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The Pristine Amalfi Coast in Italy


Eat, pray and love your way through tasty trattorias, calming cathedrals and romantic retreats with a cruise to Italy.

Cruise to Italy and contemplate world-class art and architecture, timeless natural scenery and a food and wine scene against which all others are judged. Roam the lively streets of the Eternal City of Rome, and see the Colosseum in its massive, ancient glory. Check out the unmistakable Duomo ("dome") of Florence, and taste your way through the wineries of the nearby Chianti hills. Ride a gondola down the serpentine canals of Venice, see the brilliant gold mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica, or hike volcanic Mount Vesuvius and refuel with a classic Neapolitan pizza in Naples. Discover the magic with a Italy cruise.

italian ship cruise

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Explore more while spending less with Italy cruise deals onboard our best cruise ships

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The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome, Italy


Whether you traipse through the "Eternal City" of Rome or get lost in the museums and chapels of Florence, history lives in Italy — and outside it. Trips to the city-states of San Marino and Vatican City make for great excursions during your vacation onboard the best Italy cruises. 

Italy Rome Colosseum

History class comes alive in Italy's iconic structures and celebrated art galleries. From gazing upward at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, to combing through the dozens of timeless works that make Florence's Uffizi Gallery famous (including "The Birth of Venus"), Italy's artistic heritage is as impressive in the big picture as it is in the finer details.

Santa Maria del Fiore Gothic Church in Florence, Italy


Rome is Italy's Eternal City, with its massive Colosseum and the ruins of the Roman Forum, but there are other spots here with roots equally as deep. In Florence, visit the Gothic church of Santa Maria del Fiore, built on the site of a 7th-century chapel. In Venice, you can set foot in 9th-century St. Mark's Basilica and see the dazzling gold mosaics from Byzantine times.

Rome, Italy Vatican City


Regardless of your religious beliefs, no trip to Rome is complete without a tour of Vatican City, where the splendor transcends its Catholic identity. From Florence or Venice, visit the mountainous micro-country of San Marino, which boasts an 11th-century citadel that rests hundreds of feet above the ground.

Tuscany Region, Italy Journey


Take advantage of Italy's varied topography with hikes in the hills of Tuscany or through the villages of Cinque Terre. Enjoy world-class food scene, perfect for culinary aficionados who don't mind a little indulgence when you cruise to Italy. 

Italy Napoles Capri


Who says Italy is only churches, pizza and high-brow art? Take a hike through the hills of the Tuscany region or have a dip in the crystalline waters of Capri, where the harbor is filled with yachts as far as the eye can see. From the pristine coasts to the rolling hills, Italy is a natural beauty.

Venice, Italy Canals and Gondolas


Even if you stick to "mainstream" Italian destinations, you can still spice up your time in Italy. Ride a vaporetto (a local form of taxi boat) from Venice to the colorful island of Burano, or take a westward train ride from the  port city of La Spezia  to the lush coast of Cinque Terre. These are great alternatives to going south and east to Florence or Pisa.

Italy, Rome Local Restaurant


Sophia Loren famously said that she'd rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size zero, which is a great attitude to have while visiting Italy. Indulge in the notorious pizza of Naples or the award-winning pastas of Rome's Trastevere district — you'll need the energy for exploring cities on foot.

Italy Venice Waterways Boat

Best Italy Cruises

A cruise to Italy is filled with exciting destinations, each with its own style and vibe. Discover Italy onboard the Best Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships.

Italy Rome Couple Holding Hands by Historical Building and Fountain


Before boarding the  best cruises from Rome , explore the ancient streets once trodden by gladiators and great artists alike. Kick off your dreamiest cruise yet by feasting on pasta, pizza and local wines.

Italy Amalfi Coast Family Enjoying the Beach


Cruise to the warm, crystal-clear waters of the  Amalfi Coast , Greece, Spain and France. Relax on the world's most unique beaches, explore ancient historical architecture and indulge in favorite local dishes.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Italy Cruises Insider

The best time to go to Italy depends on your preferences as a traveler. While summer is better for days at the beach and nights dining al fresco, winter boasts lighter crowds and lower prices. The "shoulder" seasons of spring and autumn, meanwhile, provide the best of both worlds.

Italy's weather is likewise good year-round, certainly among the best in Europe. Winters here are relatively mild, with rarely more than a light snow once or twice a season. Summer temperatures can get up into the '90s, but thanks to the climate, you can have a sunny, mild day here any time of the year.

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Roman Forum

Traveler’s Bucket List: Italian Architecture and Art

Original Italian Gelato

Planning A Food Vacation As You Travel To Italy

Bring along a dictionary or download Italian in your phone's translation app. In spite of its popularity as a travel destination, English isn't commonly spoken, particularly in the south.

Mind your valuables: Pickpocketers crowd Italy's popular tourist areas.

Pick 2 to 3 activities per day, max. Part of enjoying Italy is living at the local pace, and Italians are never in much of a hurry.


Italian cuisine is popular all over the world, but you've never really eaten it until you've had it in Italy. From familiar favorites like pizza and pasta, to a delightful variety of Italian meats and finishing touches like bitter espresso and sweet gelato, food is an essential part of the Italy travel experience.

Naples, Italy Margherita Pizza


As its name suggests, Dal Presidente Pizza in Naples is famous because President Bill Clinton enjoyed its pizza during a visit. Whether you choose a simple margherita (mozzarella and tomato) or a complex capricciosa (the heat cooks the raw egg on top of it), Neapolitan pizza is sure to get your vote.

Italy Authentic Pasta Dish


Pasta in Italy will change your life, whether you choose egg-and-bacon carbonara or pasta primavera, which pairs farfalle with fresh seasonal vegetables. No matter where in the country you are, choose a place that makes its pasta fresh — and one where patrons speak more Italian than English.

Original Italian Gelato


Gelato is not just "Italian ice cream." It uses more milk and fewer eggs (zero, in fact) than ice cream, but that's just the start of why it's essential to Italian dining. Try classic flavors like rich stracciatella (milk flavor with chocolate shavings) and fruity amarena, which tastes like cherries.


Want to learn more about the best Italy cruise ports? Visit Civitavecchia to explore the port of Rome, bustling Naples and the yacht-filled Isle of Capri. Venice is more than just canals and gondolas, while La Spezia is an ideal entry point to both Florence's Renaissance-era art and Pisa's Leaning Tower.

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Aerial View

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Venice, Italy Grand Canal

Venice, Italy

Bologna (Ravenna), Italy Piazza Maggiore

Bologna (Ravenna), Italy

Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy Homes Lining A Lush Mountain

Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy

Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, View Of City From Sea

Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy

Sicily (Messina), Italy, Cityscape

Sicily (Messina), Italy

Sicily (Catania), Italy, Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolo l'Arena

Sicily (Catania), Italy

Genoa, Italy, Boccadasse district

Genoa, Italy

Sicily (Palermo), Italy, Panoramic view

Sicily (Palermo), Italy

The main square in Ravenna in Italy

Ravenna (Venice), Italy

La Spezia Portovenere Cliffs

Florence / Pisa (La Spezia), Italy

Florence - Pisa, Italy Aerial View

Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy

Italy Naples Positano Couple Jumping in Ocean

Naples / Capri, Italy

Portofino, Italy Sea Coast Houses

Portofino, Italy

Italy, Sicily Marine Preserve

Sicily (Siracusa), Italy

Florence Italy Ponte Veccio

Florence / Pisa (Carrara), Italy

Santa Margherita Ligure - beautiful coastal town in Liguria, popular luxury resort

Santa Margherita, Italy

Landmarks and beautiful places (cities) of northern Italy - elegant Trieste town

Trieste, Italy

Related Destinations

Cliff Greece Village and Beach Santorini

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8 best Italy cruises for a Mediterranean vacation

Donna Heiderstadt

You don't have to search all that hard to find the best Italy cruises — most leading cruise lines offer dozens of itineraries that visit Italian ports, often in conjunction with neighboring countries France, Greece and Croatia.

The reason? Italy has it all: coastlines on both the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, historic port cities (Rome, Venice and Naples among them) and spectacular islands (including Sicily, Sardinia, Capri and Elba).

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Plus, with a cruise season that runs from early April through late October (and even year-round for a few cruise lines), Italy offers something for everyone. Travel here to find an alluring mix of impeccably preserved historic sites, renowned regional cuisines and natural wonders waiting to be discovered.

Here are eight of the best Italy cruises for every type of traveler.

Best Italy cruises for cultural immersion: Azamara

italian ship cruise

Azamara pioneered the concept of single-country itineraries, which allow for greater cultural immersion and even overnight stays in select ports. The cruise line's 11-night voyage in October 2024 is one of its most comprehensive.

The sailing begins in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and ends in Rome (Civitavecchia), with visits to seven more Italian ports and Tunis, Tunisia. You'll explore Genoa, Livorno (overnight for Florence/Pisa), Porto Santo Stefano (on the Tuscan coast), Cagliari (on Sardinia), Trapani (on Sicily), Amalfi and Sorrento.

This voyage is aboard the 684-passenger Azamara Onward, one of the cruise line's four virtually identical ships. (All are former Renaissance R-class ships built in the early 2000s and renovated over the past several years.) The vessels' intimate size and Azamara's focus on cultural experiences and shore excursions emphasizing history and food (including cooking classes and market tours) make for an immersive cruise itinerary.

Other Italy-Intensive voyages in 2023 and 2024 include the following: a 10-night voyage in October 2023 aboard Azamara Quest, a 10-night voyage in April 2024 aboard Azamara Pursuit, and a seven-night voyage in May 2024 aboard Azamara Quest.

Best Italy cruises for small-ship lovers: Windstar Cruises

italian ship cruise

It's rare to find a cruise itinerary so fully focused on one specific region of Italy, but Windstar Cruises ' small ships — three classic sailing yachts and three all-suite motor yachts, which accommodate 148 to 342 guests — allow it to offer cruises to less-frequented ports.

Windstar's 10-day Sicilian Splendors , aboard its 342-passenger sailing yacht Wind Surf, is available on multiple dates in 2023, 2024 and 2025. The ship will cruise round-trip from Rome and call on six Italian ports: Catania (for Mount Etna), Porto Empedocle (for the ancient ruins at Agrigento) and Trapani (for its signature colored salts and Marsala wines), all in Sicily; the island of Lipari (the largest of seven Aeolian Islands); and Sorrento and Amalfi on the stunning Amalfi Coast. The cruise also visits the neighboring islands of Malta and Gozo.

Five-masted Wind Surf is the world's largest sailing ship. It manages to be intimate without feeling claustrophobic, although it is worth noting that none of its staterooms or suites has a balcony. There is, however, ample deck space for relaxation, with a pool and two hot tubs, as well as inviting alfresco bars and dining areas.

Related: The 2 classes of Windstar ships, explained

Indoors, the ship's restaurants and social spaces, such as the Veranda Restaurant, Stella Bistro and the Compass Rose Bar, are light-filled, with elegant neutral decor refreshed in 2019.

Musical entertainment takes place in the Wind Surf Lounge and Compass Rose Bar, and Windstar's excellent dining program reflects an ongoing partnership with the James Beard Foundation. In select tender ports, passengers can enjoy a watersports platform and take out sea kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

Best Italy cruises for onboard pampering: Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

italian ship cruise

If enjoying yacht-style indulgence as you explore Southern Italy is on your cruise wish list, consider the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's 10-night Rome to Valletta itinerary in May 2024. This cruise visits scenic hot spots such as Sorrento and Amalfi on the Amalfi Coast, history-rich Siracusa in Sicily and three ports (Gallipoli, Taranto and Otranto) in lesser-known Puglia, located on the heel of boot-shaped Italy, before passengers disembark in Malta.

Ritz-Carlton, which entered the cruise realm in 2021 with its 298-passenger luxury yacht, Evrima , offers an all-inclusive "yachting lifestyle" experience. This leisurely sailing features overnights in Sorrento and Taranto and two sea days with ample ways to enjoy onboard pampering. The ship's spacious suites are designed with a contemporary residential feel and range in size from 300 square feet with an 81-square-foot terrace to 1,091 square feet with a 635-square-foot terrace.

Evrima also offers nine bars and dining venues featuring menus created to reflect the ports visited. For culinary indulgence, guests can book a table at S.E.A., a specialty dining experience designed by Chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the Michelin three-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The ship also features chicly designed spaces for relaxing and socializing, such as the Pool House lounge overlooking an aft infinity pool, a second pool located next to the alfresco restaurant Mistral, a panoramic Observation Lounge and a full-service Ritz-Carlton Spa.

Related: The best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Best Italy cruises for foodies: Silversea Cruises

italian ship cruise

The three newest ships in the Silversea Cruises fleet — Silver Moon, Silver Dawn and 2023's first-in-class Silver Nova — all feature the cruise line's immersive culinary program known as S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste). When Silversea's next ship, the 728-passenger Silver Ray, debuts in 2024, it will also take its guests on culinary-focused journeys — among them an 11-day Rome to Venice itinerary in June 2024.

The itinerary includes calls on seven ports in Italy: Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Palermo, Siracusa, Trieste and Venice. The sailing also visits ports in Malta, Montenegro and Croatia.

Silversea's sailings blend food-centric excursions — such as a visit to a family farm for a tasting of fresh cheese, salami and olive oil in Sorrento — with the onboard S.A.L.T. program to make sampling local cuisine a natural part of the cruise experience. The day-to-day menus at S.A.L.T. Kitchen are all inspired by the ports visited. The Terrain menu focuses on that day's port while the Voyage menu draws from the best flavors of the entire itinerary.

Passengers aboard Silver Ray should definitely pack an appetite — in addition to S.A.L.T. Kitchen, the ship features seven other restaurants. They are La Dame for haute French cuisine, Atlantide for signature fine dining (think caviar and lobster), Kaiseki for Japanese sushi and teppanyaki (as well as pan-Asian dishes), Silver Note for tapas-style dining and live music, The Grill for casual burgers and salads, La Terrazza for handmade pasta and other Italian specialties, and Spaccanapoli for thin-crusted Naples-style pizza. With 11 nights aboard, there's time to sample all of them.

Related: The ultimate guide to cruise ship food and dining

Best Italy cruises for families: Norwegian Cruise Line

italian ship cruise

If an Italy adventure with the entire family sounds like the perfect cruise vacation in 2024, Norwegian Cruise Line 's new Norwegian Viva, launching in August 2023 as the sister ship to 2022's Norwegian Prima, is an ideal playground for guests of all ages.

The most Italy-focused itinerary? The 10-day Mediterranean: Italy, Greece & Croatia cruise (offered aboard 3,099-guest Viva in late June and late September 2024) calls on six ports in Italy — Rome, Livorno, Naples, Messina, Siracusa and Trieste — as well as the islands of Corfu and Malta; Koper, Slovenia; and Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia.

This itinerary is rich in history and culture, including the ancient landmarks of Rome, the archeological wonders of Pompeii and the Leaning Tower of Pisa near Livorno, plus the beauty and culinary treats (sweet cannoli and savory arancini) of Sicily, where Viva makes two port calls. Though the cruise ends in Trieste, the wonders of Venice are just 90 minutes away, so adding a few extra nights to explore its colorful, canal-laced islands is a must.

Onboard Viva, you'll enjoy more than a dozen dining options (five of them complimentary, including the casual and family-friendly Indulge Food Hall), 16 bars and lounges and all the fun activities/entertainment (including a production of the Broadway hit "Beetlejuice: The Musical") that the line offers.

Related: Best cruise lines for families

Top amenities include the three-deck Viva Speedway for exhilarating go-kart racing, three thrilling slides (two of them 10-story corkscrew dry slides and one tidal-wave-style waterslide), virtual-reality gaming in the Galaxy Pavilion, tech-enhanced minigolf and more. Also, Viva's generous outside deck space — especially Deck 8's Ocean Boulevard with its lively Indulge Outdoor Lounge and sleek Infinity Beach pools — is ideal for scenic cruising in the Mediterranean and Adriatic.

Best Italy cruises for couples: Oceania Cruises

italian ship cruise

The sophisticated onboard ambiance and a romantic itinerary are a lovely combination, and couples can enjoy both on the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry sailing offered in June 2024 aboard Oceania Cruises ' newest vessel, Oceania Vista.

The 1,200-passenger ship, which debuted in May 2023, will visit four top ports in Italy — Venice/Trieste in Northern Italy, Taormina in Sicily, Amalfi/Positano in Southern Italy and Civitavecchia for a day in Rome.

Beyond Italy, this itinerary offers a sampling of scenic locales in six other Adriatic and Mediterranean countries with a possible pre-cruise stay in Venice. You'll visit Korcula and Split in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Igoumanitsa and Katakolon in Greece; Ajaccio, Corsica; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseille, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

Oceania caters to couples seeking an upscale cruise experience with a culinary focus. Onboard Vista, the atmosphere is sleek and polished, with interior decor awash in elegant neutrals of varying patterns and textures, all woven together into a soothing mosaic (in some cases, literally, as tiled vignettes are used throughout the ship). Vista's bars and lounges, especially the Martini Bar and the Grand Lounge, are so chic you'll want to get dressed up every night to enjoy one of the craft cocktails on their newly enhanced menus.

All specialty dining is included in the cruise fare, and stand-out meals at Polo Grill (for an excellent steakhouse menu), Toscana (for authentic Italian, including recipes by Vista's godmother Giada De Laurentiis) and Red Ginger (for flavorful pan-Asian) are just a reservation away. Two new eateries, Aquamar Kitchen and Ember, serve wellness-focused cuisine and casual American comfort food, respectively, and an expanded Culinary Arts Center lets guests who love to cook take hands-on classes.

Best of all, Vista is an all-balcony ship, so every stateroom features access to fresh air (French Veranda Staterooms don't have an outdoor sitting area, however). Veranda Staterooms and Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms offer a spacious 290 square feet of indoor space — and some of the best standard bathrooms at sea with roomy walk-in showers and ample storage.

Related: The best cruises for couples seeking romance and together time at sea

Best Italy cruises for travelers on a budget: Royal Caribbean

italian ship cruise

To score a budget cruise fare in the Mediterranean, it helps to look for sailings aboard a cruise line's older ships. If Italy is your main focus for a future cruise, it's hard to beat the seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary in September 2024 aboard Royal Caribbean 's Voyager of the Seas.

It visits five Italian ports: Venice/Ravenna, Messina in Sicily, Naples, Rome and Livorno (for Florence and Pisa). The ship also calls on Marseille and Barcelona. Voyager's Italy-focused cruise is a jam-packed itinerary with just one sea day.

Ideal for both couples and multi-generational families, the 3,600-passenger Voyager of the Seas (which debuted in 1999 and was last refurbished in 2019) features seven restaurants (including three complimentary dining venues and specialty restaurant favorites Chops Grille and Giovanni's Table) and eight bars/lounges.

The ship has been "amped-up" so guests can enjoy features found on Royal Caribbean's newer ships: Perfect Storm waterslides, FlowRider simulated surfing, Battle for Planet Z laser tag, Voyager Dunes minigolf, Studio B ice-skating shows and reimagined spaces for kids and teens.

Nights aboard Voyager of the Seas will be filled with complimentary entertainment options: production shows in the Royal Theater, pub performances by guest entertainers and bands, game-show competitions, pool parties, outdoor movie nights and a '70s disco party.

Best Italy cruises for adults-only ambiance: Viking

italian ship cruise

Is Venice at the top of your wish list? Does an adults-only cruise on a ship with serene, Scandinavian-inspired interior decor and complimentary wine or beer with lunch and dinner sound ideal?

If so, check out Viking 's 15-night Italy, the Adriatic and Greece itinerary , which sails from Athens to Rome and visits six Italian ports — Venice/Chioggia, Bari, Crotone, Messina, Naples and Rome — with three days spent in Venice. As a bonus, you'll also visit ports in Greece (Katakolon and Corfu), Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split and Sibenik) and Montenegro (Kotor).

Offered on multiple dates in fall 2023, 2024 and 2025, this itinerary is chock full of port experiences; there are no sea days, and a total of 13 cities are visited. Viking includes one free guided shore excursion in each port, usually a panoramic bus tour or historic walking tour. Use that as an overview and then explore on your own or book one of the cruise line's longer or more specialized excursions. Onboard guest speakers also offer insight into the ports visited and the cultural landscape.

The cruise line's nine ocean ships are all identical and accommodate 930 passengers, most of whom are couples over age 55. Onboard dining is available in eight restaurants, including the main venue, The Restaurant and the buffet-style World Cafe, the casual Pool Grill and the Norwegian-focused Mamsen's. Guests can also reserve dinner at two specialty restaurants (at no extra charge): Manfredi's for Italian cuisine and The Chef's Table for multi-course, wine-paired menus that rotate throughout the cruise.

Afternoon tea is served in the elegant Wintergarden. The Aquavit Terrace overlooking the aft infinity pool is a sunny spot to enjoy alfresco dining.

If you're willing to come back early from port, Viking's ocean ships offer plenty of ways to relax on board. All passengers enjoy complimentary access to the ship's thermal suite in the LivNordic Spa. It features a thalassotherapy pool, steam room, sauna and snow room. The Main Pool has a retractable roof and can be enjoyed no matter what the weather. However, if you want to live it up at night, note that the ship does not have an onboard casino.

Bottom line

The best Italy cruises offer access to some of the country's most-loved cities, as well as a chance to explore some of its sunny islands and lesser-known coastal ports. No matter the itinerary, you're guaranteed to enjoy the splendid landscapes, treasured antiquities and, of course, the incredible gelato.

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Aerial view of the Amalfi coast

Cruises to Italy & Amalfi Coast

Italy is so photogenic; it’s almost as if the entire country was built for wanderlust-inducing travel pictures. Whether this is your first time, or you’ve been before, an Italy cruise offers a new angle and the convenience of unpacking just once as you go from remote coastal towns to big cities. Our Italy cruise itineraries are unmatched in scope, bringing you to iconic destinations like the Eternal City of Rome (Civitavecchia),  the Amalfi Coast, and Vatican City,  along with seldom-visited jewels. Wander seashell-pink villages stacked precipitously along the Adriatic Sea on Italy cruises to Amalfi. Float Venice’s canals while a gondolier sings a lovely serenade. Sip chianti al fresco as the late sun bathes Rome in golden light. Taste classic Naples pizza that was perfected generations ago. On a cruise to Italy, experience an Italian vacation so immersive, you’ll forever feel at home in the region.

Europe Cruises    |    Mediterranean Cruises    |    Cruises to Italy    |    Cruises from Rome

Highlights from Cruises to Italy

The best way to explore the italian coast.

View of the Greek Theater in Taormina, Italy

Roman History & Culture

Colorful buildings and boats docked at the harbor on the Amalfi Coast

Feast for the Eyes

Featured italy cruise ports.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Rome is Italy's beating heart, full of Rennaissance cathedrals and piazzas begging for you to sit and sip espresso.

Venice, Italy

Known as the city the floats on water, and the highlight of any cruise to Italy, Venice needs no further introduction.

Livorno (Florence), Italy

Florence is a dream Italian cruise destination for Renaissance-era sightseeing. But it’s a foodie haven too with family-run tripe wagons, wine bars and trattorias.

Ravenna (San Marino), Italy

A walker’s paradise and shopper’s mecca, Ravenna is home to the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, with its intricate mosaics; Dante’s tomb (author of The Divine Comedy); posh boutiques, and cafés.

Portoferraio (Elba), Italy

On your Italian cruise, visit Villa San Martino, the summer residence of Emperor Napoleon, and wander Portoferraio's centuries-old labyrinth of alleys.

Catania, Sicily, Italy

Sicily's second-largest city is intimately connected to the active volcano that towers above it. The smoking, gurgling peak of Mt. Etna, one of the island's most iconic landmarks, shaped Catania significantly.

Palermo, Italy

Palermo is a jumble of old and new. Explore ancient attractions, such as the mosaics of the Palatine Chapel (en Italiana: “Cappella Palatina”). Or, take a day trip to the seaside Cefalù.

Taormina, Italy

Perched on a hilltop, Taormina has an ancient theater and dramatic views of the scalloped coastline. An active volcano looms over this stunning city.

Featured Italy Cruise Excursions

historic church in Palermo, Italy

More Europe Cruises

Cruises to Croatia

Cruises to Turkey

Cruises to Monaco

Cruises to Italy

Cruises to Spain

Cruises to Amsterdam

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Italy Cruise Ships

Sail to paradise on a luxury cruise ship to italy.

Discover the joys of a Mediterranean getaway aboard one of our luxury Italy cruise ships. Sail to the most coveted ports in this stunning region of the world, including the romantic city of Venice, the scenic Amalfi Coast, and the Tuscan countryside. Choose from six luxury cruise ships, including Celebrity Apex®, Celebrity Edge®, Celebrity Constellation®, Celebrity Infinity®, Celebrity Reflection®, and Celebrity Silhouette®.

Depending on your itinerary, our Italy cruise ships also travel to stunning destinations in Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, and Malta, allowing you to explore the best the Mediterranean has to offer all in one vacation.


Our Luxury Italy Cruise Ships

Celebrity Apex

Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Constellation

Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity Silhouette

View All Cruises to Italy

Embark on a luxurious vacation aboard one of our award-winning Italy cruise ships. Discover beautiful ports like Portofino and Florence while sailing on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, the newest ships on our fleet. These breathtaking cruise ships feature innovative outward-facing design, allowing you to soak in unparalleled views of the Mediterranean Sea and the charming seaside towns that line Italy’s coast. Stay in modern accommodations, like the Infinite Veranda staterooms, which transform your living room into an outdoor terrace with the push of a button. Discover visionary venues like Eden, a restaurant, bar, and lounge that will tantalize all of your senses. And enjoy elevated fine dining in the ships’ innovative restaurants.

Sail to Italy aboard Celebrity Silhouette, a recently revolutionized ship with reimagined venues and staterooms. Unwind in elevated accommodations and dine in modernized restaurants and bars. Spend an indulgent afternoon at The Spa, where you can relax and recharge. At The Retreat® , our luxury vacation experience, you’ll stay in spacious suites and have access to a private restaurant, sun deck, and lounge.

On all of our Italy cruise ships, you’ll savor world-class cuisine in globally inspired restaurants serving everything from rustic Italian fare to sumptuous French cuisine. Order dishes crafted by a Michelin-starred chef and sip on artisanal cocktails and craft beers made by expert bartenders. You’ll also be surrounded by non-stop entertainment options, including live music at the outdoor Sunset Bar and riveting music and dance shows at the Theatre. Explore Italy on a luxury cruise with Celebrity Cruises.

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See More of Italy in Windstar Style

Let Windstar’s Italian cruises whisk you away to charming villages, pristine beaches, and legendary cities with unique itineraries that let you discover Italy as it was meant to be seen. From the picturesque pastel towns that line the Amalfi Coast to enchanting islands such as Sicily and Elba, you’ll explore breathtaking sights in charismatic small ports and beautiful hidden harbors without missing the remarkable history of larger cities such as Rome or Venice. Discover a more intimate Italy by day and unwind back onboard with the pampered, personalized touch of Windstar Cruises.

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Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast

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Sicilian Splendors

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Wine Cruise: Sicilian Splendors

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Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras

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Winter in Italy and the Adriatic

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Vatican & Croatian Coastlines Cruise Tour

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Adriatic Icons & Venetian Treasures

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Europe Winter Riviera

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Lake Como & Adriatic Romance Cruise Tour

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Mediterranean Island Mosaic

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Romance on the Rivieras

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Rome & Prix du Monde of Monaco

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Star Collector: Ancient to Avant-Garde Mediterranean

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Star Collector: Croatia to the Cote d’Azur

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Star Collector: Cruising on the Rivieras

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Star Collector: Culture & Charms of Italy & Croatia

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Star Collector: Italian Trio

Star collector: racing for the prix du monde along the rivieras.

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Star Collector: Riviera Rhapsody

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Star Collector: Winter in Europe's Rivieras & Croatia

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Star Collector: Winter Rhapsody in Italy and Croatia

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Book Your Italy Cruise Holiday

Cruise to Italy and visit some of the world's most beautiful and historic cities on your all-inclusive Italy cruise holiday. Experience the magnificence of the peninsula along the Mediterranean coastline as you travel through the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea. Home to some of the most iconic works of art and exquisite cuisines, an Italian cruise is one not to miss. Experience the best of Italy on a 8-Day Mediterranean Cruise from Rome or maybe a 10-Day Greek Isles & Italy Cruise from Rome .


Italy Cruises

All-Inclusive Italy Cruises From Rome

Enjoy more than two and a half thousand years of history, art, and culture in Rome . Sip Italian espresso in a quaint café, journey to an ancient time at the iconic Colosseum, or marvel at the Sistine Chapel during your visit to the Vatican City. Or simply admire the sweeping views of Capri in Naples . Feel free to explore the past in contemporary style with Norwegian.

Sail the Amalfi Coast

What to Do on an Italy Cruise

Your cruise to Italy may have various stops depending on your port for departure and length of travel but there are a few things you must do on your holiday. Plan your days for each port to enjoy the sites. From Cannes, France; Barcelona, Spain; Naples, Italy to Athens, Greece there are many historical sites and world-renowned artwork to see. Eat local cuisines from each port such as pasta, tapas, wine and pastries. Shop like a local at various markets and for high-end fashion items.

Start Your Italy Cruise Holiday FROM THESE DEPARTURE PORTS

Italy Cruises from Rome

Cruises from Rome

Cruise to Italy from Rome and sip an espresso whilst you explore two and a half thousand years of history of art and culture before your departure.

Italy Cruises from Athens

Cruises from Athens

Cruise to Italy from Athens and explore the oldest city in Europe, home to the Acropolis and many important architectural structures, before your departure.

Italy Cruises from Barcelona

Cruises from Barcelona

Cruise to Italy from Barcelona and explore iconic sites, like Park Güell or the medieval streets of Barri Gotic, before your departure.


Pompei, Italy

Visit the ruins of Pompeii, an excavation site so perfectly preserved that you can still see fine details from over 1,700 years ago. Admire the majesty of St. Peter's Basilica during your visit to the Vatican City. Wind your way towards Mount Etna as you pass picturesque towns. Stroll through the magnificent city of Florence and its stunning architecture. Or have a taste of Italy's finest wines during a tour of the Tuscan countryside. Explore the best of Italy on a shore excursion.

An Italy Family Holiday THEY'LL NEVER FORGET

Sightseeing in Italy

An Italy Cruise Holiday for the Whole Family

There are family holidays. Then there are the kinds of awe-inspiring holidays your family will remember forever. Sail on an Italy Cruise with Norwegian and discover the ease and convenience of unpacking once and experiencing it all. Freedom, flexibility and family entertainment offered on Italy cruises allows guests of all sizes to experience the best holiday ever. Because on family holidays, it's all about options. And Norwegian's got them, from accommodations that fit all families to delicious dining choices even finicky eaters can't refuse. We haven't forgotten about teens - they also have an exclusive onboard refuge at Entourage.

Choose Your Italy Cruise ACCOMMODATION

Italy Cruise Accommodations

Contemporary Accommodations

Experience an Italy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and enjoy freedom of choice all along the way. Whether you're bringing the whole crew and staying in a Family Balcony, kicking it solo in a Studio or enjoying the views of Rome from an oceanview stateroom with some of your best friends, we've got just the room for you.

Italy Cruise Suites

Stay in our Suites - our most luxurious, spacious and well-appointed accommodations. with our award-winning private suites and family accommodations you're always guaranteed a great place to rest.

Freedom & Flexibility For Your ITALY CRUISE

Freedom & Flexibility Whilst Cruising to Italy

Discover the vast beauty, endless activity, and rich culture of the Adriatic and Mediterranean on an Italy cruise. Only Norwegian Cruise Line offers more choices of what to do and see, and more freedom to do it your way. That's the freedom and flexibility Norwegian offers. Unpack once and journey from city to city. Enjoy everything that Italy has to offer from Rome to Naples then return to the cruise ship to a variety of onboard activities, one-of-a-kind entertainment, and dining options. Dress up for a romantic evening or enjoy a casual dining experience with the whole family. Do what makes you happy with no restrictive timetables, ever. Because your holiday is exactly that - yours.

Find The Best Italy Cruises

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The 7 Best Cruises for Experiencing Italy’s Scenic and Culinary Bounty

The best italy cruises bring travelers off the beaten path to explore some of the mediterranean country’s less-visited treasures..

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A pink building and a rocky coastline in Tonnara di Scopello on the island of Sicily

Visiting Sicily is a must on any Italy sailing.

Courtesy of Flo/Unsplash

When it comes to Italy cruises, your best bet is to go with a small-ship sailing. Big ships tend to do the tried and true— Rome , Venice , Florence , Naples—not that there’s anything wrong with seeing the Colosseum, St. Mark’s Square, Michelangelo’s David , and the ruins of Pompeii . But on the best cruises around Italy, there’s opportunity to go deeper and at a slower pace.

You’ll often still be able to check off major marquee attractions, while at the same time admiring the pastel-colored villages and hairpin roadways along the Amalfi Coast, the unspoiled landscapes of Puglia, the drama of Sicily, or the dreamy Ligurian coast. In addition to visiting off-the-beaten-path places, small ships tend to linger in ports, with the best itineraries including late evening or overnight stays. That way, there’s time to sample the dining scene—key for cruisers like me who like to try the local pasta dish in every town.

The best time for an Italy cruise

The main season for Italy cruises is April to October, coinciding with weather that increases the allure of beaches and outdoor attractions, even if visiting ancient ruins in the heat of summer may require some fortitude.

Where Italy cruises sail

Aerial view of the Amalfi town of Positano, with small sailing boats on the sea

Some small-ship sailings stop in the Amalfi town of Positano.

Courtesy of Dimitry/Unsplash

Amalfi Coast

Along the famed Amalfi Coast , ships visit Sorrento, overlooking the bay of Naples, and colorful Amalfi, dramatically backed by steep cliffs. Some itineraries also including the strikingly beautiful Positano. Smaller yacht vessels may sail directly to the fancy island of Capri (otherwise there will be a shore excursion, as with the larger ships). Among other shore choices in this region is a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Italy cruise itineraries often land at several ports on Sicily, and some itineraries circumnavigate the island. Each port has its own allure, including the city scene in Palermo; Syracuse, which showcases ancient attractions from when it was a prominent Greek city; Taormina, with its impressive hilltop location and Greek theater; and Lipari, which has a charming, tiny island ambience. In addition to striking landscapes, attractions include Roman and Greek ancient historic sights and views of Mount Etna, plus filming locations featured in The Godfather movies and in Season 2 of the HBO series The White Lotus . If while cruising Sicily your ship ventures to Stromboli, with its famous volcano, it will be from a safe distance—and if you’re lucky, in the dark when you can witness the lava flowing.

Increasingly popular on the cruise map are destinations in Puglia , a region of olive groves and national parks. Small ships call in the city of Lecce and town of Gallipoli, with their impressive baroque architecture; Taranto, a bustling port city with a history dating back to the Spartans and known for its fresh seafood restaurants; the town of Otranto, where a chapel in the cathedral displays skulls of martyrs from a 15th-century Ottoman siege; and the scenic fishing town of Monopoli, with its beaches and castles.

Adriatic Coast and Sardinia

Small ships also visit Italy’s Adriatic Coast, including the historic Ancona, which has Roman ruins and beaches. Additional islands might appear on an Italy cruise itinerary, too, such as Sardinia, where the wild landscape affords hiking opportunities with views, and you can wander among medieval sights in the historic port city of Cagliari.

The best Italy cruises for every type of traveler

View of the sea through the windows in a stateroom on Ponant’s 184-passenger "Le Bougainville."

Book an Italy cruise with Abercrombie & Kent and this will be your view when sailing on Ponant’s 184-passenger Le Bougainville.

Courtesy of Nicolas Matheus/Ponant

Abercrombie & Kent

  • Itinerary : Hidden Treasures From Florence to Venice
  • Best for : Classic Italy cruise experience
  • Number of days : 11
  • Starting cost : $14,885 per person (including two hotel nights in Florence)

Luxury tour company Abercrombie & Kent carefully curates its cruise itineraries with local guides on shore and with destination experts onboard. A&K has partnered with French line Ponant for a September Italy cruise on Ponant’s diesel-electric ship Le Bougainville . This trip explores Florence, Rome, and Venice, stopping along the way on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, and in Bari (the capitol of Puglia) and Ancona. Added bonus: a day on the French island of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. The experience is limited to 148 guests, who can sip drinks with views in the ship’s underwater lounge.

Plate of seafood, including clams and mussels, over risotto, served in a restaurant in Positano

Indulge in Italy’s iconic cuisine on a foodie-focused sailing with Atlas Ocean Voyages.

Photo by Shutterstock

Atlas Ocean Voyages

  • Itinerary : Valletta to Rome
  • Best for : food lovers
  • Number of days : 8
  • Starting cost : $3,499 per person

Atlas Ocean Voyages, with its elegant small expedition ships, switches the focus from penguin-spotting in Antarctica to summer expedition cruises in Europe, including what the Portuguese-owned line calls “epicurean expeditions.” On the 196-passenger World Traveller , one such expedition from between Malta and Rome adds the food angle to exploration of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast, with overnights in Positano, the dramatically positioned cliffside town with its labyrinth of staircases, and on the island of Capri. An expedition team will lead culinary explorations on the ship and ashore, such as visiting local markets and specialty tastings, culinary presentations, cooking demonstrations, and sampling wine.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome

On this Azamara journey, combine coastal cruising with some time in Rome.

Courtesy of Michele Bitetto/Unsplash

Azamara Cruises

  • Itinerary : Italy Intensive Voyage
  • Best for: More affordable Italy sailing
  • Number of days : 10
  • Starting cost : $2,320 per person

Sailing round-trip from Venice on the upscale 684-passenger Azamara Pursuit , this “ Italy Intensive Voyage ,” which sets sail in June 2024, takes passengers to Bologna, where optional excursions include a visit to the Ferrari Museum, and the historic Adriatic port city of Ancona, before cruising over to Kotor, Montenegro, with its impressive fjord approach and UNESCO-recognized Old Town. Heading south, you’ll stop by Taranto in Puglia and Sicily’s Giardini Naxos (near Taormina) and Palermo, before lingering in Amalfi, Sorrento, and Capri. There’s the bonus of a day in Rome (accessible from the port of Civitavecchia). It’s a packed itinerary and a great price.

Infinity pool with empty lounge chairs on an outdoor deck on an Emerald Cruises super yacht

Not a bad way to take in the views of Italy on an Emerald Cruises super yacht

Courtesy of Pompei Luca/Emerald Cruises

Emerald Cruises

  • Itinerary : Highlights of Southern Italy
  • Best for : Intimate yacht experience
  • Number of days : 7
  • Starting cost : $6,120 per person

Cruising with thousands or even hundreds of people is one thing; cruising around southern Italy on a luxury super yacht is something else completely. Sail on Emerald Cruises’ 100-passenger Emerald Sakara from Civitavecchia to Dubrovnik , daydreaming in a designer daybed at the infinity pool when you’re not on shore exploring Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Calabria (from the port city of Crotone) and Puglia. In Sorrento, an included guided tour of the city focuses on gelato. In Sicily’s Giardini Naxos, an optional excursion involves river tubing.

Sea Cloud sailing ship with three masts and numerous sails; two Zodiacs in the water around the ship

Visit Italy with Lindblad on the storied Sea Cloud ship, with the wind in your sails.

Courtesy of Sea Cloud

Lindblad Expeditions

  • Itinerary: Mediterranean Gems: Southern Italy and Sicily Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Best for : Historic ship experience
  • Starting cost : $18,602 per person

Passengers will immerse themselves in history as soon as they set foot on the 58-passenger Sea Cloud tall ship, built in 1931 for socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post and finance tycoon E.F. Hutton, and decorated with period antiques. Lindblad Expeditions is operating the vessel on several Mediterranean journeys in 2024, including this Southern Italy and Sicily sailing . There will be a Lindblad–National Geographic–certified photo instructor to help guests get perfect photos of the ship’s iconic sails and of the enchanting sights on an off-the-beaten-path itinerary to Puglia, Sicily, and the Amalfi Coast, sailing from Dubrovnik to Naples. Highlights include a private lunch at Castello degli Schiavi, an 18th-century castle used as a filming location in The Godfather movies.

The dining room in a Grand Suite on the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's "Evrima" yacht

Imagine opening a great bottle of Italian wine in your personal dining room in the Grand Suite on the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima .

Courtesy of Francisco Jose Martinez Mendez/Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

  • Itinerary : Rome (Civitavecchia) to Valletta
  • Best for : Luxury experience
  • Starting cost : $10,600 per person

You can be sure that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is going to deliver high-end resort cruising, and that’s certainly the case on the 298-passenger Evrima , where Moët & Chandon will flow freely as guests sail from Rome to Malta . Itinerary creativity is another bonus, as you explore the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, and Syracuse, the ship lingering in several ports so that you can go out on the town, with overnights in both Sorrento, where there is time to visit the emerald waters of the Grotta dello Smeraldo, and Taranto, with its white beaches and dolphin-spotting.

Dramatic cliffs line the shoreline on the island of Ponza

This Star Clippers cruise includes a bonus stop on the scenic island of Ponza.

Courtesy of Ferhat Deniz/Unsplash

Star Clippers

  • Itinerary : Amalfi & Sicily
  • Best for : Value
  • Starting cost : $1,930 per person

Star Clippers’ Amalfi and Sicily itinerary on the 166-passenger Star Flyer sailing ship is the perfect combination of going with the wind and hitting key sights. The itinerary is round trip from Civitavecchia (near Rome), making this cruise a convenient and affordable add-on to your own exploration of Italy’s “Eternal City.” Set sail for Sicily (Messina and Lipari) and visit the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento and Amalfi). There’s the bonus of a port call in picturesque Ponza, an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea and very much not on the typical tourist path. When sailing, take in the breezes on the bowsprit.

Visit Monaco

  • Expeditions
  • Complimentary Brochures
  • Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice (Chioggia)
  • Venice (Chioggia) to Rome (Civitavecchia)

Italian Sojourn

  • From $2,999
  • 6 Guided Tours
  • 2 Countries
  • Dates & Pricing
  • 2024 2025 2026
  • Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice (Chioggia) Venice (Chioggia) to Rome (Civitavecchia)

Italian Sojourn Map

Map of Italian Sojourn itinerary

Sail around Italy’s boot

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Experience the legacies of civilizations during this fascinating 8-day itinerary cruising Italy between Civitavecchia and Venice. Discover the magnificent Amalfi Coast from Naples and visit Messina, Sicily’s cultural crossroads. Hear the echoes of ancient Greece in Crotone and witness the beauty of Puglia in Bari. Explore historic Šibenik, Croatia’s oldest coastal town. An overnight in Venice lets you immerse yourself in Italy’s most romantic city.


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Viking Inclusive Value

Pricing that covers everything guests need—and nothing they do not.

Map of Italian Sojourn itinerary

To learn more about each port of call and our included as well as optional excursions, click on the individual days below.

Itinerary and shore excursions are subject to change and may vary by departure.

More features, services and excursions included

One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call

Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner

24-hour specialty coffees, teas  & bottled water

Port taxes & fees

Ground transfers with Viking Air purchase

Visits to UNESCO Sites

Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances

Complimentary access to The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center.

Self-service launderettes

Alternative restaurant dining at no extra charge

24-hour room service

Your Stateroom Includes:

King-size Viking Explorer Bed with luxury linen

42" flat-screen LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand

Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

Premium Freyja® toiletries

Direct-dial satellite phone & cell service

Security safe

110/220 volt outlets

Ample USB ports

Pre & Post Cruise Extensions

More days means more to discover, with extension packages you can add before or after your Viking cruise or cruisetour. Enjoy additional days to explore your embarkation or disembarkation city, or see a new destination altogether with a choice of exciting cities. Pre & Post Cruise Extensions vary by itinerary and are subject to change.

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From $1,099 | 2 Nights

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Pre: Ultimate Italy—Sicily

From $1,999 | 3 Nights

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Pre: Ultimate Italy—Tuscany

From $1,699 | 3 Nights

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Pre: Ultimate Italy—Umbria

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Pre: Parma & Bologna

From $2,299 | 3 Nights

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Pre: Best of Rome

From $2,499 | 3 Nights

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Post: Ultimate Italy—Lake Como & Verona

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Post: Venice

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Post: Como & the Italian Lakes

Post: ultimate italy—tuscany.

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Post: Best of Venice

On this itinerary, your Viking Resident Historian is delivering the following iconic lectures:

  • - The Roman Empire
  • - The Venetian Republic
  • - The Bayeux Tapestry

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Viking Resident Historian

As part of our onboard cultural enrichment program and commitment to destination-focused learning, our Viking Resident Historian faculty provides guests with lectures and roundtable discussions on the arts, architecture, music and culture of upcoming ports and various aspects of world history.

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Italy Cruises

The Richest Historic and Cultural Heritage in the world

An MSC Italy cruise is among the most favourite of our guests as well as travellers the world over, and for good reason. Thanks to its limitless opportunities to connect with the natural beauty of both mountains and coastline, not to mention a history going back thousands of years, it offers a host of attractions and nothing short of a life-changing experience.   The Italy cruise 2024 - 2025 season is ready for booking, and we’ll give you all the reasons this should be at the top of your getaway list this year.   The historic and cultural heritage of Italy is among the richest in the world, and it has undoubtedly had a strong impact on the development of Western culture. Italy boasts the largest number of UNESCO world heritage sites of any country in the world , and it’s the country with the largest number of visitors per square metre.   Choose an MSC Italy Cruise and discover some of the country’s most artistic cities, such as Venice , with its hundreds of canals and a reputation as the most romantic city in the world. Or perhaps Rome is a must-have on your itinerary. Also known as the Eternal City , the once-capital of the Roman empire and, for centuries, the political and cultural capital of western civilization, has everything a history buff could ask for.   But let’s not forget the picturesque Tuscan countryside , with its vineyards and medieval hamlets, as well as Sardinia and Sicily , famous for their magnificent beaches and cosy, old-world towns.   Finally, and just as important, every Italy cruise destination provides visitors with a chance to taste the varied delights of the finest Italian culinary tradition. Do not miss the chance to taste an authentic pizza in Naples or a wonderful pasta dish in Rome this Italy cruise 2024 - 2025 season.   Cruises around Italy are an opportunity to enjoy a world of natural beauty and a range of gastronomic delights. Browse through all the extensive Italy cruise itineraries below and get ready to embark on the trip of your lifetime.



view all italy ports

  • Ancona (Urbino), Italy
  • Bari, Italy
  • Brindisi (Lecce), Italy
  • Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy
  • Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
  • Genoa (Portofino), Italy
  • La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Italy
  • Livorno (Florence), Italy
  • Messina (Taormina), Italy
  • Naples (Pompeii), Italy
  • Palermo (Monreale), Italy
  • Siracusa (Sicily), Italy
  • Taranto , Italy
  • Trieste (Venice), Italy
  • Venice - Marghera, Italy

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Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome

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Uniquely Tauck

Italy Cruise


TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private farewell reception and dinner in Rome at 18th-century Palazzo Brancaccio, where scenes from the movie  Roman Holiday  were filmed.

TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Exclusively for Tauck guests, visits to privately owned palaces in Palermo, sumptuous Palazzo Gangi, made famous in 1963 by the Burt Lancaster / Alain Delon film,  The Leopard  (and still owned by the Valguarnera family), or lavish Palazzo Mazzarino, still inhabited by its aristocratic owners

TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Meet a knight of Malta in Valletta on a tour of his family's elegant private residence, Casa Rocca Piccola, built in the 16th century


All gratuities to Tauck Director, ship staff and local guides

Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $4,925

Guided visits to the Colosseum and Roman Forum with lunch at a typical trattoria

A choice of included shore excursions along the incomparable Amalfi Coast, with a wine tasting, small boat cruises and tuna tasting for an authentic look at daily life

An opportunity to take a cooking class in Trapani featuring a local specialty, fish couscous, along with tastings of Marsala wine, almond pastries and more


Guests should be able to easily walk one to two miles, which may include climbing one or two flights of stairs and walking over uneven pavement, groomed hiking trails or cobblestones. Standing up to one hour or more may be required.

Moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motor coach travel.

Cultural journeys and expeditions

Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome  was one of the earliest small ship cruises in our Mediterranean portfolio – and for 2025, we're setting sail once more. Explore stories of antiquities steeped in history and mythology, experience a myriad of natural wonders, and spend two nights in Malta, two nights in Rome, at premier hotels.

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Travel Documents

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling internationally , you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your Tauck journey for entry into Italy and Malta; however, you will not need a visa for the short duration of this tour.

If you are a citizen of another country traveling internationally , please contact a consulate or embassy of Italy and Malta to determine what travel documentation is required. Please note that longer stays abroad for any purpose may require additional travel documentation.

You will be issued a boarding card, which you must present before embarking the ship in each port. This security measure also ensures that only Tauck guests are permitted onboard.

International maritime security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied. Once you board the cruise ship, your passport may be held by the ship's purser to facilitate clearance procedures as required by each port of call until you disembark. It is recommended guests carry a government-issued photo ID while ashore.

We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen. While ashore, it is highly recommended guests carry government-issued photo identification.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.

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The Italian Way of Life

12 Top Cruise Ports in Italy: A Mediterranean Journey

cruise ports in Italy

Cruise ports in Italy, nestled along the country’s extensive Mediterranean coastline, serve as gateways to this European gem’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

This article lists the 12 top cruise ports in Italy and details what each offers to tourists embarking on a cruise.

1. Civitavecchia Cruise Port

port of Civitavecchia

The Civitavecchia port ( website ) is a vital hub for anyone setting sail on a Mediterranean cruise. Known as Rome’s cruise port, this hub is more than just a stopping point; it’s a destination enriched with cultural landmarks.

Among them is Fort Michelangelo, a notable sight you’ll encounter upon arriving at the Port of Civitavecchia.

Transportation Services

  • Complimentary Port Shuttles : Many tourists use the free shuttle service to get from the ship’s pier to the port entrance.
  • Railway Station Connectivity : Civitavecchia station, a mere 800 meters from the port, offers regular train services to Rome.
  • Bus and Taxi Services : Upon exiting the port, local buses and taxis are readily available for further transport needs.

Travel Tips

  • Train Transfers to Rome : An approximately 70 to 90-minute train ride can take you into the heart of Rome with its historic sites.
  • Airport Transfers : If heading to Fiumicino Airport, two train rides are necessary – first to Roma Ostiense and then to the airport.
  • Advance Planning Advised : Careful planning is key when timing transfers between the port, Rome, or the airports.

Discovering Civitavecchia can be a delightful prelude or epilogue to your voyage, provided you’re well-informed and carefully plan your travels.

2. Venice Cruise Port

cruise ship entering Venice

Venice, famed for its intricate waterways and rich history, is a pivotal hub for Mediterranean cruises. Although the historic  Port of Venice, in Italian Stazione Marittima ( website ), no longer accommodates large cruise ships, it remains a gateway for smaller vessels and river boats.

Cruise ships now mainly dock at alternate ports such as  Venice-Marghera , Ravenna , and Monfalcone . Passengers typically check in at Stazione Marittima and are then transported to their respective ports.

Public Transportation

A light rail shuttles passengers to Piazzale Roma. From there, a pleasant stroll can lead to the heart of Venice . Buses are available to the mainland but won’t take you directly to Venice’s core.

The “ Vaporetto ” ferries are a reliable choice for inter-island travel, with the San Basilio terminal near the port.

3. Livorno Cruise Port

port of Livorno

Livorno Cruise Port ( website ), positioned on Italy’s northwest seaside, serves as an essential maritime hub for Tuscany , offering the perfect launchpad for shore excursions to the region’s renowned cities of Florence, Pisa, and Lucca.

Before you start exploring the Tuscan region upon arriving in Livorno, consider taking time to discover the town. While it may not be a major tourist destination, Livorno offers a charming and enjoyable atmosphere that’s worth experiencing.

For transportation from the port, check if your cruise line provides a shuttle to the town center or to Livorno Central Train Station. If not, a convenient bus service runs from  Piazza Giuseppe Micheli to various parts of the city. 

If you want to venture beyond Livorno, use the train services to visit nearby Pisa and Lucca . The train to Pisa is particularly convenient, bringing you close to the iconic Leaning Tower and other historical sites. For more detailed travel plans, visit the Trenitalia website for up-to-date schedules and pricing.

As for facilities, Livorno, one of the busiest ports in Italy, also serves as an important ferry terminal , offering sea routes to Corsica, Sardinia, and even Barcelona. The ferry embarkation points are adequately close to where the voyage liners dock.

4. Genoa Cruise Port

Genoa cruise port

Located at the heart of Genoa’s maritime hub,  Stazione Maritima ( website ), one of Italy’s most popular ports, serves as the primary terminal for cruise ships.

Genoa serves as an ideal cruise port for visitors eager to discover the marvels of the Italian Riviera, including the enchanting Cinque Terre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the glamorous Portofino , and the picturesque Santa Margherita .

Conveniently positioned on the Ligurian coast, Genoa offers convenient services to various destinations, including France, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, and notable Italian gems. A terminal near Stazione Maritima makes it easy to reach all these destinations.

Transport Options:

  • Walking: Most of the city’s attractions, including those at the Old Harbor, are within walking distance.
  • Metro: A metro station is conveniently situated near the terminal, connecting passengers to various parts of the city.
  • Bus: Regular bus services run to the commercial center from the terminal.
  • Train: For farther destinations like Milan, the Genova Principe train station can be reached by transport, though it’s a considerable walk from the port.

Local Highlights:

  • Architecture: A stroll through the city would not be complete without witnessing the famed Genoa Cathedral and the modern marvels like the Biosphere and Aquarium.
Pro Tip : Those embarking or debarking from a cruise in Genoa might find it advantageous to include Milan in their itinerary . This vibrant city can serve as an excellent starting or endpoint, easily accessible by train.

5. Naples Cruise Port

aerial view of the port of Naples, Italy

Located in the heart of the vibrant city of Naples, the  Porto Napoli , also known as Stazione Maritima ( website ), is strategically positioned just across from the prominent Piazza del Municipio and the majestic Castel Nuovo .

Just a brief 10-minute stroll is all it takes to immerse oneself in the bustling Naples city center.

Getting Around

  • Metro Access: A metro station is conveniently placed close by, facilitating effortless exploration of the city.
  • Tour Buses: The Naples hop-on-hop-off bus service terminal is within easy reach, offering two distinct itineraries—one spotlighting the city center and another unveiling the scenic coastline.
  • Ferry Services: Departing from the Molo Beverello area, visitors can access ferries and hydrofoils to the picturesque islands of Capri and Ischia, Sorrento, and other noteworthy destinations.
Suggested Read : For a look at what Naples has to offer, read 10 Reasons to Visit Naples, Italy . From pizzerias to Pompeii, this city has it all.

Recommended Excursions

  • Island Excursions: The enchanting Island of Capri is a short hydrofoil ride away. It boasts breathtaking landscapes and exquisite dining options.
  • Amalfi Coast Adventure: For those beginning or concluding their voyage in Naples, a jaunt along the famed Amalfi Coast—with stops in Sorrento, Positano (and its best restaurants ), and Amalfi—is a must-do.
  • Pompeii Exploration : A recommended excursion from the port of Napoli, visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii offers a fascinating glimpse into life before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

6. Salerno Cruise Port

aerial view of the cruise port of Salerno, Italy

The Salerno Cruise Port is located in Southern Italy and serves as a gateway to the scenic Amalfi Coast . The port is well-equipped for cruise passengers, offering a range of convenient transportation options.

Upon disembarking, passengers can utilize a complimentary shuttle service to the port gate . Given that the port’s layout isn’t conducive to on-foot exploration, this shuttle is a lifesaver for reaching downtown Salerno, roughly 4 km away.

Salerno boasts an efficient metro system that runs parallel to the coast through the city center, making it an ideal place to explore further.

Additionally,  Sitabus operates extensive coach services, connecting Salerno to popular destinations like Amalfi , Positano , and Sorrento . A 24-hour pass is affordable, but note that buses can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Interested in a maritime adventure? The port’s ferry service offers trips along the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast, adding a scenic route to your itinerary. For instance, a return ferry trip to the quaint town of Amalfi is modestly priced.

Apart from these services, train travel in Italy can be arranged through the Trenitalia website, with current schedules and fares clearly laid out.

While in Salerno, strolling along the Lungomare Trieste promenade is a must. Rich in history and beauty, the imposing Arechis Castle and Salerno Cathedral are also well worth a visit.

7. Messina Cruise Port

cruise ship leaving the port of Messina

The picturesque port city of Messina ( website ), located on the northeastern coast of Sicily, is a notable stop for cruise ships navigating the Mediterranean Sea.

With  Mount Etna looming in the distance, it serves as an exceptional gateway for travelers keen on exploring Sicily’s  rich historical tapestry and natural wonders.

When disembarking at the Messina cruise ship terminal , the vibrant city welcomes you with its array of cultural landmarks. The  cathedral (Duomo) , boasting an intriguing astronomical clock, and a heap of local museums are some of the city’s highlights that I like to immerse myself in.

Train Service

  • Messina Marittima and Messina Centrale are the two main train stations.
  • Hourly trains to Taormina -Giardini offer scenic rides taking about an hour.
  • For up-to-date schedules and fares, the Trenitalia website is your go-to resource.

Bus Service

  • Buses to Taormina are also an option, though it’s a longer trip (nearly two hours).
  • The central bus station is conveniently positioned next to the Messina Centrale train station.

Exploring Beyond Messina

To fully appreciate Sicily’s beauty , consider joining an excursion to Taormina or Mount Etna, which enhances the experience. Taormina mesmerizes with its hilltop allure, offering breathtaking vistas and the chance to wander through Corso Umberto’s shops.

For outdoor enthusiasts,  Mount Etna is a day trip; due to the volcano’s distance, booking an excursion from the cruise ship is preferable.

8. Trieste Cruise Port

Trieste cruise port

The Trieste cruise port, nestled in Italy’s northeastern part of the Adriatic Sea, serves as a key maritime hub. It is recognized as  one of Italy’s most pivotal cruise and ferry terminals , catering to both international cruise lines and local ferry services.

Historically, even before its incorporation into Italy during the Austro-Hungarian Empire era, Trieste played a crucial role as a significant port city in the region.

Cruise ships at the Trieste Cruise Port ( website ) dock in an exceptionally convenient location, adjacent to Trieste’s renowned main square, Piazza Unità d’Italia .

Suggested Read : Top 10 Italian Piazzas That Will Leave You Breathless

At Trieste’s port, a single pier on the Gulf of Trieste accommodates two cruise ships simultaneously.

Passengers can simply walk along a designated pathway and cross the street to find themselves in the heart of the city , immediately immersed in its rich array of attractions and historical sites.

9. Ancona Cruise Port

view of the port of Ancona

Ancona, located along the Adriatic Sea, is renowned for its picturesque sea views and wealth of historical architecture.

The cruise port of Ancona ( website ) is strategically located opposite the city’s bustling center, facilitating immediate access for visitors to explore on foot. This makes it an ideal port of call for those arriving by sea.

The Cathedral of Ancona, established in 1189 with its notable lion-flanked doorway, stands as a testament to the city’s art and history. Other significant sites include the Arch of Trajan, an ancient entrance to the harbor, and the architectural marvels of the Lazzaretto and Episcopal Palace.

The city’s convenient bus service provides easy access to local beaches and key viewpoints like the Duomo and Passeto.

Further afield, the historical towns of Urbino , San Marino , and Loreto are accessible, highlighting the region’s cultural and religious heritage.

10. Bari Cruise Port

view of the port of Bari, Italy

Arriving at Bari via Karol Wojtyla Airport, the journey to the terminal is straightforward. Take a taxi or bus to the city center, and then bus number 20 leads directly to the new terminal.

This terminal between Saint Cataldo Quay and Foraneo Quay underscores Bari’s importance as a cruise destination .

The historic city center, a short 20-minute walk from the port, is easily accessible, with plenty of shuttles and taxis available.

Bari’s old town, known for its medieval architecture and lively nightlife, boasts attractions such as the Basilica of San Nicola and the Castello Normanno-Svevo (Norman-Swabian Castle).

The city’s diverse districts highlight Bari’s rich urban tapestry, from the medieval streets of the Old Town to the modern core of Borgo Murattiano with its shopping lanes .

The port is more than a point of transit; it’s a cultural hub, reflecting Bari’s Byzantine, Norman, and Arabic heritage.

11. Palermo Cruise Port

cruise port in Palermo

Palermo, a city teeming with history, is a lively cruise port on Sicily’s northwestern coast. Its proximity to downtown, just a five-minute walk , makes it a convenient entry point for visitors to explore the area directly from the port, which currently accommodates ferries.

Transportation from the port includes the Hop on/off buses, which offer two routes directly from the terminal: the 60-minute Line A and the 50-minute Line B.

Additionally, exploring Palermo on foot or by horse-drawn carriage provides a unique city experience, while the Trenino tourist train offers sightseeing tours starting at the port.

Sights to See

Key attractions in Palermo include the Politeama and Massimo theatres, Piazza Quattro Canti, and the botanical gardens. The Capuchin Catacombs offer a unique, though eerie, experience. Caution is advised near the port area after dark.

Most establishments follow a siesta schedule, closing in the early afternoon and reopening in the evening, Monday to Saturday. Some larger stores may remain open all week, offering extended shopping hours.

12. Cagliari Cruise Port

view of the port of Cagliari

Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital, stands out as a cruise port seamlessly blending historical allure with scenic landscapes. Its integration within the city ensures visitors have straightforward access to the center and various amenities.

The port serves as a welcoming entrance to the sunny and temperate city, inviting exploration at any time of the year.

A brief journey from the port, Cagliari’s historic old town awaits. Its geographical layout offers a mix of gentle strolls and more vigorous walks.

A complimentary shuttle bus aids those looking to venture from their cruise ship directly to Piazza Matteotti, a hub near key transport links.

Alongside its historic and architectural sights, Cagliari’s coastlines boast expansive sandy beaches and inviting waters, ideal for leisure or aquatic activities.

Moreover, the city’s culinary scene is a highlight, featuring a fusion of Mediterranean flavors and Sardinian tradition, sure to delight any palate.

Before You Go…

Curious to see where luxury meets history in Italy? Dive into our exploration of the Top 10 Richest Cities in Italy .

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Carnival Fun Italian Style TM

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When you’re enjoying vacation on one of these new, unique ships — Carnival Venezia™ or Carnival Firenze™ — you might wonder how all this Italian flair ended up in one place. (And on a Carnival ship, no less!)

It comes courtesy of our sister line, Costa Cruises, but there’s so, so much Carnival going into the onboard experience. The food, entertainment and service is typical Carnival — yay for that! — plus you can look forward to exclusive new experiences inspired by Costa’s Italian heritage.

We’re proud to create this distinct blend of vacation flavors… and most importantly, thrilled to share it with you! Sailings from New York are happening now, while things get going from Long Beach in 2024.


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Carnival firenze.

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Cruise ship detained at Spanish port over visa row allowed to leave

A cruise ship detained in Barcelona since Tuesday due to forged visas has been allowed to continue on its route through the Mediterranean Sea.

Following an agreement with the Spanish authorities, the Armonía and its some 1,500 passengers will set sail on Thursday and continue the planned journey to Italy, the company MSC Cruises said.

The ship is set to arrive on Monday in Marghera, near Venice - but without the 69 passengers from Bolivia, who did not have valid visas for Europe.

The Bolivians are being held in the Barcelona port's transit area as they wait for their cases to be resolved. Local officials say they expect for them to eventually be sent back to Latin America.

The group of Bolivians, which included families with children, had set off from Brazil for the cruise to Barcelona, where their voyage was to end. But, following visa checks, they were not allowed to leave the ship to go ashore like the other passengers.

Authorities said they had travelled under forged Schengen visas, which allow holders to move among nearly 30 European countries.

Some relatives of the Bolivians on board who live in Spain told Spanish media that the people had been victims of a scam.

They said an agency in South America had offered the passage and visas online and charged up to $10,000 per person. This agency also cancelled return flight tickets that had been promised after the cruise ship left Brazil for Europe, La Vanguardia newspaper quoted relatives as saying.

However, the police say they have not ruled out the possibility that the Bolivians actually wanted to enter Spain illegally using knowingly forged documents.

The ship MSC Armonia sails from the Port of Barcelona. MSC Armonia, which was detained in the Port of Barcelona since April 2, has sailed today to Marghera (Italy) with all passengers except the 69 Bolivians who did not have valid visas for entry into the Schengen area. David Zorrakino/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

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Pozzallo (Sicily Italy)

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Pozzallo cruise port

Region Mediterranean - Black Sea

Local Time 2024-04-05 02:51

Port Pozzallo cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Pozzallo, Sicily Italy. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

Pozzallo is a central Mediterranean port town in Italy (Sicily's Ragusa province), with population around 20,000. Pozzallo is approx 35 km / 22 mi from Ragusa (the province's capital city).

Cruise ships and ferries dock at Pozzallo Marina. The modern facility is also used for berthing by superyachts and leisure boats. Among the major cruise lines visiting Pozzallo are CroisiEurope (ship La Belle de l'Adriatique ) and Oceania .

As a ferry port, Pozzallo provides regularly scheduled daily connections to Valletta Malta (~1,5 hours travel time via high-speed ferries/catamarans). The company (Virtu Ferries) provides 14 weekly crossings to Malta.

Pozzallo is a popular tourist destination benefiting from two large beaches (both Blue Flagged). Other Sicilian Blue Flag-awarded beaches are in the Messina Metro (Ali Terme, Roccalumera, Furci Siculo, Santa Teresa di Riva, Tusa), Agrigento province (Menfi), Ragusa province (Modica, Ispica, Ragusa), as well as on three of the seven Aeolian Islands ( Lipari , Stromboli , Vulcano).

Pozzallo's beaches (named Pietre Nere and Raganzino) are large and feature golden fine sand and waterfront bars and clubs.

The downtown is marked by numerous historical buildings, cafes and restaurants, shops, clubs and bars.

Beside the beautiful beaches, the town's best-known tourist attraction is Torre Cabrera (15th-century coastal defense tower) built to defend the coastal complex of warehouses from pirate attacks. The watchtower was built by Bernat Juan de Cabrera, son of Bernat II de Cabrera (1298-1364/nobleman, diplomat, military commander) famous for his participation in Majorca's conquest (1343) and in the battle for Alghero (taken from Genoa in 1353).

In the 15th century, the site of the present-day town was used by sailors for freshwater supply. The two springs (Pozzofeto and Senia) were even marked on nautical charts. The original port was complete with piers and slipways (for loading/offloading goods onto ships) and at the time (15th century) was considered Sicily Island's second most important/largest port - after Catania .

Oceania Cruises' 2025 summer schedule features 100+ itineraries

Oceania Cruises' 2025 summer schedule features 100+ itineraries

Oceania Cruises has unveiled its 2025 summer sailing program, consisting of over 100 itineraries. The collection, open for booking starting October...

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Cruise ship reality leaves viewers wanting to 'throw up and cry' after watching Drake Passage footage

Cruise ship reality leaves viewers wanting to 'throw up and cry' after watching Drake Passage footage

A trip like no other.

Tom Earnshaw

Tom Earnshaw

A mum has revealed exactly what it's like to have dinner on one of the most notorious stretches of sea in the world - and it's not for the faint hearted.

Travelling on a cruise ship isn't for everyone, but they are holidays that thousands enjoy every single year, whether retired with your partner , solo, or as a family.

Some will even see it as their perfect career choice .

Most will set sail on a sunny voyage, heading to some of the best locations that money can take you to.

A trip around the Mediterranean or Caribbean sounds just perfect on this front.

But for some, the sun isn't everything.

And for those who decide they want to head towards the south pole, enter the Drake Passage .

The Drake Passage is a dangerous body of water between South America's Cape Horn, Chile, Argentina and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, known for its rough waters and incredibly high waves.

It can make even the biggest cruise ships feel a little uneasy despite their gigantic size and heavy mass.

The huge waves.

Passengers riding on cruise ships through the Drake Passage are told they can expect something called 'Drake Lake' or 'Drake Shake', with it among the choppiest waters in the entire world - if not the choppiest.

The reality of what it can do to even the biggest cruise ships in the world has been laid bare by TikTok user Karilyn, who posted under her account @nobackhome, where she documents travelling the world with her 13-year-old son .

Posting a video of them enjoying dinner while travelling through the Drake Passage, the reality of the size of the waves hit home.

Passengers couldn't contain their reaction to the huge ship rocking back and forth.

Taking a window seat, it showed them appearing to float up in to the sky before their side of the ship came crashing down with 15-foot swells looks like they were going to engulf the cruise ship.

Those sat at the table with Karilyn couldn't contain their reaction to it, with most of them left opened-mouthed at the raw brutality of nature.

Reacting, one TikTok user wrote: "The way I would be running around screaming / crying / throwing up."

A second said: "I'm dizzy just looking at this."

A third added: "More than 20,000 people have drowned here. I wouldn't be laughing.

"The Drake Passage is the main reason for the Panama Canal."

A fourth posted: "I literally can't even watch this video without getting sea sick. I would DIE."

Topics:  Cruise Ship , Environment , Holiday , Travel , World News , TikTok

Tom joined LADbible in 2024, specialising in SEO and trending content. He moved to the company from Reach plc where he enjoyed spells as a content editor and senior reporter for one of the country's most-read local news brands, LancsLive. When he's not in work, Tom spends his adult life as a suffering Manchester United supporter after a childhood filled with trebles and Premier League titles. You can't have it all forever, I suppose.

@ TREarnshaw

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Six presumed dead after cargo ship crash levels Baltimore bridge

BALTIMORE — A major Baltimore bridge collapsed like a house of cards early Tuesday after it was struck by a container ship, sending six people to their deaths in the dark waters below, and closing one of the country’s busiest ports.

By nightfall, the desperate search for six people who were working on the bridge and vanished when it fell apart had become a grim search for bodies.

“We do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon N. Gilreath said.

Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders, said earlier that one of his workers had survived. He did not release their names.

Up until then, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore had held out hope that the missing people might be found even as law enforcement warned that the frigid water and the fact that there had been no sign of them since 1:30 a.m. when the ship struck Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Moore expressed heartbreak after officials suspended the search for survivors.

"Our heart goes out to the families," he said. "I can’t imagine how painful today has been for these families, how painful these hours have been have been for these families."

It was a crushing blow to the loved ones of the missing men, who had waited for hours at a Royal Farms convenience store near the entrance of the bridge for word of their fate. 

Follow live updates on the Baltimore bridge collapse

The tragic chain of events began early Tuesday when the cargo ship Dali notified authorities that it had lost power and issued a mayday moments before the 984-foot vessel slammed into a bridge support at a speed of 8 knots, which is about 9 mph.

Moore declared a state of emergency while rescue crews using sonar detected at least five vehicles in the frigid 50-foot-deep water: three passenger cars, a cement truck and another vehicle of some kind. Authorities do not believe anyone was inside the vehicles.

Investigators quickly concluded that it was an accident and not an act of terrorism.

Ship was involved in another collision

Earlier, two people were rescued from the water, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said. One was in good condition and refused treatment, he said. The other was seriously injured and was being treated in a trauma center.

Moore said other drivers might have been in the water had it not been for those who, upon hearing the mayday, blocked off the bridge and kept other vehicles from crossing.

“These people are heroes,” Moore said. “They saved lives.”

Nearly eight years ago, the Dali was involved in an accident. In July 2016, it struck a quay at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium, damaging the quay.

The nautical commission investigated the accident, but the details of the inquiry were not immediately clear Tuesday.

The Dali is operated and managed by Synergy Group. In a statement, the company said that two port pilots were at the helm during Tuesday's crash and that all 22 crew members onboard were accounted for.

The Dali was chartered by the Danish shipping giant Maersk, which said it would have no choice but to send its ships to other nearby ports with the Port of Baltimore closed.

The bridge, which is about a mile and a half long and carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, was "fully up to code," Moore said.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said that her agency will lead the investigation and that a data recorder on the ship could provide more information.

"But right now we're focusing on the people, on the families," she said. "The rest can wait."

President Joe Biden vowed to rebuild the bridge and send federal funds.

"This is going to take some time," the president warned. "The people of Baltimore can count on us though to stick with them, at every step of the way, till the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt."

Speaking in Baltimore, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed the president's promise.

"This is no ordinary bridge," he said. "This is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure."

But Buttigieg warned that replacing the bridge and reopening the port will take time and money and that it could affect supply chains.

The Port of Baltimore, the 11th largest in the U.S., is the busiest port for car imports and exports, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2023 alone, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration.

Image: Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Cargo Ship

Writer David Simon, a champion of Baltimore who set his TV crime drama "The Wire" on the streets of the city he once covered as a reporter, warned online that the people who will suffer the most are those whose livelihoods depend on the port.

"Thinking first of the people on the bridge," Simon posted on X . "But the mind wanders to a port city strangling. All the people who rely on ships in and out."

Timeline of crash

Dramatic video captured the moment at 1:28 a.m. Tuesday when the Dali struck a support and sent the bridge tumbling into the water. A livestream showed cars and trucks on the bridge just before the strike. The ship did not sink, and its lights remained on.

Investigators said in a timeline that the Dali's lights suddenly shut off four minutes earlier before they came back on and that then, at 1:25 a.m. dark black smoke began billowing from the ship's chimney.

A minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the ship appeared to turn. And in the minutes before it slammed into the support, the lights flickered again.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said the workers on the bridge were repairing concrete ducts when the ship crashed into the structure.

At least seven workers were pouring concrete to fix potholes on the roadway on the bridge directly above where the ship hit, said James Krutzfeldt, a foreman.

Earlier, the Coast Guard said it had received a report that a “motor vessel made impact with the bridge” and confirmed it was the Dali, a containership sailing under a Singaporean flag that was heading for Sri Lanka.

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Cargo Ship

Bobby Haines, who lives in Dundalk in Baltimore County, said he felt the impact of the bridge collapse from his house nearby.

"I woke up at 1:30 this morning and my house shook, and I was freaking out," he said. "I thought it was an earthquake, and to find out it was a bridge is really, really scary."

Families of bridge workers wait for updates

Earlier in the day, relatives of the construction crew waited for updates on their loved ones.

Marian Del Carmen Castellon told Telemundo her husband, Miguel Luna, 49, was working on the bridge.

“They only tell us that we have to wait and that they can’t give us information,” she said.

Castellon said she was "devastated, devastated because our heart is broken, because we don’t know how they have been rescued yet. We are just waiting for the news."

Luna's co-worker Jesús Campos said he felt crushed, too.

“It hurts my heart to see what is happening. We are human beings, and they are my folks,” he said.

Campos told The Baltimore Banner that the missing men are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Active search and rescue ends

The Coast Guard said it was suspending the active search-and-rescue effort at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Coast Guard’s not going away, none of our partners are going away, but we’re just going to transition into a different phase," Gilreath said at a news conference.

Maryland State Police Superintendent Roland L. Butler, Jr., said it was moving to a recovery operation. Changing conditions have made it dangerous for divers, he said. 

Butler pledged to "do our very best to recover those six missing people," but the conditions are difficult.

"If we look at how challenging it is at a simple motor vehicle crash to extract an individual, I'm sure we can all imagine how much harder it is to do it in inclement weather, when it's cold, under the water, with very limited to no visibility," he said.

"There's a tremendous amount of debris in the water," which can include sharp metal and other hazards, and that could take time, Butler said.

'A long road in front of us'

Built in 1977 and referred to locally as the Key Bridge, the structure was later named after the author of the American national anthem.

The bridge is more than 8,500 feet long, or 1.6 miles. Its main section spans 1,200 feet, and it was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world upon its completion, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance .

About 31,000 vehicles a day use the bridge, which equals 11.3 million vehicles per year, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The river and the Port of Baltimore are both key to the shipping industry on the East Coast, generating more than $3.3 billion a year and directly employing more than 15,000 people.

Asked what people in Baltimore can expect going forward, the state's transportation secretary said it is too early to tell.

"Obviously we reached out to a number of engineering companies, so obviously we have a long road in front of us," Wiedefeld said.

Julia Jester reported from Baltimore, Patrick Smith from London, Corky Siemaszko from New York and Phil Helsel from Los Angeles.

Julia Jester is a producer for NBC News based in Washington, D.C.

italian ship cruise

Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

italian ship cruise

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

italian ship cruise

Corky Siemaszko is a senior reporter for NBC News Digital.

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Cruise ship stuck in Spain will resume sailing after Bolivian passengers with visa problems removed

A view of the cruise ship MSC Armony moored in the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Authorities said Wednesday that a group of 69 Bolivians are not being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship in the Spanish northeastern port of Barcelona because they lack valid documents to enter the European Union's Schengen area. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A view of the cruise ship MSC Armony moored in the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Authorities said Wednesday that a group of 69 Bolivians are not being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship in the Spanish northeastern port of Barcelona because they lack valid documents to enter the European Union’s Schengen area. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Passengers are photographed on the cruise ship MSC Armony, moored in the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Authorities said Wednesday that a group of 69 Bolivians are not being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship in the Spanish northeastern port of Barcelona because they lack valid documents to enter the European Union’s Schengen area. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A passenger is photographed on the cruise ship MSC Armony, moored in the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Authorities said Wednesday that a group of 69 Bolivians are not being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship in the Spanish northeastern port of Barcelona because they lack valid documents to enter the European Union’s Schengen area. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

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MADRID (AP) — A cruise ship stuck in the northeastern Spanish port of Barcelona will be able to resume its route after a group of Bolivian passengers with visa problems were taken off the vessel on Thursday, authorities said.

The Spanish government said in a statement it had reached an agreement with MSC Cruises Company in which 69 Bolivian passengers were removed from the boat and taken to a transit zone in the port, but were not granted permission to enter Spanish territory.

The ship got stranded in Barcelona this week after the Bolivian passengers were not allowed to disembark because they lacked valid documents to enter the European border-free Schengen area, an ID-check-free travel zone comprising 29 European countries that Spain is part of.

Barcelona was meant to be the final destination for the Bolivian passengers, but the boat was scheduled to travel onward to other countries.

The cruise company agreed to provide another boat from Livorno, Italy, for the Bolivian passengers later Thursday, the government statement said. It was not clear if that boat would remain in Barcelona until the situation is resolved or take the Bolivian passengers elsewhere.

In this photo provided by Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense, Lithuania's army soldiers attend the celebration for Lithuania's NATO membership 20th anniversary at the Siauliai airbase, some 230 km (144 miles) east of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, March 28, 2024. (Alfredas Pliadis/Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense via AP)

Under the agreement, MSC Cruises will also provide food and health care for the impacted Bolivians and immigration officials will work to resolve the passengers’ visa problems as quickly as possible, it added.

The MSC Armonia, with more than 1,000 passengers reportedly on board, plans to sail to Italy on Thursday, the cruise company said.

Solange Duarte, a Bolivian diplomat in Barcelona, told The Associated Press on Wednesday she had received reports that some of the stranded Bolivians had been duped into obtaining fake visas but had no further information.

“We have asked the families to indicate who has processed this visa and we have not gotten answers,” she said.

Spain’s national police were looking into the possibility of a fake visa scam, Duarte said.

MSC Cruises said in a statement Wednesday the Bolivian “passengers appeared to have proper documentation upon boarding in Brazil” but Spanish authorities later said the visas were not valid for entry into the Schengen area.

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