Sail deep into the Old World
|Operator:||Viking Ocean Cruises|
|Destination:||Caribbean and Central America, Caribbean Islands, France, Greece, Italy, Spain|
CombineWest Indies to SpainandMediterranean Odysseyfor a one-of-a-kind 26-day cruise from San Juan, across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean. Uncover the colorful cultures of the Caribbean, the rich past of Spain and France, the scenic and architectural splendors of Italy, the medieval treasures of Croatia and more. Overnight stays in Barcelona and Venice give you time to explore these iconic cities. This exclusive itinerary spans the ages.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Arrive in San Juan to embark your ship today. This afternoon before our departure, you will have time to explore El Viejo San Juan, or Old San Juan, with its seductive colonial charms, easy island tempo and authentic culture. Wander its narrow lanes, literally paved with history, laid with blueadoqunstone once used to ballast Spanish galleons.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
St. Martin is a fascinating mix of France and Holland and the island has been shared by the two nations since 1648. The early economy relied on cotton, tobacco, salt and sugar. A large salt pond remains, once harvested by the Dutch East India Company for trade. Today, the Dutch side of the island, anchored by its capital, Philipsburg, is dotted with resorts and casinos. The renowned Rotary Lookout Point offers stunning panoramic views of the Simpson Bay Lagoon and surrounding islands. Further north, the 1.5-mile swath of white sand at Orient Beach is ideal for sunbathing.
Sail the Atlantic Ocean
As you sail eastward into the Atlantic, take advantage of the many amenities of your ship. You might find your inner calm with yoga on the Sports Deck. Lounge by the Main Pool with its retractable roof and enjoy a cocktail at the Aquavit Bar.
Madeira (Funchal), Portugal
Arrive in Europe today on Portuguese Madeira, often called the Garden Island for its rich agriculture, terraced hillsides and beautiful flowers. Disembark to witness this beguiling paradise of craggy peaks and dramatic rocky coasts during a mountain drive. Alternately, you can explore Funchal. This grand capital exudes all the historic air of Lisbon with its harborside Old Town, iron balconies and blueazulejotiles. There will be time to explore its inviting cobblestone streets.
Sail the Atlantic Ocean
After your exploration of Madeira, you might sample the Madeira wine that is produced on the island during your day cruising the Atlantic. You can also learn about your upcoming port, Cdiz, Spain, during a lecture. Tonight, choose from one of our fine dining venues.
Seville (Cdiz), Spain
At todays port, youll have a rare chance to explore what many considered the gateway to the New World throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. The port of Cdiz offers a wealth of treasures. On an included tour, youll follow passageways into elaborate plazas, from the Plaza de San Antonio de Padua and Plaza de Espaa to the Plaza de Mina. Stop at the Torre Tavira, once a lookout for merchants, and marvel at the citys baroque, gold-domed cathedral. Alternately, explore the colorful city of Seville, where a grand cathedral, Giralda tower and the Alczar palace were built by the wealth of Spanish kings. Spend free time sipping sherry at a bodega or shopping for local wares.
Cruise the Strait of Gibraltar
Sail through the famed Strait of Gibraltar today into the Alboran Sea, the westernmost portion of the Mediterranean. According to legend, the Rock of Gibraltar, an enormous geological wonder, is one of the Pillars of Herculesthe other being Monte Hacho, a low mountain in Ceuta, a Spanish province in North Africa. As you cruise, perhaps soothe your body with a hot sauna and a few minutes amid the gently falling snow of the Snow Grotto. This evening, enjoy cocktails in the Explorers Lounge and an authentic Italian meal at Manfredis Italian Restaurant.
Spains Mediterranean port of Valencia is a mecca for lovers of one of the countrys most iconic dishes, paella. Choose from a wide array of variations of the dish at restaurants throughout town, perhaps with a glass of local wine. Or sample the citys other specialty,horchata. You will also want to visit the famous Lladr porcelain factory, world renowned for its imaginative and delicate figurines.
Your overnight stay in Barcelona allows ample time to explore this city on your own. Take an evening stroll down the citys celebrated Las Ramblas boulevard. Admire the architecture of native son Antoni Gaud. And enjoy a meal of traditional tapas.
Enjoy another full day in Barcelona before we depart for France this evening.
Visit Marseille, Frances oldest city, rich in timeless treasures. Discover its atmospheric Old Port, overseen by two 17th-century fortresses. The picturesque quay was built on the order of Louis XII and Louis XIII and is one of the worlds most romantic walks. As you explore, take in the beauty of its natural harbor, dotted with elegant yachts. Marvel at the church of Notre Dame de la Garde and Palais Longchamp, or venture to Aix-en-Provence with its tree-shaded squares and wide boulevards.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Enjoy a full day in Monaco, the playground for the rich and famous, as well as the gateway to the beautiful South of France. Visit medieval Monaco, stopping at the Princes Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral, the burial site of the royal family, including American actress Grace Kelly. You will have time to step inside the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the most prestigious and celebrated gambling mecca on Earth. As an option, venture out of town to the legendary perfumeries in Grasse, or stroll along the English promenade in glamorous Nice.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tuscany with an included, well-curated tour of Pisa. Alternatively, enjoy a full-day tour that combines Pisa and Florence. Begin with a scenic drive through the countryside to Florence, where you will stroll by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Then on to the medieval Ponte Vecchio and the attractive Basilica di Santa Croce, resting place of Michelangelo. In Pisa, you will have time to explore the Square of Miracles, including the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and Baptistery.
Explore the Eternal City today with a local guide. Marvel at the magnificent Colosseum, where gladiators once battled; the historic Roman Forum, gathering place and political center of the ancients; and Vatican City. You might also choose one of our fascinating tours that highlights Romes treasures. Alternately, visit Tarquinias Etruscan necropolis or the excavated town of Ostia.
In Naples, your choice of excursions abounds. Take in magnificent examples of Greek and Roman architecture and the Piazza del Plebiscito, the grandest public square in the city, facing the former Royal Palace of the King of Naples. Optionally, also explore Herculaneum, Italys other Pompeii, drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, or take a trip to the summit of Vesuvius. In your spare time, sample a hot espresso, a slice of pizza (the worlds first pizzeria opened here in 1830) or a locally madelimoncello.
Sail the Ionian Sea
Bask in the endless comforts of your ship. Swim in the infinity pool, which offers dramatic sea views. Relax with a massage or nurturing skin treatment at our Scandinavian-inspired spa or learn to make the perfect risotto during a cooking class at The Kitchen Table. Or, simply take refuge on your stateroom veranda while passing the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean, the active volcano of Stromboli.
Corfu (Krkyra), Greece
Spend the entire day on the romantic island of Corfu, resplendent with charming pastel town houses and pristine white beaches. Our included tour takes us on a drive to Kanoni, where we will make a photo stop to view tiny Mouse Island and the Vlacherna Monastery. Following the coastline through Garitsa Bay, you will reach the UNESCO Site of the Old Town. See the fabled Esplanade, one of Europes largest public squares, and the Liston Promenade, once exclusively reserved for the local aristocracy.
Where city meets coastline, you will sail to this beautiful 12th-century walled city in Croatia. The playwright George Bernard Shaw once declared, Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik. Enjoy an entire day here to take an inclusive tour and take in magnificent views of the city and countryside. Then enter the city on foot through the historic Pile Gate, passing by the Sponza Palace, the 15th-century Onofrios Fountain and stop inside the Dominican Monastery to see Renaissance paintings. You may also wish to consider exploring the famed Dubrovnik Riviera with a cruise along the Lapad peninsula.
Experience the age of antiquity as you wander through the center of the city that is built around the Diocletian Palace, walking through the well-preserved cellars before continuing to the Ethnographic Museum. In this historic quarter, you will notice the results of over 17 centuries of construction, passing pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. You may also choose more natural pursuits, from a rafting trip on the Cetina River or a journey through the Croatian hinterland to the famous waterfalls of the Krka National Park. Or spend the entire day discovering the small, more intimate destinations along the Dalmatian Coast.
Welcome to Venice, where the magical city renowned for its art, architecture and culture is the ultimate destination on your epic voyage. Watch the sunlight dapple on the water as we ease our way into the lagoon. You can enjoy a panoramic boat ride toward the magnificent St. Marks Square on your included tour, and with your guide, you will admire the glorious facade of the Doges Palace and tour the ornate interior of St. Marks Basilica. Or take a boat to Murano to see glassmakers at work in their centuries-old tradition with a stop to visit the historic island of San Giorgio Maggiore. As we will remain in port overnight, enjoy a fine restaurant, the vibrant nightlife and perhaps even a romantic evening gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
Awake in Venice, where you will be departing your ship. From here, you can easily spend a few extra days to further explore this magical city or other parts of Italy