DAY 3 - 05 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 10 PM
Just a short distance from Athens, Piraeus is the biggest port in the Mediterranean and sees over 20 million cruisers each year. This port city is a perfect example of life by the sea, boasting an impressive harbour and authentic seafood dining, as well as the rich and fascinating history of ancient Greece. Whether you’re looking to discover archaeological findings or just want to relax in the sun at a friendly café, Piraeus is the place to be.
Things to do in Athens (Piraeus):
Agia Triada Church
Despite being a modern construction, Agia Triada features Byzantine architecture as well as an impressive dome that is visible from every spot within the church. Overlooking the port of Piraeus, Agia Triada is a must visit to discover the history of the town and take in the tranquillity.
This vibrant and colourful district is nestled on top of a hill with views out over the bay. A walk around this neighbourhood will take you to quaint cafes, neoclassical architecture, Prophet Elias church and the Veakeion outdoor theatre.
Covering the Mycenaean period to the Roman era, the Piraeus Archaeological Museum offers artefacts excavated from Piraeus’ landscape, as well as collections donated from other sites. Visitors will discover monuments, statues, artwork and more.
One of only three surviving Liberty ships, the SS Hellas Liberty is a fascinating vessel to explore. This floating maritime museum was presented to the public in 2010 and covers a range of exhibits people of all ages will enjoy.
With stunning views of the Saronic Gulf and the beautiful vessels moored in the harbour, the bay of Zea is the perfect place to go for a walk, enjoy a delicious coffee and take in the sunshine. You’ll find many hidden gems here, including ancient walls.
DAY 4 - 06 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
Known for unrivalled views, sparkling blue sea and iconic bleached-white architecture, Santorini is a truly unforgettable destination. A stroll down one of the many cobbled streets and along the volcanic-sand beaches is the perfect way to spend a romantic evening, while kids and families will love taking the plunge from a caldera cruise and exploring the colourful markets. Finally, don’t forget to delve into Santorini’s past at the many museums on offer.
Things to do in Thira, Santorini:
Located in the centre of Fira, the Archaeological Museum of Thera is a must visit for insight into the civilizations that came before present day, featuring artefacts from the Archaic, Roman, Geometric and Hellenistic periods, including Byzantine works of art.
Thira, as the capital of Santorini, is the gem of the area and boasts fantastic nightlife and restaurants with mouthwatering food. Here you can feel and be part of the action as it all takes place.
Museum of Prehistoric Thera
Home to the artefacts found at multiple archaeological sites such as Akrotiri, some of these excavations were discovered as early as 1867. Visitors will find numerous temporary and permanent exhibitions offering insight into the prehistoric age of Thira.
Santorini Cable Car
Before the cable car, tourists to Santorini would have to climb the winding stairs to the capital or ride by mule. Now, this mode of transport offers stunning sights of the land and sea on the way up, as well as access to the volcano.
If you are looking to get a better look at the local geography, Santorini Volcano is a fantastic place to start with regular boat trips to look at the powerful effects that a volcano can have on the local environment.
Mykonos Town, Mykonos
DAY 5 - 07 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
Whether you’re in the mood for stretching out on an idyllic beach, itching to explore the maze of streets in search of seafood, or even looking to dance the night away at a seaside superclub, Mykonos has something for everyone. History buffs will be fascinated by the archaeological site of Delos, while Mykonos Windmills provide the perfect holiday snap. A romantic dinner along Little Venice is a must for couples- especially at sunset.
Things to do in Mykonos Town, Mykonos:
This row of 18th century fishing houses looks out onto the crystal clear sea, providing beautiful views both day and night. Though they aren’t fishing houses anymore, the shops, restaurants and bars that have replaced them still give a very enchanting waterfront experience.
Boasting plenty of sun-kissed beaches, including Fokos and Kapari beaches, there's plenty of space and options for a relaxing day on the sand by the blue sea.
Paraportiani Church is one of the most photographed churches in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The whitewashed structure stands out vibrantly against the ocean backdrop, creating fantastic photo opportunities and a romantic place to take a stroll.
Featured on many postcards you’ll find in Greece, the Mykonos Windmills are an iconic sight of the island. Once vital to the economy, the seven windmills are now a beautiful spot to take photos and explore- particularly at sunset.
Day or night, Matoyianni Street is bustling with shopping, dining and bars. It’s the perfect place to find handmade souvenirs, such as jewellery and even sandals, as well as other designer boutiques. Visitors will also love the live music here!
Delos Archaeological Site
This small island is one of the most prominent archaeological sites in Greece, and is simply teeming with mythological and historical insights. Visitors will marvel at the artefacts exhibited here, including sculptures of Apollo and Artemis.
DAY 7 - 09 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
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 10 - 12 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 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.
DAY 11 - 13 Nov 2023
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
The historic city of Genoa has played a pivotal role in Italy’s past, particularly when it comes to maritime endeavours. One of the world’s biggest shipbuilding yards – Fincantieri – is located here, and Genoa is also hometown to the famous explorer, Christopher Columbus. You can easily imagine the hustling, bustling travellers and traders of years gone by as you wander in the Old Port, and relive history in Piazza de Ferrari, and the mansions of Via Garibaldi. Sip on delicious wine and enjoy the very best seafood dishes in this pretty yet industrial Italian city.
Things to do in Genoa:
Aquarium of Genoa
One for all the family to enjoy, the Aquarium of Genoa is the largest in Italy. It was designed by local architect Renzo Piano, and built in 1992 to mark the 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the New World. Within its more than 70 tanks live around 600 different animal species, and 200 species of plants. You’ll find representations of the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic, and Caribbean Sea at the aquarium.
Originally called the Strada Maggiore, or Strada Nuova, this street was named after famous general Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1882. Over the 16th and 17th centuries the wealthy nobility of the area set about restoring and reforming existing dated mansions, which resulted in the creation of more than ten fabulous palazzi (palaces). The street became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006, and today the beautiful buildings act as banks, shops, offices, the Town Hall, and clubs.
Saint Lawrence Cathedral
The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo was first built in the late 11th century. It houses the ashes of St John the Baptist, the city’s patron saint, which are said to have arrived in Genoa at the end of the First Crusade. Over the years the building has suffered destruction and consequent repair works, which has led to the juxtaposition of varying architectural styles. There is evidence of Romanesque, Gothic, Mannerist, and Byzantine style which makes for a beautiful and intriguing image.
Piazza De Ferrari
The city’s main square is named after Raffaele de Ferrari, the Duke of Galliera who donated a large sum of money to modernise Genoa in the mid-19th century. There are both modern and historic buildings surrounding the square, and it also boasts a beautiful fountain in the middle which many people enjoy sitting at with a gelato in hand. Piazza de Ferrari is a popular meeting place among tourists and locals alike, and is also frequently used for events.
It is believed that Genoa’s lighthouse dates back to the 12th century. It has long represented Genoa, proudly displaying the city’s coat of arms since the mid-14th century – a feature that can be seen on many ancient nautical maps. The signalling light was once fuelled by fragrant plants such as juniper, heather, and briar root, until (olive) oil lamps were introduced in around 1345. The lighthouse has seen many keepers over the centuries, one of whom was Antonio Columbus – Christopher Columbus’ uncle.
Royal Palace Museum
Today, the Palazzo Reale is a spectacular national museum displaying a range of 17th, 18th and 19th century furniture, art, and other artefacts. It was constructed for the Balbi family in 1618, sold to the Durazzo family in 1677, and then became the royal House of Savoy’s property in 1823. Since 1919 the palace has belonged to the state, and has welcomed visitors. The Gilded Hall of Mirrors and collection of 17th century art are particularly special.
Strade Nuove and Palazzi dei Rolli
Le Strade Nuove is Italian for ‘the new street’, and in Genoa this collectively refers to the magnificent Via Garibaldi, Via Cairoli, and Via Balbi. This area of the city is home to some exquisite mansions, which in 1576 were registered on the Palazzi dei Rolli – a list of palaces. Being on this list meant that when important visitors came to Genoa, the wealthy families who owned the mansions would take turns in hosting them.
Many say that the activity at the historic port of Genoa is what inspired local boy Christopher Columbus in his childhood to go on to undertake discovery voyages – one of which would lead to European settlement in the Americas. Today, a walk around the bustling port can transport you to years gone by, as you imagine the travellers, trade, and business that went on way back when just as it does now. Gaze at historic buildings and busy streets, many of which were revamped in the 1990s by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
DAY 11 -
Hotel stay included
Athens 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 MSC Musica
Based on 26 reviews
Value for money
Lovely ship, spotlessly clean as cleaning seemed to go on all day which was good. Staff exceptionally nice albeit some were overworked especially at the bar areas which also dealt with soft drinks and ice cream. Food mostly excellent but self service restaurant sometimes was a hit and miss. Customer Help Desk could really be more helpful and you have to press them if you have an important issue. Irritating when you ask a young member of staff onboard a question and you get back an enormous smile instead of an answer since not all can speak English.The theatre was a beautiful and attractive one just as you would expect, and the acts were fabulous. Looked forward every evening to this. All in all a lovely cruise but not sure if it was value for money.
22 Sep 2019
I will never cruise with MSC again first and last time ships crew members above cleaners bar staff and general workers were to be frank quite ignorant although we missed our transfer from the port of Venice and had to pay 40euros for a taxi through no fault of our own we have not received any form of apology from them in my opinionMSC stands for most ship cruise line
26 Jun 2019
CONS -Embarkation - we were waiting for two hours in the port. The port guy was constantly shouting at you and people waiting. People in the queue were very poorly mannered, kicking, pushing you and trying to skip the long queues -MSC gave us incorrect drinks package and then blamed our travel agent saying travel agent provided incorrect info ( not true) -MSC allocated our preferred restaurant incorrectly and blamed our travel agent asking for that specific restaurant as per our request (not true) -Dirty bedlinen in the cabin ( stains) -Dirty bathroom ( dirty door, mirror, rust and dirt in the shower) -The balcony cabin is old and carpet/ furniture needs to be replaced very badly - The balcony is dirty and rusty - Customer service is non existent -at the very best they will ignore your complaints, otherwise they will shout at you , they could not care less about your comfort or satisfaction -Cold water at all tea stations- impossible to make a cup of tea -The pool was impossible to get into- too many poorly mannered people pushing you out of the way and kicking you ( we have got a balcony cabin Fantastica experience, which was supposed to be a luxury experience- what a joke!) -The Italian staff were very rude , inpatient, poorly mannered. They were constantly raising their voice and shouting at you. Anything we were asking for was too much of a trouble for them - Our waiter at dinner was really good but service in the restaurant during lunchtime was awful - the waiting staff was ignoring you, you could sit there for 30 min waiting to get a menu, the waiter at the door shouted at you when asked to take order ( shouting that he is not taking orders as he is a door waiter) -They will charge you for water in the cabin even when water is included with your package - They will add Unicef charge to your bill without asking you - I have got a severe allergic reaction within 10 minutes of drinking their cheap pina colada at the pool -They will mix french and english speaking groups together on excursions to earn more money, pure greed ( and will still charge you 90 euro per person). -Disembarking was terrible, staff were treating you like a cattle, long queues again for 3 hours, staff shouting at you, people kicking and pushing you, arrival was also late -Buffet was a mess, people running around, pushing you out of the way and trying to skip long queues - The wines included in the 30 euro per day package were very cheap and of a very bad quality , MSC cocktails gave me a severe allergic reaction PROS -The food was very tasty -Ports / towns where we stopped were very nice - especially Dubrovnik , Venice, Lecce, Mykonos, Olympia -Some Asian staff were very good, polite and friendly -Excursions were interesting and well organised ( except for the guide called Eva in Athens - Acropolis, Plaka and Museum tour- my advice would be to avoid this one) -Entertainment was really good
23 Jun 2019
Great cruise. All flights and transfers worked out to perfection. Hotel Hilton In Durban excellent. Had a wonderful time.
*Handcrafted Cruise & Stay Holidays - Flash sale £50p is valid for New bookings Only made by 28th February 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.