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.

Starting at: $5,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Bonifacio, Corsica  The famous Duomo or cathedral in Florence, featuring the campanile, Baptistery, and Brunelleschi's Dome  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, the centerpiece of the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  Florence's Duomo  The legendary tower of Pisa  The seaside town of Vernazza, one of the Cinqueterre villages  The village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera  The Rock of Monte Carlo with the Prince's Palace   The market of Nice's Old Town  The quintessential medieval town of Carcassonne  The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona  Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Família in Barcelona  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  View of Rome from St. Peter’s Basilica, with Bernini’s colonnade  Interior of St. Peter's Basilica with Bernini's Baldocchio  Michaelangelo's frescoes at the Sistine Chapel  The Roman Forum

Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France, and Spain

From Barcelona to Rome Aboard the 72-guest Variety Voyager

8-9 days from $5,995

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.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Rome Pre-Cruise Option  3 Days, 2 Nights*

The Eternal City of Rome, a World Heritage Site, showcases the magnificent landmarks from a thousand years as a center of power, culture, and religion. Tour St. Peter’s Basilica, the incomparable Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy an overview of the city’s ancient monuments including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon. Deluxe, two-night accommodations are in the ideally located, The Westin Excelsior Rome Hotel

Barcelona Post-Cruise Option  3 Days, 2 Nights*

Explore the heart of Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia, originally a Roman trading port named Barcino. Enjoy a city tour featuring the original Old Town, the Gothic Quarter, and see the Gaudí sites of Casa Mila, La Pedrera, and visit La Sagrada Família. Spend a full day exploring the mountains of Montserrat in Catalonia, a Benedictine monastery, and 16th-century basilica. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Hotel Majestic Barcelona.

*Please Note: Guests on the 2016 Fall Barcelona post-cruise option will enjoy 2 Days and 1 Night in the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona Hotel. 

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.

2017 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 — Nice, France / Monte Carlo, Monaco

One of the oldest human settlements in the world with archaeological sites dating to the Lower Paleolithic period, Nice remains rich in its traditions and centuries-old culture. This capital of the Côte d’Azur is bursting with colors that inspired Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. Enjoy a walking tour of Vieux Nice (old town) and a stroll through its vibrant outdoor flower market. 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 St. Nicholas Cathedral, where Princess Grace is interred. (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 — Port-La-Nouvelle 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. 

2016 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Barcelona, Spain

Day 2 — Barcelona

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 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 — Marseille 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-centuries.

Transfer to Marseille and enjoy a walking tour of Marseille's 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, terracotta 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-Epoque 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 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 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 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 — Depart for the U.S.

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