DAY 1: Milan
Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.
DAY 2: Milan
Milan is a mecca for Italian fashionistas, famous for its innovative design and stylish flair. Venture inside the city’s hulking Gothic cathedral, as well as its cathedral to capitalism, Europe’s oldest shopping arcade. The highlight today is pure genius—Da Vinci’s revolutionary The Last Supper mural, the most famous religious painting in history. Fashion and finance, opera and furniture design, telecom companies and trade fairs—bustling Milan, Italy’s financial and industrial center, is a modern global city whose roots sink deep into the history of Italy. Founded 2,500 years ago, Milan retains traces of every epoch, from Roman, medieval and Renaissance up to the current moment, and it boasts a dazzling bounty of artistic and cultural landmarks, which are yours to experience today.
Milan city tour with visit to Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
DAY 3: Milan, Verona (Valpolicella), Transfer to Venice (Embark)
En route to Venice, you’ll stop in the literary hometown of Shakespeare’s famously star-crossed teen lovers to see the sights and the famous balcony—yes, that balcony. Later, enjoy lunch at a historic wine estate owned by descendants of Dante, the great Italian poet who penned The Inferno. You’ll check out of your hotel this morning and head toward the Adriatic coast and magical Venice, but the day includes two delightful stops en route: Verona, forever associated with Romeo and Juliet, and the Valpolicella wine country.
Verona, “City of Romeo and Juliet”
Exclusive Valpolicella wine estate lunch
DAY 4: Venice
If ever there was a city that could be described as “bewitching” and “ethereal,” Venice is it. An expert guide will show you iconic sites as well as quiet lanes and secret spots known only to locals (shhhh….). Also on deck today: a scenic cruise around the Venetian Lagoon and an experience that’s sure to be a highlight of your trip—an extremely rare after-hours visit to St. Mark’s Basilica. Hoping to escape marauding Huns, Goths and Vandals as the Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, refugees built a little settlement they called Venice on tiny islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. By the 12th century, Venice was the wealthiest and most powerful city-state in Europe, controlling the Mediterranean and all European trade with the East. Its merchant-aristocrats lavished their wealth on palaces and churches, art and music, creating a city that is truly like no other. Now, seawater laps at the foot of thousand-year-old houses— and sometimes rises above the doorsteps—but the glorious palaces and romantic canals enchant visitors just as they have for centuries. Today you will embark on your own personal voyage of discovery through this entrancing city.
Venice walking discovery tour
Exclusive evening opening of St. Mark’s Basilica
DAY 5: Chioggia
Join a local expert for a stroll around this picturesque fishing village, a popular place for artists, or “Go Active” with a bike ride along the beaches lining the lagoon. The seaside air and sweeping views are simply spectacular. The River Countess sails from Venice, cruising through the lagoon, past the Lido, the colorful fishermen’s houses of Pellestrina and the huge ongoing flood-control project called MOSE (which is designed to protect Venice from rising seawater), before docking in Chioggia, sometimes called “Little Venice,” at the southern end of the lagoon. Special attention to: We are obliged to comply with Italian Maritime Authorities who require that the ship is only manned by crew during the Adriatic Sea passage. We thank you for your cooperation.
Choice of Chioggia walking discovery tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle tour of Chioggia’s beaches
DAY 6: Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)
Bologna or Ferrara? Let your passions be your guide today. If you have an appetite for pasta, head to Bologna—the heart of Italian culinary traditions—and learn how to make (and eat!) your own lunch. Or indulge your appetite for art with an excursion to Ferrara, an ancient center for the arts that once rivaled Medici Florence. Today you face a tough decision: Do you spend a full day in Bologna, the culinary capital of Northern Italy, or visit UNESCO-designated Ferrara, a beautifully preserved Renaissance city?
Choice of Full-day excursion to Bologna with exclusive pasta-making workshop and lunch or Half-day excursion to Ferrara with lunch onboard
DAY 7: Taglio di Po, Chioggia
Chioggia is such a delight that we’ll return there today to experience something completely different. You can visit the village’s bustling once-a-week market—a colorful and boisterous scene, and quintessentially Italian—or for something really unique, hop aboard a small boat to go mussel harvesting with local fishermen out in the lagoon. Dip into a lively local scene with a stroll through Chioggia, or, if weather permits, take a small boat out to the lagoon to take part in a mussel harvest. Special attention to: We are obliged to comply with Italian Maritime Authorities who require that the ship is only manned by crew during the Adriatic Sea passage. We thank you for your cooperation.
Choice of Chioggia market visit with lunch onboard or Chioggia mussel harvesting experience
DAY 8: Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello)
Venice is an island surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands, three of which you’ll visit today—Burano, famous for its lace-makers and houses painted in eye-popping colors; Mazzorbo, where you’ll taste a historic golden-hued wine; and Torcello, home to beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
Full-day “The Magical Islands of Venice”
DAY 9: Venice
Lovers of food and wine flock to Italy to immerse themselves in a true farm-to-table epicurean experience. If that sounds like you, you’ll love today’s walking tour to the famous fish and produce market next to the Rialto Bridge. Prefer a more visual feast? Join an art historian for a highlights tour of the Accademia gallery. Further your acquaintance with the city called the “Queen of the Adriatic” with a tour of its marvelous food markets (your ship’s chef might just lead your expedition) or take a tour of the stunning Academy museum.
Choice of Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour or “Venetian Painters at the Accademia” tour with art historian guide
DAY 10: Venice (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home.
Uncover the extraordinary hidden treasures of Venice and Northern Italy
Encounter unforgettable sights on this odyssey through Northern Italy that begins in Milan, home to Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and ends in legendary Venice, the “Queen of the Adriatic.” These two iconic cities bookend an exploration of Northern Italy that rewards the curious traveler with amazing experiences in Verona, Padua, Bologna and Ferrara.
Travel from dynamic Milan to romantic Venice. Soak up the enchantment of “The City of Water” and three outer-lying Venetian islands, Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Be treated to an exclusive evening opening and lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica. Discover the charm of seaside Chioggia loved by fishermen and artists alike. Enjoy a multicourse lunch complete with wine pairings at a historic wine estate in Valpolicella. Explore medieval Padua, once home to Galileo and Copernicus; “bountiful” Bologna; Verona, the famed city of Romeo and Juliet; and UNESCO-designated Ferrara. Each of these enchanting locales is yours to uncover on the “Gems of Northern Italy.”
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour:
Romantics, connoisseurs of food and wine and lovers of art and architecture. Experienced travelers looking to explore the hidden gems of Northern Italy.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
8 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by Englishspeaking local experts
Guided "Do as the Locals Do" and "Gentle Walking" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all excursions
Use of Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the impressive River Countess
2 nights in Milan at Starhotel Rosa Grand (or similar) with breakfast
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “La Serenissima: The Lagoon of Venice”
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.