Cruise only (Please call for flight options)
Setting sail from Venice
Venice is a city like no other, a marble maze of turquoise canals criss-crossed by beautiful bridges, overflowing with palaces, churches and charming little piazzas. No matter how many times you've seen it in photographs, that first glimpse of the Grand Canal will simply take your breath away; it hardly seems credible that such a eye-popping scene could exist outside of a Canaletto painting. Of course Venice is a city that draws big crowds, especially in summer, but don't let this put you off; even the busiest areas are never more than a few steps from a quiet courtyard or a secluded square.
The long, long queues for St Marks might put you off, but just book online in advance for timed entrance and bypass the exhausted tourists.
Piran’s walled old town is the highlight of Slovenia’s short stretch of coastline, a compact collection of sun-dappled streets and medieval Venetian architecture on a small peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic. Highlights include the Romanesque cathedral and some great seafood restaurants.
Hvar is the most popular of Croatia’s islands, a ruggedly beautiful place carpeted with lavender fields and dotted with little villages. The island’s capital, Hvar Town, is a charming collection of marble streets arranged around a harbour, and it gets very busy in the summer months.
We never fail to be moved when we see the terracotta roofs and honey-golden walls of Dubrovnik, and a stroll around the perfectly preserved old town is a highlight of any visit to the Dalmatian coast. Make sure you take the time to walk around the walls and soak up the marvellous sea views.
Situated on the north eastern tip of Sicily, so close to the Italian mainland you can almost touch it, Messina is the busy main entry point to the island. The city was flattened by an earthquake in 1908, and again by Allied bombing in 1943, so few historical sights remain, although the cathedral is one of Sicily’s most impressive.
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago to the north of Sicily. The main port is Lipari Town, a charming little harbour of pastel-coloured houses, fishing boats and enticing restaurants, overlooked by the imposing 13th century citadel.
The captivating island of Capri has much to offer, from the ruins of Roman villas to gorgeous private residences surrounded by flower-filled gardens. You might also want to explore the famous Blue Grotto, with its intense azure interior and ethereal silvery light.
Italy: Rome (Civitavecchia)
One of the world’s great cities, Rome continues to dazzle and delight visitors with a potent mix of architectural marvels, continent-defining history and buzzing nightlife. The Colosseum, the Vatican and the Forum are among the big ticket items, with the crowds to match, though in truth you will find history around almost every corner.
Arriving in Palma de Mallorca
MS Europa 2
Widely acclaimed as the best ship in the world, Europa 2’s stylish Nordic décor, fantastic accommodation and great dining options make her a great choice
What we love
Europa 2 really is a ship with a difference, and you feel it from the moment you step on board. Her beautiful light-flooded interiors are fresh and inviting, and the feeling of space created by innovative design is vastly refreshing. This dedication to design is not, incidentally, confined to public areas: the elegant suites themselves are a wonderful place to stay.
|Style||For the young and young at heart, the laid-back ambience is elegant but totally informal. English is spoken fluently by the crew, but you should be aware that your fellow guests may not be equally bilingual; German may well be the lingua franca of the ship (as it were).|
Tailor-make your trip
Our favourite hotel in Venice
The Metropole is an old favourite for its quieter location and lovely lagoon views.
See more of the Veneto
If you’ve time, take the train to Padova and visit the Scrovegni Chapel.