Ancient Cities of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula on the SH Diana

Aboard the New Expedition Cruise Ship DIANA

Ancient Cities of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula on the SH Diana

Aboard the New Expedition Cruise Ship DIANA

The history of the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean can be told from many perspectives. To an ancient historian, it is the story of early Phoenician expansion westward, followed by Roman conquests, and ending with the Punic Wars and the destruction of Carthage in the 2nd century BC. For a medievalist, the story begins with the stunningly rapid spread of Islam across North Africa and onto the Iberian Peninsula in the 6th-8th centuries and ends with the Spanish reconquest of Granada in 1492. From a contemporary perspective, we might choose to focus on the French colonization of Tunisia and Algeria, the rise of nationalism and Islam, and the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s.

During this voyage, we will touch on chapters of each of these stories as we call in ports in Spain and all along the coast of North Africa. We begin in southern Iberia, where Arab influences are found everywhere, but especially in cosmopolitan Seville, where we can trace the legacies of Moorish and Catholic Spain as they mingle in the monuments of this great city. Crossing to North Africa, where the Islamic heritage is very much alive and well, we visit the ancient medinas and markets of Tangier, Tetouan, and Oran. Further to the east, the ancient world is spectacularly represented in the tomb of King Juba II in Tipasa and by the UNESCO-designated Roman ruins at Djemila. And in Tunis, we find ourselves at the site of the ruins of Carthage—and also at starting point of the Arab Spring.

Joining us will be a team of outstanding guest lecturers whose expertise of the region will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the places we visit. They will share their insights into the history and current affairs of this part of the Mediterranean, including the period of coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in medieval Andalusia and about St. Augustine’s writings.

Our vessel for this extraordinary journey will be a state-of-the-art, new-generation expedition cruise ship, currently nearing completion in Finland and due to launch in early 2023. Accommodating only 192 guests in beautifully appointed staterooms and balcony suites, Swan Hellenic’s Diana will feature several lounges, a restaurant, outdoor cafe, swimming pool, spa, and library and will be equipped with the latest safety and environmentally-friendly technology.

Please join fellow travelers aboard Diana in August 2023 to discover some of the remarkably rich stories of the Ancient Cities of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

Book Your Adventure

Cruise Overview

Countries Visited: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy
Starts In: Portugal
Ends In: Italy
Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
Cruise Date: August 15–27, 2023
Group Size: Max 192
Accommodations: Luxury (5 ★)
Activity Level: Easy
Experiences: Culture
Int'l Air Route: USA–Lisbon (LIS) | Palermo (PMO)–USA

Highlights

  • Coda Tours signature small group size
  • Coda Tours signature comprehensive sightseeing programs
  • Coda Tours signature inclusive meal plan
  • Coda Tours signature deluxe accommodations
  • 4 ports of call in <b>ALGERIA</b> – a country not easily visited!
    • Oran – birthplace of Yves St. Laurent
    • Algiers – capital city of Algeria
    • Djemila – ruins of a spectacular Roman city
    • Tipasa – a charming Mediterranean seaside town
  • Palermo – Sicily’s main city and home to exquisite <i>palazzi</i>
  • Overnight in Seville – one of Spain’s most beautiful cities
  • Lisbon – enjoy an overnight and tour in this popular city

About DIANA


Currently under construction in Finland and launching in early March 2023, Swan Hellenic’s Diana is a new-generation expedition cruise ship. Although at 12,100 tons the ship is large enough to accommodate more than 350 passengers, Diana will accommodate a maximum of 192 guests in 96 spacious staterooms and balcony suites. The low guest density results in one of the most generous indoor and outdoor space-to-guest ratios among cruise ships.

Featuring the latest advances in technology and engineering, Diana is among the world’s first environmentally-responsible ships. Equipped with hybrid engines, a system of powerful batteries, and a unique water filtration system, Diana leaves a minimal footprint. For cruising in Polar regions, the ship meets the stringent requirements of the new Polar Code with its high PC5 Category A ice-strengthened hull and other advanced features. A computer-controlled Dynamic Positioning System allows the ship to maintain position without anchoring. Operated by a complement of 135 experienced European officers and international crew members, Diana will carry a fleet of Zodiacs, versatile landing boats, and kayaks. Powerful stabilizers provide a smooth ride.

Diana’s interior spaces exude sophisticated elegance, with most rooms opening to panoramic views of the sea. All staterooms and suites face outside and are equipped with private facilities, climate control, TV, Wi-Fi and USB connections and other amenities. Of the ship’s 96 staterooms, 76 have balconies. Public areas include a spacious observation lounge equipped with state-of- the-art facilities for lectures and presentations; a club lounge; a restaurant that accommodates all guests at one seating; an outdoor café/bar that surrounds the heated swimming pool; a wellness area with gym, spa, and sauna with an adjoining outdoor jacuzzi; library; beauty salon; and an infirmary that is attended by a full-time doctor and nurse. The ship also features expansive open-deck areas. Two elevators connect all decks. Attentive service is provided on a 24-hour basis. The outstanding cuisine is complemented by fine wines at lunch and dinner.

All accommodations aboard Diana are spacious staterooms and balcony suites. They are elegantly decorated, face outside, affording sea views, and include a queen-size bed that can be arranged as two twin beds, a spacious bathroom, mini-refrigerator, safe, ample closet space, climate control, telephone, TV, Wi-Fi, and USB connections, as well as other amenities.

FACTS AT A GLANCE
Built inVessel LengthVessel BreadthVessel Sun DeckNumber of Cabins
2023410 ft75 ft.See Deck Plan96

Cabins & Prices

Cabin CategoryDouble/TwinSingleCabin Square Footage
Cat. E - Oceanview staterooms with two large oval windows. Deck 4. Staterooms 401 – 404.$9990$Inquire206 sq. ft.
Cat. D - Oceanview staterooms with two large oval windows. Deck 4. Staterooms 405 – 420.$10390$Inquire206 sq. ft.
Cat. C - Suites with balcony & living room area. Deck 5. Suites 501 – 504, 538 – 541. $11590$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat. B - Suites with balcony & living room area. Deck 5. Suites 505 – 518, 521 – 537. $11990$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat. A - Suites with balcony & living room area. Deck 6. Suites 601 – 618, 621 – 635.$12590$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat. AA - Suites with large balcony, separate bedroom & living room. Decks 5 & 6. Suites 519, 520, 619 & 620.$13990$N/A474 sq. ft.
Deposit:

A deposit of $1,500 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Payment can be made by personal check or charged to a credit card.

Special Notes:
  • Single Occupancy rates can be avoided if you wish to be matched with another single traveler who also wishes to share. If no share is available, the single rate will apply.
  • Rates are based on current rates and currency exchange rates at the time of publishing the tour online.
  • Rates are subject to change until final payment has been made. Rates are based on a minimum participation and if the minimum participation is not met rates may need to be revised.

 

Do these dates not fit in with your schedule?
CODA can help design a tailor made tour to suit you!

Tour Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1 | DEPART THE USA

    Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Lisbon.

  • DAY 2 | LISBON, PORTUGAL

    Arrive in Lisbon. Stay overnight at a deluxe hotel in Lisbon. In the evening, meet fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the hotel.

    Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisbon
    Meals: Dinner

  • DAY 3 | LISBON/EMBARKATION

    Following breakfast at the hotel, tour Lisbon's highlights including the Belem Quarter and the Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage monument that is a superb example of Portuguese Manueline style. Also visit historic Belem Tower, the point from which many Portuguese explorers, including Vasco da Gama, set sail. Late in the afternoon, transfer to the pier to embark Diana and set sail.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 4 | PORTIMAO

    Portimao is our gateway to the Algarve and to Silves and Monchique. Silves is a typical Algarve village of cobblestoned streets lined with shops selling local handicrafts, many of them housed Portimao is our gateway to the Algarve and to Silves and Monchique. Silves is a typical Algarve village of cobblestoned streets lined with shops selling local handicrafts, many of them housed in buildings of Arab and Moorish design. Moorish Silves Castle, the best-preserved castle in the region, offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. In Monchique, we will visit Caldas de Monchique, the hot springs famous since antiquity for their healing waters and among the most-visited places in the Algarve.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 5 | SEVILLE, SPAIN

    Occupied by the Romans, conquered by the Moors, and ruled by a succession of Catholic monarchs, Seville is one of Europe’s most important and affluent maritime cites. After docking in the city along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, explore the Alcazar, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travel to the historic Barrio Santa Cruz, a neighborhood of labyrinthine streets and alleys dating to the Middle Ages, when it was the old Jewish Quarter. Enjoy some time at leisure, as the ship remains docked overnight. (B,L,D)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 6 | SEVILLE

    This morning, tour Seville’s large and fanciful Gothic Cathedral—the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the burial site of Christopher Columbus. See the Cathedral's main points of interest, including the Capilla Mayor and La Giralda—the intricately detailed bell tower that is the city's most well-known symbol. Also visit Maria Luisa Park, once a private garden attached to the Palace of San Telmo, now Seville’s largest public green space.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 7 | TANGIER, MOROCCO/TETOUAN

    Founded by the Phoenicians in the seventh century BC, Tangier was ruled by Arabs in the early 8th-century, when it and nearby Tetouan were used as bases for the invasion of southern Spain. Explore Tangier's, a classic Moroccan town of narrow lanes and stepped passages, dominated by a kasbah. Then travel to Tetouan, which was rebuilt in the 15th century by Andalusian refugees who had been expelled during the Spanish reconquest. Although it is
    a small medina, Tetouan's is among the most authentic, having been largely untouched by later outside influences.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 8 | ORAN, ALGERIA

    Oran, like much of North Africa, has been ruled by a variety of powers—Berbers, Arabs, Ottomans, Spanish, and French. Today, as the second largest city in Algeria, it is a center of commerce, industry, and culture. We will explore several of Oran's highlights, including the 17th-century Fort Santa Cruz that overlooks the city and the Sidi El Houari district. We will also visit the Medina Jedida, a massive market selling flowers, textiles, jewelry, and souvenirs of every description. Here we will have the opportunity to sample Algerian street food, including kerentica, a cake made with chickpea flower and eggs that is a specialty of Oran.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 9 | ALGIERS/TIPASA

    Located about 40 miles west of Algiers, Tipasa’s ancient temples and ruins overlook the Mediterranean to dramatic effect. Visit the Villa of Frescoes, a Roman mansion; the second-century Judicial Basilica; a 4th-century Christian Basilica; the site’s museum; and the Tombeau de la Chretienne, burial place of Mauritanian King Juba II and his wife, Cleopatra Selene. Time permitting, we will discover some of the delights of contemporary Algiers before returning to the ship.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 10 | BAJAIA/DJEMILA

    From the port of Bejaia, a drive into the hills of the interior brings us to Djemila, which the UNESCO World Heritage convention describes as "one of the world's most beautiful Roman ruins." The site includes a Triumphal Arch to Emperor Caracalla, built in AD 216; Grand Baths; a market; and the Old Forum, featuring stunning friezes and a third-century altar. Also visit the local museum, exhibiting a superb collection of mosaics and other artifacts.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 11 | ANNABA/HIPPO REGIUS

    Annaba is home to the ancient site of Hippo Regius, once ruled by Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines, among others. Explore Hippo's Roman Forum, the largest and oldest in North Africa, and visit the Baths dedicated to Septimius Severus. At the nearby modern Basilica of St. Augustine, we will enjoy the hilltop view over the ruins and the rest of the city before visiting the basilica proper, which is dedicated to the author of the Confessions and The City of God, Bishop of Hippo, in the early 5th century.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 12 | TUNIS, TUNISIA

    From Tunis, travel to storied Carthage, a Phoenician stronghold from the 9th century BC. The site includes several Phoenician remains, including Tophet, the sanctuary of the gods Tanit and Baal, as well as many monuments from the Roman period. Returning to Tunis, we explore the Bardo Museum, world-renowned for its spectacular collection of Roman mosaics, and enjoy time at leisure visiting the city's medina and its souks.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 13 | PALERMO, ITALY

    After breakfast aboard, disembark and transfer to the airport for flights homeward.

    Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

What's Included

The rates are all-inclusive. There are no hidden costs and no additional charges such as shore excursions or embarkation and port charges. Other than the international airfare and expenses of a personal nature, all else is included. Specifically, the rates include:

  • One night at our deluxe hotel in Lisbon.
  • Welcome dinner in Lisbon, and lunch on the day of embarkation.
  • Cruise aboard the Diana, as described in the itinerary.
  • Group airport/hotel/pier transfers at designated times, and handling of luggage.
  • Lectures and discussions provided by Thalassa Journeys guest speakers.
  • Additional lectures by members of the onboard team of experts.
  • Complete program of tours and excursions as mentioned in the itinerary including lunch on full day tours with professional English-speaking guides.
  • All meals aboard the ship, with a selectionof wines, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner.
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard the ship hosted by the captain.
  • Open bar with select alcoholic beverages.
  • Coffee, including espresso and cappuccino, tea and soft drinks throughout the day and night.
  • 24-hour room service.
  • Gratuities to the ship’s crew, guides, porters and drivers.
  • Basic Wi-Fi aboard the ship.
  • The services of an experienced Thalassa Journeys Trip Director.
  • All local taxes and service charges, including port and embarkation taxes.
  • Complete pre-departure material.

What's Not Included

  • International airfare.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Expenses of a personal nature.
  • Any items not mentioned in the itinerary or the above inclusions.

Travel Prep

Please request a quote if you would like Coda Tours to assist with international airfare bookings. We often can offer favorable rates for Business or Economy class at a standard fee of $35 per ticket.

No internal flights during the cruise.

A valid passport is required for international travel and must be valid for 6 months after the return date of travel and have two blank pages available per country visited.

Visa requirements will be advised after registration.

Packing/weather details.

The cruise is guaranteed. A Coda representative will accompany Coda clients if 12 or more book through Coda Tours.

A portfolio of pre-departure information will be mailed approximately three weeks prior to departure.

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Travel with us and discover why our clients return over and over (more than 60% repeat clientele on every tour) and why we have won accolades from Out & About newsletter and major gay travel publications.

Coda Tours has been our travel agent for over two years and has planned two private tours for my husband and me. The first was a crossing on The Queen Mary ll from New York to Southampton. From Southampton we flew to Paris for a wonderful week in the Most beautiful city we’ve experienced.
Lloyd P. & Hao Bac L.

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