Follow the sun as you travel through UNESCO highlights, historic ruins and pristine beaches. As our small, sleek ships navigate remote coves of the Greek Isles, the Italian and French Rivieras, Spain, Portugal and other destinations of the Mediterranean, enjoy water sports directly from the ship in many ports to experience your world up close.
From the resting place of Vasco de Gama at Jeronimos Monastery to the turrets of São Jorge Castle, Portugal’s capital Lisbon offers a deep dive into history. Take a tuk tuk through its narrow passages to experience it as the locals do. Along the Douro River lies Porto, renowned for its port wine – the Ferreira Caves being one of the oldest cellars in the country. Ascend the green slopes up to Monte for incredible sky-high views and the enchanting Madeira Botanical Gardens. Along the renowned Algarve region find an array of wonders in Portimão, such as the Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar and Praia da Rocha, the quintessential beach scene.
Discover the iconic French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). Old Nice is vibrant and busy with various markets, narrow streets, colorful architecture and picturesque piazzas. The cobblestoned La Ponche quarter of Saint-Tropez recalls its past as a fishing village, although sleek yachts now outnumber fishing boats. Experience la vie en rose in Cannes at the Maison des Vins, a modern cellar with hundreds of bottles on display. Explore the “underwater trail” of the remote Sanary-sur-Mer’s Portissol beach. Within the French Riviera find Monte Carlo and its famous Place du Casino, a favorite spot of James Bond movies and real-life celebrities. Here, you may also experience the Monaco Grand Prix.
Among the Canary Islands, La Gomera’s rugged coastline, black-sand beaches and lush forests make it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Barcelona lives up to its reputation as a center of grand architecture and inspiring art with exquisite examples of both in Antoni Gaudi’s Park Guell. Ibiza is home to an old port and historic city ramparts declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seville, accessible only by small ship, has played a role in film history throughout the years. Late departures and overnights in Málaga offer time to venture out to Granada, home of the famed Alhambra Palace, an outstanding example of Moorish architecture.
From the Roman Colosseum to the catacombs of the Capuchin Crypt, the capital of Italy is rife with history. In the heart of Venice lies the Bridge of Sighs, an architectural jewel amid so many wonders. Florence, Pisa and Lucca contain an abundance of treasures such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Seek out hidden gems like Byron’s Grotto in Portovenere, Cinque Terre’s “sixth town.” Along the Amalfi Coast, walk the Path of Lemons through the famous groves from where Italy’s limoncello derives. Visit the Blue Grotto of Capri, only accessible by boat, and a marvel of sapphire water. From Naples, make your way to the ruins of Pompeii.
Ancient winding paths transformed into modern-day roads lead to the monumental Acropolis and other archaeological sites in Athens. Between the iconic architecture of whitewashed houses with blue domes in Mykonos, the horizon is filled with the renowned Cyclades windmills. Nestled within a natural cave six meters underground, a tour of the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum and tasting of the vineyard’s Volcan wines is an experience like none other in Santorini. One of the most sophisticated of the Greek Isles, Hydra is a popular getaway for celebrities and the elite, making it an exceptional destination for cultural immersions.
Explore Ephesus, a UNESCO-listed city that is thousands of years old and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Stop at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar for authentic culture, artisans and local wares. The land of myth comes to life as you walk the ancient stone columns of Troy, where you feel like you just witnessed the battle between Paris and Achilles. Rich history, ancient ruins, sandy shores surrounded by mountain ranges, hot springs and healing mud baths, the coastal town of Dikili offers plenty of off-the-beaten-path immersions, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pergamon.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites abound in Croatia, including Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Sibenik’s Fortress of St. Nicholas, the city of Trogir and Split’s Old Town. Delve into the fantastical side of the country with various Game of Thrones film sites, such as Dubrovnik’s walls, Sibenik’s fortress as the city of Braavos and Diocletian’s Palace in Split as Daenerys Targaryen’s throne room. Rovinj has become one of Croatia’s more visited destinations with plenty of natural wonders, crystalline waters at stunning beaches and cobblestone paths leading to rich history. Hvar is renowned as a prime summer destination for yachting and considered the crown jewel of Croatia’s Dalmatian islands.