Sicily small ship cruise, food & culture

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

By visiting a wide selection of vineyards, olive oil producers and a honey farm we are helping to preserve the small family run farms and producers that specialise in the prevalent non-intensive agriculture that provides the backbone of Sicily's environment and economy.

A focus of the cruise is on trying and utilising local produce, and we provide picnics made of fresh local produce as well as taking ll of our clients on a street food tour of Palermo where they will only purchase food of Sicilian origin.

By visiting ancient monuments such as the spectacular Roman Amphitheatres at Taormina and Syracuse, and the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, our entry fees help maintain and preserve these magnificent historical sites.

By using a small ship we limit our group to 60 passengers maximum. This number can easily be absorbed by some of the smaller places we visit, which would not be the case the vast floating blocks of flats known as cruise ships in some quarters.

We don't produce large glossy brochures, don't expect reams of paper when you book with us, we promote our website and use email rather than paper confirmation, vastly reducing the travel industries traditional dependence on chopping down trees to promote their products. We share our office facilities with several other companies to reduce our footprint.

The Impacts of this Trip

A strong focus of this small cruise is to sample and enjoy the local and regional produce of Sicily. During the course of one week we will visit three vineyards, two specialist bakeries, a honey farm and the food markets of Palermo where a local chef will help us try several local delicacies before we buy some ingredients from the market and teach us to cook them.

By visiting a range of smaller communities that are a bit off the usual tourist trail, and by visiting in the autumn we are providing some income to some rarely visited areas, and some income in the 'off' season to some small businesses. Our guide is Sicilian resident who knows Sicily intimately and has helped us create this unusual itinerary.

We give our passengers plenty of free time ashore and encourage them to visit local cafes and shops thus helping to support the economy of one of the poorest parts of Europe.


2 Reviews of Sicily small ship cruise, food & culture

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The ambiance of the ship and seeing stromboli from afar as it erupted

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take sea sickness pills. be prepared for changes to the itinerary. dont expect local food onboard.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

mmm, not obviously.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I have never done a cruise before, and on the Monet I felt like I was in an Agatha Christie novel! The nostalgic and romantic feeling whilst onboard was
really a delight. The tours on-shore didn't allow this feeling to continue unfortunately - they were beautifully thought through but could have been
executed with more consideration and warmth. They were enjoyable, but at times stressful because the attitude was quite cold. I was not disappointed that the overall onboard experience was Croatian, rather than Sicilian. However I know most of my fellow passengers didn't feel the same way as they expected a full ’Sights and tastes of Sicily’ experience. Maybe if the Croatian crew and Croatian dishes/wine served weren't an unknown before taking the cruise this wouldn't be the case.

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Myvanwy. Thank you for your feedback on your recent cruise to Sicily. It seems there was some unusual weather that meant your itinerary had to be changed a little so you didn'tget to eat ashore as much as planned. I am sorry you felt that your vacation didn't benefit the local community, and a little surprised. On that cruise you would have been ashore most days visiting a wide variety of small independent producers -vineyards, bakeries, street markets and enjoying picnics - all providing some financial support to local
businesses and employees. I understand your comments about The onboard service and
will speak to the captain about this point. The trip was designed to allow as much time ashore as possible but the itinerary changed altered this a little. I hope you enjoyed your trip, and once again thank you for the feedback.

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All the winery lunches excursions... great food and wine.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Sicily was a lot of fun... the excursions are worth it, though you need to be in shape and able to walk up steep hills and stairs... but the food on the boat was mediocre ... a Croatian crew and the boat was stocked with food and wine and water from there. I ate out every chance I could.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We definitely benefitted the local businesses... not much for the environment

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fair... didn’t think the ship experience was anywhere near where it should be... room and daily service was fine... breakfast... the same food every day... never ate lunch because we were out everyday... dinner was average but certainly not Sicilian or Italian... and the Croatian house wine was undrinkable. Not anywhere close to getting my moneys worth.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your review, and I am sorry you were disappointed with the food on board. Unfortunately due to some itinerary changes precipitated by the weather you did not get to eat ashore in the evenings as much as we had hoped. The main focus of the local food was during the days excursions, including the shopping in Palermo market in conjunction with the cooking class.

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