Ask Harriet: Traveling to the Rivieras: Italy & France

Of all of the places I’ve traveled, Italy and France continue to lure me back—which is exactly why I’m as excited as you are about our new Small Ship Cruise Tour:The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles.

I'm booked for September 2013. I was trying to put this trip together for myself, as nobody else had it—(but) GCT beat me to it.

—Maureen Feely, 6-time traveler, Ortonville, MI

Thanks for writing, Maureen—I’m so delighted to be offering Grand Circle Cruise Line travelers like you this unique opportunity to see smaller ports that can’t accommodate bigger vessels.

While Paris will always hold a special place in my heart, I also adore the coastal towns of Villefranche and glamorous Cannes on the French Riviera (as you may have read in my journal). Besides the combination of France and Italy on one trip, The Rivieras cruise also marks the first time Grand Circle Cruise Line has traveled to such ports as St. Paul de Vence, featuring lovely Medieval architecture and a thriving arts community; Marina di Carrara and its unique marble quarries, where Michelangelo searched for stone; and history-rich Elba, where Napoleon was once exiled.

On this new trip, there are so many new opportunities for discovery—and for relaxation. After spending a week on the M/V Arethusa just last year, it’s easy to see why 97% of travelers who’ve cruised on its previous sailings rated this five-year-old, 26-cabin small ship “excellent.” Carrying just two groups of 25 travelers, each with its own Program Director, you’ll get personalized service with a passenger-to-crew ratio of almost two-to-one. All meals are included on board, where you’ll enjoy international and local specialties at dinner with complimentary local wines. Sampling vintages is always one of my favorite ways to kick back on vacation, and perhaps nowhere is this more enjoyable than in Italy and France. Cheers to your 2013 trip!

Do you have questions for me about trips you’re taking or vacations you would like to go on with Grand Circle Cruise Line? I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at I look forward to sharing what you have to say!

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