Grand Voyages from Jeddah
Day 1 - Jeddah Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea, is a modern commercial hub and gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities Mecca and Medina. Resort hotels, beaches and outdoor sculptures line the Corniche, a seafront promenade anchored by the iconic King Fahd’s Fountain. The city’s Al-Balad historic district dates to the 7th century and retains traditional homes built from coral.
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - Safaga Port Safaga (Bur Safaga in Arabic), where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, is a village on the Red Sea coast. The town, whose economy is driven by the nearby phosphate mines, consists of a single windswept avenue running straight on, past concrete boxes with bold signs proclaiming their function. Silos and cranes identify the port, which runs alongside (but remains out of bounds) for most of this distance. However, inland from Port Safaga, a shore excursion on your MSC Grand Voyages cruise can be the opportunity to discover Luxor and the overwhelming concentration of relics in the area. A tourist mecca ever since Nile steamers began calling in the nineteenth century, visitors come to view the remains of Thebes, Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom capital, and its associated sites. The town itself boasts Luxor Temple, a graceful ornament to its waterfront and “downtown”, while a mile or so north is Karnak Temple, a stupendous complex built over 1,300 years. Across the river are the amazing tombs and mortuary temples of the Theban Necropolis, an attraction not to be missed on your holiday in Egypt.
Day 4 - Suez Canal Transit
Day 5 - Suez Canal Transit
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - Heraklion Crete's capital Heraklion, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination, is an energetic city with a prolific history. Admire majestic Mount Yioúhtas as you dock in the harbour and ancient Koules Fortress on the port’s western pier. Discover the mythical Palace of Knossos or visit historical monasteries and churches. Crete is a fascinating slice of Greek island life just waiting to be explored!
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - Naples, Italy Naples is a large, sprawling Mediterranean port, with a centre that has many different focuses just waiting to be discovered on an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion. No trip to Naples is complete without visiting the area between Piazza Garibaldi and Via Toledo, roughly corresponding to the old Roman Neapolis (much of which is still unexcavated like in many other Italian cities). The old part of Naples – the centro storico – is formed by the main streets of Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai (the latter also known as “Spaccanapoli” as it literally splits Naples in two), which still follow the path of the ancient Roman roads. This is much the liveliest and most teeming part of Naples, an open-air kasbah of hawking, yelling humanity that makes up in energy what it lacks in grace. But it’s the city’s most intriguing quarter, and a must-see on any cruise to Naples. The Duomo is a Gothic building from the early thirteenth century (though with a late nineteenth-century neo-Gothic facade) dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Gennaro. MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to Pompeii. One of Campania’s most important Roman commercial centres – a moneyed resort for wealthy patricians and a trading town that exported wine and fish – the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 in effect froze the town’s way of life as it stood at the time. Trips can also be taken to the island of Capri, place of legend, home to the mythical Sirens and a much-eulogized playground of the super-rich in the years since – though now it has settled down to a lucrative existence as a target for day-trippers from the mainland. Definitely worth a visit, but these days the origins of much of the purple prose may be hard to find.
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