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The case of the Eastern Mediterranean

Pr. Alkis J. Corres

Yvonne Papapchristou


Table of Contents..................................................................................................................................3

Executive Summary..5

Introduction and definitions.......8

1. Principal hubs and cruise destinations...12

2. Basic Restrictions in the cruise design.............15

3. Cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean.....20

4. Complementarity and competition between cruise ports..25




Cruise ports in Greece.. ...38

Cruise ports in Italy.......64

Cruise port in Slovenia.....75

Cruise ports in Croatia......78

Cruise port in Montenegro.......85

Cruise ports in Albania.....88

Cruise ports in Turkey...90

Cruise port in Cyprus.......97

Cruise ports in Syria......99

Cruise ports in Lebanon.....102

Cruise ports in Israel...105

Cruise ports in Egypt...110

Cruise ports in Libya...114

Cruise port in Malta.....116

Executive Summary
The primary objective of this study has been the investigation of the relations between
ports included in regular cruises in this specific region. In order to facilitate comparisons
and the drawing of conclusions, all ports were coded and classified so that each
designation provides an indication of the category and the relative importance of the port
from the perspective of the cruise. The classification is as follows:

Hub Ports (UB) class , and

Hybrid Ports (HYB) class , and C, and
Destination Ports (DES) class 1,2, and 3
This categorization was based on experience regarding the usual role of each port in the
wider area of the Eastern Mediterranean and it has taken into account the prevailing
political and economic conditions at the time of writing.

This paper eventually became a hybrid product that includes a theoretical analysis of the
relationships between ports within the cruise frame on one hand and a complete cruise
designers guide for the Eastern Mediterranean on the other. In this way the theoretical
analysis has been linked with a factual analysis resulting not only into a thorough
transparency of the cruise market in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also in several
suggestions for an academic discussion in this area.

It is well known that cruise design is subjected to important limitations which ultimately
define the relations between the ports in the region. The rules in Chapter 4 which govern
the relationships of competitiveness / complementarity between the ports introduce
some fundamental distinctions which might be useful to future researchers of tourism
development, but also in case of evaluation under EC competition law.

The Eastern Mediterranean, a region that includes fourteen countries, is an upcoming

area for the cruise industry and a valuable new resource for the economies of the
countries that form it. Unlike the other Mediterranean destinations in the Western Med
this region combines the presence of archipelagoes in three different areas with many
new local interests while offering to cruise designers the opportunity to include more

countries in a single cruise than it is possible in the Western Mediterranean. These
issues are discussed at some length in Chapter 1.

Apart from the varied local interests for cruise visitors, East Med destinations allow for
the maintenance of a high level of interest to passengers without the need for long
journeys which involve boredom of passengers apart - an increased fuel cost.

The pair of factors space / time combined with other factors such as the ability to
provide acceptable levels of service, local interests and the cost of package acquisition
to the customer. These and other factors are discussed in Chapter 2 in combination with
matters relating to the cruise company itself such as filling rates, , profitability and issues
relating to strategy and competition..

Chapter 3 is devoted to an overview of some of the cruises that actually are taking place
in the Eastern Mediterranean and the developments that have occurred in the course of
the previous years. The analysis in this chapter can be combined with corresponding
references to the specific cities / ports in the Annex. .

The last chapter, as it has already been mentioned, refers to the relationship between
ports that are involved in cruises. . The roles of the ports are examined from the
viewpoint of complementarity and competition..

The discussion demonstrates in the clearest possible way the supranational - rather than
international - status this specific activity has, and the catalytic role it can potentially play
on issues such as the simplification of procedures and the friendly cooperation between
states to promote common interests.

The wish of the authors is that this essay will contribute to a wider understanding how
these factors intertwine on multiple levels - and ultimately determine the form that a
cruise will eventually take- so that development planning in the wider region may

Introduction and definitions
The cruise industry, despite the global economic crisis , is an area of major growth. In
recent years it has shown a longterm annual growth rate of 8.5%, and through bullish
growth this sector presents a major incentive for every port to try to become actively
involved The Mediterranean as a cruise destination has climbed to the second place in
the preferences of passengers around the world and it has overtaken Alaska while the
Caribbean still remains the most popular destination (Bleiberg, 2012).

Unlike traditional destinations which focus on coastal urban areas, the area under
consideration is characterized by a multitude of islands and coastal areas hitherto
unknown to the wider cruise public. The wider Mediterranean region comprises of twenty
two countries, whose common feature is their border with Mare Nostrum.

There have been relatively few studies on the Mediterranean region as a cruise
destination, even though there have been numerous analyses for the sun and its
beaches. The lack of specific studies of this area can perhaps be explained by the
general lack of statistics.

Geographically, the scope of our study takes the Italian peninsula as a natural boundary,
and turns to the east, to cover an area with intense cruise activity and many cruise ports.
The Eastern Mediterranean includes the following areas and ports:

all the ports of the Adriatic Sea and the ports and islands on the west coast of Italy is
south of Rome. (Note that this definition is compatible with EU Motorways of the Sea in
the region.) 1
The Libyan coasts
the coasts of Egypt

It is also worth mentioning that it includes the most important marine green corridor examined by the EU
research project under the name Supergreen which after three intensive years - is nearing its completion.

Turkey up to the Bosporus,
Serbia and Montenegro
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia and

This area covers approximately 65% of the surface of the Mediterranean.

Cruise ports, can be classified into three categories on basis of their functional

The first category relates to ports of embarkation / disembarkation which are referred to
in the literature as home ports or hubs. Ports In this category have all the necessary
infrastructure for the movement of passengers between airports and ports and the
handling of the passengers baggage.

The second category of ports is that of the destination port. Destination ports generally
provide services to cruise ships and their passengers during the cruise but are not
involved in the business of joining or departing passengers. Typically ships stay in them
for a limited time (in some cases the staying in the port can be longer involving an

overnight). Such ports offer limited additional services to vessels, such as bunkering,
food supplies, sewerage etc, other than the ability to accommodate the ship.

The last port category is the hybrid port, which may be a port of embarkation/
disembarkation as well as a destination port. Such ports while being able to embark and
disembark cruise passengers offer opportunities that render them attractive also as
destination ports. Their existence, as in the case of hubs, results from the passengers
need for air access to the ship and secondarily for the provision of services to the ship.
(Marti, 1990)

1. Principal hubs and destinations
The region has a number of important ports for the cruise industry operating as hubs
and as destinations. Historically, cruise companies have shown their preference to the
Italian ports as hubs, including Venice, but in recent years it has been observed an
increase in traffic in other major ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, such as Piraeus,
Istanbul and Izmir.

The cruise market holds an important position in the global tourism market and it
promises a significant growth potential for coastal destinations such as the Greek
islands and many areas of the Greek mainland (Bampakou & Koutoulas 2009,
Diakomihalis 2007). Greece, presents a wide range of options in both continental and
island ports, and Piraeus holds a leaders role in the region as a hybrid port2. An
increased number of ports in Greece is trying now to claim participation in cruise
itineraries although most of them are destination ports. In 2012 however there have
been the first signs that ports that have been destination ports for decades are now
demanding a hybrid port role (Rhodes, Heraklion and Chania).

In Italy, which is traditionally a very important country for cruising, is the port of Venice,
the third port (ECC, 2012) in the overall ratings among European cruise ports, trailing
Barcelona and Civitavecchia3. There are also several other noteworthy ports which also
function as hybrid as they can double as embarkation ports or destination ports.

In the middle of the Mediterranean one finds the port of Valletta in the small island of

In recent years the port of Koper in Slovenia has made some progress in cruise ship
arrivals. When peace returned in the Adriatic region in the 1990's, after the end of the

Lavrio, Katakolo,Volos, Itea, Igoumenitsa, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Preveza, Nafplio, Gytheion,
Monemvasia, Corfu, Argostoli in Kefalonia, Santorini, Mykonos, Patmos, Milos. Kos. Rhodes, Hirakleion,
Souda in Chania and Agios Nikolaos,
Ancona, Bari, Trieste, Ravenna, Brindisi and Palermo

Bosnian war interesting new ports of Croatia4 were added to the Eastern Mediterranean
itineraries which traditionally were previously focusing on Italy and Greece.

These newer-from the point of view of tourists interest-cruise ports of Southern Europe
were combined with traditional popular Mediterranean ones. The port of Kotor for
example has become very popular lately, and it is included in almost all cruise itineraries
in the Adriatic Sea and many others which combine Italy and Greece.

On the other side of the Aegean, Turkey has made significant progress and has made
great efforts in the field of maritime tourism eventually establishing itself as a classic
cruise destination country in the Eastern Mediterranean5. The port of Istanbul in
particular is a very important hybrid port whose geographical position allows for the
combination with cruises in the Black Sea a relatively new region for the cruise industry
for which lately there is high demand.

Further south, Limassol in Cyprus is a frequent destination port in a part of the Med that
will return to prominence as soon as peace is restored..

Tartus is the main destination port in Syria and there is also Lattakia. Because of the
existing and continuing tensions in the Middle East, these ports are not currently
included in cruise itineraries. The same situation applies to the ports of Beirut in
Lebanon and Tripoli in Libya.

The Arabic Spring, fueled as rumour has it by desires for a redistribution of the world
majors access to mineral resources, has recently caused a destabilization of the wider
region and that has significantly impacted on Eastern Mediterranean itineraries
necessitating last minute program changes, which are undesirable and commercially
harmful to companies. Nevertheless these program changes have benefited other ports
in the region which were not affected by riots and were able to save the day for the

4 Dubrovnik holds the 2nd place in the overall standings among European ports ECC 2011, and it
has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. in recent years Croatia has made a dynamic entry
on the map cruise featuring and highlighting several destination ports like Split, ibenik, Zadar and Rijeka
The most important ports are the hubs of Istanbul and Izmir and also the destination ports of
Kusadasi, Antalya, Alanya and Marmaris.Additionally, the ports of Fethiye, Bodrum and Dikili with the
existent available piers are also considered cruise ports. Kadioglu, M (2007).

Israel, largely because of its religious and cultural heritage, is a critical pole for cruise
passengers. The destination port of Haifa welcomes many cruise ships, especially for
visits to the Holy Land and so does Ashdod which is equally important. Eilat has
recently shown an increase in traffic due to the development of the area of the Red Sea.

A similar course appears to be followed the Egyptian port of Safaga.

Egypt is generally an important destination because of the historical and cultural value of
its sites; consequently Port Said and Alexandria are today very important destination

2. Basic Restrictions in the cruise design
The objective of any company that organizes cruises is to provide an attractive and
comfortable journey for passengers which at the same time will be competitive in terms
of cost in order to achieve the greatest possible coverage of the available cabins. The
Eastern Mediterranean region includes many countries that offer a variety of
experiences of historical, cultural and religious character. The destinations are close
geographically, to each other and therefore are easy to combine.

As concerns Greece, maritime tourism - part of which is conceptually the cruise industry
has a history of more than forty years and the ways in which it has evolved have now

For many years the Greek cruise market has remained under exclusivity to ships flying
the Greek flag. This regime changed in 2003, after the adoption of the EU Regulation
3577/92 which gave access to ships flying an EU flag in the Greek market Greece
adopted this regulation after a ten-year exemption - to liberalize further recently (under
certain conditions) to include also ships under non-EU flags.

The most important factors that influence and simultaneously limit the design of each
cruise are the following:

1) Spatial considerations

2) Time
3) Services
4) Interests
5) Cost
6) Completeness
7) Profitability
8) Strategy and Competition

Space and Time: The reason that these two factors are considered simultaneously is
that the factor of time - and how it is exploited - for the cruise passenger is more
important than the distance covered, which counts as time on board while sailing from
one place to another.

A key criterion in cruise design is time management. Within the time constraints of the
cruise one seeks the best possible way of passenger time exploitation. The
maximization of opportunities to visit places of interest at each destination, also give rise
to opportunities for improved profitability to the cruise operator through the -separately
charged- shore excursions.

Long journeys without intermediate stops stand can be a drag to passengers onboard,
the ships attractiveness as a place of interest declines after the first day. Apart from the
need of maintaining customer interest, long itineraries also involve unprofitable fuel bills
which have a direct bearing on the cost of providing the service.

The rest times of cruise passengers introduce further restrictions, such as the arrival and
departure times which must always be compatible with the customarily accepted
schedules of the passengers, but also in sync with the operating schedules of the other
services on board and ashore.

These factors have a significant dampening effect on the free choices of the cruise
designer, yet at the same time highlight in the clearest possible way the relative
advantage of the Greek islands as an ideal place for cruises which are:

Variety of destinations
Numerous islands
Small distances, close to each other
Variety of interests
Low cost of fuel between destinations

Services: Here one has to distinguish between passenger service and the ship service.
These two functions do not coincide, nor necessarily coexist in all ports. The first one
involves primarily passenger service at the home port and the corresponding service in
the various destinations. The second one concerns the support of the ship in all
respects, during the cruise by providing supplies (eg power, water, fuel, lubricants, spare
parts, etc.) as well as infrastructure (eg jetties, tugs, etc.).

It is necessary to have in each cruise at least one port which combines both types of
services, (more ports of this kind are required for longer cruises).

Interests: The attractiveness of a cruise to the public, and by extension its commercial
success, depends on the number of passengers wishing to visit the various destinations
of the cruise. The applicable axiom here is that companies only go where their
customers request to go (Sgartsou, 2008).

Destinations may offer a different interest to each one of the passengers but one can
distinguish groupings such as:
historical interests (eg Ancient Olympia, Delphi)
religious interests (eg Jerusalem, Patmos)
cultural interests (eg Istanbul, Venice) and
destinations promising uniqueness and / or entertainment (eg, Santorini,

Cost: The cost of providing cruise services is a big chapter and is related to the
companys own costs on one hand (eg ongoing ships daily expenses, depreciation, debt
obligations, etc.) and to costs associated with the ports and all the related charges for
services on the other.

One of the characteristics of this type of touring is the lack of flexibility in dealing with
emergency expenses. The reason for that is the sale of holiday packages to cruise travel
agent networks up to two years earlier. Cruise companies loath announcements of cost
increases by ports, or any other provider, of a shorter duration than two years on the

grounds that they will not have the opportunity to incorporate these increases in the
pricing of their already sold packages, resulting to reduced profit margins. This kind of
request however affects the bargaining position of the port which, after having
committed itself to fixed charges over a period of time loses its own flexibility in
addressing issues such as sudden cancellations of calls. 6

Filling rates and Profitability: From our perspective, the most important issue that has
a direct impact on costs - although it is not a cost element itself - is the filling rate of the
ship. This is because of the indivisibility of the ship a ship has more or less the same
operating costs if it carries eight hundred or two thousand passengers. This means that
the cost per passenger can be double or triple, and so on, when the cruise ship is sailing

This is the one side of the coin however; the other side of it seeks to ensure cruise ships
travel full of passengers and it is related to the way of the cruise packages are priced.
Given that the marginal cost of providing the services beyond a certain point is
negligible, the cruise company's interest is to ensure 100% occupancy every time by
using all the marketing techniques in this direction including escalating discounts as the
departure date gets closer. 7

This means that passengers onboard have not paid the same amount of money to
participate in the cruise. The company which had to offer discounts to maintain high
levels of participation in the cruise on the other hand will have a second opportunity to
receive extra money through the participation of the additional passengers to the sale of
products onboard and to shore excursions.

Short notice call cancellations by cruise ships will oblige the port to raise the call charges to vessels of that company
in an effort to mitigate the financial consequences for the port. This tactic cannot be employed if there is a prior
commitment to fixed call costs. This issue has been discussed in the past by MedCruise The Association of
Mediterranean Cruise Ports - but a solution has yet to be found. (Many thanks to Professor H. Charalambides for
this observation).
The same arguments over indivisibility apply also to coastal shipping as well as to air transport. In a study
of one of the authors on behalf of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping in 2012, it has been estimated that the per
passenger cost of providing transport - in an industry that has no flexibility for frequent fare changes - can be
during winter months twenty-two times higher than during summer time.

The provision of cruise services has always been a high-cost activity in the past and this
feature has been combined with sensational withdrawals from the market every time
they economic standards have changed. Given that all major cruise companies are
entered in stock exchanges, their profitability is imperative and for this reason they are
subjected to strict systems of internal and external audits to avoid surprises at the end of
the financial year.

Strategy and Competition: Competition among cruise lines affects directly their
strategies in various levels. Firstly, a companys entry in a new and promising market is
a mandatory move for its competitors. Rival companies have to follow suit the moves of
other competitors as laxity on this issue can mean from revenue shortfall to potentially
embarrassing questions from shareholders at the next annual general meeting.

Over the past decade the cruise industry in a similar fashion to the liner industry has
been characterized by mergers and acquisitions, most of which retaining their original
names. The crucial factor that has led to these developments was the need for larger
and more modern ships that offer the opportunity for the commercial extension of
cruising to the lower- income classes. Despite the oligopolistic form of the cruise market,
it is characterized by intense competition that amid economic crisis is expected to

Entry and operation in specific markets dictate the building of ships which are suitable
for these markets. Not all cruise ships are suitable for operating in all cruises however.
The building of increasingly larger cruise ships is subject to the same basic rules that
apply to container-ships. To achieve the coveted economies of scale the absolute
prerequisite is to ensure a full house show or else diseconomies are just around the
corner to inflate costs.

3. Cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean
History, Culture, Religion and Entertainment

The Eastern Mediterranean region provides to cruise companies significant advantages

since it provides the prospect of variety to the cruise package. Unlike in the Caribbean
where the classic product includes the motto "fun-sun-sea," the Mediterranean region
provides additional and alternative perspectives to future passengers.

This is because, apart from the already mentioned triptych, the region presents cultural
and historical sites of significant ancient civilizations (e.g. the Greek, the Roman, the
Egyptian aso) as well as important religious sites. In addition it holds another important
advantage as it is located in the crossroads of three continents (Europe, Africa, Asia). 8

In the area under consideration there are many and varied combinations for all countries
and ports. The average duration of a cruise is seven days and it is possible to combine
three even four countries in the region, which is a huge advantage for the cruise
promotion and eventually for the selling of the cruise.

Let us consider some illustrative examples:

A 7-day cruise by Costa Company, which includes Croatia, Greece and

Montenegro (departing from Trieste, calls Ancona, Dubrovnic, Corfu, Argostoli,
Kotor, Split and Back to Trieste).

Another 7-day cruise by Costa to Greece, Israel, Cyprus and Turkey (port of
departure: Heraklion calls: Santorini, Haifa, Limassol, Alanya, Rhodes and
Heraklion in return)

In a similar context, but with a different content, the MSC has a 7-day cruise to
Turkey, Croatia, Italy and Greece (port of departure: Istanbul, calls Dubrovnik,
Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Izmir and back to Istanbul).
Another cruise of MSC with the same duration includes Montenegro, Italy, Greece
and Croatia (departing from Venice, calls Ancona, Kotor, Corfu, Gytheion
Argostoli, Dubrovnik and back to Venice).

Lekakou, M.B., Pallis, A.A., Vaggelas, G.K, 2010

In other cases, cruise companies focus on only two countries, e.g. Greece and Turkey
such examples are the following:
o Seabourn presents a 7-day cruise (port of departure: Istanbul, calls: Myrina,
Izmir, Cesme, Kos, Santorini, Chania and disembark at the port of Piraeus).

o Louis Cruises also offers a cruise to Greece and Turkey with a different program
(port of departure: Lavrio, call: Istanbul, Mykonos, Lavrio, Patmos, Kusadasi,
Rhodes, Heraklion, Santorini and back to Lavrion).

After reviewing all the itineraries that have been announced for 2013, the outcome is
that there is a minimum of two countries included in a cruise of seven days.

But we must not lose sight of the fact that:

Cruise companies are commercial companies offering specialized services and many of
them are subjected to strict and auditable schemes of quality assurance and legal

These schemes often limit their flexibility in decision-making as they are designed to
provide high standard services on one hand, and on the other to protect the company
from potential claims from third parties, including possible claims from of their own

This operating framework may play a decisive role in selecting or not a new destination,
especially in cases where local facilities and infrastructure are not sufficient to meet the
minimum standards. 9

The benefits which are enjoyed by the ports and the countries in general - as a result
of their participation in cruise programs has been assessed and evaluated in detail in a
recent study. 10

9 K, 2011
Corres/Papachristou: The Cruise Industry in Greece: A Survey and Assessment of the Current Status
Quo SOME 2012.

The table below summarizes the benefits for the port of Piraeus and the region around it.

Table 1 : Cruise Revenues for Piraeus (2011)

. Passengers and crews expenditures in Piraeus

Revenues from home porting passengers 375,000 *9/10 =
337,500 *400 uros = 135,0 m.
Revenues from transit passengers 1,200,000 * 61.5 uros = 3,8 m.
Revenues from crews: 208.8 . * 5.5% = 11,5 m.
Total revenues from crews and passengers 220,3 m.

. Total revenues from purchases of goods and services

by companies in Piraeus: 295,2 m.

Total revenue for Piraeus + : 515,5 million Euros

Notes: * It has been estimated that in Greece in 2011, there were 375,000 individuals who were
home porting passengers, of which 9/10 were handled by the most important hybrid port of
Greece, Piraeus. Moreover, the amount of 400 , is generally accepted and it is used in relation
to the expenditures of a passenger in an embarkation / disembarkation port as it is the amount
of 61.5 for destination ports. Additionally, from this figure we can approximately calculate the
revenue from the crews, which they represent a percentage of 5.5% of r passengers revenues.
Finally, from the sum of passengers and crews revenue we are able to estimate the revenue
from the purchases of goods and services by cruise companies by multiplying by two the sum of
revenues and subtracting from the result the percentage of 33%. This methodology has been
followed in the past with reliable results and is consistent with the methodology of ECC.

: Corres/Papachristou: The Cruise Industry in Greece: A Survey and Assessment of the

Current Status Quo SOME 2012.

By applying the same reasoning, as in the case of Piraeus, it is possible to extract

approximate figures for the respective benefits enjoyed by the other two major centers
in the Eastern Mediterranean cruise.

Table 2: Comparative benefits of three large hybrid ports

(in million euros)
Revenues from Passen. & Crews Revenues from goods and serv. Total Revenues
Venice 327,5 438 731
Civitavecchia 290 389 655
Piraeus * 220 295 515

Passengers revenues have been calculated on the basis of the number of passengers which ii presented in the
annual report of ECC (2011) by using the same methodology as in table 1

*Especially for Piraeus we use the same figures that came out from the study The Cruise Industry in
Greece: '' survey and assessment of the current status quo (2012), see table 1

Home porting( hp) and transit (tr) passengers revenues analysis:
Venice: 722.000hp * 400 + 338.000tr * 61,5 = 309.587.000 310 .
Civitavecchia: 460.000hp * 400 + 1.480.000tr*61.5 = 275.020.000 275 .

Crews revenues
Venice: 310 .* 5,5% =17,5
Civitavecchia: 275 .* 5,5% = 15,1

Passengers and crews revenues:

Venice: 310 + 17,5 = 327,5
Civitavecchia: 275 + 15,1 = 290,1

Revenues from goods and services purchases

Venice: (327,5 *2) -33% = 655 -216,5 = 438,85
Civitavecchia: (290,1*2) -33% = 580,2 -191,46 = 388,7

Total revenues from passengers, crews and purchases of goods and services by cruise
Venice: 327,5 + 438,85 = 766,35
Civitavecchia: 290,1+ 388,7 = 678,8

Source: Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Economies of Europe (2012 Edition)

Calculations: Corres / Papachristou (2012)
The benefits for the destination ports are smaller than those of the hub ports with same
levels of passenger traffic, due to the reduced sales of goods and services to cruise
ships. At the moment, it is not possible to estimate these sales- not even approximately -
because of lack of statistical data.

What may be estimated is passengers and crews spending on destination ports which
is illustrated in Table 3. The expense per capita that has been used is 61.5 euro per
passenger; subsequently this product is multiplied by 5.5% for the calculation of the
expenses by crew members who visit the destination.
Table 3: Cruise passengers and crews expenses in Destination Ports in
the Eastern Mediterranean in 2011 (million of Euros)

Port Revenues from Passengers and Crews

Dubrovnik 64
Santorini 62
Mykonos 44
Bari 38
Palermo 37
Valetta 37
Rhodes 34
Limassol 21

Source: Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Economies of Europe (2012 Edition)
Calculations: Corres / Papachristou (2012) for methodology see Table 1.

The figures displayed in Table 3 are only part of the revenues for local communities
since they do not include the benefits from shore excursions, sales of goods of all kind,
port service charges and all kinds of other services such as tickets to museums and
archaeological sites etc, the relative economic significance of which cannot be quantified
at present.

Of particular interest are the findings of the Policy Research Corporation under the title''
Benchmark of Mediterranean Cruise Ports'' which deals with the comparative cost of
servicing cruise ships in Western and Eastern Mediterranean, which may be
summarized as follows:

The major ports which are used by companies as ports of embarkation and
disembarkation are mostly in the Western Mediterranean than in the Eastern.

The charges of the Western Mediterranean ports for larger cruise ships and mega
ships are higher than those of the Eastern Med.

Revenues from passengers for ports of embarkation and disembarkation are twice
as high compared to passenger revenue in destination ports.

Source: Policy Research Corporation: Benchmark of Mediterranean Cruise Ports

November 2012.

It is obvious that West Med ports are ahead in cruising from East Med ports having
developed not only the appropriate infrastructure to serve cruises but also ways of
commercial exploitation of cruises by local ports.

These findings illustrate the commercial incentive of cruise companies to increasingly

use ports of embarkation / disembarkation in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to
reduce transit fuel costs as well as passenger and ship service fees. Recent experience
in the ports of Rhodes and Heraklion confirms that the message has gone through to
cruise companies and it has already started to affect their planning.

4. Complementarity and Competition between Cruise
The relationship between any two islands is defined in the context of a cruise itinerary.

From the moment a cruise ship takes on board the passengers and sails for the
cruise, the relationship between the ports to which the ship will call is one of

On the contrary, the relationship between candidate ports during the phase of the cruise
planning is not clear given that the designer has the option to pick and choose among
destination ports responding in various ways to different prioritizations.

The ports of starting (and ending) a cruise (A) and the destination ports constitute the
cruise trip and the relationship between them is formed as below:

(hub) + (destination) + C (destination) + ... + A (hub)

In this order and without any exclusions.

The above does not apply in reality between hubs or home ports which are by definition
mutually exclusive and therefore competitive. Hybrid ports cannot be classified in only
one category because of their dual role. Their designation changes depending on their
status in the cruise.

Based on the above, we can suggest the following simple rules about the relationships
between the ports:


1. Hub ports are always competitive with each other regardless of the distance between
them in the sense that the choice of one excludes the selection of the other.

2. The above rule applies in general unless a hub port takes the role of a destination
port, i.e. it becomes hybrid (eg Piraeus as a destination port with Venice as hub), where it
temporarily, loses - on this specific cruise itinerary - the role of a hub port. Otherwise, the
following rules (3) and (5) apply.

3. The destination ports which are within a small distance with each other may be either
complementary or competitive. Complementary they are every time they are constituent
parts of a particular cruise itinerary and competitive when they stand as alternative destinations.
Their relationship depends on the cruise itinerary (e.g. Santorini and Mykonos).

4. Outside a specific cruise itinerary, competition between the destination ports which in
some cases may be acute takes the form of attracting the cruise designers attention
using as means the local interests and the adequacy of existing infrastructures.

5. Destination ports with a long distance between them are usually competitive, having
always in mind the average duration of a Med cruise. A cruise ship will either call at one or the
other destination port, but certainly not to both. (E.g. Dubrovnik and Santorini).

6. All the above relationships are generated during the phase of cruise planning and are
subject to revision when plans change.

These rules can be summarized in the following table.

Hubs Hybrid Destination

Competitive YES AS HUBS YES


An interesting point arises by the observation that, while a cruise always starts from a
home port and evolves in various other ports- either hybrid or strictly destination ports-
the historical development and characterization of a ports role in the cruise follows a
different pattern .

Efficiency at the enterprise level is assuming increasing dimensions, due to export led
growth strategies, the globalization of production, transport and distribution, and the
consequent intensification of international competition. The new expectations from ports
are today clearly felt by port administrations, who realize often painfully that the benefits
of fine tuning supply chains can be easily withered by bottlenecks at inefficient. This
realization has led to a global restructuring of the port industry. (Haralambides, Hussain,
Barros, Peypoch, 2010).

Originally, almost all major ports began as destination ports because they combined
some characteristics of historical importance, natural beauty and so on. If such a port
succeeds in becoming a home port then axiomatically it becomes hybrid since its
establishment as a cruise hub does not mean the disappearance of its interests as a
destination. As a consequence, strictly home ports are few.11

Normal historical evolution of a cruise port

Destination III Destination II Destination I

Hybrid C Hybrid B Hybrid A

Note: see ports coding in Annex

The classic ports evolution path in the cruise area described in the above table starts
from a small destination port and ends as a large hybrid port. During this evolution
phase - that may take decades - the destination port is growing, and while growing is
becomes gradually transformed into a cruise hub. Many ports, however, never complete
this evolution.

As this would imply the existance of an international airport close to a city/port devoid of any touristic interest.

As mentioned earlier, islands with a long distance between them are considered mostly
competitive, in the sense that the choice of calling to one excludes the possibility of
visiting another.

This does not apply in the case of an archipelago where the

islands are close to one another; in this case the exact opposite

Exactly due to the fact that the islands are close to one another, calling to one of them
increases the possibility of calling to one or more islands in the same region. 12

Ports have always been regarded as important means to enhance economic growth; in a
broad sense this can be seen as a regional developmental policy, where the "site" and
"situation" are crucial for the origin and the evolution of cruise ports (Marti, 1990). The
inclusion of a port in a cruise itinerary on the other hand has great economic, social and
environmental impacts on the local communities (Lekakou, Pallis, Vaggelas, 2010).

Competition between hubs is intense as the commercial and financial stakes are high.
On the contrary, among the ports which are already included in the same cruise,
competition as I it has already been said - is by definition non-existent, since all the calls
are guaranteed. 13

Despite the fact there are ports in the Adriatic Sea which present a significant interest for
cruisers, touristic interest recently seems to focus on the islands of the Aegean Sea
which connects the Eastern Mediterranean with the two other neighboring cruise
markets, the Red and the Black Seas, which are important for different reasons. The
Red Sea due to its warmer climate which allows for summer cruise programs to continue
for a longer period and the Black Sea because of the potential to visit new coastal
destinations with different cultural and touristic interests.

The existence of an archipelago in cruising provides the option to create positive interactions in a
corresponding way to trade'' ranks''. (See also : .aralambides: Positive externalities in consumption)
This argument remains valid as long as the design of the particular cruise remains unaltered. If, on the
contrary one chooses to examine the issue of port competition in a more generic way, all destination ports are
theoretically competitive to one another with distance playing a very important part on this matter.

Cruise planning is subject to restrictions, the greatest of which are related to
geographical (area) and time factors. Other than these, the number of
passengers and ship service quality play an important role, in addition to the local
attractions and the cost of the package for the passenger.

The profitability of the cruise companies depends on a successful combination of

transportation, tourism and hotel services which are provided. That - along with
the safety of passengers and ship is the leading pursuit of companies, the more
so for companies are listed in stock exchanges.

Profitability is linked directly to pricing policy and consequently with the charging
options depending on the time of year. Given the very low cost of the marginal
passenger a corollary of the indivisibility of the ship - the main concern is high
occupancy rates which become possible by using various ways to promote sales
with special offers, discounts, etc.

Bigger ships offer access to passengers with lower incomes; on the debit side,
large cruise vessels do not have access to all destinations, and also require
highly efficient marketing to ensure maximum filling rates. Failure to achieve high
occupancy constitutes a major failure.

The presence of ships in all major cruise markets is a strategic objective related
to the company growth and an prerequisite to the achievement of satisfactory
global market share.

Long journeys without intermediate stops are negative due to the protracted stay
of passengers onboard, as the attractiveness of the ship as a place of spending
time is declining rapidly after the first day.

Apart from the need to maintain customer interest, long itineraries result to heavy
fuel bills for the company.

The superiority of the Eastern Mediterranean over the West Med is mainly due to
the existence of archipelagoes, which provide the necessary conditions for
cruises of relatively low cost with excellent destinations close to one another
ensuring a wide variety of interests.

History, Culture, Religion and Entertainment are the four main pillars of attracting
cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the pillar of Religion to have currently
a lesser impact in most countries, except Israel.

Cruise ports can be either competitive or complementary. That depends on the

type of each port and on whether it is included in the planning of a specific cruise.

Hubs are always competitive with each other regardless of the distance between
them in the sense that the selection of one excludes the selection of another hub.
In general, this rule applies unless one hybrid port assumes the role of a
destination port.

Destination ports which are close to each other may be either complementary or

Destination ports which have a long distance between them are usually
competitive. With a typical cruise itinerary in mind a ship will call at one port, or
the other, but not to both.

Seen from a historical point of view, a port usually starts its relationship with the
cruise industry as a destination port and it strives - if the conditions allow- to
become a home port, becoming thus a hybrid port. Ports which strictly operate as
hubs are rare.

Cruising is an important economic resource for all the countries of the Eastern
Mediterranean and it also presents a powerful incentive for local communities to
participate in this kind of luxury mass tourism. However, it also requires high level
organization and the existence of infrastructure in order to achieve the requisite
high levels of service and safety.

Finally, it should be said that despite its considerable advantages, an archipelago

of smaller destinations - compared with fewer and larger ports along a coast

typically results to higher per passenger infrastructure cost per destination and
compromised chances for achieving scale economies.

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All the ports listed in this Annex have been classified into three categories according to
their predominant role. Subsequently, the ports of each class are rated in terms of
specific gravity to cruise and when a port belongs to the class of hybrid ports is graded
only as such, and not based on the other two categories.

Therefore, we have:

Hubs (HUB) class I, II and III

Hybrid Ports (HYB) class A, B and C, and

Destination Ports (DES) class 1, 2 and 3


Venice: HYB (A)

Koper: DES (3)

Santorini: DES (1)

Brindisi: HYB (C)

Lavrio : HUB (III)

It should be specified that all the ports which are located within areas with
political instability have been classified and then rated after having taken into
account the current situation. Consequently, it is likely to change their
classification once the situation returns to political stability.


Country information

Land area: 131,957 square kilometers

Population: 10,767,827 (July 2012 est)

Common borders with: Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, FYROM.

Languages spoken: Greek (official) 99%, other (includes English and

French) 1%.

Religions: Greek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Currency: Euro (EUR), since 1 January 2002

Climate: temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Piraeus HYB (A)
General Info
Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens-Piraeus Urban
Area, 12 km southwest from its city center (municipality of Athens), and lies along the east coast of the
Saronic Gulf. According to the 2001 census, Piraeus had a population of 175,697 people within its
administrative limits, making it the third largest municipality in Greece and the second largest within
the urban area of the Greek capital, following the municipality of Athens.

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the
world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a
powerful city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's
Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy,
largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries
BC in later centuries on the rest of the then known European continent. Today a cosmopolitan
metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in

Port Info
Piraeus has had the function of the port for Athens since the Golden Age of Greece. The port at
Piraeus was conceived at the beginning of the fifth century BC by Themistocles, who realized the
possibilities for its 3 deepwater harbors. The early fortifications were extended by Pericles with the
construction of 'the Long Walls' to line and fortify the road to Athens. Piraeus has been a major port
even since the Golden Age of Greece. The Port of Piraeus is an important destination for cruise
ships in the Mediterranean Sea. It has 11 places for the simultaneous berthing of vessels and can
accommodate even the largest cruise ships. It has two fully equipped passenger terminals, and
soon a third terminal with all the services and facilities for passengers, such as: air-conditioned
spaces, passenger and baggage control systems, check-in services, free transportation of
passengers by bus, application of the security code ISPS, luggage, catering, souvenir shops, free
wireless internet, hop on / off buses etc. Opposite the harbor is the site of the Battle of Salamis.
More info at

Sights - Shore Excursions

The Archaeological museum
The Byzantine Museum
Museum Benaki
The Acropolis: The top attraction in Athens is the Acropolis, a 150 m (512 ft) rock in the center of
the city topped with a series of temples erected in around 400BC. At the top of the Acropolis sits the
magnificent Parthenon, an amazing classical Greek temple, a majestic sight from almost
everywhere in the city. Nearby stands the Erechtheion. The 6 ladies that act as pillars are not real,
you can see 5 originals in the Acropolis museum.

Syntagma Square: At the front of the Greek parliament, ceremonial soldiers stand watch dressed
in their distinctive skirt with white tights and pom-pommed shoes. Each hour you can watch the
mesmerizing changing of the guard ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Plaka: Just down from the Acropolis sits the Plaka District. This pretty area is made up of
meandering pedestrianised streets, bordered by a wide range of souvenir/local goods shops,
restaurants and bars.
Roman Forum: The Roman Forum can be found at the west side of Plaka. Here you'll see the
beautiful Horologion of Andronikos, an eight faced tower with a different wind god on each side. The
entrance to the Forum is via a shared ticket with the Acropolis.
The Panathenaicon Stadium: The site of the first Olympiad, The Panathenaicon Stadium still
stands and is also well worth a visit.
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus: Between the Plaka district on the Panathenaicon Stadium,
several ruins and attractions are located. The Temple of the Olympian Zeus and the area
surrounding it are fascinating and well worth a visit. In this area there is also Hadrians Arch.
The Cape of Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon: about 45 miles from Athens, is home to the
majestic (and classical) Temple of Poseidon, open daily from 10 a.m. until sunset.

Marina Zea: Zea, also called Pasalimani, is where you can catch one of the Flying Dolphins to the
islands in the Saronic Gulf, and you'll also find the most fantastic yachts moored in the marina, one
of the largest in Europe. There are lots of restaurants, cafes, shops, and tavernas along the shore
Hellenic Maritime Museum: This nautical and naval museum has many exhibits showing Greek
ships, both modern and ancient. There are paintings, ship models, flags, maps, and all sorts of ship
paraphernalia. A section of the wall built around Piraeus by Themistocles in ancient times is here,
and so are some items from Aristotle Onassiss yacht.
Archaeological Museum: The archaeological museum has exhibits from ancient times, such as
statues that date back to the 4th century BC. There is a very large funeral monument, grave
markers, and important bronze statues of Apollo, Athena, and Artemis. Sculptures from both the
Classical and Roman periods are on display, as are many treasures excavated in Piraeus; there are
also ruins of an ancient theater nearby.

Heraklion DES(2)
General Info
The island of Crete was the location of one of the first important civilizations in Europe and
Heraklion is very near what was the most important cultural and political center of the
Minoan people. Heraklion is also a wonderful medieval city surrounded by modern day
civilization. The old section of Heraklion is a wonderful maze of pedestrian streets with
numerous shops and boutiques. Do not miss to taste the famous Cretan cuisine.

Port Info
The port of Heraklion is one of the 10 Greek ports of national importance with a prominent
geostrategic position, since it is located in the center of the South-East Basin of the
Mediterranean, at the crossroads of 3 continents. It is third in position based on passenger
traffic in Greece and it serves about 2 million passengers and more than 300.000 vehicles
annually. Free Urban maps, Free application for mobile city guide (iOS,Android), Free
internet Wi-Fi, Information Desk, Check in facilities, Cafeterias, shops and restaurants in
Passenger terminal and station.

The fortress Koules
The Loggia

The fountain Morosini

The Venetian walls surrounding the city
The Archaeological museum
Shore Excursions
Knossos: The ancient city of Knossos, 5 kilometers from the capital, was the center of the Minoan
civilization and includes the largest Minoan palace of the period 2000 - 1400 BC. The ruins of the
city cover an area of 20.000 m2 and consist of the ancient city with palace, the small palace, the
two-storey royal mansion and the royal tomb. In the same location the Stratigraphic Museum,
showing collections of findings of Knossos, can be found.
Phaistos: In the ancient city of Phaistos, 60 kilometers southwest of Heraklion, there is a similar
palace, with that of Knossos, but it is less complex and easier to browse. The complex was built on
a steep hill and it has an area of 8.400 m2. It was the religious and economic center in the Minoan

Souda Chania DES(2)
General Info

Chania has a long history reaching back to the Paleolithic era. It was a center of Minoan culture
though there are no significant ruins such as those at Knossos. However, later eras have left
wonderful sites and rich architectural wonders. Nowadays, Chania is a small city of about 60,000
that spreads out along the northwest coast of Crete in several distinct areas including Souda, where
the ships dock; Akrotiri, the large peninsula where the airport is located; and the main town of
Chania. Do not miss to taste the famous Cretan cuisine.

Port Info
The port of Souda is located in the Northwest part of the island. It is known for the security it
provides to ships in bad weather because it is well-protected from the Aegean currents as it sits in a
hidden bay behind the Akrotiri Peninsula on the northern coast of Crete. It accommodates ships
larger than 300 meters, while its piers have a depth of up to 12 meters. It is 1 Km away from the
national road, 7 Km from Chania city center and 15 Km from the international airport.

Sights - Shore Excursions

The old town of Chania: Delightful Chania Old Town is centered around the old harbour
and the narrow alleyways with shuttered houses behind. The buildings date back to the 17th
century, when the Venice Republic bought the island of Crete, and developed Chania as a
major center for shipbuilding and trade. Stroll through the cobbled streets and visit ornate
churches, quiet squares, bubbling fountains, and boutique shops.
The Maritime Museum: it is housed in the Firkas fortress, on the western side of the
harbors mouth. The museum features a whole range of nautical paraphernalia including
models, navigating instruments, armaments, and paintings. A favorite exhibit is a model
Chania port in Venetian time
The Archaeological Museum
Arsenals: around the harbor from the Firkas fortress, youll pass a series of impressive
Arsenals, shipyards constructed by the Venetians. Originally there were 23 shipyards split
into two complexes, 15 in the middle of the harbor, 5 to the east
The ancient city of Aptera
The beaches awarded with blue flags

Kos DES(2)
General Info

Kos or Cos is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese. The island measures
40 kilometres by 8 kilometres, and is 4 kilometres from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey. The island's
long, narrow shape provides for a lot of coastline, approximately 128 kilometers in total.The
principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Kos town. The island has a population of
30,947. Kos is the island of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The island has long been known for
its marvelous climate, lively night life, outstanding beaches and its incredible variety of water sports.

Port Info

Despite its quaintness, the port of Kos offers modern infrastructure and 24 hour operation. The port
is harmonized with the International Code of Safety ISPS and offers guests amenities and facilities,
either as a port of their destination or as a transit port to a nearby cruise.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Castle of Neratzia: The Castle of Neratzia (or Knight's castle) was built in the 15th century by
the Knights Hospitaller to help control of the sea route between Kos and ancient
Halicarnassus. The fort is a stone's throw from the cruise ship dock. Open mornings Tuesday
through Sunday.

Hippocrates Tree: You'll find the Hippocrates Tree next to the entrance of the castle. In
ancient Greek times the great physician Hippocrates lectured students in the shade of the tree.

Asklepion: 3.5 km west of Kos, nestling in wooded foothills, stand the impressive ruins of the
Asklepion, a hospital from classical times. The site is divided into three huge terraces, linked by
stone staircases. The upper and lower terraces contained patient wards, and the middle
terrace boasted a series of temples.

Thermal Beach: Thermal Beach or Center Therma is a hugely enjoyable outing on the coast
near Kos town. Thermal waters flow from the base of the cliffs into the sea, and a small circle
of stones keeps the water by the beach very hot. Swim into the sea away from the stones to
marvel at hundreds of bubble streams emitted from sulphurous vents in the sea floor.

Town Beach: Kos Town beach, the stretch of pebbles which fronts the Tourist Information
office, is an enjoyable place to sunbathe and swim after a day's sightseeing.

Patmos DES (3)
General Info
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese
complex, it has a population of 2,984 and an area of 34.05 km2. The island of Patmos is considered
one of the most impressive due to its exquisite wild beauty which is diffuse at its every point. Called
the "island of Revelation", since there is where John the Divine wrote the book of Revelation. It is
an attraction for many pilgrims and tourists.

Port Info
The port was constructed in 1976 (central pier), and has a total length of 202 meters. A quay has
also been constructed with a length of 264 m (80 posts), which is equipped to welcome tourist boats
of large lengths (pillars, information desk). The marina of 62 posts has also been completed and is
ready for operation, as well as a pier of total length 80 meters.

Sights - Shore Excursions

The Monastery of St John the Theologian: The Monastery of St John the Theologian was
founded by Hosios Christodoulos in 1088. It is a magnificent and imposing fortified building,
standing on top of a hill, flanked by the town of Chora. Inside the thick walls youll find two
chapels, a treasury, a library and the living quarters for the monks decorated with frescoes and
mosaics, together with numerous relics, precious crosses, sacred communion cups, and ancient
Cave of the Apocalypse: When St John the Divine was exiled to Patmos by the Roman
Emperor Domitian in AD95, he lived in the Cave of the Apocalypse. It was here he received his
revelation from God, which he dictacted to his disciple Prothorus, so writing the Book of the
Apolcalypse, or Revelation, the last book of the Bible. (To quote from the 1st Chapter of
Revelation I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom
and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for
the testimony of Jesus Christ.). The cave now lies at the lowest level of a large monastery, the
Monastery of the Apocalypse. The Cave of the Apocalypse is halfway up the Skala to Chora
road, sheltered by trees.
Chora Town: The quaint whitewashed houses separated by narrow streets and quiet shaded
squares date from the middle ages. Enjoy a visit to an authentic Greek shop or tarverna, or
wander off for a close-up look at the sadly sail-less windmills.
Skala Waterfront: Walk along the Skala waterfront and spot fishing boats, ferries and yachts.
Youll also see remains of the original baptismal font used by St. John to baptize the people of
Patmos. Across from the font is a small whitewashed church decorated with a mosaic of the
Saint. Just north of the ferry dock, youll find Skala Town beach, a narrow strip of pebbles
shaded by some trees - welcome shade on a hot day.

Thera (Santorini) DES (1)
General Info
Santorini, officially Thira, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, a with an area of approximately
73 km2 and a 2001 census population of 13,670. Santorini, is believed by some to be the site of the
Lost Continent of Atlantis. In fact, Santorini owes its existence to a volcano whose last huge
eruption dates back 3600 years ago. The worlds largest caldera, with its magnificent contrast of
colors, imposing landscape, exciting entertainment, rich history (dating back to the Bronze Age).

Port Info
The port of Athinios is the main port at the island of Thira and it is positioned geographically to the
west coast of the island. In cooperation with the second port of the island, the bay of Fira, the
disembarkation of tourists from the cruise vessel to the island is ensured, which is carried out by
vessels of the excellently organized Boatmen Union.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Fira: The capital clings to the edge of a cliff (actually the rim of a crater). In the early evening,
shadows on whitewashed houses, chants of prayers resounding from the Orthodox Cathedrals
and a wild bar scene contrast with the dark sea below to provide a unique and unforgettable
experience. Interesting barrel-vaulted cave houses (built for fortification against volcanic activity)
dot the landscape.
Oia: The second major town, Ia (or Oia), is perched at the summit of the caldera, on the northern
tip of the island. This picturesque village was devastated by an earthquake in 1956 and has
been completely rebuilt. Buildings and tree trunks are painted white every year and stand-out
against the backdrop of rust color layers of rock, earth and volcanic ash.
Akrotiri: is the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern
Mediterranean. Known as Prehistoric Pompeii, it was once an ancient Minoan city that was
destroyed by a volcano in 1522 B.C. Protected under a tin roof, only a small route of the
excavation site is available, but a definite must see. While in Akrotiri, head to the southern end
of the island village for a glimpse of the Red Beach, named for the unique color of the sand and
the hill behind it. Small red volcanic pebbles create a very unusual red glow.
Ancient Thira: A paved, but very steep road leads from Kamari up to the site of Hellenic,
Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine ruins. The city is divided down the middle by the Sacred Way
and agoras, public baths, etc. are all on display. Not only are the ruins awesome, but incredible
views of the neighboring islands can be seen from this vantage point.

Mykonos DES (1)
General Info

Mykonos is a Greek island, part of the Cyclades. The island spans an area of 85.5 km2 and there are
9,320 inhabitants (2001). Mykonos, famously called 'the island of the winds' due to the constant
wind that blows, is the most popular and cosmopolitan island of the Cyclades and considered as
one the most famous islands of the world.

Port Info
Cruising started in Mykonos in the prewar years, and today the island has two port facilities. The
Old Port of Mykonos town and the new port in Tourlos, 3 km from Mykonos Town. The Old Port
provides two interfaces for cruise vessels and direct access to the traditional village. The Port of
Tourlos (new port) provides three interface services, one is the main wharf for mooring cruise ships
of 330 m length, the second is the pier with a length less than 100 m and the third is to serve the

Sights - Shore Excursions

The Paraportiani church

The Mills
The area of Little Venice
Delos: Located 1.9 miles from Mykonos, both guided and unguided trips can be taken by
way of a 40 minute ferry ride. This temple city, once known as the spiritual center of
Cyclades and the holiest sanctuary is home to the Sacred Way, which leads to the
Sanctuary of Apollo, an agora, and the not to be missed Avenue of the Lions, that guard
the Sacred Lake. Delos used to be the first international financial center in the
Mykonos Street Scene: A walk through the maze of streets, laid out to confuse pirates in
earlier centuries, exploring Hora (Mykonos Town) is an adventure in itself. Keep an eye out
for Mykonos' fabulous pink pelicans. These birds are a real treat to see and watch.
Beaches: Mykonos is famous for its beaches some of the recommended are Platis Gialos
and Paradise Beach or Super Paradise Beach.

Milos DES (3)
General Info

Milos is the southwesternmost island in the Cyclades group, 120 km due east from the coast of
Laconia, in Greece. It is notable for its volcanic soil and for the rich deposits of minerals that lie
beneath. Milos has over fifty sandy beaches and others with sharp rocks and caves. Milos is
famous for the Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo), a Hellinistic work of about 150 BC -which was
discovered in 1820. A plaster copy of this master piece of art can be seen in the island's
Archaeological Museum while the original is in Louvre museum in Paris.

Port Info
Adamadas of Milos, being the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean, was founded in 1835 and
is a stopover for cruise ships in the Cyclades. The passenger jetty of the island has all the
requirements necessary for the docking of small and large vessels.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Plaka: It is the main town on the island. It is built on a rather flat valley and displays Cycladic
arthitecture. On top of the hill, the ruins of a Frankish castle can be examined, and a beautiful
view is available for those doing the 30-minute climb to the top.

The Historical and Folklore Museum has a collection of folk artifacts, samples of the island's
minerals, photographs, and historical documents of the greatest interest.

Christian Catacombs: the early Christian catacombs monument is the second most important,
immediately after the Catacombs of Rome.

Monastery of Agios Ioannis o Siderenios

Beaches: the Sarakiniko beach renowned for its moon-like surface; the Papakinou beach in the
main port town of Adamas near the Mylos cruise port; the Tsigrado beach with its long stretches
of sand and shallow caves; and the Rivari, which is most famous for its incredible golden sands

Kleftiko: it is a nearby island, a Pirate hideout, a place of unique beauty.

Volos DES (2)
General Info

Situated at the end of the Pagasetic Gulf where the Pelion Peninsula begins, Volos is at the foot of
Mount Pelion. The city has 70,000 residents and is the capital of the Magnesia Prefecture. Volos is
located roughly in the middle of mainland Greece, north of Athens and south of Thessalonika, the
two largest cities in the country. It is an important port and industrial area that developed during the
19th century, was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the mid-1950s, and was rebuilt. It is also
the gateway to the Pelion peninsula, a popular tourist area in both summer and winter.

Port Info

The port of Volos, one of the biggest regional ports of the country, occupies a strategic location in
central Greece, between the two country's biggest ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. The port that
lies upon ancient Iolkos where one of the most legendary sea faring epics of ancient times started.
Here, at the safe port of the wonderful Pagasitikos bay, Jason built his trireme, Argo, and along with
his oarsmen set course for Colhis bringing back and getting married to priestess Medea. More info

Sights - Shore Excursions

The Volos Archaeological Museum: it contains a rich collection of wares from the Bronze Age,
pottery dating to the 5th and 8th centuries B.C., and sculpture from the 5th and 6th centuries
Church of St. Nicholas: it is worth exploring for its solid silver icons, richly carved altars, pulpit
and choir stalls, fabulous crystal chandeliers, and elaborately painted walls and ceilings.
The Municipal Gallery: it is housed in the town hall and is another must-see for culture vultures.
It contains a fine collection of paintings, sculptures and engravings by contemporary Greek
Pellion: The mountain villages of Portaria and Makrynitsa are also worth visiting. In here you will
be able to see beautifully persevered traditional Pelion houses. You can also get a splendid and
breathtaking view of the city from atop Makrynitsa.
The Meteora Monastery once an amazing aerie retreat for medieval monks -- is one of the
most spectacular sights to be seen during a call at Volos. It dates from 1356 and is set hundreds
of feet up on soaring sandstone rock faces. At one time, there were 24 monasteries and church
buildings. The only way to transport goods to that location was to hoist them in large nets, while
people scrambled up dizzying 120-foot-high rope ladders to gain access -- an act of religious
faith in itself.
Beaches: Alikos Beach, Potistika Beach, and Melani Beach.

Thessaloniki DES (2)
General Info

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia. Its
honorific title is "co-capital",and stands as a reference to its historical status as, "co-reigning" city of
the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2011 census the Thessaloniki Urban
Area has a population of 790,824. The City of timeless cultures and Alexander the Great, with a
history of more than 2.500 years, the city has comprised in its long history a crossroads of different
civilizations, traces of which the visitor can find in the numerous monuments of the city and stories
of its people.

Port Info

The port of Thessaloniki is a European port, a natural way of economic activity in the countries of
the wider Balkan region. It serves the growing needs of these countries in the import and export of
raw materials, consumer products and capital equipment. The port has an advantageous position,
being located at the crossroads of inland transport networks. The passenger terminal at the port of
Thessaloniki offers all necessary services for cruise ships and cruise passengers. The port of
Thessaloniki has quays 6.200 feet long, with a useful depth of 12 meters. More info at:

Sights - Shore Excursions

The White Tower: it is the symbol of Thessaloniki from the 15th century, located in the
city's seafront.
Kamara: it is the Arch of Galerius, known colloquially as the Kamara. The arch was built to
commemorate the emperor's campaigns against the Persians
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was established in 1962 and houses some of the
most important ancient Macedonian artifacts, including an extensive collection of golden
artwork from the royal palaces of Aigai and Pella. It also houses exhibits from Macedon's
prehistoric past, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is one of the city's most famous museums, showcasing the
city's glorious Byzantine past. The museum was also awarded Council of Europe's museum
prize in 2005.
Churches: By the 8th century, the city had become an important administrative center of
the Byzantine Empire, and handled much of the Empire's Balkan affairs, due to that many
churches are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki, the Rotunda
of Saint George, the Church of the Acheiropoietos, the Church of Panagia Chalkeon.
Vergina: Located 80 km in the foothills of Pieria is the archaeological site of Vergina, world
famous since 1977 when the tomb of Alexander's father, Philip B was discovered.

Kavala DES(3)
General Info
Kavala is a city in northern Greece located 345 km north of Athens, it is the principal seaport of
eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala prefecture. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across
from the island of Thasos. The Nestor River Delta is about 30 KM east of the city. The population is
just under 75,000. It boasts spacious squares, contemporary buildings, and shopping centres on
the west side of the city. By contrast, visitors to the eastern side will enjoy the traditional old houses,
tiny gardens and flagged alleyways. The harbor is particularly picturesque with its countless brightly
colored fishing boats moored along the waterfront.
Port Info
The ancient port of Neapolis, as it was known in ancient times, Kavala, was founded by the
Thassians towards the end of the 7th century BC. In 49 AC St. Paul disembarked for the first time in
Europe, in Kavala. The Port of Kavala is centrally located in downtown Kavala.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Old town of Kavala
The Byzantine castle and the old walls
The Kamares - the aqueduct erected by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century
The Imaret, a Turkish building.
Delta Nestos - Natura 2000: The most popular activities at the Nestos River are canoeing and
hiking along the shore in the area called the narrows near the town of Toxotes. Closer to the
Aegean is a protected area of wetlands where bird-watching is a favorite activity.
Alistrati Cave, is a large cavern with organized tours where visitors can experience the
wonders of gigantic stalagmites and stalactites in large underground chambers.
Royal & Ancient Theatre of Philippi: Alexander the Great's father established a city at Philippi
to protect the goldmines that were nearby. Architectural elements can be seen at the Philippi
Archaeological Museum and on the acropolis. The Greek Theater is still used for performances.
Baptistery of St. Lydia: is the reputed location of Europe's first baptism performed by the
Apostle Paul. The Mud Spa
Hot springs and mud baths at Krinides has been used for therapeutic treatments since the
19th century that you can experience for yourself.
Beaches: Tosca Beach, Kalamitsa Beach and Batis Beach

Alexandroupolis DES (3)
General Info
Alexandroupolis, is 750 km away from Athens, 300 km away from Thessaloniki and is about 14.5
km west of the delta of the river Evros, 40km from the border with Turkey with a population of about
70.000 inhabitants, it stands as crossroads of peoples, cultures and beauty. It is a transportation
hub and a modern seaside town with a remarkable tourist infrastructure and excellent layout. In the
city the lighthouse dominates and the Municipal Park is also considered very beautiful.

Port Info
The Port of Alexandroupolis is located in the North-East of Greece and at the most borderline point,
very close to Bulgaria (north) and Turkey (east). The port has a capacity to accommodate cruise
ships up to 6 meters draft and up to 200 meters length and is able to supply water and can collect

Sights - Shore Excursions

Alexandroupoli Lighthouse
Holy Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Nicolas
Town Square
The cave of the Cyclops: In Makri, near the picturesque harbor of Platanos the cave of
the Cyclops can be found, which according to tradition, was the home of the Cyclops

The archaeological site of Mesembria, the ancient city walls and temples of Apollo and
Demeter are still preserved.

The wetlands of the Evros Delta is a protected area, home to rare species of fauna and

The Dadia Forest just 50 Km from Alexandroupolis, which houses many rare species of
birds of prey.

In Soufli which is 65 Km north of Alexandroupoli, one can see the Silk Museum.

Patras DES (2)
General Info
Patras is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in
northern Peloponnese, 215 km west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon,
overlooking the Gulf of Patras. The Patras City Area is a conurbation of 160.400 inhabitants

Port Info
The port of Patras is the country's gateway to Europe and is one of the most modern ports in the
Mediterranean, providing infrastructure, a modern cruise terminal, integrated quality hosting
services, health and safety. The events hosted by the Patras Port Authority SA reveal a sense of
hospitality and responsibility of us all, and the importance of cruise tourism for our port. Tourism is
related to culture for centuries in Greece. We are ready to welcome you, with a welcoming smile,
diligence and honesty of services that will connect you with Greece.

Sights - Shore Excursions

The Roman Odeon, the most significant ancient monument was built around 160 AD, during
the reign of either Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius.
The medieval Patras Castle, in the location of the ancient acropolis overlooking city, was
initially built in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor Justinian,.
The Roman Amphitheatre, situated near the Roman Odeon, is one of the most important and
impressive monuments of the city. It is dated in the dues of the 1st century AD, at a period
of the biggest development of Roman Patras.
The monumental church of Saint Andrew of Patras was founded in 1908 by king George I and
was inaugurated in 1974. It is dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron of the city and it is the
second largest temple of byzantine style in the Balkans (after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in
The Achaia Clauss wine industry and tasting center, which is located on the outskirts in
Petroto village. It was founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss and is most famous for
its Mavrodaphne.
The Archaeological Museum exhibits the history of Patras from the prehistoric era to the late
Roman period.
The remains of the Roman Aqueduct, which connected the acropolis with the springs of
Romanos. The aqueduct measured 6.5 km (4.04 mi) from the water cistern to the castle.
Nafpaktos: it is the city where the important, for the European and world history, of the
same name battle took place in October 1571.
Patras Carnival: In February, the city hosts one of Europe's largest and most colourful
carnivals; notable features of the carnival include its mammoth-sized satirical floats and
extravagant balls and parades.

Katakolon DES (1)
General Info

Katakolo is a seaside town in the municipality of Pyrgos in western Greece. It is situated on a

headland overlooking the Ionian Sea and separating the Gulf of Kyparissia from the rest of the Ionian.
It is 11 km west of downtown Pyrgos .

Port Info
Despite its small size it is a very important port, founded in 1857 to serve commercial purposes.
Due to its geographical position and the sights it offers to the visitor, today it is a very important
cruise port in Greece, providing the amenities of a modern and safe harbor. Katakolon is the
terminal for travelers wanting to visit the important archaeological site of Ancient Olympia. The
lighthouse of Katakolo was built in 1865.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: revives 350 amazing inventions of the ancient Greeks
(from the robot - servant of Philon to the "cinema" of Heron and from the hydraulic clock of
Archimedes to the analog computer of Antikythera) covering the period from 2000 B.C. up
to the end of the ancient Greek world. It is the most authoritative and complete exhibition of
its kind in the world.

The Museum of the Ancient Greek Musical Instruments and Toys: revives 42 ancient Greek musical
instruments and many ancient Greek toys accompanied by detailed descriptions and
diagrams. It is the most authoritative and complete exhibition of its kind in the world.

Ancient Olympia: it is the sanctuary of ancient Greece, where the classical Olympic
Games were held. See the remains of the original Olympic stadium, the Bouleuterion and
the Temple of Zeus.

Beaches: Alkioni, Ag. Andreas and Levendochori.

Igoumenitsa DES (3)

General Info
Igoumenitsa, is a coastal city in northwestern Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit Thesprotia.
Its original ancient name used to be Titani. Homer mentions for the first time in Thesprotia, the
transition of Ulysses there and the hospitality of King Pheidon.

Port Info
The New Port of Igoumenitsa, recently completed, is designed to perform many different port
services. In this context, we are reorganizing the port in order to better serve the cruise passengers,
placing the new cruise terminal near the center of the city, separating it from the busy passenger
and commercial activities.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Thesprotia: The Monastery of Giromeri in the town of Filiates was built in the 14th century and
features frescoes and woodcuts of later eras. The yacht harbor of Syvota, very near the border
with Albania, has long been popular with regional boaters for its waterfront tavernas and cafes
and the nearby beaches.
Parga: The colorful and historic seaside village of Parga has long been popular for its steep
streets and rocky promontories. The Parga Castle was destroyed by the pirate Barbarrosa, and
later by the Ottomans, before the present structure was built by the Venetians. Not far to the
southeast of Parga is the Oracle of the Dead, a temple of Hades, where ancient Greeks came to
ask questions of the dead.
Metsovo: Sprawling on the steep slopes of Mt Pindos, Metsovo is a living testament to the
region's fame for skilled stonemasonry. Apart from the Averoff Art Gallery, there is a small
folkloric museum, the churches of Agia Paraskevi and the Virgin Mary.
Ioannina: It is a rich cultural city with many historic buildings and structures particularly from the
Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Its Kale (Ali Pasha's castle) is perhaps the most famous and
visited, renowned for the enlightened Islamic ruler who built it. The city lies on the banks of
scenic Lake Pamvotis, with the little islet town of cobbled streets, shops and tavernas. The
ancient Dodona Theatre is also nearby.
Eagles Nest villages of Zagori: Zagori is a region with 46 villages, isolated by geography and
perched on the slopes of a scenic valley. The houses are unique and built to withstand their
precarious locations. It is a place to see nature and discover a unique and isolated culture.
Meteora: Few natural sights in Greece have the dramatic and historical appeal of Meteora, which
is why the area near Kalabaka has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its
columnar mountains and inaccessible monasteries.

Corfu DES (1)

General Info
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its
small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island's history is
laden with battles and conquests. Narrow cobbled streets adjacent to the buildings of the Venetian,
French and British influence entice visitors. Corfu has always been an island of the West, it was

never conquered by the Ottomans and so its culture is synonymous in recent years with Venice and
England. In 2007, the city's old city was designated for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Port Info
The Port Authority of Corfu complies fully with the safety measures ISPS Code. The cruise terminal
with an area of 3.360 m2, is wheelchair accessible, has a tourist information office, an Internet
corner, interactive information modules and free access to the Internet. The port of Corfu is 15
minutes walk from the center of Corfu town. Safe from the time of Ulysses. More info at:

Sights - Shore Excursions

Old Corfu Town
The Esplanade
The Palace of St. Michael and St. George
The Church of St. Spyridion.
Old Fortress: Dating back to the 6th century when Corfu was part of the Byzantine Empire, the
Old Fortress has survived many changes. Located right off of Spanish Square. Once you cross
the Old Fortress Bridge and enter through the arched entryways, the Old Fortress opens up for
exploration. The Old Fortress resides on the main point of Corfu and enjoys a beautiful vista
overlooking the ocean.
Achillio Palace: Located about 10 km from Corfu Town in the village of Gastouri, this luxurious
villa was built for the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth von Wiltelsbach (more familiarly known as
Princes Sissy), by the Italian architect Raffaele Carito in 1892.
The Monastery of the Virgin Mary, circa 1288 with newer buildings dating to the 1700's, next.
At the monastery, there's a chapel which houses a museum of Byzantine and ecclesiastical art.
Mon Repos Palace, where you'll visit the museum (British Colonial & ancient Greek artifacts)
and see some of the grounds and excavation sites.

Beaches: Glyfada and Paeleokastritsa.

Nafplion DES (3)

General Info
Nafplio (or Nafplion) was the first capital of Greece after independence. Today Nafplio is a lovely
seaside town about a 2.5 hour drive southwest of Athens on the Peloponnese Peninsula. Many
visitors to Greece use Nafplio as a base for visiting the many ancient archeological sites nearby. It
is a charming town featuring elegant Venetian homes and it has a picturesque harbor, which is
dominated by three citadels -- the vast Palamidi Fortress, the Akronafplia Fortress, and the Bourtzi

Port Info
Ships anchor off the coast of Nafplion and tender into the tender wharf on the waterfront directly in
front of the main part of the town. From the tender, one simply crosses the street to enter the main
part of town

Sights Shore Excursions

The Archaeological Museum: It is located in the beautiful 18th-century Venetian arsenal
that dominates Plateia Syntagma. It houses most of the riches recovered from the
Palamidhi Fortress.
The Palamidhi Fortress: Climb the 700 vertical feet (899 stairs) up to the entrance of the
fort and then pay to gain entrance and explore its treasures.
The Akronafplia Fortress
The Bourtzi Fortress
Epidaurus: Epidaurus is one of the most famous ancient sites in Greece. Greeks
recognized Epidaurus as the birthplace of Asclepius, the god of healing. As such, Epidaurus
was renowned for its sanctuary that had unique spa medical facilities and healing
treatments. There is also the 3rd century theater, which is one of the best preserved
classical Greek buildings. The theater at Epidaurus has amazing acoustics. A coin dropped
in the center of the 14.000 seat theater can be heard from the highest seat. In the summer,
special performances are held at the theater at Epidaurus.
Mycenae: Mycenae is famous for its link to Homer's tales of the glory of war. Mycenae may
have been founded as early as the 14th century BC. The highly developed Mycenaean
civilization of the Bronze Age was based in the area. A tour of the ruins at Mycenae will go
to the citadel or Acropolis (high city) through the Lion Gate, which is believed to have borne
the insignia of the Royal House of Atreus. Other interesting features at Mycenae include the
Cyclopean Walls, the Circle of Tombs, and the well preserved Beehive Tomb.

Gythion DES (3)

General Info
Gythion is a port town on the Gulf of Laconia in Greece, located on the Peloponnese peninsula in
the area of Mani. This part of Greece is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe,
where sleepy fishing villages and idyllic white beaches play host to rich history and cultures.
Port Info
You tender into Gythion along a narrow sea wall, which is embellished with statues. Go left from the
drop-off point, and walk right around the little harbor, and you'll find the main square with its cafes

and restaurants off to the left. The main street, which runs parallel to the harbor, will be straight
ahead of you
Sights Shore Excursions
Cranae: Legend has it that this islet was the island on which Paris spent his first night with
Helen of Troy. It has a 19th-century lighthouse; pine-scented, gecko-haunted woodland;
whitewashed, red-roofed chapel; and stunning views of the sea. The Gythion Theatre, the
most important edifice of the Roman Age and home to the ruins of the Temple of Athena
and the Gates of Castorides as well as an aqueduct.
Beaches: Mavrovouni, Selinitsa Beach
Sparta lies about half an hour's drive from Gythion. Appropriately enough for a city once
famed for its military might and the toughness of its fighting men, there is a large army base
nearby -- but the modern city itself shows few signs of its illustrious past. Sparta's
Archaeological Museum does contain bas-reliefs, mosaics and statues from the 6th and 4th
centuries B.C.
Mystras, the 13th-century Byzantine citadel set atop a steep hill about six kilometers from
Sparta, atmosphere and spectacular architecture. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
famous for its stunning hilltop castle and Byzantine churches.
The Caves of Diros, enormous underground caverns, lie halfway down the western coast
of the Mani Peninsula and extend inland for at least five kilometers. Discovered in the mid-
20th century after being blocked for years by effects from an earthquake, the three caves --
Glyphada, Alepotripa and Kataphyggi -- are among the most spectacular in the world and
are famed for their immense stalagmites and stalactites. The Diros Neolithic Museum lies
near the entrance of the caves and exhibits Neolithic remains found in them.

Monemvasia DES (3)

General Info

Monemvasia is located on a small peninsula off the Peloponnesian east coast in the Greek
prefecture of Laconia. It is actually a medieval fortress with a town next to it and is joined to the
mainland by a 200 m narrow causeway. It looks as if it has literally jumped out of the Medieval Era.
In effect the Old Town and the Castle of Monemvasia has been built on a huge rock.
Monemvassia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock. The rock is 300 m tall and 1.8
km longThe rock on which it is built, 300m. high.

Port Info

The port of Nea Monemvasia is a modern village just 1 km away on the mainland, where many of
the original inhabitants on 'the Rock' resettled. Cruise ships will tender you close to the town.

Sights Shore Excursions
The Church dedicated to the Christ in Pain
The Archaeological Collection, housed in a Muslim mosque
The church of Agia Sofia.
Gerakas: it is a small village, 20 km away, with beautiful wild landscape and with the
remains of an ancient town to be seen at a close distance. Whatever you do, this 'treasure
in historical terms', will always 'stay' with you.
Gefyra: it is a small, rustic, coastal town with incredible views of the Rock that juts out into
the Aegean. You cannot see the town of Monemvasia.

Argostoli (Kafalonia) DES (3)

General Info
The island of Cephalonia or Kefalonia or Cephallonia or Kefallonia, is the largest of the Ionian Islands
in western Greece. The capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli. The town of Argostoli has one-third of the
island's inhabitants. Lixouri is the second major settlement, and the two towns together account for
almost two-thirds of the islands population at the 2011 census it was 35,801.[ Odysseus (Ulysses)
of the famous Odyssey was the king of Cephalonia, whose home on the nearby island of Ithaca can
be seen from the port of Sami.

Port Info
Cruise ships arriving in Kefalonia can dock at a new pier in the capital, Argostoli. The town center
and tender pier is only about 10 to 15 minute stroll. There is only one berth, so ships might have to
use their tenders. The tenders run into the old harbor in the center of the town.
Sights Shore Excursions
The St. George Castle: Built more than 1,600 years ago, the castle still stands tall in scenic
Livatho Valley area.
Assos Castle, situated about 22 miles to the north of Argostoli, is recognized as a
European Heritage Site. It is the biggest castle on Kefalonia with huge walls, stone tunnels,
and bastions.
Drogarati Cave is another natural wonder. Discovered by chance after the 1953
earthquake, this cave is believed to be more than 100 million years old. Naturally made
colorful stalagmites and stalactites are a sight to behold.
The Melissani Cave nearby; it is known more for the subterranean lake it beholds. Lake
Melissani is filled with brackish water, which is a mixture of sweet and salty water. Tourists
can take a boat ride in this lake to explore the cave deeply.
Fiskardo: it is a lovely, colorful village at the northernmost tip of the island surrounded by a
rocky coast and dense green forests that are designated protected.
Aenos Mountain-National Park
Saint Georges Fortress

Monastery of Kipouria
Koutavos Lake
Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary,
Catholic Church of St. Nicholas
Beaches: Makris Gialos, Xi Beach, Lourdas and Myrtos

Zante DES (3)

General Info

Zakynthos is the third largest of the Greek Ionian Islands. Due to repeated earthquakes, the
morphological structure of the island is of great interest. Thus, the beaches on the northeastern side
of the island are sandy and flat, while the beaches on the southwestern side are rocky and steep.
Zakynthos has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece.

Port Info
Most ships will tender you ashore to the center of the town.

Sights Shore Excursions

Solomou square - Zakynthos Town
St Dionysios Church is the most important church on the island of Zakinthos
Bokhali: Located just under the Venetian fortress offers incredible views of Zakinthos
Town. During a photo stop, try a piece of Mandolato, the Zakinthian sweet.
Blue Caves and the Shipwreck beach (Navagio) From Skinari your boat will set sail up to
the Blue Caves, where you can marvel at the arches created by erosion over thousands of
years and capture the amazing sight of the water reflecting a dazzling aquamarine and
turquoise from the sea floor. From the Blue Caves, the cruise continues to the highlight of
the tour, one of the most photographed locations, not only in Zakinthos but the whole of
Greece, known as Shipwreck Cove. This famous cove is hidden by imposing cliffs and is
home to a shipwreck half buried on the beach. With crystal clear waters lapping on the
beach it a striking image that will stay with you forever.
Beaches: Agios Nikolaos, the Bay of Laganas
Mineral springs are the St. Panteleimon springs in the village of Koukesi and the Tsouri
springs in the village of Aghios Dimitrios. The mineral springs are an ideal therapeutic
treatment for arthritis and rheumatism.

Rhodes DES (1)
General Info

Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese
islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island
group's historical capital. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes,
one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has
been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in

Port Info

Cruise ships dock at the Commercial Port to the east of the Old Town, which is only a few minutes'
walk away.

Sights Shore Excursions

The Old Town, Europe's largest inhabited medieval city, is beautiful and really interesting
as well as its historic sites. There is a magnificent fountain in Plateia Evreon (to the right as
you enter St Catherine's Gate), which features bronze sea horses.

Lindos, once the most important town on the island, is now a National Historic Monument.
Its acropolis sits some 116 meters above sea level. Below is a sandy (albeit crowded)
crescent-shaped beach that's bordered by alfresco restaurants and beautiful 17th-century
whitewashed houses are scattered haphazardly up the hillside. Here it's worth taking a look
at the lovely 18th-century frescoes in the Church of Agia Panagia, which dates from the
15th century. You can also walk up the steep steps to the acropolis -- you can hire a donkey
to take you part of the way, and it's worth the effort for one of the best views in Greece and
the chance to explore the tiny Temple of Athena, which dates from the fourth century B.C.

Lavrion HUB(III)
General Info
Lavrio is a town in southeastern part of Attica. Lavrio was famous in Classical antiquity for silver
mining, which was one of the chief sources of revenue of the Athenian state. The metallic silver was
mainly used for coinage. It is located about 60 km SE of Athens. Laurium is situated on a bay
overlooking the island of Makronisos (ancient times: Helena) in the east. The port is in the middle
and gridded streets cover the residential area of Lavrio. The Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport
is 35 km away from Lavrio or about 30 minutes drive.

Port Info
The port is located in the middle of Lavrio within walking distance of the town centre.

Sights Shore Excursions

The Mineralogical museum and the metalworking exhibit: Lavrio has a history of gold
and silver mining which can be seen in this museum
Island of Kea: The closest island is Kea which is approximately 7 km's from Lavrio.
Ancient site of Thorikos

Itea DES (3)

General Info
This Greek town (founded in 1830) can be found in the southeastern part of Phokida. With a small
population of around 9,000, Itea does not have a lot of major amenities. However, this quaint port
town lies to the west of Kirra, which was once an ancient seaport. Itea is now a successful
commercial and industrial hub for imports and exports. Many tourists stop at the Itea cruise terminal
for the beautiful beaches, local festivals, major sporting events, and picturesque scenery.

Port Info
This is a tender port. You will be tendered to the center of Itea.

Sights Shore Excursions

Ancient Delphi: The most complete in the complex is the Athenian Treasury, built in honor of
the Athenian victory at Marathon. The path switches back toward the Temple of Apollo on the
next level of the complex. The path zigzags upward, offering new ruins that include a lovely
small amphitheater and a huge stadium.
Delphi Archeaological Museum: There are two massive Kouros sculptures from the Archaic
period, an array of golden jewelry, and smaller architectural elements from the site (such as
metopes, rectangular sculptures used to ornament temples and other buildings). This museum is
considered one of the finest in Greece and provides another side to the Delphi story.
Hosios Loukas Monastery: St. Luke was a military saint and hermit who predicted the Greek
recapture of Crete in the 10th century. In his honor, an orthodox church and monastery were
built in this lovely location to house his remains. This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage list
because it is considered one of the few examples of Middle Byzantine architecture and still
features a few of the icons and frescoes from that early period.
Kirra: it is an ancient town, very little remains of its glory days as the port for Delphi.

Agios Nikolaos DES (3)
General Info
Agios Nikolaos is a small port of 25,000 residents on Mirambelou Bay, located on the eastern half
of the island of Crete in the prefecture of Lassithi.

Port Info
Cruise ships dock in the center of the town.

Sights Shore Excursions

The archaeological museum has Minoan and other artifacts.
Lake Voulismeni, supposedly bottomless, is located in the center of Agios Nikolaos town,
at the foot of some cliffs. It is a lagoon linked to the sea by a narrow canal. According to the
mythology, the goddess Athena used to bathe in the lake. It is an especially picturesque site
with many open-air cafes and restaurants along the banks.
Lassithi Plateau: The Lassithi Plateau is an unlikely tourist attraction, but the stunning
scenery, rustic villages, and elegant windmills lend an atmosphere that is unique. It has an
average altitude of almost 3000 feet and sits below the massive Dikti (mountains).
Agios Nikolaos church: it is a small Byzantine chapel which contains superb frescoes from
the eighth, and tenth centuries and is a rare example of an early Byzantine church.
Beaches: Almiros Beach and Kitroplatias

Mytilene DES (3)

General information

Mytilene is the capital of the island of (Lesvos) Lesbos, a Greek island located in the northeastern
Aegean Sea.It is located in the southeastern part of the island occupying seven hills, while its
fortress, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, lies on a pine-covered hillock to the east of the
town. Present-day Mytilene is a modern town with many elements from the past. It is the island's
administrative, commercial and cultural centre with a population of 40.000. Lesbos Port enjoys a
long history dating back to ancient Greece. Lesbos was also the home of the ancient Greek female
poet, Sappho.

Port Info

The port is located in the capital Mytilene, and is within walking distance of the town.

Sights Shore Excursions

The medieval (Genovese) castle at Mytilene, Emperor Justinian built the castle in the 6th
century C.E. on top of the remains of a temple dedicated to Apollo. A close look at the ruins

will reveal glimpses of the different influences that shape the castle and the temple it was
originally built over. It features ancient Greek, Roman, Genoese, and Turkish influences.
Molyvos, a traditional village with a medieval fort on the top of a hill overlooking the area
The petrified forest on the Western part of the island.
he Geological Museum in Sigri is one of the best museums in Greece
Eftalou or Polychnitos will also enchant you during your visit to Lesbos.
A petrified forest is found in Eressos. This is an unusual natural sight always worth seeing.
An ouzo distillery owned by the Barbayannis family is located in Mytilene, right near the
cruise port. The liquor can be purchased at great prices here.
Beaches: Vatera, Pirgi Thermis.


Country information
Land area: 301,340square kilometers
Population: 61,261,254 (July 2012 est.)
Common borders with: Austria, France, Holy See (Vatican City), San Marino,
Slovenia, Switzerland.
Languages spoken: Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino -Alto Adige
region are predominantly German speaking), Frenc h (small French-speaking
minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene -speaking minority in the
Trieste-Gorizia area).
Religions: Christian 80% (overwhelming Roman Catholic with very small
groups of Jehova Witnesses and Protestants), Muslims NEGL (ab out 700,000
but growing), Atheists and Agnostics 20%

Currency: Euro (EUR), since 1 January 1999

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Venice is an important home port of Italy and there are also other important
destination ports which occasionally can be home ports. Ancona, Bari, Trieste,
Ravenna and Brindisi are ports of call which have important cruise activity.

Venice HYB (A)
General Info

Of all the cities in the world, only Paris comes remotely close to matching Venice in terms of sheer
beauty and romance, the shimmering Grand Canal, the gondolas slipping down watery alleyways,
the elegant palazzos emerging straight from the sea. Venice once ruled the Mediterranean as a
shipping power, amassing vast wealth and producing some of Europe's greatest artistic and cultural
treasures. But, over the centuries, Venice has declined a bit and now has less than half the
population it had at its peak. What remains of its former grandeur -- the crumbling palaces, the
sumptuous art in its museums and churches, the fantastic rituals of Carnevale -- makes Venice a
living tribute to the past. Aside from a number of charming squares, such as the famous Piazza San
Marco, Venice is mostly composed of a warren of narrow canals and streets spread over more than
100 islands. These tangled passageways are an attraction among themselves.

Port Info

Venice is a major cruise ship hub in the Mediterranean, with over a thousand cruise ship
movements, and a million cruise passengers per year. The Venice Cruise Terminal (or Terminal
Venezia Passeggeri, or VCT) is situated at the Venice end of the four kilometer road that joins
Venice to the rest of Italy. Venice port is not directly on the Mediterranean, but is located in the
Venetian Lagoon, this is joined to the Adriatic by a narrow channel called the Porto di Lido. The
Venice Cruise Terminal contains three main quays: the Marittima basin, which can berth the biggest
cruise ships that visit Venice, and the smaller Santa Marta and San Basilio quays. These two are
just around the corner in the Giudecca Canal. Marittima is the biggest of the ship basins at the Port
of Venice's Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, with 3 terminal buildings and enough docking space to
handle several large ships at once.

Piazza San Marco: It's a huge piazza surrounded by the Basilica di San Marco, the Torre
dell'Orologio clock tower and the arcade of Procuratie Vecchie and Nuove. It dates back to
1094 and represents a range of architectural styles, such as Byzantine, Romanesque and

The Grand Canal: The Venetian equivalent of a superhighway, this S-shaped canal runs
through the heart of the city. It offers fabulous views of palazzos that date back to the 12th
century and line the waterway. The best way to traverse the Grand Canal is via vaporetto, line
A gondola ride: Yes, it's the ultimate tourist thing to do, it also offers a different perspective of
Venice -- from the water, along tiny canals, where vaporetti cannot go.

Shore Excursions

Murano islands: Outside Venice visit the neighboring islands of Murano, Torcello and Lido.
Murano is world famous for its glassmaking factory. Torcello is an island in the Venetian
lagoon where the main attraction is the Cathedral of Santa Maria featuring Byzantine

The Lido (Beach) in Venice: Lido is the beach resort island. Here sidewalk cafes, a
lengthy beach promenade and a quiet laidback ambiance await the visitor.

Ancona DES (3)

General Info

Ancona is the largest port in the Italian region of (La) Marche and surrounds the ancient harbor on
the slopes of Mount Conero. It has a population of just over 100,000. The harbour, originally
protected only by the elbow-shaped promontory from which the city takes its name (Greek for
angkon or elbow), features modern installations built since World War II. Although Ancona's
importance as a port has diminished, the city is a busy market centre.

Port Info

Cruise ships will dock at the XXIX Settembre Pier and from there you are just across the street from
the towns center. The port's facilities include a caf and a convenience market as well as restroom
facilities. Parking facilities exist for both short-term and long-term stays. Specially designated
parking spaces accommodate disabled drivers.

Shore Excursions

Urbino: Urbino is a lovely walled city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will reach
Urbino after a 1.5-hour coach drive and start a tour around the historic old town, one of the
best preserved medieval centres in Italy. Located on a sloping hillside, Urbino offers
picturesque views over the verdant valleys, straight out of an Italian masterpiece.

The Fragassi Caves : An approx. 45-min drive through the pretty Italian countryside will
take you to Genga and the unforgettable Frassasi Caves. Your guide will escort you on an
underground adventure among the otherworldly stalagmites and stalactites found within the
famous cave system, which was discovered and then explored between 1948 and 1971.
Riviera del Conero: This pleasant sightseeing tour by coach first takes you to Sirolo, a
lovely seaside village with a fully restored medieval centre. The charming square in the
middle of the village, the Piazza Belvedere, affords beautiful views of the sea and Mount
Monte Conero Park and Beaches: Monte Conero Regional Park is immediately to the
south of Ancona and is a protected nature reserve with dramatic cliff backed beach areas.
The park offers nature lovers the opportunity to hike 18 trails of various length and difficulty.
The large beach at Mezzavalle is long and unspoiled. At the southern end of Mezzavalle is
the resort area of Portonovo which has several beach areas, including San Michele Beach.

Bari DES (2)

General Info

Bari, which lies in the Puglia, or Apulia, region of southern Italy (around the heel of the country's
"boot" shape) is the main city of southern Italy and a major ferry port. From here people travel to
Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. The old town is typically winding and
narrow, but the rest of the city is laid out in an elegant 19th century grid with a seafront promenade,
and now also has a modern business center of glass skyscrapers located in the suburbs. The
medieval old town, Barivecchia, has in recent years been won back from petty criminals and is

these days a thriving hub for nightlife, pubs and clubs abounding, much to the annoyance of those
who like life a bit quieter.

Port Info

The port of Bari with a new cruise terminal is situated NW of the old city and its boundaries are, on
the West side the Saint Cataldo quay, and on the East side, the new Foraneo quay. The old city of
Bari is within 20 minutes walking distance of the port (although there are shuttles available as well
as taxis).

La cit vecchia (the old city): the extraordinary old city consists of narrow and winding
streets. Here you will find all the medieval monuments.
The Basilica di San Nicola: a lovely Romanesque church whose saint is Saint Nicholas,
he who was commercialized into being Santa Claus in the early 20th century. But before
this happened, Saint Nicholas was still is the patron saint of children - and prisoners.
Castello Svevo: Baris castle is now used for art exhibitions.

Shore Excursions
Lungomare: Bari has an enjoyable waterfront promenade, the Lungomare which starts at
the marina just to the east of the old town, and continues for about a mile to the Pane e
Pomodoro beach . On one side there are beautiful views over the Adriatic, and to the other
interesting sights into the elegant residential district of the city.
Pane e Pomodoro beach: Pane e Pomodoro beach, at the end of the Lungomare, is a
pleasant city beach, though its very busy at weekends..
Alberobello: it is one of the most photographed towns anywhere, for its quaint trulli houses
make a memorable sight. The trulli are made (without any mortar) with limestone stones
collected from the adjoining fields. The origin of the trulli was a feud between neighboring
counts, who quarreled over an area of land. One of the counts decided to go ahead with
building on the disputed fields, but he ordered his farmers to built drywall homes,
dismantlable in a single night. Alberobello is about 40 miles south east of Bari.

Trieste HYB (B)
General Info
Trieste is a unique holiday city, not least because this is where Italy borders Slovenia. Today,
Trieste is a border town par excellence with many charms; its history is foremost among them,
thanks to the city's former role as the only port in the otherwise-landlocked Austro-Hungarian
Empire. The sights in Trieste include numerous examples of Art Nouveau and neoclassic
architecture from its Austrian past and a beautiful coastline outside the city.

Port Info

The Trieste Maritime Station, which is also used as a congress center is located in the Customs
port, in the heart of Trieste. The Maritime Station acts as the cruise terminal and ticket office to both
international cruises as well as short-distance and passenger ferry lines operating between the gulf
and the nearby coastline of Slovenia and Croatia. Just cross the street and you are right in the heart
of the elegant and well cared for center of Trieste.

Castle of San Giusto: the castles stunning Byzantine walls that date back to the 13th
century, complete with glorious mosaics and an archaeological centre that features
Roman remains of the Forum and Basilica.
The Piazza Unita' d'Italia Square: it is charming and travellers will sense the Mittel-
European atmosphere that still lingers in this unusual Italian city that is indelibly stamped
with its Habsburg past.
Miramare Castle: This grand edifice was built in 1856 for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand
Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Charlotte of Belgium

Shore Excursions
Ljubljana: (European pronunciation is Loob-li-yana) is the capital of Slovenia, a country
that shares borders with Italy at its most north-easterly edge. It is a capital of contrasts, both
old and modern thanks to rebuilding work carried out after a destructive earthquake in 1895.
Ljubljana old town is delightful and nestles at the foot of leafy Castle Hill, which is topped
with the picturesque Ljubljana Castle, the citys key landmark. There are sights such as St.

Nicholas Cathedral, the Bishops Palace and Seminary, the Art Nouveau Dragon Bridge
and the market square with its colonnades and riverside market halls. We will also admire
Triple Bridge, the Church of Annunciation and Ljubljana University.
Ancient Roman town of Aquileia: This modest agricultural settlement, founded in 181 BC
previously enjoyed great economic prosperity thanks to its strategic coastal location and the
artistic activity that flourished here. During Roman times, Aquileia was an important trading
port that linked the Adriatic Sea and the northern countries and boasted a community
renowned for its export of quality handicrafts. Today Aquileia is no longer the bustling
trading centre it once was, but a small town that is nevertheless one of the principal
archaeological sites in northern Italy.

Ravenna DES (3)

General Info

Located on the Adriatic coast in North-East Italy, Ravenna was briefly the capital of the Roman
Empire and later the Italian capital of the Byzantine Empire. During this time, incredible mosaics
were constructed throughout the city. Described as a symphony of color in Dante's Divine Comedy,
Ravenna's well-preserved mosaics are some of the finest remaining in the Western world.

Port Info

Lying in the Adriatic Sea, Ravenna cruise port serves as a good venue for trade with the
Mediterranean, East, and Far East countries. With a history that dates back in the Roman period,
the port now serves as a gateway to those exploring Croatias coast. Cruise ships dock at the
modern facility of Porto Corsini. Shuttle buses transfer passengers between ship and the center of
Ravenna city with a journey time of about 20 minutes.
Many of Ravennas buildings and structures were given UNESCO World Heritage
designations; and this is because of the famous mosaic works that it showcased.
Galla Placidia Mausoleum: The unpretentious brick Galla Placidia Mausoleum was built in

the middle of the 5th century as the final resting place for Gall Placida, daughter of Roman
Emperor Theodosius I, and sister of the Roman emperor Honorius. The Mausoleum
contains some of the earliest and finest mosaics in Ravenna beautifully illuminated by a soft
light radiating through alabaster panels set in the walls.
Arian Baptistery: Ravenna was captured by the Goth King Theodoric in 493. Theodoric
was an Arian, following the teachings of the Egyptian priest Arius, who believed Jesus
Christ a creation of God rather than an equal. Arian churches sprung up all over the city,
among them the octagonal Arian Baptistery. When Theodoric died, Arianism was
denounced by the Roman Catholics; they removed all the decoration from the Arian
churches in the city. But in the Arian Baptistery, the fabulous ceiling mosaic was left
undisturbed, remaining today as a testament to a lost religion.
Basilica San Vitale: The plain unadorned exterior of the Bailica San Vitale belies an interior
bedecked with magnificent 6th century Byzantine mosaics. Of particular note are two
exquisite portraits, one of Empress Theodora dripping in jewels, and the other her husband
Emperor Justinian complete with a self-appointed halo.
Piazza del Popolo: After (or during) an extensive tour of Ravennas mosaic treasures, take
a break by locating a welcoming caf under the Little Venetian Palace at the Piazza Del
Popolo. Enjoy some lazy sightseeing, by checking out the the statues of St. Vitalis and St.
Apollinare from your chair.
Porto Corsini Coastal Dune Nature Reserve: A stones throw north of the cruise port lies
the beautiful Porto Corsini Coastal Dune Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Duna Costiera
Di Porto Corsini). One possible hike through the woods starts at the furthest parking lot
behind the beach. The path heads inland, then makes a right turn leading you through the
heart of the pine forest.

Shore Excursions
Bologna: visit Bologna to take in the city's chief sights: the Leaning Towers, Palazzo del
Podesta, Palazzo Comunale, Piazza del Nettuno and Palace of King Enzo. The most
impressive building in the square is Basilica di San Petronio.
San Marino: The most ancient republic in the world is only a 90-minute drive from Ravenna.
While in San Marino, marvel at the 1896 statue of Lady Liberty before seeing the exterior of
Palazzo del Governol.
The Ferrari Museum: Visitors will find Formula 1, themed exhibitions, technological
innovations and photographic shows. The amphitheatre hosts two driving simulators set in
real F1 cars for those who want to experience the thrill of getting behind the wheel of a
single seat in a championship race.
Mirabilandia: Approximately 20 km from the pier is one of the biggest amusement parks in

Brindisi HYB (C)

General Info
Brindisi is an ancient city in the Italian region of Puglia, the capital of the province of Brindisi. In the
21st century, Brindisi serves as the home base of the San Marco Regiment, a naval brigade
originally known as the La Marina Regiment. The city has plenty to offer in terms of quaint little
streets, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and interesting nightlife. Brindisi has many beautiful sandy
beaches which can be easily reached. The water is a pleasant temperature and is ideal for
windsurfing and sailing.
Port Info
In recent years, Brindisi's port has been redeveloped, creating new docks and new room ashore to
be used for freight and passengers. It serves destinations across Turkey and Greece, as well as
destinations in the Adriatic. The port offers limited facilities. Several ferry companies sail out of the
port to various Adriatic destinations. More information at:

Brindisi's Castles: The larger is the Hohenstaufen Castle, also known as the Castello
Grande, near the city center. At the edge of the outer port is the Aragon Castle, which sits
on a small island and includes a portion known as the Red Castle.
Churches: The Duomo (Cathedral) was renovated in a Baroque style after the original was
destroyed. The other popular churches include the Church of San Benedetto, with an
impressive bell tower, and the Church of Santa Maria de Casale, with a pristine
Romanesque exterior and hints of Gothic influence.
Shore Excursions
Lecce:South of Brindisi is the city of Lecce, known as the Florence of the south for the
ornate Baroque architecture of many of its churches and homes. The classic iconic building
in the city is the Church of Santa Croce, begun in the mid-16th century but not completed
for nearly 200 years. The ruins of a Roman Amphitheater are near Piazza St. Oronzo, the
site of the Roman column given to the city by Brindisi. Nearby is the Castle of Charles V,
with elements of 12th-16th century architecture.
Trullo Houses of Alberobello: In the small village of Alberobello visitors will see an
unusual style of building called a trullo (trulli is the plural). These mostly-round buildings
have unusual cone roofs built of stone without mortar. The village also has the lovely
Church of St. Anthony and hosts many summer time festivals.
Ostuni, the White City: Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, the hilltop town of
Ostuni is known as the "White City" for its mostly white buildings. Within the city are the
Cathedral with lovely baroque decorations, the Bishop's Palace, and parts of the original
castle and walls built during the medieval era.
Torre Guaceto Park and Beaches: Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve is a quiet stretch of
pristine beach and an attached inland park that is popular with those who want to
experience an undeveloped beach or go on a nature hike.
Brindisi Area Beaches: Northwest of the city are a series of small beaches, many in small
coves which offer visitors the sun and fun you would expect from southern Italy. Several of
these beaches are centered around towers built to watch for the expected Ottoman invasion
during the late Renaissance. Torre Rosa and Torre Santa Sabina are among the most
popular, with restaurants and nice facilities.

Palermo HYB(B)
General Info

Located on the northwestern coast of the island of Sicily, the city was founded by Ancient Greeks
and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. In the ninth century, the Arabs took over and
converted churches to mosques and the common language to Arabic. The Norman period followed,
and in the 13th century Palermo was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The French and
Spanish later passed through. Today, while Sicily is officially part of Italy (the regional government
is semi-autonomous), its capital city of one million residents feels neither European nor Arabic, but
some combination of the two. The city was heavily bombed by Allied Forces during WWII, and
some neighborhoods have yet to be repaired. More recently Palermo has made headlines as the
base of the infamous Cosa Nostra (mafia).

Port Info

The new cruise terminal is only a few minutes walking distance to downtown Palermo. The cruise
terminal building is somewhat run down. No internet is available as the signage suggests and the
duty-free shop has no duty-free items. More information at

Sights - Shore Excursions

Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples: one of the most important archaeological sites
in the world and a UNESCO heritage site since 1998.
The Capo street market: this marker will ensure you bring back something to remember
your holiday by.
Monreale: Monreale otherwise known as Little Italy. You should visit the most loved sights
in the area including St Caterina Church, La Difesa Church and experience a walk up St
Laurent Boulevard to purchase the famous Italian Fashions.
Cefalu: Explore the ancient Norman town of Cefal. Your private driver and hostess will
meet you at Palermo and take you to the town of Cefal, one of the better kept examples of
Norman architecture; this town is famous for its imposing Cathedral which dominates the
rooftops. Back in town visitors can admire the picturesque harbour, alleys and medieval
buildings. A Saracen wash-house, the Lavatoio is another sight worth seeing, as is the
medieval Osterio Magno, the remaining part of a large 13th-century palace


Country information
Land area: 20,273 square kilometers
Population: 1,996,617 (July 2012 est.)
Common borders with: Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy.
Languages spoken: Slovenian (official) 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or
unspecified 4.4%, Italian (official, only in municipalities where Italian national
communities reside), Hungarian (official, only in municipalities where Hungarian national
communities reside) (2002 census).
Religions: Catholic 57.8%, Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other Christian 0.9%,
unaffiliated 3.5%, other or unspecified 23%, none 10.1% (2002 census)
Currency: Euro (EUR), since 1 January 2007

Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot
summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Koper.

Koper DES(3)
General Info

Located at Koprski Bay, Koper is the largest commercial port in Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea. The
Italian name is Capodistria. The city was originally built on an island, but was linked in the 19th
century to the mainland by the building of high embankments. The landscape is made up of high
mountains with lake districts, wooded uplands and verdant green valleys; all with views of the
aquamarine waters of the Adriatic. Bilingual, the official languages are Slovene and Italian, but
English is spoken and understood by the majority of residents as well. Although the commercial port
is the main business, it is also a fishing port and contains salt mines and a radio factory.

Port Info

The Obalno-Kraka (Coastal-Karst) region is one of the smallest regions in Slovenia in terms of size
and among the most developed in terms of economic conditions. The passenger terminal at the
Port of Koper is at a nascent stage although it is a newly-renovated and modern passenger terminal
with the motto "only excellent is good enough" and is a short 300m walk to the main town square.
Nevertheless cruise vessels bound for the Adriatic and the Mediterranean call Koper on regular
basis. More Info at:

The Regional Museum is housed in one of the city's grandest palaces - the Belgramoni-
Tacco - which was built early in the 17th century and contains information and
artifacts on the area's rich and varied cultures and history; pre-Roman era and
newer artifacts are on display here.
The 12th century Carmine Rotunda Church;
the 15th century Venetian-Gothic style Praetorian Palace;
Cathedral of St. Nazarius with its 14th century tower; and the
Venetian-style City Hall.


Country information
Land area: 56,594 square kilometers

Population: 4,480,043 (July 2012 est.)

Common borders with: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro,


Languages spoken: Croatian (official) 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated
(including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) 2.9% (2001 census)

Religions: Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim
1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% (2001 census)

Currency: 1 Croatian kuna (HRK) = 0.131993 EUR

0.030413 U.S. dollars
Climate: Mediterranean and continental; continental climate predominant with hot
summers and cold winters; mild winters, dry summers along coast

The most important cruise port is the hybrid port of Dubrovnik and the destination ports
of Split, ibenik, Zadar and Rijeka.

Dubrovnik DES (1)
General Info
Dubrovnik known as the Pearl of the Adriatic is a city on the Adriatic Sea coast of Croatia, positioned
at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on
the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641 (census
2011). In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. More info at:

Port Info
The ships dock at the Port of Gruz, approximately 2.5 km northwest of Old Town. It is about a 10
minute taxi ride from the port to Old Town, but many cruise lines offer free shuttle bus service into
the center of town. Note that there is only space for one mega liner in the port and you may anchor
in the middle of the bay and tender if there are too many ships for the port and the anchorage
mentioned below. It is actually a very nice tender ride, as it is quite beautiful in the harbor's bay.

During last several years, Dubrovnik Port Authority according to provisions of the study
"Sustainable cruise tourism development in Croatia" prepared by the Institute of Tourism tries to
limit the number of cruise passengers. New measures were introduced which, considering the huge
demand for Dubrovnik as one of the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean, in most
cases limit the number of cruise passengers up to 8.000 per day. More Info at

Sights Shore Excursions

Dubrovnik Square: Marble-paved squares and fountains blanket the Stari Grad. Passing
through the Pile Gate you are transported to a town virtually unchanged from the 13th
The Wall Surrounding Dubrovnik: Magnificent stone walls, built between the 8th and 16th
century, surround Old Town and offer commanding views of the Adriatic Sea below. Within
the city walls you will want to visit the Franciscan Monastery which houses Europes oldest
pharmacy dating back to 1391 and is still operative today. Continue your walking tour
stopping to visit St. Blaises Church and the Gothic Rectors Palace built in 1441. The
Rectors Palace doubles as the Dubrovnik Museum. Opposite the Rectors Palace is a

bustling morning market. Aficionados of the arts will appreciate the Dominican Monastery
and its museum. But, perhaps the most impressive sight is Sponza Palace in Luza Square.
Its magnificent atrium and arched galley make it one the most beautiful buildings in the city.

Split DES(2)
General Info

Split, the second largest city in Croatia, with a population over 200,000, it is an important cultural,
tourist, industrial , commercial, and especially sports center of Dalmatia. Split is home to a
university of 30,000, and half the city's population is in its 20s, so there is plenty of nightlife if you
want it, especially near the beach. Because of its unique historical heritage and its 1700 years of
tradition, the city and port of Split have become an unavoidable destination of vessels which cruise
in the Mediterranean.

Port Info

The port of Split, situated at an exceptionally favourable geographic position on the Mediterranean,
is one of the most important centres of local and international maritime traffic. Ships dock right in
the heart of the city, five minutes from the biggest tourist attractions. Larger ships need a tender to
get to shore, smaller ships will be able to walk from the dock into the heart of town in five
minutesAccording to its purpose the port of Split is a port open to international public traffic, and
according to its size and importance it is a port of special (international) economic interest for the
Republic of Croatia.

Sights Shore Excursions

Diocletian's Palace: This is unique in the world, a grand Roman monument where people
still live. Shops, hotels, and cafes co-exist happily with the historic buildings and fragments
of columns and arches within the thick walls of this 1,700-year-old palace. Riva, the city's
famous promenade beside the sea, is fresh from a $12 million renovation completed in

Marmontova Street is a pedestrians-only byway intersecting the western end of the Riva
where you'll find the high-end shops of Split. At the end of the street is the Trg (Square)

Gaje Bulata where you can't miss the handsome Croatian National Theatre, painted a bright

City Squares: Walk out through the west gate of the palace and you'll come to the Narodni
Trg, or "People's square," the old city's main square
Beach: The lively beach at Bacvice Bay, in a sandy cove 10 minutes walk east from the
dock area, has changing facilities, showers, and umbrellas to rent, and there are plenty of
cafes and a hotel around.

Archaeological Museum: Croatia's oldest museum, founded in 1820, it is currently housed in a

fine early 1900s building a 10-15 minute walk north from the center of the Old City.

Croatian islands: Ferries depart regularly for the beautiful Croatian islands in the Adriatic
Sea and fast catamarans offer day trips to Hvar, Komiza, Bol and Vis. For current
information, see the tourist office in the Peristil, the central square of the palace.

ibenik DES(3)
General Info

ibenik is the centre of ibenik-Knin County. 152 thousand people live in ibenik-Knin County in 12
districts, 194 settlements and 5 towns. Around 55 thousand people live in ibenik. Central part of
the region is separated in two parts by deep canyons of the rivers Krka and ikola, the lake of
Prukljan and the channel of ibenik, however, the river Krka represents at the same time the bond
which has since the ancient times integrated the area of north and central Dalmatia in one unique
unity the ibenik region.

Port Info

The port is located in the town centre of Sibenik. More info at:

Sights Shore Excursions

Cathedral of Sibenik, an important architectural Renaissance building listed as a UNESCO World

Heritage Site.

The County Museum, with Archaeological, Historical, Ethnographical, Exhibition and
Natural department; Archive; Local library; Administration for Protection of Cultural and
Natural Heritage
Institute of Ancient Monuments
ibenik Theatre
International Childrens Festival, Gallery of St. Krevan
Administration of National Park Krka
Singing Association Kolo (since 1899)

Zadar DES(3)
General Info

In terms of traffic, Zadar is the center of the region that connects the north and the south of Croatia
by the most modern highway network in Europe. Located halfway between Venice and Dubrovnik,
Zadar has always been an important transit port and with today's annual traffic of 2.4 million
passengers and 350.000 vehicles it is placed among the busiest ports in the Mediterranean.
Besides the intense local, coastal and international traffic connections with Italy, for the past few
years Port of Zadar is recording an increase of cruise ships visits.

Port Info

Zadar port is placed in the heart of the city. This position provides direct access to shopping
places, sight seeing and other contents in the town. The passenger transfer to the port is fast
and easy because walking distance between different localities is 5 minutes.

Sights Shore Excursions

The old church Saint Donat: The symbol of the city of Zadar and the most famous
monumental edifice in Croatia from the early Middle Ages (9th c.). Round pre-Romanesque
church which was called the Church of the Holy Trinity until the 15th c., and from that time
on carries the name of Saint Donat, by the bishop who had it built

The old city of Zadar

The antique Forum

The Cathedral St Anastasia,

The city of Nin: The oldest Croatian royal town! The city of Nin was an important royal and
cultural center through the Croatian history and the testimony of that fact is the monuments from
the 8th and 9th century.

The island of Pag: It is one of the biggest Adriatic islands (connected with bridge):
it is the fifth largest island with 284.50 square kilometers. Its 270 kilometers of the indented
coastline make it the island with the longest coastline on the Adriatic, rich with coves, bays,
beaches and capes.

National Park Kornati Islands: Archipelago with its 150 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs is
the most indented island group in the Mediterranean.

National Park Krka Waterfalls : The most beautiful travertine waterfalls in Europe, the Krka river
which runs over cliffs and falls in 46m of profondity!

National Park Plitvice Lakes : It is the most known Croatian national park which is in the
UNESCO Register of World Natural Heritage since 1979. You can enjoy the long walk through the
park and forest and get on board of electric boats to enjoy the indescribable blue-green colour of
the lakes.

National Park Paklenica: With its surface area of 96 km2, from the eastern coast of the Adriatic
Sea to the highest peaks of the Velebit Mountains, Paklenica abounds with numerous natural
wonders and phenomena, which is why the entire area was proclaimed the national park in 1949.

Rijeca DES (3)
General Info

Rijeca is the city known for its unique environment that connects the Middle European culture, the
spirit of Slavic tradition and the influence of Mediterranean heritage. Being the second economic
centre in Croatia, Rijeka enjoys an ideal geographical strategic position which enables fast growth,
and after the implementation of the development projects it is on the way to achieve the status of
strong modern and competitive port in the North Adriatic region.

Port Info

The biggest Croatian port is situated in the heart of Rijeka. Port of Rijeka area identity encompass
extraordinary geostrategic position, rich history, development projects with firm objectives to reach
modernization, follow the innovations in the world of transport and logistics, and to develop activities
in accordance with the standards of excellence with the special emphasis of environmental

Sights Shore Excursions

Trsat, is a settlement that treasures numerous churches, monuments and artefacts. Enjoy
panoramic views of Kvarner Bay and the town of Rijeka. Visit the 13th century hill fortress
castle that is perched overlooking the whole of Rijeka, offering stunning views.

Opatija, Pearl of the Adriatic is one of Croatias resorts, it is set in the heart of the Croatian
Riviera and a visit to this gem of a resort town feels a little like stepping back in time.
Located on the slopes of Mount Uka, which gently descends towards the coast of Kvarner
Bay, much of its grand and ornate architecture was built with the elite in mind.
Island of Krk: Tour the village of Vrbnik located on the island of Krk, one of the most
famous Croatian villages, thanks to its Glagolitic heritage. Known as the cradle of Croatian
literacy, and one of the oldest villages on the island of Krk, a walk through its narrow streets
is like being transported back in time. Within its nest of old houses and winding lanes, it is
not surprising that this is the location of the worlds narrowest street.


Country information
Land area: 13,812 square kilometers

Population: 657,394 (July 2012 est)

Common borders with: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia

Languages spoken: Serbian 63.6%, Montenegrin (official) 22%, Bosnian 5.5%,

Albanian 5.3%, unspecified (includes Croatian) 3.7% (2003 census

Religions: Orthodox 74.2%, Muslim 17.7%, Catholic 3.5%, other 0.6%,

unspecified 3%, atheist 1% (2003 census)

Currency: Euro. (Montenegro has no currency of its own. When the euro was introduced
in 2002 and the Deutsche Mark yielded, Montenegro began using the euro as well
although it is not a member of the E.U. and consistently not a part of the Euro Zone.)

Climate: Mediterranean climate, hot dry summers and autumns and relatively cold
winters with heavy snowfalls inland
The most important cruise port is the destination port of Kotor.

Kotor DES(2)
General info

Montenegro is one of the previous Yugoslav republics on the Adriatic Coast north of Albania. As a
cruise passenger, you will be rewarded if you set your alarm for an early start at Kotor, Montenegro,
because part of the fun is entering the Bay of Kotor and gliding for an hour through the mountains
on a 17-mile waterway that some people call Europe's southernmost fjord. It's not actually a fjord,
as fjords are caused by glacial activity, and the Bay of Kotor is the result of an old river running from
the interior to the Adriatic Sea. Still, the views are fjord-like, with mountains rising on both sides of a
long, thin bay that leads to the old walled town of Kotor. Cruise ships often begin the bay journey as
early as 6:15 a.m. to arrive at Kotor by 8 a.m.

The Old City of Kotor is an ancient trade center, due to its fortified entrance to the sea. It's also a
UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site and Montenegro's most famous town. The Old
Town is a well-preserved collection of buildings, churches, squares and stone streets that date back
to the Middle Ages. The car-free, walled town is just across the street from the city's cruise-ship

Port Info

Small cruise ships dock at Kotor pier about 300 feet from the town center and one of the three
gates to enter the UNESCO old town. Larger ships will be anchored and will tender you to the
center of town. The tender ride takes only a few minutes and will drop you off the above pier.


Sea Gate (or Main Gate): The Sea Gate is the nearest of the old towns 3 main gates to the
cruise dock; about a 5 minute stroll away. Forming part of the magnificent city walls the gate
dates back to the 16th century, and provides easy access to Kotor old town.
Square of Arms and Clock Tower: Just inside the Sea Gate stands the Square of Arms,
Kotors biggest city square. Its name hails from Venetian times, when munitions were made
and stored here. Around the square stand some of Kotors most magnificent buildings,
including the Arsenal building, the Napoleon Theater and the imposing 16 th century Clock

St. Tryphon Cathedral: Venturing further into atmospheric old-town, you ll reach the
Cathedral of St. Tryphon, buit in 1166 and a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture.
See a silver-plated case filled with the relics of St. Tryphon and 14th-century frescoes in the
San Giovani (or St John) Fortress: The spectacular old city walls do not just protect the
city from the sea, but also climb over 850ft up the hill behind the city to protect from attack
by land. Overall the walls measure some 4.5km in length and are in places up to 50ft high
and 40ft wide.
Kotor Beach


Country information
Land area: 28,748 square kilometers

Population: 3,002,859 (July 2012 est.)

Common borders with: Greece, FYROM, Montenegro, Kosovo

Languages spoken: Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani,
Slavic dialects

Religions: Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%

Currency: 1 lek (ALL) = 0.072 euro

= 0.093 US Dollars
Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is
cooler and wetter

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Durres.

Durres DES (3)
General Info

Durres is the oldest Albanian town founded in 627 B.C and one of the most economically important
cities of Albania. It is located on the central Albanian coast, about 33 km (20 miles) west of the
capital Tirana. It is situated at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the Italian
ports of Bari (300 km away) and Brindisi (200 km away).

Port Info

The Port of Durrs is the biggest port of Albania and it is located at the north end of the Bay of
Durrs. As of 2011, the port is undergoing major renovation and expansion.

Sights and Shore Excursions

Medieval Town Wall
Venetian Tower
Archaeological Museum
Durres city beach


Country information
Land area: 780,580 square kilometers
Population: 71,892,807 (2008)
Common borders with: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Syria
Languages spoken: Turkish (official), English commonly used foreign language in touristic
Religions: The vast majority of the population is Muslim 99.8%
Currency & parity: 1 Turkish lira = 0.43 euro
= 0.56 US Dollars.
Climate: temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

The most important cruise ports are the home ports of Istanbul and Izmir, and the destination ports
Kusadasi, Antalya, Alanya and Marmaris. Although the ports of Fethiye, Dikili and Bodrum with their
currently available piers are considered to be also cruise ports. 14

14 Kadioglu, (2007)

Istanbul HYB(A)
General Info
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical
heart. With a population of 13.5 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in
Europe[d] and is among the largest cities in the world by population within city limits. Istanbul is a
transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus one of the world's busiest waterways in
northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical
center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.

Port Info

Cruise ships dock at the passenger terminal (Yolcu

Salonu) in Karaky. And as a passenger, you couldnt
have dreamt of a more central location to set foot on
Istanbul soil. Karaky is located exactly where the Golden
Horn flows into the Bosphorus. It is centrally located
because it takes about as much time to travel over the
Galata Bridge to Eminn and Sultanahmet (the historical
part of Istanbul) as it would take you to reach Taksim (the
modern part of Istanbul)

Eminn to reach Eminn, home to the Spice Bazaar, just make a left once leave the
passenger terminal (Yolcu Salonu), walk along the boardwalk until you reach the Galata
Bridge, and cross it. It shouldnt be more than a 10 minute stroll. Although Istanbul is among
the safest world cities, after sundown and certainly when not accompanied by a man, play
safe and take a taxi or the tramway.
Sultanahmet you can still walk to Sultanahmet. Just cross the Galata Bridge, make a left
at the end, cross the pedestrian bridge about 200 meters further and follow the tram rails up
the fairly steep hill until you reach Sultanahmet.

Taksim Walk to the Galata Bridge and take either the tramway to Kabata (the final stop)
and connect to Taksim Square via the funicular. Another option is to take Tnel, and find
yourself at the end of stiklal Caddesi, ideal if you want to visit the Galata Tower.
Princes Islands or Asia

Izmir HYB(B)
General Info

Turkeys other main home port and destination port as well, is Izmir, Turkey's third largest city, with
a population of nearly 4 million. Cradled between mountains to the east and south, and the Aegean
Sea to the west, bears witness to thousands of years of turbulent history -- in the form of war, fire
and earthquake. Cesme is a small port near the end of the Cesme Peninsula and is today the
center of a rich resort area that features lovely beaches and spas.

Shore Excursions
Izmir Attractions
One of the most popular sites in Izmir is the thoroughly modern Kordon, a park created
along the water where locals and tourists promenade beside the beautiful bay. The
historic sites of Izmir are limited, but a few remain.
Kadifekale Castle was built during the rule of Lysimachos, successor to Alexander the
Great, as the new center of the city.
Izmir Archaeological Museum, the citys vibrant past comes to life. Several synagogues
The 19th century are part of the Karatas district. The nearby Asansor Tower offers a
popular and free elevator to great views of the city and several restaurants.
The central meeting place for the city is Konak Square with the Ottoman clock tower.
Nearby is the Kemeralti Market.

Cesme Attractions
Nearby Ilica (Turkish for hot spring) is the spa area where traditional spa treatments are
available at several hotels.
Ephesus: Beginning in the Bronze Age, Ephesus was an important harbor for the region,
but through a slow silting process the remains of the city are now several kilometers from
the Aegean. The original Greek settlement was east of the main ruins tourist visit today,
nearer the city of Selcuk.
Ephesus Museum: Though a good number of the artifacts from Ephesus were moved to
the Ephesus Museum in Vienna early in the 20th century, more recent discoveries are
housed in nearby Selcuk in a small but impressive exhibit.
Mary's House: Many Christian and Muslim pilgrims visit this mystical site. Numerous Popes
have also visited, starting in the late 19th century.
Pergamum (also Pergamon): Though its era of significance was brief, the golden age of
Pergamum (also spelled Pergamon) was an important center of learning and healing.

Alanya DES (2)

General Info
Alanya Cruise Port sits in a picturesque harbour on the Turkish Riviera, 125 km from Antalya
International Airport. It is overlooked by Alanyas spectacular medieval castle, which sits atop a
rocky peninsula.
The town has a resident population of around 100,000 about 15,000 of which are European.
Approximately 2,500,000 tourists visited Alanya in 2011.

Port Info
Lying on routes connecting the ports of Greece, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, our
purpose-built terminal serves only cruise ships and the Kyrenia-Alanya fast ferries. It is operated by
ALDA, a member of MedCruise, and became ISPS compliant in August 2004. Situated on the
east side of Antalya Bay, at Latitude 36 32 N and Longitude 32 00 E, the harbour is well sheltered
by a 250 m high promontory. Lying on routes connecting the ports of Egypt, Greece, Israel,
Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, it is easily accessible to ships sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Shore Excursions
The bazaar can be included in a walking tour, whilst - in the season - any of the Street
Markets can be included as stops in tour packages.
Turkish baths are ideal either as a short excursion or as part of a package.

Alanya Castle Alanya Castle was built in the 13th century, following the city's conquest in
1221 by the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I. Prior to the conquest, the city was known as
Kalonoros. Alanya Castle was added to UNESCOs World Heritage Tentative List in 2009
Boat Trips and Scuba Diving from Alanya Harbour
Alanya Dockyard and Arsenal
The Red Tower
Alanya Ethnographic Museum opened inside the Red Tower in 1979.
Alanya Archaeological Museum

Antalya DES(2)
General Info
Antalya has the fastest growing population in Turkey and according to the Ministry of Culture and
Tourism, the city accounted for 9 million tourist arrivals in Turkey in 2009, about 32.5 percent of the
total number of tourists that came to the country that year.

Port Info
With three piers (200 meters, 170 meters and 140 meters in Length) and a water depth of 9,20
meters, Port Akdeniz is fully equipped to serve the increasingly greater number of cruise liners
plying the Mediterranean in recent years. Port Akdeniz - Antalya has two berths for cruise vessels,
a marina with 250 berths and a 150-yacht dry-dock capacity. The cruise port of Antalya is 15
kilometers from the historic center of Antalya, but closer to several excellent beach areas.

Shore Excursions
Kaleici, which means inner castle. This area is famous for its mosques, minarets, and
cobbled streets.
The Fluted Minaret (Yivli Minare), is the symbol of the city, part of the Alaaddin Mosque,
the oldest multi-dome mosque in Anatolia.
Termessos: Termessos is a ancient Greek and Roman settlement high in the Tarsus
Mountains which never defeated by Alexander the Great and was an autonomous city
during the Roman era.

Ancient Side: Side (the name means pomegranate) is an ancient site where Greeks,
Romans and other civilizations before and in-between built a port..
Waterfalls: There are three sets of waterfalls that are popular with visitors to Antalya. The
closest to the port are Duden Falls, two widely separate falls on the Duden River which
enters the Mediterranean near the Lara Beach area.

Kusadas DES(1)
General Info
The Port of Kuadas - Ege Ports- is located in the town of Kuadas on Turkey's Aegean coast
With a population of over 50,000 full time residents. Kuadass popularity is largely due its close
proximity to important world archaeological and historical sites. These include the ancient city of
Ephesus, which is a major tourist attraction and archaeological site that is still undergoing
excavations, and the House of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Port Info
Ege Ports can berth up to four large vessels or up to four small vessels and two large vessels.
Additionally, there are two roll-on/roll-off ramps and a quay to service ferry traffic. The new cruise
terminal is a modern mini-mail called Scala Nuova, it also houses first-aid facilities, a passenger
and crew centre (with Internet and international call access) and offices for ship and cruise
operators and tour agencies.

Shore Excursions
Ephesus and Museum, Basilica of St. John, and the Virgin Mary Shrine This tour
predominantly takes place in the ancient city of Ephesus, which dates back 6,000 years.
You'll see the house which was, according to the Vatican, the final resting place of the
Virgin Mary.
Didyma and Priene Didyma, was a famous temple for its oracles. This temple dedicated to
Apollo was the richest and biggest of the Ionian temples on Anatolian soil.

Miletos Miletos is one of the oldest cities of Ionia, located about 60 km away from
Kusadasi. The city was on the point where the Buyuk Menderes ("Meander") flew into the
Aegean Sea. Because of the alluviums, The most important monuments to be seen at
Miletos are: the Bath of Faustina, the Delphinion (small temple dedicated to Apollo
Delphinion, protector of ships and harbors) and the amphitheater.

Marmaris DES(2)
General Info
Marmaris, the ancient Physcus, was an important town on the Anatolia-Rhodes-Egypt trade route.
The history of Marmaris dates back to 3400 BC and traces of different civilisations can still be seen
in the area.

Port Info
Two quays of 305m and 134m, each 15m wide with draft up to 11m, are adequate for the berthing
of all mega cruise ships. The newly renovated passenger terminal is located at the end of the pier
and offers a wide range of services and amenities for passengers such as public telephones,
restrooms, tourism information desk, immigration, customs, health and security offices and is of
course ISPS compliant.

Shore Excursions

Dalyan Rich in ruins and spectacular scenery, the western end of Turkey's Mediterranean
coast offers a special experience in the ancient site of Caunos. The ruins of this ancient port
date from the Hellenic period (5th century BC).
Jeep Safari Village Tour
The hot springs here have been used since Roman times for their therapeutic powers.
Cleopatras Island
About 12 km from Marmaris is Gelibolu Bay, surrounded with mountains covered with
fragrant pine forests.


Country information
Land area: 9,251 square kilometers (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)

Population: 1,138,071 (July 2012 est)

Common borders with: Island

Languages spoken: Greek (official), Turkish (official), English widely spoken.

Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian
Apostolic) 4%

Currency: Euro.

Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Limassol.

Limassol HYB(C)
General Info
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the Republic of Cyprus is a member state of
the European Union. It is a destination where you have to venture off the beaten track to uncover the
true nature of the place. At first glance, Limassol is a low-rise, sun-baked, urban sprawl, slightly
chaotic and architecturally uninspiring. Scratch the surface, and you'll find a tangle of shady,
pedestrianised streets in the medieval centre; ancient mosques alongside Greek Orthodox
churches; and broad shopping boulevards, lined with boutiques that showcase up-and-coming

Port Info
The largest port facility on the island, is situated in the western part of Limassol town. This New Port
is 3km from the center (the old port) of Limassol.

Sights Shore Excursions

Nicosia: The ancient and walled city of Nicosia was split in half after the Turkish invasion of
1974 and until the last decade passage between the two halves was not something a tourist
could do. But recent changes now allow fairly easy passage.
Paphos: Paphos is the location of the Kato Paphos archaeoligical site which is a huge area
with many ruins, primarily from the Roman era.
Lefcara Villa
Troodos mountain
Beaches and Water parks


Country information
Land area: 185,180 square kilometers
Population: 22,530,746 (July 2012 est.)
Common borders with: Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey
Languages spoken: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian (widely
understood); French, English (somewhat understood).
Religions: Sunni Muslim (Islam - official) 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze)
16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al
Qamishli, and Aleppo)
Currency & parity: 1 Syrian Pound = 0.01083 euro

= 0.01408 U.S. dollars

Climate: mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters
(December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in

The most important cruise ports are the destination ports of Latakia and Tartous.

Latakia DES(3)
General Info

Latakia, or Latakiyah (and often locally transliterated as Lattakia), is the principal port city of Syria,
as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. In addition to serving as a port, the city is a
manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages. According to the 2004 official
census, the population of the city is 383,786. It is the 5th largest city in Syria.

Port Info

The port is the main route in Syria for containers, though it also handles a good deal of metals,
machinery, chemicals and food stuffs. New quay investments are under way in the port. The port is
managed by a semi-autonomous state company.The cruise port is about a 10 minutes drive from
the city center.

Sights Shore Excursions

The Museum: A museum that was an old Ottoman khan which served as the governor's
residence during the French mandate. The museum houses some interesting examples of
pottery, glassware, clay tablets from nearby Ugarit, and contemporary paintings.
The Roman gateway (Tetraparticus) that consists of four columns
Beaches: The Syrian seashore is about 182 km long and its numerous beaches are
distinguished by soft sand, unpolluted sea, moderate climate and clear blue skies. The Blue
Beach of Latakia is the most popular beach

Tartous DES(3)
General Info

Tartus is a city in Syria, the capital of Tartus Governorate, the small harbor city has over 160 000
inhabitants. The city lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea bordered by the Alawite
Mountains to the east. Tartus is 220 km northwest of Damascus and less than one hour drive south
of Latakia. The island of Arwad, the only inhabited in Syria, is located a few kilometers off the shore
of Tartus. Tartus and the surrounding area are rich in antiquities and archeological sites.

Port Info

Tartous, is now Syria's second port city. Formerly known as Antaradus and Constantia in Latin or
Antartus and Tortosa by the Crusaders, it has developed rapidly over the recent years, and has
nearly lost its charm as a small fishing town

Sights Shore Excursions

Old City: an enchanting warren of narrow laneways, market stalls and cafes.
Notre-Dame of Tartus: Outside the fortress there is the former cathedral of Notre-Dame of
Tartus, from the 12th century. The church is now the seat of a museum.
Krak Des Chevaliers: Watch the local artisans at work in the restored souk in nearby Homs
before visiting the incredible Krak des Chevalier. Perched dramatically on a hilltop, this
imposing fortress is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the world, dating from the
time of the Crusaders.
Al Marqab


Country information

Land area: 10,400 square kilometers

Population: 4,140,289 (July 2012 est.)
Common borders with: Israel and Syria
Languages spoken: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian.
Religions: Muslim 59.7% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian
39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian
Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian,
Coptic, Protestant), other 1.3%
Currency & parity: 1 Lebanese pound (LBP) = 0.000664 U.S. dollars

= 0.00051 euro

Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon
mountains experience heavy winter snows

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Beirut.

Beirut DES(2)
General Info

Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon with a population of approximately 2.1 million people in its
metropolitan area. The city is located on a relatively small headland jutting into the east
Mediterranean. Beirut was called the "Paris of the Middle East" because of its vibrant outdoor cafe
culture and European architecture. Each district has its own sights and places to visit. The
Downtown District has some very impressive ancient and historical sites dating back over 6000
years. Beirut is a city of contrasts: beautiful architecture exists alongside concrete eyesores;
traditional houses set in jasmine-scented gardens are dwarfed by modern buildings; winding old
alleys turn off from wide avenues.

Port Info

The ship is scheduled to dock at the port of Beirut, a 10 minute walk from the downtown area. Un-
metered taxis generally available at the port are of relatively poor quality. Be sure to establish the
fare before leaving the port.

Sights Shore Excursions

Pigeon Rocks: it is a monumental natural arch, enormous limestone structures that punch
out of the sea.
Martyr's Statue
Solidre Clock Tower
National Museum of Beirut: This place offers a fascinating look at Lebanons turbulent
history, from prehistoric times all the way up to the 21st century. From Neolithic pebble
idols dating back as far as 9000 BC, to gilded bronze Phoenician statuettes.
Sanayeh Park
Corniche coastal road

Byblos & Jeita Grotto : One of the oldest cities in the world, this place is estimated to have
stoodfor at least 7,000 years. Youll visit the Cathedral of St. John-Marcus and the
Crusaders Castle while youre here the latter of which, houses impressive ruins from the
Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine eras. You should also rummage for bargains in the citys
souk, too. Jeita Grotto is home to two spectacular grottos, and youll take a cable car to the
caverns to enjoy a boat ride inside. The millennia-old stalagmites and stalactites in here
look like dripping candlesticks.

Deir El Qamar & Beiteddine : The village of Deir El Qamar. Red-roofed houses, walled
gardens and dusty, stepped alleyways make up the scenery in this sleepy hamlet. Youll
visit an old medieval church and the huge Midan Square while youre here. The square was
once used for equestrian contests. Before you leave, youll see the caravanserai, a silk and
jewellery marketplace that was built around 1595. The Beiteddine Palace built by Emir
Bechir II back in 1840, its a great example of Lebanese architecture. Whats more, from its
perch 850 metres above sea level, it offers up amazing views of Lebanon.


Country information

Land area: 22,000 square kilometers

Population: 7,233,701
Common borders with: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
Languages spoken: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English
most commonly used foreign language.
Religions: Jewish 76.4%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.7%, other Christian 0.4%, Druze
1.6%, unspecified 3.9% (2004)

Currency & parity: 1 Israeli shekel = 0.27 American dollar

= 0.20 euro

Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas

The most important cruise port is the destination ports of Haifa and Ashdod in the
Mediterranean and Eilat in the Red Sea.

Haifa HYB(B)
General Info
Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, the capital of the North and serves a population of hundreds
of thousands (the city itself has 250 thousand inhabitants). Haifa is one of the largest industrial
centers in Israel and also a hub for transport, trade, shipping and tourism. Unlike Tel Aviv, which is
relatively secular, and Jerusalem, which is deeply religious, Haifa is a multicultural community of six
faiths living side by side. As well as Jews, Christians and Muslims, Ahmedi and Druze people live
there, and the town is the world centre for the Baha'i faith.

Port Information
The main port lies on the southern shore of Haifa Bay and it is protected by two breakwaters: the
main breakwater which is 2,826 meters long to the north-west and the lee breakwater which is 765
meters long to the east. The width of the entrance channel between the two breakwaters is 183
meters. The channel is 13.8 meters deep. Vessels with a draft of up to 13 meters can anchor safely
in the main port. The port basin has an area of 2 million Sq. meters and the land area of the main
port zone extends over about 700 thousand Sq. meters. Haifa's modern passenger terminal
includes a variety of facilities intended to provide maximum convenience for passengers passing
through the port.

MadaTech - the National Science Museum invites you experience hands on science, more
info at:
The Railway Museum - the history of Israel's railways from the time
when it still reached Cairo, more info at:
The Hecht Museum - thrilling art, sculpture and archeological exhibitions , more info at:

Shore Excursions
Jerusalem, located about 81 miles from Haifa, is a very popular shore excursion to take part
in. Popular attractions in Jerusalem include Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem,
Mount of Olives and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Nazareth, the birthplace and childhood home of Jesus Christ, is only 38 km to the east of
Haifa. Nazareth is the original home of the Holy Family and the ministry of Jesus. The most
important church, the Basilica of the Annunciation, marks the spot where the Angel Gabriel
visited the Virgin Mary.
Tel Aviv, the second-largest city in Israel, is located about 56 miles south of Haifa. Tel Aviv is
a very popular tourist city, as it's the home to many beautiful beaches, cafes and upscale
shopping. Its White City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Caesarea, you'll visit this ancient city built by Herod the Great and named in honor of Caesar
Augustus. You'll see the ruins of the aquaduct system, the Roman theater, and Crusader City.
Caesara was the province capital for almost 600 years.
Megiddo and Beit She' Arim National Park.On this tour, you'll first visit Megiddo, which is the
site of Armageddon according to the Christian Bible. You'll see the city gates and the ivory
palace where Canaanite treasure was found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beit She'
Arim National Park is where you'll see remnants of the synagogue, the religious school, an
olive press, and dwellings. At the Necropolis, see the sarcophagi as well.
Baha'i Gardens: The gentle Baha'i faith believes in the unity of all the major faiths, tolerance,
peace and justice. Its world headquarters in Haifa centre around the gold-domed Shrine of the
Bab, an elaborate structure housing the remains of the Bab, the herald of the Baha'i prophet
Elijah's Cave and the Carmelite Monastery: Elijah, the 9th century BC Hebrew prophet, is
venerated by Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze. So, not surprisingly, the cave on Mount
Carmel where he lived and meditated is an important pilgrimage spot.
Haifa's Beaches: Haifa has eight beaches, each one individual.

Ashdod HYB(B)
General Info

Ashdod Port is the leading economic gateway to the State of Israel with a strategically
advantageous location, about 40 km. from Tel Aviv and close to the countrys major commercial
centers and highways. The port itself has origins dating back nearly 4,000 years, and is the subject
of numerous mentions in the Bible.

Port Information

The Port of Ashdod is Israel's largest port accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods. The
port is Israels new economic gate, provides passengers of cruise ships and tourism, a new and
modern terminal, among the most advanced in the world. The Port offers the passenger organized
air-conditioned shuttle service from the parking lot to the passenger terminal, and upon return from
the vacation, the shuttle takes the passenger back to the parking lot. Entry into the port by private
vehicles is prohibited. For the convenience of the passengers there are two duty-free shops offering
a wide variety of products attractively priced. Access to the shops is after passport control and in
accordance with the signage. For more information

Shore excursions
Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Masada Fortress and the Dead Sea: Masada, is still a symbol of Jewish national identity
today. Following arrival at Masada, a short cable car ride will take you to the top of the
mountain from which you can admire a breathtakingly beautiful view over the surrounding
rocky desert and the Dead Sea. There are also the ruins of the ancient fortress built by Herod
the Great in 42 BC as a potential refuge in the case of the revolt of the Jews or riots incited by
Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 73 BC. You will have the chance to relax and refresh yourself
enjoying the unique experience of floating in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea.
Tel Aviv

Eilat DES (3)
General Info

Eilat is Israel's southernmost city, a busy port and a popular resort city. It is located at the northern
tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. The city's beaches, nightlife and desert landscapes make
it a popular destination for domestic and international tourism. Most of Eilat s business activity is
tourism-related, and most of Eilats residents work is tourist oriented.

Port Info

Eilat Port, Israels gateway to the South lies in the Northern end of the Red Sea. The port handles
passengers on Red Sea cruises at its 1,200 square meters modern terminal. The resort city of Eilat
is only minutes away.

Shore excursion and activities

Bedouin hospitality
Bird watching, Eilat is located on the main migration route between Africa and Europe.
Camel tours
Coral World Underwater Observatory.
Diving in Red Sea

Tourist information for Israel:


Country information

Land area: 1,001,450 square kilometers

Population: 83,688,164 (July 2012 est.)

Common borders with: Israel, Libya, Sudan, and the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian area
formerly administered by Egypt and occupied by Israel since 1967.

Languages spoken: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated

Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%

Currency & parity: 1 Egyptian pound (EGP) = $0.162 USD

= 0.125 Euro
Climate: temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in

The most important cruise ports are the home ports of Port Said and Alexandria, and the
destination port of Safaga.

Port Said HYB (C)
General Info
Port Said came to be in the mid 19th century during the construction of the Suez Canal. The City
was damaged during the Suez Crisis, and again during the wars of 1967 and 1973, but the city was
rebuilt and today is a pleasant city of 400,000 people. It is also considered a summer resort by
Egyptians and the beach is lined with vacation bungalows.

Port Info
Cruise ships dock at Port Said, at the entrance of the Suez Canal, approaching the port you will get
a chance one of the worlds most spectacular sights: the line of vessels waiting to enter the Suez
Canal. Specifically, the Port is situated at the Northern entrance of the Suez Canal. The new cruise
terminal of Port Said has well furnished and equipped reception halls, with a tourist information
desk and an oriental bazaar.

Shore Excursions
Suez Canal.
National Museum of Port Said.
Lake Manzala. Renowned for its natural beauty where visitors and residents alike go to
relax and spend some time watching birds.
Military Museum of Port Said.
The Pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, which was the largest structure made by man
for almost 4,000 years, the Pyramid of Chephren, the Step Pyramid of Sakkara
the Sphinx, and
the Egyptian Museum which has 107 halls and artifacts that date back to Egypt's
prehistoric times

Alexandria DES (2)
General Info

Founded by its namesake, Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., Alexandria has been home to many
historical figures, including Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Julius Caesar and Euclid. Today the city has a
distinctly Mediterranean feel, perhaps a remainder of its ancient Roman connection. The charming
seaside promenade, colonial buildings and wide avenues make it an exotic, romantic destination.

Port Info

The cruise Terminal of Alexandria is first class, but way out of town. The Port of Alexandria still
occupies the issues between ports of the Arab Republic of Egypt regarding the volume of traffic,
where approximately 60% of Egypts foreign trade is handled through the port of Alexandria.
Alexandria port consists of two harbors ( East and west ) separated by a T-shaped peninsula.
The harbor is formed by tow converging breakwaters. No development was made to the port for
many years until an integrated plan was set for the various areas of work in the port.

Sights and Shore Excursions

The Roman Theatre

The Catacombs
The Montazah Palace
The Qaitbay Fortress
The famous Alexandrian Library.
Cairo day trip
Desert Safari Day Trip to Pyramids
El Alamein World War II Cemeteries: visit the place where important World War II battles
were fought. Visit the Military museum and the WWII Cemeteries and learn about this
period of history.

Safaga DES (3)
General Info

The town, about 1.5 miles from the port (cabs are rarely available unless you arrange them in
advance) is a dusty, rough-and-tumble kind of place with a few unimpressive shops and banks and
not much else. It's not a charming place. North of town is a beach strip, with clean beaches and
moderately priced hotels that attract tourists with their diving and windsurfing centers.

Port Info

At the port, most memorable are the rugged desert cliffs that end right at the sea. Their reddish hue
makes for a pretty view, but at the same time, your ship will be surrounded by ugly industrial
vessels that serve the port's primary function of hauling phosphate from local mines. Located on the
western flank of the Red Sea, Safaga is also a port for ferries to and from Saudi Arabia, across the

Shore Excursions

Luxor : Egypts open-air museum in one day. Visit Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple on the
East bank of the Nile and see the Valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut Temple.

Red sea submarine and snorkeling trips.

Desert safari.


Country information

Land area: 1,759,540 square kilometers

Population: 5,613,380 (July 2012 est.)

Common borders with: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia.

Languages spoken: Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major
cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq).

Religions: Sunni Muslim (official) 97%, other 3 %

Currency: 1 Libyan dinar (LYD) = 0.61 euro

= 0.79 US dollar

Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior.

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Tripoli.

Tripoli DES (3)
General Info
Tripoli is the capital city and the largest city of Libya. As of 2011, the Tripoli metropolitan area
(district area) had a population of 2.2 million people. The city is located in the northwestern part of
Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean and
forming a bay. The capital and cruise port, Tripoli, is a typical North African city of narrow streets
and lively souks. The domestic situation in Libya remains unstable subsequent to the formal
announcement of liberation by the Libyan National Transitional Council on 23 October 2011.

Port Info
The port of Tripoli is located in Tripoli harbor in downtown Tripoli. Tripoli Port is currently the only
port that receives tourists, and there are a number of visitors arriving at the port from Europe and
elsewhere. All other ports are mostly industrial or commercial
Sights Shore Excursions
The Medina (Old City): is worth a visit to see the narrow whitewashed streets crammed
with mosques (the highlights of which are the Gurgi and the Karamanli mosques). Inside the
Medina are bustling souks, the marble Arch of Marcus Aurelius and the city's castle National
or Jamahiriya Museum
Tripoli Castle (Assai al-Hamra): it was started in the 7th century. Once surrounded by
water, it now houses the massive Jamahiriya Museum, which covers the history of Libya in
almost 50 galleries.
Magaref Street, is known for some of the best colonial architecture in the city.
The Great Mosque
Citadel of Raymond de Saint Gillies
Burj Es-Sabaa (lion Tower)
Leptis Magna: First, along the coast to the east of the capital, is one of the best-preserved
ancient Roman cities in North Africa or Europe. Its remarkably impressive scale and
condition is down to the protection afforded by the layers of desert sand which buried it until
discovery early last century.
Sabratha: Along the coast to the west and near the border with Tunisia is another Roman


Country information
Land area: 316 square kilometers

Population: 409,836 (July 2012 est.)

Common borders with: None. Malta comprises an archipelago.

Languages spoken: Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other
0.8% (2005 census).

Religions: Roman Catholic (official) 98%

Currency: Euro (since 2008)

Climate: Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers

The most important cruise port is the destination port of Valletta.

Valletta HYB(C)

General Info
Malta has 7,000 years of intriguing history behind it, and is fully modernized and contemporary.
What you see when entering Valletta Harbor is cream-colored buildings climbing twisting streets
and hillsides, pockmarked from centuries of cannon fire; ancient forts guarding the harbor entrance.
This tiny Mediterranean country is actually part of an archipelago of five islands, only three of which
are inhabited (the other two are Gozo and Comino). But it's the island of Malta and the port of
Valletta (designed by a colleague of Michelangelo) at which the cruise ships call.

Port Info
Valletta Cruise Port plc (formerly VISET Malta plc) is a limited liability company which took over the
cruise and ferry terminal operations following an international tender issued by the Government of
Malta in 1996. The Valletta Waterfront is on the doorstep of UNESCO World Heritage City, Valletta
as well as that of the historic town of Floriana.

Sights - Shore Excursions

Mdina is one excellent example of a fortified medieval town.
Grand Malta Walking Tour Following a walking tour of Barracca Gardens where you'll
have incredible views, you'll proceed by coach to St. Johns Co-Cathedral which houses
Malta's treasures of art including The Beheading of St. John by Caravaggio.
Harbor Cruise & Coach Tour of Three Cities
Mdina, Mosta, and Handicrafts Village
Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk