Get up close on a tour that brings the glories of this region to life. The magical waterways of Venice; Rome, with its awe-inspiring Colosseum, and the fabled towns of Tuscany. And visit Dubrovnik; a hidden jewel previously off limits to all but the most stout-hearted. Discover quiet squares amidst the glamour of the French Riviera. Taste the wines of Toulon and climb the stairs of Gaudí’s surreal Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Like our river cruises, you will find gracious hosts and taste some of the finest cuisine from our destinations. We will connect you to this pivotal, unforgettable region with the depth, insight and comfort as only Viking can.
DAY 1 | BARCELONA, SPAIN
Step aboard your ship to begin your journey. Columbus Monument, Port Vell, Arc de Triomf; these are just a few of the monumental sights you will see in Barcelona. Other scenic highlights include the Olympic Port, built for the 1992 Olympic Games, and the Passeig de Gràcia, a boulevard renowned for its architecture, including works by Antoni Gaudí. Your overnight stay allows time to discover Barcelona on your own, or opt for a tour such as an evening performance of flamenco. Watch this vibrant dance while savoring a menu of traditional tapas.
DAY 2 | BARCELONA, SPAIN
Awake in Barcelona and further explore the Catalonian capital. Start on La Rambla, the mile-long leafy pedestrian boulevard. Or take a turn through the myriad side streets of the Gothic quarter, where the ancient and the modern sit side by side, perfect for a leisurely stroll. Or head to the Passeig de Gràcia, a boulevard renowned for its architecture, including works by Antoni Gaudí. Or opt for one of the many optional tours.
DAY 3 | TOULON, FRANCE
Today, enjoy a full day to walk through the small streets and lovely squares of the old quarter of Toulon. Pass through the Place de la Liberté and the Place Puget with its curious 18th-century fountain, stroll by the Gothic cathedral and walk through the colorful market of Cours Lafayette. Consider a visit to the coastal town of Aix-en-Provence or Cassis, famed for its dramatic vistas of the sea cliffs of Cap Canaille. Originally known as a Royal port of call through the Napoleonic wars, Toulon is regarded as the gateway to Provence, the fabled countryside of wine, cheese, olive oil and lavender. Catch a whiff of lavender or the scent of bouillabaisse coming from a nearby café, where you may have to stop and indulge in those aromatics.
DAY 4 | MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Enjoy a full day in Monaco, the playground for the rich and famous, as well as the gateway to the beautiful South of France. Visit medieval Monaco, stopping at the Prince’s Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral, the burial site of the royal family, including American actress Grace Kelly. As we stay late in port, you will have time to step inside the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the most prestigious and celebrated gambling mecca on earth. As an option, venture out of town to the legendary perfumeries in Grasse, or stroll along the English promenade in glamorous Nice.
DAY 5 | FLORENCE/PISA (LIVORNO), ITALY
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tuscany with an included, well-curated tour of Pisa. Alternatively, enjoy a full-day tour that combines Pisa and Florence. Begin with a scenic drive through the countryside to Florence, where you will stroll by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Then on to the medieval Ponte Vecchio, and the attractive Basilica of Santa Croce, resting place of Michelangelo. In Pisa, you will have time to explore the Square of Miracles, including the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and Baptistery.
DAY 6 | ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA), ITALY
Explore the “Eternal City” today with a local guide. You’ll marvel at the magnificent Colosseum where gladiators once battled, the historic Roman Forum, gathering place and political center of the ancients, and Vatican City. You might also choose one of our fascinating tours that highlights Rome’s treasures. Alternately, visit Tarquinia’s Etruscan necropolis or the excavated town of Ostia.
DAY 7 | NAPLES, ITALY
In Naples, your choice of excursions abounds. Take in magnificent examples of Greek and Roman architecture and the Piazza del Plebiscito, the grandest public square in the city, facing the former Royal Palace of the King of Naples. Optionally, also explore Herculaneum, Italy’s “other” Pompeii, drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, or take a trip to the summit of Vesuvius. In your spare time, sample a hot espresso, a slice of pizza (the world’s first pizzeria opened here in 1830) or a locally madelimoncello.
DAY 8 | CRUISE THE IONIAN SEA
Bask in the endless comforts of your ship. Swim in the infinity pool, which offers dramatic sea views. Relax with a massage or nurturing skin treatment at our Scandinavian-inspired spa or learn to make the perfect risotto during a cooking class at The Kitchen Table. Or, simply take refuge on your stateroom veranda while passing the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean,” the active volcano of Stromboli.
DAY 9 | CORFU (KÉRKYRA), GREECE
Spend the entire day on the romantic island of Corfu, resplendent with charming pastel townhouses and pristine white beaches. Our well-crafted included tour takes us on a drive to Kanoni, where we will make a photo stop to view tiny Mouse Island and the Vlacherna Monastery. Following the coastline through Garitsa Bay, you will reach the UNESCO Site of the Old Town. See the fabled Esplanade, one of Europe’s largest public squares, and the Liston Promenade, once the exclusive preserve of the local aristocracy.
DAY 10 | DUBROVNIK, CROATIA
Where city meets coastline, Viking Star will sail to this beautiful 12th-century walled city in Croatia. And as it happens, George Bernard Shaw declared, “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.” We think he has a point. Enjoy an entire day to take an inclusive tour with a drive high up to catch the magnificent views of the city and countryside. Or descend to the coast and enter the city on foot through the historic Pile Gate, passing by the Sponza Palace, the 15th-century Onofrio’s Fountain and stop inside the Dominican Monastery to see Renaissance paintings. You may also wish to consider exploring the famed Dubrovnik Riviera with a cruise along the Lapad Peninsula.
DAY 11 | SPLIT, CROATIA
Experience the age of antiquity as you wander through the center of the city that is built around the Diocletian Palace, walking through the well preserved cellars before continuing to the Ethnographical Museum. In this historic quarter, you’ll notice the results of over 17 centuries of construction, passing pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. You may also choose more natural pursuits, from a rafting trip on the Cetina River or a journey through the Croatian hinterland to the famous waterfalls of the Krka National Park. Or spend the entire day discovering the small more intimate destinations along the Dalmatian coast.
DAY 12 | VENICE, ITALY
Welcome to Venice where the magical city renowned for its art, architecture and culture, is the ultimate destination on your epic voyage. Watch the sunlight dapple on the water as we ease our way into the lagoon. You can enjoy a panoramic boat ride towards the magnificent St. Mark’s Square on your included tour, and with your guide, you will admire the glorious façade of the Doge’s Palace and tour the ornate interior of Saint Mark’s Basilica. Or take a boat to Murano to see glassmakers at work in their centuries-old tradition with a stop to visit historic San Giorgio Maggiore island. As we will remain in port overnight, enjoy a fine restaurant, the vibrant nightlife, and perhaps even a romantic evening gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
DAY 13 | VENICE, ITALY
Awake in Venice, where you will be departing your ship. From here, you can easily spend a few extra days to further explore this magical city or other parts of Italy.