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European Waterways announces new 7-night Italy Opera Cruise for 2018

December 11, 2017 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

European Waterways are excited to announce the return of its popular Opera Cruise for guests on board hotel barge La Bella Vita for their 26 August 2018 departure. 

Guests can book a place on this one-off 7-night itinerary aboard the spacious and luxurious vessel with prices starting at €4,090 (AU$6,400) per person, based on double occupancy. 

In addition to a cruise on the Po Valley in Venice, the Opera Cruise includes a stay in a 4-star hotel prior to the cruise, 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. Other restrictions may apply. 

Opera Cruise charters can also be booked, based on ticket availability, during the run of ‘Carmen’ for any departure from June 24 – August 26, 2018. 

“Opera is the original pop music of the ages, with composers and performers who were as much idolised in their time as The Beatles are today,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “’Carmen’ is a timeless tale of a fatal love affair that never fades in popularity. For opera lovers, watching a performance is as exciting today as it was when it premiered in 1875.”

Unique among European Waterways’ diverse hotel barge cruises, La Bella Vita’s Opera Cruise features a full day of sight-seeing 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 the city’s historic centre of Verona – 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 iconic 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 including 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, known for their many statues dating back to the 18th century. In the city of Ferrara, guests visit Estense Castle, the epitome of a 14th century castle with its moat, drawbridges and marble balconies.  

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

“Watching ‘Carmen’ is a fantastic start to La Bella Vita’s unique and exciting cruise on the waterways of the Po Valley,” said Banks. “It sets the stage for a cultural and gastronomic adventure that introduces guests to some of Italy’s famous regional cuisine and timeless landmarks.”

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