This cruise starts and ends Naples, so fly in early and you can cross off a couple of Italy’s most iconic landmarks. There’s mighty Mount Vesuvius, which famously erupted 2000 years ago. Sorrento’s nearby, too, and it’s packed with chic cafés and cobbled streets. So, you can easily spend an afternoon getting lost in the charms of the Amalfi Coast before boarding the ship. And, if you enjoyed exploring the Italian coasts, you’re in luck – we’ll be back before your seven days are up.
After a day at sea you’ll find yourself on Spain’s sunny shores. The Catalonian city of Tarragona lines up sandy beaches and a smattering of Roman ruins, including a coastal amphitheatre. Stop for lunch at one of the town’s restaurants for fresh seafood and sample the local wine. Or, set your sights on Barcelona instead, where you can tick off the impressive Sagrada Familia, and football fans can visit the Nou Camp stadium, home of Barcelona FC.
Today Marella Explorer 2 docks in France, where you’re spoilt for choice with activities. Join our excursion to glamorous St Tropez, where luxury yachts rub shoulders with charming pastry shops, and you might just spot a celebrity or two enjoying a tipple outside a café. Or, if you’d prefer to experience France’s authentic side, Sanary Sur Mer offers a taste of village life in Provence. From the daily flower market to the historic chapel, you’ll feel really off the grid here.
And we’re back in Italy – this time docking at the port for Florence and Pisa. If you fancy some downtime at the beach, join your fellow sun worshippers on the half-an-hour drive to Tirrenia. Work on your tan for a few hours, and grab lunch at the local restaurant. If you’d prefer to explore Tuscany’s big-name sites, visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Renaissance churches of Florence. Or, on our Taste of Tuscany excursion, learn about the traditional wine-making process in the region – with a tasting session included, of course.
Got your must-see list to hand? You’re going to need it. Rome’s been bewitching visitors for centuries, and whether you choose to see it with a tour guide or by yourself, the Eternal City is sure to be a highlight of your trip. On our Rome All In One Day excursion you’ll tick off the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Colosseum, plus visit the world’s smallest country, Vatican City. Don’t worry, you won’t need your passport – just make sure to bring something to cover up with if you want to go inside the Sistine Chapel.
Our final stop before returning to Naples is the port for the island of Sardinia, famous for its natural scenery and postcard-pretty coastline. The Caribbean-like beaches are some of Italy’s best, or stretch your legs on a bike ride around the pastel-coloured villages. History buffs will love the Roman artefacts in the National Archaeological Museum of Olbia, and the Spanish-inspired architecture.
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Author: Lizzie Butler
Published: May 24, 2019
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