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 430 May 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 531 May 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 601 Jun 2025
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 803 Jun 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 904 Jun 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 1005 Jun 2025
The island of Kefalonia has flourished after falling victim to a devastating earthquake in 1953, where almost every structure was demolished. Now, Argostoli is a thriving port city with shopping, restaurants, an active harbour and warm, friendly locals. You’ll find no shortage of traditional seafood, a quaint church, and a Blue Flag-awarded sandy beach. If you’re looking for a laid-back cruise holiday with plenty of sun, Argostoli is the place for you.
Things to do in Argostoli, Kefalonia:
The Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia
The Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia has seen its fair share of wear and tear but remains standing even today. Packed full of historical artefacts, it's home to a rich collection of historical finds from several excavation sites around the island, dating from prehistoric to Roman periods.
Historical and Folklore Museum
Housed on the ground floor of Korgialenios Library, the History and Folklore Museum of Argostoli is dedicated to the studies of historical Kefalonia. Visitors will find artefacts such as household items, embroidery and photographs, as well as works of art.
The Church of Saint Spiridonas is dedicated to the protector of Kefalonia and is one of the most central churches in the city. Take a look inside to see the renowned golden wood temple, housed here after surviving the 1953 earthquake.
Makri Yialos Beach
Just a short distance from the centre, Makri Gialos beach is a vast sandy expanse with ample facilities to spend a whole day here. Visitors will find a bar, restaurant and the chance to try your hand at water sports to make the most of the crystal clear, clean water to swim in.
DAY 1106 Jun 2025
Situated close to the popular town of Chania, Souda in Crete is a quaint seaside town with just over 5,000 inhabitants. Although it’s a small town, it’s filled with restaurants, bars and plenty of attractions to see when you stop off here, including the nearby Vlites mountain peak that gives breathtaking views over Souda Bay, the Archaeological Site of Ancient Aptera and the extraordinary Museum of Typography.
Things to do in Souda:
Vlites Mountain Peak
If you’re looking for incredible views of the town, head over to the Vlites mountain peak. Surrounded by greenery, this mountain peak might be a bit of a walk away from the town, but the panoramic views you’ll get over the town makes it well worth the effort during your stopover here.
Archaeological Site of Ancient Aptera
One of the most significant Greek archaeological sites is Aptera, which is situated in western Crete. 13 kilometres east of Chania, close to Rethymno, the Aptera Archaeological Site is surrounded by the Souda Bay to the north and the beautiful White Mountains to the south. Through excavations, the Aptera Archaeological site keeps making important new discoveries, and every year more visitors are drawn to this historic attraction.
Museum Of Typography
Located in nearby Chania, the Museum of Typography was created by Yannis Garedakis, who has been collecting an array of artefacts for more than 30 years. Opened in 2005, the museum is full of tools showcasing the development of European typography.
DAY 1308 Jun 2025
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 3 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.
Hotel stay included
Hotel in Rome - 4 stars
27 May 2025
2 nights stay
We don't know the hotel in Rome 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 Athens - 4 stars
8 Jun 2025
2 nights stay
We don't know the hotel in Athens 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.