Early May is the perfect time of year to visit, with verdant gardens and landscapes awash with blossoms, and moderate temperatures. Join fellow National Trust travelers for this exploration along the French & Italian Rivieras, combining a three-night stay at a landmark luxury resort featuring its own private bay on the French Riviera with a relaxed four-night cruise aboard the Sea Cloud II from Nice to Rome, with port calls in the Cinque Terre, Livorno (for a day trip to Florence or Lucca), and the Isle of Elba.
- Pricing from
Payments are 100% refundable until January 24, 2022.
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
Apr 29, 2022 - May 7, 2022
Optional Post-Tour Extension in Tuscany
May 7–11, 2022
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.
John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.
Payments are 100% refundable until January 24, 2022.
Friday April 29Depart U.S.
Overnight flight to Nice, France
Saturday April 30 Nice, Côte d’Azur, France
Arriving Sunday, transfer to Antibes and check in to the seafront hotel. Enjoy a restful afternoon at leisure, with optional visits to the Marc Chagall and Matisse Museums, then meet your fellow travelers at a private welcome reception and dinner.
Sunday, May 1 Antibes
After a morning orientation and introductory lecture, stretch your legs on a guided walking tour of Old Town of Antibes, including its ramparts along the sea. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the amenities of the resort hotel or to explore the Côte d’Azur on your own.
Monday, May 2 Antibes / Saint-Paul-de-Vence
This morning, choose between two excursions: 1) the fortified village and artists’ mecca of Saint-Paul-de-Vence with the Maeght Foundation and its impressive sculpture garden and collection of modern and contemporary art; 2) the Molinard perfume workshop and gardens in Grasse. Continue with an afternoon excursion to the former home and studios of 20th-century abstract painters Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman.
Tuesday, May 3 Antibes / Côte d’Azur / Nice
This morning join one of four excursion options along the Côte d’Azur: 1) Monaco, including the Old Town with the State Apartments of the Prince’s Palace, and a private tour of Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon’s former workshop, followed by free time in Monte Carlo; 2) private visits to gems of modern architecture Villa E-1027 by Eileen Gray and Le Cabanon by Le Corbusier; or 3) the quaint village of Èze, perched on a rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean; or 4) the Picasso Museum. This afternoon choose between three excursions: 1) a walking food tour of Nice; 2) the private Saint Sospir Villa decorated by Jean Cocteau; or 3) the lovely garden and architectural masterpiece of Villa Ephrussi. Late this afternoon, embark the Sea Cloud II in Nice and bid adieu to France as you sail toward Italy.
Wednesday, May 4 Porto Venere, Italy
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard the majestic Sea Cloud II followed by the thrilling experience of cruising under sail (weather permitting). Anchor off of iconic Porto Venere in the afternoon and experience the scenic coast of the Cinque Terre by foot, by train, and by local boat. 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.
Thursday, May 5 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 time away from the crowds to discover the artisan workshops and studios across the river in Oltrarno; or 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 bike or stroll
around sections of the ancient city walls, now a park-like promenade. Return to the Sea Cloud II in the evening for a chance to hear the experiences of your shipmates over dinner on board.
Friday, May 6 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 the years of 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.
Saturday, May 7 Rome / Home
Disembark in Civitavecchia and transfer to the Rome airport for flights home, or begin the Optional Extension.
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