Best of the Mediterranean
Tucked in a deep bay guarded by two cliff-top fortresses, this Spanish gem is steeped in history. In the 18th century it became a major Spanish naval base and reminders…Time in port: 10:00 - 16:00
Spend the morning admiring La Manga, a strip of white sandy beaches which, dividing two seas, creates the World’s largest swimming pool. Hence the name “Paradise between two seas”. Not a bad start for a day! While you take in this natural piece of art you’ll have time to stroll around the bars and shops before a short photo stop at the little fishing village of Cabo the Palos. Then it's off to Cartagena - being a port of cultures, it counts more than 2500 years of history. The best way to take it all in is to climb to the castle - or better take the scenic glass lift to the castle 47m high. From here you’ll enjoy the superb views of the port, the theatre and the bullring. After that you'll have some free time and your shopping can start from Calle Mayor, the very heart of the commercial centre. Enjoy!
See the famous La Manga Strip, one of the most unique places in Europe. Soak up superb views of the strip from the comfort of your coach and stop at the best viewpoint for pictures. To give you a taster of what to expect, La Manga is 21 kilometres long and 500 metres wide and translates as 'the sleeve’ in Spanish. This strip of land separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Mar Menor or ‘small sea’ - in fact, its Europe’s largest lagoon. You’ll then carry onto Cavanna beach area before taking in the highlights of Cartagena while your guide and driver do all the work. Pass by La Manga Club Complex, it’s been voted Europe’s top golf resort three times in the past four years. A final stop will be made at the Calle Mayor street for some more free time and even a local coffee called ‘Asiatic coffee’. Made from local liqueur "43", coffee, condensed milk and cinnamon, it’s a must. The Calle Mayor is the main high street, where there’s plenty of shopping opportunities before returning to the ship.
Do you consider yourself to be green fingered? Then you can’t miss a visit to the Botanical Garden of the beautiful town of Elche. Famous not only for its garden, the town is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site so expect spectacular surroundings, a wealth of monuments and bags of history. Plus it’s known as the national footwear capital of Spain! So obviously free time is included as well. Ever seen a palm tree in the shape of a seven-armed candelabra? Apart from being the biggest in Europe it’s just one of the 700 palm trees and over 500 other species of plants and flowers that awaits you at “Huerto del Cura” – Priest's Garden.
Barcelona is up there with the most famous cities in the world, and for good reason. Sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Serra de Collserola hills, thisSpanish…Time in port: 10:00 - 18:00
Barcelona is an amazing city with so much to see and do, but where do you start? How do you get around? Let us take the hassle out of your day on the Barcelona Explorer. We’ll take you to the three big hotspots and give you plenty of free time to explore for yourself or with your guide. Stroll around Ciutadella park. A charming green oasis, full of sculptures. You'll also find the “Castle of the three Dragons” - built for the Universal Exhibition in 1888. It looks a little like a medieval castle, but now a days hosts archives for the Museum of Natural Sciences. Next stop - Sagrada Familia, a Basilica like no other. Still unfinished it’s the number one attraction in the city. And no trip to Barcelona would be complete without a bit of shopping, so it’s on to Cataluyna Square the heart of the city at the top of Las Ramblas to shop to your heart’s content.
See the world famous football stadium, Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC since 1957. Discover the club’s history and prestige with a visit to the magnificent trophy room. You’ll start with a drive by the Masia – the football school where many famous players started their careers. Then it's time for a tour of the Stadium. See the visitors changing rooms, the tunnel to the pitch, its dugouts, as well as the TV studio and the press room. Then head inside to the museum and discover the history of the club. There’s also an exhibition and a collection of sculptures. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the port, passing Montjuic mountain and taking in fantastic views of the Olympic Ring, the Olympic Stadium and an outside view of the Spanish Village. There will be a short stop at the Mirador viewpoint for a great photo opportunity of the city.
Few cities of the world can boast such architectural richness and culture as the electrifying metropolis of Barcelona. This extensive tour of the city takes in many of the major highlights, including the Old Quarter and the city’s most eccentric landmark - Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Work on this church began in 1882 and still continues today. If you’re a first time visitor to Barcelona, don’t miss the chance to see it. Another ‘must see’ attraction you’ll visit is The Spanish Village, where you can see many examples of Spanish architecture. Enjoy the arts and crafts shops and spend some time shopping before taking a drive through Montjuic Gardens.
Fusing French Riviera glam with the feel of a traditional old town, Toulon is your gorgeous gateway to the Côte d’Azur.
- Follow the sound of popping corks and clinking…
Time in port: 09:00 - 18:00
Once a sleepy fishing village, St Tropez was catapulted onto the world map in the 1950’s by legends like Brigitte Bardot and Sacha Distel. They turned it into the French Riviera’s chic capital and these days it’s home to the crème de la crème in film and fashion. There are far more luxury yachts than fishing boats moored at the beautiful harbour. After an hour-and-a-half drive from the port, enjoy a guided walk from the waterfront through the old streets. Take a look at the pink and yellow houses, which have been converted into fashionable cafes and pastry shops. You’ll see Place des Lices, too, where lots of celebs play petanque in the summer. Then you’ll get around two hours’ free time for a little retail therapy or a laid-back lunch. Later on, make a brief visit to charming Port Grimaud, also known as the Little Venice of France. This unique resort looks like a traditional Mediterranean fishing village but in actual fact it’s a modern complex of luxury villas and houses linked by a network of canals, neat little bridges and narrow alleys.
“He who has seen Paris and not Cassis has seen nothing.” Even if this saying by French poet Frederic Mistral seems exaggerated, it still reflects the interest of this little seaside resort at the foot of the Cape Canaille cliff. A former Roman trading post, Cassis is every bit the charmer with its café-lined quays, jagged little coves and sun-blushed beaches. Your coach will drop you off at the top of Cassis, where you'll board a mini-train to take you to the bay area. When you get to this friendly little town, enjoy a short introduction from your guide, then spend some free time getting to know the place, shopping in the boutiques or relaxing in the cafes. Later on, taking the mini train back to the top of Cassis, you’ll re-board the coaches for the drive back to Toulon. If the weather allows it, we'll even to drive to Gineste Hills, a stunning view point, famous in these areas - Make sure you pack your camera for this one.
With its pretty pink and white houses, Sanary Sur Mer gives you a real flavour of Provence. Stroll along the 11th-century harbour, where local boules players share a joke and fishermen sell off their catch at the daily market. The nearby town of Bandol is a real treat, too, with its elegant palm-lined promenade packed with cafés and boutiques. It’s a great place to get your hands on fantastic local produce. Keep an eye out for the wine that comes from the vineyards backing this oh-so-sophisticated resort.
Monaco, despite being the most densely populated country in the world, is just a fraction of the size of the Isle of Wight. You’ll find this pint-sized nation in a prime…Time in port: 08:00 - 18:00
On this tour, you can cover off the sights of both Monaco and Monte Carlo in one trip. After a short drive from the port to the centre of Monaco’s old town, your guide will take you on a walk around the cobblestone streets in the area. They’ll point out the grand façade of the Oceanographic Museum, the Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Prince’s Palace along the way. You’ll then have some free time to explore, before getting back on the bus to travel to Monte Carlo. Then, it’s a 15-minute stroll up to Place du Casino – a square edged by the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, the luxurious Hotel de Paris and glass-fronted designer stores like Cartier and Piaget. Your guide will explain a little about the area, before giving you time to look around. Do a bit of window shopping, try your luck in the casino, or ogle the Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked outside, before walking to the bus for the drive back to the port.
When you think of the south of France, some of the big-hitter spots that come to mind are Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo. On this tour, you can tick off all three in a day. To kick things off, you’ll get a coach from Monaco to Nice, ready for a walk around the old town. Your guide will be with you to point out the sights and, after, you’ll have some time to look around, or grab some lunch in one of the pretty squares. After, you’ll get back on the coach and head back to Monaco. Your time in the wealthy principality starts in the old town, where your guide will help you spot Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the Prince’s Palace and the Oceanographic Museum. You’ll have a bit of free time before going back to the coach, which you can use to look inside the cathedral, or sip a coffee in a street-side café. The final stop is at Monte Carlo’s Casino Square. Your guide will give you an overview of the area, before leaving you to explore. Walk the route of the Formula 1 race track, pose in front of the casino, or treat yourself to a cocktail at the luxurious Hotel de Paris, before getting the coach back to the port.
Today, you’ll get to see some of Nice’s standout sights during this snapshot city tour. You’ll kick things off with an hour’s journey from the port in Monaco to Nice, where you’ll hop on an eco-friendly electric trolley train. You’ll then set off for a guided drive to the city’s old quarter. On the way, you’ll travel down the Promenade de Anglais – a seven-kilometre-long road that runs along the city’s waterfront. When you arrive, you’ll have some free time to explore on your own. This 17th-century maze of cobbled streets and alleyways is filled with shops and open-air markets, which you can browse for souvenirs like bottles of red wine, ceramic bowls and olive oil sets. Architecture and history buffs can also stroll over to the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate. This Baroque national monument opened its doors in 1685, and you can snap some photos of its gold-gilded altar and artwork during your visit. When you’re done, you’ll take the trolley train back to the coach, which will be waiting to start the return journey to the port.
Get ready to be impressed – this is your gateway to the dazzling riches of Florence and Pisa.
- A living monument to the Renaissance, Florence might be famous for…
Time in port: 08:00 - 19:00
The city of art, Florence has so much to offer, from grand old Renaissance churches to timeworn Medieval streets. An escort will accompany you to Florence, where you’ll start your guided visit. The city’s historical centre is now a pedestrian zone and this is where your sightseeing begins. Clap eyes on the orange-roofed Duomo and weave your way through the pretty maze of streets to the Gothic Old Palace with its ornate courtyard. You’ll get to see Ponte Vecchio, too, the only bridge in Florence to survive the World War II bombings. After that, you’ll have some free time to explore, whether you want to visit the famous galleries or just tuck into a tasty lunch in the sun. Then it’s time to head for your second city of the day – Pisa. Once you get here, it's approximately a 15minute walk to the Miracle Square to see the famous Leaning Tower, one of the most recognised sites in the world.
Leaving Livorno behind, enjoy the gorgeous Tuscan countryside on your way to Pisa. Upon arrival you will be dropped off at the bus terminal and will walk to Miracle Square. Your walking tour will focus on this famous meeting point, otherwise known as Campo dei Miracoli, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Visit the 13th-century cathedral, with its Tuscan-Romanesque facade and Muslim-inspired interior. See the Baptistery, built between 1153 and 1278, and, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where Galileo conducted his gravity experiments. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to shop for souvenirs before meeting with your escort and returning to Livorno.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the prima donna of Italy’s architecture. This tipsy-looking tower began tilting during construction and it’s demanded constant attention ever since. On this trip, you’ll get the chance to go inside the temperamental-looking tower. A flight of 296 stairs leads to the top. When you reach the summit, you’ll be standing close to the spot where Galileo conducted some of his experiments into gravity. These tests were ground-breaking in every sense of the word. The scientist dropped 2 different sized balls off the top of the tower back in the 16th century to prove that their size didn’t affect how fast they fell. Once you’ve scaled the tower, you’ll have some free time in the square that surrounds it. The Campo dei Miracoli is postcard pretty and edged by souvenir stands where vendors sell Leaning Tower themed everything – from statues to chess sets. You’ll take the scenic route back to the port when you’ve finished exploring.
Few cities on earth have the power to bowl you over quite like Rome. Discover a city packed with historical wonder, artistic splendour and culinary temptation at every…Time in port: 08:00 - 19:00
Similar to the Rome Express, this tour gives you the chance to visit all the major sites in Rome, this time you'll travel there in the comfort of a fully air-conditioned coach. On arrival to the Eternal City you’ll see famous sites like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Venice Square and of course, the ultimate symbol of Rome - the mighty Colosseum. After some free time to enjoy lunch, you’ll carry on to the Vatican City to see the famous St. Peter’s Square. Created by Bernini, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. You’ll also find here the famous Basilica where St. Peter was buried. Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design to create an unparalleled masterpiece. This is an ideal trip for first timers to Rome.
Been to Rome and know your way around? Good with a map? Then take advantage of this coach transfer into the centre of Rome and explore the city at your own pace. A local escort will accompany you into Rome to a drop-off point in the heart of the city. On the way, they’ll give you a map and point out all the ‘must sees’. They’ll also tell you the meeting point and time for your return journey. With around seven hours free time, it’s ideal for anyone who wants to explore independently.
This is a very special tour that gives you chance to visit Rome on the Express to Rome. It’s a fast, private and luxury train, which is a new and exclusive way to discover the Eternal City. Shuttle coaches will be waiting to transport you across to the monument side of the city for the start of your guided walking tour that will take in famous sites like the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Navona Square and of course, the ultimate symbol of Rome - the mighty Colosseum. After a stop for lunch at a typical Italian restaurant, you’ll carry on to the Vatican City to see the famous St. Peter’s Square. Created by Bernini, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. You’ll also find here the famous Basilica where St. Peter was buried. Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design to create an unparalleled masterpiece. After some free time here you’ll reach the station, where your exclusive train will take you back to Civitavecchia.
Rugged peaks, emerald countryside, twinkling blue waters – Corsica’s been plucked from the prettiest postcard. Rising up from one of the most beautiful gulfs in the world…Time in port: 08:00 - 18:00
Go off the beaten track and discover all Corsica’s best bits. The island’s scenery is nothing short of sensational. Think herby-green maquis, vineyards and sheer granite cliff faces - it’s about as far as you can get from the cosmopolitan buzz of the beach resorts. Your tour takes you on a drive through the mountains to Cricheto Pass. Here you’ll board a little wheel train to get to grips with Corsica’s back country and learn all about herbs like sage, juniper and myrtle that make up the maquis. After your little train ride, make a beeline for the Prunelli Gorge, a sinuous ravine carved through the mountain by a small river. And nearby you'll find the gorgeous Lake Tolla, well worth a picture before you head back to the ship. After your photostop you’ll be treated to a small local snack.
This trip is about as laid-back as it gets, with the focus falling very much on tradition. You’ll head through the outskirts of town, delving deep into the fragrant Corsican countryside. The first place you’ll come to is a winery where you’ll get chance to try the fruity local tipples. You can purchase a bottle or two of your favourites, then head off to a factory specialising in essential oils. If you thought the countryside smelled sweet, wait until you get to this place. The air is thick with the scent of natural oils and remedies, which you’ll see being made from local herbs and flowers. Moving on, you’ll stop off at a family-run nougat factory. Indulge your sweet tooth with a few chunks of this French fancy. You’ll get to see a step-by-step demonstration of how it’s made, too. Plus, if you’ve developed a taste for it, there’s time to buy the ones you like best before heading back to the ship.
When beauty was handed out, it appears Corsica was at the front of the queue. For centuries, the island has drawn people based on its looks alone – and on this trip you’ll get to witness it for yourself. Leaving the port behind, you’ll venture into the spectacular Corsican countryside. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that a lot of the island’s covered in maquis. It’s a thick carpet of sweet-smelling flowers that’s earned Corsica the title ‘the scented isle’. Your first stop is Prunelli’s River Gorge, where red granite cliffs plunge dramatically into the river. Then you’ll carry on to the view point above the artificial lake of Tolla - the views will have you reaching for your camera. There’s time to take photos before you head back to the ship, passing through traditional hill villages on the way.
When it comes to extravagant dining, this place is a real gem. Pick the likes of lamb rack from the à la carte menu, and enjoy attentive waiter service in contemporary surroundings. Just so you know, a cover charge applies and you’ll need to make a reservation.
Waiter service and bright and spacious surroundings make the Orion Restaurant a relaxing place for breakfast, lunch and multi-course dinners. It’s got an open-seating policy, so you’re free to dine where and when you like. Simply pick your spot and order the likes of just-the-way-you-want-them breakfast eggs or slow roast lamb from the evening menu.
Marella Dream's newest à la carte restaurant offers up pan-Asian cuisine with suitably themed interiors. Just so you know, a cover charge applies.