Southern Passion – Client information 

 On this page, which you can check from time to time, (especially as Departure gets closer), we will post information about our exciting trip in May 2022. This will include basic nuts and bolts info., ideas for free time and little tips on Malta & Sicily in general. About two weeks out from Departure we will send you your ‘pack’ containing your flight e-tickets, your name badge, luggage label, the full day-to-day tour itinerary + our ‘what to pack’ advice.

You may also like to visit our General Italy Tour information page CLICK HERE ….

FLIGHT RE-BOOKINGS.  These have now all been booked. If you think we may not have your Emirates or Qantas Frequent Flyer details, then send us a message with those detail CLICK HERE 


ex Brisbane : EK431 departs at 9.00pm ( arrives 5.10am the next day ) –  Airbus A380
ex Sydney : EK413 depart at 9.10pm ( arrives 5.40am the next day ) – Airbus A380
ex Melbourne : EK407 at 10.30pm ( arrives 5.40am the next day ) – Airbus A380. ( please note this recently changed from EK409 )
( For this tour Clients are flying from just three cities. )

We then all meet at the departure gate for EK109 from Dubai to Malta at 8am, arriving at 2.10pm into Malta.

ARRIVAL HOME – 6th/7th June, 2022  
Rome to Dubai – Emirates EK 098 departs at 15.35 and arrives in Dubai at 23.25

Dubai – Brisbane EK430 departs 2.50am & arrives Bris 10.40pm 7th June ) Airbus A380
Dubai – Sydney EK412 departs 2am & arrives Sydney 10.30pm 7th June ) Airbus A380
Dubai – Melb.  EK408 depart 3 am & arrives Melbourne 11.20pm 7th June)  Airbus A380.


                                       18th May – Malta – Sicily : 7.30am – This will be by fast Catamaran to Southern Sicily. A spectacular trip. 

                                        6th June – ITA ( new Alitalia ) – 10.15am Catania to Rome . We then collect luggage and proceed straight to Emirates check-in  for Emirates EK 098 – Rome to Dubai   @ 15.25 ( arr 23.25 ) .  Then we travel on to our home states, arriving around 10.30pm on the 7th. 

          ##Some people are meeting us in Malta, either at the hotel, (for those who have arrived early), or at the airport. If you are meeting us at the airport, you must have a working mobile phone that is on and be at Arrivals in plenty of time to meet us off the flight. It is hard to miss us, as you will have Stewart’s mobile. If you are late or miss us somehow – just take a taxi and make your way to the Hotel Phoenicia. Everyone in Malta speaks English and our Hotel is famous!

ENTRY & MASKS : We are updating this information when needed, so please keep calling back to this page. We will email if there is a major change. Currently masks are required only in indoor settings in Italy ( and this is likely to be relaxed from 1st May. ). As to mask type, the requirement is what we call N95. You can read more click here.
As to entry and transit requirements:
** Transit through Dubai. There are no requirements for tests or certificates and no need for a PCR test before departure.
** Entry into Malta. Currently we have to complete a simple online entry form ( known as a Passenger Locator Form ) and show the results of this on entry along with you International Vaccination Certificate. The IVC will also be your entry into venues etc ( if required ). For the PLF link click here. ( select Malta in the options ). When completing the form, you should use the following information: *Flight details from Dubai are EK109 departing Dubai at 0800 and arriving to Malta at 1410. * Hotel address in Valetta, Malta is The Phoenicia Hotel, 1 The Mall,  FRN1478, Valetta.
** Travel on ferry to Sicily : Mask is currently required.
** Entry into Italy. The same requirement as Malta.  Select Italy in the options. We are travelling by ferry on Virtu Ferries at 0730 on the 18th May. The hotel is the Palace Catania UNA, Via Etnea, 218, 95131 Catania CT.
Keep a printed copy of all documents and multiple copies of your Vaccination Certificate. It is all pretty easy and the requirements are similar or less stringent than our recent trip to Singapore.
** Return to Australia. Currently a Digital Passenger Declaration is required prior to arriving back. We will all do this in the week before, in Italy. Here is the link to the online site.  ( You can also download an App – click here for Apple and click here for Google ). As with everything, you need to register using an email address. ( you can do this part now ).

PACKING LIST : Click here
ITINERARY OUTLINE : Click here  In the next week, you will receive by email, the detailed daily itinerary. Please let us know if you need a printed copy.

: If you have booked business class, then Stewart will be doing all of your bookings for the Emirates cars to collect you from home/ take you home at the end of the tour etc.  Stewart will send you a confirmation at the end of April, so please check this, including the pick-up address for your departure. ( please check these details ).  

WHAT IS WHAT’S APP ? – This is an App that you can download to your smartphone if you have one. Just search for WhatsApp. This is widely used in Europe for communicating as it uses the internet rather than the phone providers. (Internet will be free at our hotels.) It is also a great way for us to contact all of you while we are on the trip ( e.g. if we want to delay a departure time the next morning ). If you are already on WhatsApp or would like to be, send us a message with your mobile number and we will make a note of it or send you an invitation to join our WhatsApp group if you are already using the App.   CLICK HERE 

** OPTIONAL COOKING CLASS – Siracusa: On the previous two trips to Sicily, we have organised for some of our clients to go on a wonderful 1/2 day cooking class with a charming and fun lady, Fiora. Her classes are very well-known and book quickly. She speaks excellent English, has a beautiful home where the class takes place and where you will then enjoy the fruits of your labour over lunch – and wine. The morning starts about 9.30am when you go to the bustling produce market in Ortigia ( near the hotel ). Everyone knows Fiora and many stall holders will insist you try their cheeses etc. There is very little walking, and past clients have just loved this experience. Fiora can only take 10 people in a class. ( we have 2 places available )

The cost is €95 pp. ( payable in cash on the day- this is Italy ! ) If you would like us to book you a place, please email us 

CITY / TOURIST TAX : Almost all Italian cities have a council-imposed small nightly ‘tourist tax’ which visitors pay in cash direct to the hotel.  This will be added to your room account and you can pay it at any time during your stay. If you do not plan to charge ‘extras’ like room service or bar charges to your account, then we suggest you pay this on the day after arriving, so there is no delay at check out. We will outline these in the final itinerary.

  – Ideas on what to buy  CLICK HERE

FANCY A SWIM ? A few of our hotels have pools —  Malta ( a stunning infinity pool right against the city wall ), at Gigliotto ( in Sicily’s centre ) and in Taormina. There will also be the opportunity to swim off the boats when we cruise in the little bays of Giardini Naxos below Taormina. You can bring goggles or a face mask ( and a towel ). Do not rely on being allowed to take a towel away from the hotel. 


  • A HOUSE IN SICILY – Daphne Phelps ( a classic memoire over 4 decades in Taormina, restoring a home – Casa Cuseni – left to her by her eccentric uncle).
  • MIDNIGHT IN ITALY – Peter Robb ( a wonderful insightful commentary of recent times in Sicily – focussing on crime, food and travel )
  • THE LEOPARD – Giuseppe Tommasi di Lampedusa ( a sweeping classic covering the years before and after unification of Italy ). Also a sweeping movie starring Burt Lancaster.
  • THE DAY OF THE OWL – Leonardo Sciascia ( an Italian classic ). Also a movie – only in Italian & Sicilian.
  • IN SICILY – Norman Lewis ( another classic commentary on Sicily – spanning wartime and the 90s. From the writer of Naples ’44)
  • THE HONOURED SOCIETY – Norman Lewis ( fascinating account, written in 1964, covering the emergence of the Mafia and the role the USA had in this, post-war )
  • SWEET HONEY, BITTER LEMONS – Matthew Fort ( a rollicking return to Sicily after 30 years as he travels by Vespa. Full of great food and travel anecdotes )
  • FINDING NINO – Marc Llewellyn ( Sydney journalist and his wife move to the island of Lipari, among the volcanic islands off the North Coast )
  • THE STONE BOUDOIR – Theresa Maggio ( in search of the most remote and authentic mountain towns of Sicily )
  • SICILIAN SUMMER- Brian Johnton (an insightful travelogue by well-known Australian travel writer and editor )
  • (new ) SICILY, A CAPTIVE LAND by Mary Rose Liverani