Ancient Empires. 21 days escorted 15 October - 04 November, 2019
Day 1. Tuesday 15 October. Depart Auckland Depart Auckland today
Day 2. Wednesday 16 October. ARRIVE ROME (D) Arrive Rome and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax
Day 3. Thursday 17 October. ROME. (BD)
Day 4. Friday 18 October. ROME (BD) Two days sightseeing including St peters Square, Vatical City and Museum, Sistine Chapel, Tiber River, trevi Fountain, Colliseum, Forum, and St Pauls Basilica.
Day 5. Saturday 19 October ROME DEPART (BD) Free morning to explore as you wish. Early afternoon we transfer to the port of Civitivecchia and join Holland America shop "Rotterdam". Sail at 6pm.
Day 6. Sunday 20 October AT SEA. (BLD) A free day to relax and enjoy all the dacilities, restaurants, and entertainment on your ship. Optional seminar of introduction to the 5,000 years of history.
Day 7. Monday 21 October OLYMPIA (BLD). Arrive Katakolon 8am. Sail at 4pm Optional excursion to ancient Olympia, original home of the Olympic games first held in 776 BC and was a sacred precinct of the god Zeus
Day 8. Tuesday 22 October ATHENS (BLD) Arrive Piraeus 7am. Depart 6pm. Full day sightseeing included. Climb to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon and Mars Hill and pass by the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Parliament House, Temple of Zeus, and Hadrians Arch and enjoy a lunch of Greek specialities before returning to our ship.
Day 9. Wednesday 23 October. AT SEA (BLD) A free day to relax, try the spa, work out in the gym, enjoy the entertainment, and get ready for israel.
Day 10. Thursday 24 October. JERUSALEM (BLD) Arrive Ashdod 8am. Sail at 11pm. Disembark on arrival and drive into the hills of Judea to the holy city of Jerusalem. First stop is the Mt of Olives for a magnificent view over the old city including the Kidron Valley, Golden Gate, and Temple Mount. Walk down the hill and through the Garden of Gethsemane to visit the Church of All Nations. Enter the Old City through the Jewish Quarter and see the 'Cardo', part of an unearthed main Roman thoroughfare and marketplace. Visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount (subject to political conditions on the day) and walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Enjoy a lunch of local delicacies and this afternoon visit Yad Vashem and the Israeli Museum OR Bethlehem and the Shepherds fields. We end at the Garden Tomb and enjoy the Sound and light show at the city of David before returning to our ship.
Day 11. Friday 25 October. GALILEE (BLD) Haifa arrive 8am. Overnight. Depart 6pm sunday. Disembark after breakfast and drive across the Valley of Jezreel to Nazareth. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and the ancient Israel Village presenting life in israel as it was at the time of Jesus Christ. Continue to the Mt of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the 'Sermon on the Mount', Tabgha where Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and Capernaum where Jesus lived during part of his ministry. See the 2nd century Synagogue and enjoy a cruise on Lake Galilee and fish lunch. Return to our ship mid evening.
Day 12. Saturday 26 October. HAIFA (BLD) Free day for optional excursions to Mt Carmel, Caesarea, and Akko or explore Haifa as you wish. Other alternatives can be arranged. Sail at 6pm
Day 13. Sunday 27 October. LIMASSOL, CYPRUS. (BLD) Arrive 8am. Sail at 6pm. Free day for optional excursions.
Day 14. Monday 28 October. RHODES (BLD) Arrive 9am. Sail at 6pm. Our included tour today will take us some 50km along the coast to the town of Lindos to climb some 250 steps to the Acropolis (or hire a donkey to take you part way up - extra expense) for a panoramic view including St Pauls Bay where the Apostle Paul arrived in AD51. See where the Colossus of Rhodes spanned the harbour and the 4th century BC Doric Temple of Athena. Stroill through the narrow streets and enjoy lunch in the old town before visiting the Palace of the Grand Masters.
Day 15. Tuesday 29 October. SOUDA - CRETE (BLD) Arrive 8am. Sail 5pm. Free day for optional tours.
Day 16. Wednesday 30 October. AT SEA (BLD) Last day to relax and enjoy your ship with a full day at sea.
Day 17. Thursday 31 October. MESSINA (Sicily) (BLD) Arrive 8am. Sail 5pm Optional excursions available.
Day 18. Friday 01 November NAPLES, ITALY (BLD) Arrive 8am. sail 6pm. Optional tours to Pompeii etc available.
Day 19. Saturday 02 November ROME. (B) Arrive Civitivecchia 7am. Dismebark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our flight home.
Day 20. Sunday 03 November. EN ROUTE
Day 21. Monday 04 November AUCKLAND ARRIVE Arrive Auckland this morning.