MSC Grandiosa - Virtual Ship Tour

Australia – Barcelona

Make your way to the airport and board your Barcelona-bound flight.

Please note that some flights may depart one day later.

Barcelona 

Arrive in Barcelona, Spain today. You will be transferred from the airport to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Ayre Hotel Rosellón or similar

Barcelona 

Free and Leisure in Barcelona Today. You may have chance to try the street food, or join the optional tour.

Overnight: Ayre Hotel Rosellón or similar

Barcelona, Spain

You will be transferred to the port of Barcelona from Hotel

Cruise Terminal: Muelle de Adosado

Depart 6:00 PM

Ramblas, a timeless symbol

Barcelona – Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya – vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy.

A cruise excursion(Optional tour) to Barcelona city centre will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two sights that are high up on any Mediterranean cruise sightseeing list.

A holiday in Barcelona can start with the Ramblas, and then dive straight into the medieval nucleus of the city, the Barri Gòtic. But there are plenty of other central old-town neighbourhoods to explore too, from La Ribera – home to the celebrated Museu Picasso – to funky El Raval, where cool bars, restaurants and boutiques have mushroomed in the wake of the striking contemporary art museum, MACBA.

Even if you think you know these heavily touristed neighbourhoods well, there’s always something else to discover during an MSC excursion – tapas bars hidden down alleys little changed for a century or two, designer boutiques in renovated old-town quarters, bargain lunches in workers’ taverns, unmarked gourmet restaurants, craft outlets and workshops, fin-de-siècle cafés, restored medieval palaces and neighbourhood markets.

On Passeig de Gràcia there is Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, designed for the industrialist Josep Batlló: the stone facade hangs in folds, like skin, while on the rooftop sprout the celebrated mosaic chimneys and a little tower topped with a three-dimensional cross.

The mountain of Montserrat stands just 40km northwest of Barcelona and it’s a popular trip out from the city. Once there, you can visit the basilica and monastery buildings which fan out around an open square, and there are extraordinary mountain views from the terrace.

Marseille, France

8:00 AM To 5:00 PM

Multicultural fragrances and flavours

Are you ready to find your way around Marseille on an MSC Mediterranean cruise ?

When cruising southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your MSC cruise ship, the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life.

Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. The best view of the Vieux Port is from the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier, where, up until the last war, tiny streets, steep steps Mediterranean introduction and houses of every era formed a vieille ville typical of the Côte.

You can enjoy many MSC cruise excursions(Optional tour) from the Vieux Port. Were it not for the great metropolis of Marseille, just 30 km south, Aix-en-Provence would be the dominant city of central Provence. Aix is more immediately attractive, a stately and in parts pretty place that’s traditionally seen as conservative.

Capital of the Catholic Church during the early Middle Ages and for centuries a major artistic centre, Avignon remains another unmissable excursion. Low medieval walls still encircle Avignon’s old centre, as it nestles up against a ninety-degree bend in the Rhône river. Their gates and towers restored, the ramparts dramatically mark the historic core off from the formless sprawl of the modern city beyond.

Genoa, Italy

8:00 AM To 6:00 PM

A mix of cultures and fragrances

Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great cruise excursion(Optional tour)

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.

Civitavecchia, Italy

7:00 AM To 6:00 PM

Uncovering a thousand years of history

The port of Civitavecchia is one of the largest in Italy and is, of course, a destination of MSC Cruise in the Mediterranean. Civitavecchia enjoys a millenary history due to its coves along the coast, which offered a perfect shelter for vessels, making it a natural port long before cruise ships sailed the seas, and in fact the port was known to the Romans as Centumcellae.

During your holiday in Civitavecchia you can easily visit its centre on foot. Amongst the most important monuments to visit are the Forte Michelangelo, built by Bramante in the 16th century, the ancient walls of the old port, where there is a fountain in travertine marble by Vanvitelli, and the Rock, an inexpugnable fortress that has been looming over the city and port for over a thousand years.

In Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Civitavecchia’s main square, one can admire the majestic baroque cathedral dedicated to St. Francis, built at the end of the 18th century on a smaller church which could no longer host a rapidly growing community.

Piazza Leandra, set in the historic centre, is a typical Italian piazza with a fountain in the centre, dedicated to Leandro, an elderly seaman of the Middle Ages who convinced his fellow citizens to settle on the Mediterranean coast in spite of the incursions by Saracen pirates.

There are a host of bars and restaurants for a taste of seafood cuisine, from poached baby octopus to fried rocket to stuffed squid or the pizza alla civitavecchiese with anchovies and garlic. The Taurine Baths, of the even more ancient Etruscan period, are a grand archaeological site just a few kilometres outside the city, a site that we recommend to the cruiser with a passion for ancient history.

Palermo, Italy

10:00 AM To 5:00 PM

Traditions, culture and cuisine in Trinacria

A holiday to Italy with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit the regional capital of Sicily. A fascinating, bustling, colourful port, Palermo yet holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets.

With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic centre in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit.

The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market.

Select an area (La Kalsa, or the sprawling markets of Ballarò), and enjoy your cruise excursion.(Optional tour)

Across Via Maqueda is Piazza Pretoria, floodlit at night to highlight the nude figures of its great central fountain, with its racy sixteenth-century Florentine design. The piazza also holds the restored town hall, while towering above both square and fountain is the massive flank of Santa Caterina, Sicilian Baroque at its most exuberant, every inch of the enormous interior covered in a wildly decorative relief-work.

On the south of the island, a couple of kilometres below modern Agrigento, a series of Doric temples – the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains and a grouping unique outside Greece – are strung out along a ridge facing the sea. Greek colonists surrounded it with a mighty wall, formed in part by a higher ridge on which stood the acropolis. The southern limit of the ancient city was a second, lower ridge and in the fifth century BC it was here, in the “Valle dei Templi”, that the city architects erected their sacred buildings.

Valletta, Malta

9:00 AM To 6:00 PM

A 16th century city

The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is one of the must-see stops for every Mediterranean cruise of merit.

You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and moulded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a square kilometre make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit during a cruise, not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants.

An excursion(Optional tour) to the island can start right from its capital, Valletta, which enchants the cruise-goer with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions.

The National Museum of Archaeology, on the other hand, hosts prehistoric artefacts found on the island. By the Grand Harbour, one can visit the underground passages of Auberge de Castille and the beautiful Baracca Gardens, which overlook the harbour; at night, when the city gates would close, its porticoes served as shelter for travellers. To get a taste of the life of Malta’s ancient nobility, visit Casa Rocca Piccola.

A 16th century Palazzo now the residence of the 9th Marquis De Piro, it has period furnishings and has a bomb shelter built for protection against bombings during the Second World War. The set of the film Popeye can still be seen from Malta’s largest beach, as well as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha with a fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ; according to tradition, Saint Luke, who was shipwrecked on the island with Saint Paul, is the author of this Byzantine-style fresco.

Cruising

At sea

Barcelona – Vienna

Embark: The port of Barcelona  |  Arrive 9:00 AM

You will be transferred to the Barcelona airport for your flight to Vienna, France. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Hotel:   Four Side hotel Vienna City Center, Ibis Wien Mariahilf or Similar

Special Notice: Vienna charge city tax  (Per Person Per Day) €5
Must be paid prior to entering the cities- no concessions available

Vienna – Mondsee – Munich 

From Vienna it’s on to another Austrian gem, Mondsee. Mondsee is a town located on the shore of the Lake Mondsee. The town is home to the historic medieval Mondsee Abbey. The cloister church was used for the site of the wedding in The Sound of Music. After lunch group will continue to across the German border to Munich. After arriving Munich, you’ll visit Marienplatz and New Town Hall. Marienplatzis a central square in the city centre of Munich since 1158. The New Town Hall is at the northern part of Marienplatz. It hosts the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration since 1874. Or you can enjoy a German beer in one of the beergarden before going to the hotel.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Munchen Unterhaching, Hotel NH Munich City Sud or Similar in Munich or city nearby

Munich – Mount Titlis – Lucerne – Zürich

You’ll leave the big cities behind on Saturday morning and head for one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges – the Swiss Alps. The first destination is Engelberg, the stunning Swiss resort. From here you can opt to board a cable car that takes you to the summit of the impressive Mount Titlis. To reach to the top of the permanently snow-covered Mt. Titlis is by a combination of gondolas over 3 stages.
You’ll ascend the last stage by the world’s first revolving gondola the Titlis Rotair, that delivers spectacular views of the valleys, glaciers, lakes and forests below, and 360˚ vistas of the surrounding mountains. At the summit the sun terrace is the perfect place to pause and appreciate the breath-taking panoramas. There’s a 150-metre ice cavern through the core of a glacier to explore at the top. Other highlights include walking across Europe’s highest suspension bridge for more phenomenal views from Mt. Titlis.
You’ll come down from the hills to the lakeside for your next stop. Lucerne is a picturesque city of bridges and towers located in what many people believe to be the “true” Switzerland – picture-postcard Mountains, lakes, cowbells, Alpine villages and meadows full of edelweiss flowers. Here you will have time to wander through the charming streets, and see the famous Lion Monument, which Mark Twain once described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. This is a great place to get souvenirs like Swiss watches and fine chocolates, before travelling to the overnight stop of Zurich.
(If weather and traffic permits, the coach might offer a bonus stop in one of the smallest European country: Lichtenstein.)

Overnight: Dorint Airport Hotel Zurich, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Zurich Airport or Similar in Zurich or city nearby

Zürich – Rhein Falls – Titisee – Frankfurt 

Today, the tour begins in Zurich, a city with a reputation as a leading global financial centre. There is chance for a picture stop at the impressive Lake Zurich, before moving on to Rhine Falls, Europe’s biggest waterfall.

Next you’ll cross back into Germany and the Black Forest, the ancient fir-covered mountain range, which is famous for its creepy folklore and mythical tales. Here you will see the beautiful lake Titisee, where you can stop at one of the many lakeside cafés to enjoy some of the region’s best Black Forest cherry gateaux. Cuckoo clocks are made in Titisee, making this the ideal place to pick up a few souvenirs from the local shops and you’ll also get to see a demonstration of how these magical mechanisms work.

Finally, you’ll head back to Frankfurt, where it will be time to say goodbye to some members of our group, while others opt to stay another night in this major German city before switching to the Red Line tour the next day.

Hotel: 3 Star Hotel

Frankfurt – Prague 

After boarding the luxury coach in Frankfurt, sit back and enjoy a scenic ride through some classic German country side en-route to the Czech Republic. Prague, one of Europe’s most ornate cities, is your first destination. We will arrive in the evening, ready to discover this charming capital city with its fairy-tale architecture, the following morning.

Overnight: Best Western Amedia Prague, Hotel Don Giovanni Prague or similar in Prague or city nearby

Prague – Bratislava

Your Prague adventure begins with a spectacular walk along the Royal Route, following the traditional coronation path of the kings and queens of old Bohemia. You’ll start from the top of Castle Hill in the Hradcany district, famous for its views over the red-roofed old city, and then tour Prague Castle. The castle has been the historic seat of Bohemia royalty since the 9th century, as well as home to the nation’s presidents in recent times. Further exploration then heads off around the imposing gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and along Golden Lane, an ancient thoroughfare lined with some wonderful traditional buildings.

Later we will stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge, which arches gracefully over the Vltava, and on through the winding alleys to the Old Town Square, where you can see the City Hall and one of Prague’s most well-known sights, the Astronomical Clock.
After lunch in the square, our coach will make the scenic transfer from Prague to the hotel in or near the Slovakian capital, Bratislava.

Overnight: Vienna House Easy Chopin Bratislava, Lindner Hotel Gallery Central Bratislava or similar in Bratislava or city nearby

Bratislava – Budapest

Wednesday sees you arrive in Hungary, the fourth country of the tour. Its capital, Budapest, is known as the Pearl of the Danube, and is essentially two different cities joined together: Buda on the west of the river, Pest on the east, each with its own distinct characteristics.
One of the best ways of seeing this unique location is by taking a river cruise, which many people choose to do. After a morning of activity, you’ll relax over lunch at Buda Palace, and then have a chance to look at the exhibitions in the Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery, or do a spot of souvenir shopping.

Next you’ll explore both sides of the city on a cultural and historic tour. Highlights on the Buda side of the Danube include the towered terrace of Fisherman’s Bastion, the medieval Matthias Church and a walk up to the summit of Gellért Hill for panoramic views. While over in Pest the sights include the expansive Heroes’ Square and Hungary’s dramatic riverside Parliament Building. In the evening, you can choose to round off an eventful day with an optional dinner in the heart of Budapest, where you can sample traditional dishes such as goose liver, goulash, duck leg and local wine, accompanied by Hungarian folkdance and music

Overnight: Expo Congress Hotel, Mercure Budapest Buda or similar in Budapest or city nearby

Budapest – Vienna

Today starts with a short journey to another of Europe’s grand capitals, Vienna, where you’ll get to explore the Austrian city’s resplendent palaces, striking churches and prestigious art museums.
Your Vienna adventure begins at one of the city’s most popular attractions, Schönbrunn Palace, the Rococo-style summer residence of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of Europe and the Church for many decades. After lunch in this refined setting, you will take a driving tour past many grand, famous buildings, including the City Hall, the Austrian Parliament, Hofburg Palace and Heroes’ Square.

In the afternoon, you’ll have some shopping time, before adding the Wiener Staatsoper (opera house) to your checklist of key Vienna buildings. Later, opt for dinner in the heart of the city or visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, before taking a stroll in Stadtpark, which is known for its range of sculptures, including the famous gilded bronze statue of Johann Strauss II.

In the evening, we recommend the option of attending a Viennese waltz concert, which will allow you the unforgettable experience of hearing the music of Mozart and Strauss in the place where it was composed

Overnight: Four Side hotel Vienna City Center, Ibis Wien Mariahilf or similar in Vienna or city nearby

 

ViennaAustralia

At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

 

Australia

Arrive home today.

Day 1

Australia – Barcelona

Make your way to the airport and board your Barcelona-bound flight.

Please note that some flights may depart one day later.

Day 2

Barcelona 

Arrive in Barcelona, Spain today. You will be transferred from the airport to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Ayre Hotel Rosellón or similar

Day 3

Barcelona 

Free and Leisure in Barcelona Today. You may have chance to try the street food, or join the optional tour.

Overnight: Ayre Hotel Rosellón or similar

Day 4

Barcelona, Spain

You will be transferred to the port of Barcelona from Hotel

Cruise Terminal: Muelle de Adosado

Depart 6:00 PM

Ramblas, a timeless symbol

Barcelona – Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya – vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy.

A cruise excursion(Optional tour) to Barcelona city centre will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two sights that are high up on any Mediterranean cruise sightseeing list.

A holiday in Barcelona can start with the Ramblas, and then dive straight into the medieval nucleus of the city, the Barri Gòtic. But there are plenty of other central old-town neighbourhoods to explore too, from La Ribera – home to the celebrated Museu Picasso – to funky El Raval, where cool bars, restaurants and boutiques have mushroomed in the wake of the striking contemporary art museum, MACBA.

Even if you think you know these heavily touristed neighbourhoods well, there’s always something else to discover during an MSC excursion – tapas bars hidden down alleys little changed for a century or two, designer boutiques in renovated old-town quarters, bargain lunches in workers’ taverns, unmarked gourmet restaurants, craft outlets and workshops, fin-de-siècle cafés, restored medieval palaces and neighbourhood markets.

On Passeig de Gràcia there is Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, designed for the industrialist Josep Batlló: the stone facade hangs in folds, like skin, while on the rooftop sprout the celebrated mosaic chimneys and a little tower topped with a three-dimensional cross.

The mountain of Montserrat stands just 40km northwest of Barcelona and it’s a popular trip out from the city. Once there, you can visit the basilica and monastery buildings which fan out around an open square, and there are extraordinary mountain views from the terrace.

Day 5

Marseille, France

8:00 AM To 5:00 PM

Multicultural fragrances and flavours

Are you ready to find your way around Marseille on an MSC Mediterranean cruise ?

When cruising southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your MSC cruise ship, the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life.

Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. The best view of the Vieux Port is from the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier, where, up until the last war, tiny streets, steep steps Mediterranean introduction and houses of every era formed a vieille ville typical of the Côte.

You can enjoy many MSC cruise excursions(Optional tour) from the Vieux Port. Were it not for the great metropolis of Marseille, just 30 km south, Aix-en-Provence would be the dominant city of central Provence. Aix is more immediately attractive, a stately and in parts pretty place that’s traditionally seen as conservative.

Capital of the Catholic Church during the early Middle Ages and for centuries a major artistic centre, Avignon remains another unmissable excursion. Low medieval walls still encircle Avignon’s old centre, as it nestles up against a ninety-degree bend in the Rhône river. Their gates and towers restored, the ramparts dramatically mark the historic core off from the formless sprawl of the modern city beyond.

Day 6

Genoa, Italy

8:00 AM To 6:00 PM

A mix of cultures and fragrances

Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great cruise excursion(Optional tour)

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.

Day 7

Civitavecchia, Italy

7:00 AM To 6:00 PM

Uncovering a thousand years of history

The port of Civitavecchia is one of the largest in Italy and is, of course, a destination of MSC Cruise in the Mediterranean. Civitavecchia enjoys a millenary history due to its coves along the coast, which offered a perfect shelter for vessels, making it a natural port long before cruise ships sailed the seas, and in fact the port was known to the Romans as Centumcellae.

During your holiday in Civitavecchia you can easily visit its centre on foot. Amongst the most important monuments to visit are the Forte Michelangelo, built by Bramante in the 16th century, the ancient walls of the old port, where there is a fountain in travertine marble by Vanvitelli, and the Rock, an inexpugnable fortress that has been looming over the city and port for over a thousand years.

In Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Civitavecchia’s main square, one can admire the majestic baroque cathedral dedicated to St. Francis, built at the end of the 18th century on a smaller church which could no longer host a rapidly growing community.

Piazza Leandra, set in the historic centre, is a typical Italian piazza with a fountain in the centre, dedicated to Leandro, an elderly seaman of the Middle Ages who convinced his fellow citizens to settle on the Mediterranean coast in spite of the incursions by Saracen pirates.

There are a host of bars and restaurants for a taste of seafood cuisine, from poached baby octopus to fried rocket to stuffed squid or the pizza alla civitavecchiese with anchovies and garlic. The Taurine Baths, of the even more ancient Etruscan period, are a grand archaeological site just a few kilometres outside the city, a site that we recommend to the cruiser with a passion for ancient history.

Day 8

Palermo, Italy

10:00 AM To 5:00 PM

Traditions, culture and cuisine in Trinacria

A holiday to Italy with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit the regional capital of Sicily. A fascinating, bustling, colourful port, Palermo yet holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets.

With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic centre in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit.

The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market.

Select an area (La Kalsa, or the sprawling markets of Ballarò), and enjoy your cruise excursion.(Optional tour)

Across Via Maqueda is Piazza Pretoria, floodlit at night to highlight the nude figures of its great central fountain, with its racy sixteenth-century Florentine design. The piazza also holds the restored town hall, while towering above both square and fountain is the massive flank of Santa Caterina, Sicilian Baroque at its most exuberant, every inch of the enormous interior covered in a wildly decorative relief-work.

On the south of the island, a couple of kilometres below modern Agrigento, a series of Doric temples – the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains and a grouping unique outside Greece – are strung out along a ridge facing the sea. Greek colonists surrounded it with a mighty wall, formed in part by a higher ridge on which stood the acropolis. The southern limit of the ancient city was a second, lower ridge and in the fifth century BC it was here, in the “Valle dei Templi”, that the city architects erected their sacred buildings.

Day 9

Valletta, Malta

9:00 AM To 6:00 PM

A 16th century city

The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is one of the must-see stops for every Mediterranean cruise of merit.

You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and moulded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a square kilometre make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit during a cruise, not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants.

An excursion(Optional tour) to the island can start right from its capital, Valletta, which enchants the cruise-goer with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions.

The National Museum of Archaeology, on the other hand, hosts prehistoric artefacts found on the island. By the Grand Harbour, one can visit the underground passages of Auberge de Castille and the beautiful Baracca Gardens, which overlook the harbour; at night, when the city gates would close, its porticoes served as shelter for travellers. To get a taste of the life of Malta’s ancient nobility, visit Casa Rocca Piccola.

A 16th century Palazzo now the residence of the 9th Marquis De Piro, it has period furnishings and has a bomb shelter built for protection against bombings during the Second World War. The set of the film Popeye can still be seen from Malta’s largest beach, as well as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha with a fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ; according to tradition, Saint Luke, who was shipwrecked on the island with Saint Paul, is the author of this Byzantine-style fresco.

Day 10

Cruising

At sea

Day 11

Barcelona – Vienna

Embark: The port of Barcelona  |  Arrive 9:00 AM

You will be transferred to the Barcelona airport for your flight to Vienna, France. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Hotel:   Four Side hotel Vienna City Center, Ibis Wien Mariahilf or Similar

Special Notice: Vienna charge city tax  (Per Person Per Day) €5
Must be paid prior to entering the cities- no concessions available

Day 12

Vienna – Mondsee – Munich 

From Vienna it’s on to another Austrian gem, Mondsee. Mondsee is a town located on the shore of the Lake Mondsee. The town is home to the historic medieval Mondsee Abbey. The cloister church was used for the site of the wedding in The Sound of Music. After lunch group will continue to across the German border to Munich. After arriving Munich, you’ll visit Marienplatz and New Town Hall. Marienplatzis a central square in the city centre of Munich since 1158. The New Town Hall is at the northern part of Marienplatz. It hosts the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration since 1874. Or you can enjoy a German beer in one of the beergarden before going to the hotel.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Munchen Unterhaching, Hotel NH Munich City Sud or Similar in Munich or city nearby

Day 13

Munich – Mount Titlis – Lucerne – Zürich

You’ll leave the big cities behind on Saturday morning and head for one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges – the Swiss Alps. The first destination is Engelberg, the stunning Swiss resort. From here you can opt to board a cable car that takes you to the summit of the impressive Mount Titlis. To reach to the top of the permanently snow-covered Mt. Titlis is by a combination of gondolas over 3 stages.
You’ll ascend the last stage by the world’s first revolving gondola the Titlis Rotair, that delivers spectacular views of the valleys, glaciers, lakes and forests below, and 360˚ vistas of the surrounding mountains. At the summit the sun terrace is the perfect place to pause and appreciate the breath-taking panoramas. There’s a 150-metre ice cavern through the core of a glacier to explore at the top. Other highlights include walking across Europe’s highest suspension bridge for more phenomenal views from Mt. Titlis.
You’ll come down from the hills to the lakeside for your next stop. Lucerne is a picturesque city of bridges and towers located in what many people believe to be the “true” Switzerland – picture-postcard Mountains, lakes, cowbells, Alpine villages and meadows full of edelweiss flowers. Here you will have time to wander through the charming streets, and see the famous Lion Monument, which Mark Twain once described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. This is a great place to get souvenirs like Swiss watches and fine chocolates, before travelling to the overnight stop of Zurich.
(If weather and traffic permits, the coach might offer a bonus stop in one of the smallest European country: Lichtenstein.)

Overnight: Dorint Airport Hotel Zurich, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Zurich Airport or Similar in Zurich or city nearby

Day 14

Zürich – Rhein Falls – Titisee – Frankfurt 

Today, the tour begins in Zurich, a city with a reputation as a leading global financial centre. There is chance for a picture stop at the impressive Lake Zurich, before moving on to Rhine Falls, Europe’s biggest waterfall.

Next you’ll cross back into Germany and the Black Forest, the ancient fir-covered mountain range, which is famous for its creepy folklore and mythical tales. Here you will see the beautiful lake Titisee, where you can stop at one of the many lakeside cafés to enjoy some of the region’s best Black Forest cherry gateaux. Cuckoo clocks are made in Titisee, making this the ideal place to pick up a few souvenirs from the local shops and you’ll also get to see a demonstration of how these magical mechanisms work.

Finally, you’ll head back to Frankfurt, where it will be time to say goodbye to some members of our group, while others opt to stay another night in this major German city before switching to the Red Line tour the next day.

Hotel: 3 Star Hotel

Day 15

Frankfurt – Prague 

After boarding the luxury coach in Frankfurt, sit back and enjoy a scenic ride through some classic German country side en-route to the Czech Republic. Prague, one of Europe’s most ornate cities, is your first destination. We will arrive in the evening, ready to discover this charming capital city with its fairy-tale architecture, the following morning.

Overnight: Best Western Amedia Prague, Hotel Don Giovanni Prague or similar in Prague or city nearby

Day 16

Prague – Bratislava

Your Prague adventure begins with a spectacular walk along the Royal Route, following the traditional coronation path of the kings and queens of old Bohemia. You’ll start from the top of Castle Hill in the Hradcany district, famous for its views over the red-roofed old city, and then tour Prague Castle. The castle has been the historic seat of Bohemia royalty since the 9th century, as well as home to the nation’s presidents in recent times. Further exploration then heads off around the imposing gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and along Golden Lane, an ancient thoroughfare lined with some wonderful traditional buildings.

Later we will stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge, which arches gracefully over the Vltava, and on through the winding alleys to the Old Town Square, where you can see the City Hall and one of Prague’s most well-known sights, the Astronomical Clock.
After lunch in the square, our coach will make the scenic transfer from Prague to the hotel in or near the Slovakian capital, Bratislava.

Overnight: Vienna House Easy Chopin Bratislava, Lindner Hotel Gallery Central Bratislava or similar in Bratislava or city nearby

Day 17

Bratislava – Budapest

Wednesday sees you arrive in Hungary, the fourth country of the tour. Its capital, Budapest, is known as the Pearl of the Danube, and is essentially two different cities joined together: Buda on the west of the river, Pest on the east, each with its own distinct characteristics.
One of the best ways of seeing this unique location is by taking a river cruise, which many people choose to do. After a morning of activity, you’ll relax over lunch at Buda Palace, and then have a chance to look at the exhibitions in the Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery, or do a spot of souvenir shopping.

Next you’ll explore both sides of the city on a cultural and historic tour. Highlights on the Buda side of the Danube include the towered terrace of Fisherman’s Bastion, the medieval Matthias Church and a walk up to the summit of Gellért Hill for panoramic views. While over in Pest the sights include the expansive Heroes’ Square and Hungary’s dramatic riverside Parliament Building. In the evening, you can choose to round off an eventful day with an optional dinner in the heart of Budapest, where you can sample traditional dishes such as goose liver, goulash, duck leg and local wine, accompanied by Hungarian folkdance and music

Overnight: Expo Congress Hotel, Mercure Budapest Buda or similar in Budapest or city nearby

Day 18

Budapest – Vienna

Today starts with a short journey to another of Europe’s grand capitals, Vienna, where you’ll get to explore the Austrian city’s resplendent palaces, striking churches and prestigious art museums.
Your Vienna adventure begins at one of the city’s most popular attractions, Schönbrunn Palace, the Rococo-style summer residence of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of Europe and the Church for many decades. After lunch in this refined setting, you will take a driving tour past many grand, famous buildings, including the City Hall, the Austrian Parliament, Hofburg Palace and Heroes’ Square.

In the afternoon, you’ll have some shopping time, before adding the Wiener Staatsoper (opera house) to your checklist of key Vienna buildings. Later, opt for dinner in the heart of the city or visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, before taking a stroll in Stadtpark, which is known for its range of sculptures, including the famous gilded bronze statue of Johann Strauss II.

In the evening, we recommend the option of attending a Viennese waltz concert, which will allow you the unforgettable experience of hearing the music of Mozart and Strauss in the place where it was composed

Overnight: Four Side hotel Vienna City Center, Ibis Wien Mariahilf or similar in Vienna or city nearby

Day 19

 

ViennaAustralia

At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

Day 20

 

Australia

Arrive home today.

Fine Print:

Travel Advice:

  • Departure City: Melbourne/Sydney
  • For the latest travel advice for your holiday please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your trip overseas
  • A visa may be required for your destination or any countries you are transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you obtain a valid visa. Please visit http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ to assist you with any requirements.
  • Cruise Cabin are based in  Interior Guarantee Cabin
  • Upgrade to Outside Fantasica $270 pp extra
  • Upgrade to Balcony  Bella  $380 pp extra ( it might be obstructed Cabin)
  • Upgrade to Balcony Fantastica  $490 pp extra
  • optional tour is available

Bedding Configuration:

  • Twin or Double bedding (subject to availability) Please inform us when book the tour.
  • Bookings are non-changeable & non-refundable once your travel dates are confirmed.

Exclusions:

  • Visa fees
  • Meals/beverages not stated in the itinerary (including any speciality restaurants onboard cruise)
  • MSC cruise excursions/Optional activities/tours
  • Gratuities/tipping (Gratuities (tips) are not included in the price, It is 10EUR per day, it will shows on your bill at the last day before cruise disembark)
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance (Strongly Recommended) Delightful Travel provided 30% off with NIB TRAVEL INSURANCE when Purchasing the Tour. Please email through the details and the Team members will email you the quotation
  • City Taxes need to be paid on arrival Czech Republic & Vienna charge city tax (each €5). No concessions regarding this subject.
  • Compulsory Tipping 7EUR per person per day for the land your x 7 days

Cabins

  • All cabins are subject to availability; some cabins are With Guarantee Category.

Coach Transportation:

Where group sizes are not sufficient to use a full-sized coach, we reserve the right to use a smaller coach on the same level of comfort.

Itinerary: Please note, tour itinerary is subject to change without prior notice based upon weather, traffic condition and other unforeseen occurrences.

Child Price:

Same price as an adult – Minimum age 2 years. Infant price is $550 per person (Need to accompany with 2 Adults) , payable direct to our Travel Partners.

Airline:

  • Return economy flights departing Sydney or Melbourne with a full-service Chinese carrier, China Southern, China Eastern, Air China, China Airlines or other Asian carriers (Eg. Vietnam airlines or Malaysia Airlines)
  • Return economy flights departing Sydney or Melbourne with Qantas at an additional cost $600 per person
  • Brisbane and Adelaide – A $300 per person interstate surcharge applies
  • Perth– A $600 per person interstate surcharge applies
  • Customers may be flown to Sydney or Melbourne to join their international flights
  • Including maximum 20kg of checked baggage per passenger (actual limit is subject to airline)
  • One return flight is supplied per voucher
  • Names cannot be changed once flights have been booked
  • The airfare remains non-refundable at all times

Flights:

  • Note that the total length of the package includes time spent in-flight as specified in the itinerary.
  • Some flights may depart a day before/after, involve up to 2 transits, stopover or a substitute airline. These changes are beyond our control and will be confirmed upon booking
  • Once your flights are confirmed and ticketed, flights are non-refundable and non-changeable. Full names (First, Middle & Surname) as per passport must be provided for ticketing.
  • Checked baggage allowance is based on the piece or weight concept, depending on airlines. Piece: one-piece 23kg and weight: 20-30kg (depends on the airline allowance). Barcelona to Pairs will be 20kg (Luggage may be add-on an extra expense, please contact the supplier)
  • Arriving early/Extending your trip. Please inform us when book the tour for the surcharge.
  • From $250 per person (subject to availability and applicable fare difference). If you wish to alter or extend your trip, please purchase your voucher first and submit a request on your booking form. We will then provide quotations for any alternations or extensions. Should you wish to proceed any additional charges will be collected. Please note, if you have selected a breakaway, airport transfers (if applicable) will not be provided.
  • Please note, flight itineraries will not be provided until 1-2 weeks before departure

Optional tour :

City Attractions/Activities Price (per person)
Vienna, Austria Viennese Waltz Concert and transfer
Experience the beautiful tradition of the waltz while in Europe
€84
Vienna, Austria Schönbrunn Palace
Visit the 1,441-rooms in the Habsburger Baroque Palace
€16
Prague, Czech Republic Prague Castle
Royal Palace, George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, Vitus Cathedral
€13
Budapest, Hungary Budapest Danube River Cruise €20
Budapest, Hungary Fisherman’s Bastion
See the panoramic views of Budapest from a fairytale look-out
€3
Budapest, Hungary Matthias Church
A place of worship mixing the Gothic with Oriental influences
€8
Mount Titlis Mount Titlis Cable Car
The world’s first revolving gondola over Mount Titlis
€85
Budapest, Hungary Hungary Folklore Show + Dinner
Get acquainted with the passionate Hungarian culture
€50

 

Optional upgrade :

Cabin Types Includes Price (per person)
Outside Fantasica All the benefits of ‘Bella’ plus a variety of extra privileges. Choose from staterooms in the most desired locations (including Super Family staterooms where available) located on the upper decks, with rapid access to elevators and lounges. Enjoy 24-hour-a-day room service with free delivery (between 6am and 11pm) and priority choice of dining times in the gourmet restaurants. Have fun with dedicated activities for children, like foreign language games and Master Chef cooking sessions with our staff. And earn MSC Voyagers Club points! $270
Balcony Bella The ‘Bella’ Experience is the great-value way to enjoy the comforts of life on board an elegant, modern cruise ship while choosing your amenities a la carte. Relax in a well-equipped stateroom and savor the wide variety of superb specialties on board, with the chance to request your preferred dinner seating. What’s more, you can spoil yourself with the delights of a gourmet buffet that’s open 20 hours a day. Enjoy Broadway style entertainment and a packed program of daily activities organized by our multilingual team of friendly personnel. Take advantage of the pool, cutting-edge panoramic gym and open-air sports facilities to stay in shape. And earn MSC Club points, so you can enjoy even more benefits on your next cruise. $380
Balcony Fantastica All the benefits of ‘Bella’ plus a variety of extra privileges. Choose from staterooms in the most desired locations (including Super Family staterooms where available) located on the upper decks, with rapid access to elevators and lounges. Enjoy 24-hour-a-day room service with free delivery (between 6am and 11pm) and priority choice of dining times in the gourmet restaurants. Have fun with dedicated activities for children, like foreign language games and Master Chef cooking sessions with our staff. And earn MSC Voyagers Club points! $490

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