River Cruise Itinerary
Uncover the extraordinary hidden treasures of Venice and Northern Italy.
Soak up the enchantment of “The City of Water” and three outer-lying Venetian islands, Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Be treated to an exclusive evening opening and lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica. Discover the charm of seaside Chioggia loved by fishermen and artists alike. Explore medieval Padua, once home to Galileo and Copernicus; “bountiful” Bologna; and UNESCO-designated Ferrara. Each of these enchanting locales is yours to uncover on “Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy.”
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour? Romantics, connoisseurs of food and wine and lovers of art and architecture. Experienced travelers looking to explore the hidden gems of Northern Italy.
Day 1 (Sun, Sep 15, 2019): Venice (Embark)Arrive at Venice Marco Polo International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. Unpack, relax and enjoy your first evening on the Venetian Lagoon.
Day 2 (Mon, Sep 16, 2019): VeniceHoping to escape marauding Huns, Goths and Vandals as the Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, refugees built a little settlement they called Venice on tiny islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. By the 12th century, Venice was the wealthiest and most powerful city-state in Europe, controlling the Mediterranean and all European trade with the East. Its merchant-aristocrats lavished their wealth on palaces and churches, art and music, creating a city that is truly like no other. Now, seawater laps at the foot of thousand-year-old houses— and sometimes rises above the doorsteps—but the glorious palaces and romantic canals enchant visitors just as they have for centuries. Today you will embark on your own personal voyage of discovery through this entrancing city. An expert guide will show you iconic sites as well as quiet lanes and secret spots known only to locals (shhhh….). Also on deck today: a scenic cruise around the Venetian Lagoon.
Day 3 (Tue, Sep 17, 2019): ChioggiaThe River Countess sails from Venice, cruising through the lagoon, past the Lido, the colorful fishermen’s houses of Pellestrina and the huge ongoing flood-control project called MOSE (which is designed to protect Venice from rising seawater), before docking in Chioggia, sometimes called “Little Venice,” at the southern end of the lagoon. Join a local expert for a stroll around this picturesque fishing village, a popular place for artists, or “Let's Go” with a bike ride along the beaches lining the lagoon, or, for something really unique, hop aboard a small boat to go mussel harvesting with local fishermen out in the lagoon. The seaside air and sweeping views are simply spectacular. IMPORTANT: We are obliged to comply with Italian Maritime Authorities who require that the ship is only manned by crew during the Adriatic Sea passage. Therefore, our guests must disembark the ship and partake in the featured excursions. We thank you for your cooperation.
Day 4 (Wed, Sep 18, 2019): Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)Today you face a tough decision: Do you spend a full day in Bologna, the culinary capital of Northern Italy, or visit UNESCO-designated Ferrara, a beautifully preserved Renaissance city? Let your passions be your guide today. If you have an appetite for pasta, head to Bologna—the heart of Italian culinary traditions—and learn how to make (and eat!) your own lunch. Or indulge your appetite for art with an excursion to Ferrara, an ancient center for the arts that once rivaled Medici Florence.
Day 5 (Thu, Sep 19, 2019): Porto Viro, ChioggiaChioggia is such a delight that we’ll return there today to experience something completely different. You can visit the village’s bustling once-a-week market—a colorful and boisterous scene, and quintessentially Italian. IMPORTANT: We are obliged to comply with Italian Maritime Authorities who require that the ship is only manned by crew during the Adriatic Sea passage. Therefore, our guests must disembark the ship and partake in the featured excursions. We thank you for your cooperation.
Day 6 (Fri, Sep 20, 2019): Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello)Venice is an island surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands, three of which you’ll visit today—Burano, famous for its lace-makers and houses painted in eye-popping colors; Mazzorbo, where you’ll taste a historic golden-hued wine; and Torcello, home to beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
Day 7 (Sat, Sep 21, 2019): VeniceLovers of food and wine flock to Italy to immerse themselves in a true farm-to-table epicurean experience. If that sounds like you, you’ll love today’s walking tour to the famous fish and produce market next to the Rialto Bridge. Prefer a more visual feast? Join an art historian for a highlights tour of the Accademia gallery.
Meals Included: Dinner
Day 8 (Sun, Sep 22, 2019): Venice (Disembark)Disembark the ship. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home.