Program Overview

Join us on this seven-night cruise from Rome, Italy, to Valletta, Malta, featuring Capri, Positano and Pompeii. Explore an intriguing mélange of cultures as you cruise along two of Europe’s most dramatic coastlines. Marvel at Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast, legendary Capri and charming Positano. Gain insight into the Roman way of life in A.D. 79 in the superbly excavated city of Pompeii. Discover Sicily’s storied town of Taormina, the legendary city of Syracuse and the classical perfection of Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples. Experience the rich history of Malta, the island nation where Saint Paul was shipwrecked. Enhance your journey with the Rome Pre-Program and/or Malta Post-Program Options.

Program Details

May 12 to 20, 2022 (Le Lyrial)
From approximately $3995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed seven-night cruise itinerary following Gohagan & Company’s tradition of innovative programming and educational travel.
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard the Five‑Star small ship Le Lyrial allows access to smaller ports.
  • All excursions included.
  • Exclusive onboard lectures by study leaders.
  • Features up to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Italy’s breathtaking Amalfi Coast and Sicily’s ancient Greco-Roman sites in Syracuse and Agrigento.
  • Cruise to centuries-old cities, medieval ports and scenic landscapes once coveted by the world’s most powerful empires at a tremendous value.
  • Enjoy a private tour of Casa Rocca Piccola and its lovely gardens, hosted by a member of the noble de Piro family.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise and complimentary Wi-Fi aboard ship (conditions permitting).
  • Rome Pre‑Program and Malta Post-Program Options.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

Day 2 - Rome, Italy/Civitavecchia/Embark Le Lyrial

Day 3 - Sorrento for Pompeii

Day 4 - Sorrento for Amalfi Coast and Positano/Isle of Capri

Day 5 - Cruise past Stromboli/Naxos for Taormina, Sicily

Day 6 - Syracuse

Day 7 - Porto Empedocle for Agrigento

Day 8 - Valletta, Malta

Day 9 - Valletta/Disembark ship/Return to the U.S. or Canada

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Lyrial

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Join us aboard the exclusively chartered, Five‑Star Le Lyrial, where distinctive French sophistication meets innovative nautical design. The ship’s efficient electrical propulsion system and custom stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage.

Learn more about the Le Lyrial >

Eternal Rome Pre-Program Option

Capital of the ancient Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Eternal City” of Rome showcases centuries as a nucleus of culture, religion and political power through its spectacular ancient landmarks. Enjoy a walking tour of Rome’s most emblematic sights, from the beautiful Trinità dei Monti church presiding over the famed Spanish Steps to the sculpted masterpiece of Piazza Navona’s Fountain of the Rivers. Discover the incredible St. Peter’s Basilica and walk through the opulent Vatican Museums, including the famous Sistine Chapel, featuring Michelangelo’s awe‑inspiring ceiling frescoes. Visit the ancient Colosseum, the historic Roman Forum and the fifth-century Church of St. Peter in Chains, which houses Michelangelo’s famed sculpture of Moses. Accommodations are for three nights in the deluxe Westin Excelsior Rome, ideally located within walking distance of the grand Via Veneto, one of the most elegant streets in all of Rome.

Timeless Malta Post-Program Option

The extraordinary island of Malta is referred to as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.” Walk the medieval streets of the beautifully preserved walled town of Mdina, where settlement pre‑dates 4000 B.C., and explore its extraordinary Baroque-style architecture. Tour the opulent interiors and magnificent gardens of the family-owned, 18th-century Palazzo Parisio, known as a “miniature Versailles.” Visit the underground Lascaris War Rooms, Britain’s top‑secret command in Malta during World War II. Experience Malta’s fabled Blue Grotto (weather permitting), a sea cave illuminated by the brilliant blue reflection of glistening underwater sunlight. Accommodations are for two nights in Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 Rome, Italy

Arrive in the former seat of the Roman Empire, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Rome, today the historic heart of Italy. From the iconic Colosseum and the Vatican to the Spanish Steps and the Catacombs, Ancient Rome continues to amaze modern visitors. Embark the Five-Star Le Lyrial in Civitavecchia.

Day 3, Morning Pompeii

Dock in Sorrento in Naples, and drive to Pompeii, which was engulfed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, rendering the city frozen in time. Excavated 17 centuries after petrification, the incredible UNESCO World Heritage‑designated ruins intimately reveal Roman daily rituals during Emperor Titus’s reign. On the walking tour, see the wealthy Vetti family estate, the extraordinary amphitheater—the earliest surviving stone amphitheater of the Roman world—and the Temple of Jupiter.

Day 3, Afternoon Sorrento

Return to Sorrento in historical Naples, founded by the Greeks in 470 B.C. Since its inception, Naples has long been an integral commercial trading and commerce post. Revel in the beautifully preserved and maintained Greco-Roman structures and monuments. Visit the Naples Archaeological Museum and peruse its collections dating from Ancient Greece all the way through to the Renaissance. See artifacts from nearby Pompeii and the Herculaneum, including impeccably preserved mosaics and wall paintings and the Farnese Bull—the largest marble sculpture intact from classical antiquity.

Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship this evening.

Day 4, Morning Amalfi Coast and Positano

Admire the natural splendor of the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Amalfi Coast, and experience the allure of the Mediterranean seaside with secluded villages, opulent villas and sun‑drenched beaches. Explore the winding streets of the cliffside, coastal village of Positano on your own.

Day 4, Afternoon Isle of Capri

Enjoy a walking tour of captivating Capri, the legendary island where Odysseus is said to have resisted the allure of the sirens. Visit the Augustus Gardens, a series of serene, flower-filled terraces that afford breathtaking panoramas of the Faraglioni rock formations rising from the waters as well as the craggy peak of Mt. Solaro, the highest point on the island.

Day 5, Morning Cruise past Stromboli

Be on deck this morning to view the Aeolian Island of Stromboli, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”—a volcano mildly active for over two millennia.

Day 5, Afternoon Taormina, Sicily

From charming Taormina, the medieval center of Sicilian culture and commerce, enjoy stunning panoramas of the Calabria coastline and snowcapped Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour the remarkably preserved third-century B.C. Greco‑Roman theater, the most dramatically sited Greek theater in the world and still in use today.

See the 14th‑century Gothic‑Catalan‑style Corvaia Palace and the Roman Odeon, the “small theater” built in 21 B.C., and see the medieval Baroque portal of the Cathedral of St. Nicola. Stroll along Taormina’s distinctively Mediterranean pedestrian thoroughfare, Corso Umberto.

Day 6 Syracuse

Arrive in Syracuse, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is an open‑air museum of well‑preserved classical monuments. Visit the storied Greek Theater, where Aeschylus once spoke to ancient Siracusans, still in use today; the Roman Amphitheater, where gladiators competed for the crowds; the Altar of Hieron II; the limestone Ear of Dionysius cave; and the Archaeological Museum.

Wander the hallowed island of Ortygia, Syracuse’s maritime heart, where the most ancient
Doric temple in Sicily, the sixth‑century B.C. Temple of Apollo, stands in the remains of Piazza Pancali. The city’s Baroque cathedral incorporates the ruins of a fifth‑century B.C. temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, where you can admire the unique baptismal font, an ancient Greek marble krater (large vase) dating from the 13th century. The landmark Piazza Archimede showcases the dazzling, Baroque‑style Fountain of Diana, adorned with rearing horses, charging tritons and maternal sea nymphs.

Day 7 Porto Empedocle for Agrigento

The classical Greek world is reanimated in Agrigento’s UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples). Here, the landscape features eight Doric shrines dating from the fifth century B.C., including the Temple of Hera, with its graceful northern colonnade, and the Temple of Concordia, which has survived almost entirely intact since its construction in 430 B.C.

See the temples honoring Zeus and Heracles and the Sanctuary of the Chthonic Deities—mythological lords of Earth and the underworld. Visit the Agrigento Archaeological Museum, which preserves Sicily’s finest collection of Greek, Etruscan, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman artifacts.

Day 8 Valletta, Malta

Cruise to the picturesque capital city of Valletta. Founded in 1566 by the Knights of St. John, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the world’s earliest planned cities. Malta has held a strong connection to Italy and Sicily since A.D. 60, when a shipwrecked St. Paul brought Christianity to the tiny archipelago. Today, this 2018 European Capital of Culture showcases incredible high Baroque, Neoclassical and modern architecture.

Visit St. John’s Co‑Cathedral, exemplifying Baroque architecture with two large bell towers looming over the cathedral. Tour the 16th‑century Barrakka Gardens and enjoy vistas of Valletta’s Grand Harbor. Tour the interiors of the Grandmaster’s Palace, the former residence of the Order of the Knights of St. John and the seat of Malta’s parliament until 2015. A member of the de Piro family of Maltese nobility leads your private tour through the 430-year‑old Casa Rocca Piccola, the family’s ancestral home and a display of historical Maltese aristocracy.

Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening.

Day 9 Valletta / U.S.

Disembark and continue on the Malta Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.