Originally founded by the Greeks, Ancona is the capital of the Marche region of Italy and is a city with a rich history. It has a number of monuments worth checking out, including the imposing white-stone Ducmo di San Ciriaco, which sits atop a hill, overlooking the rooftops of the city.
The next day we were “at sea” so there was plenty of time to relax as the ship sailed through calm blue waters, bound for the iconic Greek island of Santorini. One of the most popular islands in the world, Santorini sits like a diamond in the sapphire waters of the Aegean. Known for its spectacular scenery, ancient cities and stunning beaches, this island has wooed lovers for centuries.
There are so many facets to this jewel – we found the best way to enjoy Santorini in just one day was to walk its pretty, cobbled, whitewashed streets and visit a winery overlooking the sea feasting on the surrounding beauty.
Our next stop was Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey, with a rich history dating back to 3000BC.
Close by is Ephesus, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Most passengers opt to visit this ancient city, taking in its famous buildings, such as the Celsus Library and the Ephesus Grand Theatre.
We had been blessed with exceptional weather but the next day was notably more humid and you could almost smell the spices in the air as we sailed into stunning Istanbul. A magnificent city, Istanbul straddles two continents, Europe and Asia, across the Bosphorus strait. Marking the end of the famous Silk Road it has cast a spell over travellers and merchants for eons. No trip to Istanbul is complete without visiting its most photogenic buildings: the Blue Mosque and the brilliant Hagia Sophia.
We also had plenty of time far shopping in the enormous and chaotic Grand Bazaar. That evening, we walked to the Galata Bridge, which is a bustling hive of activity. Underneath the bridge is packed with street vendors, cafes and great seafood restaurants. #loveistanbul.
Back on board, each night on the ship gave us a wonderful opportunity to come together for a family dinner, chatting about what we’d done that day. One of the most magical things about this holiday was the fact that every day was different.
“One of the most magical things about this holiday was the fact that every day was different.”