This summer, MSC Armonia will be delving into the rational mind of the Mediterranean, uncovering historical and architectural treasures from Ancona to Greece to Dubrovnik on a stimulating tour of philosophical thought and the birthplace of western civilization.

From 7 June until 1 November 2013, MSC Armonia will be setting off from Venice, Italy, on a series of 8-day/7-night cultural and historical cruises around the eastern Mediterranean calling in Ancona in Italy, Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu, Gythion and Kefalonia in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro.

Even the most rational minds find comfort in faith and spirituality,and as a complement to the many historical and cultural day trips on offer during the cruise, MSC Cruises has just added a new shore excursion with soul to its programme: an unforgettable day trip from Dubrovnik to the beautiful small town of Medjugorje, one of Europe’s most holy, peaceful and spiritual places.

Specially designed to include an extra-long call in Dubrovnik each Sunday, MSC Armonia’s updated itinerary gives travellers the chance to visit Medjugorje and spend the holy dayinspiritual reflection before re-embarking on an itinerary seeped in the celebration of rational thought and intellectual achievement.

Situated in the Herzegovina region near the Croatian border, Medjugorje acquired global popularity as a religious pilgrimage site in 1981 after news broke that the Virgin Mary had appeared to six local Catholics.

On a panoramic drive along the lovely Adriatic coastline, travellers enjoying this unique day trip will  view Medjugorje’s key attractions includingl, St. James’ Church, the statue of St. Leopold, and a set of impressive bronze plaques illustrating the various mysteries of the rosary adorning the stony path up to Apparition Hill. Travellers can enjoy a tour with an informative guide and take time out alone to pray or simply appreciate the mystical atmosphere of this very special place.

Other highlights of MSC Armonia’s rich itinerary include the trove of historical treasures that is ancient Ancona, the spectacular natural beauty of island of song Corfu and the unspoilt fishing village of Gythion, the perfect gateway from which to discover the town of Sparta and venture into the very heart of Greek identity. Travellers will also be enthralled by the setting of Louis de Bernière’s best-selling novel ‘Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Kefalonia, bursting with history and heartache, the stunning old Mediterranean port and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor, and the romance and architectural splendours of Venice.