Ancient civilizations converged and flourished along the shores of Sicily, leaving a legacy of artistic masterpieces and important archaeological sites. Aboard Sea Cloud II, discover the island’s rich history as you circumnavigate its idyllic shorelines, enhanced by colorful spring wildflowers.

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 The Greek Theater of Sicily's Taormina  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  <i>Sea Cloud II</i> at full sail  The Temple of Segesta, Sicily  Cloisters of the Monreale Cathedral  Mosaic at Monreale Cathedral  The Palatine Chapel, Palermo  The Greek theater of Taormina with Mt. Etna in the background  The Baroque cathedral in Siracusa, built on the ruins of a Greek temple  The Greco-Roman Theater at Syracuse  Harbor scene in Valletta, Malta  Valletta harbor, Malta  St. Angelo Fort in Valletta, Malta

Sicily by Sea

Round-trip from Malta aboard Sea Cloud II

10 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Ancient civilizations converged and flourished along the shores of Sicily, leaving a legacy of artistic masterpieces and important archaeological sites. Aboard Sea Cloud II, discover the island’s rich history as you circumnavigate its idyllic shorelines, enhanced by colorful spring wildflowers.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Grand Hotel Excelsior

Valletta, Malta

This 5-star property is centrally located two minutes from Valletta, a World Heritage Site. Rooms with a view of the sea are confirmed for the group, overlooking Marsamxett harbor and Manoel Island. This luxury resort offers a private beach, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, and spa. Business center and currency exchange are available. All rooms are non-smoking and provide an electronic safe, coffee maker, minibar, toiletries, hairdryer, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Clothes pressing service is complimentary and laundry and dry-cleaning services are available for a fee. 

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Land program followed by a sea-going sailing journey. The sailing vessel will pull into a pier for embarkation and shore excursions may use tenders at some ports. Excursions on land and from the ship will be at a moderately active pace during morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions and you can spend the good part of the day off ship. Some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 a.m.). Daily activities of three to four hours each day. Some standing and walking (up to two hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits, often without places to sit. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes difficult terrain, such as cobblestone streets in towns, some hills, and stairs without handrails.

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

Tour Extension

Optional Post-Tour Extension to Malta’s Southern Coast and Gozo Island - June 7–9, 2021

There has never been a better time to visit Malta since the country’s Renaissance following its designation as the European Capital of Culture in 2018. In preparation for this historic moment regeneration projects were completed all over the country. After having explored the Malta’s capital city of Valletta during the main program, this two-night post-trip extension offers the chance to experience the sites, stunning landscape and local charm of this island nation beyond its capital city, including a day trip to the idyllic island of Gozo to see the oldest megalithic temples on Earth.

June 7 – Gozo, Malta

Disembark the Sea Cloud II following breakfast and launch your post-tour exploration with a ferry to Gozo, one of the three main islands that makes the Mediterranean nation of Malta. Gozo Island is full of stunning panoramas and historic sites, including one of Malta’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, the World Heritage Site site of Ġgantija. Following a guided visit to the temples, continue to the charming capital city of Victoria and a visit to the Citadel, the center of the Gozo since Neolithic times. Enjoy a seaside lunch before taking in the island’s extraordinary landscape of intricately carved salt pans and towering cliffs. Weather permitting, take a swim or snorkel in one of Gozo’s many azure coves. Late this afternoon ferry back to Malta and check in to rooms at the Excelsior Hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B,L)

June 8 – Malta’s South Coast

Head out today for an exploration of Malta’s south coast beginning with the megalithic complex of Hagar Qim, a World Heritage Site that overlooks the wide expanse of the blue Mediterranean and islet of Filfla. Continue to picturesque Marsaxlokk, a fishing village since Roman times, with its artistic building facades and colorful boats bobbing in the harbor. Wander the local market, set right on the water, and enjoy lunch independently. Return to the hotel for free time this afternoon or choose an optional visit (for an additional cost) to Hypogeum, a labyrinthine structure of chambers making up this extraordinary necropolis carved out from the rock more than 5000 years ago and today a World Heritage Site. Just before sunset, head to M’dina, one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture, best seen as the light fades. The lamp-lit streets of Malta’s oldest town radiate medieval intrigue. Celebrate being in Malta together during a festive dinner, followed by a moonlit amble when M’dina is at its most atmospheric. (B,D)

June 9 – Valletta / Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

Grand Excelsior Hotel, Malta, 3 days / 2 nights

 This 5-star property is centrally located two minutes from Valletta, a World Heritage Site. Rooms with a view of the sea are confirmed for the group, overlooking Marsamxett harbor and Manoel Island. This luxury resort offers a private beach, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, and spa. Business center and currency exchange are available. All rooms are non-smoking and provide an electronic safe, coffee maker, minibar, toiletries, hairdryer, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Clothes pressing service is complimentary and laundry and dry-cleaning services are available for a fee. Check-in is 3:00 p.m.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

The Leopard: A Novel
By: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra
By: Robb, Peter
On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journal
By: Simeti, Mary Taylor
DK Eyewitness Sicily (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Malta and Gozo (Pocket Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness

Also Recommended

Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens and Rebels
By: Alio, Jacqueline
The Great Siege of Malta: The Epic Battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St. John
By: Allen, Bruce Ware
The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy)
By: Atkinson, Rick
Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History
By: Benjamin, Sandra
Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness: Art, Architecture, and History in Sicily's Ancient Capital
By: Langdale, Allan
Syracuse, City of Legends: A Glory of Sicily
By: Dummett, Jeremy
Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System (10th Anniversary Edition with a New Preface)
By: Saviano, Roberto
Ancient Sicily: Monuments Past and Present (Monuments Past & Present)
By: Messineo, G., Borgia, E.
Sicilian Carousel
By: Durrell, Lawrence
A House in Sicily
By: Phelps, Daphne
Ironfire: An Epic Novel of Love and War
By: Ball, David
The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, Book 1)
By: Camilleri, Andrea
The Four Corners of Palermo
By: Piazza, Giuseppe Di
The Wine-Dark Sea (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Sciascia, Leonardo
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
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.