The best port cities to visit on a cruise holiday

The best port cities to visit on a cruise holiday

One of the best things about any cruise is the fact that you get to see a whole host of fabulous destinations, all in one trip. Cities are an important feature of most European and Mediterranean itineraries as they are packed with varied options for sightseeing, excursions and relaxation. When you arrive at each port of call you can check out your ships cruise excursion guide to make the most of what’s on offer. Here’s a lowdown of the most popular port cities.

Barcelona, Spain

If you’re looking for vibrant cafe culture, outstanding architecture and mouth-watering tapas, Barcelona won’t fail to impress. Whether you want to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets of the old quarter or marvel at Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, this is a city that’s sure to capture your heart. It even has its own city-beach if you fancy a spot of sunbathing and people watching.

Rome, Italy

The eternal city of Rome, which is reached via the port of Civitavecchia, offers a classic cruise experience that will appeal to history buffs and foodies alike. There’s a host of must-sees to tick off your sightseeing hit-list, with St Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum featuring heavily, no doubt. Don’t forget to experience a classic Roman pizza and throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain during your stay, as the latter is said to ensure a return visit to this iconic Italian gem.

Venice, Italy

Whether you’re after a gondola ride or want to explore the city on foot, Venice and its array of islands, bridges and canals, is the stuff of holiday dreams. This floating city will cast its spell as soon as you step ashore, with attractions such as St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs all vying for your attention. Excursions to Verona are popular with cruisers to Venice and with a Colosseum to rival Rome’s, plus Casa di Giulietta or ‘Juliet’s balcony’ to enjoy, it offers a romantic aside to your Italian experience.

Palma, Majorca

No visit to the Balearics is complete without time spent in Majorca’s capital, Palma. This stylish city has a culture to rival any of its Italian counterparts, as well as impressive sights such as the Palma Cathedral, or La Seu, to explore. The impressive 14th century Bellver Castle is also worthy of your time. Those in search of old world charm won’t want to miss a trip on the old wooden train, which journeys daily from Palma through the countryside to the gorgeous little town of Soller.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

When it comes to beautiful cities, Dubrovnik really steals the show with it’s ancient city walls, terracotta-topped houses and 17th century cathedral. Step back in time as you wander the streets of the historic old town and enjoy a variety of Medieval marvels and Baroque masterpieces. The nearby medieval city of Cavtat is a popular excursion from the city.

Small boat cruises to the Croatia coastline that either start or end at Dubrovnik offer a unique and immersive way to explore this stunning part of the world. Dubrovnik is the ideal beginning or finishing location for a small boat excursion because of its charming Old Town, majestic city walls, and breathtaking coastal vistas. These trips allow passengers to find remote coves, quaint fishing towns, and exquisite beaches that are not reachable by land. The small boat size allows for a more personalized experience and closer interactions with local cultures, while knowledgeable guides provide insights into the region’s history and traditions.

Great food, fascinating sights and museums galore make cities perfect for day trips and with a diverse selection of itineraries available, cruise holidays make it easier than ever to see them.