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To celebrate the opening of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival we have taken a delve into our itineraries to see which big screen destinations you can visit on a P&O Cruises holiday.
In Sean Connery’s 1971 outing as James Bond, he is tasked with destroying the diamond smuggling operation of arch nemesis Blofeld, who needs them to build his space-based laser weapon, of course. Inevitably, the trail of dastardly deeds takes 007 to the European capital of gems, Amsterdam.
As Bond nips down the canalsides and across scenic bridges in his natty yellow Triumph Stag, a body is dragged from the waters of the River Amstel by the Skinny Bridge – with tourists watching in horror from a passing boat. Assuming the identity of smuggler Peter Franks, Bond makes contact with Tiffany Case, who resides in a splendidly stylish example of Dutch townhouse architecture at Reguliersgracht, 36. The canals, bridge and house are easily identifiable today – and if you want to delve deeper into the history of Amsterdam’s diamond trade, a visit to the Diamant Museum is a must.
View cruises to Amsterdam here.
Woody Allen’s 2008 romantic comedy-drama stars A-listers Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall and Javier Bartem as a ménage whose friendships and love lives become entwined one summer of cultural exploration in Barcelona. However, the star of the show is the city itself in Allen’s Barcelonian homage. From the minute friends Vicky (Hall) and Cristina (Johansson) arrive in the Catalan capital, the city’s artistic and architectural wonders form the backdrop to the action.
As the pair immerse themselves in the city, they feast on iconic Gaudí projects including The Church of La Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà and Passeig de Gràcia and Park Güell. Their cultural odyssey also takes in the city’s abundant museums and galleries, among them The Miró Museum, National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Scenes set in Las Ramblas, Parc Montjuic and a host of cool cafés, bars and markets add to the city’s exciting vibe.
Book your cruise to Barcelona here.
The Bay of Naples in Italy was chosen for much of the filming of 1999 cult thriller The Talented Mr Ripley. Starring Matt Damon as the jealous and calculating Tom Ripley, Jude Law as the wealthy playboy Dickie Greenleaf and Gwyneth Paltrow as Dickie’s girlfriend Marge Sherwood, the film is set in the 1950s, and the colourful scenes of cobbled streets, umbrella-dotted beaches and sparkling waters make for some serious wanderlust.
From the minute Tom Ripley arrives at the port of the fictional Italian town of Mongibello (which was inspired by the beautiful Amalfi Coast but is really Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples), we’re captivated by the romantic scenes of market vendors and the imposing ancient castle in the background. Die-hard fans can follow the trail inland to Naples and to the magnificent Teatro di San Carlo opera house, which in the film is presented as Rome’s opera house.
View cruises to the Bay of Naples here.
Spend even a small amount of time in Bruges in Belgium and it’s a given you’ll spot at least one of the filming locations featured in In Bruges. The film follows Irish hitmen Ken (Brendon Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell), who are told to lie low in the city after completing a job, but in fact end up going on a two-week sight-seeing mission – much to an uninterested and nervous Ray’s despair.
The mismatched pair take in the glorious views from atop the belfry in Bruge’s UNESCO-listed centre, get a taste for Belgian beer at ‘t Zwart Huis and become captivated by Old Masters paintings at Groeninge Museum – just three activities you can also enjoy in this medieval gem of a city.
View cruises to Bruges here.
If you’re a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, then you’ll be in your element as you explore the tropical islands of St Vincent, St Lucia or Puerto Rico. The supernatural swashbuckler series follows the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, during the golden age of buccaneers in the early 18th century.
The Puerto Rican capital of San Juan is one of the most historically rich areas in the whole of the Caribbean. With its cobblestone streets, lined with colourful colonial houses, it’s easy to see why this beautiful city was chosen to double up as the old Spanish city of Cádiz in the fourth instalment of the blockbuster franchise. On the stunning island of St Lucia, you’ll recognise the picturesque natural arch of Marigot Bay as the spot where Jack Sparrow saw the hanging skeletons of captured pirates in the first movie.
Over in St Vincent, the palm tree-lined talcum-white sands of Petit Tabac will be familiar as the exotic desert island where Captain Sparrow and Elizabeth found themselves marooned. While over on St Vincent’s west coast, you’ll find Wallilabau Bay which doubled up as Port Royal in the first three movies and was the very spot where the world was first introduced to Captain Jack in The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Book your next Caribbean adventure here.
The most brilliant mind at one of America’s top universities, Harvard, isn’t a student but the kid who cleans floors. Written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon when they were struggling actors who couldn’t find work, Good Will Hunting went on to win two Oscars – including Best Original Screenplay – and made the two writers global stars. ‘How do you like them apples?’
Filmed on location in Boston, Matt Damon stars as janitor Will who has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist, played by Robin Williams, to find his direction in life. Not surprisingly, many of the scenes were filmed in and around Harvard, which you can reach by taking a short subway ride beneath the Charles River to Cambridge.
The college room of Will’s girlfriend Skylar, played by Minnie Driver, is just over the Charles River at Dunster House at Harvard University. And Harvard Square is where Will tries to explain his gift to Skylar over a messy al-fresco lunch. This popular Boston tourist attraction is home to many coffee houses, cafes and independent bookstores as well as folk music and old theatres. So, if you’re in the area, why not stop by for a drink and soak up that student ambience?
Back on the other side of the Charles River, you’ll find the leafy urban oasis that is the Boston Public Garden. One of the most memorable scenes from the film is where Will sits on a bench overlooking the lake as he listens to Robin Williams’ psychologist character deliver arguably one of the most famous monologues in cinema. It’s testimony to this scene that this bench was officially named the Robin Williams Park Bench after the much-loved actor passed away. If you’re taking a stroll through this beautiful park, you can find the famous film bench located between the George Washington statue and the footbridge.
View cruises to Boston here.
In this John Hughes sequel to the Christmas classic, Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, finds himself separated from his family once again at the most wonderful time of the year. On this occasion, young Kevin is stranded in the Big Apple, after missing a connecting flight with the rest of his family to Florida. And if that wasn’t enough, the bumbling burglars from the first film are also in town and after revenge. Bad news for Kevin, but the good news is that Home Alone 2 showcases the very best of the sights you can soak up on a USA & Canada holiday to New York. So, ‘Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!’
Once set loose in the city with his dad’s credit card, Kevin goes sightseeing and first stops off at the iconic entertainment venue Radio City Music Hall. Found at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, this famous Art Deco 1932 building is a must-see stop for anyone exploring New York. We then see Kevin make his way down to Battery Park, a 25-acre public park located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, where he gazes out of his binoculars at the State of Liberty. And it’s also from here you can take a roundtrip ferry to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.
Of course, it’s another park, arguably the most famous one in the world, that plays such an important role in the movie. It’s in Central Park where Kevin befriends the pigeon lady who helps guide him during his time in the city. And where the bad guys plan their toy store robbery at the famous Wollman Ice Skating Rink. Opened in 1949, and recognisable from so many films over the decades, there’s probably no greater New York experience than ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park. And no trip to New York would be complete without a visit to the Rockefeller Center, the location of the heart-warming scene where Kevin is finally reunited with his mother. So, why not take the lift up to the Top of the Rock observatory deck, and enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the city’s dramatic skyline?
View cruises to New York here.
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