No other sea approach in the Adriatic raises goose bumps like Venice, where the entire city and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your luxurious home-away-from home, you arrive already equipped with a sense of what it’s like to live in the city that’s neither land nor water. Add your own sigh to the Bridge of Sighs, sip a spritz al bitter as you plot your agenda, and let the water taxis do your navigating unless you don’t mind getting lost. Not such a bad prospect, with serendipitous discoveries around every corner.
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
The lovely fishing port of Rovinj on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula bordered on three sides by the Adriatic Sea. You can tour the maze of cobblestone streets that lead to the hilltop St. Euphemia Cathedral with its towering steeple dominating the skyline. Old Town Rovinj is a delightful tangle of medieval streets and twisting stairways. Seek out the Bronze Age ruins of Monkodonja, the hidden beaches or the breathtaking natural beauty of the 6-mile-long Lim Fjord.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
This is one of Montenegro’s most beautiful bays, and the approach offers one breathtaking fjord-like view after another. Just when you’ve reached your fill of blues and greens, the bright red rooftops of the medieval Old Town come into view. The entire area has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The charming streets of Old Town remain car free, filled with 12th century Baroque palaces and Romanesque churches. For a fresh perspective, climb to the fortress on the hill for a breathtaking vista.
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
While larger ships pass by, we anchor right beyond the famous walled city so you can admire its beauty with every glance. Tender ashore and step right into Old Town, a UNESCO site where no cars are allowed, just eons of history. Capture the exhilarating views on your camera — and in your memory. End your day at the Buza Café (if you can find it) watching bold divers leap off the cliffs into the crystalline sea.
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
day 7 Giardini Naxos, Italy
Today you’ll discover one of Sicily’s jewels, the charming village of Giardini Naxos, nestled in one of the world’s most beautiful bays. An optional excursion to the popular hillside town of Taormina will be a highlight of your voyage — from the stunning setting of the iconic Greek Theater to the sparkling beaches along the Ionian Sea. Take a more adventurous tack and explore the UNESCO site of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.
8:00 AM TO 3:00 PM
UNESCO World Heritage Sites abound in Sorrento. Optional tours will take you to the archaeological areas of Pompeii and Torre Annunziata, or the 4th century B.C. city of Herculaneum. Perhaps your choice will be a boat ride to Positano, the legendary home of the Sirens. Perched on a terrace on the spectacular Amalfi Coast, Sorrento offers exceptional views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
In this enchanting city the past and present intersect in perfect harmony. Casually intermingled among ancient ruins and majestic cathedrals are the trappings of a modern metropolis: Skyscrapers,cafes, boutiques selling designer footwear. But of course what you seek first in the heart of Rome is its breathtaking history. A good place to begin is the Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Works by Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael are just a few of those on display, any one of which is worth hours of contemplation. Then the ancient ruins—Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. And of course the Trevi Fountain for the obligatory coins promising your return to the Eternal City.
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 10 Portoferraio, Italy
Pine-scented forests and miles of sandy beach await your arrival on the tranquil island of Elba. Enjoy a glass of local Moscato with the fresh catch of the day before pondering your next move. Perhaps you’ll visit the nearby countryside with its small fishing villages and dramatic mountain passes. Or see the calming beauty of Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Or maybe you’ll decide to walk to the nearest beach and dip your toes into the warm Mediterranean.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
With its golden ochre and terracotta buildings, designer shops, and chic cafés, Portofino represents the height of Italian artistry and sophistication. Sip a cappuccino along the fabled marina or enjoy a day of shopping in one of the town’s tempting little boutiques. As you look out over the harbor from the famous Hotel Splendido, it’s hard not to admire the sleek, streamlined beauty of your Windstar ship.
8:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
day 12 Monte Carlo, Monaco
Glide into port in one of Europe’s most exclusive harbors. Mingle with other privileged yachtsmen or step ashore and start walking. The glittering Grand Casino, legendary for its exotic setting on screen and off, is a must see, as is the royal family’s palace and the tomb of Philadelphia-born Princess Grace in the Cathedral.
7:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Here is the picture-perfect seaside town on the Côte d’Azur. In the luxury harbor many mega yachts are docked. Take a walk through Old Town Antibes with its narrow cobblestone streets and a daily flower and vegetable open market. Antibes is full of shops and cafés and other highlights include the Picasso Museum, Old Town Antibes, the Napoleon Museum, the Cap d’Antibes promontory, and the beautiful variety of beaches.
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 14 Sanary-sur-Mer, France
France’s sunniest city, located on the French Riviera, was originally a small fishing village and still is adorned by a large collection of traditional wooden fishing boats. This is the home of a group of local artisan fisherman who sell their catch daily on the pier and where Jacques Cousteau had a residence, the Villa Baobab.
9:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
Palamos is famous for the locally caught prawns found in the beautiful bay it sits beside, also known for the excellent swimming, surfing, snorkeling and windsurfing there. Here is the place to try fresh local Catalan cuisine. Two great highlights near Palamos are the Dali Museum, located in his home town of Figueres, and the UNESCO city of Girona, with its medieval architecture, walled Old Quarter and the Roman remains of Forca Vella Fortress.
The old meets the new in this sunny Catalan metropolis, where narrow alleyways contrast with grand boulevards, trendy cuisine meets homemade tapas, and everywhere you’re greeted by the warm, welcoming smiles of the fashionable locals. Don’t miss UNESCO sites like the mind-boggling architecture of Antoni Gaudí or La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, with its eight decorative spires soaring hundreds of feet into the sky.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.