Monte Carlo

The Hôtel de Paris and the Villa Sauber
The old town of Monaco-Ville
The village of St-Paul-de-Vence

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Monte Carlo

The meeting place of the international jet set

Monte-Carlo is where the real money is flung about, and its famous casino demands to be seen on an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion. Adjoining it is the gaudy opera house, and around the palm-tree-lined place du Casino are more casinos, palace-hotels and grands cafés.

The American Bar of the Hôtel de Paris is the place for the elite to meet, while the turn-of-the-twentieth-century Hermitage has a beautiful Gustave Eiffel iron-and-glass dome.

The Villa Sauber is one of the few surviving belle époque villas in the principality, set amid concrete apartment blocks. It comprises one half of the Nouveau Musée National, and presents interesting temporary art exhibitions, often on Monaco-related themes. MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to the old town of Monaco-Ville which has been spared the developers’ worst.

On place du Palais you can watch the changing of the guard or see the tombs of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace in the nineteenth-century cathedral. One of Monaco’s MSC best excursion is the beautiful fortified village of St-Paul-de-Vence. It’s a village squeezed onto a hilltop just 3km south of Vence towards Cagnes.

While the village itself is a delight, and is usually crammed with visitors throughout the summer, its popularity owes as much to the Fondation Maeght, a wonderful museum of modern art and sculpture tucked into the woods nearby, as it does to its medieval core. You can’t miss its most famous landmark, right outside the walls on the only approach road – the Colombe d’Or, a hotel-restaurant that’s celebrated for the art on its walls, donated in lieu of payment for meals by the then-impoverished Braque, Picasso, Matisse and Bonnard in the lean years following World War I.

Must see places in Monte Carlo

Discover our excursions

4 results found

  • CANNES & NICE

    CITY TOUR
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        5 h

      • Adults55Price per person

      • Children42Price per person

      MON01

      After leaving the port at Monte Carlo by coach, you can first look forward to a 1-hour drive along the amazing coastline of the French Riviera en route to the captivating city of Cannes, a busy tourist destination and the host of the annual international Cannes Film Festival. You will then have some free time to explore the city centre at your own pace. Apart from the lovely old town with its winding lanes, narrow alleys and great views from the castle ruins, other Cannes’ highlights include the yachts moored in the harbour and the wonderful La Croisette seafront promenade with its luxury hotels and boutique shops. After re-boarding your coach, you will then head back along the coastal road to Nice, the capital of the French Alpes Maritime département, which is part of the larger Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. You will then be taken on a leisurely guided walk to discover the main landmarks of this lovely French city, including the famous seafront boulevard known as the “Promenade des Anglais”, so named for the earliest visitors who came to enjoy their holidays at the resort. Your scenic tour of the French Riviera ends with the return drive to Monte Carlo and your ship. Please note: this tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • EZE, MONACO & MONTECARLO

      CITY TOUR
      • Shopping

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults49Price per person

      • Children35Price per person

      MON04

      Leave the port and reach one of the jewels of the Côte d’Azur: Monte Carlo. After parking at the Rock of Monaco, you will head up to the old town. The friendly guide will lead you through the narrow uphill streets, past the Oceanographic Museum, the Cathedral where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III are buried (outside view), and the fairytale Prince’s Palace. You will also get to see one of Monaco’s most famous buildings: the legendary Casino, which stands next to the glamorous Hôtel de Paris. Following a guided tour of the elegant square and the surrounding buildings, you will continue on to the medieval town of Èze, entering via the 14th century double gateway and then walking through the narrow streets. A shopping stop is also scheduled at the renowned Fragonard perfume factory for a chance to learn about French perfume techniques and, if so inspired, to splurge on some fragrance samples. Please note: the tour does not include an internal viewing of or admission to the Casino. This tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • NICE & EZE

      CITY TOUR
      • Shopping

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults52Price per person

      • Children39Price per person

      MON03

      Leave the port and enjoy a 45-minute coach drive to Nice capital of the “Côte d’Azur”. Here we will admire the famous seafront boulevard known as the “Promenade des Anglais”, the legendary “Negresco” Hotel with its delightful rococo façade and pass by the Russian Orthodox Cathedral with its brightly coloured ceramics and six onion domes. Finally we will visit the old town and have some free time on the attractive “Cours Saleya”, a colourful square in Nice old town. Next we will continue to the medieval cliff-top town of Eze. Pass the XIV century double gateway and enjoy a walk through the narrow streets of the town. A stop for shopping is scheduled at the renowned Fragonard perfume factory to learn about French perfume techniques and purchase sample fragrances. Please note: this tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • PANORAMIC TOUR

      SCENIC ROUTE
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adults45Price per person

        • Children32Price per person

        MON02

        Give yourself a chance to discover the highlights of Monaco on this enjoyable half-day excursion off the ship, which begins with a panoramic coach ride along the so-called Grande Corniche road – the highest of three scenic coastal routes in Monaco – for a chance to admire lovely view of the Principality from above. Your exploration of this special place then continues on foot with a guided walk around Monte Carlo’s main landmarks, including the splendid Rock of Monaco, simply known as “Le Rocher”. You will also pay an outside visit to the famous Roman Catholic Saint Nicholas Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1875 and houses the tombs of Prince Ranieri III and Grace Kelly. Last up is a visit to the truly resplendent Prince's Royal Palace, which was originally built as a fortress in the 12th century and occupies a huge complex consisting of various buildings displaying very different architectural styles and landscaped gardens. Your tour of Monaco and its must-sees comes to a close with your return to the pier and your ship. Please note: this tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.

      The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
       
      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

      Monaco

      A great little state
      A great little state

      The tiny independent Principality of Monaco, no bigger than London’s Hyde Park, has been in the hands of the autocratic Grimaldi family since the 13th century, save for the two decades following the French Revolution, and in theory would become part of France were the royal line to die out.

      When you’re on a cruise to Monaco it’s easy to understand how the last hundred years the principality has lived off gambling, tourism and its status as a tax haven. Among its inhabitants, French citizens outnumber native-born Monegasques.

      Along with the Pope and the house of Liechtenstein, Prince Albert II is one of Europe’s few remaining constitutionally autocratic rulers. A holiday to Monaco is like taking a stroll along the Mediterranean. The three-kilometre-long state consists of several distinct quarters.

      The pretty old town of Monaco-Ville around the palace stands on the high promontory, with the densely built suburb and marina of Fontvieille in its western shadow. La Condamine is the old port quarter on the other side of the rock; Larvotto, the rather ugly bathing resort with artificial beaches of imported sand, reaches to the eastern border; and Monte Carlo is in the middle. French Beausoleil, uphill to the north, is merely an extension of the conurbation – the border is often unmarked and always easily crossed on foot.