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.
DAY 406 Oct 2024
Naples is one of the most important cities in Italy. Its foundation dates back to the 8th century BC, and it once had an important relationship with Athens, due to its commercial power and position on the sea. The city is rich in history and there are numerous places of interest to visit, in particular the archaeological excavations of the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Things to do in Naples:
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.
Museo d'arte contemporanea
The Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as the Madre Museum, is located inside Palazzo Donnaregina, in the center of Naples. It was established in 2005 with the aim of promoting cultural and artistic development in the territory of Campania.
The construction of the Royal Palace began in 1600 and for a long time was the residence of the Spanish viceroys, before passing to the House of Bourbon and finally to the House of Savoy. The architectural style is a mixture of Baroque and Neoclassical. Today, the palace houses a museum and a library.
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.
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 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.
San Gennaro Catacombs
The Catacombs of San Gennaro are the most important Christian monument in Naples. The remains of San Gennaro, the main patron saint of the city, have been held here since the 5th century. The labyrinth of corridors also house Christian frescos from the 2nd century AD, and mosaics from the 5th century AD.
Castel Nuovo is a medieval and Renaissance-era castle. Most commonly known as Maschio Angioino, its construction began in the 13th century at the behest of Charles I of Anjou, after he moved the Italian capital from Palermo to Naples in around 1268.
Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito is located in the historic center of Naples and was of considerable importance after the construction of the Royal Palace. Today Palazzo Salerno, Palazzo della Prefettura, and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola are also located here.
DAY 507 Oct 2024
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 608 Oct 2024
Malta’s capital, Valletta is steeped in history and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. A simple stroll through the Baroque-style streets will take you back in time to 1566 when the city was completed, while a range of museums and monuments provide an in-depth retelling of the past. Its intimate size makes it easy to explore the highlights on foot and discover many hidden gems such as botanical gardens, boutiques and eateries.
Things to do in Valletta:
This new-generation theatre provides an immersive journey through the history and culture of Malta, featuring 3D films, moving seats, water and air blasts and even leg ticklers. Fun for all ages, Malta 5D is the most unique way to discover Malta!
Manoel Theatre and Palazzo Manoel
Tucked away on a quiet street, the Manoel Theatre is a hidden gem of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. Whether you’re taking a tour of the theatre or enjoying a musical performance, visitors will fall in love with its elegance and grandeur.
St Johns Cathedral in Valetta
St John’s Co-Cathedral is considered one of the best examples of traditional Baroque architecture in Europe and features memorials dedicated to knights covering the floor and ceiling as well as the stunning Caravaggio’s painting.
Grand Master's Palace
Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Grandmaster’s Palace is an iconic piece of Maltese heritage, housing the President’s office and a museum where visitors can enjoy an audio guide to get to know the history behind the impressive armoury.
National Museum of Archaeology
Covering the history and mythology of Malta, the National Museum of Archaeology is a must visit for those looking to discover ancient artefacts. This highly informative museum is where you’ll find the renowned Sleeping Lady, Venus of Malta and more.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
At the end of a busy day of exploring, the Upper Barrakka Gardens are just what you need to wind down and relax in the capital. Offering unrivalled views of the city, these gardens date back to 1661 and are home to beautiful statues and plaques.
DAY 810 Oct 2024
The sleepy seaside village of Katakolon is perhaps one of the biggest tourist highlights of Greece, thanks to its close proximity to Ancient Olympia. With sparkling turquoise waters, numerous traditional tavernas and the warmth of a friendly, local community, Katakolon is the perfect place to explore on foot in the sunshine, where you’ll find museums, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides and even a Beer Bike!
Things to do in Katakolon:
Home to over 463 ancient works, this museum is rich with fascinating history and culture of Ancient Greece. Featuring exhibits covering the second millennium BC until the 5th century AD, you’ll find pieces that were used throughout the ancient Olympic Games.
Archaeological Site of Olympia
Featuring excavations from the Bronze age to the Byzantine era, this huge site provides an impressive insight into the history of Ancient Greece. You'll find sites such as the Ancient Stadium where the Olympic Games were held, the Temple of Hera, and the Temple of Zeus.
The Temple of Zeus
The beautiful ruins of The Temple of Zeus is a major historical site. Despite it being destroyed it still is a fantastic portal to the past giving you a major insight into the gods of old.
This fantastic free museum is dedicated to the physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer, Archimedes of Syracuse. Home to just some of his inventions and reconstructions, it’s well worth a visit, especially for those curious about his expert creations.
Just a short walk from the archaeological site, the Archaeological Museum hosts artefacts that were discovered in Olympia. With over 3,500 years of history to discover, this small but fascinating museum will take you back in time to Ancient Greece.
DAY 1012 Oct 2024
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 1113 Oct 2024
It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is one of the best highlights on a Mediterranean cruise. In 1979, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautifully preserved ancient architecture that you’ll love to spend hours exploring. Fans of the hit series Game of Thrones will particularly love to recreate their favourite scenes filmed here, while history and art enthusiasts will adore the fortresses and museums.
Things to do in Dubrovnik:
This small and intimate beach provides a quiet getaway from the crowds. Relax in the sun watching the locals play water polo, before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters and exploring the nearby cliffs and caves.
If you are looking for something relaxing but also to spend some time exploring, head along the sandy beaches and rocky paths where you’ll find Sunj beach. Here the waters range from beautiful crystal blue to alluring green where you can swim and relax under the sun with a wide range of bars to pick from.
A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island is a fantastic place for a day trip. With a beautiful botanical garden planted in the 19th century, the ruins of a Benedictine monastery and spots for swimming in the sea, you’ll love exploring this tiny island.
At 37 meters above the sea, Fortress Lovrijenac offers impressive views across the landscape. Used as a filming location for Game of Thrones, the fortress played an important role in protecting the Old City, which visitors will learn about as they explore the grounds.
Muralles de Dubrovnik
Covering 1,940 metres with 6 fortresses, the Walls of Dubrovnik are a must visit for Game of Thrones fans and lovers of architecture. Visitors can join walking tours of the walls which take approximately two hours and offer unrivalled views over the city from the forts.
St John Fortress
One of the most important forts in the Walls of Dubrovnik, it now houses the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, containing artefacts, paintings and documents telling the history of city. The aquarium, meanwhile, is where you’ll find marine life that thrives in the waters off Croatia.
DAY 1214 Oct 2024
One of Croatia’s best kept secrets, Zadar has the historic heritage and fascinating architecture of Dubrovnik with a quieter, more intimate feel. As well as the impressive 16th-century walls and gates, you can explore ancient churches such as St Donatus’ Church, and the Roman Forum ruins. You’ll also find the renowned attraction, the Sea Organ, an art installation that plays music when filled with water.
Things to do in Zadar:
Museum of Ancient Glass
Situated in the 19th-century Cosmacendi Palace, the Museum of Ancient Glass houses stunning collections of Roman glassware, from jars and vials to goblets and flasks. Visitors can also purchase their own replicas of these delicate pieces in the souvenir shop.
Built between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD, the Roman Forum ruins were the centre of daily life. Most notable is the decorative column once used as a ‘pillar of shame’ to punish criminals, as well as the remains of the Capitolium.
St Donatus Church
Founded in the 9th century, the unusually-shaped Church of St Donat no longer serves as a church but holds frequent events and concerts because of its excellent acoustics. Visitors can take a look around inside, though it’s impressive structure is best admired from outside.
St Mary Church
Founded in 1066, St Mary’s Church is an understated yet stunning piece of architecture in Zadar. The adjoining treasury contains an exhibition of religious art, and is beautifully preserved by nuns of the church.
Zadar Walls and Gates
The most impressive of the walls and gates is the Land Gate, the main entrance into the city, built in 1543. Zadar’s walls and gates meant that the city remained uncaptured, and are now a great way to explore the surroundings on foot.
DAY 1315 Oct 2024
The regional capital of northeastern Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulia is Trieste. It’s a port city located on the limestone-dominated Karst Plateau on a narrow strip of land between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia's border. And its scenery, which includes a mediaeval old city and a neoclassical Austrian district, is influenced by Italy, Austro-Hungary, and Slovenia. There is a wide range of attractions in Trieste, including Miramare Castle, the Unity of Italy Square and the Revoltella Museum.
Things to do in Trieste:
In Trieste, northern Italy, between Barcola and Grignano lies a castle from the 19th century called Miramare Castle. The Miramare Castle is without a doubt one of Trieste's top attractions because of its breathtaking setting that extends into the Gulf of Trieste. It was the home of the archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph Habsburg-Lorraine and his wife Charlotte of Belgium, and was constructed between 1856 and 1860.
Unity of Italy Square
The centre of Trieste is Piazza Unità d'Italia (Unity of Italy Square). At the base of San Giusto Hill, it is a popular plaza that faces the Gulf of Trieste and is regarded as having the largest waterfront in Europe with an area of 12,280 square metres.
A modern art gallery, the Revoltella Museum (or Palazzo Revoltella), was constructed between 1853 and 1858 following the plans of Berlin architect Friedrich Hitzig. The museum displays historical artefacts and furniture that belonged to the museum's founder as well as artistic and cultural treasures that, along with the interior fittings and the palace's architecture, serve as records of the Second Empire's varied taste.
Hotel stay included
Oxford or similar
4 star hotel
3 Oct 2024
2 nights stay
Hotel in Venice Mestre - 4 stars
15 Oct 2024
2 nights stay
We don't know the hotel in Venice Mestre yet as this cruise is too far in the future 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 Island Princess
Based on 9 reviews
Value for money
Ship staff are the best we have seen and every member of staff was very friendly. The ship is an ideal size and was not full. About 2,000 out of 3,000 passengers on board. The Medallion App was very good in part and very bad in other parts. The drink purchasing worked, the meal booking did not and there was a huge queue for the two main dinning rooms every night. One night we queued for nearly 2 hours, this caused one of our group an issues as they had to eat by certain times and we asked if we could have a table every day at the same time. The staff accommodated this and were very apologetic. We heard the ship was 45 members of staff short when we left Ft Lauderdale. I don't know if this was true? The food was very nice. The queuing was not. Never were all the tables used, I don't know why, the shortage of staff perhaps. Overall it was a great trip just a pity the Medallion App was so problematical and the queues for the meals every night.
4 Feb 2023
The ship was lovely and the room service was wonderful. Service at the restaurant was also very very good. Robert who worked at the restaurant we dined in was excellent, as was our cabin attendant Jacino.
31 Aug 2022
16 May 2019
Top quality cruise with 5 star restaurants, friendly crew and great itinerary. The entry to the “ special” restaurants and wines sent by courtesy of Iglu were much appreciated. The hotel and transfers organised by Iglu also were trouble free. There was occasional queuing for restaurants that could be improved.
*Handcrafted Cruise & Stay May Flash sale is valid for new bookings only made between 26th May & 31st May 2023 - Save £50pp with a minimum spend of £1599pp & £75pp with a minimum spend of £2599pp
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.
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