Want to see a third of Europe on one trip? This epic new cruise hits 17 countries
Looking for an easy way to hit the highlights of the Mediterranean in one big trip? For travelers with plenty of time (and money), there's an epic new option from Silversea.
The luxury cruise specialists on Tuesday opened bookings for a new, 59-night Grand Voyage Mediterranean itinerary that will include stops at 15 countries in Europe, plus two more in North Africa. The voyage will take place on Silversea's 382-passenger Silver Shadow.
It's a rare sort of voyage that will let you see everything from the iconic Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona and the Vatican in Rome to the Acropolis in Athens and the Blue Mosque of Istanbul without ever switching vessels or having to change hotel rooms.
Kicking off Sept. 8, 2021 in Venice, Italy, the sailing includes stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. And that's just in the first 24 days.
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The rest of the trip adds visits to Malta, Tunisia, Monaco, France, Spain, Morocco and Portugal.
Of course, the price is almost as epic as the itinerary, starting at $35,000 per person, not including taxes and fees. But that sort of pricing is par-for-the-course at Silversea, which is among the world's most upscale cruise lines.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed some of the countries mentioned above aren't in the Mediterranean. Though billed as a Mediterranean voyage, the trip includes a detour eastward through the Bosporus to the Black Sea for multiple stops. There's also a final leg west through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic Ocean for a visit to Casablanca, Morocco, and several stops in the Canary Islands. The trip ends Nov. 5, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal.
In all, 45 port calls are on the schedule.
Travelers on this voyage will visit large, iconic European cities such as Rome (reached from the port at Civitavecchia, Italy) and cozy little towns like Portofino, Italy, and Korcula, Croatia.
Seven calls in Greece will include Corfu, Itea, Nafplion, Paros, Athens (via the port of Piraeus), Santorini and Rethymnon (on the island of Crete). In addition to Barcelona, nine stops in Spain will include Malaga, Cadiz, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca and four of the Canary Islands.
Highlights of the Black Sea detour will include Trabzon, Turkey; Batumi Georgia; Sochi, Russia; Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta, Romania; and Bourgas, Bulgaria.
Founded in 1994, Silversea is known for some of the most wide-ranging itineraries in the cruise business. Catering to a well-heeled crowd, it operates five traditional luxury ships, all relatively intimate and elegant (think: Four Seasons, but at sea). It also operates four hardier but no less stylish expedition-style vessels. Together, the nine ships call at more than 900 distinct destinations around the globe.
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Other epic voyages that Silversea has announced for 2021 include a 150-day, around-the-world cruise. Taking place on the 382-passenger Silver Whisper, it will feature stops at 54 ports in 34 countries. It begins Jan. 7, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Unveiled in 2000, Silver Shadow recently underwent a top-to-bottom refurbishment. As is typical for Silversea, it's an all-suite vessel with a mostly all-inclusive format. Premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks are included in the fare, as are amenities like onboard Wi-Fi.
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Fares for the Grand Voyage Mediterranean also include round-trip economy class flights to reach the ship from select gateways and countries (passengers from excluded gateways will get a credit for airfare); a $1,000 per person onboard spending credit (to cover spa services, for example) and an overnight stay on land the night before the cruise begins.
Other perks included for those who book the sailing are complimentary luggage service, onboard laundry service and private transfers.
Silversea also is selling nine shorter segments of the trip as standalone cruises.
Would you ever book a cruise lasting more than a month? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Planning a cruise for 2020? Check out these articles:
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Image of Silver Whisper courtesy of Silversea