For thousands of years, waves of civilizations have left their imprint on the Mediterranean. Explore a multitude of World Heritage sites during this delightful cruise featuring southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta—considered the crossroads of this complex history.

Starting at: $5,595 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The port of Valletta, Malta  Harbor scene in Valletta, Malta  Valletta harbor, Malta  Village of Positano, along the Amalfi Coast  Views of the Amalfi Coast   Town situated along Italy's renowned Amalfi Coast  Wall painting found in Pompeii  Remarkable Pompeii, with Mount Vesuvius in the background  Shop with counter and display area along a street in Pompeii  The essence of Capri  Port on the island of Capri  The World Heritage site of Stromboli, among the Aeolian Islands  The light display of the erupting volcano of Stromboli  The famous Greek theater of Taormina  Coastal view near Taormina  The Greek theater of Siracusa  The baroque cathedral of Ortygia, Siracusa  Temple of Concord, Valley of the Temples, Agrigento  The port of Valletta, Malta  Panoramic view of Valletta, Malta  St. Angelo Fort in Valletta, Malta

Voyage from Malta to Rome

9 days from $5,595

For thousands of years, waves of civilizations have left their imprint on the Mediterranean. Explore a multitude of World Heritage sites during this delightful cruise featuring southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta—considered the crossroads of this complex history.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Smithsonian surpasses any organized trip we have taken in the past several decades.

- Irving R.

The Voyage from Rome to Malta is a fabulous experience, from the chance to walk around the ruins of Pompeii, to cruising on a beautiful ship along the Amalfi coast, to touring phenomenal ancient Greek sites in Sicily, and visiting the absolutely beautiful island of Malta.

- John J.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Ocean-going cruise that may pull into a pier for embarkation and shore excursions and may use tenders at some ports. Excursions will be at a moderately active pace during the mornings or afternoons and some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 a.m.). Daily activities of two to three hours each day. Some  standing and walking for periods of time (up to two hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes difficult terrain, such as cobblestones in towns and many archaeological sites. The longest coach transfer is approximately 60 minutes (from Naples to Pompeii).  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Tour Extensions

Timeless Malta Pre-Cruise Option — 3 Days, 2 Nights

The extraordinary island of Malta is referred to as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.” Walk the medieval streets of the beautifully preserved walled town of Mdina, where settlement pre‑dates 4000 B.C., and explore its extraordinary Baroque-style architecture. Tour the opulent interiors and magnificent gardens of the family-owned, 18th-century Palazzo Parisio, known as a “miniature Versailles.” Visit the underground Lascaris War Rooms, Britain’s top‑secret command in Malta during WWII.  Experience Malta’s fabled Blue Grotto (weather permitting), a sea cave illuminated by the brilliant blue reflection of glistening underwater sunlight. Accommodations are for two nights in the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

Rome Post-Cruise Option — 4 Days, 3 Nights

Capital of the ancient Roman Empire and a World Heritage site, the “Eternal City” of Rome is the perfect end to your Voyage of Ancient Empires. This majestic city showcases spectacular landmarks from its centuries as a center of power, culture, and religion. See its ancient monuments, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Enjoy a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, including the recently reopened Raphael Rooms, and the Sistine Chapel. Accommodations for three nights are in the deluxe The Westin Excelsior Rome Hotel, minutes from Piazza di Spagna and the Villa Borghese gardens, and located on the most well-known street of the capital, the famous Via Veneto.

Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Ship

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line, along with sister ship Le Dumont d'Urville. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line, along with sister ship Le Dumont d'Urville. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Smithsonian surpasses any organized trip we have taken in the past several decades.

- Irving R.

The Voyage from Rome to Malta is a fabulous experience, from the chance to walk around the ruins of Pompeii, to cruising on a beautiful ship along the Amalfi coast, to touring phenomenal ancient Greek sites in Sicily, and visiting the absolutely beautiful island of Malta.

- John J.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History
By: John Julius Norwich
Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history.“Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties.Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way.This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again.Praise for Sicily“Suavely readable . . . The very model of a popular historian, [Norwich] writes to give pleasure to the common reader. And what pleasure it is.”—The Wall Street Journal“Entertaining on every page . . . There is something ancient and sorrowful in Sicily, ‘some dark, brooding quality,’ just as captivating as its spellbinding history or its beautiful and varied landscapes, from beaches to lemon groves, pine forests to volcanoes. . . . The most amiable and freewheeling of guides, Norwich will always find time for the amusing anecdote.”—The Sunday Times“Utterly engrossing . . . written with passion about the art and architecture of this magical island, filled with gossipy tidbits and sweeping historical theories.”—The Daily Beast “Dazzling . . . Norwich is an elegantly graceful and entertaining storyteller.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Charming . . . richly nuanced history relayed with enormous fondness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A brisk and always-lively tour.”—Open Letters Monthly“Norwich is deeply in love with Sicily. [His] boundless affection has inspired a determined effort to understand its painful past. The result is impressionistic, as love often is.”—The Times“Norwich sketches personalities vividly. . . . He does the island and the reader a generous service in providing such an amiable introduction.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Norwich tells [Sicily’s] long, sad but fascinating story with sympathy and brio.”—Literary Review
Pompeii: The Day a City Died
By: Robert Etienne
In an illustrated survey of one of the most fascinating archeological discoveries in history, an expert on Pompeii uses photographs, maps, reconstructed city plans, mosaics, and drawings to provide a vivid portrait of life in this Roman city.
Italy: Monuments Past and Present (Monuments Past & Present)
By: R. Staccioli, A. De Franciscis-Bragantini
This informative volume shows Italy's most important monuments as they look today and, via overlaid illustrations, as they were once upon a time. The book surveys the history and archeological highlights of Rome, Sicily and Pompeii.
DK Eyewitness Sicily (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness

Also Recommended

Fodor's The Amalfi Coast, Capri & Naples (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
The Mediterranean in History
By: Brand: J. Paul Getty Museum
In this richly illustrated volume, eight distinguished historians explore the facts, themes, and epochs of the history of the “Great Sea”: the physical setting; the rivalry between Carthaginians, Greeks, and Etruscans for control of sea routes; unification under Rome and the subsequent break up into Western Christendom, Byzantium, and Islam; the Crusades; commerce in medieval times; the Ottoman resurgence; the rivalry of European powers from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries; and the globalization of the region in the last century.The book departs from the traditional view of Mediterranean history with its emphasis on the influences of physical geography. Instead it regards physical context as a staging ground for decisive action with, at center stage, human catalysts at all levels of society—from great kings and emperors to the sailors of medieval Amalfi to the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. The authors describe how these groups interacted with one another across the sea, enjoying commercial and political ties as well as sharing ideas and religious beliefs.
The Great Siege of Malta: The Epic Battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St. John
By: Bruce Ware Allen
In the spring of 1565, a massive fleet of Ottoman ships descended on Malta, a small island centrally located between North Africa and Sicily, home and headquarters of the crusading Knights of St. John and their charismatic Grand Master, Jean de Valette. The Knights had been expelled from Rhodes by the Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, and now stood as the last bastion against a Muslim invasion of Sicily, southern Italy, and beyond. The siege force of Turks, Arabs, and Barbary corsairs from across the Muslim world outnumbered the defenders of Malta many times over, and its arrival began a long hot summer of bloody combat, often hand to hand, embroiling knights and mercenaries, civilians and slaves, in a desperate struggle for this pivotal point in the Mediterranean.Bruce Ware Allen's The Great Siege of Malta describes the siege’s geopolitical context, explains its strategies and tactics, and reveals how the all-too-human personalities of both Muslim and Christian leaders shaped the course of events. The siege of Malta was the Ottoman empire’s high-water mark in the war between the Christian West and the Muslim East for control of the Mediterranean. Drawing on copious research and new source material, Allen stirringly recreates the two factions’ heroism and chivalry, while simultaneously tracing the barbarism, severity, and indifference to suffering of sixteenth-century warfare.The Great Siege of Malta is a fresh, vivid retelling of one of the most famous battles of the early modern world—a battle whose echoes are still felt today.
Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World
By: Roger Crowley
In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic clash between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world. In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar. Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality. Empires of the Sea is a story of extraordinary color and incident, and provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.
The Ancient Mediterranean (Meridian)
By: Grant, Michael
The Italians
By: John Hooper
Washington Post bestsellerLos Angeles Times bestsellerA vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent How did a nation that spawned the Renaissance also produce the Mafia? And why does Italian have twelve words for coat hanger but none for hangover?   John Hooper’s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Fifteen years as a foreign correspondent based in Rome have sharpened Hooper’s observations, and he looks at the facts that lie behind the stereotypes, shedding new light on everything from the Italians’ bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Hooper persuasively demonstrates the impact of geography, history, and tradition on many aspects of Italian life, including football and Freemasonry, sex, food, and opera. Brimming with the kind of fascinating—and often hilarious—insights unavailable in guidebooks, The Italians will surprise even the most die-hard Italophile.From the Hardcover edition.
Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay
By: Benjamin Taylor
A lively, elegantly concise historic tour of Italy’s city by the bayAn invaluable addition to the art of literary travel writing, Naples Declared presents an informative and compulsively readable account of three thousand years of Naples history. From the catacombs of San Gennaro to the luminous paintings of Caravaggio to the ruins of Pompeii in nearby Campania, renowned author Benjamin Taylor takes readers on a stroll around the city Italians lovingly call Il Cratere. Gracefully written and full of good humor, wisdom, and amusing anecdotes, Naples Declared is a wholly original work that will be welcomed by anyone seeking to know more about the art, culture, and history of this fabled place.
The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found
By: Mary Beard
Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day. Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman Empire. But the eruptions are only part of the story. In The Fires of Vesuvius, acclaimed historian Mary Beard makes sense of the remains. She explores what kind of town it was―more like Calcutta or the Costa del Sol?―and what it can tell us about “ordinary” life there. From sex to politics, food to religion, slavery to literacy, Beard offers us the big picture even as she takes us close enough to the past to smell the bad breath and see the intestinal tapeworms of the inhabitants of the lost city. She resurrects the Temple of Isis as a testament to ancient multiculturalism. At the Suburban Baths we go from communal bathing to hygiene to erotica. Recently, Pompeii has been a focus of pleasure and loss: from Pink Floyd’s memorable rock concert to Primo Levi’s elegy on the victims. But Pompeii still does not give up its secrets quite as easily as it may seem. This book shows us how much more and less there is to Pompeii than a city frozen in time as it went about its business on 24 August 79.
A House in Sicily
By: Daphne Phelps
This is the captivating memoir of a resourceful woman who started life anew in the "most beautiful house in Sicily." For fifty years, at Casa Cuseni in the small Sicilian town of Taormina, Daphne Phelps has extended her English charm and warm hospitality to seasoned travelers and professional escapists as well as to writers and artists like Tennessee Williams, Bertrand Russell, Henry Faulkner, and Roald Dahl. This memoir tells their story, and hers. It begins in 1947 when, thirty-four years old and war-weary, a modest Englishwoman arrived in Taormina with little Italian, less money, and a plan to sell the property she had unexpectedly inherited. Instead, she fell in love, not just with the airy quarters of the golden stone house on a hillside but also with a community and its way of life. To save Casa Cuseni from certain demolition, Daphne converted her enchanting inheritance into the wondrous pensione that for nearly half a century she has run with the blessing of every Taorminan from the local silk-shirted godfather, Don Ciccio, to Concetta Genio, her steadfast cook, housekeeper, and friend. "A loving portrait ... of a vanishing way of life." - New York Times Book Review; "The often humorous clash of cultures ... [and] the stories of the ordinary Sicilian men and women who populate the pages that make this book, and this place, so special,... so thoroughly alive." - Chicago Tribune.
Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra
By: Peter Robb
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the YearA New York Public Library Best Book of the YearFrom the author of M and A Death in Brazil comes Midnight in Sicily.South of mainland Italy lies the island of Sicily, home to an ancient culture that--with its stark landscapes, glorious coastlines, and extraordinary treasure troves of art and archeology--has seduced travelers for centuries. But at the heart of the island's rare beauty is a network of violence and corruption that reaches into every corner of Sicilian life: Cosa Nostra, the Mafia. Peter Robb lived in southern Italy for over fourteen years and recounts its sensuous pleasures, its literature, politics, art, and crimes.
On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journal
By: Mary Taylor Simeti
An American woman residing in Sicily for the past twenty years portrays the Sicilian landscape and customs—both rural and urban—from the perspectives of both a “foreigner” and a resident.
Ironfire: An Epic Novel of Love and War
By: David Ball
From the acclaimed author of Empires of Sand comes a mesmerizing new adventure that Jean Auel cites as “crowded with events that both forecast and mirror the conflicts of today.” Sweeping from the drawing rooms of Paris to the palace of Suleiman the Magnificent to the dark hold of a slave ship racing across the sea, here is a dazzling story of love and valor, innocence and identity, an epic novel of the clash of civilizations on a barren island where the future was forged.The Mediterranean, the sixteenth century: Lying squarely in the midst of the vital sea lanes between the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire in the East, and ruled by the ancient Order of the Knights of St. John, Malta will become the stage upon which the fate of the world turns. For one of its sons, the hand of violence strikes swiftly, when young Nicolo Borg is seized by Barbary slavers and launched on a remarkable journey to the court of the supreme ruler of the Muslim world. Renamed Asha, plotting his escape even as he swears allegiance to the god of his masters and is schooled in the arts of culture and war, the innocent boy will be transformed into one of the Sultan’s deadliest commanders. For Nico’s beloved sister, Maria, his loss fires her hatred for the knights who did nothing to save him and her dreams of escape from her stifling home. As the headstrong girl grows into a fierce beauty, she will capture the attention of one man in particular, Christien de Vries, a surgeon-knight torn between duty and desire, caught up in Malta’s frantic preparations against the coming Ottoman storm. Around Nico and Maria are men and women who will share their destinies: Dragut Raïs, a brilliant corsair, arch-rival of the knights…Giulio Salvago, a priest in full flight from his carnal nature…Alisa, a young beauty hidden away in a harem…Jean de La Valette, the master knight who is Malta’s only hope for survival.As the mighty Ottoman fleet bears down on the tiny island, as Nico Borg makes his way back to his homeland at the helm of a warship, Ironfire moves inexorably to a shattering climax where all will face ultimate justice in the murderous cauldron of siege warfare. Brilliantly capturing the crosscurrents of a storied age, Ironfire is historical fiction in the grand tradition, a stirring realization of a pivotal moment in time that irrevocably shaped the world we inhabit today.From the Hardcover edition.
The Leopard: A Novel
By: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late fifties; he died at age sixty, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. In his introduction, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Lampedusa's nephew, gives us a detailed history of the initial publication and the various editions that followed. And he includes passages Lampedusa wrote for the book that were omitted by the original Italian editors.Here, finally, is the definitive edition of this brilliant and timeless novel.(Translated from the Italian by Archibald Colquhoun.)
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Pompeii: A Novel
By: Robert Harris
BESTSELLER - "Terrific... gripping... A literally shattering climax." -- The New York Times Book Review All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire’s richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world’s largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta’ s sixty-mile main line—somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Attilius—decent, practical, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him. With his trademark elegance and intelligence, Robert Harris, bestselling author of Archangel and Fatherland, re-creates a world on the brink of disaster.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.