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Cruises to Bari

Bari (Photo:Emi Cristea/Shutterstock)
Bari (Photo:Emi Cristea/Shutterstock)

About Bari

Bari, which lies in the Puglia, or Apulia, region of southern Italy (around the heel of the country's "boot" shape) is the kind of port cruise passengers dream about. It boasts a delightfully sunny, palm-lined promenade and broad boulevards with designer shops and top-quality restaurants. And, its lovely medieval Old Town is so atmospheric it could be the set for a particularly romantic version of "Romeo and Juliet" with its balconied houses, pretty courtyards, Baroque and Romanesque churches, chapels, shops and courtyards.

Beyond the city itself lies beautiful Puglia, which is endowed with a sandy coastline, 60 million olive trees, Roman ruins, vast golden wheat fields and the distinctive whitewashed, grey, conical-roofed houses known as the Trulli.

Bari is growing in popularity as a cruise port. Big-ship lines -- including P&O, Costa, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises -- are now visiting there, in addition to the small, upmarket ships of Seabourn, Silversea, Azamara and Oceania Cruises.

This is one port guaranteed to deliver a memorable day ashore -- and even have you planning to come back for a longer visit.

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DAY 1: Barcelona

12 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Marseille, Monaco ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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DAY 1: Venice

7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Santorini ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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DAY 1: Bari

7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Bari
Visiting:
Venice, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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DAY 1: Venice

7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Kotor, Mykonos ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Bari
Visiting:
Santorini, Chania ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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126 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Dubrovnik, Catania ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Kotor, Mykonos ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Naples, Taormina ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Santorini ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Sete, Marseille ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Corfu ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Argostoli, Santorini ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Naples, Taormina ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Trieste, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Naples, Taormina ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Split, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Athens ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Split, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Sibenik, Bari ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Istanbul
Visiting:
Canakkale, Kusadasi ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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6 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Dubrovnik ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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19 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Dubrovnik, Bari ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Sibenik, Bari ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Bari, Corfu ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Bari

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Split, Bari ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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Why go to Bari?

Pros:

Bari is, simply put, drop-dead gorgeous, and outstanding traditional Italian fare abounds

Cons:

This is a big city with sometimes stress-inducing, frenetic traffic

Bottom Line:

Stroll both the Old Town and New Town sections seeking remarkable architecture and Italian cafes

Bari Cruise Port Facilities?

Behind the terminal area was an open seating area, somewhere quiet to sit and wait for tour buses. And, behind that was a much larger, two-story terminal with check-in desks on the lower floor and a souvenir shop, lavatories, drink machines and a newsstand on the upper level. There's no ATM, though; that's in the bank inside the docks.

Bari has the longest seafront in Italy. It's also one of the prettiest, dotted with elaborately styled, elegant, black wrought-iron street lamps and planted with palm trees.

Head left along the promenade from the dock gates, and across the road you'll see a grassed-over dry moat surrounding the old city walls, with a few restaurant and cafe tables laid out, should you need a quick drink or snack.

Good to Know?

Italian traffic can be very daunting, particularly in the narrow streets of the Old Town, where you'll need to keep your wits about you if you don't want to collide with a speeding Vespa (or, as in my case, have a near miss with a cyclist).

You'll also need to be brave in barging across zebra crossings. Italian drivers are a law unto themselves and won't stop unless you make them. (Don't walk right out in front of them, though -- do give a bit of warning for your own safety!)

As with most big cities, Bari can be a hunting ground for pickpockets, so keep bags and pockets well-buttoned, and don't carry too much cash or expensive jewelry.

Getting Around?

Bari's Old and New Towns are easily walkable from the port. To reach the Old Town, head left along the promenade, and after about 10 minutes, you'll see a broad archway set into the old walls; this is the entrance to Bari's Old Town.

Some cruise lines provide free shuttle buses from the dock gates down to Avenue Corso Cavour, one of the main shopping streets in the "new" part of Bari. It's easy to walk from there back to the cruise terminal via the Old Town by strolling east along Corso Cavour to Piazza 4th Novembre and then walking left along the main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which divides the Old Town from the new.

If you don't want to walk or take the shuttle bus around town, you'll find mini-train tours on offer right at the dock entrance. Trenino-Tour offers 1.5-hour Bari City Tour drives around Bari's harbour, Old Town and main sights. Eventieturismo offers one-hour tours.

Taxis are also based at the dock gates. They are metered, but roundtrips to local places of interest can be negotiated separately with waiting time.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency is the euro; see www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for the latest conversion rates. You'll find an ATM machine right in the port where you dock. Look for the Banco Populaire di Bari, a squat cream building that lies about a two-minute walk to the left of the port entrance, within the perimeter fence.

Language?

Italian is the official language. Don't assume you'll find English-speakers, so take a phrasebook along, or at least memorize a few basic phrases like hello (buon giorno), thank you (per favore), how much (quante'e) and I don't understand (non capisco).

Where You're Docked?

Bari has three separate docks for ferries, container / freight vessels and cruise ships. We were greeted on arrival at the cruise dock by a small blue terminal with a big, friendly "Welcome" sign on the outside and passport control desks inside.


Bari Cruise Reviews

CO-SOS
Sail Date: Apr 2019
BARI: A true suprise port. We didn't expect much and almost didn't get off the ship due to rain--since it's a 1/2 mile walk from ship to town. MSC offers a 10/pp euro bus, but we looked and determined that the... Read More
Mattyo10
Sail Date: Sep 2018
Bus ride required into Bari itself. I think it was an 8€ fee.... Read More
Ann56Northampton
Sail Date: Sep 2018
We loved seeing Bari on our own - an easy 20-minute walk into the town and then a leisurely wander around - a lovely gentle first day to our cruise... Read More
Costa Luminosa
Lrbap
Sail Date: Aug 2018
We took the velo ride (rickshaw) tour of central Bari including San Nicola Church, Bari's Cathedral and Svevo Castle... Read More
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