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 three 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. We are all ready to do these again once the flights come ‘into range’, which is 11 months prior to our return flights ( so early July 2021 will be when we mobilise and do these big job ). We have vouchers for all your Emirates flights and these have been extended. Of course let us know if you had extra travel plans, that you have now changed ( or vice versa ) so we can be we are booking exactly the right flights for you. ( as you know, any changes, can be expensive ). If you had extra travel before or after the tour, we may not be able to do the re-booking on these until later in the year ( as the smaller airlines tend to publish the flights 6 – 9 months prior ). We have our eye on everything, as you would imagine. Of course the vouchers are for Emirates flights of a certain value. 

FLIGHT TIMES DEPARTURE  & ARRIVAL INTO DUBAI – 11th May, 2022

ex Brisbane    : EK435 departs at 9.00pm ( arrives 5.10am on 12th May )

ex Melbourne : EK407 at 9.15pm ( arrives 5.15am on 12th May  )

( For this tour Clients are flying from just two cities. The four who are travelling to Dubai ahead of the group have your own flight times, as do those meeting us in Malta )     

ARRIVAL INTO DUBAI –  The Melbourne and Brisbane flights arrive within about 5 minutes of each other. We will be meeting at the Brisbane flight’s luggage carousel once you have gone through immigration/passport control etc. Look out for other people with Music Lovers Tours badges and ‘clump’ if you can as you come off the flight. ( There are 10 flying from Brisbane and 7 from Melbourne ). It’s a big airport but mostly well-signposted and there are attendants here and there to ask if you need directions.  We will walk out of the Customs area together, meet our transfer escort and travel together to the hotel. On arrival you will be free to go straight to breakfast or have a shower or have a nap first.  We meet in the foyer to go to late lunch at 1.30pm.

OUR OTHER FLIGHTS :  – Emirates EK 109 – Dubai to Malta   @ 07.55 ( arr 2.10pm )  ##

                                           Ryan Air – Valetta to Catania  

                                           Alitalia  – Catania to Rome  

We then collect luggage and proceed straight to Emirates check in  Emirates EK 095 – Rome to Dubai   @ 15.25 ( arr 23.25 )  We walk together to the Dubai Airport Hotel ( inside the terminal.)  Our main luggage will have been through-checked all the way from Rome to Australia, so we will only have hand luggage.)

                                               Emirates EK 434 – Dubai to Brisbane @ 10.35am

                                               Emirates EK 412 – Dubai to Sydney   @ 10.15am

                                                Emirates EK 406 – Dubai to Melbourne @ 10.05am

         ( NOTE: A couple of clients in Business Class are flying straight through from Rome to Brisbane )

##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!

BUSINESS CLASS PASSENGERS : If you have booked business class, then Stewart will have done all of your bookings for the Emirates cars to collect you from home/ take you home at the end of the tour etc. Stewart has sent you a confirmation, so please check this, including the pick-up address for your departure. We have booked your Emirates cars for the transfer to the hotel in Dubai as well as the departure for the airport the next morning.

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 an email 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.   

** 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 

SHOPPING TIPS  – 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.

SOME READING TO ENJOY BEFORE YOU GO: 

  • 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 )

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