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Day tours available for cruise passengers from Rick Steves Tours?

My husband and I are going on our first Viking Ocean Mediterranean cruise in May 2023. Are there day excursion tours available for us through the Rick Steves organization? We would love to go on one of these curated tours through some of the busier ports such as Rome, Florence and Venice.
Thank you in advance for your responses.

Posted by
8630 posts

I have never heard of Rick Steves offering day tours.

Posted by
5727 posts

Hi Debbie, welcome to the RS Forum!

Rick Steves has two types of tours - the fully-guided and the “My Way” which are transportation & lodging but not a guide showing people around. Both of these are for the entire duration of a multi-day (usually at least a week) tour. He doesn’t provide any single, custom guided tours. But, there are guides who are recommended in his guidebooks for specific locations if you want to pursue that method.

Posted by
6558 posts

If you look into the Rick Steves guides for where you are going, plus his cruise guide, you will find recommendations for local tour guides; some of which may be affiliated with, or used by his tours.

Also, for the three places you mentioned, just be aware that Rome and Florence are not ports. For Rome, you likely will dock at Civitavecchia, about an hour away. For Florence, they likely will use Port Livorno, some 65 miles away from Florence. For Venice, hard to tell, it may be Venice for a small ship, Trieste, or a port South of Venice. They changed some regulations for cruise ships, and it is all sorting out. Again, I would recommend the Rick Steves cruise guide, includes tips on transportation, as well as guides and tours.

Posted by
2643 posts

For Viking Ocean Cruises: you really are better off going with the cruise ship excursions. As Paul mentioned, for Rome and Florence you are a distance. Your ship excursions (one of which is included in your fare) include transportation and get you back in time to not miss the ship. In Venice I would take the brief included excursion then use your time to explore on your own. Get lost, it’s great fun. If you enjoy art the Peggy Guggenheim is our favorite but there are many options.

Posted by
44 posts

I used the RS guidebook "Rick Steves Mediterranean cruise ports", as well as RS specific country guide books (Italy, France, etc.) and other guide books (like Fodor's) to help select some of the excursions on an upcoming Mediterranean cruise. It helped very much. You can also find recommended guides in the RS guide books. Also, in the search at the top of every page on the RS website, you can search for info on the ports your cruise will visit and tour guides. Works just any search engine but only searches the RS website. There is a ton of information on the website that I think most people aren't aware of.
Have a good trip!

Posted by
91 posts

We went on a Viking Ocean cruise last September to Malta and Greece. Coincidently, when we took a Viking excursion in Athens, our guide was a Rick Steves Guide who worked for both companies! We had fun telling about our adventures on previous Rick Steve tours, and she knew the guides we had used in Italy...she took pictures and sent them to the other RS guide we had used.

All good guides work for good companies!! Don't be afraid to use the Viking Ocean excursions, some of them are great!

Posted by
7759 posts

The RS tours hire local independent guides to do the day tour parts of some of their tours. And its often just for part of the days activities. Look at Tours by locals for some ideas.

Posted by
943 posts


You have several options. You can book shore excursions through the cruise ship. These are usually the most expensive and you will be sitting on a large bus with a large group of passengers. The upside is that if there's any delay in returning to the ship, the cruise ship will always wait for their shore excursion bus to return.

The other option is to book a shore excursion with a local provider. Just google "[city] shore excursion". It is a little bit more personal and usually cheaper. There is a small van with about six passenger. The driver is the tour guide. The shore excursion tour company will group you with other people to fill the van.

IIRC, you can also go on and find your particular cruise ship and date. You can then connect with other passengers on the same cruise ship and set up excursions together.

Posted by
9643 posts

Rick Steves offered tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and perhaps Naples with Mondo Guides several years ago. We were traveling independently and went to Pompeii on a day tour with Mondo/Rick Steves.We met the guide at Pompeii.