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Home Cruises Seafarers Passage To Mediterranean Jewels Seabourn Ovation 2023-09-24

Seafarers Passage To Mediterranean Jewels - 8364B Seabourn Ovation departing 24 Sep 2023

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Seabourn Ovation
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
24 Sep 2023
Duration
28 Nights
From / To
Dover / Rome (Civitavecchia)
Ports of call
Dover - Portsmouth - Plymouth - Milford Haven - Dun Laoghaire (Dublin), Ireland

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Itinerary

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Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 24/09/2023
Location Dover
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Out

Crossing the English Channel from continental Europe to Great Britain, the first view of England is the milky-white strip of land called the White Cliffs of Dover. As you get closer, the coastline unfolds before you in all its striking beauty. White chalk cliffs with streaks of black flint rise straight from the sea to a height of 350’ (110 m).

Numerous archaeological finds reveal people were present in the area during the Stone Age. Yet the first record of Dover is from Romans, who valued its close proximity to the mainland. A mere 21 miles (33 km) separate Dover from the closest point in France. A Roman-built lighthouse in the area is the tallest Roman structure still standing in Britain. The remains of a Roman villa with the only preserved Roman wall mural outside of Italy are another unique survivor from ancient times which make Dover one of a kind.

Date 25/09/2023
Location Portsmouth
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Portsmouth is a port city and naval base on England’s south coast, mostly spread across Portsea Island. It’s known for its maritime heritage and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The dockyard is home to the interactive National Museum of the Royal Navy, the wooden warship HMS Victory, where Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar, and HMS Warrior 1860. The Tudor ship Mary Rose is also conserved in a dockyard museum.

Date 26/09/2023
Location Plymouth
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Plymouth, the largest city in Devon, has a long maritime history. Construction on the Royal Naval Dockyard was begun by William III in the late 17th century, and the site continues to serve as a naval base today. Excellent views of Plymouth Sound, with its many bays and inlets, may be enjoyed from the grassy esplanade known as the Hoe. Although heavy bombing destroyed much of Plymouth during World War II, a fascinating part of the past may still be seen in the Barbican, the oldest surviving section of the city. The Mayflower Steps mark the spot from which the Pilgrims sailed for the New World in 1620. You may wish to take a look inside the massive Royal Citadel, built by Charles II in 1666. The city houses Europe’s premier oceanography institute with an unrivalled aquarium. An excursion into the lovely Devonshire countryside should prove a most pleasant diversion.

Date 27/09/2023
Location Milford Haven
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The town of Milford Haven lies along the northern bank of the Milford Haven waterway in the region of Pembrokeshire in Wales. This area offers a wealth of Celtic and pre-Celtic historical sites, formidable castles and fascinating islands. Although it has been an active port since the Middle Ages, the town was founded in 1790 and was originally intended as whaling center.

Milford Haven, with its 13,000 inhabitants, makes a great starting point for exploring nearby Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only coastline national park in the United Kingdom. This wild and incredibly beautiful landscape is one of Wales’s greatest natural assets, and in summer people flock here from all over the UK to enjoy the spectacular walking, surfing, coastal hiking and sea kayaking. Popular local attractions include the Fort Hubberstone fortification, completed in 1863, the Milford Haven Museum, expansive beaches, abundant marine life and pleasant towns. The name is from the Norse word melrfjordr, with melr meaning ‘sandbank,’ and fjordr meaning ‘inlet.’

Date 28/09/2023
Location Dun Laoghaire (Dublin), Ireland
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For fans and followers of all the arts, as well as those passionate about cultural and political affairs, Dublin is a rich feast of historic sites and memorable associations. Stroll the gorgeous, Georgian grounds of Trinity College, or the lawns of St. Stephen’s Green, and literary allusions encircle you. Stand before ancient Christ Church Cathedral, or in the hushed, timeless aisles of Marsh’s Library. Towering Dublin Castle was the stronghold of the British for seven centuries, and the General Post Office gained notoriety and renown on the same day in the Easter Rising of 1916. Ireland is famous for thirsts other than for knowledge, however, and you are also invited to visit the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery to taste the “water of life.”

Date 29/09/2023
Location Cobh (Cork)
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The port town of Cobh is located just 15 miles from Cork, the capital of Ireland’s southern region. Some of Ireland’s more famous landmarks are located in this part of the country, including Blarney Castle, famous for many legends, most notably the magical Blarney Stone. Some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in Europe is found west of Cork, with lyrical names to match the picturesque valleys, mountains and coasts.Cork, a city with a heritage reaching into antiquity, is nevertheless modern, well-organized, and well aware of its role as the second city of the Irish Republic. Built on a marsh, and interlaced with winding canals and rivers, the city is divided into two parts, with well-patterned architectural development incorporating the best of the old with the new.

Date 30/09/2023
Location At Sea
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Date 01/10/2023
Location At Sea
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Out
Date 01/10/2023
Location Bordeaux
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Bordeaux is the starting point for many exciting excursions into the surrounding wine country. The patricians of Bordeaux have always been merchants and shipbuilders. Under the Romans the city had a flourishing trade with Spain and Britain. In 1154, as a part of the dowry of Eleanor of Aquitaine, it became English and remained so until 1453. In the 18th century, Bordeaux prospered from the slave trade, and later in commerce with French colonies in Africa. Since Roman times the quality of the region’s vines and wines has been zealously maintained.

Date 02/10/2023
Location Bordeaux
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Out

Bordeaux is the starting point for many exciting excursions into the surrounding wine country. The patricians of Bordeaux have always been merchants and shipbuilders. Under the Romans the city had a flourishing trade with Spain and Britain. In 1154, as a part of the dowry of Eleanor of Aquitaine, it became English and remained so until 1453. In the 18th century, Bordeaux prospered from the slave trade, and later in commerce with French colonies in Africa. Since Roman times the quality of the region’s vines and wines has been zealously maintained.

Date 03/10/2023
Location La Rochelle
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La Rochelle is a coastal city in southwestern France and capital of the Charente-Maritime department. It’s been a center for fishing and trade since the 12th century, a maritime tradition that’s reflected in its Vieux Port (old harbor) and huge, modern Les Minimes marina. The old town has half-timbered medieval houses and Renaissance architecture, including passageways covered by 17th-century arches.

Date 04/10/2023
Location Bilbao
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Straddling the banks of an estuary opening into the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao is the largest city in Spain’s northeastern Basque Country. Its earliest beginnings are preserved in the Casco Viejo, seven medieval streets that used to be guarded by walls. There visitors will find the city’s old churches, a large market, a public theater and the Academy of the Basque Language. Nearby sources of iron ore made Bilbao an important industrial and shipping center from the 14th century onward. The Spanish Civil War also started here. Today the city is being transformed by a growing service economy, and its prominence on the global traveler’s radar may be dated from the 1997 inauguration of the striking Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. In fact, the estuary town has become a veritable magnet for architects, boasting notable masterworks including Santiago Calatrava’s beautiful Zubizuri (“White Bridge” in Basque) and airport complex, the 541-foot Iberdrola Tower by the Argentine Cesar Pelli, a subway system by Norman Foster, the 1909 wine warehouse called Alhóndiga, converted a century later by designer Philippe Starck and the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall by Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacios. The Zorrozuarre area is also being redeveloped, following a 2007 master plan by the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. For views of all of this, take the funicular from the city center to the top of Mt. Artxanda, where a sports complex, restaurants and a balcony await you.

Date 05/10/2023
Location Gijon
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This ancient port city on the green Atlantic coast of Spain has a history of some 3,000 years. From its humble beginnings the city has grown to become an important port city in Spain. Its old historic fishing village Cimadevilla with its picturesque cobble stoned streets and old-world architecture remains today its main tourist attraction.

Date 06/10/2023
Location At Sea
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Date 07/10/2023
Location Porto
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The commercial center of northern Portugal and hub of the port wine trade, Porto is a gracious, cosmopolitan city noted for its 12th century cathedral and medieval churches, picturesque narrow streets and wine lodges at Vila Nova de Gaia. It is clustered on hills overlooking a river, and is a northern European style city with granite church towers, narrow streets and hidden Baroque treasures.

Date 08/10/2023
Location Lisbon
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The great period of “the Discoveries” accounted for phenomenal wealth brought back from India, Africa and Brazil by the great Portuguese navigators. Gold, jewels, ivory, porcelain and spices helped finance grand new buildings and impressive monuments in Lisbon, the country’s capital city. As you sail up the Tagus River, be on deck to admire Lisbon’s panorama and see some of the great monuments lining the river. Lisbon is one of Europe’s smallest capital cities but considered by many visitors to be one of the most likeable. Spread over a string of seven hills, the city offers a variety of faces, including a refreshing no-frills simplicity reflected in the people as they go unhurriedly through their day enjoying a hearty and delicious cuisine accompanied by the country’s excellent wines.

Date 09/10/2023
Location At Sea
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Date 10/10/2023
Location Gibraltar, Spain
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With Spain to the north and Morocco to the south, Gibraltar is the famous promontory dominating the narrow entrance to the Mediterranean. Its position led to its seizure by the Moors in 711 as a prelude to the conquest of Spain. The Moorish influence includes the name Gibraltar, a corruption of “Jebel Tariq” (Tariq’s Mountain), named after the Moorish commander Tariq who built the first fortification. In ancient times Gibraltar was regarded as one of the two Pillars of Hercules, which marked the western limits of the known world. Known commonly as “The Rock,” Gibraltar is full of natural caves and manmade tunnels. The Rock itself, composed of limestone and gray marble, is geographically part of the Iberian Peninsula. Politically, the British have controlled Gibraltar for over two centuries. This tiny self-governing British Colony welcomes you to enjoy its historical sites, magnificent views, beautiful beaches and duty free shops.

Date 11/10/2023
Location Tangier
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Situated just across the narrow Strait of Gibraltar from Europe, Tangier has long comprised a hybrid culture that is nearly as European as it is African. Standing atop Cap Spartel, one can gaze down on the place where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. The “Hollywood” district where the foreign embassies have traditionally been located reflects the European influence. But ascending the hill above the waterfront, one enters the narrow, winding alleys of the Kasbah, the city’s oldest, most Moroccan section. Down the coast, nearby Tetouan retains a nearly untouched walled medina, with sections originally occupied by Andalusian, Berber and Jewish populations. It is small enough that visitors can explore it without risking becoming lost, making it a perfect choice as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Date 12/10/2023
Location Melilla, Spanish Morocco, Spain
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Out
Date 13/10/2023
Location Alicante
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This gracious provincial capital lies at the heart of the popular Costa Blanca resort region. Alicante has been a fashionable winter retreat for many years, thanks to its mild climate, swaying palms and beautiful beaches. Sun-seekers from throughout Europe, along with Algerian and Senegalese immigrants, combine to create a truly cosmopolitan air. The Castillo Santa Barbara looms above, adding to the romantic ambience. Take a stroll on the broad Explanada de Espana, the inviting promenade along the harbor, or browse through the many shops on Calle Mayor.

Date 14/10/2023
Location Valencia
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Valencia is located in the middle of Europe’s most densely developed agricultural region. Originally a Greek settlement, the town was taken over by Romans in 138 BC and turned into a retirement town for old soldiers. The Moors controlled the land for 500 years, and this fertile plain, which today yields three to four crops, was considered to be heaven on earth. El Cid conquered Valencia for Spain in 1094, but it fell back into Moorish hands after his death. Incorporated into Spain in the 15th century, Valencia remains the nation’s breadbasket.

Date 15/10/2023
Location Barcelona
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Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is said to have been founded by the Phoenicians, and was once the rival of the powerful states of Venice and Genoa for control of the Mediterranean trade. Today, it is Spain’s second largest city and has long rivaled, even surpassed Madrid in industry and commerce. The medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter and the elegant boulevards combine to make the city one of Europe’s most beautiful. Barcelona’s active cultural life and heritage brought forth such greats as the architect Antonio Gaudi, the painter Joan Miro, and Pablo Picasso, who spent his formative years here. Other famous native Catalan artists include cellist Pau Casals, surrealist Salvador Dali, and opera singers Montserrat Caballe and Josep Carreras. Barcelona accomplished a long-cherished goal with the opportunity to host the Olympics in 1992. This big event prompted a massive building program and created a focal point of the world’s attention.

Date 16/10/2023
Location Menorca
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Mahon is the capital of Menorca, second largest of the Balearic Islands. It stands out from the others because of the abundance of prehistoric structures, and because its culture was influenced by British occupation in the 18th century. The people who built the prehistoric constructions are believed to have been responsible for similar works in Sardinia, and for Stonehenge in England. Believed to have been founded by the Carthaginian General Mago, Mahon was held by the Moors from the 8th to the 13th century and in turn occupied by the English, the French and the Spanish. Mahon was finally ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.

Date 17/10/2023
Location Sete
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The port town of Sete hugs the tiny Mont St. Clair, and is caught between the Mediterranean and the Bassin de Thau, a salt lake directly behind it. It is crisscrossed by numerous canals which link the lake to the sea, and connected by 12 bridges. Along the quay, renovated buildings provide a multitude of architectural details from the 18th and 19th centuries. The life of the town is found in its squares: Place Leon Blum, with its fountain and Wednesday morning flower market; Place Aristide, with its old fashioned bandstand; and Place de la Republique, with its huge retaining walls and vaulted loggias. Sete retains its historic purpose as a fishing boat haven for North African trade; the old harbor dates from the time of Louis XIV.

Date 18/10/2023
Location Toulon
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One of the Mediterranean’s best ports and largest harbors welcomes you to the home of the French Mediterranean Fleet. Located in the Var prefecture of the Provence, Toulon has a long history that is revealed in various districts of the city. The Old Town is along the harbor, with narrow streets and small squares, most boasting a nicely decorated fountain. The Upper Town is mostly 19th century grandeur. You can take a cable car to Mont Faron, bypassing the road that is a notorious stretch for bicycle racers. The waterfront neighborhood of Le Mourillon is a family-friendly beach area for Toulonais. There are wonderful museums of history, art from various periods and naval history to explore as well.

Date 19/10/2023
Location Ajaccio
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Corsica, the “scented isle,” was the birthplace of Napoleon, and as late as the last century bands of brigands controlled his mountainous and rugged homeland. The beaches of Ajaccio, ranging from narrow crescents to broad, golden expanses help to account for the city’s rise as a popular resort. Such scenic attractions as the Calanches of Piana, those red granite mountains with their spectacular slopes and formations add an additional element of interest.

Date 20/10/2023
Location Livorno (Florence/Pisa/Tuscany)
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Livorno is the gateway to the region of Tuscany, which as Goethe once observed, looks like Italy should. Fortunately for today’s visitor not much has changed in the two centuries since the German poet was himself a tourist in Toscana. The remarkable wealth of beauty here mellowed to a golden patina by history and tempered by the hand of man, awaits. Everywhere there is history, from the Etruscan stronghold of Fiesole, to the Roman colony of Volterra to the Renaissance splendor of Florence, Pisa, Sienna and San Gimignano. If the landscape evokes a sense of the familiar it is because the great masters have used it as a backdrop for their great works. Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were archtypal Tuscans and Renaissance men who headed an extensive list of geniuses who lived, worked and created within a single period of time.

Date 21/10/2023
Location Portoferraio
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Despite its small size, the island of Elba has been known since the beginning of recorded history. Called Ilva by the Ligurians and Aethalia by the Greeks, Elba passed to the Etruscans and later the Romans. It was ruled by Pisa in the Middle Ages, was a haven for Barbary pirates in the 16th century and then privately owned by the powerful Medici family. The island’s most famous resident was Napoleon Bonaparte, whose first exile from France and short reign over Elba lasted from May 1814 to February 1815. During that time, Napoleon was able to improve the island by altering street plans, building new roads, modernizing agriculture and developing the iron mines.
Iron ore is still mined above the Rio Marina and then shipped from Portoferraio (Port of Iron). With a population of just over 11,000, the town is the largest of the eight on the island and is considered its capital. Geologists and gem stone collectors find Elba a treasure trove with over 150 minerals and semiprecious stones found here due to the seismic turmoil that created the island. The rich soil also produces an astonishing range of foliage and flowers aided by sun that shines almost every day of the year. Despite summer tourism, the island is largely agricultural and the ambience is quiet and relaxed, allowing the visitor to enjoy Elba’s natural charm, peaceful abundance and timeless beauty.

Date 22/10/2023
Location Rome (Civitavecchia)
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Originally built by Emperor Trajan who had a villa here, Civitavecchia has flourished as a major port for Rome since the 13th century. Today it is an important ferry terminal and for many travelers the gateway to the Eternal City, Rome. The Renaissance fortifications that surround the harbor area were begun by Bramante and completed by Michelangelo in 1535.

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