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Cruises to Capri

Capri (Photo:Gimas/Shutterstock)
Capri (Photo:Gimas/Shutterstock)

About Capri

Think of Capri -- one of the world's most glamorous destinations, beloved of literati (including George Hemingway) and glitterati (from Elizabeth Taylor to Tom Cruise) -- and you might well picture French Riviera-style winding mountain roads with dazzling sea views leading to stylish enclaves filled with gorgeous whitewashed villas, classy hotels, elegant shops and intimate restaurants.

In some respects, you'd be spot-on. But if you arrive at Marina Grande, the island's bustling main harbor, with only that picture in mind, you'll be in for a disappointment, as you need to take a bus, taxi or cable car ride up to Capri Town and Anacapri to see the island's more elegant side.

What you'll find at Marina Grande, and along its harborfront, are cheap and cheerful restaurants, a small and rather scrubby shale beach, and shops selling cheap beachwear, souvenirs and gelato.

This is not surprising, as Capri (the emphasis is on the Cap rather than the ri) lies just three miles off the Italian coast and, along with its sister island, Ischia, is served by regular ferries bearing tourists and daytrippers from Naples (the nearest big port) and Sorrento.

So your arrival might be a bit of a hassle. But look -- and go -- beyond the immediate hubbub of the harbor and this astonishingly beautiful island will soon exert its spell.

Capri is really a group of gigantic limestone cliffs surrounded by sapphire seas, and the higher up you go, the better the views you'll get. The island has three towns: Marina Grande, the gateway for all travelers by hydrofoil, motorboat or cruise ship tender; Capri Town with its upscale boutiques including Prada, Versace and Gucci; and Anacapri, near the peak of Mount Solaro.

At 1,933 feet above sea level, Anacapri is the island's highest spot. So as you might imagine, the views are amazing, and the 12-minute cable car trip up Mount Solaro is an absolute delight.

You'll look down over whitewashed villas dotted with scarlet bougainvillea; breathe in the heady fragrance of groves filled with lemon trees, and spot flower-filled gardens, many sporting colourful religious shrines made from seashells.

Capri is an island which rewards patient travelers. Waiting in line might seem like a national sport in Marina Grande during the hot summer months when daytrippers descend. But hang on in there, for this magical island -- once the private playground of Emperor Tiberius and a magnet for the bronzed and the beautiful since the '50s -- is simply spectacular.

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DAY 1: Malta

7 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Malta
Visiting:
Xlendi, Trapani ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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DAY 1: Monaco

11 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Monaco
Visiting:
Cannes, Portofino ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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DAY 1: Nice

10 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Nice
Visiting:
Menton, Corsica ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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DAY 1: Naples

4 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Naples
Visiting:
Sorrento, Capri ...
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Cruise Line:
Sea Cloud Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Dubrovnik
Visiting:
Kotor, Otranto ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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11 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Kusadasi, Mykonos ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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7 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Corsica, Sardinia ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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13 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Limassol
Visiting:
Haifa, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Capri, Positano ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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11 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Capri, Positano ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Corsica, Ponza ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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6 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Capri, Port of Spain ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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  • Fare Includes

8 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Dubrovnik
Visiting:
Kotor, Corfu ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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  • Fare Includes

10 Night
Cruise to Capri

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Mykonos, Santorini ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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Why go to Capri?

Pros:

Take a cable car to the top of Capri to explore this magical island; the views will take your breath away

Cons:

Crowds of tourists are common here, and it's downright expensive

Bottom Line:

Beautiful Capri is known for limestone cliffs, a dramatic coastline and world-class shopping

Capri Cruise Port Facilities?

There are plenty of restaurants, snack bars and gelato shops along the Marina Grande, as well as a fair-sized (but pebbly) beach, and rows of pastel-colored, balconied houses which are very pretty to look at.

If you'd rather not wait for the cable car, you'll find plenty to do at sea level. It would be a shame to just stay here though; this is an island well worth exploring.

Good to Know?

Taxis and scooters steam through the crowds on their way up the hill and local boat owners have a rather lax approach to safety.

Getting Around?

On arrival at the Marina Grande, you'll find getting around independently fairly straightforward.

A biglieterria to the right of the tender station sells tickets for bus and boat trips and round-trip rides on the funicular (the entrance is virtually opposite the marina). Most relevant to cruise passengers are trips by local boat to the Blue Grotto, and cable car tickets.

The cable car is fun and convenient, as it takes you right to the heart of Capri Town and lets you out around the corner from the main square, Piazza Umberto 1. But you need to be prepared for lines, especially at peak times.

If time is at a premium, buddy up with fellow passengers and take a cab to Capri Town or Anacapri. There's a taxi stand to the right of the biglieterria.

If you're feeling brave, you can rent a scooter from one of many outlets along the waterfront.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The official currency is the euro. (For the latest exchange rate, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.)

You'll find ATMs and exchange bureaux along the Marina Grande, and also in Capri Town (where you might need them, if you plan to hit the designer shops!).

Language?

Tourism is big business in Capri, so most of the locals will know at least some English and you should have no problem getting by. That said, they warm to any visitor at least attempting to speak their language, so a buon giorno (good morning) or a grazie (thank you) will be well received.

Where You're Docked?

Even small cruise ships have to tender into Capri, and protectionist locals insist they use resident motorboats instead of their own tenders. This means the process of getting ashore can be a bit hair-raising, as you have to step onto the highly polished edge of a bobbling motorboat instead of a more solid tender platform. But ship's crew are always in attendance to ensure your safety. Big ships dock in Naples and offer access to Capri only as a shore excursion.


Capri Cruise Reviews

Symphony of the Seas
Cdurkee
Sail Date: Mar 2018
Do capri on your own so you can see the whole island on your time. The blue grotto was closed the day we went due to rough seas sadly but it is still just a stunningly beautiful place.... Read More
Freedom of the Seas
ibasil
Sail Date: Aug 2017
Amazing place to visit, very exciting place to be in, you should never miss to visit this island.... Read More
tvl4life
Sail Date: Oct 2016
Lovely island. We toured on our own, first taking one of the convertible cabs to Anacapri to stroll around and tour the Villa San Michele with excellent views, then took the bus to Capri Town to explore the piazza... Read More
Brock the Badger
Sail Date: May 2017
Lovely place but the shop look expensive - no prices visible!... Read More
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