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Cruises to Palermo (Sicily)

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.

  • Why go to Palermo (Sicily)?

  • Palermo (Sicily) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic

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Eastern MediterraneanDetails

4,218 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 26, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina
Marina

14 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

720 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 18, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Poesia
MSC Poesia

11 Night
Mediterranean - Eastern CruiseDetails

484 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera
MSC Opera

26 Night
Middle East CruiseDetails

295 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Nov 1, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

7 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jun 10, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Adriatic DreamDetails

1,029 Reviews
Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Sep 28, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 13, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

9 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Oct 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Passage To Rome & Mediterranean RivierasDetails

1,029 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Mediterranean Rivieras & AdventureDetails

180 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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24 Night
Mediterranean Tapestry & Adriatic DreamDetails

1,029 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Sep 16, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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22 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Oct 16, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Europe - Classic MediterraneanDetails

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 CruiseDetails

60 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mediterranean RivierasDetails

1,029 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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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
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
I like Palermo but do some research before you goRead More
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gasman uk1966

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