Mediterranean Highlights by Sea

Italy, France, Spain, Malta & Rome 2-night bonus stay
aboard the Louis Cruise Lines Orient Queen

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our current tour & cruise packages in the Mediterranean.

Overview

Itinerary at a Glance
Mediterranean Highlights Cruise
Day Destination/Port of Call Arrive Depart
1 Depart USA
2 Genoa, Italy 7pm
3 Marseilles, France 9:30am 5pm
4 Port Mahon, Menorca, Spain 7:30am 1pm
5 Trapani, Sicily, Italy 2pm 7pm
6 La Valletta, Malta 7:30am 12:30pm
7 Naples, Italy 9:30am 4pm
8 Genoa & Rome, Italy 2:30pm
9 Rome 
10 Italy/USA

Join us on this fantastic celebration of the cultural riches and natural beauty of the Western Mediterranean as we set sail aboard Louis Cruise Lines' Orient Queen.

Our journey is an exotic living mosaic, where every port recalls another magnificent era of castles and fortresses, ancient cultures, exotic art, and architectural treasures and grandeur. You'll visit fascinating ports of call in Spain, France, Italy, Tunisia and Malta while enjoying superior accommodations and comforts aboard your cruise ship.

Our package includes flights from New York, a 6-night Mediterranean cruise, a 2-night bonus stay in Rome, all meals aboard the cruise, and daily breakfast in Rome. Explore the ports on your own, or take interesting and inexpensive optional shore excursions. All the flexibility and fun is yours for incredibly low prices. Space is limited and at these prices, it will surely sell out quickly.

Detailed Itinerary

Mediterranean Highlights itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting Mediterranean journey begins this evening as you check-in for your overnight jet flight bound for Italy.

Day 2: Genoa, Italy. Arrive today in Genoa. After customs formalities, you'll be escorted to the port to board your cruise ship, the MV Orient Queen, and begin your weeklong Mediterranean cruise. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 3: Marseilles, France. This morning, arrive in Marseilles, whose history dates back to 600 B.C. when it was founded by the ancient Greeks. It has since grown to become the second largest city in France and the country's largest commercial port.

Marseilles and the Frioul islands from Notre Dame de la Garde's hill Enjoy the splendor of Marseilles by visiting (independently or on optional excursions) the must-see sites, including the Old Port, the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, the Phare de Sainte Marie lighthouse, the Centre Bourse, and the adjacent rue St Ferreol district (the main shopping district). We also recommend a ride along the Kennedy Corniche, a coastal road with excellent views across the Bay of Marseilles. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

Menorca fishing harbor Day 4: Port Mahon (Menorca), Spain. It’s easy and fun to wander around Mahon (or Maó in Catalan), the friendly capital of the holiday island of Menorca. Although smaller and quieter than the neighboring islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca has more sun-drenched beaches than both of them combined!

Mahon is also home to a lively harborfront, full of cafés, boutiques, and market stalls. Further inland, you’ll find an intriguing mix of English-style Gregorian houses and Catalan-Gothic architecture. The island is also known for its collection of unique megalithic stone monuments, which speak of a very early prehistoric human activity on Minorca. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore on your own, or enjoy an optional shore excursion.

Trapani from the air Day 5: Trapani (Sicily), Italy. The ancient coastal town of Trapani, Sicily was settled as a fishing village and harbor some time before 1,000 B.C. Although most of the city has been modernized, much of Trapani’s architecture still reflects its medieval past and ancient heritage. Some of Trapani’s best preserved structures include the Annuciation Sanctuary, the Pepoli Museuam, the Spedaletto Palace, and the Church of Saint Augustine. In additional to its rich history, Trapani also boasts an excellent location; its westward position on the Sicilian coast affords some of the most spectacular views of the beautiful Mediterranean sunsets. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

La Valletta, Malta Day 6: La Valletta, Malta. Visit the fascinating port of La Valletta on the island of Malta, where the Knights of St. John established their headquarters in 1530. Be sure to visit St. John's Cathedral, the Grand Master's Palace, and the Armory. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Explore on your own, or enjoy a variety of optional shore excursions.

Day 7: Naples, Italy. This morning, arrive in Naples, on Italy's southern Amalfi coast. Take this opportunity to visit the ancient city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD by the Vesuvius Volcano or to see the Isle of Capri and its famous grottoes. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Pegli, Genoa Day 8: Genoa & Rome. Return today to Genoa. After disembarkation, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Rome. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally-located hotel for check-in. Hotel Massimo D'Azzeglio or similar Breakfast provided.

Colosseum, Rome Day 9: Rome. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore one of Europe's most dynamic and fascinating cities. From the Colosseum to the Sistine Chapel to the Spanish Steps and so much more, you'll find plenty to see and do as you walk the picturesque and bustling streets of Rome. To begin, we recommend visits to the Seven Hills, Santa Maria Maggiore, the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument, and the Via Veneto.

Trevi Fountain, Rome Then, why not head to the Trevi Fountain, where a coin, thrown over your shoulder into the fountain while you make a wish, is sure to bring you good luck, and the fulfillment of your wish!

Shop, stroll through the Villa Borghese, enjoy a Roman pizza and a glass of wine or espresso in a sidewalk café, and savor the wonderful ambience that is found only here in the Eternal City. Breakfast provided.

Pantheon & Piazza della Rotonda, Rome Day 10: Rome/USA. Today, bid farewell to Rome as you transfer to the airport for your return flight. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.


Optional Shore Excursions

To help you take full advantage of your visit to the Mediterranean, exciting optional shore excursions are offered at each port-of-call. You may purchase shore excursions aboard your ship. Excursions are priced and paid for in Euros (you can pay with credit card or cash). For your convenience, we have also listed approximate conversions to U.S. dollars (accurate as of Oct 27, 2010).

Excursions in La Valletta

La Valletta, Malta Valletta & Mdina half day (MAL-01)
Adult: $75 Child: $51

This guided tour through the bustling streets of Valletta takes you first to  Barracca Gardens, from which you can take in stunning panoramic views of the Grand Harbor. You will then visit St. John's Co-Cathedral a place adorned in riches that date back to the times of the Knights of Malta.  After a short stroll through the streets of Valletta, proceed to your coach and head toward Mdina, the old capital of Malta. Upon arrival in Mdina, your guide will recount the rich history of the old capital during your visit to the Cathedral and will introduce you to some of the curiosities of this medieval city as you walk through its the narrow streets.

Tour not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or walking difficulties.

The Cathedral of St. Paul, Mdina  Photo by Jean Christophe BENOIST  © Wikipedia Commons
The Cathedral of St. Paul, Mdina   Photo by Jean Christophe BENOIST
Mosta, Mdina & Rabat half day (MAL-03)
Adult: $68 Child: $45

This optional excursion takes you to Mosta, where you will visit the Rotunda church, reputedly the third largest unsupported dome in the world. This richly decorated and magnificent church still houses a massive German bomb, which fell on the dome during the 2nd World War. Continue to the Silent City of Mdina, Malta’s former capital city, where your guide will explain to you the history of the old capital and introduce you to some of the curiosities of this medieval city. The next stop is Rabat, where there is still evidence of the wealth enjoyed by Malta under Roman rule. Stop for a short walk around the narrow winding roads and a visit to St. Agatha's Catacombs. Your tour concludes at a local artisan workshop, specializing in filigree, weaving, and lace-making. Enjoy an opportunity to shop and do some local wine tasting at the center before transferring back to the ship.

Tour not available on Sundays.

Excursions in Marseilles

Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral, Marseilles Panoramic Tour of Marseilles half day (MRS-01)
Adult: $77 Child: $52

For 2,600 years, Marseilles has been a port. From Massalia, the Phocean city, to Marseilles "gateway to the East", the maritime adventure and the rapid expansion of trade in the 19th century are evoked from the Old Port. The large historic buildings representing many political and religious symbols which tell the story of the city can be seen on this itinerary. They are all there: Saint Victor Abbey, Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, the cathedrals, Palais Longchamps and the famous Old Port with The Canebière. You can also see all of the large residences, villas and mansions. The exceptional site of the Corniche: architectural surprises, extravagance or elegance, Frioul islands, If Castle and splendid views of the sea can be seen everywhere.

Aix En Provence – This is an image of cathedral cloisters  © Wikipedia Commons
Aix En Provence cathedral cloisters
Aix en Provence half day (MRS-02)
Adult: $80 Child: $54

Aix is a town of water and a town of culture. Its history has been shaped by its spas and by the arts. Whether in the narrow streets of the old town, in the moss of its numerous fountains, on the pediments of mansions or in the surrounding countryside, the glorious past of Provence's former capital has been miraculously preserved. Aix en Provence is also the town of the tempestuous writer Mirabeau and famous painter Paul Cézanne. You should start by visiting University Square and Saint Sauveur Cathedral facing it. This building was first founded in the 4th century and then gradually modified in the Romanesque style. A few yards away, there are 12th century cloisters with admirable arcades and columns. A little further on are the magnificent Town Hall and the Clock Tower with its splendid astronomical clock. You then continue until you reach Cours Mirabeau, an elegant avenue lined with plane trees and Café fronts. This avenue delimits the aristocratic part of the town, the Mazarin quarter (17th-18th centuries) where everything is luxurious and beautiful: flamboyant mansions with enormous grounds behind high walls and finely chiselled statues on the pediments of the buildings. Take time to stroll around the pedestrian streets, taste the famous Calissons and relax on the shaded café terraces.

The journey from Marseilles to Aix en Provence is approx. 40 minutes.

Excursions in Port Mahon

Port Mahon, Menorca Flavors of Menorca half day (MHN-05)
Adult: $77 Child: $52

This excursion offers a quite comprehensive visit to some of the most beautiful towns in Menorca, with special attention to the picturesque postcard-like town of Ciutadella. Leaving the port of Mahon, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the centre of the island; from there you will drive to Arenal den Castell. At this breathtaking beach you will have a short stop for sightseeing and picture shooting. From here, you will head towards Fornells, a town very popular for serving as a hideout to pirates, back in the 17th century, situated on the north coast of the island. It's a small picturesque fishing village where the natural beauty of the bay is underlined by the sober architecture with green window shutters and the marvellous whitewashed houses with green shutters. Upon arrival in Fornells, there will be some free time for photo taking. Your pleasant journey will continue past Cala Tirant, a picturesque resort with a beautiful beach, to Ciutadella, the old capital of the island. Their remote origins have left in their environs an important archaeological patrimony in stoned monuments such as taulas, talayots and the navetes. Famous for its beautiful houses, lots of grandiose traditional architecture and the charming atmosphere of the old quarter and the harbor, Ciutadella is a must see in the Balearic Islands. You will have some free time to enjoy the city before proceeding to Mount Toro (Monte Toro), the island's highest point. From Monte Toro the total surface (700 km2) of the island and, in clear days, the coasts of the neighbour island Majorca can be contemplated. The summit is crowned by the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de El Toro, a chapel built by the Augustinian monks in the 17th century and nowadays taken care by the "Daughters of Mercy", a community of Franciscan nuns and a priest. After this last pleasant visit, you will return to Mahon to meet your ship at the harbor.

Tour not suitable for passengers in wheelchairs.

Excursions in Trapani

Trapani, Sicily Erice half day (TRA-01)
Adult: $74 Child: $51

You will leave Trapani port by coach and reach the cableway station from where you will take cableway and reach Erice, a beautiful fascinating medieval town on the top of the homonymous mountain, from where it is possible to admire a unique panoramic view of Trapani with its salt pans and the Egadi Islands. Erice is a charming village where time seems not passing by and myth, legend and history are all mixed together. Legend says that the son of the Goddess of love Venus, Eryx, built a temple to honour his mother and then established a town. The town is built characterized by its winding cobbled stone streets, the beautiful court-yards of the houses and by the hidden corners. The visit will start from Porta Trapani that is very close to the Mother Church (built in 1313). After visiting Mother Church walking will proceed through the narrow streets where it is possible to stop in characteristic shops with typical local handicraft. The visit will continue to the Balio Gardens and to the Castle of Venus Norman fortification and where once stood the ancient acropolis and the temple of Venus. After the Balio you will proceed to the main plaza and there have some free time and enjoy the magic atmosphere that characterizes this place. You will go again to cableway and proceed for Trapani port.

The journey from Trapani to Erice is approx. 1 hour. Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties. The tour includes visits to religious sites where knees and shoulders must be covered. In case of windy conditions or other operational reasons the cableway cannot be used, the coach will take you up to Erice.

Segesta Temple, Italy Segesta half day (TRA-02)
Adult: $84 Child: $54

You will leave Trapani by coach and be driven to Segesta, one of the most important archaeological sites in the province of Trapani. Segesta was the most important town of western Sicily, inhabited by the Elimi. Here you will admire the Temple and the Theatre. The Temple, built in the 5th century B.C., dominates the top of the hill. Some steps lead to 36 column peristilium of divine simplicity and magnificence, enhanced by the golden patina of the marble. The Theatre, built during the Hellenistic age restored by the Romans rises on top of a hill overlooking the Castellamare Gulf, and it is reached by a path along which the remains of the ancient town can still be admired. You will then return to the ship. Inside the archaeological area the way is not asphalted and not good for passengers with walking difficulties. In order to reach the Theatre, there is a shuttle bus; it may happen the group could wait a little while as the coach is doing a shuttle service.

The journey from Trapani to Segesta is approximately 1 hour.

Salt Pans of Trapini, Sicily The Salt Route & Wine Tasting half day (TRA-03)
Adult: $71 Child: $50

The "via del sale" is a road that starts from Trapani and after about 29 km reaches Marsala. This route is famous because it passes through the fascinating salt pans of Trapani. This area, used by the Phoenicians that were the first to understand the extremely favourable natural conditions for the extraction of the salt, today it is declared by WWF a Natural Reserve and is the most important one in Sicily. The salt pans' panorama is stunning, full of colours thanks to its unique flora and fauna, among which it is also possible to foresee the ancient wind mills once used for the production of the salt. You will leave the port by coach and reach an area of the salt pans where after a short walking tour you can visit an ancient wind mill now a museum dedicated to the salt production. Afterwards you will proceed by coach through the salt pans and reach Marsala for the wine tasting. After a guided visit of the winery where you will admire the oak barrels where the wine ages, you will taste Sicily's most famous wine: Marsala DOC (guaranteed quality). Later you will be driven to the ship.

Tour not suitable for passengers in wheelchairs.

Cruise Ship

Louis Cruise Lines Louis MV Orient Queen

See specifications, deck plans & photos of the ship.

Note: If you've taken a few cruises before, you may be accustomed to large, luxurious ships appointed with every possible amenity. This tour sails aboard a mid-sized ship which is practical, comfortable, and equipped with all necessary modern conveniences, but may offer more basic cabin amenities, less on-board entertainment, and fewer dining options than larger ocean liners. Think of it as a good 3-star hotel providing convenient and comfortable transport through the Greek Isles.

Booking & Travel FAQs


Shop & Compare

Our tours may look similar to others you've seen, but we invite you to shop & compare. There are important differences that make Friendly Planet tours the best you can find.

No Compromise on Quality: Despite ourextraordinary prices, there are no compromises on our Mediterranean Highlights cruise. You'll stay in superior staterooms aboard the M/V Louis Majesty. On the optional Rome Extension, you'll stay in a Superior First Class, centrally located hotel noted for its amenities and service.

Included Features: Your group transfers are all included, not expensive extras as in other tours. All meals aboard the cruise are also included.

Credit Cards or Cash: You asked, and we listened! Whether you pay by check, money order or your favorite major credit card, your tour price on this tour is the same. No extra cost to charge your dream vacation to the Mediterranean.

Personal Service: Most important of all, the extra ingredient that makes our tours stand apart from others—the wonderful, personal attention you'll receive from our friendly staff in the USA and our representatives in Europe —is completely free of charge. Compare our Mediterranean cruise programs to others, feature for feature. You'll see for yourself that ours are the very best value for money you'll find anywhere.

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