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Holiday Club Deals
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The vibrant city of Barcelona, with its lively culture and inviting outdoor spaces, preserves a rich history. Picturesque medieval lanes wind through the oldest part of the city, the Gothic Quarter, where remnants of the city’s Roman wall were uncovered. Its treasures include the neo-Gothic Barcelona Cathedral, the medieval Jewish district of El Call and the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria del Pi. In the evenings, diners relax in the Royal Plaza at restaurants along the elegant square’s perimeter.
Barcelona is steeped in history, with stunning architecture and a rich culture. Mediterranean breezes grace the shore and Catalonia’s capital is a feast for the senses. Long strolls on wide boulevards—such as Las Ramblas, the mile-long leafy pedestrian way, and the Passeig de Gràcia, lined with some of Europe’s most elegant buildings—set the tone for a city that moves to its own tempo. Native son and famed architect Antoni Gaudí adorned his city with whimsy, whether along fantastical city blocks or with his colossal masterpiece, the towering La Sagrada Família cathedral.
Marseille is rich in historic treasures, nestled between the Mediterranean and rocky hills of limestone. Two 17th-century fortresses dominate the charming Vieux Port, or Old Port, the natural harbor that hosts all manner of watercraft, from sleek elegant yachts to old style fishing vessels. Its picturesque quay is one of the world’s most romantic walks, lined with dozens of cafés and shops. Also worth exploring is the city center, graced by La Canebière boulevard. Linger in a café and sample the city’s signature bouillabaisse made from freshly caught fish.
The chic city of Monte Carlo in the petite kingdom of Monaco boasts some of the world’s most exclusive shopping and a beautiful old port. A fairy-tale aura has settled on this glittering city of the Grimaldi family, perhaps nowhere more elegantly than at the Prince’s Palace, where the late American actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly presided with Prince Rainier III. Monte Carlo’s medieval quarter perches on “The Rock,” an escarpment at the foot of the Maritime Alps, and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the harbor lined with mega-yachts.
Tuscany is known equally as the cradle of the Renaissance and a center of culinary delights and astounding wines. Throughout this emerald-green countryside dotted with cypress trees, endless delights unfold. Among them is Florence, a living museum of the Renaissance. Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo dominates the medieval cityscape—an architectural achievement. Another Tuscan treasure, the Square of Miracles, unfolds in Pisa. Here, a trinity of masterpieces—the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery—comprise some of Europe’s finest art and architecture.
For centuries, Rome ruled much of Europe, building a vast empire from the power of emperors. More than 2,500 years of history live in the city’s streets. Ancient structures recall those heady days when the cheers of 80,000 spectators roared from the Colosseum, citizens mingled in the Forum and senators asked the gods for guidance at the Pantheon. Along with the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, this rich pocket of Italy is one of the world’s greatest repositories of history and civilization.
Naples boasts a long history in a stunning seaside setting and is known mostly for its pizza. The city has long been a major center of Italian culture and was the seat of a powerful independent kingdom for 500 years. So great was its sway that it lured the region’s finest architects and artists. In the grand Piazza del Plebiscito, the grand and sweeping public square, the San Francesco di Paola Church flaunts a colonnaded facade reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome, and the Royal Palace overlooks Neapolitans with statues of all the kings of Naples peering out from alcoves.
Sail the gateway to the Adriatic, marked by the sole of Italy’s boot and the western coasts of Albania and Greece. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.
Corfu has a rich history shaped by conquerors and by royalty seeking tranquility. Corfu’s Old Town and Fortress—fashioned by the once powerful Venetian Republic—comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its narrow warrens lead to one of Europe’s largest public squares and a lovely promenade once exclusively reserved for the local aristocracy. Everywhere, magnificent coastal views unfold and scenic byways lead to history-rich enclaves, from the archaeological site of Paleopolis and the stunning Vlacherna Monastery to a former Greek royal villa.
Dubrovnik is a historic jewel, with its spectacular Adriatic setting, 12th-century medieval streets and incredibly preserved structures. So stunning is its Old Town, the playwright George Bernard Shaw famously called it “paradise on Earth.” It is all spectacularly surrounded by a towering medieval wall. Inside, the ancient city’s Stradun is lined with authentic stone houses. The peaceful 14th-century Franciscan Monastery and Apothecary, housing the world’s oldest working pharmacy and fine collection of Renaissance paintings, provide insight into the ages.
Built around the Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian, Split is one of Croatia’s oldest cities. Its promenade commands majestic views over a bay and the Adriatic Sea. Despite evidence of Split’s origins in the 6th century BC, the city is traditionally considered over 1,700 years old—counting from the construction of the palace. Its well-preserved remains have been seamlessly assimilated into the modern city. An Ethnographic Museum is found at the palace’s heart and shops line the passageways of its ancient basement. Diocletian’s ancient mausoleum is now a stunning cathedral.
Chioggia is a charming fishing community steeped in its age-old seafaring traditions. It is also the gateway to Venice, famed for its wondrous patchwork of graceful piazzas, tranquil canals, artful footbridges and Gothic splendor. All things Venetian begin in St. Mark’s Square, where its elegant campanile, or bell tower, rings over the rooftops, and the Byzantine-Gothic St. Mark’s Basilica seems to preside over all. Beyond St. Mark’s and away from the crowds, Venice is a hushed and intriguing city to explore on foot, with medieval echoes marking every step.
The Venetian Republic ruled Adriatic waves for a millennium. During the 8th century as the Roman Empire began to decline, many Europeans fled to Venice and its neighboring towns, including Chioggia. Merchants put their skills to use, and the city-state was soon thriving. The Venetian Lagoon’s canal banks feature buildings influenced by Byzantine and Islamic architecture, reflecting Venice’s powerful trading network. The first vaporetto traversed the Grand Canal in 1881; alongside the gondolas, these iconic Venetian water buses are at the heart of Venice’s transport network. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.