyone on Norfolk was so friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble. Thank you so much for making our holiday so enjoyable." Jan W.
"Hi, have finally returned. Wonderful, wonderful trip. We think we loved Paris and its age/artworks but all was full of laughter fun and learning. Paris apartment was beautiful, & quiet when windows were closed, which wasn't bad anyway. The street is full of lots of restaurants and cafe's. (we also loved Shakespeare & co bookshop.) Fruit and chocolates in most rooms and champagne which I think we only drank in Brussels. we were ready for bed everywhere else though we almost had it for morning tea at Amsterdam on check in. Magnificent. Cheers." Val C.
"Have just returned from our wonderful trip to the UK. Just wanted to say a huge thanks for your organisation, we had the best holiday ever, an absolutely marvellous time, the tour was magnificent. We would recommend the Trafalgar Britain and Ireland Winter delights tour to anyone who wants to do adventurous travel, learning about other countries, and making friends. The coach was actually over half full of Aussies! Thanks so much for organising such a memorable holiday for us." Lee D.
"Deb and I are very grateful for the work you have put into our holiday. 10 days in and we are blown away by the quality and location of the motels and apartments. Many thanks." Jen W.
"My husband and I have recently returned from a holiday to Canada and Alaska booked through Australian Escapes. The itinerary was planned to take in all aspects of the holiday we required. The travel transfers worked seamlessly and the accommodation was at a standard that met our expectations of comfort and location. We absolutely loved the cruise and surprise upgrade to our stateroom. From our experience with this recent trip I would recommend Australian Escapes." Margaret & Bill T.
"We've arrived back safely after a thoroughly enjoyable trip where all the arrangements ran like clockwork, for which we want to thank you and your team, especially Sonya and Skye. We'd have no hesitation in recommending you and Volga Dream cruises to anyone who asks. Kind regards and thanks again." Irene and Blake S.
"I want to thank you for all the accommodation you arranged for us during our holiday in North Queensland in August. It was all excellent. The transfers went very smoothly too and we couldn’t have been more pleased with our holiday. Thank you for making everything so easy." Gloria K.
"My life has been like a whirlwind since I got back. I am now on holidays and catching up with people that I have not had time to contact since coming back. Thank you so much for organising my trip to The States and Canada for me. I had a great time and everything went really well. All flights went well. The hotel you booked me into in Champaign was a really old home with beautiful gardens, all done up and run by two gay guys. It was really quaint and I loved it. I had a great time, everything went without a hitch, I loved all the accommodation that you organized for me and I would like to wish you a happy Christmas and all the best." Marlene S.
"A message of thanks to you and your staff. The holiday went off without any problems and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and and had a wonderful time. Again many thanks." Dianne D.
"We are back and rested after a hectic few weeks (away), but everything worked out extremely well. Thanks so much for all your organisation – once you get used to the trains and buses, life becomes easy. Once again, thanks to you and the team for all the organisation from both Lorraine and I – we really enjoyed the holiday. All the best." Bob C.
"We just wanted to let you know that the arrangements you put in place for us in WA worked beautifully. You said the Margaret River accommodation was exceptional and it certainly was both in terms of location and facilites. Thanks again." Betty and Clancy S.
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