£499pp – Italy, Greece & Croatia cruise with flights
This itinerary combines crowdpleasers like Mykonos and Dubrovnik with some off-the-beaten-path gems
Sailing out of Venice, past iconic sights like St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, is both "surreal and sublime", according to Traveller. Experience it for yourself on a 7-night cruise which also includes stops in southern Italy, Greece, Albania and Croatia. Now less than £500 per person, this package makes the ideal introduction to cruising and saves up to £324 on prices we've seen elsewhere.
- Return flights
- Return transfers
- A 7-night cruise aboard MSC Lirica, in an Inside Cabin
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
Depart from London Gatwick on 27 April, 2019. It's £575 per person to depart from Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Manchester, or £599 per person to depart from Bristol or the East Midlands.
More dates are available for the following prices:
- £599 per person... 4, 11 May, 2019
- £789 per person... 7, 14, 28 September, 2018
- £895 per person... 13, 20, 27 July, 2018
After sailing out from the waterborne city of Venice, you'll cruise south down the coast to Bari, the capital of Italy's sunny "heel", Puglia. This under-the-radar region has "everything the Italophile craves", says Lonely Planet, so you can potter round the streets for rich history, culture and food in abundance.
Next, you'll sail across the Adriatic Sea to Katakolon, a Greek fishing port complete with bobbing fishing boats and pretty waterfront cafés. From here, you can take an optional excursion to ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
You'll continue to Mykonos, a glamorous island in the Cyclades, followed by Piraeus, from where you can take excursions to Athens.
Next, you'll call at Saranda, a pretty Albanian town in a crescent-moon bay crowned by a golden castle, and Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage city of tumbling red rooftops and winding cobbled alleys. You'll then sail back to Venice for your flight home.
The 1976-passenger MSC Lirica is a traditional cruise ship with "Italian flair", according to Cruise Critic. It is one of the fleet's smaller ships, and its "spacious yet intimate enviroment" (Cruise Reviews) and manageable size makes it ideal for first-time cruisers.
Features include a large Broadway-style theatre, four restauarants (some specialising in Italian cuisine), eight bars and lounges, and a spa centre with panoramic sea views. There are also daily cookery and language classes.
- Add one night at Hotel Bella Venezia, in Venice, for £85 per person
- Add three nights at Hotel Excelsior Le Terrazze, in Lake Garda, for £199 per person
- Add three nights at NH Pontevecchio, in Lake Como, for £219 per person
Transfers & baggage
Return transfers are included. Add a 20kg checked-baggage for £60 per person, return.
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