Discovering the Ancient Empires of the Eastern Mediterranean

25th Feb 2024 32 nights Sails from Southampton Bolette T2404
FREEDOM FARE FROM £3,999 per person
Athens with Acropolis hill, Greece Athens with Acropolis hill, Greece
FREEDOM FARE FROM £3,999 per person
Enjoy £250pp Free On Board Spend OR Door-to-Door transfer**

*On board spend offer: applicable to new bookings, made from 20/04/22 onwards on new 2023 cruise, S2324. Freedom fare terms and conditions apply. Free On Board Spend amount is per person (pp), up to two guests per cabin, at £250 per person. On Board Spend is non-transferable, no refunds will be given for the credit amount shown, and no cash alternative will be given for unused money. On board spend offer is not combinable with any other offer - with the exception of Enjoyment Promise. Bookings made via Tour Operators are excluded from offer.
**Door-to- door transfer: offer is up to a maximum of 200 UK mainland miles, on S2324, from 20/04/22 onwards. Any additional mileage over 200 UK mainland miles, must be paid to the transport provider (CMAC) at the time of booking. Guests may be required to share the transport for all or part of the journey, when an appropriate vehicle will be provided. Once the complimentary transport has been confirmed by the provider, charges will apply if fail to take this arrangement without cancelling with the transport provider. The door-to-door service is one transfer (each way) per booking for all guests, from the lead guest address, and must be pre-booked with the transport provider (CMAC). Outbound and inbound mileage cannot be combined should you only require transfer one-way. No deviations en-route are permitted. This offer is not combinable with any other offer, unless stated otherwise.

As you journey through the Med on a cultural, historical journey, visiting a collection of incredible cities along the way, you get to delve into influences that ancient empires and kingdoms had on this fascinating part of the world. At the very heart of this very special itinerary is a memorable visit to Israel; hallowed sites are yours to explore from Ashdod and Haifa, both ideally located for trips to Jerusalem – a pilgrimage for Jews, Muslims and Christians – and Bethlehem, where you can walk on the ground where Jesus was laid down after his birth, and see the places of significance from nativity stories. Time spent in Greece and Turkey will be highlights too. Capture a glimpse of Ancient Greece on the beautiful island of Rhodes and in Athens, amongst sites such as the Acropolis in mighty Parthenon; discover the iconic landmarks of Istanbul, such as the Hagia Sophia mosque and Topkapi Palace, home to relics from the Ottoman era; and visit the ruins of Ephesus on tour from Kusadasi.[ReadMore]

Elsewhere in the Med, Valletta, Cartagena and Malaga will present plenty of remarkable experiences too. Behold the sight of the iconic, UNESCO-listed Grand Harbour as you sail into Valletta, where architectural treasures such as St John’s Cathedral and the Presidential Palace await; explore the Roman history of Cartagena, with its ancient fortifications; and see the centuries-old architectural gems of Malaga, including Gibralfaro Castle. You’re also in for three enriching, endlessly rewarding visits to Africa, including a call to Alexandra, from where you can uncover the Great Pyramids of Giza – the oldest ancient wonder on earth – and their unique history on tour. Meanwhile, there’s even more Roman-influenced history to immerse yourself in Tunisia, at Carthage – within reach from La Goulette; and in Algiers. Go ashore in the Algerian capital on our guided tour and you’ll see the marks left by the Romans and Ottomans in the city’s Kasbah, winding streets, palaces and architectural monuments.

In recent years, we have seen a new era emerging in cruising.

There is a trend for everything to get bigger and busier, and for a cruise to be seen as an alternative to a large luxury resort, with a limitless flurry of activity. But this is not for us. Find out more 

1. WE ARE PROUD TO SAIL OUR OWN COURSE

We are free to do things a different way because we are family-run. Of course some people enjoy the bigger, busier cruises, but it is not for everyone, and it is not for us. We prefer to do things, 'The Olsen Way'.

2. SMALLER IS BETTER

We have fewer guests, so the atmosphere on board our ships is always warm and civilised. Our smaller ships allow us to visit the more interesting places that the world has to offer.

3. HAND-CRAFTED, NOT MASS PRODUCED

We pride ourselves on putting our all into the Fred. Olsen cruise experience. Our itineraries are created from scratch every year, our service is genuinely personal and each and every area of our ships is designed by hand.

While Bolette is one of the largest ships, by overall size, in our fleet, she still has capacity for less than 1,400 guests. So on board you’ll find you have more space in which to relax, in public areas such as the all-season pool and the beautiful two-tiered entertainment theatre, and enjoy a premium level of comfort – as well as our renowned personal service – in the elegant lounges, bars and dining venues.
 
With its warm, welcoming atmosphere and timeless style, and classic open deck spaces providing a place to fully immerse yourself in the magic of ocean cruising, Bolette is very much in keeping with what our guests have come to expect from a Fred. Olsen ship.