"Private" Shore Trips for NCL Epic (9 - 15 People)
We have included the popular shore trips for cruisers timed to meet the NCL Epic each day during the 2019 & 2020 Mediterranean cruise season. You enjoy shore excursions in Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Cannes and Palma de Mallorca.
This package includes all five tours.
Naples (Tuesday from 8 AM to 5 PM)
Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast
The focus of this Naples shore trip is the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. In addition to visiting the charming seaside town of Sorrento, you travel leisurely along the famous Amalfi Coast including stops in Positano and Amalfi before returning to Naples.
After meeting your guide you depart for the charming seaside town of Sorrento. You have time to explore the tiny pedestrian lanes lined with cafes and shops. The warm Italian sun makes the area perfect for growing lemons which are used to make the local liqueur limoncello. Make sure you sample the many lemon flavored ice creams, candies or liqueurs while you are here. Sorrento sits on the Gulf of Naples and is not technically a part of the Amalfi Coast, but for most visitors, it is the jumping off point to that famous area.
From here you'll begin your drive along the Amalfi Coast which stretches about 50 miles from the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula to the city of Salerno. The coast line is famous for its amazing views of quaint fishing villages and luxury hotels that cling to the cliffs above the sparkling blue sea. With each hairpin turn of the road you'll be astonished by another vista. You'll drive the most popular and dramatic portion of the coastline from Positano to Amalfi. Your next stop is the town of Positano which is one of the most popular resort towns in the world. Narrow streets which are sometimes no more than staircases are lined with shops and caf̩s leading from the main road to the beautiful beaches below. In the distance are views of the Galli islands. There are several hiking trails that afford dramatic views, including the "pathway of the gods." The main sight in town is the 13th century Byzantine painting, "The Black Virgin" which can be seen in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
Later you stop in the town of Amalfi, which legend says, was created by Hercules to be the most beautiful setting possible for the final resting place of a beautiful nymph he loved. History tells us that the Romans built the town in the 5th century AD. Enjoy the many caf̩s and shops that are near the town square and take a peak in the 11th century cathedral which houses the crypt of Saint Andrea, the town's patron saint. Notice the Oriental touches in the architecture that are common here including the often photographed bell tower and stone arches that look as if they were made of lace.
After a delightful day exploring these world class resort cities you return to your ship in Naples.
Civitavecchia (Wednesday from 8 AM to 5 PM)
Highlights of Rome
This tour enjoys photo stops at the major sites in Rome including the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and St. Peter's Square.
After meeting you guide at the pier in Civitavecchia, you drive into central Rome passing by the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, the ruins of Caracalla Baths, the Capitol and Piazza Venezia, the city's center square.
Your first stop is the Coliseum, which dates back to 80 AD, and is perhaps the grandest and most famous of the city's monuments. You have time to walk around the Coliseum and the Arch of Constantine to take lots of photos.
After seeing the Coliseum, you will pause at a vantage point overlooking the Roman Forum, where numerous foundations, columns and arches served as the religious, civil and commercial hub of imperial Rome.
Your next stop is the Trevi Fountain, where legend says that if you toss a coin into the fountain over your left shoulder it will guarantee a return visit to the eternal city. From here, you have a brief stop to see the Spanish Steps, the longest and widest staircase in Europe and a popular place for people watching.
Then your driver guide will take you to the Pantheon, which is one of ancient Rome's greatest buildings. Built as a temple to the gods (Greek pan-theon, means all gods), this building was saved from destruction by being turned into a Christian church.
This afternoon you visit Piazza Navona, a popular square which is beautifully designed with several baroque masterpieces including Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers. The square is also lined with caf̩s and popular pizzerias. While you are here, there is free time for lunch (meal not included).
Your final stop this afternoon includes the religious and artistic highlights at the Vatican. Gaze in awe at the symmetry of the Piazza San Pietro and the enormity of St. Peter's Basilica, whose massive scale is almost too much to take in.
Take time to enter St. Peters and admire the High Renaissance and baroque architecture. The church is almost overwhelming, with its grandeur of art in gold, marble and mosaics. Be sure not to miss Michelangelo's exquisite Pieta, in the right nave as you enter the Basilica, which was completed when the young master was just in his 20s. Be aware that security checks are required at the Vatican and you should expect a wait to enter the Basilica.
In the late afternoon you will have a scenic drive back to the pier.
Please Note - Churches in Italy have a dress code. No bare shoulders, no shorts, no dresses above the knee, and no bare feet or midriffs are allowed.
Livorno (Thursday from 8 AM to 5 PM)
Flexible Florence and Pisa
This private shore trip is for those who want the most flexibility with their Florence and Pisa itinerary. When you meet your driver guide you discuss your interests and the places you wish to visit. Your driver guide will help you maximize your time.
After meeting your guide at the pier in Livorno, your exploration begins with a drive through the lovely Tuscan countryside to Florence. As an introduction to Florence a stop at the Piazzale Michelangelo is your starting point. From this lookout point there are beautiful panoramic views of the Renaissance city of Florence.
Next you drive into the city center where you enjoy free time on foot to see the most famous monuments such as the Gothic Duomo (cathedral), Giotto's bell tower, the Baptistery doors, the Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia and Ponte Vecchio bridge. While you are here you have time for lunch (meal not included) and shopping.
Later this afternoon you drive to Pisa to visit the Piazza dei Miracoli or Field of Miracles. This pedestrian area is one of the finest architectural ensembles in the world, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo (cathedral), a Romanesque masterpiece dating back to the 11th century. If you are looking for a last minute souvenir or an afternoon Italian ice cream, you can also find it here.
At the end of the day, you are brought back to the pier in Livorno.
Please note that this "Flexible Itinerary" includes a driver guide who provides commentary while you are in the vehicle and then you have free time in the stops of your choice. It is important to understand that with a flexible itinerary, we cannot guarantee you can see everything you desire in the amount of time you have chosen. Traffic conditions and weather ultimately affect the driving time to the places you wish to visit. If you decide you want to visit the interior of any sites, then you are expected to pay the applicable entrance fees in local currency.
Cannes (Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM)
Cannes shore trip
visits the most popular coastal towns on the French Riviera including Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo. Your driver-guide takes you to Nice's Old Town, the Palace and Cathedral in Monaco, the Grand Prix route and Casino of Monte Carlo, plus panoramic photo stops. After meeting your driver-guide at the pier in Cannes, you start the coastal drive to Nice by driving along the famous Croisette Boulevard in Cannes. This street is lined with 5 Stars hotels, designer boutiques and the Cannes Film Festival Palace. Leaving Cannes you pass
through the charming town of Antibes and then finally into Nice.Once you are in Nice you drive down La Promenade des Anglais, the famous palm tree lined street that parallels the most famous beach in the Riviera. You enjoy some free time in the old town of Nice to walk through the beautiful flower market (closed Mondays when flea market takes place).
Leaving Nice you follow the Lower Corniche road, which hugs the dramatic rocky coast line,
until you reach the Principality of Monaco. You have free time to explore the old town of Monaco where you can see the guards outside the Royal Palace plus stroll through the Cathedral where Princess Grace is buried. Please note that no bare shoulders or shorts (above the knee) are allowed in the
Next you drive on the route of the legendary Grand Prix of Monte-Carlo Formula 1 circuit. This race takes
the streets of Monte Carlo and your driver-guide will point out some of the more famous hairpin turns of the course.Your final stop of the day is in the modern city of Monte Carlo,
home to the rich and famous. High rise condominiums fill your vision and the streets buzz with luxury cars. Get your camera ready as one can hardly believe the luxury of this unique place!
The famous Casino of Monte Carlo sits across from a lovely park which is also lined with designer boutiques, luxury hotels and more. Parked in front of the casino there are invariably some of the most expensive cars in the world such as Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari. Aston Martin and Lamborghini .
At the end of this popular Cannes shore excursion, you'll return to the port along the Upper Corniche, the road which runs along the cliff tops high above the sea, so you can once again enjoy the stunning beauty that a French Riviera tour offers. During the tour your driver-guide will also stop at one or two panoramic view points for stunning views over the French Riviera.
Palma de Mallorca (Saturday from 2 PM to 6 PM)
Highlights of Palma
This tour includes a walking tour of Palma's old town, including a visit to the famous cathedral. You also visit the gothic style Castle of Bellver where you enjoying panoramic views of the city and the nearby mountains (entry fees included).
After meeting your private guide you start your tour by visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria, referred to as Le Seu. This is by far the most important building on the island one of the top attraction. It dominates the old town of Palma, sitting above the city walls and just next to the sea, giving the appearance that it is rising from the sea. The cathedral is part of the Diocese of Majorca and was built in the Levantine Gothic style.
After visiting the Cathedral you will enjoy a walking tour of the old town, including some free time if you wish.
Next is a visit to the gothic style Castillo de Bellver which was built in the 14th century. This circular castle was used as a military prison in the 18th and 19th centuries and today it is another of the top attractions on the island. Sitting high on a hill, you will enjoy the panoramic views of Palma and the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range which runs along the west coast of the island. You will have time to explore the hidden corners of this well preserved castle before returning to the port of Palma de Mallorca.
Special Offer - When you reserve this special 5-day package we include a discount coupon for 15% off tours and transfers in Barcelona.
Accessible - Folding wheelchair OK (advance notice required)
Note - Due to Grand Prix Events it is not possible to visit Monaco or Monte Carlo on Friday May 22, 2020. On this date, we will adjust the tour to your interests within the French Riviera.