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Central American Odyssey

A voyage from Guatemala to Costa Rica including El Salvador & Nicaragua aboard the MS Serenissima

  • 12 February 2023
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • El Salvador

Join us aboard the 95 passenger MS Serenissima as we explore Central America’s Pacific coastline visiting Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. If you have been contemplating a visit to Central America, then this fascinating voyage could offer you the perfect opportunity with its mix of cultural and natural wonders. The history of the ancient Mayan civilisation, the colonial years and the more recent events of the region will be brought to life by our onboard team and local guides. There is also much of the natural world to occupy us on our journey including our visits to Costa Rica’s Curu National Wildlife Refuge, the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park and the Palo Verde National Park and El Salvador’s most important marine ecosystem, the Jiquilisco Bay Biosphere Reserve. The birdlife of the region is magnificent and it is home to countless species of endangered birds from tiny hummingbirds to flashy macaws and parrots, toucans and woodpeckers. Add an amazingly rich biodiversity of flora and fauna seen against some of the lushest of landscapes to be found anywhere in the world and you have the recipe for a perfect escape.

Such a varied and comprehensive itinerary would be difficult to comprehend or undertake by any other means than a cruise aboard a vessel like the MS Serenissima with her expert expedition team, fleet of Zodiacs and just 95 fellow passengers. We will be able to visit some small islands and ports which the larger cruise vessels simply cannot access and skip the arduous, lengthy land travel which such a trip would usually entail and instead relax on board as we deliver you to a new and exciting destination each day.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

View vessel details

Itinerary

  • El Salvador
  • Leon

Day 1 London to Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to our hotel for our overnight stay.

Day 2 Antigua.

This morning we will visit Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between three magnificent volcanoes in 1542, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the Americas. Antigua remained an economic and political heart of Central America until a devastating earthquake in 1773 destroyed much of the city. We will explore the city which is a wonder of colonial buildings, beautiful squares, cobblestone streets and Baroque churches. After lunch we transfer to the MS Serenissima in Puerto Quetzal and sail this evening.

Days 3 & 4 Acajutla, El Salvador.

We spend a day and a half in El Salvador. From the port of Acajutla our full day excursion will discover the Mayan route starting at the archaeological site of Joya de Ceren, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Pompeii of America. The site was covered by the Loma Caldera volcano explosion which kept the remains of pre-Hispanic civilisation covered for hundreds of years and the site provides a unique insight into everyday life in a Mesoamerican farming community of the 6th century AD. We continue to the ruins of San Andres, once an important political and religious centre and testimony of the Indigo industry during the colonial period, better known as the ‘Blue Gold’. After lunch in a local restaurant we will continue to Santa Ana and see the beautiful Gothic Cathedral and National Palace before our tour ends at the ruins of Tazumal, the largest pyramid in El Salvador which dates from 1500 BC and is an important Mayan settlement. The next day our morning tour will explore some of the colonial towns and communities on the ‘Flower Route’ named after the abundance of flowers found along the roadsides and in the villages. We will drive through the beautiful mountains to the town of Nahuizalco, home to one of the most longstanding native communities and arts and crafts production sites in the country. We continue to Ataco, the final stop on the Ruta de las Flores. Ataco is a quaint, colonial village that is known for its natural beauty, as well as its brightly painted homes, cobblestone streets, colourful murals and unique arts and crafts. Return to the ship for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at sea. 

Days 5 & 6 La Union.

We have two days to explore the southern region of El Salvador and will offer a number of excursion options. You may wish to follow the ‘peace route’ set up to remember the events of the 1980s when El Salvador experienced a bitter civil war. It is estimated that over 100,000 were killed in the fighting whilst half a million people fled into exile. We will visit Perquin, once a stronghold of the guerrillas and home to the Museum of the Revolution where former members of the rebel army are willing to share their experiences. We continue to the village of El Mozote where in December 1981 one of the worst atrocities occurred and more than 1000 people were killed in a single day. Our local guides will explain about living in the country during this time and we will see the monument erected for the victims and the memorial garden decorated with brightly coloured murals. There will also be a tour to Alegria, the birthplace of the writer Alberto Masferrer where we visit the lagoon known as the ‘Emerald of America’ located in the Tecapa Volcano. A full day tour will also visit the Jiquilisco Bay Biosphere Reserve which is El Salvador’s most important marine ecosystem with the coastal area being made up of remote islands, mangrove canals and desolate beaches whilst inland we find beautiful forests and cacao plantations. It is an important base for migratory birds as well as a nesting site for four sea turtle species including one of only two sites in the Pacific for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. We explore the different areas of the reserve spending time with the environmentalists and scientists who will teach us about the conservation of the turtles, and we will walk through the forest on the lookout for spider monkeys. We will also visit a cacao plantation where we learn about the cultivation of cacao which creates some of the finest chocolate.

Day 7 Corinto for Leon, Nicaragua.

The port of Corinto is our base for our visit to Leon, the former capital of Nicaragua. Here we will explore the colonial architecture and the 18th century cathedral which is one of the most prominent buildings in the city with fantastic views from the rooftop. Inside we will see the fresco paintings, statues and the lion that guards the tomb of Ruben Dario, the famous Nicaraguan poet. There will be some free time for those who wish to visit the bustling market.

Day 8 San Juan del Sur for Granada.

After an early breakfast we will leave from the friendly fishing village of San Juan del Sur for a full day tour to Granada and Lake Nicaragua. Founded in 1523, Granada is Nicaragua’s oldest Spanish city and has retained much of its Spanish character with colonial churches, narrow streets and colourful Spanish style homes. We will enjoy a walking tour including the cathedral and convent of San Francisco where we find around 30 pre-Colombian stone statues dating back to 800 AD sculpted by the inhabitants of Zapatera Island on Lake Nicaragua. After a local lunch we continue to Lake Nicaragua and enjoy a relaxing boat ride amongst the 365 small islands created by the volcanic activity of the Mombacho volcano around 20,000 years ago. Whilst some islands are inhabited most remain unspoiled and are home to exotic plants, howler monkeys and orchids.

Day 9 Playas del Coco, Costa Rica.

Our first stop in Costa Rica is the beach town of Playas del Coco in the Papagayo Gulf. Once a small fishing village it has grown into a popular destination for local Costa Rican tourism. We will use our Zodiacs to land before heading inland to the Palo Verde National Park where we will board local boats to travel along the Tempisque River seeing the mangroves and dry forest vegetation which is home to countless birds and multiple mammals. As we visit in the dry season we hope to see peccaries, armadillos, jaguarondis, coatis, agoutis, deer and monkeys which are attracted to the river. We will enjoy lunch at the 19th century Hacienda House with views of the savannahs and sugar cane fields.

Day 10 Manuel Antonio National Park.

Early this morning we will travel to the Manuel Antonio National Park which is one of the most stunning and bio-diverse areas of the world. Spread out over 683 hectares it is filled with diverse wildlife, has both primary and secondary forests, boasts a stunning shoreline ideal for bird watching or swimming and is home to several endemic species of plants and animals. We will make an early start this morning allowing for the best viewing of monkeys, vividly coloured birds and the lethargic three-toed sloth. This afternoon we will have some time at leisure in Quepos before we sail later tonight.

Day 11 Curu National Park & Isla Tortuga.

We spend the morning exploring the Curu National Wildlife refuge which boasts a rich and diverse wildlife in five different habitats ranging from marine zones, including a wide beach area, mangrove swamps and tropical forests. Here on a range of walks we will find several species of birds, howler and capuchin monkeys and turtles. Over lunch we sail the short distance to Tortuga Island where we have the chance to snorkel over the volcanic reef which is home to angelfish, morays and needlefish. Alternatively spend the afternoon relaxing on the white sand beaches.

Day 12 Puerto Caldera to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to San Jose for our scheduled indirect flight to London

  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Isla Tortuga
  • Sloth

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £300 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
12 to 24 February 2023
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £6095 £5795
3 Classic Stateroom £6295 £5995
4 Superior Stateroom £6695 £6395
5 Deluxe Stateroom £7095 £6795
6 Junior Suite £7695 £7395
7 Owner’s Suite £8095 £7795
8 Serenissima Suite £8295 £7995
10 Standard Single £6495 £6195

Tour Reference Code: SCSE120223

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel • Overnight hotel accommodation in Guatemala City with breakfast and lunch on Day 2 • 10 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner • Noble Caledonia expedition team • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, dinner on Day 1.

  • Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

 
  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served à la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style.

    The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The ship is air-conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

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    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all cabins feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air-conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by email at cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

    DINING, DRINKING & DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea Lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a welcome and farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events. For example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    DOCTOR

    A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin/suite and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitisers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard & Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. 

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY & LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SHOP

    The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

    ZODIACS

    Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.6 December 2019

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  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

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  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served à la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style.

    The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The ship is air-conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all cabins feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air-conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by email at cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

    DINING, DRINKING & DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea Lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a welcome and farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events. For example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    DOCTOR

    A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin/suite and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitisers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard & Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. 

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY & LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SHOP

    The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

    ZODIACS

    Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.6 December 2019

  • Videos

    Videos

  • Deck plans
    • Deckplan

Tour Extensions

    • Before joining the MS Serenissima, we are offering the opportunity to discover Tikal, an ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforest of northern Guatemala as well as beautiful Lake Atitlan.

      Tikal ruins Tikal ruins

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 London to Guatemala City, Guatemala.

      Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

      Day 2 Tikal.

      This morning we will depart Guatemala City early for our short flight to Flores in the Peten Department (approximately one hour). We will visit the Tikal National Park to see the beautiful Mayan ruins in the dense sub-tropical humid jungle including temples reaching 70 feet tall and several thousand other monuments, stela and altars. After lunch in a local restaurant we will make our way to the airport for our return flight to Guatemala City. Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (B, L) 

      Day 3 Lake Atitlan.

      After breakfast we embark on our full day tour to Lake Atitlan, described by Aldous Huxley as the most beautiful lake in the world. Surrounded by 12 post-Mayan villages, all bearing the names of Catholic saints and surrounded by three majestic volcanoes, the experience is unique. We will visit the main town of Panajachel where the quaint streets are home to many bohemian artists selling their crafts and there will be some time to explore at leisure and browse the local shops. After lunch at a local restaurant we will head back to our hotel in Guatemala City. The remainder of the day will be at leisure as we continue with the main itinerary from the afternoon of Day 1. (B, L)

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      10 to 12 February 2023
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £1195
      Single £1395

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Guatemala City, meals as indicated (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner), Noble Caledonia Tour Manager, Tikal excursion by air, Lake Atitlan excursion, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, dinners.

    • If you would like to discover more of Costa Rica after your cruise, you can join our five night extension which includes the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Arenal.

      Arenal Volcano Arenal Volcano

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 Puerto Caldera to Monteverde, Costa Rica.

      Disembark this morning and transfer to Monteverde enjoying lunch along the way. On arrival check into the El Establo Hotel (or similar) for a two night stay and enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

      Day 2 Monteverde.

      Today we will experience the hanging bridges of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Sky Walk which cross the canyons below and bring us face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy. Biologists now know that about 90 percent of all organisms in a rainforest are found in the canopy. The trails extend for slightly over a mile and a half and we will be accompanied by local guides. We will also have the opportunity to make our way up to one of the highest mountains in the area by Sky Tram, a tranquil way to take in the natural beauty of the forest. After lunch we will enjoy further exploration of the forest with a walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Dinner tonight will be served at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

      Day 3 Monteverde to Arenal.

      This morning we will start our stunning journey to Arenal including a stop for lunch. Afterwards enjoy some time at leisure absorbing the region’s lush and verdant flora and fauna whilst taking in its rare and diverse biosphere. Continue to Arenal and check into the Kioro Hotel (or similar) for our two night stay. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

      Day 4 Arenal.

      After breakfast, we depart for a guided visit to Arenal Park. Here, we will take a walk through the area where the Arenal volcanic eruption took place in 1968, learning about the destruction this caused and the subsequent rebirth of life via the rich mineral deposits the eruption provided to the region. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy a treetop cable car ride whilst those feeling adventurous may like to participate in a zip-line adventure, providing an exhilarating bird’s eye view of the park. (B, L, D)

      Day 5 Arenal to San Jose.

      Today we will make our way to San Jose, visiting the Poas Volcano National Park this morning. After a short walk, we will be treated to spectacular 180-degree views of the volcano’s crater and the picturesque surrounding area. We will also visit the Doka Estate for an insight into one of Costa Rica’s prime exports, coffee. Upon arrival into San Jose check in to our hotel for an overnight stay. (B, L, D)

      Day 6 San Jose to London.

      Check out from the hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. (B)

      Day 7 London.

      Arrive today.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      23 February to 1 March 2023
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £2295
      Single £2795

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Arenal & Monteverde, overnight hotel accommodation in San Jose, meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner), excursions, English speaking guide, Noble Caledonia Tour Manager, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

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