Lake Como is one of Italy’s most idyllic locations, with visitors flocking here from all over the world for many centuries. The serene beauty of the lake and surrounding shores offers a level of peace and tranquillity that can be hard to find in today’s modern world, which is why so many people come to take a deep breath and relax. As well as amazing views, the Lake Como area has a rich history and many fascinating sites to see. These include Piona Abbey, Como Cathedral, and San Fedele Church – all of which display intricate architecture of varying styles and periods. Wander around the streets imagining years gone by, and take time to simply enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
Train - Lecco / Como to Venice Mestre:
Located in the original site of a Romanesque church, the building of Como Cathedral began ten years after the Milan Cathedral, in the late 14th century. Statues of Pliny the Elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger welcome visitors; standing proudly on the façade of the building. These are now sheltered by glass cases to avoid further environmental damage. Inside there are important tapestries and paintings depicting various saints and biblical/historical scenes.
This gorgeous and peaceful location is an ancient fishing village with a romantic and calm atmosphere, where visitors can come and enjoy the slow pace of life. The area has a rich and interesting history, in no small part due to the rivalry with nearby commune Como. It is home to the Villa Monestero, a convent founded in the early 13th century by some religious folk who had escaped from Comacina Island during the Milan/Como war at this time.
Located close to Lake Como’s shoreline, Piona Abbey is believed to date back to as early as the 7th century, as documents attesting to its existence have been found from around this time. The impressive structure is stood on top of Olgiasca Hill, and boasts interesting architecture and frescos. There is also a small shop selling natural wares made by the resident monks such as honey, liquor, cream, and medicinal herbs.
San Fedele Church
The Basilica di San Fedele was built in the year 1120, and is believed to stand on top of ruins of an older place of worship. Found in the main town square – the Piazza San Fedele – the church has long been important in the town’s history. The architecture is Romanesque style, but the façade was refurbished in 1914 and now includes a Renaissance style window.
Referred to by many as the ‘Pearl of Lake Como’, the picturesque town of Bellagio offers a quintessential Italian atmosphere, gorgeous views, and a number of interesting historical and architectural sites. Wander down cobbled streets, take a look at the 12th century Chiesa San Giacomo, and admire the Villas Serbelloni and Melzi. Villa Serbelloni was first built in the 15th century, and over the years has been a gorgeous holiday home and hotel at Lake Como. Many famous figures have stayed there including John F Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Al Pacino. Today the property is owned by the Rockefeller Foundation.
DAY 630 Aug 2025
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 5 PM
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 (Venice):
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.
DAY 801 Sep 2025
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 902 Sep 2025
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 1104 Sep 2025
Taormina is located in the province of Messina, north-east of Sicily, at about 206 meters above sea level. It was one of the main tourist destinations in Europe in the 19th century, and served as a source of inspiration for numerous poets and writers who have written about its beauty. Among the attractions of greatest historical interest are the Ancient Theatre, the Cathedral of San Nicola, the Villa Comunale and the Palazzo Corvaja.
Things to do in Taormina, Sicily:
Cathedral of San Nicola
The current Duomo stands on the remains of a previous medieval religious structure dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari, which in turn was built on an older pagan place of worship. The Cathedral dates back to the 13th century, and displays different architectural styles.
The core of Palazzo Corvaja, a defensive tower, was erected in the 11th century during the period of Arab domination. The structure was then enlarged two centuries later, with the addition of the so-called "Hall of the Master of the Executioner". In the 15th century the building housed the Sicilian Parliament.
Isola Bella - together with the municipality of Taormina - is a stunning island which was once owned by English conservationist Florence Trevelyan in the late 19th and early 20th century. Since then it has been under various ownership until it was auctioned in 1990, when it was bought by the Region of Sicily.
Teatro Antico di Taormina
This Greek/Roman Theatre, dating back at least to the 3rd century BC, is undoubtedly the best preserved historical monument of Taormina. It is the second largest theatre of its kind in Sicily, second only to the Greek Theatre of Syracuse.
The Villa Comunale boasts some impressive gardens which were commissioned by Florence Trevelyan, an English conservationist who lived in Taormina from the late nineteenth century until her death. The property has belonged to the municipality since 1922.
DAY 1205 Sep 2025
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 1306 Sep 2025
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 1407 Sep 2025
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 1508 Sep 2025
Toulon started as a small fishing town in antiquity to become France’s first naval port, and the largest city in the scenic Var region. It's famous for its natural beauty. Here you can enjoy the local ‘chichis’ (similar to Spanish churros) on the beach during a pleasant stroll to the sound of the waves and chirping crickets, and explore the old town’s medieval buildings and 900-year-old cathedral. For the best views, take the cable car up Mont Furon.
Things to do in Toulon:
Mount Faron Cable Car
Climb Mont Furon in just six minutes thanks to this cable car that is as thrilling as it is convenient. Once at the top the views are unrivalled in the region, with great panoramas both out to sea and over the city with its backdrop of a peaceful forest.
Musee de la Marine
One of the five naval museums of France, this fascinating museum is based in the old port arsenal, which you enter through the grand guard gates. Inside, you’ll find many interesting exhibitions from scale model ships to naval clothing and equipment.
Plages du Mourillon
The place to be on sunny days, the sandy beaches host numerous activities, including watersports, for families. Awarded the blue flag label as an environmentally-friendly space, there are even ramps for those in wheelchairs to roll down and enjoy the water.
The construction of this Gothic and Romanesque cathedral began in the 11th century and was completed in the 18th. Toulon Cathedral is a national monument and inside you’ll find many treasures such as two paintings by famous Baroque artist Pierre Puget.
DAY 1710 Sep 2025
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 4 PM
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.
Hotel stay included
Hotel in Lake Como - 4 stars
25 Aug 2025
3 nights stay
We don't know the hotel in Lake Como 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.
Hotel in Venice Mestre - 4 stars
28 Aug 2025
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 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.
^Bespoke Handcrafted Cruise & Stay Black Friday sale is valid for new bookings only made between 14th November & 4th December 2023 - Save £50pp with a minimum spend of £1599pp.
*Bespoke Handcrafted Cruise & Stay Cyber Week sale is valid for new bookings only made between 29th November & 4th December 2023 - Save £50pp with a minimum spend of £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.