September 25October 4, 2018
CroisiEurope Cruises MS La Belle de l'Adriatique
Happy Gay Travel and Brand g Vacations proud to offer an Adriatic and Mediterranean gay cruise unlike any you’ll find sailing the coastal waters in Europe. La Belle de L’Adriatique will take you to some of the most important sites from antiquity, on a voyage along the Dalmatian coast, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece before arriving in Italy. Sail in the intimacy of 198 gay and lesbian friends.
Your adventure begins in Dubrovnik, where we’ve included two days on land to give you plenty of time to experience this stunning walled city with it’s medieval streets. From Dubrovnik, visit Kotor, a well-preserved example of typical architecture from the 12th through 14th centuries. Located along one of world’s most beautiful bays, the charming streets of Old Town remain car free, filled with Baroque palaces and Romanesque churches.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Berat in Albania and Corfu, Greece. Berat is one of the highlights when visiting Albania, whose most striking feature is the white houses climbing up the hill to its castle. Corfu, one of the most beautiful and popular islands located on the Ionian Sea, has wonderful beaches and small villages throughout the island, as well as its Venetian-styled Old Town.
Cruise through the narrow Strait of Messina, past Scylla and Charybdis, where rock and whirlpool almost claimed Ulysses. Perched on the shoulder of Mt. Etna, Taormina dominates two grand bays, offering visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of the Mediterranean Sea.
This fascinating voyage comes to an end in Naples, the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan, and arguably the most colorful and seductive of them all, with Mount Vesuvius and the deep blue sea as a backdrop.
Join us on this unforgettable adventure of the senses.
The Belle de L’Adriatique is a charming and comfortable ship with facilities like the rest of CroisiEurope’s river cruise ships, yet her anti-swell stabilizers allow her to cruise along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Built in 2007, she can carry a total of 198 passengers. Belle de l’Adriatique features four passenger decks. All cabins are located above water level and offer panoramic views of the scenery. an attractive main dining room, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served up in an inviting and relaxed atmosphere.
There are two lounges aboard Belle de l’Adriatique. The largest features panoramic views overlooking the bow of the ship. The other is a smaller, more intimate space at the aft of the ship and features an outdoor terrace.
The Sun Deck features open space, ample seating and two Jacuzzi hot tubs. Belle de l’Adriatique features an attractive main dining room where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served up in an inviting and relaxed atmosphere.
Day 1 - Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Arrive in Dubrovnik, where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel, the beautiful Rixos Libertas.
The balance of the day is free to enjoy the stunning hotel, or start exploring this beautiful city.
Meet your fellow guests at welcome gathering in the early evening.
Day 2 - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
This morning’s included sightseeing reveals why Dubrovnik is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities. The old city of Dubrovnik and the walls that surround it have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Portions of the wall date back to the 13th century. The ramparts are intact and encircle the old city with a circumference of more than 1.5 miles. Don’t miss the chance to take a walking tour along its length for a spectacular view of the city it surrounds.
Day 3 - Thursday, September 27, 2018
The morning and afternoon are at your leisure. Later in the afternoon we’ll transfer to the port of Gruz to board the ship.
After comfortably settling into your cabin, enjoy a welcome cocktail.
Tonight, dinner and an evening of entertainment on board as we begin to cruise to Kotor. The ship will cruise through the night.
Day 4 - Friday, September 28, 2018
Upon our arrival in Kotor, we’ll set out to tour the city. The Old City is a well-preserved example of typical architecture from between the 12th and 14th centuries. Located along one of world’s most beautiful bays, Kotor is a city with many stories to tell.
We’ll return on board and continue our cruise through the Bay of Kotor, where the surrounding mountains get steeper and steeper and the beauty meter gets close to bursting. From every point of view on the ship, there’s no escaping the romance of this breathtaking bay. Enjoy the onboard activities during this time, followed by an evening of signature Brand g entertainment. Our ship will cruise through the night.
Day 5 - Saturday, September 29, 2018
After we arrive in Vlore, we’ll leave on a full-day excursion to the ruins in Apollonia and the quaint village of Berat. Berat is one of the highlights when visiting Albania, whose most striking feature is the white houses climbing up the hill to its castle. The center of Berat is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains rare examples of Ottoman-style architecture. The old quarter contains lovely ensembles of whitewashed walls, tiled roofs and cobblestone roads. Although Berat is now a major tourist site, it has managed to retain its easy-going charm and friendly atmosphere. Don’t miss it! We’ll enjoy lunch during our excursion and then continue on to the largest archaeological site in Albania: Apollonia. Apollonia was founded in 588 B.C. by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth. The city flourished during Roman rule and was home to a renowned school of philosophy. Julius Caesar rewarded Apollonia with the status of “free city” for supporting him during the Great Roman Civil War. The future Emperor Augustus completed his studies here. The picturesque ruins within the city walls include a small theater and the elegant pillars on the restored facade of the city’s administrative center. Afterwards, we’ll return to the ship.
Enjoy an evening of onboard entertainment. Our ship will cruise to Corfu through the night.
Day 6 - Sunday, September 30, 2018
After arriving, we’ll leave on a tour of Corfu, Kanoni, and Achilleion Palace. We’ll first visit Achilleion Palace, built in 1890 by Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. From the palace gardens, you’ll have a magnificent view of the Ionian Sea. We’ll continue our tour with a ride along the Kanoni Peninsula by coach. We’ll catch a glimpse of the Vlacherna Monastery and Mouse Island (Pondikonissi), before heading to the old town of Corfu, nestled between the two Venetian fortresses. Full of charming narrow streets, this quarter also houses one of the most famous monuments in Corfu: Saint Spyridon Church. The afternoon will be spent exploring the northern part of the island where you’ll discover the most beautiful spots and exceptional landscapes in Corfu. Paleokastritsa is one of the most splendid sites, and according to Homer’s tale, Ulysses made a final stop here before returning to Ithaca. The village is hilly and nestles beneath the folds of steep verdant slopes of olive groves and citrus orchards. On the most northern promontory lies the 12th-century monastery of Theotokos. It stands on a steep hillside full of wild trees facing the deep blue sea. There are some magnificent views from both the monastery and the hills above. It also contains a museum where holy and precious relics are displayed. Our tour will continue on to the mountain village of Lakones.
We’ll then return onboard to continue our cruise. Tonight’s dinner will be followed by an evening of Brand g signature entertainment. Our ship will cruise through the night.
Day 7 - Monday, October 1, 2018
Day at Sea
Today we enjoy a day at sea.
Relax on the spacious sun deck with your favorite book, enjoy the jacuzzi, engage in a bit of fun and frivolity with Brand g’s entertainment and maybe even an afternoon t-dance on the sun deck. The day is yours to do as you please!
Day 8 - Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Messina, Sicily (Italy)
Today will be spent touring Mount Etna and Taormina. Discover one of the world’s most active volcanoes that has been erupting over several million years. Vulcan was the god of forging and the god of fire, so it’s not surprising to hear he was thought to live in such a place. We’ll visit the “Silvestri” craters and enjoy the desert moon atmosphere during a short walk.
After our included lunch we travel to Taormina, which dominates two grand bays, offering visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of the Mediterranean Sea. It was here that a D.H. Lawrence was inspired to write Lady Chatterly’s Lover. The highlight of this visit will no doubt be the tour of the amphitheater built in the third century BC by the Greeks and later expanded by the Romans. The world-famous view of Mount Etna and the sea beyond the theater is breathtaking. Enjoy some free time on the famous Corso Umberto before returning to the ship in Messina, where we cruise through the night towards Naples.
Day 9 - Wednesday, October 3, 2018
We’ll spend the morning cruising along the Italian coast. Enjoy the passing scenery or take part in one of the onboard activities planned this morning.
This afternoon, we visit Solfatara, a shallow dormant volcanic crater that still emits jets of steam. It is a natural oasis that offers an interesting walk, presenting not only renowned volcanic phenomena such as fumaroles, mofettes and mud small volcanoes, but also natural, geological, botanical and wildlife wonders. Before we return to our ship in Naples, we’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city by coach, where you’ll be able to see the Castel dell’Ovo, Via Caracciolo, Piazza della Vittoria and the Piazza Municipio. Tonight is our festive farewell gala evening. No jackets or skirts are required (unless you want to), but it is a great opportunity to gussy up a bit for dinner and your final night on board.
Day 10 - Thursday, October 4, 2018
Enjoy you last breakfast on board before bidding farewell to your Brand g friends, new and old, and disembarking by 9:00 a.m. Group transfers are included to the Naples airport or extend your stay in Naples with an additional hotel night or two (details coming soon).