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Italy Tours & Cruises

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Trevi Fountain in Rome
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A tour or cruise of Italy takes you to a land of history, culture and cuisine unrivaled on this planet. Float through Venice on a gondola, navigating romantic canals. Stroll throug metropolitan Milan where ancient architecture and modern Italian culture merge. Take a hike in the Dolomites or Cinque Terre. Float down the Po River on an Italian river cruise. Disembark your small ship cruise in Civitavecchia, 50 miles from Rome, and wander the cobblestone streets to see the Roman Colosseum, the Pantheon, the ruins at the Roman Forum. The Vatican City's St. Peter's Basilica, and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, will leave you breathless. Sail to the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia by circumnavigating both and tasting wine and local Italian cuisine in quaint seaside villages. Contact one of our Italy travel specialists today to start planing the perfect tour or cruise.
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10 Best Italy Cruises & Tours for 2024-2025

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10 Best Luxury Italian Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
A Circumnavigation of Sicily with Smithsonian Journeys$74209Jun 2, 2025During this 9-day cruise around Sicily aboard the new luxury expedition ship Le Bougainville, you'll be able to explore mythical places at the …
Cruising Southern Italy and Sicily – with Smithsonian Journeys$82209Aug 27, 2025Sail on this 9-day Southern Italy and Sicily cruise with Smithsonian Journeys aboard Le Dumont-d'Urville. Start in Valletta, Malta, exploring …
Culture and Islands of the Mediterranean$737012Apr 26, 2025Embark on a 12-day cruise from Barcelona to Malta aboard L’Austral. Enjoy culinary and cultural experiences with an included excursion per port. …
Malta, Italian shores and Isle of Beauty$681011Aug 9, 2024Set sail on a brand-new 11-day Mediterranean cruise from the French Riviera's gem to the magnificent capital of Malta. Discover Malta, the Italian …
Malta, Italian shores and Isle of Beauty$681011Jul 30, 2024Join this 11-day Mediterranean Sea cruise from Valletta to Nice aboard Le Bougainville and explore stunning locations like Gozo, Comino, Lipari, …
From the City of Gods to the Eternal City$759012Apr 22, 2025Join Le Bougainville on this 12-day journey from Athens to Civitavecchia, exploring the Mediterranean. Enjoy diverse experiences with included …
From Malta to the Adriatic Coast$55209Aug 13, 2025Embark on a 9-day cruise on Le Bougainville, visiting Malta, Montenegro, Croatia, and Italy, with UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Venice, Dubrovnik, …
Grand Voyage: Malaga to Cannes$364016Apr 25, 2025Sail to an impressive collection of ports on this 16-day Grand Voyage, from the stunning Balearic Islands off Eastern Spain to quixotic tiny port …
Mysteries of Carthage and the Moors$1110812Aug 9, 2024Explore the North African coasts on this 12-day cultural expedition cruise aboard SH Diana. Embark on this voyage of discovery from Palermo to Lisbon.
Secrets of Sicily$925110Aug 19, 2024Explore the Mediterranean on this 10-day cultural expedition cruise aboard SH Diana. Experience this beautiful island's best features in comfort and …
Italy Land Tours

Top 10 Customizable Tours to Italy for 2024

Italy Land Tours
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Top Venice River Cruises on the Po River Delta

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Private Charter - Venice and Mantua Cruise Aboard La Bella Vita$905007Jun 23, 2024Enjoy a 7-day private cruise around Italy on the hotel barge La Bella Vita, which departs from Venice and stops at Pellestrina, Chioggia, Ferrara, …
Venice and Mantua Cruise$49507Jun 23, 2024Departing from Venice aboard the intimate ship La Bella Vita, enjoy a 7-day cruise of Italy, stopping in Pellestrina, Chioggia, the Renaissance city …

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Italy Travel Guide & Cruise Tips

Weather in Italy
Italy offers its best charms during two splendid seasons: spring (April-June) and fall (September-October). During these periods, temperatures strike the perfect balance between warmth and comfort, tourist crowds thin out, and prices become more agreeable compared to the bustling summer months.
  • May to October: This span, embracing late spring through early fall, graces Italy with its finest weather.
  • March to April & November: These are the shoulder months, a traveler's treasure trove for securing the finest deals and discounts on Italian cruises.
  • April to June & September: These months stand as the prime windows for exploring the enchanting coastal cities of Venice, Rome, and Naples.
  • April to October: This generous season invites you to discover the beauty of Sicily in all its glory.
  • March to May or October: Choose these months for an indulgent tour through Italy's lush vineyards, where every sip resonates with the essence of the season.
Exploring Mediterranean Ports in Italy and Beyond in 2025
Embark on a Mediterranean cruise and uncover captivating ports where history, culture, and natural beauty seamlessly intertwine. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Vatican City, explore the historical richness of Athens, Rhodes, and Ephesus, as you explore the Eastern Mediterranean. As you journey through the Western Mediterranean, relish in the splendor of Cinque Terre, and Genoa. 
  • Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast beckons with its dramatic cliffs, charming villages, and panoramic vistas. Explore the ports of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Don't miss the opportunity to gaze upon Mount Vesuvius, a dormant volcano that has shaped the region's history.
  • Sicilian Wonders: Sicily boasts a wealth of archaeological marvels, from the ancient Greek temples of Agrigento to the bustling markets of Palermo and the dramatic landscapes of Mount Etna. 
  • Ligurian Sea: Immerse yourself in the picturesque beauty of La Spezia, a charming port town that provides access to the breathtaking landscapes of Cinque Terre. Explore the historic Port of Genoa (Genova) and its maritime legacy, and discover the allure of Portofino, a gem on the Italian Riviera
  • Dalmatian Coast and Aeolian Islands: Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is a true gem of the Adriatic Sea. Discover the medieval beauty of Dubrovnik's Old Town, the historic city of Split, and the stunning landscapes of Hvar and Korčula. Sail to the Aeolian Islands, where the natural beauty of volcanic landscapes meets tranquil island life.
  • Greek Isles and Beyond: From the vibrant streets of Mykonos to the ancient ruins of Delos and the dramatic landscapes of Santorini, the Greek Isles enchant with their diverse beauty. 
  • Adriatic Sea: Extending between Italy and the Balkans, the Adriatic Sea unveils a diverse mosaic of cultures and landscapes. From the enchanting Venice, known for its captivating waterways, to the historical treasures of Albania, and the scenic wonders of Montenegro.
2025​ Italy Cruise Highlights

Perhaps no country captures the relaxing classical atmosphere of the Mediterranean better than Italy. Ever since it was the seat of the powerful Roman Empire, its influence has been felt throughout the world, in art, architecture, and even language. As you tour this ancient country on a small ship cruise, you will have the chance to visit the cities and sites that make Italy what it is today. 
  • Venice - the city of bridges and canals that takes you back to Italy's yesteryear, where you'll see the Byzantine Doge's Palace and maybe enjoy a classic gondola tour. 
  • Rome (Civitavecchia) – the country's capital city and home to the Roman empire's most famous ruins, like the Colosseum and the Forum. The Vatican City is home to St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the administrative headquarters of the Catholic Church.
  • Sicily - the Mediterranean's largest island is the off the southern coast of Italy, and home to its own unique culture, cuisine and wines.
  • Sardinia - is a picturesque island with a rugged coastline in the middle of the Mediterranean with almost 2,000 km of coastline, sandy beaches and a mountainous interior with ample hiking opportunities. Thousands of nuraghi, mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives dot the countryside.  
  • Naples & The Amalfi Coast - here, you can visit the harrowing sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, where artifacts from the violent eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius are well preserved.
  • PortofinoA tranquil seaside village home to unforgettable cafes, restaurants, and shopping.
  • Escape to the quaint Mediterranean island paradises of PortoferraioPonzaLipari, or Sorrento.
Exploring the Enchanting World of Wine Tours in Italy
Embarking on an Italy wine tour means immersing yourself in a rich viticultural heritage that spans from north to south. 

Wine Regions and Landscapes
  • Tuscany: Famous for its Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany's rolling hills produce exquisite Sangiovese grapes.
  • Piedmont: Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, this region's Nebbiolo grapes create bold, elegant red wines.
  • Veneto: Known for Prosecco and Amarone, Veneto delivers sparkling and full-bodied red wines from Corvina and Rondinella grapes.
  • Sicily: With Nero d'Avola and Grillo, Sicily crafts robust reds and crisp whites from indigenous varieties.
Italian Grape Varieties
  • Sangiovese: Predominant in Tuscany, it's the backbone of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.
  • Nebbiolo: The "King of Grapes" in Piedmont, giving life to Barolo and Barbaresco.
  • Barbera: Another Piedmont treasure, known for its versatility and approachability.
  • Primitivo: Thriving in Puglia, it's Italy's answer to Zinfandel, producing robust red wines.
  • Vermentino: A crisp white from Liguria and Sardinia, known for its zesty citrus and herbal notes.
Italian Wine Regions
  • Chianti: A classic red from Tuscany, often medium-bodied with red fruit notes and a touch of earthiness.
  • Prosecco: A light, sparkling white wine hailing from Veneto, adored for its lively bubbles and freshness.
  • Barolo: The "Wine of Kings," this Piedmont red is robust, age-worthy, and boasts complex layers.
  • Amarone: A rich, bold red from Veneto, made using dried grapes, resulting in deep flavors and higher alcohol content.

Top Destinations & Attractions in Italy

Exploring Rome During Your Italy Trip - Highlights
  • Vatican City: Independent city-state within Rome, home to the Pope and iconic St. Peter's Basilica. It's the world's smallest independent state both in area and population.
  • Vatican Museum: Vast collection of art and artifacts, including Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. The museum houses over 70,000 works of art, showcasing centuries of human achievement.
  • Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo's renowned frescoes, including "Creation of Adam" and "Last Judgment." It's the official residence of the Pope and the location of the papal conclave for the election of a new pope.
  • St. Peter's Basilica: Renaissance masterpiece, largest church in the world, housing Michelangelo's "Pieta." The basilica's dome was designed by Michelangelo and stands as an architectural marvel.
  • Colosseum: Ancient amphitheater, iconic symbol of Roman engineering and gladiatorial contests. It could hold up to 80,000 spectators and hosted a variety of events, from battles to theatrical performances.
  • Pantheon: Well-preserved ancient temple, remarkable dome, and burial site of Italian kings. Its dome is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
  • Trevi Fountain: Iconic Baroque fountain featuring Neptune and tritons, known for coin tossing tradition. The tradition of tossing a coin over the left shoulder into the fountain is believed to ensure a return to Rome.
  • Spanish Steps: Renowned staircase connecting Piazza di Spagna and Trinità dei Monti Church. They were funded by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier and are a popular meeting place for locals and tourists.
  • Piazza Navona: Picturesque square with Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers and Baroque architecture. It was originally built as a competition arena for athletic contests and theatrical performances.
  • Castel Sant'Angelo: Mausoleum turned fortress, offers panoramic views of the city. The castle's construction began in AD 135 and it has served as a fortress, castle, and prison over the centuries.
Italy Trips - Northern Italy
  • Milan: Italy's fashion capital boasts iconic sites like the Gothic Milan Cathedral and Leonardo da Vinci's, "The Last Supper."
  • Lake Como: A serene retreat offering stunning lake views and villas. Explore the town of Bellagio and its gardens.
  • Turin: Discover the elegance of Turin with its historic cafes, royal palaces, and the iconic Mole Antonelliana.
  • Venice: Experience the enchantment of the floating city, known for its canals, gondolas, St. Mark's Basilica, and the Grand Canal.
  • Verona: The city of love, home to the legendary balcony of Juliet and the Roman Arena.
  • Parma: Known for its Parmesan cheese and Prosciutto di Parma. Explore its Romanesque cathedral.
  • Ravenna: Immerse yourself in Byzantine mosaics at the Basilica of San Vitale and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.
  • Ferrara: Explore the well-preserved Renaissance city, known for its Este Castle and impressive city walls.
  • Trieste: Admire the Miramare Castle and Piazza Unità d'Italia.
Italy Trips - Central Italy
  • Florence: The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence boasts the Uffizi Gallery, Florence Cathedral, and Ponte Vecchio.
  • Tuscany: A haven of rolling hills, vineyards, and charming villages. Explore the artistic treasures of Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the medieval town of Siena.
  • Rome: The Eternal City brims with history. Visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, and the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Umbria: Discover the serene landscapes and medieval towns of Assisi and Perugia, known for their artistic and cultural heritage.
  • San Gimignano: Famous for its medieval towers, this hilltop town offers panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside.
Italy Trips - Southern Italy
  • Amalfi Coast: Revel in the dramatic coastal beauty of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. 
  • Naples: Experience the vibrant street life and indulge in Neapolitan pizza. Don't miss the National Archaeological Museum.
  • Pompeii: Step back in time at this ancient Roman city buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 
  • Sorrento: A charming town overlooking the Bay of Naples, known for its panoramic views, citrus groves, and craftsmanship.
  • Capri: Discover the glamour of this island paradise with its Blue Grotto, stunning vistas, and upscale boutiques.
  • Messina: Gateway to Sicily with its historical architecture, including the Messina Cathedral and astronomical clock.
  • Palermo: Sicily's capital is known for its vibrant markets, Baroque churches, and Norman Palace.
  • Sicily: Experience the diverse landscapes of this island, from the ancient Greek ruins of Agrigento to the stunning beaches of Taormina and the majestic Mount Etna.

Best Italy Small Ship Cruise Lines for 2024-2025

  • European Waterways is headquartered in Berkshire, England, and operates a fleet of 17 river cruising vessels throughout Europe's rivers and canals. Discover the fascinating world of barging through the historic Po Valley in Italy aboard the stylish 20-passenger vessel La Bella Vita.
  • Silversea Cruises. A luxury cruise line with headquarters in Monaco and is a subsidiary of the Royal Caribbean Group. Silver Cloud has one of the highest crew-to-guest and space-to-guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 20 zodiacs and ten kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless. 
  • Star Clippers Americas recreate the legendary clippers that crossed the oceans in the 19th century and, in doing so, offer people the chance to experience the unique thrill of sailing the Mediterranean aboard its three tall ships, the Royal ClipperStar Flyer, and Star Clipper.
  • Ponant combines superb itineraries with five-star hotel service. Cruise along Italian shores on an exceptional luxury cruise aboard Le Bougainville to discover the highlights of this stunning western Mediterranean coastline
  • Sea Cloud Cruises has always preserved and shaped the true value of windjammers. The wind and waves' beat determines the rhythm and direction of life on board. The Sea Cloud II perfectly combines spaciousness for up to 94 passengers with the lifestyle of a private yacht.
  • Emerald Waterways offers a delectable selection of dining options horizon-expanding excursions and first-class service, every holiday generously stocked with extras. The superyacht  Emerald Azzurra measures 110 meters in length and can comfortably accommodate 100 guests.
  • CroisiEurope. A French independent family business for 45 years, has established itself as the European leader in river cruises and specialized in intimate-sized cruises on rivers. The size of the 154 passenger MS Michelangelo allows it to cruise the Venetian Lagoon and moor close to Saint Mark's Square. 
  • Variety Cruises. A private cruise operator company based in Athens features small ships that offer ocean view cabins and unobstructed 360° views of nature's wonders and splendors. The 44-guest Harmony G features a spacious lounge with ample space, dining areas decorated with warm colors, large windows offering pristine views of all destinations, shaded areas, an outdoor bar, and loungers. 
  • Lindblad Expeditions has been a responsible travel and sustainability leader for over 50 years.

Italy Cruise & Tour FAQs

Why should I choose an Italy cruise?
On an Adventure Life cruise around Italy, you will have the opportunity to see the Mediterranean from a unique perspective – aboard a comfortable sea-going ship. These tours are gaining popularity against the alternative land-based tours, because of the many advantages, like not having to pack & unpack at every new city, saving time traveling between various destinations since your hotel literally floats along with you and takes advantage of evenings & nights to travel long distances, and offering all-inclusive prices that cover lodging, transportation, tours, and all meals. 

What should I look for on a small ship cruise?
Whether you are cruising on a long style river vessel or a classic yacht, we guarantee you comfort and a touch of the luxurious on your Italian cruise. All vessels feature ample cabins, a dining area where you will enjoy exquisite meals and a full service bar, and a sun deck from which to enjoy the sea breeze and fantastic views. Very few vessels offer amenities like pools, hot tubs, or exercise rooms, but since most of the time will be spent exploring on land, you likely won't even notice. 

Are there 5-star river vessels in Europe?
While we don't feature any boats that are considered five stars due to their smaller size and limited amenities, we are confident that the hand-picked itineraries aboard these comfortable vessels will not disappoint. From gourmet cuisine to expert local guides, this is sure to be a vacation that you consider a five star experience.

Should I get a room with a balcony?
You should weigh the benefits and disadvantages. If having a private balcony in your room is important to you, then go for it. But be aware that this often takes the price up much higher than the other rooms and the balconies can actually cut into the cabin space. A good alternative would be to get a room with panoramic floor to ceiling windows. Remember, all of our featured boats have a sundeck from which you can enjoy the fresh sea air of the Italian coast.

What is dining like?
Fine dining and savory flavors are one of Italy's most famous exports, so you know that on a cruise around the coastal regions of this Mediterranean country you will enjoy some of the old country's most exquisite dishes prepared by expert local chefs. 

Do Italian cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the coast?
Yes! In fact, many Italian destinations are further inland. Your boat will dock at one of the port cities and you will take a short ride on a luxury coach towards your final destination.

Will my vessel have WiFi?
Your vessel will likely have WiFi, but it's not standard on all boats yet. River ships tend to have good connections, but if you are cruising the open Mediterranean, you might be far out of range of a signal.

What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
European power operates on 220v electricity, as opposed to the 110v in North America. You will not need power converters since most devices accept both power levels, however you will need either three pronged British style plug adapters or two round prong European style plug adapters. It might be a good hack to tape your plugs to the adapters so as not to forget them when packing up.

Are cruises in Italy a good family vacation?
Italy cruises can be a fun way to spend a family vacation in Europe. Wine tasting tours are generally for families with children over 18 years of age, of course, so for families traveling with teens and children, the featured active tours are the best option. 

Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to Italy?
All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements.
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