Ocean Cruises:
Turkey & The Levant
Cruise 599

Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece
23 Sep-7 Oct 2001

15 days
Fares from £3265
Fares for Cruise 599
owner's suite Owners Suite 6525
suite Suite 6220
deluxe Deluxe 5305
superior Superior 4655
Standard two bed:
twin occupancy
deck outside A Deck outside 4350
deck outside aft A Deck outside aft 4045
deck outside B Deck outside 3960
deck outside aft B Deck outside aft 3700
deck inside A Deck inside 3350
deck inside B Deck inside 3265
Standard two bed:
single occupancy
deck outside A Deck outside 6090
deck outside aft A Deck outside aft 5663
deck outside B Deck outside 5544
deck outside aft B Deck outside aft 5180
deck inside A Deck inside 4355
deck inside B Deck inside 4245
Minerva deck plans
for location of cabins


Sir John Gray KBE CMG
Former British Ambassador to the Lebanon and front seat observer of Greek-Turkish relations in many diplomatic posts. His talks will consider the issues surrounding Cyprus, Lebanon during the civil war, Turkey and her neighbours since 1945, and the origins of Arab Nationalism.

Dr Peter Jones
Academic, author, broadcaster and journalist, he helped found and runs the charity "Friends of Classics". The legacy of ancient history can be seen extensively throughout this area and will be the basis of his talks.

Dr Anthony Phillips
A theologian who has visited the Middle East on many occasions, including Syria and the Lebanon. The region's historical and religious connections and how they are inter-linked will provide the subjects for his talks.

Charlotte Roueché
Expert on the history and archaeology of the cities of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods. The shared culture and the characters of some of the great cities we are visiting will be explained in her talks, she will also look at their later history under Islamic rule and during the Crusades.


Krak des Chevaliers
Explore the intriguing contrasts of the Levant such as modern Beirut and ancient Byblos - the oldest city in world, the souks of Lebanese Tripoli and the imposing Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers. Then soak up the sun cruising off Anatolia and enjoy visits ashore including pretty Bodrum and superb marble-clad Ephesus.
Sun 23 Sep    London - Larnaca
We fly from London to the Cypriot port of Larnaca to join Minerva.
Mon 24 Sep    At Sea
A day at sea, allowing for a chance to unwind and discover your new surroundings. Listen to one of our Guest Speakers' introductory talks, giving you a flavour of the places to come. There will be a Welcome Cocktail Party and Gala Dinner this evening.
Tue 25 Sep    Beirut (for Byblos or Beit Eddine)
Spend a full day in this vibrant capital, once "The Paris of the Middle East". We travel to Byblos this morning, reputedly the oldest city in the world, or to the 19th century mountain palace of Beit Eddine. In the afternoon gain an insight into the eventful history of this city as we see the green line area and visit the renowned National Archaeological Museum. Our supplementary full-day excursion takes us into the Bekaa Valley, to the enormous Roman site of Baalbeck.
Wed 26 Sep    Tripoli - Tartous
We arrive this morning in the lively Phoenician city of Tripoli, where tradesmen meet in a vast array of khans and souks, little changed over the past 500 years. The city flourished under the Mamluk and Ottoman empires and many principal monuments seen today are clear evidence of this. Spend the afternoon on deck with a book from Minerva's well-stocked Library before our evening arrival in Tartous.
Thu 27 Sep    Tartous (for Krak des Chevaliers and Amrit)
Our morning excursion is to the formidable Crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers, one of the finest examples of medieval architecture. In the afternoon visit Amrit, once a thriving Phoenician settlement captured by Alexander the Great. Or join our supplementary full-day tour to the Syrian capital of Damascus, where we see the impressive National Museum and Omayyad Mosque.
There will be a supplementary 2-day excursion visiting the ruined desert city of Palmyra, rejoining the ship in Latakia.
Fri 28 Sep    Latakia (for Apamea)
During our full day in port, we explore the extensive Hellenistic city of Apamea, whose previous visitors included Hannibal, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, as well as Saladin's crusader castle. Or join our supplementary full-day trip to the lively merchant city of Aleppo, thought to be the oldest inhabited city in the world.
Sat 29 Sep    Iskenderun (for Antakya)
This morning we take a spectacular mountain drive into the valley of Orontes to Antakya, ancient Antioch. Alternatively visit the huge Ottoman caravanserai in Payas to explore its courtyards, mosques and covered bazaar. An afternoon at sea to soak up the sun and perhaps take a refreshing dip in the pool.
Sun 30 Sep    At Sea - Antalya
A day at sea to relax and enjoy the pleasures of life on board. Settle down on a sun lounger with an intriguing novel or enjoy a gentle tone up in the gymnasium. We arrive early evening in Antalya.
Mon 1 Oct    Antalya (for Perge and Aspendos)
Our morning excursion is to the site of Perge, with its fine walls, gateways and stadium that once could seat 20,000 people. We also view the well-preserved theatre at Aspendos, one of the finest in the Roman world. After lunch, enjoy a scenic drive to the beautiful coastal site of Phaselis or take a supplementary excursion to Termessos, known as the "Eagles' Nest" because of its position some 1,200 metres high in the mountains.
Tue 2 Oct    Kas * (for Demre and Myra) - Fethiye
This morning Minerva anchors off the picturesque village of Kas. Drive across the mountain road to Demre, where we visit the church of St Nicholas, the original Father Christmas. We continue to Myra to view the fascinating rock cut tombs. An afternoon cruising along the beautiful "Turquoise Coast" before arriving at the pretty port of Fethiye late evening.
Wed 3 Oct    Fethiye (for Xanthos and Letoon)
From Fethiye this morning we visit the ancient war torn Lycian capital of Xanthos, noted for its turbulent history, and the nearby temples of Letoon. Alternatively, you may prefer to travel to the natural wonder of Olu Deniz, an azure lagoon, rimmed by white sand and pebble beaches. As we sail mid-afternoon, take a leisurely lunch ashore or pick up some Turkish souvenirs.
Thu 4 Oct    Gulluk (for Bodrum or Iassos) - Kusadasi
Minerva calls in Gulluk this morning from where we travel to Bodrum to visit the impressive Castle of St Peter and the tomb of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alternatively travel to the little-visited Byzantine site of Iassos. We sail after lunch to spend a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Fri 5 Oct    Kusadasi (for Ephesus)
Our morning excursion takes us to the great Hellenistic site of Ephesus, "the first and greatest metropolis" of Asia. With continuous excavations taking place, there are always new sights to discover. The afternoon is at leisure to absorb the bustling atmosphere of the town or join our supplementary excursion to Seljuk where the Virgin Mary and St John are said to have spent the end of their lives. Explore the countryside on our supplementary full-day excursion to the famous sites of Aphrodisias and Nysa.
Sat 6 Oct    Heraklion (for Knossos)
A morning at sea to listen to our Guest Speakers reflect on the places seen. After lunch we arrive in Crete to see the partially restored Minoan Palace of Knossos. As we overnight in port, stroll ashore this evening and enjoy the local cuisine.
Sun 7 Oct    Heraklion - London
Disembark Minerva for our return flight to London.
* Land by ship's boat or local tender

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