Monte Carlo Port Guide
Referred to as the playground of the rich and famous, Monte Carlo is one of the best cruise ports in the world and not just for what Monaco has to offer. Its close proximity to Nice, Cannes and Villefranche make it an ideal French Riviera gateway but for those of you looking to just explore Monte Carlo, we hope you find today’s blog full of useful ideas.
You certainly don’t have to live in the Penthouse suite to sample everything this destination has to offer and a day’s call is enough time to see the best of it. If you are feeling relatively fit then the ideal way to explore Monaco is on foot. The Palace, world famous Monte Carlo Casino, Café De Paris and stunning gardens are all within walking distance of the cruise berth.
The Royal Palace – Monte Carlo
The Royal Palace is certainly a sight to see as are the surrounding grounds. You can enjoy the short but impressive changing of the guard in front of the Prince’s Palace daily at 11:55, by the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince. It really is a short ceremony so ensure you arrive early to enjoy it and hopefully obtain a good view point. In the summer season the crowds can be relatively large and trying to find a good spot can be difficult. Once the ceremony is over the crowds disperse rapidly, this will leave you with a chance to photograph the palace without any obstructions.
From here you can also enjoy one of the most spectacular view points across the Marina. This really is every photographers delight so don’t forget to ensure the camera is fully charged before leaving your ship. Once you have exhausted the camera we suggest a stroll through the narrow streets that are filled with gift shops, boutique stores and occasionally you may also come across a live band outside the Cathedral.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée also known as St Nicholas Cathedral is an immaculately beautiful architectural creation both inside and out. Another superb photo opportunity and should you wish to enter you can do so free of charge, so long as a service is not taking place. The Cathedral is the resting place of many of the Grimaldi family including Grace Kelly. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1875, and is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco built in 1252.
As you make your way down from the Palace you will have the chance to enjoy the stroll across the Marina before you make the journey towards the Casino. The Marina is always full of luxurious yachts and there are numerous cafes along the route where you can enjoy some refreshments before continuing with your day. There is also a large swimming pool where should you wish to cool off you can do so for a small fee.
Casino’s and boutiques in Monte Carlo
Heading uphill towards the Casino you will pass numerous designer stores including Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, we also recommend taking a few photographs as you go, again the views are incredible. When you reach the top, follow the road round to the left and you shall be met with the Casino to your right and the Hotel de Paris to your immediate left.
The Casino is open daily from 2pm and passports are required in order to enter. The dress code is quite formal so be advised of this before leaving the ship if you do wish to enter. Should you be spending an overnight in port then jackets are required after 8pm in the Salons Prives.
The world famous Café de Paris is directly next door to the Casino and is a wonderful venue to relax, enjoy some superb cuisine and watch the world go by. Before leaving the area we suggest a short walk to the top of the square where one can see the Gardens in all their delight. Another wonderful photo opportunity for the budding photographers amongst you.
Whatever you decide to do in Monaco, we guarantee you will leave this port with the need to return. I have been lucky enough to visit several times and each time I discover something new.
Copyright The Cruise Line 2013