Western Mediterranean Cruise ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Rome (Civitavecchia) , Italy | Nice (Villefranche) , France | Barcelona , Spain | Valencia , Spain | Cartagena , Spain | Rome (Civitavecchia) , Italy

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DAY 1 - Departure Day

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

BORN TO EXPLORE

The Eternal City endures with endless adventures. Sip a cappuccino in an al fresco café and watch the city wake. Peruse ancient artifacts in National Roman Museum and Italian masterworks in Villa Borghese. Or learn about the ancestors of the Romans at the National Etruscan Museum.

View of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy
The Vatican dome in Italy

The Eternal City endures with endless adventures. Sip a cappuccino in an al fresco café and watch the city wake. Peruse ancient artifacts in National Roman Museum and Italian masterworks in Villa Borghese. Or learn about the ancestors of the Romans at the National Etruscan Museum.

View of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy
The Vatican dome in Italy
Things To Do

in Rome (Civitavecchia)

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

ANCIENT AND AMAZING

Walk through the heart of Ancient Rome. Start at the Colosseum, an enormous arena where gladiators once battled. Then meander around the Roman Forum’s timeworn ruins, past crumbling temples and basilicas. See where emperors lived on Palatine Hill— and enjoy an up-close view of the 2,000-year-old, well-preserved Pantheon church.

A fountain in Piazza Navona  in Italy

FAMOUS PLACES

Roam around Rome’s piazzas, as each offers a unique perspective. Dine al fresco in Piazza Navona and climb The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. Wander cobbled alleys in bustling Trastevere and browse Campo de’ Fiori’s artisan stalls. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good measure.

Statues in the Vatican Museum

SACRED PLACES

Explore the Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection of tapestries and classical statues. Step inside the Sistine Chapel and be awed by Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Then enter St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches, to stand under its enormous sky-piercing dome.

Pizza, pasta, and antipasta on a table in Rome

LOCAL CUISINE

Romans live to eat, whether it’s family-style or in a sidewalk café. For an authentic taste of Cucina Romana, try carciofi alla Romana (braised artichokes) or spaghetti alla carbonara. Enjoy panino (stuffed sandwiches) or thin-crusted Roman pizza. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato. Then finish the night with a glass of white wine from the surrounding Lazio region.

Minitature models of the Colosseum and Vatican

SHOPPING

Street stalls throughout the city are your best bet for souvenirs. Via Condotti offers a string of couture Italian designers. Browse artist studios along Via Margutta, or the indie artisan retailers of the Monti neighborhood. Porta Portese is the city’s largest flea market— and La Rinascente, the first department store.

INSIDER TIP

The train ride between Civitavecchia and Rome is approximately 80 minutes each way.

DAY 2 - TENDERED

Nice (Villefranche), France

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

French Riviera

Make your way from Villefranche-sur-Mer into Nice's Vieille Ville (Old City), and acquaint yourself with the culinary, cultural and historical tapestry of France's Cote d'Azur region. Alternatively, head eastward toward the mountaintop town of Eze, where you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the glittering French Riviera.

View of the coast of Nice, France with homes on the hills in the distance
Many people enjoying a beautiful day at the beach in Nice, France
View of the cityscape in Nice, France

Make your way from Villefranche-sur-Mer into Nice's Vieille Ville (Old City), and acquaint yourself with the culinary, cultural and historical tapestry of France's Cote d'Azur region. Alternatively, head eastward toward the mountaintop town of Eze, where you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the glittering French Riviera.

View of the coast of Nice, France with homes on the hills in the distance
Many people enjoying a beautiful day at the beach in Nice, France
View of the cityscape in Nice, France
Things To Do

in Nice (Villefranche)

Eaves crashing on a beach in Nice, France

Hit the Beach

Not surprisingly, Nice is a great place for a day at the beach. Sun yourself at Beau Rivage along the Promenade des Anglais, where Nice's chic locals come to see and be seen, or walk a few minutes east or west or Villafranche-sur-Mer to find a quiet spot for a swim closer to the ship. The pristine Mediterranean waters instantly reveal why this place is known as France's Cote d'Azur — the Azure Coast.

The Matisse Museum in Nice, France

Go Back in Time

Stroll the streets of Nice's Vieille Ville to take a trip back in time. Visit monuments such as the Baroque-era Palais Lascaris and the city's 19th-century Russian Orthodox cathedral, or explore the bevy of museums — don't miss the one dedicated to Nice's prodigal son, artist Henri Matisse. You'll find Nice is more than just a pretty face.

A cliffside botanical garden in Nice, France

View From Above

Take a day-trip to see a little more of France's Cote d'Azur. A particularly popular option is Eze, which is less than a half-hour away from Villefrance-sur-Mer by public bus. Cruise to Nice and walk from the main town up to its mountaintop fortress, which provides a priceless panorama of the entire French Riviera.

A Nicoise salad on a white and blue plate

Local Cuisine

Nice is home to the popular salade nicoise, but the culinary delights here transcend cold starters. Stop at a street vendor and order a crispy socca chickpea pancake, or enjoy la daube nicoise, a slow-cooked beef stew soaked in rich red wine and served with tender gnocchi. You'll find some of the best eateries in the heart of the Vieille Ville with your Nice cruise.

An assortment of scented soaps in wooden crates for sale in France

Shopping

Bring the flavors of Nice along with you after a stop Galleries Lafayette Gourmand, which also offers a wide selection of fines wines from France's nearby Provence region. Shop for postcards, keychains and other local kitsch at Coqueto, hunt down high-end Southern French soaps, or take in the fresh scent of Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya, one of France's largest outdoor flower markets.

INSIDER TIP

Many of Nice's city beaches are rocky. Consider laying out on a couple thick towels, instead of your usual beach blanket.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Barcelona, Spain

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

A MOSAIC OF ADVENTURE

Barcelona is bursting at the seams with culture and adventure. Marvel at modernist facades designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Meander along the whimsical garden pathways of Park Güell. Take a chef-led Catalan cooking class, relish citywide views atop Montjuïc Hill – even swim with sharks at one of Europe’s largest aquariums.

La Sagrada Couple Walking
The gothic Barcelona Cathedral at night, in Barcelona Spain
Barceloneta Beach at sunset, with a view of the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain
View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
The National Museum of Catalan (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) on a Summer day in Barcelona, Spain
View of Castillo de Montjuic on mountain Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is bursting at the seams with culture and adventure. Marvel at modernist facades designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Meander along the whimsical garden pathways of Park Güell. Take a chef-led Catalan cooking class, relish citywide views atop Montjuïc Hill – even swim with sharks at one of Europe’s largest aquariums.

La Sagrada Couple Walking
The gothic Barcelona Cathedral at night, in Barcelona Spain
Barceloneta Beach at sunset, with a view of the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain
View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
The National Museum of Catalan (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) on a Summer day in Barcelona, Spain
View of Castillo de Montjuic on mountain Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain
Things To Do

in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia Interior Colorful

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.

Barceloneta Beach  at Sunset

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harbour-front is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters – or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.

La Rambla Historic Buildings

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, sidewalk cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvelous centerpiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s— and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.

Couple Enjoying the Local Sparkling Cava Wine

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative 'nueva cocina española', while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetisers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.

Couple Strolling Through the Fresh Local Market

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewellery, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades – and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

INSIDER TIP

Lunch and dinner are typically eaten later in Spain than in other European countries.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Valencia, Spain

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

PLAZAS AND PAELLA

Start your day in Valencia by roaming the cobblestone streets of Barrio del Carmen — walk along the 11th-century city walls built by the Moors before popping to one of the neighborhood's many restaurants for seafood-packed paella. Head to El Cabanyal, the old fishermen's quarter near the beach, to enjoy the sunshine and fresh seafood. Then, soak in the Mediterranean sun and bright-blue waters at Malvarrosa Beach.

Aerial beach view in Valencia, Spain
The frontal view of the Central station in Valencia, Spain
Saint Mary's Square in Valencia, Spain

Start your day in Valencia by roaming the cobblestone streets of Barrio del Carmen — walk along the 11th-century city walls built by the Moors before popping to one of the neighborhood's many restaurants for seafood-packed paella. Head to El Cabanyal, the old fishermen's quarter near the beach, to enjoy the sunshine and fresh seafood. Then, soak in the Mediterranean sun and bright-blue waters at Malvarrosa Beach.

Aerial beach view in Valencia, Spain
The frontal view of the Central station in Valencia, Spain
Saint Mary's Square in Valencia, Spain
Things To Do

in Valencia

Close up view of a cathedral in Valencia, Spain

Get Gothic

Architecture lovers will fall in love with the Old Town of Valencia. The winding lanes are filled with a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, including the Cathedral and Plaza del Virgen. Grab your camera and climb the 207 steps of the 13th-century Cathedral bell tower for a stunning view of the city to the countryside and the sea.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Arts and Carafe

Venture outside of the Old Town and over to the City of Arts and Sciences. Spend a few hours admiring the modern design of the futuristic buildings by Santiago Calatrava. Check out the Oceanografic Aquarium, home to a wide variety of sharks, belugas and walruses. Afterward, relax outside in the sunshine and beautiful gardens.

Central Market in Valencia, Spain

Go to Market

One of Europe's longest-running food markets, Central Market is the place to go to sample Valencia's seasonal produce, such as artichokes and pears. To beat the crowds, head here early in the morning to enjoy a warm espresso while you shop. Once properly caffeinated, watch as locals do their daily shopping and admire the stained-glass domes and mosaic details.

A Valencian paella being served

Local Cuisine

In Valencia, you'll find plenty of tapas to sample, but you can't leave without enjoying paella. The classic Spanish dish has its roots in this seaside city, where it's usually served up with rabbit, chicken, asparagus and local snails. If you prefer pasta over rice, go in for fideua, a hearty dish of pan-fried noodles piled with local seafood like squid, shrimp or monkfish.

A woman holding a fan in Spain

Shopping

Head to the Old Town of Valencia during your cruise to find some of the best shops offering handmade fans, embroidered silk shawls and Lladro porcelain. If you happen to end up in the city on the weekend, browse the stalls at the flea market in Plaza Redonda.

INSIDER TIP

The city center is very walkable, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes to make the most of your day.

DAY 5 - DOCKED

Cartagena, Spain

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

Explore the Mediterranean Coast

The Mediterranean port of Cartagena is home to 3,000 years of history, with the Roman Theatre dating back to the first century A.D. Visit the eighteenth-century Concepcion Castle and pop into its historical interpretation center while you're there. Stroll through town to enjoy the extensive street art at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

City hall in Cartagena, Spain
Cortina Beach in Cartagena, Spain
Castillitos Battery in Cartagena, Spain

The Mediterranean port of Cartagena is home to 3,000 years of history, with the Roman Theatre dating back to the first century A.D. Visit the eighteenth-century Concepcion Castle and pop into its historical interpretation center while you're there. Stroll through town to enjoy the extensive street art at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

City hall in Cartagena, Spain
Cortina Beach in Cartagena, Spain
Castillitos Battery in Cartagena, Spain
Things To Do

in Cartagena

Couple Walking Through Spain's Roman Theater

Roman Holiday

Check out Cartagena's ancient Roman Theater — built in the first century A.D. and only uncovered in 1987, it's since been reconstructed. Duck into its museum, which passes beneath a palace and a church before it reaches the theater.

The Castle of Cartagena in Cartagena, Spain

Castle on the Hill

The 18th-century castle called Concepcion Castle sits on a hill facing Cartagena. Walk uphill to visit the castle and its history center, or catch the lift at Calle Gisbert for amazing panoramic views en route.

Cartagena, Spain Historic Buildings Intricate Details

The New Within the Old

For all its ancient allure, Cartagena also has Modernist architecture, which you can see along the Calle Mayor area. One example is the home of Cervantes, designed by a local Cartagena architect. Check out the Casino, the Gran Hotel and the railway station for more examples of this exuberantly gaudy style with your Spain Cruise.

Chef Making Traditional Spanish Paella

Local Cuisine

In Cartagena, you'll find authentic Mediterranean dishes featuring fresh-caught seafood, like lightly tempura-battered fried squid. Red prawns from the Mar Menor lagoon and fig bread are local delicacies. Explore off the main tourist streets and hit a tapas bar for tasty fare such as Serrano ham, toasted Cartagena almonds and cracked local olives.

Spain Cartagena Local Artisan Ceramics Shopping

Shopping

The clean, pedestrians-only shopping street Calle Mayor is an easy walk from the port and has the high-street stores of England and Spain. An El Corte Ingles department store and restaurants are housed in gorgeous buildings. Look for ceramics and leather goods in interesting boutiques and shops when you cruise to Cartagena, Spain.

INSIDER TIP

Spanish shops close for siesta between 2 and 5 p.m., and restaurants from about 4 p.m. until around 8 p.m.

DAY 6 - AT SEA

CRUISING

DAY 7 - Arrival Day

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

ARRIVES:
5:00 AM

ETERNAL ADVENTURE

Spend the afternoon combing Ancient Rome’s ruins or the spiritual treasures of Vatican City. Sip pre-dinner aperitivo— or better yet, hop in the home kitchen of a local chef for a hands-on lesson in La Cucina Romana. Evenings in this romantic city are perhaps best spent at the Teatro dell’Opera or wandering its many buzzing piazzas.

The Roman Forum in Rome, Italy
A narrow street in Rome, Italy
The Altare della Patria in Rome, Italy

Spend the afternoon combing Ancient Rome’s ruins or the spiritual treasures of Vatican City. Sip pre-dinner aperitivo— or better yet, hop in the home kitchen of a local chef for a hands-on lesson in La Cucina Romana. Evenings in this romantic city are perhaps best spent at the Teatro dell’Opera or wandering its many buzzing piazzas.

The Roman Forum in Rome, Italy
A narrow street in Rome, Italy
The Altare della Patria in Rome, Italy
Things To Do

in Rome (Civitavecchia)

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

ANCIENT AND AMAZING

Walk through the heart of Ancient Rome. Start at the Colosseum, an enormous arena where gladiators once battled. Then meander around the Roman Forum’s timeworn ruins, past crumbling temples and basilicas. See where emperors lived on Palatine Hill— and enjoy an up-close view of the 2,000-year-old, well-preserved Pantheon church.

A fountain in Piazza Navona  in Italy

FAMOUS PLACES

Roam around Rome’s piazzas, as each offers a unique perspective. Dine al fresco in Piazza Navona and climb The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. Wander cobbled alleys in bustling Trastevere and browse Campo de’ Fiori’s artisan stalls. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good measure.

Statues in the Vatican Museum

SACRED PLACES

Explore the Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection of tapestries and classical statues. Step inside the Sistine Chapel and be awed by Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Then enter St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches, to stand under its enormous sky-piercing dome.

Pizza, pasta, and antipasta on a table in Rome

LOCAL CUISINE

Romans live to eat, whether it’s family-style or in a sidewalk café. For an authentic taste of Cucina Romana, try carciofi alla Romana (braised artichokes) or spaghetti alla carbonara. Enjoy panino (stuffed sandwiches) or thin-crusted Roman pizza. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato. Then finish the night with a glass of white wine from the surrounding Lazio region.

Minitature models of the Colosseum and Vatican

SHOPPING

Street stalls throughout the city are your best bet for souvenirs. Via Condotti offers a string of couture Italian designers. Browse artist studios along Via Margutta, or the indie artisan retailers of the Monti neighborhood. Porta Portese is the city’s largest flea market— and La Rinascente, the first department store.

INSIDER TIP

Conservative attire (no tank tops or shorts) is required when visiting Rome’s religious sites.

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