Wed, Sep 6: Fly overnight to Rome, Italy.
Thu, Sep 7: Rome, Italy. Arrive in Rome and transfer to your hotel for one night. Explore the city on your own before checking into the hotel in late afternoon.
Fri, Sep 8: Civitavecchia. Transfer to Rome’s port city of Civitavecchia and board the ms Westerdam. Set sail in the evening.
Sat, Sep 9: Livorno (Pisa or Florence). Arrive in Livorno. A beautiful Renaissance city in its own right, Livorno is also your gateway to Pisa to the north, and Florence, to the east. Pisa contains a host of beautiful cathedrals, palaces and bridges over the Arno River, as well as one glorious monument to faulty engineering. More than a city, Florence represents so much of what is vital to human expression in commerce, politics, and the arts. Optional shore excursions include: A Taste of Tuscany: Lucca, Villa Lucchese & Farmhouse Lunch; Discover Cinque Terre; Italian Shopping & Views of Florence; Livorno Private Touring; Lucca & Pisa; Medieval Siena, San Gimignano & Farm House Lunch; Tuscan Countryside & Wine Tasting; Transfer to Florence (explore on your own).
Sun, Sep 10: Monte Carlo, Monaco. Monaco has never lost its magical attraction for grand yachts, buzzing nightclubs and haute couture. Join the revelry, or simply find a spot by the sea for more contemplative pursuits. Consider touring the Cote d’Azur and its medieval relics. Optional shore excursions include: A Taste of the Riviera; Eze & Menton; Highlights of Monaco & Monte Carlo; Jewels of the Cote d’Azur: Nice, Eze & Monaco; Monte Carlo Private Touring.
Mon, Sep 11: St. Tropez, France. Sweeping views of the coast can be seen from the 16th-century citadel. Or claim a chair in a quayside café and watch the flirtatious French Riviera pass by. Optional shore excursions include: A Stroll through St. Tropez; A Taste of Provence; Panoramic Provence: A Scenic Drive through Les Maures: Villages of Provence.
Tue, Sep 12: Ajaccio, Corsica. The French island of Corsica is an outdoor lover’s playground, made up of rocky outcroppings and sandy beaches, with secret trails that lead inland over fields and through lazy villages. In Ajaccio, Corisca’s capital, visit Napoleon Bonaparte's house, containing original furniture of the island’s most famous son. Buy a wedge of tangy cheese at the market, and in the mountains, delight in the scent of sun-warmed thyme. Optional shore excursions include: A Taste of Corsica; Ajaccio Sights; Cargese Greek Village.
Wed, Sep 13: at sea. Relax on deck or in the spa, peruse the library, play in the casino or choose from many shipboard activities.
Thu, Sep 14: Almeria, Spain. The city of Almería, once an Arab stronghold, has seen ancient civilizations come and go over the many centuries of its existence. Its Moorish past is evident in the Alcazaba Palace, and also has a Gothic cathedral, once a stronghold against Berber pirates. From Almeria you may also opt to tour by motor coach to Granada and the incomparable sight of the Moorish masterpiece, the Alhambra. Optional shore excursions include: Almeria Highlights; Best of Granada & the Alhambra; Cabo de Gata & Nijar.
Fri, Sep 15: Ceuta, Spanish Morocco, Spain. Just across the Strait of Gibraltar on the north coast of Africa, Ceuta is your portal to the Spanish community of Tetouan. Part Andalusian, part Moroccan, totally enchanting. Optional shore excursions include: Best of Tetouan; Panoramic Ceuta.
Sat, Sep 16: at sea. Enjoy activities and amenities onboard as you sail to Marseille on the French Riveria.
Sun, Sep 17: Marseille (Provence), France. Marseille is a salty city with a feel and culture all its own. The Greeks landed here in 600 BC, but the city is classically French with cafes, boats and restaurants. Try the renowned bouillabaisse or tour the lovely towns and vineyards of Provence. Optional shore excursions include: A Day in Provence; Aix-en-Provence Highlights; Arles & Les Baux; Chateau Neuf de Pape & Avignon; Marseilles Highlights.
Mon, Sep 18: Sete, France. From the fishing town of Sete tour to the turreted medieval town of Carcassonne, teeming with cafés specializing in the region's famous cassoulet. Optional shore excursions include: A Day in Carcassone; Aigues Mortes; Montpellier & Flaugeregues Castle.
Tue, Sep 19: Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona effuses the ancient, the modernist and the Gaudi. The city today is a global capital of commerce, fashion, culture, and sunshine (the city gets about 300 days of it a year). Claim a patch of sand on one of the city beaches. But, most of all, see what visionary architect Antoni Gaudi wrought. Seven of his creations have been honored as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including La Sagrada Familia, the Park Guell, and Casa Mila. Optional shore excursions include: Barcelona by Bicycle; A Stroll through Sitges & Beach Time; Barcelona Highlights; Barcelona Sights & Flamenco Show.
Wed, Sep 20: Disembark and fly home.
Holland America’s five-star ship boasts a collection of artwork and antiques with emphasis on Dutch heritage in the New World; a culinary arts center presented by Food & Wine magazine with demonstrations and interactive gourmet cooking lessons; Explorations Café, a coffeehouse with Internet access, sponsored by The New York Times; and port lectures and explorations speaker series. Highlights: spacious staterooms with plush Euro-top mattresses • 24-hour room service • 4 restaurants • 3 bars • wireless Internet access (fees apply) • Internet center • Greenhouse Spa and Salon • two outdoor swimming pools (one with retractable roof) • hydro pool • fitness center • basketball court • volleyball court • nightclub • casino • library • duty-free shops • Live musical entertainment and Broadway-style shows • library • free sessions of Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows® • Club HAL® kids facility • teen-only Loft and Oasis area • duty-free shops • escorted shore excursions.