Grade

Easy Garden Tours

On-Shore

Coach

Cost

7860

Flights

Excluded

Single Supplement

2520

Group

15-20

Lunches

8

Breakfast

13

Dinner

11

Cruise

Ms Oosterdam

Accommodation

Category D Stateroom

17 Apr 2024 - 30 Apr 2024

 

TOUR SUMMARY

  • Cruise in Style: Set sail aboard the Ms Oosterdam, a Vista-class cruise ship, with newly refreshed suites and onboard amenities, ensuring a comfortable and luxurious journey.
  • Guided by Experts: Throughout the tour, you’ll be accompanied by experienced tour guides with extensive botanical knowledge. They’ll enrich your garden visits with insights and historical context.
  • Garden Highlights: At each port of call, immerse yourself in lush gardens, exploring remarkable features such as cliffside succulent gardens, harmonious blends of English and Italian garden styles, Renaissance masterpieces, and botanical paradises.
  • Cultural Excursions: Delve into local history and culture with visits to renowned sites like Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Basilica of St. John, and more, all accessible by private coach.
  • Entrance Fees Included: Your tour package covers entrance fees for all gardens and venues visited, so you can focus on enjoying the beauty and history without additional costs.
  • 24-Hour Emergency Service: Travel with peace of mind, knowing that 24-hour emergency services are available should you need assistance or support during the cruise.

TOUR DESCRIPTION

This wonderful 14 day cruise will take you from Barcelona (Spain) to Piraeus (Greece). You will be traveling in considerable style and comfort aboard Holland America Lines’ first Vista-class cruise ship, the Ms Oosterdam. The Oosterdam recently emerged from dry dock with exciting updates—including completely refreshed suites, a new lounge, dining and entertainment venues. At each port of call, we take you to sites of great cultural interest and visit some of the best gardens that each country has to offer. Always accompanied by one of our experienced tour guides, this tour will be an unforgettable experience!

Places on this cruise are limited. To avoid disappointment, early booking is advisable. For more information about what to expect on board please read our dedicated FAQ page.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – 17 APRIL 2024 ARRIVAL IN BARCELONA

  • Check-in to the Hotel Arenas Atrani and rest after your flight to Barcelona. The hotel is in a great location there are many restaurants in its immediate vicinity and the metro is within easy reach providing you with easy access to the sights of central Barcelona.
  • Late afternoon meet your tour guide and fellow garden visitors over coffee.
  • Dinner is at leisure (not included).

DAY 2 – 18 APRIL 2024 BARCELONA – BREAKFAST INCLUDED

  • Spend today at leisure visiting some of the Barcelona’s main attractions. The Holland American Line gives a number of ideas on how to spend your day in Barcelona.  We will also provide you with a list of the many places that you can visit there.
  • Lunch and Dinner are on your own .

DAY 3 – 19  APRIL 2024 BARCELONA & EMBARKATION – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • After breakfast join us all for coffee. Check-out we all travel from the hotel by coach to the port and board our ship, the Ms Oosterdam. After check-in you’ll have plenty of time to explore the ship on your own.  We have booked a category D Ocean View Stateroom for you.  Extremely limited upgrade options are available on the first-come-first served basis.
  • Lunch on your own on-board.
  • Our cruise begins at 16.00 and you are invited for a welcome cocktail followed by dinner.

DAY 4 – 20 APRIL 2024 Villefranche-Sur-Mer (Nice), France – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 09:00 in Villefranche-sur-Mer and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Exotique Monaco: This cliff- side garden in Monaco is a succulent lover’s dream. With over 1,000 species, it’s a testament to the world’s arid regions, from the American Southwest to the African deserts.We’ll have lunch before we move on to visit Hanbury gardens.
  • Afternoon: Hanbury: Located near Ventimiglia, Italy, these gardens sprawl over 18 hectares and showcase plants from around the world, thanks to the region’s mild climate. The garden’s design is a harmonious blend of English informality and Italian style.
  • We return to our ship and board around 16.30 before a 18.00 departure.

DAY 5 – 21 APRIL 2024 Livorno (Tuscany), Italy – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 07.00 in Livorno and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Villa Reale di Marlia: This historic villa near Lucca boasts gardens that have evolved over centuries. Highlights include the Water Theatre, with its playful fountains, and the Lemon Garden, adorned with terracotta pots.
  • Afternoon: City Visit Lucca: Lucca, a gem of Tuscany, is encircled by Renaissance walls. Its cobbled streets, historic churches, and charming squares make it a must-visit.  You’ll have some free time here to explore this wonderful city and have lunch (on your own) before we meet up to visit Palazzo Pfanner.
  • Palazzo Pfanner: Located in Lucca itself, this palace garden is a baroque masterpiece with symmetrical designs, ornamental ponds, and statues depicting gods from ancient myths.
  • We return to our ship and board before a 17.00 departure.

DAY 6 – 22 APRIL 2024 Civitavecchia (Italy)  – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 07.00 in Civitavecchia and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Villa d’Este: In Tivoli, this garden is a Renaissance masterpiece. Its terraces overflow with fountains, nymphs, grottoes, and water organ, showcasing the opulence of the period.
  • Afternoon: Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa): Also in Tivoli, this vast Roman archaeological site was Emperor Hadrian’s retreat. It combines elements from various parts of his empire, from Egypt to Greece.
  • We return to our ship and board before a 19.00 departure.

DAY 7 – 23 APRIL 2024 Naples (Italy)  – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 07.00 in Naples and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Villa Rufolo: Located in Ravello, this 13th-century villa offers panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast. Its gardens, which inspired composer Richard Wagner, host the annual Ravello Festival.
  • Afternoon: Villa Cimbrone: Another gem in Ravello, its gardens are a mix of English and Italian styles. The “Terrace of Infinity” offers unparalleled coastal views.

DAY 8 – 24 APRIL 2024 Taormina (Sicily – Italy)  – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 08.00 in Taormina and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Il Biviere: Situated in Lentini, Sicily, this garden is a mosaic of Mediterranean flora. Once a citrus grove, it’s been transformed by Princess Maria Carla Borghese into a botanical masterpiece.
  • Afternoon:Giardino Villa Madonna della Rocca: Overlooking Taormina, this garden combines spirituality with natural beauty. The terraced gardens offer views of Mount Etna and the sea.
  • We return to our ship and board before a 17.00 departure.

DAY 9 – 25 APRIL 2024 Valletta (Malta)  – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 08.00 in Valletta and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Sant Anton Gardens: These gardens in Attard surround the Maltese Presidential Palace. They’re a peaceful retreat with walkways, ponds, and a diverse collection of plants.
  • Afternoon: Casa Rocca Piccola: A 16th-century palace in Valletta, its gardens are a green oasis amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, showcasing Maltese gardening traditions.
  • We return to our ship and board before a 17.00 departure.

DAY 10 – 26 APRIL 2024 Day at Sea  – BREAKFAST & DINNER INCLUDED

  • Today is spent at sea. Relax or enjoy one of the many on board activities.

DAY 11 – 27 APRIL 2024 Souda (Crete – Greece)  – BREAKFAST & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 12:00 in Crete – Greece and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Botanical Park & Gardens: Located in Crete, this park is a testament to the island’s biodiversity. After a devastating fire in 2003, it was transformed into a botanical paradise.  You can have lunch here (on your own).
  • We return to our ship and board before a 23:59 departure.

DAY 12 – 28 APRIL 2024 Rhodes (Greece)  – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive in Rhodes at 08.00 and after breakfast our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Morning: Socratous Garden: A tranquil oasis in Rhodes Old Town, it’s known for its medicinal plants, fountains, and resident peacocks.
  • Afternoon: Vlindervallei (Butterfly Valley): Located in Petaloudes, this nature reserve is home to thousands of Jersey tiger moths, particularly in summer.
  • We return to our ship and board around 16.30 before a 18.00 departure.

DAY 13 – 29 APRIL 2024 Kusadesi (Turkey) – BREAKFAST & DINNER INCLUDED

  • We arrive at 07.00 in Kusadesi and our coach will be waiting for us at the port after breakfast.
  • Cultural excursion: This cultural excursion will immerse you in the local history, culture, and natural beauty of the region.  Ms Oosterdam offers a wide range of cultural visits to choose from. Depending on local conditions at the time of arrival some of the places which we might visit are:
  • Ephesus: Just a short drive from Kusadasi, Ephesus is one of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. Explore the grand Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • House of the Virgin Mary: This small stone house on Mount Koressos is believed to be the final residence of the Virgin Mary. It’s a pilgrimage site for Christians and a place of historical and spiritual significance.
  • Basilica of St. John: Visit the ruins of the Basilica of St. John, a significant Christian pilgrimage site, which is said to contain the tomb of St. John the Apostle.
  • Pergamon: A little further from Kusadasi, Pergamon was an ancient Greek and Roman city with impressive historical sites, including the Acropolis, the Temple of Trajan, and the Asclepion medical center.
  • Aphrodisias: Visit the ancient city of Aphrodisias, known for its well-preserved Temple of Aphrodite, a stadium, and a museum that houses a remarkable collection of artifacts.
  • Miletus:Explore the ancient city of Miletus with its well-preserved theater and impressive ruins. It’s a significant site in the history of ancient Greece.
  • Priene: Priene is an ancient Greek city with well-preserved remains of a theater, a Temple of Athena, and other historical structures. It’s a relatively lesser-visited site, making it a serene cultural excursion.
  • We return to our ship and board around 16.30 before a 18.00 departure.

DAY 14 – 30  APRIL 2024 Piraeus (Greece)  – BREAKFAST & DISEMBARKATION

  • Our arrival at 07.00am in Piraeus marks the end of our cruise. The port of Piraeus is only a short distance from central Athens where you can visit many of the most famous Greek landmarks

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What's Not Included:

  • Flights to and from Barcelona.

For More Information

  • Click on the tab above for a detailed tour itinerary.  For practical information, visit our FAQ page and our Bookings Conditions. Please Contact Us if you have any questions or comments or visit our Home page for more of our superb garden tours.

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