Cruising the French & Italian Rivieras – Sea Cloud II

Cruising the French & Italian Rivieras – Sea Cloud II



Antibes…Monte Carlo…Cinque Terre…Lucca…Florence—places that conjure up images of glamorous seaports and sun-drenched beaches, rich masterpieces of art and architecture, picturesque villages and medieval history. Early May is the perfect time of year to embark on this quintessential Mediterranean journey, with verdant gardens and landscapes awash with blossoms and moderate temperatures. Combine a three-night stay at a historic resort with a relaxed four-night cruise, with port calls in Porto Venere, Livorno (for a day trip to Florence or Lucca) and the isle of Elba.


Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Apr 30, 2024 - May 8, 2024


Optional Post-Tour Extension in Tuscany
May 8–12, 2024
Extend your stay with five days at Belmond Castello di Casole, a 10th-century estate spread across 4,200 acres in the Tuscan countryside near Siena. Excursions include a visit to the exclusive Marchesi di Antinori Estate, with a private visit of the cellars. Enjoy a truffle hunting experience followed by a cooking class, and explore Torre Campatelli in San Gimignano during a private, after-hours visit.


Upon payment of the $1,000 per person deposit, all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below and by which the passenger agrees to be bound. Cancellations shall not be in effect until they are received in writing and confirmed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Deposits are refundable (less a $250 per person administration fee) if written notice of cancellation is received within 30 days of reservation; after that, deposits are 100% nonrefundable. After final payment deadline all payments are 100% nonrefundable, regardless of booking date. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended. NOTE: Neither the
National Trust Tours nor Criterion Travel, the tour operator, accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalties incurred with the purchase of non-refundable tickets.




  • days 1-2

    Depart U.S.

    Depart home on overnight flights to Nice, France, arriving May 1st. Transfer to nearby Cannes and check in to Hotel Carlton. Enjoy a restful afternoon at leisure, then meet your fellow travelers at a private welcome reception and dinner at the hotel.

  • day 3

    Antibes / Saint-Paulde-Vence

    This morning, choose between two guided excursions: 1) The nearby Picasso Museum and a walking tour of Old Town Antibes, including its ramparts along the sea; 2) The fortified village and artists’ mecca of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, followed by the the Maeght Foundation and its impressive sculpture garden and collection of modern and contemporary art. Following lunch at the hotel, enjoy a welcome orientation and introductory lecture. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the area around the hotel or the rest of the Côte d’ Azur on your own.

  • day 4

    Côte d’ Azur / Monaco

    This morning, choose between two excursions: 1) Scenic Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a picture-perfect village jutting into the sea atop a small peninsula highlighted by the lovely garden and architectural masterpiece of Villa Ephrussi, followed by the quaint village of Èze, perched on a rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean and an afternoon at leisure; 2) Monaco, including the Old Town with the State Apartments of the Prince’s Palace and the
    Opera Gallery, followed by free time in Monte Carlo.

  • day 5


    After a morning at leisure, drive to Nice and choose between two excursions: 1) See the Marc Chagall Museum, which curiously opened during his lifetime, and 2) Visit the Matisse Museum, housing a large number of his works as well as pieces from his private collection that inspired some of his most famous paintings and sculptures. Late this afternoon, embark the Sea Cloud II in Nice and bid adieu to France as you sail toward Italy.

  • day 6

    Porto Venere / Cinque Terre, Italy

    Enjoy the thrilling experience of cruising under sail (weather permitting), then anchor off Porto Venere and experience the Cinque Terre by foot, walking between iconic seaside villages. Perched between steeply terraced vineyards and the Ligurian Sea, this UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected marine area is characterized by tiny villages and hidden coves. Stop in Manarola for a wine tasting and dinner.

  • day 7

    Livorno / Florence or Lucca

    Dock in Livorno for a choice of full-day tours, each featuring a gourmet local lunch: 1) Florence, with a guided city walk to see the iconic landmarks of the historic center as well as the Duomo complex and a visit to the Florence American Cemetery 2) Lucca, birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini and treasure chest of Tuscany’s ancient trade in silk, with a stroll around the elliptical central piazza made up of medieval buildings outlining the ruins of a Roman amphitheater, as well as time to stroll around sections of the ancient city walls, now a parklike promenade. Return to the Sea Cloud II in the evening for dinner on board.

  • day 8

    Portoferraio, Elba

    This morning, following in the footsteps of the Argonauts and Napoleon, call at the tropicalesque Isle of Elba. Take a panoramic drive with superb views over the coastline, visit Napoleon’s summer residence during his exile on the island from 1814 to 1815, and stop for a wine tasting at a 17th-century country wine estate, with vineyards nestled among ancient olive trees. Return to the ship for lunch, with a leisurely afternoon of cruising and final opportunity to experience the ship under sail. Gather this evening for the captain’s farewell reception and dinner.

  • day 9

    Rome / Home

    Disembarkation in Civitavecchia, fly home from Rome OR begin Optional Extension to Tuscany.

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