Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Barcelona, SpainDeparts 05:00 PM On the northeast coast of Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a vibrant port city, packed with centuries of iconic art and architectureGaudí and Picasso both called it homeand lined with sunny white-sand beaches. Explore the Catalan capital's tourist attractions and historic neighborhoods, Modernisme and world-renowned art museums, galleries and local crafts shopssome of which are centuries old and stock traditional Catalan wares. After you see the sights, there are lively tapas bars around every corner where you can stop for a drink, a café amb llet (Catalan for espresso with steamed milk) or a snack, no matter the hour. Green spaces for picnics, long walks and respite from the hustle and bustle are scattered throughout Barcelona's attractions: There's Gaudí's mosaic-decorated park, a neoclassical maze at the Laberint d'Horta, as well as plenty of high places (mountains, monuments and edifices) where sightseeing visitors can take in the view. A short trip from Barcelona by car or train, luxury outlets, cava wineries, a mountaintop abbey and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast await.
Day Marseille (Provence), FranceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Marseilles, France's second-largest city after Paris, is an exciting, cosmopolitan port comprised of some sixteen distinct arrondissements, or neighborhoods. A large Algerian contingent calls the city home, adding its own inimitable accent. Much of the city's oldest section, Le Panier, was destroyed by German troops during World War II, sparing only three fine old edifices, including Hotel de Ville (City Hall). Two fortresses, St.-Jean and St.-Nicolas, guard the harbor entrance, while Marseilles's oldest church, Basilique St.-Victor, is virtually a fortress as well. This is a fine city for touring on foot, with sufficient cafes to provide refreshments along the way.
Day Monte Carlo, MonacoArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "The tiny and wealthy principality of Monaco, ruled by Prince Albert II, is dominated by the attractions in the resort quarter, Monte Carlo, with its casino, internationally acclaimed Opera House and the Triangle dOr shopping area. The cliffs of Le Rocher de Monaco rise above the Mediterranean, the strategic stronghold of the Grimaldi family of Genoa who assumed power of this unstable region in 1297. The principality was a quiet backwater until the 1850s when trains put the sun-soaked destination within easy reach of affluent French and British travelers looking for an escape and relaxing things to do. Prince Charles III quickly understood what it would take to seduce the new tourists, and created a Belle Epoque resort featuring the mythic Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Sitting on the coast like a precious gemstone, Monte Carlo and Monaco still draw an international jet-set crowd. The Palace commands from Monaco-ville, called Le Rocher by locals, and high-rises make the most of precious land with public elevators in lieu of sidewalks in this steep country. Superyachts fill the port, ultraluxury cars dominate the road and outrageous jewels sparkle under the night sky in an eternal promise that in some places, fairy tales really do come true."
Day Livorno (Florence/Pisa), ItalyArrives 07:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM "The Renaissance-era port city of Livorno, Italy, gateway to Pisa, Florence and the rest of the attractions of Tuscany, is characterized by its solid 16th-century Fortezza and the charming canal network known as Venezia Nuova. Itï¿½s also famous for cacciucco, a spicy fish stew.
To the north of Livorno, not far from the mouth of the river Arno, lies Pisa, an attractive university city best known for its Leaning Tower. Some 60 miles to the east, and also set on the Arno, is Florence, Tuscany's capital. The concentration of artistic treasures and cultural things to do in Tuscany, from museums and cloisters to bridges and chapels, is second to noneï¿½but there is lots more besides sightseeing in Florence. The food and drink culture in Florence takes in tripe stands and hole-in-the-wall wine bars as well as embracing gourmet restaurants and plenty of down-to-earth family-run trattorias. The shopping scene offers the designer stores of Via Tornabuoni and Via Roma, but there are plenty of quirky, independent boutiques too. And then there is Florenceï¿½s traditions of leather work, marbled paper, book-binding and furniture restoration. Explore the sights of the arty Oltrarno neighborhood for artisan workshops, great cafï¿½s, bars and restaurants and an authentically Florentine atmosphere.
Day Civitavecchia (Rome), ItalyArrives 07:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM Originally built by Emperor Trajan who had a villa here, Civitavecchia has flourished as a major port for Rome since the 13th century. Today it is an important ferry terminal and for many travelers the gateway to the Eternal City, Rome. The Renaissance fortifications that surround the harbor area were begun by Bramante and completed by Michelangelo in 1535.
Day Naples (Pompeii), ItalyArrives 08:00 AM Departs 07:00 PM "Rising behind the wide curve of its bay with brooding Mount Vesuvius and the deep blue sea as a backdrop, Naples, Italy enjoys a magnificent natural setting. It is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan, and arguably the most colorful and seductive of them all: Splendor and squalor live side by side in 21st-century Naples, and the mix is intoxicating.
Home to world-class museums and attractions, superb restaurants, eclectic shopping, a thriving contemporary art scene and an edgy, vibrant street life, Naples has something for everyone. But once youve had enough of the pounding traffic and jostling crowds while sightseeing in Naples, there are endless opportunities for exploration further afield. The celebrated Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both victims of Vesuvius devastating 79 C.E. eruption, lie just south of the city. The delightful town of Sorrento and the magnificent scenery of the Amalfi Coast are within easy reach, and the dolce vita glamour of Caprinot to mention the healing thermal waters of Ischiaare a short hydrofoil hop from the mainland. Naples and its surrounding area offer a perfect mix of cultural and natural attractions.
Day Cruising Strait of Messina / Taormina, ItalyCruising / Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "The Strait of Messina is the narrow waterway between Sicily and Calabria, the southernmost region on the Italian peninsula. Despite its relatively short length, the Strait of Messina is endowed with many unique qualities, making it one of the more dramatic passages in the Mediterranean. Its narrowest pointless than three kilometers (two miles)creates a natural bottleneck and a distinct sheltered marine ecosystem; it is also a significant migration point for numerous species of birds. Noted for its large numbers of raptors and storks, the strait is one of the most popular and important bird-watching locations in Europe. Whales also swim along the length of the strait, adding to the areas remarkable biodiversity.
The Strait of Messina figures prominently in Greek mythology, most notably as the site of Scylla and Charybdis, mythical monsters of the sea that were embodied in rocky shoals on the Calabrian side and a whirlpool on the Sicilian side. These natural hazards would later lead to the phrase between a rock and a hard place, in English. For travelers today, however, sailing the strait is an easy decision, with its opportunities to spot wildlife in the shadow of Mount Etna"
Located on Sicily's east coast, just north of the active volcano Mt. Etna, Taormina has long drawn visitors with its stunning coastal scenery, thanks to its vantage point 204 meters (669 feet) above the Ionian Sea. Literary giants like Goethe and D.H. Lawrence spent time here, and more recently the town has become a popular spot for fans of the Godfather films, with some scenes shot in the area. Founded in the 4th century B.C.E., the town has a compact historic center thats best explored on foot. Start with a visit to the ancient Greek Theater before shopping and people-watching along the Corso Umberto. A cable car makes it easy to reach the beach at Lido Mazzaróone of the most picturesque and popular on the island, where you can frolic in the crystal clear water or sip a cold drink at one of the beach bars. Taormina is also an ideal jumping-off point for wine-tasting tours on Mt. Etna's slopes, or a visit to the nearby city of Catania.
Day At Sea
Day Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), GreeceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Corfu is the pearl of the Ionian Sea, attracting royalty from across Europe in the 19th century, and modern celebrities from all over the world ever since. The island reflects a triple heritage. As well as being undeniably Greek, the culture and food also show a clear nod towards nearby Italy, particularly Venice, whose fortresses dot the island. The British influence may be unexpected, but as they ruled the island for many years, they have left such surprises in the Mediterranean as cricket and ginger beer.
The bustling atmosphere of Corfu Town remains elegant, infused with culture and history. Parts of the rest of the island have been overdeveloped, but there are still great swaths that epitomize why the Greek islands are still regarded as the most beautiful in the world, with white-sand beaches backed by verdant mountains hiding traditional old villages. It is easy to see how Corfu has inspired generations of writers: from Shakespeare, through Edward Lear, to Gerald Durrell. A true gem.
Day Dubrovnik, CroatiaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM On the southern end of Croatia's Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik staked its claim to glory during the 450 years it existed as the independent Ragusan Republic, shoulder to shoulder with mighty forces like Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Once a renowned seafaring, shipbuilding and trading center, today it's an enchanting tourist destination. Dubrovnik seduces sightseeing visitors with its polished (and very clean!) limestone streets, theatrical architecture, charming cafés, welcoming restaurants and distinctive shops along scenic side streets. The natural backdrop, much of which is protected, consists of pine and cypress forests and the shimmering Adriatic, dotted with uninhabited islands. Visitors quickly discover that the wider Dubrovnik area is just as striking as its main attractionthe Old Town.
Day Kotor, MontenegroArrives 07:00 AM Departs 02:00 PM "Cruising into the Bay of Kotor, youll be wowed by the dramatic beauty of this coastal Montenegrin town. Dreamy seafront villages are set to a backdrop of mountains plummeting into the Adriatic Sea, while the stone labyrinth of the Old Town is filled with medieval architecture and historic monumentsas well as the narrowest street in the world.
The area only became part of Montenegro after WWII, and as such has a very different history to the rest of the country. Kotor escaped Ottoman rule and developed as an important Venetian trading post, before being conquered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France and Russia. The city pays tribute to this dynamic history with Venetian gates, Napoleons theater and Austrian prisons all waiting to be discovered. Theres a reason it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site."
Day Venice, Italy-- "When I went to Venice, my dream became my address," wrote Lord Byron, just one of many famous figures who found a haven in this fantasy city. This enchanted land was built on stilts, set into the water by ancient Venetians seeking refuge from the harsh realities of landlocked life. And Venice, Italy still offers a palpable feeling of escape from the real world today. When you cruise into the lagoon and step onto what passes for solid ground, you'll still be very much on the water. Venice is a floating labyrinth of reflections, with mirror and glass sights everywhere, from glorious Venetian architecture echoed in the canal waters to the marble palaces that shimmer in the sky. And although Carnivale is only held once a year, being in Venice on any day is like going to a festival with plenty of vibrant things to do and attractions to see. Locals seem to love the many sightseeing visitors who arrive each year, and Venice will openly reveal her charms even to those who are only here for a few hours, an afternoon or a magical evening.
Day Venice, ItalyArrives 01:00 PM "When I went to Venice, my dream became my address," wrote Lord Byron, just one of many famous figures who found a haven in this fantasy city. This enchanted land was built on stilts, set into the water by ancient Venetians seeking refuge from the harsh realities of landlocked life. And Venice, Italy still offers a palpable feeling of escape from the real world today. When you cruise into the lagoon and step onto what passes for solid ground, you'll still be very much on the water. Venice is a floating labyrinth of reflections, with mirror and glass sights everywhere, from glorious Venetian architecture echoed in the canal waters to the marble palaces that shimmer in the sky. And although Carnivale is only held once a year, being in Venice on any day is like going to a festival with plenty of vibrant things to do and attractions to see. Locals seem to love the many sightseeing visitors who arrive each year, and Venice will openly reveal her charms even to those who are only here for a few hours, an afternoon or a magical evening.