A variety of wine and food-themed excursions include spending an afternoon tasting wine and cheese in Minorca at the Binifadet wine cellar founded in 1979, where passengers can savour the island’s best wines, cheeses and unique wine marmalade.
Another option, is an exclusive excursion to Palazzo Federico, one of Sicily’s historic residences in the old town of Palermo, where descendents of the old noble family play host to visitors.
Tapas in Barcelona, the ‘panisse’ in Marseilles, pizza in Naples or focaccia in Genoa are all popular.
In Florence, on ships calling at La Spezia, Costa proposes a visit to the Uffizi Galley, which hosts masterpieces by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Raffaello and Leonardo da Vinci, before venturing into the historic centre of the city.
A cultural experience in Volos Greece is climbing to the top of the Thessaly hills, to the Meteora, a site of a complex of 24 monasteries built at the top of sandstone cliffs or the archaeological sites of Pompeii, Ercolano, Olympia and Segesta; the Acropolis, and temple of Poseidon, in Athens and St Mark’s Square in Venice.
Other new excursions include the Sassi of Matera, the Gaudì palaces in Barcelona, the Postojna Cave, or Erice, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the Palaces of the Rolli in the historic centre of Genoa and Lucca.
For the adventurous a jeep ride to the marble quarries of Carrara on the Apuan Alps, or a catamaran tour off Majorca or Croatia, off-road adventures in Malta, Santorini, Mykonos and on the Etna volcano, or a horseback riding excursion in the Mijas mountain range, near Malaga.
Green excursions include a three hour walk along the Path of the Gods, overlooking the Almafi Coast, which also offers a magnificent view over Conca dei Marini, kayaking in Kolorina Bay, off Dubrovnik and bicycle tours in Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Genoa, and a path along the eastern Ligurian Riviera created on the old coastal railway line running between the villages of Framura, Bonassola and Levanto.