Mediterranean Mosaic: Italy, Corsica, Tunisia, Algeria & Morocco

From Rome to Lisbon aboard Le Champlain

Overview

Discover the treasures that dazzle the Mediterranean! Traveling from Rome to Lisbon, witness nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient Roman, Byzantine, and Arabian architecture, breathtaking Islamic mosques, centuries-old palaces, and enchanting seaside towns where you can wind your way through alleyways and cobblestone lanes to lively squares and picturesque plazas. Throughout your journey in Europe and Northern Africa, your Expedition Team—made up of historians, biologists, anthropologists, and more—will share their extensive knowledge of Rome, Corsica, Tunis, Algeria, and Tangier, among other fascinating places you’ll visit. Aboard the elegant Le Champlain, enjoy informative lectures, fresh-caught seafood, and poolside vistas while taking in the splendor of this magnificent Mediterranean realm.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Days 1-2, Apr 19-20, 2021
Depart / Rome, Italy

Board your independent flight to Italy. Arrive in Rome and transfer to your hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Gather at the hotel in the evening for a Welcome Dinner.

Day 3, Apr 21, 2021
Rome, Italy / Embarkation

After breakfast, join a walking tour highlighting the many ancient monuments scattered around Rome’s city center. Following lunch at a local restaurant, board your ship, Le Champlain.

Day 4, Apr 22, 2021
Porto Vecchio, Corsica

Join a walking tour of Porto Vecchio, also known as “salt city” due to its salt marshes that have been in use since antiquity. View the natural, lagoon-like harbor from the 16th-century citadel, then wind your way through a maze of narrow alleyways dotted with picturesque piazzas, stone stairways, and arched passages to discover quaint restaurants, lively bars, and stylish boutiques. Alternatively, visit the Natural Reserve of Bouches de Bonifacio where you will find a variety of seabirds including European shags, Audouin gulls, storm petrels, and Cory’s shearwaters.

Day 5, Apr 23, 2021
At Sea

Spend a leisurely day at sea and enjoy a series of lectures on the history, culture, art, and current affairs of Tunisia and Algeria.

Day 6, Apr 24, 2021
Sousse, Tunisia

From the port city of Sousse, choose from two options today: a visit to Kairouan, “the city of fifty mosques” and the spiritual center of Tunisia, or a drive inland to the World Heritage Site of El-Jem. In Kairouan, explore the walled and turreted medina enclosing a delightful old Arab quarter with a fascinating casbah, the Great Mosque, and a fortified Islamic monastery. Those visiting El-Jem will venture through the countryside to this amazing ancient Roman city boasting an enormous, well-preserved 35,000-seat coliseum, almost as large as Rome’s.

Day 7, Apr 25, 2021
Tunis

This morning, explore ancient Carthage, a fascinating World Heritage Site. From the heights of Mount Byrsa, you can gaze out at the horizon as Hannibal did millennia ago, and then visit the ruins of Hadrian’s theater, the vast thermal baths, and the amphitheater. After lunch, tour the delightful Bardo Museum located in a centuries-old Ottoman-style palace. Housing the largest collection from Roman Africa, this museum showcases the extravagant mosaics that once covered the floors and walls of Roman villas.

Day 8, Apr 26, 2021
Annaba (Hippo Regius), Algeria

This ancient port near the Tunisian border was the home of Augustine of Hippo and a center of early Christianity known as Hippo Regius. This morning, visit the Basilica of St. Augustine, an imposing structure built in Roman, Byzantine, and Arabian styles (and resembling Sacré Coeur in Paris), which overlooks the city and sea from the hilltop. Nearby is the site of Hippo Regius whose network of large, flat stone roads, constructed with the help of elephants, connects the large forum, Christian quarter, and basilica. After a late lunch on the ship, explore the heart of Annaba. Highlights include Revolution Court Park, the casbah with the Great Mosque, and a Koranic school.

Day 9, Apr 27, 2021
Bejaia / Djemila

The seaside town of Bejaia is a jumble of narrow, winding streets nestled between the beach and the mountains. You can admire its strong Berber roots throughout the city in landmarks such as Fort Abdelgader, the Sarazzin Gate, and the casbah, along with nearby Park De Gourya and the remarkable view of Cap Carbon and its lighthouse. Choose to explore the highlights of Bejaia, or you may opt, instead, for a full-day tour of Djémila, a World Heritage Site encompassing some of the finest Roman ruins in North Africa. Founded in the first century to capitalize on the region’s rich agricultural potential, Djémila’s citizens once enjoyed two forums, public baths, a 3,000-seat theater, temples, and a basilica and baptistry. Explore the on-site museum that houses an incredible collection of mosaics.

Day 10, Apr 28, 2021
Algiers / Tipasa

Enjoy a full day in Algiers and the surrounding area with a morning excursion to the scenic Roman ruins of Tipasa, an amazing mix of Phoenician, Roman, Christian, and Byzantine ruins. Explore the villas, theater, fountains, baths, and museum of this Roman seaside town that was once home to 20,000 inhabitants. Nearby, situated on a hillside overlooking the valley and sea, is the enormous Mausoleum of Mauritania, an impressive circular structure over 550 feet in circumference. After lunch on board, stroll through the city itself and another beautiful World Heritage Site—the alleys, passageways, and markets of the labyrinthine Casbah of Algiers. Cap off the day with a visit to the museum of National Antiquities and Islamic Art, and the impressive Notre Dame d’Afrique Basilica.

Day 11, Apr 29, 2021
At Sea

Enjoy a day at sea relaxing on board the ship and attending lectures on Algeria and Morocco.

Day 12, Apr 30, 2021
Tangier, Morocco / Chefchaouen

Today you have two options for discovering this fascinating region. Choose an in-depth exploration of Tangier with its unique blend of cultures and architecture, or depart overland into the Rif Mountains to visit the town of Chefchaouen, famous for its beautiful blue buildings that are spread across the hillside. Browse the medina for a variety of handicrafts, including hand-woven textiles, gleaming brass work, clay pots, intricate silver jewelry, and traditional spices.

Day 13, May 1, 2021
Tangier / Gibraltar, UK

Step ashore on the Rock of Gibraltar, a tiny outpost of Britain that is surrounded on three sides by Spain. Take a cable car up to Europa Point for superb views of the strait and the northern coast of Morocco. Enjoy a walk through the labyrinthine St. Michael’s cave and meet the Barbary apes, introduced macaques that are photogenic icons of The Rock.

Day 14, May 2, 2021
At Sea

Attend informative lectures and enjoy the ship’s amenities during your relaxing day at sea.

Day 15, May 3, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal / Depart

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your independent flight home.

Highlights

Highlights

View Tunisia’s opulent Byzantine churches, historic medinas, and stunning Islamic mosques
Tour three of Algeria’s most impressive Roman sites
Wander the winding streets of Morocco’s blue city, Chefchaouen
Explore the Rock of Gibraltar and ride a cable car to the top of “the Rock”
Visit a total of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Details

Length: 15 days
Cost From: $14,990  
Arrive: Rome, Italy
Depart: Lisbon, Portugal
Lodging: 1 night hotel, 12 nights aboard a 184-passenger expedition vessel
Meals: All onboard meals and group meals ashore including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Special Interest, Photography, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

15-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours