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.
Florence & Pisa (Livorno)
DAY 203 Sep 2024
Made famous by its sloping bell tower, Pisa was once a simple but noteworthy port town. Over the years Pisa had some involvement in Italy’s military conflicts, and has seen success in matters of trade. Today most visitors come to see the fascinating Leaning Tower; a construction dating back to the 12th century that has been repeatedly repaired and stabilised over the years. As well as this is the neighbouring cathedral and baptistery, and the pretty Square of Miracles which houses them all. Pisa has a brilliant culinary scene, with many inexpensive restaurants serving amazing antipasti, pizzas, pastas, and other hearty Italian dishes.
Things to do in Florence & Pisa (Livorno):
Square of Miracles
Locally referred to as Piazza dei Miracoli, the Square of Miracles is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which was first built in 1064, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo – a graveyard – and the Campanile – the cathedral’s bell tower which is perhaps better known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Today the square has become a popular place to relax and enjoy the warm sun in some beautiful, historic surroundings.
Maria Assunta. Construction of the building began in 1173, and in spite of a detailed, thought-out design it is believed that a slight lean was evident from the building of the second floor. Building was intermittent due to wars and sociological events, and the tower was not completed until roughly the year 1370. Since this time the lean has been stabilised, and tourists are permitted to enter and climb the staircase to the top for a wonderful view.
Cathedral and Baptistery
The cathedral – or Duomo – and baptistery are two important historic sites which are often overlooked in favour of the Leaning Tower. The cathedral itself dates back to 1064, and you can see within there are influences from the Arabic world, with column designs being reminiscent of those often seen in mosques. The neighbouring baptistery is the largest in the country, and was originally designed in 1152, before being remodelled in the mid-13th century.
DAY 405 Sep 2024
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.
Palma De Mallorca
DAY 607 Sep 2024
On the coast of the largest Balearic island, this sun-soaked seaside city dates back to the 13th-century and is a must visit for any adventurer. A simple stroll will take you on a journey back in time, past breath-taking architecture, medieval history, bustling markets and to an endless array of authentic eateries. With so many hidden gems amongst iconic landmarks, places like Casa Antiguo are the best bet for a true taste of Palma culture.
Things to do in Palma De Mallorca:
Le Seu Cathedral
Found in the heart of Palma, La Seu is a stunning Catalan Gothic style cathedral, with renowned architect Antoni Gaudí contributing to its intricate design. Featuring 61 stained-glass windows, the building flooding with coloured light inside is simply a must.
Castell de Bellver
Built in the 14th century, Bellver Castle is surrounded by lush pine woods and houses an insightful museum of Palma’s municipal history. Visitors will love taking a walk around the moat before admiring the view out over the city and bay from the rooftop.
The quaint, winding cobbled streets of Casco Antiguo are the perfect place to lose yourself in the culture of Palma. Discover gothic bookshops, antique boutiques and must-see tourist sites such as La Seu and Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum.
Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
Showcasing a wide range of art throughout history, Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art is a must visit to discover the cultural heritage of Mallorca. With works by Picasso, Magritte and more, you’re bound to find your new favourite piece.
DAY 708 Sep 2024
After diverting its flood-prone river to the outskirts of the city and converting the remaining riverbed into a flourishing park, Valencia has quickly become a tourist hotspot in Spain. Ever the innovative, it combines traditional Spanish charm with futuristic buildings and districts, such as the City of the Arts and Sciences. Whether you’re here to immerse yourself in the culture or for the sun, sand and sea, you’ll love Valencia.
Things to do in Valencia:
The perfect place to take a romantic evening walk or find fantastic hidden gems, Valencia’s Old Town is made up of numerous cultural influences and historic architecture. Here, you’ll find the Central Market, many tapas bars and a number of tourist hotspots.
City of Arts & Sciences
Dedicated to the science and culture of the world, The City of the Arts and Sciences is home to five main attractions: the Hemisfèric, the Umbracle, the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, the Oceanográfico and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
Rising above the rooftops of the city’s old town is Valencia’s bell tower. Its striking exterior design has become a famous symbol, while the interior can be explored via 207 steps to the top, where you’ll find a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the landscape.
Jardin del Turia
After diverting the river Turia to prevent flooding, Jardín del Turia was created in the riverbed. It has been developed over many years to become one of the largest urban parks in Spain. Here you’ll find Gulliver kids’ park, Exposition Bridge and Zoo Valencia.
La Lonja de la Seda
Built between 1482 and 1548, La Lonja de la Seda is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the Valencia Silk Exchange and is now a stunning landmark to explore, with intricate carvings, sculptures and twisting columns.
As the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 species, the Oceanográfico has no shortage of marine life to discover. With aquariums dedicated to numerous ecosystems as well as a dolphin habitat and an underwater restaurant, the Oceanográfico is a must!
At the heart of Valencia is the cathedral, an iconic landmark showcasing a variety of architectural styles including Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic. Visitors receive an audio guide to discover the history of this stunning cathedral while they explore.
DAY 809 Sep 2024
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 Queen Victoria
Based on 222 reviews
Value for money
It very good.
10+ cruisesDeluxe Inside
17 Sep 2023
A good cruise around the British Isles on Queen Victoria, highly recommend this cruise.
10+ cruisesStandard Inside
4 Sep 2023
First time on Queen Victoria. Iglu were a great help answering questions and were very efficient. Every aspect of the round Britain 12 day cruise was excellent, with speakers such as Kate Adie, all connected to Cunard's support of the Prince's Trust. Ship's staff work incredibly hard. Cabins, food and cleanliness in our experience was first rate. Probably not the best ship/ cruise for children but many other tastes catered for in sensible ways. Highly recommended.
3 Sep 2023
Sumptuous ship, excellent food, professional staff.
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