The geopolitical map of the Mediterranean region that we recognize in the 21st century is in large part the result of age-old power struggles between Eastern and Western empires—definitive turning points in the course of history. On this springtime cruise from Malta to Istanbul aboard the intimate 36-cabin Variety Voyager, visit significant sites where civilizations collided and imperial destinies were determined.
Soak up the fascinating history illuminated throughout this cruise while visiting noteworthy cathedrals, ancient temples, beautiful palaces and gardens, local markets, museums new and old, and fascinating archaeological sites. Begin in Malta, where the Knights Hospitaller secured Western domination of the Mediterranean during the Great Siege of 1565. Continue to Siracusa, a once-powerful threat to Athens; the Bay of Actium, site of a naval battle that ensured continuation of the Roman Empire for another 400 years; Pylos, where Greece declared independence from the Ottomans in the early 1800s; Delos, once the center of the Athenian Empire; Athens, a strategic gem coveted by Persian kings Darius and Xerxes; Gallipoli, a rare victory for the East during World War I; and Istanbul, where Byzantium capitulated in 1453.