BOSTON, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Circle Cruise Line, the leader in small ship and river cruising worldwide, will launch "The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles", a new 15-day small ship cruise tour beginning in March 2013. The cruise tour will begin at $3895 per person—or $260 per day. Grand Circle Cruise Line offers free single supplements for solo travelers on this new program in addition to the free single supplements the cruise line offers on all cruise and cruise tour pre-and-post trip extensions for 2013.
"At only 50 passengers, our small ship is able to access smaller ports that large ships cannot enter," said Alan E. Lewis, Grand Circle Cruise Line Chairman and CEO. "Travelers will be able to explore some of France and Italy's loveliest small towns and villages along the Riviera and to do so at an excellent value. In addition, we are delighted to serve our growing number of solo travelers by offering free single supplements on the main trip as well as the pre-and-post trip options on this new small ship cruise tour."
On this new cruise tour, travelers will sail aboard Grand Circle Cruise Line's 4-star M/S Arethusa, a 50-passenger ship that was just rated #1 in the "Top 20 Small Cruise Ships" category of Conde Nast Traveler's new cruise ship poll, the results of which appear in the magazine's February issue.
"The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles" explores Florence, Pisa, Livorno, Elba Island, Corsica, Cinque Terre, Portofino, Nice, and Cannes. Travelers begin with a four-night stay in Florence, where they will explore this famous city and the Tuscan gem, Lucca. The group will then travel to Pisa and later, board Grand Circle Cruise Line's private, 4-plus star 50 passenger ship in Livorno. The ship sails to Elba Island that night, and the next day, travelers will explore the island and enjoy lunch at a local island family's home. That evening, the ship heads to Corsica and, later, to Marina di Carrara, Italy.
Travelers will spend two days exploring Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Marina di Carrara, famous for the marble quarries that provided stones for Michelangelo's sculptures. Next, the ship sails to Portofino and later to Nice, France, where travelers will enjoy a city tour, free time to explore the city, and a festive Captain's farewell dinner as the ship docks in Nice overnight. The following morning, travelers will disembark and travel by coach to Cannes, where they will spend three nights at a hotel. During their stay, travelers will explore Cannes and visit St. Paul de Vence, one of the oldest towns in the French Riviera, and if they wish, visit Monte Carlo and Monte Carlo on an optional tour. Following a final night in Cannes, with a festive farewell dinner, travelers depart for home or begin their post-trip tour the next day.
Accommodations (4 nights at the Superior First Class Hotel Albani Firenze in Florence, Italy, 7 nights aboard a private Grand Circle Cruise Line 50-passenger ship, 3 nights at a Superior Tourist Class Hotel Splendid or Moderate First Class Grand Hotel Mercure Croisette Beach in Cannes, France); 31 meals (14B, 8L, 9D, with complimentary wine with dinner onboard); 11 exclusive tours; Grand Circle's exclusive Discovery Series of activities that engage travelers with local people and cultures; personal headsets; a resident Grand Circle Program Director (one for 25 travelers or fewer); a Captain's welcome reception and dinner and farewell dinner; 5% Frequent Traveler Credit applicable towards one's next Grand Circle trip (an average of $268); and baggage handling for one piece of baggage per person, including tips.
City tour of Florence; a walking tour Intimate Florence; Pisa, with free time to explore the Etruscan town of Volterra; Elba Island, including a visit to Portoferraio, Capoliveri and nearby magnetite sites; a full day on Corsica with visits to Bastia and the villages of Pigna and Sant'Antuninu; Cinque Terre, including the port of Porto Venere, a traditional fishing village; Carrara marble quarries & workshop; Nice; and Lucca.
With departures beginning in March 2013, the 15-day "The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles" begins at $3895 per person—or $260 per day. Travelers may also choose to extend their vacation with a four-night pre-trip extension in Bologna, Italy from $695, a four-night post-trip stay in Aix-en-Provence, France from $1095, or a five-night post-trip extension in Torino & Lake Maggiore, Italy from $1095.
For solo travelers, who now represent one in four Grand Circle Cruise Line traveler, the cruise line offers free single supplements, based on availability, free single supplements on all pre-and-post trip extensions, a free Matching Roommate program, free online Travel Companion program, and more. In addition, the fleet offers solos a Lowest Price Guarantee on all of its cruises and cruise tours.
For travelers who'd like Grand Circle Cruise Line to make their air arrangements, cost begins at $4795 for a 16-day cruise tour and includes international air from New York or Newark, government taxes, fees, fuel surcharges, and airport transfers. International airport transfers to and from the ship can also be arranged for purchase for travelers making their own air arrangements. In addition to flexible air options, Grand Circle Cruise Line allows travelers to personalize their trip by adding optional pre-post-trip extensions, combining Grand Circle Cruise Line vacations, or "breaking away" before or after one's trip to spend time in a region or city.
Grand Circle Cruise Line was named the "World's Best River Cruise Line" in 2012 by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. For more information about the cruise tour, or to see a video, please click this link: "The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles."
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 $91 million to humanitarian, educational, and cultural organizations worldwide since 1992. Grand Circle has been in business since 1958 and is based in Boston with more than 30 offices worldwide.
SOURCE Grand Circle Cruise Line