Cruising Malta, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands (Harmony G)

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
8 days
From: $ 2,692 $ 337 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Beginning in Malta, your Adventure Cruise takes you over shimmering turquoise waters to the island of Gozo, where you’ll meet a local guide for a walking tour and visit a fantastic winery.
  • Cruise across to Sicily – Italy’s largest island is famed for its cherished cuisine and arresting volcanic landscapes. Spend a day discovering the ancient riches of Syracuse and Noto.
  • Hopping between the diverse Aeolian Islands, you’ll unearth Lipari’s history with a local guide, discover geothermal wonders in Vulcano, unwind in Panarea and look out for eruptions on Stromboli.
  • Discover Europe’s most active volcano, Mt Etna, and see the impact on the surrounding landscapes during a guided tour, including a visit to a local winery benefiting from the region’s volcanic soil.
  • Gorgeous and glamourous, Taormina is one of Sicily’s most beloved destinations. Join a local guide to uncover Greek-inspired architecture and plenty of scenes worth snapping a picture of!

Short Description

Jump from jewel to jewel in the glittering Mediterranean on an 8-day Adventure Cruise. Casting off from vibrant Malta, sail on to Gozo, where wonderful wine and fascinating history go hand in hand. Cruise across to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, where visits to Syracuse, Noto, Lipari, Mt Etna and Taormina will reveal landscapes, cuisine and history worth digging into. Meet with local guides along the way to gain a deeper understanding of the destinations you visit, and with your small ship allowing you to drop anchor in lesser-visited spots inaccessible to larger vessels, you’ll see beyond tourist hotspots and get a real look at local life.

Style Small group tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Valletta
End City Valletta

Theme

N/A

Destinations

Italy Malta

Attractions & Cities Visited

Gozo Sicily

Activities & Interests

N/A

Age Requirement

15-99

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Valletta, Malta

Welcome to Malta! After arriving to Malta International Airport, you will be collected by an Intrepid representative and transferred to Valletta’s Grand Harbour, where your ship awaits. Embarkation for your Adventure Cruise is at 3pm, but if you arrive early, a stroll along the promenade will reveal a swathe of historic buildings now housing lively restaurants and unique shops. Board your ship and settle into your cabin, then enjoy a welcome drink on board and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner this evening.

Day 2 Valetta - Gozo Island, Malta

Set sail this morning and cruise towards Gozo, the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago. Stop along the way for a swim in Malta’s famously blue waters before arriving to Gozo and disembarking. Transfer to Victoria where you’ll meet with a local guide for a walking tour of the city, learning about its fascinating history and taking in the medieval citadel and intricate baroque cathedral. Then, pay a visit to a beloved local winery to learn about production on the island, and of course try some of their wonderful wine yourself. Return to Malta’s main island, where the evening is yours to explore on land and discover the excellent traditional restaurants on offer.

Day 3 Syracuse - Noto, Italy

After cruising from Malta to Sicily, the large island and the toe of Italy’s boot, enjoy a morning to explore the city of Syracuse, brimming with ancient riches. Perhaps take a trip to the local market, where cannoli, arancini and granita beckon. Wandering the streets of Syracuse is an adventure in itself – crumbling facades, stone balconies and hidden courtyards make this storied city a joy to explore. In the afternoon, travel by bus to the city of Noto in southeastern Sicily (approximately 1 hour). Here you’ll meet with a guide to see this dazzling city through the eyes of a local, exploring streets lined with well-preserved examples of Baroque architecture. Visit the Piazza Municipio, fringed by grand historic buildings, and perhaps pop into Caffe Sicilia, home to some of the best coffee and pastries on the island. After an exciting day exploring, return to the ship for dinner.

Day 4 Lipari, Italy

After breakfast on board, disembark on Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands. Meet with a local guide and get to know the history and culture of the island while exploring Lipari town. With a human history stretching back more than 6000 years and spanning the Neolithic, Bronze and Hellenistic Ages, there’s so much to uncover here! Stroll narrow streets with houses clad in bougainvillea and visit the two bustling ports that are the lifeblood of the town. After your walking tour, enjoy some downtime to grab a bite to eat, wander more of Lipari’s charming streets, or if you’re up for a bit of a climb, perhaps pay a visit to Castello di Lipari, ancient castle ruins overlooking the town and harbour (the views from up here are unbeatable!).

Day 5 Vulcano Island - Panarea - Stromboli, Italy

Just north of Sicily you’ll find Vulcano, an island named for its bevy of bubbling and steaming volcanoes. Sail here this morning and disembark on the island, where you’ll have the morning to discover its geothermal wonders. You may like to join an optional walking tour of a volcanic crater, kick back on the beach, or soak in a natural mud bath. In the afternoon, sail towards Panarea, the smallest inhabited Aeolian Island. This little-visited island is the perfect place to spend a peaceful afternoon, whether you fancy challenging yourself with a hike to a secluded bay, stretching out on a sun lounger or wandering the winding streets dotted with delightful little cafes and shops. This evening, back on board the ship, circumnavigate Stromboli Island, home to the active Mount Stromboli volcano. Watch from the water for minor eruptions lighting up the night sky.

Day 6 Catania - Mt Etna, Italy

Back on Sicily’s main island, this time on the north east coast, today will be spent discovering Mt Etna and its surrounds – this famous volcano is Europe’s most active and one of the largest in the world. First, travel by vehicle past vineyards, ancient forests and evidence of past lava flows before setting off on foot for a gentle 45-minute hike over volcanic craters as a local guide shows you the impact the volcano has had on the landscape. Next up, an activity worth raising a glass to. Pay a visit to a local vineyard where you’ll learn about production processes and how the region’s uniquely fertile volcanic soil leads to some seriously fantastic wine. Sample a range of Etna DOC wines before sitting down to a traditional lunch of local specialties, such as seasonal vegetables, Sicilian sweets, and of course more wine! Return to the ship for dinner and an evening at leisure.

Day 7 Catania - Taormina, Italy

Nestled on the side of a mountain, Taormina is one of Sicily’s most celebrated and glamourous towns, and it’s not hard to see why. Hop off the boat in this super scenic spot this morning and join a local guide for an informative walking tour, taking in examples of Greek architecture while learning about the region’s layered history. Marvel at the impressive Greek Theatre and the medieval cathedral before slipping into back streets hiding gorgeous gardens, courtyards and houses. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries of Taormina, and there’s certainly no shortage of wonderful things to see and do here. Head to a local cafe to cool off with a refreshing granita, soak in the scenery from the Piazza IX Aprile, sip an espresso at the gorgeous Piazza del Duomo or visit the fabulous gardens of Villa Comunale di Taormina. On board the ship this evening, reminisce about your adventure with your group over a final dinner.

Day 8 Valletta, Malta

Returning to where your journey began, disembark the ship in Valletta after breakfast this morning. Bid farewell to your newfound friends, as your adventure comes to an end at around 9am.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,692
Price Per Day: $ 337 per day
Checking price

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4,078 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,053
Great 672
Average 130
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Cruising Malta, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands (Harmony G)

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Company Reviews

On behalf of ‘The Sticky Rice Family’…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
On behalf of ‘The Sticky Rice Family’ Cambodia Express Tour Group, TKSD221105, we’d like to thank our tour Leader Raus for an incredible experience. Raus, was absolutely excellent. She was friendly, warm, positive, knowledgeable and involved. She went over and above to make sure that we were happy every step of the way. All of the tour inclusions were excellent and we felt that we saw everything there was to see. Big thank you to Raus from us all xx
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Legends Loyalty Promotion

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
In early 2019 I was dealing with Intrepid and booking my 6th and 7th trip which were paid for before June 2019. Upon return from these trips I booked another trip, my 8th and was off again to Turkey within weeks. At NO time was I informed verbally or via email that their Legends Program was ending and that I would need to book my 9th trip by end of June to receive my loyalty reward of $2200 credit, If I had been informed I could easily have done this.
At the beginning of 2022 I began plans for my next set of trips and contacted them to claim my loyalty reward. That's when I was told about the end of the Legends Loyalty Program. The company does not have a complaints department and so I have had emails replied from 7 different 'sales consultants'
Each time their replies have reiterated the same information. They have not taken responsibility for informing their loyal customers of the impending cessation of the Legends Program. I have contacted Consumer Affairs and been advised that I can pursue this under
section 1: Section 29 of consumer law regarding false and misleading representation of goods and services
2: Section 32: offering rebates, gifts and or prizes

As this was going to be a drawn out affair, in my most recent email, I offered to settle for a credit of $1200 rather than the $2200 they had been promoting for YEARS!!!
Dealing with Intrepid was taking its toll on me and I just wanted it over with. But we were dealing with a David and Goliath situation here. They do not care and have not taken responsibility for lack of transparency in informing their loyal customers of the sudden termination of this Program. I see that many other people are in the same situation. I have had many great trips with Intrepid and had wanted to continue my travels with them. But the principle of the matter will not allow me to continue with them.
I understand that a promotion may be discontinued at some point in time but it should be done in a way that takes into consideration those who have remained loyal... maybe paying a proportion of what a client would have been entitled to. AND they should have made an effort to alert customers about their policy change. As another Loyal Customer stated ...'You could have put a banner across your Intrepid homepage stating the program is ending..."

But no, you kept it quiet and duped your loyal customers. Shame on you!

I have not finished with this! Jump on board if you want to join me in this battle.
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Shockingly bad experience.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Signed up for the Premium Turkey Trip, which is supposed to be higher end hotels and "the best guides". Sadly this was a case of extreme overpromising and underdelivering. Hotels were mixed and some were disgusting. Guide was not familiar with our itinerary, offered little guidance or help, and often gave us incorrect information. I have written and called Intrepid to express my numerous concerns. They have not responded. Very disappointing.
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Not a Premium Turkey trip

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This was my 3rd Intrepid Tour. Unfortunately, my most recent "Premium" Turkey in Depth tour was a big disappointment. It did not measure up to "original" tours of Rajasthan, India or Nepal. These trips were lead by enthusiastic, organized and knowledgeable leaders. Our Premium leader unfortunately showed little passion for his country or it's history. His knowledge of the historical sites was basic only. The leaders ability to communicate with his guests left us wondering what our day would look like and if we would have to Google information to pass on to other members of our group. Late morning starts made for late arrivals at daily destinations and limited time to explore some interesting cities. On multiple occasions and by different guests, suggestions were made to the leader about communication needed by group. Additionally, the sunrise Balloon ride in Cappadocia was canceled. Our group of 9 and another Intrepid tour were instead sent in up after sunrise. Disappointing!
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Poor guide

1.0
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Guide1.0
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Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Poor guide. No leadershio Provided limited knowkedge of historic sites. Poor time management Missed out on most optiinal tours. 2 safey issues. Left group of 9 stressed and anxious.
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Where's my deposit?

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Hello again
Still waiting for my deposit back from Intrepid! Six weeks and counting. It ceases to amaze me that that I felt I could trust them with organising a holiday for me at all in the first instance.
Intrepid Travel is incapable of responding to emails, updating their customers and maintaining good customer relations. They have been very disappointing and have left me extremely upset.
Each time that I complain about them generates a flurry of emails but not any resolutions.
Very poor and extremely unsatisfactory.
Intrepid Travel get your act together.
PS As predicted I got a response from Intrepid to say that the refund was being processed and apologies for the delay. NOT good enough.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Small cruise ship,bus,small boat

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 42

Accommodations

Small cruise ship 7 nights

Guides

On your voyage, as well as the ship and hospitality crew, there will be between 1 and 3 local tour leaders (depending on the total number of passengers). These leaders will be with you on board the ship, and on all included shore activities. They will have good general knowledge of the areas you are passing through including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects, as well as being able to recommend great local eating venues for your on shore meals and what you might like to do with your free time (when you're not relaxing and enjoying the ship's facilities).

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Valletta
  • Array
  • Valletta
  • MALTA

Trip ID#:

intrepid-ZSDM

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