Ancient Empires: Rome to Malta

Cruise for seven nights aboard Le Bougainville from Rome to Valletta. Visit seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Marvel at Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast and the superbly excavated town of Pompeii. Discover Sicily’s storied Taormina and the seaside town of Sorrento. See legendary Syracuse and Agrigento’s majestic Valley of the Temples. Learn about the rich history of Malta. Rome pre-tour and Malta post-tour extensions.

Dates
Sep 26 - Oct 4, 2019  (9 Days)
Cost

from $4,495 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Thursday, September 26
En Route

Depart from the U.S.

Friday, September 27
Rome, Italy / Civitavecchia

Arrive in the former seat of the Roman Empire, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Rome, today the historic heart of Italy. From the Colosseum and the Vatican to the Spanish Steps and the Catacombs, ancient Rome continues to amaze modern visitors. Embark the Five-Star Le Bougainville in Civitavecchia. Le Bougainville (D)  

Saturday, September 28
Sorrento for Pompeii

Dock in quaint Sorrento, an outpost of the ancient Roman Republic and the scenic gateway to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. This seaside town of rose‑flushed buildings was built into picturesque cliffs high above the Tyrrhenian Sea and, as the world’s limoncello capital, is abundant with fragrant lemon and orange groves. Continue to Pompeii, which was engulfed by the tephra of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, rendering the city frozen in time. Discovered and excavated 17 centuries after petrification, the incredible UNESCO World Heritage‑designated ruins intimately reveal Roman daily rituals during Emperor Titus’s reign. On your walking tour, see the wealthy Vetti family estate and the extraordinary amphitheater and Temple of Jupiter. Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board this evening. Le Bougainville (B,L,R,D)  

Sunday, September 29
Sorrento for Amalfi Coast / Isle of Capri

Admire the natural splendor of the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Amalfi Coast, and experience the charm of the Mediterranean seaside with secluded villages, opulent villas and sun‑drenched beaches. Explore winding, cliffside streets on your own in the delightful, coastal village of Positano— frequented by Picasso, Toscanini and Bernstein, and popularized by John Steinbeck. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in captivating Capri, the island where, legend has it, Homer’s Odysseus resisted the enticing call of the sirens; or cruise around the island by small boat, savoring views of translucent waters, luminous grottos and the craggy coastline. Le Bougainville (B,L,D)

Monday, September 30
Naxos for Taormina, Sicily

Be on deck this morning to view the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Aeolian Island of Stromboli, the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”—a volcano mildly active for more than two millennia. From charming Taormina, the medieval center of Sicilian culture and commerce, enjoy stunning panoramas of the Calabria coastline and snowcapped Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour the remarkably preserved third‑century B.C. Greco‑Roman theater, still in use today. See the 14th‑century Gothic‑Catalan‑style Corvaia Palace; the Roman Odeon, the “small theater” built in 21 B.C.; see the medieval Baroque portal of the Cathedral of St. Nicola. Stroll along Taormina’s distinctively Mediterranean pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare, Corso Umberto. Le Bougainville (B,L,D)

Tuesday, October 1
Syracuse

Extolled for its grandeur and importance by Cicero, enchanting Syracuse reached its zenith of influence as an intellectual milieu under Dionysius the Elder 350 years after Greek colonists first settled there in 734 B.C. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage site is an open‑air museum of well‑preserved classical monuments. Visit the storied Greek Theater, where Aeschylus once spoke to ancient Siracusans, still in use today; the Roman Amphitheater, where gladiators competed for the crowds; the Altar of Hieron II; the limestone Ear of Dionysius cave; and the impressive Archaeological Museum. Wander the hallowed small island of Ortygia, Syracuse’s maritime heart, where the most ancient Doric temple in Sicily, the sixth‑century B.C. Temple of Apollo, stands in the remains of Piazza Pancali. The city’s Baroque cathedral incorporates the ruins of a fifth‑century B.C. temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, where one can admire the unique baptismal font, an ancient Greek marble krater (large vase) dating from the 13th century. The landmark Piazza Archimede showcases the dazzling, Baroque‑style Fountain of Diana, adorned with rearing horses, charging tritons and maternal sea nymphs. Le Bougainville (B,L,D)

Wednesday, October 2
Porto Empedocle for Agrigento

Classical Greek architecture is showcased in Agrigento’s UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples). Here, the landscape features eight Doric shrines dating from the fifth century B.C., including the Temple of Hera, with its graceful northern colonnade; and the Temple of Concordia, said to be one of the most beautifully preserved Greek monuments still standing. See the temples honouring Zeus and Heracles and the Sanctuary of the Chthonic Divinities— mythological gods of Earth and the underworld. Visit the Agrigento Archaeological Museum, arguably Sicily’s finest collection of Greek, Etruscan, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman artifacts. Le Bougainville (B,L,D)

Thursday, October 3
Valletta, Malta

Cruise to the picturesque bay of Valletta, the “Fortress City.” Founded in 1566 by the Knights of St. John, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the world’s earliest planned cities. Malta has held a strong connection to Italy and Sicily since A.D. 60, when a shipwrecked St. Paul brought Christianity by happenstance to the tiny archipelago. Today, this 2018 European Capital of Culture showcases incredible high Baroque, neoclassical and modern architecture, from the 16th century onward. Visit the ornate 16th‑century St. John’s Co‑Cathedral, featuring masterpieces such as Caravaggio’s The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Flemish tapestries designed by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Tour the colonnaded Lower Barrakka Gardens, and enjoy unforgettable vistas of Valletta’s Grand Harbor and the Grand Master’s Palace. A member of the de Piro family of Maltese nobility leads your private tour through the 430-year‑old Casa Rocca Piccola, the family’s ancestral home and a display of historical Maltese aristocracy. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening. Le Bougainville (B,L,R,D)

Friday, October 4
Valletta / U.S.

Disembark and continue on the Timeless Malta Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Map
Eternal Rome

Eternal Rome Pre-Cruise Option Capital of the ancient Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Eternal City” of Rome showcases centuries as a nucleus of culture, religion and political power through its spectacular ancient landmarks. Visit the iconic 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 remarkable 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 three 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

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 admire its extraordinary Baroque-style architecture. Experience Malta’s fabled Blue Grotto (weather permitting), a sea cave illuminated by the brilliant blue reflection of glistening 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 Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)

  • 8 - $4,495 Picture window, single door onto private, partial-wall balcony, Deck 3 forward (limited availability) 
  • 7 - $4,995 Picture window, single door onto private, partial-wall balcony, Deck 3, midship 
  • 6 - $5,995 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 4, forward
  • 5 - $6,795 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 4, midship
  • 4 - $7,395 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 5 & 6, aft (limited availability)
  • 3 - $7,995 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 5, forward (limited availability)
  • 2 - $8,295 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 5, midship
  • 1 - $8,795 Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 6, midship
  • Deluxe Suite - $10,395 Suite with expansive sliding glass door, larger private balcony, sitting area with sofa, Decks 3, 4, 5 & 6 (limited availability)   
  • Prestige Suite - $11,395 Two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, larger private balcony, two bedrooms, two closets, large sitting area with sofa, Deck 5 (limited availability) 
  • Privilege Suite - $16,695 Large suite with expansive sliding glass door, larger private balcony, sitting area with sofa, Decks 5 & 6 (limited availability)    
  • Grand Deluxe Suite - $12,795 Extra-large two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, spacious private balcony, full bathroom with tub and separate shower, additional private powder room, sitting area with sofa, Decks 5 & 6 (limited availability)  
  • Owner’s Suite - $12,995 Extra-large two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, spacious private terrace with outdoor jacuzzi, full bathroom with tub and separate shower, additional private powder room, sitting area with sofa, Deck 6 (limited availability)

Single occupancy cabins are available in category 5 at $11,795 and in category 2 at $14,395 on or before March 7, 2019.

Prices above reflect the Early Booking Discount. Add $1,000 for reservations made after March 7, 2019. Taxes are an additional $465 per person and are subject to change.

Included
Seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star Le Bougainville; Cruise from Civitavecchia, Italy, to Valletta, Malta, featuring port calls at Sorrento for Pompeii and Amalfi Coast; Isle of Capri; and Naxos for Taormina, Syracuse and Porto Empedocle for Agrigento, Sicily, Italy; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic available throughout the cruise; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad if your arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotel and aboard ship; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre-departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company

Not Included
International airfare; Taxes of $465 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel ($15 per person, per day); Hotel staff gratuities (Pre-/Post-Cruise Options) ($1 to $2 per person per day) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section

Optional Pre-Tour: Eternal Rome
$1695 per person, double occupancy
$2695 single occupancy

Optional Post-Tour:  Timeless Malta
$795 per person, double occupancy
$1095 single occupancy

What to Expect

This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:

  • Walk on average 1-2 miles at a steady pace. On this tour, guests will be walking in cities and town and should be able to walk at a steady pace for approximately 2-3 hours of touring.
  • Be able to walk on cobblestone, dirt and pavement.  Some of walking excursions require good balance as you walk over cobblestone sidewalks/dirt roads and uneven pavement.  
  • Stand for up to approximately 2 hours at a time each day.
  • Walk up and down steep stairs without hand rails, without the assistance of another person.
  • Get off and on tour vehicles without assistance

Cancellations
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

  • From the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure: $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) 
  • From 95 to 119 days prior to departure: $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person
  • From 60 to 94 days prior to departure: 50% of the published full regular tariffs
  • 59 days or less prior to departure: No refund

A “no-show” or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs.

In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

Discounted Reservations
Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of The Commonwealth Club in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by March 7, 2019. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be cancelled, no “replacement” reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A “replacement” reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.  

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Airfare
Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.

Luggage
Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Rates
Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party. In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line. Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

​​​​​​​Registration 
Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.