This one is for the football fans out there, and we are pretty confident when we say it will be up there as a football highlight. Barcelona is a city like no other, and you’ll be spending time getting to know everything this enticing city has to offer. The streets are steeped in history and their food is like nothing you’ve tasted before. The highlight of your stay is tickets for two to witness world-class football, that’s right, you’ll be taking a seat at no other than Camp Nou for their last game of the season against Villarreal. This moment will certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime for most football lovers. You’ll be ready to slow things down as you step aboard your cruise for a week of sun-drenched sailing of the Mediterranean.
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Fly from London to Barcelona
Arrive in Barcelona. Private transfer from the airport to your 4* hotel for a 3-night stay.
Camp Nou – Barcelona FC v Villareal
Private transfer from your hotel to port. Embark MSC Opera for a 7-night Mediterranean Cruise.
TUNIS African and Arabic hospitality await you in exotic Tunis, on the coast of North Africa. Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, actually consists of three cities: the modern Capital City of the Tunisian Republic, with its wide streets, skyscrapers and busy sidewalk cafes; the Arabic Medina (Old Town) from the Middle Ages, an exciting labyrinth laden with secrets, narrow alleyways, small shops, huge mosques and palaces and finally Carthage, the ancient Phoenician – Roman city, which lies 18 km from the city
The port of Palermo, a buzzing MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination, is the regional capital of the island of Sicily. This cosmopolitan city is known for its heavenly architecture, serious street food, and outrageously beautiful beaches.
Naples is a large, sprawling Mediterranean port, with a centre that has many different focuses just waiting to be discovered on an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion.
No trip to Naples is complete without visiting the area between Piazza Garibaldi and Via Toledo, roughly corresponding to the old Roman Neapolis (much of which is still unexcavated like in many other Italian cities).
The old part of Naples – the centro storico – is formed by the main streets of Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai (the latter also known as “Spaccanapoli” as it literally splits Naples in two), which still follow the path of the ancient Roman roads. This is much the liveliest and most teeming part of Naples, an open-air kasbah of hawking, yelling humanity that makes up in energy what it lacks in grace. But it’s the city’s most intriguing quarter, and a must-see on any cruise to Naples. The Duomo is a Gothic building from the early thirteenth century (though with a late nineteenth-century neo-Gothic facade) dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Gennaro.
MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to Pompeii. One of Campania’s most important Roman commercial centres – a moneyed resort for wealthy patricians and a trading town that exported wine and fish – the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 in effect froze the town’s way of life as it stood at the time.
Trips can also be taken to the island of Capri, place of legend, home to the mythical Sirens and a much-eulogized playground of the super-rich in the years since – though now it has settled down to a lucrative existence as a target for day-trippers from the mainland.
Definitely worth a visit, but these days the origins of much of the purple prose may be hard to find.
Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great cruise excursion.
Indeed “La Superba” (The Superb), as it was known at the height of its authority as a Mediterranean superpower, boasts more zest and intrigue than all the surrounding coastal resorts put together.
During a holiday to Genoa you can explore its old town: a dense and fascinating warren of medieval alleyways home to large palazzi built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Genoa’s wealthy mercantile families and now transformed into museums and art galleries. You should seek out the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi which contain the cream of Genoa’s art collections, as well as furniture and decor from the grandest days of the city’s past, when its ships sailed to all corners of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Acquario di Genova is the city’s pride and joy, parked like a giant ocean liner on the waterfront, with seventy tanks housing sea creatures from all the world’s major habitats, including the world’s biggest reconstruction of a Caribbean coral reef. It’s a great aquarium by any standards, the second largest in Europe by capacity, and boasts a fashionably ecology-conscious slant and excellent background information in Italian and English.
Just 35 km south of Genoa, there’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, tucked into a protected inlet surrounded by lush cypress- and olive-clad slopes. It’s an A-list resort that has been attracting high-flying bankers, celebs and their hangers-on for years, as evidenced by the flotillas of giant yachts usually anchored just outside. It’s a tiny place that is attractive yet somehow off-putting at the same time, with a quota of fancy shops, bars and restaurants for a place twice its size.
On the spectacular coastline of the French Riviera lies Marseille, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination. This atmospheric port city is known for its unique mix of grit and glamour, seen in its labyrinth of streets and historical architecture. Only a few miles from Marseille’s charismatic cafes and bustling Vieux Port, stunning cities are to be found. Visit Aix-en-Provence, birthplace of Cézanne, or take in the ancient beauty of Avignon.
Arrive in Barcelona. Disembark MSC Opera and private transfer to the airport for your return flight to London.