Cruising into the Bay of Naples is a memorable experience. The Naples port is overlooked by the imposing Sant Elmo medieval castle, high up on Vemero Hill, as well as the 13th century Castel Nuovo, which is right next to the Naples cruise terminal in the heart of the city.
The only problem with Naples is there is just so much to see and do. The Amalfi coast so beautiful though not as exciting these days, So, will it be Vesuvius, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, Capri
There is quite a nice cruise terminal at Naples and there is a tourist information desk there.
Warning theft is rife here. Pickpockets, thieves on mopeds snaching bags. You need to be on your guard at all times.
There is an HOHO bus from cruise terminal. You can take the shuttle bus from just outside the port to the starting point, but it is only 5 minutes’ walk away. The Red Route takes you through the city (warts and all) up to the Capodimonte museum at the top of the hill overlooking Naples and the bay. The Blue Route takes you out to where the ‘better off’ Neapolitans live, along the seafront past the US Embassy, the views across the Bay of Naples towards Vesuvius are to die for.
The “National Archaeological Museum of Naples” would be a good trip as it contains so much that was excavated from Pompeii.
If you want to do something different go to the tunnels underneath Naples, really interesting.
Then there are the wonderful views of Mount Vesuvius from the ship.
If you are really into history and the “Vesuvius story” fascinates you, it has to be Pompeii with a good guide. If you are just curious then visit Herculaneum for half a day and use other half to do something else.
If you have walking difficulties then seeing these sites could be difficult as the ancient roads/pavements in both Pompeii and Herculaneum are very uneven.
If you prefer DIY then try Pompeii by train, just across from the port there is a tobacco kiosk, right by a tram stop, €9 euros each. The tram takes you to the train station (within 300 yds). Or, you can walk from the dock to the train station, about 20 minutes. Taxi from port to Naples train station is approx. €10. (2015)
If you’re travelling from Naples to Pompeii, take the Naples–Sorrento line and get off at Pompeii Scavi–Villa dei Misteri. The other Pompeii station lies on a different line and is closer to the amphitheatre entrance. If you are a senior citizen you do not have to pay (take ID) it was 11 euros each admission. The major sites are served by the Circumvesuviana railway (081 772 2444, http://www.vesuviana.it). It takes 30 to 40 minutes to get to Pompeii from either Naples or Sorrento. It should cost €1,80 to €3,20.
Pompeii: They split Pompeii into different sections for tours; it is fascinating. It is a large site and you really need a full day to appreciate it. The P&O Pompeii tour is £43 each (2014) and you are confined to a very small portion of the whole site.
Herculaneum: is smaller and much better preserved, and not so much walking and you really get the feeling of the place. Entrance fee was €12. You catch the same train and the station that you want is Ercolano Scavi and it is only about 20 mins to get here.
If you are thinking about the trip up Vesuvius it is not for the unfit. You actually walk up and down Vesuvius; it is a trek and a half.
Try the hydrofoil to Sorrento, they are right at the side of the ships it was really easy, it is quite cheap, they go every hour and it is about 40 minutes crossing. So, when you leave the cruise terminal the ferry terminal is 5mins walk to your left. Try for the ferry at 9am, and if offered return at 2.30pm, there is another at 4.30pm but this is a little tight for the ship leaving. The cost is €25 rtn. Plenty of seats avail and you have the option of sitting inside or out.
If you do not want another sea journey, there is a train from Naples to Sorrento only €6, you need a taxi from the port to get to the station. However, beware that it does take 1hr 15mins to travel to Sorrento, so the same coming back, make sure to leave time for cruise ship departing and it is advisable to catch the bus from railway station to ship, as it is a long way to walk.
If you want to visit Capri, the ferry and hovercraft port is very close to the where the ship docks and it’s very easy to buy the correct tickets. You get off the ship, walk a couple of mins along the port (turn left at port gate) and get on one of the ferry that sail across to Capri (takes 45 mins minimum). Costs about €40 return. From the marina in Capri you could take a boat to the blue grotto or take the bus to AnaCapri, take the chairlift to Mt Solaris, stunning views. You can see all around the island. For the return journey then do not plan on getting the latest return crossing back, sometimes the ferries are unpredictable and so there is a danger of missing the ship if you have left it late.
By Peter Dagnall
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