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Cinque Terra cancelled


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We had an excursion scheduled thru NCL for our upcoming cruise in October but got an email today saying it was cancelled. Anyone have any idea why? Are there any recommendations for a tour company going there? We really wanted to visit the Cinque Terra

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Cinque Terre is pretty amazing, I’ve done it twice now on cruises. It’s actually pretty easy to do on your own by walking to the train station and then going to the farthest village and working your way back through the villages.
 

Although with COVID times now, things may not be as easy, maybe not as frequent of trains etc. 

 

I’ve done two of the grueling hikes between the villages and it was some of the most beautiful scenery ever. 

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From which port? CT is very over rated due to the Steves publicity. Probably you weren't targeting the hikes themselves which can range from ankle-breaking to trivial to closed for repairs (otherwise always mobbed), but you can find a more scenic yet fairly level coastal hill hike from the Abbey to Portofino. Best to connect those 2 by miniferry to nearby train towns.

 

Same thing for CT where mini ferry connections let you see the village panorama the best, altho their service is unreliable and must be supplanted by train. There are really about 8 special towns in a string; the 5 is a marketing ploy. The most ghastly is Ricks favorite V.; anyone with fond memories there should see recent youtube ultradef walkthrus such as from prowalks - time to switch to lesser known villages nearby.

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I noticed they also took them off for our dec trip...but having already gone twice (only because the first time we thought we had missed something with all the hype) I wouldn’t go again.  There are much nicer places to visit...Florence (and David) is breathtaking, Luca is amazing, for example

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If you're docked in La Spezia, Cinque Terre is *super easy* to get to on your own... no excursion or tour needed. (Livorno is much further and much more challenging).

You take the port shuttle bus through the industrial area of the port to the exit. You walk about 15 minutes to the train station. You go into the tourist office to buy the the Cinque Terre train pass from a live person (NOT from the automatic ticket machines as they won't give you the all day on/off passes to see all five villages). Hop on the train and you're off!

 

Speaking from experience, we loved Cinque Terre. Wandering each of the very different villages, eating focaccia fresh from the oven, hiking... it's really a perfect sort of day. If you've not seen the Disney/Pixar movie Luca, I'd recommend viewing to give you a pretty accurate perspective on the region and vibe. 

I'd also suggest making sure you have pesto for lunch at some point, as Liguria is where the dish originated and was perfected.

 

 

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We also did CT on our own. We purchased the train/park tickets ahead of time online. The tourism office at the train station may not be opened at the said time and we were told that people who worked there was rude. We took the train to the fifth town and worked our way back. Very easy but need good timing. Quite an experience. Similar to Portofino but at a larger scale. You may look through my blog page for "MSC Back-to-back cruises 2019" to see what we did. I also have videos there.

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