Wednesday, April 16, 2008

MADEIRA, FUNCHAL , April 16th 2008 Wednesday

Unforgettable Scenery of West Madeira

The magnificent coastal and inland scenery of Madeira will leave you breathless. From the ship, head to the picturesque fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, made famous by none other than Winston Churchill. Continue to Cabo Girão, second-highest sea cliff in the world; then you will visit Ribeira Brava for refreshments (at your own expense) at a seaside café. Next, take the north coast road through Encumeada Pass for more incredible views of Madeira's north and south coastlines. Coming down the mountains, you will visit the village of São Vicente and admire the waterfalls along the lovely road on north coast near Porto Moniz. After lunch, cross the Paúl da Serra Plateau and head towards the south of the island, with a short break on the way back to Funchal. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Portugal (Lisboa,Batalha y Fatima) April 14th WORLD CRUISE MS AMSTERDAM ,2008 Monday

Fatima & Batalha

Approximately 90 minutes from Lisbon is Fatima, the so-called Lourdes of Portugal which, according to Roman Catholicism, is the site of miracles. Your guide will explain the legends associate with Fatima as you explore the area around the imposing modern basilica. After lunch at a leading restaurant, continue west to Batalha for a visit to the magnificent 14th-century Gothic church of Santa Maria da Victoria. It is a great place to explore and is of historical note because Prince Henry the Navigator's tomb is located here. 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GIBRALTAR April 13th 2008 Sunday

Top of The Rock: Gibraltar on Your Own

Make the most of your time in Gibraltar with sightseeing and time for shopping. Travel by cable car to take in the great views of Gibraltar from the Botanic Gardens to the Apes' Den and up to the summit. On a clear day you will see the coast of Morocco, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. An easy-to-use audio guide will provide you with an insight into the history of the Rock of Gibraltar. You will have free time to explore Main Street, with familiar names as well as smaller shops selling everything from fashion to designer sunglasses, Chinese linen to electrical equipment. You may choose to relax in the Irish Town pedestrian area at a pub or café (at your own expense).
Notes: The cable car is a popular attraction; you may encounter a delay. This tour is unguided. Guests are responsible for making their own way back to the ship. Guests are required to leave ID at the PDA (multi-media kiosk) when picking up audio units. ID will be returned when the unit is handed in. The PDAs are picked up at the top of the cable car. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MALTA, VALETTA ,and Medina , April 10th- 11th , 2008 Thursday and Friday

Malta's Capitals Old & New

Take the scenic route to Malta's old capital, Mdina—one of the world's finest examples of a living medieval city. Stroll through the city's narrow streets and let your guide introduce you to Mdina's history and provide an orientation to the town itself. From the bastions, enjoy the fantastic view over the valley and the surrounding areas. After your walking tour, take advantage of some free time to visit either the cathedral or another historic site pointed out by your guide. There is also the option of souvenir shopping. Ride by motor coach to Valletta—the present-day capital. You'll walk to St John's Co-Cathedral and view this lovely building from the outside. Also, view the Grand Master's Palace from the outside—it now houses the Parliament and the President's Office. Use your free time to either visit St John’s Co-Cathedral, or for shopping, or simply relax at one of the sidewalk cafés and watch the world go by, Malta-style. Walk past the Auberge de Castille—the office of the Prime Minister—and your last stop is at the Barrakka Gardens, located on the highest point of the 16th-century walls that the Knights of St John built to protect their city. Take in the splendid view of the Three Cities and Fort Ricasoli.

Recuerdo que este puerto no estaba en el itinerario original, luego cambiaron la parada que teníamos que hacer el el puerto de Tripoli Libia por este de Valetta, era por un solo día pero la noche anterior se enfermo alguien en
el barco y tuvimos que adelantarnos y llegar a Malta en la tarde,,,,del dia 10....

Monday, April 7, 2008

ITALY, VENICE, April 7th and 8th 2008 Monday and Tuesday

Small-scale Italian opera in a beautiful palazzo setting” 

opera event in the Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto, not far from the vaporetto stop at Santa Maria del Giglio. We were immediately charmed by the idea. The number of spectators was limited to 70 and every act of the opera we went to,

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

RUSSIA, SOCHI (Black sea) April 2nd, 2008 Wednesday

Sochi Sights & Dagomys Tea

Begin your tour with an orientation drive through Sochi. Watch for the beautiful Cathedral of Archangel Michael, known as the protector of the city and all of Russia, and the Classical-style Winter Theatre decorated with 16 Corinthian columns and allegorical figures on the façade. Numerous spas and resorts line your way and you will drive by Kurortny Prospekt—a street lined with cypress, laurel and camphor trees. Next, continue the drive along the Plane Tree Lane and view the old Riviera Park, the favorite place to rest among locals. Following this short introductory drive, your coach will head for Dagomys, located eight miles to the north of Sochi. Here you will find long rows of carefully cultivated tea plants, continuously trimmed and pruned to encourage the growth of tender buds with fresh green leaves. Pause for a while at the top of the hill to hear about the tea-growing industry; then you’ll proceed to the Tea Tasting Hall built in the style of a Russian peasant’s house. This is a fun atmosphere in which to sample a delightful cup of tea in countryside surroundings. A colorful folkloric group will entertain you with songs and dances. Finally, you will have some free time to purchase various local souvenirs, including lacquer boxes from Palekh and Fedoskino, matrioshka dolls, amber goods and packages of tea. 

Sunday, March 30, 2008

TURKEY, ISTANBUL March 30th- 31st, 2008 Sunday and Monday

The Best of Istanbul

World Wonders Collection

View the best of Istanbul's stunning architecture and attractions. Your first stop will be at the impressive Blue Mosque, named for the vivid Iznik tiles which line its interior. Take a short walk to the ancient Hippodrome—once the largest chariot racetrack of the Byzantine Empire. Next, you will browse on your ownat the amazing Topkapi Palace—official residence of the Ottoman Sultans—with courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a treasury. After lunch at a city hotel, you will stop at the jewel in Turkey's Byzantine crown—the Museum of St Sophia. This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 6th century, and was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of the glorious city of Istanbul. Finally, pause at the Grand Bazaar for a little shopping and a demonstration of carpet weaving.

Underground Cistern, built during the reign of Justinian. This 6th-century subterranean water reservoir features a ceiling supported by 336 Corinthian columns and is known as the Underground Palace.