DAY 3 - 10 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 6 AM to 6 PM
One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome has been an epicentre of politics, art, architecture, and food for thousands of years. It is home to some of the most well-known historic sites such as the Colosseum, the pantheon, and Vatican City. It’s easy to spend a day in a hundred different ways in Rome, whether you’re looking to sip on incredible wine and people-watch, indulge in decadent pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato, or if you’re eager to wander around the streets soaking in all the history you can. Rome is one capital city which will always leave you wanting more.
Things to do in Rome (Civitavecchia):
Found in the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in Europe at just 0.44km² with a population of 1,000 people. It acts as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to The Apostolic Palace - the Pope’s residence –the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.
St Peter's Basilica
Within Vatican City is one of the biggest churches in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. Accommodating up to 20,000 people, this is where the Pope delivers services. Its 136 metre high dome was designed by Michelangelo, and was completed in 1614.
The colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. with 100 days of exciting games. It was mostly used for gladiatorial combat and fights with animals until around the 6th century when it began to fall into disrepair. It was then used to store building materials until the 18th century, when the papacy decided it should be preserved. As it stands now, however, more than two-thirds of the structure has been destroyed.
Known the world-over for its elaborate, 15th century artwork courtesy of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Luca, and Perugino, the Sistine Chapel is where new Popes are elected and ordained. It is located within Vatican City, inside The Apostolic Palace.
This Michelangelo sculpture is located inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the body of Jesus after he has been crucified, being held by the Virgin Mary. The statue was originally commissioned by Jean de Billheres – a French cardinal – as a memorial for his tomb.
This is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome. There are myths surrounding the building of the original Pantheon, but the structure we see today was built in 120 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian. It was created as a Pagan temple to “honour all Gods” – which is the translation of “Pantheon”. In the year 609 it was converted to a Christian church, although it is still widely known as the Pantheon.
This popular public square is located where the (now fallen) Stadium of Domitian once stood, in 86 A.D. Since then it has been developed into a social gathering spot, adorned by three magnificent fountains that were commissioned in the 16 and 17th centuries. These are Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno.
Florence & Pisa (Livorno) - Overnight onboard
DAY 4-5 - 11 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 10 PM
Made famous by its sloping bell tower, Pisa was once a simple but noteworthy port town. Over the years Pisa had some involvement in Italy’s military conflicts, and has seen success in matters of trade. Today most visitors come to see the fascinating Leaning Tower; a construction dating back to the 12th century that has been repeatedly repaired and stabilised over the years. As well as this is the neighbouring cathedral and baptistery, and the pretty Square of Miracles which houses them all. Pisa has a brilliant culinary scene, with many inexpensive restaurants serving amazing antipasti, pizzas, pastas, and other hearty Italian dishes.
Things to do in Florence & Pisa (Livorno) - Overnight onboard:
Square of Miracles
Locally referred to as Piazza dei Miracoli, the Square of Miracles is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which was first built in 1064, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo – a graveyard – and the Campanile – the cathedral’s bell tower which is perhaps better known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Today the square has become a popular place to relax and enjoy the warm sun in some beautiful, historic surroundings.
Maria Assunta. Construction of the building began in 1173, and in spite of a detailed, thought-out design it is believed that a slight lean was evident from the building of the second floor. Building was intermittent due to wars and sociological events, and the tower was not completed until roughly the year 1370. Since this time the lean has been stabilised, and tourists are permitted to enter and climb the staircase to the top for a wonderful view.
Cathedral and Baptistery
The cathedral – or Duomo – and baptistery are two important historic sites which are often overlooked in favour of the Leaning Tower. The cathedral itself dates back to 1064, and you can see within there are influences from the Arabic world, with column designs being reminiscent of those often seen in mosques. The neighbouring baptistery is the largest in the country, and was originally designed in 1152, before being remodelled in the mid-13th century.
DAY 7 - 14 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 7:30 AM to 6 PM
Amalfi is a picturesque town of about 5,000 inhabitants. It was founded by the Romans in the 5th century and was, in medieval times, one of the four Maritime Republics (together with Genoa, Pisa, and Venice) competing for control of the Mediterranean. Despite its small size, Amalfi and its surroundings offer many places to visit: the Duomo, the Paper Museum, Villa Rufolo and the Emerald Grotto are just some of them.
Things to do in Amalfi:
The construction of the Cathedral of Sant'Andrea, also known as the Cathedral of Amalfi, began in the year 987 at the behest of Duke Mansone I. It is said that St. Francis of Assisi went there in 1218 to honour the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle, which are kept here.
The Amalfi Coast was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, due to its incredible natural beauty. It overlooks the Gulf of Salerno and includes the stretch from Positano to Vietri sul Mare, totalling around 50 km.
Cloister del Paradiso
The Cloister del Paradiso is part of the Cathedral of Amalfi. It was built between 1266 and 1268 as a cemetery for high-standing citizens. The structure, in Moorish style, has an internal garden - probably dating back to the 20th century - and 120 columns.
Grotto dello Smeraldo
The Emerald Grotto was discovered in 1932. It is a gorgeous, natural location in which shimmering water sits calmly in an intricate cave. The grotto owes its name to the shades that the water takes on due to the sunlight that filters through from above. It is directly connected to the Tyrrhenian Sea, and can be accessed by sea or by land.
Museum of Paper
The former paper mill of Amalfi was transformed into today's Museo della Carta in 1969, thanks to Nicola Milano, its owner. You can admire the machinery and equipment, still working, used in the past to make paper by hand.
Villa Rufolo is located in the town of Ravello, about 7 km from Amalfi. The property dates back to the 13th century and underwent a substantial restoration in the 19th century. Today, visitors to the villa will see the Arab-Norman style architecture, and can admire the beautiful gardens. The lower garden hosts the Ravello festival every year.
DAY 8 - 15 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 9 AM to 5 PM
Catania is located on the eastern side of Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It was founded between 729 and 728 BC by the Greeks of Chalcis and, like the other major Sicilian cities, it was subjected to the domination of different populations because of its strategic position on the sea. Among the places of artistic and cultural interest are the Ursino Castle, the Sant’Agata Cathedral, and the Benedictine Monastery.
Things to do in Catania, Sicily:
The Ursino Castle dates back to the 13th century and was built at the behest of Frederick II of Swabia, who was at that time King of Sicily. It was the seat of Parliament during the Sicilian Vespers and later the residence of the Aragonese sovereigns. Today it houses a museum.
Cathedral of Sant'Agata
The Sant'Agata Cathedral overlooks the south-east side of Piazza del Duomo. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, the beginning of the first construction dates back to 1086, on the ruins of the ancient Achillian Baths from the Roman period of the 4th century.
Monastero dei Benedettini
The ecclesiastical complex of San Nicolò "la Rena" consists of a Benedictine monastery and a church of the same name. The first structure dates back to the 12th century and owes its name to the volcanic sand that characterises the surrounding area.
Mount Etna is the highest active volcanic complex in Europe; the most recent measurements have revealed a height of 3,326 metres above sea level. Its historical eruptions have changed the surrounding landscape over the centuries.
Teatro Massimo Bellini
The Massimo Bellini Theatre was built in the 19th century. It was inaugurated on May 31, 1890 with the Norma opera by the Catania composer Vincenzo Bellini. The hall has a horseshoe-shaped structure with four tiers of boxes and a gallery.
DAY 9 - 16 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 9 AM to 6 PM
Once a thriving Greek-Spartan colony in the Hellenic age, this lively port has been inhabited since the 8th century BC. Here you can visit a fortified Aragonese castle, wander through the picturesque town or even venture further afield on a shore excursion in the surrounding province of Puglia, laden with olive groves, Baroque architecture carved from marble, and bordered by some of the best white-sand beaches in the Med.
DAY 10 - 17 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 1 PM to 6 PM
Nestled among the mountains, Kotor provides the setting for a picturesque cruise holiday. A walk around Old Town Budva will take you past timeless architecture, while San Giovanni Castle has the best photo opportunities. Kotor is not just for relaxing and scenic strolls though, with Aquapark Budva providing a fun-filled day for all the family. Don’t forget to stop by the many charming eateries in between for an authentic taste of Kotor cuisine too.
Things to do in Kotor:
If you are looking for a secluded beach tucked away in serenity by beautiful rock coves, head to Jaz Beach where you’ll be able to sunbathe and relax.
St Tryphon’s Cathedral
After being restored numerous times following earthquakes, St Tryphon’s Cathedral continues to represent the expertise of Roman architecture. With many stunning artefacts and decorations, this cathedral is well worth exploring.
Lovćen National Park
A short drive from Kotor, Lovćen National Park is home to imposing mountains including the spectacular Mount Lovćen standing 1,749 metres high. With no shortage of outdoor adventures to discover, visitors will love quad biking and zip lining in particular.
With countless boutiques, authentic eateries, and bars as well as a quaint museum teeming with ancient artefacts, Old Town Budva is a delightful place to explore. Enjoy dessert from a charming bakery, admire the view from the citadel and bask in the peace and quiet.
San Giovanni Castle
After climbing 1,350 stairs to a height of 1,200 metres you’ll find this impressive fortress built between the 9th and 19th centuries. With Byzantine and Venetian roots, this structure is beautifully preserved and teeming with fascinating history to discover.
Nestled in lush surroundings with views over the town nearby, Aquapark Budva is perfect for spending a hot afternoon cooling off. The park features multiple pools and waterslides to suit a range of ages, as well as a restaurant, bars, shops and lockers.
DAY 11 - 18 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 1 PM to 8 PM
Located about midway down the east coast of Italy, Ancona has played an important role in the country’s history. It was home to Emperor Trajan – the successful military leader who led Roman soldiers in expansion – who paid to renovate the town port, leading to prosperity. You can see an ancient arch that was constructed in his honour. The Mole Vanvitelliana is another interesting place to behold; a manmade pentagonal island which has been used to house everything from leprosy sufferers to war weapons. See churches, the war memorial, and the archaeological museum to learn more about Italy’s history.
Things to do in Ancona:
This majestic arch way is thought to have been raised in about the year 115 AD, in celebration of Emperor Trajan. Trajan had provided the town of Ancona with protection by enhancing its fortifications, and enabled it to prosper further by expanding the port - both of which projects were largely paid for out of the emperor’s own pocket. It was from this site that Trajan also led men to defeat the Dacians in the earlier years of the 2nd century.
Standing proudly atop the high point of Ancona, the San Ciriaco cathedral is a commanding structure that dominates the landscape. It is known that the first place of worship to have existed here dates back to the 3rd century BC, and in the 6th century AD another church was built – some of which has lasted to this day, such as a mosaic floor. In the early part of the 11th century the relics of St Cyriacus and St Marecellinus were brought to rest here.
Passetto Monument and War Memorial
Located above the popular Passetto beach stands the Ancona War Memorial, which commemorates those who lost their lives in World War I. Designed in the 1920s by local architect Guido Cirilli, the structure was inaugurated in 1930. It’s made of Istrian stone, and displays symbols of war such as swords and helmets.
Also known as the Lazzaretto of Ancona, this pentagonal building was built in the 18th century on a manmade island. It was originally used as a storage facility for military goods and as a place to stay for anyone who may have contracted leprosy; in both cases a quarantine of sorts. It has also been used as a refuge for injured soldiers during wartimes. Today it is used to host public events, and as a museum showcasing a range of exhibits.
Santa Maria della Piazza
This Romanesque-style church was constructed over the 11th and 12th centuries, in the same spot as two previous churches which date back to the 6th and 7th centuries. Remains of these older buildings can still be seen beneath protective glass inside the church. Traces of the walls surrounding Ancona in ancient Greek times have also been found here.
National Archeological Museum
Plans for this museum first came about in the year 1860, and it became so notable that it was made the ‘National Museum of Ancona’ in 1906, and in 1927 was inaugurated by King Victor Emmanuel III. Today it houses some remarkable historic relics, including the Venus of Frasassi – a small carving which dates back more than 20,000 years, – and Paleolithic objects which are thought to be around 300,000 years old.
DAY 13 - 20 Apr 2024
Time at Port: from 6 AM to 5 PM
The ‘floating city’ of Venice has romantic connotations all over the world. Known for picturesque canals, colourful buildings, gentle gondola rides, good food, and an ample supply of history, this is one Italian destination that sits on many a bucket list. See magnificent architecture in St Mark’s Square, the fascinating Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Basilica, and the famous Bridge of Sighs. After soaking in centuries of history, be sure to make time to simply watch the world go by with a world-class cup of coffee and a piece of tiramisu, or indeed an indulgent glass of wine and pasta dish.
Things to do in Venice:
Located in the Venetian lagoon, Giudecca Island is a small, attractive resort offering some lovely cafes, bars, and restaurants as well as pretty architecture. Over the years it has had a varied history, having been the home to some grand palaces and gardens, before becoming a centre of industry in the 20th century, particularly during World War II. One 16th century mansion has been converted into a beautiful luxury villa.
St. Mark's Square
Piazza San Marco – or St Mark’s Square – is the main square in Venice. It is one of the main attractions, and has had a vibrant role in Venetian history, having been a centre of politics, commerce, and religion over the years. Today it is one of Venice’s main attractions, being surrounded by beautiful architecture on all sides – including the magnificent Basilica di San Marco. Not only a stunning piece of architecture, St Mark’s Basilica also has a fascinating and exciting history. The original church was built in the 9th century, and the construction was ordered by the doge to house the remains of Apostle St Mark the Evangelist which had been stolen by Venetian merchants on a trip to Alexandria. This church was then burned down in the year 976, and was rebuilt again two years later. It was consecrated in the late 11th century, and since this time has seen many repairs and refurbishments.
Bridge of Sighs
This well-known, historic piece of architecture joins Venice’s prisons to Doge’s Palace – or more accurately, the interrogation rooms in the palace. Legend says that when prisoners of the 17th century crossed the bridge into the prison, they sighed at their last view of Venice – hence the name. Today the bridge also has romantic significance, with local lore saying that lovers who kiss beneath the bridge in a gondola will have a love that lasts forever.
From the late 7th century until the late 18th, Venice had a system of doges, who acted as elected leaders of the region. Doge’s Palace – now known as Palazzo Ducale – was built in the 14th century as a residence for the doge, and for other political bodies. It was a venue used for debates, a court of law, grand events such as balls, and even had prison cells on the ground floor. The beautiful palace is located in Piazza San Marco, and was opened to visitors in 1923.
Island of Burano
Within Venice’s lagoon is the picturesque island of Burano, well known for its colourful buildings and pretty canals. First inhabited in the 6th century, Burano has long been a small fishing community, which rose in prominence with the production of lace in the 16th century – a tradition it is still known for today. Burano is a gorgeous spot to wander around, enjoy a gelato, and browse the fabulous range of intricate lace work which is available to purchase in varying forms.
DAY 13 -
Hotel stay included
Rome Hotel Stay - 2 Nights
We don't know the hotel yet but it will be centrally located, a minimum of 4 stars, selected from our list of preferred hotels & based on a 'room only' board basis. Local government city taxes & local resort fees may be payable.
Customer reviews for Azamara Pursuit
Based on 34 reviews
Value for money
We had a wonderful cruise on Azamara Pursuit round the Mediterranean Islands. It was our second time with Azamara and it didn't disappoint. We chose it partly for the destinations and enjoyed them all. We only had one day at sea in the 10 days so it was fairly full on. This time the Azamazing evening was a little disappointing and the only other thing we were slightly unhappy with was the size of the bathroom - especially the shower with a plastic curtain. Overall, the service was superb and we loved everything else about the ship and the staff.
24 Sep 2019
Everything that we expected & more. Luxurious ship, friendly staff & excellent service. Azamara know how to do things well including their Azamazing Evening ashore & White Night dinner evening. Only adverse comment is that Azamara's shore excursions tend to be very expensive & as a consequence we preferred to make our own independent arrangements.
1 Sep 2019
This smaller sized ship is very friendly and has all the facilities that we could wish for. Having sailed on Azamara Journey twice in the past we were gratified that the Pursuit was as well appointed and of similar ethos. A welcome improvement for us was that the casino has been replaced by a large bar area. The AzAmazing Evening event with Ana Rucner, the cellist was absolutely great we really enjoyed the performance. All the shop’s tours were well organised and executed.
14 Jul 2019
Excellent staff, superb food and smaller ship allowing access to differing interesting ports of call. Would recommend to anyone wanting less razzmatazz and hubbub. Definitely more peaceful.
*Handcrafted Cruise & Stay Holidays - Flash sale £50p and reduced is valid for New bookings Only made by 31st March 2023 with a Minimum Spend £1599pp
*Handcrafted Cruise & Stay Holidays - Flash sale £50p and reduced is valid for New bookings Only made by 31st March 2023 with a Minimum Spend £1599pp
All offers and prices are subject to change and availability at time of enquiry. Prices are based on two passengers sharing unless otherwise stated and are subject to the Tour Operator's terms and conditions. Cabin and Flight supplements may apply. Other supplements may apply in addition to the price shown above. Flight details, timings and routing may be subject to alteration. Other tour operator charges may also apply. Any Onboard Spending money or drinks package value shown will be per cabin, again based on two sharing.
Note: On 13 January 2018, new European legislation is being adopted in the UK which as result will mean that we may change our required method of payment at our discretion, irrespective of how any deposit or prior payment was made.