MSC World Europa Sails the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is one of the most highly sought-after sailings for those who love the sun, sea, and exotic ports of call. MSC Cruises’ MSC World Europa offers guests the chance to discover the best of the Med in unparalleled comfort and style. Calling on some of the most enchanting cities along the coast, from Marseille, France, to Barcelona, Spain, this week-long journey explores the stunning ports of the Mediterranean as you indulge in mouth-watering meals and enjoy the ne plus ultra European cruise experience. Read on to see where we visit!

Day 1: Marseille, France

We embark on this week-long Mediterranean sailing adventure from Marseille, France, and have the afternoon to settle into the luxurious facilities that MSC World Europa offers. We suggest unpacking once your bags arrive and exploring the ship to see what amenities are available. From world-class dining options to immersive entertainment experiences…there is so much to see and do aboard!

Day 2: Genoa, Italy

We awake on the second day of the cruise to a breathtaking view of Genoa, Italy. You will have the entire day to explore at your leisure or take a guided excursion. It is recommended to book excursions in advance, as spots cannot be guaranteed.

  • Take a tour of Palazzo Bianco, constructed by the Grimaldi family, and immerse yourself in the collection of art that adorns the walls. Be sure to visit the terrace to enjoy panoramic views of Genoa from every angle.
  • Explore the ancient city’s network of narrow alleys, where you’ll come across medieval structures and a bustling plaza to experience the city’s history and culture.
  • Visit the renowned Aquarium of Genoa, Europe’s largest aquarium, known for its unique ship-shaped structure and a replica of the Red Sea’s beautiful coral reefs.
  • Cycle through Genoa’s old town on a bike tour, passing by landmarks including Genoa Aquarium, Lanterna lighthouse, Porta del Molo, Genoa Cathedral, and Piazza de Ferrari.
  • Relax while you absorb Genoa’s civic beauty on a coach tour that takes you past historical buildings such as Columbus’ birthplace and Palazzo San Giorgio.

Once back aboard, enjoy a nice evening of dinner and entertainment in the Panorama Lounge before heading to bed for your next day of adventures! 

Day 3: Naples, Italy

On the following morning, we wake up in the beautiful city of Naples. With a full day available for exploration, there is plenty of time to explore history, art, culture … and the birthplace of pizza!

The following are recommended excursions to explore during your time in Naples: 

  • Board a ferry for a 50-minute transfer from the ship to Capri. Explore the island’s charming streets, handicraft shops, and Villa San Michele. Then, head to Capri to visit the famous Piazza Umberto I and Augustus Gardens for incredible views. 
  • Explore Naples on a bike tour and experience its historical monuments and vibrant street life. See landmarks like Castel Nuovo, Teatro San Carlo, Castel Sant’Elmo, Mount Vesuvius, Capri, and Ischia. 
  • Sail a smaller boat to the popular destination of Capri. Disembark and explore on your own for about 3 hours. Continue the excursion by cruising the island, seeing the Tiberius’ cliff, White Grotto, Marina Piccola, and Faraglioni. 
  • From the port, drive through Naples’ most appealing streets to reach the famed Posillipo district, perched high on a hill. Visit the renowned Principe Umberto I’s Gallery, the exterior of San Carlo Theatre, and Piazza Plebiscito. 

For questions on what tour is best for you or your group, contact your travel agent for more information. 

Day 4: Messina, Italy

On day four, get ready to explore Messina, the charming city of the Italian island of Sicily. Messina is known for its stunning location at the northeastern tip of the island, rich multicultural history, and delicious local cuisine, particularly seafood dishes and sweets such as the famous cannoli.

We recommended excursions like these to make the most of your time in Messina, Italy:

  • Start our adventure with a panoramic coach drive that offers glimpses of Messina’s top tourist sites, such as the Fountain of Neptune, the court house, and the university. We stop at Piazza Duomo, where we can see the exterior of the cathedral and the bell tower, followed by a stop in front of the Cristo Re Church, which overlooks Messina’s harbor and the Strait. Visit Greco-Roman theater, constructed by the Greeks and rebuilt by the Romans. 
  • Experience Sicily’s oldest port on a pedelec, with a small electric motor providing a boost of up to 25 km/h while pedaling through the hills surrounding Messina. This tour takes us past iconic landmarks like the Orion Fountain and the cathedral before heading towards Monte Cicca, the highest point on the tour. 

Day 5: Malta

On day five, we arrive in Malta! Malta is the smallest country in the European Union, and one of the smallest countries in the world. I’m especially excited to be in Malta after learning the country is a popular location for filming productions such as Gladiator, Troy, and Game of Thrones. Keep reading to learn about the available excursions in Malta.

  • Explore Malta’s natural harbor on a motorboat, passing the charming Cottonera area and The Three Cities before reaching Valletta. Admire the grandeur of the city’s impressive bastions, architectural heritage, and the restored 18th-century Baroque Valletta waterfront. Capture breathtaking views of that waterfront and enjoy a wine-tasting session. Before returning to the ship, stop briefly at the Mdina glass outlet nearby.
  • Enjoy Malta effortlessly by pedelec. From Valletta, cycle through rural areas towards the southern part of the island. Pass through Marsaxlokk’s weekly market before arriving at the captivating eastern coast with its stunning panorama. Swim at the “Peter’s Pool” and stop briefly at Marsaxlokk village. Then, tour the capital for impressive harbor views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
  • Explore the prehistoric wonders of Malta and Gozo, including the seven UNESCO World Heritage Megalithic Temples of Malta. This half-day tour takes you to one of these remarkable temples, showcasing an early engineering marvel and ancient place of worship in the southeast of the island. Admire the colorful luzzu fishing boats decorated with painted eyes in the charming village of Marsaxlokk. The tour continues with a scenic drive through the Cottonera area before a walking tour of the historic town of Vittoriosa, one of the historic Three Cities. The tour concludes at the port, where you board your cruise ship.

Day 6: Sea Day

Day six of the trip is a sea day. We take full advantage of the ship’s amenities, such as relaxing with a treatment at the Aurea Spa, hitting the gym, or lying out by the pool. There are onboard entertainment, activities, and dining options with no need to rush to disembark at a new port. Sea days are a perfect opportunity to recharge our batteries and enjoy all that the ship has to offer.

Day 7: Barcelona, Spain

On day seven, we arrive in Barcelona, Spain. Enjoy a full day of exploring the striking architecture, beaches, local cuisine, and shopping! 

  • Experience Barcelona’s streets and iconic landmarks up close and personal by biking with a guide. The tour offers stunning views of the harbor and Montjuic Castle from below. The tour will take us to the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, and the Gothic Quarter. We’ll also be able to visit the Museum of Art, the Olympic Harbour, and pass by the Statue of Columbus, the Arc de Triomphe, and the wave-shaped Casa Mila townhouse.
  • Discover the beauty of Barcelona on an enjoyable sightseeing tour that starts at the magnificent Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia. During the tour, we will explore significant works by renowned architect Gaudí, including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Stop at the Sagrada Família and walk through the Poble Espanyol village.
  • Our tour will start down Passeig de Gràcia, one of the city’s main boulevards, and pass by the Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. The tour will then proceed to the columns of the Montserrat Mountains and the Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat. Learn about the wine-making process and the production of bottle-fermented, bubbly Spanish cava.

Day 8: Marseille, France

On day eight, the ship docks at Marseille, France, and it’s time for us to disembark.

If you’re looking for a memorable and seamless way to explore the Mediterranean, I highly recommend booking your trip with MSC Cruises aboard MSC World Europa. In addition to phenomenal amenities, this stunning cruise ship boasts exceptional crew members who will ensure that your every need is catered to. You’ll experience stunning views of the Mediterranean’s breathtaking scenery aboard a vessel designed to offer the ultimate in comfort and style.

A Mediterranean cruise with MSC Cruises aboard MSC World Europa is a fantastic way to explore the countless wonders of the region, including vibrant cities, tranquil islands, and picturesque coastal towns. This experience has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or just looking to relax and rejuvenate. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see the Mediterranean and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Book your trip now to discover the magic of the Med for yourself!

Julie Bouchner is the Digital Editorial Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.