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 225 Apr 2023
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 326 Apr 2023
Palermo is the capital of Sicily, as well as the fifth Italian municipality by population. The city has a long history: it was in fact founded by the Phoenicians at the turn of the 7th and 6th centuries BC and was subject to the conquests of various populations, including Romans and Saracens. Numerous buildings are recognised by the State as national monuments due to their historical and artistic features, such as the Cathedral and the Martorana Church.
Things to do in Palermo, Sicily:
The Palatine Chapel is located within the larger Palazzo dei Normanni complex. It is a basilica with three naves in Norman-Byzantine style and its construction began in 1129 at the behest of King Roger II of Sicily.
Capuchin Abbey and Catacombs
The Convent of the Capuchins, dating back to the 16th century but built on previous structures, is located in the Cuba district of Palermo. The basement houses the Capuchin Catacombs, where it is possible to admire the body of the little Rosalia Lombardo.
The Church of the Martorana is located in the historic centre of Palermo and boasts a Sicilian-Norman architectural style with Baroque influences. It is part of the circumscription of the Italian-Albanian Church and officiates the liturgy according to the Byzantine rite.
At Monte Pellegrino you can admire the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of the city of Palermo, dating back to the 17th century. It was built on the remains of pre-existing religious buildings and is located inside a rock ravine.
Palazzo dei Normanni
The Palazzo dei Normanni is the oldest royal residence in all of Europe. Also declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2015, in the past it was the residence of the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Sicily, imperial seat and of the Sicilian Parliament.
Palmero Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Palermo was established in 1866 and owes its name to Antonio Salinas, a Palermo archaeologist who directed the structure. You will be able to admire numerous finds of the peoples that have characterised centuries of Sicilian history.
The Cathedral of Palermo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015, is the most important religious structure in the city. The current structure, built in the 12th century, presents different architectural styles with Norman and Islamic influences.
DAY 629 Apr 2023
Livorno is the third most populous city in Tuscany, after Florence and Prato, as well as one of the most important Italian tourist and commercial ports. It did not hold the same importance as nearby Pisa at the time of the Maritime Republics, however. Today it is a highly modern city while rich in historical evidence of the past. You can visit the historic district of New Venice, the Old Fortress, the Mascagni Terrace, and the aquarium.
Things to do in Livorno:
The Livorno Aquarium was first established in 1937, and was reopened again in 2010, following expansion works. It is the only venue of its kind to boast a Greek-Roman archaeological marine area, which houses a reproduction of a ship wreck.
The charm of the Old Fortress portrays the entire history of the city of Livorno. The area has been affected by numerous settlements since the Bronze Age, and the fortification itself has gone through several stages up to the present day.
The neighborhood of Venezia Nuova is the true historic center of the Livorno. During the months of July and August it hosts the music and arts event known as "Effetto Venezia", where you can find shows, cultural events, and stalls.
The Terrazza Mascagni owes its name to the eponymous composer from Livorno. Located on the seafront of the city, the open terrace was designed in the 1920s and then expanded after World War II. It offers gorgeous views of the ocean and a lovely setting for socialising under the sun.
The Mercato delle Vettovaglie, also known as the Central Market, is an interesting 19th-century building overlooking the Fosso Reale canal in Livorno. The interior of the main hall was designed by Lorenzo Gori, and is a beautiful spot for exploring and buying local produce.
Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica has been a popular social meeting place ever since nineteenth-century Livorno. It is most commonly known as "Voltone" by the locals, due to the vault that covers part of the Fosso Reale canal, which it overlooks.
DAY 730 Apr 2023
With a history dating back to the 5th century and the accolade of European Capital of Culture 2013, in Marseille you’ll find an old city full of charm to explore and pretty modern districts alike. Tuck into a classic pissaladière at the old port before visiting the famous coves of the Calanques National Park to the south- a stunning sight and only 25 minutes away by car. Before you leave don’t forget to buy a Marseille soap to give your suitcase a delicious holiday scent!
Things to do in Marseille (Provence):
Calanques National Park
Lying just 25 minutes' drive from Marseille, this stunning national park forms a natural harbour on the Mediterranean coastline. Boasting over 8,000 hectares of green landscapes and dramatic coves, don’t forget to keep an eye out for dolphins from the cliff edge.
History Museum of Marseille
With a history spanning over 2,500 years, Marseille History Museum is the ideal way to walk the paths of Marseille’s engrossing past. Covering everything from the ancient Greek founders and Roman traders, to more recent affairs, the museum is a must for those in love with archaeology and French history.
Le Panier District
This old district of Marseille has witnessed many moments of history, from the turbulence of ancient times to the darkness of WW2. Today you’ll find charming narrow streets to wander, dotted with artisan shops, cafés, bars and bistros.
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde
Affectionately called the “Good Mother”’ by locals, Notre-Dame de la Garde was built in the 12th century on the site of an old fort and has seen countless renovations. Standing proudly 157 metres above the city, this is the place for unrivalled views of the city.
The Port of Marseille is the cradle not only in terms of location but in bringing trade, culture and wealth to Marseilles. Nowadays you’ll find the famous fish market a scenic waterfront ideal for sipping pastis while watching the world go by.
Renamed in honour of US President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in 1963, this pretty boulevard boasts architecture from many different eras, and is the perfect place to go for a stroll and admire the pretty beaches and coastline of Marseille.
DAY 801 May 2023
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.
Fly to the UK
Customer reviews for Oosterdam
Based on 15 reviews
Value for money
This was a cruise out of Santiago Chile. The cruise itinerary was excellent and all ports were visited. I had a pre stay in Santiago for 3 nights first. Although it was great, I would advise as with everywhere, to be careful with personal items. Booking with Iglu was exceptional and I recommend them to all my friends!
6-10 cruisesFully Obstructed Ocean Views
27 Mar 2023
Pleasantly pleased to find a good cruising experience on HAL and much better than previous cruise we had taken. Service staff excellent across all departments. Entertainment much improved since last cruise although we still miss the cast shows. Excellent music in a range of venues, although we'd of liked a little more variety. Food of good quality with good portions. Descriptions on menu could have been a bit more detailed. Sometimes menu items displayed on the App menu were not available. Bar service and quality drinks were very good.
10+ cruisesPartial Ocean View
24 Dec 2022
Enjoyed the cruise overall and the itinerary was great. The ship could do with a little update, but all the crew were excellent and attentive, absolutely faultless. Unfortunately due to entertainers illness (presumably Covid) the last 3 days was a little quiet. The enrichment now includes art talks and was superb, both enlightening and entertaining, particularly Dahli and Banksy. I have booked again with Holland America Line, but am going to try a new ship.
10+ cruisesOcean View
16 Nov 2022
Ship and crew were brilliant.
10+ cruisesOcean View
9 Nov 2022
Terms and Conditions
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.