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12-Day Mediterranean Empires

Holland America Line

On Board Oosterdam

Departure Date: 1 January 1970

Duration: Nights

Vista
Inside £1,919pp
Outside£2,039pp
Suite £3,459pp
From £0pp
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Trieste - ItalyArrow up click to collapse dayArrow Up - Click to expand day
Up until the end of World War I, Trieste was the only port of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire and therefore a major industrial and financial center. In the early years of the 20th century, Trieste and its surroundings also became famous by their association with some of the most important names of Italian literature, such as Italo Svevo, and English and German letters. James Joyce drew inspiration from the city's multiethnic population, and Rainer Maria Rilke was inspired by the seacoast west of the city. Although it has lost its importance as a port and a center of finance, it has never fully lost its roll as an intellectual center. The streets hold a mix of monumental, neoclassical, and art-nouveau architecture built by the Austrians during Trieste's days of glory, granting an air of melancholy stateliness to a city that lives as much in the past as the present.
Day 2 - Cruising
Day 3 - Katakolon - GreeceArrow up click to collapse dayArrow Up - Click to expand day
Katakolon could not seem less of a cruise port if it tried. A tiny enclave clinging to the western Peloponnese coast, it's a sleepy place except when ships dock. But it's a popular cruise destination because of its proximity to Olympia. Ancient Olympia was one of the most important cities in classical Greece. The Sanctuary of Zeus was the city's raison d'être, and attracted pilgrims from around the eastern Mediterranean, and later the city played host to Olympic Games, the original athletic games that were the inspiration for today's modern sporting pan-planetary meet. At the foot of the tree-covered Kronion hill, in a valley near two rivers, Katakolon is today one of the most popular ancient sites in Greece. If you don't want to make the trip to Olympia, then Katakolon is an ideal place for a leisurely Greek lunch while you watch the fishermen mend their nets, but there's just not much else to do there.
Day 4 - Piraeus - GreeceArrow up click to collapse dayArrow Up - Click to expand day
It's no wonder that all roads lead to the fascinating and maddening metropolis of Athens. Lift your eyes 200 feet above the city to the Parthenon, its honey-color marble columns rising from a massive limestone base, and you behold architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years. But, today, this shrine of classical form dominates a 21st-century boomtown. To experience Athens—Athína in Greek—fully is to understand the essence of Greece: ancient monuments surviving in a sea of cement, startling beauty amid the squalor, tradition juxtaposed with modernity. Locals depend on humor and flexibility to deal with the chaos; you should do the same. The rewards are immense. Although Athens covers a huge area, the major landmarks of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are close to the modern city center. You can easily walk from the Acropolis to many other key sites, taking time to browse in shops and relax in cafés and tavernas along the way. From many quarters of the city you can glimpse "the glory that was Greece" in the form of the Acropolis looming above the horizon, but only by actually climbing that rocky precipice can you feel the impact of the ancient settlement. The Acropolis and Filopappou, two craggy hills sitting side by side; the ancient Agora (marketplace); and Kerameikos, the first cemetery, form the core of ancient and Roman Athens. Along the Unification of Archaeological Sites promenade, you can follow stone-paved, tree-lined walkways from site to site, undisturbed by traffic. Cars have also been banned or reduced in other streets in the historical center. In the National Archaeological Museum, vast numbers of artifacts illustrate the many millennia of Greek civilization; smaller museums such as the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum illuminate the history of particular regions or periods. Athens may seem like one huge city, but it is really a conglomeration of neighborhoods with distinctive characters. The Eastern influences that prevailed during the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire are still evident in Monastiraki, the bazaar area near the foot of the Acropolis. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, stroll through Plaka (if possible by moonlight), an area of tranquil streets lined with renovated mansions, to get the flavor of the 19th-century's gracious lifestyle. The narrow lanes of Anafiotika, a section of Plaka, thread past tiny churches and small, color-washed houses with wooden upper stories, recalling a Cycladic island village. In this maze of winding streets, vestiges of the older city are everywhere: crumbling stairways lined with festive tavernas; dank cellars filled with wine vats; occasionally a court or diminutive garden, enclosed within high walls and filled with magnolia trees and the flaming trumpet-shaped flowers of hibiscus bushes. Formerly run-down old quarters, such as Thission, Gazi and Psirri, popular nightlife areas filled with bars and mezedopoleia (similar to tapas bars), are now in the process of gentrification, although they still retain much of their original charm, as does the colorful produce and meat market on Athinas. The area around Syntagma Square, the tourist hub, and Omonia Square, the commercial heart of the city about 1 km (½ mi) northwest, is distinctly European, having been designed by the court architects of King Otho, a Bavarian, in the 19th century. The chic shops and bistros of ritzy Kolonaki nestle at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus, Athens's highest hill (909 feet). Each of Athens's outlying suburbs has a distinctive character: in the north is wealthy, tree-lined Kifissia, once a summer resort for aristocratic Athenians, and in the south and southeast lie Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni, with their sandy beaches, seaside bars, and lively summer nightlife. Just beyond the city's southern fringes is Piraeus, a bustling port city of waterside fish tavernas and Saronic Gulf views.
Day 5 - Kusadasi - TurkeyArrow up click to collapse dayArrow Up - Click to expand day
Whilst the busy resort town of Kusadasi offers much in the way of shopping and dining – not to mention a flourishing beach life scene, the real jewel here is Ephesus and the stunning ruined city that really take centre stage. With only 20% of the classical ruins having been excavated, this archaeological wonder has already gained the status as Europe’s most complete classical metropolis. And a metropolis it really is; built in the 10th century BC this UNESCO World Heritage site is nothing short of spectacular. Although regrettably very little remains of the Temple of Artemis (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), the superb Library of Celsus’ façade is practically intact and it is one of life’s great joys to attend an evening performance in the illuminated ruins once all the tourists have left. The history of the city is fascinating and multi-layered and it is well worth reading up on this beforehand if a visit is planned. Another point of interest for historians would be the house of the Virgin Mary, located on the romantically named Mount Nightingale and just nine kilometres away from Ephesus proper. Legend has it that Mary (along with St. John) spent her final years here, secluded from the rest of the population, spreading Christianity. An edifying experience, even for non-believers. For the less historical minded amongst you, Kusadasi offers plenty in the way of activities. After a stroll through the town, jump in a taxi to Ladies’ Beach (men are allowed), sample a Turkish kebap on one of the many beachfront restaurants and enjoy the clement weather. If you do want to venture further afield, then the crystal clear beaches of Guzelcamli (or the Millipark), the cave of Zeus and the white scalloped natural pools at Pamukkale, known as Cleopatra’s pools, are definitely worth a visit.
Day 6 - Istanbul - TurkeyArrow up click to collapse dayArrow Up - Click to expand day
The only city in the world that can lay claim to straddling two continents, Istanbul—once known as Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine and then the Ottoman Empire—has for centuries been a bustling metropolis with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Istanbul embraces this enviable position with both a certain chaos and inventiveness, ever evolving as one of the world’s most cosmopolitan crossroads. It’s often said that Istanbul is the meeting point of East and West, but visitors to this city built over the former capital of two great empires are likely to be just as impressed by the juxtaposition of old and new. Office towers creep up behind historic palaces, women in chic designer outfits pass others wearing long skirts and head coverings, peddlers’ pushcarts vie with battered old Fiats and shiny BMWs for dominance of the noisy, narrow streets, and the Grand Bazaar competes with modern shopping malls. At dawn, when the muezzin's call to prayer resounds from ancient minarets, there are inevitably a few hearty revelers still making their way home from nightclubs and bars. Most visitors to this sprawling city of more than 14 million will first set foot in the relatively compact Old City, where the legacy of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires can be seen in monumental works of architecture like the brilliant Aya Sofya and the beautifully proportioned mosques built by the great architect Sinan. Though it would be easy to spend days, if not weeks, exploring the wealth of attractions in the historical peninsula, visitors should make sure also to venture elsewhere in order to experience the vibrancy of contemporary Istanbul. With a lively nightlife propelled by its young population and an exciting arts scene that’s increasingly on the international radar—thanks in part to its stint as the European Capital of Culture in 2010—Istanbul is truly a city that never sleeps. It’s also a place where visitors will feel welcome: Istanbul may be on the Bosphorus, but at heart it’s a Mediterranean city, whose friendly inhabitants are effusively social and eager to share what they love most about it.
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Dining Options

Holland America Line invites you to dine "As You Wish". To savour Italian cuisine one night and a perfectly grilled porterhouse steak the next. To take your place in the Dining Room at a specific seating time or be spontaneous, following your desires. Onboard, there are restaurants to suit every mood, along with the flexibility to choose the dining style you prefer.

Entertainment

Oosterdam features our new youth and family game room, High Score!, as well as additional kids’ programming.


Enrichments

Accommodation and Deck plan

With refined amenities and Holland America Line signature Mariner’s Dream bed gracing each elegant stateroom, the ship offers six grades of staterooms. Most are ocean-facing, many featuring teak-lined verandas for dining alfresco or private sunbathing.

Neptune Suite
From
From £4,689pp
With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private verandah, these spacious suites are flooded with light. They feature a large sitting area and two lower beds convertible to one king-size bed—our signature...

With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private verandah, these spacious suites are flooded with light. They feature a large sitting area and two lower beds convertible to one king-size bed—our signature Mariner's Dream™ bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses plus a separate dressing room. There's also a sofa bed, suitable for two people. The bathroom comes with a dual-sink vanity, full-size whirlpool bath and shower, plus additional shower stall. Amenities include use of the exclusive Neptune Lounge, a private concierge and an array of complimentary services. The configuration of staterooms may vary from the images shown.

Approximately 500-712 sq. ft. including verandah

Facilities
King or Twin Configuration,Shower,Whirlpool Bath,TV,Safe,Hair Dryer,Room Service Available,Telephone,Desk,Sofa Bed,Lounge Area,Vanity Area,Toiletries Provided,Suite Benefits,Wi-Fi (Additional Cost),Media/Entertainment Station,Coffee Machine
Speak directly to a Cruise expert01737 646412
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Inside
From
From £2,069pp
Two lower beds convertible to one queen-size bed—our signature Mariner's Dream™ bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses, premium massage shower heads and a host of amenities are featured in these comfortable staterooms....

Two lower beds convertible to one queen-size bed—our signature Mariner's Dream™ bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses, premium massage shower heads and a host of amenities are featured in these comfortable staterooms. The configuration of staterooms may vary from the images shown.

Facilities
Queen or Twin Configuration,Shower,TV,Safe,Hair Dryer,Room Service Available,Telephone,Desk,Lounge Area,Toiletries Provided,Wi-Fi (Additional Cost),Media/Entertainment Station
Speak directly to a Cruise expert01737 646412
Get a Quote
See More
Inside
From
From £2,069pp
Two lower beds convertible to one queen-size bed—our signature Mariner's Dream™ bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses, premium massage shower heads and a host of amenities are featured in these comfortable staterooms....

Two lower beds convertible to one queen-size bed—our signature Mariner's Dream™ bed with plush Euro-Top mattresses, premium massage shower heads and a host of amenities are featured in these comfortable staterooms. The configuration of staterooms may vary from the images shown.

Facilities
Queen or Twin Configuration,Shower,TV,Safe,Hair Dryer,Room Service Available,Telephone,Desk,Lounge Area,Toiletries Provided,Wi-Fi (Additional Cost),Media/Entertainment Station
Speak directly to a Cruise expert01737 646412
Get a Quote
See More
Deck plan:

Other Information

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Your Cruise Summary
Holland America Line Oosterdam –
1 January 1970 – Nights