September 9-16, 2017

Big Head Todd and the Monsters will begin vela il Mediterraneo (sailing the Mediterranean) on a southerly course from Rome along the magnificent coast of Italy. Our primary ports of call will be in what many consider one of the most romantic regions of the world- the Amalfi Coast. Extended time in port, including late night and overnight stays, will allow passengers to fully experience the scenic seaside villages, local cuisine, and Mediterranean lifestyle. As if this is not enough, we then set sail for the The ideal size of the Royal Clipper allows us to anchor directly outside these beautiful small ports and tender directly ashore. Unlike larger cruise ships which must put into large, crowded ports and transfer passengers to their final destinations, we will enjoy beautiful views of these coastal villages from the ship and maximize time ashore. After a few days of exploring the area around Amalfi, Positano, and Capri we will raise the sails and cross the Tyrrhenian Sea to the island of Corsica, France. The dramatic entrance through the mythical cliffs of the port of Bonifacio will welcome passengers to an afternoon and evening of exploring the Old Town and Citadel perched high above. A day at one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica follows before we visit the idyllic Mediterranean island of Giglio. We will be fortunate to celebrate the island's patron saint day- the Festa di San Mamiliano with locals before making our way back to the port of Civitavecchia and the finale of what promises to be a very special week with Big Head Todd and the Monsters and their fablulous fans.

Cruise Itinerary

*The itinerary, arrival and departure times, and additional information listed below are accurate and the official schedule at this time. However, all items are subject to change due to local conditions, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Civitavecchia, Italy (port of Rome)

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
Embarkation: 4:00pm (begins)
All passengers must be onboard by 6:00pm*.

We will board the Royal Clipper beginning at 4:00pm on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in the port of Civitavecchia (CHEE-vee-tah-veh-kee-ah), approximately 45 miles from the city center of Rome. We recommend passengers arrange time to visit Rome either pre or post cruise to explore the city including St. Peter's with its breathtaking Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death, and the Pantheon- considered to be the most perfect architectural statement of the ages. All passengers must be onboard by 6:00pm (*revised). The tropical bar will be open for welcome beverages and appetizers with dinner beginning at 7:30pm. Visit the FAQ's "Embarkation" section for more info.

Amalfi, Italy

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Arrival: Noon
Departure: Overnight
First Tender: 1:00pm (asap)
Last Tender: 11:00pm
No afternoon or evening events scheduled

Amalfi, is a town which opens like a fan towards the sea, sheltered from behind by the steep slopes of the Monti Lattari. The harbor, which once launched the greatest fleet in Italy, now bobs with ferries and blue-and-white fishing boats. The main street, lined with leather shops and pasticcerie, has replaced a raging mountain torrent, and terraced hills where banditti (bandits) once roamed now flaunt the green and gold of lemon groves. The town's landmark is the Duomo or cathedral. Initiated in the 9th century and altered on various occasions, the church, preceded by an impressive flight of 62 steps, towers over Amalfi's main piazza. For those looking to take a dip in the clear blue waters both Amalfi and Positano have large (and busy) beaches which are easily accessed. If you are seeking some of the world's most enchanting bays and small beaches along the Amalfi Coast, they can be accessed by small boats running regularly from the main docks in both Amalfi and Positano. See the FAQ "Beaches" section for more info. Another great way to experience the coast is to grab a few friends and rent a small boat (with Captain) for a few hours or half day. See the many grottoes and beaches along the coast, stop for a swim, and visit a hidden beach restaurant for lunch. While you may find providers on the waterfront to book these type of excursions, it is recommended to research ahead of time and make reservations to assure the best experience possible.

Local Notes: Our early afternoon arrival will allow time for those passengers interested in visiting Pompeii. An organized excursion to Pompeii will be offered by the ship and last approximately 5 hours (1 hour travel time each way). Excursion information for Amalfi coming soon.

Positano, Italy

Monday, Sept. 11, 2017
Arrival: 7:00am
Departure: Overnight
First Tender: 8:00am
Last Tender: 11:00pm
Possible evening event ashore beginning at 8:00pm.

Said to be the most beautiful town in the Mediterranean, Positano, like the legendary Sirens of Li Galli, never fails to seduce. Seen from the sea, Positano is set in a dramatic vertical panorama of colors; the green of the Monti Lattari, the white, pink and yellow of the Mediterranean houses, the silvery grey of its pebble beaches and the blue of the sea. The beautiful majolica tiled dome of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta can be seen from every corner of the town. Spiaggia Grande is at the heart of the sea front of Positano. At 300 meters long, the beach is one of the largest on the Amalfi Coast, and one of the most glamorous too, attracting a fashionable crowd of artists, actors and celebrities. For a more peaceful spot in which to bask in the Mediterranean sun visitors will love Positano's Fornillo beach, which can be reached via a coastal path commencing on the Spiaggia Grande. After a few hours lazing in the sun, shopping in Positano's colorful boutiques, and munching Delizia al Limone on the terrace of the Zagara restaurant, if you fancy exploring further afield, then you should take one of the paths leading to the little mountain districts above Positano. Such as the footpath which leads to the 'Oasis of Vallone Porto, rich in waterfalls, and species of rare plants and animals. Or, begin on the beach of Arienzo and climb the 1500 steps up to the hamlet of Nocelle. From the hamlet’s main square you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views on the Amalfi Coast, extending as far as the island of Capri and the Faraglioni rocks. More info on hiking paths along the Amalfi Coast here.

Local Notes: Passengers will have the entire day for excursions and activities. Due to the narrow road in and out of Positano, larger vans and buses are not able to access the town to facilitate larger groups. Anyone interested in visiting Pompeii or other attractions in the region are encouraged to do so by reserving a smaller private vehicle and driver for hire and exploring in smaller groups. More excursion information for Positano coming soon.

Local Business Hours: Typical Restaurant Hours in Italy are 12:30pm-3:30pm and 7:30pm-11:30pm. However, in many tourist destinations, hours may vary greatly during the season with some establishments open throughout the day. Reservations are highly recommended; Shops- (excluding grocery stores) usually open at 10:00 am and close at 1:30 pm for morning hours, then open again at 4:30 pm and remain open until 8:00 pm for the afternoon and evening. These hours may vary In tourist areas and during the summer.

Capri, Italy

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017
Arrival: 7:00am
Departure: 4:00pm
First Tender: 8:00am
Last Tender: 3:00pm

Capri's fantastic grottoes, soaring conical peaks, caverns great and small, plus villas of the emperors and thousands of legends brush the isle with an air of whispered mystery. Life on Capri gravitates around the two centers of Capri Town (on the saddle between Monte Tiberio and Monte Solaro) and Anacapri, higher up (902 feet). Upon arrival at the main harbor, the Marina Grande, everyone heads for the famous funicular, which ascends (and descends) several times an hour through lemon groves to Capri Town. You can then venture further up to Anacapri on one of the local mini-buses. And for the magnificent view over the historic center of Capri, the Faraglioni sea stacks, and Mount Tiberius all the way to Punta Campanella and the Sorrento Peninsula, take the 12 minute chairlift ride above the rooftops from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri to the top of Mount Solaro at 1,932 ft above sea level (€11 return). For those feeling adventurous, arrange for a short boat trip to the Blue Grotto. Many say that at least once in your lifetime you should experience this marvel of nature and see firsthand why the Grotta Azzura is the most famous sight on Capri island. Lay back in one of the wooden rowboats and let yourself be carried through a tiny stone portal to another world by your able skipper who navigates seamlessly under the meter-high cave mouth. Inside, pass from complete darkness into a sparkling cavern, lit by azure blue light, while the sounds of ancient Neapolitan song echo along the stone walls.

Local Notes: Due to the small size of the island and ease of access to local transportation, Local Knowledge recommends passengers explore the small island of Capri on their own and not with an organized excursion; Due to the great popularity of the Blue Grotto it can be quite busy with waits over an hour at times. Visitors must also transfer into smaller boats which actually carry you through the small entrance and into the grotto. More information and tips coming soon and onboard the ship.

Note- We have arranged for the Royal Clipper to anchor off the island of Capri with tender service to the main port of Marina Grande. It is our understanding that occasionally local officials and service providers can make it difficult for small ships to anchor off of Capri and transport their passengers ashore in a dependable manner. In the unlikely event any issues arise and tender service should not be available as scheduled, we will attempt to make other arrangements in which passengers may be able to visit Capri via local ferry from a nearby port.

Bonifacio, Corsica, France

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
Arrival: 2:00pm
Departure: Midnight
First Tender: 2:30pm (asap)
Last Tender: 11:00pm
No afternoon or evening events scheduled

Located on the southernmost tip of Corsica sits the fortress town of Bonifacio (Bo-nee-FAH-chee-oh). Established in 833, Bonifacio's rich history and isolated position, perched high on a limestone pedestal, give it a timeless charm and is one of the most spectacular towns in the Mediterranean. The Citadel walls and ancient houses appear to rise seamlessly out of sheer cliffs that have been hollowed and striated by the wind and waves. Beneath, an inlet about 100 meters wide forms a natural harbor, home to a buzzing port. Only 7.5 miles from Sardinia, the town is distinctly more Italian than French in atmosphere, and even has its own dialect based on Ligurian Italian. Mentioned in Homer's Odyssey (it is the lair of the fearsome Laestrygonians), the precipitous cliffs overhanging the sea are honeycombed with old watery grottoes. These cliffs enclose the restaurants and the smart yachts in the marina and the views of the Citadel from here are impressive.

Harbor/Port: The ship's tenders will bring passengers into the quaint port area with it’s numerous restaurants, bars, shops and luxury yachts. Those wishing to dine ashore would be wise to make a reservation as it can become busy in the evening.

Old Town and Citadel: Set about 230 ft. high on the cliffs above the harbor, Bonifacio old town is a maze of narrow cobbled streets and medieval buildings, picturesque squares and small cafes. You access the path through the walls of the citadel beginning on a cobblestone pedestrian road from the harbor. You may walk from the harbor area or take the tourist tram (small fee) up to the old town at the top of the hill. The old town and citadel areas are easy to explore as they are situated along the narrow peninsula and it is not easy to get lost. The center of the town is based around the Place d'Armes and the Place du Vieux Marché, and the surrounding streets. Notable attractions in this part of Bonifacio include: The 13th century Church of Saint-Dominique and the 12th century Church of Sainte-Marie-Majeure (the oldest building in Bonifacio); The Staircase of the King of Aragon (small fee). Accessed from the citadel, this is a staircase cut into the stone to enable access to the sea from the old town. You can go down the 187 steps of this staircase and then follow the path cut into the cliffs just above the turquoise sea for more lovely views along the cliffs of the coast; The cemetery- claimed to be one of the most beautiful in France, it is most unusual with the many small chapels laid out in streets with garden areas, so its rather like a small and abandoned town. Sunset is the ideal time to visit this area on the end of the peninsula. With an unobstructed view of the horizon to the west, the limestone cliffs off to the side, and deep blue sea below it can be a magical experience. A perfect transition to exploring Bonifacio for the evening. Taking on a different character after dark with lights shining upon fortress walls and swaying palms the views from both atop the citadel and from below in the port are fantastic. Passengers will want to spend as much time here in the evening as in the day.

Local Notes: The stone 'arches' across the narrow streets that you will often see overhead between the buildings were originally used to distribute water around the town.

Bonifacio Video-

Corsica Beach, France

Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017
Arrival: 10:00am
Departure: Midnight
First Tender: 10:00am
Last Tender: 11:00pm

A full day (and evening?) at one of the beautiful beaches the island of Corsica is famous for. More details as we set sail.

Porto Giglio, Giglio Island, Italy

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017
Arrival: 10:00am
Departure: 10:00pm
First Tender: 10:00am (asap)
Last Tender: 9:00pm
No afternoon or evening events scheduled

Like a pearl in an oyster, the small island of Giglio (Jeel-yoh) lies cradled by warm blue seas in the southern corner of the Tuscan Archipelago. Geographically only 10 miles from Monte Argentario on the mainland, Giglio's isolation runs deeper than distance. It's more of a feeling, brought on by the attitude of the people and the spectacular environment they live in. The island is effectively a self-sufficient city. The locals rarely leave Giglio if they can help it and have instead labored to create a little world of their own, with a culture and lifestyle that differs entirely from that on mainland. This laissez faire lifestyle is the type you'd see on any island paradise where the days are always mild and calm, and its inhabitants enjoy extremely close contact with nature. In Giglio, 90 per cent of the landscape is unspoiled. Almost 700 of the local flora species are rare and unique to the island. The 17 miles of coastline, which alternates between polished granite cliffs and sandy beaches, is home to several rare fauna species including the Sardinian frog, peregrine falcon and herring gull, and that's without mentioning the wonders that live in the water around the island. The locals are living in what can only be described as a nature park of enviable beauty. It's hard to imagine a place where you can go from port city, with its bustling shops and restaurants, to completely deserted beach or forest. But in Giglio, it's not only possible, it's achievable in a matter of minutes thanks to the local's dedication to preserving the splendor of their surroundings.

Giglio is divided into three districts. Each with its own story and sights: Giglio Porto: The commercial and tourist heart of the island with picturesque waterfront restaurants and local shops. This is where the Royal Clipper will be anchored for the day; Giglio Castello: Where the island’s history comes to life. Here the locals live embraced by the walls of the Rocca fortress high above; Giglio Campese: The place to go if you’re seeking sun and some fun on Giglio Island. The island’s largest beach is located here.

Local Notes: Cannelle, Caldane and Arenella are Giglio Island’s most popular, smaller beaches. Each different, they embody the best of Giglio’s coastal beauty; There are plenty of walking and biking tracks that wind all over the Island, taking in the best of its landscape, beaches and history; The beauty of Giglio Island is only paralleled by the beauty that surrounds it underwater. Most of the waters around the island can be explored by scuba divers and snorkelers; Giglio is also known for producing Ansonaco wine; Visit the FAQ's "Giglio" section for weblink and more info.

Local Transportation: The best way to navigate Giglio Island is by bus. Buses regularly depart from Giglio Porto and run to Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese - the main stops on the island. The one way trip from Porto to Campese is approximately 30 min. Tickets are €2 per single trip. If you want to explore the rest of the island, you can on foot or by taxi.

Civitavecchia, Italy (port of Rome)

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Disembarkation: 8:00am (begins after immigration clearance)
All passengers must disembark by 10:00am.

We return to the port of Civitavecchia early morning on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Passengers will only be able to begin disembarkation after the ship has cleared immigration and customs sometime between 7:00 and 8:00am. All passengers must disembark the ship by 10:00am. More information on ground transfers to the airport and city center forthcoming. Visit the FAQ's "Disembarkation" section for more info.

Weather Note

On average in mid-September one can expect daily high temperatures in the low to mid 80‘s and lows from the low to mid 70‘s with occasional thunderstorms. Expect sea water temperatures from the mid to low 70’s. Many say September is arguably the best month of the year to visit the region. The temperatures of both the air and sea are still very comfortable, the huge summer crowds are gone, rainfall is still relatively low and sunshine is still relatively high.

Fun Fact

The Biggest Italian Island? Sicily: 9,817 sq mi;  Sardinia: 9,194 sq mi;  Elba (Tuscany): 863 sq mi; Sant'Antioco (Sardinia): 42.1 sq mi; Pantelleria (Sicily): 32.1 sq mi; San Pietro (Sardinia): 19.8 sq mi; Asinara (Sardinia): 19.65 sq mi Ischia (Campania): 17.9; Lipari (Sicily): 14.4 sq mi; Salina (Sicily): 10.1; Giglio (Tuscany): 8.2 sq mi; Vulcano (Sicily): 8.1 sq mi; Lampedusa (Sicily): 7.8 sq mi; La Maddalena (Sardinia): 7.8 sq mi.