As your ship cruises into Valletta, a magical skyline of soaring steeples and bulbous church domes rises to greet you. This is Malta's quintessential capital, a captivating…Time in port: 09:00 - 18:00
This driving tour takes in some of Malta’s most famous sights – everything from bomb-proof buildings to natural wonders are on the agenda. First up, you’ll set off on the coach and head for the historic city of Vittoriosa, where you’ll get to see the Church of St Lawrence, which is home to the observation tower used by Grand Master La Vallette during the siege of 1565. From here, it’s on to Marsaxlokk, Malta’s largest fishing village, where you’ll have some time to explore before getting back on the coach. Next up, you’ll drive through some tiny villages before reaching the Blue Grotto – a cluster of picturesque sea caverns on the south coast. Then, you’ll pass through the town of Girgenti, home of the Prime Minister’s summer residence, before making tracks for the Dingli Cliffs – Malta’s highest point. From here, you’ll drive through Rabat, and around the edges of Mdina, Malta’s old capital city. Lastly, there’s a stop in the town of Mosta, which is famous for its church, which was hit by a shell bomb in World War II. The bomb went through the property but, miraculously, didn’t explode.
Your tour kicks off just a short coach ride from the capital with a visit to the ‘Malta Experience’ - a spectacular show bringing to life more than 7,000 years of history, followed by a visit to the Barrakka Gardens, Valletta’s most beautiful garden with a breath-taking view of the Grand Harbour and the old towns of Senglea and Vittoriosa. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to walk the main attractions of Valletta like the exterior of the Grandmaster’s Palace, the House of Parliament and the outside of Castille Palace. You then make your way to Mdina, the ancient capital city, for a wander around the bastions and ramparts. You’ll also get the chance to go inside the beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral. Next comes Rabat, a town just outside Mdina, famous for its crafts and local trades. Here, you’ll make one last stop at the ‘Tales of the Silent City’, where you’ll get some free time to shop for take-home trinkets, before re-boarding the ship.
Set off on a cruise round Valletta’s two natural harbours. This is the ultimate chill-out experience, so just sit back with a drink and watch as you float past Malta’s capital. You’ll drift by historical forts, battlements and creeks that can only be seen from the sea. Back on dry land, you’ll have some free time for retail therapy in Sliema. You can dip in and out of boutiques selling shoes, jewellery and bastketware. Simply sit beneath a parasol and sip a cup of coffee at one of the charming cafeterias dotting the seafront or just enjoy a local ice-cream on the Sliema promenade.
From the tangle of timeworn streets to the sickle-shaped harbour dotted with rustic trattorias, it’s easy to see why Shakespeare chose Messina as the setting of his romantic…Time in port: 08:00 - 17:00
Enjoy a scenic drive to Europe’s largest active volcano, the famous Mount Etna. Upon arrival at the Crateri Silvestri, around 1,950 metres above sea level, you’ll see slopes that soar up to 3,296 metres and mountains covered with cones and craters. From the top of the Silvestri crater, enjoy great views over the Gulf of Catania. However, the real attraction here is the crater itself and the remnants of awe-inspiring lava streams. Etna’s known to have erupted regularly during antiquity. The black lava around the crater dates from recent eruptions, while the grey lava is much older. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most impressive volcanoes in the world.
One of the prettiest towns in Italy, Taormina’s been a holiday resort since Roman times. And here’s your chance to get to know this characterful Medieval town, whose cliff-top setting alone is enough to win you over. Set off on a guided walking tour, passing places like the Gothic Corvaja Palace. Taormina’s star turn though is a Greek amphitheatre, known as 'Teatro Greco'. Work began on the place back in the 3rd-century BC and it owes much of its appearance to the Romans, the Greeks' successors in Sicily. Architecture aside, it’s the backdrop that’ll really take your breath away. Cue sparkling blue waters, jagged peaks and Mount Etna smoking in the distance. After you’ve had a good look around, there’s time for a little souvenir shopping or a stroll down Piazza del Duomo before heading back to your ship.
Set on the southern slopes of the Peloritan Mountains, Savoca was founded in the first half of the 12th-century. Your local guide will show you round this pretty little town and take you the Chiesa Madre and the Church of the Capucines. Afterwards, stop in front of the famous Bar Vitelli made famous by The Godfather film for a photo opportunity. Then walk through the ruins of the Medieval Castle, soaking up the Sicilian atmosphere. Your tour will continue to the gorgeous Medieval village of Forza D'Agro. Overlooking the Ionian Sea, it’s protected by a rock on which the 16th-century castle was built. Walk to the Church of Annunciation, where Michael Corleone's wedding was filmed in The Godfather II, then have some free time for photos before returning to your coach.
Taranto is surrounded by a natural harbour so this city and seafood go hand in hand – it’s particularly well-known for oysters and mussels. The historical old town spreads…Time in port: 09:00 - 17:00
This trip’s like a living history lesson, where you’ll get a first-hand look at Taranto’s relics and ruins. Despite its location, on the heel of Italy’s boot, there’s a Greek undercurrent to everything here. You’ll start at the archaeological museum, which is set in a former convent, and showcases ancient Greek and Roman artefacts. From here, your guide will lead you into the head-turning city centre. The Temple of Poseidon, which dates back to the sixth century BC, and the Gothic Church of San Domenico, are among the first stop-offs. You’ll see Romanesque and Baroque styles at Taranto Cathedral, and the tour’s capped off with a visit to the Castello Aragonese – a huge waterside fortress built in the 15th century. Before things wrap up, you’ll get a wedge of free time to explore the city under your own steam.
You’ll get off to a tasty start on this trip, as you tuck into local delicacies in Martina Franca. It’s right in the centre of Italy’s stiletto-like heel, and there’s a clear divide between the old and new neighbourhoods. Leaving the apartment-lined avenues of the main town behind, you’ll pass through the grand Porto Santo Stefano gateway into the maze-like Centro Storico. Follow the guide through these narrow alleys and you’ll reach Piazza Roma – a pretty, tree-lined square with a fountain in the centre. One side’s filled by Martina Franca’s most-prized building, the Palazzo Ducale, and the other leads further into the walled old town. Keep an eye out for the ornate Basilica di San Martino as the tour continues, before finishing with a spot of solo sightseeing.
The sleepy Puglian town of Alberobello has one serious claim-to-fame, and you’ll learn all about it on this trip. The attraction in question is the town’s iconic Trulli – a collection of whitewashed houses with conical stone roofs. It’s not uncommon to see them dotted around the region, but Alberobello has entire neighbourhoods filled with these quirky little buildings. They’re so important, that UNESCO declared the Trulli a World Heritage Site in 1996. Your guide will lead you through the narrow lanes while telling you about their history, before finishing up at St Antonio – the only Trulli-style church in the world. At the end of your tour, you’ll have a bit of time to look around at your own leisure.
Awash with colourful flowers, Corfu is big on beauty. It’s known as the Emerald Isle, and its golden beaches, lush green landscape and colourful villages will have you…Time in port: 09:00 - 17:00
Achilleion Palace and Corfu Town’s old quarter are two of the most talked-about attractions on the island, and on this trip, you can give them your full attention. The sightseeing starts on the drive out to Achilleion Palace. As you pass through the Corfiot countryside, you’ll get a real feel for just how green this Greek island is – look out for orange, lemon and olive groves. The Achilleion Palace is in the village of Gastouri and it was built at the end of the 19th century as a summer retreat for Empress Elizabeth of Austria. As you explore this royal residence, you’ll discover that Elizabeth had a taste for the finer things in life. Inside, grand halls are decorated with frescos. Outside, the gardens are dotted with statues of Greek gods. When you’ve finished wandering around the palace, you’ll make your way back to Corfu Town for a walking tour of the old quarter. This part of the city was built by the Venetians more than 400 years ago, so there’s a strong spectre of Italy in the architecture here. Expect narrow streets and Baroque building facades. Take note of the location of St Spyridon’s church – you might want to come back here during the free time that follows the guided tour.
Glyfada Beach is a Blue Flag strip of sand on Corfu’s west coast. You’ll have three hours to enjoy it during this trip. The soft, golden sand unravels into a crystal-clear lagoon. While behind it, dramatic, tree-peppered cliffs tower over a smattering of shops and restaurants. You can be as relaxed or active as you like – top up your tan as you lie on a sunlounger*, or get stuck in with watersports*. There’s windsurfing, waterskiing and pedal boats up for grabs.
For a different way of exploring a port of call, try one of our bike tours. This way, you can really get to know a destination and see the places that bus tours can't reach. You'll be led around by a guide, who'll give you the lowdown on all the sights.
For years, the travel-savvy have kept Montenegro under their sunhats. But now the cat’s creeping out of the bag – and it’s hardly surprising. A tiny republic in southeast…Time in port: 08:00 - 16:00 | Tender to shore
The port of Kotor finds a home on the world’s southernmost fjord - or the ‘Bride of the Adriatic’, as it’s also known. As places go, it’s beautiful. Think blue seas. A stony shore. Green mountains. All drenched in the heavenly scent of lemons, oranges, mimosas and camellias. And here’s your chance to explore this gorgeous part of the world. First you’ll stop at the mountain village of Njegusi to taste the region’s delicious smoked ham and cheese. Stomach full, you’re ready for Cetinje. Known as the ‘Valley of Gods’, it was once the smallest European capital and it’s filled to bursting with beautiful buildings. Here you'll visit the King Nikola's palace before having some free time to stroll around. Next you’re off to Budva - the most popular tourist destination on Montenegro’s map. And quite rightly so. Beautiful architecture meets seductive sandy beaches in this spot. Perhaps that’s why lots of millionaires decide to live here. Want to join them?
Sit back & relax as we transport you around the stunning bay of Kotor to Perast. This Baroque town packs plenty of charm and has a really interesting past. Due to its position nestled on the water front the town used to be known as the ‘defender of the bay’. Take a quick look round the maritime museum before heading out on a boat to one of the two magical islands found in the bay. One island is all natural, while the other is man-made. According to legend the island, the Lady of the Rock, was made over the centuries by seamen who kept an ancient oath. After each successful voyage they placed a rock in the bay until the island was formed. After a look around the Lady of the Rock, you’re off to Budva with a hop, skip and a jump across the bay on a ferry! Budva is the most popular tourist destination on Montenegro’s map. Split your stop here between free time or join your guide on a walking tour. Your day doesn’t end there - last stop is the historical town of Kotor for a guided tour. Prepare to fall in love with Montenegro!
When a town is two thousand years old like Kotor there are plenty of stories to tell. Its ancient Roman beginnings. Its Middle Ages struggle of ownership between Goths, Saracens and Serbians. Its Venetian past. With a history like this, it’s no surprise Kotor has got itself a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. And what better way to explore it than with a guided walking tour? In every stone of its timeworn walls, on every fresco painting and every hidden alley, you’ll relive its glorious past. The old town centre is still really well preserved and the criss-crossed narrow streets and squares have monuments at every corner. From Prince’s Palace and Napoleon’s Theatre to the most recognisable symbol of the city - the Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Tryphon – you’ll be mesmerised from the word go. And how many towns in this part of the world have preserved their fortifications from the Middle Ages? Not many. But Kotor is one of the few. The chunky walls surrounding the old town are impressive to say the least - at some places they reach 20 metres in height and 16 metres in thickness. If you don’t believe us, you’ll have plenty of time to measure them in the free time you’ll get here. Have we given you enough reasons to join our guided visit to Kotor? We think so.