Marella Explorer 2
Flights available from Birmingham or Manchester
Naples, Italy • Palma, Mallorca • Cartagena, Spain • Gibraltar • Funchal, Madeira • St. John's, Antigua • Philipsburg, St. Maartan • Roseau, Dominica • Castries, St. Lucia • Kingston, Jamaica • Bridgetown, Barbados
Naples is Italy’s most red-blooded city. This is the place where the pizza is so good people don’t wait for their slices at restaurant tables, they order it to-go from street side windows. And it’s the city where the soundtrack is the beeping of moped horns. For all its joy de vive, you wouldn’t know Naples is actually one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. The city centre is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s dripping with ancient architecture, cathedrals and churches.
Palma. Think leafy boulevards that echo with the stilettos of stylish shoppers. Tiny tapas bars tucked down narrow sidestreets. Architectural gold hidden in the historic quarter. With its trademark cathedral dominating the skyline, cosmopolitan Palma never fails to impress.
Tucked in a deep bay guarded by two cliff-top fortresses, this Spanish gem is steeped in history. In the 18th century it became a major Spanish naval base and reminders of its seafaring past can be seen down in the port, where you’ll find a prototype submarine.
Affectionately known as Gib or The Rock, Gibraltar is a little slice of Britain in the Mediterranean. And, just like the motherland, it’s a small stretch of land with a lot to offer. The history here is largely military-related – you’ll find Nelson’s anchorage where the body of Nelson was brought back to land after the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Parson’s Lodge Battery that dates back to 1875. Elsewhere, wildlife steals the show. Check out the cheeky Barbary apes or go whale-watching in the Strait.
Sweeter than wine, Madeira’s a fine excuse to binge on beautiful scenery to your heart’s content. Funchal is the island’s capital, a bewitching collection of cobbled streets, quaint museums and buzzing café and restaurant life.
If you’re a big fan of the beach, prepare to lose your heart to this place. Antiguans like to boast they have a different one for every day of the year. Without doubt, porcelain, palm-fringed sands and still turquoise waters are the star of this island show. But that’s not all Antigua’s got to boast about. Get ready for towns in a rainbow riot of colours. Quiet countryside that slumbers in the sunshine. And cuisine as sublime as those moon-white shores.
Two flags rule over this tiny isle – the French and the Dutch. Philipsburg is the Dutch capital and the place to head for a serious shopping splurge. Marigot, meanwhile, is the French capital, where you can divide your time between bistros and boutiques. Add to the mix dreamy Caribbean coves, kaleidoscopic reefs and lashings of sunshine and you’ve got all the ingredients for tropical bliss.
Known as the island of waterfalls, Dominica is as green as it is unspoilt. Fairly off the tourist trail, this exotic isle is a paradise for nature lovers. In fact, it’s one of the Caribbean hotspots for rainforest trekking. And of course, it’s got some superb beaches. Not the snow-white variety you’d expect, but dramatic volcanic sweeps and secluded coves hidden by greenery. Have your camera at the ready.
St Lucia’s skyline is high rise. But it’s not the hotels that make this island look serrated against the sky, it’s the mountains. The Pitons are 2 of the biggest. Both their summits tower at least 2,000 feet above sea level and their slopes are coiffured with a mane of dense green rainforest. At their feet, meanwhile, banana plantations give way to syrup-coloured beaches and some of the best coral reefs in the Caribbean.
A hypnotic calypso isle, Barbados is the ultimate Caribbean dream. And at just 21 miles by 14 miles, the island really is your oyster. Of course, it’s most famous for its palm-fringed beaches, but there’s more than talcum powder sands here. We’re talking a duty-free shopping scene and sights that are second to none. In a coconut shell, it’s the small island with a big fan base.
All cabins come with… Air-conditioning • Hairdryer • Flatscreen TV • Wardrobe space • Tea and coffee-making facilities • Safe
Just like on Marella Explorer, Indigo is the ship’s flagship venue. It caters for daytime drinks with a view, as well as all-night dancing. A couple of other bars sort you out for laidback drinks, like the Squid and Anchor pub. For full-on glitz and glamour, the Broadway Show Lounge steps into view.
There are plenty of familiar faces on Marella Explorer 2’s dining scene. And they cater for all kinds of taste buds – whether you fancy some European eats or fiery Asian flavours.
Beam (width)32.2 m
Cruise passengers 1814