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OFFER: Book your next Royal Caribbean cruise holiday in 2023 and 2024 and enjoy a low deposit of £99pp. Book by 30 Apr 2023.
Inside from £881pp
Outside from £893pp
Balcony from £2,140pp
Suite from £2,421pp
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It’s easy to see why Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain. As the capital of the country’s Catalonia region, this cityscape’s cultural mosaic pieces together a 2,000-year-old hodge-podge of sun-drenched beaches, cutting edge architecture and a world-renowned dining and drinking scene. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí left his modernist handprint all over the city, while medieval treasures linger in historic Gothic Quarter squares. Get lost in the whimsical gardens of Park Güell or savour a chef-led Catalan cooking class. Browse art collections dedicated to Picasso and Miro – or ride a cable car to the top of Montjuïc Hill, relishing citywide views along the way.
Monte Carlo is famous for the four ‘G’s’: the Grimaldi monarchy as well as its Grand Prix, Glamour and Gambling. The famous Grand Casino is only one of several but, if you are feeling lucky, note that it operates a strict dress code and requires all players to show passports. The first thing you notice when you arrive is how pristine the mega-yachts look in the harbour. This only fuels the suspicion that their owners – rather than risk going to sea – actually prefer to tie-up permanently at one of the worlds most fashionable addresses. Monacos three main districts are all walkable from the harbour: Monaco Ville (the intriguing old town), La Condamine (business centre), and Monte Carlo (the glitzy new town). Grimaldi Prince Rainier III put Monaco on the map by marrying film star Grace Kelly in 1955 and he is now buried alongside Princess Grace in St Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco Ville.
Although originally called ‘Nakaia’, France’s Nice is as delightful as its name suggests to English speakers. Take a bus or taxi into Nice’s Old City to explore its history-spanning architecture and pristine French Riviera beaches with your Nice cruise. Or stick closer to Villefranche-sur-Mer, where your ship will dock, and take a day-trip to the mountaintop town of Eze. No matter how you spend your time in the de facto hub of France’s Cote d’Azur, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of being close to Italy, which means delectable pizza, fragrant espresso and the sounds of a second Romance language.
The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is a medieval city that’s made a splash in the modern world. Stumble upon architectural gems like the San Lorenzo Cathedral, with its black-and-white striped facade, and monumental squares like Piazza de Ferrari. The harborside aquarium is the second-largest in Europe — head there to see a bastion of biodiversity, complete with sharks, dolphins and penguins. The Lanterna is the city’s main lighthouse, and the adjacent Museum will get you familiar with the history of the port and city. Walk among the colorful houses and cobbled streets, and poke your head into one of the excellent restaurants there for a Genoese specialty dish like pansotti, a ravioli-like pasta served with walnut sauce.
The Italian Riviera’s fishing village of Portofino has more to offer than the rows of brightly coloured houses that made it famous – this coastal town is also a destination for nature lovers eager to explore. Cruise to Portofino and hike through the Regional Park: Its lushly forested coastal paths look down dramatic cliffsides to the Mediterranean below. Or head to Portofino Marine Reserve, where you can kayak on the crystal-clear waters, taking in views of the quaint village as you paddle by under the weathered cliffs. Then, people-watch in one of Portofino’s quaint piazzas, or head to nearby Cervara Abbey, an ancient monastery turned into a terraced garden.
Carrara is a city and comune in Tuscany, in central Italy, of the province of Massa and Carrara, and notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres west-northwest of Florence. Its motto is Fortitudo mea in rota.
With 28 centuries of celebrated history, Rome holds the edge when it comes to unrivalled adventures. The city that sparked the world’s largest empire is very much alive today with a jumble of ancient ruins, world-renowned art and vivacious street culture. Here you can live ‘la dolce vita’, recalling the glory days of Ancient Rome and twirling forks full of pasta in a trattoria. Ride past centuries-old basilicas in a three-wheeled Ape Calessino, or stand in awe of paintings by Italian masters at Villa Borghese. Whether it’s Vatican City’s spiritual allure, Trastevere’s backstreet charms or the Colosseum’s embattled legacy – The Eternal City endures with endless adventures.
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