Explore hidden gems and cosmopolitan haunts of the rich and famous while you cruise along the famous Mediterranean rivieras between Rome and Barcelona. During your voyage, you'll be immersed in the area's dynamic history, inimitable art and culture, and stunning scenery.

Starting at: $4,595 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The seaside town of Vernazza, one of the Cinqueterre villages  The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Família in Barcelona  The quintessential medieval town of Carcassonne  The Rock of Monte Carlo with the Prince's Palace   The village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, the centerpiece of the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  The famous Duomo or cathedral in Florence, featuring the campanile, Baptistery, and Brunelleschi's Dome  The legendary tower of Pisa  Bonifacio, Corsica

Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France, and Spain

From Rome to Barcelona Aboard the 72-guest Le Lyrial

9 days from $4,595

Explore hidden gems and cosmopolitan haunts of the rich and famous while you cruise along the famous Mediterranean rivieras between Rome and Barcelona. During your voyage, you'll be immersed in the area's dynamic history, inimitable art and culture, and stunning scenery.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

With Smithsonian, we can be confident not only of an excellent trip, but of a wonderful group of fellow travelers to share it with.

- Anna P.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $1,000 per person when you book by March 17, 2017!

Overview

The sparkling turquoise waters and evocative coastlines of the Italian, French, and Spanish Rivieras enticed the Greeks and Romans to settle here. Later, 19th-century Europeans came on the “Grand Tour,” Italian nobility influenced new developments, and artists and writers were drawn to the radiant quality of the light and the region’s glamour. Come with us on this special cruise, which showcases the history, culture, and art of the western Mediterranean.

Highlights Include

  • Islands of Sardinia and Corsica: Delight in the vistas of coastal villages, stylish villas, and rugged landscapes rising from azure waters. Take an excursion to one of the Bronze-Age fortresses of Sardinia and enjoy a walking tour of Corsica’s Bonifacio.
  • Florence or Pisa and Lucca: View the rolling hills of Tuscany en route to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, where you’ll admire masterpieces by Michelangelo and see the work of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti at the famous Duomo and Baptistery. Or, visit the beautifully preserved medieval cities of Lucca and Pisa, just a short drive from the port of Livorno.
  • Cinque Terre and Portofino: Board a small boat to explore the Cinque Terre, a World Heritage site comprising picturesque villages, stopping to visit lovely Vernazza and Riomaggiore. Spend a leisurely afternoon in Portofino, a fishing village of pastel houses that now attracts the glamorous with their sleek yachts.
  • Monaco: Capture the essence of the Côte d’Azur during a walking tour of Monaco.
  • Marseille and Aix-en-Provence: Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Port of Marseille, once used by ancient Greek ships. Drive north to Aix and discover the Old World mansions and ornate fountains of the Cours Mirabeau, plus the Old Town Hall and St. Sauveur Cathedral.
  • Carcassonne: Tour this well-preserved World Heritage site, once home to Romans, Visigoths, Persians, Franks, and other peoples. Plus travel to the nearby 12th-century Cistercian Abbaye de Fontfroide.
  • Barcelona: Conclude your voyage in the city of Antoni Gaudí. 

With Smithsonian, we can be confident not only of an excellent trip, but of a wonderful group of fellow travelers to share it with.

- Anna P.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Rome, Italy / Civitavecchia

Upon arrival in Rome, transfer to the pier in Civitavecchia and embark the five-star Le Lyrial. Join your traveling companions for the captain’s welcome reception. (R,D)

Day 3 —Golfo Aranci, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia / Bonifacio, Corsica, France

Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (“Emerald Coast”) features remote seaside villages, elegant 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, a panoramic tour features the well-preserved granite Nuraghe Albucciu, one of the Bronze-Age fortresses unique to the island of Sardinia.

This afternoon, dock below 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 portrayed 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 for the 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 4 — Livorno, Italy, for Florence or Pisa and Lucca

Enjoy the rolling Tuscan landscape of vineyards and cypress trees en route to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. This iconic World Heritage site is a treasure trove of unparalleled achievements in art, architecture and literature. Admire Michelangelo’s David, considered one of his greatest masterpieces; Brunelleschi’s soaring dome at the Duomo of Florence; and Ghiberti’s moving Doors of Paradise, the magnificent bronze-cast entryway to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, depicting scenes from the Old Testament.

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 World Heritage site, showcases the legendary Leaning Tower, the impressive 11th-century duomo and the largest baptistery in Italy. Lucca’s intact Renaissance city walls are now a promenade for pedestrians, and its elaborate 11th-century Cattedrale di San Martino is still an important symbol of the city. (B,D)

Day 5 — Porto Venere for Cinque Terre / Portofino

From Porto Venere’s small harbor, board a private boat cruise and dock in two villages of the famous, picturesque Cinque Terre. This World Heritage site is a series of charming, colorful fishing villages that cling to remote cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Discover the spectacular nuances 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. You may choose to visit the 17th-century San Giorgio Church, home to the relics of this legendary dragon-slaying saint, stroll the pedestrian-only lanes or sip a cappuccino on the terrace of an outdoor café. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Monte Carlo, Monaco/St. Tropez

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 St. Nicholas Cathedral, where Princess Grace is interred. 

Enjoy an evening at leisure in the resort town of St. Tropez. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Marseilles for Aix-en-Provence

Nearly three millennia of maritime heritage thrive in Marseilles, the 2013 European Capital of Culture and a natural port where ships have docked since Greek settlers first arrived in 600 B.C. Enjoy a panoramic tour featuring the historical heart of the city, its Old Town, the majestic 19th-century Cathédrale de la Major, the opulent Notre Dame de la Garde with its neo-Byzantine interior and extraordinary city views from the grounds, and the Vieux Port (Old Port) which some consider to be the birthplace of Marseilles. Drive on the picturesque Corniche Kennedy, a meandering boulevard overlooking the sea dedicated to the late United States president, and travel along the historic high street, Canèbiere, built by Louis XIV in 1666.

Transfer by motor coach through 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. Visit the Cathedral of Saint Sauveur, considered a national monument by the French, built in the Romanesque, Gothic and neo-Gothic architectural styles on the site of the first-century Roman Forum of Aix. Stroll through the Mazarin district and Old Aix and enjoy the famous Cours Mirabeau, a classic, grand boulevard lined with plane trees and elegant 17th- and 18th-century townhouses. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Sete for Carcassonne

Settled on the former frontier between France and Spain along ancient trade routes linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean and Iberian Peninsula and occupied since the sixth century B.C., Carcassonne was fortified by the Romans, conquered by the Visigoths in the fifth century, captured by Persians in the seventh century, later invaded by Franks and overrun by Barbarians. Each of these civilizations left their indelible influence on the extraordinary architectural and artistic heritage of this city over the centuries, and the medieval core of Carcassonne that remains today is an extraordinary World Heritage site. Walk the cobblestone streets, admire the drawbridges and watchtowers and appreciate 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.

Join the captain for a farewell reception this evening. (B,R,D)

Day 9 —Depart for the U.S.

Disembark and continue on the Barcelona post-cruise option, or depart for the U.S. 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)