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Passage through Antiquity

Join us in spring 2020 on a passage through antiquity, an incomparable journey which includes a wealth of sites including biblical landmarks, Crusader castles, Egyptian temples and tombs as well as the magnificent Nabatean city of Petra. We have planned the journey for March when temperatures will be pleasant for exploring and with the aid of our knowledgeable local guides and excellent Guest Speaker, we will learn of some fascinating civilisations.

Our itinerary begins with a six day land tour of Jordan during which time we will stay in five star hotels. From the mystical Dead Sea to the grandeur of Petra and the desert sands of Wadi Rum, Jordan is steeped in history and awe inspiring beauty. Petra, a city set deep in the Edom mountains and lost to Western ‘civilisation’ for hundreds of years was hewn directly from the rock by the Nabateans and is an amazing feat of engineering and construction. As you explore this vast and complex city, whose wealth came from its proximity to the ancient Middle East trade routes, you cannot help but be impressed by the industry and sophistication of this ancient civilisation. Whilst in Jordan, we also visit Bethany, the site where John the Baptist met and baptised Jesus Christ, and spend some time in Aqaba before embarking the MS Serenissima.

Our journey continues as we sail through the Gulf of Aqaba to Egypt where we explore some of the great monuments of the Pharaohs, the divine kings of thirty dynasties who ruled Egypt for some thirty-five centuries. See the great temples of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx and spend some time in Cairo’s magnificent Egyptian Museum. Following a transit of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s greatest feats of civil engineering, we then have four days in Israel to explore an extraordinary collection of both classical and Biblical sites before our voyage ends in the Cypriot port of Limassol.

01 March, 2020 to 17 March, 2020 Make a booking request for Passage through Antiquity, departing on 01 March, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Standard Stateroom £ 7295 GBP pp
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Classic Stateroom £ 7495 GBP pp
All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Superior Stateroom £ 7895 GBP pp
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Standard Single £ 8295 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Deluxe Stateroom £ 8395 GBP pp
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Junior Suite £ 8895 GBP pp
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Owner’s Suite £ 9595 GBP pp
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.
view cabin photo
Serenissima Suite £ 9995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Mini Bar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo

Passage through Antiquity itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - London to Amman, Jordan.
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive in Amman this evening and transfer to the Movenpick Resort (or similar) in the Dead Sea area, our base for the next two nights.
Day 2 - Dead Sea & Bethany.
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel and a leisurely morning. You may wish to swim or float in the Dead Sea which, at 423 metres below sea level is the lowest spot on earth. The high salt content prevents the existence of any life forms but is also believed to provide healing properties with the mud on the seabed being rich in minerals. After lunch in the hotel restaurant we will drive to Bethany, the site where John the Baptist met and baptised Jesus Christ. The excavations conducted at Bethany in Jordan have uncovered a 1st century AD settlement with plastered pools and water systems that were used almost certainly for mass baptisms, and a 6th century Byzantine settlement with churches, a monastery and other structures most probably catering to religious pilgrims. This evening we will meet for dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 - Kerak & Little Petra.
This morning we drive southward along the Dead Sea shore before heading to the imposing Crusader stronghold of Kerak where we visit the fortified castle which was built in AD 1142 and had witnessed many battles between the Crusaders and Saladin’s Muslim armies. See the network of the dimly lit vaulted rooms and long winding corridors, which lead into each other through heavy arches and doorways. After our visit we continue our journey south to the rose-red city of Petra. On the way we will stop at the spectacular site of Little Petra, where a modest gorge (Siq el-Barid) leads into the area of carved tombs and monuments. See the Painted Cave which is believed to have been a shelter for a sect focused on Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, as it contains remains of Greek-style plaster artwork, quite unique for Petra, displaying tangled vines and flowers with brightly coloured birds and cupid-like figures. A kilometre further to the southwest of Siq el-Barid is one of the region’s most important archaeological sites, the 6800 BC Neolithic village of Beidha which was inhabited, long before the Nabateans, by the New Stone Age people where over 60 stone-built structures have been discovered among the ruins of this early farming community. After our visit we continue to our hotel where we enjoy dinner this evening.
Day 4 - Petra.
After breakfast in the hotel we will explore the breathtaking Nabatean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2000 years ago and has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Walk past the Obelisk Tomb and then through the Siq, the narrow 1.2 kilometre gorge that leads to Petra’s most impressive monument, the Treasury which was carved out of the pale reddish sandstone in the 1st century BC. Pass by the dozens of classical Nabatean ruins and tombs known as the Street of Facades, the remarkable 3000 seat Theatre, the Royal Tombs, the Colonnaded Street, the Byzantine Church, the Temple, the Monumental Arch and the mighty Qasr el-Bint Faroun. After lunch amidst the ruins of Petra you will have the option to return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or stay and explore the site further independently. The active may choose to climb about 900 steps up to the large, 1st century AD monument known as the Monastery with its remarkable views over Wadi Araba. Meet tonight for dinner.
Day 5 - Wadi Rum & Aqaba.
This morning you can choose to relax in the hotel or return to Petra for a second half day visit and climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice, known as El-Madbah in Arabic, one of Petra’s most important sacred sites, chosen as places of devotion and sacrifice. Animal offerings were made at the sacrificial altar, which has been carved flat, and drainage channels have been cut into the rock to allow the blood of sacrificial animals to drain away. Taking lunchboxes from the hotel we will drive to Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon where the desert landscape is mixed with awe-inspiring shapes to create an almost supernatural atmosphere. We will embark on an adventurous excursion by a Bedouin open top four-wheel drive vehicle. We begin at the visitor centre from where there is a view in the distance of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the famous landmark named after the book by T.E. Lawrence ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. During our excursion we will also see the Alameleh inscriptions which are a good example of ancient rock drawings, Siq Um Al Tawaqi, a short canyon containing a carving of the head of T.E. Lawrence and ruins of Allat (Goddess) Temple of the AAD tribe. We will finish the excursion at the sunset site where there are dramatic views of Wadi Rum as the sun sinks below the horizon. At the camp we will enjoy dinner before driving to Aqaba and embarking the MS Serenissima.
Day 6 - Aqaba.
After a busy few days we will have a relaxing morning in Aqaba. For those keen to spend time in the Aqaba Marine Park containing fringing reefs, over 100 species of hard coral and many species of fish, we will base ourselves at one of the beaches from where you can enjoy swimming or snorkelling in the clear waters. Alternatively explore the town of Aqaba seeing the 16th century fort, originally built as part of the pilgrimage route to Mecca but later a vital location in the overthrow of the Ottomans and take time to walk through the bustling souk. Return to the ship for lunch and relax on board as we spend the afternoon sailing through the Gulf of Aqaba.
Day 7 - Safaga for Luxor, Egypt.
Arrive this morning in the Egyptian port of Safaga, our base for our overnight trip to Luxor. After clearing immigration formalities we will embark our coaches for the drive through the desert. Our first call will be on the West Bank, one of the most famous and important archaeological sites in the world. See the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of the pharaohs for a period of 500 years. The tombs vividly depict the journey of the sun god and pharaoh through the dangers of the underworld. In the temple of Queen Hatshepsut you will discover scenes commemorating the reign of this exceptional monarch such as the ambitious voyage where she sent her ships on the Red Sea to the mysterious land of Punt. After our visit we transfer to our hotel in Luxor for some time to relax before meeting for dinner this evening.
Day 8 - Luxor.
After breakfast in the hotel we visit the temples of Karnak, one of the most memorable and popular historical areas to visit in the world. Here you will witness the unbelievably vast array of monuments dedicated to Amun-Ra, king of the gods, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu. Just two of the highlights you will see are the great hypostyle hall with over 130 columns some 22 metres high and the obelisk of the powerful queen pharaoh Hatshepsut. We will have some time to explore the souk. This afternoon we will board our coaches and return to the MS Serenissima in Safaga.
Day 9 - At Sea.
Spend the day on board as we sail through the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez. Join one of the lectures or find a spot on deck as we sail to Sokhna where we arrive this evening and moor overnight.
Day 10 - Sokhna for Cairo.
Today is a full day tour dedicated to the capital city of Cairo. We visit the impressive Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the tombs of the great Pharaohs and their queens. After lunch we visit the Egyptian Museum with 107 halls that are separated into seven sections. The museum houses statues, jewels and treasures of Tutankhamun. We will visit the Amarna Room and see the Fayoum portraits and monuments from the later periods from the Greeks and the Romans. Return to the MS Serenissima for dinner this evening.
Day 11 - Suez Canal Transit.
Departing Suez at dawn we begin the day-long transit of the Suez Canal and the Great Bittar Lake arriving in Port Said this evening.
Days 12 & 13 - Ashdod, Israel.
Our first call in Israel will be the southern port of Ashdod where we will spend two fascinating days. During our time here we will organise visits to Jaffa, the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv developed. Famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and St Peter, it has a fascinating history stretching back over four thousand years. We will explore the highlights including the Clock Tower, Flea Market and the renovated alleys and buildings of the fascinating city. Visit Tel Aviv and drive through Rothschild boulevards of the White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the world’s largest concentration of Bauhaus architecture. We will also drive inland to Jersualem including a visit to the Mount of Olives from where we can enjoy spectacular views over the ‘Golden City’ of Jerusalem. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Wander the streets of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and continue through the Christian Quarter to the bazaar, passing the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter and the Western (or Wailing) Wall.
Days 14 & 15 - Haifa.
We sail to the northern port of Haifa for two more days of exploration including options to visit Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Called the City of Annunciation, Nazareth is revered as the spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary to tell her she was to bear the Son of God. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and visit the Church of the Annunciation, which is built where Mary is said to have lived. Maybe visit the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we find Capernaum’s ancient synagogue and Peter’s House before stopping in Tabgha, home to the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Leaves, with its 5th century mosaic floor. We will drive up Mount Carmel for a breathtaking view over the bay from the top of the city’s famous Bahai Gardens. We also plan to visit Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites of the region and once the chief port of the Crusaders. Visit the underground city seeing the Crusader halls, crypt and the tunnels used as a secret route to the port. Also visit the bazaar and the UNESCO site of Kahn El Umdan (Inn of the Columns) one of the best-preserved caravanserai in Israel. The last option is to drive to Caesarea – the impressive ruins rest on the coast halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. This grand ancient city and harbour were built by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and reigned capitol over its region for almost 600 years. Named after the Roman Caesar Augustus, it had all the amenities of a splendid Roman city: baths, a hippodrome, a theatre and an aqueduct and we can explore the remains in the archaeological park.
Day 16 - Limassol, Cyprus.
Enjoy a relaxing morning at sea as we cruise to Cyprus arriving in Limassol at lunchtime. An afternoon tour will include the Temple of Apollo, one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshipped as God of the Woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century BC and continued until the 4th century AD. We will continue to the ruins of Kourion, a city built in 1200 BC. Of particular interest are the public baths, the necropolis, the Fountain House, House of Gladiators and House of Achilles. The most spectacular site at Kourion is the Greco- Roman Theatre that has been completely restored and is used today for open-air musical and theatrical performances.
Day 17 - Larnaca to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Passage through Antiquity reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Itineraries are subject to change.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Enjoy a relaxing morning at sea as we cruise to Cyprus arriving in Limassol at lunchtime. An afternoon tour will include the Temple of Apollo, one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshipped as God of the Woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century BC and continued until the 4th century AD. We will continue to the ruins of Kourion, a city built in 1200 BC. Of particular interest are the public baths, the necropolis, the Fountain House, House of Gladiators and House of Achilles. The most spectacular site at Kourion is the Greco- Roman Theatre that has been completely restored and is used today for open-air musical and theatrical performances.
We sail to the northern port of Haifa for two more days of exploration including options to visit Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Called the City of Annunciation, Nazareth is revered as the spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary to tell her she was to bear the Son of God. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and visit the Church of the Annunciation, which is built where Mary is said to have lived. Maybe visit the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we find Capernaum’s ancient synagogue and Peter’s House before stopping in Tabgha, home to the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Leaves, with its 5th century mosaic floor. We will drive up Mount Carmel for a breathtaking view over the bay from the top of the city’s famous Bahai Gardens. We also plan to visit Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites of the region and once the chief port of the Crusaders. Visit the underground city seeing the Crusader halls, crypt and the tunnels used as a secret route to the port. Also visit the bazaar and the UNESCO site of Kahn El Umdan (Inn of the Columns) one of the best-preserved caravanserai in Israel. The last option is to drive to Caesarea – the impressive ruins rest on the coast halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. This grand ancient city and harbour were built by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and reigned capitol over its region for almost 600 years. Named after the Roman Caesar Augustus, it had all the amenities of a splendid Roman city: baths, a hippodrome, a theatre and an aqueduct and we can explore the remains in the archaeological park.
Our first call in Israel will be the southern port of Ashdod where we will spend two fascinating days. During our time here we will organise visits to Jaffa, the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv developed. Famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and St Peter, it has a fascinating history stretching back over four thousand years. We will explore the highlights including the Clock Tower, Flea Market and the renovated alleys and buildings of the fascinating city. Visit Tel Aviv and drive through Rothschild boulevards of the White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the world’s largest concentration of Bauhaus architecture. We will also drive inland to Jersualem including a visit to the Mount of Olives from where we can enjoy spectacular views over the ‘Golden City’ of Jerusalem. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Wander the streets of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and continue through the Christian Quarter to the bazaar, passing the Roman Cardo in the Jewish Quarter and the Western (or Wailing) Wall.
Departing Suez at dawn we begin the day-long transit of the Suez Canal and the Great Bittar Lake arriving in Port Said this evening.
Today is a full day tour dedicated to the capital city of Cairo. We visit the impressive Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the tombs of the great Pharaohs and their queens. After lunch we visit the Egyptian Museum with 107 halls that are separated into seven sections. The museum houses statues, jewels and treasures of Tutankhamun. We will visit the Amarna Room and see the Fayoum portraits and monuments from the later periods from the Greeks and the Romans. Return to the MS Serenissima for dinner this evening.
Spend the day on board as we sail through the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez. Join one of the lectures or find a spot on deck as we sail to Sokhna where we arrive this evening and moor overnight.
After breakfast in the hotel we visit the temples of Karnak, one of the most memorable and popular historical areas to visit in the world. Here you will witness the unbelievably vast array of monuments dedicated to Amun-Ra, king of the gods, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu. Just two of the highlights you will see are the great hypostyle hall with over 130 columns some 22 metres high and the obelisk of the powerful queen pharaoh Hatshepsut. We will have some time to explore the souk. This afternoon we will board our coaches and return to the MS Serenissima in Safaga.
Arrive this morning in the Egyptian port of Safaga, our base for our overnight trip to Luxor. After clearing immigration formalities we will embark our coaches for the drive through the desert. Our first call will be on the West Bank, one of the most famous and important archaeological sites in the world. See the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of the pharaohs for a period of 500 years. The tombs vividly depict the journey of the sun god and pharaoh through the dangers of the underworld. In the temple of Queen Hatshepsut you will discover scenes commemorating the reign of this exceptional monarch such as the ambitious voyage where she sent her ships on the Red Sea to the mysterious land of Punt. After our visit we transfer to our hotel in Luxor for some time to relax before meeting for dinner this evening.
After a busy few days we will have a relaxing morning in Aqaba. For those keen to spend time in the Aqaba Marine Park containing fringing reefs, over 100 species of hard coral and many species of fish, we will base ourselves at one of the beaches from where you can enjoy swimming or snorkelling in the clear waters. Alternatively explore the town of Aqaba seeing the 16th century fort, originally built as part of the pilgrimage route to Mecca but later a vital location in the overthrow of the Ottomans and take time to walk through the bustling souk. Return to the ship for lunch and relax on board as we spend the afternoon sailing through the Gulf of Aqaba.
This morning you can choose to relax in the hotel or return to Petra for a second half day visit and climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice, known as El-Madbah in Arabic, one of Petra’s most important sacred sites, chosen as places of devotion and sacrifice. Animal offerings were made at the sacrificial altar, which has been carved flat, and drainage channels have been cut into the rock to allow the blood of sacrificial animals to drain away. Taking lunchboxes from the hotel we will drive to Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon where the desert landscape is mixed with awe-inspiring shapes to create an almost supernatural atmosphere. We will embark on an adventurous excursion by a Bedouin open top four-wheel drive vehicle. We begin at the visitor centre from where there is a view in the distance of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the famous landmark named after the book by T.E. Lawrence ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. During our excursion we will also see the Alameleh inscriptions which are a good example of ancient rock drawings, Siq Um Al Tawaqi, a short canyon containing a carving of the head of T.E. Lawrence and ruins of Allat (Goddess) Temple of the AAD tribe. We will finish the excursion at the sunset site where there are dramatic views of Wadi Rum as the sun sinks below the horizon. At the camp we will enjoy dinner before driving to Aqaba and embarking the MS Serenissima.
After breakfast in the hotel we will explore the breathtaking Nabatean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2000 years ago and has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Walk past the Obelisk Tomb and then through the Siq, the narrow 1.2 kilometre gorge that leads to Petra’s most impressive monument, the Treasury which was carved out of the pale reddish sandstone in the 1st century BC. Pass by the dozens of classical Nabatean ruins and tombs known as the Street of Facades, the remarkable 3000 seat Theatre, the Royal Tombs, the Colonnaded Street, the Byzantine Church, the Temple, the Monumental Arch and the mighty Qasr el-Bint Faroun. After lunch amidst the ruins of Petra you will have the option to return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or stay and explore the site further independently. The active may choose to climb about 900 steps up to the large, 1st century AD monument known as the Monastery with its remarkable views over Wadi Araba. Meet tonight for dinner.
This morning we drive southward along the Dead Sea shore before heading to the imposing Crusader stronghold of Kerak where we visit the fortified castle which was built in AD 1142 and had witnessed many battles between the Crusaders and Saladin’s Muslim armies. See the network of the dimly lit vaulted rooms and long winding corridors, which lead into each other through heavy arches and doorways. After our visit we continue our journey south to the rose-red city of Petra. On the way we will stop at the spectacular site of Little Petra, where a modest gorge (Siq el-Barid) leads into the area of carved tombs and monuments. See the Painted Cave which is believed to have been a shelter for a sect focused on Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, as it contains remains of Greek-style plaster artwork, quite unique for Petra, displaying tangled vines and flowers with brightly coloured birds and cupid-like figures. A kilometre further to the southwest of Siq el-Barid is one of the region’s most important archaeological sites, the 6800 BC Neolithic village of Beidha which was inhabited, long before the Nabateans, by the New Stone Age people where over 60 stone-built structures have been discovered among the ruins of this early farming community. After our visit we continue to our hotel where we enjoy dinner this evening.
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel and a leisurely morning. You may wish to swim or float in the Dead Sea which, at 423 metres below sea level is the lowest spot on earth. The high salt content prevents the existence of any life forms but is also believed to provide healing properties with the mud on the seabed being rich in minerals. After lunch in the hotel restaurant we will drive to Bethany, the site where John the Baptist met and baptised Jesus Christ. The excavations conducted at Bethany in Jordan have uncovered a 1st century AD settlement with plastered pools and water systems that were used almost certainly for mass baptisms, and a 6th century Byzantine settlement with churches, a monastery and other structures most probably catering to religious pilgrims. This evening we will meet for dinner at the hotel.
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive in Amman this evening and transfer to the Movenpick Resort (or similar) in the Dead Sea area, our base for the next two nights.
* = Indicative
Map for Passage through Antiquity
Serenissima, the ship servicing Passage through Antiquity

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 95

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / December 2018

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising. She underwent another significant refurbishment in December 2018 and her capacity was reduced to 95.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just 95 passengers, the 53 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. In areas such the United Kingdom and Norway the vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Serenissima DeckSerenissima suite

 

Cabin layout for Serenissima
• Visit Jordan, Egypt, Israel & Cyprus with Guest Speaker Ernie Rea

• Swim or float in the Dead Sea which, at 423 metres below sea level is the lowest spot on earth

• Explore the breathtaking Nabatean city of Petra which was carved out of the rose-red sandstone about 2000 years ago and has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World

• Visit the temples of Karnak, one of the most memorable and popular historical areas to visit in the world
Enquire now about Passage through Antiquity

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