We’ve just had the most incredible European adventure!
Cruising is a whole new world for us, and since we sailed the Mediterranean on board Norwegian Breakaway (one of the incredible ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet) we’re now totally convinced that it’s the best way to travel, especially in Europe.
This is a superb way to see a whole lotta Europe in a short amount of time — being gently rocked to sleep at night while listening to the sound of the ocean and then waking up in a new destination each day. Not to mention the ease of travel. We visited all the top spots on our hit list and only unpacked once. Every little detail was taken care of so we were free to just enjoy the entire day at each port.
We started in Rome and this city was one of our favourites. There’s so much rich culture and history, and around every corner there’s another iconic sight. We actually cried when we caught our first glimpse of the Colosseum! We made a wish at the Trevi Fountain, traversed the Spanish Steps, shopped up a storm wherever we went and ate everything in sight. Once we had ticked off all the major attractions, we were happy to just wander aimlessly and soak in the Roman way of life. We felt so relaxed and happy, which set the tone for the rest of the trip.
Next stop was Santorini and the stunning contrast of the white-washed buildings, the dramatic cliffs and the glistening turquoise ocean made this the most scenic destination on our itinerary. We enjoyed local Greek food like dolmades, saganaki, calamari and souvlaki. And once our tummies were full, we wandered the quaint, cobble-stoned laneways perusing jewellery and fashion stores. Safe to say we contributed to the local economy!
We didn’t want to leave Santorini, but our next stop beckoned: Athens, the birthplace of democracy and home to the original Olympic Games. Our fave moment in Athens was taking a selfie in front of the Acropolis — to see these ancient ruins in real life was just mindblowing. We can also highly recommend the gyros in Athens. YUM!
As we said farewell to Greece, our sights were firmly set on our next destination, Malta. Mdina, the fortified city in the north of Malta, exceeded all of our expectations. The laneways were absolutely stunning and everywhere we looked was another Instagram-worthy spot! This is definitely a place we will come back to for a longer stay.
By nightfall, we were bound for Sicily, an island off the southern coast of Italy. Once docked, we made our way from the port of Messina straight to the pretty-asa-picture coastal town of Taormina. The distinctive sound of the piano accordion filled the laneways lined with little shops, all proudly displaying citrus-patterned plates, bowls and printed fabrics, as well as the famous head statues (known as Testa di Moro) which are unique to this area of Italy.
The next day, our ship docked in Naples — the perfect base to start exploring this diverse region. Here, you can visit Pompeii to see the preserved ruins of the volcanic eruption, head to Positano for views along the Amalfi Coast, or stay in Naples and explore the thirdlargest city in Italy and the original home of pizza. We opted to spend the day in Sorrento and enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch. No regrets there!
Phil Hoffmann Travel
Norwegian Cruise Lines