Discover ancient Durres with its modern new resort coastline. Visit the Archaeological Museum on the waterfront for an impressive historical overview. Then explore the remains of the public baths, the aqueduct and the largest Roman amphitheater in the Balkans dating back to the 7th Century. Ahmet Zogu’s Villa, perched atop the Durres hill, offers splendid views of the Adriatic. Stroll along the waterfront and enjoy a snack of fresh figs and olives, or a coffee at one of the seaside cafés. Browse the palm tree lined shopping district for handcrafted wooden boxes, fanciful woolen socks and the fine local Skenderbeu Brandy in this emerging Albanian port.

Port: Durres (Tirana)
Experience

Durres (Tirana)

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

  • Tiranas Landmarks & Historic Kinostudio

    Discover Tirana, where the capital’s past is reflected through historical landmarks and a Communist-era film studio, after which you’ll enjoy a scenic view from the Sky Tower.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a one-hour drive through the scenic countryside as you drive inland to Tirana, which lies in the shadow of Dajti Mountain. Your first stop will be Skanderbeg Square in the center of town. A statue of Skanderbeg on horseback looms over the square, a monument to the Albanian national hero who repulsed numerous Turkish invasions in the 15th century.

    Numerous architectural landmarks surround the square, including the Palace of Culture, National Theater and the Ethem Bey Mosque, Tirana’s oldest building. Although closed for decades during the Communist era, the 18th-century mosque reopened in 1991 and, as you will see, the interior is exquisite. The frescoes and rare Islamic still life paintings are especially remarkable.

    Following a short refreshment break, you will drive to Kinostudio, a film studio founded in 1952. Its first film was “Skanderbeg,” which won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. You will visit the building that once housed Kinostudio and several similar film ventures. While the companies have since closed, they leave a legacy of 200 films, largely propaganda, as they were co-produced by the Communist regime.

    For the ultimate perspective of Tirana, you will travel to the top of the Sky Tower, which is constantly revolving and offers sweeping, 360 degree panoramic views of the city. Afterwards, you will re-board your coach and retrace your route back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Albanias Archaeological Treasures

    A tour of the Roman amphitheater in Durres sets the tone for this enlightening excursion to Tirana, where a visit to the National Archaeological Museum and more historical sites highlight Albania’s fascinating past.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a brief drive through Durres, an ancient city founded by the Greeks and later occupied by the Romans, who built an amphitheater here during the reign of Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. Wandering about the site, you will discover that it’s one of the largest amphitheaters in the Balkans and once held 20,000 spectators.

    More insights into Albania’s past await you inland in the capital of Tirana, where you will visit the National Archaeological Museum. Nearly 2,000 rare objects excavated throughout Albania are displayed. The treasures include bone needles, Bronze Age ceramics, Iron Age daggers and carved female figurines believed to be the oldest human images found in Albania.

    Later, you’ll see landmarks such as the Pyramid building and modern twin towers, while driving to Skanderbeg Square. At its heart stands a statue of Skanderbeg, an Albanian national hero who repulsed numerous Turkish invasions in the 15th century. Tirana’s oldest building, the Ethem Bey Mosque, flanks the square. Although closed for decades during the Communist era, the 18th-century mosque reopened in 1991 and, as you will see, the interior is exquisite. The frescoes and rare Islamic still life paintings are especially remarkable.

    Later, you will enjoy a short refreshment break and time to shop for items such as ornamental filigree and silver jewelry before rejoining your coach and driving back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. Travel time to Tirana is 1-hour by coach in each direction. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Tirana & the National Historical Museum

    Delve into Albania’s tumultuous past at the National Historical Museum in Tirana and then tour its oldest building, a mosque that was closed during the Communist regime.

    Depart from the pier and make the one-hour drive along Durres’ scenic main thoroughfare toward Tirana, which lies due east between Dajti Mountain and the coastal plains. Upon arriving in Albania’s dynamic capital, you will visit the National Historical Museum, the country’s largest museum.

    It presents an intriguing look into Albania’s development over the centuries, as many of the thousands of objects date to the Paleolithic era. The historical treasures are grouped somewhat chronologically into pavilions focusing on topics such as the Middle Ages, the Ottoman invasion, ethnography and Albania’s independence from Turkey in 1912. There are also exhibits displaying more contemporary items reflecting life after the oppressive 41-year reign of Albania’s first Communist chief of state, Enver Hoxha, who died in 1985.

    Later, you will walk to nearby Skanderbeg Square. At its heart stands a statue of Skanderbeg, an Albanian national hero who repulsed numerous Turkish invasions in the 15th century. Tirana’s oldest building, the Ethem Bey Mosque, flanks the square. Although closed for decades during the Communist era, the 18th-century mosque reopened in 1991 and, as you will see, the interior is exquisite. The frescoes and rare Islamic still life paintings are especially remarkable.

    Afterwards, you will enjoy a short refreshment break and time to shop for items such as ornamental filigree and silver jewelry before rejoining your coach and driving back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. Travel time to Tirana is 1-hour by coach in each direction. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Historicl Durres

    The history of Durres comes alive on this exploration of its ancient landmarks, including a Roman amphitheater where gladiators fought, a forum, and the city’s Byzantine walls.

    Depart from the pier and as you drive through the ancient city of Durres, you will notice several archaeological remnants that hint at its storied past. Founded by the Greeks in the 7th century B.C. and later occupied by the Romans, Durres developed as a major trading area.

    Before long, you will arrive at the Roman amphitheater, which was erected during the reign of Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. One of the largest amphitheaters in the Balkans, the 20,000-seat structure wasn’t excavated until the 1960s, when several chapels adorned with Christian mosaics were also unearthed. Wandering the site offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, as do the nearby Byzantine defensive walls, which date to the 5th century. They were once bordered by a moat, limiting access to the inner city by drawbridge only.

    You will also see the remains of a circular forum constructed around the same time. Some of its carved columns still stand, offering further insight into this period. A different and more contemporary side of Durres awaits you in the Ethnographic Museum, where Albanian folk costumes and crafts are on display.

    Finally, before returning to the pier, you will enjoy a panoramic view of Durres from atop the Sky building, where you might toast the setting with a traditional Konjak Skenderbeu brandy.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Kruja - a Traditional Albanian Town

    Life in Albania, both past and present, is openly displayed on this excursion to Kruja, where you will browse several museums, a bustling bazaar and a local residence.

    Depart from the pier and make the one-hour drive inland toward Kruja. As you approach the town, the terrain will gradually rise and change from craggy limestone outcroppings to a fertile landscape of oak trees and conifers nourished by abundant mountain springs.

    Here in the mid-15th century, the charismatic George Skanderbeg commanded the Albanian troops and held off attacks by the Turks over the next 25 years. He is still regarded as a national hero, as you will see by touring the Museum of Skanderbeg, housed in the castle overlooking Kruja. It contains an enlightening collection of Skanderbeg’s personal belongings and exhibits that showcase what life was like in Albania at the time.

    Next, it’s on to the National Ethnographic Museum for a further glimpse into Albanian history. The museum occupies an 18th-century house adorned with frescoes and displays an abundance of traditional items such as tools, personal objects and crafts.

    Much of Kruja clusters around the bazaar, which has been operating for more than 100 years. Here, in open shops lining the cobbled streets, you will find goods as varied as wool carpets, religious icons and ornamental filigree and time permitting, you will have an opportunity to shop for a bit.

    For an even deeper look into the local lifestyle, you will then be warmly welcomed into one of the nearby homes for a beverage. Afterwards, you will rejoin your coach and return to the pier in Durres.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 3 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing and includes some steps to negotiate and cobblestone surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

  • The Best of Kruja & Tirana

    This wonderful excursion gives a good overview of the museums and bazaar of Kruja and the historical landmarks in the capital city of Tirana.

    Depart from the pier and drive inland to hillside Kruja, where in the mid-15th century George Skanderbeg commanded the Albanian troops and held off attacks by the Turks. He is still regarded as a national hero, as you will see by touring the Museum of Skanderbeg which is housed in the castle overlooking Kruja.

    From there it’s on to the National Ethnographic Museum, which occupies an 18th-century house and has on display beautiful exhibits of traditional items such as tools, personal objects and crafts. Another highlight is Kruja’s more than 100-year-old bazaar. Here, in open shops lining the cobbled streets, you will find goods as varied as wool carpets, religious icons and ornamental filigree.

    Following a traditional meal that will be accompanied by Albanian music and dancing, you will rejoin your coach and make the drive to Tirana. Stopping at the hilltop Martyr’s Cemetery, you will observe the graves of the 900 locals who lost their lives in World War II and an inspirational statue of Mother Albania. A panoramic drive through Tirana highlights notable sites such as the Orthodox churches and the controversial Pyramid building, which was constructed as a museum for Albania’s former Communist leader.

    Tirana also has its modern side, best expressed in its soaring twin towers and European trade center. Following your driving tour, you’ll enjoy a walk about the city center, starting in Skanderbeg Square which is surrounded by landmarks such as the Palace of Culture, National Theater and Ethem Bey Mosque. Afterwards, you’ll re-board your coach and travel back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 4 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing and includes some steps to negotiate and cobblestone surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

  • Berat: City of a Thousand Windows

    Behold some of Albania’s best-preserved architecture from the Ottoman period in Berat, a beautiful hillside city dominated by a sprawling stone castle.

    Depart from the pier and make the two-hour drive southeast to Berat, an inland city known for retaining its rare architectural character from the Ottoman period, which began here in the 15th century. As a result of its preservation efforts, Berat was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    As you drive through the fortified city, one of the oldest in Albania, you may pass a number of medieval Orthodox churches and several mosques in the lower town, including the 16th-century Leaded Mosque, which was named for its lead-covered dome. Looking a bit higher, you will see clusters of tiered houses with abundant windows clinging to the slopes. These light-filled residences helped to earn Berat its nickname: “City of a Thousand Windows.”

    Even higher lies a stone castle, locally known as the Kala, which was built in the 13th century. As it was expanded over time, the fortress took on other architectural styles, including Roman-Byzantine and Ottoman. The views from here are simply spectacular as are the religious icons you will see in the Onufri Museum that’s housed in the inhabited quarter of the castle.

    A lunch of traditional Albanian cuisine follows, after which you may shop briefly before visiting a winery. Here, you will sample a selection of wines made exclusively from Albanian grapes, which have a characteristic sweetness. Afterwards, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. Travel time to Berat is 2-hours by coach in each direction. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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