Shore excursions offer an exciting way to experience each port on your itinerary. Here is an overview of the most popular excursions offered on cruises from Venice.
Note: Not all cruise lines offer all excursions listed.
Take a Romantic Gondola Ride in Venice: Venice is best admired from the water. A ride by gondola along the magical canals of Venice is an experience to treasure forever. You will transfer by launch from the ship to the gondola-landing pier near St. Mark’s Square. There, you will board your gondola and you will gently glide through the canals to the sound of serenading musicians.
Visit a Colonial Palace in Corfu: A lush island with olive groves and citrus trees, Corfu is home to the ornate palace built by Austrian Empress Elisabeth in the late 1800s. Wander through Achilleion Palace's gardens, admiring its many statues. Another palace to check out in the area for its stunning views and beautiful greenery is Mon Repos Palace, now a neoclassical museum.
Explore Renaissance History in Florence: When ships dock at Livorno, Italy, many passengers set out for Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance movement. You can purchase a transfer to the city and explore on your own, or you can join a fully guided tour that stops at Il Duomo, the Piazza Della Signoria, the Church of Santa Croce and the Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michelangelo's "David" sculpture. Other excursions from Livorno visit Pisa and its iconic leaning tower and the wineries of Tuscany.
Explore the Old City of Dubrovnik: Visit the Franciscan Monastery whose cloister ranks among the most inspiring sites of the city. It is also home to the oldest working pharmacy in Europe (opened in 1317). There will be a visit to the Dominican Monastery, where you will view the finest collection of Renaissance paintings in Dubrovnik. From here, you'll visit the Cathedral, built on the remains of a 12th Century church that was destroyed in 1667 by an earthquake as well as the Sponza Palace, noted for its columned courtyard.
Tour Ancient Sites and Vatican City in Rome: Journey by motor coach from the Italian port city of Civitavecchia to Rome, where highlights include the Colosseum, the Forum, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. For an informative introduction to Vatican City, opt for a guided excursion that visits St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.
Explore the Antiquities of Ephesus: A visit to Ephesus is a visit to one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. Ancient historians believed that the Amazons founded Ephesus, but now it is believed to have been the Hittite city of Apasa. With your guide, you will see the Odeon, where the advisory council held its meetings and the Baths, as well as many other columns, monuments and ruins, including the Celsus Library and Great Theatre.
Tour the Acropolis in Athens: Explore an ancient cultural epicenter and the land of gods and goddesses -- Greece's capital city of Athens. Walk to the Parthenon, the fifth-century temple and one of the last reminders of the art and philosophy of this important culture. Other attractions include cruising the Corinth Canal, about 75 minutes away, and exploring the Plaka, Athen's oldest neighborhood.
Shop at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: Be enchanted by the sparkling city of Istanbul, Turkey. Gaze upon gleaming treasures and priceless gems housed in Topkapi Palace, former residence of the Ottoman sultans and their harems. From there, head to the one of the largest covered markets in the world -- the Grand Bazaar -- to find some treasures of your own. Ancient mosques, a spice market and the Turkish baths are other favorite tourist stops here.
Try your luck at a casino in Monte Carlo: Have fun playing the odds at the Grand Casino in Monaco, the glamorous getaway for the rich and famous. Next, stroll through the tiny principality's narrow streets, past the Royal Palace, the Oceanographic Museum and the cathedral that houses the tombs of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. Prefer not to walk? Drive along the Grand Prix circuit or marvel at the views on a helicopter ride above this luxury resort area.
Swim in Hot Springs in Santorini: See the breathtaking beauty of this volcanic Greek archipelago. Sail to Palea Kameni at the center of the Santorini Caldera and swim in the mineral-rich waters, which can reach roughly 98 degrees Fahrenheit. You also can visit the picturesque villages of Santorini, known for their white-washed buildings, see an 11th-century Byzantine church or stroll down a black-sand beach.