DAY 1: France - Naples - SALERNO
After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner, an evening of activities on board and remain in port overnight.
DAY 2: NAPLES
Non-hiking program: The morning will be dedicated to a tour of Pompeii. A reminder of the violent forces that lie deep inside Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is Europe’s most compelling archaeological site and one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions.
Hiking program: Energetic tour of Pompeii and visit to the Villa of the Mysteries on the outskirts of the city, with the majority of its walls, ceilings, and most particularly its frescoes, largely undamaged.
(4 hours, including 2 hours hiking, 1.8 mi./3 km.)
Non-hiking program: We’ll spend the afternoon on an optional excursion to Solfatara, a shallow dormant volcanic crater that still emits jets of steam. We’ll return to Naples by coach and take a panoramic tour of the city.
Hiking program: We'll leave by coach for the historical heart of the city, Spaccanapoli, to see the churches of Gesù Nuovo and Santa Chiara, and the spire of the Immaculate Virgin. We’ll continue on to a visit of underground Naples, a labyrinth of ancient catacombs and caves, Roman roads and markets.
(4 hours, including 2 hours hiking, 1.5 mi./2.5 km. and 121 steps)
We’ll return on board our ship and begin to cruise towards Milazzo. Enjoy an Italian-themed dinner and evening. We’ll cruise through the night.
DAY 3: The Aeolian Islands - MILAZZO (Sicily)
The morning will be spent cruising along the shores of the Aeolian Islands.(1) Rising out of the cobalt-blue seas off Sicily's northeastern coast, the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands are a little piece of paradise. The chain of islands is named after the demigod of the winds, Aeolus. We’ll arrive in Milazzo in the early afternoon. Non-hiking program: Come with us on an optional excursion to Tindari. Discover the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna and the site of an ancient Greek town with stunning views of the Sicilian coastline. Afterwards, spend some free time walking through Milazzo's center, or explore the Milazzo Castle and discover its deep history. Hiking program: We’ll leave by coach for Capo Milazzo, the thin peninsula on the northeastern part of the island of Sicily which extends into the Tyrrhenian Sea towards the Lipari Islands. After visiting the former sanctuary of Saint Anthony of Padua, you’ll walk along the picturesque cape to the castle.
We’ll then return onboard to continue our cruise. Enjoy an evening of dancing.
DAY 4: MESSINA (Sicily)
Non-hiking program: Full-day excursion, including lunch, to Mount Etna and Taormina. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. To the ancient Greeks, it was the realm of Vulcan, god of fire, and the home of the one-eyed monster known as the Cyclops. The bleak lava wilderness around the summit of Etna is one of the most memorable landscapes you’ll ever see. We'll then continue on to Taormina. Idyllically perched on a rock high above the sea, Taormina incarnates the legendary beauty of Sicily. Its Greek-Roman theater is not to be missed.
Hiking program: We’ll leave by coach for Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. We’ll start out on the eastern slope of the volcano for a hike along the Sartorius Mounts, ancient craters that originated during the 1865 lava flow. We’ll first trek through a birch forest, a species you can only find in this area of the volcano. We’ll turn to the north and head for the spectacular formations created during the last eruption in 2002. (5.5 hours, including 1.5 hours hiking, 1.25 mi./2 km., 131-164 ft. elevation gain – picnic lunch – hiking boots with ankle support are a must – telescopic hiking poles are recommended)
After our tours, we’ll return to the ship. Tonight’s evening will have a Sicilian theme.
DAY 5: VIBO MARINA - Calabria
Non-hiking program: Excursion to Calabria. You'll discover Tropea, a seaside resort with impressive scenery. It has that lovely, timeless, faded feel characteristic of sleepy southern Italian seaside towns. We'll enjoy a tasting of regional products.
Hiking program: We’ll leave by coach for Capo Vaticano, rising over 400 feet above the sea. We’ll hike along a path through the Mediterranean landscapes offering a myriad of light and colors from spectacular and incomparable views off cliffs that fall directly into the turquoise sea. We’ll enjoy a tasting of local products before returning to our ship.
(4 hours, including 1.5 hours hiking, 1.5 mi./3km., 82 ft. elevation gain)
We’ll return to our ship and cruise towards Salerno. Dinner will be followed by an evening of entertainment by the crew.
DAY 6: SALERNO - The Amalfi Coast
Non-hiking program: Excursion to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast (1). We'll discover the charming city of Sorrento, surrounded by orange and lemon orchards and spectacularly dominating the sea. We’ll enjoy a tasting of some Italian products and have lunch in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we’ll continue our trip and visit the villages along the Amalfi Coast, a beguiling combination of great beauty, picturesque towns and lush forests.
Hiking program: Today we’re off to Maiori, a popular tourist resort since Roman times. We’ll begin our hike on the trail that linked together the villages of Maiori and Minori, offering amazing views of the coastline. The steep cliffs are covered with lemon trees in terraced orchards defined by the small stone walls typically found in the region. Once we arrive in Minori, enjoy some free time on your own.
(4 hours, including 1.5 hours hiking, 1.5 mi./3km., 820 ft. elevation gain)
We’ll spend the afternoon cruising along the Amalfi Coast. Tonight we’ll enjoy songs and music from the Naples region.
DAY 7: NAPLES - Capri - Anacapri - NAPLES
For everyone: Full-day excursion to Capri and Anacapri (lunch included).(1) We’ll take an airboat or a ferry to splendid Capri (depending on the crossing times). We’ll head to the village of Anacapri and visit the villa San Michele, built at the turn of the last century by Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe. Anacapri is located in the highest part of the island, and from the villa gardens you’ll have a fantastic view of the city of Capri, the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. The area is saturated with the colors, scents and light of the Mediterranean. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time on your own or visit the Gardens of Augustus, offering splendid views of the sea and fantastic photographic vistas. We’ll return to Naples by airboat or ferry.
Tonight is our festive gala evening. We’ll remain in port overnight.
DAY 8: NAPLES - France
Enjoy breakfast on board, before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.