GARDEN AND MUSIC CRUISE 11 – 22 MAY

A voyage to the castles and gardens of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales aboard the 100 passenger MS Serenissima. During the day visits to magnificent gardens on the Isles of Scilly, at Bantry Bay and Waterford in Ireland and Holy Loch and the Isle of Bute Scotland to name a few. Evenings filled with nostalgic music, anecdotes, songs and cabaret from the 40’s to the 90’s – Your hosts will be Richard Jewson and Michelle Maxwell.

Britain and Ireland in Bloom

A voyage to the castles and gardens of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales aboard the MS Serenissima : 11 – 22 May 2017

Thu 11 May 2017

Portsmouth, England.

Embark this afternoon in Portsmouth. Transfers will be provided from Portsmouth Harbour railway station at a fixed time.

Fri 12 May

Guernsey & Sark, Channel Islands.

Arrive this morning on Guernsey, the ‘Island of Flowers’. There will be the option of a walking tour of St Peter Port including a visit to Castle Cornet, a 12th century battlement which guards the entrance to St Peter Port Harbour. Alternatively enjoy an island drive including Sausmarez Manor where we can explore the house and subtropical gardens which are the setting for over 200 sculptures by over 90 international artists. Afterwards we enjoy the wonderful scenery and views of the coastline before travelling to the Little Chapel. We will admire this fascinating building which was built in 1914 to replicate the grotto at Lourdes and is beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china. Over lunch we sail to Sark where we will use our Zodiacs to land on this peaceful, traffic free island. Horse drawn carriages take us along the narrow lanes alive with the songs of chaffinches, skylarks and mistle thrush and bright with the colours of the wildflowers on the banks. We will see the narrow isthmus which joins Little Sark and Big Sark and the enchanting gardens at La Seigneurie

Sat 13 May

Penzance.

Today we arrive off Penzance, our base for our day in Cornwall. A morning excursion will visit St Michael’s Mount, the family home of the St Aubyn’s who have resided here since 1647. Cut off from the mainland at high tide, it is a fascinating place with an intriguing history. It was here in 1588 that the first beacon was lit to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. After lunch onboard join the excursion to the beautiful Helford River and the 26 acre ravine garden of Trebah. This sub-tropical paradise of rare and exotic plants, trees and shrubs winds down the Helford river bank to a secluded private beach.

Sun 14 May

Isles of Scilly.

Spend the morning on traffic free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the famous sub-tropical Abbey Gardens. Defying the Atlantic weather, this miracle of a garden is home to more than 20,000 species of plants from over 80 countries. Enjoy time to wander at your own pace along the paths, maybe visit the Valhalla collection of ship figureheads from ships wrecked on the islands or relax in the cafe. After lunch we will tender ashore to Bryher, the smallest of the inhabited Isles of Scilly. Our naturalists will lead a number of guided walks along the tracks that cross the island amongst hedgerows and fields bursting with wildflowers. The active may wish to climb Watch Hill, where in the past islanders would keep watch for ships in distress or alternatively take a stroll to one of the beautiful beaches.

Mon 15 May

Garnish Island and Bantry Bay, Ireland.

Sail this morning into the sheltered harbour of Glengariff. Here local boats will take us to Garnish Island and the beautiful Ilnacullin Gardens. The sheltered position and Gulf Stream is favourable to the growth of ornamental plants, many normally only found in sub-tropical or Mediterranean climates. We return by local boats sailing past ‘Seal Island’ the home to 250 common seals before enjoying lunch onboard. This afternoon you may wish to stay onboard, enjoy some free time in the small town or join the excursion to Bantry House, overlooking Bantry Bay. We will explore the house, one of the finest historic houses in Ireland along with the gardens.

Tue 16 May

Waterford.

From our berth in the town of Waterford we will drive to Mount Congreve, a spectacular woodland garden on the banks of the River Suir. This privately owned seventy acre garden has a collection of over three thousand trees and shrubs and is particularly stunning in spring when the gardens are awash with magnificent sweeps of flowering azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Enjoy time to walk the numerous paths bordered with wisterias or bluebells and visit the vantage points with views over the landscape and meadows beyond. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore Waterford independently.

Wed 17 May

Dun Laoghaire.

From our berth at Dun Laoghaire we will drive out into the Wicklow Mountains and the wonderfully sited gardens of Powerscourt. Spread out over 47 acres we will explore the Italianate Terraces, the Japanese Garden where the azaeleas should be in bloom and maybe take a walk through the wooded Tower Valley. We will enjoy lunch before continuing to Mount Usher, a lovely romantic garden on the banks of the River Vartry with over 5000 species of plants and shrubs. We hope to see magnolias and crocuses line the pathways as we stroll through the grounds. Alternatively you may prefer to spend the day in Dublin, our onboard staff will be able to advise on travel arrangements to the city centre.

Thu 18 May

Beaumaris, Anglesey.

Translated from ‘beau marais’ meaning fair marsh, it was here that Edward I chose as a garrison town building one of his ‘iron ring’ of castles aiming to stamp his authority on the Welsh. Today the impressive 13th century castle is a wonderful example of architectural and ingenious design of fortifications. We will anchor in the bay at Beaumaris and use our Zodiacs to tender ashore for a morning excursion to Bodnant Garden. Situated above the River Conwy the gardens have stunning views across Snowdonia. Begun in 1875, Bodnant Garden is the creation of four generations of Aberconways and features huge Italianate terraces and formal lawns on its upper level, with a wooded valley, stream and wild garden below. There are dramatic colours throughout the season, with herbaceous borders, roses, hydrangeas, water lilies and clematis delight throughout the summer. We return to the ship via the magnificent landscape of the Snowdonia National Park, through the beautiful villages of Betws-y-Coed and Llanberis which lies beside the Llyn Padarn Lake in Snowdonia and we will take the incredible Llanberis pass that skirts the base of Snowdon. This afternoon we will have time to explore the castle, the 19th century jail or the shops in the town of Beaumaris at your own pace before sailing this evening.

Fri 19 May

Strangford Lough & Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland.

From our anchorage at Portaferry we will go ashore to the famous gardens at Mount Stewart which were planted in the 1920s by Edith, Lady Londonderry and are of international importance. The magnificent series of outdoor ‘rooms’ and vibrant parterres contain many rare plants that thrive in the mild climate of the Ards Peninsula. The formal areas exude a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world which are particularly vibrant in spring. There will be time to explore the opulent house which reveals a fascinating heritage and historic world-famous artefacts and artwork. Do not leave without taking in the magnificent views of Strangford Lough from Temple of the Winds. Return to the ship for lunch and if weather permits this afternoon we will use the Zodiacs to explore the Lough further.

Sat 20 May

Holy Loch Marina & Isle of Bute, Scotland.

Our first call in Scotland is the Cowal Peninsula where we find the magnificent Benmore Botanic Garden situated in a mountainside setting. During springtime there is a blaze of colour as the 300 species of rhododendrons put on a spectacular display. Take time to walk the paths, see the Victorian Fernery and walk along Redwood Avenue, a line of 50 sierra redwoods planted in 1862. During lunch we sail the short distance to the Isle of Bute where we will visit one of Britain’s most astounding Victorian Gothic mansions, Mount Stuart House. After the original building was destroyed by fire the mansion was rebuilt between 1880 and 1912 using the finest craftsmen of the time. After viewing the house we will visit the wonderful grounds made up of over 300 acres of pasture, woodland and gardens combining exotic and native plants. Maybe enjoy one of the trails that pass through the woodland down to the shoreline or visit the Rock Garden and Kitchen Garden situated closer to the house. Alternatively you may prefer to stay in Rothesay and explore the small town and its impressive 13th century castle.

Sun 21 May

Gigha & Jura.

Today we will visit the gardens of Achamore House on the small island of Gigha. The Horlick family have created a stunning garden with their collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants. Gigha is a place apart; heather covered hills, deserted beaches and a single lane verged with wild flowers that meander for some six miles between cottages and farms. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, it is a gem of a place and somewhere not easily forgotten. Return to the ship for lunch as we sail the short distance to Jura. Dominating the views of Jura are the three hills called ‘The Paps of Jura’, the highest being Beinn an Oir at 785 metres (2576 feet). We will go ashore at Craighouse and will be welcomed in the cooperage where we will be given an introduction to the Jura Distillery and an opportunity for a dram. Alternatively enjoy some free time to explore Craighouse, join one of the naturalists on a walk or join an island drive

Mon 22 May

Oban.

Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow International Airport at a fixed time.

Georgia – a country in the spirit of generosity!

I had 2 Lari left – but the chocolate bar cost 4 – with a gesture of spontaneity and probably because I bought 2 packets of tea she threw it in with pleasure – what was 2 Lari in the greater picture of things!

I was waiting for my plane at Batumi airport, having just been dropped off by my driver David and guide Elene Rakviashvili, spontaneous and generous with her knowledge and reflecting on a hectic but satisfying journey through this gem nestling in the lee of the great Caucasus mountains – A week of indulgence in a culture that emerged from a wonderful mixed bag of civilisations that passed through on this trade route between the Caspian and Black Seas – Roman, Greek, Mongolian and Persian all leaving their mark.

It had taken us 5 hours from Mestia in the northern Svaneti region, through mist and along fast flowing rivers cutting through glorious greenery to get here. Arriving at 2pm we indulged for an hour on schnapps and kachpuri– a bake of egg, cheese and butter in the beautiful garden of the Megrul – Lazuri restaurant.

I had arrived a week earlier in Tbilisi the capital of 1 mill on kind invitation of the Georgian National Tourism office to experience first -hand the cameos I want to use in future tours – a city of many foundations with quaint pedestrianised back streets and restored manor houses reflecting the styles of art nouveau and classicism. Chapels of the 10th – 16th century are interspersed with squares and galleries, underground ancient wine tasting bars, boutique hotels with high ceilings and sulphur baths – a major contributor to the founding of a city that also boasts the ultra- modern Bridge of Peace and Concert Hall designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi.

Sunday started early at Sion Cathedral to experience polyphonic singing whereby voices sing in multi parts usual unaccompanied and is only practised in Georgia. A quick visit to carpet shops and galleries in the neighbourhood followed before heading out to Mtskheta. One of the oldest cities of Georgia at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, it is considered to be one of oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia (2rd century BC to 5th century AD) and site of Georgia’s adoption of Christianity in 334 AD. Today it is the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church based at the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the coronation and burial site of Georgian monarchy.

The afternoon saw us visiting the Georgian National Museum which I specially requested to view its superb gold collection from the 3rd millennium BC to 4th century AD. Well laid out with sensitive lighting it’s another cameo. The same museum contains the Russian occupation exhibition – a very painful experience but necessary to get the full picture of what Georgia went through. After a short performance at the Rustaveli Theatre in Empire Style it was time to meet various Georgian friends and agents who I had met in S.A. Pur Pur restaurant is delightfully rustic with period pieces and huge billiard table lampshades dangling overhead – a true opera –set of which there are many waiting to be explored. Over delicious trout and superb Georgian wine we exchanged gifts and vital info for the busy days ahead. Tbilisi by night followed, mainly in quaint cellar bars to prepare me for the morrow’s tour to Kakheti the wine region of the east.

The culture of wine making dates back to 2000 years BC attested to by fossilised grape leaves and seeds from the Miocene and Bronze age. Besides the conventional method of wine fermentation similar to that of the west, Georgia offers Qvevri (organic) wine fermented in ceramic pots set in the earth. A tasting of old Georgian wines accompanied by khinkali – dumplings filled with mince meat, was celebrated at the old Pheasant’s Tears Restaurant in Sighnaghi – a quaint town of narrow streets and wooden balconies where festivals of traditional dance are held annually. This ancient royal town is surrounded by defense walls with 23 towers and served as an important place for Silk Route travellers passing through from Asia and Europe.

Through the good connection of Nino Turashvili, a tourism specialist, I was privileged to see the newly restored Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre in old Moorish design. It is truly superb and no expense was spared to put it in line with the other great opera houses of the world. The orchestra stage has been enlarged to accommodate a Wagnerian orchestra, the majestic chandeliers comes from the Czech Republic and Georgian marble graces the foyers and reception rooms. It will again open in Oct this year when Georgian opera singers, now living abroad will be invited home to raise the roof!

Another highlight was to follow. I had read about the Arshakuni Palace in Tbilisi which is now the State Academy of Arts and requested a visit to view the magnificent Persian rooms. Built some 90 years ago it is a blend of Russia Neoclassical architecture and rich Persian decorations dazzling with a myriad of colours, inverted cornices and inlaid mirrors alternating with carved and painted stucco work – such magnificent work covering 14. As it is sorely in need of restoration, one can only hope that Unesco takes this jewel under its wing.

Georgia is synonamous with the Caucasus forming a formidable border with Russia in the north. To appreciate both areas accessible for great hikes and skiing, we firstly took the Georgian Military Highway running north of Tbilisi to Kazbeki. This road is a major artery for goods trucked to Russia from Armenia and Turkey – the anomaly being that Georgian trucks may not enter Russia. There are no diplomatic relations between the countries with a severely chilled attitude from the Russian side. They in turn are welcomed in Georgia, which with its Mediterranean climate, Black Sea beaches and superb wine is a huge attraction – the Georgians are certainly not going to throw away a good market on their doorstep!

From the deck of the highly comfortable and unique Rooms Hotel, I had a splendid view of the mountains, their snow capped peaks bathed in a full moon – my luck!

Across the valley the 14th Century Gergeti Trinity Monastery was situated at 2170m. The inside like most of their churches is simple with minimal frescoes and icons allowing the sacred silence to pervade. A moving cameo here was a monk praying over a retarded child whose parents had made a two day drive from Moscow to this special place.

As South Ossetia takes up a northern chunk and is under Russian dominance we had to skirt around it to reach Gori the birthplace of Stalin. Although a part of history, which should be seen, one nevertheless enters with foreboding the museum that documents the life of this monster who treated his own people with equal harshness.

Continuing via Kutaisi and Zugdidi with stops at villages still practising crafts of woodwork and weaving and selling along the roadside delicious honey, cheeses and breads we headed northwest to the Svaneti Region.

Mestia the main town is totally charming – a place of solace nestling against the majestic mountain with a view of Mt Elbrus (5642m) on a clear day. The valleys with their rich black soil offer maize and potato fields while the gardens of the stone and slate houses abound with fruit and nut trees.

Svaneti is an old region, almost cut off, where feudalism and vendettas by powerful families were the order of the day. The valleys with numerous stone towers for past defence and holding back the snow avalanches reminded me of San Gimignano in Italy.

At night these bastions are all lit up creating a magic enhanced by moonlit peaks. I spent 2 nights in this snug paradise and could have spent a month walking the countless trails and returning at night to fires and Georgian dishes of veal, trout and fresh vegetables served with a multitude of mountain herbs.

In the quiet of the early morning I woke up to rushing rivers and wood burning fires and peaks slowly emerging from the clouds reminding me of Bhutan. From my balcony I could see the museum which offers a superb collection of icons seen the previous day. We made an early start to Ushguli the highest village in Europe and furthest east in Upper Svaneti. More serious treks start from here with overnight huts plus horseriding available along an abundance of trails.

Flying out over the Black Sea for a brief stop in Istanbul en-route home, I reflected on another unique destination which certainly called for further exploration. Georgia is still authentic, its people friendly and generous and its soul genuine – that certainly fits our collection!

Autumn in Georgia & Armenia small but fascinating countries bordered by the Caucasus Mountains & Black Sea offering art, wine making, orthodoxy and hospitality that goes back centuries. The tour will be preceded by 2 days in Istanbul

23 September – 14 October 2016

Fri 23 Sep 2016

Depart Cape Town at 15h15 on Turkish Airlines flight TK059 to Istanbul

Sat 24 Sep

On arrival 05h25 we are met and transferred to the Erboy Hotel in the old Sultanahmet area where we stay for 2 nights with breakfast. The day will be at leisure to explore the famous and nearby sights of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Museum etc. We will meet in the early evening for drinks and proceed to dinner in an authentic Turkish setting.

Sun 25 Sep

After breakfast our guide Necdet will meet us at 09h00 to show us the unique and unusual back street sights and treasures off the tourist beat!. The tour will end about 15h00 and allows for a coffee break around midday. We will assemble again in the early evening for drinks and have dinner at a different Turkish restaurant!

Mon 26 Sep

After a leisurely breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for our flight TK382 departing at 13h10 to Tbilisi. On arrival 16h30 we are met and transferred to our central hotel for 3 nights with breakfast. Visit to the Sulfur baths for a relaxing massage before our welcome dinner at a traditional Georgian restaurant.

Tue 27 Sep

After breakfast a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Known as the capital of Georgia from the 5th century, the city is extraordinary for its turbulent history, elegance and remarkable architecture destroyed and restored through the centuries but keeping the style of the Georgian orthodox religion and traditions. Walk through the old city and visit the Metekhi church from the 13th century followed by a cable car up to the Narikala fortress of the 4th century. Stroll along Sharden and Erekle II streets and visit the Old Caravanserai from the 18th century, Sioni cathedral built in the 7th century and the Anchiskhati basilica from the 6th century. Lunch at a city restaurant. After lunch we visit the Tbilisi National Museum and Art Gallery. Our walk continues along Rustaveli Avenue – the main Avenue of the city on which the former Vorontsov Palace (Youth Palace), former Parliament, Rustaveli Theatre and the Opera and Ballet House are situated. Time to relax at the hotel before dinner at a local restaurant.

Wed 28 Sep

After breakfast we visit the museum of cinema and theatre and continue to the Mtatsminda, Mama Daviti church and Pantheon. Lunch at the Funicular restaurant, where you can see Ignatov’s unique mosaic. Thereafter a visit to the artist Elene Akhvlediani Home museum and the local flea market. This evening a performance in the recently restored magnificent Tbilisi Opera House and dinner at Pur-Pur restaurant – typically Georgian.

Thu 29 Sep

After breakfast we drive to eastern Georgia, the Kakheti wine growing region. En-route we visit Ninotsminda village near Sagarejo from the 6th century – one of the most beautiful places in Kakheti. Continue to Telavi – centre of Kakheti province. We visit the Ikhalto academy and architectural complex from the 12th century and Alaverdi cathedral of the 11th century. Visit the old winery run by the monks and taste one of the best Georgian wines. After lunch our trip continues to the Gremi architectural complex dating from the 16th -17th centuries – former residence of the Kakhetian kings. Dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse.

Fri 30 Sep

After breakfast we drive to the Tsinandali estate, the winery founded by the famous poet and public figure Alexander Chavchavadze in the 19th century. Continue to Velistiskhe village and visit the family of a local artist. We enjoy wine tasting and lunch with the Marani family and then drive to Nekresi monastery dating from the 4th century. Dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse.

Sat 01 Oct

After breakfast we drive north along the Georgian Military Highway to Mtiuleti and Khevi provinces. This ancient road is still important as a main link connecting all south Caucasus countries with Russia. A stop at the Ananuri architectural complex from 16th -17th centuries followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Kazbegi – at a height of 2180 m the road crosses the main Caucasus range which is the geographical border between Europe and Asia. Dinner and overnight at design hotel “Rooms Kazbegi” where we stay for 2 nights.

Sun 02 Oct

After breakfast a 4×4 drive up to the 14th century Gergeti Trinity church located at 2180 m from where, in good weather, it is possible to see Mt. Kazbeg. At a local family, we enjoy a master class of khinkali (meat dumpling) making and have lunch with them. Thereafter a drive to the Dariali Canyon near the Russian border. Free time for rest and relaxation before dinner at the hotel.

Mon 03 Oct

After breakfast we drive to Mtskheta the old capital of the Kartli-Iberia kingdom known as a political and cultural centre from 3rd century BC. We visit Jvari monastery from the 6th century. It represents the high achievements of early Georgian Medieval Architecture. Thereafter a visit to the Svetitskhoveli cathedral of the 11th century before driving to Tbilisi. Dinner at restaurant Zazanova with live music and overnight at Hotel Sharden.

Tue 04 Oct

After breakfast we drive to the Georgian – Armenian border at Sadakhlo via Bolnisi and view the Sioni basilica from the 5th century. After border formalities, change guides and drivers and continue to Armenia. We visit the Haghpat Unesco World Heritage monastery complex followed by lunch at Qefo restaurant in the village of Haghpat. We continue to the Sevanavank monastery complex on Lake Sevan via the villages of Vanadzor, Fioletovo and Dilijan. Tonight dinner and overnight at Hotel Ani Plaza in the capital Yerevan where we stay for 2 nights with breakfast.

Wed 05 Oct

After breakfast we visit the Garni pagan temple and thereafter to the Geghard monastery complex – a 4th century Unesco world heritage site. Here we enjoy a performance by the Luys Vocal Quintet who are superb! We return to Yerevan for lunch. Thereafter we visit the Matenadaran museum of ancient manuscripts and the archaeological museum. Dinner at the studio of artist Ararat Sarkissian.

Thu 06 Oct

After breakfast we drive northward to Gyumi with a stop on route at Mastara and its 4th century church and beautiful cross stones. After a short lunch we enjoy a city tour including an art gallery. Dinner is at the excellent Cherkezi Dzor fish restaurant where caviar can also be purchased. Afterwards a visit to the studio / foundry of famous sculptor Albert Vardanyar. Overnight at the Berlin Art Hotel with breakfast.

Fri 07 Oct

After breakfast we drive to the Armenian – Georgian border at Bavra. After border formalities, change guides and drivers and drive to the Vardzia cave city. This spectacular rock-hewn monastery of the mediaeval period contains over six thousand apartments, a church, throne room and an irrigation system for terraced farmlands. The only access to the complex was through some well hidden tunnels near the Mtkvari River. Vardzia is also well known for its preserved frescoes, among which is the fresco of Queen Tamara (12th – 13th century) the founder of the complex. Lunch at a local family run restaurant near the site. Drive to Borjomi Mountain resort for dinner and overnight.

Sat 08 Oct

After breakfast we drive to Kutaisi, former capital of western Georgia, through the Likhi range that divides eastern and western Georgia. Lunch at a local restaurant. Thereafter we visit the Gelati monastery complex from the 12th century. Dinner and overnight at the Tskhaltubo Spa resort, which was used as a sanatorium in the Soviet period.

Sun 09 Oct

After breakfast we drive via Zugdidi to Mestia the capital of Svaneti province. Of all the regions of Georgia, Svaneti is the most ecologically unspoilt and largely unexplored. These ancient settlements are known for their medieval towers, still-preserved rituals and customs, fascinating views of snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, roaring rivers and waterfalls. We drive through the spectacular gorge along the river Enguri connected to the legend of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. A brief stop at the village Khaishi for a scrumptious ‘Kubdari’ lunch – a typical Svanetian pie with meat and local spices at a family-run restaurant. Thereafter we continue to Mestia. Dinner with traditional Svanetian cuisine at the hotel restaurant. We spend 3 nights here with breakfast.

Mon 10 Oct

After breakfast a full day exploring Mestia. We visit the Ethnography and History Museum and continue to a local family where we enjoy a master class of local traditional meals – Kubdari, Chvishtaqri, Cheese etc followed by lunch in the family house. In the evening, local polyphonic singing and dancing in the hotel restaurant with a local traditional dinner.

Tue 11 Oct

After breakfast we drive to Becho village to walk and explore the village followed by lunch. Drive back to Mestia and continue to Chalaadi village to enjoy the local scenery and architecture. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Wed 12 Oct

After breakfast we drive to Batumi on the Black Sea – centre of Adjara province. At Zugdidi we visit the Dadiani Palace. Lunch at a local restaurant. Evening stroll in Batumi with dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.

Thu 13 Oct

After breakfast we drive to the Batumi Botanical Garden with its different types of landscape zones that co-exist side by side. After lunch we transfer to Batumi International Airport for our flight TK393 departing at 17h05 to Istanbul with arrival 18h10

Fri 14 Oct

At 01h05 we depart on TK058 to Cape Town with arrival 13h45 after hopefully a wonderful journey

Bon Voyage

The cost of this tour is a combination of A + B as detailed below

  1. Land Arrangements

US$ 3 800.00 per person sharing which includes :

All accommodation in very comfortable hotels or guest houses reflecting the character of the countries, all meals in Georgia & Armenia ; dinner & breakfast in Istanbul, tours, transfers, transportation which includes 4 x 4 vehicles in Kazbegi & Svaneti provinces, wine tasting as per programme, visit to local families for cooking master class, entries fees, local guides and services of professional English speaking tour leader.

Single supplement US$ 650.00

  1. International airfare with Turkish Airlines

Approximately R 12 500 – R 13 000 depending on time of booking.

The cost excludes gratuities, visas, laundry, insurance, personal expenses and entrance fee for Tbilisi Opera Performance.

On reservation a non-refundable deposit of R 12 500 is payable with balance due Mid June 2016.

For further enquiries call Hans van Heukelum at Unique Destinations

021 462 7032 / 073 145 2191

Antarctic 2016/17 Savings

The special savings offer of 15% discount on Non-Premium cabins and 25% on Premium cabins has been extended till 15 April 2016.

These savings are for the 2016/17 Antarctic season and pertain to certain departures aboard Sea Adventurer, Ocean Diamond and Ocean Endeavour – please enquire where applicable.

Non-Premium cabins

Sea Adventurer     Main deck window, main deck porthole, lower deck twin

Ocean Diamond    Single and twin obstructed view, single porthole, twin window

Ocean Endeavour  Single, twin porthole and window, twin porthole (2), upper deck twin

Premium cabins

Sea Adventurer        Suite, Deluxe, Superior

Ocean Diamond       Balcony suite, Suite

Ocean Endeavour     Owners and junior suite, twin window plus 2, Top deck and superior twin

This special offer is combinable with past passenger discount (5%)