Spend seven days on the Mediterranean, cruising from Monte Carlo, Monaco, to Barcelona, Spain. At French and Italian stops along the way, take in artworks of Picasso and Michelangelo, and revel in breathtaking views and culture from towns steeped in European history.
Here are just some of the stops on this cruise.
A Mediterranean playground
Consider bringing your glamorous best, because this cruise starts in Monte Carlo. Even if you don’t gamble, you’ll want to visit the Monte Carlo Casino to take in its luxurious decor and do some people-watching. Bask on the city-state’s Larvotto Beach and visit the Oceanographic Museum, considered one of the premier aquariums in Europe with 90 tanks of sea creatures. For more opulence, tour state rooms in the Prince’s Palace, home to Prince Albert of Monaco. And for a little fresh air amid thousands of blossoms, palms and olive trees, visit the Princess Grace Rose Garden, named after the prince’s late wife, former American actress Grace Kelly.
Where chic resort meets Old World
On the French Riviera, you’ll be enchanted by Antibes, a town where you’ll want to lounge on the beaches and visit the Picasso Museum, a former castle the artist used as a studio. Today, it showcases more than 250 of his works, along with others by Calder, Miro, Ernst and Leger. Hike the trail around the Cap d’Antibes peninsula and, after working up an appetite, head to the Marche Provencal, the local market, where you’ll find cheeses from the mountains, fresh meats and seasonal vegetables.
Michelangelo and gelato
On your stop in Florence, run off to the countryside and visit the medieval towns of Siena and San Gimignano, or tour the Renaissance city and see some of the world’s masterpieces of art. The Uffizi Gallery is home to Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch” and Titian’s “Venus of Urbino.” Michelangelo’s sculpture David, at the Galleria dell’Accademia, will make this an unforgettable trip. For spectacular views of the city, visit the Duomo and climb to the top of the massive Gothic cathedral, or stroll the Ponte Vecchio. This medieval closed-spandrel arch bridge across the Arno River is lined with gold and silver shops. We probably don’t need to remind you to treat yourself to unlimited gelato.
Art and architecture
Your cruise will end in the Spanish city of Barcelona, famous for its art and culture. In a city teeming with notable architecture, don’t miss two works by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi: La Sagrada Familia, an imposing Gothic church, and the whimsical Park Güell (shown above), 42 acres of verdant landscaping and paths, tunnels and cascading staircases. Stroll down Las Ramblas, the wide, shady boulevard that runs through Barcelona. Visit the Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of the city, to shop and dine. And for art lovers who can’t get enough of Picasso, see the Museu Picasso, where you’ll find more than 4,000 works that span the artist’s career.
This is just a taste of the sea, sun and culture awaiting you on this cruise. Learn more about this travel deal here.
Have you traveled on the Mediterranean Coast? Share your favorite experiences and any tips with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.