July 15, 2013
Posted in: Personal Cruise Specialist Team
One of the most luxurious and relaxing ways to explore the wonders of the Mediterranean is by sea, and what better way to do it than on board Queen Elizabeth – Susanna Holding talks us through all there is to see in the latest blog post from the Personal Cruise Specialist team…
There is so much to see and do when you cruise to the Mediterranean on board Queen Elizabeth, with destinations such as Santorini, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Ephesus, Venice and Rome on our itineraries. While you’re there, take a donkey ride or the cable car up the cliff side to Thira or leisurely walk through the beautiful cobbled streets, past white-washed houses in the main town on the island of Santorini. Try your luck in the casino in Monte Carlo or walk the legendary streets of the famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit in the tiny Principality of Monaco. Explore the ancient wonders in Turkey and take a trip to Ephesus and be amazed by the ancient ruins.
These are just a few of the many ports of call that await you during a 10-22 night cruise on board Queen Elizabeth. But what is perhaps most special about the ports of Rome, Venice and Athens, is that you can start and end your holiday in any one of them, and spend a bit more time in some of the most breathtaking cities of the Mediterranean. By flying out and joining Queen Elizabeth at one of these historic ports, not only does it give you the down time after the transfer to relax before joining the ship, but it gives you the opportunity to spend more time exploring these destinations fully before setting sail…
Rome, known as the ‘Eternal City’ comprising of modern and old, past and present, holds a Mediterranean wonder of attractions. Years of history in one place makes Rome the perfect place for a romantic getaway – wining and dining in the Italian streets by day, and enjoying a vibrant night life by night.
Wander through all the historical sites on a breathtaking walk through the ages, spying the Gladiators and horse drawn carriages around the Colosseum – it really brings Rome to life.
Make sure to pack your camera as it is a must to visit the Vatican City, and get in line for the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, exploring St Peters Basilica. The Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps, the Roman Forum and famous architecture like the Piazza del Campidoglio and the Sistine Chapel designed by Michelangelo, and the art work of Bernini, are something not to miss!
Why not stay for a few nights to fully appreciate all Rome has to offer?
The Ambasciatori Palace Hotel is set within easy reach of Rome’s attractions. Set on the famous Via Veneto, close to Piazza Barberini and its Triton fountain, this hotel features elegant rooms and a lobby of gleaming marble, mosaics and sweeping staircases.
Sailing into Venice is a sight worth beholding. The famous waterways of Venice have been legendary for centuries. Exploring the city could not be easier as Venice is the world’s only pedestrian-only city. If you want to get around a little faster however, there are numerous vaporetti (waterbuses) and water taxis down each and every canal.
The waterbuses are the best way to get around if you need to go from A to B, as they are much cheaper than the water taxis and the gondolas, which are more for taking a scenic ride along the canals. Otherwise, take a walk! The city isn’t that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours. Along the way you will discover marvellous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Exploring the city by walking is by far the best way to see what it has to offer, but also be prepared to get lost! There are plenty of signs all over the city however to indicate the direction to the main attractions, “Rialto” and “San Marco”.
Here are just a few places that must make their way onto your itinerary list: Doge’s Palace, Bell tower of St. Mark and the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. You must also make time to visit the Rialto market on San Polo and the Rialto Bridge, as well as the many churches that dot around Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica – one of the many highlights of the city, and San Giacomo de Rialto – possibly the oldest church built in Venice dating back to 421 AD. If you plan to visit 3 of more churches, then it is worthwhile buying the church pass. There is also a combinable pass for museums as well.
Venetian style and hospitality combine in the Bauer Hotel on the Grand Canal, with a scenic waterside terrace for drinks or dining. Contemporary rooms are enhanced with period details and provide a wonderful base for exploring, with St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs moments from the door – if you’re stopping in Venice this is certainly one of the best places to stay.
One of the world’s oldest cities, Athens dates back around 3,400 years. The city is the capital, and largest city in Greece. With its historical heritage, visiting the museums and famous architecture is a must, and if you fancy exploring the history of the city, then Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
The Temple of Hephaestus is a wonderful piece of architecture really bringing to life the culture of its day. Another place of interest is the Old Olympic Stadium, built of granite in the late 19th century on the site of Ancient Athens from the 4th Century – it hosted the first modern games in 1896.
Located near the famous Parthenon, the award-winning Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel brings the history of Athens to your doorstep. After a day of exploring, you can relax in the outdoor pool, or enjoy dinner on the rooftop in their award-winning Premiere dining room.
To find out more about our Mediterranean cruises and to speak with a member of the Personal Cruise Specialist team, then please call us on 0843 374 0002, and we can start planning your next unforgettable holiday!