Messina cruises

Only three miles from mainland Italy, Messina sits on Sicily’s north-eastern tip under Mount 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.

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.

  • 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 venue 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

    4¼ hours

  • Leisurely Messina

    This tour offers some spectacular scenic views along the coast and an orientation of Messina’s highlights.

    Leisurely Messina

    Leaving the pier you’ll head along the coast towards the north to Cape Peloro. You’ll drive through the picturesque fishing villages of Ganzirri and Faro and see the salt water lakes used for mussel farming. Cape Peloro is considered to be the nearest point that projects towards the Italian mainland, approximately two miles away.

    After a short photo stop, you’ll arrive at the 4 Star Capo Peloro Resort, where you can enjoy a pastry served with a refreshing Granita,(typical iced drink).

    Afterwards, as you travel towards Messina, you’ll stop at Cristo Re terrace, to take in the impressive views over the straits of Messina.

    Arriving in Messina, you’ll visit the Cathedral, built in 1200 and destroyed several times by earthquakes and war. Messina Cathedral is renown all over the world for its astronomical clock, the biggest in the world. A popular tourist attraction, that is represented by the animated mechanical statues which narrate important events of civil and religious history of the city every day at noon.

    Finally, re-board your coach for a short orientation drive around Messina, before returning to the ship.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Walking is limited. Appropriate attire is required when visiting the Cathedral.

    Tour code

    QME_027

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Discover Messina on Foot

    See the highlights of Messina on foot, showcasing the few monuments which were recovered from the ruins of the earthquake in 1908.

    Discover Messina on Foot

    In the past centuries Messina and Palermo were the most important towns in Sicily. On the night of the 28th December 1908 a terrible earthquake completely destroyed Messina. The city has been rebuilt in the following years and now you will see it as a modern town with wide and straight roads.

    Begin your day with a walk along Messina’s main street, Via Garibaldi. You’ll pass by the church of Santa Maria Alemanna towards Cairoli Square, the very heart of the city, where you’ll find the most elegant shops.

    After tasting a refreshing ‘granita’ (local beverage), you’ll visit the Cathedral. The cathedral was almost entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908. It features an interesting 15th to 16th-century finely carved central doorway.

    The large bell-tower, 100 feet tall, holds the largest astronomical clock in the world, renowned worldwide for the mechanical figures that come to life every 15 minutes, with a grand display every afternoon at the strike of 12. Free time will be given to shop for mementos, before you take your place to see the clock come to life at noon.


    This excursion will operate on foot. This tour is conducted entirely on foot. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Shorts are not allowed.

    Tour code

    QME_024

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    3¼ 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. This tour involves a winding road up to Savoca.

    Tour code

    QME_010

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 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. Guests must be over 18 years of age to participate in this excursion. 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

  • 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. Taormina can be very crowded. Guests 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 Tour QME001. This tour may operate in reverse order.

    Tour code

    QME_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Taormina Transfer

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

    Taormina Transfer

    Enjoy approximately 2½ 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

    4½ hours

  • Sicilian Cheese & Wine

    Indulge in the tastes of Sicily, and sample their famous wine and cheese.

    Sicilian Cheese & Wine

    Leaving the pier, you’ll walk with your escort to a local Wine Bar. Here, you’ll learn all about the ancient tradition of the cheese and wine produced in this region.

    Your sommelier will pleasantly illustrate the wines and vines of Sicily and explain the artisan cheese usually paired to compliment the flavours of the wine, which are sure to delight your palate.

    Your tasting will include three different types of Sicilian DOP cheese, three Sicilian wines, red, white and dessert wine, served with home-made bread and salami from the Suino Nero (black pig), raised in the Nebrodi mountains.

    Afterwards, you may have the opportunity to purchase some of the local produce, before you stroll back to the ship.


    This excursion will operate on foot. You must be over 18 years old to participate in this tour. There is approximately 20 minutes of walking over flat paved surfaces.

    Tour code

    QME_022

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    1½ 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

  • 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

  • Mountain 4x4 Adventure

    Discover gorgeous landscapes and popular traditions of the Peloritani Mountains aboard an off-road vehicle.

    Mountain 4x4 Adventure

    The Peloritani, are a 65 km mountain chain that goes from Capo Peloro to the Nebrodi. From its peak it is possible to admire both of its spectacular slopes: the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands on one side, the Ionian Sea and the Calabrese coast on the other.

    At the pier, you’ll meet your experienced nature guide, who’ll give you a brief introduction to your tour. After a drive through the city centre, you’ll make your way up along the slopes of the Peloritani Mountains.

    Your first stop will be at Gesso, a hill top village, where you will visit the Peloritani Cultural Museum, showcasing interesting artefacts relating to Sicilian Folklore.

    Continue on to Forte Campone, one of the highest fortifications in the vicinity of the strait. This is where you’ll go off-road along an old military track.

    After an exhilarating ride , you’ll stop at the fort to sample local almond pastries and Zibibbo wine.

    Your final stop is at Dinnammare, where you can admire the breathtaking views that sweep from the Ionian sea and the Tyrrenian sea.


    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    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 4x4 and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour. Children under 4 cannot participate. This tour is not recommended for passengers with back or neck problems as the ride may be bumpy. Before you book this excursion you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ paragraph under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure.

    Tour code

    QME_026

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ 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. This tour is not suitable for those who suffer from a fear of tunnels.

    Tour code

    QME_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Etna, Lava & Wine

    Discover a taste of Sicily and experience the wonderful Etna region.

    Etna, Lava & Wine

    Drive through a fertile paradise of vineyards and citrus groves, passing through villages such as Trecastagni, Pedara and Nicolosi. Considered to be a very active volcano, Mount Etna has erupted more than 130 times. It is the largest and highest volcano in Europe, at more than 10,000 feet. You’ll stop at the Silvestri Craters to take in the dramatic scenery and see the ancient lava flows.

    From here you will begin your exciting ascend to the upper part of the volcano by cable car and four wheel drive minibuses. You will reach about 8800 feet altitude, and take a short panoramic walk around the lunar-like landscape of the craters.

    After your descent back to base level, re-join your coach for a short ride to a Murgo winery where you will be able to taste the different varieties of wine. The climate influences the maturity and flavour of the local wines. The particular taste of Etna wine is enhanced by the lava soil, which is rich in potassium and mineral salts.

    Relax and enjoy a rustic Sicilian brunch before returning to the ship.


    This excursion will operate by coach, cable car and minibus. As this tour reaches an altitude of approximately 8800 feet, it is advisable that guests with blood pressure and/or heart related ailments check with their doctors first regarding the suitability of this tour. Children cannot participate on this tour. Please be cautious when walking uphill, the terrain around the crater is slippery and uneven and covered shoes are recommended. Guests wishing to use the restroom at the café are expected to make a purchase, so please take euros.

    Tour code

    QME_023

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8 hours