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Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.
Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.
call us
800-787-1796

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

17-Days featuring Palermo, Taormina, Ephesus, Rhodes, Santorini & Mykonos 38f-banner

Includes airfare, hotel, baggage and transfers

Departs May 17 and September 20, 2014

About This Journey

It’s been said by some that, in Sicily, the sun shines brighter, the shadows are darker, and life is lived full on and for the moment. Sicilians are heir to an impressive cultural legacy, from the refined architecture of the Greeks and Romans to the artistic fusion of Arab craftsmanship and Norman austerity. There is also a startling diversity of landscape that includes the smoldering Mt Etna and an aquamarine coastline. You’ll experience all of this and more on this unique Enrichment Journey that features six nights in Sicily. Spend three nights in Palermo, visiting the Palermo Cathedral, dating back to 1185 AD, followed by the nearby Palace of the Normans, built by Arabs in the eleventh century. Continue to Monreale, where you’ll visit the Byzantine masterpiece, the Monreale Cathedral and Cloister. Your centrally located hotel will provide a perfect venue for exploring on your own and perhaps experiencing some of Sicily’s compelling cuisine. Then it’s on to Erice with its impressive castles and Marsala, where you’ll be our guest for a wine tasting and light lunch. En route to three nights in Taormina, you’ll visit the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Agrigento. Your stay in Taormina features a tour to Mt. Etna and enough time to explore this almost perfectly preserved medieval town. Then, by special arrangement, board the Celebrity Reflection in its first port-of-call, before continuing on to the Aegean. Imagine seeing Athens and its Plaka nestled below the Acropolis or following in the footsteps of Paul in Ephesus. You’ll marvel at ancient Rhodes and enjoy the view from Santorini before exploring the picturesque waterfront in Mykonos. Then you’ll cruise into the magnificent Bay of Naples and enjoy Capri before ending your trip back in Rome.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Itinerary
Day Port Arrival Depart
1 Depart USA
2 Arrive Palermo (Via Rome) – Hotel
3 Palermo
4 Palermo – Erice – Marsala
5 Agrigento – Taormina
6 Taormina
7 Taormina
8 Transfer to Messina – Board Ship 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
9 At Sea
10 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 6:00 AM 6:00 PM
11 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
12 Rhodes, Greece 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
13 Santorini, Greece 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
14 Mykonos, Greece 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
15 At Sea
16 Naples / Capri, Italy 7:00 AM 6:30 PM
17 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 5:00 AM 6:30 PM

Land Package Highlights

Day 1 – Depart USA 

Day 2 – Arrival Rome & Transfer to Palermo by Air

Day 3 – Palermo & Monreale (Half Day)

You will first visit the Palermo Cathedral, dating back to 1185 AD followed by the nearby Royal Palace or “Palace of the Normans”, built by Arabs in the eleventh century and later enlarged by the Normans and the Spaniards. Here you’ll visit the interior Palatine Chapel, the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily, lavishly decorated with mosaics and fine art. You’ll continue to Monreale, where you’ll visit the Byzantine masterpiece, the Monreale Cathedral and Cloister. The gold mosaics here surround 6340 sq. meters of the church.         

Day 4 – Erice and Marsala (Full Day) 

Departure from Palermo by coach to Erice, a town in a typical medieval Sicilian style with narrow alleyways and the remains of ancient stone walls. The town is very well preserved and you will enjoy walking through the narrow streets. Proceed towards Marsala and visit one of the most famous wineries with cellars built in the 19th Century 

Day 5 – Agrigento including Lunch (Full Day)          

On the way to Taormina, you will pass through the archaeological area known as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, one of the most important archeological sites in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Along a long rocky scarp, chosen as the southern limit of the town, are still sited the great temples of ancient Akragas: the Temple of Hera (Juno) Lacinia, Concordia, Heracles (Hercules), Olympian Zeus (Jupiter), Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri) and Hephaistos (Vulcan). Further down, on the bank of the Akragas river, near a medical spring, stood the Temple dedicated to Asklepius (Eusculapius), the god of medicine. At the mouth of the river there was the harbor and emporion (trading-post) of the ancient city.         You will stop for lunch before continuing on to Taormina. 

Day 6 – Taormina (Half Day)

The town is known for its wonderful scenery as well as its position as one of Sicily’s nicest resort towns. Here you will get fantastic views of the sea and of nearby Mt. Etna, as well as a quaint medieval-village atmosphere. Meet your local guide and visit the Teatro Greco, the most impressive monument of the city. The theater was originally built by the Romans in the 3rd century, and it has been used to host everything from musicals to gladiator games. Also visit San Nicolo di Bari, the 13th century Duomo, and the Public Gardens, home to some 200 different plants and a lovely pagoda. 

Day 7 – Mt. Etna (Half Day) 

You will visit Mt. Etna, Sicily’s tallest peak and one of Europe’s most famous active volcanoes. This 3,300-metre-high volcano is home to forests, impressive craters, solid lava, and more. Your vehicle will take you up to 2,000 meters where you will get out and have a guided tour (without climbing up to the crater). Then enjoy a wine tasting at a very charming property that used to be the summer residence of a Sicilian noble family (who still owns the property), completely surrounded by vineyards. 

Day 8 – Transfer to Messina (Sicily), Italy 

Transfer by motor coach to your ship in Messina.

Port Highlights

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy: Civitavecchia was settled in 108 A.D. by the Emperor Trajan and has since served faithfully as a gateway to the capital of the Empire-Rome. Once the center of the Ancient World from which emperors ruled over nearly all of western civilization, Rome is still a cultural mecca. Stroll the ancient halls of the Coliseum or gaze upon the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.

Sicily (Messina), Italy: Over the centuries, Messina has been coveted for its wonderful natural harbor and strategic location on the easternmost tip of Sicily, the closest point to mainland Italy. From atop a scenic promontory, you will have the opportunity to see what has lured visitors and conquerors for centuries. Take advantage of this port to visit picturesque Taormina and Mt. Etna.

Athens (Piraeus), Greece: Athens brought the world drama, history, poetry, and philosophy. Once home to the world’s most powerful and civilized empires, Athens is now the world’s foremost archeological playground. The towering columns of the Parthenon still stand in homage to the virgin goddess Athena.

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey: Once the capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor, this coastal town is now an archeologist’s dream. This former Greek banking and trading center is rich with historic sites, including the Great Theater, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Rhodes, Greece: The old port of Mandraki is believed to be the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Historic sites abound in Rhodes, and you should be sure to include a panoramic view of the city and Rhodes Bay from atop Mount Smith.

Santorini, Greece: Here on the island of Santorini, you’ll find classic, Greek seascape-whitewashed houses accented by sea-blue roofs. This is a treasure trove for both professional and amateur archeology buffs, with sites that include tombs that date back to the 9th century and the sanctuary of Apollo.

Mykonos, Greece: Mykonos is known for its whitewashed villages sprinkled with blue and jade green. It’s also famous for its sophisticated nightlife. The most popular island in the Cyclades is bustling with activity, awash in beautiful alleyways, and home to alluring sandy beaches.

Naples, Italy: Located on the southern coast of Italy, Naples has spectacular scenery that attracts artists from around the world. One of Naples’ greatest contributions to western civilization-pizza- was invented to honor the Queen of Italy in 1889.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Included Features

  • Included round-trip airfare, transfers and baggage handling
  • Three nights at the four-star Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes in Palermo (or similar) including daily breakfast
  • Three nights at the four-star Hotel Villa Diodoro in Taoromina (or similar) including daily breakfast
  • Local tour hosts throughout with five included tours during hotel stay
    • Palermo and Monreale – Half Day
    • Erice and Marsala – Full Day
    • Tour w/ Lunch in Agrigento – Full Day
    • Taormina – Half Day
    • Mt. Etna w/ Wine Tasting – Half Day
  • 9-night/10-day cruise aboard Celebrity Reflection
  • All meals while onboard

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

What to Expect on Your Trip

Pacing

During your 17-day Journey, you will explore the gorgeous island of Sicily, Italy, for five days and nights. Then the group will board Reflection, a Celebrity Cruises ship, for an 11-day excursion through Greece, Turkey and other regions of Italy. Optional shore excursions will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities.

Physical Activity

The land portion of the trip should be considered moderately active, involving walking to several historical sites. Walking on different types of land, roads and landmarks will be part of the trip, especially in Italy, such as through the historical towns and around Mt. Etna. Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses and comfortable accommodations where applicable. For the cruise section of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

Throughout the centuries, Italians have stayed true to their ancestors and pride themselves in preserving the past while embracing the present. This rings especially true in Sicily, where the Sicilian people are experts at crafting the perfect meal and honoring the classic Baroque design in many cities and towns. Not to mention, the intertwining influences of politics, design, culture and tradition with this Island and Greek history gives it a unique personality different than found mainland. Pair this experience with cruising around the picturesque Greek islands, such as Santorini and Mykonos, all of which have delighted its inhabitants for centuries with perfect shorelines and climate.

A trip of a lifetime through Italian cities, Greece and Turkey will be unforgettable and very different than that you might be used to at home. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when meeting people abroad and being in unique situations. Sometimes the attractions, beaches and the destinations themselves (like in Sicily and Santorini) can be crowded, so we will proceed with caution.

European culture is passionate and diverse. You will have the chance to hear many languages and interact with a wide range of people. Many people speak English in major cities, especially at tourist attractions. Keep in mind that some areas are more conservative than others, especially when visiting places of worship and historical landmarks. Greek islands tend to be more laid back when it comes to attire.

Unique Factors

If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with a Personal Vacation Manager before booking a trip. The weather can vary between destinations, so pack accordingly with a few colder weather items and more breathable, cotton items to suit the varying month of September. Sturdy shoes will be needed during city walks.

Recommended Reading List

Looking to learn more about the cultures, lifestyle and fun found in foreign destinations you are about to visit? We recommend these following books:

Fiction/Personal Accounts

With Love from Mykonos by Allan Konya

Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life by Daniel Klein

Turkey: More than 100 Recipes, with Tales from the Road by Leanne Kitchen

Children’s Books

Rocco Goes To Italy by Rina ‘Fuda’ Loccisano

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna

Twelve For Thebes, A Tale Of Ancient Greece by Wayne E. Torbert

Travel Guides

Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra by Peter Robb

Independent Travellers Greek Island Hopping 2005: The Island Hopper’s Bible by Frewin Poffley

The Rough Guide to Turkey by Martin Dunford and Terry Richardson

Blogs

La Vita e Bella: http://lavitaebellablog.com/

Turkish Travel Blog: http://turkishtravelblog.com/

Visit Greece Blog: http://blog.visitgreece.gr/

Videos

Visions of Sicily: http://watch.wliw.org/video/1316891893/

Tour Videos, Turkey: http://www.tourvideos.com/Istanbul-Turkey-travel-videos.html

Celebrate Greece: http://www.celebrategreece.com/product_categories/67-videos

Transportation

Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airline routings are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, or direct, or non-stop, or Business Class flights may do so by contacting the Enrichment Journeys air department.

Routing Transportation Approximate Travel Time
New York – Rome Airline 12 Hours
Rome – Palermo Airline 30 Minutes
Palermo – Taormina Motorcoach 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Taormina – Messina Motorcoach 45 Minutes
Rome – New York Airline 11 Hours

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Dates & Prices
5/17/2014 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
10 (Inside)  $6,874  $5,499  $1,375  $7,699
8 (Oceanview)  $6,999  $5,599  $1,400  $8,099
2B (Veranda)  $7,249  $5,799  $1,450  $8,349
2A (Veranda)  $7,499  $5,999  $1,500  $8,699
1C (Veranda)  $7,374  $5,899  $1,475  $8,449
C3 (Concierge)  $7,311  $5,849  $1,462  $8,399

 

9/20/2014 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
10 (Inside)  $5,749  $4,599  $1,150  $6,099
8 (Oceanview)  $6,374  $5,099  $1,275  $6,999
2C (Veranda)  $6,499  $5,199  $1,300  $7,299
2B (Veranda)  $6,561  $5,249  $1,312  $7,399
2A (Veranda)  $6,624  $5,299  $1,325  $7,499
C3 (Concierge)  $6,999  $5,599  $1,400  $7,799
Air Add-Ons
City Add-On City Add-On City Add-On
Atlanta $300 Houston Intercontinental $250 Philadelphia $200
Boston $200 John F. Kennedy $0 Phoenix $400
Denver $400 Los Angeles $350 San Diego $400
Dallas-Ft. Worth $300 Orlando $300 Seattle $350
Newark $100 Miami $250 San Francisco $350
Washington – Dulles $250 Chicago $300 Tampa $300
- Business Class Air Available on Request
- Additional Gateways Available on Request
- Air Add-On Rates are subject to change without notice

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary. Please note that hotel ratings are based on TripAdvisor ratings and are subject to change.

Accommodations
Hotel Et Des Palmes

Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes Palermo, Via Roma, 398, 90139 Palermo – Italy

Tel. +39 091 6028111

Fax. +39 091 331545

Email: des-palmes@amthotels.it

The luxurious four-star Grand hotel Et Des Palmes Hotel is ideally located on the bustling Via Roma in the heart of Palermo’s historical city centre. From there you can walk to most of the cultural and architectural treasures of Palermo including the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, the superb Capella Palatina and the old harbour. Free Wi-Fi Zone is available, shuttle service to and from airport, laundry service, continental buffet breakfast, bar, and restaurants.

Hotel Villa Diodoro

Via Bagnoli Croci, 75 – 98039 Taormina (ME)

Tel: +39 0942 23312

Fax: +39 0942 23391

Email: diodoro@gaishotels.com

The Hotel Villa Diodoro, is a place for those that enjoy the best in life. Open all-year round, and located just a just a few steps from the idyllic town of Taormina, the hotel boasts a pool area which looks out over Mount Etna and the bay of Naxos. The Diodoro, monument among monuments, with over one-hundred years of history, has been dedicated to the greek historian Diodoro Siculo, a renowed figure who lived in the old town, telling the story of how distinguished travellers all over the world, discovered Taormina in their search of beauty and sun, art and culture.

Reflection

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Since its inception in 1989, Celebrity has held true to its original commitment of taking the very best aspects of classic, elegant cruising and updating them to reflect current lifestyles. In 1997, they merged with Royal Caribbean International to form Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. What sets Celebrity apart from other vacation choices today is the cruise line’s passionate dedication to providing guests with a cruise experience that embodies modern luxury. This has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set the worldwide standard for today’s expression of what first made cruising famous — high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine. Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “”X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all providing an unmatchable vacation experience.

Ship: Reflection

Celebrity ReflectionSM is the newest marvel offering three new suites, including 34 new AquaClass® Suites that feature stunning 79 square foot verandas, so you can relax like never before. Plus, your favorite spa amenities and priority access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, Blu, are included. There are even more inspired additions to this ship. Celebrity Reflection boasts an expanded deck, 72 additional staterooms overall, more seating in the main and specialty restaurants, more sun lounges on the pool deck, and more seats in the theatre. Excitement brews with up to 50 international craft beers in the enhanced Michael’s Club. On the Lawn Club, take a painting class with a Master Artist from the ArtCenter South Florida in The Art Studio. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new Lawn Club Grill. Enjoy more than 20 delicious options in the Main Restaurant that are SPE-certified and healthy for you. Unwind in your own cabana-style haven, The Alcoves, on the Lawn Club. And check out all the new spa innovations in the enhanced AquaSpa® by Elemis®. Your vacation time is precious. Time aboard Celebrity Reflection will make the most of it.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Preparing for Your Trip

Money Matters

How you handle your own currency and financials is your choice while on the trip. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to have them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These can be scarce in some more rural areas but more available in major cities and places like Rome. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks when in need of cash. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

Cards are now widely accepted all over the world, especially major brand names. Call your card company ahead of time to find out its specific limitations and benefits overseas. However, it is a good idea to carry cash in case of emergencies or when wanting to purchase items from local markets.

Incidentals

Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Keep packing as simple as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Ask your domestic carrier their own rules for baggage allowance, which might mean additional fees. All bags will be screened during transfer onto the cruise ship.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening at the airport, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines with weight and size.

Labeling

Have your bags all labeled with name and address clearly marked. Add something recognizable in case bags are misplaced. Also mark bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for fluidity.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into the states, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you are questioning a certain item, visit www.tsa.gov for a list of items that cannot be packed.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable journey. Most regions will have pleasantly warm and sometimes rainy climates in September, so pack accordingly. There is always unusual variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key items to take on your trip to Europe:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Skirt/pants with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglass and/or glasses (if needed)

Cameras

Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment, Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If brining a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but accrue additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling you carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless internet for free or in internet cafes in places throughout Sicily and the Greek Islands.

Your Health and Comfort

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside their trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip beforehand up to the departure date with a full refund – that means 100% coverage at anytime.

This covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, baggage delay and medical consultations abroad. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if purchased 14 days prior to departure. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period.

Please apply through our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra as well just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

While on Tour

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journeys package. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will have the group go over items such as the daily schedule, weather and local customs.

Hotels

All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high caliber of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each choice varies so you may experience various types of properties on your excursion.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

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Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

Regional Information

Travel Documentation

Your identification is one of the most important things you will be carrying on your trip. Passports are required upon entry into Rome, Italy, from the U.S. and subsequent countries. Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out as well as e-mailing to yourself and someone back home in case anything is misplaced. It can also be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be in good condition and valid for at least 6 months following your departure date. If traveling with a non-US passport, contact your local embassy to ensure this document is the only one needed for passage into Europe.

Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide the most current visa information. However, visitors can travel within the European Union [EU] (Turkey, Greece and Italy are all members) for up to 90 days without a visa.

The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov, which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

Some cruise lines offer visa services for your cruise at an additional charge. However, this is not always available and your journey will begin by land.

You may also use a third-party visa service, such as CIBT. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not required by law, but it is recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have and your personal medical history. During this excursion, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce, especially within the EU.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at 1-800-232-4636 or visit the website at www.cdc.gov.travel.

Electric Current

Have an international electric outlet converter for this trip. All countries visited are on 220-230v for standard outlets. Most hotels will have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter. 

Time Differences

You will be changing time zones periodically on the trip throughout Italy, Greece and Turkey. These are the zones of each checkpoint:

Italy – CET (Central European Time)

Turkey and Greece – (Eastern European Time)

Money Matters

By visiting various countries throughout the journey, you will need only one kind of currency, the Euro. This is only needed for additional shopping, food or extra expenses, as much of this is included in the trip.

Here is current exchange rate for Italy, Greece and Turkey:

Italy, Turkey, Greece – Euro

Banknotes in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500

Coins represent 1-50 ‘Euro cents’ and 1-2 ‘Euros’ (100 cents in a Euro)

Exchange – $1 USD to .75 Euros

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is always appreciated but not always required. European destinations, though, usually require less tipping than would be appropriate stateside. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry in Europe that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers and baggage handlers. Note the variances in currency between countries and plan accordingly.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels and at airports. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few euros is customary. The host or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per day, as can any ship staff member on Celebrity cruises (which is often split at the end of the day by all).

Climate

With the tour covering mostly coastal regions, you will most likely come in contact with heat, occasional rain, wind and/or damp environments. Check the weather online before embarking for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations (Sicily, Mykonos, Ephesus, etc.). The summer months of July and August are warmest, while winter months of December-February can be colder. Temperatures listed below (in Fahrenheit) can vary within the countries too.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High/Low in Fahrenheit
Central Italy 46/32 52/34 61/40 66/46 76/56 82/62 87/66 86/66 77/57 67/51 54/40 45/34
Instanbul 48/38 49/37 52/39 62/45 71/55 79/64 85/69 84/69 77/63 67/55 58/46 50/41
Athens 49/36 52/37 58/39 66/46 77/56 86/64 90/68 89/68 81/61 70/52 59/44 50/37

Altitude (above sea level, in feet)

Italy

Palmero, Sicily – 90

Naples – 289

Greece

Santorini – 128

Mykonos – 0

Turkey

Ephesus – 1,204

Istanbul – 328

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local native language can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are the top ten fun phrases in Italian, Greek and Turkish.

Italian

Buon giorno (Bwohn JOHR-noh): Hello

Come sta? (Koh-meh STAH?): How are you?

Non c’è problema (Non cheh proh-BLEH-mah): No problem.

Mi scusi (Mee SKOO-zee): Excuse me

Grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh): Thank you

Sì (SEE): Yes

No (Noh): No

Uomini (WOH-mee-nee): Men’s (restroom)

Donne (Dohn-NEH): Women’s (restroom)

Che tempo fa? (Keh TEHM-poh fah): How is the weather?

Greek

Γεια σας (YAH sahss): Hello

Τι κάνετε (Tee KAH-neh-teh?); How are you?

Μάλιστα (MAH-li-sta): Yes

Όχι (OH-hee): No

Χάρηκα (HA-ree-ka): Nice to meet you

Παρακαλώ (Pah-rah-kah-LOH): Please

Ευχαριστώ (Ef-hah-rees-TOH): Thank you

Συγγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee): Excuse me

Βοήθεια! (Voh-EE-thee-yah!): Help!

Θέλω να πάω στην παραλία (Thelo-na pow-sti paralia): I want to go to the beach.

Turkish

Merhaba (MEHR-hah-bah): Hello

Allaha ısmarladık (Ah-LAHS-mahr-lah-duhk): Goodbye

Nasılsınız? (NAHS-suhl-suh-nuhz): How are you?

İyiyim, teşekkür ederim. (Ee-YEE-yihm, tesh-ek-KEWR eh-dehr-eem): I’m fine, thank you

Evet (Eh-VEHT): Yes

Hayır (HAH-yuhr): No

Arkadaş (Ar-kah-DAHSH): Friend

Kaç/kaç tane? (KAHCH/tah-neh): How much/many?

Güzel (Gew-ZEHL): Beautiful

Hamam (Hah-MAHM): Turkish bath

Facts and Figures

Explore some unusual and fascinating facts about Italy, Greece and Turkey before you embark on your Journey.

Italy

  • Sicily’s population is five million people, while Rome is 2.7 million. Rome is the largest city and the entire county has 59.6 million people to date, with many more claiming Italian heritage around the world.
  • The name Italy comes from the word “italia”, meaning “calf land,” This is due to the bull being a symbol of the ancient Southern Italian tribes.
  • Italy is approximately 116,400 square miles, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, which is slightly larger than Arizona.
  • Parmesan cheese originated in the area around Parma, Italy. Italians also created many other cheeses, including gorgonzola, mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta.
  • No other country in Europe has as many volcanoes as Italy. This is because the Italian peninsula stands on a fault line. Three major volcanoes have erupted in the last century.
  • Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.

Greece

  • There are 10.7 million people in Greece, with its capital city of Athens hosting roughly three million residents. Nearly half of all Greeks fall between the ages of 25-54 years old.
  • Athens is the oldest city in Europe, and the birthplace of democracy.
  • About 80% of Greece is mountainous and 50% is covered by forests.
  • There are about 3000 islands, only a few hundreds of which are inhabited.
  • Ancient Greece is said to have laid the foundation for Western civilization, having a large influence on the Roman Empire and European culture.
  • Many Greek structures such as doors, windowsills, furniture, and church domes are painted a turquoise blue, especially in the Cyclades Islands. It is used because of an ancient belief that this shade of blue keeps evil away.

Turkey

  • Turkey ranks 18th in the world for population, with more than 75 million people. About 75% are Turks, another 20% identify as Kurds.
  • Istanbul is the only city in the world that is located on two continents: Europe and Asia.
  • Turkey is the birthplace of historical figures such as the biblical Abraham, the poet Homer, St. Paul the Apostle, the storyteller Aesop, and the father of history, Herodotus.
  • The oldest known shipwreck on Earth was found and excavated in Uluburun near Kas, in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.
  • Tradition in Turkey says that a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered “God’s guest” for at least three days.

Journey to Sicily and the Greek Islands

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