One of Joe Banana's drivers will meet you at port of Salerno. He will stand right in front of the gangway of your cruise ship and be easily identifiable as he will be holding a sign with your name on it.
After about a 30 minute drive, we'll arrive at the ruins of Pompeii, the first stop on this breathtaking shore excursion! Pompeii was part of an ancient Roman city destroyed and buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
In Pompeii you will have the opportunity to tour one of the most important archeological sites in the world! Archeological excavations are open to the public between the hours of 08:30 and 18:30 every day of the week. Either licensed guides can be arranged ahead of time or you can visit the site on your own. However you choose to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be in awe as you see the remnants of this 1st century city which offer some insight into the Roman life that came to a premature stop here on 24 August AD 79.
We will then continue on to visit the volcano responsible for the tragedy in Pompeii. Thousands of prosperous citizens on and before 79 A.D. sought comfort and luxury in the majesty of Mount Vesuvius regarding it as nothing less than a gift from the gods. In those days of abundance and wealth, no Neapolitan would have anticipated the hidden threat churning inside their beloved mountain and erupting violently during the morning of August 24th, 79 A.D., destroying all of the surrounding cities, spitting lava and gases into the air. Since then, Vesuvius has erupted approximately three dozen times. The most recent eruptions between 1913-1944 were thought to bring to an end an eruptive cycle that began in 1631.
You too can view the crater of Vesuvius which stands 1281 meters above sea level. Our cars can take you half way up this climb and you can tackle the rest on foot by walking for approximately 45 minutes up the steep mountain. The panoramic view from the top makes the effort more than worthwhile!
Your driver will then be happy to suggest a location for lunch based on your preferences.
After lunch we will drive to Ercolano (Herculaneum). An ancient residential town of Greek origins, it has also become an important stop for those tourists wishing to steep themselves in history. Destroyed and buried in ashes, together with Pompeii, by the eruption of Vesuvius, Herculaneum also offers a variety of beautiful scenery and invaluable arts. Strangely, excavations began by accident in 1709 when some workers were digging a well - they discovered a wall, obviously old and out of site for hundreds of years, which was later found to be one of the stages of the ancient theatre.
Later, there were many human skeletons uncovered at the ancient shoreline, suggesting that numerous inhabitants attempted to escape by sea, but perished when mountains collapsed into rivers of lava and volcanic gases were released.
After this historically rich day, we will drive back to the ship in Salerno.