Your holiday summary

Holiday type Ocean cruises
Country Italy
Croatia
Travel type Cruise
Price range From £2699
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 13 nights
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0330 333 6751

The Royal Clipper - A Mediterranean odyssey

Take a cruise into the Mediterranean on the unique Royal Clipper, one of the world’s most luxurious sailing ships.

Included

  • Flight to Venice and return flight from Rome
  • Accommodation on the world’s only authentic five masted sailing ship
  • Stay in in Rome and Venice with hotel upgrades available at a supplement
  • A voyage of discovery visiting Venice, Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Taormina, Capri, Pompeii and Rome
  • Guided tour of Venice
  • Sail along the Dalmatian and Amalfi coasts
  • Visits to the island of Hvar and Rovinj
  • Tour of Dubrovnik
  • Visit Kotor
  • Visit the ancient Greek Amphitheatre in Sicily’s Taormina
  • Tour Corfu’s old town
  • Sail past the Aeolian Islands and Stromboli
  • Visit the island of Capri
  • Visit to Sorrento and guided tour of Pompeii
  • Guided tour of Rome
  • Full breakfast, buffet lunch and a la carte dinner daily whilst on Royal Clipper (lunch excluded on shore excursions)
  • All port taxes, porterage of one item of luggage per person and all transfers
  • Escorted by an experienced tour manager
  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room/cabin

Not included

  • Single rooms/cabins are subject to availability at a relevant supplement of £1,649 to £4,349, dependent on cabin category.
  • Please note guests in the Owners’ suites will be allocated suites and guests in deluxe suites will be allocated superior rooms at the Crowne Plaza in Rome. In the event of unsatisfactory weather or wind conditions, Royal Clipper reserves the right to proceed under motor power or reschedule itinerary. Availability of watersports subject to weather and local port authority regulations.
Day one

You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Venice where we stay one night with breakfast. Your hotel is the four star Plaza in Venice-Mestre. Alternatively, you may upgrade to the centrally located four star Starhotel Spendid.

Day two

This morning’s included tour will reveal Venice’s most famous sights, including Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s with its decorated Basilica and grandiose square, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto plus a host of other fascinating sights. After this you will have some free time to explore as you wish, perhaps starting with a gondola ride on Venice’s backwaters, or a trip on the vaporetto water bus along the Grand Canal which teems with vessels of all sorts, just as it has for centuries. For art lovers, the Accademia houses a world class collection of masterpieces, whilst the markets near the Rialto are as traditional as you can get and the view from the Campanile bell tower is unrivalled possibly anywhere in the world. Away from the bustle though, is another equally fascinating Venice - quiet corners waiting to be discovered, washing stretched high across narrow canals between buildings, curious little shops dotted here and there and tiny tucked away bars.

This afternoon we board the SPV Royal Clipper and the crew, ready to welcome you, ensure you settle in and familiarise yourself with the ship. As the sun dips below the rooftops of Venice, the Royal Clipper slips its moorings and glides up the Grand Canal.

Day three

Today we approach the Croatian coast and Istrian peninsula. Part of the Roman Empire, Croatia was then ruled in medieval times by the Venetians. Subsequently it became part of the Austro Hungarian Empire and finally Italian. Latterly it was incorporated into Yugoslavia before eventually becoming independent. Croatia is still very traditional with little development spoiling the natural coastline.

You disembark at the fishing port of Rovinj where a maze of Italianate waterside buildings perch above the Adriatic. From the baroque church take in the views across the 22 small islands that form a natural park, or stroll along the steps of Grisia Street lined with art galleries, before resting for a quiet drink in one of the harbour-side cafés. You set sail once again heading south to the island of Hvar.

Day four

You disembark at Hvar, an island in the Dalmatian archipelago. Compact and cosy, even the streets have no names. Should you wish to explore the island itself, there is a jeep safari that you can purchase locally which visits the legacies left by the Romans and Greeks and abandoned medieval villages.

As you have dinner we continue our southward journey sailing along one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world - the Dalmatian coast. A series of islands, some small, some large, some with tiny medieval fishing villages clinging to the seashore, all covered by a green carpet of Mediterranean forest.

Day five

As you wake this morning we traverse the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik. An independent city-state for much of its history, Dubrovnik has evolved differently to the rest of Croatia. The city threw off its Venetian masters in medieval times and founded a commercial empire trading with the eastern Mediterranean, France, Spain and later the Ottoman Empire. As so often happened, the city began to reflect its resultant wealth and today the baroque city nestles behind its imposing ramparts. The main avenue, lined by cafés, is completely paved with marble, which gives credence to its description as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Throughout the city you will find an array of monasteries, churches and civic buildings dating from the 14th century, reflecting Dubrovnik’s artistic heritage. We have an included guided walking tour seeing all this and more, after which you are free to explore at your leisure before rejoining the Royal Clipper for dinner.

Day six

By morning you will have crossed into Montenegro. We sail into a huge inland sea, almost a lake, with the topography rather reminiscent of Switzerland. We anchor and visit Kotor, nestling below a mountainside in probably Montenegro’s most dramatic setting. Walled, with a labyrinth of cobbled streets surrounding its Orthodox cathedral. Its bustling market sells homemade cheese, cured hams, honey and Mediterranean vegetables. You can try some of the local wine too, which despite its lack of international exposure, is rather good - and exceptional value. We weigh anchor late afternoon and continue our southward voyage.

Day seven

Lunchtime you arrive in Corfu, at the mouth of the Adriatic. Between Italy and mainland Greece, with just a narrow channel of sea separating it from Albania, cloaked in olive, pine and cypress trees and well renowned for the beauty of its coastline.

The island has a chequered past: colonised by the ancient Corinthians, then the Romans and the Byzantines, it fell to the Venetians, was captured by the French, and finally the British, before joining modern Greece in 1864. All have influenced Corfu town, one of the most attractive and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, which owes much of its charm to the disparate architectural elements it contains: its two massive Venetian fortresses and the grand palaces and public buildings from the French and British eras.

We have a choice of two included tours. Our Achilleion and Corfu town trip visits the palace built by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, also used by the Greek royal family. We return to Corfu town, for a walking tour amongst the maze of narrow lanes, ending with some free time around the ‘Spianada’, the town’s main square, lined with cafés where you can relax with some traditional meze.

Our second option is a drive towards the bays of Paleokastritsa, known as the Amalfi coast of Greece. As you cross the countryside you’ll see how little things have changed: in the villages black-robed women carrying firewood still ride along side-saddle on their mules. We visit the Byzantine monastery of the Virgin – still inhabited by a community of monks - and its small museum, housing a collection of Byzantine icons. From the gardens you can see views over the bays of Paleokastritsa below, with their rocky promontories. Opposite is the 13th century fort of Angelokastro, perched high on a rocky pillar, rising a thousand feet from the sea. We return to the old town of Corfu for a walking tour and some free time.

The Royal Clipper sets sail from Corfu after dinner.

Day eight

Today you head west across the Adriatic to the southernmost point of Italy and the island of Sicily.

Day nine

This morning you will awake on the eastern shore of Sicily in the bay of Taormina. It is one of the smartest and most exclusive small towns in Italy, retaining much of its medieval charm, situated on a high balcony facing Etna and overlooking the sea. Today its short main street is lined by designer boutiques and exclusive jewellers with tiny side streets, some of which are so narrow you can touch both sides at once, leading to piazzas lined with family-run restaurants. As you would expect in a country so famous for its cuisine, speciality food shops selling fresh pasta, olives, Sicilian wine and the local Marsala abound.

Taormina’s greatest claim to fame though is its theatre, a legacy of the ancient Greeks. Preserved and still in use today, it has a panoramic view of Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. Early evening, you sail northwards past the volcanic Aeolian Islands and Stromboli..

Day 10

This morning we pass the Amalfi coast. Deep ochre-coloured mountains, covered with thick forest plunge into the calm blue Mediterranean. You sail along the coast, past headlands diving almost sheer into the sea. You soon pass exclusive Positano with its white houses along steep cliffs to the harbour below, eventually arriving at today’s destination, the isle of Capri.

Three Roman Emperors were attracted here; both D.H. Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw sought inspiration, whilst Graham Greene and Gracie Fields made it their home. As we approach the island, you can see fishing boats at anchor rising and falling with the waves and pretty shops lining the quayside. The main town is perched high above and you may wish to visit the ‘Blue Grotto’ whilst you are here, a large cavern reachable only by boat.

Early evening you return to the Royal Clipper.

Day 11

This morning you wake up moored below the villas and houses of Sorrento, which came to fame during the late 18th century when it became part of the ‘Grand Tour’ for Europe’s aristocracy. Today it has cobbled streets and quaint squares, bright flowers decorating every pastel-coloured, crumbling building, the stylish young astride their ‘vespas’ and the wondrous aroma of fresh coffee drifting from the pavement cafés.

Or you can visit nearby Pompeii where we have an included guided tour. The story is well known, but this is more than a series of ruins; the state of preservation is remarkable. Much of our knowledge of the life of the ordinary Roman, their habits, social structure, class systems and domestic arrangements comes from the excavations at Pompeii. Some of the baths are virtually complete as are various murals and mosaics, with some buildings displaying graffiti describing political events of the period, romantic entanglements and some just plain gossip. You can even see the traffic-calming measures and how the one-way system operated and appreciate the high standard of living of the Roman elite.

This afternoon the Royal Clipper sets sail on the final leg of our odyssey northwards, towards Rome.

Day 12

This morning you disembark at Civitavecchia near Rome.

Boasting an uninterrupted recorded history for upwards of 2,500 years, nowhere else seems to have managed to combine such a heritage of classical antiquities and medieval buildings from Renaissance palaces to intricate baroque piazzas. The Colosseum, scene of some of the most cruel acts ever committed, the Appian Way where Spartacus was crucified, St. Peter’s, the Vatican, the Sistine chapel, the Trevi fountain and Baroque buildings are all here.

There are a host of other things to experience too. Take a coffee in the Caffè Greco, once the haunt of Keats, Byron and Wagner. You could shop along the Via Condotti for some of the finest clothes you will find anywhere – fashion straight from the catwalk.

You have a tour of the city before checking into our hotel, the four star Crowne Plaza staying one night with breakfast. Alternatively, you may upgrade to the five star, centrally located, Bernini Bristol hotel.

Day 13

Today at the appropriate time you will be taken to the airport for your flight home.
Royal Clipper

The inspiration for the Royal Clipper was the 1904-built Preussen and this is now the largest, and only, five-masted sailing ship conceived since that time. With state of the art navigation systems and 106 crew attending just 223 guests, service levels on board are impeccable. The 1,760 square metres of open deck and three swimming pools create a spacious outdoor environment and the open-air bar is the ideal place to chat with your travelling companions. There is even a marine biologist on board who holds lectures so you can understand more of the marine environment of you which you will be a part.

Venice Mestre - Plaza hotel

The modern four star Plaza hotel is located just opposite the train station which links the mainland with Venice. There is an elegant breakfast room as well as the Soul Kitchen, the hotel's evening restaurant. The 226 air-conditioned rooms are well furnished and all have en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, flat-screen statellite TV, minibar, safe and free wireless internet.

Rome - Crowne Plaza St. Peters

The four star Crowne Plaza St. Peters is located on the Via Aurelia Antica in a quiet residential neighbourhood away from the hustle and bustle of central Rome. The hotel has an outdoor pool with plenty of sunbathing areas and a spa and fitness area. The hotel's Osteria restaurant offers daily buffets in an informal atmosphere, while the Winter Garden is a more formal evening venue. The bar has live entertainment on most nights. All 311 air-conditioned rooms feature an en-suite shower/wc, hairdryer, satellite TV, minibar, iron/board, safe, tea/coffee-maker and balcony. Wireless internet is available at a charge.
10 results
Departure date Departing point Departure UK Arrive at Destination Nights Price  
10-Jul-2015 Heathrow Airport 07:00 10:30 13 2699.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Gatwick Airport 09:05 12:35 13 2739.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Edinburgh Airport 09:15 11:45 13 2829.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Bristol 09:20 11:35 13 2849.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Norwich Airport 09:40 11:35 13 2859.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Manchester 11:15 13:35 13 2819.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Newcastle Airport 11:15 13:35 13 2839.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Birmingham International 11:20 13:30 13 2809.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Heathrow Airport 15:40 19:10 13 2699.00 please call
10-Jul-2015 Gatwick Airport 15:55 19:25 13 2749.00 please call
10 results
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