Maritime History Cruise in the Mediterranean

30 May - 11 Jun 2018
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Connecting Europe, Asia and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been where empires, economies and political systems have clashed, influenced and absorbed one another for millennia. Phoenician traders, Roman galleys, the Renaissance maritime republics of Italy, pirates, corsairs, pilgrims, merchants, explorers and conquistadors - the great navies of empire have all left their mark across the Middle Sea. 

This cruise from Rome to Lisbon across the centre of the Mediterranean examines the naval and maritime history of the region. The itinerary includes a number of talks on aspects of naval and maritime history alongside special interest visits in Livorno, Pisa, Elba, Corsica, Menorca, Majorca, Cadiz and Gibraltar.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Sue Weir

Sue Weir

Sue Weir is a former Westminster Hospital nurse and a registered Blue Badge Guide. She developed a special interest in medical history and runs her own company, Medical History Tours, which takes groups and individuals to places of medical historical interest both at home and abroad. She has written Weir's Guide to Medical Museums in Britain, has a Diploma in the History of Medicine from the Society of Apothecaries, is past President of the History of Medicine section at the Royal Society of Medicine and is also past President of the British Society for the History of Medicine. Sue has led many cruises and specialist tours and is a highly experienced and popular tour leader.

Need more information?

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Itinerary at a glance

30 May (Wed) Rome: Transfer to Civitavecchia to embark Aegean Odyssey for an evening departure

  • 31 May (Thurs) Livorno: Dock in Livorno. Explore the canals of Livorno by boat. Cruise past the Orlando docks and continue by bus to see the Naval Academy*. At leisure.  Introductory talk and drinks reception back on board 
  • 1 June (Fri) Livorno for Pisa and Lucca: Excursion to nearby Pisa and visit the Roman Ship Museum (opened especially for our group). Take a tour to the Piazza dei Miracoli, including the Cathedral and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Continue to Lucca and at leisure to explore this most enchanting of Tuscan cities. Return to the ship later that day   
  • 2 June (Sat) Elba: Sail into the historic port of Portoferraio, described by Nelson as the "safest port in the world." Visit the sites of Napoleon’s exile, including the Villa dei Mulini and the Summer House in San Martino, and learn of his time in Elba. Talk: “Nelson and the French War in the Mediterranean 1793 – 1798” Dr Pieter van der Merw (PM)
  • 3 June (Sun) Bonifacio, Corsica:  Arrive in beautiful Bonifacio and hear a talk on “Ships in Art - 15th to 19th Century” PM.  At leisure to explore Bonifacio
  • 4 June (Mon) Ajaccio, Corsica: See Maison Bonaparte, the ancestral home of Napoleon Bonaparte. Talk: “Admiral Byng, the British Navy and Menorca”  PM
  • 5 June (Tues) Mahon, Menorca:   The Royal Navy has an important historical connection with Menorca. Visit the naval fort of Fort Marlborough, Hostal del Almirante (the former home of Admiral Collingwood) and take a boat to the Royal Naval Hospital on ‘Bloody Island’, passing the former Royal Navy Dockyard en route.  Visit Golden Farm and at leisure 
  • 6 June (Wed) Palma, Mallorca: Majorca has a long history of seafaring. Muslim and Jewish merchants traded widely across the Mediterranean and Majorcan cartographers were renowned for their expertise. On a tour learn of the Majorcan cartographic school and  the Mercantile Exchange and Seu Cathedral. At leisure in Palma
  • 7 June (Thurs) At sea. Talk: “The Siege of Gibraltar" Captain Peter Hore (PH)
  • 8 June (Fri) Malaga for Gibraltar: Drive to Gibraltar for full day tour. Visit the Trafalgar Cemetery, the Naval Dockyards, the WW2 tunnels and gun emplacement and the old naval hospital. Return to ship
  • 9 June (Sat) Cadiz: Talk: “The Battle of Trafalgar” PH. Cruise past Cape Trafalgar.  Walking tour of Cadiz including the Admiral's House, Tavira Tower and Old Customs House
  • 10 June (Sun) Seville: Cruise along the Guadalquivir River as you hear a talk on "Rivers of Gold" PH. Arrive in Seville in the evening
  • 11 June (Mon) Seville: Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to the airport or extend in Seville

* This is a military establishment and access may be restricted on the day.

Tour cost

Cabin prices start at USD $4,031 per person sharing