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Hosted By: Bonnie Lucas
Retired Co-Host of Van and Bonnie in the Morning
Experience Italy and Greece like never before featuring Ancient Rome and Athens, the birthplace of democracy, plus a 7-night cruise of the Aegean Sea. In Rome, be steeped in Christian history with visits to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square, and Vatican Museums. Our local guide introduces us to The Colosseum where up to 80 thousand people would gather for spectacles of the Roman Empire. Enjoy luxury cruising aboard the Enchanted Princess ship, including a private cocktail party, Sanctuary for adults, entertainment, and superb dining with something for everyone. Exclusive ports of call make this vacation unique, with stops in Naples to visit Pompeii and the isle of Capri, the island of Crete, the Turkish port of Kusadasi, Istanbul, and the Greek island of Mykonos.
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July 12th, 2023 - July 23rd, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 03/04/2023
Day 1 : Fly to Italy
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to Italy.
Day 2 : Vatican & The Sistine Chapel
Land in Rome and meet our English-speaking Italian guide. Our vacation kicks off with a tour of Vatican City. Marvel at the ornate Sistine Chapel, the Pope’s official residence, and St. Peter’s Square, where people receive the Pope’s weekly blessings. View Michelangelo’s masterpieces at the Vatican Museumsand soak up this world center of Christianity for almost 2,000 years, feeling the awe-inspiring weight of history. Afterwards we check in to our Rome hotel for a two-night stay, and tonight join your fellow traveling companions for a delicious Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 : Ancient Rome
Enjoy a tour of Ancient Rome, featuring The Colosseum. This famous oval edifice lies in the city center, the historic site of Roman spectators and largest ancient amphitheater ever constructed, with a capacity to welcome 50-80 thousand people for viewing gladiatorial contests, mythological dramas, and other public spectacles. Our tour of Ancient Rome includes a visit to the Roman Forum, originally built as a marketplace that would later become the site of several government buildings for the Roman Empire, and is also home to the famous Arch of Constantine.
Day 4 : Embarkation
Today embark on the Enchanted Princess for a 7-night Mediterranean Sea cruise. Enjoy sweeping views and wonderful amenities on this marvelous ship. From its tranquil Sanctuary, a retreat for adults, to exciting new dining options, there’s something for everyone as you enjoy your time at sea. This Princess ship offers style, luxury, and dazzling new attractions with world-class entertainment. Browse the onboard shops, try your luck at the ship’s casino, or enjoy a cocktail and the spirit of Sinatra at the classic Crooners piano bar.
Day 5 : Naples
Arrive at our first port of call at Naples. Today’s optional excursions include visits to Pompeii and the island of Capri. The eruption of stratovolcano Vesuvius in 79 AD was a huge natural disaster killing thousands of people in Pompeii. Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site to witness a moment in time preserved for over 2,000 years. You may visit the beautiful isle of Capri. This iconic island in the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea features exclusive boutiques and shops of the rich and famous. Take in the Gardens of Augustus, a lush escape that lies on a sheer cliff, with striking views of the dramatic turquoise ocean below.
Day 6 : At Sea
Enjoy a day at sea featuring an exclusive cocktail party for our group. Have fun dressing up for this special evening at sea.
Day 7 : Crete
Our port of call is Heraklion on the island of Crete. Archaeology reveals Heraklion came to power during the 9th century BC and is named after the Greek goddess Rhea, mother of Zeus. Like many Mediterranean cities, Heraklion has a turbulent history. The city was originally founded by the Saracens who lost control of the island in an invasion by the Byzantine Empire in 961, who then sold Crete to the Venetians in 1211. Heraklion flourished under the Venetians. As you explore, you’ll find interesting reminders of their influence. The city is best known as the gateway to breathtaking 4,000-year-old Minoan ruins, plus famous windmills that stretch across the Lassithi Plateau.
Day 8 : Kusadasi
We arrive at the Turkish port of Kusadasi along Turkey’s Anatolian Coast. Discover ruins of ancient Ephesus, a significant site of archeology. The city of Kusadasi was once a Roman trading center and provincial capital. Discover where St. Paul preached at the Great Theater, and see the ruins of Ephesus’ Basilica including the tomb of His most beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle. Take in picturesque, whitewashed stone houses that rise in tiers beyond the city market, a palm-lined esplanade that lies in the town center with thousands of merchants hawking their wares in competition with Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
Day 9 : Istanbul
Today’s port of call is Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city located at the nexus of Europe and Asia along the internationally significant Bosphorus Strait. For 25 years the city was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, a cosmopolitan hub of splendor compared to the great European cities of today. This historic city is a vision of Muslim minarets and sparkling domes. Also known as ‘Capital of Vanished Empires’, Istanbul merges the boundaries of Asia and Europe, Islam and Christianity, and is among the world’s most fascinating cultural experiences
Day 10 : Mykonos
Indulge the senses with today’s port of call at the Greek island of Mykonos. Mykonos is among Greece’s first islands to become a worldwide travel destination. During the late 60s and early 70s, the island was a popular escape for the wealthy. The island’s nightlife, both then and now, is a glittering world of parties with colorful lights and music. Today, Mykonos offers hip dining, boutiques, souvenirs, cafes, and taverns.
Day 11 : Athens
We disembark our ship this morning to experience Athens, a city of 4.5 million spreading out from the foothills of Mount Lycabettus and across the plains. Enjoy a city tour featuring The Acropolis and Acropolis Museum with a local guide who provides ancient and modern anecdotes about Greek life and cultural significance as a major player in the development of the West. The tragedies of Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus were performed in the Theater of Dionysus at the foot of The Acropolis. View Pnyx Hill, where Greek citizens of one of the world’s first democracies gathered to vote. Later, check in at our hotel in the Athenian Riviera for the night, then share your adventures with fellow travelers over a Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner.
Day 12 : Fly Home
WHO Radio Pickup Locations:
Des Moines, IA - Des Moines International Airport
Bonnie Lucas, co-host of Van and Bonnie In The Morning on WHO Radio for 25 years from 4:59 a.m. to 9 a.m. every weekday, is now retired.
Bonnie and Gene may be retired but they still love to travel with all the many friends they have made over the years and are looking forward to making more new ones!
Bonnie and Gene have a son, Joel. He and his wife, Shelli, have two children, Madison and Carter.
Bonnie and Gene have hosted Holiday Vacations tours all around the globe and are looking forward to spending a marvelous vacation with you.
Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.