5 Night Cruise sailing from Nice roundtrip aboard Azamara Journey.
Get revved up for the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco, the premier spring social event for movie stars, dignitaries and glitterati. Docking in Monte-Carlo is quite an experience too, with buzzing helicopters and luxury yachts putting on a race-day show. The race itself? Astounding. Monaco’s winding city streets are the circuit, with thrills and chills around every bend. (Grand Prix tickets additional.) Get your beauty rest before this voyage, because we’ve got more big experiences, including a late stay in Livorno to visit art-filled Florence or beautiful Lucca and the Tuscan countryside. You’ll also enjoy late stays to shop and dine in Saint-Tropez and stroll Boulevard de la Croisette in the luxurious beach resort of Cannes.
Highlights of this cruise:
Nice, Queen of the Riviera, is imbued with the joie de vivre that epitomizes this fabled coastline. Perhaps it is that famous light and color that has long attracted artists, that makes one feel so alive, makes a stroll down the wide seaside Promenade des Anglais so exhilarating. The old town is a warren of meandering lanes edged by tall houses, and small, alluring shops. A treasure trove of archaeological and fine art museums is not to be ignored, nor is the famous flower market, awash in the heady scent and glowing hues of blossoms, and amazing displays of produce.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Ah, Florence – sublime birthplace of the Renaissance, its historic center full to bursting with elegant squares, imposing palaces, magnificent churches, and museums with such an abundance of riches it could make an art lover weep for joy. The list of illustrious names connected with this city is mind-boggling: Botticelli, Dante, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo. Other colorful and fascinating characters were of dubious reputation: Machiavelli, and the religious extremist Savonarola, with his bonfire of the vanities. For many years the city was ruled by the powerful Medici family, patrons of the arts and bankers to the papacy, whose line included six kings and two popes.
Saint-Tropez conjures up images of sun-drenched beaches, tanned bodies, and jet setters enjoying martinis on the decks of luxury yachts. Indeed it is a glamorous playground for the wealthy, but anyone can spend an afternoon at a sidewalk café, watching the spectacle unfold. The south of France played a role in the history of modern painting, its clear light inspiring artists, so that even today many live and work here. For mesmerizing views, head up to the 16th century Citadel. Or stroll the old town, overflowing with restaurants, trendy boutiques, and galleries.
The tiny principality of Monaco, a sovereign state of just under one square mile, has an outsized resume, boasting some of the planet’s most expensive real estate, and the world’s most prestigious casino. Facing the sea, and engulfed on the other three sides by France, it has been the domain of the Grimaldi dynasty since the 14th century, and enjoys the same glamorous reputation as the rest of the Riviera.