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About La Spezia

Tucked into the Ligurian coastline between Genoa and Pisa, is the pretty town of La Spezia - one of Italy's most important military and commercial harbours. But it's not this that attracts so many. La Spezia is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Cinque Terre - a collection of five coastal villages perched on the coastline. Monterosso al Marc is famous for its beaches. Vernazza is a charming fishing port decorated with colourful buildings. Cornigilia is perched high above sea level with painted houses clinging to the cliff face. Peaceful Manarolais is modern in comparison and boasts a rocky cove. While Riomaggiore is a pretty town with attractive tall houses marching up the hillside.

Back in La Spezia itself you'll find a number of churches and museums. There's the 13th century Our Lady of Assumption church, housing a surprising collection of art, and the civic museum in the Castle of San Giorgio is just one of seven museums in the town.

 

Shore excursions in La Spezia

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Beautiful Cinque Terre

Activity highShopping

Duration: 7¼ hours

Discover the breathtaking Cinque Terre, a national park of 5 dramatically situated villages clinging to the cliffs.

The name Cinque Terre, ‘5 Lands’ was once only accessible by sea and even today there are no proper roads linking the villages you visit on this unique tour.

Travelling by boat towards Portovenere, you’ll capture the delightful coastal landscape along the way, and see the steep rugged and often vertical cliffs down to the sea below. After a guided tour you’ll re-board your boat and head towards Monterosso.

Monterosso is the most famous of the 5 lands, and after a guided introduction of the village, some free time will be given for you to purchase your own lunch from one of the local cafés or restaurants and to browse the local shops.

Afterwards, re-board the boat and head to the charming village of Vernazza, where you’ll be given some free time to explore this picturesque fishing village at leisure.

Afterwards, enjoy a return boat ride along the coastline to La Spezia.

Essential information

This excursion operates by boat and on foot. This tour involves extensive walking, which includes some uneven ground. There are around 100 steps to negotiate throughout the tour. Flat, non-slip walking shoes are essential. Passengers are advised to take sun protection, a bottle of water and Euros for purchases. In the event of poor sea conditions, the boat may be replaced by bus or train and Portovenere will be substituted with a visit to Manarola. The boat is a local service and is not exclusive to P&O Cruise passengers.

Blue Bay Beach Getaway

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Relax on the beach or take a dip in the crystal clear sea at the sheltered Blue Bay Beach.

Blue Bay (Baia Blu), it one of the most beautiful bays in the region of Liguria. Its sheltered position between Punta Santa Teresa and Punta Galera makes it the perfect retreat for swimming and watersports.

Blue Bay offers many amenities such as a self service restaurant, 3 bars, 2 swimming pools for adults and children and a children's club.

After a short transfer from the ship, you’ll arrive at Blue Bay where you’ll find changing rooms, a complimentary sun lounger and beach umbrella (which are included in the price of your tour). You’ll have approximately 3 hours to relax on the beach, swim in the sea or perhaps take a dip in the pool.

At a time specified by your escort, you’ll meet up and walk back to the coach park, for the return drive to La Spezia.

Essential information

This excursion operates by minibus and on foot. Blue Bay is a shingle beach. Please remember to take swimwear, a towel and protection from the sun; beach shoes are also recommended. Blue Bay is a popular beach and can become crowded at times. Lunch is not included. Please take note of the pick-up time and place.

Easy Pisa

Activity mediumShoppingFamily

Duration: 4½ hours

Discover the delights of Pisa with less walking. Trundle through this famous little town taking in the sights from the trolley train.

On arrival at the Pisa coach parking area, you’ll be met by your very own trolley train. Take a guided tour of the Pisa Medicea. See the interesting buildings along the River Arno, and pass through the lovely little Piazza dei Cavalieri, where the University and Conte Ugolino Tower are located.

The Trolley Train then takes you to the famous Field of Miracles. Here, your guide will introduce you to the delights of the Cathedral and the Baptistery. You’ll have around 30 minutes of free time to enjoy Miracle Square. Take some photos of the incredible Leaning Tower, do a spot of souvenir shopping, enjoy an ice cream or relax in a nearby café.

Take note of the meeting point for your trolley train transfer back to the parking area, where you’ll rejoin the coach for the return drive.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and trolley train. Passengers must be able to negotiate steps on and off the coach as well as the trolley train. The trolley only has limited storage for wheelchairs. The trolley train ride can be bumpy at times. The amount of walking during the free time is at passengers’ discretion; the terrain here is flat. Comfortable, flat shoes are recommended.

Florence and Pisa

Activity highShopping

Duration: 10 hours

Wander amidst the treasures of Florence and Pisa, absorb the artistic history and admire the timeless architecture and monuments.

Rising above the heart of the city is the richly decorated Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo). Standing in its shadow, you won’t be surprised to learn that this is the fourth largest church in the world.

See the most striking square in Florence, Signoria Square. The massive Palazzo Vecchio with its high fortress-like walls dominates the Piazza. Here, you can see a copy of Michelangelo’s famous statue ‘David’.

Santa Croce Square is one of Florence’s most pleasant squares. See the lovely church, surrounded by numerous shops and quaint cafés. (church exterior only). Photograph the famous 14thcentury bridge over the River Arno, the serene Ponte Vecchio.

You’ll enjoy some free time to purchase your own lunch and browse the shops before heading off to Pisa. Once in the famous and surprisingly small town of Pisa, you’ll have time to photograph the ‘Field of Miracles’, site of the Cathedral and, of course, the Leaning Tower.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. The transfer to Florence takes around 2¼ hours. Lunch is not included to allow maximum flexibility and time in Florence. Florence is pedestrianised with cobbled streets. Traffic is not permitted and the coach drop-off point is a 15 minute walk to and from the city centre. The majority of this tour is conducted on foot and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There is a 15 minute walk to and from the parking area to the Field of Miracles. Time spent at Pisa is un-guided. Passengers should dress appropriately when entering churches. Entrance fees are not included. The order of this tour may vary.

Florence and Pisa on Your Own

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 10½ hours

An ideal option for those wishing to discover Pisa and Florence independently

Discover Italy’s most iconic landmark at your own leisure. Upon arrival, take the short walk to Field of Miracles and enjoy around 1 hour to explore Pisa and to browse the many souvenir stalls.

Florence is a delightful city to discover. Upon arrival you’ll head to Santa Croce Square, where you’ll have around 3 hours to explore independently. Sightsee at leisure or relax at one of the cafés in the Piazza della Signoria. See some of the many wonderful monuments, browse in the elegant boutiques or head to the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge over the River Arno.

Your escort will arrange specified meeting times and places in both Pisa and Florence.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is a 15 minute walk to and from the parking area to the Field of Miracles. An inside visit to the tower is not possible due to time restraints. The transfer to Florence takes around 2¼ hours. Florence is pedestrianised with cobbled streets. Traffic is not permitted and the coach drop-off point is a 15 minute walk to and from the city centre. The level of walking is at passengers’ discretion. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Please dress appropriately when entering churches. The coaches cannot be held for latecomers and a return taxi to La Spezia costs around £200. The order of this tour may vary. This excursion is non-guided and exclusive of lunch and entrance fees. Some shops may be closed on Sundays and passengers are asked to bear in mind the general shop opening times in Italy.

 

A selection of cruises to La Spezia

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