Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France, and Spain
Cruise along famous Mediterranean rivieras from Rome to Barcelona and explore hidden gems and cosmopolitan haunts of the rich and famous. During your voyage, you'll be immersed in the area's dynamic history, inimitable art and culture, and stunning scenery.
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With Smithsonian, we can be confident not only of an excellent trip, but of a wonderful group of fellow travelers to share it with.”
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Save $1,000 per person when you book by March 31, 2016!
• Sept 28-Oct 6, 2016
Join us for a seven night cruise along the Spanish, French, and Italian Rivieras aboard the exclusively chartered Tere Moana (Spring 2016) or the Variety Voyager (Fall 2016*). Explore this stunning region, famous for their picturesque coastal towns and dynamic history, art, and cultures. Barcelona Pre-Cruise and Rome Post-Cruise options avaialable!
- Spain: Board your ship in Barcelona, home to Antoni Gaudi, and cruise along the Spanish coast.
- Carcassonne: Tour this well-preserved medieval fortified town and World Heritage site.
- Marseille and Aix-en-Provence: Explore the charming Old Town areas of these two Provencal cities.
- Nice and Monaco: Capture the essence of the Côte d’Azur in Nice and Monaco.
- Italian Gems: Visit the Cinque Terre’s Vernazza and Riomaggiore by small boat and spend time in charming Portofino. Enjoy the treasures of Florence (or Pisa and Lucca).
- Islands of Sardinia and Corsica: Make stops along the Costa Smeralda and at Bonifacio.
Day 1 — U.S.
Depart the U.S.
Day 2 — Barcelona, Spain
The lively and beautiful quarters of Barcelona are filled with the artistic treasures of Dali, Gaudí, and Picasso, and Europe’s greatest concentration of Gothic architecture. Upon arrival, embark on your exclusively chartered ship. Join your traveling companions for the Captain’s Welcome Reception. (R,D)
Day 3 — Port-La-Nouvelle, France for Carcassonne
Settled on the frontier between France and Spain along ancient trade routes linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean and Iberian Peninsula, the medieval core of Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Occupied since the 6th century B.C., it was fortified by the Romans, conquered by the Visigoths in the 5th century, overrun by Persians in the 7th century, and invaded by Franks and hoards of Barbarians. Each of these civilizations left their indelible influence on the extraordinary architectural and artistic heritage of the city over the centuries. Walk the cobblestone streets, visit the Musée des Beaux Arts, admire the drawbridges and watchtowers of Carcassonne, and enjoy the joyous ringing of bells that evoke its Gothic and medieval past. Travel to the nearby Corbières Mountains to tour the well-preserved, 12th-century Cistercian Abbey of Fontfroide. (B,D)
Day 4 — Marseilles for Aix-en-Provence
This morning, enjoy the picturesque countryside to the beautiful medieval city of Aix-en-Provence, located in the heart of France’s sun-drenched Provençal region and which perhaps captures best the quintessential élan of all that is Provence. Explore Aix on a walking tour through the 17th-century Mazarin District and continue to Old Aix, where 17th- and 18th-century mansions and ornate fountains line the Cours Mirabeau. See the medieval-era Old Town Hall and St. Sauveur Cathedral, a national monument of France featuring Romanesque, Gothic, and Neo-Gothic elements from the 5th to 18th century.
Transfer to Marseilles and enjoy a walking tour of Marseilles’ historic Vieux (old) Port. Nearly three millennia of maritime heritage thrive in this European Capital of Culture’s natural port, where ships have docked since Greek settlers first arrived in 600 B.C. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Nice, Monte Carlo, Monaco
One of the oldest human settlements in the world with archeological sites dating to the Lower Paleolithic period, Nice remains rich in its traditions and centuries-old culture. This capital of the Côte d’Azure is bursting with the colors that inspired Chagall and Matisse: the azure waters of the Mediterranean, terra cotta roofs, ocher and yellow houses, emerald green gardens, budding flower markets, and marbled tile squares of Baroque and French theaters. Reboard the ship for lunch and cruise to Monte Carlo.
The principality of Monaco’s dazzling historic district, Monte Carlo offers an intoxicating mixture of princely sights and intrigue and is famous for its Grand Casino. Admire the legendary belle-époque architecture and enjoy a walking tour on the historic Rock of Monaco. See the Prince’s Palace, home of Europe’s longest-reigning dynasty, and the neo-Romanesque Cathedral of St. Nicholas, where Princess Grace is interred. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Porto Venere, Italy for Cinque Terre, Portofino
From Porto Venere’s small harbor, board a private boat cruise and dock in two villages along the Cinque Terre. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a series of five fishing villages with lovely pastel homes clinging to remote cliffs that jut into the Ligurian Sea. Discover the spectacular nuances of the towns of Riomaggiore and Vernazza, linked by walking paths that offer marvelous views of the charming coves, hidden beaches, and terraced vineyards that produce the famous dessert wine Sciacchetrà.
Dock in Portofino, the perfect village for a leisurely afternoon on the Italian Riviera. Visit the 17th-century San Giorgio Church, home to the relics of this legendary dragon-slaying saint; stroll the pedestrian-only streets; or sip a cappuccino in an outdoor café. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Livorno for Florence or Pisa and Lucca
Enjoy the rolling Tuscan landscape of vineyards and cypresses en route to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. This iconic UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove of unparalleled achievements in art, architecture and literature. Admire Michelangelo’s David, considered one of his crowning achievements; Brunelleschi’s soaring dome at the Duomo of Florence; and Ghiberti’s moving “Doors of Paradise” at the Baptistery of San Giovanni, depicting scenes from the Old Testament in cast bronze.
Alternatively, visit the beautifully preserved medieval cities of Lucca and Pisa, just a short, scenic drive from the port city of Livorno. Pisa’s famous Piazza dei Miracoli, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases the legendary Leaning Tower, the impressive 11th-century Duomo and the largest baptistery in Italy. See Lucca’s intact Renaissance city walls, now a promenade for pedestrians, and its elaborate 11th-century Cattedrale di San Martino, still an important symbol of the city. Join the Captain for a Farewell Reception this evening. (B,R,D)
Day 8 — Golfo Aranci, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Bonifacio, Corsica, France
Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (“Emerald Coast”) features remote seaside villages, glamorous villas, a rugged landscape rising from exquisite white-sand beaches, and azure waters plied by sleek luxury yachts. Anchor at Golfo Aranci near Porto Cervo, a haven for celebrities. On shore, the guided excursion features the well-preserved granite Nuraghe Albucciu, one of the Bronze-Age fortresses unique to Sardinia.
This afternoon, dock in the ancient town of Bonifacio, overlooking the sparkling harbor from sheer white limestone cliffs at the southern tip of the island of Corsica. Often referenced by historians as a site in Homer’s Odyssey, this beautiful port’s fundamentally French character bears a strong Italian imprint, manifested in the islanders’ French-Italian dialect. Transfer by small train to the top of the limestone cliffs for the guided walk through the incredibly picturesque medieval citadel and Old Town. Stroll the Rue des Deux-Empereurs, where Charles V and Napoleon once lodged, and see the Gothic Church of St-Dominique and the famous Grain de Sable limestone formation. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Civitavecchia, Italy, Rome, U.S.
Disembark and continue your journey on the Rome Post-Cruise Option, or depart for the U.S.
*Please Note: Our Fall 2016 program will run in reverse. All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.