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Cruises to Palermo (Sicily)

248 Reviews
Palermo (Photo:lapas77/Shutterstock)

About Palermo (Sicily)

Palermo is a historic city that most people either love or hate. On one block are impressive Arab-Norman buildings, while the next might have crumbling facades. More common ports of call on the Italian island of Sicily are Taormina and Messina.

But a stop in Palermo has a lot to recommend. The city was founded by Ancient Greeks and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. In the 9th century, the Arabs took over and converted churches to mosques and the common language to Arabic. The Norman period followed, and in the 13th century Palermo was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The French and Spanish later passed through. All this means that this decidedly Italian city -- and the entire western Sicily area -- has flavors and architecture from all of its periods.

Palmero's historic center is fantastic for strolling. Architectural wonders within the city include the Teatro Massimo, the biggest opera house in Italy (and the third-largest in Europe after Paris and Vienna); the Palazzo Reale and the Cattedrale di Palermo. As you stroll, make time to try Palermo's excellent street food (and there's plenty of yummy Italian favorites such as pizza and gelato to be had too).

Or, if the city doesn't interest you, try an excursion that takes you further afield. High on a hill outside Palermo, Monreale also has a gorgeous Arab-Norman cathedral, along with cafes. The beach town of Cefalu is a lovely summer escape and Greek and Roman history buffs will find daytrips to Erice and Segesta appealing.

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MSC Seashore
MSC Seashore (Image: MSC Cruises)

25 Night
Mediterranean Cruise

82 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
ItineraryShipReviewsFull Details
Oct 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Oosterdam
Oosterdam

21 Night
Passage To Rome & Mediterranean Rivieras

1,037 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Oosterdam
Oosterdam

7 Night
Mediterranean Rivieras

1,037 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa
M S C  World  Europa with her signature 90 degree plumb bow

7 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Europe - Classic Mediterranean

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

64 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Europe - Greek Isles & Eastern Med

3,082 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jun 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Europe - Classic Mediterranean

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Aug 26, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

64 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Mediterranean Rivieras & Adventure

197 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Mediterranean - Eastern Cruise

490 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

19 Night
World Cruise

713 Reviews
Leaving:Haifa
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 29, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

5 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

64 Reviews
Leaving:Genoa
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Apr 16, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

82 Reviews
Leaving:Genoa
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Apr 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Palermo (Sicily)

Why go to Palermo (Sicily)?

Pros:

History and architecture buffs can explore museums, cathedrals and palaces.

Cons:

The traffic can be a bit unwieldy for pedestrians.

Bottom Line:

If Palermo seems too overwhelming, book a tour to a charming town nearby.

Palermo (Sicily) Cruise Port Facilities?

In Palermo, you'll dock at a modern pier, known as Stazione Marittima, within walking distance of downtown. In the terminal building are a cafe, convenience store, restrooms and an ATM machine. Tourist information for Palermo sightseeing buses is also available.

Good to Know?

The traffic is truly crazy; use caution when crossing major thoroughfares. Pickpockets can also be an issue -- leave your valuable belongings on the ship or guard them carefully.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The port is about a mile or a 20-minute walk from the city center. While this is a good walking city, and you can easily walk to dining, museums and shopping, be aware that the old part of the city is a jumbled warren of streets and it's easy to get lost.

By Taxi: Cabs and horse-drawn carts offering tours can be found just outside the terminal gates. In either case it is wise to negotiate a price up front. Cabs can be hired by the trip or hour. There are no ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber in Palermo.

By Bus: Double-decker hop-on, hop-off tour buses operate around the city, and can also take you to Monreale and Mondello; check schedules to make sure you're on the correct one. Public buses run around the city and to the suburbs as well, although again be warned that pickpockets often ride these routes.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the euro. Most banks have ATMs. There are also individual ATMs throughout the city.

Language?

Italian.

Where You're Docked?

You dock at a modern pier, within walking distance of downtown.


Palermo (Sicily) Cruise Reviews
You can easily walk into the city. A must see is the cathedral in the old town.Read More
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cruiserzoetermeer60
Excellent street food / fruit. Nice old churches. Warm people that love Americans.Read More
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Redline
Mich better than expected. Beautiful parks, wide avenues, lots of vegetation. Very cheap, too.Read More
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Schlinger
Palermo is excellent if you like to walk...easy to reach from the port...and it is a mix of great buildings and old not very clean areasRead More
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desmacruise

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