Italian cruises allow you to explore the world’s most historical and spiritual sites, the universally adored cuisine and a passionate nation. In ancient Rome you can gaze at Michelangelo’s magnificent Sistine Chapel ceiling or explore the Colosseum where gladiators once fought.
Many Mediterranean cruises visit at least one or two Italian ports. Curiously, it is hard to find a cruise which is dedicated purely to Italy, and there are none which make a comprehensive tour around the entire peninsula with many stops. If you prefer to avoid air travel, a cruise can also be a way of reaching Italy without flying, as several cruise lines offer trips from the UK to Italy, and it is also possible to find transcontinental cruises – for example, when ships are repositioned for the season.
Advantages of cruising in Italy
There are many advantages of cruising in Italy. Of course you can combine a cruise with a hotel stay if your tour starts or ends in Italy. Cruise passengers won’t need to worry about travel arrangements or luggage, and will have the huge advantage of touring different places in Italy without the hassle of shifting accommodation. You can socialise with passengers, enjoy all the entertainment options on board, and have your shore excursions planned for you, if you wish. On a cruise ship you can combine a relaxing holiday in familiar surroundings with the chance to tour Italy’s coastline and visit varied tourist destinations. Some cruises feature lectures from highly-qualified experts, which could add hugely to your appreciation of the sights you see.
The main disadvantage of seeing Italy on a cruise is that you won’t be able to structure your own time, or explore freely. Obviously, travelers are limited to the ship’s ports of call and the shore time allocated. Especially if you choose a larger cruise ship, you will always be visiting sights in a crowd. Small destinations – such as the island of Capri and even central Venice – can feel overwhelmed when cruise parties land, and you won’t have the possibility of enjoying the ambience without the crowds. You may also not have the chance to appreciate the famous Italian evening passeggiata and aperitivo time.
Types of cruises in Italy
Cruises around Italy vary from massive ships visiting a few principal tourist sights, to high-class options using smaller vessels and calling in at interesting smaller destinations, often with particular historic or artistic themes, and with knowledgeable experts. Obviously the latter option, while appealing, can be extremely expensive.