The Italian & French Rivieras

The Italian & French Rivieras

From £4,225 GBP


“With so many experiences on offer, we have planned our time carefully to ensure there is adequate opportunity to relax onboard, join the guided excursions and explore under your own steam with the added advantage of some overnight moorings.”

The British love affair with the French and Italian Rivieras dates back to the 18th century and the days of the Grand Tour. It is not surprising when you consider the charms on offer coupled with the wonderful climate. Our cruise from Livorno to Marseilles promises to be a relaxing and informative journey and is timed for the month of October in order that we will benefit from relatively crowd free sites and cooler temperatures. Immerse yourself in the artistic, historical and cultural gems and explore the stunning harbours and charming villages that we will pass along the way.

Our itinerary is very much a classic that has been enjoyed over the decades but with some interesting variations. In the Italian Riviera with its breathtaking coastal scenery we explore the Ligurian capital of Genoa, rich in maritime history and an archaeological heritage that speaks of its former glory and also San Remo. We also visit the lovely Tuscan town of Lucca and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Portovenere. Sailing to France, we capture the essence of the Cote d’Azur in glamourous Monte Carlo and the beautiful city of Nice before calling into the pretty Provençal port of Sanary Sur Mer for a stroll around the picturesque harbour or a boat trip around the hidden bays of Les Calanques. With so many experiences on offer, we have planned our time carefully to ensure there is adequate opportunity to relax onboard, join the guided excursions and explore under your own steam with the added advantage of some overnight moorings allowing for after dinner strolls.

Trip Name
The Italian & French Rivieras
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95) Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018 We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises.  PLEASE NOTE: Deck plan varies for 2019 cruises, no inside cabins.


Day 1 - Day 1 - London to Pisa, Italy.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to nearby Livorno to embark the MS Serenissima. Sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 - Elba.
We leave the mainland for a day to call into the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from 1814 to 1815. Departing the island’s busy capital, Portoferraio, we set out for a delightful drive of the southern region of this charming island with superb views over the coastline. The first stop will be at Villa San Martino, the summer residence on the island of Napoleon Bonaparte. Nowadays the villa has been transformed into a museum. Later we enjoy some time at leisure in ITALY SPAIN FRANCE MONACO Marseilles Sanary-sur-Mer Nice San Remo Genoa Portovenere Lucca Pisa Elba Monte Carlo Aix-en- Provence Porto Azurro to browse around and shop among the many local boutiques of this delightful town, dominated by an ancient Spanish fortress and a picturesque harbour. Continuing the drive along the coastline we will reach the old 17th century country wine farm, La Chiusa which is beautifully nestled in a vineyard estate surrounded by olive trees and overlooking the ocean. As any self-respecting mansion on Elba, La Chiusa claims to have once housed Napoleon during his exile here. Experience the estate’s interesting cellar to learn how the wine is handled and produced. In the estate’s garden facing the sea, a delicious sampling of the local wine will be served. Return to the vessel for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Portoferraio.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Lucca.
From the port of Viareggio we will make our way inland to the lovely town of Lucca. Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls it boasts delightful cobbled streets, handsome piazzas and shady promenades. Our tour will include the Basilica di San Fredino the roman amphitheatre and the San Martino Cathedral, the most important religious monument in Lucca. After a lunch of local specialties we will make our way to the Baroque Santa Caterina Church where we will enjoy a concert of the local composer, Giacomo Puccini’s, work. Return to our ship for dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 4 - Day 4 - Portovenere.
Arrive during breakfast at Portovenere, situated south east of the Cinque Terre, on a rocky peninsula on the Gulf of Poets, an area in the Gulf of La Spezia which was once popular with writers such as Byron, Shelley and DH Lawrence. Portovenere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the harbour is a charming place, lined with brightly coloured houses and narrow Medieval streets that lead up the hill to a castle. For those who wish to explore the Cinque Terre, there will be an excursion to the villages of Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola with time in each place to explore. Please note that the vessel will be at anchor today and Zodiacs or local tenders will be used.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Genoa.
Many regard Genoa as having the largest historic city centre in Europe as a result of having been, for centuries, a powerful commercial seaport and city-state. It was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and its maritime roots have fostered a dialect that has absorbed elements of Neapolitan, Calabrese and Portuguese over the centuries. Our morning walking tour through the historic town centre will include the Piazza de Ferrari and the Palazzo Ducale. We will visit the Cisterne del Ducale, the ancient cellars of the palace, where we will enjoy a light buffet of typical Genoese fare such as bruschetta and focaccia accompanied by some local wine. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore independently. You may wish to visit the excellent “Museo del Mare” or aquarium in the old port, visit Columbus’s house in the city or relax onboard.
Day 6 - Day 6 - San Remo.
In the late 19th century San Remo enjoyed a reputation as a premier resort for wealthy European and noble families including Empress Nicholas II of Russia and Tchaikovsky who completed Eugene Onegin here in 1878. The Russian influence can still be seen in the onion domed Russian Orthodox church on the seafront. Enjoy time to explore the twisting labyrinth of lanes in the old town that lead up from the waterfront or maybe walk along the promenade to the gardens at Villa Ormond. This afternoon we will enjoy a tour inland to the Medieval town of Dolceaqua which is made up of two villages connected by a Medieval humpback bridge which inspired Monet who defined it as “a jewel of lightness”. Our walking tour will take us through the picturesque alleys to the Doria Castle and we will also enjoy a tasting of the village’s famous Rossese red wine and olive oil in a local taverna. We sail over dinner arriving into Monte Carlo this evening for anyone who wishes to enjoy an after dinner stroll or maybe visit the casino. Please note that the vessel will be at anchor in San Remo and Zodiacs or local tenders will be used.
Day 7 - Day 7 - Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The Principality of Monaco is the epitome of Riviera chic. This tiny enclave of 370 acres surrounds a sheltered harbour that draws yachts from around the world to enjoy the beautiful scenery, mild weather and elegant casino. Glamorous Monte Carlo is one of Monaco’s four quarters, which also include La Condamine, the business district; Monaco-ville, the capital and Fontvieille, an area built on reclaimed land. This morning our tour will include Monaco Old Town and Monte Carlo, the afternoon will be free for independent exploration. The evening we sail the short distance for an overnight mooring in Nice.
Day 8 - Day 8 - Nice, France.
This morning we drive along the coast to the quaint village of Eze perched on a rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean. We will have some time to wander the cobblestone streets before continuing to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and our visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Built in 1900 in Italian palazzo style and surrounded by magnificent gardens it houses an unbelievable collection of works including tapestries, furniture, candelabras, terracottas, porcelains and Chinese vases. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore Nice independently. Maybe choose to visit one of the city’s museums dedicated to artists such as Henri Matisse or Marc Chagall, walk amongst the charming architecture of the old city or enjoy a stroll along the palm tree lined Promenade des Anglais.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Sanary Sur Mer.
Today we will anchor off the picturesque and typically Provencal port of Sanary sur Mer. Colourful ‘pointu’ fishing boats bob in the harbour and pretty white and pink cottages line the shallow sandy beach. Spend the morning strolling around the town at leisure and perhaps enjoy a bouillabaisse in one of the local restaurants. This afternoon there will be the choice of a boat trip to Les Calanques, stunning fjordlike inlets carved into the limestone that stretch along the coast from Marseilles to Cassis or alternatively there will be an excursion inland to the hilltop Medieval village of Le Castellet. This remarkable stronghold, formerly owned by the Lords of Les Baux, has well preserved ramparts, a carefully restored 12th century church and a castle dating back to the 11th century. We will have time to explore the village and its winding streets before enjoying a wine tasting at one of Le Castellet’s centuries-old vineyards
Day 10 - Day 10 - Marseilles.
From our berth in Marseilles we will offer a choice of excursions today. You can choose to head inland to Aix en Provence which was founded by the Romans in the 1st century and is now more renowned as the home of artist Paul Cezanne. We will visit his studio which still houses his equipment and the objects he used for models and the Jas de Bouffan estate, Cezanne’s parents’ country house which contains many of the painter’s celebrated works. We will continue to the ‘Terrain des Peintres’ located on the heights of Aix en Provence, a few hundred metres from the Atelier Cezanne, and is famous for the wonderful views of the Montagne Sainte Victoire which Cezanne often painted in the latter part of his life. After lunch in a local restaurant we spend some time in Aix with its leafy boulevards and public squares lined with 17th and 18th century mansions.Alternatively spend the day in Avignon, the great City of the Popes which boasts a number of splendid museums, churches and palaces. Our guided walking tour will include the Palais des Papes, one of the wonders of Provence and the largest and most important Medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, built in the 14th century as a fortified palace for the pontifical court. We also visit the cathedral and famous Pont Benezet, a bridge that spans the Rhone between Villeneuve les Avignon and Avignon and the Pont du Gard, one of the wonders of antiquity, built by Agrippa in 19B.C. This imposing aqueductbridge was built by the Romans in order to provide the city of Nimes with fresh water from the Uzes area. Both tours return to the MS Serenissima for dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 11 - Day 11 - Marseilles to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,655Standard Single
11-10-201821-10-2018£5,655Standard Stateroom Sole
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,655Standard Stateroom
11-10-201821-10-2018£5,295Deluxe Stateroom
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,785Standard Stateroom Plus
11-10-201821-10-2018£5,785Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
11-10-201821-10-2018£6,395Executive Suite
11-10-201821-10-2018£5,995Junior Suite
11-10-201821-10-2018£6,395Owners Suite
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,225Inside Single
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,905Superior Stateroom
11-10-201821-10-2018£4,225Inside Cabin


    • Discover the beauty of the Mediterranean Rivieras.
    • Discover the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from 1814 to 1815.
    • Visit San Remo that in the late 19th century enjoyed a reputation as a premier resort for wealthy European and noble families including Empress Nicholas II of Russia and Tchaikovsky who completed Eugene Onegin here in 1878.