Mediterranean Schedule Kicked Off June 3, Includes 12-Day Cruises Featuring Visits to Stunning Ports Throughout Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, and Monte Carlo

For the Carnival Breeze’s inaugural season in Europe, Carnival Cruise Lines has assembled a diverse array of shore excursions with more than 180 different choices, including several “select experiences” that allow guests to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in a more personalized setting.

Carnival Breeze’s inaugural European season kicked off June 3 and runs through October 25, 2012, providing guests with myriad opportunities to experience and explore stunning and beautiful ports in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, and Monte Carlo.

The wide-ranging excursions provide Carnival Breeze guests with a seemingly endless variety of unforgettable landside experiences, from guided tours of famous museums and centuries-old architectural marvels to touring the lush European countryside and savoring local cuisine and wine. Guests can also enjoy more active pursuits such as exploring dormant volcanoes, cycling or kayaking along a beautiful coastline.

Here’s a sampling of some of the many exciting tours available:

Three Island Yacht Cruise (Dubrovnik, Croatia) -- Island hopping has never been so much fun! On this five-hour excursion, guests can explore the stunning Elaphati Islands – Lokrum, Kolocep, and Lopud – while sipping chilled wine aboard a luxury yacht. The islands have a rich history – legend has it that Richard the Lion Heart was cast ashore here in 1192 after surviving a shipwreck while returning from the Crusades. The day begins with a visit to Lokrum Island, where guests can tour a 12th century monastery built by Benedictine monks, while Kolocep, the smallest of the Elaphiti islands, is distinguished by 15th century mansions, vineyards and olive groves. Concluding the tour is a stop at Lopud where guests can swim, stroll along the promenade, or savor local Croatian delicacies.

Essence of Tuscany (Livorno, Italy) -  Guests can create their own “Under the Tuscan Sun” experience visiting the magnificent town of San Gimignano, the stunning backdrop for the popular book and movie about the fabled city which is distinguished by the "Manhattan of Tuscany," a skyline dotted with towers dating back to the 11th to 13th  centuries.  After enjoying a traditional Italian meal in a nearby farmhouse, guests explore Siena, amazingly rich in masterpieces of art and nestled atop three hills with ancient structures such as the Torre del Mangia bell tower rising more than 300 feet high and Duomo of Siena and the Battistero, both adorned with a variety of frescoes, sculptures and painting masterpieces created by some of the country’s most famous artists.

Mt. Etna at 2,900 Feet (Messina, Italy) - On this seven-and-a-half-hour excursion, guests are taken to Europe's largest active volcano where they can tour Mt. Etna's famous Silvestri Crater located 2,000 feet above sea level.  From there, guests board a six-person cable car for the journey down into the crater before embarking on a 4 x 4 Mercedes ride to reach the ultimate peak at an awe-inspiring 2,900 feet above sea level.  Following an exhilarating off-road adventure, guests are taken on a guided tour where they are provided a detailed overview of Mt. Etna’s history followed by a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.

Secrets of Naples (Naples, Italy) – During this five-hour journey,  guests can stroll along the narrow streets of the Spacca-Napoli quarter, full of life with boutiques specializing in antiques and books, tiny grocery stores and fruit stands.  The day continues with a visit to San Domenico Square and its namesake church, and an exploration of the underground caves of Naples, home to the ancient Roman Aqueducts.  No visit to Naples is complete without a sampling of the city’s famous pizza and guests will learn how to prepare the delicious pies using traditional wood-burning ovens.

Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s & Rome (Civitavecchia, Italy) -- The amazing Vatican Gardens and the beauty of Rome are on full display during this private 10-hour tour, which also includes a typical Italian lunch.  After arriving in breathtaking St. Peter’s Square, guests enter Vatican City through the gate of St. Uffizio Square where they enjoy panoramic views of its magnificent gardens and enchanting fountains before touring St. Peter’s Basilica. The day concludes with a tour of Roman highlights such as the Spanish Steps, Navona Square, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain.

These fascinating excursions – and dozens of others – are available in conjunction with Carnival Breeze’s inaugural European cruise season which kicked off with a special 12-day voyage that departed Venice on June 3, arriving in Barcelona June 15, 2012.  Ports of call on this one-time voyage include Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens, Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Messina (Sicily), Olbia (Sardinia),  Rome (Civitavecchia), and Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy; Monaco, Monte Carlo; and Marseilles, France.

Carnival Breeze then begins a summer schedule of 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, one of Europe’s most stunning and historic cities. The program runs from June 15 through Oct. 25, 2012 (with the exception of the Aug. 26, 2012, voyage which sails from Venice).  The 12-day Mediterranean cruises include stops at Marseilles or Monaco; Livorno; Naples or Salerno, Italy; Dubrovnik; Venice; Civitavecchia (Rome), and Messina (the June 15 and Sept. 7 departures add a stop in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; while the Aug. 14 and 26 voyages also visit Olbia, Italy). Select voyages also overnight in Venice or Civitavecchia (Rome).

When they’re not exploring all the awe-inspiring wonders of the Mediterranean, guests can enjoy the Carnival Breeze’s wide range of on-board innovations, which include the line’s first Thrill Theater, an immersive multi-dimensional special effects experience that makes viewers feel as if they’re part of the movie, along with popular features such as WaterWorks, with fun water slides and attractions, and SportSquare, an expansive top-deck recreation area with a ropes course, mini-golf, an outdoor fitness area and more.

Exclusive to Carnival Breeze is Bonsai Sushi, the line’s first full-service sushi restaurant, and Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, an open-air dining venue featuring a variety of grilled barbecue favorites and traditional sides. Guests can also visit Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, or enjoy poolside libations at the RedFrog Rum Bar or BlueIguana Tequila Bar or Caribbean-inspired drinks and snacks at the RedFrog Pub.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit