Pompeii Italy - A Cruisers Guide for Visiting Ancient Pompeii Ruins

"Visiting Pompeii Italy is sure to touch you even if you are not a big history connoisseur and someone purely interested in Pompeii archaeology and excavations - this museum in the open will be your window into what life used to be 2000 years ago."

Before you procede with getting a general overview of Pompeii, here's a list of article I suggest reading:


I have to admit I have been in awe with Pompeii Italy and the destruction of Pompeii since I was 8.

Not because Pompeii ruins are a unique source of information about the economic, social, religious and political life of a Roman city in the 1st Ct AD, or because it is a UNESCO Heritage site, or even less because as an 8 year old I had a sophistocated taste for fresco paintings, mosaics and Pompeii art in general. No, nothing like that.

Pompeii castPompeii victim cast, just one of those you get to see at this fascinating location

My amazement came from the photograph of a cast of a Pompeii dog, caught in the final moments of his life, moments before he suffocated and got covered by a layer of ashes and pumice from the erruption of the notorious Mt Vesuvius volcano.

This photo of someone's pet from Pompeii, buried alive in Pompeii ruins, 2000 years ago, with a collar around his neck just like any doggie of today would wear, has the power to transport us into the past immediately and we don't see the History of Pompeii as a history of dead stones but a history of humans.

pompeii train station, pompeii photo, pompeii image

Everyday people who loved and fought, left accusatory and nasty graffiti on the facades, worked as lamp makers, sculptors, toolmakers, merchants or gem cutters, ate in on one of the 89 fast-food takeaway cafes, enjoyed the Pompeii baths, their beautiful Pompeii homes with amazing Pompeii fresco paintings and Pompeii mosaics, attended gladiator fights, gossiped at the Pompeii forum...the lost city of Pompeii tells their story.

pompeii detailPompeii detail

Location: near modern day Naples, region of Campania, Italy

Citizens at the time of destruction: around 20,000

Area: originally covering 163 acres/66 hectares but only about 109 acres of ruins have been excavated

Destroyed: AD 79

Rediscovered: AD 1599 and then again in AD 1748

Yearly visitors: 2.6 million

Why is it important to visit Pompeii Italy?

Visiting Pompeii Italy is sure to touch you even if you are not a big history connoisseur and someone purely interested in Pompeii archaeology and excavations - this museum in the open will be your window into what life used to be 2000 years ago.

Until one day, the last day of Pompeii, this town got frozen in time under 6 layers of ashes and pumice of the Vesuvius Pompeii eruption.

You can read more about what happened on the day Pompeii got flattened with the ground in our article Destruction of Pompeii.

Interested in getting straight to Vesuvius first and then Pompeii? Check these shore excursions (they cater to cruisers only, which means they will get you back in port in time for the ship's departure).

Getting to Pompeii Italy from Naples

There are a few ways you can reach Pompeii Italy from your Mediterranean cruise ship when docked at Stazione Marittima in Naples or anchored in Sorrento Italy, and they are all described in our article Visiting Pompeii.

But here's a quick overview for the impatient ones:

1. Train from Naples to Pompeii: If you are one of the Med cruisers who prefer to take transportation into their own hands, you will be happy to find you can take a train from Naples to Pompeii for only a few euros!

2. Cruiseline-booked shore excursions: another option is getting on one of the cruise line's shore excursions. You should deffinitely go to your cruise line's website and see the shore excursions they offer. The disadvantage of these tours is that you pay extra comission your cruise line charges for offering this service onboard. And the choice is pretty basic and limited.

3. Independently booked shore-excursions: That is why most people will book their Pomepii shore excursions through a trusted web platform like Viator. Please compare the prices and see for yourself! What's great about their tours is that many of them cater specifically to cruisers and are sure to bring you back in time for your ship's departure.

Pomepii is one of these places in the world where it's really important to hear the story! Otherwise, it's all a pile of stones and walls.

Make sure you have a local art-historian, archaeologist or a certified tour guide by your side when visiting this site: it will be worth every cent!

Before getting there, make sure you read all the practical tips, fees and opening hours for visiting the ancient city of Pompeii, especially if you decide to visit without the help of a tour guide.

What else to see with Pompeii Italy?

The only thing that might spoil your day when in Pompeii Italy will be the fact that you are in the Bay of Naples which abounds with attractive sites to see:

  • from the magical isle of Capri Italy
  • the famous Sorrento Italy, 
  • romantic Amalfi 
  • and dynamic Naples...you will want to see it all, in a very limited time...what a sweet torture to be subjected to!

t yourself to seeing only Pompeii on this day, half the day would go wasted!

Find out more how to combine visiting Pompeii with another destination in the Bay of Naples in our article A Cruiser's Day in the Lost City of Pompeii...

...or check some quick suggestions below.

I have hand picked some shore excursions for you, in as many variations I could think of:

...there are both private and shared tours, you pick the ones that suit you best.

As you can see, there are so many options, so don't limit yourself to Pompeii only, especially if visiting this area for the first time.