Palermo, Sicily - Mediterranean Cruises

A vibrant city with cultural artefacts around every corner, Palermo is an experience not to be missed. Fancy a try at haggling? Then a trip to the famous Vucciria market is a must for the delicious local artichokes or chopped octopus. Descend into the cool Capuchin Catacombs filled with mummified remains or wonder down one of the grand boulevards: the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Via Maqueda.

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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.

  • Charming Cefalù

    Visit the beautiful medieval town of Cefalù. Enjoy the rustic appeal of this quaint town as its secrets are revealed.

    Charming Cefalù

    Cefalù is a charming town located on the northern coast of Sicily, half way between Palermo and Capo d’Orlando. Cefalù is a fine example of a medieval town with narrow streets and elaborate architecture surrounding a 12th century Norman Cathedral built in the reign of Roger II. You’ll have time to visit the Cathedral, where you can admire the fine interior and mosaics. This town is best explored on foot, so you’ll leave your coach for a guided walking tour through the labyrinth of streets flanked by colourful shops full of antiques and ceramics.

    Take some time out on your own for shopping in Cefalù or discover more of this enchanting town. Alternatively, you may wish to enjoy a frothy cappuccino or ice cream in one of the quaint cafés and do a spot of people watching.

    Your tour will begin and end with a scenic drive along the south east coast via the motorway presenting views of the ocean and mountains on each side.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests are advised that there will be approximately two hours of walking with some steps and inclines to negotiate. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Coaches are not permitted in the centre of town and guests will be required to walk from the parking area into Cefalù. Whilst in the Cathedral, ladies are requested to cover their shoulders and knees and gentlemen wear long trousers.

    Tour code

    PAL_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Palermo & Monreale

    Discover the history of Palermo and explore the architectural changes through the ages, before relaxing in present-day Palermo.

    Palermo & Monreale

    Your coach will deliver you to the centre of Palermo, where your guide will accompany you as you walk to the Martorana Church. Built in 1143 by Giorgio d’Antiochia, the Church is dedicated to the Greco-Byzantines rites and is almost entirely covered with mosaics, among the oldest in Sicily.

    Afterwards, you’ll re-board your coach and continue to Palermo Cathedral. This magnificent Cathedral is the centrepiece of Palermo and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It also houses the burial chapels of King Fredrick II and King Roger II. You’ll have time to explore and take in the unique architecture, which highlight Norman and Arab influences.

    You’ll then take a brief drive to Monreale to visit the Monreale Cathedral, which is considered to be one of the finest examples of Norman Architecture in Sicily. After a guided tour of the Cathedral, you’ll have some free time in Monreale to browse the shops or relax in a café and soak up the Sicilian atmosphere.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The majority of this tour is conducted on foot. There are steps and hills to negotiate at the parking area and within the churches. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Guests are advised to wear modest attire when visiting churches. Order of sights may vary.

    Tour code

    PAL_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¾ hours

  • Leisurely Palermo

    Take in the highlights of historic Palermo and its surroundings on this panoramic city tour.

    Leisurely Palermo

    Located on a wide bay beneath the shadow of Mount Pellegrino, Palermo is the jewel in the crown of Sicily. In the 9th century, Palermo was famed for its wealthy courts and universities, and today boasts national treasures, historic monuments and impressive architecture.

    Your panoramic drive delivers the sights of the city to you from the comfort of your coach. Travel the main streets of the charming and beautiful old city of Palermo and pass by sights such as Politeama Square; Via Ruggero Settimo; Massimo Opera House, one of the largest opera houses in Europe; Quattro Canti, a fashionable square dating back to the 16th century which divides the city into four; Via Roma, Marina Square, Foro Italico, Palermo Cathedral; Royal Palace; City Hall and much more.

    After your city drive, you will head towards Monte Pellegrino, 1,900 feet above sea level, and capture wonderful views over the city and surrounding areas.

    Your tour will continue to Mondello, a former fishing village, now an elegant summer resort. Here, you will stop for welcome refreshments at a local hotel.


    This excursion will operate by coach. There is a limited amount of walking is on this tour, however guests must be able to negotiate the steps onto and off the coach. The tour involves some winding roads and is therefore unsuitable for guests with vertigo.

    Tour code

    PAL_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Cappuccini Catacombs and Zisa Palace

    Experience a taste for the macabre as you discover the catacombs and the ghoulish spectacle of thousands of mummies.

    Cappuccini Catacombs and Zisa Palace

    Your tour begins with an orientation of Palermo. As your coach sweeps through the main thoroughfares, your knowledgeable guide will point out the places of interest.

    Something different awaits at the Convent of Cappuccini. Built in 1621, the Convent holds a vast web of eerie subterranean catacombs, which will make your spine tingle.

    This unique cemetery holds the bodies of around 8,000 artisocrats, who were buried here from the 16th to 19th centuries. Men women and children were mummified and then hung on the walls in the burial clothing. An incredible sight to behold - but not for the faint hearted!

    Back to street level and the light of day, you'll head to the impressive 12th century Zisa Castle. Marvel at the wonderful Arab architecture as your guide brings to life the interesting history of this building, once a summer home of Norman kings.

    A short drive brings you close to Quatto Canti (Four Corners), where you'll stroll with your guide to the medieval heart of the city. Visit Martorana Church and think of the gifted craftsmen who designed the glorious vibrant mosaics. Walk through Pretoria Square, with its stunning fountain. Discover why it was dubbed the 'fountain of shame' and stop awhile to see the water gushing from fantastical figures and animal heads.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot The majority of this tour is conducted on foot and also includes many steps and cobbles. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Please wear modest attire when visiting the church.

    Tour code

    PAL_005

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Discover Ancient Segesta

    Step back in time, and visit the ancient hilltop site of mysterious and magical Segesta.

    Discover Ancient Segesta

    Embark on a relaxing journey along the highway from Palermo to Trapani whilst your guide takes you back to ancient times and sets the scene to help you imagine how life was in this rural community. From the coach window, you’ll have your first glimpse of what will be a fleeting, but magnificent, image of the ancient Greek Temple, set upon the hilltop of Monte Barbaro.

    The ancient capital of the Elymians was said to be founded by exiles from Troy. Located on rolling hills facing Monte Barbaro, the Segesta Temple survived many attacks, which eventually destroyed the city.

    Segesta is the one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world, and built in 5th century BC, the temple boasts 36 Doric columns supporting pediments and entablatures. Gaze in wonder at the elevated location of this impressive monument and soak up the commanding views of totally unspoilt rolling verdant countryside and views that stretch down to the sea.

    Continue your exploration on foot around the site. Afterwards you will be driven to the theatre, which was built around the same time. The wonderful views made stage scenery unnecessary as the surrounding countryside made a perfect backdrop.

    Before heading back on your return journey, enjoy some free time allowing you to become immersed in the atmosphere of this magical location.


    This excursion operates by coach and on foot and involves one hour of walking on uneven ground and steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    PAL_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4¾ hours

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