Discover chic Positano with its relaxed, sophisticated air and white Moorish-style houses clinging to steep slopes around a sparkling bay filled with colorful fishing boats. Then visit enchanting Amalfi and admire the 12th-century Capuchin monastery and see the beautiful 11th-century Cathedral and cloister before exploring on your own. Browse Positano’s boutiques for the town’s locally made casual cotton clothes or search for unique souvenirs in Amalfi. Enjoy delicious fresh seafood and pasta or tempting pastries and espresso in a spectacular seaside, mountainous setting.
SPECTACULAR AMALFI DRIVE & SORRENTO
Travel along the impossibly circuitous, magnificently scenic Amalfi Drive to the graceful city of Sorrento, which perches high on a cliff overlooking the sea.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a drive along one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring roads, the circuitous Amalfi Drive. The road is a joy to travel as it threads the high, rocky sea cliffs and passes through one pastel-hued village after another, all clinging precariously to the steep coastline. The views are so spectacular and the landscape so definitively Mediterranean that the Amalfi coast has been deemed a World Heritage Site.
Arriving in Sorrento nearly 2 hours later, you’ll find a city of Renaissance palazzi, Romanesque churches and charming pedestrian lanes. Your first stop will be to watch a demonstration of intarsia or wood inlay. The craft has long been associated with Sorrento, and the resulting mosaics of various exotic woods are intricate works of art that are used to adorn furniture, wall panels and music boxes on a smaller scale.
Then, following a brief orientation of Sorrento, you will enjoy free time to have lunch and further explore on your own. While you might prefer indoor activities such as browsing the museums and boutiques, be sure to leave time to pause and drink in the scenery. Perched on a cliff, the city is wonderfully vibrant and immensely appealing, especially when you’re sitting in a sidewalk café with a signature Limoncello in hand. What better way to toast Sorrento before returning to Amalfi?
Please note: This tour includes limited guided walking with most walking being at the guests’ discretion during free time. Participants may encounter cobblestone surfaces, steps and inclines. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Guests who are prone to motion sickness should take the necessary precautions prior to commencement of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing (those who wish to enter religious sites will need to have shoulders and knees covered); sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. All times are approximate, dependent upon prevailing traffic conditions.
BEAUTIFUL POSITANO & AMALFI
Cruise to breathtaking Positano and explore at your leisure before returning to Amalfi for a tour of glorious St. Andrew Cathedral and enjoying more free time.
After departing from the pier in a boat, you will cruise west along the stunning Amalfi coast. Hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rugged coast is physically beautiful, naturally diverse and emotionally moving all the way to Positano, where you will disembark.
Upon arrival, you’ll have approximately 90 minutes during which you might browse the smart boutiques for cotton clothing, linger over a glass of wine, or simply take in the spectacular views. Positano clings to the side of a steep cliff, so it’s extraordinarily photogenic and more vertical than it is horizontal.
Amazingly, Positano was little more than a humble fishing village until it became popular in the 1950s with writers such as John Steinbeck and after a new road was built linking it to Sorrento. Now, it’s an absolute must-see when on the Amalfi coast.
Amalfi is also wonderfully enchanting, as you will discover after cruising back to tour St. Andrew Cathedral. Built in the early 1200s alongside a still-standing 9th-century church, the cathedral is dramatically located atop a flight of 62 stairs. Be sure to note its medieval bronze doors, the first of their kind in Italy.
Afterwards, during your free time, you might wander about the sun-splashed piazzas or gaze out over the Mediterranean. The original city of Amalfi lies somewhere offshore, as it slid into the sea during the earthquake of 1343.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45 minutes of guided easy to moderate walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There will be cobblestone surfaces, steps and inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with walking difficulties. Guests who are prone to motion sickness should take the necessary precautions prior to commencement of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing (those who wish to enter religious sites will need to have shoulders and knees covered); sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions. The Positano tour portion is non-guided. Local guides will give you a brief orientation on the way to Positano so that you may better enjoy your free time there. Large boats will transport guests to Positano; the boats will only depart when all guests are boarded. The order of sites visited may vary.
Enjoy an enlightening tour of Ravello’s crown jewel, Villa Rufolo, and then free time to explore wherever you please in this beautiful medieval village.
After departing from the pier, you will drive inland toward Ravello, enjoying some of Italy’s most dramatic scenery as you ascend into the mountains. Upon arriving, you will first visit Villa Rufolo, a monumental complex of buildings that during its heyday in the 13th century was described as having “more rooms than there are days in the year.”
Instantly recognized for its iconic tower, the Moorish-influenced villa is absolutely stunning and its countless restorations have only added to its appeal and intrigue. Richard Wagner was so moved by the well area alone that it inspired him to compose the second act of his opera “Parsifal.” The villa’s Garden of the Soul is equally enchanting.
More spectacular sights await you below in the medieval village of Ravello which you are free to experience at your leisure. During your free time, you might visit the Romanesque cathedral on the main square, a reminder that Ravello was once an important bishopric. Built in 1087, the cathedral features a rare bronze door adorned with more than 50 panels decorated with figures in relief.
As you stroll Ravello’s cobblestone streets you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer beauty found in every direction. You would be in good company, as Ravello has inspired the likes of D.H. Lawrence, Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf and artist M.C. Escher, who was heavily influenced by its Moorish decorations. after approximately 1 hour, you will re-join your coach and return to the pier in Amalfi.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45 minutes of guided easy to moderate walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There will be cobblestone surfaces and some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with walking difficulties. The drive to Ravello includes curves and hills which may cause discomfort to those who are prone to motion sickness. Weather appropriate clothing (those who wish to enter religious sites during free time will need to have shoulders and knees covered); sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
THE EMERALD GROTTO
Cruise the awe-inspiring Amalfi coast and explore the interior of the Emerald Grotto, a seaside cavern filled with oddly shaped stalagmites and stalactites and gorgeous green water.
After departing from the pier in a boat, you will cruise west along the stunning Amalfi coast, a Mediterranean landscape so physically beautiful, naturally diverse and emotionally moving that it has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The perspective from the sea is even more magnificent than the perspective from land, as it affords you a full panoramic view.
Upon arriving at the entrance to the Emerald Grotto, you will board a smaller vessel and proceed inside. Expect to be amazed by the bizarrely shaped stalagmites and stalactites and the water’s emerald sheen, which is caused by refracted sunlight through an underwater opening. Other light reflecting off the water’s surface casts a mysterious, almost supernatural glow on the walls of the cavern.
There is even an underwater nativity scene just below the water’s surface. The ceramic scene was made in nearby Vietri sul Mare and placed in the grotto in 1956.
The Emerald Grotto, also known as the Grotta di Smeraldo, was once dry, but earthquakes and shifting currents filled the interior with water long ago. Although the grotto was well known in the 19th century, it was somehow forgotten until local sailor Luigi Buonocore re-discovered it in 1932. It has been wildly popular ever since.
After touring the interior, you will cruise back to Amalfi, once again taking in the spectacular sights.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking; however, guests must be able to enter and exit the boats with limited assistance. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Guests who are prone to motion sickness should take the necessary precautions prior to commencement of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing (those who wish to enter religious sites will need to have shoulders and knees covered); sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions and entrance into the grotto is subject to sea conditions at the time. Should the grotto visit not be possible, it will be replaced with a visit to the Amalfi cathedral and crypts.
One of Europe’s most visually stunning cities, Barcelona balances the medieval intimacy of its Gothic Quarter with the grace and distinction of the wide boulevards in the Moderniste Eixample. It was the home of architect Antoni Gaudí, whose Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Park Güell and Casa Milà are the most profound statements of Modernisme. View the splendid works at the Picasso Museum and the Miro Foundation, or discover Barcelona’s passionate ambiance at a flamenco show.
This highly relaxing tour presents the best of Barcelona, primarily from the comfort of a motor coach.
Departing from pier, your immersion into Barcelona's history will be immediate with a pass by the Columbus Monument and the Old Port, while on your way to the Arc de Triomf and the Ciutadella Park; both part of the legacy from the 1888 World Exhibition and, the latter, once the garrison that protected the city. Next, you will make your way to Barcelona's Olympic port, where you will be afforded a few minutes at your own leisure, to really enjoy this window into the Mediterranean and the always seducing atmosphere of this beautifully renovated port, known for its picturesque promenade of restaurants and sleek yachts.
Heading back into town, your coach will proceed through Marina avenue towards Diagonal until reaching the world-famous boulevard of Passeig the Gràcia. This tribute to modernism is home to Barcelona's most famed buildings, among those Antoní Gaudi's Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Continue on through the city's oldest path, Via Laietana, and enjoy a drive through Plaça Espanya, the Fair and Congress Palace, and María Cristina Avenue en route to Montjuic Hill.
Before returning to the pier, you will enjoy a photo stop from a scenic Montjuic's mirador which offers some of the best views over the city.
Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature with limited optional walking at the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.
BARCELONA HIGHLIGHTS AND BOUTIQUE SHOPPING
See some of Barcelona’s most iconic, high-profile attractions, many of them designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudí, after which you may browse the city’s fashionable boutiques.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy an enlightening drive through the city, much of the way along the grand boulevard Passeig de Gracia. Here, you will find two early 20th-century masterpieces designed by the revered architect Antoni Gaudí—the imaginative Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera because its façade resembles an open quarry.
After a short walk, you will reach Gaudí’s extraordinary La Sagrada Familia, or the Church of the Sacred Family, which after more than 130 years is still under construction. Every detail is photo worthy, from the stained-glass windows to the flamboyant spires that make La Sagrada Familia worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
Then, following free time in Orquidea Pearls to shop for jewelry made with Majorca pearls, you will continue to the popular Born Quarter, whose origins date to the 12th century. One of its highlights is the Santa Maria del Mar Church, a splendid example of Catalan-Gothic architecture. The tall interior columns influenced Gaudí’s design of La Sagrada Familia. The blackened areas in the vault were from fire damage in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.
The next hour or so will be spent touring more fascinating attractions in the Born Quarter or shopping on your own. It will be your choice. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3.5 hours of walking. The tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair as there are uneven and cobblestone streets. Due to parking restrictions there is a 15 minute walk to and from Sagrada Familia. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual, weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are suggested. At each stop, after a short orientation tour, guests will have the option to follow the guide through a walking tour or enjoy some free time to discover the shops. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes. On Sundays shops in the city center may be closed.
BARCELONAS ICONIC LANDMARKS
Spend a full day exploring Barcelona’s icons, including architectural treasures designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, the Gothic Quarter and the nearby Spanish village.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque drive through the city before reaching Gaudi’s masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, the Church of the Sacred Family. Construction on this extraordinary sanctuary began more than 130 years ago, and today the church is still years from completion. Yet every detail is photo worthy from the stained glass windows to the flamboyant spires to the sculpted figures that make La Sagrada Familia worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. It is important to note that due to parking restrictions in the area, it is necessary to walk several blocks from the parking area to the church.
Your tour continues with a panoramic drive along the grand boulevard Passeig de Gracia where you will see Gaudi’s imaginative Casa Batllo, also a World Heritage Site. Typical of Gaudi, straight lines were avoided wherever possible, the colors are fanciful and the design stunningly original.
As a counterpoint to this modernistic design, you will enjoy a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter, where the ancient Romans laid out many of the winding atmospheric streets. The highlight here is La Seu, a cathedral dating from the 14th century. Don’t miss its cloisters, which have been called “the loveliest oasis in Barcelona,” or the alabaster sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia.
Then following a traditional Catalan lunch, you will see a different sort of architecture at the Spanish Village, a collection of buildings that replicate various styles from all over Spain. After free time here, you will return to the pier via Montjuic, a broad hill that offers panoramic views of Barcelona.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing, plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time and photo stops. There will be cobblestone and uneven surfaces to negotiate along with some steps. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Conservative attire is required to enter the religious venues.
WINE TOUR TO JEAN LEON
This specialized wine tour will take you to the region of Penedés and to the town of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.
There you will visit the wine cellars of Jean Leon, owned by Torres Wine Cellars. This is a cellar which specifically appeals to Americans visiting the region, since the founder was a Spanish-American gentleman. He first became famous in Hollywood as his story, portrayed at the cellar, explains. You will learn the story of this famous Spanish emigrant who, with his extraordinary and unbreakable willpower, made it through a relentless string of adventures until he saw his dreams become reality.
At Jean Leon you will be greeted by a wine specialist and shown through the cellar. First, there will be a video presentation, which explains Jean Leon's life as well as the foundation of his wine producing company. Then, you will then proceed to the Cellar Museum and you will end with a guided, walking tour of the winery, including explanations of the different wine-making techniques used.
After the visit to the cellar, enjoy a privileged tasting of three wines produced in this cellar (Chardonnay, Merlot '00, and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva '97), accompanied by some snacks. You will be amazed by the most spectacular views of the Penedés region from the cellar's tasting room. The visitor center is located in a prime spot at the heart of the Penedés region, perched on top of a hill so the views over the numerous vineyards and small villages in the district make the view of the landscape unique and special.
At the conclusion of the tour, your return to Barcelona includes a 1-hour long panoramic city drive that passes through the main city arteries and affords you some spectacular views of the harbour and the Olympic Stadium from the Park of Montjuïc.
Please note: This tour is limited in participation and involves approximately 90 minutes of moderate walking/standing over most flat surfaces. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with walking difficulties are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
GAUDI'S BARCELONA W/COLONIAL GUELL
Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí left his mark on Barcelona with unrivaled passion and imagination, as you'll see on this tour to three of his most renowned masterpieces.
You will have the opportunity to discover one of the most important hidden jewels of modernist architecture, Gaudi's Colonial Güell, the location of your first stop. An industrial village built to provide accommodation for factory workers. Gaudi was in charge of the building of the church and even though the church remained unfinished, the crypt is a culminating point of Gaudi's works. This construction includes for the first time practically all of his architectural innovations.
Leaving Colonial Guell, you will make your way to La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family). It has become an icon of the city, its spindle-shaped towers dominating the skyline. Started in 1882, it remains unfinished and quite controversial, as construction continues sporadically. Gaudí worked on the project himself for more than 40 years and his genius is apparent throughout (outside visit). Sagrada Familia has being a consecrated Temple, since October 2010.
You will then proceed for a visit to another famous Gaudí monument, Casa Batlló. The present Casa Batlló is a result of a total refurbishment of an old previous conventional house built in 1877. Gaudí was commissioned by the owner Josep Batlló i Casanovas to totally renew the old building. On that basis, Gaudí produced this astonishing house, one of the most fancy and “special” of Barcelona.
Following your visit, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 30-minutes of walking, which includes uneven terrain. Due to new parking restrictions for coaches, please be advised that there will be a 15-minute walk from the parking area to the Sagrada Familia and vice-versa (30-min in total). This tour is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.