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Swan Hellenic set to explore deep into the Mediterranean

Itea offers access to nearby ancient Delphi
Swan Hellenic has announced full details of SH Diana’s four summer 2024 cultural expedition cruises in the Mediterranean.

The four cruises include an eight-night late August circumnavigation of Sicily starting and finishing in Palermo.

The itinerary calls at Trapani – neighbouring the ruins of 7th century BC Selinute, Mazara del Vallo,  Porto Empedocle with the UNESCO Heritage site of Agrigento, then the fortified city of Valetta in Malta.

SH Diana will sail from there to Siracusa, Giardini Naxos near Taormina, and finally Lipari, the largest Aeolian Island, before returning back to Palermo.

Culinary Discovery at Sea series

The cruise is one of Swan Hellenic’s Maris Culinary Discovery at Sea Series in partnership with JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs. Chef-owner Nikita Sergeev of Michelin-star Restaurant Arcade in Italy will be onboard serving a different signature dish every night of the voyage, leading up to an finale gala dinner.

Next is an eight-night sailing from Palermo to the volcanic islands of Lipari and Stromboli, then on to Giardini Naxos, and Crotone. Otranto follows, distinguished by its 15th-century Aragonese Castle, cathedral and Byzantine ruins. Next comes Sarandë, Albania, and then Preveza, Greece, close to the imperial city of Nikopolis, which Octavian founded in 31 BC to celebrate his victory over Antony and Cleopatra. Itea is the penultimate port of call, close to ancient Delphi, before finishing in Piraeus.

Explore Space at Sea

This cruise is one of Swan Hellenic’s Explore Space at Sea series in partnership with the SETI Institute and will be hosting planetary astronomer Dr. Mark Showalter, who will be accompanying guests throughout the cruise, both aboard and ashore. He will be giving three talks during the voyage.

An 11-night East Med voyage from Piraeus, calling at medieval Monemvasia, Adama on the volcanic island of Milos – famed for its early Christian catacombs and ancient theatre, and Rethymnon on Crete. Mandraki on the island of Nisyros follows, then Symi and Rhodes – renowned for its lost Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and UNESCO-listed Old Town. Patmos comes next, followed by Kusadasi in mainland Turkey bordering the remains of the Roman city of Ephesus. Back to island-hopping, SH Diana will call at Chios, birthplace of the poet Homer, and Mytilene, capital of Lesbos, before reaching Canakkale, gateway to the Dardanelles. The last full day will be spent cruising the Dardanelles before ending in Istanbul.

From September 16-24, SH Diana departs from Istanbul hugging the coasts of Greece and Turkey on her way to Cyprus, pausing to explore Kavála, Thessaloniki, Volos – homeland of the mythical Centaur and birthplace of Jason and his Argonauts, Chios of Homeric fame, and Kusadasi. Heraklion, capital of Crete, follows then Rhodes and lastly Limassol located between the ancient sites of Amathous and Kourion.

Swan Hellenic chief commercial officer Patrizia Iantorno comments: ‘With its rich history, stunning landscapes and vibrant cultures, the Mediterranean continues to captivate travelers from around the globe. We look forward to welcoming guests aboard for unforgettable explorations of this timeless region.’