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. 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 for other scenic destinations within the Tyrrhenian Sea yet to be determined. (As our sailing dates are a fair ways off, Local Knowledge will be working with Star Clippers in the coming year to maximize the remainder of our voyage taking into consideration our wishes to visit the smaller, off the beaten path destinations which exemplify the best of the Mediterranean).
Below is a sample of destinations which we will be anchored at or nearby during the week. Due to their close proximity of some highlight destinations, passengers will have the opportunity to explore multiple destinations in one day; e.g. Amalfi and Positano are a short 11 miles apart along the coast. The final itinerary will be developed towards the end of 2016 after we work with Star Clippers to develop a unique, custom itinerary which we feel BHTM fans will appreciate most. The ship embarkation/disembarkation dates and times listed are accurate.
We will board the Royal Clipper beginning at 5:00pm on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in the port of Civitavechia, 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 onboard by 7:00pm before the ship cast-off her lines for departure.
Sorrento is located at the northern end of the Amalfi Coast overlooking the Bay of Naples. With city walls that rise straight out of the sea, it is an ideal location for a day trip back in history to Pompeii, where the ashen remains of ancient Romans lie frozen in time or to catch a ferry to the nearby island of Capri.
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.
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.
Note- Our custom charter itinerary will have us arriving early in the day and remaining at anchor until late in the evening in the Positano/Amalfi area. This so passengers may fully experience local attractions during the day and enjoy the local cuisine in the evening should they choose.
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 ride above the rooftops from Anacapri to the top of Mount Solaro at 1,932 ft above sea level. 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.
Note- while our itinerary will not be finalized until late 2016, be aware it is our understanding local officials and service providers have recently been making it impractical and nearly impossible for small ships to anchor off of Capri and transport their passengers ashore in a dependable manner. It will most likely be the best option for our passengers wishing to visit Capri during our cruise to arrange one of the many options available for a day trip from Sorrento or Amalfi/Positano. Much more information will be made available when the final itinerary is determined.
The pastel houses of Ponza Town, in the Ponzian Islands, rise in neat terraced rows from the busy harbor where sleekly groomed yachts and ramshackle fishing boats moor side by side. Happily, there are few tourists here, so it's a delight to wander through the unspoiled town.
We return to the port of Civitavechia, approximately 45 miles from the city center of Rome, early morning on Saturday, September 16, 2017. All passengers must disembark the ship by 10:00am. More information on ground transfers to the airport and city center forthcoming.
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.