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Tuesday 8 December 2015

Mediterranean cruise, Barcelona, Rome and Milan from $4899 from Australia

A boat cruise on Italy's Lake Como joins in-depth guided tours of Barcelona, Rome and Milan to add special flair to a new 18-night holiday centred on a 12-night Mediterranean cruise. The price has just been reduced and you can book until the end of March 2016, unless sold out or withdrawn from sale.

The latest exclusive offer from Worldwide Cruise Centres involves a Mediterranean cruise aboard ms Oosterdam, one of Holland America Line's premium Vista-class ships.

Called 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes' and very competitively priced (starting from A$4899 twin share per person, a reduction of A$100 on the previous price), the holiday lasts 18 nights and includes hotel stays and tours in Barcelona, Rome and Milan (two nights each), as well as the ms Oosterdam cruise.

The Barcelona and Rome tours come complete with special arrangements that skip the queues to some of those cities' best-known attractions. The stay in Milan includes an excursion to the village of Bellagio, with its tiled roofs, stone staircases, cypress groves and lakefront boat moorings. A cruise on Lake Como, against the backdrop of the snow-capped Rhaetian Alps, is the perfect highlight.

The centrepiece of 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes', the 12-night ms Oosterdam cruise from Barcelona to Rome, visits Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Alicante, Mallorca, Marseilles, Corsica, Monte Carlo and Livorno, gateway to Florence and Pisa.

'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes' includes flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Barcelona, returning from Milan.

The holiday departs Australia on 8 July 2016 with a flight to Barcelona, one of Europe's most popular cities, where you'll spend two nights in a four-star hotel.

Full-day sightseeing Barcelona sightseeing, concentrating on artists and historic heritage, includes Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's fabulous cathedral. A special dispensation lets you skip the tourist queues and discover the magnificent interior. See also the elegant Passeig de Gracia, home to the most famous Gaudi houses, Casa Batllo and La Casa Mila.  The Olympic Village, the beach, the Gothic quarter, La Rambla pedestrian mall – all are covered.

Embark now on ms Oosterdam. The ship's centrepiece is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium. ms Oosterdam amenities include The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine; Greenhouse Spa & Salon; Vista Dining Room, Pinnacle Grill and Vista Show Lounge. All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) are included.

Ports of call are fabulous. From Moorish-inspired Cadiz, sail to Gibraltar, Britain's Mediterranean outpost, known for its lively troop of Barbary apes. The Spanish seaport of Malaga, one of the world's oldest cities, is where Picasso was born. Bask in the warm, Spanish vibes of Mallorca, then explore shops and cafés of the beachfront Explanada de España at Alicante in sun-soaked Valencia, before sailing on to Marseilles, capital of the South of France. Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, leads to opulent Monte Carlo on the Riviera and Livorno on the Tyrrhenian Sea, gateway to Florence and Pisa.

Disembarking in Rome, your home for the next two nights (staying in a four-star hotel) you'll see a lot of the city in one day. The tour starts at the Colosseum, where you will skip the queues and learn of gladiators and of the mock sea-battles staged by Nero. Wander the streets and piazzas of the city, taking in sights from the Spanish steps to the Piazza Navona with its Bernini Fountain.

By first-class train now, journey from Rome to Milan. Your two nights in a four-star hotel in Milan include daily breakfast, as with all hotel stays in 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes'.

From Milan, a day trip to the Italian Lake District visits Lake Como and the village of Bellagio, almost impossibly photogenic. Bellagio has since ancient times been a centre for the production of silk. A walking tour of the city with local guide includes a visit to the Cathedral, with its gothic facade and interior tapestries. A boat cruise sets the seal on a superb day.

Time to explore Milan at your leisure before jetting back home to Australia.

To find your local Worldwide Cruise Centres agent go to:

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