BOSTON, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Circle Cruise Line, the leader in small ship and river cruising worldwide, is pleased to announce the launch of a new small ship cruise tour for 2013: The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles. On this 15-day cruise tour, travelers will experience the charming villages of Italy, visit the storied islands of Elba and Corsica, and cruise for seven nights along the French Riviera aboard a private Grand Circle small ship with just 50 passengers.
"We are very excited about our new cruise because it offers what many older American travelers want—the opportunity to explore two extremely popular countries while traveling by small ship, the preferred mode of travel for Americans over 50," said Alan E. Lewis, chairman and CEO. "Our itinerary connects travelers with local people, their cultures, and the beautiful cities, quaint villages, and breathtaking art and architecture along the French and Italian Rivieras."
On this cruise tour, travelers begin their journey with a four-night stay in Florence, Italy, cradle of the Renaissance. They'll stop in Pisa to visit the Piazza dei Miracoli or the "Square of Miracles," a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before embarking Grand Circle Cruise Line's M/V Arethusa and cruising to the island of Elba, where Napoleon first was exiled and where they'll have lunch at the home of a local family. The ship sails next to the scenic island of Corsica and then calls on the ports of the mountainside villages of Cinque Terre and Carrara and the picturesque villages of Portofino and Chiavari. In France, travelers disembark their ship at the town of Villefranche, which they'll explore before motoring to Cannes, home of the renowned film festival, for a three-night hotel stay.
The 15-day The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles cruise tour begins at $3895, or $260 per day, with departures available March through October 2013. The cruise tour includes accommodations (4 nights at the Superior First Class Hotel Albani Firenze in Florence, Italy, 7 nights aboard a private Grand Circle small ship, and 3 nights at the Superior Tourist Class Hotel Splendid or Moderate First Class Grand Hotel Mercure Croisette Beach in Cannes, France); 31 meals (14B, 8L, 9D), plus complimentary wine with dinner onboard; 8 exclusive sightseeing tours with audio headset during the cruise portion of the trip; Grand Circle's discovery series events; services of resident Grand Circle Program Directors; and more.
Grand Circle travelers have long expressed the desire to decide exactly where they're going, how they get there, and when they wish to leave. In response, Grand Circle has developed a variety of options that allow traveler to create vacations that works best for them. To get to a destination, travelers may choose a cruise-only option and make their own air arrangements—or elect to take Grand Circle's standard air routing (which includes taxes, fees and transfers), upgrade to business or premium economy class, request alternate air routings and carriers, and even ask Grand Circle to arrange for airport transfers for a fee if their air arrangements are on their own. Travelers may also upgrade their cabin and deck or request specific cabins, based on availability.
Once travelers arrive at the destination, they can choose how long they'll stay. For example, Grand Circle Cruise Line offers a range of pre-and-post trip options for those who want to extend the value of their vacation. On the new Rivieras cruise tour, travelers may choose to begin their trip with a 4-night pre-trip stay in Bologna, Italy from $695 or opt for one of two post-trip options: a 4-night stay in Aix-en-Provence, France, or a 5-night stay in Torino & Lake Maggiore, Italy, each from $1095. Travelers may also create their own "back-to-back" trip by connecting two or more trips or "break away" before or after one's trip for a day, a week or even a month.
For 2013, Grand Circle Cruise Line offers FREE Single Supplements on all pre-and-post trip extensions of this new small-ship cruise tour.
For more information about Grand Circle Cruise Line's The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles or for a free catalog, please call Grand Circle's Catalog & Information Line at 1-800-248-3737.
ABOUT GRAND CIRCLE CRUISE LINE
Grand Circle Cruise Line is part of Grand Circle Corporation, the leader in international travel, adventure and discovery for Americans aged 50 and older. The award-winning fleet has been cited for excellence by readers of both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. The cruise line joins sister brands Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel to provide more than 80 river and small ship cruises, small group adventures by land, escorted tours, and extended stay vacations to more than 100,000 travelers each year. Grand Circle's charitable arm, Grand Circle Foundation, has donated or pledged more than $91 million since 1992 to more than 300 humanitarian, educational, and cultural organizations in 50 countries, including 100 schools. Grand Circle has been in business since 1958 and is based in Boston with more than 30 offices worldwide.
SOURCE Grand Circle Cruise Line