- Round-trip transportation from your Civitavecchia Cruise pier!
- Air-conditioned, fully licensed, and insured transportation!
- Private English-speaking licensed shore excursion guide!
- Admission into the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel!
- Guided private excursion to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica!
- Stops to see several of Old Rome's most famous sites!
- Free time in Old Rome!
- Escape the cruise ship shore excursion crowds and enjoy the unique sights of Rome and the surrounding area!
A private guided sightseeing excursion of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Square, bypass the long lines and enjoy more time for sightseeing, including a visit to Old Rome.
Upon your cruise ship's clearance, you will meet your English-speaking private guide just at your Civitavecchia Cruise pier and set out in your private air-conditioned transportation on the approximately 80-minute journey to Rome. Your driver will narrate along the way. On arrival in Rome, you will meet your professionally trained, licensed excursion guide and begin your visit to Vatican City, the smallest state in the world.
Zipping past the long line to buy tickets, no waiting for your group as you enter the Vatican Museum. One of the largest and most famous museums in the entire world, it contains more than one hundred thousand pieces of incredible treasure collected by the church over the centuries. Unfortunately, there is no time to see the more than approximately 4 miles of galleries and salons so your guide will lead you on a planned course to avoid some of the crowds, bypass some of the lesser-known pieces, and focus on some of the most important pieces of the collection.
At the end of the museum, you will descend a staircase, reaching perhaps the most famous room in the museum and its stunning Sistine Chapel with its legendary ceiling. The chapel is the location for papal conclaves and other important Vatican services since its construction in 1473 AD. The inside is a visual overload of frescoes by the greatest artists of the time including Bernini, Signorelli, Raphael, Rosselli, Botticelli, and of course Michelangelo. His most famous fresco, covering 12,000 square feet of the ceiling took four years, with him standing and craning his neck on scaffolding 68 feet up in the air. It consists of 59 panels, the middle nine, depicting stories of Noah, the creation of the world, and the creation and fall of Adam and Eve, which are perhaps the most famous. These are surrounded by frescos of the prophets and Sibyls, which in turn are surrounded by frescos of Jesus' ancestors.
Another staircase leads from the chapel down to a side entrance of St. Peter's Basilica. The church has the largest area and volume of any Christian church in the world and can accommodate 60,000 people. The current church, started in 1506, was built over the first St. Peter's Church, which was built in the 4th century A.D. by Emperor Constantine. Placement of the altar is over the spot where St. Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, and considered the first Pope, is believed to have been crucified and buried.
The construction took almost 120 years during which time more than 20 popes and over 10 designers added their influence to the design and construction. The seventh designer, Michelangelo, then in his seventies, is given credit for a majority of the buildings you see today. Some of the many treasures within the church are Michelangelo's cupola, Bernini's 66-foot-high sculpted bronze canopy, mosaic paintings, and Michelangelo's "Pieta" which he carved when he was only 24. The total time in Vatican City is approximately three hours.
After saying goodbye to your Vatican shore excursion guide, your driver will take you to Old Rome. Here, you will have approximately 60 minutes of free time to grab a quick lunch, shop, or sightsee (the price of lunch is not included).
Some of the must-see sightseeing excursion attractions in this area include Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. All too soon, it will be time to rejoin your driver and head back to your ship pier in Civitavecchia, approximately 80 minutes away.
Please note the sequence of visits may change due to traffic. Anticipate large crowds at all sites. Transportation will be by a smaller vehicle. You will have a professional guide for the Vatican portion of the excursion and your driver will be your guide for the rest of the time.
PLEASE NOTE: Vatican regulations require the following information from the guest booking the excursion at the time of booking. 1) Name, 2) Birth date, 3) Place of birth as it appears on their valid passport. This ONLY applies to the person making the booking and not everyone in the group - please add this to the comment box on your booking form.
This guest must also present the same passport used for booking to the Vatican officials upon arrival at the museum.
For groups of 9 or more, please see our Civitavecchia Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, and Sistine Chapel Excursion with Private Guide