Italian Inspirations


  • Departs from Venice, Italy
  • On 20th Sep 2018 for nights
  • Onboard Le Lyrial
  • Prices from AU $13,995*

Pricing per person

Please note, while prices and inclusions are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to changes in cruise line policies and pricing and due to currency fluctuations. Currency surcharges may apply. Please check details of price and inclusions at time of booking. Please ask for child and infant pricing if applicable.

Cabin Twin

Special Inclusions

• Cook up an Italian feast in a Tuscan Villa
• Hunt for truffles in Piedmont
• Take in the tranquillity of Lake Orta, one of Italy`s hidden gems
• Try liquors and chocolates in the hills of Asti
• Wine tasting at Grinzane Cavour Castle
• Open Bar policy onboard cruise ship
• A cruise featuring music, culture and history, around the Italian `boot` via Malta and Sicily;
• This cruise is in partnership with Radio Classique and Alain Duault, with the exceptional presence on board of artists from the Vienna Opera
• Cruise visits UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Malta (named European Capital of Culture for 2018), Catania and Mount Etna, Venice, Rome
• Two new ports of call: Catania, at the foot of Mount Etna, for its ancient ruins and baroque churches, and Ancona, where the painter Raphael lived.

Single Deluxe Balcony from $17,995*

ITALIAN INSPIRATIONS Fly, Cruise & Tour package includes:
- Return economy airfare from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Rome** inc taxes
- One way private car transfer from Rome airport to hotel
- 1 nights pre-tour accommodation in Rome including breakfast
- 11 night small group (18 guests max) boutique style `Italian Indulgence` tour with Back-Roads, from Rome to Venice including:
• 11 night`s accommodation (1nt Perugia, 2nts Tuscany, 2nts Lucca, 1nt Santa Margherita, 1nt Cherasco, 2nts Lake Maggiore, 2nts Trento, 1nt Venice)
• Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
• Comfortable mini-coach transportation - tour group size approx 18
• European-style breakfast daily & 6 x evening meals
• In-the-know local guide in Florence
• Tuscan cooking class and lunch
• Truffle hunt in Piedmont
• 2 x wine tastings (Grinzane Cavour Castle & Tirano)
• 1x liquor tasting at Asti
• Boat transfer to Borromean Islands (from Lake Maggiore)
• Entrance tickets: San Fruttuoso Abbey, Isola Madre & Isola Bella, Baptistery of St John in Pisa and Grinzane Cavour Castle
- 3 nights post-tour accommodation in Venice with breakfast
- One way private boat transfer from Venice hotel (or nearest pick up point) to port
- 7 night Ponant`s Le Lyrial cruise `The Vienna State Opera` cruise from Venice to Rome featuring:
• All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation)
• Captain`s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
• Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne | alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
• Port taxes
• Room service 24h (special selection)
- One way Port - Airport transfer, Rome



Backroad`s `Italian Indulgence`
Discover cities that have shaped the world`s culture. Regional flavours and renowned wines, celebrated around the globe. And picture-perfect landscapes that will capture your imagination and stay in your heart. Exploring Italy is truly an experience to be savoured.

Tuscany, Cinque Terra, Piedmont, The Lakes and Venice

They say all roads lead to Rome, but after we meet, our route whisks us away to awe-inspiring Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis. Tonight, we come together for a delicious dinner in Perugia. (D)

Introducing Siena: a gorgeous Gothic city bursting with fabulous architecture. After exploring the old centre, we venture to our villa in the world-renowned Chianti region. (B,D).

Our host lets us in on a few secrets of Italian cooking today, as we prepare ourselves a classic rustic Tuscan lunch. Later, the afternoon is free to relax. (B,L,D)

We turn our attention to Florence – birthplace of the Renaissance and home to the world’s most treasured masterpieces. A local guide brings the city alive as we stroll through the streets on a walking tour. As afternoon melts into dusk, we continue on to Lucca. (B)

We come up close and personal to an Italian icon today, with a visit to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Afternoon sees us back in Lucca, where you have the rest of the day and night to explore at your own pace. (B)

It’s time to experience the glitz and glamour of the Italian Riviera. Have your camera ready as we tick off Camogli, San Fruttuoso and the glittering village of Portofino, before settling in Santa Margherita Ligure. Enjoy an evening at your own pace – strolling along the beachfront, lined with pastel-painted houses. (B)

Our compass points north and we travel inland to Piedmont, a region of rich red wines and luxurious cuisine. Our first stop is Grinzane Cavour Castle for a wine tasting, before driving near the village of Barolo, where we join a truffle hunt with a local farmer. Once we have worked up an appetite, we will follow it up by a sumptuous slow-food dinner in Cherasco. (B,D)

A treat is in store for the sweet-toothed among us at a distillery near Asti, where we sip regional liquors, complemented by hand-made nougat. Then it`s time to head for the hills, pristine lakes and soaring mountains of northern Italy. Lake Maggiore marks the magnificent final stop of the day`s journey. (B)

Leaving dry land behind us for the day, we set sail for the Borromean Islands. We wander the terraces of the ornate Baroque Garden on Isola Bella and discover the pretty harbour of Isola dei Pescatori. The rest of the day is free for you to relax. (B)

Bidding farewell to Lake Maggiore, we discover the sights of Lecco before we reach Tirano for a wine tasting session. After an indulgent afternoon, we return to our hotel and meet for dinner at a local restaurant to continue the culinary adventure. (B,D)

This morning we turn our attention to the majestic Lake Molveno at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites. We continue to Trento for a walking tour and meet in the evening for a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Fair Verona beckons today, with its impressive Roman ruins and romantic hotspots. Then it`s onwards to the show-stopping finale: the floating city of Venice where we bid farewell. (B)

*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (29May17). All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. **All airfares/taxes are based on 2017 rates/schedules and subject to change until bookable approx 10 months prior at which time all airfares/taxes are due in full 24 hours from reservation and strict cancellation/change fees apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. All prices based on a 25% Ponant bonus offer which is subject to change or withdrawal at anytime by the cruise line. Offer ends 29Aug17 or until sold out/withdrawn from sale and is subject to availability at time of booking. Full payment for the tour portion of this package is due in full by 29Aug17 for prices to apply - if not paid in full - higher prices will apply. Travel insurance is highly recommended but not included in package price.

Cruise Details

7 Night cruise departing from Venice to Rome onboard Le Lyrial.

Discover the most beautiful towns on the Italian coast with our partner Radio Classique and the exceptional presence of Alain Duault. With this brand new PONANT itinerary focused on music, artists from the Vienna Opera join us aboard.
Over 8 days, Le Lyrial will sail the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian Sea via the island of Malta, for a cruise combining history and culture.

From Venice, the Serenissima, you will call at different Italian sites including Bari, a town located in the magnificent Puglia region.

Then, Le Lyrial will head for the island of Malta, where you will call at Valetta, European City of Culture for 2018. Stronghold of the Knights of the Order of Malta, the town is overflowing with architectural splendours and artistic treasures that you will glimpse as soon as you arrive at the port, which is one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Our ship will then head for the Amalfi Coast, the jewel of Southern Italy, where you will visit Salerno, a superb little town particularly renowned for its Duomo.

Before reaching Civitavecchia, you will set sail to Sicily and call at Catania. This city situated on the slopes of Mount Etna has been destroyed 7 times by the volcano’s eruptions! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a city of incomparable cultural richness.

Highlights of this cruise:

Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. You may think you know this city before even setting foot here. You will inevitably fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.

The whole of the Maltese capital Valetta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John’s cathedral, with its splendidly ornate gilding, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a pleasant green, floral experience.

Generating a veritable explosion of intense emotions, the province of Salerno fascinates and enchants travellers. Its fascinating history will lead you to the extraordinary archaeological site of Pompeii, whose sprawling ruins provide a grandiose and moving vision of what a Roman city looked like in Imperial times. The city which was frozen in time under the ashes from the eruption of Mont Vesuvius offers you its peerless historical and cultural wealth, as well as the unique beauty of its location, which has earned it classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Disembarkation 27/09/2018 at 07H30 .
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.

Map of Cruise

Pre-Cruise Itinerary

Date Activity
04/09/18 Fly from Australia to Rome
05/09/18 Arrive Rome, Transfer to hotel
06/09/18 Tour: Rome - Assisi - Perugia (B,D)
07/09/18 Tour: Perugia - Siena - Tuscany (B,D)
08/09/18 Tour: Tuscany (B,L,D)
09/09/18 Tour: Tuscany - Florence - Lucca (B)
10/09/18 Tour: Lucca - Pisa - Lucca (B)
11/09/18 Tour: Lucca - Camogli - San Fruttuoso - Portofino
11/09/18 Portofino - Santa Margherita Ligure (B)
12/09/18 Tour: Santa Margherita Ligure - Barolo - Cherasco (B,D)
13/09/18 Tour: Cherasco - Asti - Lake Orta - Lake Maggiore (B)
14/09/18 Tour: Lake Maggiore/Borromean Islands (B)
15/09/18 Tour: Lake Maggiore - Lecco - Tirano (B,D)
16/09/18 Tour: Tirano - Lake Molveno - Trento (B,D)
17/09/18 Tour: Trento - Verona - Venice (B)
18/09/18 Venice at leisure (B)
19/09/18 Venice at leisure (B)
20/09/18 Transfer to port, embark Le Lyrial cruise ship

Cruise Itinerary

Date Activity Arrive Depart
20/09/18 Venice, Italy 06:00PM
21/09/18 Pesaro, Italy 12:00PM 06:00PM
22/09/18 Bari, Italy 01:00PM 06:00PM
23/09/18 At sea - -
24/09/18 Valletta, Malta 07:00AM 06:00PM
25/09/18 Catania, Sicily. IT 07:00AM 02:00PM
26/09/18 Salerno,Italy 07:00AM 05:30PM
27/09/18 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 07:30AM

Post-Cruise Itinerary

Date Activity
27/09/18 Transfer to airport, Fly Rome to Australia
28/09/18 Arrive Australia (some flights may arrive later)
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.