from just £2,699 per person.

About Messina

An earthquake in 1908 flattened much of the original town, but the Sicilian cruise port Messina bounced back and it has since enhanced one of its major surviving attractions - the Duomo, a 12th century Norman church built by the unusually-named Count Roger II - with the installation of an astronomical clock in the bell tower. Made in Strasbourg in 1933, the clock face shows the planetary system representing the days of the week and the age of man.

There are more Norman churches, several beautiful medieval fountains and a fascinating museum to see and visit in the town centre before you head for the areas main attractions: Mount Etna or the magnificent hill-top town of Taormina, overlooking the Bay of Giardini, which has one of the largest Greco-Roman theatres in the world and is full of fascinating nooks and crannies, arty stores, and tasty cafes and restaurants.


Shore excursions in Messina

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Classic Mount Etna

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5½ hours

Discover Sicily’s most famous and dramatic landmark, Mount Etna.

Take a southbound drive along the highway, passing through the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea. The scenery gradually grows more forbidding as you approach the Sapienza Refuge.

Considered to be a very active volcano, Mount Etna has erupted more than 130 times and is the largest and highest volcano in Europe. A stop will be made at the Silvestri Craters to take in the dramatic scenery and see the ancient lava flows. Take in the views of the city of Catania, which was overwhelmed by an eruption 300 years ago.

You’ll have a short while to explore the lunar-like landscape independently and take photos of the foreboding scenery. During your visit you'll be offered refreshments in one of the local restaurants.

Your return drive will take you back along the highway to Messina.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to Etna is around 2 hours. Due to time limitations and facilities comfort breaks will not be made during the drive. The time spent at the volcano will be around 1 hour. The visit to Etna is half way up to the main sightseeing area only and does not go to the summit. The terrain around the crater is uneven and rocky, so covered shoes with good grip are essential. A jacket is advisable. Photo opportunities and views of and from Mt Etna are dependent on weather conditions, which can be very changeable. Euros are accepted for local purchases.

Discover Messina on Foot

Activity highRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 3 hours

See the highlights of Messina on foot, showcasing the few monuments which were recovered from the ruins of the earthquake in 1908.

In the past centuries Messina and Palermo were the most important towns in Sicily. On the night of the 28th December 1908 a terrible earthquake completely destroyed Messina. The city has been rebuilt in the following years and now you will see it as a modern town with wide and straight roads.

Begin your day with a walk along Messina’s main street, Via Garibaldi. You’ll pass by the church of Santa Maria Alemanna towards Cairoli Square, the very heart of the city, where you’ll find the most elegant shops.

After tasting a refreshing ‘granita’ (local beverage), you’ll visit the Cathedral. The cathedral was almost entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908. It features an interesting 15th to 16th-century finely carved central doorway.

The large bell-tower, 100 feet tall, holds the largest astronomical clock in the world, renowned worldwide for the mechanical figures that come to life every 15 minutes, with a grand display every afternoon at the strike of 12. Free time will be given to shop for mementos, before you take your place to see the clock come to life at noon.

Essential information

This excursion will operate on foot. There tour is conducted entirely on foot. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Shorts are not allowed.

Giardini Naxos Beach Break

Activity lowFamily

Duration: 4½ hours

An opportunity to relax and have some fun at the beautiful beach of Giardini Naxos.

Embark on an hours’ leisurely drive along the Ionian Coast towards Taormina. Follow the bay en route to Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily which overlooks the beautiful towns of Taormina and Castelmola. En route you’ll pass local villages affording panoramic views of the Straight of Messina, Mediterranean flowers, orange and lemon trees.

Upon arrival at the beach, you’ll have approximately 2½ hours to enjoy the Naxos seaside. Your escort will give you an introduction to the area, the beach and facilities available to you.

After your stay, you’ll meet at the agreed time for the return drive to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel, sunscreen and water. Sun beds are complimentary, shower and changing rooms are available. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to any swimming activities. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises.

Godfathers' Footsteps

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 5 hours

The perfect option for all ‘The Godfather’ film fans. See the sights synonymous with the film series based on the Sicilian mafia.

Take a drive along the motorway to Roccalumera where the scenery changes to small roads flanked with villas, flowering gardens and picturesque villages. You’ll arrive in the town of Savoca, one of the most attractive and lesser-known places in Sicily.

In the village of Savoca, you’ll visit Bar Vitelli, where you can see a collection of local artisans' tools and photographs taken when Francis Ford Coppola shot scenes for ‘The Godfather II’.

After typical Sicilian refreshments at a local Bar, you’ll embark on a walking tour, passing by two 15th and 16th century churches. From here you can enjoy wonderful views over the valley.

Your next stop will be at Forza d'Agro, a charming little village overlooking the Arab-Norman castle of Capo Sant'Alessio. In 1990, Al Pacino and Sophia Coppola shot scenes here for the film, ‘The Godfather III’. Take circular steps up to the Gothic-Catalan portal to the Church of S. Agostino, also known as Triade. You’ll also have chance to see the Baroque Chiesa Madre.

See the many interesting sights and locations relating to the Godfather films, while enjoying beautiful and charming Sicilian panoramas.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over uneven terrain, gravel paths, inclines and 30 steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. This tour involves a winding road up to Savoca.

Leisurely Messina

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

This tour offers some spectacular scenic views along the coast and an orientation of Messina’s highlights.

Leaving the pier you’ll head along the coast towards the north to Cape Peloro. You’ll drive through the picturesque fishing villages of Ganzirri and Faro and see the salt water lakes used for mussel farming. Cape Peloro is considered to be the nearest point that projects towards the Italian mainland, approximately 2 miles away.

After a short photo stop, you’ll head to a local venue where you can enjoy a pastry served with a refreshing Granita,(typical iced drink).

Afterwards, as you travel towards Messina, you’ll stop at Cristo Re terrace, to take in the impressive views over the straits of Messina.

Arriving in Messina, you’ll visit the Cathedral, built in 1200 and destroyed several times by earthquakes and war. Messina Cathedral is renown all over the world for its astronomical clock, the biggest in the world. A popular tourist attraction, that is represented by the animated mechanical statues which narrate important events of civil and religious history of the city every day at noon.

Finally, re-board your coach for a short orientation drive around Messina, before returning to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Walking is limited. Appropriate attire is required when visiting the Cathedral.


A selection of cruises to Messina

This website uses cookies to give you the very best user experience. By using our website, you agree that we can place cookies on your device. For more information see the About Cookies link at the bottom of this page.