Join your ship in elegant Valletta and enjoy time exploring Oceana before arriving in Croatia’s second largest city Split, which shimmers white against an azure sea, its maze of courtyards filled with Roman fortresses and an Emperor’s palace.
Next port of call, Venice: think labyrinthine alleyways, canal-side palaces and gondolas. Art lovers should not miss Peggy Guggenheim’s house, where the modern art is as compelling as the view from the terrace on the Grand Canal.
Look heavenward in the Italian city of Ravenna, for the best view of the intricate mosaics which adorn the Byzantine mausoleums, basilicas and domed ceilings. Then it’s on to the walled city of Dubrovnik which appears frozen in time with its terracotta pantile roofs, city walls and marble streets. Mooch around the old city, take a cable car up Mt Srd for the view, float in the azure waters, or sample the seafood.