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The word "opera" brings to mind a sense of classic elegance, decided grandeur, and a touch of flare - and the MSC Opera definitely lives up to this vision. The Opera evokes the Italian-style characteristics of all MSC cruise ships with grand open spaces, a marble reception and revealing windows, plus it offers authentic Italian coffees, handmade ice cream and Italian lessons. Modern conveniences are not lost amidst the old-fashioned elegance of the Opera, and you can stay connected across the seas with their Internet cafe, keep fit at the health club, or take in a show at the Teatro dell' Opera.
Day 1 - Arrival in Venice, Italy: Boasting a beautiful, diverse landscape, amazing art and architecture, and world-renowned wine and cuisine, few countries hold as much romance and desire for travellers as Italy. Start your trip off right in this country, home to an awe-inspiring coastline and mystifying history.
Day 2 - Venice to Bari, Italy: After you board the MSC Opera in beautiful Venice, you'll head for Bari - the second most important city in Southern Italy, famous for its food, beaches and an old town you'll love to get lost in. Let a city tour squire you around the impressive architecture, highlighted by a 12th Century Basilica, or take a couch ride to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello or the Sassi caves.
Day 3 - At Sea: Cruising around the waters of the Mediterranean is a visual experience unlike any other, so you can use this time to lounge on the sun deck and watch the mountains sweep down to the sea or admire the soft sands that play off crystal waters. If you're feeling more active you can play a round of mini-golf, sing karaoke or go for a relaxing swim.
Day 4 - Piraeus (Athens), Greece: The unique charm and historic wonders of Athens make it a truly compelling European city where you'll find classical artifacts and lively character in abundance. The famed Acropolis stands guard over the city and is exemplified by the majestic Parthenon, one of the most famous classical sites in the entire world. Stroll through the streets and stumble upon local handicrafts or vine-covered taverns, or take some time to learn about ancient Greek art through the comprehensive collection found in the National Archaeological Museum.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - Odessa, Ukraine: †Founded by Catherine the Great in the 18th Century and nestled on the northern banks of the Black Sea, Odessa is a city that caters to a range of interests. Renaissance art mingles with Art Nouveau and compelling history gives way to roadside cafes and a multitude of beaches where you can relax and watch the daily goings on of vibrant, proud Odessans. Classical music and ballet is proudly displayed at the beautiful Opera house, or you can explore the Russian influences that are prominent in the Potemkin Steps or the monument to Alexander Pushkin, often considered Russia's greatest poet.
Day 7 - Yalta, Ukraine: History was written on the streets of Yalta, both old and new, and those with an interest in contemporary history will marvel at Livadia Palace, the beautiful and historic building where Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met in 1945 to decide the future of post-war Europe. †There is also a museum honouring legendary Russian poet Chekov, an old Tsar's residence once used to host the Romanov family, a dramatic hilltop castle "The Swallow's Nest" and plenty of art and romance for those not as keen on history.
Day 8 - Istanbul, Turkey: Istanbul is a city of contrasts, and was home to both Christian and Islamic empires that left architectural and cultural legacies. You'll find stunning churches and mosques lining the streets together, along with a fascinating natural beauty and vibrancy that makes it a source of both contemporary and historic European culture. Tour the city and see the Topkapi Palace that housed the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and the Blue Mosque of the Byzantines and then peruse the beautiful jewellery found at the many bazaars.
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - Katakolo, Greece: Known as the "Gateway to Olympia", Katakolo is your ticket to the best of Hellenistic Greece. Head into Olympia, the legendary city of Zeus, to see the birthplace of the Olympic Games or view the breathtaking temples of Zeus, Hera and Apollo. Make sure to see the Archaeological Museum, grab some traditional Greek food, or lounge on the beautiful beaches.
Day 11 - Dubrovnik, Croatia: Located on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is said to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and its magnificent city walls carry a legacy of the town's self motto "liberty".† Visit Gothic style buildings, beautiful fountains and the Monastery of St. Francis while on a walking tour of the city, or choose an excursion that takes you to the exquisite St. Jacobís beach along the beautiful rugged coastline.
Day 12 - Venice: †Spend the day heading back to Venice, city of romantic gondola rides through picturesque canals, amazing handicrafts found in street stall shops and classic Italian cuisine to be enjoyed in beautiful parks.
Day 13 - Venice to Rome: Your trip doesn't end when you disembark, for you'll be treated with a morning tour of beautiful Venice. You'll meet a private boat to transfer to St. Mark's Square where you'll visit St. Mark's Basilica and Palace of Doges before you head to Rome for dinner and a night at Grand Hotel Beverly Hills, a recently renovated hotel offering 24-hour concierge and a well known bar.
Day 14 - Rome: Today you'll enjoy a coach and walking tour where you can view Rome's most famous sights including St. Peter's Basilica, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. Rome is unlike anywhere else on earth, so use this day to truly absorb a city alive with history.
Day 15 - Depart from Rome
|Flight Date||Route||Flight Number||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Sept 26, 2012||Toronto to Rome||AZ651||16:35||07:10 + 1|
|Sept 27, 2012||Rome to Venice||AZ1463||09:20||10:25|
|Oct 8, 2012||Venice to Rome||AZ1480-CY||18:00||19:05|
|Oct 10, 2012||Rome to Toronto||AZ650-CY||10:50||14:45|