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Ten Itinerary Highlights

By JoTuesday 10th January 2017

At Royal Caribbean, our aim is to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. We are the pioneers of many firsts at sea, offering a playground of incredible experiences on 25 of the world’s most innovative and spectacular ships, visiting over 260 destinations around the globe.

You all know that our itineraries are #extraordinary and we know it can be tricky choosing your destination, especially when it’s your first time on a cruise. We’ve pulled together five spectacular itineraries and focused on some of our best excursions, making it even easier for you when it comes to choosing where to go.

Explore France, Italy and Spain on a 14-night cruise onboard Independence of the Seas.

Itinerary: Southampton, England – Gibraltar, UK – Nice, France – Rome, Italy – Florence/Pisa, Italy – Provence, France – Malaga, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Southampton UK.

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OUR PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar 

shutterstock_589679171 The rock of Gibraltar offers stunning panoramic views over the island – if you enjoy a hike, or simply fancy a challenge, the ascent is certainly worth it for the rewarding feeling at the end! The top of the rock is home to around 300 Barbary Macaque monkeys, which are pretty hard to miss due to their inquisitive nature. Keep an eye out for the tunnels of Gibraltar, constructed over the course of nearly 200 years by the British Army. The warren of tunnels, which were used to house guns, hangars, ammunition stores, barracks and hospitals, are perfect for history buffs to explore.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

shutterstock_386675059 No trip to Rome is complete without a trip to the beautiful Trevi Fountain. Opened in 1762, the fountain stands at a huge 85 feet tall and is almost 65 feet wide. It’s a tradition to throw money over your shoulder into the water – approximately €3000 is thrown into the fountain per day! If you get involved in this classic tradition, you’ll be pleased to know that the coins are collected every night and given to an Italian charity called Caritas; a supermarket program that gives rechargeable cards to those in Rome who need extra help with buying their groceries. The fountain spills around 2,824,800 cubic feet of water every day (though the water is recycled, so don’t drink it!).

Fancy a shorter European trip? How about a seven-night cruise onboard Freedom of the Seas? Itinerary: Barcelona, Spain – Provence, France – Florence/Pisa, Italy – Rome, Italy – Naples/Capri, Italy – Barcelona, Spain.

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Teatro Di San Carlo, Naples

shutterstock_198444389 A world-famous opera house in Naples, the Teatro San Carlo was the biggest opera house in the world when it was built in 1737, as requested by King Charles VII, and it still stands as the oldest opera house in Italy. The building burned down in 1816, but was rebuilt at the request of King Ferdinand IV, not to be re-opened until a year later. The sheer exuberance of this astounding, horseshoe-shaped theatre leaves its visitors mesmerised; make a note to admire the stunning ceiling, designed by Giovanni Antonio Medrano and Angelo Carasale. The design of the theatre means that the sound quality is fantastic – a definite ‘must visit’ if you find yourself in Naples.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

“The temple as a whole, as well as being a place for divine worship, will artistically represent the truths of religion and the glorification of God and His Saints” – A. Gaudi

If you find that you only have a short amount of time in Barcelona, make sure that the Sagrada Familia is your first port of call. Currently still under construction after more than 100 years, it was designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1882. The meaning of the cathedral is communicated through the form and expressivity of its architecture and the iconography of its sculpture. You’ll be absolutely astounded by the exterior, but if there’s enough time, don’t pass up the chance to have a look inside. You’ll be blown away by the gothic columns and colorful stained-glass windows. It’s another must-see!

Have you ever visited Scandinavia and Russia? Enjoy the delight of a seven-night cruise onboard Serenade of the Seas.

Itinerary: Copenhagen, Denmark – Stavanger, Norway – Bergen, Norway – Alesund, Norway – Geiranger, Norway – Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Rosenborg Slot, Copenhagen

The history-buffs in the family will love the Rosenberg Slot. The Castle was built between 1606 and 1633 by King Christian IV, in order to make it his summer home. Today, the top 24 rooms are arranged chronologically and house the portraits of the hundreds of monarchs who have reigned since. Make sure you don’t miss out on the basement treasury, home to King Christian IV’s crown and Christian III’s jewel-studded sword. In the 1830s, the royal family decided to open the castle to visitors as a museum, while still using it as a treasury for royal regalia and jewels.

Seven Sisters Waterfall, Norway

shutterstock_199669517 Supposedly the most stunning waterfalls in Geirangerfjord, no less than seven waterfalls flow down 250 meters of rock– a truly impressive sight. Legend has it that the ‘Seven Sisters’ were all unmarried, and the waterfall on the other side of the Fjord has been named as ‘The Suitor’ by locals, after ‘several unsuccessful attempts’ to court the sisters. Don’t forget your camera on this excursion – there’s really nothing quite like it!

Set sail on a 14-night cruise, taking a tour around the Mediterranean onboard Navigator of the Seas.

Itinerary: Southampton, England – Gibraltar, UK – Florence/Pisa, Italy – Rome, Italy – Ajaccio, Corsica – Barcelona, Spain – Valencia, Spain – Malaga, Spain – Seville, Spain – Southampton, UK.

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Uffizi Gallery, Florence

shutterstock_371765680 One for the cultured amongst you, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous galleries in the world. It boasts paintings that date as far back as the 14th century; with masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Caravaggio, the collection of featured art is simply invaluable. Constructed between 1560 and 1580 in the heart of Florence, ticket prices are cheap – the gallery welcomes over 1,000,000 visitors a year! Enjoy your journey through the museum, taking in the unique experience. We’d recommend three or four hours visiting time maximum, just so you don’t get too tired! Visit the Rooftop Café for fresh air and beautiful views.

Gibralfaro Castle, Málaga

Built in the 14th century to house troops, this is one of the most visited monuments in Málaga. The castle originally acted as a lighthouse and military barracks, and currently serves as a wonderful, cultural daytrip out with the family. You can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the walls, stopping to take in the stunning views of the city whilst soaking up the sun. Stop at the information centre to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the site’s history – there’s lots of it! Once inside, you can walk around the entire perimeter of the fortress. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and pack a bottle of sun cream!

Get a taste of Southeast Asia on a seven-night cruise Mariner of the Seas. The trip includes an overnight in the port of Phuket.

Itinerary: Singapore – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Penang, Malaysia – Phuket, Thailand – Singapore.

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Batu Caves, Malaysia

Can you handle an incline of 300 steps? Yes? Then a trip to Batu Caves is the perfect excursion for you! The giant limestone caves house temples that have been attracting Hindu pilgrims for over 120 years. If you’re not blown away by the huge Hindu statues (which we’re sure you will be!), then you’ll certainly be kept entertained by the monkeys that inhabit the area. Keep your belongings close and avoid feeding them – they should be kept at arm’s length, at least! Make sure you leave enough time to tour the Dark Cave in order to learn about the surrounding areas of natural history. The main Temple Cave is free, but each cave has a different admission price, so check before you visit.

Wat Chalong, Phuket

Built at the beginning of the 19th Century, the Wat Chalong Temple is actually named Wat Chaithararam. It is the largest temple in Phuket, and certainly the most popular. Tourists and locals alike flock to pay their respects and pray to several revered monks who founded the temple. The two most renowned, Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang, led the people of the Chalong Sub district – the people who fought against the Chinese rebels in 1876. They also helped the injured with natural herbal medicine, so are respected icons. The temple is also home to a splinter of bone from Buddha, which is sheltered by a ‘Chedi’, or Buddhist Stupa. With three floors of golden statues, paintings and architecture, this is certainly one for the bucket list and an unforgettable experience to share with friends back home.

Each shore excursion is just one of many gems that our itineraries have to offer. Discover our extraordinary range of holiday destinations and start planning your first adventure! 

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