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Day 1 – Barcelona, Spain – Today you set sail from Barcelona, Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya. On this seven night Western Mediterranean Cruise aboard the MSC Meravigilia, you are an arm’s reach from the best in culture, tradition and monuments that have for centuries enriched the shores of the Mediterranean.
The Meravigilia is one of many MSC Cruise ships in the Mediterranean
Day 2 – Marseille, France – When cruising Southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your MSC Cruise Ship the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life.
Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. The best view of the Vieux Port is from the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier, where, up until the last war, tiny streets, steep steps Mediterranean introduction and houses of every era formed a vieille ville typical of the Côte.
Day 3 – Genoa, Italy – Genoa is marvelously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great destination. Indeed “La Superba” (The Superb), as it was known at the height of its authority as a Mediterranean superpower, boasts more zest and intrigue than all the surrounding coastal resorts put together.
Explore the old town: a dense and fascinating labyrinth of medieval alleyways home to large palazzi built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Genoa’s wealthy mercantile families and now transformed into museums and art galleries. Some of these museums include the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Ducale, the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi which contain Genoa’s art collections, as well as furniture and decor from the grandest days of the city’s past.
Day 4 – Naples, Italy – No trip to Naples is complete without visiting the area between Piazza Garibaldi and Via Toledo, roughly corresponding to the old Roman Neapolis (much of which is still unexcavated like in many other Italian cities). The old part of Naples – the centro storico – is formed by the main streets of Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai (the latter also known as “Spaccanapoli” as it literally splits Naples in two), which still follow the path of the ancient Roman roads.
This is much the liveliest and most teeming part of Naples, an open-air kasbah of hawking, yelling humanity that makes up in energy what it lacks in grace. But it’s the city’s most intriguing quarter, and a must-see on any cruise to Naples. The Duomo is a Gothic building from the early thirteenth century (though with a late nineteenth-century neo-Gothic facade) dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Gennaro.
Day 5 – Messina, Italy – Messina may well be your first sight of Sicily, and it’s a fine one, the glittering town spread up the hillside beyond its sickle-shaped Mediterranean harbor. Discover Messina’s most important monument, the Duomo, which epitomizes the city’s phoenix-like ability to re-create itself from the ashes of its last disaster. It’s the reconstruction of a twelfth-century cathedral erected by Roger II, one of a series of great Norman churches of Sicily that include the sumptuous cathedrals of Palermo and Cefalù. The Duomo’s detached campanile, or bell tower, claims to be the largest astronomical clock in the world, and puts on its best show at noon every day, when a bronze lion (Messina’s ancient emblem) unleashes a mighty roar over the city that can be quite alarming if you’re not expecting it!
Day 6 – Valletta, Malta – The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is a must-see stop on this Mediterranean cruise. You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and molded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a mile make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants.
Valletta, enchants cruise-goers with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions.
Day 7 – Day at Sea – Today, enjoy a relaxing day at sea. This is your chance to explore the MSC Meravigilia. On board you enjoy outstanding, authentic dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic areas, an innovative ocean-view aft lounge, a two-deck “inside promenade” with a 5,000+ sq.ft. LED dome and a spectacular amusement area connected to an outdoor water park. You can also enjoy exclusive world-class shows in the Carousel Lounge and the multi-purpose karaoke bar, comedy club, TV Studio & Bar.
Day 8 – Barcelona & Disembark – Arriving in Barcelona, you disembark and begin your journey home.