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Cruises to Sardinia

Sardinia (Photo:Anna Jedynak/Shutterstock)
Sardinia (Photo:Anna Jedynak/Shutterstock)

About Sardinia

With its rugged landscape of limestone and granite ranges and oak forests inhabited by pink flamingos, ponies and wild sheep, Sardinia has a fair share of wilderness that's still untamed — despite the ultra-chic resorts of the Costa Smeralda and the cosmopolitan Cagliari dotted with designer boutiques. Add the charming Old City in Alghero to the list of attractions, and you have enough diversity to enchant travelers of all ages.

This picturesque island in the Mediterranean is matched by an equally fascinating human history. Thousands of mysterious stone fortresses, known as nuraghi, are found throughout the island. Ancient ruins and medieval towns reflect thousands of years of invasions from ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans to the Byzantines, Arabs, Spaniards and Austrians.

Despite this history of domination by outsiders, Sardinians have clung to their culture and traditions, which are celebrated with numerous festivals. Among the most famous are the Ardia Horse Race (July 6-7) in Sedilo (considered even more dangerous than Siena's Il Palio race) and Nuoro's Festival of Redentore (last week in August) with grandest procession of traditional Sardinian costumes and folk dancing.

A tourist boom has led to efforts to preserve Sardinia's natural resources. A good example is the Oasis of Biderosa, a three-mile stretch located in a forest preserve along the island's east coast. A maximum of 400 people, or 120 cars, are admitted daily, and beachfront cafes and other developments are not allowed.

Located about 120 miles from the Italian mainland, Sardinia is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the east and south, the Mediterranean to the west, and the Strait of Bonifacio to the north. The result is a beautiful wind and sea-sculpted coastline with emerald bays and soft sand beaches, fantastic seafood and excellent water sports like sailing, diving and windsurfing.

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DAY 1: Barcelona

7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Toulon, Marina di Carrara ...
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Cruise Line:
Virgin Voyages
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DAY 1: Rome

7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Palermo, Sardinia ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Seville, Barcelona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Malaga, Sardinia ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Marseille
Visiting:
Genoa, Rome ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Sardinia, Malaga ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Palma de Mallorca
Visiting:
Valencia, Marseille ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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19 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Seville, Dubrovnik ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Palma de Mallorca, Corsica ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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20 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Isla Margarita, Corfu ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Palma de Mallorca
Visiting:
Valencia, Marseille ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Valencia
Visiting:
Marseille, Genoa ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Palermo
Visiting:
Sardinia, Palma de Mallorca ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Palermo
Visiting:
Sardinia, Palma de Mallorca ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Valencia
Visiting:
Marseille, Genoa ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Nice
Visiting:
Menton, Corsica ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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12 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Valencia, Minorca ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Genoa
Visiting:
Rome, Palermo ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Valencia
Visiting:
Marseille, Genoa ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Cannes
Visiting:
Portofino, Corisca ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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14 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Seville, Barcelona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Katakolon, Athens ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Monaco
Visiting:
Florence, Rome ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Marseille
Visiting:
Genoa, Rome ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Sardinia

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Palermo, Sardinia ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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Why go to Sardinia?

Pros:

Sardinia is home to Su Giudeu beach, revered as one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean

Cons:

If you're not a beach lover, your activity options are slim

Bottom Line:

The island offers a peaceful respite from larger Western Mediterranean ports

Sardinia Cruise Port Facilities?

Porto Cervo, gateway to the famed Costa Smeralda, is packed with tourists between June and September, the regatta season. The main area is the cafe and restaurant-lined Piazza Azzurra, a hub for cultural events. There are ATMs, Internet cafes, shops and restaurants.

Alghero, nicknamed little Barcelona, is an atmospheric Catalan town with a walled port and lush harbor. You'll find Internet cafes, ATMs, a tourist office, shops and restaurants, all within walking distance, about five minutes from the port. The tourist office is located at Piazza Porto Terra.

Cagliari's main port is near Piazza Matteotti, which houses the Sardinian tourist office. Cruise ships dock close to the center of Cagliari. There are shuttle buses and taxis.

In front of the bus station, Stazione Marittima, is an information kiosk. Maps and other helpful information can be obtained there. Visitors will find ATMs, Internet cafes, shops and restaurants nearby. A maze of streets off the square leads to the waterfront, known as the marina, with numerous restaurants and churches including Chiesa di Sant'Eulalia.

Good to Know?

Alghero and Cagliari have cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable walking shoes before venturing on a tour of the old cities. Beware of the heat in the summer months of June, July and August. Wear a hat, use plenty of sunscreen and bring water along so you don't get dehydrated. Streets are narrow and the drivers drive faster than in the U.S. If renting a car, drive cautiously.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Porto Cervo is pleasant for walking, and the port area has beautiful yachts, designer shops and restaurants. Rental cars or taxis are the best option to venture farther afield.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Sardinia's larger towns. In Cagliari, taxi stands are located at Piazza Matteotti, Piazza della Repubblica and Largo Carlo Felice. You can also call a cab (070-40-01-01).

By Bus: Buses operate around and between Sardinia's towns. In Cagliari, the main ARST intercity station is at Piazza Matteotti. PANI buses to various towns leave from Cagliari's Stazione Marittima (the ticket office is inside the port building). A biglietto giornaliero (day ticket) on CTM, which services Cagliari and Poetto beach, is 2.10 euros. Bus service is infrequent on Sundays and holidays. In Alghero, buses only operate outside of the Old Town. Taxis are available and you can rent cars.

By Car: There are no highways in Sardinia. Roads are twisty, with frequent switchbacks and sheep crossings. The cost of a rental car ranges between 40 and 55 euros per day, including insurance. In Cagliari, rentals are available from Autonoleggio at via S. Giacomo, 134 or Augonoleggio Mereu at Piazza Giovani XXIII, 37. Rent for scooters is 25 to 30 euros.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Sardinia's currency is the euro. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Money and travelers checks can be exchanged at a post office, cambio booth or bank. Banks are generally open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. In Cagliari, Banco di San Paolo is conveniently located next to the main train station at Piazza Matteotti with ATMs inside the station. ATMs are also located throughout the city.

Language?

Many Sardinians are bilingual, speaking Italian and Sardinian (which is closer to Latin than Italian). Sardinian is more likely to be spoken in smaller towns and villages. Some residents of Alghero speak a version of Catalan. English is spoken in the shops and restaurants.

Where You're Docked?

Most cruise ships dock either in Porto Cervo in the northeast, Alghero in the northwest or Cagliari, the southern capital. The larger lines such as Costa, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival dock at Cagliari. Smaller lines such as Silversea and SeaDream dock at Alghero. Porto Cervo is for smaller luxury yachts.

Porto Cervo, also known as the Old Port, is part of the village of Porto Cervo, with shops, stores, restaurants, ATMs and Internet access.

You arrive at Porto di Alghero, adjacent to the historic walled city. After you tender ashore, you walk directly into the city, which features shops, restaurants, Internet cafes and ATMs.

Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, has the largest port in the country. The center of the city is located just across the wide avenue from the Port of Cagliari.


Sardinia Cruise Reviews

Jewel of the Seas
jonesmeister
Sail Date: Jul 2018
Sardinia was my least favourite port. It was too hot (33 C) to walk around and do anything so my family took a public bus that took us around the city for 20 minutes. We went around twice and we decided to hit the... Read More
Spirit Of Discovery
Altaj Maroj
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We like Cagliari, Some excellent walks around the old fortifications and some modern shops and cafes / wine bars all accessible close to the port.... Read More
dsjm
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Lovely place super friendly locals , great beach. Easy to use Metro right next to the cruise port. Clean and a really great place to stop. We all want to go back here for longer than a day.... Read More
desmacruise
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Excellent port if you like to walk...very easy to reach form the port....greast area around the cathedral and on of the pettiest we ever saw........ Read More
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