Cruise the sparkling turquoise waters and evocative coastlines of the Italian, French, and Spanish Rivieras and explore the dynamic history, art, and culture of the region.

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 Place Massena, Nice  Bonifacio, Corsica  Cathedral Santa Maria del Fior, Duomo, in Florence, Italy  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, centerpiece of the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  The legendary tower of Pisa  The village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera  The seaside town of Vernazza, one of the Cinqueterre villages  The Rock of Monte Carlo with the Prince's Palace   Town Hall Square, Aix-en-Provence  The medieval fortifications of Carcassonne  The port of Barcelona

Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France, and Spain

From Barcelona to Rome Aboard the Le Jacques Cartier

9 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Cruise the sparkling turquoise waters and evocative coastlines of the Italian, French, and Spanish Rivieras and explore the dynamic history, art, and culture of the region.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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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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Overview

Cruise the sparkling waters and legendary coastlines of the Mediterranean as you explore the dynamic history, art, and culture of the region.

Highlights Include

  • Carcassonne: Tour this well-preserved walled town and travel to the Cistercian Abbaye de Fontfroide.
  • Aix-en-Provence and Marseille: Drive to Aix to explore the heart of France's sun-drenched Provençal region, then enjoy a panoramic tour of the Old Port of Marseille.
  • Monaco and Nice: Capture the essence of the Côte d'Azur during walking tours of Monaco and Nice, including a visit to the Prince's Palace in Monaco.
  • Cinque Terre and Portofino: Explore this picturesque area and World Heritage site by private boat, visit the villages of Vernaza and Riomaggiore, and spend a leisurely evening in Portofino.
  • Florence or Pisa and Lucca: In Florence, admire art treasures at the Academia and the famous Duomo and Baptistery. Or, choose to visit the beautifully preserved medieval cities of Lucca and Pisa.
  • Corsica: Enjoy a walking tour of Bonifacio, which reflects a French character with strong Italian imprint.
  • Small Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising aboard an upscale small ship that features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. See more information on the Tour Details page. 

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.

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 Bougainville. (D)

Day 3 —Bonifacio, Corsica, France

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.

Tonight join your traveling companions for the captain’s welcome reception. (B,L,R,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

This morning set out on a panoramic and walking tour of picturesque Nice.  Drive to the hill of Mont Boron for a panoramic view over the Old Port of Nice and surrounding areas. Then, see the Promenade des Anglais and Massena square before arriving in Nice's Old Town for a walking tour.  See the Palace of Kings of Sardinia, Baroque churches, narrow streets and sunny squares.

The principality of Monaco’s dazzling historic district, Monte Carlo offers an intoxicating mixture of princely sights and intrigue. Admire the legendary belle-époque architecture and enjoy a walking tour on the historic Rock of Monaco. See the changing of the guards at the Prince’s Palace, home of Europe’s longest-reigning dynasty, and visit 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 — 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 —Barcelona / Depart for the U.S.

Disembark the ship in Barcelona and continue on the Barcelona post-tour extension option, or depart for the U.S.

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