No other sea approach in the Adriatic raises goose bumps like Venice, where the entire city and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your luxurious home-away-from home, you arrive already equipped with a sense of what it’s like to live in the city that’s neither land nor water. Add your own sigh to the Bridge of Sighs, sip a spritz al bitter as you plot your agenda, and let the water taxis do your navigating unless you don’t mind getting lost. Not such a bad prospect, with serendipitous discoveries around every corner.
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
Follow the savory aroma of sardines grilling to the colorful quay, or let your lust for leather lead you to the old town’s shops and 18th century buildings. In ancient Silves, once a Moorish capital, the castle and cathedral are right next to each other in town. How thoughtful of them to make sightseeing so easy.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
While larger ships pass by, we anchor right beyond the famous walled city so you can admire its beauty with every glance. Tender ashore and step right into Old Town, a UNESCO site where no cars are allowed, just eons of history. Capture the exhilarating views on your camera — and in your memory. End your day at the Buza Café (if you can find it) watching bold divers leap off the cliffs into the crystalline sea.
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
day 7 Giardini Naxos, Italy
Today you’ll discover one of Sicily’s jewels, the charming village of Giardini Naxos, nestled in one of the world’s most beautiful bays. An optional excursion to the popular hillside town of Taormina will be a highlight of your voyage — from the stunning setting of the iconic Greek Theater to the sparkling beaches along the Ionian Sea. Take a more adventurous tack and explore the UNESCO site of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.
9:00 AM TO 2:00 PM
The town of Amalfi lies at the mouth of a deep ravine surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. As part of the Amalfi Coast, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an important tourist destination. The whole region is famed for its lemons, which are about double the size of other lemons, and the production of the limoncello liqueur. An optional tour can take you to the UNESCO archaeological areas of Pompeii, Positano and Ravello.
In this enchanting city the past and present intersect in perfect harmony. Casually intermingled among ancient ruins and majestic cathedrals are the trappings of a modern metropolis: Skyscrapers,cafes, boutiques selling designer footwear. But of course what you seek first in the heart of Rome is its breathtaking history. A good place to begin is the Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Works by Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael are just a few of those on display, any one of which is worth hours of contemplation. Then the ancient ruins—Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. And of course the Trevi Fountain for the obligatory coins promising your return to the Eternal City.
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 10 Portoferraio, Italy
Pine-scented forests and miles of sandy beach await your arrival on the tranquil island of Elba. Enjoy a glass of local Moscato with the fresh catch of the day before pondering your next move. Perhaps you’ll visit the nearby countryside with its small fishing villages and dramatic mountain passes. Or see the calming beauty of Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Or maybe you’ll decide to walk to the nearest beach and dip your toes into the warm Mediterranean.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
With its golden ochre and terracotta buildings, designer shops, and chic cafés, Portofino represents the height of Italian artistry and sophistication. Sip a cappuccino along the fabled marina or enjoy a day of shopping in one of the town’s tempting little boutiques. As you look out over the harbor from the famous Hotel Splendido, it’s hard not to admire the sleek, streamlined beauty of your Windstar ship.
8:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
day 12 Monte Carlo, Monaco
Glide into port in one of Europe’s most exclusive harbors. Mingle with other privileged yachtsmen or step ashore and start walking. The glittering Grand Casino, legendary for its exotic setting on screen and off, is a must see, as is the royal family’s palace and the tomb of Philadelphia-born Princess Grace in the Cathedral.
7:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Spend a day wandering among the rich and famous in the chic epicenter of the French Riviera — a world of exclusive boutiques, palm-fringed boulevards, sun-drenched beaches, and elegant sidewalk cafés. Be sure to visit the Avenue of the Stars, where you can place your hands in the prints of international celebrities. An optional escorted walking tour guides you through the best of this extraordinary and stylish city.
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 14 Sanary-sur-Mer, France
France’s sunniest city, located on the French Riviera, was originally a small fishing village and still is adorned by a large collection of traditional wooden fishing boats. This is the home of a group of local artisan fisherman who sell their catch daily on the pier and where Jacques Cousteau had a residence, the Villa Baobab.
9:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 15 Port Vendres, France
When daydreamers long for “the south of France,” this is what they imagine. Set on the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean and flanked on three sides by the Pyrenees foothills, this beautiful harbor is home to the prestigious vineyards of Banyuls. Taste the wine, along with the wonderful seafood. (Whether you’re in Port-Vendres or Collioure, you’ll experience the beauty of the south of France – the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees foothills, the prestigious vineyards and a beautiful harbor.
The old meets the new in this sunny Catalan metropolis, where narrow alleyways contrast with grand boulevards, trendy cuisine meets homemade tapas, and everywhere you’re greeted by the warm, welcoming smiles of the fashionable locals. Don’t miss UNESCO sites like the mind-boggling architecture of Antoni Gaudí or La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, with its eight decorative spires soaring hundreds of feet into the sky.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.