|1||Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy||6:00 p.m.|
|2||Palermo, Ialy||10:00 a.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|3||Valletta, Malta||9:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|4||Fun Day at Sea|
|5||Barcelona, Spain||9:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|6||Marceille, France||8:00 a.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|7||Genoa, Italy||8:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|8||Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy||7:00 a.m.|
The port of Civitavecchia is one of the largest in Italy. During your holiday in Rome/Civitavecchia you can easily visit its centre on foot. Rome is known as Italy’s ‘Eternal City’, and is one of the world’s most spectacular city destinations. The city’s unique artistic heritage is showcased in world-class museums, and just by wandering the streets you can discover countless medieval piazzas and historic statues. Rome is a destination full of heritage and ancient sights, and with so many classic landmarks to check off your list If you are taking advantage or a pre-cruise night stay, we will arrange transfers from the hotel to the cruise port.
Don't miss these top 5 things to do while in Rome: Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, Forum, and St. Peter's Basilica.
Palermo is a historic city that most people either love or hate. A stop in Palermo has a lot to recommend. The city was founded by Ancient Greeks and eventually became part of the Roman Empire.
Palmero's historic center is fantastic for strolling. Architectural wonders within the city include the Teatro Massimo, the biggest opera house in Italy (and the third-largest in Europe after Paris and Vienna); the Palazzo Reale and the Cattedrale di Palermo. As you stroll, make time to try Palermo's excellent street food (and there's plenty of yummy Italian favorites such as pizza and gelato to be had too).
If the city doesn't interest you, try an excursion that takes you further afield. High on a hill outside Palermo, Monreale also has a gorgeous Arab-Norman cathedral, along with cafes. The beach town of Cefalu is a lovely summer escape and Greek and Roman history buffs will find daytrips to Erice and Segesta appealing.
Sailing into Valletta, Malta, is akin to stepping into the pages of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy; once you are in the protected harbor, it feels as though modern civilization has disappeared.
Valletta was built by the Knights of St. John as a place to take care of wounded soldiers and pilgrims during the Crusades in the 16th century. Its unique landscape and ancient buildings have appeared in films such as "Troy," "Gladiator," "Captain Phillips" and "World War Z." This tiny Mediterranean country is part of an archipelago of five islands, only three of which are inhabited. Cruise ships visit the island of Malta and the port of Valletta (designed by a colleague of Michelangelo).
While in Malta, you may want to wander the streets viewing the incredible. Take a boat out of the famous caverns of Malta's Blue Grotto and experience the wonders for yourself. Or take a bus to this picturesque village for a peaceful walk and terrific photo op's of Marsaxlokk Bay's best offerings. Malta's main fishing harbor bustles with open-air fish markets to showcase (and sell) the day's catch. This is one destination that looks exactly like the postcard!
Barcelona, the capital of Spain's Catalonia region is one of the country's most beautiful and vibrant places. It is also a city of distinct neighborhoods. The old city -- Ciutat Vella -- is the heart of everything, with museums, shopping and cafes. Then there's the port area, Port Vell, which features bars, restaurants, shops, an IMAX theater and the largest aquarium in Europe. (Port Vell is different to the working port area where cruise ships dock, but it's not too far away.)
One of Barcelona's best attributes is that while it seems large and spread out, its neighborhoods are surprisingly walkable and easily accessible by bus, metro or even on foot (in comfortable shoes). Don't miss a stroll along Las Ramblas, replete with produce and flower stands, a historic opera house and maybe even a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe calling to you from the balcony of the Erotica Museum.
Just be sure to rest your feet now and then over a few plates of tapas (which are meant to be shared, but we won't tell if you don't) and an ice-cold pitcher of sangria or a bottle of cava, the region's sparkling wine.
Marseille, gateway to Provence, is France's largest port and second largest city, with a vast history stretching back more than 2,000 years to its foundation by the Greeks in the 6th century BC.
While much of the city is urban sprawl, it has a spectacular setting between dramatic limestone hills and the Mediterranean, and the once-industrial streets now feature stylish shops and cutting-edge art galleries, thanks to investment from its role as European Capital of Culture 2013.
Most cruisers make a beeline for Le Vieux Port, a buzzing, picturesque harbor lined with boutiques, restaurants and cafes. This district attracts an eclectic crowd, from local fishermen to millionaires venturing ashore from James Bond-style mega-yachts. All gather to soak up Le Vieux Port's charming atmosphere, browse its bustling markets and tuck into a bowl of Marseille's classic signature dish, bouillabaisse (a rich fish stew).
From a distance, the Genoa cityscape -- climbing up a steep, green hillside from the Ligurian sea -- is awash in Mediterranean color: ochre, pink and red. It's a big town with more than 600,000 people, but it has a small-town feel and layout that make it imminently walkable. In fact, Genoa's foremost calling cards -- its historic center; the Piazza de Ferrari, where the Opera and Palace of the Doges are located; the chic shopping avenue, Via XX Settembre; and the largely pedestrian-only streets that hug the Cathedral of San Lorenzo -- are all within a 10- to 20-minute walk of Porto Antico.
Genoa, or Genova in Italian, has a rich history dating back to ancient times, but it's probably best known for Christopher Columbus, its most famous native celebrity. It has long been associated with the arts, and in 2004 the European Union designated Genoa as a European Capital of Culture. In 2006, a mid-16th century district on Via Garibaldi that houses an architecturally important ensemble of Renaissance and Baroque palaces was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
If you plan to say in Rome before or after your cruise, please contact your cruise specialist Molly Berry for more info.