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.

Starting at: $6,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 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 from $6,995

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.

Ship

Sea Cloud II

Sailing aboard Sea Cloud II is seafaring at its finest. Modeled after the original Sea Cloud built for heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Sea Cloud II is a genuine barque with 23 sails. Exquisitely appointed befitting her legacy, with some staterooms reflecting the original owner's suites, the ship offers 47 cabins with outside-facing portholes or windows, sitting area, TV with VCR, mini bar, safe, private bath, and hairdryer. The elegant dining room serves all 75 passengers in a single unassigned seating, and features savory continental cuisine with complimentary house wine and beer. The expansive decks provide space to lounge or enjoy lunch, while the piano bar serves as the ideal spot for evening conversation.

 <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  <i> Sea Cloud II </i>  The magnificent <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>

Sea Cloud II

Sailing aboard Sea Cloud II is seafaring at its finest. Modeled after the original Sea Cloud built for heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Sea Cloud II is a genuine barque with 23 sails. Exquisitely appointed befitting her legacy, with some staterooms reflecting the original owner's suites, the ship offers 47 cabins with outside-facing portholes or windows, sitting area, TV with VCR, mini bar, safe, private bath, and hairdryer. The elegant dining room serves all 75 passengers in a single unassigned seating, and features savory continental cuisine with complimentary house wine and beer. The expansive decks provide space to lounge or enjoy lunch, while the piano bar serves as the ideal spot for evening conversation.

 <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  <i> Sea Cloud II </i>  The magnificent <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>
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.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Provided With Your Tour

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • All meals during the cruise (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner). Wine and beer served with lunches and dinners.
  • Enrichment program of lectures and special events.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • Taxes, service, and port charges; all gratuities aboard and ashore.
  • 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).

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • International airfare.
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airport transfers for those not arriving or departing group travel days.
  • Baggage in excess of one suitcase.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travel Insurance

Registration

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations. To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm.

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions. To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information

  • For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).
  • In the event, an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

  • Deposit of $1,000 per person, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on tour. This deposit may be made by credit card or check to Smithsonian Journeys and is applied to the final payment of the tour price. 

Late Registration

  • Any registration received within 120 days of departure is considered a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $1,000 per person, then payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.
  • Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.
  • Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.
  • For more information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact

​​A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy: 

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation 7 days after booking: $1,000 retained.
  • Final payment due: 120 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 120 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys: full refund or credit
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory is issued for the destination.

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policies.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request. Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

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.

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. Applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions. It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour. These elements include, but are not limited to: hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bathroom.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours, except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute. In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute. In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties. This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including, but not limited to, weather, flooding, and high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.

Updated August 13, 2019