In the Footsteps of the Popes

A memorable cruise is about more than the ship and the itinerary – it’s also about what you do on shore. When you’re a member of Cruise Holidays’ Excursion Society, your cruise experience can include a unique, private and complimentary shore excursion.

On Celebrity Cruises’ 12-night “Classical Mediterranean Cruise” departing August 14 from Barcelona, the Excursion Society will provide its members with such an opportunity. After docking in Civitavecchia, Italy, society members will follow the footsteps of the Popes through Rome and Vatican City.

The adventure begins with a ride through the lovely countryside along the Tyrrhenian coast to the Eternal City of Rome. You’ll visit the Lateran area of the city, where the Popes lived before moving to the Vatican district. Your guide will take you to the Cathedral of Rome – the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope. There, you’ll be awed by the Scala Sancta – the Holy Stairs climbed by Jesus – and the Sancta Santorum, the private chapel of the Popes. It’s a powerful experience for visitors of all religious backgrounds.

Then, you’ll be transported to the Vatican, viewing exceptional landmarks such as the Colosseum and Venice Square along the way. In the Vatican district, you’ll be refreshed by an authentic Italian lunch, including fine Italian wine.

After lunch, you’ll visit other magnificent sites that are important in Papal history. The first will be St. Angel Castle, built in the second century as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and used as a fortress by the Popes. You can climb to the top of the castle for a rooftop view of Rome. Finally, you’ll see St. Peter’s Basilica, the grandest Christian church in the world. The beautiful treasures within include Michelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s gilt baldachin over the high altar. You and your companions will have much to discuss as you ride back to the ship.

The Excursion Society’s shore excursions are featured on a number of Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Holland America sailings during 2009. To join the society (it’s easy), talk with your local Cruise Holidays expert at 949-215-6700.

Share on Social Media