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Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast

Rates & Dates:

Trip Length: 9 Days/ 8 Nights

Prices from: $6,999 pp/do*

Ships: Star Pride
Wind Surf

Notes: *Reverse Route
*Per Person/Double Occupancy. Special Single Rates apply where listed.

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Italy Classic Cruise

From the glittering fountains of Rome to the fascinating canals of Venice, explore Italy’s most iconic cities and her most charming secrets in one incomparable voyage. Every moment is a treat for your senses as you sail along the Amalfi and Dalmatian Coasts. Savor the flower-scented lanes of Capri, the brilliant colors and breathtaking vistas of Messina and Taormina, and the dazzling blue kaleidoscope as you sail through the world’s most beautiful seas. Enchanting cities and villages embellish the natural wonders of these coasts, their exotic names hinting at the treasures they wait to share – Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj. And always, punctuating your journey on either end, the classic beauty of Italy’s legends, Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, and the Eternal City of Rome.

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Day 1: Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy: In this enchanting city the past and present intersect in perfect harmony. Casually intermingled among ancient ruins and majestic cathedrals are the trappings of a modern metropolis: Skyscrapers, Internet cafes, boutiques selling designer footwear. But of course what you seek first in the heart of Rome is its breathtaking history. A good place to begin is the Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Works by Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael are just a few of those on display, any one of which is worth hours of contemplation. Then the ancient ruins—Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. And of course the Trevi Fountain for the obligatory coins promising your return to the Eternal City.

Day 2: Capri, Italy: Glamorous Capri has been a haven for the rich and famous since the days of Roman Emperors Tiberius and Augustus. After centuries of pirate attacks, capture by Napoleon, and other distractions, the island was “rediscovered” as a resort destination in the latter half of the 19th century. Then again in the 1950s and ‘60s when it became a favorite haunt of movie stars like Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Kirk Douglas, Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren, and others. The beauty of the island is legendary, its limestone cliffs carved into magnificent caverns, grottoes, and stacks framed by cerulean blue waters. Don your sunglasses and scarf for an incognito ride up the funicular to town. Head to Positano, the iconic pastel village clinging to the Amalfi cliffs. Or take a small boat into the mysterious Blue Grotto where the eerie blue light feels like navigating through sky.

Day 3: Messina, Italy: Messina is known as the door of Sicily, and as a historic trading city that door has almost always been open. Founded by the Greeks, the city has hosted many cultures either willingly or not, but geology is mostly responsible for its appearance today. Messina has been destroyed by earthquakes multiple times, most notably in 1908—a hazard of living so near to Mount Etna. Some historic buildings have survived or been rebuilt, like the Duomo (cathedral), the Norman Church of Annunziata dei Catalani, and the gothic Santa Maria degli Alemanni. There are also many Renaissance fountains to admire, along with works by Caravaggio in the Regional Museum, or simply the view across the straits. Taormina is also nearby, luring visitors with its medieval streets and ancient Greek amphitheater.

Day 4: At Sea: This is your invitation to a day of indulgence. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience. Stretch out by the pool with your favorite beverage. Grab a great book or your favorite movie from the library. Stretch your muscles with our state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Dine in sumptuous casual style, or wrap yourself in that comfy waffle-weave robe and enjoy your meal in the privacy of your beautiful stateroom. Your delight is our single priority for your day at sea.

Day 5: Kotor, Montenegro: It’s almost too perfect to bear, the sight of your white Windstar yacht tracing its way across the royal blue Montenegrin waters. Then the pièce de résistance comes into view: the red roofs of medieval Kotor. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was a town of the arts back then—goldsmithing, architecture, masonry, iconography—and even the setting seems to have been chosen with aesthetics in mind. In fact the bay is so integral to the town that it’s included in the UNESCO designation. Explore 12th-century treasures like the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, and the 17th-century Pima Palace with its green shutters. Notice the “pillar of shame” near the central clock tower where lawbreakers were punished. If you want to work off last night’s crème brûlée, follow the city walls that zigzag up St. John’s Mountain to St. John’s Castle and the Church of Our Lady of Remedy.

Day 6: Dubrovnik, Croatia: Your first impression is the city walls. Massive and imposing, they cloak the town like a curtain of stone. Draw the curtain and you’re in a medieval world of towers, turrets, and terracotta rooftops. The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, a copper-roofed cathedral. There, a fountain of masked faces spouting water. There again, the Sponza Palace, which once held the state mint but now holds something infinitely more precious: the town’s history, dating back to the 12th century. Discover a 14th-century pharmacy tucked away in the Franciscan Monastery, still operating after 700 years with dusty medieval remedies still lining the shelves. Take a cable car to the top of Mount Srd for an outstanding view of the harbor where one gorgeous yacht eclipses all others.

Day 7: Split, Croatia: When Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to retire, he chose a spot that offered the best of both worlds—a beautifully scenic resort setting, and proximity to the urban pleasures of ancient Salona. The setting is still spectacular, and his palace, built between the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., is the fabric upon which the city grew. A medieval cathedral, Romanesque churches, fortifications, and gothic palaces are just a few of the buildings that sprouted from within Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beyond, you can go people-watching along Split’s popular Riva promenade, wander the pedestrian boulevard of Marmontova Street, or rub the toe of the statue of Gregory of Nin for good luck. Further afield, there’s dramatic Krka National Park with its spellbinding landscapes of gorges, lakes, and waterfalls. Near the water, don’t be too surprised if the gregarious Croatians invite you to a game of picign on the beach

Day 8: Rovinj, Croatia: Old Town Rovinj rises from the Adriatic, its arched profile frosted with terracotta rooftops and crowned by the white bell tower of St. Euphemia church. Rovinj was an island before the channel was filled in the 18th century, and the Old Town is nicely compact–perfect for exploring on foot. The town feels a bit Italian with its fleet of small fishing boats and Venetian-style piazzas, and for good reason; it was part of the Venetian Republic for over 500 years. Signs appear in both Croatian and Italian, and both are official languages. Dining also reflects the town’s dual heritage, with menus that feature pizzas and pasta alongside seafood and the local delicacy, wild truffles. Medieval hilltop towns, ancient Roman buildings, and villages renowned for fine wines and olive oil await nearby.

Day 9: Venice, Italy: Venice floats like a mirage in a magical lagoon. It’s a city blissfully free of cars, where everything from arched bridges to gondoliers to blown glass oozes beauty and romance. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the center of a maritime empire, and that wealth is still evident. But while the buildings awe, it’s the space between them that defines the city. “Landmark” is almost a misnomer here where boots and boats are the only ways to get around. And yet they shine. The Doges’ Palace with its poetic Bridge of Sighs. The Grand Canal with its gondolas. St. Mark’s Cathedral, home to incredible treasures amassed during the Crusades. St. Peter’s Basilica with St. Peter’s Throne, said to be the hiding place of the Holy Grail. As you snack on cicchetti and watch the world go by, you may believe you’ve already found it.

Photo Credit: Windstar Cruises