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Formerly a sleepy Spanish city, Barcelona has recently been reborn as an eclectic fusion of the modern and medieval. Seek inspiration from the creations of its modernist architect, Antonio Gaudí, or the Picasso Museum. Or, take in the breathtaking cathedrals in the Gothic Quarter.
Best known as the birthplace of paella, Valencia has steadily moved onto the radar of savvy travelers. It’s a vibrant, friendly, mildly chaotic place with two outstanding fine-arts museums, an accessible old quarter, Europe’s newest cultural and scientific complex – and one of Spain’s most exciting nightlife scenes. Whole sections of the old city, for example the Carmen Quarter, have been extensively renovated. One of the best spots for exploring Valencia’s history is at the museum L’Almoina, which opened three years ago in the Carmen on the site where Valencia was founded by the Romans in 138 B.C. Here, you can walk over glass floors, looking down at a stunning assemblage of ruins excavated in the area. The exhibition includes Roman baths, tombs and a medieval Moorish ward for plague victims.
Ibiza is one of the four main islands of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago of Spain located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is famous for its mega clubs and parties and is often frequented by celebrities and top DJs. Ibiza isn’t just one long stream of beach parties, though. It is also a beautiful island that drives people from all over the world to cruise to Ibiza on a Mediterranean cruise.
Taking a cruise to Ibiza, you will find secluded islets and coves to explore, a historic old town to walk around that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cava and sangria tastings, delicious seafood, and relaxing spots on gorgeous beaches.
Whether it’s the dance club energy you’re most excited to experience in Ibiza, or the island’s soft and sandy beaches, you’ll find plenty of things to do to have a memorable day during an Ibiza cruise port of call on your Mediterranean cruise .
There are few towns more picturesque than Portofino, an Italy cruise destination that rivals Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. This small and intimate vacationer’s haven offers Portofino cruise passengers the quintessential Italian experience. You’ll be tendered via boat to a land of sunshine, beach umbrellas, and fresh seafood, where you can scuba dive to see a statue of Christ underwater, or enjoy a challenging hike up Monte de Portofino for the afternoon.
Portofino begs you to turn off the notifications on your phone, order a cold drink or sip a cappuccino, and enjoy the finer things in life. The pastel homes and buildings against the glittering lure of the Ligurian Sea is a feast for the eyes. Sure, you could venture on to Genoa or spend a day in San Rocco, but Portofino has all the simple pleasures you could ask for. Portofino, oozing Italian charm and brimming with art and history, is proof that you don’t have to compete with Italy’s big cities for a great time.
It’s the region of ‘mosts.’ The most romantic cities. The most fashion forward. The most delicious foods. And the most sought after cruise destinations—Norway to Mykonos, France to Africa—delivered in a way that makes the most of your European vacation time.
Arriving for your Europe cruise, you’ll explore lands rich in romantic languages, classic architecture, food, art and music for one or multiple days at a time. You can hop from port-to-port, or take a Cruisetour, which allows you to have more land time to explore. So you can spend time enjoying centuries-old treasures on land and return to luxurious accommodations onboard to restore the new you.
La Spezia, Italy is a stunning town not far from some of Italy’s most famous cities like Pisa, Genoa and Florence. Historically, La Spezia was a prominent trade center during the Roman Empire. Today it remains not only one of Italy’s busiest port towns, but also home to the country’s largest naval base. As a stop on a Cinque Terre cruise, La Spezia is convenient, centrally located, and a little underrated.
The city is a major stop for a variety of Mediterranean cruises, and passengers often continue on to Ligurian cities like Cinque Terre, Pisa, or Genoa from La Spezia. Cinque Terre is merely a thirty minute westbound train from Stazione La Spezia Centrale, making it easy to explore the port of call and surrounding areas in a day or half-day excursion. Florence, too, is just two hours away—start your day on the coast of the Ligurian Sea and end the day looking up in awe at the Gothic-style Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
From the La Spezia cruise port, you’ll have a view of commercial and passenger ships coming and going from the port’s plentiful canals and inlets. Don’t miss views of the Apuan Alps and Cinque Terre to the west. On your Cinque Terre cruise, the opportunities are plentiful to explore inland cities and seaside towns alike.
Civitavecchia was settled in 108 A.D. by the Emperor Trajan and has since served faithfully as a gateway to the capital of the Empire—Rome. Once the center of the Ancient World from which emperors ruled over nearly all of western civilization, Rome is still a cultural mecca. Stroll the ancient halls of the Colosseum or gaze upon the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
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