Explore the Mediterranean from the comfort and luxury of 5* Azamara Quest as she visits some of the most exclusive cities & ports in Europe, starting in Barcelona and finishing in Monte Carlo.
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Departing from Barcelona this 7-night 5* cruise visits Sète and Marseilles in France, Ajaccio in Corsica, Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) & Portofino (Santa Margherita) in Italy before cruising to Monte Carlo in Monaco.
|FROM||Dublin / Barcelona|
|DATE||16 June 2018|
|PRICE||Was €2,959 now €2,129 pp|
Board in sunny Barcelona and then set sail to Sète, France’s most important fishing port on the Mediterranean. From there, take the train to the charming city of Montpellier whose university was founded in the 13th century. Take the tram designed by Christian Lacroix to see cutting-edge architecture in the making. Montpellier is France’s newest design hub and it’s exciting just to be there. In Marseille, enjoy fishing for the best bouillabaisse and perhaps a glass of artisanal pastis, pastaga if you’re local. Or travel to the lovely Aix-en-Provence or the breathtaking Avignon.
The Azamara Quest stays late in the next two destinations: Rome, then Florence: history, then art; the Vatican, then “David”; pasta alla carbonara, then lasagna. Then the million other things you’ll find to do in both. The magical Tuscan port of Portofino rounds out this classic voyage concluding in the jet-set city of Monte-Carlo. Good luck at the casino.
|OUTBOUND||Dublin 0640 Barcelona 1015|
|RETURN||Nice 1505 Dublin 1640|
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Barcelona, Spain
Following your flight from Dublin, you will be transferred to the port to board the 5* Azamara Quest to settle in before you set sail for your tour of the Mediterranean.
Day 2: Sète, France
A trip to Sète is the perfect opportunity to embrace the concept of far niente (or to “do sweet nothing”) that’s practiced in sunny southern France. A day spent doing nothing—and yet, everything—may be just what le docteur ordered.
Take a walk along the canals of “the Venice of Languedoc” to see fishermen and townsfolk on their homemade boats going to and from the market. From late spring to early autumn, the canals turn into friendly battlegrounds for water jousting competitions, a very passionate tradition in Sète’s culture that date back to 1666.
Here, rival teams row towards one another and attempt to knock each other into the canal using a long wooden lance, while hundreds of spectators cheer them on. In fact, our very own Captain Carl has participated in one of these competitions much to the delight of our guests…and to the dismay of Captain Carl when he fell in the water!
Naturally after all that cheering, sustenance is needed. Settle in at one of the restaurants along the Quai de le Résistance or Quai Général Durand for a meal of the freshest seafood of oysters, clams, and mussels you can possibly imagine plus a front row seat to the full spectacle of Sète life. How’s that for dinner and a show?
Day 3: Marseilles (Provence), France
An intriguing mix of modern industry and ancient grandeur, the 2,600-year-old port of Marseilles can seem as if you’re on a round-the-world journey just by walking through the streets. For example, the colourful Noailles Market will have you feeling like you’ve been whisked away to North Africa, before the fragrant scent of bouillabaisse brings you firmly back to France.
Watch fishermen auction off the catch of the day in le Vieux Port area or visit the Musée des Civilisatons de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée for insight into the history and culture of Marseilles. Wander the charming labyrinth of narrow lanes and interesting shops in La Panier, the city’s oldest neighbourhood. Stock up on Savon de Marseille (locally made soap), or perhaps purchase a complete set of santons, hand-carved nativity figures sold by talented artisans.
And don’t forget to indulge in a glass of pastis—an alcoholic beverage made with aniseed and spice that turns an enticing shade of yellow once water is added. Order it like a pro by asking for “un Ricard, s’il vous plait” and then mix to your taste (the traditional method is one part pastis to five parts water). Et voilà!
Day 4: Ajaccio, Corsica, France
While he may have been notoriously small, Napoléon left a huge mark on his hometown of Ajaccio. The diminutive dictator’s presence is visible throughout the city in everything from his childhood home, the Maison Bonaparte, to museums like Salon Napoléonien, seaside statues, and street names.
But history buffs aren’t the only ones who will find plenty to see and do in Ajaccio. Art lovers will want to head to the Palais Fesch Musée de Beaux Arts to see the largest collection of Italian Renaissance Paintings in France (outside of the Louvre, of course). And foodies should check out the main market on Boulevard du Roi Jerome for myrtle and plum liqueurs, melt-in-your-mouth beignets (sugared donuts), and brocciu, a type of pungent cheese.
On the trendy route de Sanguinaires, stock up on French beauty secrets found in the many apothecaries and traditional pharmacies. (Spoiler alert: We think it probably has something to do with the handmade soaps and lotions made from fragrant herbs like honeysuckle, lavender, and thyme.)
Day 5: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Rome has something special to offer to all visitors, no matter their interests and tastes. Whether you daydream about fighting with gladiators in the Coliseum, debating with togaed senators in the Forum, tossing a coin in a fabled fountain, or being awestruck by the magnificence of St Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s masterpieces, Rome seems to live up to its sobriquet – the Eternal City. When you need sustenance, today’s Rome will provide delizioso pasta e vino. Or perhaps you draw strength from a little retail therapy – the Italians are also renowned for their sense of style.
Day 6: Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Ah, Florence – sublime birthplace of the Renaissance, its historic centre full to bursting with elegant squares, imposing palaces, magnificent churches, and museums with such an abundance of riches it could make an art lover weep for joy. The list of illustrious names connected with this city is mind-boggling: Botticelli, Dante, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo. Other colourful and fascinating characters were of dubious reputation: Machiavelli, and the religious extremist Savonarola, with his bonfire of the vanities. For many years the city was ruled by the powerful Medici family, patrons of the arts and bankers to the papacy, whose line included six kings and two popes.
Day 7: Santa Margherita (Portofino), Italy
The old-fashioned seaside resort of Portofino, with its palm tree lined esplanade, has a harbour catering to small yachts and a fishing fleet that can be seem unloading its catch opposite the morning market. It is also a take off point for trips to the Cinque Terre, that rugged stretch of Italian Riviera coastline that features five quaint villages terracing down steep hillsides that overlook the sea. The difficulty of further development, and the fact that they are reachable by footpath, train and boat, but not by road, means there are no modern intrusions on the area’s old-world charm and spectacular views.
Day 8: Monte-Carlo, Monaco
The tiny principality of Monaco, a sovereign state of just two square kilometres, has an outsized resume, boasting some of the planet’s most expensive real estate and the world’s most prestigious casino. Facing the sea, and engulfed on the other three sides by France, it has been the domain of the Grimaldi dynasty since the 14th century, and enjoys the same glamourous reputation as the rest of the Riviera.
Disembarkation will begin after breakfast and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Ireland.
7 Nights accommodation aboard the 5 Star Azamara Quest, operated by Azamara Club Cruises. (See ship info tab for more information on Quest)
AWARD-WINNING ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES.
Like her sister ship, the sturdy 5* Azamara Quest is a mid-sized beauty with a deck plan well-suited to the needs of modern voyagers.
You’ll never feel crowded in the comfortable social spaces of our bars, restaurants, lounges, Casino and Cabaret. Nor will you feel like a sardine jammed in around the pool, where our attentive staff is always ready to offer a complimentary bottled water, soft drink or fresh towel. Staterooms feature modern amenities, furnishings, and European linens. And one of the greatest features of this ship is the large number of staterooms with verandas.
There’s nothing better than opening your door to the fresh sea air and views. Azamara’s friendly ships are an altogether wonderful place to call your home away from home!
Dates & Prices
|16 June 2018||Was €2,954
|16 June 2018||Was €3,419
|16 June 2018||Was €4,579
- Flight from Dublin to Barcelona, Spain
- Return Transfers
- 7 nights accommodation aboard 5* Azamara Quest based on 2 sharing an inside cabin
- Fine Dining on a Full Board basis
- All drinks on an All Inclusive basis
- A wide variety of entertainment on board
- Flight from Nice to Dublin
- One check in bag of 15kg per person
- Taxes & Gratuities included
- Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
- Non-refundable or transferable booking deposit of €250 per person
- 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card
- Optional Insurance prices on request (conditions apply)
- These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.