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
The lovely fishing port of Rovinj on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula bordered on three sides by the Adriatic Sea. You can tour the maze of cobblestone streets that lead to the hilltop St. Euphemia Cathedral with its towering steeple dominating the skyline. Old Town Rovinj is a delightful tangle of medieval streets and twisting stairways. Seek out the Bronze Age ruins of Monkodonja, the hidden beaches or the breathtaking natural beauty of the 6-mile-long Lim Fjord.
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.
8:00 AM TO 3:00 PM
UNESCO World Heritage Sites abound in Sorrento. Optional tours will take you to the archaeological areas of Pompeii and Torre Annunziata, or the 4th century B.C. city of Herculaneum. Perhaps your choice will be a boat ride to Positano, the legendary home of the Sirens. Perched on a terrace on the spectacular Amalfi Coast, Sorrento offers exceptional views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
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
Known for its amazing seafood, modern harbor, Renaissance-era architecture and lovely Tuscany countryside, Livorno is the gateway to both Florence and Pisa, not to mention the numerous wineries full of delicious wines to tempt your palate. Stroll the waterside promenade or take a canal ride in the Venezia Nuova quarter.
8:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
day 11 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.
With its flower-lined streets, flourishing markets, and interesting museums (the Musée Chagall and Musée Matisse are highlights), Nice is a charming introduction to the spirit of the Riviera. Pull up a chaise bleu on the wide sunny Promenade des Anglais and watch the world sail by. Or stop for bouillabaisse, a specialty of the area, in a local restaurant.
8:30 AM TO 6:30 PM
This port city is a major naval base and well as popular harbor for fishing boats and ferries. Place de La Liberte is Toulon’s main square and the hub of the city. Nearby is the Genie de La Navigation, an imposing marble statue from 1847. Try not to miss the Museum of Natural History for Toulon and Var, with a surprising diversity of 978 birds and 250 mammals found in this area. And take the cable car that shuttles people up and down Mont Faron.
3:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
France’s oldest city was named the 2013 European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Head in to the old heart of the city for a bowl of the city’s signature bouillabaisse, or drive into the Provençal countryside for a look at the timeless landscapes that inspired Cézanne and other greats.
9:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Palamos is famous for the locally caught prawns found in the beautiful bay it sits beside, also known for the excellent swimming, surfing, snorkeling and windsurfing there. Here is the place to try fresh local Catalan cuisine. Two great highlights near Palamos are the Dali Museum, located in his home town of Figueres, and the UNESCO city of Girona, with its medieval architecture, walled Old Quarter and the Roman remains of Forca Vella Fortress.
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.