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Ancient Empires: A Voyage from Rome to Malta

Exclusively Chartered, New, Five-Star, All-Balcony Ship Le Lapérouse

Date: Thu, September 20, 2018 - Fri, September 28, 2018

Trip Status: Taking Reservations

Price: from approximately $5,195 per person

Activity Level: Moderate

Region: Europe

Arrangements: Thomas P. Gohagan & Co.

Download the brochure

Discover the intriguing mélange of cultures that flourished in the wake of ancient empires on this exclusively chartered cruise to the resplendent shores of Italy, Sicily and Malta. Cruise for seven nights from Rome to Valletta aboard the newest Five-Star expedition ship, Le Lapérouse, launching in 2018 with only 92 Suites and Staterooms, each with a private balcony. This outstanding, custom-designed itinerary features the very best of this historic region at the most ideal time of year, affords you the unique opportunity to travel with a small, intimate group and showcases seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Marvel at Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast and the colorful seaside town of Sorrento. Gain insight into Roman life of A.D. 79 in the superbly excavated town of Pompeii. Discover Sicily’s storied town of Taormina, the legendary city of Syracuse and Agrigento’s majestic Valley of the Temples. Experience the rich history of Malta, the island nation where Saint Paul was shipwrecked. Rome Pre-Cruise and Valletta Post-Cruise Options are available.


Day     Destination

1 Depart the U.S. or Canada

2 Rome, Italy/Civitavecchia/Embark

3 Sorrento for Pompeii

4 Sorrento for Amalfi Coast and Positano/Island of Capri

5 Cruise past Stromboli/Naxos, Sicily, for Taormina

6 Syracuse

7 Porto Empedocle for Agrigento

8 Valletta, Malta

9 Valletta/Disembark ship/Return to the U.S. or Canada

*Cruise itinerary is subject to change.



  • Uniquely created seven-night cruise itinerary.
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard the newest Five-Star expedition ship Le Lapérouse, launching in 2018, with calls in ports inaccessible to larger vessels.
  • Private balcony for every Suite and Stateroom.
  • Only 92 Suites and Staterooms.
  • All excursions are included.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise; all meals are included aboard ship.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
  • Exclusive onboard lectures by study leaders.
  • Featuring seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Italy’s breathtaking Amalfi Coast and Sicily’s ancient Greco-Roman sites in Syracuse and Agrigento.
  • Tremendous value for a small ship program cruising to these varied cultures and destinations.
  • Unpack just once!
  • Rome Pre-Cruise and Valletta Post-Cruise Options.


Eternal Rome Pre- Cruise Option

Capital of the ancient Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Eternal City” of Rome showcases its spectacular ancient landmarks from centuries as a nucleus of power, culture and religion. Visit the ancient Colosseum, the historic Roman Forum and the fifth-century Church of St. Peter in Chains, which houses Michelangelo’s famed sculpture of Moses. Enjoy a tour of incredible St. Peter’s Basilica and walk through the opulent Vatican Museums, including the famous Sistine Chapel, featuring Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring ceiling frescoes. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Westin Excelsior Rome, ideally located within walking distance of the grand Via Veneto, one of the most elegant streets in all of Rome.

Timeless Malta Post- Cruise Option

The extraordinary island of Malta is referred to as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.” Walk the medieval streets of the beautifully preserved walled town of Mdina, where settlement pre-dates 4000 B.C., and explore its extraordinary Baroque-style architecture. Experience the fabled Blue Grotto, a sea cave illuminated by the brilliant blue reflection of glistening underwater sunlight. Visit the underground Lascaris War Rooms, where General Eisenhower directed the invasion of Sicily during World War II’s American-led “Operation Husky.” Tour the opulent interiors and magnificent gardens of the family-owned, 18th-century Palazzo Parisio, known as a “miniature Versailles.” Accommodations for two nights are in the Five-Star Phoenicia Hotel.

The Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Reservations and Information

To reserve, complete a registration form in the brochure and fax it to (919) 660-0148 or call (919) 684-2988 to reserve conveniently over the phone.

To learn more about our travel program or any of our upcoming trips, please contact us at or 919-684-2988

Duke Leaders

Mode of Travel

Ocean Cruise

New five-star, small ship Le Lapérouse

Five-Star Le Lapérouse, launching in 2018, represents the most innovative cruise ship fleet in the world. Designed specifically with the environment in mind, this small ship can navigate narrow channels, shallow bays and inlets and sensitive ecological environments during luxury expedition cruises, going where no ship has gone before and remaining energy efficient and environmentally protective of marine ecosystems, while its reinforced hull and custom stabilizers provide passengers a safe and comfortable voyage. Le Lapérouse is among a fleet of ships awarded the prestigious “Clean Ship” designation due to their advanced eco-friendly features, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels.

Elegantly Appointed Suites and Staterooms, 100% Ocean View with Private Balconies

Each air-conditioned deluxe Stateroom and Suite (up to 484 square feet) has a sliding glass door that opens onto a private balcony; Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and larger private balcony. Most accommodations offer two twin beds that convert into one queen bed, all feature a private bathroom with shower, luxurious Five-Star hotel amenities, minibar with complimentary beverages, individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, safe, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, plush robes and slippers.

Chic and Casual Dining

International and regional cuisine is served indoors or alfresco in the stylish, spacious indoor‑outdoor restaurant in single, unassigned seatings; on the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise. Continental and buffet breakfasts, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table with lunch and dinner.

Spacious Public Areas/World-Class Service and Facilities

In keeping with the low passenger density, public areas are spacious and inviting, and they can accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Observation lounge and nightly entertainment in the main lounge, which both open to the outdoors; and take in lectures, cultural performances and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. The three-level marina platform includes an infinity-style swimming pool and watersports facility with complimentary kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling equipment. The ship has a library, Internet suite, Sun Deck, beauty salon, spa, Turkish bath‑style steam room, full range of fitness equipment, two elevators and an infirmary staffed with a doctor and a nurse. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship. The highly trained, English-speaking international crew provides personable and attentive service. The ship has 10 Zodiacs.

Included Features  

On board the exclusively chartered, Five-Star, small ship Le Lapérouse

  • Seven-night cruise from Civitavecchia, Italy, to Valletta, Malta, with port calls at Sorrento for Amalfi Coast, Positano and Pompeii, Italy; Isle of Capri; Naxos for Taormina, Syracuse, and Porto Empedocle for Agrigento, Sicily.
  • Elegantly appointed, Five-Star Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise.
  • All meals—early continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
  • Wine is served with lunch and dinner.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.
  • Excursion to Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and guided tour of the remarkable archaeological preservation.
  • Time on your own to explore the quaint seaside town of Sorrento.
  • Drive along the Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing Italy’s natural beauty, and an afternoon at leisure in the picturesque village of Positano.
  • Time at leisure to enjoy the spectacular Isle of Capri at your own pace.
  • Cruise past the UNESCO World Heritage-designated island of Stromboli, the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.”
  • Walking tour of Sicily’s ancient town of Taormina, featuring the third-century B.C. Greco-Roman theater with views of imposing Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Tour of Sicily’s Syracuse, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with visits to one of the best-preserved ancient Greek theaters in the world and the historic island of Ortygia, the legendary “Old City” of Syracuse.
  • Excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sicily’s Agrigento and its majestic Valley of the Temples, known for its exceptionally well-preserved Doric temples.
  • Walking tour of Valletta, Malta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring a visit to the iconic St. John’s Co-Cathedral to see the tombs of the legendary Knights of St. John and masterpieces by Caravaggio.
  • Private tour of Casa Rocca Piccola and its lovely gardens, hosted by a member of the noble de Piro family.
map showing route of mode of travel