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VENICE TO ISTANBUL EXPLORER COMBINATION

V3309-3310

Venice to Istanbul on Crystal Serenity
DATES : May 2 - 18, 2013 (16 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $4,355 Per Person

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Venice to Istanbul Explorer Combination Venice to Istanbul Explorer Combination Map
Date Port Arrival Departure
May 2, Thursday
Venice, Italy (overnight) »    
Venice rests three miles off the coast of mainland Italy and is considered one of the world's most enchanting cities. Known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," it actually comprises more than 100 separate islands. Laced together by a string of 400 intricate bridges, Venice is legendary for its labyrinthine network of canals. A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
May 3, Friday
Venice, Italy »   1 pm
Venice rests three miles off the coast of mainland Italy and is considered one of the world's most enchanting cities. Known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," it actually comprises more than 100 separate islands. Laced together by a string of 400 intricate bridges, Venice is legendary for its labyrinthine network of canals. A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
May 4, Saturday
Dubrovnik, Croatia » 8:30 am 6 pm
Though it has only recently re-emerged as an independent nation, Croatia is by no means a new country. There were settlements along the Dalmatian Coast before recorded time. When Slavic people migrated here in the 6th century, they converted to Catholicism and adopted the local Latin alphabet. The region eventually became part of the powerful Kingdom of Croatia. Medieval Dubrovnik, formerly the Republic of Ragusa, was one of several walled cities established in the 7th century to guard the coastal approaches. Its fortification was completed in the 13th century and has remained relatively unchanged. The city walls are in excellent condition and today prevent invasion by automobiles. Within the walls, the lovely sleek lines of Venetian-style buildings complement a wealth of ancient stone architecture. Nearby islands feature beautiful beaches as well as intriguing ancient ruins.
May 5, Sunday
Kotor, Montenegro » 8 am 5 pm

Rising above the Adriatic Sea, the town of Kotor is splendid for both its ocean views and medieval Old Town. To walk through its streets is to take a stroll through history. You'll see fortifications dating from the 9th century; the Church of Saint Ana dating from the 12th century; the Church of Saint Luke from the 13th century; the Church of the Healing Mother of God from the 15th century; the Prince's Palace from the 17th century; and Napoleon's Theatre from the 19th century. Stylish gates, enticing flights of stairs and inviting squares, all accessed via a maze of narrow lanes, make Kotor's Old Town a true delight. With your visit, you will understand why Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

May 6, Monday
Corfu, Greece » 8 am 5 pm
Shaped like a scythe, the island of Corfu is considered one of the Mediterranean's best-kept secrets. Its lush interior is covered in cypress and olive trees while the main downtown area has elegant Venetian architecture and a serene atmosphere. Strategically important due to its location, this island has managed to maintain its uniqueness despite numerous invasions by outside forces. Today, the culture of Corfu reflects its turbulent past as well as its origins.
May 7, Tuesday
Taormina/Giardini Naxos, Italy » 9 am 6 pm
Nature and history have made Sicily a land of striking contrasts. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily was for centuries the center of the known world. Its unique geographic position made the island vulnerable to attacks by foreigners, while also making it a meeting place of Mediterranean civilizations, a bridge between the East and West. The picturesque little town of Taormina enjoys a beauty comprised of light, color and sea. Taormina has no middle tones, no grays and no muted shades. Lying on a short terrace of the coast and dripping off the shoulders of the enormous Mount Etna, Taormina embodies the essence of Sicily.
May 8, Wednesday
Sorrento, Italy » 8 am 6 pm
As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.

Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.

The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

May 9, Thursday
Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy » 6 am 8 pm
Civitavecchia was founded by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century. Today this port is noted for its fine seafood and attractive monuments. Located 90 minutes away is the Eternal City of Rome. Steeped in 2,500 years of history, Rome was for many centuries the center of Western civilization. It was both the focal point of the Roman Empire and of Christendom. Landmarks such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps are reminders of the legacy of its rich past.
May 10, Friday
Sorrento, Italy (overnight) » 8 am  
As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.

Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.

The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

May 11, Saturday
Sorrento, Italy »   5 pm
As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.

Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.

The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

May 12, Sunday
Taormina/Giardini Naxos, Italy » 8 am 6 pm
Nature and history have made Sicily a land of striking contrasts. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily was for centuries the center of the known world. Its unique geographic position made the island vulnerable to attacks by foreigners, while also making it a meeting place of Mediterranean civilizations, a bridge between the East and West. The picturesque little town of Taormina enjoys a beauty comprised of light, color and sea. Taormina has no middle tones, no grays and no muted shades. Lying on a short terrace of the coast and dripping off the shoulders of the enormous Mount Etna, Taormina embodies the essence of Sicily.
May 13, Monday
Cruising the Aegean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

May 14, Tuesday
Santorini/Thíra, Greece » 9 am 6 pm
Of all the Cyclades Islands, Santorini is often considered the most dramatic. Once an active volcano, it was known as Stongyle, or the Round Island. In about 1500 BC, the volcano erupted with such force that the center of the island literally exploded, leaving the haunting submerged crater into which Crystal sails. The island's small villages were preserved in the ashes and recent excavations have uncovered a fascinating view of everyday life from 3,500 years ago.

Santorini's dark landscape offsets its simple, yet refined Cycladic buildings, which glimmer in the sunlight. The rich volcanic soil is ideal for grapes and the local vines produce a cherished crop known for its "special volcanic taste."

Thíra, or Fira Town, is laid out along the edge of a cliff that partially forms the rim of the now extinct caldera. A picturesque site, it exudes charm and an atmosphere of leisure that can be attributed to the easy-going Greek lifestyle.

May 15, Wednesday
Kuşadasi, Turkey » 8 am 10 pm
A lovely seaside resort on Turkey's Aegean coast, Kusadasi [koo-SHAH-duh-see] is renowned for its inviting sparkling waters, broad sandy beaches and large marina. The shops in town are filled with designer clothing, carpets, jewelry and leather goods. South, along the Aegean coast, the ancient Greco-Roman cities of Priene, Miletus and Didyma furnish impressions of the sophisticated civilizations that once thrived here.

Kusadasi is perhaps best known as the gateway to the archaeological site of Ephesus, one of the world's greatest archaic finds. Excavations continue in the 4,000-year-old city and it is believed that more than half of it still remains buried in the hillside. Its marble streets are lined with architectural masterpieces. The city played a significant role in the life of the Apostle Paul, who wrote an epistle to its people.
May 16, Thursday
  Çanakkale, Turkey » noon 6 pm

While Çanakkale is a lively Turkish metropolis with an interesting mix of European and Asian influences, the city’s main appeal is its proximity to two important sites: the ruins of Troy and the battlefields of Gallipoli. Yes, this is the Troy made famous by Homer’s epic poem The Iliad and the ancient city where the legendary Trojan War took place. Today, the archaeological site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park, complete with layers of ruins and a reconstructed wooden horse. On the opposite bank of the Dardanelles Strait, on which Çanakkale is located, are the Gallipoli battlefields. Extensive World War I battles were fought here, making the peninsula hallowed ground for the Turks and a commemorative site for the Allied Forces. Numerous monuments pay homage to lives lost, including the Monument of Martyrs erected to honor fallen Turkish soldiers. The area around Anzac Cove is where Australians and New Zealanders met with heavy fire and suffered enormous casualties.

May 17, Friday
Istanbul, Turkey (overnight) » 8 am  
For poets, Istanbul, next to Venice and Rome is the loveliest city in Europe and one of the most splendid in Asia. It is the only city in the world spread over two continents, separated by the Bosphorus. Istanbul was founded by Greek scouts in 660 BC and later became capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. With its 3,000 years of history behind, it has always been the meeting point of East and West. It is a city filled with wonders of architecture and monuments to the faiths that inspired them. Formerly known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, its mosques, minarets and museums span two continents where the Bosphorus divides Asia from Europe. This strategic position has assured Istanbul's status as a crossroads for trade and cultural exchange during the centuries. Must-see attractions include the dazzling treasury in Topkapi Palace and exquisite buildings of timeless beauty such as the Blue Mosque and Basilica of St. Sophia. Even those who are not avid shoppers will be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of the world's largest bazaar.
May 18, Saturday
Istanbul, Turkey » Disembark am  
For poets, Istanbul, next to Venice and Rome is the loveliest city in Europe and one of the most splendid in Asia. It is the only city in the world spread over two continents, separated by the Bosphorus. Istanbul was founded by Greek scouts in 660 BC and later became capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. With its 3,000 years of history behind, it has always been the meeting point of East and West. It is a city filled with wonders of architecture and monuments to the faiths that inspired them. Formerly known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, its mosques, minarets and museums span two continents where the Bosphorus divides Asia from Europe. This strategic position has assured Istanbul's status as a crossroads for trade and cultural exchange during the centuries. Must-see attractions include the dazzling treasury in Topkapi Palace and exquisite buildings of timeless beauty such as the Blue Mosque and Basilica of St. Sophia. Even those who are not avid shoppers will be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of the world's largest bazaar.
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All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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