MEDITERRANEAN SHORE EXCURSIONS
we are able to provide you with a choice of tours that are carefully designed and customized exclusively for your groups. These tours are organized for comfort and quality with a greater emphasis in delivering a rich, diverse experience of the sights and places you will visit.
Our tours have earned us tremendous accolades among our clients year after year. Each tour includes a driver and a local professional licensed guide in a comfortable air conditioned motorcoach. All entrance fees are included as well as meals where designated.
Your driver and guide gratuities are additional.
FROM THE PORT OF BARCELONA
Excursion Length – 7 Hours
Departure for a picturesque drive along the Llobregat River to the foot of the ionic Montserrat Mountain and then up to the Royal Basilica 2380 feet above sea level. Montserrat is a mountain, a unique Natural Park, and a massive rock over 4000 feet high, visible for miles, with weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky. Your guide will entertain you with tales, history, and legends of the mountain, the monas-tery, and the shrine. There are many paths and stairs scattered over the mountain offering extraordinary landscapes and wonderful views. Mont-serrat is a Benedictine monastery nearly 1000 years old, perched half way up the mountain and sheltered by its peaks. No tour here would be complete without a visit to the sanctuary where the Moreneta (Black Virgin) is housed.
Leaving Montserrat, we will then make our way to a 400-year old farm-house restaurant nestled in the foothills of the mountain for a spectacular lunch experience. You will also be entertained by a private show with music, singing and dancing by Flamenco Dancer.
Excursion Length – 6 Hours
Taking in the main tourist sites of the city, you will enjoy wonderful architecture with impressive creative influences and stunning views. We begin our tour this morning with a drive to the famous hill of Montjüic, a splendid place that arguably offers the best views of the entire city. We will also be able to observe the greatness of Barcelona from the Mirador del Alcalde, including the Barcelona harbor, Villa Olimpica, and the new sky-line of the city. Thereafter, we will tramp the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, and Calatrava Tower to get a feel of the Olympic spirit that took place in the city in 1992. Next, our drive to the iconic Sagrada Famlia will take us up Passeig de Gracia, home to the famous designer stores, and the setting for two of Barcelona’s most talked about Gaudï buildings: La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. Finally, we will arrive Sagrada Família, the unfinished masterpiece of the genius architect Antoni Gaudi which is Barcelona’s most famous landmark. Our ‘Skip the Line’ policy means en-trance tickets will have been pre-purchased and there will no queues. We then move up to Gaudi’s exotic Park Guell, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can wander around the park and enjoy its defiant architecture and excellent views of the city.
Our last part of the visit we dedicate to the Old Town of the city: the Ca-thedral of Barcelona and gothic area of the Quarter. Wander the narrow medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter where you will find many build-ings dating from the 15th century. We will travel back in time , going from the Roman era through to the early Middle Ages. During this part of the tour, we will also visit the Jewish Medieval Quarter before heading to the cruise terminal.
FROM THE PORT OF NICE/ VILLEFRANCHE/ MONACO
Nice & Monaco
Excursion Length – 6 Hours
The stunning views out over the bay of Villefranche set the tone for to-day’s tour as we begin with a drive along the Lower Corniche Road which hugs the terrific rocky coastline all the way to the unforgettable principali-ty of Monaco. First we will make our way to the lavish Prince Palace with its grand architecture, just in time to watch the changing of the guards which takes place at precisely 11:55am and is the highlight of the Mona-co tour. You’ll also have time to visit the wonderful Monaco Cathedral – once the setting for the fairy-tale wedding where Prince Rainier and Prin-cess Grace were married. The tour continues to Old Nice, a quaint and traditional European old town with an abundance of picturesque little streets and lively plazas sprinkled about. Nice is the largest city on the French Riviera, featuring diverse structures that represent Greek, Italian, and French cultures. Admire the beautiful buildings with their rich archi-tecture. After the walking tour you will have approximately one hour of free time to enjoy and explore this wonderful old city. We make our way back to the ship with a panoramic tour taking in the natural beauty of Nice, boasting mountain views and sweeping vistas of the Mediterranean Sea.
FROM THE PORT OF LIVORNO / LA SPEZIA
Florence Masterpiece and Pisa
Excursion Length – 10 Hours
Livorno is Italy’s second largest port and serves as the gateway to the Tuscany region. This comprehensive excursion begins with a short 30 minute drive towards Pisa with a photo stop en route at Miracle Square; free time to see the Baptistery, the Pisa Cathedral, and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Our driver then takes us through the beautiful Tuscan countryside (approx.1 hour) to the fascinating city of Florence. Surrounded by the Appennine Hills and situated on both banks of the Arno River, Florence had a significant impact on the culture of Italy and all of Europe. We drive up the Viale dei Colli to the amazing terrace of Piazzale Michelangelo. Here you can enjoy a breathless view of the city, while our guide tells us about some of the churches, palaces, and bridges we can see from our vantage point. Heading into Florence’s city centre we’ll see amongst other sights: Santa Croche Church(one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in Italy),Piazza del Duomo(the religious center of Florence and the 4th largest church in the world) and Giotto’s Bell Tower, Piazza della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio & view a copy of the “David”), Piazza della Republica, and the elegant Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge). We have free time to explore the narrow streets full of shops, café bars and trattorias – or simply relax and admire the beautiful views across the river.
FROM THE PORT OF CIVITAVECCHIA
Vatican Museum or Roman Colosseum
Excursion Length – 10 hours
Including both the Vatican and the Colosseum in one day decreases the enjoyment of your time spent in Rome. For this reason you will have a choice of visiting either the Vatican Museum or the Roman Colosseum. This will afford the opportunity for everyone to also experience the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and time permitting, Piazza Navona.
From the port of Civitavecchia, approximately 70 minutes of driving, you will arrive in Rome, the eternal city. Due to the massive amount of peo-ple visiting the Vatican in the afternoon, both the Vatican & Colosseum tours will be conducted in the morning including skip the line entrance tickets. Afterwards, both groups will meet for lunch and continue the tour together for the remainder of the afternoon. After lunch the tour contin-ues with a visit of the famous Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, fol-lowed with a visit of Piazza Navona. (time permitting)
NOTES: A strict dress code is enforced in the Vatican Museum & St. Peter’s Basilica. Short pants, tank tops, and revealing clothing are not acceptable. Vatican ticket includes the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica; however, please be advised the Pope holds an audience every Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. Depending on the schedule of the Pope’s speech and the number of people attend-ing, we cannot guarantee entry into the Basilica.
FROM THE PORT OF VENICE
Murano + Burano
Excursion Length – 4/5 Hours
This tour will give you a chance to explore the characteristic islands of the venetian lagoon that have become very popular for their long tradi-tion in manufacturing local products, like glass blowing creations and the famous laces. We will depart by our private motorboat along Venice lagoon to reach the first of the 2 islands, Murano, that lies about a mile north of Venice and is famous for its glass-blowing produc-tion, particularly lampworking.. The tour proceeds with the visit to the charming island of Burano, famous for its picturesque multi-colored houses, typically painted in bright colors that open up to your view while approaching the island. Burano is also very famous for its laceworks
Highlights of Venice + Gondola Ride
Excursion Length – 7 hours
This excursion begins with your private motorboat to St Mark’s Square, known as “the drawing room of Europe”. Every turn will lead you to a medieval bridge as there are over four hundred bridges in this small city. A must see is a visit of the Doge’s Palace-symbol of the Venetian civiliza-tion, the Bridge of Sights, and the Prisons. We continue our tour of this breathtakingly beautiful city with a pleasant stroll through the unknown Venice. Walking the narrow streets, little squares, picturesque alleyways, and some of the more famous landmarks such as the Rialto Bridge. This guided tour will give you a better understanding of the history behind this wonderful city.
After the walking tour experience a wonderful journey through the canals of Venice on a typical Venetian Gondola! This 30 minute tour will take you on the Grand Canal and the minor canals surrounding. A wonderful way of seeing Venice through these amazing waterways. Lunch in a lovely Venetian restaurant.
NOTES: There is a 15-minute walk from the ship to the motorboat launch. Each gondola will accommodate up to 6 guests.
FROM THE PORT OF NAPLES
Pompei & Sorrento
Excursion Length – 9 hours
This fabulous tour features the remarkable ruins of the city buried under the ash of Mt. Vesuvius. You will enter the fabled city through the Sea Gate as you experience a walk down the cobbled street to the agora, surrounded by temples, porticoes and law courts. It was the religious, civic and business center of the city. Because Pompeii was so well preserved, you can see many fine details that reveal the life-styles of the residents, such as mosaic floors and colorful frescoes in some of the homes. As you wander through this ancient city, you can’t help but notice the still-active Mount Vesuvius towering above This tour is one of the musts of any visit to Naples. Leaving Pompeii, the itinerary will continue with a beautiful drive along the Amalfi Coast, which is said to be one of the most spectacular coastal roads in Eu-rope. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way and chances to stop and take in the wonderful scenery. From the road you will see the magnificent volcanic rock terrace where over is built Sorrento. After lunch you will have time to explore the small streets of the Old Town and perhaps have a taste of the famous “limoncello” liquor. The tour will end with a drive back to Naples Port which will take approximately 1 ½ hours.
NOTES: There is extensive walking involved over cobblestones and uneven ground in Pompeii. (approx. 1.5 miles)
FROM THE PORT OF KOTOR (MONTENEGRO)
The Bay of Kotor, Perast, & Our Lady of the Rocks
Excursion Length – 6 hours
This morning we depart from the port in our own private boat sailing the beautiful scenic Bay of Kotor, visiting Perast and the Church Islands. The small city of Perast-peaceful and quiet Baroque village-is a unique jewel in the Boka Bay’s crown. In Perast you have a short walk among build-ings and villas which were built during the city’s prosperous years of the 17th and 18th centuries. We then sail to the island of Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), one of the most beautiful islands in the Boka Bay. This is also one wonderful opportunity to capture some amazing photos of Boka Bay as you approach Our Lady of the Rocks. This man-made Island was built by scuttling old ships and depositing stones around a small crag. You will see the stunning present church which was built in 1632. According to legend, this island was made over the centu-ries by the seamen who kept an ancient oath. Experience the real Monte-negro with lunch in a traditional restaurant overlooking the water. You’ll be tempted to sample the local specialties including black risotto, locally produced smoked hams and cheeses, local olive oil, and local wines. After lunch we sail back to Kotor and enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town through the maze of Kotor’s medieval quarter, its bustling market and beautiful Renaissance buildings. The well preserved fortified walls of Kotor protect it from the sea and at nearly 3 miles long it is considered one of the world’s historic values. After the walking tour you will have free time to shop or explore Kotor further before heading back to the ship.
If you have any energy left after the tour you can climb up onto the town walls behind the Old Town of Kotor for wonderful views of the the town from above. It is possible to hike to the fortress above but it is a steep and uneven path so most visitors are content with climbing just a little way until the panoramic view spreads out beneath you. Our guide will show you where the gate is at the back of the Old Town through which you can access the walls. There is a charge.