Setting sail from 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. As the saying goes, the city wasn't built in a day, and if you want to make the most of Rome you'll need to spend at least a couple of nights here. 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.
Plan ahead to make the most of your time – Rome is an exhausting city to visit so you need to pace yourself. There are plenty of parks, gardens and squares to relax and enjoy time out.
France: Saint Tropez
Ever since Brigitte Bardot put Saint Tropez on the map with the seminal ‘And God Created Woman’ in 1956, this diminutive fishing village on the French Riviera has been a magnet for the international glitterati.
From the warren-like medieval streets of the Barri Gòtic to the fantastical modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí, from the dizzy heights of Mount Tibidabo to the golden sands of Barceloneta, there’s never a dull moment in Barcelona.
The crumbling, sun-baked seafront city of Cádiz is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the western world, founded by the Phoenicians around 1100 BC. Although the city lacks any obvious landmarks, it’s rich in atmosphere, and plays host to one of Spain’s most colourful carnivals.
Bustling and modern, fizzing with industry and commerce, Casablanca is often overlooked in favour of Morocco’s better known tourist draws. But then this is part of its appeal: it’s an authentic and unvarnished city, and it’s also home to the spectacular modernist architecture of the Hassan II Mosque.
Rebuilt after a terrible earthquake in 1960, Agadir is Morocco’s most popular beach resort, and there is a relaxed European feel that sets it apart from other Moroccan cities. The beachfront promenade is lovely and the waters are clean and clear, making this a popular winter sun destination.
Canary Islands: Arrecife (Lanzarote)
In recent years Lanzarote has begun to shake off its mass market reputation and reinvent itself as a more upmarket destination. The extraordinary volcanic landscapes and the works of local artist César Manrique give the island a unique appearance, and the understated capital, Arrecife, is well worth exploring.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife’s north eastern shore, the island’s capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island’s interior.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de La Palma
The lush volcanic island of La Palma is one of the Canary Islands’ best kept secrets, a place where tourism is still low key and the beautiful scenery is unspoilt by high rise developments. Don’t miss the colourful colonial architecture of the capital, Santa Cruz, reminiscent of the Spanish Caribbean.
Funchal, Madeira’s bustling capital, tumbles down a dramatic hillside towards a beautiful sweeping bay. Highlights include colourful markets, wine lodges and the spectacular cable car ride up to the village of Monte, home of the famous toboggan run.
Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon’s colourful cityscape includes Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums. But for many the best times will be had wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets, with their great local food, wine and music.
Blessed with a dramatic setting on the steep banks of the river Douro, Portugal’s second city is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, and is best known as the home of the country’s most famous export, port wine.
Spain: La Coruña
La Coruña is the largest city in Galicia, a beautiful region of lush green countryside and wild, windswept beaches. Historical sights of note include the Tower of Hercules, a UNESCO-listed Roman lighthouse, and the city is also home to some great seafood restaurants.
It’s not so long ago that Bilbao was a grim and unappealing place, scarred by heavy industry, but the Basque Country’s biggest city has reinvented itself as a cultural hub since the opening of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum in 1997.
Bordeaux sits at the centre of the world's most famous wine region, and is home to a beguiling blend of beautiful buildings, sophisticated gastronomy and high culture. It's a marvellous place to spend some time, whether it's a day sampling wines, an evening at the opera or a night on the tiles.
Lorient is an important fishing harbour and port on the Brittany coast, once home to the French East India Company, and was heavily damaged during the Second World War due to the presence of a German U-boat base. This is an excellent region for fresh seafood, and nearby attractions include the pretty Breton town of Quimper.
Saint-Malo grew rich off the back of maritime trade and its plundering corsairs, a seafaring heritage that is still proudly on display today. It’s great fun getting lost in the streets of the walled old town, and the famous medieval abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is an easy day-trip.
France: Le Havre
Le Havre was more or less flattened during World War II, which makes the city’s UNESCO World Heritage status all the more remarkable. Rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret, Le Havre is now characterised by a striking modernist style; don’t miss the towering, concrete Église St-Joseph.
United Kingdom: Tilbury
Tilbury is not the world's most glamorous port, but the location on the Essex bank of the Thames, a short distance from the M25, means that it’s a convenient jumping off point for central London and the South East. The only real point of interest in Tilbury itself is the 16th century fort, situated just along the river from the cruise terminal.
Belgium: Zeebrugge (Bruges)
Zeebrugge’s main attraction is its proximity to Bruges. This beautifully preserved old town is a magical maze of winding cobbled lanes, narrow canals and gorgeous gabled houses, and it’s no wonder so many visitors throng the streets in summer.
Arriving in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of our very favourite cities to visit, as well as also being a perfect base to explore the nearby landscape of windmills and dikes. The Amsterdam canal belt is now officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and from them there are so many neighbourhoods to explore, such as the Jordaan with its higgledy-piggledy streets and its famed garden courtyards (hofjes). There are also a wealth of famous museums and galleries to choose from, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, not to mention some more, shall we say, quirky options.
Explore by water, or by bicycle to get a feel for the city – a hop on hop off canal boat, or rented bike or pedalo will do the trick.
Your home from home
Purpose built for Oceania and bursting with style, sister ships Marina & Riviera are the perfect combination: small enough to be friendly and large enough to offer great facilities.
What we love
Above all, we love the fact that these ships are packed full of fabulous stuff - loads of amazing dining options, a collection of amazing artworks, wonderful learning opportunities and great accommodation. All of this is combined with the Oceania signatures: well-designed port intensive itineraries, great food, and a relaxed ambience.
|800 International Staff
|Easy going and unpretentious, and at the same time stylish and oozing quality, Oceania's O class ships are a great choice for inquisitive and engaged travellers who enjoy good food.
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Rome
There are so many great hotels but we particularly love the Campo de’ Fiori, for its great location in the centre of everything.
Beat the queues
Get a private guide to help you jump the queues into the Vatican who can whizz you through the galleries to see the essentials and ensure your best view of the Sistine Chapel.
Two nights in Amsterdam
There is a fantastic range of canal front hotels to choose from, but we love the new Waldorf Astoria.
Visit windmills in Zaanse Schans, the flowers at Keukenhof, or the cheese market in Alkmaar.