This vibrant seaside city is home to unforgettable architecture and creative scenes from renowned artists. The buildings you’ll find here are unlike anything you’ve ever seen, such as Park Güell and Casa Batllo, while foodies will be spoilt for choice with 20 different Michelin-star restaurants. At the end of a busy day of shopping, enjoy the energetic nightlife, or relax on the beach with newfound friends. Whatever your interests, Barcelona has the perfect itinerary for you.
Things to do in Barcelona:
Visiting Las Ramblas is an absolute must when in Barcelona. Visitors can experience the weird and the wonderful, from the Museu de l’Erotica to the Miró Mural, in between trying a range of authentic tapas bars and cafes before a much needed siesta.
Although the Sagrada Familia is not technically complete, it’s still an impressive sight to behold. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, this spectacular Basilica hosts many masses, events and a place to simply marvel at in wonder.
Barcelona City History Museum
Home of the cultural heritage of Barcelona, the Barcelona City History Museum manages several sites of interest including archaeological sites and historic houses. Visitors will discover the Roman colony, prehistoric Spain, Barcelona’s Jewish community and more.
Comprising of vibrant gardens and beautiful architecture, Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí and officially opened in 1926. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding showcase of Gaudí’s genius design, Park Güell makes a wonderful place to go for a walk.
Another one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, Casa Batllo is a truly eye-catching building to explore. Visitors are able to explore this fantastic showcase of the designer’s work, and even enjoy live music and other events on the roof terrace.
This modernist building was the last residence to be designed by Antoni Gaudí and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the building with an audio guide, and even enjoy rooftop shows on a romantic evening.
One of Barcelona’s oldest beaches, Sant Sebastià Beach features everything you need for a fantastic day in the sun. With indoor and outdoor pools, changing rooms and amenities for lounging, visitors can go for a dip, enjoy an ice cream and find dinner all in one area.
Camp Nou Stadium
With capacity for over 99,000 people, Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Spain and cathedral to the Catalans’ second religion- the beautiful game! Visitors can catch an exciting game of football here or take a guided or un-guided tour of the grounds.
DAY 513 May 2024
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 6 PM
The small and charming island of Capri is located in the Gulf of Naples, south-west of the Sorrento peninsula, to which it was once connected. Its coasts boast numerous caves and quarries alternating with steep cliffs. Capri is divided into the municipalities of Capri and Anacapri, and there is a total of about 14,000 inhabitants. The Blue Grotto, the Gardens of Augustus, the Villa San Michele and the Monte Solaro are some of the places of interest that are worth a visit.
Things to do in Capri (Naples):
Anacapri is one of the two administrative municipalities of the island of Capri. It rises on the slopes of Monte Solaro, and is where the Blue Grotto and Villa San Michele are located. Visitors shroud take the time to tackle the Phoenician steps in order to then enjoy the stunning views below.
The Blue Grotto, whose beauty has been praised many times by many poets, is undoubtedly the best known spot in the island of Capri. The enclosed cave owes its name to the shade of blue that the pool of water takes on, thanks to the light that filters through a partially submerged opening.
Gardens of Augustus
The Gardens of Augustus make up a gorgeous city park on the island of Capri. It is an extensive botanical garden, hosting many different plants typical of the area. It also offers a breathtaking view of the Faraglioni rock formation, and the bay of Marina Piccola.
Marina Piccola is one of the tourist hot spots on the island of Capri. Located on the opposite side of the main port and not far from the gardens of Augustus, most visitors love to take a dip in its crystal clear waters and gaze at the view of the Faraglioni rock formation.
Mount Solaro, at 589 meters high, is formed by the same limestone of which the entire island of Capri is made. A hike here enables visitors to see around a thousand different species of plants, and the rare blue lizard, the only one of its kind in the world.
Ville San Michele
Villa San Michele is located in the municipality of Anacapri, in the north of the island. It owes its name to the ruins of a 10th century chapel dedicated to San Michele. The villa is also home to a majestic statue of a sphinx looking out to sea, which dates back to the reign of Ramses II in the 13th century BC.
The profile of Naples would not be the same without Mount Vesuvius that dominates the city skyline. Versuvius is known for the violent eruption of AD 79, which became famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and was witnessed by Pliny the Younger.
The history of Pompeii begins in the 9th century BC, when the area was inhabited by the Opici people - an ancient Latin population. Today the town is famous because of the eruption of Vesuvius, which occurred in 79 AD, which led to its total destruction.
National Archaeological Museum
The opening of the historic National Archaeological Museum of Naples took place in 1816. Built by Ferdinando I of Borbone, at the time king of the Two Sicilies, it boasts the richest collection of works and archaeological finds with regard to Roman history.
The tremendous eruption of Vesuvius, in 79 AD, not only destroyed Pompeii but also the ancient city of Herculaneum. The archaeological excavations of this city can be visited today and, since 1997, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
DAY 614 May 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 5 PM
Messina is a coastal city located in the north-east of Sicily and overlooks the homonymous strait, which separates the region from the rest of the Peninsula. Founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, a few years before Rome, it is said that the strait was the home of Scylla and Charybdis, two sea monsters described by Homer in the Odyssey. In Messina you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the rich Regional Museum which houses works by famous artists.
Things to do in Messina, Sicily:
The Cathedral of Messina was consecrated in 1197 and stands in the Piazza del Duomo. Its peculiarity is the different architectural styles that distinguish it: in fact, Romanesque, Norman, Gothic, Neo-Gothic and Baroque elements coexist.
The Astronomical Clock of Messina is an integral part of the city's Cathedral. It was built in 1933 at the behest of Archbishop Angelo Paino during the restoration of the bell tower and is freely inspired by the one in Strasbourg.
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza del Duomo is one of the central points of Messina: here you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the Statue of the Immaculate Conception, a white marble sculpture created by the sculptor Giuseppe Buceti between 1757 and 1758.
Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani rises between via Cesare Battisti and via Garibaldi on the remains of a pagan temple. The beginning of the construction dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries and boasts a clear Byzantine style with Arab-Norman influences.
Messina Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Messina was established in 1806 and since then illustrates the figurative art of Messina from the 12th to the 18th century. You can admire the Resurrection of Lazarus, a famous painting by Caravaggio, and several works by Antonello da Messina.
DAY 715 May 2024
Time at Port: from 10 AM to 6 PM
One of Greece’s most verdant islands and perfect for a family holiday with charming architecture, an impressive fort and a 16th century church, Agios Spyridhon. Mount Pantokrantor rears up in the north of the island and all around the edges are sandy beaches and small villages. Whether you’re here to top up a tan on the stunning Loggas Beach or eager to discover the gorgeous monuments, Corfu has something for everyone.
Things to do in Corfu:
This hidden gem will provide the perfect getaway from bustling crowds. If you’re looking to relax in a quaint fishing village, enjoy traditional Corfiot cuisine on the waterfront and take a dip in the vibrant waters, Agni Bay is the place for you.
Surrounded by imposing cliffs, Loggas Beach – otherwise known as Sunset Beach – is one of the most beautiful spots in Corfu. You won’t find wild water sports here, instead you’ll witness breath-taking sunsets and take a dip in the warm, gentle water.
Saint George Church
Built in 1840 for British troops serving in Corfu, the Church of St George now hosts only two services each year, as well as occasional exhibitions. With views out over Garitsa Bay, this church resembles an ancient Greek temple and provides great photo opportunities.
Found on a tiny islet close by to the airport of Corfu, Vlacherna Monastery dates back to around the 17th and 18th centuries. The beautifully preserved building is a great photo opportunity particularly at sunset, and the perfect place to take a romantic stroll.
DAY 816 May 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM 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 917 May 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 5 PM
As Croatia’s second-largest city, Split is an integral tourist hotspot in the Adriatic Sea. The unique setting of coastal mountains and bright blue ocean makes for the perfect backdrop to a cruise holiday, while the city itself has a very homely, local feel. Stroll past high-rise, rustic apartments and discover the many hidden gems and highlights such as Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that will leave you in awe.
Things to do in Split:
As one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world, it’s no wonder this fortress is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now home to many shops, restaurants and apartments, the palace is a beautiful place to wander, day or night.
Krka National Park
Home to breath-taking waterfalls and lush, thriving forest, Krka National Park is a must visit for lovers of the outdoors. Discover over 800 species of plant life, over 200 species of bird and 18 species of bat, as well as the tiny island of Visovac.
The central square of the palace, Peristil Square was once the perfect space for opera theatre and now provides the scenery for a delicious cup of coffee. Towering above is the 57-metre belfry where, once climbing the steps, visitors will find gorgeous views across town.
St Duje's Cathedral
This excellent example of beautifully-preserved ancient Roman architecture is where you’ll find the bell tower, treasury and even a crypt. Built in the 4th century, it houses many artefacts, sculptures , carvings and murals.
For breath-taking views out across the city, Marjan Park is the place to be. The walk up from Old Town Split is fairly easy, and visitors will find a café as well as the lookout point. From here, you can continue the hike to the Church of St Nicholas, a beautiful, small stone church.
Campanile Bell Tower
Built in 1100 AD, this beautiful Romanesque bell tower stands at 60 metres tall with sweeping views of the city and mountains. Though this landmark may not be for the faint of heart, climbing the many steps is well worth it to admire the landscape at the top.
A must visit for fans of the hit series, Game of Thrones, Klis Fortress is well worth a visit just for the spectacular views alone. With over two thousand years of history, the ruins are fascinating to explore for all ages and provide fantastic photo opportunities.
DAY 1018 May 2024
Time at Port: from 6 AM to 6 PM
In Italy's Emilia-Romagna region sits the beautiful and historic city of Ravenna. It is well-known for the vibrant mosaics that cover many of its key structures, including the cross-shaped Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, the sixth-century Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and the octagonal Basilica di San Vitale. Located in the centre of the city is the Mausoleo di Teodorico, a circular Gothic stone tomb that was constructed in the sixth century for King Theodoric the Great.
Things to do in Ravenna:
Basilica di San Vitale
Italy's Ravenna is home to the Basilica of San Vitale, which houses Christian Byzantine art and architecture. Dating back to the sixth-century church, it's one of eight Ravenna buildings that have been included as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Ravenna Art Museum
This museum is one of the hubs of the city's cultural life, hosting festivals, exhibits, and collections of both modern and ancient art. It is housed in a 16th-century monastery in the Public Gardens and is responsible for resuming cultural and recreational activities in addition to significant conservation and research projects.
Basilica di Sant' Apollinare Nuovo
In Ravenna, Italy, there is a basilica church called the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. Theodoric the Great, the Ostrogothic ruler, built it as his royal chapel in the first half of the sixth century and it was originally consecrated to "Christ the Redeemer" in 504 AD.
Hotel stay included
Barcelona 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 Explorer of the Seas
Based on 97 reviews
Value for money
Cruise was fab!
2-5 cruisesPromenade View Interior
7 Jan 2023
Once again Royal Caribbean through Iglu turns up trumps. The whole process was like clockwork and the new process of checking in through the Royal app makes the procedure at the port effortless. Once again we were on board by 11.30am, 'it must be time for lunch'.
7 Dec 2022
In general the cruise was good value for money. However... Royal Caribbean could be more considerate to passengers and their wallets! For example the “recommended“ rates for gratuity payments to the housekeeping and dining room staff were exhorbitant. Also the few shops were very limited and the merchandise was expensive high-end luxury goods. Drinks also were very expensive. If you were not a sunbather there was little to do on board during sea days; the “library“ was little more than a collection of half empty shelves offering rather tatty volumes, mainly fiction novels perhaps donated by previous guests. A maximum of three or four jigsaw puzzles were available and only one had a full complement of pieces! The same puzzles were worked on repeatedly by guests who could have been offered a larger selection. The food was very nice and exceptionally plentiful, although a higher level of cuisine was available at extra cost, of course! The main dining room meals were excellent and the waiters very attentive and friendly, always with a ready smile. Our stateroom, interior, was extremely small and the wardrobe space very limited given that we had brought clothes for three formal nights and other smart casual outfits over a 14 day period plus there was no Launderette or self ironing facility provided. A next day laundry service was available at considerable extra cost. The beds were very comfortable and the room was very quiet and we slept really well. Our cabin housekeeping chap was very hardworking, friendly and helpful. The staff were all very friendly, courteous in the extreme from the captain through to the ship’s crew, housekeeping and dining room staff. Hand washing Hygiene levels were also extremely high which was good to see. The theatre shows were good in the main, comedians were very good, especially on the last night. Would we travel with Royal Caribbean again? Probably not, (unless we had a very good deal)!
12 Oct 2019
Overall the cruise was fantastic. However we booked this cruise in Sept/Oct 2018 and where travelling as part of a large group, all on different bookings and all who booked after us but also with Iglu. We did not receive any time dining as apparently 'its first come first served'. Considering we booked a good 8 months before the rest of our group surely we should of had this? Staff were not very helpful with this issue except Ben the restaurant manager who tried to accommodate us best he could. In the end we had to stick with 6pm dining which was not ideal and if we wanted to dine with our group they then had to come and sit with us.
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.