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The Leader in Enriching Cultural Experiences since 1958

Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value

2017 The Rivieras: Italy, France & the Isles

Italy: Florence, Lucca, Portoferraio • France: Bastia • Italy: Marina di Carrara, Porto Venere, Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino • France: Nice, St. Paul de Vence, Cannes, Saint-Honorat Island

CRUISE COMFORTABLY IN SMALL GROUPS OF 25 ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 50-PASSENGER M/V ARETHUSA
92% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

Sold out in 2017 , Join us in 2018

©2014 The New York Times
36 Hours in Florence, Italy
Courtesy of CNN
Inside Italy’s Top Restaurant with Chef Massimo Bottura

Discover the art of Italian cooking in Massimo Bottura’s coveted Italian restaurant.

Courtesy of Thomas Kunstler
Libero

Discover why the Italian village of Roscigno was abandoned and meet the man who still lives here.

Courtesy of Rodrigue El Hajj
Italy Cinque Terre

Dramatic cliffs, sparkling waters, and brightly colored houses bedeck Italy's Cinque Terre.

Courtesy of Matt Devir
L’aventure

Take a virtual tour of the Rivieras and beyond—a lavish feast for all the senses.

Sold out in 2017 , Join us in 2018
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Witness the Riverias from a private balcony.
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NEW: Activity Level

Our NEW Activity Level rating system ranks our trips on a scale of 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult) to help you determine if a trip is right for you. The information below is a general guide to our rating system, but see our itineraries for much more detailed physical activity information about each trip.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Solo Traveler Stories

For Me, Solo Travel Doesn’t Mean Traveling Alone

by Lorraine Sarra, 6-time traveler from Bridgewater, New Jersey

One of my favorite parts about cruising is that there is a pleasant mix of experiences. One minute, you can just be sitting and watching the scenery go by, and the next you can be enjoying a land tour in a very interesting place.

So that’s one reason I really enjoyed my The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles trip with Grand Circle. The countryside was absolutely beautiful. The isle of Elba and the cities of Lucca and St.-Paul-de-Vence were also outstanding to visit, and I found our time at the Carrara marble quarries surreal. I also really enjoyed going to Monaco to see how the “other half” live. I kept telling people I was there to pick out my castle!

I always enjoy going to places like these, especially because I am a fan of historical novels. I get a chance to walk around and see so many of these old places that have been featured in books that I’ve read. You get to match up what was in your imagination with what the place actually looks like—it’s really a thrill.

As is usually the case on Grand Circle trips, the staff was excellent. My Trip Leader was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. Grand Circle seems to choose them well—they really know their stuff. The captain and the crew of the Arethusa were always available and extremely friendly.

I traveled solo to the Rivieras, even though I generally go on trips like this with my brother and sister-in-law. During my trips with them, however, I’ve met so many people—and because I like to have fun (or, as I usually put it, I’m a “nut job!”), I’ve actually made many friends over my time traveling with Grand Circle.

So when my usual travel partners aren’t able to take a trip with me, I now have new buddies whom I know will be open to the idea. Although I went on the Rivieras trip solo, I knew that some friends from Boston would be on the trip. That’s one of the advantages of being a regular traveler with Grand Circle—you make connections with travelers who have a similar mindset. So, even though I was a solo traveler, I knew I had some friends on board.

My advice to any prospective solo travelers out there: you shouldn’t be afraid. You’re always with the group, so you never feel alone. The friendships that you form only add to what is a really great experience and, who knows, you may even meet some friends that you will travel with in the future.

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on The Rivieras: Italy, France & the Isles

Read Travel Planning Guide

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