With the year 2023 comes many new experiences - new opportunities to delight us, new goals to work toward, new memories to cherish, and a new lens to peer through the past and bring treasured history to light. This year brings with it many anniversaries honored throughout our various destinations across the world. Learn more about these moments, people and places that will be in the spotlight during this coming year.
Unsealing This Egyptian Archaeological Wonder
It is now 100 years since Howard Carter opened the door to Tutankhamun's tomb. The British archaeologist Howard Carter traveled to Egypt in search of new knowledge of the ancient people who lived there. Carter led an expedition to excavate the Valley of the Kings, and after years of fruitless endeavors, he convinced his benefactor Lord Carnavon to fund one more season of work in the region. During that time, his team discovered a flight of stairs cut into the bedrock. Once the stairway was fully cleared, he discovered the seal of Tutankhamun on the outer doorway. With the permission of the Egyptian government and supervision from the Department of Antiquities, Carter finally opened the sealed door to Tutankhamun’s tomb in February of 2023 and unearthed the most intact pharaonic tomb ever discovered in the Valley of the Kings. Learn more about this incredible tomb, considered to be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries, during our Secrets of Egypt & the Nile itinerary.
Honoring Pablo Picasso
This year is the 50-year anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso. One of the most influential creators of the 20th century, Picasso revolutionized the boundaries and meaning of art. The Spanish artist paved the way for new techniques and styles to be evolved and explored. His works of art also often conveyed messages that spoke out against the wars of his lifetime. One such work was the famous painting Guernica, portraying the bombing of this Basque town by German and Italian air forces during the Spanish Civil War. This painting left a lasting impression on Guernica, which you can see for yourself on our optional land package through the Basque Country before embarking on our Taste of Bordeaux sailing. During your free time, you can also explore the new exhibit in honor of this anniversary at the Picasso-Paris National Museum in Paris, which you can visit during our Paris & Normandy and Impressions of the Seine & Paris itineraries.
A Millennium of Mont Saint Michel
The picturesque Mont-Saint-Michel has withstood the test of time and endured for a millennium. This magical island has been a place of pilgrimage ever since the early 8th century when the bishop of a nearby town claimed that Archangel Michael himself had commissioned Mont-Saint-Michel’s church. Dukes of Normandy and French kings of the time all helped develop this incredible Benedictine abbey, and other marvelous monastic buildings were constructed around it throughout the Middle Ages.
The abbey has been considered one of France’s national monuments since 1862, and the country protects this priceless destination. UNESCO has also recognized the cultural and historical importance of this holy island, and the organization decreed the Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay to be a World Heritage Site in 1979. A renowned place of learning throughout the centuries, this destination still contains knowledge for all those who make their own pilgrimage. Explore this tidal island during our optional Brittany and St. Malo land package before or after your Impressions of the Seine & Paris river cruise.
Remembering Gustave Eiffel
This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the passing of engineering genius Gustave Eiffel. Inspired by his uncle Jean-Baptiste Mollerat’s love of science, Eiffel excelled at his studies and pursued higher education at École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, one of the most prestigious manufacturing schools in Paris. He started his illustrious career designing a sheet iron bridge for the Saint Germaine railway, opening the door for him to lead the construction of many bridges throughout Europe, create locomotives used on the railways of Egypt, and crafting the structure to the Statue of Liberty. In 1884, Eiffel purchased the patent to a unique architectural concept and expanded on it, leading to the creation of the breathtaking Eiffel Tower – the centerpiece for the Exposition Universelle of 1889. See his masterpiece for yourself during our Paris & Normandy and Impressions of the Seine & Paris itineraries.
Remembering Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela passed away a decade ago this year. A man who spoke for what he believed, Mandela paved the way for equality and peace to take hold in South Africa. Throughout his whole life, he promoted desegregation, working with organizations such as the African National Congress party to create a country that would treat all its citizens with fairness and equality. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for conspiring to overthrow the state but was released in 1990 due to growing political pressure, both domestically and internationally. After his release, Mandela and President F. W. de Klerk worked together to negotiate an end to apartheid, leading to the first fully democratic, multiracial presidential election in 1994. Mandela won the election, becoming the first president of South Africa. While in office, Mandela focused on healing his nation and fostering racial relations. Walk in the footsteps of this internationally renowned legend while visiting Johannesburg, where he first immersed himself in activism, during our Wildlife and the Falls itinerary, or extend your journey to explore the city after your Rivers & Rails itinerary.
Here are even more anniversaries to consider throughout Europe: