Messina, Sicily - Mediterranean Cruises

Only three miles from mainland Italy, Messina sits on Sicily’s North-Eastern tip under Mt Etna’s unerring gaze. Set your watches! One of Messina’s undoubted attractions is the astronomical clock housed inside a soaring bell tower on the Piazza del Duomo. Its midday show of bronze mythological figures and roaring lions is a spectacle to behold.

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Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Taormina & Mount Etna

    Make the most of your visit to Sicily and take in the sights of two of the region's most popular highlights.

    Taormina & Mount Etna

    Your scenic drive takes you into the charming town in Sicily, Taormina, perched on a terrace overlooking the sea, its medieval character is sure to captivate.

    Explore the old town, as your guide leads you along cobblestoned streets to Palazzo Corvaja, a 15th century building adorned with classic double windows. Visit the impressive Greek-Roman theatre, built in the 3rd century BC, and enjoy the impressive views.

    Before departing for Mount Etna, you will have a short time to shop along the famous Corso Umberto.

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe at 10,723 feet high. Take in the panoramic views from the volcano and enjoy a walk around the lunar like landscape of Crateri Silvestri.

    During your tour a local style luncheon will be served at Etna.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The time spent at the volcano will be around 30 minutes. The terrain around the crater is uneven and rocky, so flat, covered shoes with good grip are essential. The visit to Etna is half way up to the main sightseeing area only and does not go to the summit. Photo opportunities and views of and from Mt Etna are dependent on weather conditions, which can be very changeable. It is advisable to take a jacket. The luncheon venue is not exclusive to Cunard. It is one of very few at Etna and it can become very busy. Taormina can be very crowded. Passengers wishing to use the cafe's restrooms in Taormina are expected to make a purchase. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for local purchases. Please also refer to the essential information section for the Taormina tour.

    Tour code

    QME_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Taormina

    Discover the tiny town of Taormina, one of Sicily's most impressive attractions, boasting incredible views and ancient ruins.

    Taormina

    The charming resort town of Taormina is perched high on a cliff over-looking the Bay of Naxos. Half way up the winding hillside road, your coach will stop in the underground parking area, where you will take the lifts to street level and the Square of Porta Catania.

    Your guide will introduce you to the delights of Taormina on a guided walk, including the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and the bustling main street of Corso Umberto, lined with former mansions and flower-filled balconies. Enjoy wonderful panoramic views from the balcony of Piazza IX Aprile.

    Follow your guide up the narrow street for a visit to the Greek-Roman Theatre. This is Taormina’s most famous antiquity, dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC and which still hosts performances today. The Theatre’s dramatic location is nothing less than breathtaking, with an incredible view of the coast and Mount Etna in the distance.

    Time permitting, you will have a short while to browse the shops and boutiques that line the main street of Taormina.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Lifts must be used from the parking area to access the town centre. If queues form for the use of the lift, then the return to the parking area will be via 140 steps. The majority of this tour is conducted on foot, over some cobbled and uneven ground. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are advisable. Taormina is a popular destination, which can be very crowded in peak season. Guests wishing to use the restrooms in Taormina are expected to make a purchase. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for purchases.

    Tour code

    QME_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Giardini Naxos Beach Break

    An opportunity to relax and have some fun at the beautiful beach of Giardini Naxos.

    Giardini Naxos Beach Break

    Embark on an hours’ leisurely drive along the Ionian Coast towards Taormina. Follow the bay en route to Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily which overlooks the beautiful towns of Taormina and Castelmola. En route you’ll pass local villages affording panoramic views of the Straight of Messina, Mediterranean flowers, orange and lemon trees.

    Upon arrival at the beach, you’ll have approximately 2½ hours to enjoy the Naxos seaside. Your escort will give you an introduction to the area, the beach and facilities available to you.

    After your stay, you’ll meet at the agreed time for the return drive to the ship.


    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel, sunscreen and water. Sun beds are complimentary, shower and changing rooms are available. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to any swimming activities. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to Cunard.

    Tour code

    QME_017

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Sicilian Panorama

    Discover the contrasting scenery of Sicily on a leisurely panoramic drive.

    Sicilian Panorama

    Heading towards Zafferana, your drive will take you south along the motorway. You will pass through the village of Santa Venerina, where the scenery gradually grows more forbidding.

    Situated on the eastern outskirts of the Mount Etna region, the small village of Zafferana Etnea boasts some wild and beautiful scenery. Your drive will take you to the remains of the lava flows of 1992, for a brief photograph stop. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Catania, overwhelmed by an eruption 300 years ago, and the views of the slopes of Mount Etna (weather permitting). This active volcano is the largest in Europe. At 10,723 feet high, with a cone measuring 25 miles wide, it has erupted over 130 times.

    Afterwards, you will continue to a local hotel for some welcome refreshments, before taking the return drive back to Messina.


    This excursion will operate by coach. The drive from Messina to Zafferana is approximately 1½ hours each way, traffic permitting. Traffic can be heavy in and around Messina and delays may be experienced. Views of Mount Etna and surrounding areas are dependent on local weather conditions. This tour only takes in the outskirts of the Mount Etna slopes and does not visit the summit of Mount Etna.

    Tour code

    QME_009

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Godfathers' Footsteps

    The perfect option for all 'The Godfather' film fans. See the sights synonymous with the film series based on the Sicilian mafia.

    Godfathers' Footsteps

    Take a drive along the motorway to Roccalumera where the scenery changes to small roads flanked with villas, flowering gardens and picturesque villages. You will arrive in the town of Savoca, one of the most attractive and lesser-known places in Sicily.

    In the village of Savoca, enjoy a visit to Bar Vitelli, where you can see a collection of local artisans' tools and photographs taken when Francis Ford Coppola shot scenes for ‘The Godfather II’.

    After typical Sicilian refreshments at a local Bar, you will embark on a walking tour, passing by two 15th and 16th century churches. From here you can enjoy wonderful views over the valley.

    Your next stop will be at Forza d'Agro, a charming little village overlooking the Arab-Norman castle of Capo Sant'Alessio. In 1990, Al Pacino and Sophia Coppola shot scenes here for the film, ‘The Godfather III’. Take circular steps up to the Gothic-Catalan portal to the Church of S. Agostino, also known as Triade. You will also have chance to see the Baroque Chiesa Madre.

    See the many interesting sights and locations relating to the Godfather films, while enjoying beautiful and charming Sicilian panoramas.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over uneven terrain, gravel paths, inclines and 30 steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    QME_010

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Mount Etna & Gival

    Discover Sicily's most famous and dramatic landmark, Mount Etna, and enjoy a visit to the charming Gival Jewellery Workshop.

    Mount Etna & Gival

    Take a southbound drive along the highway, passing through the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea. The scenery gradually grows more forbidding as you approach the Sapienza Refuge.

    Considered to be a very active volcano, Mount Etna has erupted more than 130 times and is the largest and highest volcano in Europe. A stop will be made at the Silvestri Craters to take in the dramatic scenery and see the ancient lava flows. You will have a short while to explore this amazing location independently and take photographs of the foreboding scenery.

    Afterwards, you will take a drive to Giarre to visit the Gival Jewellery Workshop. Upon arrival, you will be given a welcome cocktail, before enjoying a tour of the small workshop. See how individual masterpieces of fine Italian gold are made and learn how amber and shells of lava are used to make unique creations. To round off your visit, you will be offered some tasty Sicilian delicacies and an opportunity to visit the exhibition room, where you may wish to make some purchases.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Etna is around two hours. Due to time limitations, comfort breaks will not be made during the drive. The visit to Etna is half way up to the main sightseeing area only and does not go to the summit. Guests wishing to use the café restrooms at Etna are expected to make a purchase. The time spent at the volcano will be around 30 minutes. The terrain around the crater is uneven and rocky, so covered shoes with good grip are essential. A jacket is advisable. Photograph opportunities and views of and from Mt Etna are dependent on weather conditions, which can be very changeable. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for purchases. There are 30 steps to negotiate at the Gival Jewellery Workshop.

    Tour code

    QME_011

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    6 hours

  • Taormina Transfer

    An ideal option for those who would prefer to explore the delights of Taormina independently.

    Taormina Transfer

    Enjoy approximately two hours in the charming hillside town of Taormina to explore, shop for souvenirs or just sit in one of the many street cafés and watch the world go by.

    Due to large vehicle restrictions, your coach will stop in the underground parking area, where you will take the lifts to street level and the Square of Porta Catania.

    This tour is unguided, so please pay close attention to the pick-up point and time, as coaches cannot be held for latecomers. Entrance fees to the Greek-Roman Theatre are not included.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests are advised that although the walking is optional, the terrain is mostly cobbled and uneven around the town. Lifts must be used from the parking area to access the town centre. If queues form for the use of the lift, then the return to the parking area will be via 140 steps. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The duration of free time is approximate and dependant on local conditions. Taormina is a popular destination, which can be very crowded in peak season. Guests wishing to use the cafe restrooms in Taormina are expected to make a purchase. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for purchases.

    Tour code

    QME_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Classic Mount Etna

    Discover Sicily's most famous and dramatic landmark, Mount Etna.

    Classic Mount Etna

    Take a southbound drive along the highway, passing through the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea. The scenery gradually grows more forbidding as you approach the Sapienza Refuge.

    Considered to be a very active volcano, Mount Etna has erupted more than 130 times and is the largest and highest volcano in Europe. A stop will be made at the Silvestri Craters to take in the dramatic scenery and see the ancient lava flows. Take in the views of the city of Catania, which was overwhelmed by an eruption 300 years ago.

    You will have a short while to explore the lunar-like landscape independently and take photographs of the foreboding scenery. During your visit you will be offered refreshments in one of the local restaurants.

    Your return drive will take you back along the highway to Messina.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to Etna is around two hours. Due to time limitations and facilities comfort breaks will not be made during the drive. The time spent at the volcano will be around one hour. The visit to Etna is half way up to the main sightseeing area only and does not go to the summit. The terrain around the crater is uneven and rocky, so covered shoes with good grip are essential. A jacket is advisable. Photograph opportunities and views of and from Mt Etna are dependent on weather conditions, which can be very changeable. Euros are accepted for local purchases.

    Tour code

    QME_013

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • San Michele Wine Tasting

    An opportunity to visit the San Michele winery and sample the famous Murgo wine of the Etna region.

    San Michele Wine Tasting

    Setting off from the port, enjoy a scenic drive to the San Michele Winery, one of the most famous wine estates in the Etna Region. The vineyards of San Michele are distributed along a terrace, surrounded by a wonderful panorama that stretches from Taormina to Capo Mulini. Mount Etna dominates this magnificent scene with its towering summit.

    The Etna region is characterised by its micro-climate, with rigid winters, temperate summers and abundant rainfall. The particular taste of Etna wine is enhanced by the lava soil, which is rich in potassium and mineral salts.

    Enjoy some refreshments of typical Sicilian produce as you sample some of the famous Murgo Wine produced by San Michele. During your visit you will also have an opportunity to purchase some of the fine local delicacies such as wine, olive oil and pickles.

    Views of the beautiful Sicilian coast, both the Tyrrenian and Ionian side, can be enjoyed during the journey to and from the Winery.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There will be approximately 45 minutes of walking over uneven and inclined terrain and there are around 30 steps to negotiate at the wine cellar. The wine cellar may be dimly lit in areas. Flat, comfortable non-slip shoes are essential. The journey to and from the winery is around is around one hour. The roads are winding and narrow and you may travel through tunnels.Participants in the wine tasting must be over 18 years of age. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for purchases.

    Tour code

    QME_014

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ hours

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