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Mediterranean Wildflowers Cruise

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A truly unique Mediterranean cruise.

Visit the Colosseum when your Botanica World Discoveries' garden tour takes you to Italy.

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A journey discovering wildflowers and history of Crete, Greece, Kefalonia, Corfu, Sicily and Italy in early spring, visiting some of the most interesting and beautiful places in the world. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTMED12
Duration: 12 days
Accommodation: Boutique Small Ships and Comfortable Hotels
Journey: Athens to Rome
Meals included: 32

Itinerary

Day 1. Embark Ship Athens, Greece

Embark the small boutique ship, MS Island Sky at 4pm at Piraeus Harbour and sail this evening towards the island of Crete. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner on board.
Stay: Eleven Nights: aboard MS Island Sky
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Heraklion, Crete, Wildflowers

Step ashore this morning on the fascinating island of Crete and journey to Knossos, the ancient capital of the great King Minos. Discover the fantastic ruins of the ancient palace complex and then journey through the charming countryside of Crete and picturesque villages to one of the three great mountain ranges, Mt. Dikti where we hunt for spring flowering plants including wild tulips and anemones.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Rethmynon, Crete, Freedom of Choice

We visit the ancient Fortezza and enjoy a scenic drive to Gaios Kambos which is renowned for endemic Cretan plants and again we seek out the crown anemones, turban buttercups, narcissus tazetta, orchids, irises and bulbocodium species, before a visit to the Monoan Cemetery at Armenoi. After lunch on board, you can enjoy a free afternoon to explore on your own or choose to take a scenic drive to a botanical park with 20 hectares of fruit trees, herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants to explore.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Peloponnese, Greece, Freedom of Choice

Enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful and fertile Peloponnese countryside to Agios Nilona where there is a riot of springtime Euphorbia and wildflowers. At Areopoli, one of the most attractive traditional villages in Greece, we stroll the cobbled lanes that wind through the village. Alternatively, choose to visit the ancient Greek site of Sparta where the warrior society ruled in the Archaic and Classical periods.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Kefalonia

Made famous by the filming of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin this Ionian Island has great charm. See the capital, Argostoli including the famous lighthouse, then drive to the Botanical Gardens. We continue to Mt Ainos National Park renowned for its dense forest of Kefalonian Fir trees and endemic flowers including orchids. This afternoon enjoy a free afternoon in Argostoli, soaking up the atmosphere of this interesting place.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Corfu, Freedom of Choice

A half day visit to the historical village of Gastouri and the Achilleion Palace, the former residence of Empress Elizabeth of Austria and later Kaiser Wilhelm II. Explore the museum filled with royal treasures and enjoy the splendour of the landscaped gardens. Then return to historic Corfu Town which is on the World Heritage List UNESCO for a guided tour and some free time before returning to the ship for lunch. Alternatively, take a full day trip taking in Mon Repos, the birthplace of Prince Philip, enjoy the scenic beauty of Corfu Island including Mouse Island and have an authentic Greek lunch at Agios Yannis and explore the charms of the old town of Corfu.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Lecce, Italy

Often referred to as the ‘Florence of Southern Italy’ Lecce’s Roman heritage is evident in the Amphitheatre built to accommodate 20,000 spectators. Our tour will include the Santa Croce Basilica and the Piazza Duomo. Later, a visit to Palazzo Tamborino-Cezzi, a privately owned 15th century palace has been arranged. This afternoon we cruise to Sicily.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Catania, Sicily, Private Garden

After a relaxing morning at sea, we arrive at Catania in Sicily for an exclusive private garden visit at the invitation of Princess Borghese, who will personally take us around her beautiful garden and extend her welcome hospitality to us.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Syracuse, Sicily, Private Garden

Our tour will begin in the Archaeological Zone and include the well preserved Greek theatre. Paradise Quarry is now a garden and orange grove and is famous for the curious ‘Dionysus Ear’, a vast grotto with an amplifying resonance. After lunch we enjoy a private visit to the gardens of the Marquess of San Giulliano. See the Mediterranean, Arabian and Tropical Gardens which owes much to the head gardener, Rachel Lamb.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Taormina and Stromboli

We visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. The town has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and our guided tour will include walking the characteristic alleys before visiting the 15th century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek Theatre, from where there are marvellous views over the town and coast. This afternoon we sail towards Stromboli, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, in time to see it lit up in the evening light.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Naples, Ischia and Herculaneum, Freedom of Choice

Arrive this morning in Naples to the sight of the Norman castle that protects the port and the backdrop of Vesuvius in the distance. You may choose to spend the afternoon on the island of Ischia to see La Mortella, a wonderful garden designed by architect Russell Page for Lord and Lady William Walton. Alternatively, enjoy an afternoon visiting the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum or enjoy a free afternoon in Naples.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Naples, Ninfa, Rome

Disembark this morning. A transfer from Naples to Rome is available with a visit to the romantic garden of Ninfa, arriving in Rome by 5.00pm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Learn about the history of the regions from local guides
  • Enjoy the comfort of small ship cruising - unpack once
  • See historical sights and villages on Crete, Peloponnese and Sicily
  • Visit the Greek Islands of Crete, Kefalonia and Corfu
  • See the Botanical Gardens of Crete
  • Learn about ancient civilizations and architecture
  • See the birthplace of Prince Philip
  • Explore Paradise Quarry in Syracuse
  • Private garden visit to Marquess of San Giulliano’s garden
  • Private garden visit to Princess Borghese garden
  • Visit the beautiful Sicilian walled-town of Taormina
  • Explore the Island of Ischia and La Mortella garden
  • Discover the fascinating volcanic ruins of Herculaneum
  • Have a choice of touring options in selected locations
  • Learn about the plants from your Garden Historian, Dr Toby Musgrave

Included Experiences

  • Services of a Cruise Director and Botanical Guide, Dr. Toby Musgrave
  • All sightseeing and shore excursions as per the itinerary

  • Airport transfers on first and last day, tipping and port taxes
  • 32 Meals - 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 11 Dinners
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks included with lunch and dinner on board the ship
  • Eleven nights on the boutique small ship, the MS Island Sky, with just 100 guests
  • Learn about the Mediterranean plants with onboard lectures by the Garden Historian
  • Freedom of Choice touring on some days at no extra cost

Suite Floor and Ship Plan

MS Island Sky

All 57 suites on board the MS Island Sky feature elegant ensuites with a marble-topped vanity unit and a walk-in shower. A hair dryer, plush bathrobe, slippers, and designer toiletries are also provided for your comfort. A sitting area, flat screen television with in built DVD player, and a telephone feature in your suite, as do a spacious wardrobe, electronic safe, dressing table and large mirror.

Decks: 5 | Suites: 57 | Max. Passengers: 114 | Crew: 75 

See the MS Island Sky Deck & Cabin Plan

Cabin Plans

Enjoy all the comforts of home aboard the MS Island Sky on your small ship adventure with APT.Columbus Deck Superior Suite Cabin Plan (File Size: 51kB)

 

 

 

Unwind in your Erikson Deck Suite aboard the MS Island Sky.Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite Plan (File Size: 54kB)

 

 

 

Unwind in your Magellan Deck Suite aboard the MS Island Sky.

Magellan Deck Standard Suite Plan (File Size: 55kB)

Magellan Deck Standard Suite Forward Plan (File Size: 66kB)

 

 

Unwind in your Marco Polo Deck Suite aboard the MS Island Sky.Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite Plan (File Size: 49kB)

 

 

 

Unwind in your luxurious Suite aboard the MS Island Sky.Explorer Deck Owners Balcony Suite Plan (File Size: 54kB)

 

 

Additional Information

Garden Historian

  • Dr Toby Musgrave is a worldwide authority on garden history and design. He specialises in Italian and French Gardens and Mediterranean plants.

Combine With:

  • This tour can be combined with:
  • Italian and French Gardens BTIF9;
  • Italian and French Gardens and Bordeaux Cruise BTBIF16;
  • Enquire for more details.

Fitness Level

  • Our tours and cruise cater to various fitness levels
  • This tour requires a medium level of fitness – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two-night stays in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries

MS Island Sky

  • Enjoy the intimate and personalised atmosphere of this small boutique ship with just 100 guests on board. The décor resembles a grand English style country hotel with two lounges where a traditional afternoon tea is served, plus a bar. There are two restaurants for you to choose from including a fine dining room complete with white table-cloths or the more informal on deck, Lido Restaurant where you can enjoy the passing coastal scenery and the fresh sea air. There is a Beauty and Massage Parlour, plus a lift to all floors. The large suites with wood panelling and brass features are spread over four decks and all have outside facing views, en-suite bathrooms, a sitting area and television. The 70 crew 

Watch a presentation on Botanica's Mediterranean Cruise tours here.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • The Island Sky cruise is a shared charter with one of Botanica’s sister companies
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included 

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