Greece Cruises & Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Packages

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    Relive the glory days of ancient Greece in the ruins of the Parthenon, which has lorded over Athenzs for nearly 2,500 years. Explore the sacred sites of Jerusalem and uncover its profound religious significance. Follow in the footsteps of the Knights of St. John, who built Valletta in the mid-16th century. Tour the remains of Histria, the oldest and largest archaeological site in Romania. All the while, enjoy a bounty of modern luxuries.
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Shore Excursions

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Shore Excursion Points of Distinction:

  • Professional English-speaking experts to guide you through your journey.
  • Peace of mind in knowing that your excursions are carefully selected by skilled vacation planners.
  • A staff of experienced, excursion specialists expertly plans each tour and is dedicated to maximizing your time in each port.
  • Travel with premier, licensed and insured, tour companies aboard the best available, climate controlled luxury transportation.
  • In addition to our group departures, you may choose the Executive Collection – customized, private tours with highly personalized service.

GREEK ISLES & EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Shore Excursions

Oceania Cruises shares our guests' passion for new discoveries and that has led us to create an award-winning program of shore excursions that explore the most historical, cultural and artisitic gems of all our destinations.
Valletta, Malta

4 X 4 Malta Adventure

Tour Code: VLT-011
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Strenuous

Touring by four-wheel drive vehicle allows you to explore areas of Malta, not often visited by tourists, as well as some of the most beautiful parts of the Maltese countryside.

Join this 4X4 adventure where your safari leader driver will point out various locations and landscapes during the drive. This excursion offers a unique opportunity to see the varying scenery from a completely different perspective. All vehicles are brought to Pinto Wharf from where you will depart and proceed to the northern part of Malta.

Continue on to Mellieha, drive past the Red Tower, towards Anchor Bay and Golden Sands for a possible swimming stop. Then drive to Mgarr and Fomm ir-Rih with a photo stop at the Dingli Cliffs. Following the drive towards Ghar Lapsi and the Blue Grotto, you will return to the port via Marsaxlokk, time permitting.

Important Note: This excursion involves steep ascents and descents. Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, terrain and road conditions. Final selection will be advised by the driver. No guide is included on this tour. Each vehicle accommodates 6 passengers including the driver. Group will follow in caravan formation with the lead guide/vehicle in the front. All vehicles must remain together with the group. Tour participation is extremely limited. Visibility from all scenic outlooks is dependent upon the weather and therefore cannot be guaranteed. This excursion is not recommended for guests who have back or hip problems, are pregnant, or suffer from motion sickness or vertigo. The vehicles are not air-conditioned. Participants will be required to sign waivers in order to participate on this excursion. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes, sunglasses, hat and a towel from the vessel are recommended. Participants should wear their swimsuit beneath their clothing if they plan on swimming. There are no changing facilities at the beach visited during this excursion.

Valletta, Malta

A Taste of Malta

Tour Code: VLT-003
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

No tour of Malta is complete without visiting the Mosta Dome, your first stop. The famed 19th century church is visible from almost anywhere on the island. Its interior is just as impressive, especially the inlaid marble floor and the gilded, carved stone flowers set around the dome. Malta is also known for its fine wine, which you will sample at a local winery, before visiting the Ta' Qali crafts village. During free time here, you can shop at your own pace, perhaps buying handicrafts such as ceramics, lace and glassware, which are made right on the premises. Another side of Malta shows itself at the formal San Anton Gardens, built and established by Grand Master Antoine de Paule, who ruled the island in the 1600s. The garden's exotic flora includes palms, jacarandas and conifers, some of which are more than 300 years old.

Please Note: When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. There are occasions when the Mosta Dome is closed due to spiritual functions without any prior notice. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of a moderate walking and standing; this tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday:

External visit and explanation of Mosta Dome

Shops in Ta' Qali will be closed however we open a glass factory and a filigree factory especially for our groups. We can also include a stop at Dingli Cliffs to enhance your tour.

Valletta, Malta

Blue Grotto Boat Trip & Marsaxlokk

Tour Code: VLT-012
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

Depart from the pier and travel through several Maltese villages in the southern part of the island, where you will find the Blue Grotto. You'll have time for photos of the impressive natural rock structures of Wied iz Zurrieq before boarding your boat to see the caves and spectacular coral formations under the clear blue sea.

After the Blue Grotto boat trip, time at leisure is provided before you drive on to the quaint Marsaxlokk fishing village. Here, you'll have free time for shopping and browsing around the busy market place. The colorful Maltese fishing boats in the harbor make a particularly good subject for photos. Afterwards, you'll drive back to the pier.

Important Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 600 yards over very uneven surfaces at the cliffs and numerous steps to reach the boat boarding area. The exact itinerary and cave viewing opportunities are dependent upon wind and weather conditions on the day of the excursion. Time permitting; guests will have approximately 45 minutes for shopping and browsing in Marsaxlokk. The amount of walking while in Marsaxlokk is at the guests' discretion. The drive to/from the port area is approximately 30 to 45 minutes, dependent upon traffic conditions.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Full Day Car

Tour Code: VLT-C08
Tour Length: Full-Day (Approximately 8 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 2 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Full Day Minibus

Tour Code: VLT-M08
Tour Length: Full-Day (Approximately 8 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 18 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Full Day Van

Tour Code: VLT-V08
Tour Length: Full-Day (Approximately 8 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 14 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Half Day Car

Tour Code: VLT-C04
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 2 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Half Day Minibus

Tour Code: VLT-M04
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 18 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Executive Collection Half Day Van

Tour Code: VLT-V04
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Easy

PRICE is per vehicle

This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

Capacity: 14 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

Valletta, Malta

Island of Gozo

Tour Code: VLT-006
Tour Length: Full-Day (Approximately 8 hours)
Tour Effort: Strenuous

A charming ferry ride from Cirkewwa brings you to Gozo, a small island with a rugged landscape and beautiful coastline.

There is so much to see here, starting with the two massive Ghantija Temples, which may have been built 6,000 years ago. Legend has it that they were the work of giants. Archaeologists believe the temples to be the world's oldest, freestanding structures.

Next, you will visit another famed ancient site on Gozo - Calypso Cave, thought to be the cave described in Homer's "Odyssey," where the sea nymph Calypso kept Odysseus for seven years. While the island is a place of myth and legend, there is no denying its importance during the Roman period, which you will discover in Rabat, where St. Paul is said to have lived after being shipwrecked in 60 A.D.

Following lunch at a local restuarant, you will have some free time to explore the fishing village of Xlendi, which is famous for its tower, which was built in the mid-1600s to protect the bay.

Please note: On Sunday an external visit and explanation of the Cathedral will be done.

Valletta, Malta

Malta's Mysterious Megaliths

Tour Code: VLT-013
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 3 1/2 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

This excursion showcases the archaeology of Malta and explores the island's pre-historic megalithic structures, which date back at least 6,000 years. The megalithic temples of Malta are among the world's most ancient religious sites and have earned a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for being "unique architectural masterpieces."

Your visit begins at Hagar Qim's shrine to Mother Earth, where you'll watch a short presentation in the visitor center. Then, you'll proceed to the incredible temple site for an up-close look at the amazing structures. Later, you'll have the chance to visit the Archaeological Museum in Valletta. Once the Auberge de Provence, the 16th-century building now houses the island's important collection of archaeological finds.

Valletta, Malta

Mdina, Mosta & Handicrafts Village

Tour Code: VLT-002
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

The ancient city of Mdina, Malta's first capital, boasts a distinctive fortified appearance because of its Arab-built walls that seem to rise directly out of the limestone plateau. As you walk through the narrow, winding streets that were designed to confuse invaders, be sure to notice the elaborately detailed aristocratic houses and the many Baroque-style buildings, which were constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 18th century. The landmark Baroque style of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Paul is built on the site where governor Publius was reported to have met Saint Paul following his shipwreck off the Maltese coast.

The second portion of this tour takes place in Ta' Qali, a former World War II airfield in the center of Malta that has now become an enormous crafts village. In your free time, you can watch craftsmen such as potters, lace makers, wrought-iron forgers and glass blowers produce beautiful works of art. Then in Mosta, Malta's most populous town, you can meander through the Mosta Dome church, which holds up to 10,000 worshippers at a time. Its Neo-Classical façade and Ionic columns were inspired by Rome's domed, circular Pantheon.

Please note: When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. There are occasions when the Mosta Dome and/or Mdina Cathedral are closed due to spiritual functions without any prior notice. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of moderate walking and standing; this tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday:

External visit and explanation of Mosta Dome

Shops in Ta' Qali will be closed however we open a glass factory and a filigree factory especially for our groups. We also include a stop at Dingli Cliffs to enhance your tour.

Valletta, Malta

Oceania Exclusive - Scenic Sights of Malta

Tour Code: VLT-001OE
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

Oceania Exclusive Tour

For those travelers who prefer an added measure of intimacy and flexibility, we are pleased to offer our new Oceania Exclusive tours. With a minimum of 10 guests and a maximum capacity of just 16 guests, each tour benefits from a higher level of personal attention and the added flexibility and agility that come from traveling in a small group.

Oceania Exclusive tours are available for a specially selected number of tours in almost every port we visit, in every corner of the world.

Malta's lovely capital of Valletta was built primarily as a fortification, as you will discover firsthand as by touring the city via motor coach. Once in Mosta, site of the soaring 19th century Mosta Dome church, you can admire its inlaid marble floor and the gilded, carved stone flowers set around the dome, the third largest in Europe. This tour also visits Malta's highest point, the Dingli Cliffs, which offer a striking view of the sea and the wonderfully rugged coastline. Driving inland to Mdina, Malta's original capital, you can't help but notice its landmark Baroque Cathedral of St. Paul rising above the city's protective walls. In nearby Rabat, you will stop for refreshments in a local restaurant, and then tour a glass-blowing factory in Ta Qali Handicrafts village.

Please note: When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. There are occasions when the Mosta Dome is closed due to spiritual functions without any prior notice.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday:

External visit and explanation of Mosta Dome

Shops in Ta' Qali will be closed however we open a glass factory and a filigree factory especially for our groups. A a short walking tour of Mdina will be done to enhance your visit.

Valletta, Malta

Oceania Exclusive - Valletta and the Malta Experience

Tour Code: VLT-007OE
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

Oceania Exclusive Tour

For those travelers who prefer an added measure of intimacy and flexibility, we are pleased to offer our new Oceania Exclusive tours. With a minimum of 10 guests and a maximum capacity of just 16 guests, each tour benefits from a higher level of personal attention and the added flexibility and agility that come from traveling in a small group.

Oceania Exclusive tours are available for a specially selected number of tours in almost every port we visit, in every corner of the world.

This charming half-day tour gives you an excellent overview of La Valleta, the island's Capital, as well as a glimpse into its fascinating history.

Traveling by coach from the pier, you will first head to the Upper Barracca Garden, which date back to the 18th century and was originally the private garden of the Italian Knights that resided nearby. Today, the garden is home to a variety of statues, plaques and monuments that commemorate various events and important persons in Maltese history; however, it is best known for offering marvelous panoramic views of the three cities - Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa - and its two natural harbors.

Continuing on, you'll visit St. John's Co-Cathedral, home to the famous painting by Caravaggio - The Beheading of St. John. Although the exterior of the Cathedral is somewhat austere, having been built by a prominent Maltese military architect, the inside is ornately decorated in typical Baroque style. The magnificence of the Cathedral's interior is further enhanced by its intricately carved stone walls and beautifully painted vaulted ceilings. After your Cathedral visit, you will have some free time to browse the local shops and eateries before resuming your tour.

Re-joining your tour group, your guide will escort you downhill past several notable sights as you make your way to the Malta Experience, a spectacular 45-minute show that chronicles Maltese history. From the comfort of an air-conditioned auditorium, you can sit back and relax while this magical experience unfolds before you on the auditorium's giant screen. Sensational photography and a gripping commentary truly bring Malta's history to life - from the mystery of the stone age temples to the coming of the Romans and Arabs, the rule of the Knights to the indomitable wartime spirit that captured the imagination of the world. At the conclusion of this fascinating and unique presentation, you'll be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: This tour includes a moderate amount of walking - a portion of it down an incline, and may not be suitable for wheelchair guests. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Hats and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday: External visit and explanation of St. John's Co-Cathedral. Guests will visit Museum of Archaeology instead. Shops will be closed, however there is a flea market in Valletta.

Valletta, Malta

Rabat, Mdina & Dingli Cliffs

Tour Code: VLT-004
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Strenuous

Malta is renowned for its scenic coastline, especially the fantastic cliffs of Dingli, where this tour stops first. From this stunning windswept spot, you will have an unparalleled view of the sea and the island's highest point, the Madliena Chapel. Once in Rabat, the provincial township that was once part of the Roman city of Melita, you will explore several archaeological sites that testify to the town's importance during the Roman period. St. Paul is said to have lived here in 60 A.D. after being shipwrecked, and you will have the opportunity to see St. Paul's Catacombs, the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. A few murals in the catacombs are of considerable interest since they constitute the only surviving evidence on the islands of paintings from the Late Roman and early medieval periods. Then, in Mdina, Malta's original capital, you will visit another hallowed site, the landmark Baroque Cathedral of St. John. Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Vallette, the founder of Valletta, lies in a crypt in this serene setting.

Please note: When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. There are occasions when the Cathedral is closed due to spiritual functions without any prior notice. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of a moderate walking and/or standing, also includes approx. 30 steps when visiting St. Paul's Catacombs; this tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina.

Valletta, Malta

Scenic Sights of Malta

Tour Code: VLT-001
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

Malta's lovely capital of Valletta was built primarily as a fortification, as you will discover firsthand as by touring the city via motor coach. Once in Mosta, site of the soaring 19th century Mosta Dome church, you can admire its inlaid marble floor and the gilded, carved stone flowers set around the dome, the third largest in Europe. This tour also visits Malta's highest point, the Dingli Cliffs, which offer a striking view of the sea and the wonderfully rugged coastline. Driving inland to Mdina, Malta's original capital, you can't help but notice its landmark Baroque Cathedral of St. Paul rising above the city's protective walls. In nearby Rabat, you will stop for refreshments in a local restaurant, and then tour a glass-blowing factory in Ta Qali Handicrafts village.

Please note: When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. There are occasions when the Mosta Dome is closed due to spiritual functions without any prior notice.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday:

External visit and explanation of Mosta Dome

Shops in Ta' Qali will be closed however we open a glass factory and a filigree factory especially for our groups. A short walking tour of Mdina will be done to enhance your visit.

Valletta, Malta

Three Cities & Valletta Harbor Cruise

Tour Code: VLT-005
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Strenuous

Malta's main maritime towns of Marsaxlokk, Senglea, and Vittoriosa are now affectionately known as The Three Cities. Largely unvisited for years, the Three Cities offer an authentic look at traditional Maltese life and a glimpse into the island's past maritime fortunes. The tour begins with a leisurely drive to Marsaxlokk Bay, Malta's second largest natural harbor, where most of the fishing boats have a mythical eye painted on the prow. Because of its sheltered harbor, Marsaxlokk was an easy landing place for pirates and the Ottoman Turks, who attacked here during the Great Siege of 1565. Napoleon's army also landed here in 1798. However, in 1989, the harbor served as a more hospitable setting during the summit between President George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. Later, in Senglea, you will tour the charming streets on foot, and then drive to Vittoriosa to see Fort St. Angelo and the Church of San Lawrenz, one of the earliest medieval parish churches on the island. Finally, you will cruise Valletta Harbor, another scenic highlight.

Valletta, Malta

Valletta and the Malta Experience

Tour Code: VLT-007
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

This charming half-day tour gives you an excellent overview of La Valleta, the island's Capital, as well as a glimpse into its fascinating history.

Traveling by coach from the pier, you will first head to the Upper Barracca Garden, which date back to the 18th century and was originally the private garden of the Italian Knights that resided nearby. Today, the garden is home to a variety of statues, plaques and monuments that commemorate various events and important persons in Maltese history; however, it is best known for offering marvelous panoramic views of the three cities - Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa - and its two natural harbors.

Continuing on, you'll visit St. John's Co-Cathedral, home to the famous painting by Caravaggio - The Beheading of St. John. Although the exterior of the Cathedral is somewhat austere, having been built by a prominent Maltese military architect, the inside is ornately decorated in typical Baroque style. The magnificence of the Cathedral's interior is further enhanced by its intricately carved stone walls and beautifully painted vaulted ceilings. After your Cathedral visit, you will have some free time to browse the local shops and eateries before resuming your tour.

Re-joining your tour group, your guide will escort you downhill past several notable sights as you make your way to the Malta Experience, a spectacular 45-minute show that chronicles Maltese history. From the comfort of an air-conditioned auditorium, you can sit back and relax while this magical experience unfolds before you on the auditorium's giant screen. Sensational photography and a gripping commentary truly bring Malta's history to life - from the mystery of the stone age temples to the coming of the Romans and Arabs, the rule of the Knights to the indomitable wartime spirit that captured the imagination of the world. At the conclusion of this fascinating and unique presentation, you'll be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: This tour includes a moderate amount of walking - a portion of it down an incline, and may not be suitable for wheelchair guests. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Hats and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. When visiting the Cathedral, knees and shoulders must be covered. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted.

Changes due to ship calling on Sunday: External visit and explanation of St. John's Co-Cathedral. Guests will visit Museum of Archaeology instead. Shops will be closed, however there is a flea market in Valletta.

Valletta, Malta

Vittoriosa By Dghajsa & On Foot

Tour Code: VLT-014
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 3 1/2 hours)
Tour Effort: Moderate

Board a traditional Maltese boat called a dghajsa for a delightful cruise across the harbor. Upon reaching the jetty in Vittoriosa, you'll begin a walking tour of this historic city. View the Victory Monument that recalls the Great Siege of 1565. Pass the Maritime Museum, which is housed in an old bakery that was built over a slipway where the knights repaired their galleys.

The setting is the perfect metaphor for Malta's layers upon layers of history, many of which you'll uncover on this tour. Your guide will point out buildings used by the Knights of Malta, including the Inquisitor's Palace and Fort St. Angelo. Another highlight is the Freedom Monument commemorating the departure of the last British Forces from Malta in 1979. After your cruise back across the harbor by dghajsa, you'll drive back to Valletta.