Visiting the lost city of Pompeii and other fantastic destinations in the Bay of Naples

"Visiting the lost city of Pompeii from Naples cruise port is easily combined with other attractive destinations in the Bay of Naples by taking one of the Pompeii shore excursions"

Why visit the lost city of Pompeii in Italy?

There are so many reasons why you should visit the lost city of Pompeii located very close to the city of Naples!

The tragic history of Pompeii is tied to the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Visiting the site of Pompeii helps you better understand this cataclysmic event and its impact on the region.

For history buffs, Pompeii is a goldmine.

Pompeii1Walk the streets of Pompeii for a few hours!

There you can explore...

  • well-preserved Pompeii homes
  • theaters
  • baths
  • and even ancient graffiti, frescos, mosaics, and other valuable Pompeii artwork offering a deep dive into Roman culture.

Even if you are not a history buff, you will like stepping into a time capsule - Pompeii offers an incredible glimpse into everyday life in ancient Rome.

You can wander through its streets and buildings, virtually unchanged since the 1st century AD.

Moreover, Pompeii's location against the backdrop of the Bay of Naples and beneath the towering presence of Mount Vesuvius adds a layer of scenic beauty to its historical significance.

The combination of history and breathtaking views makes it a truly captivating destination for cruisers.

But Pompeii is not the only attractive destination in the Bay of Naples and this is where problems may start!

This fantastic archaeological location is very close to many attractive destinations that you may want to experience when stopping in the cruise port of Naples:

So much to see and do and all you have is about 12 hours in port!

See on the map below how close everything is!

How to make the most of your day in the lost city of Pompeii?

I assume you don't go cruising to Naples Italy cruise port and the Gulf of Naples daily.

That's why you should be making the most of your day here.

Especially since, as far as I know, no ships have an overnight in Naples (some cruise ships overnight anchored in Sorrento Italy though!), although this is one of the ports that certainly deserves one.

You can visit Pompeii independently, on its own by just going there by train from Naples and coming back (which is the most budget-friendly way) - I think you should combine it with one of the nearby destinations because they are just too good to be missed.

Below you will find my tips on how to go around it independently, using public transport but I have to admit the easiest way to do that is by taking one of the Viator shore excursions - they make it a no-brainer. 

PompeiiTrainStationGetting off the train in Pompeii

For the most up to date Circumvesuviana train timetables check the official website of Campania trains.

Your departure station (Da) will be Napoli Garibaldi (Stazione Centrale F.S.) and your arrival station (A) will be Pompeii Scavi - Villa Misteri.

Getting around the Bay of Naples on your own is okay if you are a traveler staying in Naples for a few days, and having lots of time on your hands.

Being a cruiser is a whole different story - in this case, time is a luxury!

Also, going to one of the largest archeological digs in the world (you could walk around it for a few days easily) without a knowledgeable historian/archaeologist would be missing a chance to learn so much!

So, if you're not into spending the whole day in the dust of Pompeii ruins, you can easily combine the following...

Naples and the lost city of Pompeii in a day

If you dock in the port of Naples early in the morning, you can take a train from Naples to Pompeii while it's still not hot and before all the tour buses arrive.

Read more about how to go about taking a train from Naples in our article Naples to Pompeii by train.

After visiting the lost city of Pompeii, take the train back and spend the afternoon either exploring the National Museum of Naples (where most of the artefacts from Pompeii are kept) or having the best pizza in the world in the famous pizzerias Da Michele or Trianon.

Remember that most shops in Naples will be closed for siesta from 1pm to 4pm.

Here's a few of our suggestions for tours and shore excursions that will make it easier for you to spend your day in Pompeii and Naples, especially if you want to see the artwork and all the artifacts found in Pompeii. 

If, after walking around Pompeii you prefer seeing the city of Naples itself, its charming narrow streets, wide squares, royal palaces, the markets and famous pizzerias, I have found this tour for you:

Sorrento and the lost city of Pompeii in a day

sorrentolemonsThe world famous Sorrento lemons

The lost city of Pompeii is just half way beween Naples and Sorrento Italy, so why not spend a few hours in this quaint cliff-top town, having a coffee and pizza in its main square or shopping for its world famous inlaid wood after the morning sightseeing in Pompeii?

You can get from Naples to Pompeii and then on to Sorrento by train, on your own. 

If you're tired of the slow and draining train ride, why not walk down to the port of Sorrento and take a hydrofoil (a fast boat) back to the port of Naples?

Considering it drops you right by your cruise ship, it's going to save you a lot of time, too!

Just make sure you decide ahead on how long you will be staying in Sorrento if you're taking a hydrofoil back. Namely, they aren't very frequent in the afternoon.

Afternoon hydrofoil times from Sorrento to Naples in the high season are as follows:

12:00 Noon

2:00 pm

4:25 pm

SorrentoCliffYes, Sorrento is on top of a cliff

Always make sure to check the latest hydrofoil times on the official websites.

Also, keep in mind If using boats to transport yourself across the Bay of Naples, you will be using hydrofoils, not ferries.

Ferries are bigger boats that take cars, as well as people, and they take much longer. Hydrofoils are faster and smaller boats that will save your precious cruiser's time. Read more in my article Capri ferry

The ride takes about 30-40 minutes, the cost is approx. €15.20 per person.

If you will be taking the last hydrofoil from Sorrento, make sure you get to the port at least 30 minutes before its departure to make sure you secure your tickets, it can get very busy. Also, ask at the booth which pier it will be leaving from.

Make sure you only take the last hydrofoil if it allows enough time for you to be back on the ship in time, which is always 30 minutes before its departure.

If it's just too much for you to keep all this info on your mind, let an experienced tour guide show you both Naples, Sorrento, and the lost city of Pompeii in a day!

Here's what I've found for you:

Here's what some customers say about this tour:

"This was a great tour, especially during the Naples and Pompeii portion. The guide was extremely professional and equally knowledgeable. We stopped at the absolute best coffee house, OMG is all that I can say about Caffe Gambrinus."

The lost city of Pompeii and Capri town in a day

CapriViaKruppCapri is a perfect mix of natural wonders and luxe life!

That would be our personal preference. Some Pompeii history in the morning and then some glitz and glamour of the isle of Capri Italy in the afternoon...sipping on an espresso in the Piazzetta or shopping for its famous little magic bells or perfumes, there's no better ending to your day in the Bay of Naples.

Reach the lost city of Pompeii by train from Naples, proceed further to Sorrento once you're done there, take a taxi to the port of Sorrento...or walk down the stairs for about 20 minutes to catch your hydrofoil to Capri.

The ride from Sorrento to Capri will take about 30 minutes. Check the hydrofoil timetable here.

Learn about the easiest way to reach Capri Town in our article Getting to Capri Town to Marina Grande.

Once done with Capri Town, take the funicular down to the port (head down at least 30 min before the departure of your hydrofoil) to buy your tickets at the booth and find the right pier for your hydrofoil.

If you don't want to spend the day worrying about the local transportation, I have actually found a few tours that can get you to both Pompeii and Capri in a day, and get you back to the ship in time for it's departure. 

Here's what some customers say about getting on one of the Viator tours:

"Truly we couldn't have the same experience without our amazing guide who just explained to us all the interesting details of Pompei. In Capri with a beautiful environment, we could just enjoy our time without having a headache about the organization because they took care of everything perfectly".

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