Cirque du Soleil at Sea: Mediterranean Cruise

Experience the magic of Cirque du Soleil at sea on an eight-day cruise through the beautiful Mediterranean. Starting in Barcelona, soak up the sights of Spain, France, Italy and Malta on an unforgettable journey aboard MSC Meraviglia, the only cruise ship in the world to offer entertainment from the legendary Cirque du Soleil circus troupe. Includes all main meals onboard, broadway-style theatre shows and activities, kids’ club access and more.

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Immerse yourself in the Mediterranean way of life on an eight-day cruise starting and ending in Barcelona, Spain. Sail to Marseille in France, Genoa, Civitavecchia (near Rome) and Palermo in Italy and Valletta in Malta aboard MSC Meraviglia, whilst enjoying the fabulous facilities onboard including entertainment from the world-celebrated Cirque du Soleil.

What You’ll Love...

The Ship – Classic cruising elegance with entertainment from Cirque du Soleil

If you’re a fan of elegance onboard you’ll love the classic beauty of MSC Meraviglia. Admire sunrises, sunsets and starry night skies transmitted by a ‘virtual sky’, the longest LED dome at sea that covers the inside promenade; shop ‘til you drop in the onboard boutiques; pamper yourself at the MSC Aurea Spa; go for a dip in the stunning rooftop pool and taste your way around the 12 dining destinations onboard, serving everything from Italian to Japanese cuisine. World-class entertainment is provided by circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, who have devised two original shows especially for the guests of MSC Meraviglia. There’s plenty more for the whole family to enjoy, including a waterpark with three twisting slides and a range of pools, a TV studio broadcasting live games and talent contests, a sports centre, F1 simulators, a bowling alley and kids’ clubs.

The Journey – A taste of the Mediterranean

Your cruise experience begins in the vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona, Catalunya. Lose yourself in its world-class art museums, designer restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques, marvel at Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and stroll the world-famous boulevard of Ramblas before boarding the MSC Meraviglia for your Mediterranean adventure.

Onwards to Marseille, France’s southernmost city, where you can immerse yourself in local life at one of the chic cafés around the Vieux Port, where fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges.

The eclectic and vibrant old port town of Genoa in Italy awaits, which invites you to amble down medieval alleyways, marvel at historic architecture such as the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi and sample real Italian gelato, pasta and pizza.

Thousands of years of history lie before you in Italy’s Civitavecchia, whose key attractions include the 16th-century Forte Michelangelo, the ancient Taurine Baths and the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II main square. Use the town as a launchpad to explore the ancient city of Rome, home to incredible gilt-lined churches hidden down the most unassuming of streets, priceless works of art by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, and world-renowned buildings that have stood for thousands of years, from the Pantheon to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican.

Explore the city of Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily, home to magnificent Baroque architecture, a 12th-century cathedral, Norman art, medieval streets and bustling markets.

The UNESCO World Heritage-protected Mediterranean port of Valletta in Malta is your final stop before returning to Barcelona. As the ship approaches, admire the crumbling 16th-century architecture before disembarking to discover its beaches, restaurants and charming seaside locales.

Your Cabin – Choose the perfect package for you

Take your pick from a selection of interior, ocean view and balcony cabins available for each departure date, then decide if you’d like the ‘Bella’ experience or the upgraded ‘Fantastica’ experience.

Bella: With the standard Bella package, you can choose your preferred dinner time from Early Dining or Late Dining. Your restaurant and dinner sitting will be assigned once on board.

Fantastica Upgrade: Enjoy extra privileges including a cabin in a desirable location on the upper decks, more dining flexibility (switch your preferred dinner time after booking or after boarding) and 24-hour room service.

Balcony Cirque du Soleil Bonus: Exclusive to Luxury Escapes, guests staying in balcony staterooms will receive the Two Plus One specialty dining package, including a complimentary Cirque du Soleil Viaggio show and a three-course dining experience, one dinner at Eataly Ristorante Italiano and one dinner at the Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse.

Valid for one of the following cruise departure dates (all bookings must be confirmed by 25 July 2018):

29 November 2018

7 February 2019

28 February 2019

14 March 2019

28 March 2019

Please select your package carefully according to the date you wish to travel.

Refund Policy: Strictly no refunds for this package for amendments or change of date - fees are at the cruise company's discretion. The Luxury Escapes '7-Day Change of Mind No Questions Asked Refund Guarantee’ does not apply for cruise bookings.

Important: Please allow time for travelling from Australia. International flights are not included in your package and must be purchased separately. It is your responsibility to make your own travel arrangements and ensure that you arrive in Barcelona, Spain in time for your chosen departure.

Twin-Share Package: Package is valid for ONE PERSON (twin share). You must purchase and reedem TWO PACKAGES per booking.

Child Policy: One child aged 11 years and under may stay free of charge (strictly subject to availability) with all package inclusions when with two paying adults. Port fees of AU$175 apply per child, payable directly to the cruise operator. A limited number of special rates may be available for children aged from 12 to 17 years. Please call the Luxury Escapes cruises concierge on 1300 88 99 00 for more information.

Cabin bedding configuration is one double bed that can be divided into twin beds on request.

Itinerary and all timings are subject to change as a consequence of final berth or anchorage effective availability.

* Special events for children are not included. Contact the Mini Club for full information.

Package includes dining at Waves, L'Olive Doree & L'Olivo D'Oro, Panorama and Marketplace Buffet. Surcharge applies to specialty dining (Eataly Ristorante Italiano, Eataly, Kaito Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar, Butcher's Cut Steakhouse and Chef's Table) and entertainment including Cirque du Soleil shows.

Balcony Cirque du Soleil bonus package is available only to guests aged 13 years and above.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

Booking confirmation must be presented at check-in.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated). Menus are subject to change without notice.

Please note our cruise team will be in touch within 72 hours of purchase to obtain a copy of your passports and dining preferences. Note that dining preferences are not able to be selected on Bella options.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply.

DAY 1 – Depart Barcelona

Ship departs the Spanish city of Barcelona at 6pm.

Barcelona – Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital and port of Catalunya – vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy. A cruise excursion to Barcelona city centre will take you to discover its world-class art museums and its fashionable designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops. And in Antoni Gaudí’s extraordinary church of the Sagrada Família and the world-famous boulevard that is the Ramblas, you have two sights that are high up on any Mediterranean cruise sightseeing list. A holiday in Barcelona can start with the Ramblas, and then dive straight into the medieval nucleus of the city, the Barri Gòtic. But there are plenty of other central old-town neighbourhoods to explore too, from La Ribera – home to the celebrated Museu Picasso – to funky El Raval, where cool bars, restaurants and boutiques have mushroomed in the wake of the striking contemporary art museum, MACBA. Even if you think you know these heavily touristed neighbourhoods well, there’s always something else to discover during an MSC excursion – tapas bars hidden down alleys little changed for a century or two, designer boutiques in renovated old-town quarters, bargain lunches in workers’ taverns, unmarked gourmet restaurants, craft outlets and workshops, fin-de-siècle cafés, restored medieval palaces and neighbourhood markets. On Passeig de Gràcia there is Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, designed for the industrialist Josep Batlló: the stone facade hangs in folds, like skin, while on the rooftop sprout the celebrated mosaic chimneys and a little tower topped with a three-dimensional cross. The mountain of Montserrat stands just 40km northwest of Barcelona and it’s a popular trip out from the city. Once there, you can visit the basilica and monastery buildings which fan out around an open square, and there are extraordinary mountain views from the terrace.

DAY 2 – Marseille, France

Ship docks in the French city of Marseille.

When cruising southern France, you have to know that Marseille is the most renowned and populated metropolitan area in the country after Paris and Lyon. When you alight from your MSC cruise ship, the cafés around the Vieux Port, where glistening fish are sold straight off the boats on quai des Belges, are wonderful spots to observe the city’s street life. Particularly good in the afternoon is the north (Le Panier) side, where the terraces are sunnier and the views better. The best view of the Vieux Port is from the Palais du Pharo, on the headland beyond Fort St-Nicolas, or, for a wider angle, from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the city’s Second Empire landmark atop the La Garde hill. To the north of the Vieux Port is the oldest part of Marseille, Le Panier, where, up until the last war, tiny streets, steep steps Mediterranean introduction and houses of every era formed a vieille ville typical of the Côte.

DAY 3 – Genoa, Italy

Ships docks in Genoa, Italy.

Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style. Indeed “La Superba” (The Superb), as it was known at the height of its authority as a Mediterranean superpower, boasts more zest and intrigue than all the surrounding coastal resorts put together. During a holiday to Genoa you can explore its old town: a dense and fascinating warren of medieval alleyways home to large palazzi built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Genoa’s wealthy mercantile families and now transformed into museums and art galleries. You should seek out the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi which contain the cream of Genoa’s art collections, as well as furniture and decor from the grandest days of the city’s past, when its ships sailed to all corners of the Mediterranean Sea. The Acquario di Genova is the city’s pride and joy, parked like a giant ocean liner on the waterfront, with seventy tanks housing sea creatures from all the world’s major habitats, including the world’s biggest reconstruction of a Caribbean coral reef. It’s a great aquarium by any standards, the second largest in Europe by capacity, and boasts a fashionably ecology-conscious slant and excellent background information in Italian and English. Just 35 km south of Genoa, there’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, tucked into a protected inlet surrounded by lush cypress- and olive-clad slopes. It’s an A-list resort that has been attracting high-flying bankers, celebs and their hangers-on for years, as evidenced by the flotillas of giant yachts usually anchored just outside. It’s a tiny place that is attractive yet somehow off-putting at the same time, with a quota of fancy shops, bars and restaurants for a place twice its size.

DAY 4 – Civitavecchia, Italy

Ship docks in Civitavecchia, Italy.

The port of Civitavecchia is one of the largest in Italy and is, of course, a destination of MSC Cruises in the Mediterranean. Civitavecchia enjoys a millenary history due to its coves along the coast, which offered a perfect shelter for vessels, making it a natural port long before cruise ships sailed the seas, and in fact the port was known to the Romans as Centumcellae. During your holiday in Civitavecchia you can easily visit its centre on foot. Amongst the most important monuments to visit are the Forte Michelangelo, built by Bramante in the 16th century, the ancient walls of the old port, where there is a fountain in travertine marble by Vanvitelli, and the Rock, an inexpugnable fortress that has been looming over the city and port for over a thousand years. In Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Civitavecchia’s main square, one can admire the majestic baroque cathedral dedicated to St. Francis, built at the end of the 18th century on a smaller church which could no longer host a rapidly growing community. Piazza Leandra, set in the historic centre, is a typical Italian piazza with a fountain in the centre, dedicated to Leandro, an elderly seaman of the Middle Ages who convinced his fellow citizens to settle on the Mediterranean coast in spite of the incursions by Saracen pirates. There are a host of bars and restaurants for a taste of seafood cuisine, from poached baby octopus to fried rocket to stuffed squid or the pizza alla civitavecchiese with anchovies and garlic. The Taurine Baths, of the even more ancient Etruscan period, are a grand archaeological site just a few kilometres outside the city, a site that we recommend to the cruiser with a passion for ancient history.

DAY 5 – Palermo, Italy

Ship docks in the Sicilian city of Palermo in Italy.

A holiday to Italy with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit the regional capital of Sicily. A fascinating, bustling, colourful port, Palermo yet holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets. With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic centre in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit. The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market. Select an area (La Kalsa, or the sprawling markets of Ballarò), and enjoy your cruise excursion. Across Via Maqueda is Piazza Pretoria, floodlit at night to highlight the nude figures of its great central fountain, with its racy sixteenth-century Florentine design. The piazza also holds the restored town hall, while towering above both square and fountain is the massive flank of Santa Caterina, Sicilian Baroque at its most exuberant, every inch of the enormous interior covered in a wildly decorative relief-work. On the south of the island, a couple of kilometres below modern Agrigento, a series of Doric temples – the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains and a grouping unique outside Greece – are strung out along a ridge facing the sea. Greek colonists surrounded it with a mighty wall, formed in part by a higher ridge on which stood the acropolis. The southern limit of the ancient city was a second, lower ridge and in the fifth century BC it was here, in the “Valle dei Templi”, that the city architects erected their sacred buildings.

DAY 6 – Valletta, Malta

Ship docks in the historic port of Valletta, Malta.

The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is one of the must-see stops for every Mediterranean cruise of merit. You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and moulded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a square kilometre make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit during a cruise, not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants. An excursion to the island can start right from its capital, Valletta, which enchants the cruise-goer with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions. The National Museum of Archaeology, on the other hand, hosts prehistoric artefacts found on the island. By the Grand Harbour, one can visit the underground passages of Auberge de Castille and the beautiful Baracca Gardens, which overlook the harbour; at night, when the city gates would close, its porticoes served as shelter for travellers. To get a taste of the life of Malta’s ancient nobility, visit Casa Rocca Piccola. A 16th century Palazzo now the residence of the 9th Marquis De Piro, it has period furnishings and has a bomb shelter built for protection against bombings during the Second World War. The set of the film Popeye can still be seen from Malta’s largest beach, as well as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha with a fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ; according to tradition, Saint Luke, who was shipwrecked on the island with Saint Paul, is the author of this Byzantine-style fresco.

DAY 7 – At sea

Make the most of the exceptional facilities on board as you cruise towards Barcelona.

DAY 8 – Barcelona, Spain

Your cruise comes to an end today when the ship arrives in Barcelona at 7am.

Information subject to change as a consequence of final berth or anchorage effective availability.

  • 12 restaurants
  • Chocolaterie
  • Champagne bar
  • Cocktail bar
  • Shopping gallery
  • Carousel Lounge
  • Longest LED dome at sea
  • Atmosphere pool
  • Horizon pool
  • MSC Yacht Club
  • MSC Aurea Spa
  • MSC Gym by Technogym
  • Cirque du Soleil shows
  • Polar Aquapark
  • Tv studio and bar
  • Attic Club
  • Sportplex
  • F1 simulators
  • Full-size bowling alley
  • Baby club
  • Mini and juniors clubs
  • Teens clubs

Getting to Barcelona, Spain is easy. Regular stopover flights are available with KLM, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Qantas with an approximate flight time of 24 hours.

Direct Flights (departing Australia only): Booking your flight with us is a quick, easy process. First, confirm your travel dates with the hotel, then head to our new online booking page to book your flights here.

Multi-Stop Trips: If you require a stopover en route or are travelling to multiple destinations, simply call 1300 88 99 00.