Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
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, ItalyDeparts 05:00 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.
Day At Sea
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 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 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 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 At Sea
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 Civitavecchia (Rome), ItalyArrives 07:00 AM Departs 09:00 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 Livorno (Florence/Pisa), ItalyArrives 08:00 AM Departs 08:00 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 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 Sete, FranceArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "The quiet, old fishing village of Sète, known as the Venice of Languedoc for its canals, is a fine antidote to some of the splashier destinations along Frances Mediterranean coast. Connected to the rest of France by the Canal du Midi, Sète in the past was a vital port in the spice trade. Since the early 19th century the towns identity has been marked by waves of immigrants from Italy, mostly Neapolitans who brought their recipes and strongly affected the local French dialect.
With a handful of fine museums, Sète puts a remarkable emphasis on the arts and culture for a town its size. But just strolling the Canal Royal and watching boats pass under all its lovely stone and iron bridges, many of which swing open, can be satisfying enoughfollowed, of course, by a canalside meal of bourride sètoise, the local monkfish stew, or just by a sip of coffee or an aperitif as the sun sets. Sète also serves as an ideal base from which to visit other famous nearby cities in the Languedoc and Provence regions.
Day Barcelona, SpainArrives 07:00 AM 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.