European Waterways Brings Back Italy Opera Cruise

European Waterways is bringing back its popular Opera Cruise for guests who book the seven-night, Aug. 26, 2018 departure of its La Bella Vita hotel barge, the largest vessel in the company’s fleet with capacity for up to 20 guests.

In addition to a cruise on the Po Valley in Venice, the Opera Cruise includes a stay in a four-star hotel on the night prior to the cruise, extra dinner, and premium seats to watch Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” in the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre renowned for staging some of the most lavish, large-scale productions in the world. Opera cruise charters can also be booked, based on ticket availability, during the run of Carmen for any departure from June 24 – Aug. 26, 2018. Prices start at US$4,840 per person, based on double occupancy.

Unique among European Waterways’ diverse hotel barge cruises, La Bella Vita’s Opera Cruises feature a full day of sightseeing in Venice, in addition to premium seats at a performance of some of the world’s most beloved operas. After checking into the Hotel due Torri in Verona in the city’s historic centre – near Juliet’s famous balcony – guests prepare for “a night at the opera,” by visiting the Arena Museo Opera, a museum dedicated to the theatrical and musical history of the art form. They subsequently enjoy dinner at a courtyard restaurant of the Palazzo Forti, after which they are taken to the Arena di Verona to watch the performance.

The following morning guests enjoy a guided tour of Verona before boarding La Bella Vita, where they cruise along the famous Giudecca Canal, past some of Venice’s celebrated monuments that include Chiesa del Redentore and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. They also enjoy a stroll through St. Mark’s Square and a brief tour of Doge’s Palace, the residence and the seat of the Venetian government.

Other highlights of the itinerary include a tour of the Gran Teatro La Fenice, a history-rich opera house that saw the premieres of famous pieces by composers such as Rossini and Verdi. Guests also visit the Bagnoli Estate for a private wine tasting and a tour of the Renaissance gardens.

The cruise culminates in Mantua, a Renaissance city that was home to Verdi’s opera Rigoletto and is today renowned for its neo-classical and baroque architecture.