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A panoramic view of Capri rocky islands
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From Naples to Valletta, Malta

Seductively beautiful and perfectly placed in the heart of the Mediterranean, Italy has been luring passersby since the time of legends. Whatever your personal predilections, Sicily varied landscape makes a dramatic first impression and its dozen-plus offshore islands offer enough activities to build an entire vacation around. Malta astounding prehistoric sites were constructed by sophisticated-seeming temple builders, who also left miniature figurines and mammoth sculptures of ‘fat ladies’, which have survived millennia and are housed in Malta's fascinating museums. Out in the open, gigantic temples and towers from many different eras stand proud, continuing their endless watch over the sea. Rising out of the cobalt-blue seas off Sicily's northeastern coast, the Unesco-protected Aeolian Islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi) are a little piece of paradise, a seven-island archipelago offering a wealth of opportunities for relaxation and outdoor fun.
History rich Malta and Sicily welcome you for your next small ship cruise adventure. The unique and varied peninsulas of both countries offer a natural playground to be best experienced by a small ship, and so we have designed the ultimate itinerary for you to experience the destinations we visit in depth, always keeping in mind your comfort and safety.
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A panoramic view of the city of Naples, Italy from above
Day 1
Embarkation 2-4pm. Overnight at sea.
View to capri rocky islands
Day 2
This morning, after a sumptuous breakfast on board, drop anchor at Capri. Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea directly south of Naples, Capri has been a popular resort destination since the time of the Romans. With its impressive scenery, clear skies, and perfect climate, it has earned its reputation as the “jewel” of the Bay of Naples. Here starts our optional half day Capri excursion; we take the island’s iconic funicular from Marina Grande to the village of Capri and then we set off on a guided walk to the Gardens of Augustus, which offer sweeping views of the sea and the stacked rock formations off the coast and visit also the iconic, bustling Piazzetta which, being the centre of Capri, is the focal point of life on the island. We will have some free time to explore the area before returning via the funicular to the port. Lunch is served on board the ship, with the rest of the afternoon is yours to relax before dinner. Overnight at sea to Amalfi.
A Variety Cruises ship docked at the Amalfi Coast in Italy, surrounded by cliffs and colorful houses
Day 3
After breakfast on board, we will spend the morning on the breathtaking Amalfi or Sorrento coast, with its cliff-top villas, azure coastline and luxury boutiques. Optional half day excursion. In the late evening, take in the view as we cruise past Stromboli, an active volcano off the northern coast of Sicily. Overnight at sea to the Aeolian Islands.
A view of Lipari Island's coastline and blue sea
Day 4
Morning arrival in Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian islands and scattered with important archeological sites; ruins and remains here date back to 1700 BC and include Neolithic stones, ancient tombstones, Greek walls, and Roman villas. Join our optional morning tour to learn about them, as well as the 16th Century Spanish castle and 12th Century harbour Cathedral. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Lipari.
A beautiful view of Taormina, a hilltop town in Sicily
Day 5
After breakfast, the ship heads to Taormina and the charming seaside village of Giardini Naxos. The area, having been settled for even before the Greeks founded Naxos in 743 BC, is a popular destination for sun, sand, and sea. On our optional Taormina tour we will discover the village’s narrow alleyways, along with the fifteenth-century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek amphitheatre, which boasts extraordinary acoustics, before we take a stroll along the Corso Umberto, a pedestrian street which crosses Taormina’s centre. Flanked on both sides by upscale boutiques selling clothes, jewellery and souvenirs, we will understand why Taormina is called the “Sicilian Saint Tropez.” In the afternoon, enjoy the view as the ship cruises towards Catania. Overnight in port.
A view of the historic Via dei Crociferi and San Benedetto arch in Catania, Italy
Day 6
Following breakfast, we set off in a private coach on a full-day excursion to Mount Etna, Italy’s largest active volcano, and Catania. Pass through Nicolosi, a small Sicilian village that has existed in the shadow of the volcano for centuries. A new road offers scenic views as it winds up the mountain’s slopes. Constructed after an eruption in 1983, it passes through vineyards, woods, and valleys of black lava. At approximately 2000 metres above sea level, the Rifugio Sapienza is the highest point of the mountain accessible by vehicle. We will take a short walk to the Crateri Silvestri, two sizable craters formed during a significant eruption in 1892, to admire 360-degree views of the Gulf of Catania. Lunch is served in a local restaurant overlooking the lava stream. Afterwards, continue to Catania. This city has long been dominated by Mount Etna’s presence. We join our guide for a stroll through the city centre, including the Cathedral of Saint Agatha, the picturesque Piazza del Duomo, and the Fontana dell’Elefante, which features a Roman-era elephant statue carved from Mount Etna’s basalt. The walk continues along Via Crociferi which is lined by imposing churches emblematic of Catania’s Baroque architectural style, then stop at Piazza Stesicoro, one of the main squares in Catania, to admire the monument to Vincenzo Bellini, famed Romantic composer who was born here. The walk will continue back to the port. If you wish, you can continue exploring the town on your own. This afternoon, the ship sails towards Syracuse. Overnight at sea.
A beautiful view of the coastline of Syracuse with traditional buildings
Day 7
After breakfast on the ship, we can have a half-day tour to Syracuse, with its rich Greek and Roman history. The tour begins with a short drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park, an open-air museum of Sicilian ruins. The spectacular Teatro Greco (“Greek Theatre”) is among the most impressive amphitheaters to survive from antiquity. We will also visit the enigmatic Latomia del Paradiso, a limestone quarry which supplied stone for this ancient city. The Orecchio di Dionisio (“Ear of Dionysus”) is a 23 metre-high man-made cave known for its near-perfect acoustics, and the altar of Hieron II served as a site for animal sacrifices. After exploring the park, we drive to Ortygia, an island which is home to the remains of some of the city’s earliest constructions. Here, we will discover the Temple of Apollo, the Fountain of Arethusa and a Baroque cathedral built over the remains of the famed Temple of Athena. After the tour, we return to the ship or enjoy some free time in the town. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. Departure late afternoon to Malta. Overnight at sea to Malta.
A view of the Grand Harbor in Valletta, the capital city of Malta
Day 8
Breakfast in Valletta Port, then time to say goodbye. For now. We hope to see you on another one of our cruises soon!
A tour map of Italy and Malta

In case of severe weather conditions our expertly designed routes are adjusted ensuring your safety & comfort by applying our rich marine knowledge, garnered since 1949. Stay flexible – Adventure on.

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    The ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily
    The most famous monument of Taormina remains its Greek theatre. It dates from the 3rd century BC and is remarkably well preserved. The ancient theatre is without question the most important feature for sight-seers in Taormina, also because for its very fortunate natural setting, with splendid view toward the Calabrian coast, the Ionian coast of Sicily and the spectacular cone of Etna.
    The Ta' Pinu Basilica in Gozo island, Malta visited on a Variety Cruises excursion
    Ta Pinu
    In 1883 a woman, Karmni Grima heard the voice of Our Lady at a small chapel. Today an architectural masterpiece, especially inside with its superb sculptures and craftsmanship in Maltese stone, was constructed in front of the original chapel that remains intact and still contains the painting from which the voice is said to have spoken to Karmni Grima. Accessible for persons with a disability.
    A lighthouse on the rocky Stromboli Island overlooking the Mediterranean
    The Aeolian Islands shaped from the eternal struggle between sea and the bowels of the earth, from the unstoppable strength of lava, which managed to win them against god Neptune from deep waters of the Tyrrhenian sea. A millenary war still lasting as there are two active volcanoes – Stromboli and Vulcano. The volcanic activity of steaming fumaroles and thermal waters are on most of the islands.
    Wherever we sail, we do so with purpose. Our mission is to create life-enriching experiences at sea for our guests, and a better world for us all. We’re transparent about carbon emissions, always aiming to improve our footprint. Our journeys are designed to get you closer to the things that matter: whether that’s an island reachable only by boat, or by ensuring your adventure honours and gives back to local communities. We always have fun at sea, but we do it responsibly.
    Variety Cruises ship anchored with a traditinal port and town in the background
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