Istanbul’s history dates back thousands of years, making it an incredibly culturally enriching destination to visit. With warm and welcoming locals excited to show you around, you’ll explore breath-taking mosques with vibrant mosaics, find handcrafted souvenirs at lively markets and enjoy aromatic mezes and fresh seafood as well as locally produced wine. There’s a lot to see here, but be sure to simply explore this wonderful city to truly soak up the culture.
Things to do in Istanbul:
One of the city’s most popular attractions, the Basilica Cistern was built in 532 and is the largest surviving cistern in Istanbul. The number of columns and the impeccable symmetry is a staggering sight and a must see, making a great escape on hot summer days.
Built between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I, the Blue Mosque is named for its hand-painted blue tiles on the interior walls, and the blue lights that illuminate it at night. A walk around this impressive structure is truly awe inspiring- don’t forget to adhere to the dress code though.
This magnificent structure took 13 years to build and was the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire. Take a tour of the entire palace or different sections and discover the exquisite decoration (particularly the 4.5 tonne chandelier) and the painting museum.
Often considered the eighth wonder of the world, the Hagia Sophia was actually built three times after being destroyed, with the third and final structure being built 532-537 AD. Now, it is a museum filled with Christian and Muslim art, as well as breath-taking architecture.
Selling countless varieties of Turkish delight, Mısır Çarşısı Market (also known as Spice Bazaar) is a fantastic place to find souvenirs, spices, snacks and stories from warm, friendly vendors. Whether you’re looking to buy or not, exploring the market is a great way to be immersed in the culture and atmosphere of Istanbul.
Sultanahmet Square is where you’ll find the tourist hotspots of Istanbul all in one place. Located in one of the most historical parts of the city, you’ll find the largest cistern, two stunning mosques and numerous places to enjoy authentic cuisine.
Topkapi Palace possesses a colourful history with many sultans living there since 1481. A visit here will give visitors insight into the fascinating stories of the Ottoman Empire, through collections of armour, weaponry, pottery, jewellery and more.
DAY 309 Oct 2024
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.
Mykonos Town, Mykonos
DAY 410 Oct 2024
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 511 Oct 2024
The sleepy seaside village of Katakolon is perhaps one of the biggest tourist highlights of Greece, thanks to its close proximity to Ancient Olympia. With sparkling turquoise waters, numerous traditional tavernas and the warmth of a friendly, local community, Katakolon is the perfect place to explore on foot in the sunshine, where you’ll find museums, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides and even a Beer Bike!
Things to do in Katakolon:
Home to over 463 ancient works, this museum is rich with fascinating history and culture of Ancient Greece. Featuring exhibits covering the second millennium BC until the 5th century AD, you’ll find pieces that were used throughout the ancient Olympic Games.
Archaeological Site of Olympia
Featuring excavations from the Bronze age to the Byzantine era, this huge site provides an impressive insight into the history of Ancient Greece. You'll find sites such as the Ancient Stadium where the Olympic Games were held, the Temple of Hera, and the Temple of Zeus.
The Temple of Zeus
The beautiful ruins of The Temple of Zeus is a major historical site. Despite it being destroyed it still is a fantastic portal to the past giving you a major insight into the gods of old.
This fantastic free museum is dedicated to the physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer, Archimedes of Syracuse. Home to just some of his inventions and reconstructions, it’s well worth a visit, especially for those curious about his expert creations.
Just a short walk from the archaeological site, the Archaeological Museum hosts artefacts that were discovered in Olympia. With over 3,500 years of history to discover, this small but fascinating museum will take you back in time to Ancient Greece.
DAY 814 Oct 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.
DAY 1016 Oct 2024
As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Malaga is a vibrant gem on the Costa del Sol, teeming with history, culture and friendly locals. Lovers of art will love the destination that brought the world Picasso, thanks to its many new art galleries and creative districts. For those looking to let their hair down, the numerous authentic Spanish bars will keep you going until dawn, while foodies will enjoy both formal dining and street eateries.
Things to do in Malaga:
Castilo de Gibralfaro
With gorgeous views overlooking the city, Castillo de Gibralfaro was built in the 8th century as a lighthouse and military barracks. Its imposing walkways provide a scenic walk, while the museum nearby offers great insight into the history of the castle.
Catedral de la Encarnacion de Malaga
This iconic landmark was first built in the historic city centre in 1530, with work finishing in the 17th century. With a Gothic Renaissance style, it boasts a tower standing at 84 metres tall, providing breath-taking photo opportunities.
One of Malaga’s stunning historical monuments, La Alcazaba – meaning citadel – was built between 1057 and 1063. It has since been restored and features Roman walls and a dungeon, as well as stunning views of the harbour and old town.
As Malaga’s oldest historical monument, El teatro Romano was discovered in 1951 and has since uncovered much of Andalusia’s rich history. Visitors can marvel at the fascinating features of the theatre, such as the orchestra area, while more is still being uncovered.
DAY 1117 Oct 2024
Considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, Cádiz charms every visitor who sets foot there. It’s 3,000 years of history are just waiting to be discovered through its monuments, museums, and winding streets, with Cadiz Cathedral being a real highlight. Families will love Playa La Caleta which has all the amenities needed to spend a whole day on the sand and in the water, but don’t forget to check out which festivals and celebrations are going on during your visit.
Things to do in Cadiz:
Built between 1722 and 1838, the iconic yellow-domed Cadiz Cathedral is an impressive example of Baroque-neoclassical construction. When taking a look around inside, be sure to check out the wood-carved choir, and listen out for the sound effects in the crypt below.
Castle of Santa Catalina
This free-to-enter monument is a real hidden gem on La Caleta beach. The exterior of this 17th-century fortress is impressive itself, and visitors will find art exhibitions inside as well as craft workshops and concerts.
Filled with swaying palm trees, blooming flora and lush, green fauna, Genovés Park is a brilliant place to escape the faster pace of the city. Boasting plants from all over the world as well as waterfalls and wildlife, people of all ages will love this tranquil garden.
Playa la Caleta
It’s no wonder Playa La Caleta is Cadiz’ most popular beach. Visitors will find everything they need close to the golden sand, including restaurants, bars and flamenco clubs, as well as toilets and showers.
On a small islet at the end of La Caleta beach sits the Castle of San Sebastian. Construction began in 1706 to fortify the bays defence, and in 1985 the structure was declared a cultural landmark. Explore the grounds and discover the long, rich history of this well-preserved fortress.
DAY 1218 Oct 2024
The largest and capital city of Portugal, and one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon is an idyllic cruise holiday destination, offering attractions to suit all interests. From ancient forts to artistic neighbourhoods and the breath-taking Jerónimos Monastery, this port of call has plenty to explore. Families will love to discover the many species at the Oceanarium, while couples will love an escape to the charming town of Sintra to explore the castle.
Things to do in Lisbon:
One of the oldest and most vibrant districts of Lisbon, Alfama is the place to be for artisan eateries, quirky boutiques and Fado bars. It’s best explored on foot or by the tram to experience as many of the attractions and highlights as possible.
One of the most visited sites in Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery was completed in the seventeenth century. In 1983 UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site and it’s certainly a must visit to admire the beautiful architecture both inside and out.
Here visitors will discover over 450 different species of marine life, including sharks, rays, penguins and otters. Cruisers of all ages will love following the route around the central aquarium to learn about the major ecosystems of the ocean.
Torre de Belem
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Torre de Belém was built to protect Lisbon from attackers from the sea. Despite its role, the fort was decorated with lavish carvings and details, which are best viewed from the banks of the Rio Tejo.
Tram 28 is the classic Lisbon mode of transportation – rattling around the narrow streets in a bright yellow tram that dates back to the 1930’s. Hop on and take one of the best tours of Lisbon, passing highlights and attractions along the way.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural landscape, Sintra is a romantic destination to escape to for the day. Featuring enchanting palaces and rolling hills, this town is easily accessible from Lisbon via a regular train service.
St George's Castle
Established in 200 BC, Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the biggest highlights of Lisbon. Get to know the city’s unique and fascinating history, explore the imposing walls, wander the shady gardens and admire the vast views from the Observation Terrace.
DAY 1521 Oct 2024
The UK’s largest cruise port and where many will begin their cruise holiday, Southampton has no shortage of maritime and historical attractions. Discover local landmarks on a walking tour including 30 ancient monuments, learn about the tragic story of the Titanic and escape to the great outdoors at the New Forest National Park. With numerous options for seafood dining and even a free art gallery, Southampton is an undoubtedly great destination for a pre or post-cruise stay.
Things to do in Southampton:
Dedicated to the tragedy of the Titanic, SeaCity Museum excellently portrays the aftermath through interactive exhibits. Featuring a 1:25 scale model of the ship, visitors learn about life onboard as well as the disaster that deeply affected Southampton in 1912.
Solent Sky Museum
Home to over 20 aircraft that were integral to the war effort, Solent Sky Museum is dedicated to the history of the RAF. Southampton itself played a large role in producing Supermarine Spitfires, which you’ll learn all about here.
The New Forest
If you’re looking to escape the busy port city, the New Forest National Park is just a short distance away with native New Forest ponies and lush heathland. Visitors can also catch events, activities and workshops throughout the year.
Tudor House and Garden
As Southampton’s most important historic building, this restored home holds over 800 years of history after having numerous owners. Now a museum, it showcases many artefacts once belonging to past residents of Southampton, as well as a Tudor House Café.
Southampton City Art Gallery
Since opening in 1939, this free art gallery has showcased exhibitions of sculptures, photography and traditional paintings. Thanks to an ever-changing programme of activities, you’ll find something here that the whole family will enjoy.
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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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.