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Iberian Adventure & Mediterranean Mosaic

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22 Days
Availability : September 13, 2020
The Netherlands
Rome
Tour Details
Iberian Adventure & Mediterranean Mosaic on Holland America Line

22 Days Across The Mediterranean| The Netherlands to Rome | September 13, 2020

History. It’s everywhere you turn. Down narrow, cobble-stoned streets, atop rugged mountain cliffs just off the decks of your cruise ship. Escape all the pressures of civilization without missing out on any of its pleasures.

Your days ashore are invitations to adventure, education and the pure pleasure of seeing things you’ve only read about before. Visit castles, museums and galleries. Explore ancient cities through winding canals. From glorious gardens and gilded theaters to famous boulevards and fabled landmarks, you’re in for a picture-perfect experience.

Prices from $5,283 CAD per person for Verandah Stateroom

Departure Location

The Netherlands

End Location

Rome

Price Includes

  • Cruise accommodations
  • Delicious dining options. world-class entertainment & enriching activities

Price Excludes

  • International flights & transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Any private expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • Taxes, fees, gratuities

Tour Specialist

  • Deborah Charles
What to Expect

Nieuw Statendam, a sister ship to Koningsdam and the second of our Pinnacle-class ships, features a design inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments. Guests can savor her innovative specialty restaurants—from Sel de Mer to the Grand Dutch Cafe. Enjoy live music and entertainment from the Rolling Stone Rock Room, B.B. King’s Blues Club, and more. Explore the thrill of BBC Earth Experiences presentations at our spectacular two-story World Stage.

  • Explore the sights, tastes & sounds of Portugal
  • Witness the fascinating mix of cultures in Gibraltar
  • Sightsee in the Eternal City - Rome
  • Wander through the heart of Dubrovnik
For more information on this tour, or help with booking, please contact your favourite Lloyds Travel Agent!
Itinerary

Day 1Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A stop in Amsterdam offers the chance to explore the sights of one of Europe’s most colorful, dynamic and historic cities—one with a well-earned reputation as a laid-back and inviting place for people of all stripes. Visitors are naturally drawn to the historic city center where you’ll find some of the world’s top art museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. And at Dam Square, the Amsterdam’s largest public square, you can tour the Royal Palace before continuing to the tourist attractions on the Canal Belt. The iconic network of waterways that surrounds the downtown area offers a picturesque backdrop for sightseeing by bike or canal boat. Be sure to visit the floating Bloemenmarkt to peruse famed Dutch tulips, and take time to wander and window-shop among the narrow lanes of de Jordaan. And you won’t have to look far in Amsterdam to find delicious Dutch treats along the way. Just duck into a cozy brown café to sample a plate of bitterballen with mustard and a beer, and grab a gooey sweet stroopwafel from a street vendor as you stroll.

Day 2Days At Sea

Day 3Brest, France

Sitting by a natural harbor at the mouth of the Penfeld River in western Brittany, the city of Brest has a rich maritime history that stretches from the Middle Ages to today, as it is home to the main French naval base in the Atlantic. Brest’s strategic importance was first established in the 1600s, when Cardinal Richelieu created a naval base and arsenal here. Throughout the Napoleonic Wars, warships were produced in its dockyards. During World War I, Americans maintained a naval air station in Brest, then Germany took control of the city during World War II and stationed U-boat submarines in its harbor. Though much of the city was destroyed in 1944 after an Allied invasion, one of Brest’s most important sites escaped the bombing: the Château de Brest, a 13th-century castle that’s the oldest structure in town. Just across the Penfeld River stands the 14th-century tower Tour Tanguy; inside is a museum that showcases the history of the city prior to World War II, with dioramas, photographs, postcards and other objects.

Day 4Days At Sea

Day 5Vigo, Spain

Galicia feels a little different than the rest of Spain. It has its own language, Gallego, and its own milder and damper climate. During the 20th-century reign of General Francisco Franco (a Galician himself), the region was isolated for its contrary attitude (and for the smuggling operations along the coastline). During that time, national funds for roads, development and industrialization were withheld, effectively keeping Galicia poor and rustic. As a result, even many years later, the area’s economy is still based on fishing and agriculture (tourism is up-and-coming) and a visit here can feel like a step back to a less-globalized era.

Vigo, with its large bay, has always been the workhorse of Galicia. The fishing fleet is still sizable, but is now joined in the water by more commercial shipping. The old neighborhoods down by the port are surrounded by increasingly modern districts and suburbs up the hill. Summer brings tourists from across Europe to enjoy Vigo’s beaches and to the spectacular Cíes Islands (Illas Cíes) offshore. This annual influx has modernized Vigo—cuisine, always considered a strong point, has become inventive; historic monuments on the avenues are now joined by a surprising amount of contemporary public art; international chains have appeared alongside the traditional shops by the port. The city proudly welcomes visitors to its slightly different corner of Spain, the beautiful Costa Verde.

Day 6Scenic Cruising Tagus River

Lisbon presents a lively symphony of sound and color—soft light, red-tiled rooftops, building facades of patterned tiles, creaking yellow streetcars, narrow streets that open into grand sunny praças (squares) at the edge of the formidable Tagus River. It’s easy to see why the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is one of Europe’s favorite cities.

Lisbon is understandably proud of its beaches, public art, singular modern architecture and 300 days of sunshine a year. The city manages to juggle the relaxed vibe of Southern Europe while recognizing the gravity of its history and heritage.

What makes Lisbon unique is that it managed to preserve layers of all the empires that conquered this land: the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and all the Portuguese Christian kings. Most recently, Lisbon has been stormed by a young generation of artists, cultural entrepreneurs and restaurateurs who are taking back the city and converting it into an oceanside playground.

Day 6 - 7Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a wealth of sights, tastes and sounds. An ensemble of neighborhoods both old and new, it’s a city full of history, culture and tradition. After the devastating earthquake that struck in 1755, reconstruction began and the rebuilt Baixa area quickly became one of the city’s busiest districts. From there, you can glance up at São Jorge Castle on one hill while in another direction you’ll find Chiado, one of the trendiest and most elegant neighborhoods.

The spirit of Lisbon can be encapsulated by the soulful musical genre, fado, which can best be enjoyed in the Alfama, the city’s oldest neighborhood. Enter one of the area’s old-school taverns and listen to passionate renditions of Fado Vadio, sung by amateurs, often after a round of aguardiente, an anise-flavored liquor.

Visiting Lisbon, also known as the City of Seven Hills, requires some huffing and puffing but you can opt for touring around in a tuk tuk. Another fun option is to take one of the four elevators to access hilly neighborhoods: The Santa Justa vertical lift, an iron tower, can whisk you from downtown to Carmo for a visit to the historic Convento do Carmo or try the ultrasteep streetcar-type Elevador da Glória to get up to the botanical garden in no time.

Day 8Cadiz (Seville), Spain

Hanging off the southwestern edge of Spain, Cádiz is one of Andalucía’s regional capitals and a place bursting with personality. Europe’s oldest continually inhabited city, with a history stretching back 3,000 years, has fallen on hard times in recent years, but a combination of pride, good humor and stoicism keeps it on an even keel. The famous Carnival, one of Spain’s most important in the genre, is a thrilling fiesta into which Cádiz pours all its energy and ingenuity.

The city’s fond nickname, la tacita de plata (“little silver cup”), alludes to its curious geography—it juts out on a long peninsula into a sheltered bay. Old town Cádiz is a warren of cobbled streets where the houses, painted white or dusty ochre, have the weather-beaten look of a place subjected to centuries of wind and salt. This ancient city has one good example of everything that matters: a great food market, a theater (the Teatro Falla, a grand Art Nouveau Moorish gem), a gorgeous cathedral, impressive fortifications and a beach—the picturesque and famous La Caleta.

Day 9Gibraltar, British Territory

Strategically located at the southern tip of Europe, facing Africa, Gibraltar offers a fascinating mix of cultures. With a history that includes Moorish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English influences (among others), this tiny, 6.7-square-kilometer British Overseas Territory is most famous for the giant Jurassic limestone rock soaring above the territory’s main commercial and residential areas. The Rock contains an abundance of history (military and otherwise), not to mention significant flora and fauna, and a labyrinth of caves and tunnels.

Venture into Gibraltar’s densely populated streets for Spanish, British, Middle Eastern and Italian cuisine, as well as tax-free shopping on everything from luxury brands to handmade arts and crafts and artisanal edibles. Browsing and snacking around town is the perfect chance to hear Yanito, the singsong Spanish-English hybrid spoken here. There are also historic and holy places in Europa Point, and the Museum of Gibraltar provides an opportunity to learn about the region’s history and prehistory, as well as the migration habits of its birds and marine life.

Day 10Malaga, Spain

While Málaga was long considered just a stopover on the way to southern Spain’s Costa del Sol beach resorts, in recent years a buzz has developed around the Andalucian city. There is a brand-new $100 million port promenade filled with restaurants and a bold new branch of Paris’s Centre Pompidou built in the form of a colorful glass cube. A handful of other major new museums include one devoted to one of the city’s most famous sons, Pablo Picasso—it’s also the hometown of another famous Spanish export, actor Antonio Banderas. Where once many buildings were dilapidated, an entire swath of the historic center is now pedestrianized and filled with shoppers, diners and street musicians. Tapas bars with outdoor tables line the old town’s Calle Strachan, while all over Málaga a boom in fine dining is taking place. The city makes a fine base for day trips to many of Andalucía’s most famous sites. Unlike many southern Spanish cities, Málaga doesn’t really shut down over the hot summer months; its waterfront location helps keep temperatures from soaring to uncomfortable heights. The 10-day summer Feria is becoming more popular each year, drawing visitors with its calendar of bullfights as well as dancing and drinking—activities the city’s residents enjoy before and after the Feria too.

Day 11Cartagena, Spain

There are more than two millennia of history to embrace in this port city in Spain’s southeastern Murcia region. While Cartagena is famously home to the second-largest Roman amphitheater on the Iberian Peninsula, the city is much more than just spectacular ancient ruins.

In addition to Cartagena’s architecture—along with that amphitheater, there are striking Art Nouveau buildings, neoclassical churches and ultramodern edifices throughout the city—you’ll find many opportunities to shop for local and regional artisan wares. In the city, investigate the restored medieval fortress looking out on the bay from the city’s highest point. Or take a short trip by car or bus to the historic Agrupa Vicenta Mines, the remarkable palm forest at Elche and the holy city of Caravaca.

And the food of sunny Murcia! Friendly tapas bars with breezy terraces invite lingering over drinks, coffee or snacks. The local restaurants offer more than typical Spanish tapas on the menu—michirones (a spicy Murcian bean stew) and local spins on paella are widely available and worth a try. Grilled octopus, fried calamari, mussels and the freshest fish are some of the tasty benefits of the city’s perch beside the sea.

Day 12Days At Sea

Day 13Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Rome is both a modern bustling city and an ancient open-air museum. You can walk in the footsteps of emperors, have coffee in Renaissance piazzas and see contemporary art all in one afternoon. Your sightseeing time in Rome begins at the nearby port of Civitavecchia, a seaside town with roots that stretch back to the Etruscan era. Take note of the Forte Michelangelo (both Bramante and Michelangelo had a hand in its design), and the lungomare, a lively stretch along the sea with beach clubs, bars and restaurants.

Once in the Eternal City you can fill your day with museums, churches, archaeological sites, traditional trattorias, artisan shops and, of course, gelato. The Colosseum and the Vatican Museums are Rome’s superstar attractions, but there are plenty of quieter gems to explore. For food lovers there are the markets in Campo de’ Fiori or the slightly farther flung Testaccio. The hip neighborhood of Monti, next to the Colosseum, has a vibrant piazza scene and boutique shopping, while the Villa Borghese offers a green oasis with a view towards Saint Peter’s Basilica and the masterpiece-filled Galleria Borghese. Although Rome might not have been built in one day, you’ll certainly be able to see the highlights and top things to do in Rome in 24 hours.

Day 14Days At Sea

Day 15Dubrovnik, Croatia

On the southern end of Croatia’s Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik staked its claim to glory during the 450 years it existed as the independent Ragusan Republic, shoulder to shoulder with mighty forces like Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Once a renowned seafaring, shipbuilding and trading center, today it’s an enchanting tourist destination. Dubrovnik seduces sightseeing visitors with its polished (and very clean!) limestone streets, theatrical architecture, charming
café, welcoming restaurants and distinctive shops along scenic side streets. The natural backdrop, much of which is protected, consists of pine and cypress forests and the shimmering Adriatic, dotted with uninhabited islands. Visitors quickly discover that the wider Dubrovnik area is just as striking as its main attraction—the Old Town.

A wander around the historic heart of Dubrovnik can hit the main sights, but take it a step further (or a staircase further, really), and you’ll see that people do still live in the historic quarter, even though its polished streets make it look like a museum. You may catch the sound of a piano from the High School of Music and Arts, or hear the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra rehearsing in the Revelin Fortress, or encounter school kids on a break. Life unrolls as you stroll past.

Day 16Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), Greece

Corfu is the pearl of the Ionian Sea, attracting royalty from across Europe in the 19th century, and modern celebrities from all over the world ever since. The island reflects a triple heritage. As well as being undeniably Greek, the culture and food also show a clear nod towards nearby Italy, particularly Venice, whose fortresses dot the island. The British influence may be unexpected, but as they ruled the island for many years, they have left such surprises in the Mediterranean as cricket and ginger beer.The bustling atmosphere of Corfu Town remains elegant, infused with culture and history. Parts of the rest of the island have been overdeveloped, but there are still great swaths that epitomize why the Greek islands are still regarded as the most beautiful in the world, with white-sand beaches backed by verdant mountains hiding traditional old villages. It is easy to see how Corfu has inspired generations of writers: from Shakespeare, through Edward Lear, to Gerald Durrell. A true gem.

Day 17Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

The port of Katakolon is the gateway to the Peloponnese, one of Greece’s most intriguing and least well-known areas. Beyond the region’s famous site of ancient Olympia—one of the most treasured remnants of the classical world—the Peloponnese gets little of the glory given the Greek islands and Athens. And it deserves much more, as you’re about to discover.

A distinctly Greek welcome can be experienced here like nowhere else. The region reveals what it means to be Greek: traditions that go back thousands of years, simple but delicious and healthy cuisine, towering mountains, crystal blue seas and, above all, the true hospitality of the people. In Greek, xenos means “stranger,” but the word also means “guest,” and a respectful traveler will be treated like a favored friend.

In addition to Olympia, which is unmissable, the Peloponnese offers lesser-known but majestic and ancient sites, natural wonders and an insight into the traditional rural life that still endures in this country. Take the time to explore and see as much as possible—your efforts will be more than rewarded.

Day 18Piraeus (Athens), Greece

No modern metropolis is more steeped in myth than Athens, Greece. From the gritty port of Piraeus—gateway to Greece’s fabled isles—to the Parthenon—eternal symbol of Western civilization—Athens has attracted adventurers and classicists for centuries. This heritage is still very much alive for modern visitors sightseeing in Athens: ancient stadiums and temples dwell alongside apartment blocks, modern performances are staged in the marble amphitheaters where Greek drama was born and millennia-old monuments are scattered in the archaeological park that circles the Acropolis.

One of the world’s oldest maritime powers, Athens is blessed with a balmy climate and stunning coastline. The seaside suburbs of Athens are scalloped with sandy beaches, fancy yacht clubs and glamorous beach bars. While the Athenian lifestyle is known for late-night dinners and dancing until dawn, the city shines brightly by day in the bustling markets, lively cafés and fascinating museums that illuminate Greece’s past and present. Contemplate the magnitude of all that culture and ancient tourist attractions while marveling at the sun setting into the Aegean or rising over the Acropolis.

Day 19Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey

Kusadasi in Turkey is the gateway to one of the most legendary cities of the ancient world: Ephesus. St. Paul preached in its Great Theater, while the facade of the Celsus Library survives as a testament to the city’s role as a center of learning and culture.

Not far from Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, once stood, drawing pilgrims from around the Mediterranean. While it no longer stands, it is possible to walk amongst its foundations and the remains of its towering columns.

Other historic sites can also be found nearby: The House of Mary is believed to be the home of Jesus’s mother at the end of her life, and the Basilica of St. John, constructed in the 6th century, marks the location of his tomb. (Like Mary, he spent his final years in Ephesus.) Nearby, the Selcuk fortress reflects the period of Byzantine and Ottoman control of the region.

From ancient wonders to holy sites, there are few ports in the Mediterranean as magical as Kusadasi, and a day here is a day spent in the company of some of antiquity’s greatest figures.

Day 20Thira (Santorini), Greece

Santorini, the jewel in the crown of Greece’s Cyclades, is best known as the island with the giant volcanic caldera at its heart. All but the largest ships can anchor here in this stunningly scenic bay. Cruise visitors who come for an afternoon or a day can immerse themselves in the art, food and legendary wines of this island that some believe may have been the site of the lost civilization of Atlantis. On Santorini you can do as Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, would do and sample the island’s wonderful wines or play Indiana Jones and explore the archaeological treasures of ancient Thera. Santorini’s pleasures will likely leave you with a taste for more and planning your return.

Day 21Days At Sea

Day 22Naples (Pompeii/Amalfi), Italy

Rising behind the wide curve of its bay with brooding Mount Vesuvius and the deep blue sea as a backdrop, Naples, Italy enjoys a magnificent natural setting. It is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan, and arguably the most colorful and seductive of them all: Splendor and squalor live side by side in 21st-century Naples, and the mix is intoxicating.

Home to world-class museums and attractions, superb restaurants, eclectic shopping, a thriving contemporary art scene and an edgy, vibrant street life, Naples has something for everyone. But once you’ve had enough of the pounding traffic and jostling crowds while sightseeing in Naples, there are endless opportunities for exploration further afield. The celebrated Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both victims of Vesuvius’ devastating 79 C.E. eruption, lie just south of the city. The delightful town of Sorrento and the magnificent scenery of the Amalfi Coast are within easy reach, and the dolce vita glamour of Capri—not to mention the healing thermal waters of Ischia—are a short hydrofoil hop from the mainland. Naples and its surrounding area offer a perfect mix of cultural and natural attractions.

Day 23Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Rome is both a modern bustling city and an ancient open-air museum. You can walk in the footsteps of emperors, have coffee in Renaissance piazzas and see contemporary art all in one afternoon. Your sightseeing time in Rome begins at the nearby port of Civitavecchia, a seaside town with roots that stretch back to the Etruscan era. Take note of the Forte Michelangelo (both Bramante and Michelangelo had a hand in its design), and the lungomare, a lively stretch along the sea with beach clubs, bars and restaurants.

Once in the Eternal City you can fill your day with museums, churches, archaeological sites, traditional trattorias, artisan shops and, of course, gelato. The Colosseum and the Vatican Museums are Rome’s superstar attractions, but there are plenty of quieter gems to explore. For food lovers there are the markets in Campo de’ Fiori or the slightly farther flung Testaccio. The hip neighborhood of Monti, next to the Colosseum, has a vibrant piazza scene and boutique shopping, while the Villa Borghese offers a green oasis with a view towards Saint Peter’s Basilica and the masterpiece-filled Galleria Borghese. Although Rome might not have been built in one day, you’ll certainly be able to see the highlights and top things to do in Rome in 24 hours.

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