Private Vatican, Colosseum And Old Rome
Private Vatican, Colosseum and Old Rome
Begin your amazing journey with an approximately 60 to 90 minute drive to the Vatican City. Upon arrival in Rome, you will meet your professionally trained, licensed tour guide and begin your private visit of Vatican City, the smallest state in the world.
Within Vatican City is the Vatican Museum. The museum is made up of over one thousand rooms and galleries containing a multitude of amazing treasures collected by popes throughout the centuries. It would take days to even scratch the surface. With your private guide and priority entrance you will avoid the long lines outside and be able to spend more time in the museum itself. You will have time to see some of the most important galleries and outstanding museum pieces, but please be aware that you will only see a portion of the museum, and that crowds are to be expected.
At the end of the museum is the Sistine Chapel, which can only be reached by a staircase. Built between the years 1473 and 1481, it is the best-known chapel in the official residence of the pope in Vatican City. Part of its fame rests on its architecture, with internal measurements of 134 feet long by 44 feet wide, the dimensions of Solomon's Temple as given in the Old Testament. Adding to its fame is its decoration, with frescoes throughout by the greatest Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael, and Botticelli. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet of the chapel ceiling, 68 feet above the floor, between the years 1508 and 1512. Although he resented the commission, today the ceiling, and especially "The Last Judgment," are widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievements in painting.
From the chapel, a staircase leads you past the long lines waiting to enter the Basilica, to your last visit in the Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica. The Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites in the world. It is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter's tomb is below the altar of the Basilica. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century.
Based on the design of Donato Bramante, the current building's foundation stone was laid on April 18, 1506. Five other designers and two additional Popes would be involved before Michelangelo, then in his seventies, was forced to become the designer in 1547. He is the man considered the principal designer of a majority of the present-day building's interior, as well as the man who finally got the construction moving forward. Among the many fine pieces of art and mosaics on display are Michelangelo's "Pieta," and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit.
After your visit to the Vatican City, visit the Piazza Venezia, known for the Victor Emmanuel Monument (also called the "wedding cake") and for the building that was Mussolini's headquarters. Climb the steps of the Capitoline hill and enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Roman Forum with the Rostrum where Mark Anthony made his impassioned speech over the body of Julius Cesar. Your driver can suggest several places where you can enjoy a local lunch with plenty of home-made wine during your free time. Stop at the most beautiful fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain. Drive by the famous Spanish Steps, where the finest shopping street is. Walk through Piazza Navona and visit the imposing Pantheon where the great painter Raphael is buried.
Then explore the Imperial area of Rome, reflecting twelve centuries of cultural, political and religious history. You will make an inside visit to the Symbol of the "Eternal City," the Roman Colosseum, one of the most important monuments of ancient Rome. A masterpiece of classical architecture, the Colosseum is an enormous amphitheater where gladiators, Christians, and wild beasts once battled to the death in front of 50,000 spectators. At the end of the tour, your private guide will bid you farewell and you will make the return drive to the port.
This private, small group excursion provides an unparalleled experience of Rome using mini-vans to navigate the narrow streets of this beautiful ancient city. The maximum number of guests that can be accommodated per minivan is 8 passengers. Groups of 9 or more guests can be split into two minivans that will view each of the sites along the itinerary at the same time, but they will be traveling separately. Please place separate orders and indicate if traveling with another group.
Alternatively, we offer a large group version of this excursion that uses a mini-coach vehicle that can accommodate groups of 9 to 32 so that groups of 9 or more can travel together. Please CLICK HERE to view this tour.
Please Note: Due to regulations at the Vatican Museum, the guest booking the tour (lead guest) must provide his or her full name, place of birth, and date of birth, matching the information in his or her valid passport, at the time of booking. The lead guest must also present his or her passport to the Vatican officials upon arrival at the museum. This ONLY applies to the lead guest, not every guest in the group. The lead guest must also provide the full name and age of all participants at the time of booking, and this information must match the information in their valid passports.
Depending on traffic or crowds at the sites, the tour may operate in a different order. All sites will be visited time permitting. You will walk only a few minutes to the sites from the vehicle. This tour is wheelchair accessible; however, guests who bring their wheelchair must pay 25 EUR to the operator on the day of the tour. Please be aware that the Basilica may close for security reasons at any given time without previous notice. Should this occur, free time will be provided to compensate or additional time at the Vatican Museum.
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.
We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.
Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.