Travelers will venture through the majestic isles of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean on Jewel of the Seas sailing from Italy on seven- and nine-night voyages that visit Greece and Turkey, as well as seven-night sailings through the Western Mediterranean – offered more frequently with additional departures dates in 2017 – visiting France, Spain and Italy. Among the ports-of-call will be Santorini, Greece’s live volcanic island cluster that summons visitors to explore its cliff-top whitewashed towns, indulge in its gastronomic splendors, and daydream from its red, white, and black sand beaches; the Greek capital city of Athens will offer a taste of life in the ancient world with exploration through legendary landmarks such as the citadel Acropolis and the temple Parthenon; Turkey’s ancient town of Ephesus, dating back to the 10th century BC, will beckon history-lovers with a glimpse at the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean; an international capital of faith, art, and history, Rome will treat its guests to an unmatched blend of archeological treasures with modern appeal; and Venice’s Grand Canal will guide voyagers through this floating city’s bevy of architectural masterpieces and religious sanctuaries, and welcome a mid-day siesta on the steps of its waterfront structures.
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas will host guests on seven-night sailings through the Western Mediterranean, while Brilliance of the Seas navigates eight European destinations with a 12-night itinerary, both departing from Barcelona, Spain. A stroll through this vibrant city will present a lesson in architectural mastery, thanks to Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, while Barcelona’s flare for the arts will be highlighted by the country’s native Picasso in his namesake museum. Food and wine lovers will take note of the ship’s call in Naples, Italy – the birthplace of pizza and ever-popular lemon liquor, limoncello. A peak inside the city’s celebrated royal castles will intrigue the historically-curious, while Royal Caribbean’s walking tour will journey through a 19th century underground tunnel, over to the San Carlo Opera House, and to the 17th century Carmignano aqueduct. To the east of Naples, the walled medieval town of Kotor, Montenegro will await exploration, with its plentiful shops, restaurants, piazzas, and palazzos. The cruise line’s new Budva Riviera and Beach experience will offer a tranquil getaway to the country’s coastal towns and villages, with a stop at Montenegro’s award-winning Becici Beach.
Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean and the Spanish Canary Islands from Southampton, England with itineraries that extend from 7 to 14 nights. Southampton’s location allows for an easy city getaway to London, an excursion to the historic Stonehenge site, or the famed Downton Abby estate from the hit BBC television show. Those looking for an adrenaline-inducing experience can seek out the GoApe adventure in 440-acre Itchen Valley Country Park, complete with tunnels, suspended bridges, and zip lines through the treetops. Also on the agenda: Nice, France, the seaside town on the glamourous French Rivera, will bring sun, surf, and the sophistication of the French lifestyle. The local Cours Saley market will present a selection of fresh fruit and vegetable snacks before a hike up the city’s Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill), where visitors will find a picturesque point for outdoor picnics and a children’s playground amid sweeping views of Nice and its Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels). The North African country of Morocco will add an exotic touch with its cultural kaleidoscope that blends Berber, Arabian and European influences. A landing in the resort town of Agadir will grant visitors a relaxed day on the far eastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Serenade of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will head to northern Europe with a checklist of ports that includes Copenhagen, Denmark, home to the 100 year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park; Tromso, Norway, located north of the Arctic Circle with an unexpectedly milder climate and peaks for soaking in seasonal views of the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun; sightseeing in the Swedish capital of Stockholm via Royal Caribbean’s new paddleboard excursion, taking travelers on a water-based tour along the scenic Karlberg Canal; as well as a day spent cruising the Artic region laden with magnificent glaciers and unique wildlife.