Genoa

The Acquario di Genova
A charming old town
An eclectic and vibrant port

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Genoa

A mix of cultures and fragrances

Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great cruise excursion.

Indeed “La Superba” (The Superb), as it was known at the height of its authority as a Mediterranean superpower, boasts more zest and intrigue than all the surrounding coastal resorts put together.

During a holiday to Genoa you can explore its old town: a dense and fascinating warren of medieval alleyways home to large palazzi built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Genoa’s wealthy mercantile families and now transformed into museums and art galleries. You should seek out the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi which contain the cream of Genoa’s art collections, as well as furniture and decor from the grandest days of the city’s past, when its ships sailed to all corners of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Acquario di Genova is the city’s pride and joy, parked like a giant ocean liner on the waterfront, with seventy tanks housing sea creatures from all the world’s major habitats, including the world’s biggest reconstruction of a Caribbean coral reef. It’s a great aquarium by any standards, the second largest in Europe by capacity, and boasts a fashionably ecology-conscious slant and excellent background information in Italian and English.

Just 35 km south of Genoa, there’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, tucked into a protected inlet surrounded by lush cypress- and olive-clad slopes. It’s an A-list resort that has been attracting high-flying bankers, celebs and their hangers-on for years, as evidenced by the flotillas of giant yachts usually anchored just outside. It’s a tiny place that is attractive yet somehow off-putting at the same time, with a quota of fancy shops, bars and restaurants for a place twice its size.

Must see places in Genoa

Discover our excursions

11 results found

  • DISCOVER GENOA BY SEGWAY

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      2:30 h

    GOA14T

    Short but sweet, this entertaining tour takes you off the ship to discover the city of Genoa by Segway, a great means of transport that’s not only fun and very green, but also makes for leisurely urban exploration without having to get footsore in the process. Your guided roundup of Genoa’s main sights takes you through the town’s historical centre and includes views of the 13th- to 16th-century Doges’ Palace, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and Porta Soprana, the best known section of Genoa’s remaining city walls. Your Segway tour then rolls to a close with your return to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems, pregnant women and guests whose weight is less than 45 kilos or more than 117 kilos. The minimum age required to drive the Segway is 16 years old; all guests aged 6/15 can participate in this excursion but will share the Segway with an adult on condition the guests’ total weight does not exceed 117 kilos. Guests have to sign a release act in order to take part in the tour. Assistance throughout the tour only in English and Italian.
  • HISTORICAL CENTRE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Tasting included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    GOA03T

    A short ferry transfer takes you to “Piazza Caricamento” for a pleasant walk through Genoa’s historic town centre. We will wander the charming narrow streets known as “carruggi” to reach “Piazza de Ferrari”, the commercial heart of Genoa, where we will admire “Palazzo Ducale” (external visit only). You will visit the “Cisterne del Ducale” where a light buffet made of “bruschetta” and “focaccia”, typical to Genoa, awaits you. Your tour will continue with external views of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Free time in the old port before returning to the port. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port and is not suitable for those who use a wheelchair. This tour includes extensive periods of walking (approx. 2.5 hours) and the boat has no ramps or lifts.
  • Special package OLB01-IBI01-MRS02

    Excursions package
      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        00 m

      AXPROSM6

      Special package OLB01-IBI01-MRS02
    • AQUARIUM

      FAMILY FUN
      • Best seller

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      GOA02T

      Take the family on this funny excursion to the popular Genoa Aquarium; a quick ferry transfer takes us to what is reputed to be one of Europe’s best aquariums, renowned for its size and vast variety of marine creatures. As one of the most natural and environmentally friendly aquariums in the world, everyone will enjoy the collections of multi-coloured tropical fish, sharks, natural corals, penguins and dolphins. After you will have a quick boat trip back to the ship. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port. No guided visit inside the Aquarium; only cameras without a flash allowed. The Aquarium is wheelchair-friendly; guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the ferry and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since ferries have neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • SIGHTSEEING ON OPEN BUS & AQUARIUM

      FAMILY FUN
      • No guide available

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        7 h

      GOA06T

      Enjoy a panoramic tour of Genoa while sitting comfortably on an open bus and admire the main squares and streets of this lively city. You will discover the elegant 16th century district of Via Garibaldi, the imposing Piazza de Ferrari area with the Ducal Palace. You will also pass by the Carlo Felice Theatre and the Columbus’s house and along the fashion street, Via Roma, with the most elegant Italian brands. During your tour on the bus, multilingual commentary is provided. Next stop will be the Aquarium whose visit is included in the tour, an opportunity to admire on your own a vast variety of marine creatures, coloured tropical fishes, sharks, corals, penguins and dolphins. At the end the visit, no rush to return to the ship. Passengers will take their time to enjoy the town and return by shuttle bus departing every 30 minutes from the Aquarium drop on. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port. No guided visit inside the Aquarium; only photos without a flash allowed during the visit. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair and can be booked only during your cruise.
    • BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE AQUARIUM

      NATURAL WONDERS
      • Shooting videos and/or taking pictures is not allowed or subject to fee

      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        35 h

      GOA19T

      Leave the ship for a few hours and instead check yourself in to a thoroughly edutational and family-friendly outing for a behind-the-scenes look at Italy’s largest aquarium, the Acquario di Genova. Built to coincide with the Genoa Expo in 1992, which in turn commemorated the 500th anniversary of the New World being discovered by Columbus, the aquarium is home to a vast collection of marine wildlife. After a short ferry transfer to the old part of Genoa and the Acquario, you and your family can first enjoy an unguided visit of the various tanks that provide a habitat for tropical fish, sharks, natural coral, penguins and dolphins. At a prearranged time, you’ll then proceed on an expertly guided “behind-the-scenes” tour of the facility, during which you’ll get to see the on-site laboratories, maintenance and plankton farming activities as well as how the animals are cared for and reared. And among the tank backstage areas, highlights include the jellyfish and dolphin enclosures. Your time at the Expo site wraps up with a little more time to explore on your own before the boat returns you to the ship. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port. No guided visit inside the Aquarium except for the behind the scenes part; only cameras without a flash allowed. The Aquarium is wheelchair-friendly; guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the ferry and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since ferries have neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. Guides available only in English and Italian;
    • GENOA PANORAMIC TOUR

      SCENIC ROUTE
      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3:15 h

      GOA18T

      Thanks to its illustrious past and collection of ornate buildings, Genoa also goes by the name of “La Superba” – Italian for “The Proud One” – and it is this civic beauty you’ll be exploring on this leisurely sightseeing tour. Your guided coach tour begins at the port and takes you past such historical buildings as Columbus’ birthplace and the 13th-century Palazzo San Giorgio, then continues down the seafront Corso Italia to reach the picturesque Boccadasse district. You’ll have some free time to spend in this pretty harbour, flanked by the colourful houses of the resident fishing folk. When you move on again, you’ll pass through the residential neighbourhood of Albaro and catch glimpses of Piazza Tommaseo and Piazza Vittoria as you head for the historical Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa’s main square. Another break is scheduled here for you to explore on your own, with possible areas of interest being the old town and San Lorenzo Cathedral or a look at the Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace. Last up on the itinerary is a drive up Castelletto Hill for splendid views from the observation deck, a perfect spot to take some photos. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port and is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • PORTOFINO

      SCENIC ROUTE
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      GOA10T

      Thanks to its mild climate, charming old fishing ports and beautiful countryside, the Italian Riviera has been a popular holiday destination since Byron and Shelley’s day. This tour gives you a chance to enjoy a lush section of this famous coastline during your 1.5 scenic cruise that takes you to Portofino. You will have plenty of time to explore this delightful seaside town at your leisure, to take photos, visit the seafront or simply to relax in one of the many chic seafront cafés. Your return journey to Genoa. Please note: this tour is available from May calls through all September and is only for guests in transit in Genoa port. Weather conditions will dictate if the tour is feasible, so please have the tour reconfirmed during your cruise. Should bad weather prevail, you will perform the tour with program of tour code GOA01T. A coach will take you from Genoa to Santa Margherita Ligure where you will embark on a boat or a minibus to Portofino and vice versa. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • CAR WITH GUIDE

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • No guide available

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      GOA33PV

      Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals and is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship.
    • GENOA & PALAZZO DEL PRINCIPE

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        3:15 h

      GOA16T

      Just a few hours of your time is all it takes to get the best of Genoa, beginning with a short walk from the port to your first stop: the truly resplendent 16th-century Palazzo del Principe. You will have a chance to explore the historical building with its frescoes, tapestries, artwork by old masters and other hidden treasures during the guided visit. A private coach will then whisk you off on a non-stop drive around Genoa, taking in such sights as the port district, Genoa’s famed aquarium, the Fiera del Mare indoor arena and the expo complex. After passing through Albaro, a district once favoured by the aristocracy, you will move on to the city centre. Look forward to views of the monuments on Victoria Square, the lawns displaying Columbus’ caravels in flowers, the main Via XX Settembre and bridge, Piazza de Ferrari and Columbus’ House and proceed to Piazza Caricamento. Time to stretch your legs follows during a short walk with outside views of the Doges’ Palace, St. Lawrence’s Cathedral and St. George’s Palace to enjoy. After some free time, the tour ends with a short boat trip back to the ship. Please note: this tour is only for guests in transit in Genoa port and is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • MINIVAN WITH GUIDE FOR 3 TO 6 PAX

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • No guide available

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      GOA34PV

      Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals. The price is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Larger vans can be arrangeg upon request.

    The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
    Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
     
    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    REACH THE PORT

    Port of Genoa

    This section contains information on how to reach the port.

    Cruise Terminal:

    Ponte dei Mille/Andrea Doria

    Reach the port by

    • Car

      From the A10 (Autostrada dei Fiori), A7 (Milan-Genoa) and A26 (Alessandria-Genoa) motorways, take the Genoa Ovest exit. 
      Then follow the signs marked Genoa Port.
      Car

      Parking Information

      GARAGE PONTE DEI MILLE
      Tel. +39 0102462613
      E-mail: info@garagepontedeimille.it
      • Uncovered/Covered parking
      • Valet service
      • Reach the luggage drop off zone of the cruise terminal and the staff of the parking will take care of your car.
      Book your parking with MSC

      park_and_cruise_logo

      VEHICLE DAYS RATES
      Car 4 € 50,00
      Car 5 € 60,00
      Car 6 € 70,00
      Car 8 € 90,00
      Car 10 € 110,00
      Car 12 € 130,00
      Car 13 € 140,00
      Minivan 4 € 60,00
      Minivan 5 € 75,00
      Minivan 6 € 90,00
      Minivan 8 € 120,00
      Minivan 10 € 150,00
      Minivan 12 € 180,00
      Minivan 13 € 195,00
    • Train

      Genoa Piazza Principe station is about 1 kilometre from the Port. 
      You can reach the Port by taxi (2 minutes depending on traffic).
      Genoa Brignole railway station is about 4 km from the Port and you can reach it by bus or taxi.
      Train
    • Plane

      Cristoforo Colombo airport is about 10 kilometres from the Port.
      It is served by taxi and by bus.
      The bus will take you straight to Genova Porta Principe railway station.
      Plane

    Italy

    History, gastronomy and fashion
    History, gastronomy and fashion

    A cruise to Italy is an emotional roller coaster. Rome is a tremendous city quite unlike any other, and in terms of historical sights outstrips everywhere else in the country by some way.
     
    Liguria, the small coastal province along the north-west coast, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer.
    In Veneto the main focus of interest is, of course, Venice: a unique city, and every bit as beautiful as its reputation would suggest. Tuscany in central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country, with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence and Pisa.

    The south proper begins with the region of Campania. Its capital, Naples, is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south. Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, too, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula and the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari.

    As for Sicily, the island is really a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing Mediterranean beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalù, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.