Ready to set sail? Celebrity Cruises awaits you and stays on the edge of innovation as they strive to creatively go beyond travelers’ expectations. In a recent cruise from Barcelona along the ports of the Italian Riviera and France, Celebrity Beyond, which is part of the Edge series of ships, presented entertaining, indulgent dining and open-air, sea-loving travel.
The goal of these new ships was to break from traditional ship design and offer travelers an ultimate experience with a front-row view and sea-faring backdrop. Celebrity Beyond, the newest of ships, is a stunning craft that launched in April of 2022. It encompasses 32 food and beverage experiences to savor, with a 14,000-square foot spa, live theater, shopping, and casino.
Accommodations include choices reflected by an A-team of talent featuring award-winning designers Nate Berkus, Kelly Hoppen, and Tom Wright, who designed a variety of spaces. The 1,073-foot ship named Kate McCue to captain the cruise ship, the first American woman to hold the position. The largest and most luxurious ship, it embraces elevated outdoor living, with dining terraces, sundecks and outdoor spaces from the rooftop garden and retreat sundeck to outdoor terraces. Entertainment in the theatre includes a 110-foot LED wall and extraordinary talent like pianist Roy Tan, who delighted guests, plus evening shows by the ship’s line-up of lively music, dancing, special effects, and choreography.
For art lovers, seasoned art expert Lloyd Flay from Park West Gallery, gave insightful presentations on artists from Picasso to Chagall, sharing their fascinating history. These seminars added an informative element along with lively auctions for art-buying collectors.
What makes the Italian Riviera such a special cruise destination is the natural beauty of the sea, sky, and surrounding views. From one village to the next and port to another, it’s an experience for the senses. The smell of fresh pizza permeates the streets along with limoncello to the pastries that line street food markets, and there’s something around every cobblestone corner.
For travelers of historic Jewish interest, there’s often a meaningful opportunity to investigate. With a little research online, you’ll find tour companies near the ports you visit, that can be pre-arranged with privately. From synagogues that are historical landmarks to ghettos where Jews once lived, do your homework. One tour worth noting, features examples of Jewish history dating back to the 13th century. Visitors can tour the Synagogue de Cavaillon (second oldest in France), which was home to one of four large Jewish communities, in the Comtat-Venaissin region, and built between 1772 to 1774.
Ports on this cruise, which departed from Barcelona, Spain, began with Provence, (Marseille) France, then Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is the gateway to the French Riviera and is also called the Cote d’Azur (Blue Coast). Marseille is one of France’s oldest cities; next was Santa Margherita, Italy, located in the middle of the Italian Riviera which is a palm-lined harbor, overlooking a cozy beach area. A quick ferry ride to Portofino was a must see and a popular destination. Walk the café and boutique lined streets, enjoy a glass of wine, and take the ferry back to Santa Margherita for a great day’s excursion.
La Spezia, Italy, is another port of interest as you can day travel to Pisa, Genoa, and Florence. Bucket lists include the famous trail of villages that line the seaside called Cinque Terra, a popular line-up of five small villages. You’ll benefit from having a pre-planned excursion or private tour guide to assist you with the trains or ferry. From beautiful beaches to ancient ruins, and medieval towns, terraced mountain sides present a watercolor palette of villas, cafes, narrow streets, and the well-known neighbors of Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo, which is buzzing with luxury cars, the famed casino, and a lot of bling.
Finally, add Corsica, Rome, and Naples for further visits along the coast with excursions available to the spot of your travel dreams. An Italian Riviera cruise opens up possibilities, which makes it a versatile and picturesque travel journey.
And last but not least, the gelaterias, sprinkled throughout the Italian Riviera are small irresistible ice cream shops. Like the pizza and pasta that scream delicious, the ice creameries demand equal attention for a quick indulgence.
The Italian Riviera is as special as it sounds. Arrivederci! For more information visit www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-beyond.