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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.
Overlooking the ‘Gulf of the Poets’, lies the Italian naval city of La Spezia, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination. Here, a maze of atmospheric streets lead to an impressive commercial harbour with glamorous yachts and pretty palm trees. This bustling Liguria port boasts historical churches, museums, and gardens. Nearby, Cinque Terre, Pisa, and Florence are just waiting to be discovered.
Discover the culture and colour of Civitavecchia, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination. This Italian gem is an enjoyable flight from many European and non-European cities. Celebrated for its 16th-century Michelangelo Fort, ancient Taurine Baths, and marble Vanvitelli fountain, the port is a convenient starting point for visiting Rome, Italy’s regal and romantic capital.
The port city of Palma, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination, lies on the south coast of Mallorca. Founded in 124 B.C., Palma is celebrated for its medieval streets, jaw-dropping architecture, and ancient fortified walls. See buildings such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria which features designs by Gaudí and one of the world’s largest stained-glass windows, or the Gothic Bellver castle with its circular centre and eye-catching towers.
MSC Cruises excursions offer plenty of exciting things to see including:
• The Cathedral of La Seu
• Sóller and Vintage Train Ride
• Dragon’s Caves
Explore the wonders of Palma de Mallorca on an unforgettable MSC Cruises excursion. Ride a bike or go on foot to see landmark sights across the city. Take in Palma’s most remarkable building: the 14th-century La Seu. Positioned atop the former citadel, this Gothic cathedral was constructed almost 400 years ago. Spanish traditions are kept alive at Balearic Coliseum in Plaza de Toros, a historical arena that still hosts bullfights. Or take a trip to La Almudaina, the glorious summer residence of the Spanish Royal Family.
Visit superb Sóller on an MSC Cruises excursion, a coastal town with a backdrop of mountains. The town houses awe-inspiring architecture such as the Banco de Sóller, designed by Juan Rubió, a pupil of Gaudí. Next, catch a ride on the early-20th-century Ferrocarril de Sóller electric train where you’ll take picture-postcard photos of the spectacular scenery. Journey through magical hills, glimpsing orange groves and viaducts, before entering the tunnels the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
If you love dramatic landscapes, don’t miss an MSC Cruises excursion to the Dragon Caves, Mallorca’s mysterious underground world. Forged from years of coastal erosion, this geological system boasts a number of highlights including four great chambers, the Baths of Diana, stalactites and stalagmites, and the impressive Lake Martel. Immerse yourself in this magnificent spectacle and listen to an amazing concert staged on small boats. Back aboveground, finish your cruise with a visit to the glimmering Pearl Factory, a real treat for jewellery lovers!