Tours

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Italy & The Adriatic & Mediterranean Coach & Cruise

Tour departs: 23 August 2017
Tour length: 29 Days

Overview

Tour Departs:  23 August 2017.

Tour Length: 29 Days.

Italy is such a wonderful tour destination, so rich in history and with magnificent natural beauty. Add to this the Italian people themselves – their love of “la dolce vita”, food, fashion and family. We embark on our in-depth journey from Rome, explore the country roads of Umbria with time under the Tuscan sun. We spend time in the wonderful towns of San Gimignano and Portovenere before touring the beautiful Cinque Terre region.

Enjoy the Italian Lakes district while we stay on the shores of Lake Maggiore for 4 nights to truly relax and marvel at the sights. The region offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe – the refreshing natural beauty of alpine lakes and glaciers, lush green meadows, picturesque villages and towns scattered along lake edges.

For a “sumptuous dessert”, we join the magnificent cruise ship Celebrity Constellation in Venice for an 11 night voyage sailing down the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. A wonderful way to finish the tour.

Highlights
  • Rome, the eternal city, simply unequalled for living history.
  • Vatican, Sistine Chapel and for something different, an Italian cooking class.
  • Hilltop Orvieto and its magnificent Duomo.
  • Tuscany’s gem, the town of San Gimignano with its quaint streets and Piazza Delia.
  • Historic Sienna and Chianti wine making at Ill Palagio Castle.
  • Florence – world class museums, galleries, cathedral, Ponte Vecchio.
  • Cinque Terre – untouched for centuries, picture book fishing villages and the gorgeous Mediterranean.
  • Lake Maggiore and the Lakes District.
  • Zermatt, The Matterhorn.

Adriatic & Mediterranean Coast cruise:

  • 11 nights aboard Celebrity Constellation
  • A choice of Inside, Ocean View or Verandah Staterooms
  • Commencing in Venice
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Kotor, Montenegro
  • Catania, Sicily
  • Palma De Mallorca, Ibiza, Valencia and Barcelona, Spain

 

Itinerary

Wednesday 23 August

Home – Hong Kong

Time for any connecting flights if required before the early afternoon departure for Hong Kong. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay.


Thursday 24 August

Hong Kong – Rome (B)

This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hong Kong Island including the Peak Tram and Sampan ride at Aberdeen.   The afternoon is at leisure with hotel check out at 6.00 pm.  This evening we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport to join the overnight flight to Rome.


Friday 25 August

Arrive Rome (D)

We arrive in Rome early this morning, where we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 3 night stay. Welcome to Rome – one of the world’s great cities. The rest of the day is free. Later we get together for a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel.


Saturday 26 August

Rome Sightseeing (B.D)

We embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Rome. We glimpse into the history and wonder of the most powerful force in the development of Western civilization. We visit the Vatican and its museums and marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel before visiting St. Peters Basilica. In the afternoon we discover Imperial Rome with a treasure trove of historical sites and monuments including the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus. This evening, we dine at a local restaurant.


Sunday 27 August

Rome (B.L)

And now for something totally different today. The Italian’s love their food – for them it is one of the pleasures of life and a meal is an “event” and a very social occasion. This morning, we transfer to Ristorante La Carovana for a cooking class – a chance to learn about the delights of Italian food and its preparation, and afterwards enjoy a 4 course lunch.


Monday 28 August

Rome – Orvieto – San Gimignano (B,L,D)

This morning we drive north into Umbria. We stop at the delightful town of Oriveto, one of the region’s most spectacular towns, perched high on a hill. We take shuttle buses from the coach drop off to Piazza del Duomo and enjoy a traditional lunch at a nearby restaurant. Afterwards we visit the magnificent Duomo, one of Italy’s greatest cathedrals dating back to 1200. In the afternoon we continue further into the enchanting region of Tuscany and the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Take the opportunity to stroll along the quaint streets and visit Piazza Delia, one of Italy’s finest town squares. We enjoy a 3 night stay in San Gimignano.


Tuesday 29 August

San Gimignano – Siena Excursion (B.D)

This morning we drive to Siena, the site of the famous Palio, a no holds barred bare back horse race, and walk through the shell shaped Piazza del Campo to view the Palazzo Publico and the Font Gaia, before visiting the unique cathedral. This afternoon we take in the art of Chianti wine making at the medieval castle of Ill Palagio. We return to San Gimignano later in the afternoon.


Wednesday 30 August

San Gimignano – Florence Excursion (B.D)

Today we can step back in time as we take a short drive through the countryside to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance.  We enjoy a city tour before being immersed in the history of Michelangelo’s work, the sculpture of David and paintings at the Galleria dell’Accademia.  After lunch we visit the Uffizi Gallery, a real highlight as the oldest gallery in the world. There is time to stroll the Ponte Vecchio before we return to San Gimignano.


Thursday 31 August

San Gimignano – Pisa – Portovenere (B.D)

Today we continue further into the enchanting region of Tuscany where we visit the Square of Miracles, where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located. In the afternoon we make our way to Portovenere, our gateway to the Cinque Terre, for a 2 night stay. Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring a picturesque harbour surrounded by brightly coloured houses and narrow cobbled lanes.


Friday 1 September

Cinque Terre  (B.D)

We tour the Cinque Terre region, an area that for hundreds of years was accessible only by sea. The five picture book fishing villages are found nestled between the blue waters of the Mediterranean and the coastal mountains. The unique region remained untouched for centuries and the small resident population still lives by fishing and agriculture, remaining strongly attached to their old world traditions. See the vines, citrus and olive trees clinging to the mountain sides – there is nothing quite like it anywhere on earth.


Saturday 2 September

Portovenere – Stresa – Lake Maggiore (Italy) (B.D)

We leave Tuscany and head to the Italian Lake District, host to the rich and famous with their elegant lakeside villas. We arrive at Stresa, on beautiful Lake Maggiore, long a favourite retreat for European aristocrats. Our hotel is located lakeside and set in beautiful gardens facing the Borromean Islands, a magical setting for our 4 night stay.


Sunday 3 September

Lake Maggiore (B.D)

Today we visit and explore the famous Lake District. We drive to the town of Como and follow the shore of the lake to Cadenabbia, where we visit the world famous Villa Carlotta, facing across Lake Como to Bellagio Peninsula. Later we join the ferry which takes us across the Lake to delightful Bellagio. This beautiful village is situated at the tip of the peninsula – there are century old buildings, cobblestoned lanes filled with cafes and shops showcasing the finest Italian wares. There is time to explore and relax in this delightful town which boasts peaceful villas and gardens by the lakeside. Later we return to our Stresa hotel for dinner.


Monday 4 September

Lake Maggiore – Zermatt, the Matterhorn Excursion (Switzerland) (B.D.)

Mountain peaks soar either side as we drive north over the spectacular Simplon Pass and the unbeatable views of the Swiss and Italian Alps. At Taesch we travel by train to take us to vehicle-free and picture postcard village of Zermatt, surrounded by the most famous peaks in the Alps and dominated by the dramatic splendour of the Matterhorn. Later we return to Lake Maggiore for dinner at the hotel.


Tuesday 5 September

Lake Maggiore (B)

This morning we take the ferry to visit the beautiful Isola Bella palace and gardens. The rest of the afternoon is free for independent activities or to simply enjoy the surroundings.


Wednesday 6 September

Lake Maggiore – Milan – Venice (B.D)

We bid farewell to the Lakes District today and drive first to the city of Milan, Italy’s second largest city and home to its fashion industry as well as many major business and of course La Scala Opera House. We enjoy a city tour of Milan before continuing our journey across Northern Italy and on to Venice, the city of islands and canals for an overnight stay.


Thursday 7 September

Venice (B.L.D)

A truly remarkable city to explore today.  Time for a gondola ride, visit St Marks Square or maybe meander through the quaint streets and admire the architecture. This afternoon we board our floating home for the next 11 nights, Celebrity Constellation. Sailing out from Venice this evening is a real highlight.


Friday 8 September

Ravenna, Italy (B.L.D)

The “Mosaic City” of Ravenna is renowned for its 1500-year-old churches, decorated with exquisite Byzantine mosaics of brilliant colour and amazing detail. It can also be a gateway to other spots with claims to historical fame. Bologna, with its magnificently preserved, uniform architectural style, and not one, but two leaning towers, is the site of the first institution of higher learning in the Western world, for which the term “university” was coined. And the tiny Republic of San Marino, dating from 301 AD, it is perhaps the oldest surviving state and constitutional republic in the world.


Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 September

Dubrovnik, Croatia (B.L.D)

Established 1,300 years ago on the far southern tip of the Dalmatian Coast, this city once rivalled Venice in terms of its importance. Take a walking tour to the Dominican Monastery and marvel at the finest collection of Renaissance paintings, including a painting by Titian. The ship overnights in Dubrovnik, so plenty of time to explore this town.

 


Monday 11 September

Kotor, Montenegro (B.L.D)

Kotor offers some of the most well preserved architecture on the entire Adriatic coast, with landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon. Built in 1166, there are frescoes dating back hundreds of years, and much of the gold and silver relief work done by the city’s master craftsmen of that time are held for safe keeping within its walls.


Tuesday 12 September

At Sea (B.L.D)

A day to relax and enjoy the wonderful on-board facilities and a myriad of activities.


Wednesday 13 September

Catania, Sicily (B.L.D)

Located on the east coast of Sicily, Catania is situated at the foot of the largest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna. Elegant, modern, and an important hub in Europe’s tech industry, Catania is also rich with baroque architecture, medieval castles, Roman era theatres, and a flourishing cultural and artistic centre. The first university in Sicily was opened here in 1434. The Ursino castle built in the 13th Century is now a museum. The Piazza del Duomo, at the heart of Catania, is home to the city’s symbolic Fountain of the Elephant, constructed in 1736 from lava and an ancient Egyptian obelisk.


Thursday 14 September

At Sea (B.L.D)

Another at day sea to enjoy the Mediterranean.


Friday 15 September

Palma De Mallorca, Spain (B.L.D)

This island enclave is often described as a mini-Barcelona, with a Gothic feel that has overtaken centuries of Roman and Moorish culture. Visit El Baluard, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which was built on the site of the remnants of the 16th century Bastio de Sant Pere, or shop for bargain pearls at the city’s many jewellers.


Saturday 16 September

Ibiza, Spain (B.L.D)

Ibiza, an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain, is, to many, synonymous with world-famous mega-clubs, which are the summertime meccas for so many celebrities and DJs. However, Ibiza is also one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands—Ibiza Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site—with mystical islets and hidden coves that beg to be explored.


Sunday 17 September

Valencia, Spain (B.L.D)

Best known as the birthplace of paella, Valencia has steadily moved onto the radar of savvy travellers. It’s a vibrant, friendly, mildly chaotic place with two outstanding fine-arts museums, an accessible old quarter, Europe’s newest cultural and scientific complex – and one of Spain’s most exciting nightlife scenes. Whole sections of the old city, for example the Carmen Quarter, have been extensively renovated. One of the best spots for exploring Valencia’s history is at the museum L’Almoina, which opened three years ago in the Carmen on the site where Valencia was founded by the Romans in 138 B.C. Here, you can walk over glass floors, looking down at a stunning assemblage of ruins excavated in the area. The exhibition includes Roman baths, tombs and a medieval Moorish ward for plague victims.


Monday 18 September

Barcelona, Spain (B.D)

We say good bye to our cruise ship and crew this morning.  Enjoy a city tour this morning, and an afternoon at leisure to explore the Ramblas district for a little shopping.  Tonight we go to a local restaurant for our final dinner together.


Tuesday 19 September

Barcelona – Hong Kong (B)

This morning we transfer to the airport in time to join our flight to Hong Kong.


Wednesday 20 September

Hong Kong – Home

We arrive in Hong Kong early this morning and we have the day free before continuing the journey this evening. Hotel rooms at the airport are provided for the day to allow time for rest and relaxation. This evening we join our aircraft for the overnight flight.


Thursday 21 September

Arrive Home

Arrival time is mid-morning.


 

 

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Prices

Tour Costs Per Person

Sharing Twin Room / Inside Cabin: $15,950
Supplement for Single Room / Cabin: $4,950

Additional Costs to Upgrade Cabin

Upgrade to Ocean View Cabin Share Twin : $400
Upgrade to Ocean View Cabin Single Supplement: $800

Upgrade to Balcony Cabin Share Twin : $1,900
Upgrade to Balcony Cabin Single Supplement: $3,500

Costs Include
  • Economy class air travel from the tours international departure point. Upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class available on request.
  • Prepaid government and airport taxes, security and fuel surcharges as at 01.09.16.
  • First Class/Superior grade accommodation throughout.
  • First Class air-conditioned coach transportation.
  • Inside, Oceanview or Balcony Stateroom aboard ship.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner).
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Services of European Tour Director and local guides for touring and sightseeing.
  • Baggage handling of 1 suitcase per person.
  • All tips and gratuities to coach drivers, guides and cruise staff.
  • Fully escorted by a Maher Tour Leader.
Costs Exclude
  • Any meals and sightseeing not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance – advice and assistance offered.
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, room service, laundry, telephone calls etc.

“The tour exceeded my expectations.  I loved travelling with Maher Tours.  We were so well looked after, resulting in a stress free and fun filled holiday.  Highly recommended”.

 

“I know that I am going to see amazing places, meet new friends and be well looked after by our guides and tour leader”

 

“The ultimate hassle free overseas travel.  Maher Tours takes the stress out of searching for hotels and car parks if you drive yourself.  Entry to attractions is all included, no waiting in lines, and the standard of accommodation is exceptional, as is the itinerary.”

 

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Need Assistance?

By Phone: 0800 500 518 | By Email: info@mahertours.co.nz