14 nights onboard Azura

Mediterranean

Family friendly - Azura offers the perfect balance, bringing the opportunity to enjoy quality time together as well as time separately. From hassle-free meal times to carefree days out, we really have got it all covered.

Leaving from: Valletta
Cruise ship: Azura
Departure date: 25th July 2024
Leaving from: Valletta Piraeus Mykonos Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete and 7 more stops
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P&O Cruises

Welcome to the P&O cruise experience - where quality and value abide in perfect harmony.

P&O Cruises offer a distinctive style that appeals to both new and veteran travellers alike, with trademark sailings providing opportunities for the whole family to enjoy.

Cruises for those seeking an adult-only vibe are available, while those who prefer smaller ships can choose from more modest vessels.

3100
Passengers
1250
Crew
2010
Launched
2014
Last refit
115055t
Tonnage
290m
Length
36m
Width
22kts
Speed
14
Decks
GBP
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Valletta, Malta
Day 3
Piraeus, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 4
Mykonos, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 5
Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 6
Suda Bay, Crete, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 8
Valletta, Malta
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Evening
Day 10
Taranto, Italy
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Afternoon
Day 11
Corfu, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Afternoon
Day 12
Cephalonia, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 13
Catania, Italy
Arrival Time: Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Day 15
Valletta, Malta
Valletta, Malta image
Day 1
Valletta, Malta

Malta: the country that God built. Well, kind of. Malta is well-known for being the once-stronghold of the famous religious military order, The Knights Hospitaller, who were granted the land in 1530 from the King of Spain in exchange for an annual fee of one Maltese falcon (which eventually inspired the name of Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel). And these marauding knights certainly did a great job putting the place together. Valletta, the nation’s capital, remains the highlight and exploring this fascinating walled city (which kept the Hospitallers secure until they came across Napoleon in 1798) is akin to walking back in time. It’s small size (just 0.3 square miles) makes it the perfect cruise stopover and is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the country on excursions.

Piraeus, Greece image
Day 3
Piraeus, Greece
It's no wonder that all roads lead to the fascinating and maddening metropolis of Athens. Lift your eyes 200 feet above the city to the Parthenon, its honey-color marble columns rising from a massive limestone base, and you behold architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years. But, today, this shrine of classical form dominates a 21st-century boomtown. To experience Athens—Athína in Greek—fully is to understand the essence of Greece: ancient monuments surviving in a sea of cement, startling beauty amid the squalor, tradition juxtaposed with modernity. Locals depend on humor and flexibility to deal with the chaos; you should do the same. The rewards are immense. Although Athens covers a huge area, the major landmarks of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are close to the modern city center. You can easily walk from the Acropolis to many other key sites, taking time to browse in shops and relax in cafés and tavernas along the way. From many quarters of the city you can glimpse "the glory that was Greece" in the form of the Acropolis looming above the horizon, but only by actually climbing that rocky precipice can you feel the impact of the ancient settlement. The Acropolis and Filopappou, two craggy hills sitting side by side; the ancient Agora (marketplace); and Kerameikos, the first cemetery, form the core of ancient and Roman Athens. Along the Unification of Archaeological Sites promenade, you can follow stone-paved, tree-lined walkways from site to site, undisturbed by traffic. Cars have also been banned or reduced in other streets in the historical center. In the National Archaeological Museum, vast numbers of artifacts illustrate the many millennia of Greek civilization; smaller museums such as the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum illuminate the history of particular regions or periods. Athens may seem like one huge city, but it is really a conglomeration of neighborhoods with distinctive characters. The Eastern influences that prevailed during the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire are still evident in Monastiraki, the bazaar area near the foot of the Acropolis. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, stroll through Plaka (if possible by moonlight), an area of tranquil streets lined with renovated mansions, to get the flavor of the 19th-century's gracious lifestyle. The narrow lanes of Anafiotika, a section of Plaka, thread past tiny churches and small, color-washed houses with wooden upper stories, recalling a Cycladic island village. In this maze of winding streets, vestiges of the older city are everywhere: crumbling stairways lined with festive tavernas; dank cellars filled with wine vats; occasionally a court or diminutive garden, enclosed within high walls and filled with magnolia trees and the flaming trumpet-shaped flowers of hibiscus bushes. Formerly run-down old quarters, such as Thission, Gazi and Psirri, popular nightlife areas filled with bars and mezedopoleia (similar to tapas bars), are now in the process of gentrification, although they still retain much of their original charm, as does the colorful produce and meat market on Athinas. The area around Syntagma Square, the tourist hub, and Omonia Square, the commercial heart of the city about 1 km (½ mi) northwest, is distinctly European, having been designed by the court architects of King Otho, a Bavarian, in the 19th century. The chic shops and bistros of ritzy Kolonaki nestle at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus, Athens's highest hill (909 feet). Each of Athens's outlying suburbs has a distinctive character: in the north is wealthy, tree-lined Kifissia, once a summer resort for aristocratic Athenians, and in the south and southeast lie Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni, with their sandy beaches, seaside bars, and lively summer nightlife. Just beyond the city's southern fringes is Piraeus, a bustling port city of waterside fish tavernas and Saronic Gulf views.
Mykonos, Greece image
Day 4
Mykonos, Greece

Although the fishing boats still go out in good weather, Mykonos largely makes its living from tourism these days. The summer crowds have turned one of the poorest islands in Greece into one of the richest.

Old Mykonians complain that their young, who have inherited stores where their grandfathers once sold eggs or wine, get so much rent that they have lost ambition, and in summer sit around pool bars at night with their friends, and hang out in Athens in winter when island life is less scintillating. Put firmly on the map by Jackie O in the 1960s, Mykonos town—called Hora by the locals—remains the Saint-Tropez of the Greek islands.

The scenery is memorable, with its whitewashed streets, Little Venice, the Kato Myli ridge of windmills, and Kastro, the town's medieval quarter. Its cubical two- or three-story houses and churches, with their red or blue doors and domes and wooden balconies, have been long celebrated as some of the best examples of classic Cycladic architecture.

Luckily, the Greek Archaeological Service decided to preserve the town, even when the Mykonians would have preferred to rebuild, and so the Old Town has been impressively preserved.

Pink oleander, scarlet hibiscus, and trailing green pepper trees form a contrast amid the dazzling whiteness, whose frequent renewal with whitewash is required by law.

Any visitor who has the pleasure of getting lost in its narrow streets (made all the narrower by the many outdoor stone staircases, which maximize housing space in the crowded village) will appreciate how its confusing layout was designed to foil pirates—if it was designed at all.

After Mykonos fell under Turkish rule in 1537, the Ottomans allowed the islanders to arm their vessels against pirates, which had a contradictory effect: many of them found that raiding other islands was more profitable than tilling arid land. At the height of Aegean piracy, Mykonos was the principal headquarters of the corsair fleets—the place where pirates met their fellows, found willing women, and filled out their crews.

Eventually, the illicit activity evolved into a legitimate and thriving trade network. Morning on Mykonos town's main quay is busy with deliveries, visitors for the Delos boats, lazy breakfasters, and street cleaners dealing with the previous night's mess. In late morning the cruise-boat people arrive, and the shops are all open. In early afternoon, shaded outdoor tavernas are full of diners eating salads (Mykonos's produce is mostly imported); music is absent or kept low.

In mid- and late afternoon, the town feels sleepy, since so many people are at the beach, on excursions, or sleeping in their air-conditioned rooms; even some tourist shops close for siesta.

By sunset, people have come back from the beach, having taken their showers and rested. At night, the atmosphere in Mykonos ramps up. The cruise-boat people are mostly gone, coughing three-wheelers make no deliveries in the narrow streets, and everyone is dressed for summer and starting to shimmy with the scene.

Many shops stay open past midnight, the restaurants fill up, and the bars and discos make ice cubes as fast as they can. Ready to dive in? Begin your tour of Mykonos town (Hora) by starting out at its heart: Mando Mavrogenous Square.

Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete, Greece image
Day 5
Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete, Greece
Having been controlled by Arabic, Venetian and Ottoman empires over the years - it's no surprise that Heraklion is a diverse patchwork of exotic cultures and historical treasures. Celebrated as the birthplace of the Spanish Renaissance artist, El Greco, you can visit to explore the storied ruins of the Minoan empire's capital, and unearth the rich cultural treasures that Crete’s bustling modern capital has to offer.
Suda Bay, Crete, Greece image
Day 6
Suda Bay, Crete, Greece
A call at Souda Bay promises sparkling beaches, engrossing history and no shortage of proud Maritime tradition. You'll drift past the fortified walls of Leon and Souda islands as you enter this natural harbour, which gives you access to all of Crete’s wonders, including Chania’s collection of fascinating museums, uncovered archaeological sites, and glorious Venetian architecture. Souda Bay's strategic positioning means it’s long been an important naval base – and Greek and UN bases still operate here today, on the northern rim of the bay. So it’s well worth travelling a little further out, to find heavenly beaches like the famous Elafonissi Beach - where pink sand and fizzing waves of crystal clear water, converge. The port here dates back to antiquity, when it was used to access the ancient city of Aptera. Visit the extraordinary archaeological site, to see the ruins of mighty empires – from the Romans to the Minoans – gradually emerging from the dusty ground, as excavations continue.
Valletta, Malta image
Day 8
Valletta, Malta

Malta: the country that God built. Well, kind of. Malta is well-known for being the once-stronghold of the famous religious military order, The Knights Hospitaller, who were granted the land in 1530 from the King of Spain in exchange for an annual fee of one Maltese falcon (which eventually inspired the name of Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel). And these marauding knights certainly did a great job putting the place together. Valletta, the nation’s capital, remains the highlight and exploring this fascinating walled city (which kept the Hospitallers secure until they came across Napoleon in 1798) is akin to walking back in time. It’s small size (just 0.3 square miles) makes it the perfect cruise stopover and is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the country on excursions.

Taranto, Italy image
Day 10
Taranto, Italy
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Afternoon
Corfu, Greece image
Day 11
Corfu, Greece
Corfu town today is a vivid tapestry of cultures—a sophisticated weave, where charm, history, and natural beauty blend. Located about midway along the island's east coast, this spectacularly lively capital is the cultural heart of Corfu and has a remarkable historic center that UNESCO designated as a World Heritage Site in 2007. All ships and planes dock or land near Corfu town, which occupies a small peninsula jutting into the Ionian Sea.Whether arriving by ferry from mainland Greece or Italy, from another island, or directly by plane, catch your breath by first relaxing with a coffee or a gelato in Corfu town's shaded Liston Arcade, then stroll the narrow lanes of its pedestrians-only quarter. For an overview of the immediate area, and a quick tour of Mon Repos palace, hop on the little tourist train that runs from May to September. Corfu town has a different feel at night, so book a table at one of its famed tavernas to savor the island's unique cuisine.The best way to get around Corfu town is on foot. The town is small enough so that you can easily walk to every sight. There are local buses, but they do not thread their way into the streets (many now car-free) of the historic center. If you are arriving by ferry or plane, it's best to take a taxi to your hotel. Expect to pay about €10 from the airport or ferry terminal to a hotel in Corfu town. If there are no taxis waiting, you can call for one.
Cephalonia, Greece image
Day 12
Cephalonia, Greece
Arrival Time: Early Morning; Depart Time: Early Evening
Catania, Italy image
Day 13
Catania, Italy

Set in the shadow of Mount Etna, the ancient port city and second largest in Sicily is steeped in natural and historical wonders. Nicknamed the ‘grey city’ due to the signature colour of the lava rocks used in many of the buildings, Catania is far from colourless, being rich in historic sites, beautiful Baroque buildings, volcanic landscapes and lava fields.

Valletta, Malta image
Day 15
Valletta, Malta

Malta: the country that God built. Well, kind of. Malta is well-known for being the once-stronghold of the famous religious military order, The Knights Hospitaller, who were granted the land in 1530 from the King of Spain in exchange for an annual fee of one Maltese falcon (which eventually inspired the name of Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel). And these marauding knights certainly did a great job putting the place together. Valletta, the nation’s capital, remains the highlight and exploring this fascinating walled city (which kept the Hospitallers secure until they came across Napoleon in 1798) is akin to walking back in time. It’s small size (just 0.3 square miles) makes it the perfect cruise stopover and is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the country on excursions.

Ship Details
P&O Cruises
Azura

Family friendly - Azura offers the perfect balance, bringing the opportunity to enjoy quality time together as well as time separately. From hassle-free meal times to carefree days out, we really have got it all covered.

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