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MSC Cruises to Visit Original Birthplace of the Olympics

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Monday, 16 June 2008

With less than two months to go until the Beijing Olympics, Hong Kong enthusiasts can gain valuable insight into the origins of the modern international games by stepping back into the past on MSC Cruises new Mediterranean cruise vacation.

In April 2008, the Italy-based international cruise line launched its latest flagship MSC Poesia. As one of its 2008 destinations, MSC Poesia will stop at Katakolon on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, giving Olympics fans the opportunity to visit Olympia, site of the very first games.

Among the eye-opening archaeological remains of the ancient Greek sports contest are the original stadium which could hold 45,000 spectators, changing rooms, gymnasia and temples. There is also a small museum. The original games were launched in 776 BC and took place every four years, as now. The Sanctuary of Olympia is where the flame for todays games is lit.

In addition to Katakolon, tourists can taste the rich history in Bari (Italy); or have a special Turkish fine dinner after visiting the renowned Topkapi Palace and Taksim Plaza in Istanbul (Turkey); or enjoy a moment paradise on earth Dubrovnik (Croatia) before returning to its point of departure, one of the worlds most romantic cities, Venice (Italy).

Prices for the 8-day, seven-night cruise starts from HK$7,650 per person including accommodation, meals, entertainment and access to facilities. Departures from Venice go weekly from April 2008 to November 2008.

At 93,300 tonnes and 1,275 cabins with double occupancy for 2,550 passengers, MSC Poesia features a blend of cutting edge technology, elegant surroundings, exciting entertainment venues and tantalizing dining opportunities. MSC Poesia, which joins as the sister ship to the popular MSC Orchestra and MSC Musica (launched in 2007 and 2006 respectively), is the ninth ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the industrys largest fleet expansion in the last three years.

There are 4 restaurants: Le Fontane, ll Palladio, La Cafeteria Villa Pompeiana and LObelisco ( la carte restaurant), where guests can indulge in the tastiest Mediterranean and international dishes, prepared by the chefs. There are 10 Bars including two open air ones (Mojito Bar and Piraa Bar). The ample Foscolo deck, la Cafeteria Villa Pompeiana and the two pool areas (Coral Bay and Cayo Levantado) will offer more space and comfort for guests with panoramic views. There will also be a Kaito Sushi Bar, similar to the one onboard MSC Musica, offering Japanese ambience, a zen garden and typical art pieces.

MSC Musica also visits Greece as part of its Mediterranean cruise from Venice, calling at Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus/Athens and Corfu. Santorini is one of the major tourist attractions of Europe. Thanks to its extraordinary beauty, the island group of Santorini is the most known and active volcanic centre of the Hellenic Volcanic Arc in the south Aegean Sea. Two million years of volcanic activity have accumulated around a small non-volcanic basement that once formed a small island similar to the other Cyclades islands. Most of the volcanic layers are visible in the multi-coloured sequences of the impressive steep inner walls of the caldera.

Other than Santorini, the treasures of natural beauty, rich history and cosmopolitan character has made Mykonos become the most famous and consequently the most popular of the Cyclades Islands. The island is relatively small and therefore it is easy to explore and is visited by nearly one million tourists every year. The capital of the island is Mykonos Town (Hora), which has a colourful harbour and it is considered one of the most beautiful towns on the island due to its archetypal island-postcard image.

Apart from the extraordinary experience on Oia Village, volcano and the great Parthenon for the Greek mystery. Its other destinations are Bari (Italy) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). The itinerary begins and ends in Venice. Price for 8-day, seven-night cruise starts from HK$7,650 per person. Departures from Venice go weekly from March to October 2008.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News AsiaPromotions, New Hotels, MSC Cruises, Cruises, Olympics, Beijing

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