Iconic art & cultural riches
Explore the Renaissance masterpieces of Florence, witness multicultural Marseille and be captivated by the glamour of the French Riviera in Monte Carlo. Immerse yourself in the charms of Catalonian Barcelona and Andalusian Granada, then discover the historic African cities of Casablanca and Dakar. Sail across the Atlantic Ocean to experience the vibrant and eclectic cultures of South America in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Rome, Italy / Buenos Aires, Argentina
2024 Sailings on October
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $12,199.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. For centuries, Rome ruled much of Europe, building a vast empire from the power of emperors. More than 2,500 years of history live in the city’s streets. Ancient structures recall those heady days when the cheers of 80,000 spectators roared from the Colosseum, citizens mingled in the Forum and senators asked the gods for guidance at the Pantheon. Along with the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, this rich pocket of Italy is one of the world’s greatest repositories of history and civilization.
Tuscany is known equally as the cradle of the Renaissance and a center of culinary delights and astounding wines. Throughout this emerald-green countryside dotted with cypress trees, endless delights unfold. Among them is Florence, a living museum of the Renaissance. Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo dominates the medieval cityscape—an architectural achievement. Another Tuscan treasure, the Square of Miracles, unfolds in Pisa. Here, a trinity of masterpieces—the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery—comprise some of Europe’s finest art and architecture.
Tuscany is known for its scenic beauty and exudes a unique, rustic character. Vineyards, olive tree groves, wheat fields and endless expanses of farmland skirt the bases of medieval hill towns as they march across an undulating landscape of gentle hills. Fertile soils produce some of the world’s finest wines, including Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. More than this, many consider Tuscany the birthplace of the original farm-to-table movement. Simple, honest food graces the Tuscan table, from creamy cheeses to thick Florentine steak grilled over a wood fire.
The chic city of Monte Carlo in the petite kingdom of Monaco boasts some of the world’s most exclusive shopping and a beautiful old port. A fairy-tale aura has settled on this glittering city of the Grimaldi family, perhaps nowhere more elegantly than at the Prince’s Palace, where the late American actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly presided with Prince Rainier III. Monte Carlo’s medieval quarter perches on “The Rock,” an escarpment at the foot of the Maritime Alps, and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the harbor lined with mega-yachts.
Marseille is rich in historic treasures, nestled between the Mediterranean and rocky hills of limestone. Two 17th-century fortresses dominate the charming Vieux Port, or Old Port, the natural harbor that hosts all manner of watercraft, from sleek elegant yachts to old style fishing vessels. Its picturesque quay is one of the world’s most romantic walks, lined with dozens of cafés and shops. Also worth exploring is the city center, graced by La Canebière boulevard. Linger in a café and sample the city’s signature bouillabaisse made from freshly caught fish.
Montpellier has been a center of learning for centuries. Its namesake university, founded in 1160, is one of the world’s oldest, predating the Renaissance. Still, a student population breathes life into a vibrant culture. The social and cultural center of Montpellier is the Place de la Comédie, anchored by the elegant Three Graces fountain and the stunning, neoclassical Opéra Comédie. Other sites pay tribute to a rich heritage, from the art-filled Musée Fabre and impressive St. Clement Aqueduct to the St. Pierre Cathedral with its “floating” porch supported by a pair of towers.
Barcelona enjoys a leisurely pace that is best expressed at its local tapas bars, where patrons nibble on small yet flavorful dishes one plate at a time with a glass of Rioja. Traditional tapas bars display warm and cold items in a glass case, many of them intensely flavored with garlic or chilies. Each dish is served with a toothpick, which diners save to tally how many items they have consumed. Well-known classics, such as tortillas, can be found in most eateries alongside escalivadas, a typical Catalonian tapa of grilled eggplants, peppers and onions topped with tuna or anchovies.
Barcelona is steeped in history, with stunning architecture and a rich culture. Mediterranean breezes grace the shore and Catalonia’s capital is a feast for the senses. Long strolls on wide boulevards—such as Las Ramblas, the mile-long leafy pedestrian way, and the Passeig de Gràcia, lined with some of Europe’s most elegant buildings—set the tone for a city that moves to its own tempo. Native son and famed architect Antoni Gaudí adorned his city with whimsy, whether along fantastical city blocks or with his colossal masterpiece, the towering La Sagrada Família cathedral.
The vibrant city of Barcelona, with its lively culture and inviting outdoor spaces, preserves a rich history. Picturesque medieval lanes wind through the oldest part of the city, the Gothic Quarter, where remnants of the city’s Roman wall were uncovered. Its treasures include the neo-Gothic Barcelona Cathedral, the medieval Jewish district of El Call and the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria del Pi. In the evenings, diners relax in the Royal Plaza at restaurants along the elegant square’s perimeter.
Sail the ocean stage on which civilizations have risen and fallen, where empires ventured forth in their great armadas to control these strategic waters. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.
Granada is a splendid canvas of Moorish architecture, rich Andalusian tradition and remarkable history. It was the last stronghold of the Moorish Nasrid dynasty, whose 250-year reign ended during the 1492 reconquest of Spain by Catholic monarchs. The grand Granada Cathedral is a soaring celebration of that victory; its Royal Chapel holds the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, the celebrated pair who oversaw the triumph. Their magnificent fortress-palace, the Alhambra, was long the stronghold of Moors, and so offers a magnificent blend of Islamic and Christian detail.
Casablanca lures visitors with its heady mix of neo-Moorish splendor and French influence. Known as “Casa” to locals, its streets exude an atmosphere of bygone days. Made famous by the 1942 eponymous film, today it is one of Africa’s most important ports. Parisian-style boulevards unfold past cafés and colonial buildings. The city’s medina is a maze of warrens pulsing with old-world energy, the hollers of carpet merchants and the fragrance of incense. The most impressive structure is the Hassan II Mosque, the country’s largest and most magnificent.
Sail the Atlantic Ocean, divided in half, north to south, by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Longer than the Rockies, the Himalayas and the Andes combined, this underwater mountain range is the longest on Earth. As you sail, take advantage of the array of delicious cuisine offered on board. You may visit Mamsen’s, our casual gourmet deli, any time from early morning to late at night for a taste of traditional Norwegian fare. Or, dine at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant for authentic fare with options ranging from Milanese risotto to Tuscan-inspired classics.
Dakar exudes the rich authenticity and vibrancy of the real Africa. Spread across the triangular shape of the Cape Verde Peninsula, this ever-evolving city clings to long-held traditions. Today, accents from the city’s days as the capital of French West Africa are everywhere, from the impressive Hôtel de Ville de Dakar to the facade of the railway station. A recent landmark, the ambitious Monument of the African Renaissance, stands atop a hill outside Dakar. The tallest statue on the continent, it commemorates the 50th anniversary of Senegal’s independence from France.
Sail legendary waters, where medieval Europeans believed “there be dragons” beyond the ocean’s horizon. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.
Recife was colonized as part of Dutch Brazil during the mid-1600s. With its many small islands linked by some 50 bridges, Recife has been called the “Brazilian Venice.” A vast mangrove park in the middle of the city adds to the scenic allure. On the city’s namesake island, echoes of the Portuguese and Dutch colonial settlements line the elegant streets of Recife Antigo, the Old Town. The Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue here was the first synagogue in the Americas. Today, Recife’s vibrant traditions are on display at the Tunisian-style Malakoff Tower.
Trace the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an underwater mountain range longer than the Rockies, the Himalayas and the Andes combined. Its hidden towering peaks divide the Atlantic Ocean in half, North to South.
Rio de Janeiro is the peak of Brazilian culture. The local Cariocas call their city Cidade Maravilhosa (“Marvelous City”), and it is easy to understand why: The rhythm of the samba, born in these lively streets, fills the air and stately colonial architecture rubs shoulders with gleaming skyscrapers. Legendary beaches, Copacabana and Ipanema among them, stretch for miles along Guanabara Bay, luring sun worshippers, swimmers, joggers and volleyball enthusiasts. The Christ the Redeemer statue seems to offer a gentle embrace to it all from high atop Corcovado mountain.
Follow in the wake of the great explorers, including Captain James Cook, who traversed these waters, claiming the island of South Georgia for Britain in 1775.
Montevideo enjoys a scenic setting on the Plata River. The Portuguese were the first to settle here, seeking a strategic advantage near open ocean. But Spain, already having established Buenos Aires nearby, expelled them in 1724. This was the beginning of the golden era of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja, or Old City: Within its walls, some of the most impressive colonial-era buildings were built, from the parliamentary Legislative Council building to the stunning Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral. The wall has long since disappeared, but the character of old Montevideo remains.
Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, is an eclectic combination of Latin and European influences. The tree-lined streets and postcolonial architecture draw on the city’s Spanish, French and Italian heritage, while the many cafés and bodegas and vibrant nightlife are decidedly Argentine. Its barrios, or neighborhoods, exude an intimate atmosphere that belies the city’s size. Full of bohemian flair, historic San Telmo’s cobblestone streets and Belle Époque–style buildings reverberate with the mesmerizing melodies of the tango.
Buenos Aires boasts one of the liveliest cultural scenes in the world. The stately Kirchner Cultural Center, the largest of its kind in Latin America, and the internationally renowned Colón Theater host some of the world’s most highly recognized symphony orchestras. The National Museum of Fine Arts houses an impressive collection of works by European impressionists, while the Museum of Latin American Art focuses on 20th- and 21st-century Latino artists. Buenos Aires is also home to hundreds of bookstores and libraries, affording it the nickname “City of Books.” After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.