Optional Shore Excursions Information

Spirit of The Mediterranean with Chef Eric Leterc will be offering optional private shore excursions during the 10-day cruise. Please see below for more information.

Friday, June 30, 2023 - Barcelona, Spain (Highlights of Minorca)

Date/Time Agenda
10 AM Drive from Pier to Fornells
10:30 AM Visit Fornells
11:10 AM Depart for Monte Toro
11:30 AM Visit Monte Toro
12 PM Depart for Horth Sant Patrici Estate
12:15 PM Visit Horth Sant Patrici Estate and lunch (included)
2:15 PM Depart for Binibeca
3 PM Visit Binibeca
3:40 PM Depart for pier
4 PM Arrive at pier

Highlights of Minorca
One of the loveliest, unspoiled islands in the Mediterranean, Minorca teems with spectacular sights, such as the whitewashed town of Fornells, your first stop. This peaceful fishing village, whose bay is one of the largest natural harbors on the island, sits within a protected nature area. For centuries, the idyllic setting has inspired artists. Fresh seafood is another signature of Fornells, particularly its lobster stew. Continuing along the southern coast, you will make your way up the steep road to Monte Toro, the island's highest peak. The views from the top are truly breathtaking and in clear weather, you may see the eastern shore of Mallorca. You will also have time to visit the beautiful monastery, which is home to Franciscan nuns. Next , taste locally made cheese and Menorcan wines at Hort Sant Patrici, where time seems to be suspended, an oasis of peace in the middle of the Menorcan countryside. A farm that follows the tradition since its inception more than a hundred years ago. Lunch will be served in this unique settings before proceeding to Binibeca, a picturesque fishing village built in the old Arab style,. Here you will enjoy a stroll along the city's narrow cobbled streets and passageways, before returning to the ship.

Saturday, July 01, 2023 - Provence, France (All about Truffles)

Date/Time Agenda
8:30 AM Depart for Domaine de Majestre
10:30 AM Visit the property
11:30 AM "Cavage" - truffle digging with a dog
12:30 PM Lunch (included)
2:30 PM Depart for pier
4:30 PM Arrive at pier

All about Truffles
Provence is in everyone's imagination: the great wines, the captivating scent of lavender, the sunflowers, the olive groves, the castles in the countryside, the Cistercian abbeys, the marinas with pastel houses and the white limestone cliffs of the Calanques and the vineyards and that indescribable light that inspired the post-impressionist painters like Cézanne. Provence is also a region that produces 80% of French truffles. Start with a drive, arriving in the heart of a magnificent setting, reach a local truffle property called Domaine de Majastre. You enjoy a guided tour of the property and then take part in a demonstration of truffle digging with a dog. This search is called “cavage”. These delectable fungi delicacies, sometimes called Provençal black diamonds, grow underground near the roots of specific host trees. Their locations are closely guarded, as the truffles are highly prized for their pleasant aroma and earthy flavor. You are afterwards invited for lunch all about truffles.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023 - Syracuse, Italy (Ragusa & Modica)

Date/Time Agenda
8:15 AM Depart pier for Ragusa Ibla
10:00 AM Arrive in Ragusa Ibla- visit
11:00 AM Depart Ragusa to Modica
12:00 PM Arrive in Modica- visit
12:30 PM lunch at a local restaurant
1:55 PM Chocolate demo and tasting in Modica
2:15 PM Depart for pier
3:30 PM Arrive at pier

Lunch: Start with a Sicilian appetizer, Bis of first courses (Pasta alla Norma and Pasta with Basil Pesto), dessert Almond blancmange (or razor clams), a wine goblet and water

Friday, July 07, 2023 - Kavala/Philippi, Greece

Date/Time Agenda
12 PM Depart for Philippi
12:45 PM Visit Arch. Site of Philippi
2:00 PM Depart for Kavala
2:45 PM Arrive at Kavala; lunch and free time
4:15 PM Scenic drive of Kavala en route to pier
5:00 PM Arrive at pier

Philippi & Kavala
The ancient city of Philippi, now the most important archaeological site in Eastern Macedonia, lies at the boundary of the marshes that cover the southeast part of the plain of Drama. The site was originally colonized by the people of Thasos, who, aware of the area's plentiful supplies of precious metals, timber, and agricultural products, established the city of Krinides in 360 BC. Soon after its establishment, however, Krinides was threatened by the Thracians (365 BC) and turned to King Philip II of Macedon for help. Realizing its economic and strategic potential, Philip conquered, fortified, and renamed the city after himself.

Hellenistic Philippi had a fortification wall, a theatre, several public buildings, and private houses. The construction of the Via Egnatia through the city in the second century BC made Philippi an important regional centre. The dramatic battle of Philippi, which took place outside the west city walls in 42 BC, was a turning point in the city's history. The city was conquered by Octavian and renamed Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis. The new Roman colony developed into a financial, administrative, and artistic centre.

Another important event marked the city's history a century later. Saint Paul founded the first Christian Church on European soil at Philippi in 49/50 AD. The establishment of the new religion and the city's proximity to Constantinople, the Roman Empire's new capital, brought new splendour. Three magnificent basilicas and the Octagon complex, the cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul, were erected in the city centre in the fourth-sixth centuries AD. After a series of earthquakes and Slavic raids, the lower city was gradually abandoned early in the seventh century. Philippi survived into the Byzantine period as a fortress, until its final demise in the late fourteenth century, after the Turkish conquest.

Kavala is the second largest city of Northern Greece and the principal seaport of Eastern Macedonia, in antiquity it was the port of Philippi and flourished when the via Egnatia passed through the city increasing the trade and commerce of the city. The fortifications were built by the Byzantines and reinforced by the Ottomans and the old town of Kavala is located below. Before, you will head back to port, you will enjoy a Greek lunch at a local tavern.

Optional Shore Excursions Tour Price Includes*

  • Transportation: Private coach, 2nd coach will be provided depending on guest amount per tour
  • Guide: Private Guide provided
  • Meals: Lunch (included)
  • *Subject to Change