Day 1: New Zealand – – Rome
Head to the airport and catch your flight to Rome.
Day 2: Rome
Benvenuto a Roma! You arrive in the Eternal City and make your own way to the hotel for check in. The rest of the day is at your leisure. You may head out into the city to beginning soaking up the atmosphere of the incredible Italian capital, or you might make a beeline for some of Rome’s most frequented sites such as Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps or Vatican City.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Rome
Get a more thorough introduction to the culture and history of Rome on today’s guided tour. This excursion departs after breakfast and sees travellers first take in the sights of Imperial Rome. Marvel at the grandeur of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (dubbed by locals as simply Vittoriano or ‘The Wedding Cake’), built in honour of Italy’s first king. Wander down Piazza Del Campidoglio, an avenue designed by Michelangelo, to get a magnificent view across the ruins of the Roman Forum site. A coach then takes the group by Circus Maximus and Aventine Hill. See another of Michelangelo’s handiworks, the statue of Moses, at the Church of St. Peter’s in Chains. To cap off the day is entrance into Rome’s most iconic landmark: the Colosseum. Head into this world-renowned arena to learn of its gladiatorial legacy.
Day 4: Rome – – Florence (B)
Find your way to the railway Termini and board a train to make the journey to Florence. As the train makes its way into Italy’s north and the capital of Tuscany. Upon arrival at the station, make your own way to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day however you please.
Day 5: Florence (B)
A guided walking tour introduces you to the treasures of Florence, a city known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The walking tour lasts for two hours and covers most of the city’s top sights, including the Duomo, Palazzo and Ponte Vecchio, and Giotto’s Bell Tower. Choose how to spend the rest of the day once the tour finishes. You could head back to a favourite sight, browse the stalls of the sprawling San Lorenzo Market, walk or take a bus to the viewpoint at Piazzale Michelangelo, or simply meander the cobblestone streets.
Day 6: Florence – Venice (B)
Your journey through Italy continues northwards as you make your way to the station and board a train travelling to Venice. The train passes through the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto before reaching Venice. This legendary city goes by many names – Queen of the Adriatic, City of Bridges, The Floating City – and is one of the most visited destinations in Italy. Make your own way to the hotel upon arrival.
Day 7: Venice (B)
You have the entire day to explore Venice on your own. Don’t worry about navigating the maze of laneways and narrow streets; getting lost is a rite of passage for visitors to Venice and you’ll find your way to the major sites eventually. Wander between landmarks such as the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge while window-shopping at boutiques selling souvenir Venetian masks, Murano glass, gondolier hats and lace from Burano. Time permitting, you might even be able to fit in a trip to Murano or Burano; both islands are a short water taxi trip away.
Day 8: Venice – Royal Caribbean Cruise (B, D)
Leave the Italian mainland behind today as it is time to set sail on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas for an incredible cruise around the Mediterranean.
Day 9: Kotor (B, L, D)
The cruise makes its first port in Kotor, a fortified town on the Adriatic Coast of Montenegro. The town is backdropped by the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovcen, and is popular for its winding streets, medieval Old Town, historic fortifications and Our Lady of the Rocks, a manmade island with a church that is located in the bay. Discover the charms of Kotor with independent exploration and leisurely meander between piazzas, cafes, boutiques and bustling thoroughfares.
Day 10: Corfu (B, L, D)
Continue your voyage along the Adriatic Coast to Corfu, a Greek island that sits in the Ionian Sea. The history of Corfu is rich and varied, and the island is sprinkled with old Venetian fortresses, former palaces, monasteries and postcard-perfect beaches. Be sure to take a scenic stroll the Old Town.
Day 11: Athens (B, L, D)
Arrive in the Greek capital city today. Athens’ place in the world’s history pages is iconic, and the staggering number of things to do and see while here lives up to that reputation. Make a beeline for the hilltop Acropolis to take in its 2,500-year-old history and the view from its lofty vantage point. Another must-see is the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon. Plus visitors can also explore some of the city’s most famous neighbourhoods, such as Monastiraki and Plaka.
Day 12: Mykonos (B, L, D)
The Rhapsody of the Seas makes its way to Mykonos, a stunningly beautiful island from the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is a perennially popular destination and is a favourite with travellers in search of sun-filled days, crystal-clear waters and picturesque town landscapes.
Day 13: Argostoli (B, L, D)
Visit Argostoli, a large port town on the island of Kefalonia, today. Explore the town’s central square and pedestrian mall, and wander past historic churches, the Clock Tower, and various museums. The wider island also happens to be a haven for nature-lovers and outdoor-enthusiasts, with hidden beaches and a national park to explore. Be sure to bring your swimmers and SPF ashore with you!
Day 14: At Sea (B, L, D)
You have the whole day to take advantage of the Rhapsody of the Seas’ on-board facilities, as the cruise ship sets out on its return voyage to Venice. Among some of the options for you to tap into are catch a live show or performance; take a dip in one of the swimming pools; sip a sundowner in a lounge or bar; or seek out the spa and fitness centre.
Day 15: Venice – – New Zealand (B)
The cruise arrives back in Venice and you enjoy one last breakfast on-board before disembarkment. Head to the airport to catch a flight back to New Zealand.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 16: New Zealand
Arrive back in New Zealand today.