Mediterranean Empires Cruise on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam

A celebration of ten years of marriage deserves a very special travel adventure.  Exotic and far away destinations that involve great food, wine, history and romance were the criteria for this trip.  Years ago I would have arranged for us to travel by planes, trains and automobiles, however, this year, we went by ship to explore Mediterranean Empires.  This itinerary took us to the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Sea of Marmara to visit beautiful locations and fabulous ancient cities while enjoying the comfort of traveling on board Holland America’s newest cruise ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam.

Kotor, Montenegro

This adventure allowed us to spend several days in northern Italy prior to our twelve day cruise.  We also spent two days in Venice at the end of the cruise.  We sailed as far South as Santorini, Greece and East through the Dardanelles to Istanbul and points in Asia and then back to Venice.

Venice was one of my favorite cities on the trip

Departing from Venice

We chose this particular voyage for the ports of call and the opportunity to see so many places rich in history and culture.  As with all of our travel, we were very interested in learning more about the local foods and cuisines in each of these destinations.

Mediterranean Empires Itinerary

Traveling by cruise ship has become one of our preferred methods of travel outside of the United States.  It offers the simplicity and ease of moving between destinations without packing and unpacking between points along the way.  It eliminates much of the coordination and planning and makes your vacation less stressful while offering an ever changing view and agenda to new and exotic places.  Most newer cruise ships offer luxury accommodations and specialty restaurants that make the onboard experience a memorable one.  Admittedly, this is not deep immersion in to the people, places or culture of any specific place.  However, it offers an opportunity to experience the essence of a region or country which may stimulate your interest for future travel destinations.

Which destination is our next port of call?

No matter how many times you board a ship, there is a real sense of excitement as you prepare to embark on a new journey.  As you pull away from the dock, the deck of the ship is lined with passengers waving goodbye.  The ship’s horn blows, the band plays and champagne flows while everyone stands at the rails as the embarkation port fades into the distance.  We are all filled with anticipation of exciting destinations and new experiences that lie ahead.

Sailing into Kotor, Montenegro

The market in Kotor

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