Viking Star

5 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

December, 2015

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Special occasion

Another early arrival in port this morning, this time Civitavecchia – the cruisers gateway to Rome.

Today I had opted for the full 10 hour complimentary excursion to Rome by coach: leaving my wife onboard on this occasion – we have done Rome many times including a shoreside holiday and she preferred to relax onboard.

My allocated coach was scheduled to leave at 8.00 am and duly did. Following a hearty breakfast I had turned up a little early and was lucky enough to ‘bag’ one of the coveted front seats. The drive to Rome took around an hour and our guide organised one comfort stop. She also kept us well briefed with lots of valuable information about our journey and each passenger received their own copy of a Rome Tourist map. In addition, and this was an excellent touch, we were each given an ‘emergency’ contact list should we become unavoidably detached from the group.

On arrival in Rome we once again met up with a specialist tour guide who would accompany us for most of the day. The first hour there took the form of a panoramic coach tour around the outer popular sites before we alighted the coach near the Coliseum for our first walking tour. As with the majority of our other ports on this December cruise the weather in Rome was a pleasant surprise. What also was noted was the general scarcity of large numbers of tourists. This was particularly noticed at the Coliseum and the Pantheon.

Sites we visited included the area surrounding the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine and the Roman Forum. We then returned to our coach for a transfer to Spanish Steps. From here we walked an interesting route taking in numerous historical sites, the best known being Trevi Fountain (without water – how novel, never seen that before), the Roman Victory Column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna, the very impressive Palazzo Montecitorio – seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. Here we eventually said farewell to our excellent Rome specialist guide as we were given two hours of free time. Most of us headed for one of the excellent restaurants hidden in the side streets around Piazza Navona.

Lunch completed we were then coached across Rome to the Vatican and St. Peters Square where we were given the option of either a visit to St. Peters Basilica or a visit to Castel Sant’Angelo. Having visited St Peter’s on a previous occasion I was delighted with the chance to visit Castle and explore the Passetto di Borgo – an escape route fro Popes during times of strife.

We departed the Vatican around 5.30 pm for the drive back to Civitavecchia. The journey took a little longer, hampered by Rome’s notorious rush hour traffic. A long day but a really top drawer excursion: particularly for anyone who had never visited Rome before.

Another superb touch on our return was the fact the crew were lined up to welcome us ‘home’ and champagne was once again available to all who wished to partake.

Considering my late return we opted to have dinner once more at our favourite table in the Aquavit Terrace indoor section: a last stab at seafood buffet as a starter and a main course of excellent Osso Buco.

Our final nights entertainment was a superb ‘Enrichment Performance’ by four very talented opera singers from the Academia Nazionale of Santa Cecelia. They received a standing ovation and one can only say that there presence was a coup for Viking entertainment.

We are scheduled to disembark tomorrow and to fly home from Rome airport. My next review will include those arrangements and a summary of our Viking Star cruise. I trust readers have enjoyed reading these reviews as much as we enjoyed our cruise on Viking Star.


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