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.
Istanbul - Overnight onboard
DAY 3-411 Nov 2023
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 - Overnight onboard:
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 614 Nov 2023
Messina is a coastal city located in the north-east of Sicily and overlooks the homonymous strait, which separates the region from the rest of the Peninsula. Founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, a few years before Rome, it is said that the strait was the home of Scylla and Charybdis, two sea monsters described by Homer in the Odyssey. In Messina you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the rich Regional Museum which houses works by famous artists.
Things to do in Messina, Sicily:
The Cathedral of Messina was consecrated in 1197 and stands in the Piazza del Duomo. Its peculiarity is the different architectural styles that distinguish it: in fact, Romanesque, Norman, Gothic, Neo-Gothic and Baroque elements coexist.
The Astronomical Clock of Messina is an integral part of the city's Cathedral. It was built in 1933 at the behest of Archbishop Angelo Paino during the restoration of the bell tower and is freely inspired by the one in Strasbourg.
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza del Duomo is one of the central points of Messina: here you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the Statue of the Immaculate Conception, a white marble sculpture created by the sculptor Giuseppe Buceti between 1757 and 1758.
Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani rises between via Cesare Battisti and via Garibaldi on the remains of a pagan temple. The beginning of the construction dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries and boasts a clear Byzantine style with Arab-Norman influences.
Messina Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Messina was established in 1806 and since then illustrates the figurative art of Messina from the 12th to the 18th century. You can admire the Resurrection of Lazarus, a famous painting by Caravaggio, and several works by Antonello da Messina.
DAY 715 Nov 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 816 Nov 2023
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 917 Nov 2023
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 1018 Nov 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 1119 Nov 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.
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Customer reviews for Riviera
Based on 22 reviews
Value for money
8 Sep 2019
Probably one of the best holidays ever been on. Ship superb as usual ,entertainment staff second to none.Food best we’ve had at sea and the speciality restaurants are all,free..Prizes for quizzes are good ones..Ports visited were excellent.Would do the same cruise again. Everything went according to plan.
9 Aug 2019
A great ship, service and food amazing, the entertainment was a bit sparce as only one show per night, but I guess the people who cruise with Oceania are not that interested in entertainment its all about food!
3 Jun 2019
The clean staff in the cabin we were in we're very slapdash with how they cleaned. In the restaurant I ordered a Chenin blanc and got a Chardonnay . We ordered tartar sauce to go with lobster and got tomato sauce. I ordered a Zinfandel rose and was given a dry French rose. When I questioned the waiter he said, oh do you not like dry!
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.